Don’t Judge


Attempted Minecraft birthday cake for EB. At least it tasted good.


257 Responses

  1. I’d eat it. But, as Melbo said the other day, I’d eat a turd if it was rolled in sugar. The fondant squares – what a good idea! (Why didn’t I think of that?) And the blocks on the side are a nice touch. How did you do the sugary squares? Sour straps? (Says she, frantically taking notes….) I’m impressed. Well done, Madam.

    So, when are you posting us the leftovers?

  2. Yes, sour straps!

    I highly recommend the fondant, it was a breeze to work (Orchid Brand). I’m keen to try it again, maybe colour it and make little figures? Jake the Dog and Finn the Human, here I come.

    I was going to but the cake into blocks and do that chess board thing but … meh. Perhaps next year.

  3. The battenburg? that is meant to be notoriously hard to do, and having seen them go for it on the Great British Bake-off, with horrifying results, you’re a braver woman than me if you attempt it.
    I posted earlier but perhaps the spam trap tipped me out for making salty remarks, I asked what you’d made the red squares out of but not being familiar with sour straps I’d enquired if it was salami.
    Given that Irma has just arrived, consider that wishful thinking & admiration of your genius on my part.

  4. I REALLY want pizza now. How long until dinner?

  5. I was thinking of nipping out to get a slice for lunch.

  6. Share-a-secret time…. not being as talented as the fair Morgana, I have had only sporadic success using Orchid. Then my cake decorating friend put me on to Satin Ice. It’s much more pliable and infinitely easier to work with than Orchid. That’s how I was able to make all those boffo Finn and Jake faces for the Littlest Kidlet’s cupcakes last year. It is available online, in most good cake shops, and most Matchbox kitchenware shops. Matchbox also has Buttercream icing. You just have to whip it up with electric beaters, and it spreads on easily – but once it’s on a cake (or a biscuit) it stiffens up again, so you get a nice, professionally smooth finish. It even comes in a whole array of colours, so you don’t have to mess around with food dye. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone I told you…

  7. I think I’ve seen that icing in the cake shop over at Oxley.
    Speaking of CAEK, you have both inspired me to make my own.
    I just made pineapple slice from the CWA classics book. I used shredded coconut instead of dessicated, with the strained crushed pineapple. I guess technically it is a custard mix as it’s got two eggs, sugar & some SR flour in it. I think if I experimented I could get the right consistency for the Currumbin pineapple tarts.

    Golly that book is fabulous.
    I am so pleased it’s getting cooler and there are more incentives to bake.
    I still have plans for that Tunnel of Fudge cake, MM, and when I make it I will just have to make sure that my GF’s uni aged children who live up the road are free to come visit & eat it all. Although if I experiment when the tradies are here, they’re bound to clean up whatever shocking mess I make of it, surely?

  8. Thanks, Catty – I’ll never tell.

    Mmmm … Tunnel of Fudge. I really love that book, Q. Smurfed if I know why I didn’t scan all the recipes before I gave it to you.

    Oh, I remember. Because I have no time in which to bake.

  9. It’s a beautiful book, MM. I had to clear out a fresh set of shelves to allow room for the Xmas cook-book bounty. Even when I can’t be arsed baking, it’s a thing of joy to walk past that shelf, and it’s a glorious thing to loll on the lounge & read them.

  10. CAEK prOn. Beats the tentacle variety hands down.

  11. Having made pineapple slice & procured a salad roll, I still want salami, with an unnatural passion.
    I think my brain, not being over familiar with nor fond of the abomination that is sour candy, is insisting on blocking it out and saying ‘Mmm….salami.’

    What IS it with children and sour stuff?

    Never mind, I don’t want to know.
    I do want to know if Elf Boy’s vampires have singed ears after being held up to the light. Do tell!

  12. They glow in the dark. They are thoroughly awesome. When we have pasta tonight, I’ll be able to tell you whether or not garlic has any effect on them.

  13. Hey MM, do you know why my early post disappeared to get attached to the photo? I just zoomed in to ask the bloke what he thought the red stuff was.
    His thoughts:

    And he actually likes those vile sour straps and about once a year will eat one from the local markets. So he didn’t pick it either.

    Have your children seen the Lost Boys? the one with the Coreys in it. I just sent a link to Bangarr to remind him of the protocols before he invites Khan Greybeard over.
    We don’t want to lose another good man into darkness.

    • “How far are you willing to go…. Gregory?”

  14. Sour straps are horribly vile and I can’t understand the craze for sour lollies. What’s the point of a lolly if it’s not sickly sweet?

    I love that film, but it’s a bit dated for the kids, I think. They refused to watch it with me.

    Laughed like drains when I showed them “And Now For Something Completely Different” by Monty Python, though, so they have got some taste.

  15. Heh, yes, the Pythons are fabulous, age shall not weary them.
    We’ve been watching the repeats of Fast Forward at night & have been cackling over that. It’s amazing how the same crap is still in the news. Those puppets from the Starship Free Enterprise never fail to crack me up.

    One of my cats is at the vet today, having some biopsies for skin cancer checks. Have discussed the <2km from quarry life option & he's not in favour of it, says that cats are very prone to respiratory distress, asthma, allergies, sinus, and he reminded me that the Fat One had that toe removed thanks to the fibrous sarcoma growing on it 18 months ago.

    Which reminds me, your uncle RV used to treat my kitteh for sinus & hayfever back in the old days at The Gap. It was always worse in summer, when we'd get the prevailing NE winds which would have blown straight in off the quarry at Settlement Road. I think I lost marks at school for handing in assignments that had been liberally blasted with Cat Snot. The Kitteh coughed up a lung-full on my black belt certificate, too. I didn't find it till it had congealed & it looks like the dragon in the background developed splatter diarrhoea.

    Funny, I'd forgotten all about the cat snot till then. Poor darling. He moved to Mullumbimby with one of my sisters at the end of his life & his snot problems eased right up thanks to the perpetual damp of the Northern Rivers climate, but he did suffer a bit in their cold frosty winters. He was 17 by then & he made it to almost 20 without succumbing to silicosis. Still, Cat Snot is a force to be reckoned with. I don't like to think what my house would look like if all three of them suddenly turned into mucous factories.

    We have to wait till Monday for the pathology to come back in. I've got it very early, I doubt that anyone but me & the vet can see the changes to his skin so here's hoping whatever it is, we've caught it early.

    How's your Thursday, MM?
    Must be blissful after the familial home invasion. Your place really isn't big enough for guests, particularly ones you're related to.

  16. *crickets*
    Where is everyone? Have you fallen to the communists?

  17. I have a dragging feeling in my lower belly, a five day headache and a distinct urge to kill that makes me feel like Irma’s circling like the vulture she is, but my absence is all thanks to the Plumber. Yes, Thursday rocked πŸ™‚

    Hope Puss is OK. Fingers crossed that’s it’s nothing serious. I hadn’t even factored cat snot into the equation, but that is of concern.

    Seems like all signs in the Universe point to Elsewhere, Q. If you keep looking I’m sure you’ll find something just as nice as the Fossickers that (a) the Vendors actually want to sell, and (b) is not quarry adjacent.

  18. I still get these posts, I don’t know why… except i like to read them I guess, not for the main message necessarily, but definitely for the comments! Also reminds me of a past life in the Sunshine Coast. Now at Batemans Bay… the boat floated me there and got stuck.

    • Could be worse. You could be living in Ringworm, like poor Greybeard.

  19. Ah, yes, it would be nice to have a rocket launcher to shoot Irma off of her broom once and for all. Here’s hoping your malaise settles soon.
    And thanks MM. Kitteh is recovering from his ordeal and whatever it is, we will catch it early.
    Pathology due early next week so fingers crossed.
    Years ago I had two moggies who developed cankerous noses in late middle age, snout removal bought them both a few more years but it was a terrible thing to watch them recovering from that surgery & a good thing I am so vigilant with the vacuum, in the interests of safeguarding my own crappy respiratory system.

    Our current thinking is that we can probably buy something out of range of the quarry dust (8km anticipated spread) and give it a few years, fighting with the traffic on the M1. If, down the track, Wallaby Hill seems to be faring OK in proximity to the quarry, we can always sell up and move in.
    Of far greater concern is if we do buy something on Wallaby Hill now, and Bore-All prove to be Bastards, that could prove to be a costly mistake. Even the EIS acknowledged that property prices had dropped about 20% following the news of the mine, so if it goes ahead & their promises that nobody will even notice them there turns out to be lies, it could be hard to get out without taking a hefty financial loss.

    Speaking of which, the builder says he will be here in the next week or two (yeah yeah I’ve heard it all before) – the engineer has slowed the process down by dragging his heels drawing a piece of steel. Builder says he will just show up and start on the landscaping if the engineer hasn’t finished drawing the beam. There’s plenty of other stuff they can be getting on with & FWIW it might be nice to get the back sorted out before they make a godawful mess out the front.

    So it’s just as well Irma will be out of the way by the time they arrive. Less chance I’ll be arrested for murder. Speaking of which, the bloke had to yell at the Lesbians’ night stalker tenant twice last night to get off our lawn. It seems he had some pressing business calls between the hours of 10pm & midnight which he didn’t want his own household to hear but had no problems waking the rest of the ‘hood to nut out the details of his *business deals* with his clients.
    And they’ve told me I’m crazy to ask them if he’s a drug dealer.

    *rolls eyes, stomps off*.
    Now. Brownies. Who wants three?

  20. Silly Stafford. Weigh anchor and come back to God’s own state ASAP.

  21. You need a “Git Offa My Lawn!” sign ASAP, Q. Maybe with a picture of crossed assault rifles and a snarling Rottweiler?

    No, better – an extensive sprinkler system that you can turn on from upstairs πŸ™‚

  22. What I want is a gun that shoots cat turds.
    And howdy, Stafford. I hear they don’t allow Gen Y into Batemans Bay and their mobile phones are fed to the tiger sharks if they use them between 9pm & 7am.
    Ah, the serenity!

    • What you need is a gun that shoots cats:

  23. Surely you could put a dryish turd in a catapault, Q?

    (see what I did there?)

  24. Yup. And I could caterwaul when I fling them.

  25. While wearing a catsuit.

  26. shouting ‘SCAT!’

  27. No, don’t do that, they might CATch the turds and fling them back at you.

  28. I have eaten too many hot chips to think of any more cat jokes.
    Happy news, my poor little wounded soldier is feeling much better, has allowed me to clean his nose with salty water & while we were out today he failed to fall out of the bunk bed, hook his claw through his nose-stitch, and dislocate his hip & shatter his jaw. All of which I feared when I removed the bucket from his head this morning & he insisted I could trust him. Who in their right mind would trust a cat that says ‘Trust me, I’m a cat’?
    He is a totally different beast than his brother & was a good little boy and has not monstered his stitched up nose.
    Whew. That’s a relief.

    We had a lovely day down the old coast, looked through some wonderfully quirky houses but nothing that grabs us. Oh well. We wound up at the surf club eating hot chips, so I have nothing to complain of other than a spike in my cholesterol levels that matches my contentment.

    How is Saturday treating you, ladies and lurkers?

  29. MM and I went to visit some 5 week foster kittens. Too much cute!

    And I did some final shopping for EB’s camp on Monday. They’re taking my bubba away for three whole days! *sob*.

    Can someone please make me a medicinal Tim Tamini?

  30. Oooh. Kittehs.
    I haven’t seen little ones for a long time. Always dangerous to visit them as I want to take them home.

    Sorry MM no tim-tams stashed here.
    Howsomedever, I remember years ago, before even small quantities of alcomohol started to screw with my system, mixing up some chocolate thickshakes with ice cream, microwavable chocolate fudge topping, and something that may have included vodka & creme de cacao. I’m sure I could reproduce it if I tried, but meanwhile I have therapeutic choc-chip brownies left in the freezer so I’d advise you start on them.
    Where is the camp, MM? I can’t think of a single school camp that wasn’t hell and torture & my friends say the same, so I don’t know what they’re doing differently these days that children want to go to them.

  31. Currumbin – as far as I remember. It’s a combination of near-resort style accommodation and gourmet buffets for every meal, I think.

    I vividly remember cornflakes made with powdered milk. Which is OK, unless they’ve made up the milk with tank water full of wrigglers.

  32. Oh yeah.
    I remember being issued with cans of meat from the boarding school kitchen, the chef must have been drunker than usual, that or he looked at the ingredients on the side and deemed them suitable for ingestion by a vegetarian.

    Currumbin will be lovely, we were down there yesterday & it was glorious. Not for swimming, as the beaches were closed, but the creek was gorgeous. Elf Boy will have a ball.

  33. *sniffle*

    I’m sure he will. And it’s only a few sleeps until he’s home

    *body racked with snobs*

  34. Trying to picture a body racked with snobs.
    Visitors from Toorak, with a winch and a set of handcuffs?

  35. Shhhh, Quokka, you’ll make the plumber jealous.

  36. I don’t feel like receiving any torture. But I sure could inflict some.

  37. Ah, yes. The rage has hit here as well. Do you think a box of Coles brand peanut butter ice creams will shut Irma up?

  38. I’ve progressed to apathy.
    But I still want salami.

  39. Try the new limited edition Mini Magnums. Apple pie – coated in white cinnamon chocolate is terrific, as is the Milk chocolate coated Creme Brulee.


    I fear there may be unprecedented new levels of Derp, where we are headed.

