Happy Birthday to Q!

zombie cake

What better way to celebrate than to say it with braaaainz?

Wishing you a very happy birthday and an exciting year of renovation and relocation xxxooo


475 Responses

  1. Heh heh heh. You’re a good friend, MM.
    I have utter faith that the blood and the Brainzzzzz came from the planning consultant that failed to consult with me before incorrectly amending our DA.

    The BD fairy has delivered my wish, which was for sufficient rain to dampen down the dust on the bomb site in our back yard & insufficient rain to fill the holes they’ve yet to fill with posts and concrete.

    We’ll do BD celebrations of some mild variety here tonight, not sure what, you know what I’m like, Meh, it’s just another day & I’m spoiled enough on a daily basis to warrant MOAR excessive spoiling.

    I made the women’s weekly family chocolate cake with fudge frosting yesterday, mostly to taunt Spanner but also for stockpiling in the freezer in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse & he’s told me I can have the ipad air I so covet. Except I might put off the trip to the fruit store until after school holidays, and to be honest I’d rather have a new mini-vertical freezer as ours keeps frosting up and I’m tired of picking icicles off my brownies.

    Thank you kindly.

  2. Brownies are always more important than apples. Any time of the month.

  3. Yes. And as you well know, I still haz Isshews to work out with the photographs on my Macs before I can clean out the little mac & give it to you.
    In another week or two the tradies won’t need me here to answer questions so I’ll be able to fritter away many happy hours elsewhere, such as eyeing off new tech & using up my lessons in the fruit store. I still haven’t been in for my tutes to learn how the Big Mac works & smurf me if it’s now been sitting here for nearly 4 months.
    I’d say in another two weeks, they will be done in the back yard & will have moved on to the deck. They have proper plans for that so they shouldn’t have questions for me, whereas the yard is something we are making up as we go along depending on what manner of horror we find as they dig out all the old timber retaining walls.

    I’m starting to become more philosophical about the FKup with our DA, the bloke is right, we can just re-submit it once we’ve adjusted the roof heights accordingly. I don’t want to use that planning consultant again, though. Having displayed this much breathtaking ineptitude and having taken such a cavalier attitude to dismissing the work of years, I’m inclined to think that there’s plenty more Stooopid where that came from & I will want someone else on the job who I can trust to do the thing properly. There’s no point staying angry, I am moving into acceptance. Still, part of that acceptance is accepting that he’s an idiot & I’ll feel far more comfortable with somebody else on the job.

  4. Catty dear: I plan to open presents tonite so thank you ahead of then for being so sweet. The Gold Coast express train waits for no man & I didn’t want to rush through BD gifts before he scuttles off to work. We’ll do my BD tonight, and meanwhile, I’m enjoying the rattle of jackhammers & concrete cutters at dawn.
    Revenge is a dish best served before breakfast, around here.

  5. I’m a bit excited about what might be beneath your retaining walls, Q. If there are any human remains, can you please put them to one side for MM?

  6. Your best hope of finding those is out the front under the 1950s Greek concrete, MM. We are merely repairing & replacing works that we did nearly 20 years ago so I can guarantee you that the only mammalian remains up there are rodents, possums and cats.

  7. I love backyard archeology. We found a fake fingernail near the garage once and spent the next six months inventing murder mysteries to fit.

  8. Happy Birthday, Q! Bring forth the CAEK!

    Can you guarantee there’s no bodies there? Can you? Really?


    How about treasure, then?

  9. Happy birthday to Q
    hope it’s free of cat spew!
    Happy birthday dear Aunty
    Perfect postholes to you.

    On another note, this may be my last message unless food starts staying in my system. I’ve had some ghastly bug for nearly a week and even total starvation hasn’t cleared it out. I’m wasting away to a rather stout shadow and sleeping about 12-14 hours a day. Melbourne germs. They tried to warn me but did I listen?

  10. Thanks, troops. 🙂
    Now Khan GB, lets consider the timing of this *alleged* contamination.
    Seems to me that it clocks out rather precisely with the day you started unpacking & grumbling that the removalists had broken shirtloads of your valuables. And we know what you value. Weapons; bladed and biological.

    So as much as I’d love to blame Melbourne Air & Weather for being the source of your tribulations, I say the jury is out till the pathology comes back and rules out escaping Contaminants from transporting your lab & Evil Lair.

    And to think I’d planned to spend the day on the sofa reading The Stand.
    *shudders & slinks off to find Anne of Green Gables*

  11. Oh and the CAEK is on twitter. Best get in quick before Spanner eats it all.

  12. Hoist by your own germ warfare, GB?

    It must be a lovely break for Fifi, though. I bet she’s LOVING Melbourne!

  13. Judging by the photos on twitter the Grand Evil & the cat are enjoying it, too.
    Interesting how it hasn’t occurred to Khan GB that the littlest coven member may have played a part in transmitting those dysentery spores.
    Charming AND artful.

  14. And well-targeted. No nasties for Grandmama.

  15. Well, we don’t know that Fifi hasn’t succumbed to the manflu.
    We just know that she’s not at Death’s Door whining for sympathy.
    Speaking of which, have you checked the signs out the front lately, Morgana?
    I’ve got 100 bags of cement up the back but if there’s a note on Death’s Door redirecting Manflu victims here, we may be needing more.

    Best to be prepared, Winter is Coming, after all.

  16. Thx for the reminder – I must watch Game of Thrones.

    We’ve all had Manflu this last week or so, but I just dosed myself up and kept going and the kids were sick for maybe a day and then bounded back like the healthy beasts they are.

    Still going to get the flu vax, though. I love vaccination!

  17. I will take my chances, since I am one of those strange freaks of nature that gets sicker from vaccinations than I do from the flu.

    Oooh! Rain!
    This is the second shower, I think the rules are that once the tradies get wet twice they are allowed to go home. I assured the bloke that if they pack up their tools after being wetted only once, I would follow union protocol by turning the hose on them.

    Glad you’ve all bounced back, MM.
    what ever happened to your chickens, BTW? i’ve been wondering how they’re co-habiting with the Wooll-Eff, and her friendly neighbourhood child-biting friends.

  18. Oh, dear, I guess that rules out Easter egg hunts at Chez Morgana. What the Wooll-Eff doesn’t wolf down, the chooks would sit on.

    Not to worry, I went to the post office today and dropped off some parcels for you two. So as long as Madam’s doggie and Quokka’s Killer Attack Kitties don’t waylay the PO courier, you should have something nommy very soon.

    Poor Greybeard. I could make you up a nice, healing batch of fudge, but I’ve managed to devour the last two batches I made you…. oh. I think I’ve just worked out why the bog is blocked.

    Agreed about the jabs, Q. I know four people who get them every year, and every year they all get the ‘flu within a week. One year MIL was hospitalised with it. So I think I’ll join Q in abstaining.

  19. I agree with them in principle but in practice they simply do not agree with me. Dad made me have the flu vaccine every year until he died and every year I was sick as a dog with some horrible murderous flu. I flatly refused to have them after he died & voila, no flu for nearly a decade afterwards.
    I’ll get a sniffly annoying cold without fail every year, but I very rarely get real, actual, flu.
    Catty that is very sweet of you, sugary treats arrived in the mail from MM today and the cat alerted me to the presence of the courier by yowling till I went out to see WTF was wrong. They’re taking this whole Intruder Alert thing very, very seriously.

    I have a little pile of goodies to unwrap tonight, the Bloke does love a good de-papering, if only for the fun of watching the Kittehs destroy it, so I will report in later, Unwrapped.

  20. Mmm … noms.

    I thought I’d related the sad tale of my chooks. One by one, the Queen Chook died. Then another rose from the ranks to take her place and a week or so later – dead. I saw the third die, in convulsions, and finally the penny dropped. Snake bite. We’ve got plenty of browns and red-bellied blacks e.t.c. So when there was only one lonely chook left – I think it was Tikka – we sent her to the city to live with Dad’s chooks.

    So now the chook yard is empty. I keep thinking I’ll pull it down, but maybe I’ll just grow wisteria over it, instead.

  21. I don’t remember seeing it here, but then again, some days I have trouble remembering my middle name. Perhaps you put it on FB? I can’t keep track of what I’ve said on twitter v. blogs & our brains can’t be all that different, surely, great minds atop of cakes & all that.

    That is sad news MM but at least little Chicken Tikka is safe in the Western Suburbs.

    Wisteria is a lovely thing to have in the yard. Mine has not been happy this year, and I have no idea why. From the looks of the rest of the timber in the yard, we might need to start again with the wisteria trellis too, and if that’s the case I’ll plant another wisteria on the opposite side, where it doesn’t have to compete with the poinciana roots. There’s only so much in the way of moisture and nutrients you can suck out of the shale & the clay on a hilltop, & from the looks of our poinciana, it’s winning that fight.

  22. I can ensure it gets enough to drink … and the soil will still surely be rich with chook poo nutrients … but do you reckon it will it be happy in the filtered sun under the tea trees?

  23. Dammit, this crappy, cobbled up 3G connection ate my reply. Oh well, the dot point version is.

    My sympathies to you and the chooks Madam. I remember Briana/Brian and her yen for the wild turkey. Glad one made it to the burbs.

    You’re right and it creeps me out! It’s not manflu it’s gastro. Sleep most of the day and feel like death gastro. NO ONE got it from the cherub except me and it didn’t bother her much at all. Nappy changes were…not fun. But Fifi is quite well – Or shall we call her “Bum-mum-ma” as the cherub does? Snerk. Having fun with that. Revenge on one of the coven anyway.

    Catty, I would love to sample your fudge but right now it would probably kill me and . . . haaang on? Anyway, I’m pretty sure this dire bug would be a most unwelcome guest.

    We had cherub’s 1st birthday party here on Saturday. Used up my tiny store of common sense keeping away from guests. Should have kept away from the food too. https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos?pid=6002052618949506274&oid=113620144978123710425 Not sure if anyone’s on Google+ but that’s a photo.

    My niece came with her pleasantly mad husband and three kiddies. The younger ones liked the house. “Greg! we found a secret door and we can’t open it, can we have a torch and an axe?” “Can we go into the dungeon? Where are the bars? What’s under the trampoline, is that a tunnel?” “Where are the swords?” “Help! I’m trapped in a room full of alcohol!” They also gave me advice on how to set up the paperback reading room re lighting, shelving and seating. Beanbags? They. Never. Stop. Talking.

    And, really, am i the only one who found this disturbing? “so I will report in later, Unwrapped.” Thanks Q.

  24. Poor Greybeard. The Curse Of The Dreaded Spraycan Arse is not a pleasant affliction. You’d better not visit for a while, our toilet is not exactly functional at the moment. The Boss has had three attempts at de-pooping the pipes, but he has only had limited success. I asked him to try again, and he promptly left town. I don’t know what we’re going to do for the Easter weekend – the In Laws are going camping, so we won’t be able to nip up the street for a bog break. Umm…. Quokka, can we borrow your tradesmen? I think we’re going to need a few holes in our back yard. *sigh*

  25. You have a way with words Catty. The only consolation is the three loos here. I’m never far away. Feel free to call in if things get, um, sticky at home. I can DM you the address if you don’t have it.

  26. Given Melbourne’s reputation as the preferred breeding grounds of the Great Southern Gourmand I can’t say I find it surprising that sewers and sphincters are suffering. Erm, GB, do you think perhaps you’ve tipped your system into nervous collapse after the night of the Brewery-Tweeting action adventure? Can you trust the brewer? Is he susceptible to bribery by Nbob? Could he have added holy water to the mix?

    While you are DMing your address to Catty, I’d like it on my records too, so I know how to return any stray turkeys, fungi, marsh frog spawn & vials of hazardous chemicals that I find on my lawn. I suppose I could join in the others offering sympathy but since you’ve disregarded my kind offer to be glued up with 100 bags of cement, sympathy seems like a very poor substitute for something as effective as concrete. Truly, I have lots, although they did rip through a few bags yesterday forming up the walls for the terrace.

    Catty – Mwah! Big hugs & love, I opened parcels last night with my eyes half closed from sleepiness & was quite unable to form a sentence to thank anyone before I stumbled off to bed. thankfully I had my wits about me & was thus able to prevent the bloke from acting on his misapprehension that the cookie cutters were soaps. That could’ve been interesting, but ugly. You are very sweet, so many thanks. Mwah, mwah and Mwah! My baking collection is starting to look very impressive. Can’t wait to make the apple turnovers, they are one of my favouritist things in the world & I’ve never seen a recipe for them.

    So thank you all for making my day extra lovely. And whoever ordered the drizzle, the 22C temps and the closure of the helipad at the local horsepiddle last night – perfection. I feel almost sane & not entirely filled with evil after not waking up repeatedly thinking I’m in Vietnam. Screw the quarry, I think we’ll move there. It’s not like they’ll be airlifting granite in and out of there at 3am each night.

    MM, re: wisteria, I think that’s one of the reasons mine is suffering, because the Poinciana seemed to get it’s full canopy much earlier in the season & it’s blocked the light for the vine. I’ve had a flick through my gardening books & the shade tolerant vines that might suit are: Mandevilla, Clerodendrum & Allamanda.
    There’s some very pretty Mandevillas at Bunnings at the moment & when I walk the hound I see them growing well in sheltered positions around here. So I’d probably be tempted by them. Wisteria definitely needs full sun, and while it seems to tolerate growing in nutrient-free shale, it isn’t happy without light.

  27. It’s like Gardening Australia here, only with a lot of toilet humour and flashes of personal abuse. Thanks, Q, the Mandes look lovely.

    Greybeard, in all seriousness and with no intention whatsoever of doing you harm – slippery elm. Very good for inflamed mucous membranes and what ails you in the tubes.

    Catty, maybe you can get some of those English piranhas?

  28. Sounds like Khan GB already has one, chewing through his guts.
    I’d be getting tests done, since it’s gone on this long.
    Small people do seem to be marvellous disease carriers;
    I’ve seen them bounce around like cherubs, unfazed by the trail of Giardiasis that lays waste to the dissipated adults silly enough to coo at them.

  29. Eek, don’t say Giardia. I still recall our last bout with it. Shudder.

  30. Well, Madamoiselle Grand Evil is renowned for her capacity to clear a room.
    Even given the Beard family genes, that can’t be entirely natural. I’d suspect she’s being aided & abetted by some parasitic life forms.

  31. How many sleeps until Easter?

    I. Need. Time. Off!

  32. I can’t help you with time off, but I have a Teen here that you’re welcome to take. Please?

    Yes, Greybeard, I’d much appreciate some details if you can email or DM them to me.

    Now, I shall go and attempt to do something about the window the Teen just smashed. What can’t gaffer tape fix?

  33. Just to be clear, is the gaffer tape for the window or the Teen? Or both.

  34. Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? I taped the once-was-a-window and drove the Teen to the bus depot. I should have done it the other way around. Oh, well. Next time. And there will be a next time. *sigh*. Teenagers.

  35. How did she break a window – indoor cricket?

  36. Are you sure she did it with force, Catty?
    You know banshees can shatter glass just by shrieking ‘MOTHER! FEED ME!’
    Considering your heritage I’d test her DNA.

  37. Eeeeew. I strongly advise against going anywhere near her blood. You know where she’s been.

  38. I dragged her into the bathroom, washed and cleaned the cut, and stuck a Mr Bump bandaid on it. Then I cleaned up the shards of glass – and stuck Mr Bump bandaids on my own cuts. That stuff was sharp!

  39. I didn’t know there were Mr Bump bandaids. Now I wish I had an owie of my own.

  40. I’d love to help MM but as much as I’m tempted to inflict Owies on the populace I don’t think I’m quite deranged enough yet to inflict one on you.
    I’m down to my last Sesame Street bandaid so if the lads limp inside bleeding that’s the best I can do.
    They are outside cursing the roots of the Chinese Elm, where they need to replace 3 fence posts so that we can build up our retaining wall on the terrace 1.3m higher & then fence the collective folly of Bog Hollow most resolutely Out.

  41. You should invite some graffiti artists in to paint the fence with leprechauns. or something. Just for old times’ sake.

  42. Sigh, the whole fence is about to fall over on the Bog Hollow side. It’s incredible how much faster it has deteriorated there rather than anywhere else.
    It’s been pushed out of shape by the Elm roots, tipped over by the Syngonium vine and as if that’s not enough the bitch has stored an entire line of compost bins hard up against the fence by our top courtyard.
    Nice of her to add all those wriggly munchy things to the mix.

