Welcome to the world, baby girl

AKA Mojo AKA Puppy-puppy Moi-Moi

AKA Mojo AKA Puppy-puppy Moi-Moi

Dah dah!

Sorry it’s taken so long, but here she is.  Our brand-new, eight-week old Bandog pup.  Called, depending on who you ask, Sari, Mojo or Puppy-puppy Moi-moi.

The cats despise her, but do sneak up to me for cuddles when she’s not around, so they don’t seem to be holding a grudge.  Unless they also do the revenge-served-cold thing in feline society, I suppose.


502 Responses

  1. So many names 😀 I know I get called a lot of things too from Alfie to Mr. POO It can be fun living with cats, cut sometimes they are a little mean and they think they are boss ALL the time and they do bully me a little when the people aren’t looking. Watch you back little doggy you never know what they are plotting. x

  2. Ooh, she’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to meet her, must do it before she gets big enough to swallow me whole. The bloke’s comment ‘OMG she looks like she’s gonna get BIG!’

    I’m glad the cats have forgiven you. I’m also quite sure that Flotsam & Jetsam are astute enough to train her to do their bidding. How did you come to make that choice, MM? What made you choose her over the Wooll-eff?
    I had to google Bandogs as I’d never heard of them, found a website of a breeder out at Charleville & they had pix of one that looked very much like yours. Exactly how far into the boonies did you have to go to get her?

    Oh & Hi Rebecca, I have a papillon too & he lives at the mercy of three evil house cats. None of whom display much in the way of mercy. Your boy is very pretty. Is Alfie a pap or a Phalene?I’ve never seen Riley’s ears in any position other than up, up and alert. Particularly if there’s a brush turkey to pursue.

    Speaking of which, MM, you’ll never have to worry about Satan’s gardeners digging up your catnip again.
    When Khan GB does his nocturnal drop-offs of hatchlings and frog spawn, he’ll have a lovely new friend to greet him. 🙂

  3. Tell the Bloke that he’s not wrong about the bigness. She’s practically doubled in size in the week we’ve had her.

    As for choice, I like the look of her litter. There were also some mastiff-wolfhound Xs around the same age, but they just didn’t seem quite as sleek and healthy as this lot. And her Dad was such a lovely big, laid-back boofhead. Just the way I like them! No offense intended, as wolves are outnumbered by paps, now, here at the Box.

    They were only a bit out past Greenbank, but Whereis.com lead me fully astray. Next time, I’ll consult my trusty Refidex.

  4. Were there tunnels?

  5. Hehehe. No, but I did save us all by following along the side of the military firing range. At one point, when I stopped to take stock and laugh maniacally, I did hear banjos, duelling.

  6. Thank goodness, five seconds on the computer between kidlets doing homework and kidlets playing Minecraft!

    What beautiful blue eyes she has. And such pretty names. I had to Google Bandogs too, and this is what Wiki said:

    William Harrison, in his description of England during 1586, first mentions the type in his statement, “Bandogge which is a huge dog, stubborn, uglier, eager, burthenouse of bodie, terrible and fearful to behold and often more fierce and fell than any Archadian or Corsican cur.”

    Hmmm… perhaps a Wherewolf would have been a gentler choice.

    As would a guinea pig.

    Or I could send you a nice pet rock. (He’s house-trained).

    But then, you can handle MM and EB, so you’re bound to be more than a match for a mere Bandoggie. Congrats on your new baby.

  7. Hehehe. I can see her becoming “burthenouse of bodie”. I swear she’s doubled in size in a week. Ugly is a bit harsh, though. I think William Harrison was a cat person.

  8. Yeah, I saw that entry & then I thought back to what my cat breeder friends say about the Cat Breeders in the UK & wondered if Oz dog breeders have similar leanings. (i.e. Thats not a bandog, THIS is a bandog) & so I searched for an Australian description of them. We do have our own way of breeding, here. I found a kennel in Charleville that breeds them and they sound gorgeous. Not that I feel the need to have anything more fearsome than a gaggle of Turkish Vans & a neurotic Pap to protect me, but if I did, the Bandog of the Baskervilles would be a good choice.

  9. Yeah, I think the Aussie ones might be a bit leaner and rangier. Some of the ones on the interwebz are built like brick … erm, doghouses.

  10. I’ll keep the pet rock then, shall I? We don’t want Bandoggie eating it.

  11. I might be able to find a use for it, Catty. Possibly stoving it through the windscreen of the next jackass that parks us in…er, no, that would be bad. I’ll leave that to the Greeks.

    gosh that’s a pretty dog MM, it’s so lovely to see her photo every time I click on here. She looks so sweet. I hope the cats come to like her. My cats quite like our dog. Well, in their own evil way.

    Catty it’s occurred to me I should have been more sympathetic about kids and minecraft as after spending the day at the Old Coast I’m once again thankful that I don’t have to deal with either. And perhaps I should ask what crunchy baked beans are. I assumed perhaps bits of asbestos but if I’m wrong do enlighten me.

    Well, we have had a top day.
    We took the kayaks down to Tallebudgera Creek, after a delicious brekky at Coolangatta, and we started exploring some of the canals off the creek. We were blown away by the serenity – big signs everywhere saying No Jetskis and water speed limits of 6 knots. Which we probably exceeded in our kayaks but hey, no stinky outboards. Every time we turned down another canal there were people on their terraces/pools/back yards who waved and smiled at us over their newspapers/kindles/ipads.
    Spoke to a few people briefly who said that they love it there and it is ever so quiet & they never want to leave. FIL has a friend who has lived in those parts for 30 years and is happy as a squirrel, and he says it’s quiet and tranquil, too.

    So I am all amazement as I expected the Palm Beach Canals to be bogan city. I thought that Bogan radio would be blaring from loudspeakers on the corner of every canal and there’d be a satellite dish on every roof and a collection of Monster Trucks in every yard.
    Not so.
    All we could hear was birds and the locals sipping wine on their patios. And the children…OMG there were children making normal sounds. Not the screams and swearing and fighting and high pitched fire-alarm type shrieks that are a steady feature of life around Casa Q.
    Nice children! The kind that I’d be happy to stuff with brownies and icey poles like I used to in our last house before we moved into Freak Central.

    Pretty much every single house had a kayak rack full of kayaks and SUPs so I think the canals are pretty much a kayak village.

    So I think that’s where we might focus our house-hunt. We made a point of going through the canals at low tide to see if they get stinky but other than seeing the occasional oversized dog turd float by, there was no stench to speak of. Also no sign of Satan’s Gardeners so I’m feeling hopeful that if we move to the canals I might be able to have some sort of garden again.

    So we’ve left the kayaks on the roof of the car so that we can go to the coast again tomorrow for more lovely paddle adventures, and this time hopefully we shall get off to an early start.

    Must mention that when we were dodging stink-boats & tobogganing kids in the main part of the creek (now that does look like fun) we went over to the far shore in the wilds & most unexpectedly I found some sting-rays resting on the creek-bed not two feet below me. Gorgeous, but I think I’ll be taking care not to fall out or step out in that particular stretch.

    I’ve still got bird sounds ringing in my ears.
    What a lovely day. We should’ve bought these kayaks 10 years ago. Who knew they’d be so much fun?

  12. Wot, no bull sharks?

    That does sound lovely, Q. I’ll try to be less scathing about the Gold Coast. Well you rent first, do you think, as a sort of try-before-you-buy?

  13. I would sell Casa Q tomorrow to avoid the pain and suffering involved in renovating, followed by the further pain & suffering of renting it out to tenants, if I could only talk the bloke into it. And if we found a house that we wanted to buy. There was one high up on Burleigh hill, facing north, that I would have happily moved into next week, but it looks like it’s been taken off the market.

    When I dragged him up on knob hill this morning to show him the house that I liked but which is 1. beyond our price range unless we trade in Casa Q and 2. Apparently no longer listed – he completely fell in love with it up there. It’s an out-of-the-way dead end street on the hill, facing north, lovely views over the ocean and the headland up to surface, no bogans/AKA tradesmen in sight and the houses all had well-established lovely private gardens. Very quiet.

    We went to look at a few houses on the canals today but nothing to write home (or elsewhere) about. So after the house hunt, we went to Currumbin Creek.

    We paddled the busy end where the kids all swim & play & then we went a few k’s further outbound into the wilds. Literally. There was nothing but swamp and birds. The only marine life we saw was little schools of fish jumping in the water but there were lots of birds hunting for dinner, including a sea eagle that snatched a fish straight out of the mouth of the egret that had just caught it. And then hung around in the mangroves directly over the egret’s head waiting to steal the next one. Cheeky sod. There was nobody on that stretch of creek but us, apart from 2 solitary fishermen in tinnies who’d plainly gone out to that stretch to enjoy the serenity. And lots and lots of birds.

    So I think we’ll have some lovely kayak adventures down there. That’s the thing, there’s so many places to paddle down at the old coast. I know it’s infested with drug dealers & their clientele but hey, at least I’m not related to any of them. Besides, West End is no better, and that’s in broad daylight on a weekday. I haven’t been able to get into Avid for months without tripping over their pet junkie/big issue seller -who scares the crap out of me ever since she followed me out of the Zoo about 20 years ago intent on starting a fight with me, I still have no idea how I got away from her that night without her and her legion of invisible friends attacking me. I think the unmedicated schizophrenia & 2 decades of substance abuse has made her even more unpredictable & she still has it in for me, so I rarely go down to West End anymore. I don’t know what Fiona is thinking to let her hang around in the entry, there. Clearly she doesn’t see a distinction between ‘helping’ and ‘enabling’.
    Between the uni students smoking dope in the street trying to look cool and all the people my age who were doing that 20 years ago & who are now homeless & shaking down the yuppies for money, it can be pretty depressing, some days.

    Burleigh has kind of become West End by the sea as it has a lot of the same sorts of groovy shops & cafes, but it looks like the shopkeepers have more sense than to tolerate the ferals & the druggies. And there’s actually a healthy clientele that wants preservative-free hippy food. Which has always been part of the Surfie culture.
    I’m told the ferals all hang round the pub & the centrelink further down the highway in the badlands of Palm Beach.

    So I think it will be a bit hard to plan for this adventure, MM. I think it will just be one of those things that if the right place comes up, we’ll jump ship & be off. I’m willing to deal with the renovation of Casa Q if that’s what the bloke really wants to do, but frankly, given that I’m heartily sick of Brisbane & our neighbours, I would be happy to leave it tomorrow.

  14. Don’t be disheartened by Dream House going off the market, Q. Friends of ours viewed a house last year, fell in love but by the time they’d organised their finances it had gone off the market. So they approached the owners directly and everyone got a commission-free deal.

    Sometimes things just get unlisted for a while so they don’t hang around the market unsold and getting stale, I think.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the pharmaceutical merchants of The Old Coast, either (unless I was teasing). They’re mostly interested in their clientele and opposition, neither or which you are.

    Hopefully, some good home karma will come your way. You haven’t been happy in the Casa for yonks.

  15. Thanks MM, yeah, having the bloke away in Cairns for that three years wore very, very thin.
    I’ve been wanting to leave Brisbane ever since I realised that I don’t get asthma if I’m at the coast (or at least, nowhere near as badly) and that my summertime insomnia is far less likely to trouble me in a cooler climate. So I’m feeling much happier now we have a clear goal that he is actually on board with. He’s always wanted to live at the beach so that he can wake up and surf every day. And now that he’s got his kayak, which he’s loving, BTW, there’s even more reason to be there.

    So at least I know the end is in sight.
    At 8am yesterday when we were standing on the beach watching perfect surf break I nudged him & said, ‘you know, if we sold Casa Q and bought a house we could be down here by Xmas. No FK-knuckling about with tradesmen, no hassles with council or neighbours, no you whining about catching the train all year, no listening to me whine for another year about idiots parked over our driveway. (yes, there’s another one there today)
    Nothing. Just peace.

    I nearly had him, there.
    Nearly. and then he wriggled off the hook.
    * Must bait hook better next time*

    Anyway, we’ll get there, so I’m feeling a whole lot better just knowing that we actually have a plan to get out.
    Meanwhile, I have a strategy for coping until we leave.
    I’ve lumped the renovation into his lap & told him I am off to uni next year & organising tradesmen is his problem. I have better ways to spend my time.

    The thing was that while he was in Cairns 2-3 days per week, snuggled up in a 5 star hotel with a view over the ocean, getting chef-cooked meals twice a day – he was able to get a break from the freak show. Now that he’s not getting that break, he’s starting to find it just as annoying as I do.
    I’m particularly indebted to Not The Owner at Bog Hollow for finding pressing reasons to use a drill outside his bedroom window after 10pm at night, three nights in a row. 🙂

  16. Outside his bedroom window?

    Are you sure it’s not just very very noisy termites?

  17. Or a private investigator, hired by Aisling’s parents? She’s probably gone missing, and the investigator may be using a drill to remove all the toilet doors in houses where the poor girl has lived.

    Fingers crossed the Bloke comes to his senses soon. Perhaps your bait next time could be a reminder that his mother doesn’t have to know your forwarding address – or indeed that you’ve even moved. Given that the best leverage with menfolk is to make them think it was their idea, you could probably drop a few hints every time you visit the Old Coast, about how Christmas with Mother will keep him out of the water just when the weather is perfect for paddling – but won’t keep you out of it.

    Still, there’s something to be said for going ahead with your renovation plans, even if it is only to piss off Mrs Flanders and Not The Owner.

    Meanwhile, get out there on those kayaks. I agree with Morgana, you’ll probably find the house is off the market for reasons other than the owners’ desire to sell. Perhaps you should knock on their door and ask?

  18. No, she’s going into the empty flats late at night and getting busy with a drill.
    I have no idea why, unless it’s to inspire the rest of her tenants to leave. It certainly seems to be working.
    She was thin when she moved in but she’s been losing weight & getting even thinner, so I suspect she is just a bit hyper and she burns a lot of nervous energy looking for things to keep her busy.

    As for the house on Knob Hill, the agent rang me back this morning & remembered me from another O4I.
    Her news: The owner of Knob Hill House is in holidays in America until the week before Xmas and has taken it off the market for
    1. Security reasons
    2. It was overpriced & she didn’t want it going stale.

    It will be going back on the market in January. The owner wants to enjoy her holiday in the states without worrying that her house is a target for thieves, and then Xmas with her family (she’s on her own, in her 60s, has grandkids and wants a unit at Surfers) & then will put it back on the market next year.

    REA thinks she should be able to take us through for a private viewing after mid-Dec.

    So I guess we will see then if it’s as good as it looks in the photos.
    So that’s quite promising. It gives us time to get all our ducks in a row re: finance, if the bloke can be prevailed upon to sell.

    But mostly what it gives me is something to hold over his head next year, when he’s miserable with the commute and the renovation. I can point to the house on Knob Hill and say ‘You could have been at Burleigh, waking up to the surf every day but you chose to commute and argue about tile layouts with the builder so STFU and get on with it.’

    har, har, har. 🙂

    Yeah, I can put up with it all for another year but the person it’s going to be hardest on is him.
    I’ll see to that, if the tradies & the neighbours don’t. 🙂

  19. Poor, poor Bloke. I feel sorry for him already.

  20. Heh heh heh. So do I.
    Still, he’s sounding a whole lot more amenable today & as a result, so am I.
    He whinged to me last night that he’d always regretted selling the first house we owned down in West End (which we bought as a rental in conjunction with his brother & SIL).
    I told him he’s also been telling me for the last 20 years that he regrets not living at the coast and being able to wake up and surf every day so FWIW I think he needs to pick one of those regrets and run with it because he can’t have it both ways, be greedy landlord AND surfer bum.
    So we’ll see what unfolds.
    He does sound very tempted by the house on Knob Hill, though. Now that he’s home during the weekdays to see just how often these jackasses park us in, the prospect of trying to commute to the coast at 5am via our driveway is suddenly his problem, rather than mine.

  21. Plastique.

    I’m not sure where exactly I’m suggesting you detonate it, only that the loud BOOM! and resultant carnage would be soothing to your frayed nerves.

  22. yeah, not sure that bunnings sell that. Still, judging from what’s on the radar, there may well be golf-ball sized hail in that & I’m hoping that my Parking Fairy sees that a goodly quantity of it lands on the big black shiny 4WD that parked me in this morning. Seeing it return pitted with pock marks from God would make my day.

    Which is getting better, as I’ve come home from the grocery shop with Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs. Huzzah!

    I had an interesting conversation with my friend that runs the local pet cafe, though. I was telling her about Riley’s hepatotoxicity issues & asking if they’d heard anything about suspected poisonings. She said no, and people do usually come in and say something because when it happens they blame the fresh pet food. So they watch it, in case there’s a problem with a bad batch. They’ve never had a problem which means the owner has other things to worry about.

    When I told her that the brush turkey population seems to have dramatically reduced, she said she too would suspect the neighbour of poisoning them, but she asked if there were foxes around as they will kill them & they do it by snapping their necks. So to ask my neighbours if they’ve seen heads lying around, or if their chickens are going missing.

    I know there are stories of foxes in West End so perhaps they’ve moved up the hill to partake of Khan Greybeard’s buffet breeding? Seriously, I’ve seen one or two birds in the last few weeks and normally they are everywhere.

    Something’s going on. And frankly, if I thought the birds were disappearing because of foxes rather than baits, I’d feel far less antsy & anxious to move.

    I might have to google Fox Poop so I know what to look for. I remember you talking about them a while back, MM.

  23. Well, they killed a few of my Dad’s chooks before we enclosed them, but they live in a dead-end street with a thick swathe of bush across the road.

    Then again, when I was driving taxis I saw a fox stroll across the road near the airport one dawn, so I guess it’s possible.

  24. There is a wild stretch of gully across the main road & lots of parkland, and hippy gardens full of chickens to plunder. I’ll have to ask the locals on my dog walk. Not that we’ll be going out into the apocalypse tonight. Not while there’s a box of lolly gobble bliss bombs to enjoy, anyway.
    Good luck with the storms, sounds like dreamworld got clobbered as did hope island. We had a few bits of pea sized hail here that melted down to tic-tac size by the time I got to it, so no harm done here.

  25. We have foxes around here. They are the scraggiest, mangiest, sorriest bunch of foxes you’ve ever seen. For some reason they remind me of the Scribe’s stawka. I don’t know why, they just do.

    Speaking of the hail, Uncle G had an unpleasant experience in Toowoomba last Thursday. He has difficulty with mobility due to long term health problems, and just after he’d struggled out of his car, the hail hit. Hard. He copped hail to the head and upper body, and to top it all off, his pants fell down. The friend he was meeting rushed out of the café with napkins to staunch the flow of blood from various chest and arm wounds, not realising my poor uncle’s derriere was flapping cheerfully in the wind – in full view of all the other café patrons. Well, that’s one way to get your knickers in a twist, I guess.

    To be honest, I’m surprised the poor man wasn’t knocked out. I still have the photos of the last Christmas Day I spent in Helidon. The hailstones were literally as big as cricket balls, and the ground looked like it was covered in snow. They fell hard enough to pierce through car bonnets and roof tiles. Nowadays when I hear the local Melbourne weather reports about fierce hailstorms, I look at the ‘fierce’ pea-sized bits of ice and think, “Wusses”. The Boss calls it Baby Hail.

    On the Gran front, we had a bit of a scare last night. She went to the nursing home’s kitchen to fetch a bit of prune juice, and just blacked out. There was a nurse close by, but not quite close enough to catch Gran as she fell. She has some truly horrific bruising and some cuts to her elbows, but thank God she didn’t break any bones. The doctors have been giving her daily injections of blood thinning medication for the last four weeks, and they’re now saying she shouldn’t be on it. Personally, I think they should use a better indicator than patients passing out, to decide a medication is no longer necessary.

    As for me, I’m off to the city tomorrow, for lunch with Melbo and Mayhem. Wheeeee! *happy dance, happy dance, happy dance*

  26. All hail Uncle G? Poor man. Bet it’s a while before he can hear thunder without flinching.

    And poor Gran. Then again, it’s great that she’s up and about. Hope she’s feeling better soon. And significantly less medicated.

    Have a lovely lunch, ladies, and make sure not to skip dessert. Eat it, for Q and I.

    I will be eating sushi at my desk, as is traditional on Tuesdays. Could be worse, I suppose. Worse being leftovers or a sandwich I’ve had to make myself, like all the other days of the week. We love you, Sushi Ninja!

  27. Oh Catty, that’s awful. Poor Gran. Still, with my limited knowledge of drugs and medications I have an inkling of what they’re concerned about & I’d say that 90% of the time they’d probably be on the right track with the blood thinner meds.
    Your poor Gran must fit into that small percentage that work the opposite way. From memory (lectures, eek, it’s been a while) it’s very hard to pick that group until something goes awry.
    I do hope she feels better soon. Poor darling, she’s had a crap time of it lately.

    Your hail story is a horror, too. I wasn’t expecting any hail here as the storms usually split & go round the hill and avoid us, so that’s the first time I’ve seen hail at Casa Q in years.

    Well, happy news, the Bloke has come home from work, having felt the sting of my rather blunt tongue, and he has given some thought to which he’d rather regret – time spent surfing or time being a greedy scumlord, and he’s made his choice.
    He’s seen what the scumlords around here turn into and he’d rather end up as an old, fit, surfer dude.

    He has thought it over & said that the Horsepiddle will require so much of his mental energy that he doesn’t think he’ll have much left over for the makeover at Casa Q.

    He likes the house on Knob Hill enough to make a serious offer on it, and enough to feel motivated to put our house on the market.

    If we don’t get the house at Knob Hill there’s certainly plenty of other stuff on the market that would suit us.

    I had sensed his lack of interest in renovating – god knows it’s showed as my efforts to get the build off the ground over the last 18 months have stalled due to his lack of interest/motivation – so it’s nice he’s finally come out and admitted it.

    We will find a little place that’s all neat & tidy & which doesn’t need major work so that we can both just get on with it.

    That should fix my levels of frustration re: ‘finish the bloody house’ and we can just get on with our lives.

    I will be sad to leave Casa Q as it is such a lovely comfortable house, but I can’t imagine that I’ll miss it too much once I’m able to walk the dog along the beach every day. :_

  28. Speaking of dog, MM, I meant to close with howz your lovely puppy?
    sorry, distracted by evil cat. And the endless ‘to do’ list that’ll be required to tidy this place up for sale.

  29. You will most certainly not spend a minute spent walking your dog along the beach. It is one most my most favouritist activities.

    I also swear that just living at the beach, with the constant soothing white noise of the surf in the background and the salty air and positive ions or whatever is very soothing. Most of the people up here are nice, reasonable, happy and relaxed. Sure, we have a few oddballs but they’re usually more endearing eccentrics than psycho killers.

    I think you’ll all be very happy. Huzzah to the beach!

  30. Oh, and puppy is adorable. She’s slotted right in, doesn’t seem to miss her litter mates at all.

    Then again, we do have a roster of sleeping in the lounge room with her so she’s not lonely, so she’s got nothing to complain about, I suppose.

  31. So are the twins on this roster, or has it been arranged thus to protect her from them?

  32. They despise her. They have taken to living outside, only sneaking up to me for cuddles when I’m alone.

    I can’t work out why they had no issues with Miko, but are so opposed to the puppy. Anyway, I’ve converted the kids’ fort into a summer cat gazebo, so it’s nice for them. Perhaps when she calms down a bit they’ll come back inside.

  33. My cats were mortified by the arrival of the puppy, when Riley were just the size of an over-inflated guinea pig. Once he was about three they were much better with it, but that said he was nuts, with much the same ADHD energy as a Jack Russell. I think you’ll find that once she mellows, so will they. Also, one of those twins, and I forget which one, was intent on being an outside cat from the get go, and since the two of them were inseperable I’d say that they’re just doing that twin thing of follow-the-leader. One always does as they’re told. It’s just easier that way, or so I’m told by a friend who has an evil twin.

  34. Flot’s our man of action. poor old Jet would happily be a lap cat but can’t bear to be separated from his brother.

    Declan says they left a bit of ball in Flot, when they were desexing him. Even his “mrrrrrow!” is manlier.

  35. Heh heh. Maybe they did him second, and something manly retracted deep inside him thanks to some sort of survival of the naughtiest type response when he saw what had happened to his bro.

    I have some pleasing tidings re: the Poisoning saga.
    I was out in the garden this am attempting to tame the jungle when a Wildlife Control van turned up & the guy went in to Bog Hollow.
    Not, sadly, with an arrest warrant and a set of handcuffs.
    With a ladder, and what looks like some possum traps.

    So since Not The Owner expressed the same sentiments towards possums as brush turkeys, & looked at me like I was a money-burning fool when I mentioned the trapper, a few months ago, I think she may have taken onboard that email that I sent to her via the agent. Which ran to the theme of ‘People in authority are waiting for sufficient evidence to prosecute the poisoner & if further deaths occur I expect the guilty party will get jail time.’

    Interesting, as this morning (before he arrived) was the first time since that email that she hasn’t scuttled away from me, head down, looking sheepish & pretending to be very, very busy with the pressing business of slowing the decay at Bog Hollow.

    So I’m still not sure what happened to the dog, but the fact that she’s now willing to pay a possum trapper to clamber about in her roof suggests to me that she’s decided that poisoning the wildlife is not a smart thing to do.

    So I am heartily relieved.
    I’m also more inclined to think that it probably was Not the Owner that poisoned my dog, just because of her attitude & the fact that she’s waited till the flats are half empty to call in the possum man. You’d think she would have been more willing to do that when she was flush with funds rather than facing the prospect of a low-income summer, sans paying customers.
    Then again, perhaps things are so dire she plans to casserole them before the trapper can show up & release them two blocks down the road.

  36. It’s a new business venture. She’s going to skin them and make Possum Pilchers.

  37. Heh heh heh. What will she do with the innards, do you think, make pate to sell at the markets?

  38. If you coated the kidneys in resin, they’d make festive earrings.

  39. Eeeee-ew.
    That’ll be it.

  40. And you could have their guts for garlands!

    What CAN’T you do with a dead possum?

  41. Not sure, but I’m tempted to test your theory by gifting them as Xmas presents.
    One for every neighbour, under their porch on Xmas Eve.

    I have to chuckle, I had another standard night of being woken up by the random chaotic noises that seem to be an integral part of our ‘hood. Helicopters, gunships (sounded like that, anyway) nightworks on the railway, dirt bikes racing through the streets, and neighbours getting home blaring doof doof doof music before slamming their car doors and arguing their way off to bed.
    Following which I had an argument with the dog at 2am about the new requirement that he should answer the call of nature out on the patio & not spend 20 minutes roaming free in the back yard looking for poison, possums, snakes, foxes and cane toads.
    He glared at the back door & refused to budge.
    When I upgraded the command to ‘snarl’ he still ignored me, which prompted all three of the Turks to come flying at pace from the far ends of the house to smack him up for his insolence. A nasty brouhaha erupted & I hope it woke Not the Owner and the Driveway Obstructionist in the flats next door.

    From 2am there was very little sleep to be had & I arose at dawn feeling somewhat surly. So at 5.45am when a truck pulled up and started racketing about outside with loud Doof Doof Dance Tracks roaring over the clatter & the belching diesel, I stomped out onto the porch to see which neighbour I should be cursing this time.
    And as it turns out, that would be me. 🙂
    It was our new council green waste bin being delivered – to the wrong house, because there’s no parking outside ours – so it turns out that today it’s our turn to create a disturbance & make the neighbours curse us. It stopped outside the house belonging to the worst offenders for consistently rude & invasive noises, so I’m counting that as a win.

    Anyhoo, I have a much more positive attitude now that the Bloke has decided he is willing to let go of Casa Q. I was feeling rather grim at his proposal to keep it and rent it out (guess who gets to manage the tenants because he’s a softy, urgh) so I am much, much happier.

    I am really quite shocked at the ease with which he’s come round to the realisation that
    1. He has zero interest or motivation to renovate Casa Q
    2. He wants to live at the beach
    3. He wants to live in a nice house at the beach.
    4. He wants to live in a nice house at the beach, ASAP.

    So I don’t know if we’ll end up in the house on Knob Hill at Burleigh but it will forever hold a tender place in my heart for inspiring the Bloke to abandon the lunatic freak show that surrounds us here at Casa Q.

  42. I have both sympathy and empathy for the sleeplessness.

    Dear little Sari continues remorselessly adorable, but she fractures my sleep, too. It’s just like having a newborn bub again, although I suppose at least she contents herself with nestling up to me and doesn’t require breast feeding.

    Green Bin is a double win, as you can use many a power tool clipping and pruning to fill it!

  43. You have my sympathies.
    Riley was pretty good & I don’t begrudge him the 2am toilet trips, he is an old man & I’m often so inclined myself. The cats still like to wake us up for festive purposes (look everyone, I stuck my paw in her mouth and stopped her snoring, isn’t this fun?) so that won’t change, regardless where we go.

    Yeah the green bin was just one of those things that had to be done sooner or later.
    We’ve had a garden bag collection service since we bought the house 18 years ago, but he just sent us a note saying that he broke his leg in two places and won’t be able to continue with his job.
    Just hope he didn’t do it here. Eek. I used to look at him clambering about up our hill and wondered how he managed to avoid slipping, Dog knows I’ve slipped down the drive plenty of times.

    So since we’re planning to Eff Orf soonish, there seemed little point in setting up a new garden bag account, and it’s probably easier to just give the council contractor the money than to risk mangling another innocent.

    I did plan to do that long term anyway, as the landscaping plan was pretty tight, out front, and the green waste bin is much easier to store.
    I was reluctant to initiate the change as I didn’t want to do Brian out of his income, poor bugger. NFI what he’s going to do now, I just hope he had some sort of disability insurance, as he said he’d be off his leg for 6 months & not being a youngster, I’m thinking he’ll feel that one till the end of his days.

  44. Ouch. Poor man. I was reading recently that there are over 100 injuries to old people every year, just from slipping while taking their wheelie bins down steep driveways. I hope he recovers well.

    Speaking of recovering, how’s Miracle Girl? Any progress? It always makes my day a little happier when you tell us about her improvements. Or about the noms you’ve made her. Mmmm… noms…

    Bugger. Now I’m hungry. ‘Scuse me while I go find carbs.

  45. Yes, I’ve been meaning to get in there, I haven’t been in for just over a week, now, and I know she’ll be missing me. Its all been a bit nuts here lately, especially as we have been down the coast the last 2 weekends, kayaking and house-hunting.
    I don’t feel too guilty these days if I don’t get in once a week, as she’s no longer on restricted visitors and she’s in a group room so they all look out for each other. Last time I was in there the nurses rolled their eyes and said ‘You’re popular today Miracle Girl’ as apparently it had been a revolving door of visitors all day long. She has hundreds of friends & now that the restricted visitor thing is no more, they are making the most of it. Which pleases me no end as it was a bit stressful being one of the few that could manage her when she was in a bad way. Funny how the brain damage hasn’t changed the fact that she is still every inch an extrovert.

    She is also overjoyed as
    1. She is allowed to go on outings, with family & a few friends, so she has been taking jaunts in a maxi taxi fairly regularly, down to the art gallery etc. She’s allowed out for 4 hours at a time and I gather it takes 6 staff to organise this, so its something I’ve not yet attempted as the queue to take her out and about is long, and it’s hard on her sister & her mum, as one of them needs to be there – I know they are both very stretched at the mo, Gill with end of school stuff (teacher, north coast) and her mum has her hands full with her husband, as the alzheimers is now so bad she has asked to be put on a list for respite care & placement in a nursing home.
    So I will get there, sometime this week. But I don’t think she’s lacking for company. 🙂

    2. She has been told she can have a trial home visit, so in early December she is going home to her mum & dad for a weekend. And if that works out OK, she will be allowed to go home for 4 days over Xmas.

    3. They are talking about releasing her from BIRU early next year.

    So she has a lot to look forward to and now that she’s much more social & less distressed/confused/agitated she has a lot more visitors, and she is allowed to see groups of people rather than just 1 on 1.

    The family are holding a fundraiser soon to help pay for the plastic surgery she will need to have next year to restore her face. So we will toss something into the pot, possibly the thumbs of the guy that led her up the mountain, so he can’t lure another silly girl to her death.

    So she’s been quite chipper.

    I’m making spinach & feta & brown rice pie today. After a nap. The sleep disturbance last night is catching up with me. Not to worry, I have this sublime sense that life is good & I’m off in a happy fantasy land knowing that this should be my last summer in Stinky Brisbane. Oh, joy.

    How was the Coven meeting the other day, Catty?
    not that I’m ever on twitter when the rest of them are, but I scroll thru trying to make sense of it once or twice a day, and I’m sure Mayhem was making happy munching noises and saying something about how you’d fed her chocolate so her life was worth living again.
    Nice work. 🙂

  46. Weird. I could swear I posted something about the poor old rubbish man. Anyway, moving on …

    Let me know if there’s a link or something for the fundraiser, Q. I’d like to donate towards getting MG back to more normaler.

    Yes, Catty, how did the lunch go? BTW, did you know that Melbo took her littlie to an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet this week? I expect you to go several times a week and sample everything on the buffet, reporting back until I’m vicariously satisfied. Warning, that might take a while.

  47. well MM, whats even weirder is that I would swear to it that I saw your post about the rubbish man too. The gremlins must have eaten it.
    Yeah, thanks, I will let you know. Gill was asking for photos so that they can put together a collage of MG’s life before the fall.

    Maybe it’s time for moor Turkish (see what I did there?) if you are needing to live vicariously through a 5 yro’s pleasure at a Chinese buffet.

  48. A Byzantine bonanza?

    Actually, I was thinking I could probably do with another trip to Eagle Farm, too. This stupid working has really put a dint in my shopping opportunities. But Uncle RV has just had one of his knees done, so I suspect any free time for the next little while will be spent wending our way up there. Before Xmas, though, certainly. Shall we pick a weekend now?

  49. Mel says the buffet has a chocolate fountain. Do you think they’d mind if I sit in it, instead of at a table?

  50. Catty, I think your family might be better suited to the kind of restaurants where they put the chocolate sauce in a super soaker. I’m not sure where you find one of those but having eaten out often at the Gold Coast cafes lately I can assure you that it’s coming.

    *children in cafes, shudder*

    MM, Give Uncle RV a kiss on his wounded knee from me. He deserves lots of TLC after his many years of service to all God’s Creatures. (note I am still not willing to consider humanity in that catalogue)

    Um, MM, I might find it hard to commit to engagements unless it’s short notice or Sundays (in which case markets are good) as we are intent on spending every waking moment plotting our escape by scouring the Old Coast for a new home. Sometime after Dec 15 we will be viewing the house on Knob Hill, as the owner will be back from the US & agent said she’d be willing to take us through for a private viewing.

    But yes, the markets would be nice, if you mean Eagle Farm. I ate my last bagel this morning so another visit to that Bagel Boys stall is in order so I can get my fix of blueberry bagels.

  51. Mmmmm… chocolate sauce super soaker… The bagels sound good, too. I’d go to the shops and get one, but the Boss didn’t get paid today. I could go to the bank and get some cash out of my passbook account…. Nah. Eftpos has made me lazy. I think I’ll have a long, hot shower, then go and visit Gran instead.

  52. Bugger, I hate when pay doesn’t show up.

    Still, it works for Gran. Good for you, Catty, I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see you.
    I was planning to visit MG but since there’s been a cancellation with the osteo so he can fit me in tomorrow, I’m trying to do the chores that were scheduled for tomorrow, today.

  53. How does that happen? The number of clients I hear whinging that their payment didn’t go through because they were paid late. Surely getting the payroll out on time is on of the crucial functions of, well, the payroll people?

    Give Gran our love, Catty. And a couple of shots of brandy, too.

    Speaking of catch-ups, is Darth Greybeard back in town, or is he still slaving away over a warm grandbaby? Usually, if you speak his name, he appears, so we’ll see if that works.

  54. dunno but it happens to the bloke occasionally, so we try to factor that it by allowing a couple of days after payday before we do anything too nuts with big bills. Must be hard when you’re a family with all those unpredictable things kids need/do.

    I saw something on twitter about Khan Sidious being morose that there was nobody to love him any more, so I assume they are headed back to Stinky Brisbane. Why, think you might be tempted to head down this way this weekend?

  55. I just went to see Gran, and it turns out she did break something(s) in the fall last weekend. Her back has been hurting a lot, and they’ve finally realised she has a few broken ribs. Poor love. She kept shaking her head and saying “what’s next?”. Personally, I’m hoping that what’s next is a soak in a tub full of warm chocolate…. with Timothy Dalton. Well, what’s next for me, anyway. Maybe while I’m at it, I can wish for Gran to have a physio session with George Clooney.

    Meanwhile, although the Boss’s pay finally showed up last night, I can’t go grocery shopping today because the Teenie is very sick. He’s caught the horrible bug that’s going around – the one where you have fevers, muscle aches and bleeding diarrhoea. To top it off, he got punched in the face at school yesterday, so his eye is a bit swollen. Not a good day for the Teenie. We’ve been to see a doctor, and now I’m coddling him with blankies and brownies. He seems to be enjoying it.

  56. Catty this is bizarre, I’m sure I posted a comment re: this the other day. From the Big Mac, which is a miracle of efficiency and thus far has withstood the enslaught of my Tech Destroying Force Field.
    I hope everyone is feeling better very soon, you included, it sounds like it’s been a rough week.
    Big Hugs Air Kiss Mwaaaaaaah.

  57. Well that’s working.
    Where are you guys? Catty I hope you and your household haven’t succumbed to plague. Those bugs are horribly contagious. Morgana, I assume you’ve been beset with cricket and The Baconing. God help you all.
    I hope you’ve had better weekends than I’m predicting, and you’re all just busy with Happy Times. Still, Irma is due here so as she usually imposes on you two first…hmm. Between her & the wildebeest, who knows what you’ve suffered.

    Well, we had a nice weekend, went to the coast on Saturday with the dog & stalked the house that we like on Knob Hill. The dog managed to find a lost dog (truth be told I think Riley probably inspired her to escape) so while we were dithering about wondering what to do with the Wandering Pom (so much nicer than the Poms wandering in these parts, with the cricket on) – we met up with the Queen of the Street. Or so the bloke dubbed her.
    She’s been there for over 3 decades & knows everyone and everything and remembered when Knob House was built, by the local member back in the 70s. It’s really very modest compared to the McMansions that clutter the hilltop, but its the simplicity & the minimalism that appeals to us. The McBricksters either side of Knob House are, apparently, rented out – for @ $1300pw. Apparently when the owners wanted to downsize (empty nesters) they couldn’t sell them for what they considered they were worth (greedy boomers). So that, as far as I’m concerned, adds considerably to the appeal of the house.
    It means that nobody therein will have the slightest bit of motivation to pick up a power tool or a leaf blower. Like.

    Anyway, mission accomplished. I’ve managed to meet a local who knows everything and everyone & who had the time to answer my questions.
    Although after what our neighbours did here on the weekend, I’m sorely tempted to draft up a survey form and go door to door. With questions such as:
    * How many red-headed children reside under this roof?
    * Does your child have free access to mind altering substances? (followed by list of chemicals found in foods linked to ADHD)
    * Does he have a drum kit?

    And, of course, this weekend’s inspired inclusion
    * Do you own a karaoke machine, feel strongly you should be featured on Australia’s got talent, have 100 drunken friends who like to call in on a Saturday night to drink a keg and howl until 4am, and then stagger off to throw up in the bushes & urinate in the neighbours’ letter boxes?

    The karaoke started at 8pm on Saturday night & was so loud that it shook the earplugs out of my head three times. It was still going at 4am & after a short break it resumed mid-morning & was still going when we went to bed last night. Apparently there was a street festival on nearby. Fun times.
    Mummy Cuddles was in Peak Form yesterday so he got locked out on the street early and often. Even the bloke (as you know, the soul of patience) was rolling his eyes & saying ‘OMG people how much more convincing do you need? just call the exorcist.’

    While I don’t have the number of an exorcist, my osteopath had an interesting story re: those old wives tales about Ginger People carrying the Demon Seed.

    He has been treating a woman who was having a great life up until she got pregnant in her mid 30s & developed bi-polar. She spent the next 4 years in and out of institutions, and it was all quite odd as it was sudden onset & she had no history of mental health problems. She’s a psychologist & was at the top of her game, owned her own practice & employed several practitioners. And it all went to hell with the birth of the baby. You do hear these stories (proof that children can send you mad) & I have seen creditable research that mood-regulation disorders do worsen with pregnancy. From a witchcraft POV it’s linked to all the nutritional deficiency.

    Anyway, after 4 years of the medical treatment not working this woman was referred to an environmental doctor who did some tests and diagnosed her with copper toxicity. I can’t remember the name of the syndrome, but Mark was saying that it’s particularly prevalent in people with Scottish ancestry & it’s aggravated by pregnancy, the oral contraceptive pill & lots of other things I can’t recall right now. And the symptoms that develop are predominantly mood regulation problems with depression, mania & rage. So this guy put her on a detox program & gave her the supplements to counter it & she improved dramatically and has now had 4 months free of symptoms. So it’s early days but she is ecstatic (hopefully not unnaturally so) and she can’t believe she has lot 4 years of her life to something that was so easily treated by making lifestyle/nutritional changes.

    So I am sorely tempted to drop his card off in Mummy Cuddle’s letter box with a leaflet outlining the disorder. Anonymously, of course. But since the entire family is ginger & they look very Scots I cant help but wonder if that poor child has copped the double whammy of the copper-toxicity gene.

    Anyway, I found that fascinating because having worked with children, I have seen enough scary little ginger folk to wonder WTF is going on there, and if there’s actually any biological basis to the old wives tales about Gingers. I have heard on the Scients show on ABC that ginger is gradually getting bred out of the human population, with speculation as to why people don’t find ginger folk desirable as parents and mates. Well, outside of the fictional world of Hogwarts, of course. So there you have it. Genetic predisposition to some very ugly mood swings, thanks to heavy metal toxicity.

    I do love nutrition.
    MM, I was meaning to ask you if you’d seen the research on mould inhibitors in bread (propionic acid, I think it’s 262) and how it’s been linked to insomnia & irritability. I saw that about a week ago so I’ve decided to change breads for a month or two & see if it helps with the summer insomnia. Most of which is caused by the fact that we do just live in a noisy, busy part of the world & it’s time to get out. Still, the bloke sleeps like a drugged brick & I do envy that. So I will report back to you with my findings.

    Still, the irritability is miraculously lessened just by knowing that sometime or other next year, we get to move to the beach.