  41. Gee, I hope it wasn’t Tupperwareβ„’!

  42. Give me a minute to consider this.
    * pictures the entire tupperware sales sample bag packed to the gunnels with meth & white powder*
    Remind me to keep buying tupperware from the Western suburbs of Brisbane & never from Coomera.

  43. Sing with me!

    It’s raining meth, halleluja,

    It’s raining meth, Amen!

  44. It can’t have been ice, then – or it would have hailed.

    OK, I know that’s super lame but I’m heartbroken – Year 5 camp.

  45. Think of the teachers burdened with the task of supervising him.
    Now that their T-ware provisions have bounced off the heads of the local constabulary, they’ll have to make do with whatever they can purchase from the Palm Beach 7-11.

  46. I’m pretty sure a third of the payment we made went straight into the “crate of vodka for the teachers” fund.

  47. Ah, but it’s money well spent & it’s cheaper than therapy.
    Keep an eye on the mail, MM, I have posted you that little something from the $5 clearance bin at Zombiedale that I forgot to pass on at our last Feasting. Catty, my apologies but There Was Only One & I deemed Madame’s need for consolation & for clutter of this type to be greater than yours.
    You’ll just have to glare at MM jealously from the corner, and be content with your brood while MM’s fledgeling Sith Lord…er, sweet darling boy – is loose from his nest.

    Well, it’s St Patrick’s Day & the staff at my local Coals (to which I repaired for Salami & for Cat Food) were all dolled up in green, looking tortured. I cheered up my sweet little Indian check-out chick by saying ‘Whoops, and here’s me wearing Orange, the colour of their enemies, the Brits. I’ll have to watch out lest they punch me.’
    Judging by the way her eyes lit up she’ll be slipping into some burnt orange the moment she’s off duty & free to toss her greenery on the floor.

    I left my gift of the CWA classics cookbook for my darling Irish hairdresser & am hoping the girls in the salon had the wit to pass it onto her while she was visiting from Roma this weekend. It’s the size & weight of a cinder block so even if she doesn’t want to cook with it I’m sure it will come in handy as a foundation block when they go back to Dublin & build their new home. Sweet child, I’ll miss her.

  48. Ooh, lovely! Thanks Q.

    The CWA cookery book is an inspired choice for a lass going back to Ireland. Plenty there to stick to her ribs when nights are cold and long.

    Well, I haven’t had a particularly Irish day. Unless you count not seeing any serpents.

    How did everyone else celebrate … anyone pissed as an Irish newt, yet? Begorrah!

  49. I wore orange, to the pool & to Coals, and I ate an entire snack packet of salami.
    I did eat hot chips at the SLSC on Saturday, though, so perhaps I’ve ingested enough of sacred taties to get me through the saints’ day?

  50. Mmm … hot chips.

    Sorry, what was the question?

  51. Not sure, other than it involved fashion, and green beer.
    Sigh. There seem to be festivities among the Roman Senators that involve howling at the moon & parking over my driveway. About 12 of them just emerged from a 3 cylinder hatch. I’ve just yelled at them that they should probably move it unless they want to be fined or towed.
    Towing seems to be a marvellously effective threat, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.

    Meh. I’m starting to think that the daily dynamite blasts on Wallaby Hill would offer far more serenity than what’s on offer here. RE: the quarry, we’ve been invited to go to a meeting to throw offal at Canned Ooh. He’s addressing the angry residents of the Tally Valley this weekend so we plan to go along to show our support for the community, and for all the wildlife that Bore-All plan to lather in dust. I still can’t believe that even Canned Ooh would be stupid enough to drop a superquarry in on top of four schools and a wildlife corridor, and think that there won’t be some ugly fallout from that. He’s a cocky SOAB.

  52. I have to concede that he probably IS smart enough to realise that there will be fallout. He just doesn’t care. Or, to be more accurate, has weighed an amount of unpopularity against the calculated gains.

    After all, he is a former military man. They never go into battle expecting every single one of their soldiers to emerge unscathed.

    Collateral damage.

  53. My thoughts exactly. I think he’s just hoping that the objections will be limited to people in a 2k radius of the site. The discontent seems to spread much further afield, though. I rang up to talk pool quotes with a local company yesterday & their manager was very ‘Grrr’ about the quarry. And they’re one of the businesses it will supposedly benefit, as it’s meant to bring down the cost of concrete & aggregate. I think the only reason Canned Oooh is turning up is because there’s so many Christian schools and churches down there, he probably has to worry about the potential for future electoral damage by a Family First dweeble.

    I suppose the little toad just expects everyone to live inside the AC and deal with the dust, when the winds blow it in over your house. He’s a climate-change denier just like the rest of the idiots on board his team, isn’t he?
    Or if he isn’t, he just doesn’t care.

    I’ve read the EIS again and having done a bit more research on the topic I’m less concerned about noise & vibration but still concerned about dust. Apparently the heavier particles sink quite quickly, and the ridges full of koalas will probably bear the brunt of the lighter dust storm before it makes it too far over Wallaby Hill.
    Poor little bears.
    Apparently the dust from the existing quarry at West Burleigh blankets everything within 1-2km and once you’re beyond that the dust doesn’t seem to travel so far. We took some measurements & the Fossickers’ house is between 2 – 2.4km from the perimeter of the proposed mine. It’s protected by a few ridges so it won’t be as badly affected as houses closer to the mine.

    I’ve been hunting online further afield, & I’m a bit aghast at the number of fire-places in communities like Robina & Mudgereebah. Wallaby Hill has some sort of environment friendly covenant so that nobody has a fire place, up there. Some have decorative gas-flame fireplaces, but that was part of the appeal to me, freedom from smoke. So I’ll have to weight that in the balance, that dust isn’t much of an irritant for me whereas smoke is. And I’ve yet to see anyone up there with three heads, holes in their ear-lobes the size of 50 cent pieces, or tattoos that say ‘Such Is Life’ in Gothica font over their butt-cracks.

    Anyway, regardless of where we buy, we will be happy to swell their numbers at the meeting, and it’s ‘bring a plate’ which is always a good excuse to whip up something wicked in the kitchen & mingle with the locals.

    Ha, the Bloke has to do a first aid course for the first time in his life, today. I’ve been doing them regularly since I was 15 so my response was ‘Sucked in!’
    I can’t believe they’ve let him trawl building sites for over 30 years without one. About fecking time.
    I’ve been wanting him to do one since the pool went in & even more so since we got the kayaks. Not because I think CPR is useful, I’m more concerned about trauma & blood loss, particularly if we end up living & recreating anywhere near Palm Beach.

  54. I kinda like those gothica Such Is Life tattoos. If I ever got a tattoo, that’s what I’d go for…. except I’m such a wimp, my tattoo would probably get as far as Suc. Which could be rather embarrassing if anyone saw it on my arse.

    I’m not surprised Boral want to put a quarry in amongst four schools. Quarries have high staff turnovers, so I guess they wanted to be in a place with plenty of minors.

    Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week. Try the veal.

  55. Heh heh heh.
    And here was I thinking its because the GC truckies supplement their income by selling Tupperware & the 4 local schools are a captive market.

  56. Of course, you could always just fill a fireplace with a nice sensible gas heater. Or an attractive sculpture.

    I’m sick of The Block – MM’s addicted. Why, you may well ask, when his idea of decor is strewing so many used socsk and jocks on his bedroom floor that you can’t see the carpet.

  57. If he develops a passion for Home & Away, that’s when you know you’ve got a serious problem. I’ve never watched The Block, but I believe they’re messy bastards. Perhaps you should divert him with Oprah’s interior designer, he is into subtlety and minimalism & being gay he would strongly discourage the use of socks and jocks as house decorations.

  58. Hmm.

    I might just hire more Monty Python DVDs instead. They loved “And Now For Something Completely Different”. And a giant Trojan rabbit would hide much underwear.

  59. I am all perplexity as to why the giant dog doesn’t eat it.

  60. A friend once told me that the discarded socks are something to do with pheromones. She says that kids respond to smells, and when they get to puberty they subconsciously cling to the one part of their lives that is not going through a massive change – their bedroom. Leaving dirty socks in the room is like marking their territory, because it smells right to them. My friend says she reduced the sock thing by only changing her son’s sheets once a month instead of once a week, so that his bed smelled right. Now he only leaves socks around for the first week after sheet changes.

    But then, my friend is one of those freaks of nature who irons sheets, so I think this may have been an excuse to get out of ironing.

  61. I’m sure I had aunts that used to starch their husband’s underwear.
    If not then I’m back to the theory that they walked the earth with sticks up their arses.
    It’s entirely possible that both theories apply.

    Catty that makes perfect sense.
    Whenever I wash the bedding & the sofa covers I spray catnip & Feliway cat pheromones around the room, it seems to reduce any anxiety based spraying.

    Perhaps we should patent & manufacture ‘boy in a can’ so that adolescent males can exist inside their preferred funks, free from mounds of moldering socks & sheets that crackle when pressure is applied.

  62. “Boy In a Can” is a fabulous product idea, Q … but I fear we might run afoul of the regulators and decency campaigners unless we re-brand.

    “Stinksational!” maybe?

  63. Tricksy. I’m not sure that will appeal to the demographic of mothers of teen boys, though, who may feel that the stinksational effect is already in oversupply in their homes.
    We’ll need to brainstorm this one so it doesn’t cost us sales.
    How do you encapsulate a fragrance that reeks of armpit & ejaculate?

  64. “Spunktastic!”

  65. ‘Guaranteed to replicate all the funk of your natural spunk, without the crackling bedsheets and mounds of fermenting socks.’

    We’re on a winner with that one, MM.
    How fares your happy little camper, and is the older one declaring yet that he likes being an only child?

  66. No reply from Morgana…. she is busy suffocating her child against her heaving bosom, as she gasps “never leave me again!”

    Which, given EB’s rather gothic mind, could lead to a Norman Bates-esque event in a few decades….

    Oh dear.

    Madam, put the child down…. Madam…. step away from the offspring.

  67. Catty, can you hack into my webcam?

    Big smiles, all is right with the world again. And he went on the high ropes!

    Q, you’ll be proud to know that Flot presented me with a dead mouse, yesterday. MM says he’s trying to teach me to hunt. I see it more as a tribute.

  68. Perhaps he thinks you need more iron in your diet? What a sweet boy, he must love you lots to honour you with a fresh mouse.
    What are the high ropes, MM?
    I am glad your boy has arrived home to cheer you up & am just sorry your parcel didn’t arrive when it should have to ease your suffering. Bloody Australia post, they must have cut back their delivery days, since you haven’t seen it, I assume it’s still in the back of the stoner’s delivery van doing laps around Goodna.

    We had happy news at Casa Q yesterday, too.
    Khan Greybeard, enticed hither by choc-chip brownies & haloumi wraps & the potential to taunt poor Brownieless Spanner, most obligingly fixed my kindle. It was refusing to load via wi-fi. Sorted, and the first thing I did was to load up a much loved childhood favourite, a gothic lesbian-vampire novel called ‘Carmilla’. Trivia: The interwebz tell me that Cradle of Filth have a number of tunes that were inspired by it. πŸ™‚

    Then the vet called & said that my cat’s missing chunk of nose came back with an almost clear bill of health. No sign of any skin cancer, the irritation on his nose is some sort of allergy. NFI to what, probably my shampoo given his passion for sleeping on my pillow. So Dr Tim is confident he should make it to a grand old age without developing skin cancer, given how diligent I’ve been about protecting his little pink nose from the sun.

    Then the bloke sent me five new files with info about the quarry, from his work-mate who planned to buy in the area and, having children, did the extra hard yards to research it. i.e. he has the good fortune to have a mate who worked on the EIS & who told him which bits of Wallaby Hill should be free of vexation from the proposed quarry, and which bits will be afflicted by noise & yucky dust. The Fossicker’s house & the northerly bit that we like (near the dog park) should be fine. For extra good news, he told us about plans to finish the connection road through a new estate that’s getting built about a kilometre away & which will simplify access to the freeway – meaning you can avoid the quarry trucks. It will also provide easier access to the nobby school at Mudgereeba where the professionals like to send their kids – meaning that the property won’t lose value & should in fact become more desirable over the next 5 years. Whew.
    Big relief as we’ve both fallen in love with Wallaby Hill & I could see us settling in & getting quite cosy there for the next 20 years.

    And, after there being the most god-awful rubbish on the market for the last two months, the agents are starting to advertise some nice properties. I’d say they’re getting ready for the big Easter push. So I’m off down the coast this arvo so that we can go view a townhouse at Burleigh, on the hill near the creek. It’s another one in that semi-gated community that I told you guys about a few months ago.

    And – drum roll. The slack-arse engineer has finally finished doing the corrections on our deck plans that were holding up the builder. The steel is being ordered, the french doors for the deck are being made, and the builder should be able to start some time next week. Huzzah!

    For bonus points, nobody has parked over our driveway since I went over and screamed at the lesbians. I was wise to ensure the entire neighbourhood witnessed that, they seem much more considerate now that they know I won’t play nice if they don’t.
    Touch wood!

    Oh yes, and I rang Miracle Girl yesterday. She had three visitors and her dog in attendance so I didn’t speak for long. She was glowing because she had run (RUN! – she had to walk with a zimmer frame last time I saw her) three laps of an obstacle course and each time she’d improved her time & gotten a perfect score.