    The last thing I’ll do when we leave is to get a team of boys back in & they can tear down all but the top 8m of the fence & chuck it in a skip. The silly bint can just look at our tenants & I won’t give a damn about privacy, if she has any concerns for that she’ll let our hedge grow.

    Sorry for the ill humour but I’ve been playing traffic police so that there’s room outside for the crane, the skip & the trucks to get through. They’ve got attention spans like nats around here so despite leaving notes on all the cars I’ve had to go out and say to them ‘You know we’re expecting a crane. Do you really want to leave your car there?’ idiots. The last one didn’t even thank me for the warning, he just went ‘Oh yeah. That’s right.’ and he backed up his commodore hard up against the tradie’s trailer full of equipment. They’d unhitched it to go off and buy nails, or pies, or something. Probably a gun to kill whoever planted the Elm. They certainly seemed disappointed when I said the fool that stuck it in the ground was dead.

    I just sighed. The commodore belongs to one of the Roman senators, he looks like he needs a nap, & I have total faith that between them the 5 tradies in my yard can wake him when they need to leave, or if that fails, they’ll ensure that when he does wake up, he’ll learn very quickly why you don’t park a tradesman in.

  43. It seems to me like your whole neighbourhood is making a concerted effort so that you don’t miss them one bit when you go.

    Hang in there, it’ll be over soon.

  44. Yes. I’d be convinced it was wilful malice if I hadn’t seen such overwhelming evidence to support the case for Stupidity.

    • Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity? Fifi says that sometimes while looking at me and shaking her head.

      • I say much the same thing about the Teen. The Boss, however, has much ruder things to say about her.

  45. I shouldn’t whinge. The boys have worked incredibly hard, fuelled by frosty fruits and my home-made fruit juice slurpies. It looks fabulous out there, or it will, once they’ve picked up the rest of their crud & loaded it into the skip to Willawong.

  46. In our neighbourhood, if anyone leaves a skip out the front, everybody in a two mile radius sneaks over and dumps their own crap into it. (Then my FIL digs through it for treasure – a born looter, that man). One bloke up the street hired a skip for his weekend reno house, and it was delivered on a Thursday. By the time he showed up on the Saturday to start work, his skip was completely full. He was, shall we say, less than impressed. Quite loudly less than impressed. With profanities.

    Then, there’s the Iranian bloke across the street. He runs his own garden waste skip business. The garden waste skips are smaller than the regular kind, so he used to occasionally bring one home on a trailer so he could deliver it first thing the following morning. He’s had to stop doing that, because every time he did, he’d get up and find the skip half-full of rubbish. Fortunately, he’s a very nice man and didn’t announce his displeasure with expletives. But he has stopped bringing his work home with him.

    We’ve also had two neighbours who have knocked down their houses and built two-storey mansions. (No, I have no idea why.) The tradies must know our area well, because the skips were secured behind chain-link fences during the demolition. The fences didn’t stop people from dumping stuff, though. Nor did they stop the tradies from swearing.

    So I reckon you’re doing well, Q, if there’s still room in your skip for fencing. If you lived down here, you’d probably wake up and find a Teen and all her mouldering possessions in there, buried under the elm branches. And you’d probably learn a few new words from your tradies.

    Last week, the Teen complained that she only has one pillow. Apparently she needs more pillows, so that she, her best friend, and both of their boyfriends can sleep comfortably on the lumpy single bed mattress I gave her, and which she still hasn’t put any sheets on. I pointed out that I’ve given her several pillows (and sheets), but she said they’re in storage. When questioned, it turns out that ‘storage’ is 15 ratty, torn, haphazardly-stuffed poverty bags that she dumped in a friend’s laundry. Why doesn’t she go and get them? Because it’s a 10 minute walk away, and bags full of pillows are just too heavy to carry all the way back.

    I’m considering demanding a DNA test. Her father must have lied to me – surely she can’t be mine?

  47. We have internet again! Really real internet, not some stoopid phone-based pretend thing. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I need to be alone with my computers for a while . . .

  48. Boyfriend?

    Who’s the Teen dating now, or is it Troll Baby II: The Reincarnation.

  49. Well that explains the reason for GB’s illness – tech deprivation has given him the shits. It makes sense, think what coffee & alcohol deprivation will do.

    Catty I’m running with the Switched At Birth option.
    That’s how I explain my life. The delivery room nurse got into the opiates closet & swilled a bottle of scotch and here I sit, knowing that some Bolt/Hansonite socialite is out there somewhere cursing her snarky left leaning social justice family going ‘How the hell did I end up here?’

  50. I had considered the switched-at-birth theory, but a bus-load of indigenous expectant mums had just come in from the mission, so I was the only white woman on the ward.

    Madam, it’s Troll Baby. Again. She’s denying it, but he keeps ruining her story by cuddling up to her. Also, finding him asleep on her mattress every time I go there is a bit of a giveaway. You’d think she’d have worked out by now that he’s only interested in her if she has a home – as soon as she’s homeless, he dumps her.

    Actually, I’ve been thinking… Trolls like dark, dank places, right? Maybe next time the Teen is homeless, she and Troll Baby can move into Greybeard’s new dungeon. What do you think, Khan GB? Do you fancy a couple of lodgers who won’t pay rent, won’t bathe, won’t clean, won’t turn the painful amalgamation of death metal and techno rap down below 11, won’t do laundry, but will raid your pantry the second you leave the house, and will invite everybody they know to stay with them indefinitely?
    Hello, Greybeard?
    Funny, I could have sworn he was here a minute ago.

    • Mr Beard has instructed me to inform any interested (or uninterested) parties that he is currently house-hunting on the Isla del Muerto in the Caribbean. His last words were “I’d rather have the Raptors any day” before loading his test tubes and elephant guns into the taxi and departing.

  51. I knew it!

    Perhaps if we all pooled our resources, we could get them a 99-year lease under a suitable bridge. That’s where Trolls belong. Sydney Harbour far enough away, Catty?

  52. They could sleep in the troll tunnels here in Brisbane, Catty. They’re too expensive for motorists so I’ve long campaigned to have them turned into a homeless shelter.
    I told you this BF would stick.
    Mind you, she’s probably still collecting his dole cheque.
    She’s no fool, this child of yours, Catty.
    I still chortle at the recollection of the bacon & electric blanket theft, and the collective shudder that ran through JB & his unruly minions when I reported that in.

  53. Oh and I wouldn’t rule out your Switched At Birth theory just because the ward was full of black fellas. I’ve seen plenty of light skinned children born to aboriginal mothers. When you put the siblings together from the complete family unit it’s funny how there will be a blend of very fair & very dark in full-siblings, and even more so in half-siblings. I am much lighter skinned than my cousins in Perth, but my suspicion is that both their parents had some unexplained ancestry. Rae never found out who her father was, her mother took that secret to her grave.

  54. Yeah, it’s funny how people hid their ‘shameful’ secrets from the world like that. There’s a family story about my great grandfather, and how when he was a little tacker, he met his Uncle Ben, who was camping out in bushland behind their home. When he told his parents about Uncle Ben, they freaked big time and wouldn’t let him play in the bush any more. They were horribly ashamed of their bushranger relative, and didn’t want anyone to know they had any connection to Ben Hall at all. But if it happened these days, the whole family would be cashing in with interviews in Woman’s Day and on Today Tonight.

  55. Ooh, a bushranger. How glamourous. And yet you still keep telling us you don’t know where the Teen gets it. If she starts robbing 7-11s and wearing steel-capped boots and slouch hats, we’ll know where it comes from.
    I think the rule of secrecy still applies until it reaches two generations down where the youngsters haven’t grown up inside the set of social pressures that made that secret shameful.

    Anyway, never mind all that, did we have a happy bunny day?
    Or is that Sunday? I can never keep these religious holidays straight.
    While the Bloke was napping yesterday I defrosted some of the chocolate cake I made last weekend. He woke up and eyed me critically & whined, ‘I feel like something sweet. You fed all that chocolate to those scavenging children the other day, didn’t you?’
    I directed him to the concealed cake & he was happy again. Until I told him I wanted to clean out the garage & the back yard & move the shed. No amount of chocolate cake or even beer can compose a man’s spirits to endure that news.

  56. Bunny day is tomorrow, except for me. For me it will be bacon day. Which is OK, cause I can escape the relies. Sure, the punters and other carnies might be . . . scratch that, ARE odd and sometimes alarming, but at least I’m not tied to them by blood.

  57. Sigh. Is it Murder Your Neighbour day yet?
    Idiot of the Day award goes to Not The Boyfriend for hanging his head over the fence – yes, amazingly it’s still possible – gazing over the pile of builder’s tools and the concrete mixer & asking if they are going to finish the fence.
    The tradies ran out of slats on thursday & were unable to get more as the supplier was out of stock at 6am when they rang. so they’ve got a chunk of temporary fencing in the gap to stop the dog going through & picking up tasty morsels that NTO leaves out for the wildlife.

  58. Sigh. Sorry for the whining.
    It’s just – after the boys had such a shitty time getting the GD roots of their elm out, and after their frigging compost bin has reduced one of our posts to splinters, I was sorely tempted to shout back ‘You know what? When you contribute to the cost of replacing the frigging fence, feel free to complain all you want. And until then, pull your head in & STFU.’
    I don’t know about you guys but I was raised to believe it was the height of vulgarity to shout out to the neighbours over the top of a 6# fence. Much less to call out from a distance of 15+ metres. Early training – if you need to shout, then you either need to walk close enough to speak at a respectful volume which won’t torment the neighbours, or else get a frigging hearing aid.

  59. I would have told him, “We’re waiting for NTO’s cheque to clear.”.

  60. Heh heh.
    Near enough. The Bloke, who listened to it when I shook my head & walked away, reports that they are whining that the tradies haven’t cleaned up yet from where they dug up all their frigging tree roots. Apparently, having grown the GD triffid, they expect us to remove the bits of it that were strangling our fence & which now adorn their yard.
    It costs $35 – $50 an hour for a skilled carpenter, whereas 16yro Dumb Grunt can be lured here to load rubble for $20 p/h & the prospect of a Frosty Fruit.
    It costs nothing, of course, for NTO to pick up the frigging tree roots and the Devil’s Snare Vine & dump them in her wheelie bins, or on the footpath, which is her preferred MO for disposing of green waste. It helps to keep the 3 foot high weeds down because, as you know, NTO and NTBF don’t believe in mowing or weeding council land.

    I had to walk away because I will punch the next entitled little shite around here that, not satisfied with getting something for free, complains that it’s not good enough. And because I had no patience to repeat that as per my email we are replacing the fence beside the courtyard. Did I say Half the Fence beside the courtyard? No. Do the Fence Replacement Fairies work over Easter? No.
    Will we clean up when the job is finished as I have already explained?
    yes. Will clean up happen before then? No.
    Why? Because it is a waste of freaking time and money.
    Dumb Grunt is not available every day & after the stellar effort that the two pack horses did loading our skip on Wednesday I really didn’t expect they’d be able to get out of bed for three days, much less expect them to show up on Thursday to remove a single wheelbarrow full of Triffid intestines.
    I’ll get them to clean up, but not until they are done rebuilding that section of fence around our courtyard. Plainly the fence isn’t working as planned and we need another 3m section of 2.5m high fencing to stop the morons shouting at us while we’re arsing about with the mess on our own land.
    NTBF chose his moment. We were at the far end of the yard struggling to move a shed, and I could barely hear him because the neighbour we were closest to has buggered off over Easter without filling her pool. So their filter is making a series of Death Rattle noises akin to the garbage compressor on the Death Star.

    Meh. Happy Baconing, MM. May you encounter less in the way of fools and sociopaths than what’s currently on offer around here.
    I thought of you at 1.30am, and at 2.30, and at 3.30, and again at 4.30 when I finally gave up & got up, the better to savor the incessant yipping of the cattle dog down the valley, which, apparrently not content with howling and yipping all day, has decided to make a night of it.
    Is it too late to order an assault rifle for my BD? Because after 4 hours sleep the American approach to gun control seems like a sensible plan to thin out the idiots in the general populace. I’m all for it.

    Sigh. We’re getting there, & I must confess the neighbours that I thought would be most annoying have actually been quite pleasant & encouraging.
    To divert myself to Happy Thoughts I texted the agent that showed us the Fossicker’s House & said we are still looking but due to renos being under way I don’t have time to keep up with new listings & would he please contact us if anything similar to that pops up on his books. He promptly texted back to say that the Fossickers have tenants but plan to put the house back on the market in the next few months (hee hee nice work, P-platers, that’s taken, what, a month?) & he will be in touch. So I told him jolly good, if they are serious about selling this time we will be happy to make an offer.
    You know, real estate agents being what they are, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s put his mate’s little brothers in there & told them to go hard to piss the owners off & if they can persuade the Fossickers that the landlord gig is a fast track to an embolism, there’s a carton of Corona & a glowing reference for the next overpriced unsaleable Boomer House they want to party in.

    Happy Thoughts.
    Soon there will be a lovely big courtyard to stick a noisy rabble in.
    Soon the 2.5m Pensioner Blocker Barrier will be complete.
    In a few months we can relocate to the comparative quiet & serenity of life 2k from a super-quarry.
    And thanks to yesterday’s effort with the Triffid Bleating, the Bloke has finally sen the light & now shares my enthusiasm for a 2.5m High x 5m wide expanse of Corro to block their view of our lower courtyard.
    Rock on.

  61. Forget Dumb Grunt. You need to hire De Management:

    Happy Easter, everyone! I just had chocolate for breakfast. And now I’m going to write a letter of complaint to Cadbury.

  62. Heh heh heh.
    Garrotting devices, now there’s a thought.
    I don’t have any piano wire, but while we were cleaning up Builder Mess I found a string of mangled party lights in a pile of dirt. That would entertain them in the news ‘Bongo player throttled with party lights.’
    Well, I managed to sleep through the usual drunken revelry until 4am when the Roman Senators made a noisy departure packing their station wagon with suitcases and teenage girls. Uni is on holidays this week so Bog Hollow may well empty out as those that aren’t partial to concrete cutters scuttle off to get some peace & quiet – or destroy the P&Q of other surrounds, as the case may be.

    Hey Ladies, want to give me some advice about this How to create a WP blog thing? since I do most of the yap around here perhaps I should finally set up my own account. That & it keeps asking me to do it. I started reading the rules yesterday & got to the bit where it says you can’t malign anyone at which point I thought ‘Now where’s the fun in that?’ and ‘If I can’t malign anyone, do I have anything, ever, to say?’
    Probably not.
    Do advise.

  63. I never read as far as the not maligning anyone clause, I just clicked “accept” and went on my merry way.

    My assumption is that since no-one much beyond us is going to read the blogs, no-one will ever know who we malign.

    Unleash the poison!

  64. Finally! It’s about bloody time, Q. I wish I could help you, but I have no idea how I started the blog. I just went to the WP home page and it asked me to click on a link to get started. So I did, and it pretty much told me what to do, step by step. Once my first blog was written, I clicked on the dashboard link and fooled around with all the various bits. It was fun! It was also a bit like programming a VCR. You prod at it until it does what you want, but buggered if you can remember how you did it if anyone asks.

    One thing I didn’t do was read all the rules. We’re not allowed to malign anybody, hey? Well, that’s just rude. Except that I’ve had the blog for what, three years (?) and nobody’s bailed me up for slagging off. Not even during the last election. Hmmm… perhaps it’s not classed as maligning if it’s the truth.

    Madam? You’ve just been nominated as Q’s blog coach.

  65. These are my tips:
    malign at will
    steal photos from the internet
    don’t try to make any sense
    go with WordPress, it’s idiot proof.

    Oh, also I think you should call it “Quokka’s Quorner”.

  66. Heh heh heh. I was thinking ‘Quokka’s Conundrums’ until I saw the gorgeous shots the bloke took from his kayak out on the bay this morning. And considering those that I malign are either Bogans or Hillbillies, & the Bloke is always yelling at me to Paddle Faster, the title for my blog seemed to call out to me from the swamps. Link at the Conspiracy Corner, I haven’t navigated all my settings yet, I’m just happy that I’ve got iphotos working again.

    I still have some Isshews with the Mac Tech but I won’t bore you with the details, I’ll just have to book in to the fruit store to get it sorted.

  67. Feel free to bore me with as many details as you see fit, as long as you don’t expect a sensible – or useful – response.

    Well, the rellie-rich long weekend is over and no one was killed, It would be sad, if this weekend wasn’t long as well.

  68. You don’t mean to say that the relatives will be back? Surely they’ve got to spend their time honouring the glorious dead with the rest of the herd?