    I don’t know if we’ll end up in the zen house on Knob Hill but I’m not worried as there’s plenty of other nice spots to choose from. Huzzah.

  58. Bleeding diarrhea? That is completely horrible. Hope he’s well soon. And that no-one else catches it. As for poor Gran, give her a gentle squeeze from me, Catty and a hearty get-well-and-stop-falling-down wish from me.

    Q, thanks for sharing, that was fascinating. Hmmmm, I have green eyes and many Scots relatives. Could copper be poisoning me, too, I wonder? What foods should I avoid just in case? If you say chocolate, I hope you’ll understand that I’m just going to have to go insane.

    I didn’t know about the bread, either – but I’ve been trying to get ours from Dough Fusion, the local baker. They should be nasty free, shouldn’t they? I’ll ask the girl next time, in case.

    In a way it might be good not to fall straight into Knob Hill, Q. Sounds like looking is a lot of fun.

  59. I can’t remember, apart from zinc & it’s cofactors.
    Usually b6 & magnesium, if memory serves. Which, these days, it often doesn’t.
    I have to go back to the osteo for more repairs today so I’ll see if he remembers.
    I’m pretty sure that the usual suspects that deplete zinc are gonna have an impact on that so that’s going to be a long list of things you’ll enjoy. It’s always about quantity, though. And madness is always an enticing journey.

    Take the bakery girl’s advice with a grain of salt, and maybe ask to speak to the baker or the manager. I’ve had a few local bakeries that were touting organic breads lie through their teeth about what exactly constitutes organic, I stopped buying products from two of them because they were so blase about disclosing ingredients re: food allergies. And the mould inhibitor is everywhere; from what I’ve seen in the labels at Coals.

    Yeah we are looking at lots of properties stretching from Coolangatta to Burleigh, just so that we can get a sense of what things are worth.
    Frankly, I think we are unlikely to end up with the house that we like at Knob Hill, simply because I don’t think she’s serious about wanting to sell.

    We found a site that records old listings & their asking prices & it’s plain that a lot of the empty nesters in that street have been trying to sell since the GFC skittled their hopes for making money out of the property boom.

    She’s had her house on the market several times since 2007, each time for an unrealistic price, and she has done nutty things like listed it for two months, then taken it off the market, then two months later it’s back on for slightly lower price. Rinse & repeat.
    So that may be a pattern.
    Still, I find it reassuring that she’s happy enough there that she’s in no rush to move. She obviously loves her garden & the kitchen looks lovely. I’ll send you a pic.

    I think she may have annoyed a few of the local real estate Johnnies, as the agent that I spoke to just scoffed at the price she had on her house & said she had no hope of getting that much for it.

    It has a lot going for it, though, as far as our Wish List goes.
    It faces north over bushland, with lovely views over the ocean & the aspect means there’ll be light in winter & breezes in summer.
    So the only neighbours are the ones either side of it & they are contained inside massive double brick McMansions surrounded by lots of well-established landscaping.
    So these shouldn’t ooze noise the way that the timber houses around here do. It’s a dead end street & the house is set back from the street at least 12m so you’d be a long way away from traffic noise. Anne said that the road is busy at work/school run times & in between, nothing moves.

    Looks like the houses next door both have Aspirational Families in them & I’m inclined to think that they’d spend a good chunk of their time
    1. working hard to pay the exorbitant rent & saving hard to buy an expensive house of their own
    2. Ferrying their children to costly & time consuming extra-curricular activities
    3. At the beach.
    4. Passed out on the sofa with a bottle of wine & a packet of valium thanks to the exhaustion produced by items 1-3.

    It was quiet as a tomb on Saturday morning & Anne said that the street have nicknamed one house next door ‘The Mausoleum’ because of what it looks like.
    I’ll email you the address so you can do google street view, it’s pretty funny.

    So yeah, it’s in the lap of the gods and I’m not going to get too disappointed if it doesn’t work out, because something else will turn up. Besides, the prospect of leaving Vagus and being able to walk my dog on the beach every day is just so very uplifting. I think if we went to the coast I would be out so much (dog, kayak, SUP paddling, surfing, gelato bar at Coolangatta etc) not to mention 2 days per week at uni, that I doubt we’d be there enough for the neighbours to annoy me too much.

  60. Sounds delightful, Q. You do realise that I will be moving in with you in three years’ time? By then I shall have 3 teens and the Teen will be 21. *shudder* And I shall need a place to hide. Sheesh, if I wasn’t already mad, that would surely push me over the edge.

    Speaking of mad, I have a whole bunch of health problems that include the symptoms of that copper toxicity. But I don’t think that’s what I have. Whatever I do have, it messes with my immunity, so I’ve had the same thing as the Teenie for about three weeks now – so has the Boss, so the Teenie probably caught it from us. Ouch. He’s home from school again today, so I still haven’t been shopping.

    Actually, the Teenie thinks I’ve gone mad already. He’s shaking his head at me while I giggle like a schoolgirl at that line about Knob House being built by the Local Member. It must be all the Guinness fumes…. I was up at the crack of dawn, making Guinness cakes for the Middle Kidlet’s ‘Heritage Day’. And that was after yesterday’s dramas, trying to find green, white and orange clothes for her to wear to school. I had to make a mercy dash to the shopping centre to find clothes she would deign to wear, in the right colours. If I’d had more notice, I could have asked

  61. (What happened there? I didn’t hit Post!) As I was saying, I could have asked Q to snitch some Irish clothing off the neighbours’ clotheslines. Oh, well. The cakes are pretty good. I may have to make them again.

  62. Poor Catty, I hope you all feel better soon. Those things are draining, especially when they linger.
    Yes, I smiled when Anne spoke of the local member in tones that suggested he may have been a bit of a tool. He would have been in with all of Joh’s mob, back in those days. Speaking of that generation, did I tell you that the bloke’s parents are headed south this Xmas to inflict their presence on BIL & his family again? I must get SIL something nice this year to sweeten the deal. God help her, I don’t know how she puts up with them.
    I’m just grateful that the Bloke won’t be required to wrangle the motorway to hold their hands for yet another hallmark holiday. I still get the shudders when I think how lucky we are that last year when he got crunched on the off-ramp, that’s all that happened, it’s just so lucky that he didn’t get pushed into the oncoming traffic or he might be sitting in a wheelchair next to Miracle Girl.

    That’s one of my reasons for wanting to live at the Old Coast. As they deteriorate they’re going to become more demanding and less reasonable & I’d much rather that he’s 15 minutes away from them along 60k roads than 90 minutes on that crazy south coast motorway for their ‘Come Hither’ summons.

    Most of what I see in BIRU is there as a result of high speed crashes. Ah! Speaking of which I have been in to see Miracle Girl, I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I went in for a couple of hours on Friday afternoon. She can stand by herself now, and can eat with cutlery, and is excited about going home for a weekend in December, and then for 4 days over Xmas.

    I don’t think she’s ever going to get back to how she was before the fall, there’s just too much damage to the parts of her brain that affect her memory & her personality, and I don’t think there’s a day she’ll live without pain after all the things she broke and damaged going down that cliff.
    But she’s still here and we love her & I am heartened by the way she makes it her role to look after the other patients. I’ve noticed that they seem to plant the newbies next to her as she mother-hens them. Its very sweet.

    Hope I’m not repeating myself.

    I have been to the osteo but forgot to ask him about that copper condition because he started regaling me with stories of things miners do when they’re 5 miles underground. None of which I can repeat in polite company. Do a search on ‘docking station’ on the urban dictionary, but be warned, it’s gross.

    He also told me that the latest thing with uni students, so that they can get really drunk without throwing up, is that they soak tampons in vodka & insert them in their rectums. I had heard that years ago but I thought it was only the rare twitty twat-twat who’d do it. Apparently now it’s a craze and great packs of them will do it. Puts a whole new spin on the term ‘social drinker’, hey?

  63. That’s delightful. When they’ve all got arse cancer, then they’ll think it’s funny.

    It’s very bittersweet, poor old Miracle Girl, isn’t it? Hopefully when she’s more physically stable, more of “her” will come back. Or she’ll find a new way of being, I guess. She must still be quite a mess inside, all that deep prolonged healing really takes it out of a person.

    Now, on to happier news. Guinness cake, Catty? Do you soak fruit in it? Sounds yeasteriffic!!

  64. Yeah, I am staggered at the level of self destructive behaviour that the young ones get up to these days. I guess that just means I’m getting old since I’m obviously forgetting my own self-destructive tendencies when I was that age.

    I was reading something gruesome about tattoo ink & how because it’s not regulated, it’s full of carcinogens & heavy metals. Did I tell you guys about that? How 5% of tattoos have allergic reactions & once that shit is in your system it’s well nigh impossible to stop the inflammatory process. Story topped off with ugly pictures. Yucko.

    Hmm, thats right, we were moving on to happier pastures. Filled with cake.
    I still have a few lovely cook books out of the library including that Mary Berry 101 cakes or whatever it is, I want to try her brownie recipe. The more so because I’m expecting Irma any day now, & brownies are always good to shut that bitch up.
    I also want to try her recipe for barra-brith, which is the Welsh variation of Barm Brack. Sorry Catty but not being a fan of beer I can’t get excited about your Guinness cakes, but I’m sure they’ve gone down a treat with the little folk at school.

    Onto my latest bit of happy news, looks like the builder finally has a quote in and he is trying to organise a meeting with us this week. So I’m just hoping that he can still commit to the February start date, as after the weekend that was, in Casa Q, listening to that bloody street party, the Bloke & I cannot wait to get out.

    It’s our turn for the street party sometime in the next few weeks, they have it in the street around the corner but since Olaf is in charge & Olaf is a violin teacher, the hippies & their wailing never seem to get too out of hand.
    Don’t know if you guys remember Olaf but for years he ran the local branch of the Neighbourhood Watch, and he was hell bent on getting one of their plaques stuck to everyone’s front gate. You may remember his plaintive leaflet ‘There are still not enough plagues in the neighbourhood.’

    Well, now that we’re all full up with ferals and uni students, I do hope he’s happy.

  65. Oh well, you’ve got to die of something. I’d rather have ankle cancer than arse cancer.

    Cannot believe it’s nearly the end of November. Save us from the Smurfing Season! Speaking of which, EB has taken the news that we won’t be able to put the Christmas tree up this year because of puppy chewing particularly hard. Do you reckon I could dangle it from a skyhook for the poor deprived elf?

  66. Make a wall tree, Madam. You can draw one on with chalk, or blue tac a paper one on. Kmart & Coals sell packets of little plastic hooks with suction backs (designed for fairy lights), and you can stick them on the wall tree to hold any tinsel, paper chains or baubles you want to use for decorations. With a paper tree you can glue on tinsel and draw on the baubles.

    Meanwhile, the Teenie has gone back to school. I’m fretting, as I’m not sure he’s well enough. He insisted that he is, but I’m hovering around the mobile phone in case the school calls. That means I’m far too close to the fridge – and all the donuts and cheesecake that resided therein until this morning. Nomnomnomnomnom….

    I’m just glad I had finished eating before reading that definition of a docking station. Gross doesn’t describe it! Do people really do such revolting things? I mean, really. Cleveland Steamer? Chilli Dog? Gak! It’s enough to turn my cheesecake-filled stomach.

    The vodka tampon thing is rather clever. I don’t think I could face doing it myself, but I can see why a uni student would. A recent article said that students have the best recall when they sit their exams in the same state they were in when they studied the information. I.e, drunk, stoned, or overtired. As lecturers aren’t keen on students rocking up toasted on test day, the vodka tampon might just be the way to ensure students pass their exams…. and a rather unpleasant martini.

    I have to head to Coals now. Because I didn’t go shopping last week, we’re out of all the important stuff – bread, butter, milk, Pepsi, cigarettes, chocolate, cheesecake, kettle chips and Paddle Pops. What’s the bet the school will ring while I’m in line at the checkout?

  67. Why do all the good things in life start with “c”?

    Except checkout. I hate checkouts. Mind you, I’m not fussed on self-service thingos, either. The one at our Coals gets all snippy if you breathe on it wrong.

  68. Cancer, cerebrovascular accidents, chlamydia…the list goes on and on.

    The thing that irks me about those stupid self-serve checkouts is that this is all that seems to be available when I’ve got $150 worth of crap in my trolley and there’s only 1 checkout girl employed in the shop.

  69. Sorry MM, I didn’t see that post about Elf Boy and the Xmas tree lament.
    I’m inclined to take his side.
    You don’t have long left before the magic of Xmas wears off and he’ll need a pint of lager & a joint to even pretend to tolerate the rigours of the day. I say enjoy it while it lasts. Couldn’t you form a compromise, ie. puppy could go stay with Grandma for a few days so that Elf Boy gets about 4 days to enjoy the tree, and then must take it down before puppy comes home?

    Catty, I thought of you today when I was at the fruit store, they had donut peaches. I bought some, but it hasn’t stopped me wanting the real thing.

    I hope the Chillun are all disease free and stuck at school so you get some peace & quiet to recover from Greybeard’s Plague.

  70. Donut peaches? Are they sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar … or deep-fried? How is a peach like a donut, pray tell?

    Catty, wall tree is an absolutely fabulous idea! I shall implement it forthwith. Or come 1st December, anyway. How was poor sick kidlet’s first day back at school?

  71. Well, no, but the bloke says they look just like pudgey little bottoms so maybe they should be renamed Bum Peaches?
    I tried to post a link – three times, but each time the ipad froze and crashed so I attribute that to the added zappity factor of Aunt Irma’s presence.

    Dear Dog, MM, 1st of December. I’d forgotten that children these days are indoctrinated to believe that Xmas starts in October. I did have misgivings about agreeing with EB, as I have no doubt whatsoever that he doesn’t need any help arguing his case. Ad nauseam.
    I do however think it will do him good to put the welfare of the dog over his own need for the Santa Tree, so I’m going to put my faith in his affection for All God’s Creatures.
    Perhaps you could do a deal so that you go further afield to see the Xmas lights this year, and he could collect some images of them to console him in the dark hours sans tinsel & glass baubles?
    The same house that I raved about in Greenslopes last year is getting set up for the RSPCA Xmas lights appeal, maybe you could cart them out there when you’re in town this year. It was fun, especially because people walked around to look at it rather than driving. (we parked around the corner) It’s an entire light & sound show with story that lasts several minutes & Santa came and waved from the top window at the end of it, so I’m sure whatever they get up to this year will be just as magical.

    I am off to 6.30am appointment with the skin doctor. So by the time the builder arrives this afternoon, my face will be all swollen up like I have the Pox.
    And I already have Irma, so, Woe Is Me.
    Still, at least I’ll have that all out of the way by the weekend so there’ll be nothing to stop us getting to the beach to enjoy our kayaks.
    And, of course, the gelato bar at coolangatta, afterwards.

  72. I don’t let the pup in the bedrooms, so we can just set it up in his room if he’s feeling its loss too acutely.

    And yes, we must wait until the first. Otherwise, the Bad Christmas Luck will befall us. So says Elf Boy, anyway. I think it’s safe to assume he has a hotline to Santa. Or his anagram, anyway.

  73. Xmas trees were only tolerated for 2 weeks in our house, growing up, but since we always had cats and cats do love to #occupytree (you’ll have to see what Catfoodbreath does with that each year on twitter) that seems sensible.

    We put ours up last year for the first time since the Turks arrived. It was safe in the bedroom – mostly – and hilarious to watch what they got up to during supervised visits.

    I don’t know that I’ll bother, this year. Even though I did buy some very cute little white owl ornaments while we were in the Margaret River.

    Well, huzzah.
    I got a clean bill of skin health from the skin doc, so that is the first time I have ever exited his office without being sliced, diced and burned. Fingers crossed that my luck extends to the end of the day & the builder saying ‘Deck, sure, no worries, I can build that next week.’
    Although I’d settle for February, as he originally promised.

    I think I might go bake brownies so the house has a nice enticing aroma to lure him in.

  74. Excellent skin news, Q – huzzah and pass the brownies!

  75. Knock yourself out.
    I made the Mary Berry recipe & despite being the ‘kiddy’ version they have quite a punch. Perhaps because I used Dutch cocoa, and it packs quite a punch.
    She has another recipe in the book for a more ‘grown up’ version with added coffee, I dread to think of the ADHD they’d trigger. I’m getting very attached to this book, I must add it to my ‘dear Santa’ list so that the bloke has some hope of ordering it before Xmas.

    The other thing I’m going to try my hand at today is cooking roast pork in the slow cooker. Not being a big fan of meat, I’m always a bit dubious about cooking it but meh, I trust in the Women’s Weekly so we’ll see what they’re slow cooker book says. Fingers crossed!

    MM I only just realised how close it is to December. No wonder you’re worried about the friggin Xmas tree. When does the state unleash the children upon the general populace? I probably should get to Zombiedale before then to get my Xmas shopping done. Shouldn’t be too bad as I’ve been collecting throughout the year & this year Myers have obliged me by importing the Villa Savoye into their lego architecture range, which is what I really wanted to get the bloke last year. Except back then it was only available in the UK. Sounds like their lego range was popular, so Huzzah for that.

  76. Great news about the skin! And fingers crossed that Bob the Builder will fix your deck.

    I did post a comment about self-serve checkouts, but it appears to have been eaten. Bloody Aunt Irma. I may have to make brownies too, to appease the horrible bitch. Hopefully she won’t interfere with your slow cooker, Q. I do all my roasts in the slow cooker, even though the chooks have to go into the oven for a bit to brown them up. It works pretty well, but it’s nowhere near as good as the Boss’s method – he cooks topside roasts in my pasta pot on the stove. Mmmmmm…. And now I’m hungry.

    But, but, but, the pantry’s empty and the Boss didn’t get paid again. Bugger. Well, I can’t skip a second week of shopping, as the children (and the Boss) will have the Hippodramas if they don’t come home to a pantry filled with Burger Rings and Smarties. And I won’t be able to deal with their Hippodramas if I haven’t got ciggies. So I’m going to have to visit the bank in person and withdraw money from my passbook account. This sucks. Doesn’t the payroll chick know how lazy I am? I’d ring and tell her, but, you know, lazy.

    Our monsters don’t finish school for the year until the 20th of December, so we have plenty of time to shop for Lego. How about your boys, Madam? I’m glad we have plenty of time, as Aunt Irma devoured every scrap of chocolate I bought in the city last week and some of that chocolate was supposed to be sent as gifts to various friends and relatives. I absolutely must get back in there to buy replacement chocolates. Especially the chocolate coated toffee macadamias I bought for my sister’s birthday. They were delicious.

    Also, I simply must buy a donut peach – If only the Boss would do something about getting paid….

  77. Smurf me, they finish on December 13th!! Ironically, the day of my work Christmas do. I may actually lash out and drink this year. I’ve got a funny feeling I’ll need to.

    Yes, I want a donut peach, too. Possibly a bushel. I also want corn chips, Tim Tams, a long cry in a bubble bath and sex, but only if I can lie there and not reciprocate. Oh, that’s right. Aunt Irma’s coming. That explains the dull ache in my lower back and the vague panicky sense of impending doom. Well, that and the realistion that the kids are on holidays in just two weeks. Faaaaaaaaark.

    Chocolate-covered toffee macadamias? I may have just discovered a reason to go on …

  78. If you’re looking for sex, I got a couple of emails this morning that you might be interested in. One of them promised that my Love Tool is Set to Thrill. The other one encouraged me to Make Her the Envy of All Her Friends with my Giant Rod.


    Me neither.

    On a positive note, I found a block of Lindt buried under the Christmas cards I bought a couple of weeks ago. I forgot all about it, thanks to the cacao nibs and the fancy almonds from The Chocolate Box. So we can all sit on the couch, stuffing Lindt down Aunt Irma’s throat while we watch soppy movies and cry. Yay!

  79. I’ve had all those things and now I want a chainsaw.
    Don’t ask.
    I don’t want you both getting subpoenaed to give evidence when they find the bodies.

  80. One word, Q – quicklime.

  81. Frame the neighbours. Unless the bodies ARE the neighbours? In which case, it was suicide.

  82. Or murder(not by you)-suicide. Always a popular duo in the sweltering silly season.

  83. Well, you’ll be relieved to hear that the only murder going on around Casa Q this am is the environment – we switched on the AC at 6am when Not The Owner stank us out with whatever toxic substance she’s using to paint the path/stairs/retaining walls in at Bog Hollow.
    Hard to know what colour she’s selected from the Dulux Chart so I’m relying on my years of gainful employment corralling under 5s to peg it as ‘Soggy Bottom Brown’.

    The Bloke got a better look at it than me on his trips to & from the bus & he says she’s using something textured & presumably non-slip for the stairs & the paths, so it’s got that lovely grainy texture you’d see in a sample of Giardia.

    Proof that her taste is up her arse, if that’s the palate she selects her paints from.

  84. Remember many moons ago, when everything from fences to bench-tops to station wagons and wedding dresses was Mission Brown?

    I don’t miss those days, not even for a second.

    Perhaps she’s looking for a tone that won’t clash with leprechaun vomit?

  85. The leprechauns have found greener pastures to vomit in, that’s one thing I’ll credit her with, the tenants are mostly quiet and well-behaved. And transient, because I think the scritching must drive them even crazier than it does me.

    It’s odd, you know, I would have thought if you wanted to live there then the sensible thing to do would be to get rid of the Lost-in-Space landscape that Captain Crazy installed, turf it so that it’s low maintenance, and maybe set aside a couple of squares to grow some flowers and herbs. But she’s trying to cover the entire block with little flowers that can be decimated with the flick of a turkey claw, and if we do get real hail this summer – and I think it’s possible, as thus far we’ve had pea-sized hail twice, and the Gabba got smashed in that storm the other day – her garden is toast.

    It’s none of my business, of course, but what it does mean is that if she has a stroke while she’s out there sanding or weeding in the hot sun, it will take all of 4 weeks for Bog Hollow to turn into a weed farm. Again.

    And while I can’t be sure, I’m suspicious that one reason she can’t keep tenants is because she’s there all day long, creating irritating smells and sounds from dawn till the Witching Hour. The minute one of them steps outside she is on top of them, greeting them with a cheery Helloooo and wanting to know all about their lives. I lived with one of those when I first left school to go to teachers college, and I could not get away from it fast enough. Being in a a houseful of other young uns who partied all weekend was way more restful and productive than being around that. I don’t know what it is about her. She buzzes around like a fly on a turd and I’m sure I’m not the only one that longs for a can of mortein.

  86. This is her dream, her one outlet, her heart’s desire. She’s been planning this for years and now it’s going to be perfect, no matter who or what dies in the process.

    Oh, wait. She’s “Not The Owner”.

    You’re right, there’s no explanation. She’s batshit crazy.

  87. It is boggling.
    Still, since we turned on the AC to block out the noise & fumes at 6am yesterday, & kept it running till we went to bed, it was remarkable just how much Zen was transported into Casa Quokka. Clearly I have to choice between the environment and hysterical homicidal insanity. At least until we move.

    So I had a lovely day pottering about in the kitchen.
    Catty, I must thank you again for putting me onto those slow cooker books. Not being much of a meat eater, I have NFI how to cook a roast, other than a chicken. And after all of the ravings about pork belly by the burgerati I was rather keen to try my hand at it.

    So I found a recipe for Chinese simmered pork belly in one of those books you put me onto when I first bought it.
    I tweaked it, of course, and added some root vegetables, and four hours later Voila! we had the most amazing dinner. I served it up with cous-cous as all the juices in the pan from the marinade made it almost like an oriental tajine.

    I had a minor mishap as I’d had the pork in my tupperware marinader box & in order to speed things up I decided to shake it. Bad idea, I don’t advise it.

    Anyway Catty that was a fabulous meal so I have you to thank for it.

    And thanks to both of you for helping to keep me sane through the last few days. I suppose its not just the back pain, Irma, and the noise & distress created by my neighbours – its all the added emotion of making a major life decision. I really have loved Casa Q & I’ve put my heart and soul into trying to make it nice, here. It really was a shocking dump when we found it so it will give me quite a pang to leave it, after over 18 years. This will be the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place. So I suppose a bit of turmoil was to be expected.

    You guys rock.

  88. Big Hugs, Quokka. I’ve watched MIL go through something similar with selling Gran’s house. The settlement date is Monday, so finally she can relax. And Gran can roll around in a massive pile of money.

    I’m gobsmacked by how much Gran got for that house. She’s a little startled herself. She was expecting to get enough for the nursing home’s deposit, but she got so much extra that there’s a possibility she may lose her pension.

    All the work you’ve done on Casa Q will mean a decent price, I hope. Just make sure the OFI is at a time when the neighbours are at their least virulent.

    Good to hear the crock pot is working out. I love mine, and I hate when a new recipe doesn’t work. For example, the crock pot lasagne was not too flash. The pasta was good, but the sauce on the top was spongy and curdled. Not nice. I’ve been meaning to tweak the recipe, but once I’ve failed at something I tend to resist trying it again. Blame horses. I’ve been horse riding three times, and each time was memorably disastrous. So now when I stuff up, I give up. But then, you are a master in the kitchen, Q. I don’t reckon there’d be many (if any) disasters in your kitchen.

    I’ve had five Christmas cards already. Five! And it’s not even December yet. I’d better get on with writing mine – most years I am frantically shoving them in envelopes on the 22nd of December. Meh. All I really want to do is go back to bed. That’s where the Boss is. He’s got a rare Saturday off work, and I’d like to make the most of it now that Aunt Irma has finally buggered off. 9 days is just too long for a visit. How long does this menopause thing go for again?

  89. Moving house is second only to “death of a spouse” in terms of stressful life events, Q, so expect it won’t be easy. Still, hopefully you’ll get squillions, like Catty’s Gran. Catty, have her roll in her money somewhere padded. You don’t want her to get hurt again.

    Irma must be dreading Xmas, she’s been a huge bitch up here. MM looked at me in wonder yesterday, saying, “I’m glad blood won’t come out of my parts and make me … emotionally unstable … once a month.”

    “Emotionally unstable?” I screeched.

    “I was looking for a nice way to say psycho.” he tentatively replied.

  90. Heh heh. Dog help us all, and most particularly Santa, I hadn’t even thought that far ahead but you are quite right, she’ll be here for Xmas, dammit. I just hope she doesn’t poke Santa’s eye out with a knitting needle.
    It’s on the cards.

    Well, the cool wet change has made all of my obnoxious neighbours pull their heads in so there’s been blessed silence, here.
    Yesterday was gorgeous, listening to all that lovely rain. We had breakfast in west end & later in the day went out for Turkish. They’ve made some changes to the menu, if that can tempt you, MM.
    We also stopped in to visit Miracle girl early on, before rush hour. She looked pretty drowsy so I am guessing she’s had another tough week in physio. She is walking with the aid of a walker, now, and it’s all decked out in tinsel. She’s able to get herself up and down out of a chair & I think she’s been working hard on that so that she won’t be too much of a burden for her parents when she goes home next weekend. She’s demanded a party, of course, and has invited everyone, so Dog help her parents.
    If it’s not raining we’ll go up the north coast for the open-house afternoon tea they are putting on. Sounds like a good excuse to bake up a storm, and go kayaking in the morning before that.
    So, MM, if you can think of some suggestions of where to launch where there won’t be too many power boats rocketing around with skis and toboggans, I am all ears. I was thinking maybe cotton-tree & the bloke was thinking Noosa river, but I’m really not keen to drive that far. Her family are at Buderim so it would be nice to be in staggering distance of that. I might have to consult my paddling book.

    I hope you survive The Baconing, today.
    And yes, Catty, how is Gran? Will she be well enough to be allowed out for Xmas, or do they think she’ll be too fragile? Fingers Xd.
    The staff at PA yesterday said that they try to get everyone out of the ward for xmas, if only for the day, as its just too sad for them all, otherwise.

  91. Cotton Tree is delightful for paddling, if you can judge from the number of paddlers always to be seen paddling around there. I think they go in near the caravan park?

    There used to be a great veggo place near there called Weird Sisters, but I believe it’s closed down. The Fish-and-Chippery on the main drag as you head to Alex is excellent. And I’ve heard good things of the tapas bar. Now, what’s it called again?

    I am aiming to come Vegas-wards soon, but crap-to-do always seems to get in the way. Are you still Old Coasting most weekends? And when’s MG’s do?

  92. Thanks, I will google it. I doubt we’ll need much in the way of food as I suspect there’ll be quite a spread at Miracle Girl’s afternoon tea party next saturday. I will be happy with a salad sandwich to tide me over betwixt kayak & social do.

    I saw her family in at the horsepiddle earlier today (I had a choice between take the dog in & vacuum the house so it was a no-brainer) & her sister said they are having a fundraiser evening up at the north coast one Saturday night around mid december. The 14th maybe?
    She will send me details so when I know, I’ll tell you.

    You know how they’ve been asking her friends for photos to do a presentation of MG’s life before the misadventure…well, I was apologizing about my issues with photos on the mac which have made it impossible to send pix & Gill said not to worry, she’s got stacks of photos, and in addition to all the wonderful photos friends have sent in, the friend who’s bright idea the misadventure was has offered to provide photos of the adventure that led up to the misadventure.

    I just stood there & boggled. I mean, I knew he was thick and arrogant and had little regard or awareness for the sensitivities of others but WTF?
    Miracle Girl of course insists that she’d love to see the photos of that day & I said ‘I’m not sure I’d cope terribly well with that, Darl.’ and her sister said ‘I know for sure I wouldn’t cope with it at all.’

    So I’m still sitting here boggling.
    It’s a fundraiser to pay for surgery to rebuild her face next year. Being a wealthy playboy doctor with an expensive house at the beach, I was kind of hoping that he’d be at least gracious enough to offer to chip in to pay for a chunk of that surgery. But no, he offers up photos of the events leading up to the disaster.

    The Bloke says I shouldn’t be surprised & I know he’s right, but still.
    Consider me Boggled.

    Anyway, Miracle Girl was pleased to see the hound. I took him in because she couldn’t remember that we had a dog, when I was in there yesterday, so it’s obviously been far too long since his last visit. He had a fabulous time wriggling around on her bed & it was nice as her family got to see just how good he is. So long as my pockets are full of liver treats, of course.

    Speaking of which, how’s your little one going, MM?
    Did I tell you guys about the animal trainer we met at Coolangatta who walks his cat down to the local cafe? On a leash, no less, and she does tricks.
    We’ve met him a few times now & last time we were down there he got to meet the hound. Thankfully I had a pocket full of liver treats that day too, so Robert was suitably impressed with the mutt’s responsiveness to commands. I warned him that the obedience runs out when the food does, but I’ve got his card, so I might be able to get some personal training to make up for my ineptitude once we move down there. He can do home visits to help me with these unruly Turkish Vandals.

    Anyway, back to business.
    I would love to catch up before Hellmass but I must warn you, the dumplings at the racecourse markets were rather disappointing, today. There was nobody queueing so that was the giveaway. I think his lady partner may have abandoned him as he looked rather desolate & the dumplings were stodgy & lacked flavour.

    Plus side, we found plenty of other good things to stuff in our faces, including butterscotch gelato over near the evil Shetland Ponies. And, even better, Janet was there so I got to catch up with her and she said to send her love and hugs to all of you. She’s lost interest in twitter due to some of the boys being a bit Blergh & aggro. I told her about the tweetdeck upgrades with the fabulous Mute function so that might entice her back. She’s still on FB so she said that’s the best place to chat to her.

    I don’t think we’ll house hunt till the chillun are back in state care after January, so we’ll be lurking, MM. If we’re invited to view the house on Knob Hill we will happily wander down there, but it sounds like she doesn’t want to list it till the holidays are over as she wants to enjoy the holidays with her grandchildren.
    Works for me.

    Anyway, the Great British Bake-off is on, so I’m off to enjoy CAEK.

  93. I dunno how I missed this, but better late than never. Utterly boggling, what a complete and utter prick.

    Q, hope you’re proud of your achievements – you’re number 1!


    Looks like we might be down the weekend before the Horror … I mean Xmas. How does that strike you?

  94. That sounds great, MM.
    Shall we gather the troops and go eat somewhere?
    Turkish, perhaps? they have a new menu, which means they’ve kept their favourites & have some new & interesting additions.

    LOL to the council complaints, I’m sure I’m responsible for thousands. Still, there’s so many things that I haven’t complained about because I have NFI where it’s coming from. And if I knew who owned the karaoke machine, then owner & noise box would both be at the bottom of the river.

    Still, it did give me an idea about how to vet Knob Hill for potential sources of pestilence. I rang up the Old Coast city council yesterday & explained my predicament & said I was eyeing off a house on knob hill but didn’t want to leap out of the frying pan into the fireplace, so would they be so kind as to tell me if there’s noise complaints in that street?
    Which they were. They’ve had two noise complaints in the last five years in that street. One was construction (by a builder, inside legitimate working hours) which included a complaint about noise and dust, so that’s just a whiner. The other was barking dogs. One complaint, six months ago, owners issued with a warning, complainant satisfied with the result.
    I’m pretty sure that’s a pair of house-bound foxies that were quickly shushed and herded off their balcony when we did the Stalk-By with our hound a few weeks ago. 5 doors down & on the other side of the road. I doubt we’d hear them through the double brick.

    So I quizzed the staff member; ‘So, you are quite sure then – no garage bands, no karaoke machines, no tribal drums, no dogs howling all day long, no parking over driveways, no 3-day-long street parties, nobody vomiting in the flower-beds at 2am and urinating in the letter boxes at 4am, no drugged & raped girls dumped on the footpath at dusk on a Saturday night?’ To which she said ‘You’re kidding!’ and to which I said ‘Nup. This is inner city living & this is why I’m keen to get out.’

    Having done due diligence in other areas, I’ve discovered that the owner of Knob Hill is asking at least $200,000 more than the house is actually worth, so we may do a bit more house hunting this weekend. Janet said to look in Currumbin Valley & there’s a house I quite like in the Tally Valley so we might go see them this weekend.

    Miracle Girl’s family have made some quiet noises that they don’t want too many visitors this weekend as it confuses their Dad so since they’ve said that to me, I might take it as a hint that my presence is not required. No big deal, I hate that north coast run with a passion & it’s easy to see her here. Still waiting to see whats planned for the fundraiser the following weekend, that might be the go.

    How are you guys coping with Irma’s visit and impending doom, er, I mean, school holidays? I assume that the all-quiet on the Western Front means that the usual hell of busy season is upon you.

    God help you all.
    Big hugs, take a nip from the hip flask, and good luck.

  95. He offered PHOTOGRAPHS? The idiot needs his head kicked in. Don’t forget to take photos of the kickin’. You know, to show him later.

    The Boss’s uncle is a doctor. I met him recently, and was gobsmacked by how arrogant and self centred he is. It must be a doctor thing.

    Yes, we’re flat-out here with all the usual end-of-year smurfshit. The littlest kidlet has a class party today, and has to bring in something from another country to go with their multicultural theme. Nothing sweet. Nothing Australian. Nothing with beef in it (Hindu classmate). Nothing with pig products (Muslim classmate). No nuts (allergic classmate). It must be something that everybody will enjoy eating (no haggis). And it must be enough to serve 29 people. After much brain strain on the subject, I have announced to the kidlet that I am bringing in some Pommes de terre frites at party time. Exactly 29 of them. I shall stand outside the Fish and Chip shop and count them out. Then I shall eat the remains. So there.

    Ooops, must run, I have to get the Teenie to his bus. They’re off on a school jaunt to Luna Park today. Joy.

  96. Way too much effort, Catty.
    I would have sent in a few bottles of Perrier.

  97. I suggested Scotch whiskey. Then I realised I don’t have any left. So I suggested that he dress as an elf and say he’s from the North Pole, and hand out the traditional food – candy canes. He seemed to think I was joking.

  98. Nice quiet street, Q. Still, until we win the Lotto you don’t want to pay 1/5th of a mill over the odds. The valleys are lovely, Janet’s right. Happy Hunting!

    Yes, let’s do Turkish. On the Saturday. maybe, in case I decide to sneak back home early on Sunday?

    Catty, I would have made 28 serves of whatevs and a special poisoned piece for that teacher. Thank Smurf you’ll soon be shot of her!

  99. LOL. Nice one, Catty.
    I can’t believe there’s no lactose intolerance in the class. You missed an opportunity, there. You could have sent in a monster tub of Yakult and some spirulina & goji berries to mix into it to add that festive touch.

    Yep, I am happy to keep looking & to take my time about it.
    I have AC to hide in and when I remember to switch it on, it’s heavenly. Esp today as it was 37C on my porch, last I looked. Admittedly that was twitter where they are all complaining about the weather.

    Besides, the longer it takes us to find a place, the more time the bloke spends on the train and the more likely he will be to say ‘Yeah yeah whatever’ to the habitat of my choice. 🙂

    He does have his heart set on the California Bungalow on Knob Hill though so fingers crossed she comes back from the US ready to move on. It doesn’t help that we seem to be getting all these *signs* that its calling out to us, though. Like the frigging park having the same name as our cat.
    I met a GF for a play date in Oxford Street yesterday & my mission was, after stuffing down an indulgent lunch, to find a nice Architecture Pron book for the Bloke for Xmas. Avid had disappointed me so I wanted to try Riverbend.
    The first book I found was, of course, a collection of Bungalows.

    It’s absolutely gorgeous & it is stuffed full of modern renovations of 50s & 60s style bungalows.

    Bungalows are considered somewhat Passe by the majority of architects so the Bloke is a mutant to like them. So I’m still in shock that someone has published a book about them.
    It’s really rather luscious.
    Weird, huh?

    Speaking of books, MM, Mary Ryan’s in Oxford Street is no more. I loved that shop so I will miss it. It’s been replaced by a Shingle Inn so I feel terribly disloyal as I love the Shingle Inn so we had tea there after our book hunt. Finally, there’s a place in Oxford St that makes actual tea.

    Cafe Sour-arse opposite the cinema is being renovated. I had high hopes, when I saw the mess, that they’d been tarred and feathered and barred from the neighbourhood. No such luck. They’ve stuck a sign up saying that they will re-open soon ‘with an exciting new concept for Bulimba’ – so Susie & I stood there musing as to what this could be.
    Service? Edible food? Strawberry coulis that didn’t start its life in a plastic home brand bottle discounted at Aldi, last century?
    gosh I can’t wait to find out.
    Not by going there of course, but by reading all the slanderous reports of people they’ve pissed off at the Urban Spoon reviews.
    I can’t imagine what they’ve got to offer the suburb beyond heightened blood pressure and indigestion, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.

  100. 😦 to Mary Ryan. Vale. But, since it’s gone and there’s nothing we can do about it, maybe we could have dessert there? I know, I’m a traitor.

    As you know, we live in a bungalow so I’m a bit of a fan, too. Hopefully he’ll see your gift as another sign. And Knob Hill Owner will come to her sense.

    OK, penultimate Friday of the school term. The question is, can I survive school Christmas Carols on Monday? MM’s flat-out refusing to go. Poor little EB loves music, so he think he wants to go, but he’s almost physically allergic to bum notes so it all the shouted atonality usually gives him a headache. Fingers crossed we get to skip!

  101. Ugh, poor you.
    As if this time of year doesn’t offer up enough offensive noise without adding carols to the mix. Our neighbours have already started hanging flashing electric Xmas lights outside their homes.
    I can’t get excited about it, beyond wondering if the crocs would protect me if I took to them with the garden sheers.
    If they left it till 12 days before Xmas I could probably muster up the thought of ‘how sweet’ but I do so loathe that it’s now necessary to drag Xmas out for a good 6 weeks.

    Well ladies, good luck with the horrors that await you.
    I have domestic chores to deal with, so that we can nick off on the weekend & escape our racketing neighbours. Happy news, though, the worst offenders have spent the last two days packing up their camping trailer. God help the poor unsuspecting souls whose holiday is about to be ruined by their presence but thank Smurf we’ll have a few days off from their bellowing dysfunction.

  102. So Mummy Cuddles is going camping?

    I do hope they take the little darling to Fraser Island. And dress him in a meat outfit, a la GaGa.

  103. Heh heh. I have much the same thoughts. It’s not Mummy Cuddles, though, its the disabled/drunken/disordered family across the road. One thing I’ll say for Mummy Cuddles, he’s the only member of his household that feels the need to create a disturbance. And I haven’t heard peep out of him since that outrageous epic tantrum the weekend of the street party. Possibly he’s been catatonic since then from the energy outlay, but the Bloke thinks he’s gone to stay with Nanna while his parents have electro-shock therapy and get themselves neutered.

    Nah, it’s the family across the road that have farked orf.
    They like to share their collective dysfunction with the world 24/7 so it has a strange effect on the ‘hood when they up and leave. Collective sigh of relief and ‘Thank Smurf’ from everyone within a 4 block range, I would think.
    The Spirit of Chaos that lurks in our street likes to inhabit them & would be horribly lonely without them. I’m sure I saw it perched high atop the mound of life’s necessities in their trailer & blow me a raspberry as they roared off.

    As usual they’ve left their dog locked out on the street to menace passers by. I rang the council to ask them to come & ferry it off to the gas chamber, which must be what they want, since they do this every holiday – & the silly bint of a dog catcher just rang me up and said that council won’t collect any dog that isn’t contained in a yard or on a leash. So it’s free to wander the street chasing old ladies with their shit-zus & the mums with their strollers ambling off to child care.

    So there you go. Council have outsourced the role of Dog Catching.
    She didn’t particularly like it when I said ‘so you’re the dog catcher, and you don’t catch dogs. What is it that you actually do?’

  104. What did she reply, though?

    I mean, I fail to see the need for Council to collect a dog that is contained in a yard, or on a leash. Those dogs are being good boys and girls within the meaning of the act, I would have thought.

  105. She clarified by saying that it wasn’t her role to catch stray dogs but if a neighbour or a passer by caught one and confined it on a rope or on their property she would remove it.
    She told me the RSPCA are the people to catch roaming dogs, and in future I should call them to do so, as it’s not her job.

    Having clarified that – and feeling rather testy as Irma, having left, has decided to return & supply another dose of vampire fuel + concomitant aches and pains – I rang council and asked why they told me they’d send the Dog Catcher out to catch the dog if this is not what the dog catcher does.

    The BCC staff listened, gobsmacked, as I related the conversation and finished with, ‘So just out of curiosity, and because she wasn’t able to tell me – if the dog catcher doesn’t catch dogs, what DO they do?’

    A: ‘they most certainly DO catch dogs and that is what she was sent out there for. I am so sorry you have had this experience. I will fix it immediately.’

