Time For a New Post

coffee

Right, I just realised I’m going to be in Melbourne in less than a month.  Eeek!

Melbournians, please advise on what sort of garments I will need.  And do I require any vaccinations?  I am immune to espresso.

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451 Responses

  1. Well, let’s see… The trick to dressing in Melbourne is LAYERS!!! And a bloody big handbag on which to stash the cardigans and coats when it gets warm, and from which to retrieve those same layers as it cools again, usually within half an hour. Black is de rigeur, but I’m a rebel, so I try to chuck a bit of colour in there. Warm fluffy slippers are good too!

    No inoculations required, but be aware that Melbourne espresso is different to Brisbane espresso. You need to STOP EATING CHOCOLATE NOW!!! Catty will take you to every chocolate shop she knows, and then some. Easter shopping will be done!!!

    Are you bringing the boys? Where are you staying? Is there anything you especially want to see? (Other than the insides of several dozen chocolate shops)?

  2. I am coming solo which I already regret as I will suffer sever withdrawals.

    I am staying with the lovely Fifi and … umm, Greybeard. Unless they have seen the error of their ways, in which case, possibly at Tullamarine. In the Left Luggage section.

    I’ve just told Melbo this morning that I wish to see Ackland Street and some of the old fashioned arcades. Other than that I’m clueless. What DO I want to see, Mayhem?

  3. I’m confused, Mayhem. There are shops that don’t sell chocolate? Nope, can’t say I’ve come across those. You’ll have to show those shops to Madam when we have a catchup in the city. We ARE having a catchup in the city, right?

    Dearest Morgana, you don’t need to bring much. We get some strong breezes, so I’d advise you to wear undergarments – unless you have a Scottish ancestry, in which case you’d probably enjoy icy gales up your kilt. Mayhem’s right about the layers. It’s not uncommon for the weather to change by 10º in the space of a couple of hours. And then change back again. And then to do it all again after lunch. My go-to garment for outside is a beanie. It keeps your head from freezing, and fits in your pocket when the sun comes back out. You don’t mind walking around with a giant egg cozy on your head, do you?

    I’m pretty sure I have a spare pocket Hottie that you’re welcome to. It will help if the cold gets to your hands. And a hot water bottle (which I can also provide) for the tootsies should get you off to sleep. Oh, that’s right. You’re at GB’s. I think he has a couple of sheep stored in the dungeon; they should keep you warm with all their farting and burping. Just don’t light any candles in there.

    All in all, just bring what you would have worn anyway, plus a jacket, socks and knickers. The weather is too unpredictable for anything else, and I’m positive that at least one of us can lend you anything you end up needing while you’re here. It’s better than buying extra stuff to lug home, where you’ll never need it.

    Oh, and a toothbrush. I’m not loaning you mine. I’ve just broken it in, and I don’t want to have to spend another two years breaking in another toothbrush.

  4. Nothing to add except, after consultation, layers is apparently good. Right now it’s about 15 and I’m thinking of a thicker t-shirt but next week could be 35.

    Uh Catty, ixnay on the eepshay. We’ve swept out the dungeon for guest storage so it’s almost 95% free of agricultural byproducts.

    Madam, I’ve put a new cistern in your en-suite and there are three cases of wine in the wardrobe. No, that isn’t a joke. You’ll see…

  5. Was it the Wednesday or the Thursday that we’re going to the city? I can never remember. Anyway, I propose that we all catch the train into Melbourne on Melbo’s day off, and meet up at Max Brenner’s. There’s one on La Trobe St, and another one upstairs at QV Square (Lonsdale St). I could even meet you on the Ringwood station platform and we could travel in together… don’t believe anything Bangarr says, GB, I’m not that bad a travel companion on the train. It’s travelling with me by taxi that you have to avoid.

    Speaking of avoidance, having three cases of wine in the wardrobe sounds a bit suspicious. Just how long do you think Morgana is staying, GB? (*psst, Madam, don’t forget to pack your lockpick!*)

    • Oh Catty, it isn’t locked! There isn’t even a door. It’s just that we use the WiW to store spare wine. As for travel, I will as usual be heavily disguised.