  69. Oh and ok,
    Q1. How do I set it so that I don’t have to approve comments? They just flow through from authorized contributors accordingly?

    I will dick around with the dashboard later today, but I’ve got a few things to do to make the builders happy.

    I think we have created a disturbance in the force by telling them they dug such a lovely trench and built such a fabulous retaining wall that we’d like them to repeat their efforts, on a slightly larger scale. Oh well. It’s first day back after Easter, and they looked incredibly cheered with the site when they saw how beautifully we’d cleaned it up for them. At least they were happy for five minutes before I broke that news.

  70. Once you’ve approved someone once, they can then comment as much as they want. Until you trash them, I suppose.

    Tell Murphy’s boys to stop whinging. It could be raining. And also tell them the surf looked pretty flat this morning, so they’re not missing any choice sets.

  71. I assume those gorgeous shots the Bloke was taking from his ‘yak were with an AA-12? There’s good sights on those shotguns. He would have bagged heaps of hillbillies.

  72. Heh heh.
    I think they looked downcast because we’d cleaned up so beautifully and the prospect of messing it up back to the same state they left it in on Thursday is just too much to bear.

    Our friends tell us there’s more than hillbillies & tourarists to shoot at out there, apparently there’s rats. People were arguing over car-park spaces & there was a queue for the BBQs to cook their snags. Apparently council never needs to clean those BBQs because the moment the tourarists are gone the entire park is swarming with rats, and you can’t see the BBQ plates for the rodents piled thick atop them.

    Mmm, mmm.

  73. Give it a couple of months and I’m sure all the rats will miss Greybeard so much, they’ll move down here to our parks.

  74. I can’t spare any rats, I need all available to infest the boarding house next door. NTO and NTBF have been harassing my tradies to clean up their little piles of dirt in the shithole next door.
    So I emailed the agent and repeated: the fence is not finished because suppliers are out of stock. Debris will be cleared when that section of fence is finished and not before, as it is a waste of time and money to do it twice. And if they wish to complain about the process I *will* ask them to contribute to the costs of replacing it.

    Hopefully that will get them to STFU.
    Like having a fence replaced for free isn’t enough. The boys are starting to see what I mean about the slumlords next door.

  75. Give them a few meters of fencing for nothing and they’ll take a mile.

  76. I’ve just pinged the agent another email pointing out (again) that the fence is 100mm inside our land. And it is probably not going to make the job go faster if they hang their heads over the fence & tell the tradesmen they aren’t building the fence according to how they learned to build a fence when the Japs were bombing Darwin.
    i.e. Nicely done, the Tradies have now decided they have pressing business elsewhere & they’ll be back in a week. Maybe.
    So I have asked Gweedo to speak to them & point out that all the structures that are being built are in fact s100mm inside our boundary, and if they want the work done in a timely fashion, please leave our tradesmen be so they can just get on with it.
    Honestly, Gweedo must just read my emails out to the office while the entire staff roll around laughing at just how fecking stupid & entitled these bloody slumlords are.

  77. When my dear old father worked at the QLD Railyards, he said it was a great place to work because everyone got on with what they were supposed to do, and stayed out of everyone else’s way. Any time someone new started work there, they’d start telling everyone what they were doing wrong. Whenever this happened, the old timers would hand their tools to the ‘genius’ with all the ideas, calmly say “there you go then, show me how to do it right”, then walk away. Usually to sit on an esky with a thermos of coffee, to watch the poor bastard drag his foot out of his mouth. By the end of the day, the newcomer had learned the hard way to get on with your own work and stay out of everyone else’s way. Thus was the equilibrium preserved.

    Maybe that would work with NTBF? But for NTO, I’d recommend something along the lines of, “Oh, didn’t the owner tell you what’s going on? Not surprising, they’re probably still in shock after getting the bill we just forwarded to Guido, for their half of the fence. Work has been delayed by NTBF so many times, the cost has blown right out”. I can only imagine the look on NTO’s face as she scurries away to frantically ring Guido.

    Yeah, I know, I’m a born shit-stirrer.

  78. Great minds, Catty. I’ve already emailed the agent to tell him that if they want to tell my tradies what to do, they can start paying them.

    I rang the agent this afternoon & asked them to speak to NTO & NTBF and to tell them if they want a free fence, then they need to Back Off and just let our builders get on with it. They’re pretty stupid, though. I’m not sure that’ll work.
    Oh well, the receptionist was good value, has obviously had much entertainment from the series of caustic emails I’ve sent her, and she shares my assessment of their intelligence.

    Gweedo may be slimy but he isn’t stupid. Hopefully he can talk some sense into them and explain, lets see, morons, free fence v. a few little piles of loose soil amongst your collection of BCC listed noxious weeds.

    the Stoopid, it hurts.

    Meh. Did I tell you about the lesbians and their car full of wire hangers? I was telling a GF & we were boggling as to why you’d have a car full of wire hangers.
    We both had the same idea. Either she’s a Carny, or a Midwife. She does wear fishermen’s pants and disappear a lot. Perhaps she visits the communes & offers an organic family planning service. that could explain a LOT.

  79. You haven’t considered that she might be planning to weld them into a 3m high sculpture of NTO, to give you as a going away present?

    Or she might be planning to restump.

  80. Uncanny. We did hear clanking and welding noises from the Plumber/Midwife household yesterday & the boys asked me what it could possibly be. I told them about the car full of wire hangers & metal rods & I conjectured that since she wears Fishermen’s pants (I know, I know, listen to me, I have turned into my parents) I assume she’s an artist and she’s welding them all into some sort of new age sculpture.

    Anyway. After giving further thought to NTO’s white-anting of our project, I’ve decided against threatening her with an invoice for the costs of replacing the fence. Because I don’t think she’ll be able to afford it, after the fines she’s about to cop for tax evasion.

    Because I have decided, Enough. If she wants to do her best to sabotage our project, well, right back atcha, Beeyatch.

    Later on today I plan to call the tax department to rat her out for tax evasion.
    I am 90% certain that she’s sunk her superannuation & Candoo’s Public Servant Payout into that dump & it is unlawful to live in an investment property that you are claiming as super.
    That is the only reason I can think of why she would run around telling everyone that she is NTO, she is the *caretaker*. Even Gweedo’s office girl snorted when I told her that, yesterday.

    By converting the old toilet/laundry into a caretaker’s flat on the sly (she should have registered that with council but she hasn’t) I suspect she’s trying to con the ATO into thinking that she doesn’t live there and is legitimately drawing an income of $150,000 pa from Bog Hollow, from afar.

    I was saving that one up for if she really, really, really pissed me off, because what will happen, if that’s the case, is that
    1. She will get fined, or possibly even jailed.
    2. She will get a hefty tax bill – and now that she’s been there for 18 months getting rent from Bog Hollow & her home in the Western suburbs, I’d imagine that bill would be considerable.
    3. The fallout from that could cause such dire financial distress that she may have to sell up.

    We really didn’t give a flying rats nads what dodgy thing they got up to in there so long as they left us alone & kept the tenants in line. But seeing as they’re intent on annoying us & they don’t serve any useful function in keeping noise, pests, weeds, parking or other irritants at bay, I can’t see that there’s any advantage to anyone in having them living there.

    So I would be quite pleased to see the ATO send her a very nasty letter telling her to shuffle on back to the western suburbs and annoy her neighbours back there.

    This, of course, is a slow process, but I’ve been worried about NTO & NTBF annoying our tenants as much as they annoy us, so I think it’s high time she got a call from the tax department saying Audit Time, Bitch.

  81. *shiver*

    I’m still on your good side, right, Q? Cos you’re terrifying!

    I mean that in its best sense, you understand. Kudos on the plan.

  82. Don’t worry, MM. You’re quite safe until you poison my dog and then try to sabotage renovation plans I’ve been working on for a fifth of my life.

  83. The littlest kidlet is home sick. I suspect it may have something to do with the Winnie The Pooh curtains my FIL put up in the Kia, and the kidlet not wanting to be associated with those curtains at school pickup time. Yesterday, the middle kidlet waited until all the other students had gone home before she would come anywhere near the car, and spent the entire trip home begging me to take the curtains down. Heh, heh, heh… I like making my offspring squirm.

    Speaking of squirming, I am quite looking forward to the reaction when Family Von Crash get the letter from their insurer. It will include an invoice for more than double the original quote, plus loss of No Claim Bonus, loss of Rating One, and an increased premium. My panel beater always gives the car a thorough detailing when they do an insurance repair, so that will be on the bill too.

    Smug? Me? Damn straight.

  84. Ah, Catty. Now we just need for Morgana to dole out some Retributive Karma & we can all sit around and cackle smugly in unison, muttering ‘Who’s the Evilest Witch of all?’
    I think if my conversation with the ATO goes well, though, I am not only streets ahead of you, but entire blocks and towns.

    Justice for the Derp Populace. It feels good, doesn’t it?

  85. I’m too tired for retribution. Hell, I’m even too tired for recreation. Thanks, fallen, but I’m going to spend ANZAC day in my pjs.

  86. It’s what they would have wanted.

  87. Indeed. Dad refused to participate in it & said that his 5 years of experience in war had taught him that it was a mess of horrors that nobody should commemorate.
    This year I will be spending the day as he would have liked, in the water. We have plans to take the yaks out again, not sure where to just yet. They are predicting rain, which would be nice to dampen down some of the dust around here.

  88. My Poppa was in the Lighthorse, and he probably would have spent it drinking scotch with floozies. Cheers, Poppa.

  89. I resemble that remark.

  90. Bottoms up, then!

  91. Sorry, been a bit busy but suddenly I thought “booze and floozies, must check Fun in a Box”.

  92. Have a cheese straw, Greybeard – and someone pass him a harlot.

  93. Now you see this is where our minds differ. If he wants fun in a box I’d suggest unleashing a carton of ebola carrying rats in Bog Hollow.

  94. How about a carton of ebola-carrying floozies?

  95. Hmm. That reminds me, I wonder whatever happened to the South American cocktail waiters that lived in there for a few months? The boys got very giggly on Sunday & Monday nights but other than that they weren’t bad tenants.

  96. That’s scary, Quokka. I say ‘ebola-carrying floozies’ and you immediately think of South American cocktail waiters. And they were the good tenants?

  97. They were out all night and they slept all day.
    A satisfying arrangement for all.

  98. If that’s what you like, you could advertise in the vampire community, too.

  99. I’m guessing that blood-sucking slumlords would rather fill their hovels with victims rather than peers.

  100. Although they’d have no requirement to maintain the bathrooms.

  101. Nor the ovens.

  102. Hmm. If he wants to earn some money, I’ll pay him to give cooking lessons to the Roman Senators next door.

  103. He might want to cover it with lighter fluid before nuking, because my kitchen is far too intact for your purposes, Q.

  104. We gave away the BBQ so alas, no lighter fluid. If we empty out the bladder of the whipper snipper, though, that might do. I believe 2-stroke makes the perfect marinade for lamb cutlets as it tenderises AND adds flavour.
    * Lamb – Blech.

  105. Maybe just a splash of whatever you put in that zombie brain cocktail, before the brains go in?

  106. Formaldehyde.

  107. Makes me quite nostalgic for UQ.

  108. There’s nothing quite like a trip down memory lane that leads to the Morgue.

  109. Either formaldehyde or the smell of regurgitated beer. They should mix the two and market it as “Eau de Med School”.

    • Anatomy, formaldehyde, assorted bits and second hand beer. The late sixties. Thanks for the flashbacks. And the pilot whale that washed up at the Gold Coast which one of our lecturers decided to make into a useful skeleton. It had been dead for a while before we cut it up and boiled the chunks in 44 gallon drum. Stirring with a broomstick. scuse me . . .

  110. My father used to have a Formaldehyde Dialdehyde Interrupter Disruptor Automatic Zap Zap Ray Gun. He liked it because it not only killed people, it embalmed and buried them at the same time.

  111. I trust he left it to you in the will, Catty?

  112. That sounds like just the thing to defend the perimeter when my builders return. Can I get one on ebay?

  113. Try the Undernet, or whatever they call the virtual black market.

    • I thought the undernets were what Lord Downer wears under his suits?

  114. Oh I know who you mean. The tattoo beast with the Rhoid enhanced Rottweilers at Palm Beach Dog Beach. I should have asked for a business card.

  115. You’re thinking Fishnets, GB.

  116. Why on earth would Lord Downer need fish nets under his suits? Unless he’s carrying fish around in his dacks. Actually, that may explain the pained expression….

  117. I’m pretty sure he wears Union Jack boxers, just like Tim Brooke-Taylor in “The Goodies”.

  118. I can explain that look, my uncles had it.
    It’s the starch.

  119. How do you starch fishnets?

  120. No idea Catty, you’ll have to ask the Twitty Twat-Twats.

  121. Well, I know you can stiffen lace for a cake with sugar syrup … no, I know – dried out lube!

  122. Nuh-uh. There’s no way I’m using dried out lube to stiffen my cake lace.

  123. My cakes require corsets before you trim them with lace.

  124. Now I don’t know if I want cake, or some burlesque underwear.

  125. You can have your burlesque underwear, and eat it too.

    • I’m, um, impressed that you came up with edible burlesque underwear so quickly.

      Yes, “Impressed”

  126. Saucy!

  127. Mmmm…. undergarments….

  128. You don’t really want undergarments, Catty. You want the new Kettle Salt and Cracked Pepper chips.

    The thought of the bag I have waiting at home is the only thing keeping me going today. Bless you, deep-fried starches.

  129. They sound good. But can I dip them in melted cheese?

  130. You’d be mad not to.

  131. On Anzac day some fool turned their toddler loose on the beach by the creek with a packet of chips. He threw one towards a waiting seagull, then ran towards the chip, squashed it into crumbs and yelled ‘hahahaha!’ at the hungry bird.
    You all know of course, what happened next.
    Toddler disappeared inside a flock of seagulls, he emptied out the packet to placate them & fled, wailing.

  132. I do hope they take him to one of those lion sanctuaries, next.

  133. After that ordeal, at least he’s prepared.

  134. Do lions eat chips? Or do they prefer veggies with their toddlers?

  135. They’re obligate carnivores. They’ll even peel them out of their onesies.

  136. Pfft. Toddlers should be dipped in melted cheese before being fed to the lions.

    Daughter #2 asked us to mind the GrandEvil on Monday so we went over and asked if she’d like a ride in the car. “I say old chap, that would be spiffing!” (Broad grin, points at car, raises arms to be picked up – you have to know how to interpret these things.) So off we went while mummy did grown up stuff with the builder and client and plotted stuff for over five hours – her longest separation from bub yet. Back we came and mum held out her arms to her poor bebby who’d no doubt been pining for her. Kid held out hers and, just as mum was about to take her, chuckled most evilly and clung to grandma’s neck. Then dived over to me. This child shows much promise – she is strong in the Dark Side.

  137. On the downside, she’ll never let you babysit again.

    Better make sure she has a lavish and thoughtful Mother’s Day present lined up.

  138. Kittehs are often lactose intolerant Khan GB but that’s one way of ensuring the tourarists have a gas in the game park.

  139. I want fondue for dinner. Can’t be arsed making it, however.

  140. Well that’s up there with the deep-fried Cadbury creme Easter Eggs. The Apocalypse is nigh, surely?

  141. Not until someone dips a deep-fried Cadbury into the Instant Fondue. There’s still time to save us all!

  142. I plan to try the Cadbury cooking block of milk chocolate today, if I get around to making choc-chunk macadamia cookies. The problem being that Irma has already eaten half the block, greedy bitch.

  143. Mondelez makes Philly cheese and Cadbury chocolate. I hope nobody from the company reads this blog, or they’ll end up marketing a Cadbury Philly fondue.

  144. If they put it in a microwave-safe plastic tub, they’ll be on a winner.

  145. Not a great fan of fondue, but I do have fond memories of the deep-fried battered brie they served at the Lounge Lizard Cafe in West End a few decades ago. they served it with some sort of tomato relish, or maybe it was onion jam. My, that was tasty.

  146. Mmmm…. deep fried brie…. An article in yesterday’s paper said that deep fried Mars Bars are a Scottish invention. Then there’s that amazing deep fried ice cream you can find at the better Chinese restaurants. And of course, Americans deep fry everything. Is there nothing in the world that can’t be improved by sticking it in boiling fat? I’d love to test the theory…. has anyone heard from Lobes lately?

  147. I used to get the deep-fried brie at the Lizard Lounge, too! It was a mix of avo and brie, but the brie came off better. Mmm … deep-fried memories.