    So the call centre woman put another call out through & within 20 minutes, 2 big burly guys with a massive prison truck showed up and made a huge racket trying to find the dog.
    Whistled. Called, rattled fence posts. Rang the doorbell (Everyone in 3 blocks hears it when you ring that doorbell) – went down the driveway. Rang me to report that the gates at the bottom of the driveway had been left wide open & since they could find no dog in the metre high field of lucerne below, they assume it has absconded.
    Which, no doubt, was probably Mrs. Crazy’s master plan when she roared off in her car hot on the heels of hubby and the kids in their camping van.
    Usually she sends them off on her own & makes a quick trip to the bottlo so she can settle in on the deck clanking ice cubes & pondering how much more loveable they are once they’re out of sight and smell. Since she’s vanished off the face of the earth & this time she didn’t yell after them ‘Love you! Miss you!’ then perhaps she’s following them to their campsite where neither sentiment will apply.

    Anyway – I have learned my lesson, which is that next time I just need to leave the dog in the middle of the road to maul expectant mothers & be skittled by the Australia Post Courier, and just keep my windows shut & the AC on so I’m blissfully unaware when it happens.

    Must. Move. Soon.

  106. Hehehe.

    I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when that sterling episode in customer relations gets back to The Powers That Be. The Non-catching Dog Catcher might be wearing elf tights in a grotto near you, come Monday.

  107. Well there is a room available in a grotto nearby. Several, actually, as she’s been unable to rent them out since before we went to WA. And it would be a convenient station to lodge a (not-the) Dog Catcher. Every time it gets out she could call the RSPCA and tell them it’s their problem, not hers.

    Well, the dog is back behind bars, I heard the sound of empties clanking into the wheelie bin so it looks like the fishwife over the road has decided her menfolk need some quality time bonding away from her.

    Meh. We might wander south so I can spend the morning pretending like we live there.
    How’s your puppy, MM, and the tree debate?
    I saw bonsai Xmas trees in Crazy Clark’s yesterday & I thought of you.
    My thoughts were, you could get a nerf blaster & the discount tinsel midget and say ‘Honey! I shrunk the Xmas tree!’
    Then, after surreptitiously tossing the big one in the nearest dumpster, you tell him he needs to master physics if he wants the big one back.

  108. We had a big storm here on Thursday. I was in Aldi when it hit. The thought of being trapped in there by the weather was too terrifying, so I went with the lesser evil of driving home through the storm. When I got home, a poor, bedraggled doggie came running up the driveway to beg for pats and a dry house to shelter in. It was a beautiful doggie, about the size and shape of a blue heeler, but with the black and white fur of a collie. I desperately wanted to keep it, but it had a collar and a gorgeous nature so it probably escaped from someone’s yard and they would surely want a darling doggie like this one back. So I sent it back out into the rain. Sadly, I now feel far more amenable to the (loud and frequent) suggestions that we get a doggie of our own. We really can’t, as there isn’t enough room here for a doggie to be happy. Plus, I have a strong aversion to dog shit.

    Strangely, that dog shit aversion isn’t going to deter me from the school Christmas carols. I am sooooo looking forward to them….


    Apologies to those poor individuals (i.e, EB) who are disturbed by discordant shouting. But it’s the only time I ever get to sing without people running away screaming with their hands over their ears. I suspect they hand out earplugs with the song lists.

    That reminds me, Q, there is a lactose intolerance in the class – but as it’s my own kidlet, and it’s only a mild intolerance, I forgot to mention it.

    The middle kidlet’s class party will be much easier. They’ve told us what they want. I’m supposed to provide a fruit platter. Easy! There’s a greengrocer down the road that cuts up all the fruit for you, so I was going to make fruit kebabs and serve them with a bottle of chocolate dessert sauce that I got at Aldi during the storm. But now, after reading about the strawberry coulis, I’m wondering if that’s such a good idea. Maybe I should just dip the strawberries in melted chocolate before threading them on the skewers? Hmmmm… I’d better go have a long bubble bath with the chocolate, so I can think it over.

  109. Oh yes, fruit kebabs! My favourite fallback. Don’t dip the strawberries in chocolate, though, Catty. You’ll eat them all before they get threaded.

    We’ve put the tree up in EB’s room, Q. No dogs in bedrooms, is my motto. So we can look at it through the back window, if we don’t feel like wading through the drifts of Lego to visit it in person.

    Eeek, it’s not long until Xmas! Someone make me a Valium-choc shake, please? I’ll be hiding in Catty’s bathwater.

  110. Oh Noes the poor puppy. I hope she found her way home OK.
    Storms are usually terrifying for them, as are fireworks. I have collected a few during/after storms & hunted down their owners.
    My dog is an utter aberration as he jumps up on the cat-scratching post the better to view the fireworks at River Fire & New year.

    They are needy beasts, though, Catty. As much as I love the little guy I do look at him, often, and think ‘Why can’t you be more like the cat?’
    Good thing I never had children as I suspect if that were the case I’d be saying it out loud.
    Particularly at Hellmass. God, the only thing worse than being stuck in the supermarket in a storm would be getting stuck in Ikea, in any weather.
    At least I don’t have to buy for the cats. We give each other a couple of gifts and then spend the next three hours watching the cats go nuts trashing the Xmas wrap.

    Good luck with the Xmas carols and the fruit platters. My vote would be for sauceless, I could never understand the concept of dipping fruit into chocolate and salad into dressings. But that’s me and possibly I’m weird.

    Well, I am feeling much happier after a day at the Old Coast.
    We took the hound out kayaking up Currumbin Creek.
    We sat him up in front of me in the hatch, all kitted out in his new yellow life jacket. They’re very clever, they come complete with grab handle so if they do skitter off, it’s easy to grab them.

    The dog is no water-rat so I fully expected him to shriek & jump overboard and have such profound hysterics that I’d have to sit in the cafe all morning, sipping Earl Grey and eating buttered toast while the bloke went up the creek on his own. Well, that was my plan.
    No such luck. After a few whines and bleats he got himself comfortable and began to enjoy the steady cries of ‘Oh how CUTE!’ from all the kiddies on the beach. So that prompted him to preen and do his super-model act, and then he got interested in the birds, once we left the children behind & headed for the mangroves. And then there were bogans in tinnies, scarfing down stubbies of what looked like home brew or worse, possibly 4X, as they checked their lines and their crab pots.

    Heh heh, we didn’t have the camera on us which was a shame, as when we ventured into the dark heart of the Bayou/AKA Currumbin Waters, which henceforth shall be known as Bogan Waters, we discovered that several houses in the canals had crocodiles outside guarding their tinnies. the bloke thinks they were mooring markers – life sized croc heads, jaws yawning open, NT billabong style.

    So I don’t know where you get them from but that should save you some pain thinking up Xmas gifts, MM. I think they’d make a fabulous pool ornament, particularly for those amongst us who allow our pools to go green for the holidays.

  111. Just the thing for the relative that has everything; an apex predator in their water-feature.


  112. You know, that would actually be a great gift for my Dad. We’ve adopted him an orangutan for Xmas, but his birthday’s in January.

    And so is MMs! More shopping!! Eeeeeeeeek!!

    Did you see any of the famed birdlife in Currumbin, Q, or had the bogans and ersatz crocs scared them all off?

  113. Oh God yes, it’s the bloke’s BD in January too. Thank Dog for lego & wasgij puzzles.

    And yes, that was how I got Riley past his whining, he loves birds. Well, aside from the brush turkey, which he’s learned to ID as an unwelcome interloper to be pursued off the grounds. Or onto the clothesline, while he jumps up and down beneath it, barking frantically. It’s the only thing he’ll bark at, other birds just fascinate him. I remember when he was a puppy & the bloke was taking him to obedience lessons at the RSPCA. All the dogs in the class started going nuts having a barkfest at some sort of interruption & while the owners were trying to get their puppies under control, the handler said ‘Look at Riley.’ He was sitting beside the bloke, silent and fascinated, watching a magpie in the tree above him while every other dog in christendom went nuts.

    So I managed to talk him through his kayak anxiety by saying ‘look at the birds!’ all the way up the creek. We got right up beside a pelican on a jetty & were 2m away from it when it flew off. We saw the sea eagle again, and lots of water birds, those things that dive, with the curvy gullets? I must look them up to see what they are. Egrets or cormorants or some such. There were lots of birds up on Knob Hill, too. Parrots of some type that I didn’t recognise. So beautiful.

    We went up there around 3pm to do another Walk & Stalk with the dog. I’m deeply suspicious about the apparent silence & peace up there, so I’m still waiting to catch them out. The Bloke reckons that Bogan is the default setting for all Australians & the closer we get to the beach, the more it comes out. 🙂 But aside from one 40 yro long-haired surfer dude working on his motor-cycle, inside his perfectly manicured yard, we didn’t see much evidence of Boganry.

    Not much was moving at all, aside from a few lawn mowers. There was a lovely nor’easter & all you could hear was birds. Not wanting to drive back into the sun, we went to a cafe, & then took the hound for another walk on Burleigh Beach & it was just stunning. Dogs are allowed on leash on the beach down there (not between the flags) which is a bonus, so we saw lots of other dogs, all on leashes & looking very well-behaved.

    We must have worn him out, because yesterday am when he saw us getting the kayak clobber out, he looked up from the couch and then plonked his little head back down on the pillow & closed his eyes. Normally he’d be racing round in circles frantic to come with us. And to get away from Miss Kitteh, of course.
    We went out to Bramble Bay for an hour or two yesterday, just to practice techniques in the bay & get a feel for handling the chop. Nice, but not anywhere near as nice as Burleigh.

    The Bloke will be setting up his office on site around the 18th, so we might go look at a few other things around then. There’s a MIRVAC development at Paradise Point where they’ve dropped the price of the townhouses so much that they might be within our reach, and they’re not selling. And the idea of living in a gated community, after 18 years next to this pack of ferals, is actually rather tempting.

    The Bloke has warned me that if we lived around Tinsel Town, every time we went out to a cafe our ears would be assaulted by fake tans obsessing about money, but we copped that at the cafe in Burleigh on Saturday arvo. A gaggle of real estate/marketing/investor type women sat down beside us in their bling & white linen & spent an hour harping on about the effects of the GFC in the US & at the Gold Coast. So we eavesdropped & gleaned that nobody is selling at the Gold Coast unless they are desperate as the market is dead. So we picked up some handy info from their jibber-jabber & are less likely to believe any Spin that may come later.
    Still, AB did glare at them & mutter ‘Get a life!’

    Speaking of which, there’s some sort of fund-raiser up the north coast for Miracle Girl next Saturday. It’s on at Sunshine Coast uni & as it will be out on their track field, in the nasty burning sun in the middle of the day, I won’t go. It’s a group of cross-fit enthusiasts having athletics races, so thank Smurf for the excuse that I’m missing a chunk of Achilles & am thus unqualified to partake in the fun.
    I’ve heard that she was happy to be home but they are all worn out & as I suspected, there were so many visitors and well-wishers that she was quite overwhelmed by it all. They had a few reality checks about what to expect at Xmas. Hopefully I’ll see her Mum later this week so I’ll get a better idea of what’s going on. I think BIRU wants to shuffle her out of there into some sort of transitional care so I have no clue what that is about.

    Eek, look at this, it’s an essay.
    Happy Monday, ladies, and good luck with the last week of school.

  114. I suppose your trials would be of a different order, in a gated Gold Coast community. You might stumble over discarded champagne corks on the way to your bin, and the community pool would likely have a greasy slick of expensive imported cosmetics.

  115. I doubt they’re the type to add Chlorine to their coifs & complexions. I think the real risk would be the brain damage you’d sustain from engaging them in conversation.

  116. Just wear an ‘Ask Me How to Find God!’ badge around. You’ll be right.

  117. On that topic, of all I hold sacred, did I tell you guys that I found Bambino gelato cones in the Greenslopes IGA? Remember those little cuties in a bucket that I was pointing to in the Oxford Deli?
    Well, I bought a tub & they are the perfect aprez salad roll snack. The cones have gone a little soggy but that just might be an IGA freezer thing. Still, they have solid chocolate at the bottom of the cones, just like a drumstick or cornetto, and for this I can forgive a certain lack of crispness in a bambino.
    Tres Bon.

    Keep an eye out for them in your alternatives to Coals. It’s surprising what they stock. I found sprouted break in the IGA at Zombiedale & OMFG it was the best shop-bought bread I’ve ever had.

    Well, I have done the chores and been to the GP to get him to freeze off my plantar wart. Poor D’Orth. He looked at me and said ‘What brings you here?’
    Me: ‘Swamp Foot.’
    Him: WTF?

    Anyway, he’s scraped and zapped my Swamp Foot so now I think I’ll stick my feet in the air and read some more recipe books. According to what Claudia Rodin has to say about the Turks, cooking is the highest form of evolution & I’m inclined to think the Turks were pretty smart to know this considering they hadn’t yet discovered brownies.

  118. You know what is excellent?

    I can’t remember the brand, but something-from-Woolies raspberry and white chocolate gourmet icecream. I served it in meringue nests with frozen raspberries to my Writer’s group. It’s the dessert they eat in Heaven.

    Lovely to hear dear Droth is still practicing. Shame about the swamp foot, though.

    The Turks may have not known the wonders of chocolate, but what they could do with honey and pistachios … or am I thinking of the Lebanese?

    Mmm … hommous.

  119. The Turks, according to Claudia, were incredibly cosmopolitan & multi-cultural thanks to their habit of going forth to foreign lands and returning with a rainbow selection of freshly orphaned slaves, who they promptly dispatched to work in their kitchens, and then married to ensure their culinary brilliance would be passed on to future generations. They believed that the most loyal and hard-working slaves were children who’s entire families had been killed, so that was their idea of Newstart, back in the 6th century.
    The things you learn when you hunt out a tajine recipe, hey?

    I’ve seen that gourmet icecream but haven’t tried it. I can imagine how well it went down with your group, MM. I tend to prefer nutty flavours, or rum & raisin, when it comes to ice cream. I prefer fruit in sorbets or granitas…like that recipe for Blood Orange sorbet I trialled with the Breville. Mmm.

    Well, my foot didn’t swell as much as usual (maybe tomorrow) so I have been at BIRU for the last 2 hours visiting Miracle Girl. I planned to get the bloke to ferry me in there tonight but since I could still walk, what the hell. I had planned to visit her sometime today as I figured she would be flatter than a pancake after the big weekend home & I was right. I think it was overwhelming for them all & I found her in tears feeling the weight of all she’s lost, and distressed because she hasn’t found a life partner to share it with. So I turned up at the right time, but when she looked at me woefully and said ‘Do you have any chocolate?’ I realised that a better friend would have brought brownies. Which I did, last time I went in, and was cursing that I’d forgotten to do so this time.

    Never mind. There’s always next time, and she remembered that I’d taken some in last time. I wish she could see how much more coherent she is and how she’s improving. I tell her, but i think the downside of that is that she is starting to develop more of an awareness of what this adventure has cost her.

    So I sat and held her hand while she cried & told her this was to be expected as it’s huge, going home, after 6 months in the horsepiddle.
    I left around 4pm as I know the nurses shuffle them all out into the common room around then so they’ve got company and moral support in each other, so I’m glad I trusted my instincts & went in when I did. And I’m really glad that I trusted the little voice that told me to stand clear on the weekend & to wait for the inevitable crash landing once the fun was over, as The Idiot was amongst her visitors on Saturday & I’m not quite ready for that, yet.

    Thank Smurf I have Swamp Foot so that I have an excuse not to run, jump or hop up the athletics track for her fundraiser event next weekend. Because if he did show up I’d be sorely tempted to use my one good foot to give the fool a good kicking. He richly deserves it.

    Oh well. I’m off to the sofa to enjoy the Blessed Silence. All of our serial noise offenders seem to have vanished on school holidays. they were last seen heading north so if you hear shrieks and gnashing of teeth, MM, it means that Nblob has found them. 🙂

  120. Poor MG. She still has a long road of suffering ahead of her – the only silver lining is that this is a sign she’s progressing. Please give her virtual hugs from us next time you see her, Q.

    Madam, you are one lucky duck. Only one more week of school! We still have two. Plus the middle kidlet’s graduation ceremony. (Yes, I too think ‘graduating’ from primary school is pretentious, but what can you do?) Plus her and the Teenie’s end of year parties. Plus Orientation Day. Plus the Teenie’s school awards ceremony. Plus stocktake at the school library. Plus… oh, you get the gist of it. And I still haven’t written out my Christmas cards. *sigh*

    Anyway, I’ve done almost all of my Christmas shopping. I say ‘almost’, because I still have to buy that floating crocodile head for the swimming pool. Heh, heh, heh….

  121. I think we should open a national franchise called Bogans Are Us that specialises in stocking all these things. Oh wait. Bunnings.
    Rat damn, why didn’t we think of this first?

  122. Geez, that’s a kicker, isn’t it? Getting better means realising all you’ve lost and how far you have to go. Do they have counselling in rehab? Sounds like poor old MG could do with some sessions.

    Melbo and I were talking about car names, yesterday. After the release of the Kuga – which is obviously for middle-aged women who wear too much animal print – we decided a Beaugan must be on the horizon. Obviously, it would have a built-in esky and jumbo cup-holders.

  123. So I’m guessing the Waynecar would come with soft lotions to smoothe the ride & fluffy towels to clean up afterwards.

    Yeah, MG & Romance. I think she probably needed counselling for that one a long time ago. Her Mum complains that there’ve been some lovely, lovely men visiting her & MG is standoffish with them to the point where eventually they’ve stopped visiting. She likes the idiots, & always has, and therein lies the problem.
    So that’s a psychotherapy issue & I doubt that’s included in the services that the horsepiddle provides. That will need to come later. I think that BIRU is pretty well equipped to deal with the stuff relating to the trauma, though, as they see it all the time.
    The social worker was keeping a close eye on her yesterday & must have had the same thoughts as me, as she wandered in 5 minutes after I did, intending to sit a while, but she only stayed a few minutes & left saying she thought MG was in good hands. Kudos to Hogwarts for their counsellor training, really.
    The staff at BIRU really are wonderful, they know she’s sad & they’ve obviously seen it all before. It’s another adjustment. And she has so much support, it’s amazing how many people she has looking out for her. I keep telling her, if it was me in her shoes there’d be three people visiting me & one would be hitching rides from Melbourne in the back of a cattle truck.

    Her sister (a teacher) has Liberty from the children now, as Catholic ed is out, she she will be visiting 3x this week & her mum will visit on Wednesday. Possibly to finish her off, as it sounds like they clashed hard & often on the weekend. It must have been exhausting for her, poor thing. She had lots of visitors for her tea-party, too many, really, and the Idiot turned up with wife, baby & dog, despite all of us having been cautioned to try to keep it low-key as visitors/change are very hard on MG’s Dad. Who will probably need to go into a home soon. It’s sad, when I visited with the dog the other weekend he was clear as a bell & he knew me & Riley by sight, but fifteen minutes later I could see him looking at me, confused, thinking ‘who are you?’
    God I hope I never get dementia.
    I prefer Swamp Foot, it’s so much more amenable.

    I wish I’d gotten photos of the crocs in the swamp. They did make me startle, the first time I saw them. the bloke laughed, until I pointed at the occupants of the tinnies, floating by chugging down their beer at 9am, and said ‘Take a good look around & then tell me that you can’t see this lot bringing a saltie back from Darwin & tossing it in the swamp for giggles,’ and that sobered him up, momentarily at least. Good thing Bangarr sent me those knives.

    If you two are on FB hop over to visit B & give him a hug, he’s got some sort of Fambily Crap going on & could probably do with a cuddle from the Coven.

    MM, you’re sounding chipper, does this mean you’ve wangled out of Carols, this week?

  124. I waltzed in for about an hour. The weather was delightful and the music as discordant as ever. EB had a fabulous time, though. And sent me away so he could chat up half-a-dozen girls without me cruelling his mojo.

    And so it begins.

  125. If you want something for swamp foot, Quokka, head on over to http://www.jrminerals.com and have a squiz at the reviews for their healing balm. I’ve been buying it for years. It’s cheap, the postage is incredibly fast, and it really works. The Teenie had a wart that kept growing back. After a third visit to the doctors for freezing had failed, I rubbed the balm into it twice a day for a week. It went black, then began to fade, then there was no more wart. There was hardly any sign there’d even been a wart on that toe.

    Later, when all the kidlets had chicken pox (again), I was slathering on calamine when I remembered the balm. It was amazing. The itching was minimised and there was hardly any scarring. I reckon there wouldn’t have been any scarring at all if I’d remembered the balm three days earlier.

    It’s worth a look, anyway.

    Yeah, MM, what Q said. Did you get out of Carols? Or did you get laid?

  126. I did get laid. But not at the carols.

  127. So long as you sang the hallelujah chorus, you can claim you got into the spirit of things.
    How’s this for lame, I am half-way through the Bridget Jones book & I am actually kind of enjoying it.
    She still has histrionic personality disorder & I’m baffled as to how she lost 70 lb eating chocolate flavoured protein bars at the obesity clinic & went back to her diet of mojitos & cheesecake without regaining it all, but hey, I just wanted to see what made it a worldwide best seller & I do believe I’ve found that hook : Suspended Reality.

    Looks like Helen gets another beach house and some nice clothes to wear on all those holidays to Ibiza.

  128. I would like to suspend some reality around here. Instead, I must try to whip around and get something done around the house before I stagger off to work.


  129. I’d like to suspend reality too, but my suspenders don’t fit any more.

  130. I just finished Bridget. Having killed off Colin Firth in an Unfortunate Accident, & become fabulously rich thanks to a well-thought out life insurance policy, she’s now living happily ever after Daniel Craig.
    As it turns out, during his spare time between Bond films, he works as the sports master at her children’s posh private school.
    Since there was no mention of drizzling hot fudge sauce over his hot ripped abs, I’m inclined to think you’d both find it somewhat disappointing.

  131. That girl just doesn’t know how to have fun!

  132. Sorry Catty, I missed your Wart Post. Since then I’ve bought Wart Paint just to make sure the GP killed it all. I don’t think so. I usually scream for an extra day when they’ve killed it good and proper. Anyway, I’ll use the wart paint as insurance for a few days & then hopefully I will not see the damned Verruca for another 3 years.

    Well, I have been out to Zombiedale & have donated some gift vouchers from the Body Shop to the ABC foster kids Xmas fundraiser so I am feeling virtuous. While I was out there I found Lindt Bears in the flower shop so I got one for Miracle Girl, seeing as I failed to supply her with chocolate in her hour of need the other day. And then I found some Darrell Lea dark chocolate ginger, which I figured she’d need even more, and then I found a caramel brownie bar & I decided that was such a good idea for her I should probably get one for me, too. Then I got her some sushi & went off to visit her at lunch time & made her very, very happy. Octopus & Inari. Mmm.

    Had a hilariously confusing conversation with one of the patients that ended with him looking at me dubiously and saying ‘Are you a doctor? I thought you were a doctor?’
    Me: ‘Don’t worry, my husband made the same mistake when he met me 25 years ago & if he’d left me and found a real one, he’d probably have the mortgage paid off by now.’ Poor darlings.

    Speaking of which, how is Gran, Catty?
    And how are all these time-consuming end of year school things going?
    Miracle Girl’s mother friends have all had to plead off visiting this week as they are on the same hell-cycle as you two.

    I was explaining your Isshews to her & by the time I’d gotten to the end of the list of what you both had to do she’d nearly dozed off with exhaustion just from hearing it.

  133. I have a worse thing to do, today. I have to go to the work Christmas party!

    And I don’t have a thing to wear. Well, probably I do, but I haven’t dug it out of the back of the cupboard yet.

    Why do we have work Christmas parties? It seems cruel.

  134. The Boss had his work Christmas party in July, thank goodness. Tonight is the middle kidlet’s graduation ceremony. Three hours of painful speeches and shouted song/dance routines. And I shall be sitting alone in the audience (siblings aren’t permitted to go, and all the adults in the family would rather chew off their own arms). Joy!

    But it could be worse. My nephew’s graduation was on Wednesday, and they had to take him to a formal dinner. Four hours it took, poor darlings. Black tie, crap food, and the obligatory painful speeches. By the time they got home, my BIL was gobbling painkillers like they were Tic Tacs.

    Gran’s doing o.k, thanks for asking. Her broken ribs from her fall are healing, although she has developed some sort of rash on her back. Nobody knows what it is. Also, she’s losing weight. I’m off to see her shortly.

    Hey, have you guys ever tried strawberries and cream profiteroles? They have strawberry custard filling and a white chocolate glaze. Highly recommended!

  135. Mmm … white chocolate anything.

    Gran’s rash isn’t shingles, by any chance? Lord knows the poor dear’s had enough stress, lately.

  136. I suggested that, as my niece was there recently and has just broken out in chicken pox. But they reckon it can’t be shingles, as it’s not on her face. “?”

  137. That’s complete and utter crap! You can get shingles along the course of any of the spinal nerves. For heaven’s sake, you can get it in the parts only chocolate body paint usually reaches, if you’re unlucky enough.

    Aren’t I right, Q?

  138. Yup. Anywhere. Get a second opinion, from someone who isn’t completely lazy and useless.

    That said, skin rashes in an institution could be freaking anything. It could be fungal, bacterial, stress and anxiety. It could even be an allergic reaction to the laundry powder/starch they use on the sheets.

    I never did get to tell you guys about why I fled the Sebel in Perth but we did work out that whatever the hell it was that was making me swell up and twitch was emanating from the laundry room.

    If it’s not some sort of opportunistic infection, it’ll be the chemicals.

  139. How was the office xmas party, MM?
    The bloke’s was a week ago. I was invited & he declined on my behalf with the following excuses.
    * She doesn’t like
    -crowds, drunks, noise, smoke, festivity, Alpha Males, food that has not been prepared in an ashram by zenned up hippies, the reek of beer, or me, after I’ve had a few.

    The guy who issued the invitation gurgled and said ‘Mine too.’
    So it looks like there’s a woman on the fringes of his office whose company I might quite enjoy.

    Meanwhile, how did you fare with the above list of irritants?
    I hope you ate all the kettle crisps, and then left, pronto.

  140. I suggested chemicals too, after they pooh-pooh’d my shingles suggestion. Maybe one of the nurses isn’t rinsing the shampoo off Gran’s back properly after washing her hair? Or maybe it’s the laundry detergent, seeing as Gran’s spending so much time on her back now? But if it was either of those, she’d probably have a rash on other parts of her body.

    When we all had the Pox three years ago, it was a complete shock. We had all had it before – except the littlest kidlet, who had been immunised. I’ve got crap immunity, so it was actually my ninth bout of pox, but that doesn’t explain the rest of the family. (My niece had been immunised too, and her dad’s just broken out as well despite a bad dose in his childhood). I put it down to a new strain of Pox, and did a bit of web-browsing. There was an article about how the government had stockpiled five years’ worth of vaccine, and although they know the Pox has mutated, they are going to keep using the stockpiled stuff because they don’t want to waste money replacing it. Also, there’s no guarantee they’ll develop a new strain of vaccine before they make the next five year supply. But I don’t know how accurate that article is, as it came from one of those rabid anti-vaccination websites.

    To be honest, I’m anti-vaccine myself. It’s a horrible, horrible thing to do to children. And no matter what the medical industry says, nobody can convince me that the Teenie’s autism and epilepsy were not a direct result of vaccination. I know what I saw. That said, I’ve had all my kids immunised, because although that stuff is poison, it’s the lesser of two evils.

    Still, Gran’s getting lots of soothing backrubs. Did I mention I want to move in with her?

    Last night’s graduation ceremony was a long and painful series of badly-mumbled speeches filled with in-jokes, until the awards were handed out. Then it got good. My darling girl was presented with three awards. Three! I was chuffed beyond all imagining, as I really didn’t expect her to get any. I’d hoped she would get one for LOTE, as she’s been doing an extension program for Mandarin, but as a third of the students are Chinese immigrants, I didn’t expect it. But she not only got a LOTE award, she also got one for english, and one from the librarian. (Although that may be because I volunteer at the library, and take the librarian chocolates from Haigh’s and Koko Blacks whenever I’ve been in to the city. But still…)

    Afterwards there was a supper. After much sampling, I happened upon a tray of tuna sandwiches that were the best I’ve ever eaten. Nobody knew who made them, so I couldn’t get the recipe. Bugger. I hovered next to the tray and sucked up the delightful sandwiches until everyone went home. They were so good that I knocked back a Krispy Kreme because the sandwiches were better. Really. They were THAT good. The scary thing about this is that I don’t like fish much.

    We came home very late, only to find everyone still up. Apparently the littlest kidlet had bumped his arm at school, and the Boss thinks it might be broken. He’s taking the kidlet to the doctors later this morning. It must be serious, as I didn’t get a call from the school nurse, or the obligatory “your child was injured at school” form letter. The useless bint only calls if it’s head lice or an I-don’t-want-to-do-the-maths-test headache. Anyway, they’re all still in bed asleep, so I’ll let you know what happens.

    • Cross posting! Yes, MM, I should have asked. How was your party? I hope you used the photocopier in the appropriate Christmas party manner.

  141. Huzzah! for your clever girl, Catty. That’s fabulous news. Sounds like it was worth showing up and enduring all the torment that the rest of it provided.
    When I told the Bloke that they are now having a graduation ceremony for making it through primary school he was horrified and said that they didn’t have a graduation ceremony for high school when he was done with his edjamacation in Tasmania. Well, other than going to the beach and setting fire to their uniforms.

    Yeah, the increase in ASD since the 80’s is boggling.
    I’m withholding judgement on that one till there’s more information. The human body is a complex system & the trouble is that there’s a shitload of environmental insults that we’re exposed to with food/preservatives/food preparation/pesticides so I can’t imagine how anyone can begin to untangle all of that. I suppose the big question is ‘what happened around the 1980s that was different from what we’d been doing before’.

    When I was trying to find out my Dad’s secrets, and I was hunting for his family, I had to go back 5 generations to find our aboriginal ancestor and then I had to fan out, to try to figure out who the hell was the mystery cousin that came to Dad’s funeral. I’ve never been able to find any record of him despite knowing that he existed & I met him several times out around the bayside suburbs up north when Dad would drag me along to various pubs to catch up with his old mates from the war. I’m pretty damned sure I know who he was and where he came from (illegitimate & probably enlisted under a false name to run away from home) but time will tell. Another 8 years, more specifically, when those records become public and a few old lies will be out under the light of the sun.

    When I scoured the records over those 5 generations I was horrified at how many families were decimated by things like Scarlet Fever & the Spanish flu.
    I can’t imagine how it would FK with your head to lose three of your children in the space of 6 weeks. My (white) grandmother lost her firstborn child, a daughter, to scarlet fever when little Dorothy was only 18 months old. My grandfather said that she changed, after that, and would never speak of it. She was aloof, cold, distant and disapproving. That screwed with the personalities of all her children & the damage from that is still ricocheting down the generations today. I blame that for some of the narcissistic personality disorder that’s filtered through, although it’s likely that probably has a genetic basis too. NPD is pretty close to psychopathy & they’ve proved conclusively that it comes down to
    1. Genetic predisposition, which is then switched on by
    2. Environment (childhood characterised with violence, abuse or neglect)
    If there’s one thing I learned in my health science studies its that biology is complex and causes are multi-varied.

    I’m fascinated by genetics so I listen in to shows on RN every chance I get, it’s amazing the progress they are making with that.

    But yeah, the brain is still a mystery for scientists – look at Miracle Girl. They said she’d be vegetative, and yet, here she is, sitting up making bad jokes about cricketers and asking me to bring her a DVD about the Danish/Tasmanian Princess. When I asked her why the interest, she said she’d like to know how you land a Danish Prince in the backwoods of Tasmania – so I assume she wants to pick up pointers, so that she can do it too. 🙂
    Speaking of which, I ducked in again yesterday with spouse & hound. She’s getting so much more coherent, the last few visits she hasn’t forgotten a thing that I’ve said and there’s such obvious improvement in her short term memory that she’s started to correct us if we backtrack too much.

    Give Gran a hug for us, Catty. And find a GP to scrape a sample and send it off for pathology. If its something they can ID under a microscope, it’s something they should be able to dispatch.

  142. Well, I don’t know how I missed all these posts but better late than never.

    Huzzah to the clever girl! In Kerry Greenwood’s Phyrne Fisher books she’d be given a clever chocolate. Catty, kindly do the honours.

    Huzzah also to MG. Although can’t you encourage her towards a less sombre and fun-averse Royal Family? Do they have princes in Argentina, perhaps?

    The office Christmas party had delicious seafood, but no chips. There were plenty of hilarious drunkards, though. Sobriety has its rewards.

  143. I don’t really know much about them & had to explain to MG that this is because it’s been 2 years since my last Pap test & because breast screen don’t arse about. I’m in and out of there before I have time to find out what soap stars and royalty are up to. I thought they were all tedious, except for Princess Zara who roams the world in a deluxe air-conditioned horse float. I couldn’t find any DVDs on topic but Amazon did have a book. She might have to trust to youtube once she’s out of the black hole of reception in the bunker of BIRU.
    If she’s really desperate for fairy-tale romance I have a wide selection of animated Disney movies left-over from when the Chillen were little & I’m too sentimental to pass them on.
    I’m not sure why she’s interested in them. I put it down to
    1. Blow to the head
    2. I think they ski.

  144. If she wants preparation for real-world romance, might I recommend “Beauty and the Beast”?

  145. No need, I’ve got Julia Roberts ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’.

  146. Excellent. Another of my favourite marriage guidance films is “Serial Mom”.

  147. Forget the cheesy movies. Tell MG to kiss a bunch of frogs. If she gets lucky, she’ll kiss this one:


    If she does, she won’t give a rats arse about princes. Or anything at all, really, other than the pretty colours. And how huge her hands are.

  148. And why Sergent Pepper’s seems to be playing all the time, but only she can hear it.

  149. Hmm. I wonder if someone’s been slipping toad venom into my Twinings and that’s why I hear and see all the disturbing things that I see and hear?
    That could explain a lot, around here.
    We had a week of relative serenity where the chief disturbers of the peace went away on holidays. Bliss.
    They’re all back, now, doing what they do. With the addition of an opera singer, somewhere down in the valley. And me without my compound bow. Damn.

    Thankfully the RSPCA gas chamber rescue dogs are finally happy because they aren’t home alone all day (4 kids home from school busy playing minecraft) so at least they’ve stopped yelping all day, setting off the rest of the dogs in the ‘hood.
    So that’s a big improvement.
    It’s just the usual roars and bellows now, and of course the steady all-weekend rock from the karaoke machine & the pub-band expelled from pub & confined to back yard, as the case may be.
    Helicopters & sirens have of course, trebled since the start of school holidays as the impetus to kill one another & make it to the Notable Mentions of the Darwin Awards has increased exponentially.

    I’m coping better with it now because I know the end is in sight & we know to flee on weekends so we miss the steady torments of Khe San & the Chevvy From the Levy, but Jeebus, what a bunch of freaks.

    I don’t think I told you, I was up at dawn on Sunday making a cuppa & being serenaded by Mummy Cuddles screaming on the footpath, when some fresh new screams issued forth from next door. Thinking it was a woman with a knife at her throat in at Bog Hollow I rushed outside to see if anyone needed help.
    But no. She burst into giggles followed by more screeching followed by ‘Yes, yes, YESSSSSS!’
    I think it was the Bimbo with the Ginger Dredd Man (he’s back) and they were having rapturous make-up sex. His sins are considerable so I guess he had a lot to make up for.
    I do hope Not The Owner enjoyed all this. Since it lasted, on and off (pun intended) for the better part of 2 hours, I doubt she could have missed it.

    I find it absolutely boggling that you could shriek like Debbie from Dallas, uninhibited, in a house filled with 18 other people, walls made of cardboard, with Not the Owner and Not her Boyfriend listening to Macca in the room next door.
    Not sexy.
    It must be nightclub pharmaceuticals. The nurses in at MG’s ward all have horror stories about Saturday night in ER & say that once the little darlings have slept it off they cannot remember a thing that they did in their drug-induced bursts of horror from the night before.

    Ah, inner city living. I’m off to stare at the Snapper Rocks surf cam & pretend that I am Elsewhere.

  150. You know, you seem to attract unnecessarily loud boudoir noise, Q.

    Remember that little student over the back fence who used to scream and whimper incessantly?

    Anyhoo, I have a suggestion. Drop into The Den, and then pop a ball-gag … tastefully wrapped in tinsel, of course, tis the season … into her letterbox.

  151. If I get two of them I can dangle them off the back of his Navarra. With any luck he won’t notice, and the real girlfriend back home at Southport will.

  152. That’s far more interesting than anything on my Christmas shopping list. I think I’ll write it on there, just in case anyone happens to read my list. Hmmm… between the Ferrero Rochers and the brandy custard, parhaps? That’ll get people thinking.

    I’ve had a frustrating morning. I queued up at the post office for EVER to send Christmas gifts. I was out the door before I remembered that I needed express post bags. So I queued up again. Then when I got to the car, I discovered they’d handed me three bags although I’d only paid for two. So I had to queue up AGAIN to give the bloody bag back. Then I went to the chemist to fill a script for the Boss. Surprise surprise, the script wasn’t in my handbag. I later found it under a pile of Christmas cards – that I hadn’t remembered to buy stamps for. So, back to the shops to stand in monstrous queues for stamps and drugs. All the while, I’d left my mobile phone at home on the charger, and everybody and his dog had been frantically ringing me. Also, the postie had been and left a calling card.

    But I’m not too upset. I’m sitting here typing with one hand while I stuff Toblerone cheesecake in my face with the other. Bless my MIL, she cut me an extra thick slice to bring home. Mmmmm…..

  153. Oh, the post office is very scary at this time of year. I feel your pain, Catty, truly I do.

    Sadly, though, I can’t taste your cheesecake. Put the leftovers in an Express Post Bag?

    Silly me – of course there are no leftovers.

  154. Damn straight!

  155. *sulk*

  156. Smurf. I knew there was something I’d forgotten.
    I was meant to go to the post office on Friday.
    Catty, I get the bad feeling you’ll be getting your xmas prezzie for your BD.
    And you have only yourself to blame as after the way you’ve described your day I’m reduced to a twitching pile of sludge, just contemplating the journey to the Post Office.

    No cheesecake here although I did just feed Mr & Mrs Greybeard wraps (from the local hippy shop) and brownies (courtesy of Mary Berry). And I’m making Barm Brack (or Barra Brith, as the Welsh call it) from her recipe book that I’ve still got out from the library. Very weird making cake with no butter in it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Meanwhile, I’m still examining the Mac looking for signs of sabotage but it seems Khan GB has in fact fixed my sound system as requested & has only posted one obnoxious tweet purporting to be me, singing his praises for being a clever tech nerd.

    Which I quickly corrected by pointing out that he spent 20 minutes trying to tweet a photo of his brownie to gloat to Spanner. Since his samsung mobile didn’t feel up to the challenge of crossing my Tech Destroying Force Field, I guess it’ll have to wait till he gets back home and hooks up all three computers to the tin cans that make them talk to each other.

    Har Har Har.

    Catty have a lie down, I will yell when the Barm Brack is done & it’s time for a nice cuppa. MM I’d tell you to lie down too but it might encourage those nearby to walk all over you.

  157. It’s Carols night. I announced to the tribe that we had to be there in ten minutes, so they’d better get their Christmas shirts/hats/antlers on. The littlest kidlet quietly said “I don’t feel so good”. After some questioning, it was apparent he was too sick to go. So I drove the other two up to the school, where they are currently loudly announcing to the world that they want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Meanwhile, I’m feeding the littlest kidlet blackcurrant icy poles in a bubble bath. Personally, I think it’s a plot. A diabolical plot hatched to keep me from damaging everybody’s ears with my painful screeching.


  158. Hehehe. You know them so well. Actually, it might only be Christmas lead-up but I’ve been feeling the love, lately. EB’s tajen to calling me darling-mumma-loved-best-of-all.

    I hope you butter the cake after it’s baked, Q … otherwise, what’s the point?

    You can sing to me, Catty. Sing all you like, in fact. The puppy’s destroyed the headphones so I can’t hear a single note. In fact, I’ll sing with you:

    “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas … “

  159. Poor Catty. I hope he’s feeling better soon. I know how much you were looking forward to that. (*Note to self, you love her so just soothe the crazy woman)
    Perhaps you can lead a procession of carollers around the neighbourhood, or the local mall? Don’t they do that in cold climates and you have to pay them (or egg them) before they’ll go away?
    Nice little earner, that. It must work as look at all those spray pests that accost you in the shopping malls. They won’t leave you alone till you buy their beastly perfumes or you threaten them with mace.

    Well, I feel like I had a hippopotamus for dinner, thanks to all the CAEK we ate last night.
    The barm brack, or Bara Brith as Mary calls it (they make it all over those different tribal regions of the UK) was fabulous. I had to fiddle about with oven temperatures, as you do, with a new recipe. Very weird as there was no butter in it (and count on it, I lathered it on thick to compensate) and it was made by soaking the currants & sultanas in brown sugar & strong hot tea. Some recipes call for yeast & spice but not this one.
    It had the texture of banana loaf & a hard sugary crust when it first came out of the oven & overnight that’s softened. Hard to explain the texture. It was lighter than normal fruit cake & quite pliable, you could bend it this way & that without breaking it. Very odd.
    The Bloke was Wowing at it last night so it must be good.
    I liked it. It reminded me of something that I’ve eaten & been fond of in childhood. Perhaps some ancient trip to the original Shingle Inn or a visit to one of my mother’s relatives/friends.

    I’ll have to make it again using muscovardo sugar, which Mary did specify but I was out, so I used ordinary brown sugar. Muscovardo has more of a caramel taste so I’ll be interested to see the difference.
    I’m not a huge fan of fruitcake but the bloke absolutely adores it, so I think this one fits the balance between my need to be quirky and his need for traditions.
    It was lovely to make it, because I remember growing up reading a stack of English stories where the girls had barm-brack for tea.
    Anyway, I like it & there’s lots left so shove the Wildebeest out of the way & enjoy.

    I really, really do not want to surrender this book back to the BCC library. Oh well. We’ll see what Santa/Amazon-online delivers for Xmas. Knowing that the bloke typically does Xmas shopping on Xmas Eve, which is why I’ve got so much jewellery that I’ve never worn I’ve hoped to circumvent that this year by giving him a list of cook books that he can order online. I expect that he’s left it a little late & there’ll be Gifts arriving at odd times between now & New Year but I can work with delayed gratification. Look how long I’ve been waiting for a front door.