  6. I am so pleased you’re all meeting at Max Brenner’s. Their chocolate tastes like the dirt that the PRC grow their contaminated berries in.
    No need for me to feel jealous at all.

  7. Ummm… maybe we should re-think the Max Brenner’s…

  8. I may well be the only one that loathes Max Brenners & I won’t be there, so don’t change on account of me.
    I do hope someone will show MM that divine tea-house, though. The cakes!
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByhaeKmU55cXMUV6QVpmOTZBS3c/view
    There’s just nothing like that in Brisbane & the Brenners are everywhere, up here.
    Although the Beard Clan will probably take her to Acland Street so all the cake shops in there would compensate for it, somewhat.

  9. I actually spoke to Melbo on the phone yesterday and Wednesday is most certainly the day.

    Can we make it Q’s divine cake shop instead of MB, though, please? TGP is still reeling from the Lindt Thingo and has made me promise not to go to any chocolate cafes.

  10. Yes. One of the beardy nutters might do enough googling to work out that Max Brenner’s is a Jewish cafe & they’ll take their guns & ammo there.

  11. The nutters shouldn’t complain about Jewish food, considering what they serve up:
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/26513865/devastated-mum-eats-son-captured-by-is/
    It seems strange that IS would go all Leviticus, though. Or should that be Deuteronomy? Or Ezekiel? Or Jeremiah? Or Lamentations? Or… (now I think about it, there are way too many references to eating babies). To be honest, I’m surprised any of those whackjobs can even read.

  12. It’s a world gone mad, Catty.

  13. It still makes me feel nauseous … and enraged. Who benefits from that sort of behavior? In what possible system of belief or governance or any bloody thing is that justifiable? They killed the boy, her heart is already broken. That’s just pissing on the pieces that are left and laughing while you set them alight.

  14. I saw a news report from Syria or such where the farmers have had to take up weapons to keep IS out. Old guys, my age. They’ve said that the caliphate loons are basically land pirates who are intent on rape, pillage & plunder & their agenda has nothing to do with religion & everything to do with the insanity wrought by some sicko fanatic ideology fuelled by really nasty drugs. They didn’t specify what they’re on but it sounds like meth.

  15. Yup. Good ol crystal meth. Everyone was so convinced AIDS was going to wipe us all out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if meth finishes the job.

  16. The dizzy little Muslim girls who sneak over there to be Jihadi brides make the least sense to me. They’re not on meth, so why do they not realise that their passports/money/possessions will be confiscated upon arrival, so that they can’t leave when the vicious, sadistic gang rapes start? And if they dare complain, they are raped to death. Well, raped to death sooner than they would have otherwise been.

  17. So much dreadful stuff going on. I pity them, Catty, because I know what it’s like to grow up in the kind of family that makes you completely susceptible to brainwashing and putting yourself under the control of the next abuser.

  18. I’m still reeling to realise that 17 women so far this year in Australia have died at the hands of their current/former partner.

    So far!

  19. 17 that we know about.

  20. Yep. I saw somewhere that the figures are getting close to two per week. Then there’s men that are killed by family violence too, & children.
    The thing that pisses me off about the carry on about terrorists is that it’s the same sort of figures as for the Morcombe case. Those sorts of death are rare, but they get all of the media attention & capture the public hysteria.
    Whereas family & household violence is accepted as de rigeuer. And the politicians like to keep those ideas in place because they know that the real costs of creating change in our own culture of violence is far in access of what they’re willing to spend.
    So let’s all focus on the bad people overseas doing terrible, terrible things, so that we don’t have to put resources into the people doing them next door or at the end of the street.
    I’m starting to have some empathy for the guy that was murdered at the end of my street yesterday. I managed to remind myself that it’s often someone really sweet that ends upon the receiving end of that sort of violence & the guy they hauled out of there looked good & crazy. If it’s not meth, it’s schizophrenia.