    I think Lobes is blocking sewers in London with his spawn, Catty.

  148. Oh was that his spawn. I thought it was his lunch.

  149. There I was, enjoying my memories of the times Fifi or I made deep fried battered Brie* and WHAM! Suddenly we’re onto to Lobes spawning. I don’t even want to imagine how or what his species spawns (shut up Imagination. shutupshutupshutup. la la la, not listening).

    *Back when Fifi was referred to at work as a “skinny bitch”. And that was to her face.

  150. Speaking of unmentionable things, GB – how’s the GI tract holding up?

    Coping better with the vicissitudes of Darkest Melbourne, I trust.

  151. Thank you Ma’am but it’s all fine now. About a week of ghastliness then normal service was resumed. Just bought five Ikea bookcases which I now have to assemble (sob). We’ve been back to Ikea so many, many times. And Fifi wants more. It’s horrible.

  152. Pffft. Their shelves practically assemble themselves. Here’s my tip – make sure you’ve got the shelves in the right way around before you tack the backing on.

    Otherwise you’ll have nasty raw MDF edges, like I do on one of my shelves.

  153. Ergh, Allen keys & Swedish hieroglyphics.
    Custom-made built in closets and shelves.
    That. Is. All.

    It means that when we leave Casa Q all we will have to take to the new one is boxes of kitchen & linen stuff & the beds that we sleep in but Urgh! to Ikea.

  154. I am a good girl. For if I am bad, I will go to Hell. If my interpretation of the Doctrine of the Catholic Church is correct, this will involve driving to the Ikea in Melbourne, making the five hour trek along the Ikea arrows, selecting one of the more complex flatpacks, driving home through Toorak during peak hour, attempting to assemble said flatpacks, calling customer service when the attempts are unsuccessful, driving back to Ikea for replacement bits/allen keys, then driving home (again during Toorak’s peak hour) before finally successfully assembling the item. Then, because it’s Hell, the completed furniture will turn to dust in the eternal pit of flames, and I shall be forced to drive back into the city for another one…. over and over again…. for all eternity.

    And now you know.

    Greybeard, if Fifi makes you return to Ikea for more flatpacks, you can safely assume that the Curse of the Dreaded Spraycan Arse has actually killed you, and you are now in Hell.

  155. Don’t listen to them, I love IKEA. Even after the Saga of the Six Month Unfinished Smorgen-Jurgen.

    These delightful chairs that now adorn my back patio, for example, were a doddle to assemble:

    This reply has been brought to you by the friendly, helpful and easy-to-assemble team at IKEA!

  156. Hmm. They do look like good chairs, MM. And we will probably need a few, when we move house. Are they comfy, and do they come with cushions?
    Still, I’m with Catty, although she hasn’t explained how you get out of Hell – er, I mean, Ikea, in the first place.

  157. For a long stay, cushions and a head rest are nice. They have unbleached cotton ones made to fit, but I went with purple seat cushions and my darling mother sewed me up some custom head rests in gorgeous grey velour with purple and red swirly bits.

    There is also an easy to assemble footstool to match!

    To get out, you just keep calm and follow the arrows. If I get trapped behind bogans or screaming children and their harassed parents, I just stare into the room settings and imagine gratuitously bloody demises for everyone in the store.

  158. One of the local school mums went to Ikea, and got halfway through building her kitchen island bench before discovering that the package with the drawers only contained two – there were supposed to be four drawers. She rang Ikea, and they told her to bring the whole thing back for replacement. The mere thought of disassembling the cupboards to return them nearly gave the poor girl the hippodramas. It took a week for her to convince them to give her a second packet of drawers instead of a full replacement. She went in to pick up the drawers, and they didn’t match. So she went to Hervey World Travel and booked a trip to Bali. I never did find out what happened with her island bench.

  159. Good advice, Catty. Count your pieces before you assemble, Q.

  160. I’m still in therapy from the computer desk the bloke tried to assemble for me 20 years ago.

  161. Poor, misunderstood IKEA. There, there, honey. I’ll always love you.

  162. Every two years I pack a rucksack full of supplies to get me through 2 days without food or water & I don fatigues & mountain boots & i trudge thru Ikea to restock my supplies of tea lights. I return from such journeys traumatized and disheartened and swearing never to go thither again. I still have at least a year’s worth of tea lights stuffed into storage but yes, when we move the lack of furniture could be problematic. We will have the beds that we sleep in, & that’s about it. Since the dining room table & the sofa were custom-made to fit in to the odd shape & size of Casa Q I think the sensible thing to do is to leave them here for the tenants.
    If we buy the Fossicker’s house I will be tempted to do the same thing there, as our u-shaped futon-sofa system in the lounge room is just so damned comfy & it’s so easy to wash the covers when the cat or the dog yaks up an enormous fur-ball on top of it. It wound up costing us around the same as if we’d gone to the Swedish warehouse.
    Some of those chairs do look comfy, though.
    We’ll see.

    Meanwhile, I await my tradies.
    they have another exciting day of digging, in fact, they will probably be digging all week unless they can hurt themselves or contract Spanner’s deadly Manflu.
    they should be a bit happier, though, as I discovered the bloke had tweaked my Dirt Drawing, and I made him tweak it back. It will save them digging out between 2-3m of compressed earth so that should make them happier.

    Stupid architects. Between him, the CAD operator & the consultant, the lot of them kept changing my original sketches to something they thought would work better, and then, once caught out in the discovery that they’d created an almighty FK up, they disclaim all knowledge of ever having changed the original.

    Never. Again.
    Next time I find a team of female architects who can understand my vision.

  163. This might be your Contribution to the World, Q – perhaps you should muster and lead an all-female team of architects!

    You could call yourselves Chicks With Bricks.

  164. Irma does not have me in a contributing frame of mind.
    Unless, of course, we’re on the sofa with the Wildebeest, and it’s Girls with Twirls. Of the Cadbury variety, that is.

    Whose turn is it to clip his toenails? They must be 6 inches long. Would your teen be willing to varnish them, Catty? He’s expressed a wish to have them done in Mulberry Sparkle.
    Just between you & me, I think he’s going strange.

  165. He’s a bit late for Gay Mardi Gras. Besides, Mulberry will clash with the pizza stains he left on the chaise longue.

  166. It’s funny but I know a female architect who has much the same complaints as you Q. Currently she’s supposed to be drafting a job for the builder and client but can’t help pointing out little “you know that will fall down/won’t work/will cost a bucket” problems. Which makes more work for her – and more baby sitting for us. If that kid isn’t evil it won’t be for lack of trying by us. And I passed a Coven St off Canterbury Rd (ON MY WAY TO BUNNINGS) so if anyone’s thinking of moving . . ?

  167. Nice try, but an agent at Burleigh keeps sending me emails and texts trying to persuade me to buy at Bellatrix Street.
    Too obvious for the house of ginger-bread & sweets. I need something like Bluejay Street, or Honeydipper Crest.
    The tradies are here & are doing as instructed, luckily the Boss Man seems to be on my side, and despite being a serious fellow, cracked a smile when he negotiated a solution with me this am, and I said ‘Works for me, and no need to confuse the architect with the pesky details till it’s done. At which point he will think it was his idea all along.

  168. We’ve got a Witchwood Close just down the road from us. Sadly, it doesn’t intersect with Hemlock Avenue.

  169. There’s a Bellbird Drive in our suburb if you want to move to Victoria. Actually, if you want to move to Victoria, you’d be better off here:
    Maroondah hospital is in Ringworm, so I’m guessing that’s where Greybeard moved. It’s the only explanation for those recent voluntary visits to Ikea.

    Speaking of moving, the Boss asked me to ring the Teen today. She owes him money, and (surprise surprise), he hasn’t been able to get a response to his recent texts. So I rang her and discovered that she has moved again.

    Yes. Again.

    Apparently she was kicked out of the old house on her (and Q’s) birthday. I saw it coming; she had several friends freeloading in her room, and they’d taken to raiding the landlord’s fridge whenever the Teen went out. She denies this is the reason for her eviction, but the reason she gave me was not only implausible, it was ludicrous. I.e, frogshit.

    I pointed out to her that I’ve seen her and spoken to her several times since her birthday, but this was the first time I’ve heard about the move. She said ‘she didn’t want to pester me for help’. More frogshit. The Teen is the Queen of Frogshit. She knows it, I know it, but she still insists on pissing in my pocket and telling me it’s raining.

    Anyway, I went to her new home, which is allegedly rented by the fiancée of some bloke she knows. It was terrifying. The fiancée is literally a Crazy Cat Lady. Seriously. There are three generations of cats, and the house is kept locked up and heated. Everyone has to double-check before opening doors so that the cats don’t get out. When I arrived, I was ushered in rapidly…. just as well, because if I’d had half a second to turn around and run, I would have. The stench was so overpowering, I was gagging. We went through to the kitchen, where rows of kitty litter trays were lined up next to the kitchen bench. The smell was even worse in there. My first thought was, ‘Oh, so that’s what cat shit stew smells like.’ My second thought was, ‘how far is the nearest door out?’ My third thought was, ‘will I make it to a door before I asphyxiate?’

    Nobody else seemed to notice the smell. Crazy Cat Lady, the Teen, and the Teen’s best friend (Bunny) were sitting around a tub of ice cream, eating directly out of it with spoons. The cats were eating out of it too. But not with spoons.

    It seems kind of fitting that the Queen of Frogshit has moved into Catshit Manor. Sadly, though, it’s only a matter of time before Crazy Cat Lady can’t stand her any more, and kicks her out. And Troll Baby – yes, he’s there too. But until it happens, I am going to find every excuse to avoid any physical interaction with the Teen. If the smell of cat shit can impregnate my clothes, hair and skin in a mere five minute visit (and believe me, it did), then I shudder to think how the Teen will smell after living there for a month.

    Now excuse me, I’m going to have another shower. *shudder*

  170. On the upside, though, the landlady won’t be able to smell the Teen over the stench of cat excrement.

  171. You’d hope so.

  172. Yikes Catty, I hope she didn’t take her lumpy mattress and her doona there.

  173. Probably not. She’s left a trail of possessions all over Melbourne. Now I wish I hadn’t carried that bloody goth chair up the stairs for her. It’s still in her old place, and she has no intentions of retrieving it. She didn’t even take most of her clothes. Or any deodorant – but I don’t think anyone will notice that.

  174. She strews clothes and bedding around like other people fling breadcrumbs to pigeons.

    Is it too late for Military Academy?

  175. Why fight it, Morgana? I say find her an agent and get the teen her own reality TV show. What to call it, though.
    Couch Surfers, perhaps?

  176. What’s the opposite of a Hoarder?

    I know – call it “Strew-th!”

  177. Well now we know what to call Catty’s Teen when she advances to mature years.
    The Strewth Child.

  178. I’ve got a couple of Strewthers of my own. Luckily, they smell OK.

  179. Yep, I’d vote for the reality TV option. I wouldn’t watch it of course but if Catty can get the Teen to sign over 50% of the gross to her mum, she’ll be rolling in it. As opposed to the Teen who is probably wading in something quite different (shudder).

  180. Don’t worry, Greybeard. Even if she signs over 50%, she’ll still be plenty gross.

    • boom-TISH

  181. Gigantor’s just announced that for Mother’s Day breakfast he wants to try a dish of Poh’s – savoury custard pots with prawns. How do I steer him towards Vegemite toast without being mean and crushing his creative spirit?

  182. Tell him you think you have morning sickness and the baby can’t eat seafood.

  183. Hehehe. That’s not funny. Irma hasn’t called here yet. Please let it be the Blessed Pause. I can’t do babies again!

  184. ROFLMAO. Don’t know which is funnier, the thought of his horrified face or yours. Can I be his/her Noodlefather (having become a Pastafarian)?

  185. Sure, GB. In fact, why don’t you also Noodlefather Gigantor and Elf Boy. I’m sure Elf Boy in particular could do with your spirelli guidance.

  186. But Madam, I thought you were Spagnostic?

  187. Oh Catty, that doesn’t mean the lads can’t have a spirellitual side to their natures. Though in EB’s case Baphomet might be his choice.

    • Yeah, a Pastafarian friend of mine keeps telling me ‘don’t gnocchi it until you’ve tried it’.

  188. If Elf Boy finds God it will be inside the refrigerator.
    Today he may worship the Paddle Pop Lion, but tomorrow it will be Zuul.
    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  189. Hehehe. I think I’ll rewatch Ghostbusters tonight.

  190. Madam, you need one of these.


  191. Those are great, but what I’d really like is this one:

  192. Heh heh heh.
    I can’t say I can think of too many men who deserve to be set alight, but I’m happy to supply the Little Lucifers for those of you that do.

    I may have to get some thermite & research at what temperature concrete can be set alight, though.

    NTO & NTBF have a new Scritching Project.
    I heard them hard at it yesterday (over the jackhammers) & thought ‘Now what?’

    NTO & NTBF were out on the footpath with masks and scritching tools, trying to chip the render off their retaining wall. The retaining wall is cracked& leaning drunkenly forward in at least three places, not counting the bits where it returns & connects to their dodgy cracked concrete stairs and their crumbling & condemned concrete-walled car-port.

    They’ve bogged up the metre long cracks with spakfiller & apparently the next project is to scrape the render off the entire 15 m street frontage of rendered concrete walls.
    They are using those triangular trowel things for their scritching so it’s like nails down a chalk board.
    I feel so sorry for their tenants.
    If there was a point to all their scritching, possibly I’d find it less annoying. But the bottom line is that the retaining wall is Smurfed, with an entire bag of Horse Appendages. No matter what they do with spakfiller and scritching and paint, it’s just one small finger in the dyke which will neither halt nor conceal the decay.

    I am utterly boggled as to why they’d engage on such a pointless exercise, and I’m just praying that the render defeats them & they give up on it before they get much further.

    If there was some way to dress this madness up & make it amusing I would do so, but seriously, the men in white coats need to come hither with their nutcatcher van & put her back in her cage.

    Oh well. Next week she’ll have a 7 x 2m length of lovely silver corro to admire, between our back courtyard & her side path. Perhaps she can amuse herself by painting her side of it fuchsia pink, and stencil on some daisies.

  193. While we’re on nut-jobs, D#2 got a letter for the previous owners yesterday, about four years after they’d gone. It had the names of mum and the three kids on it – Sage Wisdom,Violet Crystal and Rosemary Amethyst. Yes. Quite. That may explain the hideous purple colour scheme the house had when they bought it.

  194. ROFL.
    I’ve heard some corkers in my time in the Edjamacation system here in West End but those are pearlers, Khan GB.

    Our delivery truck blocked the entire street for nearly 40 minutes in peak hour today, trying to unload sleepers with a crane, without smashing the Midwife’s stupid hybrid, which was obstructing it’s path. I left notes out for everyone advising truck due, please keep clear, and absolutely none of the little darlings around here could be arsed moving their cars out of the way. I think they do it so that they can take smug satisfaction in inconveniencing us. Truly, a bit more time wasted on the bill isn’t going to affect us, but it does bother me no end seeing the steady stream of motorists who have to do u-turns & circle the block in peak hour so that they can get to or from the child care centre at the end of our street.

    I’ve spent the last 20 minutes googling where to buy karaoke machines, so that we can leave one with our tenants for them to deliver the payback that kind of arseholery deserves. Thus far all I’ve found is the Hello Kitty! Karaoke juke box & the complete Disney Princess CD sing-a-long selection. It’s a nice start, but I’ll need amplifiers, for the desired effect.

  195. I’m sure your neighbours are maximally annoying, but if it’s an electric car maybe she couldn’t move it. One broke down at the markets on Sunday – apparently when they stop, the wheels lock up. You certainly can’t jump them, and you can’t even push them out of the way.

    Who on Earth thought that would be a good idea?

  196. I’d love to share your faith in the goodness of humanity and the stupidity of technology, but she stood in her doorway watching and 10 minutes after the truck left, so did she.
    I think Barbie over there is just stupid enough to think that she’s making our life difficult without knowing or caring that she’s made dozens of parents late for work and she’s added to the frenzy of distress that their kids experience if their parents don’t have time to get them settled into their day at child care.