    Besides, they’re predicting 35C in Vagus on Xmas Eve.
    I don’t think any of us will feel like doing any non-essential cooking.

  160. Look on the bright side, Q – should be your last Xmas in Vagus!

  161. Non-essential cooking has also been banned here. 31º yesterday, 40º today, 33º tomorrow. So no barm-brack for me. Hopefully it will cool down enough to make my Christmas cake early next week. It’s a wonderful recipe. The only fruit in it is dates (soaked in brandy), dried pineapple (optional) and dried blueberries (also optional). It’s full of chocolate chips, brazil nuts and condensed milk. Mmmmmm…..

    How did the inspection go, Q? Did the reluctant vendor drop her price?

    And Madam, I would sing for you, but, you know, court order….

  162. Heh heh. Don’t let that stop you, Catty.
    Your cake sounds wonderful. I just hope you don’t get hotter than the oven, trying to bake it. 40C in Melbourne sucks.

    Well, I’ve just posted the property report over at your blog. Stupid cross posting.
    So there will probably be some faffing about in January as we shicker, but I’m just hoping that she gets to the end of school holidays keen to shut down Granny’s Child Care Centre and escape to saner surrounds. And is too worn out from amusing all her grandchildren to welcome the prospect of putting her house on the market & spending months and months doing open-for-inspections, waiting to find some fool willing to buy it for more than it’s worth.
    And that’s not us.

    When we met her yesterday she looks nice, but the poor woman looks like she’s already sick of school holidays and she was missing the USA. So fingers crossed that she’s ready, and she wants out.

    Burleigh was just gorgeous yesterday afternoon. We hung around from 4 – 7.30, swanning about on the beach, and we walked around the headland to Tallebudgera creek, marvelling that we’ve never done it before.
    My favourite beach is Greenmount so we’ve always just made a beeline for that & the hell with all that lies between that & Stinky Brisbane. So Burleigh is a lovely surprise.
    If Knob Hill doesn’t work out we will keep an eye out for something else that’s suitable down there, as it’s very ‘us’. The village has the same sort of organic-hippy-influence feel that West End has, so we feel quite at home down there. And thankfully it doesn’t have all the nightclubs and bars that West End has, so it looks like Gen Y has to go elsewhere for their drug-sucking fun.
    Like Surfers. Which, thankfully, you can’t see much of from the Bungalow as there’s a big MF tree blocking it out. Another thing to upset the punters, but which suits us just fine.

    I really am surprised at how nicely Hollywell & Paradise Point have scrubbed up, though. If all else fails I’d be quite happy to spend the next five years in an apartment overlooking south straddy, with no brush turkeys to chase.

    Colour me happy.
    the prospect of re-locating is starting to feel real.

  163. It’s nice to have options, sounds like something good will come.

    So out of Vagus before winter, you reckon?

    Has Bob quoted you on a front door, yet?

  164. Yeah, that’s the plan.
    Something will turn up, if the bungalow doesn’t work out.

    I spoke to the agent yesterday & told her that before we fork out $660 to get a property valuation done – and we’re not willing to put in an offer without it – I would like her to sit down with the owner and make sure she’s prepared for what they’ll say.
    Which is that property prices have dropped by 30% since she purchased the house pre-GFC in 2007. We won’t make an offer below what the valuer says but we won’t be willing to go much over it.

    So in other words, it was the ‘don’t waste our time’ conversation.

    So I got the email back today saying the owner ‘will think about it’ and get back to us sometime in the new year.

    So I like that the answer isn’t the immediate ‘yes, sure, do it tomorrow’ that the agent insisted it would be. This indicates to me that the owner has had a reality check & she needs time to absorb the information and evaluate her life choices.

    A blithe ‘Go ahead’ would have scared me as she is asking at least two hundred thousand more than it’s worth & I don’t think anyone adjusts to that news over a cup of tea & a tim tam, no matter how much scotch you’ve dipped it in. Well, not unless they’re a psychopath who is happy to smurf you around.
    1. reality check
    2. Conscience.
    3. Hesitation
    All good signs.

    So if she comes back in a few weeks and says ‘go ahead’ I will feel much more comfortable thinking ‘well, she’s prepared for what the valuer will say & is willing to cut her losses and get out.’

    I’m expecting her to say no, and to put it on the market hoping some fool will show up with a great wad of cash, fall head over heels in love with their half-done 90’s renovation of a 60s house, and offer her 30% more than it’s actually worth.
    Which is what the goose of an architect would do if I wasn’t here to smack sense into him.

    As for the builder, Bob1 is sick of our shilly-shallying so called to say he’s not interested in quoting but stay in touch, (he does like my cakes) and Bob2 has nearly got his quote done (minor amendment which he has to adjust for) and says he is good to build the deck in February.

    So my plans for escape are on track.
    Speaking of which, how are you coping with the liberation from edjamacation, MM? have they killed each other yet?
    The children in our street are all busy trying to free up some space in the cuckoo nests but parents assure me that by the end of the first week of holidays, this is entirely normal.

  165. When they’re not cuddling and playing together nicely, it’s an MMA fight-to-the-death. So situation normal.

    They’re at Vacation Care today, where I had booked them on a nice river cruise, but they elected to stay behind and have face painting and photo booth day instead.

    The results should be amusing, see you tomorrow! This is exciting. I might arrive at 12ish, as I’ll have to leave by 2:30. We are required to meet the recently bereaved at Kippa-ring at 3:30, and (a) I’ll have to go back to the deep Western burbs to pick up the sprogs and (b) I only have a VERY vague idea of where the smurf Kippa-ring might be.

  166. Face painting is teh boss! When MIL had her birthday dinner at a hotel, they had a face painter there. We all had a turn, even Gran. She looked adorable! Your boys are so lucky, Madam.

    Last day of school today. I’m just about to wrap up the sticky mess I made in the kitchen, so I can express post it to Mayhem and Melbo on my way to the school for an early finish end-of-year assembly. There’s half an hour in the broiling sun I could do without. But it’s o.k. I will be wearing a sombrero. Don’t worry, it’s a striped number done in pinata colours, and the pink stripes match my top. So I shall look fabulous, if somewhat ridiculous.

    The house plans appear to be progressing well, Q. I’m looking forward to hearing the news that the reluctant vendor has been ‘encouraged’ by her grandkids to drop the price by $300k. Hey, has the Bloke’s mother made any imperial commands regarding his presence at his sister’s Christmas dinner? Or are the two of you free to enjoy watching the cats decimating discarded wrapping paper?

    Tomorrow sounds like fun. Much better than my day. I may have to cancel my boring plans and instead sloth around with a trashy novel and a martini shaker, just so I don’t feel jealous.

  167. It’s the dark heart of the Redcliffe Peninsula just before you turn off to D-Bay. According to my map app, which is fabulously reliable, not counting Hellmas Traffic, it will take you 40 minutes if you go over the gateway from bulimia. Longer if you plan to shoot rockets at the Church along the way. (I would. Poor buggers. Pun not intended but crept out anyway)

    If you have to double back for children its 30 minutes from Bulimba to Toowong & then 43 minutes back out to Kippa-ring. Not counting traffic. So if you add child wrangling to that…hmm. You may have to curtail your fun a bit earlier than planned.

    The hellmass traffic added about 20 minutes to my travels down the coast the other day. Urk. Good luck.

    12 is fine by me. Any interest in this excursion from the purple Balkan people? I think it’s mainly a Meet the Greybeard’s excursion as nobody else has committed thus far.

    Aren’t kids strange creatures. I would have jumped at the chance of a boat trip when I was their age. I assume that photo-booth is computerized and they can do everything from x-ray themselves to going psychadelic. My apple has photo-booth & my girls used to spend hours shrieking with laughter on it.

    Looking forward to seeing you. xxx

  168. Oh yes, didn’t I tell you? Indy emailed “yes”, but that was a while ago. I’ll remail the revised time, if you could Tweet the Beards?

    Yes, children are odd. Especially my children. But you know what Grandma always used to say, “lie down with dogs, get up with fleas”.

  169. I’ve alerted the Khan Clan. Let me know if you hear from Ildi so I can adjust the booking as necessary.
    I’ve just realised that Irma is due to fly in on her broom on Xmas day. Bitch.
    I just hope she doesn’t hog all the space on Santa’s sled & push things out that the children around here have their hearts set on.
    I’d hate for Mummy Cuddles to have something else to scream about for three days running. And nobody wants a pony falling off a sled that’s doing light speed.

  170. I hope there’s room on the sled for Catty’s hippopotamus. She really has her heart set on him.

  171. That would make a mess if it fell off Santa’s sled, too.

  172. No hippopotamus this year. I’m getting a Shark. Really! It arrived on Saturday. And on Sunday, Quokka’s parcel arrived. I put it with Madam’s parcel, ready to open on Christmas morning. Aren’t I a good girl for resisting? And aren’t you both darling girls for sending them? Yes. Yes you are.

    Anyway, I faffed around like the proverbial headless chook all weekend, and now I have to buckle down and get on with all the urgent last-minute stuff. I should be finished by Friday. Again, thank you for the parcels, I am sooooo looking forward to opening them.

  173. And thank you for ours. It must have arrived on Saturday while we were on our way to the Burger Catch-up … which was not all heaps of fun and I didn’t enjoy cuddling and cooing at the Beardlet at all, it was terrible, you didn’t miss anything Catty … and thanks to dear old honest Coolum was still waiting patiently for me in front of the garage.

    EB read the return address and tried to make away with it, but I fought him off. I’m going to try and open it when I’m alone, because I made the mistake of letting them taste your cooking before, and now they’re addicted.

    Big Mwah and Merry Festivus to all. Let the airing of grievances commence.

  174. That’s odd. I thought I’d begun with the Festivus procedure yesterday. Maybe I got sidetracked and the bloke swiped my ipad to check the surf report. He hasn’t figured out how to open multiple screens using the + sign.
    So: abridged version sans entertaining snark:
    9am 4WD ute over driveway, tradesman visiting Bog Hollow, and standing beside NTO in the street pointing to her roof and airing her own grievances over whatever the smurf he failed to fix last time he was here. This time the bloke yelled at them to please move, Now, and NTO had the grace to look sheepish when the tradie gave us attitude.

    So I was able to get out to the optometrist to order my new computer and reading glasses. Huzzah!
    The progressives are great for wandering around zombiedale
    and seeing menus and the food on my plate but I hadn’t gotten around to replacing my reading glasses. The bloke has complained that my progressives make me look like the woman from the Far Side who is always pissed off with her cat. So, inspired by Ildi’s 50’s catwoman glasses at lunch the other day, I crowed with delight when I discovered that my optometrist has an even more outrageous pair and they are just like Edna’s from the far side.
    Worse, they suit me. 🙂
    So I’ll have to send you a pic when I get my Mad Catwoman computer glasses in a fortnight. They have Anti-Glare so it will take longer than my reading glasses, which are just going into my old frames & which should be back next week.
    I’ll give that silly man something to insult me over, if he wants to play that game!

    But yes, thank you both, ladies, for the gifts & a delightful year of giggles and grievancing. Hopefully there’ll be a whole lot less of the latter from me now that we’ve decided to scarper. And there’ll be a fresh new batch of morons to entertain us with their stupidity. Did you see that the 2013 Darwin awards are out? Can’t say I’m pleased that I have a friend who attempted an honourable mention but am quietly thanking smurf she’s still with us.

    I’ve been in a couple of times over the last few days as I thought things might get quiet in there – normal people are busy. They’re getting quite festive in there & she’s off home to her parents for 4 days over Xmas, starting from today.
    I took the dog in on Sunday & the idiot made everyone in there very, very happy. So that’s good.
    Now this next information is filtered through the collective consciousness of the dream team, at dinner, after medication (theirs, not mine) so may be less than accurate. but apparently early in January a whole bunch of them are getting shuffled off to a transitional care facility at Wynnum for the next stage of their rehab, which involves learning to clean their room, prepare food, go shopping & go out for coffee etc etc. So they’re all fabulously excited about that.
    And I’m hoping to gather a group of her girlfriends for lunch at the Turkish in mid January. When I told her what a lovely time we’d had there on Saturday (apart from the Beardlet shrieking and farting and throwing crockery until we were asked to leave and never return) she announced she’d love to go out for Turkish so that’s the plan. I’ve been cooking it up with one of her besties from school so that she has something fun to look forward to lest Xmas prove to be stressful & she goes flat afterwards like she did after the first trip home.

    Anyway, the bloke wants me to skip out & do laps before the kiddies descend upon the pool attempting to murder each other, as they were yesterday arvo, so, later.

    Happy Xmas ladies, and many thanks for all the Lovin’ you’ve bestowed upon me in this year of many horrors. I don’t know how I’d have gotten through it all without you.
    Mwah. xoxoxoxox

  175. Oh, that sounds like great progress for Miracle Girl. How sensible of rehab, too, to make sure that they’re actually competent at real-world stuff and not just turf them out of the nest when the funding runs out.

    Merry Xmas Mwah’s and lots of love right back at the pair of you. Of all my grievances yet to air, you ladies are the antidote.

    See you on The Other Side. Of Xmas, I mean.


  176. You’ll see me on the Far Side. Looking just like Edna, pissed off with cats. Ron left a 9m winding skid mark on the floors last night, as he bumdanced his way through the corridors trying to eject a 3 inch fur ball. Thankfully we got him before he made it to the bedroom to use our pillows as toilet paper.
    I will Rock those glasses when they arrive.

  177. I only hope they are encrusted with diamantes.

  178. I’m saving that design concept to wake him up on his birthday.
    Rise and shine Possums!

  179. Ooooh, I had diamante glasses back in the early 90’s. They were huge and hideous, and I adored them. They are stored away in a box, in the vain hope that they will one day come back into fashion. It may take a while. A long, long while.

    Fortunately I have better taste in friends. I loves youse guys. I really do.

  180. Mwah, and right back atcha.
    Happy Xmas ladies, and thank you for the lovely prezzies.
    Mwah, Mwah and Mwah.
    Have a fabulous day.

  181. Merry Christmas my lovelies!!! Hope you all have a fabulous day!! Catty, you posted me something? I confess I avoid the letterbox this time of year, as I hate the avalanche of bills that coincide with Christmas. I’ll go a-hunting and let you know…

  182. I love youse all, too.

    Now I shall go and read about how to traumatise my children (thanks, Q!) under my new violet parasol (thanks, Catty!)

    Oh smurf, my Father is trying to make us eat octopus for breakfast. How long until New Year’s again?


  183. I spent 15 minutes searching for the list of ingredients on my parasol before the bloke announced that it was not, in fact, a condiment you could drip all over Daniel Craig’s exposed nipples.
    har har har, he went, so I smacked him with it.
    That’ll learn him.
    So it’s more than just a parasol, it’s there for self-defence from provocation, too.

    I love youse all too and I haven’t even been into the cooking sherry – yet.
    I do hope you all had a lovely Xmas. And thanks so much for the lovely prezzies.
    Mwah. And happy Boxing day. Or parasol battering day, as the case may be.


  184. I just went shopping with the Boss to buy a new printer. I blew ours up at 1:30am yesterday. Bloody printers. Because the Boss tends to take over shopping trips, we came home with the one brand of printer that I said I didn’t want. We also ‘had’ to stop at McDonalds on the way home. Apparently. Still, I wasn’t complaining; Bloody Aunt Irma is rather fond of McDonalds.

    Now I have a choice. Do I:
    1. Set up my new Shark vacuum and clean the floors;
    2. Leave the Boss with the kidlets while I hit the Boxing Day sales;
    3. Make chocolates in my new chocolate molds, then use the bacon dish cloth to dry them up; or
    4. Go to my MIL’s and eat all her leftover cheesecake while the kidlets use up all her data allowance on the computer.

    Hmmmm…. that’s a hard one.

    One thing that won’t be happening here is enforced octopus nomming. Poor Madam!

  185. It’s making me look forward to returning to work, Catty, so I suppose that’s something.

    I’m off to buy a Kindle today, huzzah! Surely nobody will be at the shops, with the weather so lovely. Hehehe. If I die in a carpark at the Plaza, cache the blog.

    35 in Brisvegas on Sunday, I’ve heard, Q. I hope you have a gentle paddle planned?

  186. 37 on Sunday, according to BOM, and since it’s already 24C inside and 27C out, we’ve decided to lurk between the pool & the air con till Monday, doing puzzles and watching DVDs. The cats were throwing up in the heat yesterday (furballs, next hair cut booked for early Jan) so I want to stick around to keep them cool. They’ve been plonking themselves down right below the ceiling fans & the fan-vent of the AC with these appalled expressions of ‘Farken Hell it’s hot’.
    Poor darlings. Glad I’m not wearing a fur coat.

    Catty, I hope you chose cheesecake & MM, you will love your kindle. God help you in the crowds, though, it’s something I’m hoping to avoid for a few more days. Perhaps if you take some leftover breakfast Cthulu into the car park and fling it ahead of you, it might prompt others to scream and flee.
    I must say your father has some ingenious ways of purging the house of surplus guests. Hats off to him, I’ll remember that one.

    How’s the weather in Melbourne, Catty, mad as usual? If you see any storms around tell them I miss them & to wing their way up here.

    We might wait till next week before we go back down the coast. It’s not meant to be as hot & hopefully the crowds will have dispersed a bit. Aside from which, there’s a few more properties that we’d like to view & the REA’s start back at work then.

    I’d like to go and see Philomena & the Railway Man at the cinema but it’s just too damned nasty out there to leave the house. Yesterday when the heat peaked here it was 9C cooler at the Old Coast.
    Meh. I really want to bake but I think it’s a crime against God & Nature to add to the heat. And I’m not sure that anyone will thank me for pressing them to try my experimental ‘tunnel of fudge’ cake, MM. My god that looks fabulous.
    The Bloke gave me a book about ice-cream by David Lebovitz so I might curl up in the AC & devour that.

    Whoops. Cat making furball noises.
    I’ll be back.

  187. Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Really? Well, that’s it. If anyone wants me, I’ll be in the sulking corner.

    Forget Railway Man. It’s got Nicole Kidman in it. That girl only has two facial expressions; startled half-smile, or startled deadpan. Oh, but then there is the possibility Colin might take his shirt off, so maybe you should go and see it just in case.

    Madam, I second the Cthulu suggestion. A Kindle is worth it. Plus, you won’t have to stink up your wheelie bin with leftovers. Do you have a Reject Shop near your place? They have e-reader covers with a bluetooth keyboard for just $24. Another word of advice; purchase chocolate that can be nommed with just one hand. Trust me, it’s really annoying when you want to swipe the screen to turn the page, but all your fingers are sticky.

    Speaking of noms, today I have to go grocery shopping. We’ve eaten everything in the house (‘everything’ meaning the stuff the Teen didn’t take). Fortunately the weather is behaving. Mid to high 20’s, a little cloud cover and a few breezes occasionally, it’s been nice. The humidity is the only problem. It’s way too high, and it’s making everybody sweaty and grumpy. The grumpy bit could be from the lack of food, but I’m taking the kidlets to MIL’s while I shop. They can eat her food. Not that there’s much there, either. We did go yesterday, and I finished off the last of the cheesecake while the kidlets gobbled up everything else.

    While I was there, I had a small dose of warm revenge. I was telling MIL about our new printer, and how it was the one brand I didn’t want. When she heard how cheap it was, she decided she wanted one. I told her the Boss would be happy to take her to the shop (two suburbs away) to get one. “Thanks a lot”, he muttered darkly as his mum rushed to grab her handbag. They were gone for a couple of hours…. heh heh heh…. That’ll learn him….

    Unfortunately my little dig at the Boss came back to bite me in the arse. As soon as they’d driven off, the phone rang. It was the nursing home, calling to tell MIL that Gran had had another fall. Blood pressure this time. They said she was fine, just a little bruising. She was on the loo, and they think she stood up too fast. As that was how she’d broken her second hip, we’re all very relieved the damage wasn’t bad this time. Poor love, she gets so depressed when this happens. MIL rushed there as soon as she got home from the printer shop, and I’ll pop in to see her on my way to the supermarket.

    Now. I’m off to the sulking corner to whine about my dearth of Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Has anyone seen the wildebeest? I don’t want to whine alone.

    • Oi, why can’t I comment at the Corner, anymore?

      Sure, it was a joke about being pantsless in Centrelink, but I didn’t know you had a taste filter installed.

      • Taste filter? Not likely. I’m an ex-Centrelink employee. But I checked the spam trap and the pending comments anyway – you weren’t there. It’s probably just the CIA messing with my blog again. If so, just put your colander hat on, take off your pants, and mutter rude words at the keyboard when you press Enter. It works for me.

  188. I knew that book was a winner, Q. Team Tunnel of Fudge with some homemade icecream from the Bloke’s book and you’ll really have something. I’m dying to use my zombie gingerbread cutters, but sadly my oven suffered some trauma on Christmas Eve. Father dropped a turkey on it, and now the door won’t close. However, a repairman is in transit, huzzah! My sister sent me voodoo doll and skeleton cookie cutters, so I’m thinking of opening a shop. Which sounds better, “Creepy Cookies” or “Beware the Biscuits”?

    So sorry to hear about Gran, Catty. Hope it’s just a minor setback.

    Right, I’m off for a surf. Cowabunga, dudes.

  189. I used to have gingerbread cutters that looked like they’d had their arms, legs or heads already bitten off. NFI what ever happened to them, though.

  190. What were they called, Catty? “More for me, then”?

  191. Gingerbread Amputee men?

    And give gran a hug from me, too, Catty. I hope she’s feeling better soon.
    Well, we are off to the beach to see what it has to offer us. Irma has decided to join us on our property inspection tour. I hope she doesn’t say anything snarky to the real estate agents. But truly, given the things she’s been whispering in my ear these last few days, it’s on the cards.

    REA asked me what I thought of a townhouse yesterday, from the photos, and I said ‘It’s very 1984, isn’t it?’
    He had NFI what I was talking about.
    Pastel pink curtains and juntas are inextricably intertwined in my consciousness.

    We’re off to have a surf & count utes outside potential new homes.
    I’ve lost count of the number of drum kits I’ve viewed in the photos of homes under $500,000 on the flatlands. There must be a fabulous Mexican pharmacist nearby for these creatures to tolerate their offspring’s musical interests. Then again, perhaps they can’t hear them over the blast of Acca Dacca.

  192. I can think of a few worse things than drumkits … karaoke machines (drum kits can’t get pitchy and screech) and pyrotechnics (only in Spinal Tap might a drum kit catchy fire).

    Best watch out for mike stands and blasting caps as well, Q

  193. Hmm. I didn’t realise the two went together but it all makes sense now I think of it.

  194. Motor boats and Harleys are both also worse than drum kits. I’ve had neighbours who would spend Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays working on them. By 7am I was so sick of the ‘rev, rev, rev’, and the clouds of petrol smoke, I was ready to kill somebody. By 7pm, I was ready to kill myself. So don’t throw away that leaf blower of yours, Quokka. You may need it for counter attacks.

    Madam, did you know that Mick Shrimpton exploded twice? The first time was on stage. Then later, when the band were visiting Shrimpton’s grave, he exploded a second time, killing Viv Savage. Viv Savage was the band’s bass keyboardist, but was filling in as drummer while they were looking for Mick’s replacement.

    A little Monday Morning Trivia that you almost certainly could have lived without….

  195. Oh God yes, motorbikes.
    There was a ute parked next door in the rental at Knob Hill last time we did a drive by & just around the corner was some surfer dude spray-painting his motorbike. Although possibly it wasn’t his, and he just runs a spray-painting & motorbike repair workshop at home. Judging by the tan & the metre long ponytail, I assume that he’s paid in green stuff that isn’t useful at Coals.
    Or possibly he’s running a franchise for the Sons of Satan or whatever the OMGs are called these days here in Newman’s Queensland.

    We’re off to look at a few more properties on Friday. It’s meant to be a scorcher and I think that will be a good test to see just how hot some of these places get. i.e. just how badly do I need a pool?
    We’re looking at a couple of places down at Varsity Lakes, and another place up on Knob Hill.

    There’s so much new stuff on the market this last few days and it’s so slow to move that I’m starting to think buying a house down there will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

    We took a tour of Bond Uni the other day because the Bloke wanted to see the new architecture building (it’s very pretty) & we were both rather taken with it. I was speaking to someone from the kayak club down there & they raved about how much they love living at Varsity Lakes. 8 minutes from the train & the same to Burleigh. Gym, olympic pool, safe paths to walk the hound & cycle around the lakes/swamp. No bogans and hardly any kids. And no old people scritching.
    I checked. (there has been epic scritching in at Bog Hollow this last few days, thankfully our AC drowns most of it out.)
    So that could be a good option for us for the next five years. I just need to figure out if there’s frogs in those lakes. Which will require a twilight stake-out with my favourite stake-out prop, the Dog.
    There’s absolutely no need to stop people in their tracks and start asking lots of invasive questions because they stop to coo over him which allows me to run through my Bogan Occupancy questionnaire.

    How’s your puppy going, MM? Did she eat the Xmas tree or did Elf Boy manage to bear Xmas without it? And how is your dear Uncle RV? Please wish him a happy festivus from me. He really was a fabulous vet. I will be forever grateful to him for giving the suburb something other to talk about rather than my lunatic family. That being, yours.

  196. Puppy is now enjoying two beach walks a day, and loves every other dog and every person she comes across. So she’s got a lovely temperament, but has all the makings of a crap guard dog. Oh well, she’s terribly sweet.

    Well, if NOTA has been scritching in this heat, she must be completely mental. You must flee ASAP, Q, before she starts crocheting bombs for Chechnya. Sunday was insane. So happy to wake this morning to the grey, dreary rain clouds. What lovely weather!

    Happy New Year, dear friends. Hope 2014 is full of faff and frolic, and low on lurgies and lunacy. Other than our own endemic afflictions, naturally.

  197. Ditto, and happy new year, folks.
    Puppy sounds gorgeous, MM. As do the walks on the beach. Can’t wait till we are in a situation to do likewise.
    I was pleased to see the drizzle yesterday, too.
    We took the Yaks down to Varsity Lakes to stake out a couple of houses & we had a fabulous morning paddling around Lake Orr. It was a ghost town. So beautifully quiet.
    NFI where everyone was but there were birds everywhere, including 5 black swans. Very lovely, but having heard from my cousins in Perth that they are even crazier than geese, we kept a cautious distance. Gosh it was gorgeous.

    I hadn’t expected to like Lake Orr but the birds! we paddled around Azurra Island & through the little inlets & there’s ducks and herons and birds everywhere you turn.

    We wandered around Varsity Lakes & explored Bond uni, found the Olympic swimming pool & the gym (really good value membership) and also found an Indian restaurant that served us one of the best butter chickens & veggie dahls I’ve ever eaten. They won an award for best curry house 2 years ago & deservedly so. The village has a very multi-cultural feel to it, no doubt because of all the wealthy OS students that settle there.
    It wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s kind of ‘Bulimba by the sea’.
    There’s a whole stack of modern architectural terrace-houses built up around the market square & the waterfront.
    We were both very shocked as we expected it to be like Bond – ostentatious & ghastly. Not so. The bloke wandered around ogling the architecture &, thanks to the iphone, admiring the ingenuity that had gone into the design & the floor plans of the places we were ogling.

    We met one of the neighbours at the lakefront terrace house we were staking out – she was out with her little dog & she said it’s blissfully quiet there. She said they loved it there because they’d wanted a place where there were no children, she hates kids & she should know as she’s got three of her own. 🙂 If she’d been smarter she’d have had none & they’d have two little dogs instead.
    I liked her, lots.
    She gave us lots of advice about where to look & warned us about where babies & bogans dwell, and urged us to buy the house next to hers. Heh heh. I liked her, lots. So that place is one of three that we’re due to view on Friday & the bloke has already fallen in love with it.
    We’ll see.
    Like I said yesterday, Fish in a Barrel.
    Remember the bungalow on Knob Hill? Well, there’s three new houses in that street listed for sale. So I’m inclined to think we won’t have too much trouble finding somewhere decent to park our butts for the next few years.
    And it’s certainly proving to be a pleasant adventure, looking.

    Well, here’s to the first day of the New Year.
    Let’s all raise a glass with the Wildebeest & hope that Irma decides that this is the year she’s going to scratch us all off her visiting list.

  198. Erk. No-one else make the mistake of giving the Wildebeest a New Year’s kiss. Too much tongue.

    Yes, cheers to the Blessed Pause and huzzah to 2014!

    So, what are the other houses in the street on Knob Hill like, Q? It might be salutary to the Reluctant Vendor to see you inspecting other properties.

  199. http://www.mcgrath.com.au/buy/house-burleigh-heads-qld-4220/95434/?searchID=35336603

    Much better value, I would think.

    We will probably just find someplace reasonable that fits within the budget so that we can keep Casa Q, though, and leave Dream Home follies till later in our life. I’d rather kayak than renovate, or garden, for that matter.

  200. Happy New Year! Salut! Don’t worry, I won’t be kissing the Wildebeest. We have a video clip of a water buffalo licking one of the kidlets at a petting zoo. Its tongue would have made Gene Simmons cry.

    Ditto the Aunt Irma thing. The rotten bitch showed up late, and is still hanging around. Way to ruin Christmas, Irma. Stupid cow. I was thinking of buying one of these:


    And then locking the bitch in when she tries it out.

    So, did anyone watch the fireworks? We watched the Melbourne display on the telly. It was crap. The Sydney one is always much better, but none of the TV stations were showing it in Melbourne this year. Not surprising; I don’t think anyone would have watched ours if they had a choice. The sad thing is, the fireworks themselves were great – it was the cameramen and their crappy filming that made the televised display an embarrassment.

    Well, the Feast of the Epiphany is not yet upon us, but I am going to pack up Christmas today anyway. Not that it will be gone long. Easter Buns are already on the supermarket shelves (really!) so I reckon the tinsel will be back in store by June. *sigh* I’d better start Christmas shopping now. 2014 will be gone before we know it.

  201. Oh no, Q, don’t buy anything with four bedrooms and a pool room. Think of all the vacuuming.

    Yes, it’s an atrocity, Catty. My mother and I saw them on Boxing Day. For goodness sake. we still had Panettone left over on Boxing Day!

    Right, back to work today. Quite looking forward to it, as the children and visitors have been getting on my nerves.

  202. That’s funny, children and visitors have been getting on my nerves too & I don’t have any of either.
    It’s just our neighbourhood & their need to share.
    When we were packing up the yaks to leave at 7am, NTO was outside sweeping her freshly painted brown concrete stairs. I really hope this was revenge for the yelping and shrieking her tenants did on NYE & it isn’t another manifestation of the Scritching OCD.

    Yeah, most of what’s on the market is way too big for us which is why we’re scheduled to look at a couple of terrace houses & a villa, tomorrow. I want to see how they stand up to the heat-wave.

    How’s the temps in your respective parts of the world, ladies?

    Catty I hope Australia Post has delivered the parcel I sent the other day. They promised it would get to you before New Year but since they also promised that my Xmas presents from the bloke would be here by then, and as they only arrived today, that doesn’t give me a lot of faith.

    So now I’ve got two lovely new books on middle eastern food by Claudia Roden that I’ve been lusting after. Colour me happy.

    So, Catty, if I don’t get to the ‘puter early tomorrow morning, I will say HAPPY BIRTHDAY right here, right now.

    The bloke has just used up the last of the orange/cointreau/limoncello sorbet that I made the other day to make vodka slushies so I’m about to vanish to the sofa to watch DVDs (preferably featuring snow) and to toast your good health.
    May you have a fabulous day.
    Mwah, mwah and mwah.
    and having said all this i’ve just realised I’ve said it at the wrong blog.
    good thing you know I’m an idiot, particularly after a vodka-sorbet slushy.

  203. After having had no internet for the entire day, I’ve just got off the phone to Telstrarse. After a few minutes faffing, they announced that my connection was fine and I was imagining things – so I checked, and as I looked my modem light went from red to green. I.e, they fixed it, but didn’t want to admit it was their problem. Whatever, I’m back on line. Yay!

    Yes, darling Quokka, the parcel has arrived safe and sound. I have propped it up on my bedside table so I can open it first thing in the morning. Thank you in advance; you have impeccable taste, so I’m sure I will love whatever it is. I’ll let you know in the morning. If my internet is still working. And thank you for the birthday love. I feel all slushy on the inside, now. That’s a good place for slushies to be – on the inside. I may have to make myself a Baileys slushy for breakfast tomorrow. Baileys counts as breakfast, right?

  204. Hell yeah!

  205. As long as you drink it out of a coffee cup, not through a straw.

    Australia Post didn’t get a chance to deliver my parcel, unfortunately, as it is still sitting on my dressing table looking at me sorrowfully. Much birthday love and big sloppy mwahs! Catty. Look on it as birthday roulette. Any day, now …

    It’s allegedly been over 30 here, but we’re usually saved by a mighty sea breeze so it hasn’t been very uncomfortable. Except for last Sunday baconing, where we did the last hour or so communicating only in Swahili due to heat-stroke delusions. No impact on sales, you’ll be pleased to note.


    I’m going to visit Gran today. I shall wear my new apron.


    Did I say thank you? Thank you! I LOVE them!

    Also, I am stealing your quote about the factory in China.

    Now I shall go and eat birthday cake. Stand back. It could get messy.

  207. Pieces of eight, pieces of eight!

    I can see that I should be sending you a parrot. Would a barrel of rum do, instead?

  208. Always. We could do with it right now. Gran’s just had another fall. This time she’s broken her wrist. She’s at the hospital now, having the break plastered. MIL is so stressed about it, she’s at home getting plastered. Poor love.

  209. Oh no Catty, that’s miserable news. Poor Gran. I’d say hug her but she must ache all over so maybe not. Maybe just sneak in Morgana’s barrel of rum. You could probably conceal it inside some heart-shaped chocolate moulds, surely?
    Did you at least get to celebrate your BD in style before she fell? And I do hope she didn’t fall over in shock at the sight of you in your WW outfit. I meant to add in the card ‘Remember to wear underwear’ but I fear in the excitement and confusion of After Xmas Easter Bun season, you may have forgotten.

  210. Heh heh heh… Rule number 1: wear pants. There are a couple of old ladies at the home who wear theirs on the outside, just to show they’ve remembered. Well, that’s how I’m interpreting it.

    Poor Gran has been losing weight rapidly – about a kilo a week. She has had no appetite, and shortly after she moved into the home there was a change of staff in the kitchen. The food went from barely acceptable to inedible overnight. The weight loss has led to a drop in blood pressure, and Gran keeps blacking out. She’s absolutely miserable about this fall; her second broken hip was so bad that she is in constant pain, and could only walk with the help of a walker. But now she can’t support her weight on the handles because of her wrist, and she can’t walk anywhere. The poor love is saying “what next?” a lot, and MIL keeps blubbering because she is convinced Gran is going to die any day.

    Sadly, I can’t take her any rum. The Boss slept in it last night. Well, he smells like he did, anyway. (*muttergrumblerudewordgrumbleanotherrudewordmuttermutter*)

  211. Balls. Both in response to the awful news, and as a way to smuggle rum into the nursing home.

    Will she drink that Ensure stuff, Catty? It’s never appealed to me, but you never know. Maybe if you mix enough rum into it, and call it eggnog?

    Air kisses and warm thoughts.

  212. Madame, you are a genius.
    Gees Catty it sounds like she’s not in a good state. No wonder your MIL is blubbery. Give her some rum and some hugs, too. And yeah, there’s some protein powders out that are meant to be quite good. I think one of the better ones is called Matsuno or some such. I remember my colleagues at Witch School talking about it with the personal trainers. Although FWIW I think you can’t beat banana smoothies full of honey & nutmeg & Sara Lee vanilla ice-cream if you want to pack on the weight. It’s working for me.

    I forgot to explain about the pieces of 8 (singular).
    When I were a lass I was imbued with many superstitions by the booze-addled elders who watched over me, one of which being that it is bad luck to give a purse as a gift unless it contains a gold coin. Obviously it’s much better luck if it’s real gold and the purse is chock full of it but I was lucky finding a single piece of 8 as the bloke has plundered my coin collection to support my holiday bacon-at-maccas habit. So that’s that mystery explained, if you were wondering.

    I’m glad you are enjoying dressing up as an Amazon Princess. You have the height for it so you should look quite regal & commanding in the kitchen. Assuming, of course, you are wearing pants and they aren’t on backwards.

    Speaking of pants, as usual after the festive season I’m having trouble doing mine up. I made a batch of Red Velvet cupcakes in Santa patty-cake holders for my nice neighbour. They had little flags with Santa’s pants & faux snow so that you could jam the flag in the cake & it looked like Santa had fallen upside down into a snow drift. Very cute.
    There was lots of lemon-philly cream cheese icing leftover in my Tupperware squeezy thing & according to Nigella it will keep for several days. it has been a bit deadly as I found a batch of un-iced melting moments in the freezer, so we’ve been applying the goo to the melting moments every time we get up for another cup of tea. If I’d had more sense and less gluttony I’d have packed up the lot of them and sent them to your gran. There’s nothing like buttery shortbread for filling out your waste-band.

    MM I’d ask you if you’d made gingerdead men but if the answer was Yes, in this weather, I’d be making calls to have you committed. The bloke said that Maroochydore hit a new record for hot days yesterday. Humpy was complaining it was 42C in the shade at DBay so thank Smurf he’s got a room with AC to retreat to.
    I heard grumbles on twitter that everyone from Redcliffe to Tewantin was getting the smoke from the Straddy fires, too. How’d you fare in that? I feel so sorry for all the animals that can’t get away from it.
    Fingers crossed we get some decent rain soon.

  213. Mmm … cream cheese icing.

    It was so smoky yesterday morning it woke me up. Before I had a chance to wake up properly, I nearly executed my bushfire emergency plan. Thank Smurf, though, much cooler than Saturday. A friend’s car said the temp then was over 41, which I thoroughly believe. It’s certainly never been that hot in the time I’ve been here.

    Can’t wait to get to work in my delicious air-con. Bring on the deadbeats!

  214. Yeah, the smoke + heat has been pretty foul here for a few days here & there since it started. Thank Dog for AC, indeed. I am about to drop the bloke on the train where he will enjoy his Allain de Botton philosophy & the company of all those headed south.
    And I suppose that means that since he’s limited to eating food from the hospital cafeteria, I should probably hunt, gather and prepare proper food.
    Meh to that, but it’s better than letting him eat food that’s been smeared with hospital spores.

  215. Drool…. cream cheese icing….

    I’ve bought a tub of the Betty Crocker version, but I haven’t tried it yet. It is cool enough to cook, thanks to BoM giving us a top of 17º, but I have a migraine. Stupid head. I hate it.

    Funny you should have that coin-in-purse superstition, Q. I have the same thing, and have not come across anybody outside my own family who does it. Until now, that is. I stuffed all of my birthday money into the pirate purse and went out yesterday to buy new pants. (Ditto on the snacking….) Bloody shops didn’t have any I liked, so I bought new shoes instead. The rest of the money has been hidden away for our trip to Phillip Island at the end of the month. The Boss has promised to take me to a chocolate factory he found while searching for accommodation on the internet. That should make up for missing out on seeing the penguins. Some bastard has blocked off access to the penguin beach, and charges squillions of dollars for munters to ogle them. It would cost almost as much as our accommodation just to have a squiz. So, no penguins. Maybe the chocolate factory will have chocolate ones? A worthy substitute, I think.

    Gran won’t eat. She had to have surgery on her wrist, as the bone was sticking out through the skin. Now she has her arm wrapped in some special foam. She won’t go to the dining room, and she won’t eat the sandwiches they offer her in bed. The only thing she has eaten is a tiny bowl of MIL’s mashed potatoes with chicken gravy. Not surprising. I defy anyone to resist MIL’s mash and gravy. Even so, she only ate it because the nurse had just force-fed her a crushed-up panadol mixed into a tablespoon of yoghurt, and she wanted to get the vile taste out of her mouth. MIL is going frantic in her kitchen, cooking up all of Gran’s favourite foods in the hope she will eat some of them.

    Madam, by the looks of things in the media, you are in for a bumper season of deadbeats. Credit card debt has soared, apparently, and the real estate industry are rubbing their hands in anticipation of all the upcoming foreclosures. Not to mention the surge in defaults on utility bills. This happened a few years ago (2009 I think?), when the GFC was biting everybody. There was record Christmas spending by panicked families in denial about their dire finances. Then the Reserve Bank announced that the increased Christmas spending meant increased consumer confidence and predicted a boost in the economy. To counteract the predicted inflation, they put interest rates up. Which, of course, struggling families couldn’t afford thanks to their credit card bills. I think there were something like 30,000 foreclosures in just one month in Victoria alone. You’re going to be flat out until Easter, Madam!

    I’m off to buy painkillers. Some bastard appears to have eaten all of mine. Oh, wait, that would be me…

  216. Mmm … chocolate penguins.

    It’s always the season for deadbeats. They’re evergreen, but unlike pine trees they’re too busy ducking and dodging to be suitable to hang tinsel and ornaments off.

  217. Appropriate analogy though, given that ball-breaking is something else they have in common.

    Oh Catty. Poor Gran.
    It’ll be the pain & the misery of it.
    I wouldn’t want food in that state, either.
    Let’s hope that the drugs give her some relief till it all starts to heal.

    Did I tell you that a few months ago the pool manager over at East Brisbane pool fell and broke her wrist, same deal, bone sticking out. They discovered she had such bad osteoporosis that when they tried to repair it, the bone pretty much disintegrated. I think that was September and whatever they’ve done to fix her, she’s wandering around chipper as a squirrel. Being a swimmer she’d never done much in the way of weight-bearing exercise so she was just aghast when I told her that you need it to keep the calcium in your bones. I sent her to the witch-doctor to bolster up whatever drugs they put her on & she’s busy putting the fear of bone-rot into the young generation.

    I don’t generally go to that pool much, it’s back up in case my locals are swarming with children’s carnivals. It’s always full of Toad People learning to scuba dive. It seems to attract a really sleazy crowd of bottom-dwellers that just want to lurk beneath the surface watching semi-naked women swim above them. Gross. They’re meant to stay in their own lanes but they don’t, so it’s always a good feeling when you *accidentally* smack one with a fist or a flipper.

    Catty your holiday sounds awesome.
    I’d be on your case about learning to post photos, but since the new mac threatens to destroy my entire photo collection with the next upgrade, that’s a pot-kettle scenario I won’t inflict on you.

    Besides, I’m planning to entice Khan GB to fix that, next time I bake brownies.