  21. So many ways to be crazy in this world. Lucky we’ve got each other and we’re completely normal, right?

  22. Ha, I have given up all hope of ever recovering any kind of normality after 20 years of living here on Freak Street. Thankfully we have NTO to make me feel like I’m sane compared to her. The tradies laid new turf yesterday, down that 2m wide long strip of scorched earth to the east of our property boundary & also on the footpath where the concreters did some mangling when they put in the new driveway.
    I have flatly refused to tend grass on the street unless it’s the middle of the night due to Close Encounters with the passing freaks, so the bloke got to do that yesterday.
    NTO & her Case Worker (the mauve hatch visitor) came out to talk to him & she told him she’s getting $60,000 worth of insurance work done on Bog Hollow from storm damage. New roof (she replaced it 18 months ago) and they are painting the entire eastern side of her house. NFI why as the storm hit from the south.
    So if you’re all wondering why your household insurance premiums are going up, that’s why.
    Anyway, at least when the painters come in they will be in and out in less than two weeks.
    Who wants to bet that the real reason she’s getting that wall facing us painted again is because she’s changed her mind about paint colours now that she’s figured out grey is an S&M thing.

  23. I would have thought it needed painting again because the last coat is bubbling and patchy. That sort of thing happens when you paint in the fracking rain. NTO is a moron, but the insurance people are equally so for agreeing to paint the wall again. Especially as she will probably be out there with the Hello Kitty! epilator within six months.

    I’m not weighing in on the ‘completely normal’ thing. Not with my upbringing. Suffice to say I can pretend to be sane when I have to. But I agree 100% that we are all very blessed to have each other. I loves youse guys!

  24. Right back atcha, Catty.
    And as for our respective levels of madness – Sanity is over-rated.

  25. Yeah. Their CD’s are overpriced and they keep closing down their stores so you can’t return defective purchases.

  26. I had no idea I could store my sanity on a CD. If only I’d known this before I lost it off the hard drive.

  27. I keep mine on a USB. Slide it onto your key ring and you have an excuse for going mental when you lose your keys.

  28. Heh heh heh heh.

  29. Boom tish! I’ll be touring Melbourne just before Easter. Lock up your baristas.

  30. The Boss bought a fancy espresso machine on eBay recently. He’s got the coffee down to a fine art – mainly because I have refused to allow myself to be taught how to use it. Much like my sanity, really.

  31. You won’t be needing any sanity just before Easter, Catty. I’m excited! I’m terrified!

    I met some people from Ringworm at the markets. They seemed mystified to think I was going to stay there. Tell me now if there’s a rendering plant or something. It’s too late to cancel my tickets.

  32. You should have asked them if there was a strange man next door with a flock of imported brush turkeys.

  33. Yes, I don’t know what came over me.

  34. I’ve been thinking about that. Melbourne has high levels of flouride in the water, so if you have thyroid concerns, you might want to think about iodine supplements while you’re here. A good body butter or skin moisturiser will probably be a good idea too, as it can get pretty dry in Autumn. I have no idea about shampoo – after all these years, I still can’t find one that counteracts the effects of the hard water. Plus, your lock pick is essential. You don’t want to share an oubliette with Mayhem’s Mum. Or do you? That dungeon with a wardrobe full of wine does sound pretty good. No. No, of course you don’t. Three cases would only last a week.

  35. I’ve taken to tying my hair up in plaits to stop it driving me completely nuts.
    I found one plait soaking in my tea cup while I was poring over my Spanish Vocab.
    If I notice any beneficial side effects from steeping in the tannins, I’ll be sure to let you know.

  36. I don’t have any thyroid concerns that I know about. Should I be concerned? Maybe we could just go out for sushi …

  37. Sushi is good. Tea, however, I’m not so sure about. I’m currently using VO5 Green Tea Conditioner, and it’s making my head itchy.

    Speaking of itchy, you should also be careful of mosquitoes. For some reason, the little bastards in Melbourne make us much itchier than the ones in QLD.

  38. I blame the humidity, Catty. It is stupefying to the point where you can’t be bothered scratching that itch.
    Another day of sauna weather here in the great South East – ugh.

  39. No wonder the personal sauna market has hit a slump in QLD. Why buy one when you can just step outside and have one for free? Actually, I’d forgotten how bad the humidity was until I came up in January. Ugh is right.