    I’m thinking I might do a day trip up the coast so I can see her between 5-7 one evening & then drive back to be home by nanna bedtime. Our weekends are just so busy & the bloke needs one day off from travelling so I haven’t had the chance to get up there. She’s doing so well and has so many visitors that I don’t think she’s missing me too much, though. And she just sounds so much like her old self. She rarely mixes up words or picks the wrong one. Her mother says I won’t know her when I do see her.

    so yesterday must have been the day for good news. πŸ™‚

  69. A good day indeed. Excellent news, all of it. Especially about Miracle Girl. Running? That is brilliant. Her family must be stoked. Hey, how’s her dad going? He wasn’t doing so good a while back – maybe they can get him into the same place as MG?

  70. Yeah her mum answered the phone and she sounded pretty stoked. Also the most relaxed I’ve ever heard her. Haven’t had an update on her Dad’s well-being & didn’t ask since she was standing right beside him – but I know they are waiting for a place for him in a suitable facility. MG is in the rehab unit attached to the local horsepiddle so that’s a different animal altogether.
    I think just the fact that they are 15 minutes from MG & can see her more often, but for shorter visits, is probably doing lots to reduce the intensity of the relationship & I’m sure it’s made life much, much easier.

  71. I think a High Rope is one of those climby things. One rope low to walk on, two a bit higher on either side to cling onto.

    Wow, that’s spectacular MG news. Being back on home turf has obviously worked wonders for her, but they must be pretty hot at the rehab, too.

    Good reno news, too. And we now have an answer to “how long does it take to draw a bit of steel”?

    I haz a Zombie calendar! It arrived today to brighten my day off. My desk is now pretty much “By Quokka”. You’re right though, the padded bad smelled suspiciously of skunk weed. And there were chocolate stains on the corner that I swear I didn’t put there. Your mailman be jammin’.

  72. Aha. Very Indiana Jones.
    Glad you are enjoying the Undead, MM. What else have I done to your desk, aside from the deliverance mug? I forget.
    I just hope your workmates aren’t looking at you too strangely for my clutter contributions.

    I read an article by some psychologist or other saying that personalising your workspace leads to a happier and more productive day. She used examples like photos of kittens and family, though, not Rednecks & Zed, so I hope I’m not tipping workplace productivity & harmony in the opposite direction.

  73. Those Deliverance mugs are wonderful. Apart from the inspirational message, they’re big enough to hold a decent amount of coffee.

  74. And hot chocolate, Catty.
    Not being a coffee drinker.
    The bloke selects the Deliverance mug for my hot beverages to placate me when the neighbours are being particularly loud with their banjoes, bongos & boganism.

    Hey, speaking of bongoes, I think I mentioned a while ago that we’d been put off looking/buying in Miami because over the last few months there seems to have been a mass exodus in the population within a 500m radius of the local Bongo Teacher.

    Well, the other day when Khan GB was here, he was in utter disbelief that such a horror as a Bongo Centre could exist. So I went to find it on google maps & discovered that one of the houses we toured last weekend was, in fact, the House of Bong. the house is priced for Fire Sale so I guess the bongos aren’t paying their way. There was a large shed out the back guarded by a large & territorial Rottweiler, so when the real estate agent said it would be useful for a home business, we just raised our eyebrows and said ‘Hydroponics?’

    Heh heh. We suspect the previous owner has relocated to Woodford correctional facility, to teach tribal drumming to the inmates there.

  75. I also have the Workplace Sabotage Kit you so thoughtfully provided, Q – although I have secreted that in my bottom drawer. I have yet to deploy it – but like a fire extinguisher or air bag, it’s nice to know it’s there πŸ™‚

    So what was the House of Bong like? I’m pretty sure steam cleaning will remove most of spliff stains from any carpeting.

  76. Oh yeah, how could I forget about that?
    Truly, I have a head like a sieve.
    You girls should prepare yourselves for me to send you the same BD present or cards, year after year. I’m sure I do it and people are just too polite to tell me. I have seriously considered keeping a log book, since my brain fails to record so much stuff in the permanent file database.

    MM, the house looked tidy enough from the photos:

    However, closer inspection revealed that the renos had been done by a less-than-orderly mind.
    No front door. And a slightly confusing street front where the tyre tracks for the driveway run all the way up to the living room windows.
    No off-street parking as the garage had been converted into a living room.
    Laundry with no door to the outside world & nowhere to put one. So you’d have to run the chicane of the house-hold obstacle course to get clothes on the line.
    There wasn’t a clothesline, or space for one, due to the Meth factory out back.
    (surrounded by astro-turf that smelled strongly of Rottweiler)

    The timber floors turned out to be lino. There was a new carpet which ran over a series of hills and valleys and ridges; hard to know what lay beneath that, possibly the profits from the Bongo/Leafy Greens smuggling trade, carefully hidden from the missus in case she gets the urge to lose it in the casino while Bongo Man is doing time.

  77. Hehehe. You just implied that the lack of a front door is the sign of a disordered mind.

    Sounds like it should be rechristened “Stash Palace”.

  78. We still have front doors! I just thought they’d look better at the back of the house, not the front. And our existing front doors serve the valuable purpose of creeping out the Mormons, when they come to call, and discover the front doors lead directly to the bedroom.

    Speaking of front doors, Duce have taken $$$ from us to manufacture a new set. They will be French doors like the bedroom doors, but clear glass instead of those oriental opaque panels. There’ll be a set of louvres at the side of each of them so that when the doors are closed you can still have air-flow, if desired.
    It’s only taken me 13 years to win that battle as The Bloke wanted to put bi-fold doors there. I don’t like them because they’re either open or closed & it makes it hard to control the air flow. Also, hard to get screens for them & they need screens.

    So I wouldn’t view our doorway issue as the result of a disordered mind so much as weakness of mind, i.e. mine, in overcoming the bloke’s stoopid architectural leanings.

  79. Louvres are fabulous. If I thought there was any future in our fibro shack – beyond demolition and complete reconstruction – I’d put them in all the way around our house.

    So much airflow! So adjustable!

    Council should be happy with your new front door then, Q – louvres are very “in-keeping”

  80. Heh heh. When we told the planning consultant we should advise council of the change he just yawned and said ‘Well OK, but if you ask me, they won’t even notice, and if it were me, I wouldn’t bother.’

    And yes, concrete cancer is so prolific in those little slab & brick houses on the gold coast that I think there’s merit in moving in with a bulldozer to raze entire suburbs in one go & to start again from scratch. Palm Beach, for starters.

    Speaking of destruction – Happy news, the builder and one of his minions just showed up to do some last-minute checks on their measurements. They plan to start on Wednesday. Huzzah!

    I hope we get a bit of time to enjoy the renos before we find a suitable new home at the coast.
    The bloke is quite enjoying reading on the train & he is loving the ipod on his phone, so he seems happy enough for now, and still nothing on the horizon that we like better than the Fossicker’s house at Wallaby Hill. We drove up there last night after viewing the gated community at Burleigh (meh – it will do us for 5 years or so, if nothing better comes up) & oh lord, the Serenity.
    900 houses, all silent at 8pm. I have found my niche & 900+ soul mates. I don’t care how dusty it gets and how much dynamite shakes the foundations of my house, I’ve found a community that keeps their children caged after dark & operates on Nanna Hours.

  81. Ugh.

    You wouldn’t want to move just for five years, though, would you? What a pain in the neck.

    Huzzah to the renos, though. How long do you think they’ll take to empty Bog Hollow?

  82. Well, we’re thinking that the 5 year plan, if close to train, might be a workable option. And the gated community at Burleigh is rather appealing. We’ve visited a few times now & they seem like a good bunch. Lots of retirees, pool, tennis court, north facing, views, breezes, quiet, as it backs onto bush, and only 3 minutes to Tallebudgera creek so we could SUP and kayak every day.

    The thing about the gold coast is that there’s more units than houses to choose from & the units are all much nicer than the houses. The houses are all very 1980, & most come with 30 years accumulation of mould in the wet areas.

    Just prior to the GFC there was a huge spike in unit block construction. So there’s still a huge oversupply of units on the market at bargain prices. All built to code with noise-muffling included.
    So if we didn’t have the petting zoo, I’d be sorely tempted to buy a unit right now, as there’s lots where you have the entire floor to yourself. Bargain prices & lovely fit-out, and calm blue ocean to lull you off to sleep.

    We’ve got friends up at Caloundra who live in this style of apartment & they’ve been happy as squirrels & they never see, hear, or smell their neighbours, because the wind roaring in off the ocean blows it all away. No pesky maintenance & all of it easy to clean. Well, there’s windows & salt spray, but unlike quarry dust, salt won’t clog your sinuses.

    There’s pluses & minuses to every scheme, of course.

    A unit isn’t really a feasible option at the moment, but all our creatures are 12 years or older, so odds are that in another 5 years or so our animal quota might have reached an acceptable level for a body corporate.

    We’ll see.
    Meanwhile, Whoo hoo! to builders. And the neighbours seem happy now that they’ve done their work in inspiring us to leave.

    The residents of Bog Hollow seem to have settled into their study routines & apart from the occasional Toastmasters meeting amongst the Roman Senators (painful, I assure you) they’ve been pretty well behaved. The dog that’s been howling & yipping all day since September seems to have been happier & quieter in the last three days & as that’s by far the most distressing sound, it’s made an amazing difference to not have that as background noise every day.
    The people up behind us who’ve had their pool filter on 24/7 for the entire summer actually turned it off at 10pm last night. It’s meant to be off by 7pm but hey, if it’s off between 10pm & 7am, that’s a big improvement on listening to it rattle all day. Jen says the circus freaks next to her, over the road, leave their pool filter on 24/7, too, and theirs is worse because they let the water levels drop down so that there’s a really ugly gurgling sound as the filter tries to suck water & mostly what it gets is air. Not to mention they jump in and out of it at all hours, drunk as skunks, and bellowing like elephants. I texted her one night ‘Is that X, or have all the animals escaped from their cages at the zoo?’
    Because that is exactly what it sounds like.

    it’s a bizarre neighbourhood, this one, in that so few of the residents actually give a damn about basic courtesies, even when the council turns up to fine them for being assholes.

    It would be nice, just for a few years, to dwell in a neighbourhood where that doesn’t happen.

  83. Electricity bills are going out. That’s probably why people are starting to turn off their pumps.

  84. I can’t fathom why you’d want to burn out the motor by running it 24/7 when they only need to run for 6 hours a day, and it’s so much easier to fix the timer than to replace the pump.
    Again, loonies, around here.

  85. Speaking of electricity. my plan has just expired. Can I be smurfed trying to shop around for a better deal and then swapping over, or shall I just stick to whatever it is we’re doing?

    With gas stove and water and energy-saving bulbs, we don’t use all that many sparks anyway.

  86. Meh. Research smesearch.
    Set the children to making enough tin foil hats, shoes and gloves so that you can generate enough static electricity to run the toaster all throughout winter.

    All those plans turn into the same deal you abandoned, sooner or later, don’t they?
    Look at Optarse and Hellstra. Two peas in a pod, bastards both.

  87. Yeah, that was my thought.

    I’ll return to my Kindle then. As you were.

  88. Humph.
    Speaking of questionable ethics, we went to a community meeting re: the super quarry yesterday. Once we got there the community was told it wasn’t allowed in to speak to the premier & they herded us onto the nature strip, where the police took photos of the threatening rabble.
    i.e. A whole stack of families with prams & 3-12yro twins, and a bunch of retirees with arthritis.
    Newman must be completely paranoid after 2 years in power if he can’t actually address a group of middle aged professionals complaining about their allergies.

    We stayed long enough to hiss at his car as it drove past & then we got out of the hot sun & went adventuring. I’d made a double batch of pineapple slice, as it was a ‘come along, bring your smile & bring a plate to share’ meeting in at the local school. So I handed that out amongst the crowd before we left & that made a few people happy. I’d divvied it up into TA containers that held about 6 good sized squares each. Gave one box to some shirtless dread-locked surfer dude (probably a Bongo Teacher) & by the time I’d circled 6m & back he’d eaten the entire box, & was licking his fingers saying ‘OMG, are you MARRIED?’
    Heh heh heh.

    The beach was simply bewdiful yesterday, ladies. One of those glorious picture post-card days that makes you glad to be alive & aware of how lucky we are to live where we do, & not in some hell-hole like Syria or Darfour. My only regret is that I ate too much good wholesome food at the hippy shop to be able to squeeze in the blood orange gelato from the gelateria next door.

    We had a tyre blow out on the freeway OTW home last night.
    Scary. Luckily we were closer to an exit than a break-down bay so we pulled over into Woodridge to change it. There’ve been a few too many people run over & killed on the M1 lately for me to give a damn how much damage it did to the car/the tyres to drive an extra 400m to get us out of range of the drug-addled.
    So that’s what I’ll be doing with my day – replacing the tyre.
    How did the rest of you fare on the weekend?

    Ah yes. I hear that Khan GB is headed south on Tuesday, Catty, so you’ve got until then before he unleashes the rats. Lock up your pantry. He’s on his way.

  89. My weekend was kids’ social lives, AFL and bacon: i.e. I didn’t have one.

    Newman is a complete tool. A friend was of the opinion yesterday that he’ll be the first Qld Premier to be assassinated.

    Holy smurf to the tyre, though. That’s never happened to me while I – or anyone else – was driving. Was it a big explosion and wild careening, or a little more restrained?