    OK ladies, have fun, I am off to make myself useful after 3 weeks of sloth.
    I expect it will be strange, and possibly it will hurt.

  218. I’m useful. To chocolate retailers, for example, and the manufacturers of recliners.

    Catty, I did manage to post your prezzie yesterday, and I tucked in something for Gran. Hope the migraine is gone!

    Right, back to work. Huzzah the air-con.

  219. You’re a good soul, MM.
    Thus far this week I’ve been useful to my optometrist & the manufacturers of headache medications. Catty, tell the wildebeest to shove over, I’m going to join you in the sulking corner with a bottle of vodka & a pack of panadol.

    I collected the two outstanding pairs of glasses of the set of three that my optometrist has decided I now require.
    1. Walking around without falling over & asking people where I am, as I can’t read the signs, much less the labels on the jam jars in Coals.
    2. Reading the computer screen.
    3. Reading books.

    I had to hand over my old reading glasses to have the lenses replaced so for the last 2 weeks I’ve been relying on a script that’s 3 years out of date.
    Now that I’ve got the new script, my eyes have gone into shock and refuse to do anything except lie on the couch in foetal watching Sandra Bullock movies.

    The progressives and the computer glasses are still both very confusing for me so I’ve taken to doing what I used to do, walking around with my reading glasses on a chain getting RSI from the constant On/Off. The stems aren’t the right shape to keep the chain on so I’ve had to sticky-tape it onto the ear-handles to stop the chain falling off.

    It’s a classy look, can’t wait to try it out in Coals.

  220. Hehehe.

    I’ll see if my Mum can crochet you a bespoke glasses cord, Q. We can probably incorporate some diamontes or beads of your choice, too. Just name a colour. Oh, and long or short haired?

  221. Something in organic material & stealth colours that won’t show up on X-ray in the cats’ intestinal tract would be just the thing. Thanks for that offer MM but I fear it’s doomed in the House of Vandal. I had some lovely beaded spectacle chains from the Oxfam shop made by HIV+ African women & the marauding Turks made mince-meat of them – while I was wearing them. I became the human equivalent of the Xmas Tree. You are very kind but I fear for the integrity of my carotid arteries.

    The sticky tape is working just fine to secure the plain shoe-lace style cord & I’m cursing I didn’t think of it years ago. There’s no need for the reading glasses to leave the house unless I’m reading a book on a train & from what the Bloke says about his fellow travellers, when that day comes, I’ll fit right in. I’m getting better with the progressives & they are mostly for show when I’m out, anyway.

    Onto other news, I’ve had two panadol today and have discovered that my new computer glasses work really well if I press ‘Zoom’ to increase the font size on the Mac.
    (insert growly faced emoticon here)

    FKN optometry lab, the reading glasses work fine reading the ‘puter without magnification, so I’m deeply suspicious that they’ve done the wrong script for the computer glasses. Perhaps they had a bit too much brandy in the fruit cake when they were setting the computer program for that one. Unless of course they’ve done it deliberately to speed my descent into madness.
    You studied medicine, you must’ve met some optometry types in your travels. What’s your opinion, Malice or Incompetence?
    Because at the moment, given the price-tag on the FKRS, I’m inclined to think it’s both.

  222. Eye people are kind of vacuous, I’ve found. I mean, eyes are important and all but there’s not all THAT much to them.

    If you have to zoom they must be wrong. Go back and grizzle, it’ll soothe your feelings if nothing else.

  223. My optometrist is great so it shouldn’t be an issue.
    I think they’ll have to send them back to be redone as they’ve set them wrong. If I lift them a centimetre or more above the bridge of my nose I can see just fine out of them.

    The new reading glasses are fine and it’s a huge relief to have the new script.
    The ‘puter glasses are meant to be adjusted for the greater distance to the screen & they are supposed to have an anti-reflective coating to prevent issues with glare causing headaches. Meh to middle age and it’s afflictions.

    Isn’t this weather glorious? Although I hear the wind is vicious at the beach, esp the north coast. I guess it is coming into storm season.
    We joined the Vikings SLSC club at Currumbin the other day so we can slink off and get discount food and beer. I was hoping they’d issue us with horned hats and a battleaxe but no such luck, I will just have to ask Khan GB where he got his in order to navigate the dress code.

  224. That seems like a clever way of shelving responsibility. “Me? No, it must have been someone else who messed up your prescription. Can you describe the optometrist? No, of course you can’t, you couldn’t see. Yep, it was definitely someone else.”

    Poor Q. I’d offer you some of my Panadeine and a go at the migraine stick, but there’s bugger-all left. Stupid migraine is now into day 5. It’s made me so shaky that FIMO Finn and Jake look like they were made by a three year old with a belly full of red cordial. Still, they’re finished. And if I ever work out the photo function on the iPhone/Mac, I’ll post the pictures.

    Oh, happy day! Morgana’s parcel arrived. Darling Morgana! It’s gorgeous! THEY are gorgeous! The Boss took one look at the dress and said, “What is that?” So I kicked him in the shins. It’s perfectly timed as we are expecting 30º + weather over the next few days, and it will also be my garment of choice on our Phillip Island holiday. It looks swish-as with the danglies, too. So pretty! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (she says, swirling around in front of the mirror. Yes, I do that. Don’t you judge me!) Big girly Mwahs of thankyou!

    I will give the medallion to Gran next time I’m in there. She was a bit petulant yesterday, her plaster was too tight, and her thumb was swollen and blue. They took her back to the hospital and re-plastered the arm. I’m surprised they put plaster over her stitches, but I guess they’re dissolving ones. Now she’s trying to brush her teeth and comb her hair with her left hand, and is having a lot of trouble. The thing that annoys her most is that she can’t put her hearing aids in with her left hand. I don’t know why she’d complain about that, as the nurse who helps her with the hearing aids is 6’7”, and wouldn’t look out of place in the fireman calendar. (I asked him to take off his shirt so I could be sure, but he was strangely reluctant.) But I digress… often, when Nurse Fireman is in the room… What was I saying again? Oh, that’s right. Gran’s now declaring to all and sundry that she wants to die. The kidlets gave her lots of hugs and promptly went joyriding on her special broken-arm walker. Until I kicked them in the shins. Gran was so entertained by their antics that she actually ate half a buttered scone. I haven’t seen her eat for days, so I didn’t kick the kidlets very hard. Thank you, Morgana, for thinking of Gran.

  225. Bloody hell, Catty, are you sure it’s not a tumour? I’ve had some bad headaches but never one that lasted for five days. Just as well you have a holiday planned, the relaxation will do you good. Big belated birthday mwahs.

    I saw some horned helmets (try saying that three times fast) at the Medieval Tournament, Q. At the speed which Christmas disappeared, seemingly dumping us in the middle of January, you don’t have long to wait until June.

    Right, happy Thursday all. I shall reassume my lounging position.

  226. Jeebus Catty you are in the wars. Poor Gran, I’m not surprised she’s so miserable. I’d be the same. In another week or so once the pain settles down & she starts adjusting, hopefully her spirits will improve. Pain does make you want to curl up in foetal and die. Once it’s managed, though, things change. Fingers crossed. The poor thing, though, she must feel like she’s falling apart one piece at a time. She’s lucky she has so many people who love her to cheer her up.

    That’s awful you still have the migraine, Catty. You must be exhausted.
    Might be worth booking in to see the osteo. I used to treat lots of people who had headaches like that and it’s often a combination of eyestrain, muscle tension, stress & something getting twisted out of shape in your spine. I found that the migraines were a feature of The Paws too. My osteo & my GP both said the same thing, that the muscle aches and headaches can result from the sudden drop in oestrogen that you get with your period.

    I am fine, today. My headache settled down after 24 hours once I gave up on trying to see out of the dodgy glasses, and I’m booked in to see the optometrist this arvo to find out why I’m more McGoo than Catwoman.
    And after that I plan to go see Miracle Girl. I rang last night & she’s back where she belongs so at least I won’t go wild-goose chasing her.

    The cats had their 2nd haircut for the summer yesterday so while they were off swearing at the vet I went to see Philomena with a girlfriend. Its simply beautiful and if Judy Dench doesn’t get an Oscar for that I will be very surprised. Its nice to see Hollywood producing stories that are so poignant yet so real. We want to go see the Railway Man next week.

    Distraction, I heartily endorse it as a means of coping. 🙂

  227. CInemas also have junk food and airconditioning. Maybe looking after the kidlets while you catch up on the new Hobbit film would be good for your MIL, Catty – you know, replace worrying about Gran with worrying about her furniture and why her cat has got such an anguished look on its face?

  228. Heh heh. That’s not how it works here.
    When visitors ask if my cats like children I say ‘Yes, they adore the taste of their blood.’

    I haven’t seen the first hobbit film yet. And was aghast to discover that there’s three. I’m planning to wait until they’re all available in the $2 overnight section of Blockburster before I bother to watch them. Without Aragorn, why would you bother?

  229. Thoren Oakenshield is pretty cute. Yeah, he’s a dwarf, but since I’m an inch off being a midget, that doesn’t worry me.

    Also, Martin Freeman (Bilbo) is kind of cute in a soft, squishy, nerdy way. And Gandolf the Grey is powerful which is always attractive.

    Smurf, am I ovulating already?

  230. A friend of mine in the UK knew Thorin before he was important, back in the days when he was merely self-important. According to what she’s said, if you did spend more than five minutes in his company you’d want to cut him off at the knees to bring him down to size anyway. 🙂

    Well, I was so very taken with Philomena & the tale of the evil nuns that I took the bloke to see it yesterday. He cried all the way through it, of course. I did some googling, I had no idea that the Magdalene laundries operated here in Oz, too. They didn’t teach us that in high school, they just said it was the dreadful uncivilised Irish & of course in reality, wherever you had Catholics you had Magdalene prisons.

    To the bloke’s great delight there was a scene where the nuns served tea + cake and the cake was Barm Brack. He squealed in delight & said ‘Ooh, look, Barm Brack!’ so of course he wants me to make some more for his morning teas this week. The nuns can’t have been all bad if they could make a good cake.

    I was trying to remember the poem we studied that mentioned the Magdalene girls. I’m sure it was Yeats but damned if I can find WB on my bookshelves. He must be in there somewhere, I wouldn’t part with him. Perhaps this is why it’s better to go electric with books, at least they don’t get lost in the shelving system.
    Does anyone else remember that? It was about them washing the sheets & cleaning the sins of others away or some such.
    I do love Yeats.

    So, did you get your kindle, MM?
    I bought the latest Richard Flanagan book for the Bloke’s BD later in January & it was so chunky I was tempted to just load it onto my kindle for him. Still, he went to school with Richard so there’s just something special about having his books on the shelves and seeing how the boy from Tassie did good.

  231. I’m sorry, I don’t remember that poem. One of Kerry Greenwood’s recent Phyrne Fisher books has some scenes in a Magdalene laundry, though. And is that new series “Love Child” set in one, too, or in some other Home For Wayward Girls? When I was a kid there was still a Home For Wayward Girls operating just down the road from our place in Toowong. Despite that cautionary example, I still managed to become wayward myself.

    I haz the Kindle. We loves the Kindle, don’t we Precious? With the cunning lighting and the ability to enlarge fonts, I will be able to delay glasses for much longer. Huzzah!

  232. Jeebus, Toowong, that brings it close to home, MM. I had no idea, and yet we drove through Toowong every week on route to my grandparent’s place for their access visits.

    You’re not the first person to mention the Greenwood stories, I must look into them. I forgot to pick up my Patricia Cornwell book from the library so will have to wait till Tuesday, now.
    I will just have to fish out my Yeats. And work out why it’s so hard to find anything in my wall of books. Bizarre. It looks so organised up there but I can never find anything I’m looking for.

    I knew you would enjoy your kindle. Did you get a nice cover for it too?
    I found it much easier to wrangle mine once it was leather-bound. And the other day when we were in Greg Grant’s Saddlery, they had some genuine cow-hide ipad covers. Spotted it when I was checking out the engraved boots & the rhinestone belts. Classy.

    I haven’t watched much on telly lately (other than DVDs) apart from the Bake-off on Sunday nights. They had to make jam donuts last night & I am still salivating.
    It does look like there’s finally some great movies coming out, so I’m pretty happy about that, as we haven’t seen much worth watching these last few movies.

    I dragged the Bloke out to see August: Osage County, yesterday, & it was brilliant. Horrifying, and close to the bone to see Meryl Streep up on the 50 foot screen chanelling my sister. It made me so grateful that I stood my ground and refused to go to my BIL’s funeral when he killed himself a few years ago, because that’s exactly what I missed. The reviewers have complained about the fact that the movie is just unrelenting malice & drama without respite, and as such is artificial and contrived.
    Plainly they have no clue that there are families out there that act like that behind closed doors every freaking day.

    Catty, I don’t know how you’d feel watching it, it might be triggering. Powerful story, though. Apparently he based it on his own family (hence the insight) as his grandfather committed suicide & his grandmother spent the next however many years on a drug bender & he said that the ripple effects of that are still wreaking damage in his family.

    Meryl is amazing of course the way she flits between seeming madness to insightful manipulating rat cunning. And Julia Robert’s slow burn throughout the constant provocation felt very real. Awesome movie, and the cinema was packed.

    You haven’t mentioned cricket lately, MM, are they on break for the holidays or is it just Unmentionable? and how big is the puppy now? Can we have some more photos? She’s so gorgeous. She’ll be all grown up by the time I get to meet her.

  233. Sorry, ladies, I haz internet issues. Please to forgive prolonged absence.

    I should be back online by the 22nd, if Telstrarse is telling the truth. Bastards. Then there will be another absence from the 25th to the 28th when we head off to Phillip Island for our holiday. The Boss has demanded a holiday from all our i’s, so no blogging or gaming allowed.

    Meanwhile, we have a heatwave here for the next 10 days, so it’s probably just as well the computer’s useless. 10 minutes in this heat, and the poor Mac goes into literal meltdown.

    I won’t be making it to the cinemas, but would love to see Philomena when it’s out on DVD. Instead, I am off to the quack this a.m to investigate the Migraine That Just Won’t Leave. We bought a magnetic massaging vibrator at the markets yesterday. It came with an instruction sheet showing reflexology pressure points to cure pretty much any ache or pain. The Boss was pleased to see it included back pain, and was happy to fork out the wads of cash demanded by the little Korean man who was hard-selling the device. Later, he had a few beers and declared that I only wanted the vibrator because it was cylindrical and covered in shiny metal studs. I told him if he kept making those sorts of comments in front of his father, I would book him in for a little extreme body piercing, so that he could be covered with shiny metal studs.

    Say hi to MG for us, Q. And MM, good on you for getting a Kindle. Welcome to the dark side. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa!

    Right. I’m off to try out the studded miracle cure. Sorry in advance for not being here much. It might be time to change ISP’s?

  234. There is a lovely welcome break from cricket at present, Q, so at least I can call Saturday my own. Mostly. A friend who runs a coffee stall at the markets and I exchanged how-was-your-week’s yesterday.

    “Work,” she said, “and work, work and more work.”
    “Same,” I replied, “it’s just that the venue and uniform changes.”

    Still, at home I can have bare feet, all the better to splash into puppy puddles. I think she’s afraid of the dark so she won’t go out at night. Maybe I can get some solar powered glow-in-the-dark cane toads for the lawn, or something?

    Catty, I’m glad you’re off to the doctor’s. Borrow a smart phone to let us know how you get on, please? and have a fantabulous holiday.

  235. Maybe she’s scared of the cats?
    I trained Muttley that every time he went outside and did something productive, he was entitled to a chunk of liver treat. Of course, sometimes he decides he just wants a chunk of liver treat & on those days you’d think he’s suffering from incontinence or irritable bowel, rather than greed and deceit.
    Unfortunately the cat (the fat one) decided that he deserves a treat for allowing the dog safe passage back into the house. So every time the dog needs to spend a penny, the circus comes to town.
    Smart cat, really. Poor bloody dog.

    And poor Catty. The heat is horrid, I’m glad it’s left us for the time being but it sucks that it’s about to descend upon you. I’m glad you are going to the doctor & as much as we will miss you, perhaps a tech break and a nice relaxing holiday will help put you to rights. After spending several hours at Westfield watching mothers scream at their children & fathers intent on releasing them into the wild, I’m inclined to think that the best cure for your malady is for school holidays to come to an end. I know for sure it will do wonders for me.

    Your holiday sounds lovely. I hope you get to sneak in to see the Penguins. I follow Marianne Keyes on Twitter & she’s off to Antarctica to see the penguins. Perhaps she heard about Melbourne’s heat & decided to go further south to avoid it? Seems like a good idea to me.

    I’m sure I can find something to keep myself busy here while you’re AWOL & MM is chasing Unfortunates. God knows there’s plenty of house-work & gardening to be done, and I have to draw up some landscaping-repair plans before the builder shows up. He’s due to start in February. Not sure when but we should talk to him next week. I think he was counting on doing our job when it’s too muddy for his team to operate earth-movers at Brookfield, so, fingers crossed for drenching monsoon rains to slush things up West of Brisbane.

    Catty, I’m with Optarse and they do provide good service, so much so that they frequently feel entitled to charge us for services they haven’t provided. Last time I questioned a bill they confirmed that I had only used 10% of the downloads I was entitled to but they charged me for using five times over that anyway.
    They’re all bastards. Good luck with it. Maybe if you talk to the nerds on twitter, they’ll be able to make some suggestions for changing providers.

    MM – Huzzah to a break from cricket & good luck training Puppy to go outside at night. Perhaps what she needs is a scooby-doo nightlight?

  236. Hehehe. Those meddling kids would just mess around with it.

    Well, I have it on good authority that you don’t want to go with Dodo. You can only pay them by direct debit, and once they have your bank details they charge you whenever and as often as they feel like it.

    I’d quite like these:
    but I’m pretty sure she’d just eat them.

  237. She’s a dog. Is there anything she wouldn’t eat?

  238. Well, she sometimes looks a bit disappointed when I put down a bowl of dog food.

    “Oh, roo chunks and chicken necks. Again. Yay.”

  239. yeah I think I’d rather eat the garden lights.

  240. I think she’d rather eat poor little Elf Boy. And part of the couch.

  241. Well she is meant to be a guard dog. Perhaps she’s gotten the idea that one or both are trying to engulf you?

  242. EB kind of is an infant Pacman (wokka, wokka) but the couch is on my side. I hear it calling to me now, with its siren song …

  243. Speaking of which, I picked up a copy of the Mists of Avalon at Zombiedale the other day. I’ve had several copies over the years and they walk. It’s just one of those things that I like having on my bookshelves so I can pick it up when I’m in the mood and reread it.
    Meh, I haz been house-hunting online up the entire length and breadth of the gold coast & the corrupting force of the architect’s influence has me feeling cold at the thought of living in all I’ve seen. Literally, because the stupid builders keep blocking the northern light, and the air flow.
    I hear there’s a bit more air flow at the beach so possibly that’s not a bad thing, but either way, there’s a helluva lot of bad design down there.
    Never mind. I have all year to hunt, and we have a meeting with the builder next week. Things are moving, huzzah!

  244. Well, having Bob back in will surely keep you busy.

    You are wise to consider airflow. You know that front sort of sun room thing in my house? Well, with the sliding glass door and all the windows open it’s a total breeze trap and I swear it keeps the whole house cooler. I think a lot of modern design isn’t design at all, but just plonks whatever down wherever. And their chief assumption is that people will be quite happy with the aircon on all the time.

  245. Well that philosophy is certainly helping to keep the natives silent in at Bog Hollow, during the heat of the day, at least. Apart from NTO and NTBF who are still rattling round all day every day creating dust, fumes and noise.
    Can’t wait to get out of here.

    I think what ruins most of the plans is the insistence on putting the master bedroom in the position that has the best outlook. That’s usually the NE and invariably it cuts off light and air from the rest of the house/unit. I find it absolutely boggling why you’d do that given that most of the time spent in the bedroom is, presumably, asleep or if not asleep, then with better things to do than gaze at the view.

    Clearly there’s something to this sex thing that I’m missing.

    And yes, builders and the desperate urge to escape will be motivating me for much of February. We’ve been fairly lucky lately with not getting parked in, as the boarding house has emptied out. She’s trying to rent out several rooms, so as those are the last to go, it means that come February I’ll be outside with a nail gun shunting spikes into tyres if they piss me off.
    Happy news is that the Bimbo dating the Ginger Dread Man has moved out and as she smoked (in places where I would inhale it) & it was usually her deadbeat boyfriend blocking me in, Good Riddance.
    Gweedo is in there as I speak, showing the next batch of potential irritants through. The bloke was kept awake by the french students last night, why, when they are sitting up all night playing with their hair irons & cigarillos, is it so freaking difficult for one of the little darlings to set the place alight?

    The Bloke has to catch the 5.25am train each morning & I pick him up at 6.45pm and those are peak hours for getting parked in by inconsiderate little prats. So I’m really hoping that we’ll find something suitable in February so that we can get the hell out of here in March. Otherwise I’ll be looking at jail time.

    The prices should drop to reasonable levels after February, too.
    Real estate is still at ‘tourist’ rates & I’m looking forward to the tourists vanishing so that it can go back to ‘unemployed tiler’ rates. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the ‘under contract’ notices shift to ‘For sale at reduced rate’ when the tourists get their master-card bills & realise that probably they can’t buy that dream house at the beach after all. Especially not when it’s raining.

    C’mon monsoons. I need you to foul up the Gold Coast real estate market & scuzz up the beaches with rotting fish & kelp.

  246. Yes, nothing sensible happens at the beach during silly season. Won’t be long now, back to school after Australia Day.


    No wait, boo hiss. Homework, uniforms, lunch boxes, bring a plate of something obscure to celebrate Obscure country Day, wear green socks because it’s Wednesday day … sigh.

    It’s true, my work is never done.

  247. True. Did you see that video clip of the idiot at Coolangatta that tried to feed himself to a tiger shark? Amazing it didn’t get him. What a tool.

    Speaking of tools, of the useful variety, I am full of songs of praise for all the fabulous snooping tech that is available on the internet today. It’s making house hunting so much easier, to cruise down the street on google-maps and observe, ah yes, that’s why this townhouse at Palm Beach is such a bargain, there’s three sets of flats across the road with no off-street parking, yellow lines across all the driveways opposite the flats, and the house next door has 30 plastic chairs set up around a hungi pit in it’s back yard.
    OK the latter may have been a slight exaggeration but you get the idea.
    I know where Bogans nest, google satellite has tracked them all.

    MM I think we need to set up a Pepsi challenge so that you guys have lots of inspired ideas about what to send for International Feed the Children Day.
    My first suggestion is rollmops.
    Although considering how the Allergy Food list is growing, that might be seen as homicidal mania rather than a justified attempt to make the teacher’s day as stinky as yours.

  248. Hehehe. “Delightful home in a hangi-pit free street, this desirable location has now been Council-declared bogan free for more than three years. Caveats prevent Irish migration and the installation of karaoke machines. First to inspect will sigh with relief.”

    I’m just dreading the arcane requests that might come out of the High School, this year. All of this “get the Qld curriculum up to speed” push seems to have made some of the principals … and in turn, teachers … quite manic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if MM’s sent home from science class having been told to clone something over the weekend.

  249. Well that could solve the understaffing issues at the public horsepiddles.

  250. Actually, grow your own antibiotics would be an excellent project. I have some starter culture on the kitchen bench, marked “Woolworths Wholemeal Sliced”.

  251. Maybe they could take some lessons from Khan GB on how to develop GM bioweapons?
    I could use a few of those around here.
    We had bongos start up at quarter to nine last night. Stupid hippies.
    They must have only just found their way home from Woodford, it usually starts within a day after New Year so perhaps they’ve been bongo-ing elsewhere.

    I walked the dog around the block yesterday (normally I take an alternate route to avoid NTO) and oh joy, there’s a DA up for the boarding house beside Bog Hollow. They want to extend it and add more flats. This one is in even worse condition than Bog Hollow, and I suspect being on a wider block, it’s bigger.
    Of course I immediately emailed our local polly. She replied that she’d had so many complaints about that boarding house, and Bog Hollow, and the parking (amongst other things) that she had decided to hold a community meeting about it. So she plans to block it.

    I can’t see that they’ll get approval. There’ve been other applications like that for boarding houses and council just says NO, straight up.
    It’s pretty standard these days that if someone wants to build units they have to add parking spaces and bin enclosures and as these idiots won’t do either, it’ll get blocked. So since this one is owned by an Indian slumlord, I’m feeling hopeful that he might set it alight so he can cash in by subdividing it. Because it’s pre-war the council won’t let him demolish it so I’d say Wok Fire, coming soon, is probably on the cards.

    As much as I’d enjoy watching it burn, I’ve had enough smoke in my lungs for one summer so hopefully we’ll be long gone by the time that happens. A shame to miss the champagne corks popping when that day comes but meh. I’m sure we’ll see it on the news.

    Speaking of fire-sales, Khan GB has listed his house, so it looks like they’ve finally decided to make a move south to be closer to the Grand-Evil. We must try to catch up before they scarper. Any chance you’ll be in Vagus again over the next month or two?

    Meh. I am off to feed Irma some brownies. She turned up a week a head of schedule. My own fault for forgetting to take my potions over Xmas.

    I wonder how poor Catty has been coping in all the heat. The southern twits were not happy & someone posted stats for the number of heart attacks during each day of the last week. There was a direct correlation with spikes in temperature.
    Nasty stuff. I think they are due for a cool change today so hopefully it’s back to being icy. I have no idea why people want to live in Melbourne, it seems to me like the land that God forgot. I know they have fabulous cakes, and no need for ovens to cook them in when God likes to fan-bake the countryside, but Jeebus.

  252. Melbo says it’s only 22 there today so hopefully Catty is enjoying the sweet relief. Or are they on Phillip Island by now? Days are blurring into one again and it’s nearly the end of January already. So, this is old age.

    Yes, obviously they can’t cram any more occupancy into your street, that would be ridiculous. Sounds like your councilor is on the ball. At any rate, you’ll be out of it, huzzah!

    I think I forgot to tell you but the people next door to us are pulling down their house in March. Haven’t decided what to put up yet, last I heard. I suggested repurposed shipping containers and they just looked at me strangely so something in an unimaginative brick and tile, I assume. Luckily I’ll be at work so most of it shouldn’t annoy us too much.

  253. Construction only happens between 7am & 4pm, and at least there’s nobody there at night to disturb the peace. Mostly it’s the tradies’ choice of radio station that offends me.
    Being a flat block it should go up fairly quickly and easily & once done, should be built to code with better noise insulation & privacy than what’s on offer now.
    Odd that they don’t have plans, though.
    Does make me wonder if they have any idea what they’re in for.
    Our planning consultant told us that the town planners up the north coast are even slower and stupider than the ones in Brisbane (remember my ‘but why do you need retaining walls? story) so unless they do a kit home they’re looking at 2 years in the planning & approval process. You can’t just thwack something down without getting council approval for it first, if you don’t it’s pretty much unsaleable as there’s always that loop-hole in the contract if someone wants an ‘out’. And people tend to be very, very wary of unapproved buildings.

    Team Slumlord did all their renovations 8 years ago without any council approval & council punished them by taking over 2 years to give the project approval – that with many caveats for defect correction, which they have passed on to NTO. It was a lovely 3.5 years with only one tenant, her child and her cat on the property, too bad it couldn’t have stayed that way.

    Although it’s almost that empty now.
    I came home from visiting Miracle Girl (with hound in tow, which made everyone ever so happy) to find Gweedo on the footpath giving a new batch of innocents the guided tour of the Rat Holes.

    I had noticed some removal trucks FK knuckling about this week but was too much occupied with books & ear-plugs to care. Turns out that she has four empty flats & rooms also vacant in the Irish Village below. I checked online, and it looks like predictions about a glut of attractive student units coming onto the market are coming true.
    I’ve noticed a stack of them getting built while I’m out with the dog.
    They are all of a high standard – pools, views, gardens, gym, huge bedrooms and generous living spaces & lovely kitchens, lock-up garages with storage space. And all very affordable, close to the green bridge & the bus/train station. I suspect all of her tenants have fled from her constant scritching and painting and drilling into calmer environs four blocks closer to their lecture theatres.
    So I’m glad her own tenants can’t wait to get away from her as at least I know I’m not the only one she’s irritating.

    I will email you a link so you can see what she’s competing with.

    But I digress.
    Funny you should suggest that to the neighbours.
    Some of those pre-cast homes are absolutely brilliant and they go up super-quick. I was sorely tempted to get a book on pre-cast for the Bloke’s BD. May yet go back in and see if they’ve got it at Avid. Possibly not something he would build but he does admire the technology. They’ve had some on Grand Designs Australia & the house is up and finished in a matter of weeks. It’s too bad people don’t appreciate architecture, most people think it’s about fancy finishes when really, it’s just about creating a comfortable space where people can feel happy.

    Unless, of course, they’re parked in & surrounded by madwomen sanding the paint off their cement paths. 🙂

    And yes thank heaven the temps dropped down south. Did you see those stats for the spike in deaths? nasty.
    Meanwhile, Twitter is mocking Khan GB as it looks like his house has sold and he is off to the fiery wastes of Mordor…er, Victoria.

    I think Catty is off on hols the week before school starts back, but not sure when that is, other than it’s usually a week out of kilter with ours.

    Are you baconing tomorrow, or do you have the weekend off?
    If so, fingers crossed the temps stay down & so do the crowds.

  254. Gosh, The Castle Greyskull’s been sold already? We must have a sendoff before they move to Mordor, or we’ll never see them again. This is Not – thank smurf – my Baconing weekend, so any fortnight from now would do it for me.

    Yes, that link was lovely. Student accommodation has certainly advanced since I last studied. And it’s clever to include whitegoods, as anyone who’s tried to move a fridge when the only vehicle available is a VW Bug would testify.

    Well, whatever you are and whatever you’re doing we love you Catty. Come back soon!

  255. Yes, and we should try to organise an expedition into Mordor sometime or other in the next year or so to visit them. And eat cake, of course.

    Isn’t it wonderful what market forces can do?
    Gosh it was funny hearing Gweedo do the guided tour yesterday. He’s slimier than ever, it’s just hilarious to hear him talking the place up and telling them they won’t find better value or better access to the uni and to public transport. They look at him in horror and move on to the freshly built units with pools and sound-proof walls & they don’t look back.

    You know how we had our first Bongo player of the season on Friday night?
    Well, we were thinking of going to Miami for a viewing yesterday, but when I looked online the map showed a Bongo Teacher in residence in the next block.
    So, we’ve scratched that off our list. Ugh.

    Where would we be without the internet, eh?
    Remember when we were young & you had to plough through the identical adds in the Curious Snail – 3 bedroom house, St Lucia. And that was it.

    I might have to consult the scribe and see if there’s a Bogan Alert App that I can download on my ipad. Still, with iLost telling me where the Bongos lurk, what more could I wish for from cyberspace?

  256. Solid gold Googling, Q. Although ‘Bongo Teacher’ sounds like a thinly-veiled reference to selling weed, to me.

    You know, how “French Lessons” used to mean orally-adept hooker?

  257. Heh heh. Great minds and all that.
    I was googling a house at Elanora yesterday – great spot but it was two doors from John Doe’s Karate School. So having done martial arts when I were a lass I shuddered & thought ‘ Bodyguard to meth dealer’.

    If I think any of these houses are worth infestigating, I will place a friendly call of enquiry to the bogan in charge of the business & figure out – under the guise of wanting to master the bongos, or my spinning back-kicks, just how annoying a neighbour they are likely to be. After that of course, it’s time to deploy the dog for a walk round the hood. He’s the best spy I’ve got, he softens people up and they’ll tell me just about anything. Sounds like your dog would be good for that too except surely by now she’s big enough to look like she’d eat a kindergarten aged child for dinner?
    Does she still have those lovely blue eyes or will they change? I really would love to see her.
    One day we will get up there, but not when it’s 36C. God help you next weekend if that forecast sticks.

  258. Indeed. I’m trying hard not to spend the whole of this week dreading it.

    She now has green eyes, which I suspect will change to that Weimeraner yellow eventually, but she seems to have lost none of her appeal. Whenever and wherever we go walking she has people fawning all over her. She looks quite hurt when the odd dedicated jogger or non-dog person doesn’t stop to make a fuss. She loves everyone and every other dog, so she’ll be complete crap as a guard dog. Hopefully her sheer bulk will make up for her marshmallow nature.

  259. Heh heh. She sounds like my idiot hound. Utterly gorgeous.
    Speaking of marshmallows, the technical challenge last night on the Bake-off was to make Marshmallow tea-cakes.
    Picture a chocolate coated digestive, covered in a round pillow of marshmallow, coated in glistening chocolate.

    It was an unnaturally hot day in Somerset – 35C – so they had hell trying to get the chocolate to set. Apparently if you put it in the fridge it loses it’s shiny glossy sheen.

    I know, I’ve been captured by a reality TV cooking show. But I do wish you could have seen their gingerbread houses. the guy who won tried to make a rustic barn, but the roof FKD up so he got creative and hung the rafters with toffee spiders webs to make it look old and derelict. it was brilliant.

    Speaking of food, Irma just reminded me – when next you visit south-bank, you should check out the rose-water gelati at the Gelare shop. It has pistachios & rose water and has this subtle fragrance of turkish delight…OMG, heavenly.
    I am quite sure you’d find it as delightful as I do.

  260. Is that the gelato shop we went to after the Janet Evanovich movie? It was delightful, I would adore a second visit. Maybe we can lure the Greybeards near there for their bon voyage?

    I would have loved to see the gingerbread barn, we made a squatter’s hut for Christmas. It, too, succumbed to heat and gravity but was tasty, I wish I”d thought of toffee cobwebs!

    So, have you made Tunnel of Fudge, yet?

  261. Not yet, due to languishing in the heat the most complicated meal I’ve prepared lately is cheese on toast. And that by ordering my trusty kitchen-hand to go forth into the kitchen to defrost the bread & slice the cheese.

    Rather than cook, I’ve been introducing the bloke to the range of take-away meals that sustained me on his trips to FNQ. Frittata & salad from the swiss deli, quiche & salad from a range of fabulous TA places at Bulimba and, $5 roasts with veggies from the hot box at the mall at 3pm (bargain) and of course, the falafal haloumi wraps from the hippy place down in West End.

    I’ve been eating a lot of fruit & hommos so I just don’t see the need for eating more than one substantial meal per day, its just too damned hot.

    I will have to lift my game, though. The bloke has nearly ploughed through my stash of veggie lasagnes & spinach & brown rice pies in the freezer so I’ll need to start stockpiling his lunches again soon. Of far greater concern is the fact that I’m down to my last 3 frozen brownies.

    good thing I’ve got the gelato to slake Irma’s lusts and yes, I do believe it is the same shop I took you to after the movies. I still think that Milano Gelato at race-course road is better, though. It’s just too far for me to get a tub home without it reaching boiling point before it reaches safe haven in my freezer.

    Gingerbread houses are doomed to dereliction & disaster, it’s always a horrifying process watching them shatter and crumble on the Bake-off. Someone made the colosseum last night, it was very impressive, and would have been more so if they’d thought to include Christians being fed to lions.

    Some people just have no imagination.
    I’m sure if you’d been willing to go to that much trouble you’d have included human sacrifice. Or at very least threatened it, along the way. Smurf knows I would.

  262. I think that’s John’s winning barn. Not bad for someone who turned 21 the day he baked that, eh? That boy will go far.

  263. Sorry, John, I think, did the colosseum & James did the barn.
    Impressive, but sadly lacking in bloodied god-botherers.

  264. The barn has more character, although the sheer precision of the Colosseum is quite awe-inspiring. And the mosaic tiles … are those tiny diced apricots … genius!

  265. I’m not sure what he got up to with the tiles, I think he might have made some jelly moulds. The gay boys are hooting it in, this season, which means that the pithy comments flow freely & the women wilt by the wayside, utterly outshone.
    I wish you could have seen the teacakes.
    I used to love those things when I was a wee bonnie lassie, I bet Elf Boy would do murder for a box of them.
    Off to look for a youtube link.

  266. If you have a few minutes, watch this.
    It’s mouth-wateringly delicious & you have no idea how tricky it was for the bakers in the technical challenge.

    It’s become the bloke’s favourite show. 🙂

  267. They do look enticing, but there’s no smurfing way I’m showing EB. He’ll expect me to have them ready every afternoon after school.

    We are going to make The Ginger Undead this week, though and will post results.

    Braaaaaaaaainz! Or M&Ms, anyway.

  268. They do sell them in the British sweet shops but I’m sure they’re an entirely different animal to the magical beasts brought forth on the BBC Bake-off.

    Zombie Men, huzzah. You are brave, in all this heat.
    Still, I suppose they go back to school next week so it’s probably apt that the zombification should begin.

  269. Can. Not. Wait.

    I’ll get my Thursdays back! Well, except for The Plumber.

  270. And book club. Don’t you have writers sessions, or some such?

  271. Yeah, but only once every 6 weeks or so. Between them I’m meant to be actually writing.

    Hey, but on the exciting writing news front that flash fiction mag I’m in is coming out any day soon. Hopefully I’ll be brandishing a copy when next I see you.

  272. And it sounds like that should be soon, so Huzzah! for being a published author. We will have to assemble the masses so that the others can congratulate you, too. I hope you stick a copy up beside the dead-beat hotline so that you’re inspired to push the 50 shades of grey twit off the best-seller lists.

    Speaking of long-awaited things, we just had a meeting with the builder (the younger one that we haven’t driven mad – yet!) and he has set a start date for the week beginning 17 Feb.
    It will be a maddening few weeks of containing cats & dog while there’s holes in the walls & listening to horror noises, but that’s not so different from how I live now, and at least we’ll get to enjoy the results. And hopefully it will all be done and dusted by the end of March, which is what I’d hoped for.

    He’s happy to do the front deck, the pool deck & the landscaping all at the same time so Casa Q will be quite the hive of activity after Valentine’s Day.

    Cat pissed on the builder’s boots where he had very politely left them on the front porch – so here’s hoping that doesn’t put him off coming back.
    Bloody cats.
    It’s like they know, this is the guy that’s going to destroy their porch access & it will be weeks before they get it back.

    So, colour me happy.
    That’s the best news I’ve had all year.

  273. Wonderful news! Not for the cats, but for you and the Bloke, anyway. Woot! Front door!

    We’ve survived the heat, but have another bout of it coming on Sunday. By then we will be lounging on a beach in Cowes (Phillip Island) so it won’t be so bad. Or maybe it will – I’ve just realised Aunt Irma is due a few hours after we arrive on Saturday. Joy.

    We had paid for the accommodation before the Great Internet Failure, and have just now gotten the emails from the owner. Emails along the lines of “Thanks for all your money. Oh, by the way, the kitchen light doesn’t work, the washing machine doesn’t work, the oven doesn’t work (and you have to share the barbecue with 9 other units), there’s no airconditioning, and you can’t drink the overly-chlorinated tap water unless you leave it in the sun for an hour or two. Also, bring your own sheets and towels. Lots of them, because, you know, dead washing machine.” And all this with Aunt Irma and 35º weather. JOY! I think I may follow Q’s lead and take my copy of Mists of Avalon to re-read while the Boss and Kidlets are baking on the beach.

    How’s your school preparation going, Madam? I’ve finished most of the back-to-school stuff. Tomorrow I should be able to finish sorting out the boys’ uniforms, and I’ve already done all the school shoes/stationery/lunch boxes etc. I’ve also done the middle Kidlet’s uniforms. Her little purple dresses are gorgeous, and…. drumroll…. we went shopping this morning to have her fitted for her very first proper bra. *sob* I was all sad about my baby girl growing up, but the minute we got home she stripped off to her (new) bra and knickers, put on a grass skirt and pinned flowers in her hair, then pranced around the house as proud as punch. Not so grown up…. what a relief! I felt much better.

    I’m quite keen on having two of them at high school. Although no school is cheap (and some are outrageously expensive), our high school is almost half the price of all the others in the area. It was cheaper for the Teenie at high school than it was for the Kidlets at primary school last year. The only drawback is that the AC transition means we now have to buy about four more textbooks than we did last year. Bugger. That’s an extra $100 I could have used for chocolate. Or shoes. Or Kettle Chips for my holiday with Aunt Irma.

    Nah, I shouldn’t complain. There’s a carnival on Phillip Island at the moment. It ends on Australia Day with fireworks, so we plan on going. CLAW MACHINES! YAY! I’ve been saving my coins. Not that there are many left, after the doctor prescribed Sumatriptan (?) for migraines. $30, and only 4 in the box. What a rort! On the up side, I only had to take one. The migraine was gone within a couple of hours, which was a blessed relief after 9 days of agony. The pill made me very sleepy for about five days, but the Boss let me sleep in the air conditioning through most of the heat wave while he took the Kidlets into the pool. Bless him!

    Fortunately for me, the Teen waited until the heatwave was over before she did her Damsel In Distress routine. Her housemates couldn’t stand the stench any more, and kicked her to the kerb last Sunday. I had to go and get her and her stinky stuff, and drive them into the city. She managed to find a friend who could take her in, but I’m not sure how permanent it will be – the whole 1 bedroom apartment is about the size of my lounge room. Literally. Still, she’s not sleeping in my loungeroom, so I hope it works out for her.

    Now, I have about 850 unread emails still to sort through. I should have done that first, but I was missing you ladies far too much. It was so lovely reading through all the comments. I loves youse guys!

  274. Huzzah! Catty’s back. We missed you, lots. And I know how miserable it is not to have access to Invisible Friends. Good to have you back. Mwah.

    I’m glad you’ve got drugz for the migraines & that’s a bugger about the holiday booking. That’s what I feared would await us in Albany & I’m still counting my blessings that we had a landlady who went out of her way to make us comfortable. Must go back there one summer.

    Oh well, at least you get to go to the stayz site and give them 2/10 for hospitality. I’d rip them a new one, for that. How friggin hard is it to go out in the January sales to replace the oven & the washing machine? All that crap is tax deductible.
    Or is it that they don’t have electricians on the bloody island? That’s hopeless.
    We had to replace a lightbulb while we were in Albany but on rummaging through some cabinets I found a box with 6 of every imaginable light-bulb that you might need to replace in the house. That landlady really was wonderful.

    Anyway, at least you will be at the beach for the next heatwave & holiday houses are mostly just a place to shower & sleep. Surely there’s a gelato bar nearby that can negate the need for cooking? And if your little busty one is happy to run around in a bikini & a grass skirt then that should reduce the need for laundry, at least.