  197. I once had a neighbour who used to play a Meatloaf greatest hits album. Nothing else, just Meatloaf and his greatest hits. That may not sound too traumatic, but when ‘2 out of 3 ain’t bad’ came on, she’d turn the stereo up full blast, and then rewind the song at least five times before moving on to ‘bat out of hell’. If you can persuade your tenants to do that, Q, you’ll have had your karmic revenge on the neighbourhood within the month. Guaranteed. *twitch*

  198. Heh heh heh.
    Paradise by the dashboard light is soooooo much worse than anything they could pull from the Tigger movie.
    The lads tell me that NTO & NTBF have been standing on the other side of the 6foot timber fence watching them & taking happy snaps of them working on *our* land. I’d be annoyed if I didn’t find that so hilariously funny. I’m not sure what she hopes to achieve by that, other than demonstrating that besides being a pathological liar she’s a stickybeak and a stawka & she’s intent on harassing our builders while they are doing much needed repairs on *our* land.

    I have high hopes that she’ll complain to council and get someone out to look at what we’ve done. At which point I would be more than happy to point out a number of irregularities in Bog Hollow that don’t comply with council regulations, the building code, or fire safety. So I’m really hoping that she complains to council so that they’ll come out and discover that we’ve done exactly what we got approval for in our DA, and while they’re at it they can take a nice long look at
    1. the additional flat that she’s added to the premises by converting the old asbestos lined laundry (sans council approval)
    2. the timber fire-escape that Captain Greasy built 70cm from the boundary
    3. The deck they built too close to the boundary

    And tell them to get their own GD building to comply with codes before they whine about ours.

    I’d be annoyed, but the scraping of the render has convinced me that there is, in fact, something congenitally wrong with her & she suffers from incurable stupidity.

  199. I shouldn’t say anything or karma will come and bite me but – neighbours.

    House on the low side: has a couple our age or older. Talked to them twice and they seem harmless and we never hear them, day or night.
    House at the back: empty, weird yard but hey, it’s quiet.
    House on the top side: there are lights sometimes and we hear people opening doors so someone’s there. Never seen during the day, no sounds at night except arriving home. Did see a bloke with a headlamp on the deck once.

    Add to that that the loudest noises come from occasional mating possums (aark, ssss, aaark = yes, oh god, yes in Brushtail) and it’s pretty quiet here. Maybe too quiet . . . ?

  200. Sounds like paradise by the Deck Side Light to me.
    I think our street is Maldito – Cursed.
    Apparently a motorcyclist died in a head-on collision out front, a few years before we bought the place. Black fella. I really should have got someone in to smoke the street before the Gob-i-lins managed to infest the entire hood, but it’s too late now. The freaks can have it.

    And yeah, the house that we want to buy at Wallaby Hill is like that. We’ve gone round the block at odd times of day/night with the hound in tow & we’ve never heard peep out of any of them.

    The funny thing is that every time the bloke & I sit down & consider some strategy to make the house less potentially annoying, the neighbours up the ante to do something stupid, like blocking our access for the crane today, or taking photos over the fence of our tradies. I can’t wait for her to show those to the police & have the cops say to her ‘Um, Lady, this comes under the definition of stalking.’

    We had the pool guy around yesterday & he was trying to persuade us to put in a gas system which will, admittedly be noisy, but will heat the spa in 20 minutes. As opposed to the electric one that takes hours. So we were thinking ‘oh we don’t want to annoy the neighbours with the gas one’ and then we woke up this morning and they go all out to be a pain in the butt.

    Noisy gas heater for spa, coming right up.

  201. Had the tradies gotten all sweaty and taken off their shirts? She might just be taking some photos for … er, personal use.

    I’m glad to hear that RIngwirm suits you, though, GB. HOw are the IKEA shelves going?

  202. True. I did wonder if she took a photo of the D&B that the boys spray painted on the clay for, erm, Personal Use. Am starting to think she must have been a secretary for ASIO as she just seems to think it’s normal to go through other people’s mail & take photos of her neighbours over the fence.

  203. You may be misjudging her, Q. Perhaps she works for Better Homes and Gardens, and is taking before/after shots for a two-page spread.

  204. I should give credit to the neighbours who have been quite good about all our noise & dust & horror. It’s really only the people who are typically arseholes who are acting up & even Hybrid Barbie managed to get her car out of the way of the skip, today. I left her a note explaining that when she leaves her car there it means that delivery trucks have no option but to obstruct the traffic for commuters like they did for 40 minutes yesterday (which she watched and laughed at) and I think the sensible lesbian spouse must have read it and told the bitch to pull her head in. That and one of the people that she inconvenienced was one of her own neighbours, a woman with 3 children who dislikes any form of exercise – I saw Yo Mama doing a u-turn during the school run & scowling at the lesbians laughing it up on their threshold.
    But yeah, I’ve seen a few of the other neighbours when I’ve been shifting the car on the street & they’ve all been absolutely fine. So it’s really just NTO and I think it’s just in her nature to be invasive & poke her nose in to other people’s business. It’s just bizarre that she’s so interested in it now, because when we were getting the quotes done last year & I was trying to explain to her what we wanted to do and get her feedback on it, she didn’t want to know about it. Her response was ‘Oh, we’ll see.’

    Anyway, I am immensely pleased that she’s started walking past and taking photos over the fence. Just when I think she can’t get any stupider, she shows me that yes indeedely doodely, she can. I would love to be a fly on the shoulder beside the cop or the lawyer who gets the outraged call from her, complaining that we are replacing the fence on our land at no cost to her and, outrage, it is noisy and dusty & a source of huge inconvenience to her.

  205. I think I’ve cracked it. Since she “doesn’t own” next door, she thinks she owns your place.

    Now you’ve got somewhere to send the bills!

  206. That would explain the sense of entitlement.

  207. As long as she doesn’t start trying to cook in your kitchen or sleep in your bed, maybe you should thank your lucky stars.

  208. Judging by how much time she spends peering through the slats in the fence toward my bedroom, she’s giving it serious thought.

    I’ve reminded myself to look at things from her perspective. She’s a liar, so she’d expect us to lie, and being slumlords they will only employ Dodgy Brothers to do work on their place, so she’s bound to think that everyone else operates the same way.

    I tell you what, it’s making that corner block at Wallaby hill that only touches the boundary of one other property look mighty good.

  209. Take a couple of photos of your own, Q. Then when you leave, have the photos blown up into board-mounted A3 glossy prints and give them to her as a parting gift.

  210. If she keeps it up I think the boys will paint a large D&B on the corro facing her bedroom window so she’ll have lasting memories to sustain her after we are all long gone. I hope she’s enjoying the view of the dirt because after being such a pain in the ass about the Free Fence, she won’t be getting invited in here to view the finished product. Not by us, at least.

  211. OTOH perhaps I should consider the perfect piece of art to hang off her side of the corro.
    I’m thinking of a 2m high mural of Gladys Kravitz making that shocked face very time she sees Samantha doing witchcraft.

  212. ABNER!

  213. You’re right! She’s just like Mrs Kravitz. Next full moon, why not try a skyclad prance around a cauldron?

  214. I might get Darren – er, The Bloke, to shout ‘SARINA!’ in horrified tones at odd intervals and see if she comes running with the iphone set on ‘video’ to catch me in action.

  215. I can’t wait till your sexy look-alike cousin shows up and starts causing trouble.

  216. As much fun as it would be to turn her into a brush turkey, I think it would be more fun to channel Piper Halliwell’s power to freeze. Or the White Witch from Narnia’s Statue charm, for that matter.

    I could wave my hands, twitch my nose, mutter a suitable curse and she’d be out there turned to stone, poking into the tenants’ letter boxes for all eternity.
    Yes, I caught her at it again today when I heard the postie & went out to get ours.
    Say, I’ve been expecting the new season tupperware catalogue for over a week now…you don’t suppose she’s going through my mail too & the temptation to remove it was more than she could bear?

  217. Bear? Oh, then it must have been Nbob who took your catalogue.

  218. Yes. NBob is capable of any evil, however great or small. I suppose turning him into a brush turkey would be out of the question?

  219. I think the Delayed Tupperware Catalogue is mentioned in the Revelations of St John the Divine. It’s Apocalypse time, folks!

  220. Yes I always suspected that the four horsemen of the apocalypse would being their careers as pyramid sales folk. So long as I get my freezer mates, Whatever.

  221. My cousin’s wife sells Tupperware. Want me to hook you up?

  222. My mate in Townsville says there’s a Tupperware outlet up there. She pops in whenever she needs a new lid. If there’s an outlet in that backwater, surely you can find one in Brissie?

  223. Tupperware is the Devil’s Plastic and Tupperware Parties are the 9th circle of Hell.

  224. Good point GB, the tupperware henchwoman probably scratched my name off her mailing list when I said ‘We are renovating, I don’t even have a front door for plastic fans to walk through. There will be No Party.’

    The sad truth is that mail just takes forever to get here. I think the Underwood mail centre must be staffed in entirety by extended family and friends of the Ganja Bus Driver. They probably watch SBS news on 24 hour feed-loop and forget to take their trauma medication. It’ll get here, about 6 weeks after she posted it from her suburb 5km away.

  225. Huzzah to the Devil’s plastic!

  226. How was the prawn custard?

  227. Thankfully, I had bacon and eggs followed by a crumpet with blueberry yoghurt. And then the chance to attend an AFL match!

    How was your Mother’s Day, Catty?

  228. Well two thirds of that sounds like a reasonable way to spend the day so Huzzah! for breakfast in bed.

  229. The AFL was better than Rugby, I’ll give it that. They jump around like a bunch of kelpies, though. About half-way through I started to worry about their knees in later life.

  230. Spare a thought for their ankles & their lumbar vertebrae, too.
    But yeah, I’d much rather watch the AFL than the rugby. Soccer is even better as they seem more intent on pursuing the ball than punching each other in the face & performing group crash tackles that end up in the spinal ward.

  231. There was very little going the biff at all. I really was pleasantly surprised. I’m much happier about him playing it, now.

    The problem with soccer is the parents who run the club. “Entitled” and “voraciously snobbish” don’t even begin to describe their attitudes.

    • Yup. Pete played soccer with an Oxley club so they weren’t too bad but we played against plenty of the other kind. American style Soccer Moms with cardies tied over the shoulders and spotless Range Rovers.

  232. Knees? Don’t talk to me about knees (by which I mean “oh go on, please do”). What kind of idiot with a busted knee would buy a three story house then, eh? And then carry ten boxes of IKEA flatpack furniture up two flights of stairs because the bleeding bookcases were for the bleeding top floor and the packs were in the bleedin’ garridge weren’t they, eh? Some people need a keeper.

    But all’s well that ends without me screaming in pain as they say (wish I’d known *that* before the honeymoon). But we now have five white “HEMNES” bookcases, fitting well into the room and ready to fill up. All we have to do now is get those heavy boxes of books up . . two . . flights . . of stairs . . and . . unpack them.

    Excuse me. I know it’s early but I think I need a little drink. And a lie down.

  233. Well, there’s plenty of Butterscotch Schnapps & Baileys over at my blog, Khan GB. You have my sympathy for the knees as mine are on their way out, too. And anticipation of how I’ll feel in 10 years has me eyeing off the mezzanine at the Fossickers house wondering how I’ll transition from a house on a single level to one that’s got a rise of three stairs. Meh. Better that than three floors.
    More yoga & pilates, I suppose.
    Huzzah for the book cases, though. I suppose if you stop and read one book for each case you ferry up the stairs, and allow a snifter of Scotch per kilo, that should ease your suffering.

  234. Don’t worry about the mezzanine too much Q. The stairs don’t bother me at all usually, despite my excess weight and years. In fact I suspect it’s good exercise (may be utterly wrong). It’s only when carrying heavy stuff that the “landing knee” really gripes. The x-rays showed no damage to the hip on that side after the fall but it took my full weight from 3m+ pretty much vertically and was pretty sore yesterday so I wouldn’t be too surprised if it gives me problems later. But then Dad had quite a few falls in the mines and never needed hip or knee replacements.

  235. yeah it’s more the nerve damage to my left foot that makes me fall over & no way of knowing how that will go with age & decrepitude. There’s an internal stairway to the garage that descends 3.5m, I think, with some of those stupid triangular stairs that architects use to save space & fill fracture wards with little old ladies.
    I’m not really sure what to expect of old age as my family opted to do that Medicated with alcomohol & opiates & those things tend not to agree with me. I’ll have to suffer it out au naturale.

    When we move I’d like to settle in somewhere for another 20 years as like you, I don’t enjoy moving, assembling furniture or carting boxes of books.

    As for your Dad’s generation, I think they made them tougher back then.

  236. Don’t talk to me about bung hips. Talk to me about bondage instead. *leer*

    Mother’s day was nice. I got a new coffee mug, a poached egg breakfast, and a caramel CAEK. The Teen was missing in action, but that’s to be expected – she owes me money.

    I hope you all had a lovely mother’s day too.

  237. Mmmm … caramel. It was probably a mercy the Teen didn’t show up. Nothing spoils one’s enjoyment of a nice cake more than Ead De Cat Excrement.

    Huzzah to the Hemnes, GB. A fine choice. As to your knees, bind them with gaffer tape and get to it, without the whinging. Oh, you might like to shave them before you tape them. I probably should have mentioned that, first.

  238. Gaffer tape. The choice of Bondage Aficionados everywhere.

  239. Rrrrrrrrrippppppp!

    • Cold sweat beads my brow. For the thousandth time I curse my hairy-leggedness.

      • You’ll be thankful for your pelt, when Melbourne’s weather shivers into Ringworm.

  240. Huh. At least your spouse didn’t buy you an epilator. Mine did.

    • There is only one possible response to that. Wait till he’s asleep and depilate his back.

  241. Or dead drunk, in which case, Brazillion.

  242. I think that’s how he got one of his tattoos.

  243. I’d tell him you’re happy to use it, but all the parts which you de-afforest wil lthen be off limits to him.

  244. Save the Old Growth forests!

    I’ll just get my coat shall I?

  245. No need to leave, Greybeard. You can lie down here on the sofa for a little nap. Make sure you’re sleeping on your stomach, m’kay?

  246. And if you know what’s good for you, make sure you are wearing #pants.

    Catty make sure you’ve got a good light, and wear your glasses. you know what happened last time someone tried to defoliate the Wildebeest.

  247. I’ve got some parts I’d quite like to suave up. Catty, when you’ve practiced on the Wildebeest can you have a crack at my legs?

  248. I’d be happy to, Madam, as long as the Wildebeest hair doesn’t seize up the epilator. Again.

  249. That’s a no, then? S’ok, there’s a nip in the air this morning that makes me think it might be better to cultivate it.

  250. There’s a nip?
    I hadn’t noticed. There’s still too much adrenalin flooding my body from spending 40 minutes in the dentist’s chair yesterday. It was only a teeth clean but they have to give me breaks for deep breaths to recover from Crown Vaulting neurosis. thankfully the damned thing is still sitting where it belongs on my back molar & my dental nurse reports that it looks like it’s happy & sitting tight. So all that swilling of bicarb soda to stabilise my oral pH must be working.
    As is usual after trips to the dentist, if anyone wants me I will be on the couch, twitching, reading my kindle & drinking endless cups of peppermint tea.

  251. There’s not enough bicarb in the world to alleviate my acidity, after a first glance at the Budget.

  252. Daughter #1 rang to thank us for having her when we did. Being 36, she’s hopefully insulated from the ATOS-style reassessments of the disabled I’ve been predicting since before the election. As Q knows, she’s a perfectly competent librarian but as she said on the phone, when you have a mini-seizure during the job interview, that tends to cross you off the short list. She’s applied for literally hundreds of jobs of dozens of kinds with no joy. And I can just see me rocking up to an interview with my white beard and getting a job in IT until I’m 65, much less the 70 of you younger ones. Luckily I’ve long assumed these bastards would eventually get power and take us down the US path to serfdom. We get no benefits and, fingers crossed, will need none. The house is big enough for the kids to move back with us if things get rougher so I think we should survive.

    On a happier note, D#2 had all her backups on an external disk we’d given her years ago which, of course, died. Having misunderstood the idea of “backup”, i.e. a second copy, it had heaps of photos etc which were nowhere else – like the honeymoon to Scotland, Ireland and Thailand. Sigh. Anyway, despite Windows thinking the disk is either not there or as corrupt as a Qld politician, I seem to have recovered everything. Phew. I’ve earned my “useful daddy” status for a bit longer.

  253. So, what you’re saying is that you speak “corruptese”, GB? Huzzah!

  254. It’s true. I speak fluent corruptese having been a Qld public servant. D#2 must have known I’d be boiling with fury this morning because she posted this to Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152146737486172&set=a.76036136171.78296.564041171&type=1&theater Don’t know if you’ll be able to see it, but this is what we have to put up with today. Sigh.