  40. It’s The God Particle’s birthday. I have to scurry home from work to make the creature a cheesecake. On the upside … cheesecake.

  41. oh merciful saints, I hope you don’t mean Bake when you say Make.
    Can’t you spoon trifle into a gingernut biscuit base & tell him it’s Tropical Trifle cheesecake?

  42. It was going to be a fridge one (the family classic they used to print on the side of the Philly carton, but with 6 times the lemon juice and added zest) but I lacked the energy even for that.

    Shopping tip: Woolies Select Vanilla cheescake, while it will never be Q’s rum & raisin, is not half bad. I would have served it with berries but I didn’t want to give everyone hepatitis for TGP’s B-day.

  43. Hepatitis. The gift that keeps on giving.

    Happy Birthday, Higgs!

  44. True. That’s more of a sweet 16th demographic, when they get their first tattoo.

  45. Huh. If their parents had let them draw on the walls when they were little, they would have gotten it out of their systems.

  46. Gigantor says he’s getting Mum in a heart as his first tattoo. I figure it’s better than a girl’s name. I’ll always love him and won’t sleep with his mates.

  47. You say that now, but things change.
    I am thinking of the bass player in my nephew’s band.
    All my girlfriends had a crush on him & said things like ‘If I were ten years younger and single…’ To which I added ‘All that, and if I hadn’t already found such a good one…’

  48. No, none of his friends are hairy or evil enough to tick my boxes.

  49. The Teen has found herself a heavy metal rocker boyfriend. I’d be worried, but he’s only 17, doesn’t smoke and lives with his mum. Not only that, his band actually gets regular paid gigs. Shall we run a book on how long this is going to last?

  50. Oh, wow. He sounds perfect!

    I hope it lasts forever, and I’d rather lay odds on how long until she moves into the garage with him. Before the end of Lent being my bet.

  51. He is a nice guy. Even the Boss likes him, which is saying something, even though he thinks the kid looks like a garden gnome. The Teen is currently trying to bully the poor boy’s father into helping them find a house. I get the impression the father isn’t quite as impressed with the Teen as we are with the Gnome. Still, I’m hoping it lasts a while.

    He’s certainly better than any other boyfriend the Teen’s ever had. You lot would be proud of my self restraint yesterday – as I was driving the kidlets to school, I had to slow down for a pedestrian crossing the road. As I got close up, I realised it was the Cretin (who encouraged the Teen to leave home), but I didn’t speed up and run over the piece of shit. I don’t know whether to be impressed by myself, or annoyed at the missed opportunity. This is the third time I’ve driven past him instead of over him; I must be getting soft in my old age.

  52. Bits of people are also tedious to hose out of your wheel arches. Kudos, Catty.

  53. Washing the car is the Boss’s job.

  54. Then your restraint is even more admirable. Save any further mellowing until after I visit if you would be so kind. I wish to run amok.

  55. I wouldn’t worry, Catty, the P-platers will get him one of these days. It’s not like any of them stop for red lights or zebra crossings. Well, not around here they don’t. One did a u-turn in the intersection of Dornoch Tce & Gladstone Rd & pulled out in front of me when I was out before. Mummy’s Lexus 4WD.
    The herd has a way of culling their own.
    Just pray to the Patron Saint of Troop Carriers & I’m sure some spotty little turd will snap his leg in three places on their McDoom Brunch run one day very soon.

  56. I’ve never seen a Lexus driven by polite, careful people. I’d ask why that is but I think I have a pretty good idea.

  57. Around here, all the Lexus drivers are … let’s just say, people who pretend to be refugees but once their visas have cleared, they pay cash for $800k+ houses. They are very VERY arrogant people.

    Surprisingly, it wasn’t a Lexus that ran over Cretin a couple of years ago. It was a young mother in a 4WD. I drove past (instead of over) him while he was lying on the road. The Teen was furious with me. And again, she was ropable a year later when I changed lanes to pass him as he toodled along the road on a Fisher Price push-along trike that he had apparently picked up off a nearby hard rubbish pile. I’m guessing he was drunk.

    And now I am changing the subject to ask for some advice. I’m trying to find a decent Telco (stop laughing, I’m serious). Telstrarse are stealing money off me again. Any suggestions on a less larcenous provider?