    Well, I hope you have a lovely break, because I betcha that you return to find the teen on the sofa eating cheetos with the Wildebeest.

    And I do recommend you take ‘mists’ – I haven’t been able to put it down, the only problem being that I wake up in the mornings hunched over like an old lady from spending so much time hunched over my books.

    Good news about the school costs, Catty, but wait till you see what books cost at uni. I went out to buy a few psyche text books the other day so I can do some pre-reading this year, 2 books, and no change from $200. the big pysche foundation text isn’t even hard cover so it’s horribly unwieldy to read the damned thing, I dread to think what it’ll be like trying to assault it with a fleuro pen.

    Oh well.
    Looks like we’ve got a nice grey day here in Vagus, although I think it’s going to get nasty steamy over the next few days. The bloke has spent the last two days in Brisbane – meetings, which meant reasonable hours & some of it working at home. So we all enjoyed that. Yesterday was a good day not to be on the train as somebody walked underneath one at Coomera. My heart goes out to the poor bloody driver, they don’t usually recover from that.

    I dropped the bloke at the train this am & he texted me, Ha Ha, they are having a blitz on unpaid fares & they’d just busted pretty much every single person wearing a fleuro vest.

    It’s his BD tomorrow, I haven’t found a card yet so I suppose that means slinking off to Westfield later on. Urgh. If I disappear, look for me beneath the crowds of mothers trying to fit their kids to school shoes.

  275. Happy birthday, Bloke! Are you cooking him a Barm Brack, Q? I hope he has a lovely day.

    Funny about the fare blitz… I had a(nother) call from Metro the other day, saying they had the Teen there without I.D, and they wanted to verify her identity before issuing the fine. The Teen was stubbornly unrepentant; she says that it is cheaper to pay a fine every few months than it is to top up her Myki card. I don’t know where she gets her attitude. Certainly not from me. Oh, well, maybe she can get a job as a Protective Services Officer and bust all her bludger friends. Or as a Metro cleaner, mopping up the tracks. I don’t understand why people walk in front of trains. What ever happened to overdoses and slashed wrists in the bathtub? Hanging has apparently not lost its popularity, though. Two guys I know did it over Christmas.

    There was an article in the paper about degrees. They said there is a shortage of people studying to be surveyors but lots of people studying psychology. Makes you wonder how horrendous the surveying text book prices are, if everybody would rather buy psych texts instead.

    Oh, by the way, Kmart has two-packs of Sharpie highlighters for $2 at the moment.

    Sorry to talk about housework on your day off, Madam, but I’m going to use my Shark today. Wow, can that thing suck! I’ve read a lot of reviews, and apparently it’s as good as a Dyson. That doesn’t surprise me. It’s very satisfying to use, and the floors are so nice to walk on afterwards. But I expect the novelty will wear off soon. Probably the day after we get back from Phillip Island, when I’m sucking up buckets of sand from every room in the house.

    Enjoy your day, ladies!

  276. My BIL is a surveyor, Catty.
    So from what I’ve seen there, if the ratio of psychologists is 5:1 that’s probably about right for what’s needed to unravel the complexities of their mental health issues.
    Two words: His Mother.

    Not that I have a lot of confidence in the course, having skimmed the text books. The interpersonal skills book has a section on how to get people to STFU when you are sick of hearing them whine. Which is probably essential job-training for Morgana, but I think if you were a psychologist trying that on a patient, say, for example, a veteran who’s done three tours in the middle east, odds are they’d see right through it and punch you in the face. Perhaps that’s why they need to train so many extra graduates?

    Nasty news about the suicides, Catty, they always have an insidious domino effect, too. I think just before Xmas you mentioned a friend hanging around (pun not intended) who wasn’t in a good state – is he OK? I know you were a bit concerned about him & the impact he could have on your kids.

    Speaking of self-harm, I just finished running the Dyson round the house so my floor is grit & fluff free. That will have to be the bloke’s BD treat. It’s too hot to bake, today. In fact, it’s probably too hot to wrap his BD presents but I suppose it must be done. And soon, before I forget.

    He wants to go out for a walk on the beach and then have dinner at one of the surf clubs after work tomorrow. So my other justification for no cake is that we won’t be home to enjoy it, anyway.

    Besides, I’m giving him a new set of Funky Trunks for his BD, among other things, and trust me, after the sloth and excesses of the silly season, it’s not like either of us need any extra padding to round out our swimwear.

    There’s still half a bucket of rose-water and pistachio gelato in the freezer.
    Hmm. Now there’s a thought. Remember the silicon dinosaur moulds I bought last year for my failed attempt to make him dinosaur cake?
    Well, perhaps I could use that to make chocolate coated gelato cake.

    It sounds like a whole lot more effort than I’m willing to muster after sweating over the Dyson, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

  277. We went to the circus last night! No claw machines, but MM managed to win a snake longer than himself …. and you know how tall he’s gotten … on the laughing clowns.

    Excellent news about the new meds, Catty, if we overlook the price. And I’m exceptionally glad that it’s not a toomor.

    As for Phillip Island, I think you should express your disappointment with the amenities in the traditional Australian way. By leaving prawn heads in the curtain rods on your departure.

    Q, why not just alternate spoons of gelato from the tub with mouthfuls of chocolate? Coming up to Australia day, you should aim for more indolence and less industry.

  278. Impressive effort, MM. I didn’t think it was possibly to win things on the clowns – the carny folk must have been won over by his personality. If you want some rats to feed the snake, I think there’s some at Castle Beard that are looking for a new home.

    I can’t think of a worse fate than leaving prawn heads inside the curtain rods, MM, unless you were to leave a small child with a recorder. And that, understandably, is a jailworthy offence. There’s one across the road & it’s been so long since I’ve seen his parents I’m sure they must be detained on Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
    God knows there’s none to be had from the recorder.
    Perhaps that’s the origin of ‘god save the queen’.
    Although I can’t see what makes her so friggin special, we all need salvation from under 8s learning to play the recorder. Surely I can’t be the lone voice in the wilderness with that?
    Spanner’s got a child learning the recorder and he says it sets his teeth on edge like nothing else. In fact, in view of the fact that he just cracked another molar, I’d think there’s a case for doing research to see if there’s a link.
    If we can prove that recorders are an enemy of the state & are linked to dental disease, surely that’s a case for stuffing them with Little Lucifers and burning them on pyres?

    Please tell me that school starts back soon, please, please, please!

    Well, the bloke has decided that he would like a swim tonight & we will have dinner at the surf club one night next week when there’s not so many bogans or rain clouds about. The coast doesn’t look terribly inviting and he has to work late because of some deadline or other. Never mind, we have the whole weekend to celebrate his BD.

    I’m still toying with the idea of making some chocolate gelato dinosaurs but Meh to that. He seems happy with his architecture books, particularly since he discovered pictures of Frank Sinatra’s house in one, & I know he’d really like to do laps in his new Funky Trunks – so as strange as that may seem, whatever makes him happy, right?

    Goddess give me strength. Gweedo just did a tour of the rat holes, I think one of the little Asian girls he had in tow might be taking the bolt hole that looks out over my bedroom, so fingers Xd. Unless of course she smokes, in which case fingers xd that she smokes in bed & manages to burn the place down. Between his slimy booming voice doing 40 minute guided tours, and the Gas Chamber dogs yelping in the background, I’m about ready to napalm the entire suburb. Beginning, of course, with the karaoke machine in the valley, the moment it starts up with Khe San.

    I was listening to 612 this am on topic of alcohol related violence, and they said that Australia day is the worst day of the year for domestic violence assaults. Apparently hospitalisations for DV assault double.

    Boggling as to WTF could motivate that, I would have thought Xmas would be the peak DV occurrence but no, it’s the big Bogan’s Day Out.

  279. Speaking of direct statistical correlations, I’m pretty sure that equates to litres of beer drunk over time in which it is consumed.

    Sad – but not surprising – to think that spousal abuse is our second-favourite sport to beach cricket on Invasion Day. I plan to stay home quietly with my Kindle.

    I love my country but some of it’s inhabitants smurf me to tears.

  280. Yes, there’s been some interesting discussions about it on 612 lately. That stat came from the federal president of the AMA & he said exactly the same thing about alcohol and violence. As for Australia Day, I hate what it’s become since the Howard years. Once upon a time it just seemed to be another long weekend, yeah there were fireworks & parties but there didn’t seem to be all this flag-waving boganry.

    I miss the days when the only cars that flew flags were the kind that held people likely to be shot at.

  281. The worst thing about Australia Day is that it’s turned into a soapbox for people with an agenda. Or a guilty conscience, or something. Most Aborigines couldn’t give a rats arse if it’s Australia Day, or NAIDOC, or Tuesday, and rightly so. That’s the Australian way. But some wanker still saw fit to deface Captain Cook’s cottage (again) with anti-Australia slogans. It shits me that I can’t wear an Aussie Flag t-shirt without being spat on by the PC Police. The only activity that doesn’t seem to get a public lambasting is eating lamb. I’m guessing that’s because lamb is Halal or something….

    Which brings me to the latest idiocy in the paper. Did you know that Japanese whaling boats have been granted official Halal status? Too much irony there to be funny.

    And now, I’ll get off my own soapbox and go get ready for my holiday. We leave in a couple of hours, and I still have to take the guinea pig to the babysitter. MIL is going to feed the wheeky little fuzzball her lettuce for the next four days, while I feed myself icy poles beside the pool. Or better still, in front of the evaporative cooler. We recently bought a portable one, and it’s coming on holidays with us. I insisted. We don’t want my chocolate stash melting, now do we?

    See you all in a few days. Mwah!

  282. Hope you have a lovely time, Catty.

    Q, hope you’re enjoying this cool grey weather. Brace yourself, couch. Here comes the Kindle and I.

  283. Yes, Huzzah! here comes the rain & I hope it delivers a good three day drenching, god knows we need it after all the fires we’ve had around here. I’m looking forward to a weekend on the sofa with the books, too.

    I hope you get nice weather down south for your holiday, Catty.
    May the guinea pig live long and prosper under your MIL’s loving care.
    I still think you’ll come home to find the teen on the sofa eating your chocolate & your icy poles – how’s her new living arrangement working out, or should I be scared to ask?

  284. LOL.
    We just went to the pool to do laps. There’s a big chalk board saying happy australia day & in honour of the event they’re flying the flag from the kiosk – upside down.
    I’m trying to recall the significance of a flag being flown upside down.
    Is it that the village has been plundered and burned by horned norsemen, or is it just a sign that the public edjamacation system has once again failed?

  285. Honestly? Can’t those people read a bogan singlet, for smurf’s sake?

    It’s the maritime signal for distress, Q. Let’s hope it was a sly political comment, not chlorine fumes rotting their braaaaainz.

  286. Under 25s in charge, MM, so I think I’ll attribute that one to spending more time on their backs than with their books.
    Yeah I was pretty sure it was a distress signal, so when I googled to check, apparently it’s the last thing a crew are meant to do (without endangering their lives) before they abandon a ship in distress. It’s also a sign that whoever finds and claims the abandoned ship is entitled to plunder all that’s on it.

    So there’s a wasted opportunity, we were the only ones there so if I’d only known my maritime distress signals a little better we could have seized their entire cargo of red frogs and kettle crisps.

    I assume you’re up at this godless hour to go forth and Bacon.
    May the weather gods deliver up a nice steady stream of cooling rain that keeps the punters in bed till at least noon.

  287. Well, there was a delightful gale force wind that kept the temperature lovely and low, and also nearly sent the tent into the river so we had to pack up soon after 11. I call that a win.

    How was your long weekend, and did the Bloke enjoy his birthday swim?

  288. Heh heh. Blustery bacon – Like!
    From the looks of what’s gestating in the Coral Sea, MM, I think you might be in for a few more weeks of bacon blow-outs.

    The Bloke is ever so happy with his new funky trunks so his BD swim was glorious, thank you.
    I would say that we’d had a quiet weekend but you’d know that I’m lying because there is no such thing here at Casa Q.
    We were afflicted with the usual levels of noise & boganry, plus the added horror of a street party 3 blocks down.
    This attracted political sales folk (griffith by-election, ugh) so the 80s cover band in attendance had to crank up their amps in order to be heard over their shouting and proselytising. The 80’s mix affronted the jazz band down the road so they started up to try to drown them out, which in turn affronted the grunge band, and then a folk singer woke up & fell out of his coffin and started to wail, using the only three chords on the guitar that he knows how to play.
    So, racked with indecision about where to launch the napalm, I gave up and we fled to Burleigh to stalk potential new homes.
    Once there we discovered that the house at Currumbin we like has a double car garage that’s only just high enough to park a moke & if you didn’t duck the effort involved would decapitate the driver, the town-house at Miami which looked great online in real life looks out over a large buzzing electrical transformer (AKA Possum Fryer) & we didn’t even stop at the place at Palm Beach because twitter advised me that overnight (STRAYA!) within a single block radius there’d been three break and enters, a bashing, and a learner driver reversed over a customer at the local 7-11.

    We did, however, have a lovely day of it. Coffee at Burleigh, lunch at my favourite hippy place at Coolangatta, and once we were all done house-stalking, we finished off the day at the SLSC with beer (for the bloke) and hot chips (for me, and very nearly as good as the Stokehouse they are, too).
    Must get thee to the Stokehouse one of these days, MM, so you can sample their chilli-fries. they really are awesome.

    Anyway, we had a lovely tour of the sights, found the local lap pools & quizzed them about children (‘Do you want to book lessons or do you want to avoid them?’ hee hee) & I think we’ve come a bit closer to working out which area we’d be happy to settle in.

    How did you amuse the chillun, MM, did you get fireworks up there?
    We had them here but they just annoyed me as they started during a critical moment in the Bake-Off. And if it comes to a choice of watching Petit-fours v. fireworks, pastry and cream-patisserie will win every time.

  289. We had friends up on Thursday and all had a barbie and then went to the circus at the end of the street … it was semi-ethical, they only had ducks, pigeons, domestic shorthaired cats (!) and Russian acrobats in captivity. Then another barbie at a local friend’s on Friday, then slothing around for the rest of the weekend. Cricket was played, cricket was watched, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie etc.

    Shame about the Currumbin place, I’m told it’s delightful round there.

    Geez, won’t it be lovely when the renos start and you can spread a bit of the noise pollution love around? Great pity they can’t do it late into Saturday night 🙂

  290. It didn’t stop the floor sanders across the road last night.
    Buzzzzzzzzzzzooom x 4 hours till I fell asleep at 9 o’clock.
    Hence the appeal of the big hill on Reedy Creek. New estate established 7 years ago so houses don’t need any work & the trees are all looking lovely and lush. I’ll have to send you a link so you see what’s on offer.

    That sounds like a nice relaxing way to spend the weekend, MM. The new age circus does sound rather lovely.
    I forgot, I went to see Miracle Girl on the weekend, she was getting set for a fun afternoon out with her sister & a friend so she was happy enough, and on Straya Day I went down to south bank to see Getano Bann performing live. He’s a music therapist from TI & he has this fabulous funk/rhythm sound. I’ve been wanting to hear him live ever since I heard him interviewed on Richard Fidler’s conversation hour. Wonderful band. I came home rapturous – and then the garage bands with their 3 chord twang started up. Urgh.

    Yes, a bit of retribution is definitely in order, but given the hours the ferals keep around here, I’m confident that the builders clattering around at 6am setting up for a day of noise and dust should be suitably traumatic for them.

    How’s the boys on their first day back? coping OK with the loss of liberty or has it tipped Elf Boy into the realm of purple spots?

  291. Hey everyone, I’m back! It was a busy holiday – I need a break to get over it. There are photos, so I shall endeavour to get a blog post written up tomorrow afternoon. (The morning is full-on with catch-up errands. Joy.) You two seem to have had fun over the weekend, too.

    The kidlets are all back to school tomorrow. I am very, very glad all the school book packing and uniform preparation was done before we left, because there’s no way I could have been arsed doing it in this stinking heat wave.

    And now I am going to eat ice cream in bed, because there is no cake.

  292. Catty, you’re back! We missed you terribly. Revel in your lovely clean sheets and working appliances, then tell us all about Christmas … sorry, Phillip … Island when you’re ready.

    Getano Bann sounds fabulous, Q. I’ll have to see if I can find him online. The kids had a surprisingly smooth return to school, thanks for asking. MM’s all excited about his new classes, to the extent of even launching into his homework after cricket training and dinner last night. And EB likes his new teacher and has no complaints as yet, which is more than I’d hoped for. He’s got Mr Moody, so of course I asked him if he thought he might be a relative of Mad Eye’s.

    Gee, I hope he doesn’t go poking the poor man in the eye to check if either are false.

  293. Heh heh. I’d say the man has an overdeveloped startle reflex & eyes in the back of his head thanks to kids testing for kinship, so I reckon he’s safe, even from someone as inventive as your second-born.
    Sounds like all is going well. Apart from in Victoria, where they’ve been melting.
    Khan GB arrived down there yesterday & the first thing he posted on twitter was ‘We’re here. 40C. WTF?’
    He said he was hoping for cold. What he’ll get is schizophrenic weather.
    I thought they put that in the guide book?
    Even the tourists that I talk to around here and the Old Coast know what to expect of Melbourne, they must warn them on the plane on the way over.
    Poor Catty. I hope it’s cooler today.
    Still, you must’ve had fun if it was something you’ve opted to preserve on a memory card. I shall look forward to the blog post.

  294. It is cooler today. It’s supposed to be a balmy 26º. Then back to the high 30’s and low 40’s for a week. A good excuse for leaving Washing Mountain unscaled until tomorrow. I did a load of towels yesterday and they dried within half an hour – according to the kidlets, who took them off the line. No, they weren’t being helpful, they needed to dry off after a swim. Now I have to wash the bloody things again. Why do I bother?

    Good to hear your boys have settled in well, Madam. Does EB still have his bow and arrow? He could easily find out if his teacher has a glass eye with that thing. Suckers don’t stick to real eyes – I learned that one in my childhood. Or perhaps the stock-standard Pen Casing/Spit Ball blowdart would work? My lot go back today, so the Teenie was pulling ink refills out of casings last night. So much for all the lovely new pens I just bought.

  295. Yours go back today, yet Melbo’s not until Thursday. What is with you, Melbourne schools?

    In terms of operational weapons, EB only has a super soaker with an extra large tank that you can fill with icecubes. Come to mention it, it makes for a very refreshing assault. Perhaps you should invest in some, Catty?

    He is currently engrossed in a virtual project. He’s Minecrafting a Wizard of Oz themed adventure map. So far, he’s turned skeletons into apple trees so they can fling apples at Dorothy and the Tin Man, and the only way he can make munchkins is to put pumpkins on blocks, or something or other. Buggered if I know how it works, but I think it’s very cute.

  296. Minecraft’s back in fashion? Spare us! But the Wizard of Oz theme is a nice touch. You have a very creative boy there, Madam.

  297. As long as he uses his powers for Crafting, rather than untraceable Mother-poisons, I’m happy.

  298. I tried to poison my mother. I thought it was a rite of passage. You’re telling me now it’s not normal????

  299. I thought it was mothers who were supposed to poison their kids. It was the only explanation for mum’s cooking.

    Keep an eye on your letterboxes over the next few days. There’s a little parcel on the way for you both. Don’t leave them in the sun!

  300. Ye Gods, I hope it’s up to three days languishing in the back of the sudanese delivery truck while he does laps around the suburb looking for Ganja & not delivering packages, Catty.
    Do note that in my stalking I’ve been interrogating the locals about the habits of their posties, so that your goodies don’t suffer. Hence my knowledge that at Wallaby Hill the postie ate too many twinkies & fell down dead. Let’s hope he wasn’t eating the contents of his mail bag.

    Ergh, we just had the third phone call this week from the Robo-LNP guy.
    By-election to replace KRudd, some time in February, NFI when. So we’ve been getting robot calls from all of them. The LNP guy is horribly persistent. I swear to Dog one more phone call from the piece of slime & Imma vote for Clive’s dinosaur.
    Never mind that it’s not on the ticket, for this we have purple felt pens.

  301. Don’t fret too much about the buy election. Just go for the guy who offers you the most money for your vote.

  302. Ooooh, melty treats! I wouldn’t worry about the sun, Catty. The real risk atm is that they might be blown away by gale force winds and end up in Oz. I know it’s wrong and I do feel the odd pang of guilt about loss of life/property, but I adore cyclone weather.

    Those robo callers are even more annoying than those JWs who woke me from a nap on Saturday. Clive Palmer rang me at work before the big one. Well, his droid, anyway. I’d rather hear from Frank Walker, that Tile Guy.

  303. Now there’s a thought. If the Walkers want my vote, I’ll happily give it to Anakin.
    Our parliament would be complete, if only we had an enforcer with a light saber and a swirly black cloak. Hmm. Perhaps if Tony donned some lightweight black plastic armour and spoke through a voice gruffler-upper the Indonesians would start to take him seriously?
    MM is absolutely right, Catty, it’s a lovely wet cool day here in Vagus, so melty treats should arrive in their natural state, despite the best efforts of the Ganja Bus – er, I mean, Australia Post Delivery Van – to delay their arrival.

    Well, I am off to the optometrist again, today, as having repaired my (new) computer glasses, they are nearly as dodgy as the previous script. They’ve cut these in the wrong spot too, so I still need to hold them a centimetre above the bridge of my nose in order to see out of them.
    I’m going to make them fix this script, and then I am quietly off in search of a new optometrist. I might still buy my frames from West End as they really do have lovely funky things in there, but Jeebus. How useless can the lab get?

  304. I’m pretty sure Tony Abbott fancies himself as The Emperor. Now he wants to use his Death Star to blow up our ABC!

    As for your specs, that’s bifocal suckiness. You’d think they’d be trying harder, especially when you’ve already been in once to complain.

  305. They all exhibited suitable remorse when I went in today. He’s going to swap the lenses out for plain readers, since it’s obvious they’ve given me frames that sit too low to accommodate the multi-focal lenses. I just hope they don’t take it out of the receptionist’s pay. I really do love my catwoman glasses, but I will love them far more once I can actually see out of them.

    I wonder if Abbott actually watched that 7.30 report on the refugees making the accusations of torture. I thought the ABC handled it well. They reported the story & then showed the images. I suppose from my perspective I’m familiar with self-harm so I looked at it and snorted & rolled my eyes & moved on. A picture paints a thousand words & I would think it highly unlikely those injuries were caused by anyone other than the person those hands belonged to.

    If he wanted to whine and bitch I think he would have done far better to go with the angle that it’s extremely expensive to provide the kind of mental health care that some of these refugees require. This is what I meant when I said that emotional intelligence is going to let him down. The scribe made much the same argument at his blog today.

  306. No-one ever made themselves look clever – or even competent – by blaming the messenger.

    Does he have advisors, do you think? Not ones he listens to, quite obviously.

  307. It’s worth the effort to visit JB’s blog at BT as he gave him a good kicking for being a whiney little prat.
    Ah, Friday.
    I have to clean up our old garden setting as Nblob is due to visit this arvo, load it into his ute, & deliver it unto Humpybong on his way back to the north coast tomorrow. That was quick. I asked him if, anytime between now & April, he could lug that away for me & he said he was due for a poker night. I’ll have to quiz him about the new house on the hill at Coolum, not sure if they’ve moved in yet – I know they’re discovering that renovation costs & architects are far more expensive than they had initially planned.
    I started reading the Patricia Cornell whodunnit ‘Dust’ but I can’t get into it. The characters are annoying me because their stupid romantic entanglements are getting in the way of the story. I think I’ll either have to read from the beginning of the series & see if it’s less convoluted once you know the characters, or else give up & go back to Val McDermid & Lynda La Plante type thrillers.
    Oh well.
    Plenty more where that one came from.
    I haven’t seen the ganja bus, Catty, but my Mary Berry Baking Bible turned up yesterday. Twenty dollars cheaper than if the Bloke had managed to buy it as a Xmas present. So I think I’ll spend some time on the sofa today eyeing off the cakes in her book & see what she’s got to compete with Morgana’s Tunnel of Fudge.

  308. Please give Nbob my kind regards, and tell him he’ll have to bring the tribe around for a barbie when they move in. And to say g’day to Humpy for me.

    Baking Bible, hey? So, what are the Commandments – Thou shalt not use the mix that lurks in boxes is the first, I bet.

  309. Nah, even the CWA uses packet mixes. So they can’t be that evil.

    Frank Walker from National Tiles, however….

    That election stuff had me giggling. The mention of Anakin conjured up a mental image of a theme park full of animatron dinosaurs, with each one roaring “Vote for Clive!” in a gruffly voice. He could set them up outside all the polling booths – it would be so much nicer than overenthusiastic volunteers shoving How To Vote cards into passing voters’ faces.

    Sux about the glasses, Q. Don’t these optometrists realise how important your vision is? You can’t sit on your turret picking off neighbours with a pellet gun if you can’t see to aim properly. Of course, the upside is that you always have an excuse for not cleaning up Kitty Puke. “Sorry, dear, I didn’t see it. Must be these glasses.”

    Did I mention the Teen has moved again? I gave her a month in the city, but she lasted just 10 days before being kicked out. To her credit, she only hinted that she wanted to move home, but stopped short of actually asking. I blithely ignored the hint. Shall I start a book on how long the Teen will last on her new friend’s couch? I give it a week.

  310. Perhaps you could offer the Teen as a package deal, Catty? If you let her stay for a month, you’ll offer one of those couch drapy things from Crazy Clark’s. If you let her stay two months, throw in a throw. Three and it’s new cushions. For a six-month stay, you’ll steam-clean the couch she lays on and a rug of their choice.

    Cheap at half the price.

    I’ll take “back with troll Baby before two dole cheques have cleared” for $25, if anyone’s making book.

  311. Long odds on that one. Troll Baby has vanished, and nobody knows where he is, including his mother.

    As for six months on the couch, the Boss thinks it would be five months (tops) before the fabric begins to rot. I think he’s being generous with that estimate. Honestly, what does that girl do with all the deodorant I give her?

  312. Sniffs it, at a guess. Look for dry, scented nostrils.

  313. Disturbingly, on the topic of seeping rot, I have just this moment thrown out the second flat sheet off my bed this week. They’ve both rent in exactly the same spot. I attribute their reduced life spans to boosted levels of seeping nocturnal bile caused by listening to karaoke, garage bands, skater punks doing tricks in the street in the dead of night, & the howls & thumps of the drunken social worker’s children over the road.
    This morning I spent half an hour playing ‘Name That Stench’.
    It smelled like someone had collected a mound of car tyres and set it alight with a bottle of scotch.
    Understandable, and commendable.
    Maybe I should try that, before I go?
    That’ll larn the varmints to park me in.

    We had door knockers this morning, trying to convert the masses to their deranged political convictions. As if three phone calls a day from Robo Pollies aren’t torment enough. The nutjob this morning wouldn’t leave the premises till she was confident she’d secured the land-owner’s vote.
    I know this because I hid in the bathroom with my ipad while she shouted words to that effect from my porch. She left without managing to speak to me face to face but I’m sure she’ll be back with shears tomorrow, to get past the Cat Max.

    Next time there’s a by-election, remind me to email the Mexican Pharmacist so I can stock up before-hand on Mace.

    Twitch. Gibber. Drool.
    If you want me I’ll be on real estate dot com, looking for a less deranged neighbourhood.

  314. What you need is a huge dog. I’ve never been bothered by electricity companies or electoral door-knockers.

    I must say, though JWs seem not to care. Maybe the righteous are promised deliverance from their slavering jaws, or something?

  315. For God gave man dominion over all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air.
    For I say unto you, the believers, the only thing that will stop the God Botherers is a 3m Saltie.

  316. Sigh.
    As I predicted the door-knocker came back – I swear to God she must have been hiding in the bushes waiting for me to venture outside.
    She has knocked on the security gate, the weatherboards, both side gates, the cat max pen & just then, the fricking roll-a-door.
    It’s a local wanting to talk to me about the DA on the boarding house.
    They’ve had 2 street-meetings with the local councillor, who has done a mail out to the entire suburb about it. Why then do they need to go door-to-door?
    Having seen how she went on and on and on at the other neighbours I just looked at her and said ‘We’re leaving the suburb and I really don’t care what happens here.’ & walked away.

    I will happily go online and attempt to scupper the boarding house DA.
    I draw the line at having to talk to one more freak in the street than is absolutely necessary.

  317. Oh, Q. She sounds like new BFF material!

    I mean, one of your favourite qualities is no sense of personal boundaries whatsoever, right?

  318. Yes, I’m cursing my stupidity today.
    Given that she’s willing to go door-to-door with such persistence to raise a witch-hunt, I could’ve engaged her services to hunt down the idiots with the yelping dogs, the grunge bands, and yesterday’s pyromaniac that burned all their spare asbestos & rubber in their incinerator.
    Once I came to my senses & realised I could have used her powers to rouse the passions of the arsonist, I was kicking myself.

  319. What is the world coming to? When I were a lad, pyros set fire to cars, lawns and whole houses. Now the wussy little buggers are using incinerators? Or, in the case of the pyro in Rye, shopping trolleys. He has a habit of filling shopping trolleys with cartons full of empties, so he can wheel them into people’s front lawns and set fire to them. My BIL had one in his front lawn the other night, but when he rang the firies, he was told they were all busy putting out trolley fires in other people’s yards. So he went outside and pushed the burning trolley into the middle of the street and left it there. The firies showed up within minutes. Funny that. What wasn’t funny was that they put out the fire, then drove off leaving the charred mess in the middle of the street.

    Quokka, you could always get a bunch of those ‘I Shoot and I Vote’ stickers whenever there’s an election, and put them up all over the outside walls. A small note on the gate saying “Please don’t knock, I am busy shooting moving targets today” should dissuade all but the most fervent vote peddlers. Or, as Madam suggested, get a fracking huge guard dog. Actually, that probably wouldn’t work. The kitties would eat him for breakfast.

  320. You COULD get a sign that reads: “Please knock if you would like to know more about Chthulu, our ruthless overlord.”

    That should weed out more than 90%.

  321. I don’t think they read.
    I think you’d actually need the life-sized splatter model of Cthulu to drop out of the air and yell ‘Get off my lawn’ in order to deter them.
    Jen has an enormous sign on her front door that says DO NOT KNOCK and the silly bint went back to bother her three times.
    I find that being abrasive is the best deterrent, and that comes naturally so lookout door-knockers.
    Hopefully the head of the Burning committee is spreading the word – Anti-social Personality at Casa Q.

    Catty, nice suggestion about the shooter’s party stickers, though. But surely once they see my rocking chair and shot-gun on the porch they can figure that out for themselves? Oh that’s right – stupid people.

    Well, we had a lovely day at the beach, house hunting & sampling the local produce. We quite liked the house at Wallaby Hill & we were the only ones showing any interest in it. The agent seemed quite sympathetic about how much you’d need to spend on it to bring it up to standard, so I’ve just emailed him to say that we’d be willing to offer 50G less than the owners are asking.

    Everything at that price seems to be on the market for 50G more than it’s worth, so I guess we’ll find out how eager they are to get rid of it. I’m happy to keep looking, there’s plenty for sale down there & the agent moaned over the 40k gusts of wind that today was the nicest day they’ve had all week. Numbers were low at the beach so I am liking this wind that blows the FIFOs away. Two more cyclones forming up north, woohoo!

    I can play this game for at least the next 6 months, if need be.

    Catty that is nuts about the trolley infernos. Still it does explain how that one wound up in the ocean, obviously someone got sick of waiting for the fieries to rescue them & they pushed it out to sea.

  322. I thought the trolley might have been hot and popped in for a swim. That, or Legs and Louie are getting a bit out of shape and used the trolley to transport a cement-shoe’d stool pigeon out for a nap with the fishes. Possibly the cute little red ones.

    It was pretty hot. I didn’t mention at the Corner that we had taken scooters and skateboards. There was a skate park directly across the road from the holiday units, and the littlest kidlet was loving it. But on the hottest afternoon, when he left his scooter in the sun on the front balcony, the scooter wheels exploded. It scared the proverbial out of our holiday neighbours. Heh heh heh heh…..

  323. The scooter wheels exploded! Aren’t they solid? Hehehe. Now we must experiment. Will they explode in an incinerator or maybe BBQ … hey, Q! I think we’ve just found your knocker deterrent.

  324. Landmines?

  325. Exactly.

  326. Why didn’t I think of this before the neighbours had their all weekend long let’s-take-the-kid’s-amphetamines drunken pool party?

    Onto completely unrelated news, following the weekend of revelry (and once again no sleep for the ever grumpy Q) we’re contemplating giving the owners of Wallaby Hill House 40G more than they’re asking if they’ll let us move in tomorrow.

    Bring on the landmines.

  327. Maybe you could hijack one of the Amazon drones and get it to deliver flaming bags of dog poo for you?

    I’ve got quite a collection of munitions.

  328. Doesn’t everyone?

  329. Good point.
    Thanks to their dog, like their children, not requiring boundaries, manners, or restraints, I could probably reposition the trebuchet in order to deliver back their own.

  330. I’ve got a feeling we’ll be needing more Febreeze.

  331. And accelerants.

  332. If we’re putting in a big order, how about some plastique as well?

    That’s good to have on hand. Well, in a cool, stable, well-ventilated storage area, anyway.

  333. Looky looky, an item in the BT that makes Quokka feel warm all over:


    My only disappointment is that the caption didn’t read ‘Slum Lords In Peril!’
    Because that’s what’s going on. I’ve been watching the rental market hereabouts since we decided that tenanting Casa Q might be a good option.
    Nice homes get snapped up, and the scummy stuff sits there and festers like the septic urban ulcers that they are.
    The Irish Village in particular is suffering, with NTO unable to find any form of low life low enough to dwell in that. The other 8 flats have been renovated but Bog Hollow Below stairs is as it was in 1945. I think I’ve told you both how the porcelain in the toilet has been eroded back to clay by the sheer force of impact of all that post-war cooking.
    NTO has had a steady run of vacancies since October & despite Gweedo’s best efforts they still aren’t renting.
    They’ll go, but they’ll be the last things that do go, & the tenants will flee to greener pastures as soon as something better comes up. Which will happen, as the predictions are that by 2015 there will be so many new & lovely units around here that the slum lords will have to renovate, sell, or burn in order to make ends meet.

    I live in hope that whoever rents Casa Q will be so comfortable they will never want to leave (assuming they have a better tolerance for noise than I do) & may offer to buy Bog Hollow so they can push it over & build their dream home.

    Another horror boarding house 2 blocks away has gone on the market, &, interestingly, it’s being marketed as ‘rake in the cash or, even better, restore this property to the grand old lady that she once was.’
    The Grand Old Lady looks like she’s thoroughly riddled with osteoporosis & irritable bowel (judging by the stains on the walls) but she has a wonderful view from her commode over south bank & the city, so I predict another Greek Club style inferno, coming soon.

    Huzzah, Slum Lords in Peril.
    So I am a very happy little beast, today.
    I am off to Burleigh tomorrow with a girlfriend to have a better look at the house on Wallaby Hill & then we plan to potter about the sea-side having lunch & poking about all those cute little stores.

    Meanwhile, today I should probably get busy in the kitchen so I can stock the bloke’s lunch boxes. I plan to make spinach, pumpkin & feta quiche & crisis! I am out of brownies. Hence my trip to Flannery’s yesterday to buy organic dark chocolate chips. They really do make a difference to the flavour, but I think that as my eye-sight deteriorates my sense of smell is getting stronger.

    Hoping to get time to see Miracle Girl this arvo, I haven’t been in for over a week, my back was out last week & aside from it’s really uncomfortable sitting in the hospital chairs, it’s very hard to cheer from the sidelines when I’m wishing for legal means of euthanasia for my own miseries, which are a very small thing weighed beside hers.
    If I take brownies I’m sure that will help.

  334. Chocolate always helps. It was one of Einstein’s less published laws of physics.

    And speaking of chocolate, guess what was in my mailbox yesterday? Tasty, tasty island noms. Sticky mwahs, Catty, thank you very, very much! Loved the notepaper and seal, btw – Christmas present?

  335. Yes, the seal was a Christmas present. I made the mistake of using it in my bedroom, which is carpeted. Boy howdy does nylon carpet stink when you set fire to it! But, as you say Madam, chocolate always helps. I was going to make brownies too, after Q got me all fired up about them, but I had a nap instead. So I’ve just whipped up some Duncan Hines chocolate cupcakes, and they should be out of the oven in a few minutes. Anyone hungry?

  336. Yes, please!

    I don’t think my carpet would catch fire anymore. Ground-in sand is an excellent fire retardant.

  337. No fair.
    How come you get a seal for a Xmas present, and I can’t persuade the bloke I need an otter?

  338. There’s a wildebeest around here somewhere if you’re looking for a new pet. Or, if you like, I have a Teenie going cheap. I’ll even throw in his jumbo-sized mouth full of attitude for free. *sigh* Teenagers.

  339. Thanks, but no need.
    I told the cats the builder arrives in two weeks to destroy their playpen & with luck we’ll move out a month later.
    So they pissed on my computer desk.

  340. Do as I do when the children need vaccinating or a trip to the dentist, Q. Lie through your teeth until they’re in the car.

  341. You are a wise, wise woman, Madam.

  342. Well, you’re right about one thing Catty. I AM a woman.

  343. Aren’t they the most glorious words? “You’re right Catty”. 🙂

  344. I’m sure they are. I’ll look forward to hearing them myself some time this year. 🙂

  345. I think I must be a very silly woman, because I have three evil cats.
    The dog punished me for leaving him alone with them yesterday by waking me at 4am to let him out the back door and then, just as I was about to open it, lifting his leg to wee on the cat’s scratching post instead.

    It has Begun.
    They’ve obviously registered the news ‘Builder’ ‘Move House’ & ‘Tradesmen’ under ‘Apocalypse Now’ & have conspired to enact ammonia-fuelled revenge.

    Oh well. It’s kerbside cleanup later this month so I suppose I can just toss our entire furniture collection on the pile & if council don’t take it, it might catch alight when the feral across the road tosses his cigarettes into it. yes, the little turds are still coming over here to sit in the gutter outside my house to drink beer & smoke cigarettes. I went out last night & asked him politely to Smurf Off (Again) and this time I waved him towards the boarding houses & said ‘Why don’t you go smoke outside those? They all smoke in there and it’s not likely to bother them.’

    I know this means that I should be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars more on Old Coast Real Estate than it is actually worth & yet this morning finds me playing Hard Ball via email with the agent, trying to beat him down on the price of Wallaby Hill.

    Susie & I went for a lovely cruise down to Burleigh yesterday & I got her Seal of Approval on the house. She has a rental property up at Noosa so I thought it a good idea to seek her opinion on the items most likely to get trashed by a tenant. So this time we went through the house properly checking the fittings & looking for power points/lights/services. It seems solid, but the kitchen has of course been trashed from having had tenants in it over the years, so I’ve written it off as a dead loss. It looks lovely in the photos but when you open the drawers they go badung badung badung all the way out and badung badung badung clunk on the way in. Not that most of them will go all the way back in. Same with the cabinet doors, they are hanging off their hinges at a sad angle & they won’t shut properly, once opened, either. And I discovered why they are selling the place empty & untenanted – I took the plans in to my cabinet maker & he said ‘ooh, watch out for that corner pantry, if they haven’t allowed 700mm for the fridge alcove beside it, when you open the pantry door it will smack into the fridge & you will only be able to open the pantry at a 45 degree angle.
    So when I demonstrated this, with my builder’s measuring tape, the agent’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. I could see him thinking ‘I thought she was another flakey hippy but Damn, she’s good.’ Heh Heh.
    The real pearler, though, was when we were checking on the bedroom closets. They are the standard empty built-ins with cheap sliding doors that fall off their rollers if you look at them the wrong way. Once I turned the lights on I discovered that the chippy who built them must have had a big bag of hooch before he started that job because none of them are square set. i.e. they have not been built at 90 degree angles and are all an odd trapezoid shape. When I asked the agent about them he insisted they’d been built straight & it must just be an illusion caused by the rubber stoppers the owners have installed at the top. So he removed the rubber stoppers, wrenched the cupboard door so it popped off it’s roller & leapt out of the closet & then spent the next 10 minutes trying to get it to sit at right angles. The door took on a sullen lean which accentuated the odd trapezoid shape & the more he struggled with it, the worse it got. Finally I said ‘It’s OK Scotty you can stop now, I think you’ve proved my point.’
    At least I got a grin out of him at that.

    Anyway, we like it & we would happily buy it for a reasonable price & we seem to be stuck at them insisting it’s worth 10-20G more than I think it’s worth & when that didn’t work to wear me down he said he had tenants ready to move into it & the owners wanted to put it back on the market if it didn’t sell this week. (It’s been on the market for a month).

    So I emailed him this morning to call his bluff & said if they aren’t willing to give us time to do a building inspection & get quotes on the repairs required before we put in a formal offer, & they want to take it off the market, to please let me know so I don’t waste anyone’s time & we can move on.
    Thank God my Dad taught me to play poker when I was 6.

    So that’s our news, ladies.
    We like it, we want it – real estate agents – meh.
    I gather he has bigger fish to fry at the moment, February is Auction Season at the Old Coast & I gather it’s their last hurrah before the market goes dead over cyclone season. So I think he has bigger game than me to bait & hook.

    Anyhoo, we had a lovely day playing in Burleigh, lunch at the SLSC, trawling around the shops, and then we got utterly soaked in a drenching rainburst that swept in off the coast around 4. I found it very refreshing.

    Truly, I am beastly careless as to whether we get this house or some other one, everything on Wallaby Hill has been pretty much built to a variation of the same plan so if we don’t get this one, something else will turn up.

    I would like to live opposite Jim the Scotsman, though. We ran into him again yesterday & that accent & his utter contempt of the Irish warms my bones.

  346. Best of luck, but as you say it’s not Lamb Island. Plenty of other fish in the sea … or the cul de sacs.

    Hard to imagine what drug would make you build non-square cupboard doors, though. Not dope, that makes you over cautious. My money’s on PCP.

  347. I dunno, MM.
    We have a few crooked timber retaining walls out in the backyard & those were built by a landscaper we nicknamed Peter Peter Skunkweed Eater.
    I had an entire sonnet dedicated to his work back then (yes, way too much time on my hands) but oh dear, middle age, it’s gone.

    And, having seen the Irish builder construct a crooked wall here at Casa Q about 10 years ago, I would add Alcomohol to the list of chemicals most likely to confuse a builder about how to cut a right-angle out of FC & timber.