  255. Huzzah for the photo restoration & the zombie/LNP apocalypse plan.
    Likewise, we have not put up with all the BS in this neighbourhood out of sheer stupidity. Casa Q is our retirement plan & we are just kick-starting it a few years earlier than we’d planned.
    So uni fees will go up & be deregulated.
    All we need to look just like the US system is a few crazed adolescent gunmen shooting kindergarten students during naptime.

  256. You don’t have permission to share that with us, GB. Naughty, naughty.

    My retirement plan is to die early. I feel that I’m on track.

  257. While the budget has taken a nasty bite out of my arse, it’s the Teen I’m worried about. She’s on a disability payment, for her chronic bludge-itis. O.k, it’s not the teen I’m worried about. It’s my sofa, about a week after her payment is axed.

  258. Oh, dear. Not the new sofa. Perhaps if she stays in the Cat House much longer she’ll get Toxoplasmosis or something unequivocally crippling?

  259. The only thing I want her to get is a job. The word ‘buckleys’ springs to mind, but you never can tell.

  260. Why can’t she meet a nice bikie and become a Psuedo Runner?

    • Is that like a jogger?

  261. Because Troll Baby might get jealous and dump her. And then who will sponge off her and encourage her to make disastrous life choices? Actually, you’re right. She’d be better off with the bikie.

  262. Yes. The bikie would want her to train as a barista, a hairdresser or a tattoo beast – er, artist, so that he could build up his clientele.

  263. Or body piercer, or nail artiste or nightclub bar tender.

    Maybe we should start a bent employment agency?

  264. What other kind could this lot possibly run?

    Fine print: *caution: The job advice you are given may be designed solely for the amusement of the agency, its officers and employees. All Youtube videos and resulting income shall remain the property of the And A Good Job Too employment agency.

  265. Hey, that’s straight out of the CPS handbook, Greybeard! Did you work at the CES too?

  266. Nice work, GB. You’re our Petty Officer in charge of fine print.

  267. Ooh yes! I can be petty in all sorts of ways (see previous employment in QPS)

  268. For example, I loved this review of the Princess Grace movie. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/may/14/grace-of-monaco-cannes-review-nicole-kidman ” It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk.”

  269. Hehehe. Then again, Grace herself never struck me as a live-wire. It’s a fine line between serenity and wooden, I suppose.

  270. Heh heh heh.
    The last fillum I saw Our Nic in was on the 52 foot screen.
    Her eyesight must be failing otherwise the idiot responsible for showing off her spider veins would be living on the streets by now.

  271. I once mentioned something about the straight length of wood that was obviously up Nic’s arse during some crap movie on the TV, but the Boss looked at me deadpan and said “there’s no wood here”. He’s a grubby little boy, sometimes, but I love him.

  272. Awww. That’s really nice. Fifi says I’m a Horrid Little Man but, you know, she’ll keep me.

  273. That is known among the Sisterhood as ‘taking one for the team’.

  274. Aw, GB don’t hold back. I’ve heard the rest of that sentence and it’s ‘I’ll keep him medicated, in a steel cage.’

  275. So many ways to end that sentence “… to throw to the zombies as a delaying tactic” is probably my favourite.

  276. I shall respond with the age-old male tactic which we always think will work. (sulks)

  277. Your ending works better if it follows on from mine, MM. That way Fifi knows immediately where to find him, cloistered in his tech cave, & he’s suitably addled with scotch and home brew & the communts in online New Scientist that she can make a quick getaway.
    Clever woman, that.

  278. And to think he could have a nice, comfy Oubliette, if only he’d let Mayhem’s Mum out.

  279. Whatever happened to Mayhem’s Mum? Was her ongoing detention and rat supply made a condition of sale?

  280. After the performance she put up to ruin Mayhem’s wedding, I think Rat Manor was marketed as Goth Chic with resident Ghoul.

  281. And all-you-can-eat ratatouille.

  282. I wish I had been able to leave her there. To haunt the tree-killers who bought the place. But we would have missed her far more than the real one. If that makes sense?

  283. Tree killers?
    I missed that story. Were they after the trees, or the bird?

  284. According to our former neighbours and Hairy GBson, they have shaved the back yard from footpath to house. Including the beautiful, straight-trunked, 150 year old pine that you could see from Indooroopilly. Razed to ground level, not a twig of the avocados etc. Even lopped any of the next door Jacaranda that was over the fence line. All perfectly legal of course but damn them for heartless tree-killers. That pine should have been protected.

  285. What is it with tree haters? How can you hate something that attracts birds and makes the microclimate around your house more bearable in summer?

    My lawn mowing dude is a tree hater. He keeps telling me tea trees attract mosquitoes and I should have the lot down. Phhht. They’re swamp trees, it’s totally guilt by association.

  286. That’s sad news, Khan GB.
    I’m not surprised, though. That block had detonate & sub-divide all over it, & I would think they’ve been advised to get rid of everything before someone can protect it.
    No idea why they attacked the neighbour’s trees, though, that’s just a foolish move that will get them off on the wrong foot with their neighbours.
    I’ve never forgiven the Flanders for attacking our Poinciana.
    Since their kitchen is on the western side of the house underneath our tree, they fried inside that sweatbox every summer till it recovered & at least they learned their lesson, they haven’t lopped it since.

  287. I think of trees the way I think of spiders. They can go about their business undisturbed as long as they don’t mess with me. Once they mess with me, they’re gone. We’ve cut down about 13 trees around our house, when their roots started to destroy gas lines, sewer pipes and pool walls. But we have planted more trees to compensate. We just planted them in places where they wouldn’t wreck the house. What idiot plants a row of pines two metres from a pool?

    But I do get upset when someone buys a house and immediately cuts down every single tree on the property. That happens here a lot. The Asian families who are buying up the neighbourhood are turning the whole suburb into a dust bowl with their tree razing. Still, it could be worse. They’ve progressed from building McMansions that only leave a metre of land between house and fence line, to applying for permits to build townhouses. Fortunately, or local council think it’s not a good idea to put six townhouses on a 650 square block, and have knocked the applications back. *Un*fortunately, the new Asian owners have put tenants in those houses instead.

    I should find out where they get their tenants, Q. One house is full of Harley Davidson-riding thugs who burl up and down the street at all hours, like aggressive mosquitos. Another house has a family of mentally impaired women who roam the street, knocking on people’s doors and making pests of themselves. A third house has about three (could be more) large families of immigrants sharing the three bedrooms. And all within screaming distance of my in-laws. The poor buggers are NOT enjoying the local ambience, especially now there’s no trees to act as privacy barriers/sound proofing. On a positive note, the house across the street from me has just put up a For Rent sign. Yay! Goodbye DoofDoof man!

    Did I tell you about him? He has a sports car, and puts it on the front lawn every day for a bath. While he’s bathing, buffing, powdering and polishing the thing (about two hours’ worth), he has the stereo on so loud that our windows rattle. Sometimes he gets his friends over, and they all park their sports cars out the front and stand around them while they drink beer and play their stereos so loud that our floors shake. Actually, they sound perfect for you, Q.

    The previous tenants were a family of … I’m not sure … they could have been Pakistani or Afghani. I can’t say, because they would run away if anyone got close enough to tell. They were using the house to store imported counterfeit products to sell at the local markets – but at least they were quiet. They moved out after the police raided the place.

    But I digress. Trees. It’s horrible to hear they’ve destroyed your old home, Greybeard. We will just have to hope that the next flood brings them a nice, deep sinkhole as punishment.

  288. You have a charming neighbourhood, Catty. Any murders yet this year?

  289. Come to think of it, there’s only been one so far this year. I didn’t notice, because I was distracted by the multiple attempted abductions. It isn’t making the news, but two of the kids from our primary school have had close calls in the last few months. One of the kids was in the littlest kidlet’s grade. Still, from what I’ve heard from the BIL, it’s paradise here compared to Cranbourne.

  290. Urgh.
    Gated community, FTW.

  291. That’s not good. At least I don’t have to worry about MM any more. At around 6 ft he’s grown out of the paedophile market.

  292. Is it random strangers, Catty, or custody disputes?

  293. Random strangers. And they’re all Indian. The local Indian community are furious, because they already have enough trouble with racism.

  294. I was going to make a joke about Indian givers versus Indian takers, but thought better of it.

  295. Well I suppose if we’re being tasteful I should restrain myself re: jokes about Indian Take Away.

  296. Yes, best not.

    Well, Gigantor was nearly suspended from school. He sent some of his friends a “joke” that told them their computer was virus-infested and then shut them down when they clicked a button.

    School didn’t see the funny side, and however I explain it I can’t make him see why it was wrong.

    Dear Gods, please make the puberty stop!

    • Yes, that kind of joke is only funny when it happens to other people – preferably people I don’t like very much.

  297. Hmph! In my previous life as a System Administrator I caught many a brat doing that kind of thing and punished them harshly and without mercy. One was employed as my assistant until he got his own network and one was employed as my assistant until he became a programmer and troubleshooter. That showed them! I never got to give a third one a full time job, but I met him at a conference tears later. He was a Sys Admin too and apologised for the trouble he’d caused me.

  298. So you’re saying I should send him to Ringworm, where you’ll punish him by upskilling him, GB?

    Sorted. When would you like to meet the train? I shall crate him, in a tradition passed down from Catty’s family.

  299. I’ve checked the shipping costs, and it will be the same for one offspring as for two. Stick EB in the crate as well.

  300. The Ganja bus is stuck outside searching for a park, if you want to give them both the two-week magical mystery tour with Scooby and his pals. Maybe they can track down my missing new-season tupperware catalogue while they’re at it?
    Although I had an email from the T-Lady yesterday & I think I know what happened. If she posted it on a Sunday, she was probably Pished.

  301. Centers for Disease Control
    May 19th 2014

    As you are no doubt aware, there has been a sudden and severe outbreak of Plague in the vicinity of Mr Beard’s dwelling. Mr and Mrs Beard – should they survive – will be confined to their house for the next six (6) months and no one will be permitted to enter or leave. The house will be guarded by the provisional wing of the CWA, armed with anti-personnel scones. Any young male approaching will get a full salvo. Or a collecting Salvo if they’ve run out of scones.

    Remember, you should be Alarmed but not Alert.

  302. Don’t worry CDC – we’re rarely if ever alert.

  303. Khan GB, you are virus ridden again?
    I would blame the stress of moving and noxious repeat visits to Ikea if I wasn’t so certain that Melbourne is quite simply the disease capital of Australia.

    How is your budding hacker felon today, MM?
    I’ve never found it worth my while to explain anything to a child.
    When I studied early childhood ed they said it’s an exercise in futility & if you want them to learn something you ask them cleverly thought out leading questions that will take you to the point you want them to comprehend, i.e. grill them, Geoffrey Robertson Hypothetical Style.

    i.e. ‘why do you think I don’t want you to play with sticks, apart from the obvious answer which is I am just here to ruin your life by sucking all the fun out of it?’
    Child looks surly & offers lame reason hoping I will STFU & let them get back to poking eyes out with sticks.
    Q. ‘Yes, but there’s other reasons. Keep going. We’re doing this till you work it out for yourself, I have plenty of time.’

    It’s good to have one or two stooges on the sidelines to chip in & make the Offender look dumb, because they get really pissed off with that & tend to smarten up, ASAP.

    Try it, it’s fun.

  304. GB’s fine – he’s just allergic to my children.

    They made Gigantor go through the computer code of conduct and summarize it yesterday … which only made him more convinced of his own innocence. If only he’d use his powers for good instead of evil. And football.

  305. Well at least the school are doing their best to inflict some nice tedious time-wasting learning opportunities on him.
    Congratulations on reaching a significant milestone, MM.
    You know your little boy has become a man when he knows he’s never wrong.

  306. Allergic to those lovely boys (KATCHOO!)? Nonsense. Actually I’d love to see them again. Can’t quite picture MM -> Gigantor, even though I watched it happen to Hairy. He may be pleading innocence but unless it’s the worst-written code of conduct in history, he’ll know he’s breached it and is just putting up a front. In a few years he’ll quietly admit it and you can both have a laugh – as he hands you the world cruise tickets he just gave you for your birthday. “Where did you get the money dear?” “Never mind Mumsy but if the Feds ask, you know nothing, OK?”

  307. A world cruise sounds nice. Can I come?

    Littlest kidlet is still sick. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but he’s still burning up every 8 hours or so. He has some sort of chest infection with a cough that has progressed from a dry hack to a rattly one. Antibiotics are doing nothing. Nor are antihistamines, analgesics or my sister’s special oils. It’s into its fifth day and I’m at my wit’s end trying to make him better. Poor little lamb.

    On a positive note, I haven’t heard from the Teen for two weeks, so there’s plenty of food in the pantry. Maybe she has learned how to ‘earn’ grocery money on the internet? If she hasn’t, maybe Gigantor could give her lessons.

  308. I’m told he’s working on a dandy Trojan Horse, Catty. I’ll let you know when it’s perfected.

    The point of difference between Gigantor and the code is in the definition of “malicious”, GB. He claims it was all a merry jape.

  309. Have you explained it’s only funny if the other person finds it so?

  310. The last art project the littlest Kidlet bought home was a Trojan horse. But the wheel fell off. Better tell MM to use plenty of masking tape so his wheels don’t fall off too.

  311. Tried. Did not sink through the thick cloaking mists of Testosterone.

    Will plasticine work, Catty? The puppy chewed the masking tape. And the TV remote, several pairs of shoes, “Hop on Pop”, my microwave soup mug and … I took this one personally … my hair-brush WHICH SHE HAD TO OPEN THE VANITY DRAWER TO GET TO!

  312. I would marvel at her creativity & intelligence if I wasn’t suspicious that she was aided by a far more creative & intelligent accomplice.

  313. Why would the cats want my hairbrush chewed? YOU MEAN EVERY ANIMAL IN THE HOUSE IS CONSPIRING AGAINST ME?

    Sorry, I’m a little highly strung. I really need a holiday.

  314. I needed a holiday yesterday.
    Now I just need a gun.

  315. Already? What has NTO managed to do already? Or perhaps it’s the passive-aggressive lesbian midwife.

  316. I heard our top-side neighbours rolling the bins in last night but it was too dark to see them. Still, at least we know they’re there, eh? I think they(?) leave before we get up and come back after dark. Also they don’t watch TV or play music or make any kind of noise. Does that help? Oh, and Fifi had a nice chat with someone from the next street having a stickybeak at the construction across the road. Well I *say* construction but apart from a little bobcat and a few dropped rocks there’s no sign of it. And we never hear a thing. Except the birds.

    Maybe we should open a B&B specialising in de-stressing people with awkward neighbours?

  317. Also we are stuck with baby-minding again today. Her mum took some photos at bath time which show the utter horror we must endure.
    (Also checking if Google Drive sharing works)

  318. Well, I see four endearing pix of the Grand-Evil going rub-a-dub-bub so looks like it’s working, GB.

    Meh, it was always going to be hell with the fence down. I’ve given up & let her talk to the bloke & wear him down on a few issues. I figured she would want some bargaining room so he’s given it to her, with no compromise on the structure of our Banquet Hall. She wants room to poke her nose over the fence, fine. I’ll snap it off with garden shears by accident if she pokes it anywhere near me. Also – Hedge. Our murrayas will spring back from the battering they’ve copped in Builder Apocalypse & those FKRS grow to 4m high.

    I think she thinks that she’ll be able to poke her nose over the hole in the fence & peer into the Garden Room, and if so, she’s going to be sorely disappointed. There’ll be a return of some nice, tight battens, and as soon as I’ve checked the diameter of her long pokey nose, I’ll know exactly how wide to set them apart.

    I’m still thinking fondly of all the very loud entertaining that will happen in our back yard with the extensive array of *improvements* we’ve added to facilitate partying. While we are far, far away, in a neighbourhood where it’s accepted practice to shoot anything with feathers that crows before – or after – dawn.

  319. Oh, she’s so cute! I particularly like the 3/4 profile with the cheesy grin. It’s very “trust me, I’m a bubba”.

    You’re more accommodating than me, Q. I’d tell her to stick it. Anywhere other than over your fence.

  320. That’s why, during this conversation, I was down on the river at West End, watching the rowers & the kayakers glide past, walking the dog.
    It’s not exactly calm blue ocean, but muddy murky water tossed with shouting tinnies & lurking bull-sharks still beats hell out of having to talk to that bitch.