  58. I am with Terriblestra – sadly they are the only game in our town.

    I have advice in the negative for you, Catty. Don’t even dream of going with Dodo. Several clients have told me that:
    * you’re only allowed to pay them by direct debit’
    * they debit your account, not on a specific day but whenever the hell they feel like it;
    * they don’t just debit it for a convenient pre-arranged amount, but for whatever they feel like whether you owe it or not.

  59. That’s useful to know. Thanks, Madam.

  60. We are with Optarse & have given up whining about the strange sums that appear on the bills. We’ve decided to just give up and accept that if you want a phone line & the internet it’s like travelling through the English countryside in the middle ages – all journeys end in highway robbery.
    We just count ourselves lucky that they don’t shoot us & pull down our underwear when they send us the bill.

  61. 3 1/2 hours to the party zone. Pray – or prey, if you’re Q – for me!

  62. May the Force and/of Cthulu be with you.

  63. All went well. The little hellions even sat down to sip tea from Mum’s fine china. During the “running around playing games” section, as mandated by TGP, though it was an amusing Australian spectacle. The three girls climbed up a ladder and sat watching as the boys ran amok.

    It was every Aussie BBQ I’ve ever attended, in miniature.

  64. Heh heh heh.
    All you needed to complete that picture was jelly shots & pre-pubescent vodka cruisers.
    If I’d been there, I’d have made good use of that ladder & watched from the safety of the roof.

  65. They had a good time up that tree. It was a lovely, old-fashioned good time for all.

  66. It sounds delightful. Did you have any organised games, like Pass The Parcel?

  67. No. We offered to do Blind Man’s Bluff and stuff, but TGP was quite determined that they would muck about in an unorganised fashion. And no-one was bored, we had to shoo them away at 6.

  68. Yum. Can’t wait to see the sugary goodness pix.

  69. Yeah, I can’t wait to lick the pictures either.

  70. There are no pictures. As soon as we put a plate on the table they swarmed it like locusts. They most popular items were chocolate cupcakes (made in those tiny little foil cases, so more petit fours) with golden pixie dust on the icing, and tiny gingernuts with silver pixie dust on top.

    The pixie dust looks awesome in the jars, but not so impressive on the cakes. Next time I’ll use gold leaf from an Indian grocery.

  71. Dang. Well it sounds like a good time was had by all, MM, so that’s what counts.

    http://www.ckproducts.com/products/5331/3-2-OZ-ROCK-SUGAR-ORANGE-FLVR-78-535O-/0
    I’ve found that the flavoured rock sugar looks pretty and it tastes nice – far better than the sanding sugar.
    The only trouble being that if it’s in the pantry when Irma is due, she eats it by the spoonful.

  72. That does look delicious. I might try rolling shortbread balls in it.

  73. Mmm…tasty. I can’t vouch for what will happen if you melt it – you may just burn the sugar – but it’s certainly an impressive bit of eye candy on top of chocolate frosting.

  74. They bake fairly slow so they should just melt gently if anything.

  75. Well if you want someone to judge the results, you know where to find me.

  76. Noted.

  77. For some reason I’ve been craving fairy break & hundreds & thousands biscuits biscuits every time I visit this blog.
    Elf Boy’s fault, for his sugary high tea.

  78. THP’s fault? Or Irma’s? My cravings are starting so early in the cycle these days it’s more like a normal eating plan than something out of the ordinary.

    Mmm … Grain Waves and French Onion dip.