    So, having called the agent’s bluff I am now prepared for him to call mine, so I’m looking for other potential homes on real estate dot com. It looks like the owners of Wallaby Hill have a habit of getting huffy when they don’t get the feedback they want, & they take house off the market for 6 weeks & then relist it with another agent at 20G below what they listed it for last time. So that might work out well for us, time wise.

    Anyway, it looks like a nice day at Burleigh & the beach is swarming with surfers, so perhaps he’ll be feeling benevolent when he rides in to shore.

    I don’t think the owners can have too much interest in that property, though. When we went through the closets yesterday it was obvious that nobody had bothered to clean them properly & when I examined the oven I found great gobs of fat stuck to the walls & the range hood. The decks need oiling, the house needs painting, & the windows are dirty.
    It’s hard to imagine a couple of pensioners being willing to sell a 9yro house that’s not immaculately clean, regardless of what other defects it might have on offer.
    Then again I do come from the OCD overdrive gene pool so, what would I know on the general hygiene habits of baby boomers?

    That’s why I took Susie along for the ride. She has a rental property & she turned her nose up at the lack of love they were showing the place & she said ‘Trust me Q, these people have completely lost interest in this house & they just want it gone.’

  348. Lovely rain overnight, hope you enjoyed some. Ahh, Thursday off and it’s still too grey and drizzly to take Sari to the beach for a play. What to do, what to do … oh, is this a Kindle and empty couch I spy?

    Happy Thursday everyone!

  349. I am envious of your cooling drizzle. I was all but dancing in the rain at Burleigh yesterday arvo but my GF grumbled that it rains all the time on the coast & she hates it. I think she’s always hated rain, I don’t know why, rain makes me feel happy & alive. Must be the chemicals in it.
    Enjoy your couch time, I am going back for my back repairs. I don’t think my spine likes driving or house hunting. We might take a little break from it for a few weeks while we are immersed in builder chaos, I think the Wallaby Hill folk need to either drop their prices or summon a chippy, a plasterer and a cleaner if they’re to reel us in.
    The Bloke tells me he is playing golf this Sunday, the last game with his Brisbane buddies. There’s dozens of golf courses down the Old Coast so he’ll be spoiled for choice once we move & can no doubt find new friends to sling golf balls at the shark infested lakes.

    Ah, I checked on Khan GB and he says he will let us know when he is back in Vagus & free for a lunch date, MM. I’ve already forgotten the settlement date but I think it’s 3-4 weeks away. They are hunting hard for a new neighbourhood to infest with spiders and rats but he said even if we miss them, they will be back regularly to stay with Fifi’s mum. I think they are far too focused on the house hunt to think about play dates so I say we leave them to it. If you are heading down to Vagus we could always just wing it and see who’s available.

  350. Will GB be attending Mayhem’s wedding? Oh, I hope so. I shall be there with the proverbial bells on. Actually, that’s probably all I will have on – I don’t have a thing to wear. Would going naked be pushing the friendship too far?

    Hopefully your agent wrangling will be successful, Q. When we bought this house, the agent kept trying to push our offer up. Every time he called, we’d um and ah, wait a couple of days, than ring back to increase our offer by $100. Eventually the owners were so desperate for money, they agreed to a mere $1000 over our initial offer. Hey, whatever works, right?

    We’re in the throes of another heatwave down here. Stupid heat. Being hot and sticky is all I need, what with all the drama going on here. (Yep, there’s always some drama or other when you have kids). The drama du jour is as follows: I discovered this morning that my Visa card was missing. When I got home, I found that someone (not me) had given my Visa details to an online scammer over the weekend, and my account had been almost completely emptied. I’ve cancelled the card, but now I have to wait for a replacement, then spend days stuffing around updating things like Direct Debits for bills. I also have to fill in a stat dec to dispute the online transaction, but there’s little if any likelihood I’ll ever see that money again. This sucks.

    Also, Gran may need more surgery on her second broken hip. We won’t know until they take x-rays next week, but we’re all convinced there’s a problem because she’s still in constant pain, even after all these months. No wonder the poor love is depressed. Oh, by the way Morgana, did I tell you that she said Thank You for the medal? It was very kind of you to think of her. Mwah!

    I’m thinking of taking my notepad on the next visit, so I can start interviewing her for a biography. She’s told me stories about what it was like in WWII Belgium, raising an infant while her husband was in a German work camp. She’s also told me some (hilarious) stories about her childhood. I’d love to see it all written down; I just don’t know if I’m up to the challenge. Still, it would be interesting to hear it all, even if it never makes it into print. MIL seems to think it’s a good idea, and would probably be able to provide details that Gran won’t confess to. Heh, heh, heh…. Actually, she already has provided a few tales about Gran that I’m sure the dear girl didn’t want advertised!

    Well, I’m off to eat cake in bed. Goodnight all!

  351. Poor Gran. That’s a fabulous idea,though, Catty. Actually, taping her just telling the anecdotes might be even better. Less intrusive, and you don’t have to worry about keeping up.

    Absolutely shocking news about your Visa, though. Do you think it was the Teen while she was on your couch, or one of the other kidlets? I assume you tied them to chairs with bamboo splinters under their fingernails asked them nicely until you got to the bottom of it? Mega commiserations.

    Q, will do. MM’s signing on for AFL this weekend so I have to see when that starts and what it entails. Hope your back is better soon and more rain spatters your way this weekend.

  352. Geebus Catty that’s awful. Can’t they identify the ID of the computer that did the transactions to find the thief? I thought it was pretty easy these days to trace those things back to their origin. Hence all the busts for child pornography all over the world. Sounds like the bank is just trying to make you pay for their laziness.
    I hope you get a bit more joy from the bank.
    This is what worries me about the new paywave thing that the shops are using these days – how easy it must be for thieves to steal a card. I guess because of all the CCTV images they’re also likely to get busted pretty quickly, but wow.
    I’m so sorry, that sucks.
    Mwah, Hugs, Cake.

    I think that is a wonderful idea to record all of the family stories.
    One of my old school friends did professional memoirs (on the side) for a few years there & they were just beautiful, it’s something that the family can treasure for generations to come. All of her grandkids will appreciate it when they have kids of their own, too. And, since it’s you, it will be a wonderful read. Also a fab way to distract her from her miseries, Catty, you are a genius. Big hugs to Gran & fingers crossed for the surgery, poor darling.

    Thanks for the moral support re: house hunting.
    Susie reckons they aren’t serious about selling & are a bit stupid to expect more than what we’ve offered & are really stupid if they lease it to tenants for another year & expect to make money out of that. She said that tenants break leases all the time & what do you know, hers rang up while we were having lunch to say that after 2 months they want to break theirs & leave as they’ve bought a house. And apparently it’s hard to find good tenants for coastal properties, she said mostly what they do is punch holes in the walls. And, I’m assuming, each other.

    Nice strategy with the $100 mark ups.
    Nobody else wants to buy this house so the best they can do to rile us is to threaten to take it off the market. Gosh, however will we ever find another fixer-upper with ocean glimpses? (Sarcasm, the market is loaded with them)
    So my strategy is to wear them down by getting quotes to fix everything. And those quotes will be very expensive and take a long, long time. I’m not planning to go a single dollar over what I think it’s worth & if they piss me off enough, I’ll be offering less than what I’ve already offered & what they’ve already refused.

    Meh, we have to do the #griffithvotes thing tomorrow. For the last 2 months we have been bombarded with leaflets and idiot phone calls & door-knockers & I have been telling them all to FOAD because I am voting 1 Clive’s Dinosaur.
    I probably won’t, because after getting leaflets and phone calls every freaking day from the LNP candidate I will take savage satisfaction in putting his name last on the ballot paper. The fool who delivers his leaflets has one of those clattery cases with noisy cheap plastic wheels so you can hear the rumble & the clatter for miles around when he’s doing his daily circuit, & he pays absolutely zero attention to the ‘no junk mail’ stickers, as do the indies & the Greens. The labour candidate has been sparing to the point of silence & just yesterday we both got a single mail out with a ‘how to vote labour’ leaflet. It’s a nice touch after the barrage from the LNP candidate. My god they’ve thrown some money at that tosser.
    They have to go silent for 24 hours before the election, don’t they?
    Remind me, if ever I’m caught in the cross-fires of another by-election, to make sure I’ve had the presence of mind to borrow Spanner’s compound bow.

    Catty I have no clue about what the Greybeard Clan are doing, he did tweet last night that they think they’ve found a suitable place to Unleash the Rats but now of course he has to haggle with the estate agent so he may pop a vessel between now & Mayhem’s wedding. Might pay to ask her or Mel who’s going. I don’t seem to be on twitter at the same time as anyone but Spanner, so the only news I’m up with is that he’s spilt coffee on people’s DAs & for this reason he cannot approve whatever the smurf they want to do. Standard response ‘Needs more details, due to coffee stain obliterating stated facts.’

  353. A 24 hour blackout gives us all just enough time to buy that purple sharpie. Who will you add to the ballot paper? Havsy? Or Warwick Capper? No, scratch Capper…. actually, no DON’T scratch Capper, you’d have to get your fingernails disinfected.

    I’d pretty much forgotten about Twitter. One of these days I might go and have a look. Spanner’s always an entertaining read.

    Madam, you should be very careful about signing up for football. You think the baconing is bad? With footy, you’ll end up spending your entire weekend sizzling sausages and flogging raffle tickets. Ugh.

    The Visa mystery has been solved, but at the request of the guilty party, I won’t post the details online. Suffice to say, I shall be recovering the pilfered funds from one of my offspring’s bank accounts. Also, I shall be giving all my children a crash course in Internet Safety, Honesty, and What It Feels Like To Have Your Hands Ripped Off So Your Mother Can Poke You In The Eyes With Your Own Fingers.

  354. Heh heh.
    You are very good to protect the guilty, Catty, we all screw up & that will be a lesson hard learned, by all of them, I would think.
    I think that being the youngest (as I am) is often easiest because you get to watch all the older ones FK up & it does make the trail a bit easier to navigate because the older ones have blown up the landmines at the head of the path.
    The exception to that premise being, of course, Morgana’s Elf Boy who will be lured in by their magnetism.

    Morgana I had no idea that your eldest liked AFL, perhaps we should send him off to sit & watch it with the bloke & his friends before we vanish to the deep south of the frontier? I agree with Catty that you’re quite mad but truth be told I prefer the AFL to the cricket. Because they train so close to us I do encounter the bears or lions or whatever they are, down at the local pool, & they are very likeable, well mannered, sweet kids. I don’t know what it is about professional cricket that seems to attract such a bunch of knobs but I fear there’s either some sort of toxin in the willow bats or else standing in the hot sun melts some vital part of their brain. The bit that tells them when they’re being dicks, basically.

    Speaking of exercise, I have discovered that the girls at the local private school are required to wear hard hats while they are peddling on the (stationary) exercise bikes. When I asked if it was a safety concern (I could see how they’d pass out with exertion in the 30C+ heat & fall off & crack their heads open) but no, apparently it’s a requirement for triathlon practice. Weird, but what would I know about boiling children alive inside their hard hats.

    Catty I have been practicing drawing Clive’s Dinosaur & had planned to paint it in purple with a big growly bubble saying ‘Smurf you all’ but Dr Bill has worked so very hard to piss me off that I will happily make the effort to count to 11 in order to mark him last.
    God knows I’ve had to count to ten every day he’s rung me up & shoved flyers in my letter box, so I’ve had plenty of practice & should have no difficulty whatsoever in counting all the way to 11 on tomorrow’s ballot paper.

  355. There you go, then. Just vote for Nigel Tufnel:

  356. From my text-chat with Mayhem earlier in the week, I gather the whole things nearly sending her mental and she’s wishing she eloped.

    Next wedding she plans, she should let us organize i.e. smurf the wedding, send us the CAEK.

  357. Heh heh. Love spinal tap.
    Too bad Mayhem can’t book them to play at her wedding.

    Speaking of things that send you mental, I just heard from the agent & the owners are huffy that we aren’t offering enough money for their Fixer Upper & are taking it off the market & putting it up for lease. Which is what they did a month ago when a buyer wouldn’t give them as much as they wanted. There are in excess of 500 properties for lease in the suburbs surrounding the train so good luck with that.
    Heh heh.
    Reading between the lines, and knowing that agents work for nobody but themselves, I’m interpreting that as:
    Owner wants house sold now.
    Buyer (us) not ready to buy till mid-march.
    Disputed sum: 20G
    Agent (family friend of seller) is busy with his clearance sales till mid-march (tis Auction season at the Old Coast, Everything Must Go) and wants pesky friends of mum & dad’s off his case while he’s running his February Clearance Sale.

    Agent knows house is overpriced.
    Agent knows he has a buyer & sellers are unrealistic.
    Agent could work hard to find another family of hard-drinking cuzzy-bros that will punch holes in the walls & prompt cranky calls from neighbours & owners but the surf is really, really good this week & there are plenty of other places for them to live so he might have trouble finding time to show them around Wallaby Hill.
    In a month’s time when owners are disconsolate that they still don’t have an income, and agent is worried about his income, he has an easy mark just by persuading sellers to part with it for 20G less than they want.

    I punched the air with delight when I read that email. He gets a month in which to surf & sell high-end real estate, we get a month to get our house in order (literally) and the owners get to sulk for a month & start to wonder if they should’ve taken us up on what we originally offered.

    I am a happy woman, and if only I had a donut, I would be even happier.

  358. Your calculations are most likely correct, Q. A great deal of surfing-in-lieu of work goes on ’round these parts. It’s good to find a tradie who doesn’t surf, or has bad knees, or something.

    Happy donut.

  359. Yes, when I said I wanted quotes from chippies I could see the agent’s eyes widen in alarm & the bubble forming in his head ‘Um, have you not see the surf? That could take weeks, unless one hits the rocks & snaps a femur. I don’t have that kind of time to waste.’
    Little does he know I have all the surf-cams open on the imac all day so I know where the good breaks are, and when. 🙂

    Khan GB just confirmed my theory by telling me what kind of cut they take here in Qld.
    5% of the first 10k and then 2.5% of the balance.
    The agent has a few 2.5M beach-front properties coming up to auction so there’s no way he’s going to arse about trying to get an extra 10k for one of the olds from the local bowls club – Who happens to be out of town in his caravan, fossicking on the gem fields in central Qld.

    And I’m counting on it that next month he should be feeling far too fat & sleek from this months’ takings to invest too much time in a property that only one buyer wishes to buy. Anyway, in a month or two we’ll find out just how shrewd a judge of human nature I am. And something nicer & cheaper might turn up by then, in any case.

    It is a good feeling that this one’s been taken off the market & put on ice, though. There’s nothing to stop us making an offer on it even if it is tenanted, as NTO has demonstrated – it’s a piece of piss to kick tenants out, under the guise of ‘making necessary improvements to the property’.
    I’ve run into some of her ex-tenants & when they asked me what the improvements were I’ve said ‘She installed AC’. They have rolled their eyes and said ‘Oh yes, it would have killed us to live there through that.’

  360. Mmmmm…. Air conditioning…. I’m sitting here in mine, while the rest of the family dunks themselves in the pool. A swim would be nice, but it means going up into the hot end of the house and putting on my bathers. Meh. I’d rather sit here and pick all the strawberry creams out of the box of chocolates I hid in the fridge.

  361. Fossicking, Q? Maybe they’ll find a huge opal and not care about 10K any more.

    Catty, strawberry creams are my least favourite. We should totally form that commune.

  362. Poor Catty, I see they’re predicting 40C again today for the Deep South so stay cool & may your supplies of carbohydrates be plentiful, and artfully concealed within the lettuce leaves.

    Yeah, MM, the neighbours have told me he’s got a garnet mine at the gem fields in central Qld, so he might be underground a long time before he gathers enough shiny things to compensate for his excess spending during the GFC.

    The neighbours at Wallaby Hill have also told me that she wants the house sold so that they can build a place near the garnet mine that is big enough to hold three generations of Fossickers. Their kids need a leg up in the world as they can’t afford to buy a house & as they need to work, they want Nanna to live in so that she can provide child care. I think he’s happy to spend his days down a hole and his nights in the caravan, drinking Scotch & playing darts with his mates. But until they achieve this Idyll they’re all bunking down under one somewhat overcrowded 40C roof.

    So I would imagine there’ll be a good deal of pressure on the Fossicker to drop his price so they can all get on with their lives as God, or in their case, Mammon, intended.

    It’s standard practice for the REA’s to remove an over-priced house from the market for a month or two & then advertise it again at a more realistic price. There’s so many Boomers down there with over-priced houses, trying to recoup their lost 30% that the REA’s have very little time for it, they know it’s easier to get owners to drop their price than for buyers to fork up the bucks when there’s Plenty More where that one came from.

    Well, we are off to the beach to escape pesky neighbours & enjoy the fresh air. We were both woken (again) by the little gobshite across the road who likes to sit in the gutter outside our house to drink beer & smoke. I’ve left two cranky notes, one on his car & another for his landlords, asking them to PLEASE refrain from smoking when we can see them, and also when they think we can’t, because either way we can smell them and it’s bothering us. Little turds. Hope we don’t run into them later today when we have to go out and Vote 1 for Clive’s Dinosaur.

    Sigh. There’s so many great things about West End that I’ll miss, sadly my neighbours are at the bottom of that list. Still, Burleigh looks fabulous & I’ve found another yoga class nearby that we can go to if the one at Tallebudgera proves too strenuous. Susie managed to find another quirky shop full of funky little things so she walked out with an Astro Boy doll, cursing me for taking her there as she’d already bought two new shirts and was eyeing off a dress that she could probably get for a tenth of the price at the West End markets.

    Happy Saturday ladies, Catty stay cool & MM, let us know how your boy goes with the AFL. The bloke said he’ll keep an eye out for Sunday afternoon matches at the Gabba as those are the ones people usually take their kids to. I think he’s plotting to pass young Magic Man off as his own. 🙂

  363. Astro Boy doll? I’m totally there. When are we going?

    MM would love that, and I’m sure he’ll play along. Although he may forget his lines, have I mention how dumb testosterone has rendered him?

    He said to me the other day, “You don’t trust me any more”

    I replied, “I trust you, I just think you’ve become dumb as a stump.”

    See, I’m applying the principles I learnt from that lovely book you gave me for Christmas!

  364. It’s the other way around in this house. Teenie’s testosterone has left him convinced that his parents have become dumb as stumps.

  365. Oh, Gods help us all. Catty, I’ll fetch the vodka if you grind up the valium. It’s smoothie time.

  366. Ah yes.
    Today’s house hunting effort springs to mind.
    I was trying to find my way to a viewing, with the bloke advising directions.
    We came to a T-intersection facing a gully.
    ‘Which way?’ Says I, ‘Left or Right?’
    ‘Straight,’ said the bloke, staring straight at the cliff.
    ‘You sure about that, Thelma?’
    ‘Yes. Straight.’
    So I turned right, rather than plunge through the guard rails to our death, prompting a shriek of ‘Don’t you listen? I said STRAIGHT!’

    An hour later he took me to task for not following another one of his directives, at which point I had to remind him ‘If I did as you told me we’d still be at the bottom of a cliff waiting for the jaws of life to rescue us.’

  367. Ah. Now I know who programmed my GPS.

  368. And who is writing the script for my life.

  369. In fairness he’s a left-hander so I don’t think the testosterone is entirely to blame. There must be some reason they decided to burn all those south-paws at the stake.

    Speaking of magic, yesterday arvo we stopped at Burleigh for a tub of honey-comb crunch gelato. OMG, wonderful! The gelato girl is starting to get to know me & she made a special effort to get some crispy bits off the top of the pile & stack them up in the cup, what a sweetie. Then again we had idiot dog in tow & he is looking ever so cute with his summer hair-cut so perhaps she just wants to encourage him to come back since he makes her – and everyone else, smile?

    We had stopped at Burleigh in the am for breakfast & we were in a little alcove outside the cafe against the plate glass window. Dog was tucked away out of harm’s reach & amused himself standing on two legs leaning on the plate glass window, working hard to attract the attention of the baristas & the wait-staff at the counter, facing us. ‘Look at me, am I cute? I think I’m cute. Don’t you want to pat me? I think you should pat me. Look, I do tricks!’
    I prefer not to attract attention but it’s hard when you’ve got the star of the circus in tow. He’s enjoying the house hunting; I think either he really, really likes Wallaby Hill, or else he’s got the idea that the cats won’t be joining us.

    Well, we saw some lovely houses up there yesterday, most of them much too big for us. One of them was simply stunning, and there’s virtually no interest in it – it’s gone ‘off’ as they auctioned it in November & it got passed in for 100G less than they were asking. Naturally they were asking 120G more than it’s worth, and now it looks like they’ll have to sell it in the next few months for whatever the hell they can get.
    There’s a lot of that going on. We went to 4-5 viewings yesterday & most were deserted, apart from a few curious neighbours who trawled thru in their bathers, dripping sand on the floor & obviously enjoying the fact that the owners were Elsewhere.

    So we’ve bookmarked that one, if it’s still on the Clearance Sale shelf in a month or two, we might do it. it looks north over bush, only one neighbour, a vacant lot which is yet to be built on. So at some point you’d have four months of tradesmen & dust but hey – one neighbour. That’s worth 4 months of yelling ‘STFU’ at Vile Kyle and B105. And after 20 years of that, what’s 4 months more?

    The bloke wandered about marvelling at the craftmanship. It’s been built by Metrocon, a different company than what builds most of the stuff down there. The other houses at Wallaby Hill are adequately built but this builder obviously takes a lot of pride in his work.
    Stunning, but I’d have to adopt three children from a third world country, possibly Cherbourg, to justify the size of it all.

    Ha, we got some chuckles from one REA who knows all about the Fossicker’s House. He said they’ve had the place on & off the market several times over the years & that’s their pattern. He boggled when I said they threw a tanty when I wanted to get quotes – because we do, after all, need to know exactly how much money we have to borrow – & proceeded to tell me that if there was anything I wanted to change in the house he was selling, anything at all, I could take as much time as I wanted to Send In the Chippies. 6 weeks you say girlie? That’s nothing. I’ll let them in myself, no need to drive down from Brisbane if it’s too much trouble.

    Heh heh.
    I do love the smell of desperation in the salt air.

  370. Hey, Madam, if Q gets the big house, what do you say we help her out? You send MM, and I’ll send the Teenie. We don’t want her going through all that tiresome adoption nonsense, now do we?

  371. Well I suppose I could always get more cats.

  372. This new craze for smallish residences needs to trickle through into the market, stat. No matter how affordable a place might be, who the hell wants to clean four or five bedrooms when there’s only two of you?

    Shall I send MM in time for footy season, as The Bloke seems to be looking forward to it?

  373. No room, I’ve just this moment decided to go on the internet & find 12 extra cats. 🙂

    MM, house size isn’t as big a deal to me as privacy & distance from the neighbours. If I can find a house that will offer us privacy & space from the noise & the shrieks of suburbia, and where I can sit and look at the birds singing in the trees, instead of listening to Quasimodo roaring in his bell tower (and these days it’s ‘Moar BEER!’ followed by HIC, ROOOOAR, THUMP, FIGHT, RAGE) I will count the dusting as the price of maintaining my sanity & just suck it up.
    Besides, when I have neighbours that allow me to sleep at night, instead of jolting me awake with their boozing & bellowing, I should have more energy with which to dispatch the dust, anyway.

    And I may need the extra bedrooms as poor Jen might need somewhere to flee as they’re sending her out of her mind, too. I think they’ve taken to spending regular weekends away since the special needs child turned 18, & he is now entitled to be drunk from dusk to dawn like the rest of his family.

    I just shut the door on the 3rd bedroom here so that cats can’t get in to vomit on
    the doonas (or worse) & other than vacuuming it, and washing the bedding once every month or two, or whenever walking in there sets off my hayfever – there’s SFA to clean. So I’m not too bothered by the prospect of adding a 4th bedroom or a study to my list of domestic drudgery.

    There are 900 houses at Wallaby Hill & they’ve all been built to a variation of the same plan so trust me, there won’t be a lot to differentiate them, other than outlook & privacy.
    With 60% of the land devoted to parks & bushland, & the streets a maze of cul-der-sacs, it really shouldn’t be hard to find one that meets our needs.
    The agent at the Big House said that there’s at least one new house pw that comes onto the market in that suburb. All part of the 5 year turn-around, with job prospects & empty nesters. Apparently there’s a really good high school down the road so they move in, shunt their kids through that, then move out when the kids move to Vagus for uni so they can downsize to a unit at the beach.
    So it’s just a matter of sitting here waiting for the right one to turn up.

    The Fossicker’s house is pretty much perfect for us because it’s a tad smaller than the others, and that’s one of the reasons they’re having trouble selling it.

    After looking around at what’s on offer, this weekend, I’m more than ever convinced that the agent knows it’s overpriced & simply wanted to get the owners off his back & off his client list. There’s a lot of properties on the market & from the looks of things, the agents simply don’t bother working too hard to sell anything that’s got an unrealistic price on it. They focus on marketing the ones that will sell, and quietly ignore the ones that won’t.
    I think they have their own strategy for dealing with Boomers who are intent on recouping their Lost 30% and it’s to shake their heads, placate them, and give them all the time they need to figure out why their properties aren’t selling. Well, that and they wait for them to die.
    You should see the way they rub their hands together when one of them falls off the perch, because it means all half-dozen (or more) of their properties will hit the market & every single one of them will sell within a month, so their kids can cash in & go on extended vacations in Europe.
    That’s what happened with the coot’s 5 boarding houses, & judging from some of the crap that has just come onto the market near Casa Q, it looks to me like another cashed-up old timer must have fallen off the perch. You can always pick the slums that have been run by the same owner, they’ve all got the same paint colour and, er, for want of a better word ‘Decor’.

  374. I’m pretty sure that use of the word decor violates both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Geneva Convention, Q.

  375. Not to mention health regulations.

  376. And taste.

  377. Ewwwww, you wouldn’t get me to taste one of those slums.

  378. Tastes like … umm, what would the absence of care and abandonment of hope taste like?

    I know – Catty’s mother’s custard!

  379. You guys are giving me nightmares.
    I just woke up from a dream that I had a couple of kids I used to babysit (a toddler from my group at work & his older brother) & they asked to come & stay for a few days at our new house. Which turned out to be a holiday camp.
    We then packed up & went home – to our new house, which, as it turned out, was the Fossickers house. On moving in we discovered that they’d left their cat there for us as part of the deal & the neighbour’s kids were through the door before we were, wanting to know if we liked kids as much as cats and were those freshly baked brownies, Q?

  380. Mother’s custard? So it’s lumpy, bland and unpleasant? *shudder*

    Sorry about the dream, Q, that’s my fault for threatenin… I mean, ‘offering’ to send our teenaged offspring to stay. Don’t worry – given the belligerent nature of teens, they would refuse to go unless there was Wifi and unlimited pizza.

  381. * Scratches pizza off tomorrow’s menu at Casa Q & wanders off to look at recipes for eggplant.

  382. What happened to my reply?

    I said something witty about how I was sure he would eat eggplant, if you put enough sauce on it.

    Also something else or other. I’m sure it was amusing.

  383. The wildebeest ate it?

  384. Or the Teenie. But only if it was drenched in sauce.

  385. I just had a brilliant idea! Testosterone blockers disguised in tomato sauce. We could call it Teen Begone, or maybe just Bugger Off.

  386. I want some Smoker Begone but I don’t think there’s a chemical sturdy enough bypass their damaged nostrils & have the desired effect on their brains.
    Looks like I’ll just need to set landmines on the front stairs to Casa Q. It’s not like they need their lower limbs, they’re going to lose them to gangrene & diabetes sooner or later anyway, right?

  387. Oops, sorry Catty I forgot.
    The people who moved in over the road a few months ago are smokers. I gather the lesbian plumbers who own the place won’t let them smoke on grounds (there’s a 3bedroom flat downstairs) so they come over here & sit on the stairs on the footpath up to Casa Q.
    I’ve had four conversations with them (if yelling ‘please go away’ counts as a conversation), written 4 polite notes & on Sunday one of the idiots came over here professing to be mortified that their smokers are causing my asthma & promising it would never happen again. And of course, no change in behaviour, but I’m expected to be nice to them because they’ve smiled sweetly while lying to me to my face, and after making the decision that I look like the neighbour least likely to punch them in the face, so they’ll smoke outside here.

    I rang the cops to ask if I have any rights & they said not really, it can constitute harassment & probably the best way to deal with them is to send the drug squad round there. (they’re smoking dope inside & cigarettes outside, and they have a baby. Go figure)

    The guy I encountered yesterday at dawn after my dog-walk looked so drug-addled that I’m starting to wonder if they’re junkies. It wouldn’t be the first time. Usually if they’re junkies, they sit on the footpath so they can scrutinise the street looking to see who’s out so they can break in and steal their stuff.

    I wrote another note to the owners asking them to remind their tenants AGAIN and adding that the one outside my house yesterday was very confused & looked to me like he was using drugs.

    So hopefully the lesbian plumbers will have a good hard think about what kind of people they’ve got living in their house. I’m confident that the druggies won’t read the note as I’m quite sure they can’t read. I put up a ‘Please do not smoke here’ sign outside our house this morning and one of them lit up right next to it. And didn’t move until I swore at him.


  388. I would expect lesbian plumbers to be more considerate. When will the renos be finished again, and have you found a house that the vendors actually wish to vend, yet?

  389. Given what they paid for that house and how dark & dingy the downstairs flat is, I would say that they’d need the extra income from subterranean drug dealers to pay off their bank loans.

    Our renos should take 4-6 weeks, the builder and his team should be here by Feb 24 at the latest, and no, there’s nothing terribly tempting available on the GC market.

    Sooner or later irritating neighbours work out that it’s best to stay away from me (Because generally once boundaries and diplomacy have failed, that’s what I tell them to do) & I would think that if they are silly enough to come over in the next day or two for another faux ‘apology’ (AKA staring over my shoulder to see if there’s anything they can pawn at the local crime-converters) they will get the full charm and force of Irma’s displeasure in addition to my own.

    The bloke & I noticed some idiot hippy in Fishermen’s pants circling the block to visit them at dawn the other day, sans shirt & shoes, so I am joining the dots re: their frequent obnoxious visitors & I am not liking the picture that I see.
    If I find any more of their ‘visitors’ sprawled on my stairs too stoned to form actual words, I’ll be calling the drug squad to scrape them off the pavement & put their pharmacist out of business.

    Not a good time to lose a paying tenant given the mess we’re about to create here. They might have to unbog a lot of extra toilets to compensate for their loss.
    Happy thought for the day!

  390. Heh. The plumber came over, and we had a civilised if blunt exchange. She insisted that it’s not her tenants smoking, when they moved in they signed a no-smoking or instant eviction clause so she knows it’s not them. (Eye roll)
    She then said that after moving in they had confessed that they used to be smokers but had only ever smoked outside my house once before apologizing and never doing it again (Eye roll 2) and there is nobody in her house who smokes.

    Which is fascinating news given that smoke was pouring out of it when I dropped off the note this morning. So I decided not to point out that fact since apparently the only person home was her partner, who also does not smoke. (insert eye roll 3).

    So I said OK, well so long as nobody will do it again, fine, & I asked her to listen to my concerns, which she did. I told her that given our history of junkies in the street & the parallels between her tenants’ behaviour & past problems I would feel much more comfortable if, in future, her tenants do not come over here, either to smoke or to apologize for it. And that given their appearance – scruffy, tattooed, squatting in the gutter drinking beer at 10am & surly when approached & unremorseful about repeat performances – not to mention people coming and going at odd hours & sitting on the path unable to form complete sentences, I had been wondering if we had another set of junkies across the road.
    Her eyes flickered with doubt & she said she had good tenants and she trusted them. Even though they lied to her on paper about not being smokers and are lying about smoking outside my house now. So I said well, they are your tenants so it’s not my problem, but in my experience, people who are willing to lie to conceal one addiction feel no scruples about lying to hide another. And so long as they stay clear of me, we will all be happy & get along just fine. She closed her argument by saying ‘And anyway, Richard couldn’t be a junkie, because he’s an ecologist.’ At which point, unfortunately, I giggled, because the last conservationist I knew who declared he wasn’t a junkie was last seen wrapping his SUV round a gum tree when he realised that the game was up & his dealership days were over. I didn’t mention that story but I did say ‘Yeah. You really never can tell.’
    So she’s nice, she’s direct, and she’s deluded, but now that I’ve put the wind up them re: my suspicions about their drug habits, hopefully they will give me a long, wide berth.
    Mischief managed.
    And I even managed to do it without screaming or swearing.
    Irma must be running out of steam.

  391. Hehehe. He can’t be a junkie, he’s an ecologist!

    Because, from the dawn of Aquarius, hippies have always been know to just say NO to drugs.

  392. Yes. Half the reason I was laughing is at the thought of how many cigarette stubs I’ve seen him chuck down the storm water drain.

  393. It’s more of a “NOOOOOOOOO!” really, and is usually said at about the time the giant fanged slug circling around their head starts to close in.

  394. Now I keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for the giant fanged slug.

    Is it the weekend yet?

  395. Hmm. I wouldn’t mind a bit of giant fanged slug, if it were deep fried, salted & dipped in a tub of sweet chilli sauce. And then washed down with a valium-choc-fudge milkshake.

    It’s better than the weekend, Ladies, it’s Liberation Time.
    I went in to see Miracle Girl with my bag of V-Day treats, anticipating she’d be singing ‘nobody loves me everybody hates me lets all go and eat worms’ but she wasn’t, she was singing the Praise Be To Jesus chorus because the powers that be have found her a place in a nursing home at Caloundra. 15 minutes from her Mum & Dad & her sister. Not to mention about a squillion friends, since that’s where she grew up. So she should be relocating up there some time next week.
    Which is awesome. She was due to go to some place out at Wynnum, which was going to be difficult for all the north coast folk, navigating the by-ways out there.

    So I am ever so pleased for her. And it’s a bit of a weight off my mind as I knew that deep down she was worried about being a bit isolated at Wynnum (friends are mostly in the western suburbs) & I didn’t want to leave Vagus till she was safely tucked away some place up the north coast where the Squillion & Ten North Coast friends can go visit her, and she won’t miss my visits so much. North coast highway…Hisss. I hates it, I does. Hates it and will have to learn to use Skype. Or Fake Time, or whatever it is these days that people do to talk like they do on the Jetsons.

    So I think I’m nearly as stunned as she is that the BIRU days are drawing to a close. I will have several extra hours per week free to yell at the neighbours to get the hell off my lawn. Gosh, that’ll make us all happy.
    One of her friends was saying that his street is having a welcome home party for him tonight, as he is going home for weekend leave. I told him to count himself lucky as if my street had a party for me it would be organised by the Hanging Committee & would involve a ducking pond & a length of rope.

    So, how awesome is that bit of news?
    She was so excited she was telling everyone who walked past, and when she was trying to explain how she was getting home, and she lost the words for ‘ambulance ride’ I said ‘Stretch Limo Hummer’.
    Heh heh.

    She’s ever so happy.
    As am I, because today there were no smokers outside our house during the night & nor were they there this morning.

    Isn’t it odd how weeks and weeks of pleading with your neighbours not to smoke outside your house fails to get the desired results, and making a polite enquiry if they are junkies, does.

    heh heh heh.
    Now stay the hell off my lawn, youse mob er bleeding ferals.

  396. Slight typo, it’s not a nursing home, it’s a rehab facility – I spoke to Gill last night, she has inspected it & declared it to be Rat Free & quite pleasant, for what it is. They are all still in shock as this news came out of nowhere.
    Anyway, the plan is for us to take her out to lunch to celebrate, today, so we have quickly scrambled the base crew & if all goes well we’ll be feasting, come lunchtime.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  397. Fabulous news! I hope MG is up for the party they’ll throw her. She must be delighted, although she’ll surely miss you heaps, Q. Who in Caloundra will bring her stinky fish and sanity? And brownies…. mmmmmm…..

    Strange about the plumbers. Can’t they see the street-lolling tenants from their windows? Doesn’t the deluded lesbian have a sense of smell? But I must disagree about calling the constabulary. If you want real results, call the crew from Today Tonight. But wait until the For Sale sign is up in your yard – free advertising!

  398. I’m still rolling my eyes that the deluded lesbian allowed them to stay once she figured out that they’d lied to her. That would be All Over Red Rover, if it were me. Never mind the smoking, its the deception that would have my skin crawling. How can you stand to have someone walking around your home knowing that they’ve lied to you, not just once, but if the neighbours are to be believed (and plainly she doesn’t believe me, she’s choosing to believe her tenants) on several occasions?

    I wonder who was smoking in at the LP HQ if it wasn’t her partner?
    Either the partner has someone ‘visiting’ the moment everyone has left home for work or else she lights up the minute the smoke detester has left the premises & fags for all she’s worth till it comes time to air the garden out before school pick-up.

    The idiot next door to us had absolutely No Clue to us that his wife was smoking dope all day the moment he left for work. She was dumping all the kids outside & you’d think he would have worked it out when they got calls from Olaf that their toddler had set up camp outside the German restaurant. But no.
    Denial, the glue to a lasting relationship.

  399. Great rehab news, Q. I hope MG has a lovely stay in Caloundra. Wynnum would have been a packed lunch away for Sunshine Coasters.

    And even better smoker news!

    So, how was everyone’s VD? My not-so-secret admirer sent long-stemmed roses. From Murica. Maybe I can stow away in Medway’s luggage?

  400. VD is for girly-girls.
    The bloke was the envy of the entire construction site when they were moaning about what they were required to do for V-Day, and, given that he took in an entire box of fresh-baked choc-chip macadamia cookies the other day, & he’s been stinking up the kitchen with home-cooked curries & pies & casseroles & brownies, they expected him to one-up them all about what he had to lay out in return for V-day.

    To which he replied that if he turned up with gifts or wanted to take me out on V-day I would slap him with a wet fish and ask him WTF ails, you, boy?
    He then had to explain that Quokka does not like jewellery, make-up, dress-up, perfume, stupid shoes, crowds, wine or rubbing shoulders with the hair-sprayed botoxed vapid members of the weaker sex that do. Quokka wants to eat pizza on the sofa & watch robots wipe out the scourge that is humanity and shout ‘KILL! KILL!’ because Irma is a day late & waiting for Irma is not my strong suit.

    At which point they wanted to know where he found such a wondrous creature & he said ‘Drunk out of her mind on tequila down at the pub.’

    I did get a yen to escape the insanity of the neighbourhood yesterday, at some point between when the ganja bus parked in my driveway & left his car phone on loud speak with Tracey at Depot yelling ‘Mustafa WHERE ARE YOU?’ and the cuzzy bro truck pulling up to unload furniture into the Rat Hotel & cranking up Kanye-West so they could still hear him shouting obscenities a quarter acre away.
    At which point yes, I was tempted to drive to the coast for dinner at the SLSC & a nice cooling walk along the beach, and then I remembered there was a Hallmark holiday in situ & this scenario would be the stuff of nightmares if I went without a crossbow to hunt down Cupid & all those he’d infected.

    So we had cheesy toast, argued over whose turn it was to stack the dishwasher (a matter which has gone unresolved) & settled down to watch younglings attempt suicide by ice. I was quite entranced by the Curling, since Roy & HG were on hand to offer commentary. I was quite smitten by their stuffed fox. I think it would look rather grand next to all the heads on pikes on my front lawn and the sign that says ‘Get the hell off of it’ and ‘Danger, land mines.’

    Well, we just took MG out to lunch & we had a glorious time of it having the Turkish Feast. The folk in the restaurant gave us an amazing discount when the Bloke paid the bill, which was very sweet of them. I think they were utterly aghast at the concept that someone could be trapped in horsepiddle from May until February before finally being sent home. Well, homewards, at any rate. Sweet kids.

    MG suffered a bit in the heat (she’s used to AC, now) but she was pleased as punch to be out banqueting with her loved ones again & I have no doubt that she will sleep like a drunken sailor tonight. They made her up a strawberry mocktail & I had a real one – well, a spicy rum cocktail, and we all laughed & giggled and shouted the place down comparing Journey of Recovery stories. It was a great day, & good to all be under the one roof as normally we do our best to avoid each other so that MG gets an even distribution of visitors.

    A trip to Murica sounds fun, MM, do you reckon you could smuggle me back a taser, and a few cans of mace? My yellow line needs back up, and the delivery guys could use some caps in their ass.

  401. I get my mace on eBay, from the UK, but I still can’t get my hands on a taser – so bring me one too, Morgana.

    For VD, I got the Boss a six pack of Corona and a cute but perfunctory card that wasn’t overloaded with diarrhoea-inducing saccharine. Then I told him to bugger off to his mother’s place with the Corona, so I could have the whole bed to myself. It was lovely, until the littlest Kidlet woke up with leg cramps and insisted on cuddling up to me. After a couple of hours of elbows and knees jabbed into various bits of my anatomy, I was wishing the Boss would come home. Then I remembered that he has a habit of flailing in bed, and that he’d had curried egg for lunch, so I snuggled up to the littlest Kidlet and went back to sleep. Nice.

  402. Tasers all round. There’s a lot of variety over there, so tell me if you think you’ll be wearing them in an ankle of hip holster?

    Any man you sleep with will annoy you, Catty. I find the little ones smell better and have silky hair.

  403. I’d l like a taser I can fit to my sunglasses.
    That would save me from RSI on those days when I wake up and discover I’m surrounded by idiots & it would give a whole new meaning to the term ‘Evil Eye’.

  404. I think there’s an app for that on Google Glass.

  405. Of course there is.
    Stupid nerds. Why don’t they develop an app that cleans the oven?

  406. They don’t use ovens. Except maybe to store their back-up drives.

  407. Hmm.
    Well that could explain what the junk trawlers have been hoping to find when they poke around in all the discarded white goods on the footpath.

    I wonder when the Jawas – er, the BCC junk collectors, will show up to claim what’s left of it. When I took the bloke to the train this am it looked like a flock of white ibis had swept over the neighbourhood while we slept, it’s like a 2k radius of upturned rubbish bins.

  408. Oh, I miss hard rubbish collection. Or, as we used to call it, Redecoration Day.

  409. Our council has decided to do hard rubbish collections on demand. We have one more shopping spree before it’s all over. *sob*

    I guess I’d better do something about the mounds of crap piled up in every corner of the house, so I have something to put on my own footpath. The wildebeest won’t be happy. There’ll be nowhere to hide when he hears me opening his box of worming medicine.