  90. MM, I was thinking the same thing.
    I can’t see why he’d be so scared of speaking to a middle class church-going community, unless he thinks someone is likely to take a few pot-shots at him.
    Hard to think who, as there was only one cranky surfer in the crowd & he didn’t look like he’d waste his pot by throwing it at Newman. Since the crowd were there to whine about their allergies I suppose there was a risk that if he got to close, some sinusy kindy teacher might blast him with her nasonex.

    The police were out en masse to heard the linen-clad retirees & designer-clad mamas off the grounds of the church school and out of his way. If that’s how paranoid he is at a freaking Lutheran church school meeting then you’ve got to wonder how the hell he’d cope with a meeting of disgruntled tattoo artists.

    Apparently you had to register to be at this meeting, which the community has never had to do before, and which information *someone* in the quarry protest group neglected to pass on in the email invites to attend. So it sounds to me like whoever was in attendance at the meeting decided that they wanted an angry middle class rabble on the nature strip to catch the attention of the film crews. I have notified the organisers that I am Unimpressed & if they want to invite us to meetings in future they need to share this information so we can make our own choice as whether to apply to Canned Ooh to attend or whether we’d like to stand in the hot sun outside and shout with the unionists.

    Yes, without sounding too neurotic, I’m glad we’re still alive.
    I have long dreaded that exact scenario so I’m glad that I know what to expect, now.
    The mechanic just told me that the car has ESP (Electronic stability pressure?) so I had no indications that the tyre had blown apart from the Bang! and the hideous noise that followed. I thought (AKA: hoped) it was the V-8 roaring past us at 160k/h.
    There was no loss of control, no great difference in sensation, just the noise. & so when we pulled over, ASAP, and surveyed the shredded tyre, I was amazed that we weren’t waking up in hospital, or the morgue, with the car embedded in the guard-rails.
    Technology is amazing, and this in a car that’s 7-8 years old, now. Apparently there’s even better tech available in the new vehicles so you can safely drive on a shredded tyre to get yourself out of harm’s way & off the 4 lane highway. Thank Dog we were already in the left lane, close to the Woodridge exit.

    Anyway, the mechanic is as baffled as we are because the tyres are relatively new. You may recall we had to replace all of them shortly after the dog was poisoned last Sept, when NTO dismantled the old asbestos-lined laundry in at Bog Hollow & her tradies dragged out all the crap there-in via our driveway, rather than hers. Back then the mechanic found an assortment of 60yro mangled rusting tyres in 3/4 of the tyres, so we had to replace the lot.

    Oh well. We should have a new tyre on the car in the next day or two & I don’t need to go more than 1-2 km from home till it’s replaced, so all’s well that ends well.

    I’m just glad we didn’t wind up on the front page of this morning’s paper ‘middle aged couple killed while waiting for RACQ on the M1’.
    I don’t like those headlines, they tend to make me very, very nervous about stopping in the breakdown lanes. Much safer to veer off to veer off to the back alleys of Woodridge. I stood there with Bangarr’s knife in my hand, waiting to fend off offers of help from the locals, but they must have all been inside watching My Kitchen Rules. So we’re safe.

  91. Yes, I recalled the recent tyre purchases, which is why I inquired.

    Odd, but all’s well that ends in Woodridge but not in a mugging.

  92. Or a rape and a murder.

    It may be a fault with the design of the tyres. The bloke did some googling and discovered they explode if the tyre pressure gets too low.
    We looked at them yesterday at the servo before we set off & they looked OK, but we didn’t test the pressure as we’d only tested them a few days earlier & no visible change.

    Apparently the new tyres require a pressure of 38, whereas the pressures indicated inside the car (on the inner door) say 32 & 34 for front & back tyres.
    So it’s conceivable that since we’ve not been filling them to the specifications – and why would we, since nobody told us to? – one may have had a slow leak & it’s simply exploded, as these tyres do.

    Fun facts from the internet.
    The mechanic found a long welt on the week old hub-cap, though, which would suggest that something’s been flung up off the road, and it’s hit the hubcap & then hit the tyre. Which would explain the sudden explosion, too.

    Can’t remember if I mentioned it but we passed two other cars changing flat tyres in the exact same spot as ours (front driver) so Vulcan Logic would dictate that there was probably some nasty shit lying on the road in just the right spot to mangle the front driver’s tyre. And no way of seeing it in pitch black darkness.

  93. I’m glad you and the Bloke are o.k, Q. That sort of thing makes me bloody nervous, because the Boss is on the road so much. He’s out of town all this week, and I always fret until he calls to announce his safe arrival.

    He didn’t call today, and I was starting to panic. He finally rang about an hour ago (from the pub) and asked if I thought I could handle the Office Wench job at his place of employment. “Piece of Piss” was my succinct reply. He then told me that the Office Wench has just handed in her resignation and he is going to ask his employer to give me the job. So maybe I will finally get back into the workforce after two years of rejections. Fingers crossed!

    Madam, your weekends sound like way more fun than laundering school uniforms, nagging offspring into doing homework, and picking up the family’s discarded crap as they follow me around the house depositing more crap onto the freshly-cleared surfaces. At least you get to talk to grownups when you serve them bacon. I can go whole days with nobody over the age of 13 to talk to. And some of the days where I do converse with adults, they’re pissed as newts – which is much like talking to people under 13.

    Speaking of talking to grownups, I read an article that Canned-oh has taken the threat against his life very, very seriously. You have to register for public meetings so they can check your links with Al Qaida or the Hell’s Angels or something. Apparently he’s had further threats that included reminders about bikies having memories like elephants… and similar personal hygiene, I would imagine.

  94. Thanks, Catty. And yeah. Highways scare the bejeesus out of me.
    Still, there’s other hazards around here that I won’t miss & that’s the kids on meth & paint fumes that roam the streets near the train station, and I’ll be relieved once we relocate, so the bloke won’t be able to walk home late on a Saturday night from the football at the Gabba. He plans to give up his membership & take up golf, instead. Much safer. You’d hope!

    I read that guff about Canned Ooh being threatened & I rolled my eyes & thought ‘they probably all get threatened but he’s the only one stupid enough to make a fuss over it.’

    Still, if he pissed off the wrong people, and plainly that’s what he’s intent on, they do tend to hold a grudge. A Lebanese preschooler threatened my life 20 years ago and I’m still surprised he hasn’t found me and finished me off. Then again, I think he may have warmed to me by the end of the death threats.
    The exchange:
    Q: ‘That was a very naughty thing to do. blah blah blah consequences empathy boundary Time Out.’
    Child: ‘If you do that, I’ll kill your father.’
    Q: ‘Sorry kid, he’s long gone.’
    Child: ‘I kill your mother!’
    Q: ‘Sorry, she’s dead too.’
    child: ‘I kill your brother!’
    Q: ‘Sorry, no brothers. I do have some sisters who are plotting against me so if you want to take them out, you might save my life. You want their address?’
    Child: ‘I kill your uncle!’
    Q: ‘I wish you would. And probably, so do his children.’

    At this point he seemed satisfied that the body count and level of dysfunction in my family were at similar levels to his own. So we got on pretty well, really. Poor little sod, he’s probably in jail by now. It was that kind of family.

    Catty Whoo Hoo to the job possibility.
    I will cross my fingers and toes for you, easily done as I’m planning a stint on the sofa, having had yet another allergic reaction to Wart Killer + also to bandaids. The GP has rolled his eyes to my levels of chemical sensitivity and forbidden me to apply either to my affliction, and instead wants me to rock up in there for cryo every12 days till the GD verucca is gone.

    I feel like all I have to offer this conversation, some days, are warts and bongoes. So if that’s what you’re relying on to spice up your day, Catty, then back into the work force you should go.
    good luck!

    • That preschool conversation had me in stitches! You sure have a way with children, Q.

  95. The golfers I know are pretty hard drinkers, Q. It all depends on how far he has to stagger home from the 19th Hole.

    Ooooh, Catty. How exciting and yet terrifying. What are you going to wear to your interview? And after that, what are you going to wear to work? Do you reckon you can persuade them to let you work school hours, or do you think you’ll have to be there until 5?

    There’s one thing you don’t have to worry about – we’ll decorate your desk for you.

    Best of bestest luck! xxxooo

  96. Thanks, ladies. I’ve been out of the workforce for 14 years, so yes, it is terrifying, even though it’s only a part time job. The Boss called his employer and was told that they’re happy to give me a trial, but not to be too upset if I don’t get the job. Apparently they’re planning to hire the first person who can get their new iPad mini’s to work. Nobody can make the things do what they’re supposed to – not even the Boss, who is a bit of a whiz with that sort of thing. His iPad has been cluttering up my ensuite bench pretty much permanently since he got it. I was beginning to think it was a tax dodge.

    The plus side is that I will still be able to blog. Chatting to you guys (warts and all) is the only thing that keeps me sane.

  97. Mmm, football is worse because he can walk to & from the Gabba & thus all he has to do when drinking is to make sure he can hold himself upright, by the end of the game.
    The golfer friends seem much healthier than the football friends so I am quite happy for him to swap them out. He’ll probably live longer.

    He has been remarkably restrained with his once a month golfing/drinking, but that’s because he has to motor to them, an hour each way, usually. And after the exploding tyre fiasco, I’d say he will be even more cautious. We drove around Robina looking at houses overlooking the Golf Course, but Robina has a very strange feel to it. It’s kind of Kenmore near the sea. And not even that near it, as it’s 20 minutes trek to the ocean via circuitous winding roads that look like they’d be hell to navigate at peak hour.

    I’m not sure about the idea of living in a house that overlooks a golf course. Lovely when they’re empty, but for much of the day I assume they’re over-run with 4X swilling bogans & I am quite sure their conversations would be enough to make a cyclist blush.

  98. * cross posted so

  99. So you just have to take your middle kidlet to the interview then, Catty – sorted!

    I had friends that lived on the Palmer Coolum Golf Course. It’s quite like having an expanded, tranquil backyard.

    When the odd stray ball breaks your window, they pay up quite promptly.

  100. Yes, some of them do have a lovely outlook. Again, it’s white tile city, which I’d prefer to avoid. We went for a drive past one house that looked very appealing on line – until we saw the neighbour’s yards we knew exactly why they were moving.
    It looked like a junk yard run by the kindergarten regiment of Neverland’s Lost Boys.
    It was the Dog Walking Hour & we saw lots of tattoo-beast newly weds, out with their enormous slavering dogs. Most people seemed to have 2 dogs and they were of the Big Enough To Eat You variety, so either they have good reason to require a guard dog, or else the leafy greens at the nearby grocer are sufficient to make them think so. I’ll have to fish out Nblob’s crime map & see what they usually get busted for near the Golf Links.

    Catty, I can’t help you with work fashions but I do know enough to advise that the purple sausage skin is probably something you should save for the office Xmas party.

  101. There’s only two words you need to know when it comes to work clothes: Wash & Wear.

  102. Having worked with children, my advice is to co-ordinate your colours to match luncheon spillage & body fluids.

  103. You’ll be working with tradies, yeah? See how many ways you can drape a drop-cloth so it looks like real people clothes.

  104. I just dragged a couple of my old work dresses out of the shed. It appears I may have changed shape a little in the last 14 years. That, or the storage faerie has gotten into the shed again.

    My FIL’s brother came to visit the other day. He couldn’t get home again because there was a bushfire and his whole street had been evacuated. There’s a golf course directly behind his place, and the fireys think that’s what stopped the fire coming anywhere near his house. So a golf course is a good idea if you want your own personal fire break. I also think it will be useful come the Zombiepocalypse, as you can sit in your turret and pick them off one at a time with a long range rifle. And each time, you can quip to the Bloke, “Look! I shot a hole in one!”

  105. It wasn’t at all annoying for my friend. Golf clubs have pretty strict rules about behaviour … it’s not like they can take strippers and boom boxes along for the ride.

    Also, bear in mind that they don’t play at night.

  106. Yes, golf courses are very attractive. Kenmore by the sea, not so much.

  107. My first share house was in Kenmore. We accidentally moved in right next door to our Pharmacology lecturer. I think he saw us as the case study he didn’t want to have over the side fence. And he certainly took offense at the buzzard trap we fashioned by hanging empty Tequila bottles in the tree out the front.

  108. Probably worried he’d be the first old buzzard you’d catch in that trap, MM.

  109. The real estate agent made us take it down. Some people have no artistic vision.

  110. That’s Kenmore. And real estate agents.
    Which reminds me – I wonder if the Fossicker’s neighbours are enjoying the house full of P-platers that seem to have moved in. I get the feeling that Jim the Scotsman & the other good middle-aged folk of Wallaby Hill are probably cursing the house, the bar, the Fossickers and the 18m of L-shaped deck that the P-platers have to yahoo on.
    I wonder how much a house full of P-platers in rev-head cars can devalue a property betwee now & June, when we’re probably ready to move.
    Assuming the builders turn up to dig holes as promised tomorrow, and don’t get side-tracked by the rain. The surf looks fabulous, so my money is on ‘sorry, we don’t work in the rain.’

  111. There was a house in Helidon that started their Christmas celebrations at the end of November. Beer was apparently a central part of their celebrations, as each time they finished a beer, they’d hang the empty can on one of the large bushes in their front yard. By December 25th, every bush was completely covered with empty beer cans. It was very festive. The Boss thought it was a grand idea, and promptly planted several trees in our front yard. Sadly, the frost killed half of them, and one of his mates ran over all the others when he drove his work ute onto our front lawn.