    This is largely the bloke’s fault for having such a woolly concept of how he wanted the garden room built. He could have stayed home on Sunday & drawn it up but instead he ignored my pleas of ‘I need to get out, they are driving me Nucking Futs’ and went to golf & drew nothing.

    Ergo he has ended up with shit porridge on his face for failing to make the necessary efforts to control the situation, and for telling me that NTO knew what we were doing & was just fine and peachy with it. Apparently he hadn’t explained to her about the roof/fence height on the garden room. And he elected to ignore my warnings that despite me having told her last year while we were getting quotes, and advised the agent, and the FKN plans being online for all the world to see, she likes to play this little game of pretending she doesn’t know anything about anything because nobody gives her the information.

    There’s a really ugly personality in there. And I am ever so pleased it is already half blocked out with corro.

    Thanks to all for your love & giggles & support, you’re the only thing that has stopped me going over there and bitch-slapping her.

  321. She looks like a very young Macaulay Culkin, practising his Home Alone faces. Very cute, Greybeard.

    Quokka, have you thought of planting a nice vine on her side of the fence? Poison Ivy, perhaps? No, that’s mean. I shouldn’t say things like that. You should be helping the poor dear. Might I recommend some nice, bright, motion-activated floodlights to improve her view? You could angle them so they shine directly into her not-a-flat window, so she can get a proper look.

  322. The motion lights reminded me that we still haven’t worked out what everything in this place actually does. It was built by a builder for himself and has some unusual features. The motion sensing lights at the front now work but I’m damned if I can find where the speakers over the spa are connected. In the blackout the other night we discovered there’s emergency lighting, presumably running off a battery somewhere. There are lots of lights that don’t work outside and switches with no obvious purpose or with red lights that glow even when off. So far though they’ve all been goodish surprises.

  323. Where’s the man-trap lever and the camouflage net flinger, GB? I trust there is also a secret passage or two.

  324. Sounds exciting Khan GB but I am surprised no mention of what style of lighting you’ve set up in the gun turrets.

    Onto other news, I have 4/5 of a fence. That 4/5 is lovely shiny corro. The bit in the garden will be slats & hopefully they will arrive tomorrow. Huzzah.

  325. Yay! Soon it will all be over. Personally I think it would have been over sooner if you’d marked your territory. I can’t imagine (although I wish I could) how NTO would have reacted to you peeing next to her fire stairs.

  326. Q would never do something so inelegant. She’d decant her urine into a Super Soaker.

  327. Me too. But you have to watch out for splashback.

  328. Actually when we build the roof I was planning to set up a shower that sprays them with concentrated cat’s piss every time they stop to glare & threaten the builders.

  329. Motion activated works best. And as an added bonus, it will spray any tenants who attempt to maneuver whitegoods along the path.

  330. That’s all fine and dandy – but how do you propose to collect the cat’s piss?

    • There’s more than one way to milk a cat.

  331. OK now I’ll admit this is designed to spray cats with water but it should work just as well with NTO and cat pee (assuming it’s available).

    As Catty says, motion activated is best. You can be asleep or miles away and still be striking terror into her heart. Or set it to spray bin-blockers and driveway parkers?

  332. The curious thing about all of this is how pleasant & agreeable all of her tenants have been with us.
    I know one of them overheard me on day 1 telling the boys no radio noise (at all) because the kids next door are all studying and as they are paying nearly $300 pw to live in these ugly squalid little flats next door I feel sorry for them & they shouldn’t have to put up with more noise than is absolutely essential to get the job done. So I think they’ve spread the word because they all smile & nod & look like they genuinely like us, when I see them on the street.

    This is why I would really like to Bitch Slap NTO.
    We’ve made a considerable effort to try to reduce the impact on her tenants but nothing we’ve done is good enough.

    Anyway, she seems quite happy with her arsenic-soaked splinter barrier, so as long as she has STFU & she’s stopped hassling my boys, fine.
    Once they get the slats up I should be able to leave for a few hours here and there to swim & walk the dog & get chores done, and hopefully now she feels like she’s scored some points (arsenic soaked timber ones) she will refrain from sticking her head over the fence telling them to stop what they’re doing.

    And the boys are happy because she’s being nicey-nice to them now.

    I’m not fooled by that & neither is the Bloke.
    After seeing what those two arsewipes next door are capable of if they don’t get what they want, when they want it, with whipped cream on top – for free and at additional expense to us every time they delay the build by FKing with the builders – we are really, really glad that we’ve decided that we’re moving.

    There’s some seriously ugly personalities in there, we will have to tell our agent that she’ll need to find the kind of tenants who can tell them to FOAD & won’t let the bitch intimidate them.
    Still, I’m glad we’ve discovered what they’re made of as the Bloke is already thinking of extra defences & privacy screens with which to arm Casa Q.

  333. There was a TV commercial for Scmackos that insists they’re the best product for getting dogs to do what you want. You should call them and ask if they work on bitchy neighbours. If they do, get some for lesbian slumlord midwife, and for Mrs Flanders, as well.

  334. I’ve found that liver jerky works best for that, Catty, but I’ve never thought of holding a bit in the air under NTO’s nose and shouting ‘Down, Bitch.’
    And it does seem like a perfectly good waste of liver jerky when the squirt gun filled with kitteh-piss would get the same result.

  335. After reading all of this, I’m not sure if I want to use the toilet or eat some pate.

    While I was at Writer’s Group today the puppy knocked from the counter and chewed my magnesium, the zinc and the co-enzyme Q. EB just caught her now chewing on my Kindle. Thank smurf she only gnawed on the cover and didn’t hurt the precious. How about I leave her with you for a few days and you can let her have at NTO, Q?

  336. Funny you should mention that as I am going so stir crazy from not being able to leave the boys unprotected that just last night I told the Bloke I was considering hiring a goon with a machete & a slavering great dog.
    I meant to ask you if you rented her out by the hour but then it occurred to me I don’t really need your dog, just the end result of her chewing fetish to set alight & leave it by her doorstop.

    Did I tell you we now have MOAR COWBELL in the neighbourhood?
    We’ve all see the Fear The Reaper sketch with Christopher Walken demanding More Cowbell?
    There’s a few old Queenslanders that have those old school bell type things instead of buzzers at their front door. I hate them, as they bring back unpleasant memories of primary school. The Flanders have one next door, but as they can’t hear it where they spend the bulk of their time on the back deck, it just winds up sounding like the fire alarm from 1860.

    Well, NTO has taken a liking to it and she has acquired one for herself. When couriers and tradies come up to the central entry foyer there must be some sort of direction for them to ring the bell. Which they do, loudly, right outside my bathroom window.

    Its all very To The Manor born, or in her case, The Asylum.

  337. Has she got a hunchback, by any chance?

    “Ze bells, ze bells!”

  338. Maybe you need a parrot that says “Stop ringing that f-ing bell!”? And any other well-chosen comments for NTO. Although maybe a parrot in your house wouldn’t be the best idea. In other news, D#2 is going to measure up our front room and draw up some plans for bookcases. She’ll then wave them at some joinery people and see if she can get a decent price. I want one of those ladders that hangs on a brass rail.

  339. Not yet but NTBF is looking pretty stooped from all their obsessive ‘we’re renovating not stickybeaking’ efforts so, close enough.

    GB, I want a parrot that yells ‘Take your medication! Squaaaaawk!’ every time someone rings the GD bell.

    I was sitting on the porch enjoying a cuppa tea & my book in the sun when a surveyor pulled up & went over outside Bog Hollow to set up. I thought ‘Oh, she wouldn’t.’ So as I always do when I see a surveyor I go out & tell them that we’ve had two surveys done if they want to reference those records, & this is where the markers were before our neighbours decided to pull them out.

    Thankfully the surveyor is here to do work for the Flanders, on our other boundary. I think they have plans to resurface their driveway & build a carport on their neighbour’s boundary – so it’s nice to know that NTO’s paranoia & conviction that we are stealing our land hasn’t ballooned into ordering a survey of her own.

    GB I think that is a fabulous idea of getting built-in bookcases. After having had them for five years here, I’d never go down any other path. After enough efforts at being woken at midnight by a cat yowling that it’s lost your hairclips or a gecko under the cabinets and you must wake & retrieve it NOW, built-ins, I’ve decided, are essential to a good night’s sleep. And aside from that there’s the dust factor, being asthmatic I’ve found that since we got all the built-ins done, I’ve been reaching for my inhaler a whole lot less.

    Good plan!

  340. Oh yes, a brass rail! You will also need a smoking jacket, a chesterfield on which to lounge and possibly a meerschaum pipe.

    • Um, we have a chesterfield. It’s a bit old and shabby like me but very comfortable. Also two wing chairs we bought in our yoof. Sad really. Also I’m thinking of giving my Jedi robe to Hairy and replacing it with a nice Sith robe. Just because I like the black . . .

  341. And a white cat.

  342. And a butler.

  343. I want a butler, and a pantry to enslave him in.
    He could make choux pastry all day & come out at night while I’m asleep to dust & clean the windows. Which, of course, are all utterly filthy now we’re at 5 weeks of builder mess.
    Ah, to dream.

  344. The only thing a butler is good for is copping the rap when you’re found deceased at the bottom of the stairs with a knife in your back. If we all pitched in, we could get a butler for Bog Hollow. Then the constabulary would know who to blame when NTO is found at the bottom of the fire escape with a scritching trowel between her shoulderblades.

  345. After the way she’s behaved, Catty, I’m hoping she falls down the stairs and impales herself on her scritching fork. I just hope she does it before mounding season when they start setting baits again. I hate Satan’s Gardeners with a passion & I am not going to stop swearing at them & slinging my crocs after them, but it makes my skin crawl to think that someone would poison them.

    Oh well.
    At least now, after seeing what they’re capable of, I have absolutely no doubt that we need to move to get away from them.
    I won’t feel like the dog is safe until we’ve moved.
    And aside from that, I just can’t cope with being watched through the slats in the fence every time I step outside. Thank Dog for that stretch of corro, and my presence of mind in designing the garden room for our DA.
    Total Bitch-blockout, coming soon.

    I really wish there was something I could do to stop them setting baits for the wildlife but I’m at a loss to know what to do. The police can’t do anything without evidence, and the RSPCA have no power till they find a corpse & can pin it on her. Oh well. I guess all I can do is to warn the neighbours about what happened to our hound, and her threats to poison the possums and the birds, and they can keep an eye on her from afar, when we are gone.
    I guess I’ll just have to trust in karma, for that one.

    Never mind, this was always going to be a hellish week so thank Dog it’s over. Should be a nice weekend, seeing Madame & hopefully we can get to the beach, tomorrow.

    How’s your feverish minecrafter, Catty? Antibiotics kicking in, I trust?
    There’s some miserable bugs around at the moment. Bugger you’ve got Irma to contend with on top of convalescing from that.
    Hopefully you’ve all recovered enough to enjoy the weekend.

    Paniyiri is on down at Musgrave Park, so we might go down there, seeing as it’s the last one that we’ll be around for. I’ve never tasted better calamari than the stuff I’ve had down there. And perhaps I can placate Irma’s gloom with some kataifi and a plate of honey puffs. I’ll miss the Greeks, when we’re gone. not sure where I’ll find another Greek deli where we are going, but I guess I’ll come back at intervals to stockpile.

  346. Lovely to see you today MM & thank you for the lovely prezzies. Can’t wait to pull them out so everyone can enjoy them when we crank up the noise in the Garden Room. 🙂
    Hopefully July.
    Mwah. xoxo
    Oh and I hope you all enjoy the CAEK. The Bloke thought I should have got pork buns for you too. I wasn’t sure how fresh they’d stay in the fridge.
    He’s a good man, that one.

  347. Pork buns are my favourite! I’ll have to come back and get some, shortly.

    The CAEK was absolutely delightful, thank you. The base so light and crispy. We really need a Vietnamese bakery up here. How can I lure a Vietnamese baker?

    Yes, Catty – how is poor green chunk kidlet?

  348. The stronger antibiotics have dealt with the fever, but he still can’t hold down much food and he still has the wracking cough. Today is his big brother’s birthday, so I’m hoping some medicinal CAEK will help. Wonderful stuff, CAEK.

  349. poor little tyke.
    Hope you all have a fabulous time celebrating CAEK -erm, I mean, Birthday!

  350. Well, at least he’s not feverish, but the persistence of the cough sux. Hope he’s better soon.

  351. Thank U! The Teenie is extremely happy with his presents, and the CAEK was fabulous. Really, really fabulous. Even more fabulous was that the Teen didn’t show up so there’s leftover CAEK for my breakfast. Yay!

  352. Umm, Catty … I know it’s good when she doesn’t descend on your pantry like a plague of locusts – but are you sure she’s OK? That’s three free feeds now she’s passed up. I reckon the cats have eaten her.

  353. She’s o.k. She’s just avoiding me because she completely forgot Mother’s Day and is embarrassed about it. Oh, and she owes me money. I’m not concerned, because she is still posting the occasional sweary comment on Facebook. If she ever stops updating her status with expletives and selfies, then I’ll worry.

  354. Crazy Cat Ladies usually have their freezers packed full of meat & fish.
    I know I do.
    So I’d be worried too, but mostly about her having too much protein in her diet, and not enough dietary fibre.
    Animal protein is very filling, so that may be why she has no room for CAEK.

  355. Mmm … tasty, tasty animals.

  356. Thanks. Now I’m hungry for bacon, and all I have is CAEK.

    • “All I have is CAEK”. Words that I never thought to hear. Hope your little one is recovering quickly.

  357. Woolies have short cuts at $9 a kilo. Want me to express post you some?

    • Woo hoo! Excuse me, I’m just popping out for a minute or two. Hmmm… now which Woolies is closest?

  358. Heh heh.
    Spanner is in Horsepiddle getting refitted by The Borg Collective, from the sounds of it. I’ve only just tweeted him Remedial Bacon, as I had exactly the same thought.

  359. There’s hardly any bacon in the public hospital system. But do you see them addressing THAT in the budget?

  360. The only thing even close to bacon in the hospital system are all the snouts in the funding trough. If they sacked a few of those they could afford bacon for the patients. Or better still, a few doctors and nurses.

  361. I’ve stopped worrying about the budget. I now doubt the Libs will be in power long enough to implement it.

  362. The only bacon I see is the porkies that the LNP told to win the last lot of elections, state and federal. Waleed Ali wrote a good rundown of it basically saying that if KRUDD hadn’t spent more time white-anting his own party than the LNP did, we wouldn’t have all the pig snouts in the dog’s breakfast that passes for gubbermint now.

  363. Sigh. Why did we never stage a massive bank heist and buy our own island?

    • Wasn’t there a cruise ship up for sale? Don’t tell me we blew the deposit on Kettle chips and Vodka again.

  364. I wouldn’t worry, I think these idiots are soon to be voted off of the one that we’re on. People have short memories for words but the LNP seem to be generating a lot of disturbing images that will stay in people’s consciousness for a long time to come.
    Tony’s leer & wink, & Smoking Joe.
    I don’t know who’s handling their PR but they must have given up & stuck their heads in the oven when all that went down.

    • It’s odd how that works. The Libs love their credit squeezes. Menzies did the same thing in ’40, and lasted a year in office before being tossed unceremoniously to the kerb. That may have also had something to do with him selling iron to the Japanese, who made it into guns and shot our troops with it. Yet he was re-elected some 20 years later, and did it again in ’63. Lots of businesses, big and small, went bust. But he still went on to be the longest serving PM in Australia’s history. Fraser did it in the late 70’s. Howard did it in the late 90’s. And now Tony’s doing it.

      It’s worth pointing out that this budget is not a done deal yet. I mentioned over at the Corner that I thought the harsh budget was a negotiating tactic, and it appears to be the case. They’ve got the numbers to pass the 2% rich tax, but they don’t have the numbers to pass the Medicare co-payment – so that isn’t even going to happen. I think very little of this budget will come to pass. But you’re right, Q. It’s the imagery that will stay in people’s memories when the next election rolls around, rather than what actually happens. *sigh* If only Spiderman hadn’t let us all down on election day, none of this would be happening.

  365. Oy the mixed feelings here tonight. GrandEvil was sick all day, feverish and listless with occasional bursts of pain, wincing and tears when swallowing. She was a real little trouper with smiles amidst the tears and lots of cuddles. But when parents arrived she looked up from Grandad’s lap and kind of signed “oh hi parents, nice to see you. I guess”. OTOH it’s great that she’s so happy and comfortable with us but I think her mum would have appreciated something a bit more dramatic. “Oh mother, I feel terrible and only you can comfort me!” might have been nice. Daughter is happy that she’s well pleased to be here but has pangs because her baby isn’t so dependent on her any more. Ah well, just wait till the kid hits her teens.