  79. Now that the builders have gone I hope to reduce my caffeine intake. Apparently there’s a link between that & sweet cravings. I use cups of tea to calm my nerves & obvioiusly being a stimulant that’s insane. Still, it’s not a bad vice to have if, when stressed, I need a cup of tea & a handful of sweets.
    Chromium & hypoglycaemic diet usually fix that, MM, so I’ll let you know if my sanity improves once I’m back on a healthier regime of oats & legumes.
    I suspect it will improve substantially just by not having builders here & there being no reason for NTO to weave around amongst their piles of shit on the footpath, stickybeaking.
    I felt so much better about this week’s hysterics over that when I went out yesterday & found my nice neighbour, Pamela, fleeing on foot from their builders as she couldn’t cope any more with the stress of it. They live in a very nice house around the corner that is full of antiques, leadlight & Morroccan themed decor, & they got hammered by the ice storm. Because that’s a split street, high & low, there is nowhere for the tradies to go so they’ve been closing off the street every time a truck or a crane shows up & then of course all the rat runners have hysterics & pedestrians weave through it all (probably NTO) risking Death By Crane.
    It was such a relief to see someone else in the midst of ‘I can’t cope’ Hysterics that I could have hugged her. She was walking in to the city to cruise the markets as they had run out of honey & she’d decided to prioritise the honey crisis over the horrors of the house falling down around her ears back home.
    Poor darling. I’d have invited her in here but I don’t think she’d find my layer of grime reassuring. It would just be a taste of things to come; best not to tell her what awaits her once they’ve gone.

  80. Well, honey is important. Ask Pooh.

    Any pleading phone calls from REAs on the Old Coast today?

  81. Honey is important. I must swing by the markets one of these days, I’m almost out. I was going to take you there, Madam, but I’ve just realised it’s on Wednesday, and we are going to the city. Honey may be important, but Chocolate is essential.

    • It’s spooky you should say that, Catty – I was going to ask you if you had any free time on Monday or Tuesday? I need someone to take me op shopping. Some may say it’s a “want”, but I’m pretty sure it’s a need.

  82. Yes, I’m much indebted to Pamela for passing on the wisdom of the elders that my family never passed on to me. When all around you is too horrific to cope, put on your prettiest hat & go out in search of honey.
    No more whiny phone calls since yesterday, but Easter is what, two weeks away?
    I’ve noticed that while it’s still listed at 880 on RE.com, it’s dropped overnight so that it’s now situated in the mid 700 section. Which is the agent’s subtle way of saying ‘Owner is deluded but this is what we expect it to go for.’
    I don’t expect them to drop the listed price till a few weeks after Easter, when all hope of suckering some foolish Victorians has faded.

  83. And the shops have run out of Malteaser rabbits. Sob.

  84. I ate one of those the other day while the Bloke was cooking up the Thank-You BBQ Smoko for the tradies. I can’t get into them – I prefer real maltesers, and they need to be chilled, and handed out in darkness at the cinema. Remember the boxes that they used to sell in the snack bar at those old goth cinemas in town? It was the only time we ever ate them.
    They seem to taste different now – chemically, or some odd cost-cutting recipe change.
    I will share your grief over Malteser Rabbits, because – Bertie Beetles.
    Sniff.
    Stupid market forces, I blame all these damnable sour lollies that the children insist on eating. Freaks, the lot of them.

  85. They also probably taste different because we only have 1/3 of the taste buds and half of the neural connections we used to. And because of all the dang kids all over our lawns.

    But Yowies are coming back! Happy face
    Mostly to the American market! Sadz

  86. Yep, that could do it. Especially when you add NTO prowling on my lawn alongside all those dang kids.
    I still think they have a different crunch, are less like honeycomb than they were when I was 5, and they are using more malt in the recipe.

  87. They used to dissolve in your mouth, now they can be a bit glue-y. Then again maybe I’m trying to cram more in there, these days, too.

  88. Ha, yes. I don’t remember them sticking to my molars like that when I were a wee lass. Then again, I didn’t worry about dentists, oral anaesthesia & my crown falling off when I was six.

  89. Those were the days … nah, bugger it. These days I make my own money to buy as many Malteasers as I want and I sit in my own home eating them whenever I damn well please. I’m happy as a weasel being in my 40s.

  90. Dad’s chocolate habit was on a par with my own. I can’t say I ever wanted for sweets, once my mother was safely below ground, rolling in her grave.

  91. Rest in pieces. Here, have some more choccies, Q.

  92. Gracias.
    And here’s my contribution to the sofa-sloth team here on this horrid hot day.

    Catty if you can’t see that it’s one of those connoisseur murray river salted caramel ice creams. I’d post some in the mail but, you know. Heat isshews.