  410. I did get some wormers into him once. It was a fluke.

    Boom tish!

  411. She’s here all week, folks. Tip your waitress.

  412. So is Aunt Irma. There aren’t enough Kettle Chips in the world!

  413. Or donuts.
    Yesterday I had two.
    And a bag of chips, and I bought a bag of Lindt Frogs & Turtles to balance things out.

    Happy news. I rang BIRU this am, by another fluke, to find out exactly when on Wednesday MG would be out of there. To which they replied that the ambulance was on it’s way to get her & after lunch, she’d be gone. So I quickly herded her other BIRU bestie, Kate, & the pair of us dropped our washing baskets & scuttled in to say goodbye. It was a bit rushed, but I’m ever so pleased. She’ll have so many visitors up there, now she’s back up north.

    Fabulous news for the day.
    Except I didn’t get time to make any treats for the BIRU staff.
    Never mind, they aren’t going anywhere, I can always pop in later on in the week.

  414. Wow, that was quick.

    You’ve done good work keeping up her morale, Q. Nice one.

  415. Thanks, MM.
    She got very teary saying goodbye & thanks to the two of us for our tag-team efforts. She had two lovely female ambos to drive her north & I would imagine she’s settling into the new rehab facility surrounded by loved ones even as I type.
    I am just so thrilled for her that she’s found a place so close by all her family & her childhood friends. That rehab place just came out of nowhere & wow, it’s a gift from the Gods. None of us were even aware that this was an option but something just suddenly came up.
    Now, pass the donuts please.
    All this excitement is making Irma hungry.

  416. Ok, but my fingers are very greasy from all these chips.

  417. Wonderful news! What a happy day for MG. But not such a happy day for the BIRU staff, who will no longer be graced with visits from Lady With Brownies and Cute Doggie. Should we send them the Wildebeest so they don’t get too lonely?

  418. Good plan, Catty. I’ll prime up the tranquilizer darts so we can crate him.

    Want us to save you a dart or two, Q?

  419. I don’t think they’ll get the chance to be lonely, Catty, BIRU is full to bursting with the new batch of Xmas car crash victims & the continuous supply of cyclist v. 4WD confrontations that Cycling Qld keep sending in there.
    One of them was explaining to us, yesterday, that the accident happened because as he was going through the intersection the sun was in his eyes and because his sunglasses were on his head, rather than on his eyes, he didn’t see the 4WD until he was bouncing off it’s hood.
    Which left me wondering ‘how do you push your sunglasses back over a bicycle helmet – oh, yeah. Right.’
    (insert eye roll here)
    Not that the helmets seem to save them but still, it just goes to show the strength of their conviction that It Will Never Happen To Me.

    So there’s no room for the Wildebeest at PA, Catty.
    But there’s plenty of room nearby & I know someone who could use his company. NTO still has plenty of vacant rooms & unless she can find tenants for them this weekend, I don’t like her chances of renting them out next week when our builder starts in earnest.

    Work has resumed on the Acropolis up behind her. It looks like they’ve finally resolved their dispute about the FKD up levels & the builders are back. Admittedly NTO still spends more hours of the day playing Construction Site than the Acropolis tradies do, gosh, I wonder if that’s why her tenants are so keen to leave as soon as they’ve moved in?
    The other boarding house beside her is struggling, too, and I see that there’s two new boarding houses in the suburb up for sale as their slum-lords have given up entirely on the prospect of finding tenants for them. They are being marketed as renovators rather than as profitable slums, so change is in the air & I am doing my happy dance. Not that I’m a big fan of Qlders but it would be nice to cruise past and see some of these old homes restored & landscaped.

    I can’t stop smiling, knowing that Miracle Girl is back up the coast. God help the staff up there, it’s about to turn into a revolving door for MG’s Social Club.

    To celebrate I’m heading out to get the warts burned off my feet – again. You know what I’m like with chemicals – blergh, headache, nausea. Just torch the FKN things.

  420. It’s nice to see some of the old traditions maintained – we’re still burning witches 🙂

    Good luck, Q !

  421. So far so good but D’Orth does get squeamish about hurting me, so who knows if it’s worked?
    Really, I think this money thing works the wrong way around & I should get paid Clown Fees for entertaining the GP. He asked what I was there for & I said ‘Well my warts are back, and I have a death wish.’
    He looked mildly concerned that one should lead to the other until I explained that having spent 9 months visiting the horspiddles, I want to fill out one of those forms that makes them switch off life support if ever I’m in a nasty accident.
    I did say that I was in no rush, as from what I’ve seen of Qld Health they’re keen to do it themselves & if the ER Drs don’t do it in the first few weeks then the nursing staff will do their best to finish you off.
    So apparently you can download them from the internet these days & once you’ve answered 300 questions or so variously worded ‘Are you SURE you want to die?’ The GP signs off on it & it goes on record. I don’t really have time for that with the builder about to arrive so I’ll have to play 300 ways to ask you if you’re sure you have nothing to live for a bit later on in the renovations.
    I have faith that they’ll inspire me to get all the right answers.

    MM, I just visited Khan GB & they hope to be back in Vagus by March 1st to catch up with you. They will keep me posted via the blue bird of social discourse.

  422. Excellent!

    Ok, for the record, advanced care directive duly noted. I’m not sure that an ICU will take blogvidence into account, but we’ll try our best.

    Geez, we’ve been babysitting someone else’s dog overnight and she’s a head case! Makes my rambunctious pup look like a model of restraint and decorum. She’s kept Sari awake fighting over a jester’s cap – yes, with bells! – that used to be a dress-up, and now they’ve activated my insomnia. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  423. Oh Noes!
    That’s my biggest motivation for moving, MM, to get shot of things that go BUMP! in the night. I hope there’s no wolfhounds chasing jester’s caps next door, when we leave.
    Speaking of the dreaded insomnia, since we had that conversation about mould inhibitors in bread causing restlessness, irritability & insomnia, I’ve nixed it from my diet. Monday night we had soup for dinner & I had a test piece of Schinkenbrot, which contains 262 or whatever the offender is. I was confident that I was dropping from fatigue & nothing could keep me awake.
    Nup. About 3 hours after the meal I sat up feeling agitated in bed, my mind would not stop twirling & it was almost like brain palpitations.
    Back to normal last night & other than noise disturbances waking me, the insomnia hasn’t been a big deal since then. And I’ve definitely been less cranky, although I attribute that to being able to look around me & think ‘Very soon I will never have to look at you, O source of noise and angst, ever again.’ And I go look at the Burleigh Surf Cam instead.
    So being the canary down the coal mine that I am with chemical sensitivity, I’d say that’s a chemical the rest of you insomniacs might want to avoid.

    Wish I could help you with the jester’s cap problem but other than offering to lend you my purple pendragon Elf boots to match, I don’t have much that’s useful, other than sympathy & meanness of spirit.
    i.e. I’m sure I can help you think up an excuse why the dog can’t sleep over again. Perhaps the whole thing was too traumatic for Flotsam & Jetsam to do it again?

  424. You don’t need an excuse. Just hand the doggie’s owner that downloaded ‘Do You REALLY Want To Die’ form, with doggie’s name on it. If she questions an euthanasia form for pets, just mutter something about toads and/or psychotic cats.

    That euthanasia form is a worry. Pulling the plug has been a big topic of conversation down here lately. Apparently the surgeon asked MIL if he should revive Gran if she flatlined during surgery. MIL nearly had connuptions at the thought, but she told the doctor “Don’t Revive”, because Gran had been saying she wanted to die for months.

    Then, of course, the guilt started. “I’m a murderer. A MURDERER!”, wept poor MIL after her second bottle of wine. She was a mess with anxiety. We all kept reassuring her that it was what Gran had said. I told her I was impressed by her strength, putting Gran’s stated wishes before her own desire to keep her mum alive. I couldn’t do it. If anyone asked me, I’m far too Catholic to agree to plug-pulling. MIL swore us all to secrecy, as she didn’t want to upset Gran. But the next day, out of the blue, Gran announced “I hope I don’t wake up from the surgery”. MIL was so relieved, she went home and had a couple of bottles of wine to celebrate.

    The surgery went well. On Monday, they took the plaster of Gran’s wrist, and shunted her back to the nursing home. When I went in to see her, she was up on her feet and walking a few steps. She was so happy, she didn’t even mention dying. MIL was delighted; finally she could stop stressing! Or so she thought….

    FIL has a habit of falling asleep in his recliner after dinner. MIL goes to bed, and leaves him there, knowing he will wake up at around 2am and go to bed too. But a couple of nights ago, he’d had a few drinks. He woke up while vomiting, and the vomit was clogging his windpipe. He stood up, choking, then blacked out. He fell flat out face first on the floor, mashing his nose into the carpet. MIL heard the bang, and ran out to find FIL unconscious and bleeding profusely. She thought he’d had a heart attack, and almost had one herself. FIL was fine once he was cleaned up, but MIL is now a mess of anxiety again, as she thinks this was a warning that FIL is going to ignore.

    So the topic of conversation for the last two weeks has orbited around death and suffering, no matter how much I try to change it. Joy.

  425. Poor Catty. I promise no more morbid talk of death. I will stick to warts and bunyons.

    I am so pleased that Gran has recovered from her surgery & she’s doing so much better. & I’m sure your FIL won’t want to squash his nose any further so the lesson learned there is that your MIL needs to poke him & take him to bed when she goes to bed.
    The bloke has to do the exact same thing with me, otherwise I’ll trip over a cat at 2am and the circus that erupts is enough to wake the entire neighbourhood.

    Well, I went to visit Khan GB yesterday so he has saved me a trip to the post-office for Mayhem’s engagement present. I bribed him with brownies, why can’t you do that with Australia Post? It would make life so much easier.
    Their house at Ringworm sounds very suitable for them & his eyes lit up when he realised how close he would be to you. Probably because he’ll miss my baked goods & has heard the stories about yours. 🙂

    We have a meeting with the builder on Friday & he’s due to start next week.

  426. By a lucky stroke of fate, on my way out the side gate this morning I discovered that Problem Fur Child has dug up part of my termite barrier. PFC’s mother will be confronted with the gaping evidence when she picks her up later this morning, so a simple, “Unfortunately I have to protect my termite barrier for the sake of my fatherless children” should suffice in future.

    Excellent Gran news, Catty. I credit St Mary McKillop and shall light her a candle to say thanks. As for FIL, maybe a baby monitor next to his armchair? Poor MIL. Tell her I’ll put a good word in with St MMcK for her, too.

  427. MM while you’re conversing with the Higher Powers can you have a word to the Patron Saint of Plantar Warts & tell him next time, to send them next door?

  428. Quokka, you simply must try the Healing Balm from JR Minerals (.com). We bought some for the Teenie’s wart. It had been frozen off 4 or 5 times, but kept growing back because his shoe rubbed that part of his toe. Seriously, that stuff works! We put it on twice a day. Within three days the wart was black. Within a week, there was nothing left but fresh, pink skin.

    The balm also works pretty well on Chicken Pox…. not quite as good as Solosite, but heaps better than Calamine lotion. And it takes the bite out of mozzie bites when the itch is keeping you awake.

    I credited St MMcK too, Morgana. My FIL is a die-hard atheist, so he had a bloody good laugh when I said it. That, incidentally, was the night he nearly choked to death. Coincidence? Or a Divine warning? FIL says coincidence, but I still think he owes St MMcK an apology. She is, after all, an Aussie, and it’s never wise to piss off an Aussie woman – even if she is a nun. And a saint.

    Meanwhile, we’ve had two thunderstorms and a hailstorm this morning, and another thunderstorm is coming. *sigh* I picked a bad day to hang all the towels on the clothesline.

  429. I’d do you six loads of washing in exchange for one lovely storm. Our stupid sky is clear and sunny. Again.

  430. Catty, the chemicals work, but they also give me migraines & nausea so I get the GP to burn them & then I do back up with the nasties. I’ve let them grow back because it was just more important to stay sane & spend time with MG. now that she’s safely tucked away in Caloundra I am free to paint my feet with toxic chemicals till I’m ready to barf & it doesn’t matter how limpy I get or how badly my back goes out because I can speak to her on the phone & no need to try to sit up straight on that god-awful hospital furniture while my thoracic vertebrae twist themselves up into knots.

    Anyway, hopefully the GP has well and truly killed them, this time. They’d just started to come back & the real issue is stress, causing them to pop up, in the first place.

    So with Miracle Girl back in her home town & me happily plotting to flee from mine, hopefully the factors contributing to my crap immunity are on the wane.

    Salt Water, Huzzah!

  431. I swear that even walking along the beach does you good. It’s ozone, or good vibrations, or something.

  432. Yes. And until I get daily doses of it I am relying on music therapy to block out the Sounds of Horror from outside.
    Gweedo has just turned up to do one of his 40 minute Shouting Tours outlining the wonders of Bog Hollow.

    Instead of yelling at him to STFU I’ve decided it’s simply best to turn up my SONOS system until I can no longer hear the slimy little git. Remember that research that says the best way to get people under 25 to stay out of the mall – play country music?

    Well, I’ve been working through a medley of Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton & Loretta Lynn. The Osmonds are coming up next.
    Any requests?

  433. Hehehe. Sounds great. Just follow “I Don’t Want To Play House” with “Crazy” and it should provide a suitable ambiance, as well as fair warning.

  434. Way ahead of you.
    There’s another pair in there so because it’s sending me mad, I’ve switched on the Best of Loretta Lynn & I’ve walked away. And hopefully so will they, after Loretta’s mournful rendition of ‘The Pill – another one’s on the way’.

  435. Hmm. I do not like this line up of couples they are parading through the rat hotel.
    I think I need to step it up from ‘he done me wrong’ to ‘If only he’d lived to regret it’ tunes.
    I’ve added Olivia’s ‘Down by the banks of the Ohio’ to my Gweedo’s Rat Hotel tour soundtrack. Now what?

  436. Oh, thanks for the suggestion, SONOS.
    Dolly, with ‘In the Ghetto’.
    In tribute to the heat, I’ve queued that after June Carter Cash’s ‘Ring of fire’.

  437. How about mixing it up with a little Talking Heads?

    “Burning Down the House”, “Psycho Killer” and then “And She Was”.

  438. Well, that was my initial thought.
    But it’s far too funky & I want to repel them, not reel them in.
    Besides, I’m hoping if I play enough Donny & Marie, Gweedo will start to hum a few bars. And if that won’t make them run, nothing will.

  439. “Muskrat Love”. Not only an appalling song, but also fair warning re rodents.

  440. Ooooh, I loved Donny and Marie’s Deep Purple. And how about Patsy’s Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray? Or Tammy Wynette’s D.I.V.O.R.C.E? But not John Denver. Everyone says they hate him, but deep down, they’re singing along….

    Almost heaven, west Virginia…

    (Join in! You know you want to!)

    Take me hooooooome, country rooooooooads,
    To the plaaaaaaace, I belooooooooong!

  441. Heh heh heh. And there’s always UB40 ‘There’s a rat in the kitchen what am I gonna do…’
    I’m not familiar with the smoker song by Patsy, but nice touch, Catty. I will have to spend some time on youtube later today.

    They’ve got another viewing scheduled for Saturday. The Bloke will be squiring his parents out to lunch for his father’s BD so I’ll be here cleaning the pool & trying to sort out some piles of crap before the builder starts next week.

    I think it’s only fair to give prospective tenants some warning that Bog Hollow may not provide the peaceful study environment that Gweedo proclaims it to be – over the roar of the power tools up the back at the Acropolis, of course.

    I was thinking I might crank up the spa heater, that makes an ungodly racket. Mind you, I don’t think they need fair warning beyond what awaits them on the footpath outside Bog Hollow.
    Aside from the 6 overflowing bins leaning drunkenly against the kerb, she decided to dump a whole heap of garden rubbish on the footpath during kerbside clean up. This despite BCC doing a leaflet drop stating that garden rubbish would not be removed, and the council website saying DITTO.
    Then again, I can see her logic. If she expects them to mow the lawns on her footpath then by extension they must provide a garden rubbish service for her rates, too.
    The lesbians have taken to parking their plumber & carpentry trucks outside the boarding house, which, if you’re a prospective tenant, or their fussing mother, must lend the feeling that repairs within are protracted & possibly smelly.

    I do wonder if she’d have a better chance of renting the nasty little rat holes if only she’d tidy up the garden. It’s the only reason I can think of that the coot was able to lure them in – they had some nice grassy banks where they could sit & drink beer, smoke their cigarettes and vomit before they passed out and wet themselves. And students, as my GP said the other day, are not so very different from the mentally unstable & the chronically homeless.
    Except the homeless are usually nice people & students, as he said, are just arrogant & obnoxious. 🙂

    We are both starting to pine for Wallaby Hill. I drove the bloke to the train this am & he said ‘OMG there’s a lot of power lines in this suburb.’
    The power & phone lines are all underground, down there, which means that the bits of the suburb that are now nearly 10 years old have tree-lined streets which should become the most glorious shady avenues over the next 10-20 years – killer storm cells permitting. It’s a shame the cost of doing that everywhere is so prohibitive. Still, at least the councils are making them bury the cables in the new suburbs. It’s so much prettier.

  442. I don’t feel pretty today. I feel fat and old. Last night I trashed my wardrobe looking for anything even remotely suitable for Mayhem’s wedding. Two dresses looked promising, until I tried them on. Ugh! Marshmallowy bulges and flapping bingo arms wrapped in skin-tight chiffon is not a good look.

    For a minute I thought my worries were over. Mayhem rang. “Oh, joy!” I thought. “She’s found out how disgusting I look and is ringing to cancel my invitiation. Or not so joyous, she’s got cold feet and is looking to hide out on my sofa – which wouldn’t be such a good idea, given that the Teen and the Wildebeest have rendered it uninhabitable”. But no, she doesn’t have cold feet. Just professionally pedicured ones. So there’s nothing for it. I’m going to have to go out and buy a new dress. If I can find one. Maybe I should look for a circus instead, and borrow their tent.

  443. Oh Catty, you’re not old or fat!

    Why not find your inner GaGa, and wrap yourself in meat? Bacon will go down well, knowing that crowd.

  444. Hmm. I wonder if you could make a ball gown out of kettle crisps.
    Where the hell are those Disney fairies when you want them?

    And yes, what MM said. No beating yourself up, Catty, that’s what the children are there for.

  445. Whaddya reckon, MM, think we could whip this up in a few hours and get Moko to StarTrak it to Catty in time?

  446. I shudder to think where she’s got the dip, but fear that her face tells the story.

  447. She et too many chips?
    Well, we had tradies poking about at Casa Q yesterday.
    They will start in another week or so. There was a slight stuff up on the plans, the engineer has drawn a supporting beam wrong so we have to wait for him to tick that off before they can order it. All part of the fun of renovating & kudos to the builder for picking up on it before they’d ordered it rather than later.
    We signed the contract yesterday, he promised to have everything finished in 4 months. (GAH!)
    The deck shouldn’t take more than a few weeks, and the landscaping is just going on a daily rate because it’s hard to quote for that, and he doesn’t know when the painters can fit us in so he’s playing it safe & saying All Done By June.
    Still, it’s finally happening, so Huzzah! And external paint is low on my list of invasive experiences. Did I ever tell you guys that 15 years ago when we painted, the angry lesbians in the boarding house complained because they said the roofers and the painter could see in their windows?
    The advice ‘Perhaps you could shut the curtains for privacy,’ was met with outrage, apparently what they wanted to hear was ‘of course, we’ll tell the tradesmen to wear blindfolds.’
    So I’m wondering what fresh lunacy they’ll come up with this time.

    Yesterday I had two phone calls and an email from GC real estate agents wanting to know if we still want to buy something. From what I’ve heard of the Gold Coast they have more bluebottles than property buyers at the moment so they must be getting desperate if they’re going back through their books from enquires in January & December. I didn’t make them any happier by saying, well, no, that money that we had sitting around in the bank that would have enabled finance approval – we’re giving it to tradies. So it will be a few months before that translates to improved value of Casa Q & suitable leverage to purchase elsewhere.

    I gather they’ll be dining on lentils & going without AC until the market picks up over Easter. Bluebottles permitting, of course.

  448. Lentils. Ugh! Keep ’em. Today, I dine on CAEK. Wedding CAEK. Yay!

  449. You are welcome to the wedding CAEK.
    For tonite I will dine on the freshly plucked livers of mine enemies, i.e. the fresh batch of ratsackers in at Bog Hollow who parked us in this morning.
    There were five in the car so by the time I am done, there will be no room for CAEK.

    Hope you’re having fun, Catty.

  450. Oh, bless. Hope it all went off without a hitch. Well, other than the getting hitched bit.

    So Guido lured some fresh meat in, then? They’ll soon learn the error of their ways.

    Right, so I’ve got my ducks in a row. I’ve forgotten, where are we dining next Saturday – The Usual or Southbank?

  451. We hadn’t made a commitment. I’d vote for The Usual, as once we move to the old coast & I’m catching the train in, South Bank is likely to become the new Regular. Aside from which, the Greybeards might need more books to take to Victoria, I was round there last week & I don’t think they have enough.

    And yes, it does look like Bog Hollow is filling up.
    Just in time to welcome our builder, who is all set to start the day that lectures resume at UQ.
    Welcome to the neighbourhood, kids! The builder is here for 4 months.
    Try the veal!

  452. And don’t worry about the scritching. it’ll drown out the voices in your head telling you to flee!

    The Usual is fine with me. I can come early and visit the bookshops and my crazy key lady 🙂 .

  453. Heh Heh. Yes, the scritching started early yesterday, I heard a drill start up around 6.30am. NFI where & thankfully I had my AC cocoon to retreat to.
    There was a group of young boys moving into The Irish habitat when we were dog walking last night. They were dragging some ancient recliner rockers up the stairs & as the recycling bins are overflowing they threw their empty soft drink bottles into NTO’s garden.
    I saw a family of 15 Chinese people disappear into the flat overlooking my back patio so that explains the extensive remodelling she’s done to it, it seems she’s rewired it with the engineering plans from the Tardis or else, perhaps, the wardrobe that leads into Narnia.
    The boarding house is only registered to hold 19 – fire regs – so I might do a head count over the coming weeks to see if council can pull her up on code violations. There’s couples in most of the other flats & I wouldn’t be surprised if the only way she can pull the rent she’s asking is to overcrowd the dump.
    Probably not much they can do, though, the Coot used to deny the overcrowding by insisting he had the right number of tenants & the excess were just ‘friends’. The slum lords don’t usually get into trouble over that one until after they’ve pulled the smouldering corpses out of the wreckage & even then it’s hard to prosecute them as they argue that they had the right number of names on the lease, because they just quietly turn a blind eye to the extras. 8-|
    Judging from the reek of pork fat that bellowed out of there last night they’ve already figured out to dismantle the smoke alarms. They go through this process of testing them once a month but it’s all smoke & mirrors.

    Oh well. A few more months & we’ll be out of here.
    So long as we’re out of here before the DA at 25 gets knocked back & it mysteriously burns to the ground.
    Wallaby Hill, looking good!

    Hey, Catty, how was the wedding? All I’ve seen on twitter for weeks now, when I’m back-reading, is elaborate plans for the CAEK. Mayhem gave some cryptic & non-committal response when I asked how it was, so I gather even the cake made it onto the list of Wedding Smurf-Ups?

    Unless she read up about wedding superstitions and found the one that says it’s good luck to break the cake over the bride’s head. In which case, given the players involved & the angst entailed in bringing it to pass, perhaps she decided it was safer to go with no cake at all.

    Good thing I sent her a cake book as a wedding gift, then.

  454. I’ve just heard from Melbo that Mayhem looked lovely and it was all divine, so she must just be resting.

    Or lying naked in a bathtub surrounded by fancy underwear and the remains for the CAEK, either or.

  455. Glad to hear it went well & a good time was had by all, and yes, I’m sure she’s exhausted.

    So, was there a Baconing, today, MM?
    We thought about heading down the coast for some kayaking but when I realised there’d be 40-50k southerlies that idea had limited appeal. That & we both slept in. Not sure what my excuse was but the Bloke spent yesterday amusing his parents so he had a solid excuse to want to sit and stare at the walls and twitch. It’ll take a week to air the car out to remove the reek of Elizabeth Taylor, I may need to make a special trip to Bunnings for some sheep shit in order to hasten the process. Ugh.

    So we swam laps & then wandered around the local markets. Tents and marketers were flying off in all directions thanks to the south-easterly that had kicked in. The juice guy was hanging from the rafters of his tent in an effort to stop them from becoming airborne. So we wondered how your Bacon Tent was faring, further north.
    I hope you survived the gusts & didn’t get blown half-way to Longreach.

  456. Yes, it was blowy. Our tent lifted a couple of times and there were several sharp showers. Surprisingly, though, trade was reasonable. And it’s nicer to work in the cool and relative gloom, even if it’s a bit of an extreme sport.

    How did it manage to become Monday again so fast?

  457. I have been wondering the same thing myself. I’ve also been wondering why it’s not wetter, like you I have been looking forward to the cool & gloom of the soggy season. BOM said we’re in for a week of this, so at least we have some relief from the heat & a bit of a dribble to cool us down. Sounds like the farmers out west are hogging the lion’s share of the rain. I know they need it but I am jealous. A good soaking and some more storms would be very welcome.

    How is life with the Fruit of Temptation in your house, MM? have you all been won over by the delights of the Preciousss, yet?

  458. I’ve come to the conclusion that If they’d only built a fence around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, there wouldn’t have been a problem. EB and I only get to see the Precious in brief glimpses, so we really have no idea whether it’s God Gift or a lemon.

    However, MM is doing his homework, so perhaps it is a miraculous object, after all.

  459. Well that’s happy news.
    I too am surprised that those old testament fellows hadn’t accessed God’s Holy Plans for razor wire, but FWIW if he’d only thought to plant mangos and watermelons in the garden of Eden, nobody would have paid any attention to apples, be they carbohydrate or plastic.

  460. And nectarines. I will be devastated when stonefruit season ends.

    Devoed, but glad it’s lovely chilly winter again.

  461. Cherries have already ended.
    And the bloke tells me that nectarines are on their way out, too.
    Just as well kettle crisps and chocolate rabbits are in season all year round or we’d waist away to nothing.

  462. Mmm … I haven’t had my first Malteaser rabbit of the year yet. That will go partway to filling the aching stonefruit void.

  463. Hmm. Disturbed by a clatter outside. There’s 3 black leather bar stools & a 6 foot high steel gas heater being ferried up into the Irish’s old flat in at Bog Hollow.
    I may have to take that fiver off ‘Wok Inferno’ and put it on ‘Gas Heater Combustion’ instead.

  464. Don’t forget the ever-popular “Deep-Fat Fryer Disaster”.

  465. Indeed.
    And there’s endless possibilities for the Portal Into PRC Narnia.
    The Chinese family of 5 just trooped out into their hire car.
    Boggling. Where DOES she keep them?
    I’m sure she’s found a way to transport them, via wardrobe, or in this case, Rat-Hole-Tardis technology, direct from Beijing with no annoying hold ups in customs.
    It could revolutionise the import of white goods, particularly the powdered kind.
    Oh well.
    Thus far the new batch have been quiet & reasonably well-behaved. And since I did another print up of Yellow Line notes, advising them that the line is there because of the high number of head-on collisions in that spot, they’ve been going out of their way to park elsewhere.
    Mischief managed, for now at least.

  466. Well, that’s civilised. Why the notes, are you out of ammo again, Q?

  467. Why the notes?
    Because I’ve found, over the years, that it’s actually counter-productive to try to engage with them in conversation.

    Being students, I assume they can read. Being OS students, I’m not sure they speak English well enough to engage them in conversation on a topic they have little motivation to understand. 🙂
    With the entitled white kids that do speaka da English, I’ve found that it’s a waste of time trying to engage them as familiarity breeds contempt.
    They just stand there and talk about how hard it is to find a park on the street and now I know who they are and where they live, I can just come and get them and ask for permission to get out of my driveway, at their convenience.
    Then of course when they do get a ticket it’s personal, it’s not between them & council, it’s between them & me, and, having once spoken to them, I then have to listen to them whine about how badly they’ve been inconvenienced for inconveniencing me.
    They all have the same monologue & I don’t think I can listen to it again without screaming or wanting to punch them.

    The notes are psychology 101 – I have a standard form that I print up & drop off to all 18 of the letterboxes in the boarding houses.
    Once they learn that there’s been a history of head-on collisions in that spot and that they could be fined or towed, they realise that there could be unpleasant consequences for themselves & so they park elsewhere. The fines aren’t much of a deterrent, but the thought of being crashed into or towed away is. I keep the notes very neutral & make the point that the line is there for community safety reasons.

    The line ‘your car may be fined or towed’ is BS – I can’t get them towed, unless of course their vehicle requires towing after something in our driveway slithers down the hill & smashes up their engine. Which, when the tradies are here, is a very real possibility. 🙂

    There’s no point asking tenants in the boarding house to be considerate. Bog Hollow simply doesn’t attract that kind of personality. They’re under 25, they don’t have a pre-frontal cortex. They are biologically unable to consider the needs of others.

    So while they’ve stopped parking over my driveway (for now) they’re still just as inconsiderate of other road users.

    i.e. there’s room for three cars to park on the street between my driveway & NTO’s. The same with us and the Flanders. However the new tenants will park in such a way that there’s only room for 2 cars in an area where three cars would fit quite comfortably.

    That’s standard procedure for new tenants in the boarding houses, and because there’s 5 or 6 cars at the Lesbian Plumber’s house (no off street parking there), when they start doing that it’s usually signals the beginning of a lease-long pissing contest between cars from the boarding house and cars from the rental house as to who ‘owns’ a parking spot on the street.

    It’s the Lord of the Flies, but with vehicles made in Korea.

    Anyway – at least, thus far, they’ve been quiet.

  468. 25?!

    You mean I have 12 years more of MM being like this. Oh, happy thought – I might not live long enough to have to endure it all.

  469. That’s what the psychologists are saying. Minimum age for boys to develop Adult Emotional Brain is 24, with most not developing their pre-frontal cortex until 28 – and comments that some people never develop one at all.

    Not to worry, they say the reason for the delay is because of the reduced levels of responsibility/freedom that the current crop of kids have compared to our generation & our grandparents’ generation. So the solution is to give them more responsibility and more freedom to learn about consequences & risk taking – before they get their licences & are over 18 and doing alcomohol & drugs.

    So just get him busy flipping burgers at Maccas and reading Dickens to retirees at the Sunny Shores nursing home, if you want to hasten the end of the age of Horror. 🙂

  470. My MIL delights in reminding me that in less than 3 years, I’ll have 3 teenagers living at home. *shudder*

  471. I thought your MIL was lovely, Catty, but she’s obviously a bitch on wheels. Hey, Melbo said you all had a lovely time at the wedding. Tell us the goss!

  472. Screw the goss. I want CAEK!

  473. There was no CAEK. So, in compensation, we shall have CAEK on Saturday. Yes, Catty, I’ll Express Post the leftovers. Unless GB and Fifi can bring them down when they come back.

  474. I don’t know if we’ll have room for CAEK, MM. They’ve got some new things on the menu which are fan-smurfing-tabulous. Although I do recommend stopping in at the bakery. The orange/almond cake is particularly scrumptious.

  475. Bugger it. I shall make my own CAEK. Alfonse! Fire up the oven!

    Actually, I might wait until morning. It’s 30º, and the Boss will go spak if I turn the oven on. Also, he wants bacon, and it’s nearly ready. If I’m faffing around with CAEK, he will eat all the bacon before I get to it.

  476. Yep, I too am dreaming of CAEK.
    After getting my feet done last week, this week is hair. Miracle Girl has managed to send me grey – well, I suppose it had to happen sometime. So I was off at the hairdresser discussing how to age graciously. I’m thinking of getting my hair styled like Malfoy’s mother, or Cruella De Ville.
    I have to do something to get these damned kids off my lawn.

  477. Bride of Frankenstein, Q. Get a perm and learn how to do a beehive while you’re there.

    It will be spiffing with your new glasses.

  478. Not to mention Bangarr’s knives, and the deranged expression when the driveway smokers set off our smoke alarms at 1am.

  479. Hmmmmm…. 1 am smokers….. Have you considered tranquilizer darts? The nice, strong, elephant variety, so the tenants will still be passed out, butts in hand, on your lawn when lesbian plumber slumlord leaves for work. Unless you would rather take advantage of their lack of consciousness, and duct-tape them to the floor of the cat enclosure. If you do, please PLEASE post the CCTV footage onto YouTube.

  480. Nup, mostly what I consider these days is the prospect of moving, Catty.
    There is a bit more happy news on the noise + slum-lord front, though.

    You know those three garage bands around here that I whine about?
    The worst household has been evicted & the house has gone up for sale. Most houses last less than 2 weeks on the markets around here. And this one won’t last long as it’s in quite a nice spot – an old Qlder at the end of a cul-der-sac with lots of trees – so someone will be happy. Aside from the neighbours, who are no doubt busting out the bubbly.
    It’s funny to see how the glut of units coming onto the market is having a chain reaction on the other housing in the market. So I’m feeling very happy for the old Qlder cottages around here that are being saved from bongo-ferals & are finally getting restored.
    I spent a good chunk of yesterday googling the psyche degrees at Bond & Griffith Gold Coast campus. A friend told me that the counselling course at Bond is really good – & as she’s a UQ psyche honours graduate, I trust her. She regrets not doing her study at Bond. Interesting.
    So I looked into it & you can incorporate the counselling subjects into your psyche degree & it’s comparable to the course at QUT.
    And only 10 minutes from Wallaby Hill.
    And they offer the online learning (distance ed) option with lots of subjects if you don’t want to be on campus for all your subjects.
    Very interesting.
    When we explored Bond/Varsity Lakes we were very impressed with the facilities – gym, 50m pool, restaurants – OMG I still fantasize about the butter chicken we had for lunch – we were very surprised at what a happy little multi-cultural village it’s become.
    When I went to get my eyebrows done yesterday (they’ve faded to blond/grey & are all but invisible) the girl who did the work said she’s studying creative writing at Griffith Gold Coast campus….woohoo! She loves it there & she waxed lyrical about how nice the people are.
    Then again she’s a professional waxer so what more would you expect?
    So I might have to look into these options, as I’m starting to think that once we are at the coast I may never want to come back.

    Speaking of which, Miracle Girl is rapturously happy now she’s back up the north coast & they have her on a rigorous training schedule for all her rehab. I’m having trouble calling her so have given up for now & just send texts. She’s still having trouble with dexterity & the buttons. She rang me to say that she had cooked her own breakfast – bacon & eggs – and she was so excited to be back in the kitchen. It’s obviously doing wonders for her confidence as she sounded more like herself pre-accident. So that’s awesome. I’ll aim to get up there one weekend soon, to visit. If I time it right she might even make me bacon & eggs.

  481. Well, Bond would be a hellofa lot more convenient than commuting back to Brisvegas. And it would be nice to have the option of doing some subjects from home.

    Huzzah to MG. They must be close to miracle workers, she’s come a long way in a short time. Glad to hear she’s happier, too. Great news.

  482. Yes, she was ready to leave for the next stage of rehab before Xmas but there simply weren’t enough places for her. Now that she’s got more challenges and more opportunities for outings, we’re confident she’ll go from strength to strength.

    And yes, I’ll have to think about alternative study options.
    One of my cousins that I’m keen to stay clear of works at the KG campus. I was hoping that if I studied there I wouldn’t run into her, but I nearly ran her over the other day when I was trying to find a parking spot near the pool. After having a back-seat view of Mayhem’s family fun over the past two years as she tried to get herself hitched, it’s been a sobering reminder of why I chose to step right away from that.
    No matter how much I study, my family’s Isshews will always be way beyond my level of expertise & my pay-grade, & given how much they grate on me when I’m in a confined space with them, I don’t think I need the added temptation of vehicular homicide.

  483. Indeed. Zoloft will only get you so far before their crazy soaks down to the bone. Mmmmm…. Zoloft….

    +1 Morgana’s Huzzah! Miracle Girl is really living up to her name. You know you’re on the mend when you can cook bacon. Yeah, eggs too, but… bacon… *drool*

  484. yes, I got a bit teary.
    I reminded her that the last meal she’d cooked for me was bacon & eggs & mushrooms, a few weeks before the accident. And that as she’s such a wonderful hostess it’s been far too long between meals & I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Did I tell you guys that her sister has decided to sell her house & they have bought land on the canals up there so that they can build a specially designed house to cater to their needs? It will have a separate living quarters downstairs to cater for MG, and for their mother, if the day comes when either or both of them need to live in.

    It’s hard to imagine her being able to live without some help, so this sounds ideal. As soon as the house is finished they plan to get kayaks, including a two-seater, so that they can take her out on the water every day. All of this was Gill’s husband’s idea. What a treasure that man is.

    I’m glad they’ve said that I’m family, after this, because in my next life I’m making damned sure that this is precisely where I end up. And if I land on earth and discover that I’ve FKD up and landed inside my mother’s family again, I know exactly where I’m going when I turn 3 and decide that it’s time to run away.


  485. Wow, that’s awesome. So she’ll have somewhere to go after rehab … and, as you say with other rellies aging, etc. the accommodations won’t go astray.

    Nice one, BIL.

  486. They are a tremendously generous and loving family.

  487. I’m so glad that MG has a family like that. It’s horrible to see all the people in rehab who are all alone. When Gran was there, MIL befriended all the strays, and would bring them home cooked meals, newspapers, and anything else they needed. It was very sweet, and made the ward a happier place. And MIL thinks she’s not doing anything special. Yeah, right MIL.

    Speaking of family, yesterday the Teen dropped over to get her mail. (She’s having all her letters sent here while she’s couch surfing). I had to go to the shops, so she tagged along and promptly did the three-year-old thing. “I need this! I need that!” She ended up with a new shirt, two new pairs of shoes, toothbrush and toothpaste, food, coffee, deodorant, cigarettes and a lighter, Ribena, a job interview, and a lift to Centrelink. She took it all happily – except for the job interview. (of course) Then she promptly up-ended the Ribena all through my car, ruining half of her new stuff and my upholstery. Just like a three-year-old. *sigh*

  488. Huzzah to the deodorant and job interview, though – neither of which you can spoil with blackcurrant cordial.

    Well, as long as you don’t take Ribena in with you, I guess.

  489. The dear girl *cough* waited around the corner until the manager left. Then she went in for the interview with the manager. What a pity he wasn’t there, but it wasn’t her fault she couldn’t have the interview.

    Having worked at the CES, I’ve seen all these tricks before. *sigh*

  490. Maybe she should apply to ASIO?

  491. I think ASIO are cutting staff now they don’t need Indonesian spies any more.

  492. Bugger. Eagle Boys it is, then. They probably have better OH & S, anyway.

  493. OH&S wouldn’t let her work at Eagle Boys. There’s some rule that says you’re not allowed to knead pizza dough with your feet.

    Aaaaaand now you know why she lost her last pizza job. Well, that’s half the story. You don’t want to hear the other half.

  494. If it was something to do with the cheese, I’ve got my fingers in my ears.


  495. I’d be far more worried about what those kids get up to with the unsliced peperoni.

  496. Or, for the fellows, a willing capsicum.

  497. The thing is, I don’t know how many of them are willing.
    I’ve heard that the capsicums often complain afterwards, and being sprinkled with caesar sauce later in life causes disturbing flashbacks.

    Speaking of things 13yro boys do, during the course of our kayak adventures yesterday we discovered why it’s so very difficult to sell real-estate in the canals at Palm Beach.
    We’ve heard that there’s Bogans at the south end and the nobby bit is at the north end. So we paddled off into uncharted territory yesterday, lured by crystal clear azure waters & the high cost of the housing off Tallebudgera Creek.

    The bloke took off ahead of me & before we’d made it far, a couple of 13yros in 6hp tinnies shot out of one of the canals and amused themselves by doing donuts beside our sea kayaks, presumably in the hopes that they would churn up the water enough to tip the old people out.

    The spotty little treasures weren’t counting on the fact that having worked with children, I have eyes in the back of my head & I had seen exactly which house they’d exited. So I paddled over to their jetty & had a quiet word with Mummy.

    The children by that stage had jetted off away from me and were doing donuts around the Bloke – little knowing how grateful I was to them for demonstrating why he should be thankful for my failure to supply him with some spotty unpleasant waterborne canal spawn of his own.

    Mummy & I got on like a house on fire & I spent 20 minutes pulled up by her jetty making her children squirm (from afar) discussing real estate at Palm Beach & at Wallaby Hill, where she used to live with her brood of aquatic hoodlums & where she’s considering returning them. I can see her reasoning, it’s probably easier than confiscating their tinnies, or yelling at them to behave better, which she assured me she would do.
    I believed her, because as things turn out, she works just across the road from the Bloke, & is employed by the client he worked for on his last job.
    Meaning they are likely to run into each other at lunch & they knew a few of the same people from work.
    Big mistake, kids.
    Heh heh heh heh heh.

    So without actually viewing the house that’s for sale two doors down from them, we’ve decided we’d probably be happier buying elsewhere.
    I’m not sure which drunken idiot in Marine Services Qld decided it’s a good idea to allow children under 16 to operate motor powered water vehicles, but when I consulted my mate the Swamp Cop (ah, kids, I choose my friends carefully, it’s a mistake to piss me off) Nbob said that yes indeed, the Swamp Police can and do arrest children for attempting to tip other people out of their craft and that 9/10 swamp cops are in favour of removing them from their families and making them wards of the state.

    From what Nbob has said on twitter after a long day at work, I gather that 10% of swamp cops prefer incarceration in Davy Jones’ Locker for both first time offenders and for recidivists.

  498. While I applaud their sense of social engineering on one hand, on the other rotting aquatic hoodlums are probably contributing to the decline in water quality and biodiversity.

  499. Hmm. Now we’ve reached the 500 post mark, any chance of some more Puppy Pix, MM?
    I’m interested to see how she’s grown, and aside from which it’s getting into Comfy Stay in Bed with Ipad season & you know how my ipad does hate to load long blogs.

    Speaking of quality time under the doona, I’ve figured out how to use iBooks and I loaded the first one up the other day. Mostly because my kindle spat the dummy when Amazon insisted on doing Wi-Fi delivery rather than plug-in delivery.
    I think I prefer the kindle, it’s lighter & easier to hold, but the nerdenfolk do tell me there’s a fabulous new wafer-light ipad on the shelves.
    Which, given how often I curse that I didn’t select the ipad retina – is very, very tempting.
    Damn that scribe, he’s turned me into a tech junkie.

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