    I’m not sure a house full of P platers will devalue the property. The neighbours’ properties, perhaps, but not the Fossicker’s place. Your best bet is to tell the neighbours exactly how much the owners are over-valuing the property, so they can have a whip-around to make up the difference between offer and asking price. Everybody wins! Except the tenants – but you can always give them the number of a real estate agent in Kenmore.

  112. On the upside, once you’ve cleared the empty rum bottles and used condoms from the kitchen, underneath it will be untouched.

  113. MM – I’m planning on clearing the kitchen. And the scratched up veneer floor boards. They don’t look smart enough to use condoms so I’ll just have to send in some cleaners with a fire-hose to de-gunk the walls.
    It’s a nice feeling having that place on ice.
    We’re at liberty to look around to see if we can find something better.
    Found a corker at Mermaid Beach that sold last year for 620, original beach shack, the same size as Casa Q, in mouldy-sack. Real floor boards and casements. We’re hoping it has some brothers & sisters. Rare as hen’s teeth, those things, in that sea of white tiles and concrete rot.

  114. I do love a good hardwood floor.

    What is with those MDF fake floorboards? Those in my office have worn down to what looks like cardboard where the little plastic rollers on my chair scratch at them. Why put down a floor that’s only going to last 5 minutes?

  115. Because that’s how long it takes to lay the floor, and time is money for tradies.
    Seriously – you can put down that flooring in less than a day, no cutting, no measuring, no brain power required.
    When we built the extension here at Casa Q, I got the foyer done in those green terrazo tiles which can take a hiding, and I got bamboo floorboards in my study. The bamboo was down in less than 20 minutes. The tiles, which occupy a third as much space, took several days.

    It looks like there’s still a few timber beach-shacks standing at Mermaid, so I’ll just extend that area into our search range. I haven’t been looking there because the closer I get to Surfers, the more I twitch.

  116. It’s a lovely address, though – Mermaid Beach.

    You could just sit on a rock, combing your hair and leading sailors to their doom.

  117. Having experienced the winds down there, I think the reason mermaids are so vengeful is from detangling all their knots.

  118. Yes, the salt doesn’t help, either.

  119. I believe it does wonders for troubled skin & sinuses, and let’s not forget it’s value on chips.
    No tradies yesterday, and it’s meant to be even wetter down this way today. I just saw the BOM warning on twitter, falls of up to 150ml expected between the Darling Downs & here on the SE coast. So I’d say no tradies here today, either.
    The bloke said they lasted an hour on site yesterday & then a 3 minute shower came through that drenched them so they all went home. Union rules. Apparently if you want them to work in the wet on a big construction site, you have to pay them double time. It didn’t rain again all day down there, and the surf was rubbish, so I’m not sure what the GC tradies did to amuse themselves all day.
    Probably went home to play Left 4 Dead on X-box.

    Anyway, since we’re in for a drenching today I doubt they’ll turn up at all so with luck the bloke can come home half an hour earlier, before Noah’s flood sets in & washes out the Beenleigh line.

    I spoke to MG the other day, & she now has enough dexterity in her fingers to text me, so if I send her Kitteh pix she can respond with ‘So Cute!’ That is pretty amazing as she couldn’t move her fingers enough to manage any of the buttons just two weeks ago. Downside is that the Romantic Interest who was visiting her when we visited, a month before the accident, has finally gotten in touch with her & has expressed a wish to visit her in April (he’s in Sydney). So she has high hopes of the romance & asked me what I thought of him. I went with the mild ‘Probably not my type, sweetie,’ rather than what I really wanted to say which is ‘He is a Tool. Tool, tool, tool, tool, tool.’
    I’ll just have to relay that to her carers, so they can form their own opinion of just how self-absorbed he is & whether we can trust him to act with MGs best interests at heart. That feels proprietral, but truly, with the brain injury she’s even more hampered at picking Tools from the crowd than she was in her optimum state.

  120. I have to share, assuming the internet co-operates, which it has seemed most unwilling to do, this soggy Brisvagus day.

    Girlclumsy is on holiday in New York, with her 91yro Grandmother, Patricia. they have been having a wow of a time going to shows and art galleries & such to enjoy High Kulcha. So they went to check out of their hotel today to fly off to the UK this am. And Nat was given a bill for $150 for movie charges to her gran’s room, which seemed a bit high, so she questioned it.
    Her Gran has macular degeneration which has given her some isshews with understanding the buttons on the TV remote. Turns out she’d selected some titles including ‘Young Apple Bottom Tarts’ and ‘New Girls get into porn’ while she was channel surfing.

    Nat & the hotel clerk had hysterics when they saw her viewing list. She took a pick of her poor Gran, mortified, hiding her face behind the bill.
    It was very funny.

  121. Hehehe. I love that she was in the Big Apple, and selected the apple-bottomed tarts. You go, Gran.

    Surely even someone with ABI can work out that if someone’s serious about you, he’ll drop whatever to wing his way to your near-death bed, rather than wait until yonks after the event and “some time in April”?

    I hope that Caloundra rehab has got a Disney Princess Fantasy Deprogramming Unit, now MG’s got gross and fine motor skills back under control.

  122. His renewed attentions to her seem to have coincided with a number of FB posts dedicated to raising money for her rehab, surgery, and hopefully towards the cost of a small unit where she can live independently.
    From henceforth at this blog, I decree that this scoundrel shall be known as ‘Wickham’.

  123. And yes, I have issued a scathing psychological profile to her legal guardians so that they can take all suitable care of her, just in case he’s every bit as much of a scoundrel as I think he is.

  124. Hehehe. Wickham – I love it!

  125. Well, I am reading P&P again on the kindle.
    How goes the slush, MM?
    According to twitter there was 240ml rain up your way last night, the Bli-Bli connection road is flooded & there’s been a mud-slide over the road near the big Pineapple.
    I hope the kittehs are safely tucked up on a couch or a doona.

  126. Ooooh, I must read P&P again too. It’s been a couple of years.

    I must also throw out my favourite jacket…. the one with the massive Apple Bottoms logo on the back.

    We’ve finally been getting some rain, too. Hey, there’s an inflatable row boat with oars on one of the hard rubbish piles. Should I grab it and send it up to you, Madam? Or would it be better to send it to your tradies, Q?

    Nah, that won’t work. Kittehs would puncture it, and the only way to get tradies to work on a union site when it’s raining, even with double pay, is to give the union rep a slab of beer – possibly with oars.

    Speaking of hard rubbish, I spotted the most fabulous lounge suite yesterday. It’s got huge, wooden slabs for the back legs, and carved wooden front legs and arms, with burgundy velvet upholstery. Sort of a medieval, gothic thing. The velvet was all torn and shredded (kittehs, perhaps?) on the sofa and one of the armchairs, but the other armchair wasn’t torn at all. It’s a bit worn, but that actually adds to the charm. So I struggled to pick it up… huge wooden slabs weigh a lot… and somehow managed to wedge it part way into the boot. Several occy straps later, I set off to the Teen’s place. It wasn’t a long drive, and it wasn’t raining much, so I figured I’d do something to make the child happy. She adores medieval/goth crap, and I’m her mother and I love her, even though she a pain in the butt. Also, she is TOTALLY useless. I asked her to help me lift it out of/off the boot, and she managed to drop her end. Then she dropped it again as we walked up the three metres of driveway. THEN we got to the stairs. Oh, dear. Narrow, with railings on both sides. The only way to get this huge chunk of chair up there would be to hoist it to shoulder height, and the stairs aren’t wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side. We tried going lengthways, but the Teen couldn’t handle the weight on her end (I was downhill, mind you). Eventually, I got sick of the whole shemozzle, hoisted the bloody thing onto my head, and carried it up the stairs by myself.

    Then I fished a small chest of drawers off the back seat and asked the Teen to take them up the stairs as I was a bit puffed. She made it half way up the driveway. This is a balsa wood chest of drawers, only slightly bigger than a nightstand. I picked it up with one hand and took it up the stairs like a bag of shopping – which is about all it weighed.

    Then she flopped all exhausted onto her new chair and asked me for a smoke.

    Honestly, sometimes I think she was switched at birth by the hospital staff.

  127. Early in life my mother introduced me to the fairy-tale about the Changeling, the goblin child that was switched for the human baby.
    It was reassuring for both of us & 45+ years later, I still think her theory holds water.

  128. Hehehe. I’ve often though EB might be a Changeling, also.

    Wow, you’re the best mother in the world, Catty. That chair sounds awesome. And even better is the news that The Teen has her own flat. I don’t suppose there’s a place of employment underneath, by any chance?

  129. When she finds a flat above a patisserie, I’m sure she’ll settle down for good.

  130. Mmm … pastry.

    The sun is peeking through, how are you fairing further south, Q? I do love the rain but it’ll be nice when water stops running down INSIDE my toilet walls, again.

  131. Fine here most of the morning, and humid.
    It’s meant to be 31C and nasty steamy here in Vagus tomorrow. I checked the rainfall and according to BOM we are in the Orange Zone, so we got lots, but less than you.

    Casa Q is remarkably resilient to Slush but at first light, that is about an hour ago, during Elevenses, a tradesman turned up to try to check the leaks in at Bog Hollow. Good luck with that.

    I got inspired in the soggy glory of it all yesterday & experimented with my CWA classics book – I made butterscotch cookies, which take their flavour from brown sugar & their ‘crunch’ from adding rice bubbles to the mix. They don’t look like much but they’re really very more-ish. The bloke shuffled them off to work today but since it’s raining, half his office didn’t bother showing up, so there’s nobody there to eat them. Plus side, he might get to come home early this arvo, before any thunderstorms show up. Storms would be fun, so long as they don’t drench the Beenleigh line, is all.

  132. I wish we’d have a storm big enough to wash out the Cricket Club Auction Night tomorrow. Then again, maybe I wish it would just go ahead and be done with.

    Who wants to join me in an end of season conga line?

    I’m never volunteering for anything again – hey!
    I’m never volunteering for anything again – hey!
    I’m never volunteering for anything again – hey!

  133. It’s too humid for a conga line, how about I just pour the daiquiris and shout ‘Hey!’ from the sofa? Or maybe ‘Meh’ when it gets really hot, later in the day.
    The Wildebeest likes to tap dance, though, so he might join in.
    I think I heard him partying on the roof at 2am but possibly it was just some morbidly obese possums practicing the Edinburgh Tattoo.

    Huzzah to the end of silly cricket, though, and welcome to my world of endless tedious AFL. The Bloke is off to watch his first game tomorrow. That snuck up quickly – April must have been hiding in the shrubbery to pop up out of nowhere like that.

    I am trying to muster the energy to hoof the bloke out of bed & go house hunting. We’ve found a cute little pocket in Mermaid Waters near Lake Hugo Muntz. There’s a house in a mouldy sack, a few doors from the park at the end which offers access to the lake. GCCC says that the water is suitable for SUP, swimming, kayaking & fishing & being separate from the canal system, there’s no bull sharks.

    The Drej has said that Mermaid Waters is nice & quiet and like Wallaby Hill, this bit doesn’t have any above ground power lines. They’ve planted jacarandas all up & down the footpath. It’s very pretty, on google street view.
    I am all astonishment that something 2k from Pacific Fair can look that pleasant.

    I’m still quite attached to the Fossicker’s house but if even their neighbours think they are completely mad & unpredictable, then we need to keep our options open. And there’s a lot to be said for being only 2km from the beach.

    So, MM, what is this auction? Sex slaves? Second hand nut-guards? Or do you have to spend the day baking banana cakes & stuffing lucky dip bags?

  134. Mmmmm… lucky dip bags…

    We’ve spent the morning shuffling mattresses between kidlets’ beds, so we can select the most worn, stained, lumpy offering to dump on the Teen. The Boss has just headed off with the mattress strapped to the roof of his work van. Between that, the balsa drawers and the goth chair, she now has a furnished room in a smelly share house. And if it’s not smelly, it will be after a few weeks with the Teen living there.

    Sometimes I wonder what she’s done with all the beds, bedding, drawers, cupboards, tables, shelves, appliances, televisions, shoes etc that I have delivered to her various abodes over the last three years. During one move, I asked where the gorgeous futon I’d given her had gone. She shrugged and said she didn’t know. How do you not know where a brand new double futon went? It frightens me to think that the child will be 19 in a couple of weeks.

    Speaking of the Teen’s upcoming birthday, I had an idea for a birthday present for you, Q. Unfortunately, my attempts to find a brand new one have been futile. It’s not available any more, except as a second-hand ‘collector’s item’. If I can get one in good condition, would you object to a second-hand birthday present? Normally I wouldn’t do that, but I have one myself and it is an absolute treasure. Let me know if you object.

    The Boss just got home. He said the Teen hasn’t even taken the goth chair or the drawers inside yet. They’re still sitting on the porch where I left them. He carried the mattress into her room, and despite being empty, it stinks. Isn’t that nice? She’ll feel right at home in a pre-stenched room.

  135. Oooh Catty how did you know I want a trebuchet & a rocket launcher?

  136. Catty, since she knows she’s got a regular supplier, perhaps she hoards it all until she’s got enough for a garage sale and then she hocks it all for small change to buy McDonalds and cigarettes?
    Being a much harder woman than you, I would shrug when an item of value disappears and tell her that she lost it, and being free, white and over 18, it’s up to her to replace it. Perhaps the next thing you can give her is a copy of ‘Co-dependent no more’ & tell her that it’s up to her to fend for herself. I doubt she’ll read it but it’s worth at least $11 in the 2nd-hand book stores down the road from me so at least she’ll get a day of sustenance from the golden arches out of it.