  93. And they have macadamias in the chocolate, don’t forget! These things are seriously delicious.

  94. yes. I bought a box of the minis thinking it might slow me down, but I’ve wound up doubling my consumption of them. Not good. Next time I stick to macadamia & mango Weiss bars, they are delicious without being addictive.

  95. The minis are great. More chocolate to icecream. Three is the recommended serving size, surely?

  96. If you refer to the quantity of cartons required when Irma is circling,then yes.

  97. Damn. Better pop out to Woolies.

  98. Yes, before their roof collapses under the weight of water that’s due to land on us all later today.
    Looks like we’re finally getting a proper wet season, huzzah!

  99. Oh, it was delightful. The cool change, then the lightning and all this lovely rain!

    Gosh I do love rain.

  100. I know, and it looks like we are in for a lovely soggy cool-ish delicious week of it.
    The rain kept all the freaks indoors last night so we didn’t even get the usual amount of roaring and bellowing that’s stock-standard fair for a Saturday night.
    Is nobody else watching Broadchurch on the ABC on Sunday nights?
    I’ve been in an agony of suspense for the last week, waiting to see where it’s going.
    David Tennant & Olivia Colman really are a brilliant combination in that.

  101. I’m dying to watch it but I fall asleep too soon. It will have to be iView or borrow the discs from Video Ezy.

  102. It’s the kind of thing you need to rewatch, because it’s so complex.
    Restekpah to the writers, quite a bundle of talent they’ve got there.

  103. BBC are tops. But ABC has made some crackers, too. Huzzah for public broadcasters. Let’s hope they can outlive Toned Abs.

  104. Yes, I watched some lovely show about pre-invasion Panama last night, while all around me on TV was unmitigated horror.
    That reminds me – you know that there’s a limited shelf-life to iView? They only hold the repeats for a few days or a few weeks before they junk them. Storage, I suppose.
    Then again, netflix is coming & while I have NFI how it works, I suspect we’ll get it, just so I can stop the Bloke from interminably flicking between one rubbish show & another. He has a stack of DVD series & box sets to watch, that I’ve bought him from JB hi-fi when he’s said ‘Oh, this show is good,’ and then of course he never watches them, but just flicks through the trash on Free-To-Air.
    I will never understand men & their relationship with the television.
    It’s bizarre.

  105. Well, it might have something to do with their fondness for just sitting on the toilet. Where the hell is the fun in that? Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of sitting on my arse and doing bugger all … well, there has to be knitting or a book or a cat, but you know, nothing productive … but why for the love of smurf on the toilet?

    Gigantor does it now so it’s not even social conditioning, it’s something to do with ball-drop and testosterone.

  106. My tame house-male has a quarter of a century + of lentils in his system. Trust me, he is in and out of the bathroom in record time.

  107. I have a theory that men secretly want to get in touch with their feminine side, and the trip to the loo is an opportunity to get as close to the childbirth experience as possible. Which just goes to show that men really do think children are little shits.

    I’m just waiting for the tragic day when the Boss works out that he can install a TV in the ensuite. Between the channel surfing and the throne, I’ll never get him out of there.

  108. Which just goes to show how much I think like a man.
    So, tell me if this is normal because I’m so accustomed to child-rearing strategies in Freak Street that I seriously would not know.
    New family in Jen’s house across the road. Our interaction thus far has been carefully limited to waving & smiling from the car, & then applying pressure to the accelerator to make a discreet getaway.
    Three children under 5 in that tiny little cottage, no yard to speak of, and it opens onto the street. So the children amuse themselves by running up and down the footpath & by clattering up & down on their bikes. Torrential downpours this weekend mean that they were looking for new means of entertainment, so the oldest boy (can’t be more than 5) decided he would amuse himself for an hour or so in between scoots by picking up his (metal) scooter & smashing it down repeatedly on the footpath. Good practice for the TV week rock awards in years to come if he develops some musical aptitude, and entirely understandable if he’d downed a bottle of vodka. Which is entirely possible given how much time he spends with the neighbours either side.
    When this got dull he amused himself by abandoning the footpath & taking his scooter & his scooter-smashing activitiesto the (blind) crest of the hill outside Casa Q. I suppose his reasoning is that if the traffic stops to play chicken with Mrs Drunk & Crazy’s belligerent staffy-cross, then he can play at that game, too.
    Nobody came outside to correct him, so I assumed that it was inappropriate for me to go out there and shout at him/offer guidance that the parents deem unnecessary to his continued survival.
    The Bloke & I call this the Rule of Three: i.e. there is an heir, a spare, and an expendable.
    At least I know what to give him for Xmas, if we’re still here and he is too.
    http://www.cafepress.com.au/mf/50527518/star-trek-engineering-tee_tshirt?utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=t-shirts&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=cpc-product-ads-au&utm_content=505011650&productId=505011650