    Also OTOH daughter’s old office – where she was IT person as well as office manager/architect – has gone to pot. they lured her in to do plan stuff, then revealed that most of their PCs aren’t working, which is why she was so late. Looks like next week is Take your Father to Work Week where I go in and get them all running again. Negotiating a rate. $150/hr sounds about right?

  366. The poor little thing doesn’t have tonsillitis or mumps or something, does she?

    Hang on, GB – so you’re planning to leave Sweet Bubba and Fifi alone together for a week? $150 an hour is fine, until you realise they’ll have plotted your downfall and moved on to Hairy’s by the time you wander home.

    Be very, very afraid.

  367. Poor GrandEvil. This current round of viruses are pretty nasty. I hope she feels better soon. Which she should, when GrandBeard spends some of his $150/hr on sweet little stuffed toys for her to chew.

  368. If she’s anything like Elf Boy … and it’s safe to assume she is … she’ll prefer to cut her teeth on the bones of her enemies.

  369. Sounds like next week will be Take The Grand Evil’s Disease to work week. From what I remember of that age they are sick every 3 months till they turn 5 & they bounce back from every acute episode with extraordinary resilience the moment they’ve managed to put all the nearby adults in the infectious disease ward.

  370. It’s too late for me Madam. I’ve seen the sidelong looks and the shared smiles. I’m doomed. An Elf Girl? Woe is me. And thank you Catty but it’s you I feel for. We only have her during the day but your littlie is a full time job. How is he getting on?

    Spot on Q. Those rather drooly cuddles are just the thing for spreading your disease-of-the-day to parents and gps.

  371. Sweet, noxious bubba. Give her a little squeeze from me. And tell her keep up the good work.

  372. Who says evolution doesn’t exist? In just two generations, the Beard family have gone from breeding germ warfare in a test tube to breeding it internally.

    My littlest nagged me into letting him go back to school, but I’m not sure he was ready for it. I’m staying close to the phone (with CAEK), expecting the school to ring. Hopefully the house doesn’t float away before they call – some idiot at the BoM has chosen to give us our entire month’s rainfall in one morning. How’s the weather over in Ringworm, Greybeard?

    • Howling gale early this morning (bye bye autumn leaves) and occasional rain now. Meh. I have coffee and I’ve assembled another bookcase.

  373. I only wish it would rain up here. I’m going to have to spend valuable reading time watering my ungrateful plants this afternoon. Actually, I take that back. My plants are much more grateful than my children.

    • This is when you water them, right?

  374. No, just in general.

    • That’s a pity because I had this lovely image of you sitting in a rocker on the back porch, watering a glum looking MM and EB with a hose. I don’t suppose you really want encourage faster growth, especially of Gigantor.

  375. I just bought some lawn booster from Bunnings, I wonder what would happen if you sprinkled them with that.

    Colour me jealous of your rain, I have half a back yard full of turf to keep alive. NTO is keeping a watchful eye on my water consumption & no doubt she’s taking videos of my sprinkler use over the hole in the fence.

    I had to get out today, there weren’t any tradesmen here today & yet they stationed themselves out the front like sentinels, obviously suspicious that if they relaxed their guard, the tradies would turn up and start tearing their house down.

    Other people’s paranoia. OMFG how do I get medication into her?

  376. Funny you should say that, as I noticed with some alarm that Gigantor’s hip practically comes up to my shoulder these days. He tells me he’s aiming for 6′ 7″.

    I’ve got a suggestion, Q. Lace other people’s envelopes with a contact anti-psychotic. Or rat poison, whichever.

  377. Or maybe a cocktail of both, so she develops some insight before she meets the Turkeys Maker. Hopefully at the end of a set of long, sharp prongs.

    The lady in the queue ahead of me at Bunnings bought a lot of rat poison. She looked pretty grim about it & she was wearing a big broad-brimmed hat that hid her face from view of their CCTV. I guess she’s got a slumlord next door, too.

  378. Find a tub of sump oil and use it to write ‘FU’ on NTO’s grass.

  379. Find some flasher gnomes and place them in amongst her weeds.

  380. Hee hee.
    Catty I did write FU in bird seed the other day, much better than sump oil as it’s enticing Satan’s Gardeners to come closer & wreak their destruction.

    When I was at Bunnings yesterday they had a special on Snow White & the seven dwarf garden gnomes. I’m sorely tempted to grab a few and plant them in her footpath gardens prior to the next Grand Tour.
    That should be fair warning to the punters that a poisonous old madwoman is out back in the belfry, painting apples with anti-freeze to feed to the possums.

  381. Would antifreeze kill the poor possums … or just get them tipsy?

  382. Dunno. You’re the toxicology expert.
    But you have got me thinking; if I leave some passion pop out for the little sods they might hang around thumping on the roof even longer & they may even bark out Khe San.

  383. You’re right, possums do tend to be bogans. I’d try VB.

  384. I’ve never seen a possum with a mullet, but MIL’s canary has one. I should post a photo one of these days to show you. It’s so cute!

  385. The mullet will only have street cred if he’s drinking VB.

  386. Can you get him to wear a flanno with the arms ripped off, Catty? He’d go viral.

  387. And some thongs. Do those Straya Flag ones come in budgie sizings?

  388. I love the intermahwebs:

  389. LOLZ.

  390. Put red speedos on that bird and he’d make a fine PM.

  391. Better, stuff him down the PM’s speedos & tell him to bite till the SOAB abdicates. I mean, resigns. Same thing in the mad monk’s mind.

  392. I won’t be satisfied until he disembowels himself with a katana on the lawn of parliament house, but a resignation would be nice, too.

  393. I keep wondering if this budget is the LNP’s way of getting rid of the dumb smurf by ensuring that everyone wants to knife him. That way, before the next election, they can say ‘sorry Tony nobody likes you everybody hates you why don’t you piss off and go and eat worms?’ and they have an excuse to stick someone else in the hot seat. I would have thought Hockey would be the obvious choice for that but after that cigar pic nobody is going to forget his role in this budget.
    Ever since they put him forward as Dear Leader I’ve been thinking he’s just someone else’s puppet & they trusted that once they let him speak up he could be trusted to make himself hated.
    I just don’t follow it all closely enough to know who is up to what. They’re all loathsome little bloodsuckers.
    That said, I don’t mind Malcolm Turnbull but once the little weasels are in power they all push for the same Hurrah for the rich & Screw the Poor & disadvantaged that is the LNP MO.

  394. Actually, that Machiavellian scenario you describe not only make sense, it reeks of Malcolm Turnball.

    I like him a lot, but he smiles like a man capable of a very cunning plan or two.

  395. Everybody likes Malcolm Turnbull. He’s the richest politician in Australia. I’d vote for him, in the hope that some of it would rub off onto me.

  396. Maybe we should just write and ask him for a lazy hundred thou?

  397. Everybody hates him on twitter because he thinks we can all use string & tin cans instead of a proper national broadband connection. He’s widely regarded as Satan of the Luddites over there.

  398. True enough. Two-faced lying weasel puts megabucks of his own money into FTTH in France, while bagging it over here and killing the NBN by the slow death of a thousand inquiries and backflips. Thanks Rupert.

  399. And this is why I think he’d be perfect as the leader of the LNP. I’m confident he could do for them what KRUDD did to the Labour party, but faster and with a lot more shouting and blooding & shrieking from the ranks.

  400. What’s wrong with tin cans and string? You can do a lot with tin cans and string. Stilts, DIY windchimes, shower stall soapholders, pudding steamers, snail traps, you name it. Also, if your telco cuts off your connection, you can fix it yourself with a roll of twine and a couple of cans of baked beans from Coals….. which leads me to think that Malcolm must own shares in Wesfarmers.

  401. It won’t matter about the NBN when none of us can afford electricity.

  402. Can you burn politicians? Just asking.

    But for a mildly amusing quiz, try http://gameswithwords.org/WhichEnglish/
    These people have an algorithm that asks you a few questions and tries to guess from your answers what your native language and present dialect might be.

    Our top three guesses for your English dialect:
    1. Australian
    2. Irish (Southern)
    3. Scottish (UK)
    Our top three guesses for your native (first) language:
    1. English
    2. Russian
    3. Spanish

    Pretty good considering all the Irish in the family and around where I grew up.

  403. Well that was fun.
    It thought my dialect was southern Irish, second guess Australian, third American.

    Impressive considering I’ve got Irish ancestry from both sides, and Welsh as well from my father’s side.

    My maternal great-grandmother was born in Kilkenny, as far as I know.

  404. Our top three guesses for your English dialect:?

    1. Australian
    2. Singaporean
    3. English (UK)

    Our top three guesses for your native (first) language:?

    1. Italian
    2. English
    3. Spanish

    Mamma mia!

    • Molte bella!

      • I was planning on making a stir-fry tonight. Maybe that’s where the Singaporean comes in?

  405. After English for my native first language it chose Finnish.
    Perhaps those ancestors on Dad’s side who were never deemed worthy of a birth certificate were, in fact, Moomintrolls.

  406. I’m still smarting over “Italian”. Via funculo!

  407. Google translate didn’t understand that and asked me if I meant Vai a fanculo!
    Which is ‘go and do it in the ass.’

  408. Mine said “Australian/English/Scottish”, and “English/Dutch/Spanish”. My family history is predominantly Irish, but I do have a Dutch FIL. Strange.

  409. Google translate it correct. I misspelt it.

    Well at least you all got places in the UK! Catzo!

  410. Yes, and nice to see that they don’t yet have a program to detect replicants and Skynet infiltrators.

  411. Replicant? Is that the new term for clones?

  412. Oh Catty.
    Blade Runner!
    Surely you’ve seen it, over and over and over, like I have?

    If you haven’t seen it I’m revoking your Nerd Pass to visit at CBG until you go out and correct it.

  413. Blade Runner. I recently made Gigantor watch that movie with me, but he didn’t enjoy it. Dang kids.

  414. I blame exposure to the Smurf movies, it rots their brains.

  415. In this case it’s probably Minecraft, but I know what you’re saying. I personally enjoyed it just as much as I did when it came out.

  416. He’s too young for it, MM. A 13yro girl might be able to focus long enough to give some thought to the very thinky issues that the movie raises, but not a testosterone-filled adolescent boy. I introduced my nephews to Red Dwarf when they were that age. Who better to guide them through all that turbulence than Rimmer, Dave Lister, Crichton, the ever depressed Holly, and that self-obsessed Cat?

  417. That’s a good thought. I might see if I can get some more “Goodies”, too. Both of them adored that.

  418. I wanted to be Graeme. I still do.

  419. You’ve got a strong streak of Bill, Greybeard. How are the squirts?

  420. Hmpph. That’s what Fifi says too. But thank you Ma’am, I’m as healthy as a horse at the moment. Probably carting all these boxes upstairs and baby-wrangling.

    We get our first guests on Friday. Old friend of Fifi’s – weird old surfie chick as she describes herself – and her two daughters. They’re driving around Australia in a camper van and have just finished their second crossing of the Nullarbor. So this place might even be a relief. They’re a nice, loopy, bookish family and I’m looking forward to it. We went to a half-price Ishka sale and got some bedside tables for the “good” guest room. Also thinking about a small cheap TV with a built in DVD player. When we don’t have guests, one of us can hide down there if the other’s snoring gets too bad (i.e. me leaving when Fifi gets to 6 on the Richter scale) (Also I never said that.)

    I think I’m getting Helsinki Syndrome. It’s like Stockholm, only it’s when you’ve been to Ikea so many, many times that you could sleep-drive there on Stilnox. Turns out we need just ooonne more bookcase. And a matching day-bed. (weeps)

  421. Oooh, are you getting the daybed in white wood, with the sides? I like that one.

    I’ve got Helsinki Fever. That’s when as soon as you get home from an exhausting and probably at least partially frustrating trip to IKEA, you can’t wait to go back again.

  422. That’s the one! Three drawers but it slides out to make a double slatted base. Daughter has given us an old double futon mattress we can put on it. This is how it looks now.
    There’s a window to the left and one behind me. The daybed will be in the corner between them, slightly partitioned by the last bookcase. And that will be the fiction done.

  423. Wooh, exciting! The additions to your household, that is, not the trips to Swedish Homemaker hell.
    Ah, visitors.
    It’ll be good practice for when the Boylans come to stay, PNB. Although I think you need a strategy in place to dislodge bookish guests who may refuse to leave till they’ve worked their way through the pick of all the titles in that room.

  424. Mmm, yes. The 22-ish daughter is a terrible bookworm. May need a crowbar. We’ve got a booking for January already! Late 20s, three kiddies. She’s an obsessive organiser and wanted to make sure everything was OK. 7 months in advance. They’re both mad readers too. Hmm, I think I see a pattern emerging? Ah well, reading people are the best people.

  425. Yep. Nerds, FTW.

  426. Those bookshelves are lovely. From the Hemnes range, I believe? Wouldn’t that be a great gameshow … name that IKEA piece.

    Anyone … hellio? Just shout your answers above the crickets chirping.

  427. I’m here, but I’m having trouble hearing you over the rooster that woke me an hour ago. You’ll have to speak up.

  428. Hemnes it is. And that would be an . . . interesting and ah, challenging concept for a game show. But have you seen IKEA or DEATH? I might have even seen it here first. I did quite well. Worrying.

  429. Now that QB weekend is coming up, can I request photos of your resident hound? I want to see what she looks like now she’s bigger. And yeah I may be motivated by purely selfish reasons for wanting you to start a new thread, like your blog wouldn’t load on my iphone when I was at the skin dr & I was tortured by 40 minutes of channel 7 breakfast TV before he got the chance to stick the actual knives in.
    OMG the horror.

    Puppy Pron, please!

  430. Yes. More puppies, more CAEK, less Ikea. Greybeard, did you get my email?

    • Er nope. Not unless you were advertising cheap loans till payday or certain, um, supplements.

  431. Did I DM you my address?

  432. No, what is your address, GB? I have some Cialis and Ethiopian bonds I need to send you.

  433. And I need to put you in touch with the tenants across the road who sell South American Herbalife. And the Roman Senators downstairs in Bog Hollow, who have regular pyramid sales meetings to spruik an alternative to Red Bull.
    Pure Bull, I think it’s called.

  434. Oh, and I know someone who can hook you up with a unique opportunity to get in at the “slave” level of the pyramid for some weirdo meal replacement thingo.

    We may need a shipping container.

  435. And I’m a childless widow with cancer who wants to send you my deceased husband’s millions from Dubai, so you can give the money to orphans.

  436. I just want to send you chain letters quoting the scripture with threats that if you don’t forward them on to everyone in your contact list, something very very very very bad will happen to you, and all you hold dear.

  437. Sorry, can’t send chain letters, I’m busy with this exciting business proposition that will earn me $1784 every day with no sales and no customers.

  438. BLOGSPAM! Aaaaaargh! Which one should i reply to first. So many wonderful opportunities.

  439. Yes but mine comes with the Wrath of God if you fail to respond.
    How hard can it be?

  440. I’m in Catty. I assume you already have my bank details?

  441. I’m in, if I can outsource the paperwork to the Wildebeest.
    Does anyone know if he can touch-type?

  442. I’m not sure. I’m loathe to let him touch anything.

  443. Yes, he is due for a bath. He smells like the Teen.

  444. Have you heard from her lately, Catty – or does she still owe you money?

  445. I am guessing, Not, because of unlimited high quality protein in the mad cat lady’s freezer.

    Speaking of the Great Unwashed, I have just walked in from spending the morning at the Lifeline Bookfest.
    The only disturbing thing about that was getting in, past the 2km long queue to get into the scrapbooking convention at the other end.
    One of my girlfriends insists that nobody could possibly be interested in scrapbooking and the whole industry is a cover for some sort of hallucinogenic drug industry.

    So that was fun.
    I’ve managed to recover some childhood favourites that got Vanished by my evil stepmonster 40 years ago. And I was ever so amused by the number of nerdy children glued to the spot, trying to read as many books as they could before the day ended.

    Has anyone read any Eva Ibbotson children’s books?
    A lady next to me squealed with delight when she found one that she’d not seen in years & she grabbed it for her grand-daughter. As I hadn’t read it she wasn’t satisfied till she’d gushed about the author & persuaded me to part with 50cents for a volume she already had at home in a 2-in-1 special, ‘not just a witch’ & ‘dial a ghost’. They do look like fun.

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