    MM I want to know how this auction went. Exactly how many under 13 cricketers did you manage to sell off?

  137. Unfortunately, no slaves were on offer or I would have been all excited. Just Mitchell Johnson’s shirt and Hogg’s bat and etc.

    Although somebody did offer me his son earlier in the night, I had to turn him down as he was not only a red-head, but also from New Zilland.

  138. Smart move. Those Nu Zillanders are a bugger to cook. They always come out tough and stringy.

  139. How very disturbing.

  140. Maybe that’s what hangi pits are for?

  141. Hmm. Perhaps that’s what they’ve been using the empty pool in the house down the street for.

  142. Potential purchasers should surely think, “If they’re prepared to neglect this highly-visible aspect of the property, what the smurf is happening INSIDE the walls?”

  143. That pool has been dead for as long as I’ve had a dog & have been out & about stickybeaking with the Ace of Spies.
    It’s been a rental for years, & I think they just drained it occasionally whenever a tenant vanished &/or got behind on the rent.

  144. Not wise. Bogan tenants + empty pool = landfill.

  145. Well, now you have an image to go with all the stinky smells I complain about, around here.

  146. CSIRO might be interested in the contents. Cure for cancer, anyone?

  147. More likely, Australia’s answer to Ebola.

  148. Haemorrhagic virus … well, that’s one way to get your name out there.

  149. yes it is curious that the house has been advertised as having three bathrooms & yet they’ve photographed none.
    We walked the dog past it yesterday, back & front, & the bloke concluded that any reference to urinals must include:
    1. The kitchen sink
    2. the pool
    3. the run-off where the pool leaks through the arched doors and then drains slowly into the gutters in the street below.

    Mmm, Hygienic.

    I am so glad all these unique residences in my street/suburb are popping up on slum-lord ebay.
    It means that I can finally show you exactly WTF I’ve been bitching about for all these years. Now that you’ve got a visual ID on the habitats, surely there can be no doubt that I’m not exaggerating about the variety of creatures that inhabit them.

  150. The Teen has been bitching about her less-than-salubrious neighbourhood, and how she hates having to be interviewed by police when one share tenant attacks another share tenant with a nail gun. I am tempted to remind her that she could have stayed at home, where the only dramas are the annual murders and the occasional child abduction, but I think she secretly likes the attention. And the smell.

  151. One of my GFs went through the Feral phase to punish her middle-class family for giving her life, and twenty years later she’s still kicking herself & has become so conservative that I think she may have voted for The Beetroot.
    You know, that red-faced national party goose who looks like he’s about to explode with apoplexy every time an ABC cameraman walks by.
    WTF is his name. Oh that’s right, same as the CEO of qantarse.
    Barnaby Joyce.

  152. I like Barnaby Joyce. He’s funny. Don’t know if I’d vote for him, though. ‘Funny’ isn’t usually something I look for in a politician.

  153. Actually, the current crop of politicians make me yearn a little for Joh. You knew where you lay with him … you know, neck bent to breaking point under his jackboot.

    And he did have some amusing lines.

  154. Oh don’t you worry about that. Don’t count your foxhounds till the hens come home to roost.

  155. *sigh*

    Memories. Who wants to go down to the Terminus and listen to some house music?

  156. Not me. And if you turn it up here, I’m calling the cops to invoke the Hoon Regulations.

  157. House music all night long
    House music all night long …

  158. The renters across the street had a car party on Sunday. They parked their cars all over the lawn and on the street, then stood around the cars with their doof-doofs on. Ugh. It was the equivalent of having a child kick the back of your plane seat for the entire 7 hour flight.

    On a lighter note, I pissed off all the kidlets this morning. I ran up the hallway, yelling for them to get up, quickly, school starts in five minutes! They all leaped out of bed and rushed to get dressed. Suddenly the April 1st penny dropped. They are all very annoyed at me. *smirk*

  159. Heh heh. You’re bad, Catty.
    The builder & the bloke both tried to fool me, this morning, by sending an email saying the builder will be here tomorrow at 6.30am sharp to start our build.
    yeah, right.

  160. Hehehe. Nice one, Catty. Check your slippers for any retaliatory strikes.

    6:30 in the a.m? Not smurfing likely. The surf’ll be up on Wednesday.

  161. Yep. Am still waiting for one of them to jump out of the shrubbery, shouting:

  162. There’s a 6:30am now? Hmmm… I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

  163. I don’t think there is, as close to the Arctic Circle as you are, Catty. That’s one of the reasons GB moved down there to join you.

    I shouldn’t encourage this kind of behaviour but off the children-are-listening-record, this one wins the internet.

    Ten bucks says it was the remedial maths teacher that posted it.

  165. Whoever managed to hack the school’s messaging system should get a distinction for computer science, at least.

  166. That’s a HD IMO.
    Heh, the bloke says that tomorrow’s 6.30am builder start will involve cutting a hole in our retaining wall with the concrete cutter. AKA the noisiest tool a tradesmen can pull out of the dark recesses of Hell’s noise making agents.
    I am so excited I can’t sleep, as for once it’s enjoyable listening to the Roman Senators whooping it up in the Irish Village. Somehow I don’t think they’ll be sleeping in till noon, as they usually do, tomorrow.

  167. And so, it commences. Sweet, sweet revenge.

  168. Might be worth swapping your leaf blower for one of those, Q.

  169. Heh heh heh heh heh.
    Catty if you had any idea just how much concrete the Greek builders planted here in 1952, & how fecking hard it is to break it up, you would know exactly how funny that really is.

  170. So, it’s after 6:30 – report!

    Did they actually show up? Has bulk concrete been cut? Could you hear the whining from next door over Murphy’s gang?

  171. Yes!
    They are making good progress, and I don’t expect miracles as I know how tough the Greeks bred their concrete around here. Today’s goal is to make a lot of very horrible noise to piss off all who’ve irked me…no, wait, there must be something else…Yes! They plan to cut a hole in the retaining wall out the front & dig a hole for the steel post/footing which will support the extension to our deck.

    Since they have the concrete cutter & the jackhammer here, I’ve asked them to nix the crappy old mangled concrete stairs from the footpath down to the road. Catty, since you’re the only one that hasn’t visited, these stairs are a steady source of irritation as 1. smokers & drunks congregate on them, and 2. as it’s such a steep bank, this is Prime Parking Position which the tenants in the boarding houses all fight over. They usually park just in front of the stairs so they can unload crap out of their boots & cart it up into Bog Hollow. Unfortunately when they park like this, it stuffs up the parking on the road as instead of being room for 3 large cars, or 4 small ones, between my driveway and NTO’s, there is only room for 2. Hence all the shenanigans with parking over driveways.
    The other horrible thing about them is that every time Gweedo has a viewing for the flats, he holds court on these stairs and I have to listen to his Slum Tour Shakedown, at top volume.

    The footpath stairs have been high on my list of things to destroy for many, many years, but the Bloke & I disagreed as he thought they were useful. Thankfully the midnight smoker/telephone yapper from the Lesbian Plumbers house has made him see my point of view.

    Stairs, tremble and be fearful, for you are about to be shattered and dumped at the tip!

    I am a much happier little marsupial, today.

    Oh, and while I think of it, remember how Mrs. Flanders next door wrote a 34 page bullet point essay to town planning saying that she opposed any construction of any type ever on our property? I was out there chatting to the tradies at 6.15am when her husband walked past. I wished him a good morning and said in contrite tones ‘Er, we are about to make a lot of noise.’
    Ned smiled, seemed pleased, glanced over the existing horror and said ‘No worries, we’re at work all day anyway, so it won’t bother me.’ and he duffed his hat and shuffled off happily into the sunrise.

    Insert eye roll here.
    I have long suspected that he was quite excited by the prospect of having the Mad Cat Woman Manor constructed in all it’s glory so there you go. He is absolutely fine.

    So far, so good.
    Apart from lying awake last night wondering where I can find enough sump oil to drown that frigging Syngonium vine.
    I love you Catty, but you are a VERY bad influence.

  172. Roundup is available by the litre, and much less visible to the naked eye than sump oil,

  173. And yet not nearly so satisfying to dump over the fence.

  174. Why not just salt the earth, as the Romans did?

  175. Why waste salt when you can pepper it with gunfire?

  176. Salt might work, except that all the resident snails will have to find new homes – probably Q’s garden. The Boss tells me that Roundup is just extra strong fertiliser, so putting it on weeds only makes them grow fatter and more determined than ever.

    Maybe the Greeks were on to something with that cement.

    Speaking of cement, apparently someone in our household (not sure who yet, but watch out when I find out) has poured a load of it (or something else) into the ensuite toilet, which is now well and truly blocked. I’ve spent the morning with a fancy plunger, a coat hanger, a bucket and a pair of rubber gloves (with a hole in the finger – which I discovered far too late), trying unsuccessfully to unblock the bloody thing. The Boss keeps sending me text messages along the lines of “Poke it with a stick. Ha ha ha”. Bastard. But I shall have the last laugh. As soon as he gets home from work, it becomes His Problem.

    Strangely, I’m not keen on eating the chocolate doughnut I was saving for lunch.

  177. Oh dear.

    Hope you get a flow-on effect soon, Catty. If not, there’s always the wheelie bin!

  178. ROFL.

  179. Oh dear. Sorry Catty. It’s just that it’s Bin Night here at Casa Q & I am quite unable to look at NTO’s overflowing bins without wondering if perhaps she shares your woes.
    I hope they are of short duration and you flush out the perpetrator and poke him, or her, as the case may be, with a suitably sharpened stick.
    meanwhile I will be happy to dispose of your donut, I am feeling suitably smug after a satisfying day of inflicting truly horrific noise and builder dust upon the neighbourhood. There’s nothing quite like the squeal of a concrete cutter, and the incessant clatter of a jackhammer, to clear all the ferals out of our neighbourhood. I should have taken photos. Normally the street is packed to Pussy’s Bow with parked cars and by 9.30am when I stuck my head out the window (cough, splutter) they had all fled. I suspect that some have gone wailing all the way home to Mumsy in Everton Park to complain that the nasty lady who shouts when you park over her driveway is now ruining their lives with tradesmen.
    And the silence in the street is simply quite unnatural. Quasimodo is not shrieking in his belltower. Recorder practice child is mute. NTO and NTBF have closeted themselves indoors in the AC, presumably to hunker down with crumpets and tea until it’s safe to venture out of doors again. Everyone – absolutely everyone – has decided to either vanish or else STFU.

    AndI am feeling warm all over for being the source of so much well-deserved noise and horror.

    And at least now I know what I want for my BD.
    I want a concrete cutter, and a tradie here to operate it, here at dawn clattering on the footpath for at least three weeks.

    That was just completely smurfing BRILLIANT.
    I am sorry to be gleeful while you are eyeing off the wheelie bin for it’s potential as a portaloo but there you have it. I have silenced the neighbourhood.
    It is a miracle.

  180. You don’t need a concrete cutter. You need to use the recording app on your iPhone. Record a few hours of clatter over the next three weeks, then get some big-arse speakers. Then anytime the neighbours piss you off, plug the speakers into the iPhone and play back the noise. That way you won’t have to pay penalty rates to a tradesman at 3:00am.

    Oh, and the Boss tried to weasel out of de-crapping the crapper. He assured me it was fixed, but he hadn’t even looked at it. After some mild gesticulation and a gently shrieked request from me, he went out into the back yard and extracted some rather frightening substances from the sewer pipe. (Unfortunately none of it was incriminating.) Afterwards, I asked him where he’d dumped the bucket of poo. He told me it was out the front. As that is where the wheelie bins live, I suspect we may have to take one of them for a walk to the nearby creek.

    Actually, it might be funnier to leave the bin on the kerb, and see if we get a warning letter from the council on collection day.

  181. Ah, Catty, I think now we have our answer as to how you fill a wheelie-bin with poo.
    DIY toilet repairs. I’m glad it’s safe to use the smallest room in your house again.

    We have some plumbing to fix here – washers need changing, some taps are coming loose & I think the toilet needs a new cystern. I was waiting to ask the builder if he knows a plumber as the one that I’ve used in the past is the Lesbian’s employer & while she seems like a decent human being, her housemates & her spouse do not, so I’m loathe to have one of her workmates in here. They might tell her I’m not a complete psycho & that will undermine my efforts to get them to stay the hell off my lawn.
    Speaking of psychos, NTO, having ignored my email to please get rid of the noxious weed she’s growing over our fence, was waiting for the Bloke to get home from work last night so she could stalk him &, I assume, grill him with a lengthy questionairre about our build.
    She followed him onto the street when he took the bins out and she must have been flustered, or perhaps addled by having her brains shaken about by all the mind-rattling builder noise, because she greeted him with ‘Good morning,’ and then seemed confused when he said ‘Good evening’ back. He then trotted up the side path & out of her range, leaving her clutching her garbage bags (Poo?) on the footpath.

    Since she’s been so very unobliging we’ve decided not to tell her a GD thing about what we’ere doing. None of it affects her, she’s never given us any warning when she’s had builders in there & if she isn’t willing to be obliging then smurf her, neither are we. So if she asks questions, she’s going to get some very vague & non-commital answers. And I’ve reminded the bloke that, when dealing with someone nosy, the best way to respond to their questions is with one of your own. So all responses will be. ‘Sorry, don’t know. When are you going to clear that Syngonium vine?’

    It is very hard to explain the level of satisfaction I feel that the builders have finally turned up. I am twirling my tail with glee at the horror that’s unfolding out there, and the knowledge that not far down the track, once the noisy builders have gone, there’ll be noisy tenants in here, having tequila parties on our deck, on our terrace and in our spa, and at that point all of these retarded maggots will get a good long dose of the noise & irritation that they’ve been foisting upon us.

  182. So, how do I score an invite to one of these tequila parties?

  183. Or several of these tequila parties.

  184. I will need references from at least three landlords saying that neighbours 1.5km from your house complained about previous levels of Tequila intoxication.

    It is cruel and unfeeling of me to be so smug when you lot are due to be afflicted with school holidays, but Ah! The Noise! the disruption to the neighbourhood! Watching cars scattering at dawn to flee the caravan of tradies that arrives at 615am. It is music to my ears.

    I heard Mummy Cuddles start up with recorder practice at 5.50am & someone actually shouted at him & seized & impounded the offending instrument. Apparently now that I’m producing unacceptable levels of noise & horror, the zoo creatures around here are starting to feel offended by their own.


    So, what horrors/delights await you for school hols, ladies? Apart from Aunt Irma, who was circling on her broom last night giving me a headache – even though she’s not due to make a landing till later next week. Although I don’t think that’s her fault, I blame the stupid workout at the gym the other day. Stoopid Examacise. Oh well. It’s better than having buggered bones.

  185. The school holidays hold little fear for me, as I have already done my Easter shopping and I shall be working through them.

    Well, some fear. MM has decided he’s too old for vacation care, so he’ll be staying at Home Alone on Wednesdays and Fridays (the days Mum’s not up from BrisVegas and I’m at work). However, since he’s addicted to COD on his Precious and doesn’t seem to be noticing girls, booze or drugz yet, it should probably be OK. I hope.

  186. I share your faith in him, MM.
    Perhaps you could train him to stuff the crockpot while he is home alone so he can welcome you back from work with a fabulous meal.
    And think of the quality spouse he will be able to lure in to provide you with grandbabies if he can master the art of slow-cooking before he leaves home.

    You’ll have to explain what COD is. I thought it was cash-on-delivery but I can’t see you endorsing any free-market enterprise by MM requiring that.
    And as you said, he’s yet to discover the value of horticulture.

  187. Call of Duty.

    He’s been trying to make me Minecraft with him, too. Which I grudgingly consented to, in the name of bonding and showing an interest. It makes me hideously seasick and I keep running into trees.

  188. If you want to bond I think it’s a far better exercise to teach him how to make fudge. No risk of battery via timber unless someone recourses to violence with the wooden spoon, and far from being nauseating.

    Well, my tradies clocked off at 1.30pm, tired of digging holes and filling skips, and they have gone fishing. Good on them. The footpath stairs are on their way to Willawong & my backyard looks like London during the Blitz. I have been out & about doing errands much of the day but didn’t worry because NTO watches every move the tradies make, thus rendering my value as site supervisor entirely obsolete. The downside is that now they’ve destroyed the (frog) pond & the (rotting) jasmine trellis, there’s a large gap in the shrubbery where the residents of Bog Hollow can peer out in wonderment form their (illegally built non-code compliant) deck at the destruction.
    And, more disturbingly, call out.
    I got in from Coals to find the tradies leaving so I darted up the back to grab the key from it’s hiding place. Not-the-boyfriend immediately bounded up onto their deck and yelled out cheerily ‘Hello! NTO tells me you have a couple of cats!’
    ‘Yes,’ I said ‘which reminds me, I have perishables to put away from the groceries.’ And I darted off.

    This will be interesting.
    Plainly I’m going to have to tell them, at some point, that I don’t walk outside in the privacy of my garden to talk to my neighbours over the top of a 6 foot fence. Truly, I am going to give the silly woman an earful soon. Nosy bitch.

    The bloke & I have agreed, if she asks for information, to say ‘Erm, why don’t you ask the owner? We emailed the agent and had no response, so if they’ve chosen not to pass on that information, then you probably need to take that up with them.’


  189. Mmm … fudge.

    I love the ask the owner strategy. It’s so karmic!

  190. Heh heh heh.
    We have just had a relaxing evening eating Quans & sipping ginger beer.
    And sniggering as various visitors to Bog Hollow roll home and attempt to navigate Not The Stairs. Which, since the boys hosed the carnage down, have turned into a metre wide sticky mud slide.
    the ‘WTF?’s have been music to my ears.
    And then of course there’s the attempts to escape, which, since the stairs are now safely in their grave at Willawong, requires lurching down the precipice that is our driveway – In 6# heels. Totter totter totter, clickety clack clicketty clack EEEEEEEE splat.
    Not sure how they’ll navigate that rise on the return trip home but by then I’m sure they’ll be so pished that the mudslide will be a safer option than going SPLAT! on the concrete.

    Funny, but suddenly the parking spaces outside Casa Q just don’t seem quite so prized as they used to be. They’re rushing to park up on the flatter bit near NTO’s bin collection. The Bloke thinks that it’ll take them about three days to start bitching to her about what a troll she is to keep them on the street right where they need to park to get up the hill without going Humpty Dumpty.

    Most Excellent.
    Can’t wait for Gweedo to show up and try to do one of his tours without his footpath amphitheatre.

    Quality of life increasing exponentially as I speak.

  191. Strange that none of them have fashioned a rope ladder out of old vertical blinds and soiled bed sheets, yet.

  192. Give them time.

  193. OMG the parking is so much better. I cannot believe how neatly they have lined up away from my yellow line. The great joy of this is that it looks like now they’ll try to squeeze a 4th parking space in over NTO’s driveway, when space is dire.
    Smurfing excellent.

    I am about ready to clock the bloke for refusing to get rid of the stairs years ago. I told him it would change how they park out there & I wouldn’t pop as many vessels shouting at them to get the hell off my lawn.
    Men. Stupid creatures, explain to me again why we need them?

    Oh yeah. Lifting heavy stuff and taking orders.

  194. And changing tap washers. The Bloke’s pretty good at that, isn’t he?

  195. Thanks for reminding me, I need to call a plumber.
    At least he can operate a steam mop, Catty. He seems to quite enjoy it.
    How’s your Shark, BTW?

    I forgot to recount yesterday’s post office trip. Star Trak left a note (in my door, so Moko must have told them not to be lazy ass bustards & good on them for climbing the stairs) that I had parcels to pick up from the post office. Luckily I checked and it said I needed photo ID.
    Licence: missing, whereabouts unknown. Which is a total pain in the butt as it means I’ve probably left it at a surf club somewhere & once I replace it I’ll look 20 years older, and not blonde.
    So I scrabbled around hunting for photo ID and found my university student card from 20 years ago. Bad perm bunched up in a high ponytail, big round Diana Prince glasses & stylish 80s dress to go with the ruby red smirk.

    Luckily the postie knows me so she just laughed when I asked if she’d believe that was me 20 years earlier & 20 lb lighter, and would I need to lose weight before I could pick up my parcel because I had the bad feeling it might be chocolate. She grabbed the parcel, felt it up & said ‘No chocolate in there!’
    ‘You ATE it!’ I hissed.
    By which time all the cranky people in the queue were heartily sick of me & my missing driver’s licence & my array of alternate forms of ID, so I scuttled off.

    OMFG West End on a Friday afternoon. It’s like all the animals have escaped from the zoo. the big issue seller from Avid had obviously made enough cash for the day to quit work & Partay, so she was out on the road in front of Coals weaving 2metre wide spirals around the white line in the centre of the road. I knew exactly what she was doing the moment that I saw her but the rest of the traffic assumed she was crossing the road, not dancing the Song Lines back to the Melbourne hotel. So I checked the headlines today to see if she’d been flattened by a Ford F350 but apparently not.
    She lives to do her Meth Dance along Boundary Road another day.

    Farken, I have to get out of here.
    I need a fresh batch of crazies that haven’t known me for longer than my spouse.

  196. Holy smurf, not your driver’s license! Do you know how long you’ll have to wait in a queue at Main Roads to get another one?

    Let’s just say you should not only take a packed lunch, but a sleeping bag as well.

    On the upside, you’ll no doubt encounter plenty of crazies to add to your collection.

  197. The horror. Can’t you order a copy of your licence from the post office? That’s where I go for mine.

  198. I don’t know, but I’m going to tip the house upside down this week, in hopes that I find it. And I’ll just cross my fingers that I find it before the cops pull me over and ask to see it.
    If it hasn’t turned up by Friday, I’ll go into town first thing & get a new one issued. The old photo is from when I was 35 which is nearly 15 years ago so, meh, I was probably due to get hauled in there for a new visual ID sometime soon anyway. I’m really surprised they’ve let me get away with the damned thing for this long. Amazingly when they’ve pulled me over, demanded my license & Shirley Manson stares back at them, they don’t bat an eyelid.

    Then again, perhaps they, like me, have seen way too many episodes of the Sarah Connor Chronicles & they’re worried about the likeness.
    i.e. if they smurf with me, quite possibly I’ll lift up one pointy little liquid metal finger and that’ll be the last RBT shift they’ll ever do.

  199. You’ll be able to get one with a chip. You’ll find it just as easy to misplace as the low-tech ones – and it won’t find itself when you do – but it WILL have a chip in it.

  200. Heh, before I forget: further to the ‘Ask the owner’ Strategy, I have just sent Gweedo a second email advising him that since there has been no response to my complaints about the Devil’s Snare creeper that NTO is growing over our fence, I assume that the owner is not interested in our project.
    So, as such we have decided that rather than waste our money on replacing the fence with a visually appealing concrete render & timber structure, our builder has advised us that the best material to survive the triffid’s clutches is in fact corrugated iron.
    And so later on this week our tradies will be working to dismantle a section of the fence which has sustained the worst damage & they will be replacing the chewed and mangled timber with Corro. Since the fence is on our property there should be no need for them to be set foot on Bog Hollow, however the owner/agent may wish to clear any valuables from their side of the fence before work commences.

    So. Between the lines: Suck on that, bitch.
    I think it will be quite delightful to have a 2m high wall of highly reflective corro between my pool and her line of sight off the deck.

    Gweedo has now ignored 2 emails with info about our build, so when NTO next accosts me, or sends a flying monkey to do so, I can truthfully say ‘I have emailed all this information to the agent so if Gweedo has decided not to share it with you then you need to take that up with him.’
    If she starts up I will respond with ‘Erm, NTO in case you have forgotten, you have told me yourself you are Not The Owner & Gweedo has told me all communications are to go through him. I have discharged my responsibilities accordingly and since he has failed to discharge his, you need to take that up with him.’

    If they plead tech problems then I will shrug and say ‘Well, that system was destined to fail but you’re the ones who set it up so if you don’t like the way it’s working, it’s up to you to fix it.’

    The Bloke thinks that the tenants are hopeful we will replace the stairs with newer and betterer ones later in the week.

    To quote the late Mrs. K from the Simpsons

  201. Make sure you get the really bright silver stiff. Not the normal old almost grey type.

  202. I’m thinking of asking the lads if they’ve had any experience building trebuchets.
    After last night’s racket in our ‘hood I need one that flings night soil, preferably in multiple directions.

    Note to self: visit Hugh Muntz park & ask the locals who can help out by supplying a bin full of poo.

    I’ve developed a new theory on that & it’s that the residents stockpile dog terds so they can catapult them at the cyclists as they go racketing past at dawn.

  203. Heh heh heh.
    6.30am I heard a strange rattling noise outside.
    NTO, tearing down the Devil’s Snare with vicious disregard to whether she takes the timber with it.
    Screw her, I’m sick of having to ask nicely & being ignored.
    Perhaps if she spends the next 5 years staring at a 4 x 2m expanse of FK ugly corro she’ll learn the value of Good Will.

  204. You want poo? Come on down to Catty’s Poo Emporium! We’ve got all kinds! Big poo! Little poo! Poo with whole cashews in! You name it, we’ve got it! Don’t waste your money on inferior turds, we’ve got the best at rock bottom prices. Poo! Poo! Poo! Bring a bucket! Bring a trailer! Remember the name: Catty’s Poo Emporium!

    Yep. The toilet’s blocked again.

  205. Excellent, load the trebuchet. Er, I mean, that’s terrible, Catty.
    Wishing you speedy relief from poo, via electric eel.

  206. The Boss promised to get caustic soda on the way home from work today. But he just now rang and said he’s changed his mind. He’s going to buy beer instead, and spend the night drinking with his father. Serves me right – I’d just put dinner in the crock pot.

  207. Time to demonstrate that terd-eroding soda is nowhere near as abrasive as the sharp end of your tongue, Catty.

  208. I was thinking something blunt. And heavy. Frying pan, perhaps? Rolling pin? Or toilet plunger?

  209. He’d just get a concussion and forget what he’s meant to be doing.
    I’d make him sleep outside on the porch and wake him at dawn by tipping a pot of night soil over his head.

  210. If your toilet wasn’t blocked, I’d see no downside to a man-free evening.

    But you should really chew your cashews, to get the full flavour.

  211. I may never eat cashews again.

  212. Better steer clear of sweet corn kernels, also.

  213. And diced carrots.

  214. The only function of diced carrots seems to be bulking out vomit and stopping toilets. I’d say they should be banned, but someone would have to move a motion and I’m sure you’re not in the mood for any more toilet jokes, Catty.

  215. No. Especially as the IGA crash lady is dead-set giving me the shits. I will elaborate when I’ve calmed down a bit and can type without hitting the profanity key repeatedly.

  216. Yeah I could tell she was gonna cause trouble, Catty. Get lots of buckets, get the children to fill them, and prepare to fling poo.

  217. Oh no. I’ll pray for you. And curse the IGA crash lady.

  218. Basically the little, sweet, white haired, old lady is too confused to handle it all herself, so she has handed the problem over to her huge bully of a son. The man showed up here unannounced, demanding to see the damage. They seem to think that I’m being a nuisance because the old lady didn’t feel a thing so there can’t possibly be any serious damage. I’ve been so nice about it, trying to help her out by avoiding messy insurance claims, and agreeing that only the really necessary work needs doing (i.e, knocking out the dent and touching up the spots where the scrapes are down to the bare metal). I even took the car to the Bully Son’s mate, who offered to do the touch-up for free.

    That was yesterday. The panel beater mate let his apprentice loose on the car. By the looks of it, Apprentice did the touch-up with a bottle of nail polish and a tissue. It was flaking off by the time the Boss got home from work. The Boss rang the panel beater, who told him the same thing I was told – that the work was done for free, and that Bully Son had called him to say we were happy with a bodge job. But when the Boss rang Bully Son, the horrid man had the audacity to get angry and say that he’s paid for the repairs and he never wants to hear from us again.

    I rang Little Old Lady, and told her there was a problem. She immediately interrupted me to give me Bully Son’s phone number. I told her I didn’t want to talk to Bully Son because he lied to us. She yelled at me and hung up.

    Finally, I got angry. It’s one thing to be all compassionate and considerate, but it’s another thing when arseholes take advantage of it. So I rang the insurance people and gave them all her details. She can go and get …. insured.

    I will shortly be going down to my own panel beater, who does a good job. He will assess the damage (by Old Lady and Apprentice) and send photographs to the insurance assessor. Once it’s all approved, I will be taking the car back for a full, total repair. No short cuts, no bodge jobs. It’s going to be expensive.

    The Boss is convinced Old Lady has done this before. I’m convinced they should take her drivers licence and burn it. Preferably while her Bully Son is holding it.

  219. Oh Catty. Sad to say I’m not surprised. As they say, past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour & someone who’s been an arsewipe the first time you encounter them is likely to continue in the same vein thereon. I hope you can get it resolved quickly.
    FWIW I would put everything in writing (evidence: if it is not on paper it doesn’t exist) and ask the dodgy panel beater for a copy of the bill, which the son says he has paid.
    You might also want to call the cops & the insurance company to find out where you stand, and just ask the police to check if the old lady and her son have a criminal record. You never know what you’re dealing with & I’m with you – it sounds like they’ve done this before.
    Have a muffin. They’re good.

  220. The insurance company should be able to sort it out. Let them have the aggro.

    Meanwhile, big warm virtual hug and I shall send you some noms, soon. It;s hard to maintain your rage with a mouthful of chocolate.


  221. I’ve just been down to the panel beaters. Once we’ve had the all clear from the insurance assessor, I am putting the whole matter into the Someone Else’s Problem basket. The insurance company has all the police details, as well as the contact details for Family Von Crash. If it goes to court, I don’t even need to be there.

    Meanwhile, I am currently avoiding housework as fervently as the kidlets are avoiding their school holiday homework. We turned a quick trip to the shoe shop into a two-hour shopping marathon. Surprisingly the shopping centre was almost empty, and none of the kidlets caused a scene. It was lovely.

  222. Good plan, Catty. I just hope you know where she lives so you can dump a few wheelie bins full of poo on her lawn late one night & then run off, giggling.

    Well, it has been a busy day here at Casa Q.
    The back yard looks like it’s been over-run by 6 foot tall rabbits. Holes everywhere, as our old rotting timber sleeper retaining walls have been dug up and readied for replacing – this time in a newer and betterer formation for large scale entertaining, which should give Casa Q the advantage in the quest for the Loudest & most annoying Neighbour awards.
    The tradies are getting along swimmingly and when they started to slow down this morning I plied them with icey poles & sugar-dusted muffins, after which they ran around like the energizer bunny on steroids.

    So, we haz progress.
    The cats have been remarkably complacent about the whole thing.
    Until this morning, when Miss Kitteh complained loudly & viciously that they had breached the perimeter.
    I had a couple of youngsters turn up to change over our water filters (remember the bloke cannot do this without breaking 2 taps and putting one back on upside down). Her displeasure was loud and vicious.
    Too bad I am still unable to post pix.
    Yup, I still haven’t made it to the genius bar for that one. One day, when I can trust my tradies to work unsupervised, that will happen.

    Can someone check the Farmer’s Almanac so I know when hell is due to freeze over?

  223. I think it’s scheduled for the first weekend I don’t have to spend most of my time on stupid things that irritate me, Q – i.e. never.

    I’m feeling quite gloomy for some reason. Where’s my raven?

  224. There were two of them on the porch eating the soggy kitteh kibble I’d tossed out, earlier on. While I’m sure I’d look far more impressive as the Nut Neighbour with one on each shoulder, possibly half that effect would do, so I’m willing to offer you the spare.
    The lesbian who shouted at me that I was her nut neighbour has elected to park her shiny black hybrid outside Casa Q, presumably in the hopes that it will inconvenience our tradesmen. I marvelled at her nerve while the crane was lifting it’s cargo of 3″ timber sleepers over her car yesterday, and another one from the boarding house which seems eager to put itself in the way of skips, cement trucks and landscaping supplies.
    All of the rate-paying permanent residents are happy to shift their cars when applied to so I’m not going to bother asking the renters to get the hell out of the way. Possibly they think they’ll irritate me for getting in the way of our tradesmen. Not so, the image of a palate of bricks tumbling onto a hybrid would be a memory I’d treasure for decades.

  225. Oh! What a feeling!

  226. I issued the No Radio edict to our tradies, which had them absolutely aghast. Still, as there are medical students over the back, I think its in everyone’s best interests, when it comes time for the young doctors to stitch us up, that they remember the details of how the knee-bone’s connected to the thigh-bone, rather than the lyrics to Lady Gaga.
    And having broken a few bones last year, snow-boarding, I think the lads should appreciate that.

  227. You’re probably right. I listened to a great deal of ZZZ when I was studying, and look how I turned out.

  228. Hehehe. Do they do Beyonce, too?

  229. Don’t know, but the Glee cast did a hilarious take on Single Ladies.
    Possibly, having boys, you may have missed it.

  230. There was a run of it – it was the only way Kurt could kick goals?

    That was back in the good old days, when we received the Ten stations. I think the aerial’s rusted or something, we can’t get them any more. In a sad indictment of the network, nobody really misses it.

  231. Yep, that was it.
    We have all of the stations on the digital TV & the only thing I watch is the ABC news, and sometimes the horror that follows on after. We’d rather watch a DVD, read, or bicker.

  232. Bickering is always on the menu here, too.

  233. The menfolk here have been strangely compliant to my directions & ideas. Possibly because I’ve trained them that if they do as they’re told they’ll get frosty fruits & blueberry muffins. Possibly because it’s hot and, like dogs, it’s too much effort to think & far easier to just do as they’re told.
    I rang the bloke this am to question something he’d put on a drawing & he said ‘no, no, don’t worry if you want it done the other way then that’s actually better.’

    I think after last week’s horror PMS they’ve decided it’s just prudent to surrender to a Higher Power.

  234. We’re more of a squabble family.

  235. You have no idea what you’re missing.
    MM, if you’re interested, Miracle Girl’s sister has FWd me an email invite from her Adventure Time Friends to a fundraiser. It’s on a Wednesday night in June, they are meeting at a restaurant that will charge $120 per head, the first glass of booze is free & then after that they charge, and they plan to have raffles and auctions.
    All welcome.
    Assuming you have $120+ to spare & are free to go out on a school night.

    I’m thinking that might thin out the crowd, somewhat.
    Still, perhaps that’s the point.
    MG is happy so that’s what counts.

  236. $120 on a Wednesday night? The only place I’d blow that much money on a weeknight is Woolies.

    Can I just sent a donation somewhere?

    I feel strangely calm in this pre-Irmal time. I hope it’s this lousy cold and the subsequent being hopped up on OTC drugz. Cos if I’m pregnant it won’t be pretty.

  237. Well you could, but I’m not sure Loreena Bobbitt has a passport & a licence to slice. Otherwise I’d have emailed her by now.

  238. I always thought Loreena could carve a career as a butcher.

  239. I think she could cut quite a swathe as a touring Artist in Residence.
    Speaking of Swathes, I left notes out on our bins & the assembly of parked cars yesterday arvo alerting the neighbourhood that heavy vehicles are expected here today from 5am. Went to bed thinking this was a dubious exercise & wondering which car we’d drop a bag of cement on (please let it be the hybrid please please please) & awoke at 4am to discover they’d cleared the street.
    heh heh heh.
    The removal of the stairs has worked wonders in helping them to park properly, too. I told the bloke I’m about ready to skin him for stopping me killing those stairs years ago, obviously they’ve been the source of the problem all along.

    Howz your cold today, MM? And Catty, how went the quest for Spanner’s Cat?

  240. Nothing can curb my enthusiasm, for it is Friday! On the mend, thank you.

    Yes, Catty – what news of Spanner’s Cat?

  241. Spanner’s Cat is beautiful, but looked a little pink in the face. Did Mrs Spanner put blusher on her for the photo?

    The article was very detailed, and Mrs Spanner’s reply gave the impression that the reading was accurate. So tell us, Q, what did Spanner say about it, apart from “bollocks”?

    And what’s all this about a cold? I didn’t know you were sick, Madam. Well, you know the drill… A steaming bowl of chicken chips, a vodka bubble bath, then take two plumbers and go straight to bed. Get well soon, you don’t want to be snotty when the Easter Bunny shits chocolate all over you.

  242. Well she started by saying that Spanner’s Kitteh is a very active outdoor kitteh at which point they fell around laughing as she is an extremely idle indoor Kitteh who spends most of her life upside down on the sofa demanding Moar Treats which she then throws up on the rug.

    Although perhaps the Kitteh was trying to tell her about the time Mrs. Spanner told him not to trim the hedge and he trimmed it anyway & discovered half a bloodied bird’s nest on the ground with half the bloodied baby birds scattered in and around it by the electric hedge sheers. He buried the evidence & concealed his evildoings from Mrs. Spanner until breakfast time the next morning when the Kitteh went outside for 5 minutes and returned with half a bloodied, dirt encrusted, leaf tossed baby bird. Spat it out and Mrs. Spanner’s feet & all was revealed.

    So possibly that’s what the kitteh was trying to say.
    Considering she never gets off the sofa that would have been a LOT of exertion for a sleepy tired kitteh.

  243. OMG, no. The horror!

    In school holiday updates, the mental blue heeler cross my puppy goes to play with a couple of times a week is wrecking havoc at my place today, supervised by a fraught MM.

    So far they’ve apparently got into the medicine cupboard and chewed up a bottle of Valerian and a bottle of Withania. I hope they swallowed some of the Valerian and go nigh-nighs, soon. They’re cutting into his Call of Duty time.

  244. Better that than they found & chewed on the Epsom salts.

  245. Or the magnesium. Similar effect.

  246. Today I have fed the tradesmen date loaf & improvised slurpies devised from tropical fruit juice & the ice-cream maker.
    Between that & carting 100 bags of concrete powder up into our back yard, we could end up with the same effect.
    Poor sods. Nasty hot day for it here.
    Although Mayhem has just tweeted something about freezing Melbourne temps so at least I don’t have to worry about your mail, Catty.

  247. I really need to get myself an ice cream maker. Mmmm…. slurpies….

  248. Well, I am very happy with my Breville & the ice-cream bowl attachment so I recommend it. And it made the tradies very happy, Catty.
    Speaking of which, I haz plans for sorbets & granitas.

    We went to Hardly Normal for a new toaster yesterday, and came out of there with no toaster, slavering Big Screen TV envy (75 inch screen – WANT!) and a brand new juicer.
    Our old Breville juicer was fine, but the new one squashes rather than shreds the fruit so you get a much nicer result. Yesterday was very hot & stinky humid so we had about 5 glasses of juice each & then the man at the display stand ran out of fruit.
    So we felt sufficient pangs of guilt over that to purchase this enticing product. The box says it’s a low speed masticator. How could we resist?
    It’s a gorgeous shiny red & hardly makes any noise, compared to the old one, which would have been invaluable to drown out the dynamite blasts if we move to Wallaby Hill.
    The bloke said ‘Happy Birthday, right?’ to which I said ‘Why the hell not?’
    I will never turn down a last minute gift when he realises he’s made it to April 12 without preparing adequately – or at all – for my BD.

    So I’ve offered the old juicer to my girlfriend’s kids – these are the ones who have moved in up the hill to study at uni – and they are ever so excited. I haven’t seen the girls for ages & I’m very pleased at how thrilled they are at the prospect of getting our monster juicer so that’s something to look forward to this week, other than more holes and dust and sweaty men making loud noises in my back yard.

    The bloke has gone to golf, leaving me to do battle with The Dust.
    At least they’re here destroying things, but OMG, I wish there was some way I could crawl into a cryo-chamber for the next three months & just wake up after the cleaners have gone through to find it all done.

  249. For goodness sake, why do my timeless comments keep disappearing?

    I’m sure I said something about Q’s slurpies on Friday …

  250. Maybe Spanner’s termites ett them.

  251. Termites, psychic cats. He’s got it all going on,

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