  109. Beam me up Jesus would be more appropriate, given the lack of supervision. No, Q, that is not how parenting works in normal households. It was when I was a kid, back in the days when everybody knew everybody else on the street, when people drove up and down their own streets with care, and when misbehaving got you a slap upside the head from whichever parent (yours or otherwise) was closest. Of course, nobody had even heard of seatbelts or pedophiles in those days, but it did make parenting easier, knowing that if your kid wandered into someone else’s house, they’d be given a vegemite sandwich and a boot up the bum when it was time to get out.

    These days, that sort of parenting gets your kids taken away by DoCs – unless you’re a drug addict, or a social worker, or you have a criminal record for assault, in which case they will studiously ignore everything you do until the child actually dies. The prevailing attitude amongst case workers is that it’s better for the child to cop the thumping than the case worker. (I’m serious – I overheard a conversation between a couple of them once).

    My advice is to go to great lengths to avoid speaking to them. Under no circumstances learn the child’s name, and never ever comment on the child’s behaviour no matter what. If he’s being destructive in your yard, calmly walk out without a word and turn the hose on him. In the unlikely event a parent complains, you can merely tell them the child ran under the water before you could stop him, and by the way, could they please keep him out of your yard in future, as he may be accidentally hurt by one of the many tradesmen who come and go. (This will set you up to counter any future complaints when he does hurt himself in your yard). If there ever is an accident, or if someone abducts the child, you can mention to the media or the police that he was constantly smashing stuff unsupervised in the middle of the street – or don’t say a word, if you don’t want. With no attachment to the family, you will have no obligation whatsoever to get involved. And by the sounds of it, that can only be a good thing.

    Oh, while I’m thinking of good things! Madam, I have arranged for MIL to take my munchkins in on Monday, so we can do the rounds of the local op shops. Woo Hoo! I suppose we should let GB know, just in case he has made other plans for you. Do you think Fifi might like to come with us?

  110. Q, I only let TGP (just turned 11) play in the street if he has at least one little friend with him at all times and they stay on the footpath. Catty has some excellent tips, apply all of them. I have one, too – if you have any spare witch’s hats maybe you could place them around him. If the parents question you, ask them if they know about the 20 year old playing on the road in Toowong who was killed over the weekend.

    Oh I do hope so! I love her dry wit. I shall text Greybeard when the hour is more social and extend the invitation. Huzzah for your MIL but sorry for the trouble – mine are still in school, it never occurred to me that your’s might be on holidays.

    Only 5 sleeps to Tullamarine! I was getting cross and lonely in advance, but now I’m excited.

  111. MM, you will have a ball. And I am quite sure it’s not difficult to lure any of Clan Beard into a second hand store.
    As for children playing in the street – Daddy is a 4WD owning cyclist so I doubt the child will get much in the way of guidance from him as to what to expect from traffic.
    I’ve been using the Ignore & Avoid strategy with most of our neighbours since we moved in & I realised what they’re like.
    The thing that really gives me the shudders is that if we leave & rent Casa Q out, these creatures that infest our street may well find their way through the front door & be able to bring their destructive anti-social behaviour in here. It just sucks that I have to worry more about what kind of damage the neighbours could do in here than the freaking tenants, if we leave & we lease it out.
    I’ve got the agent coming over on Friday to do an appraisal so I might have to have a word to her to find out if we can have a ‘no male children’ policy on the rental here. That’s because all the truly feral children around here are boys & it would be begging for trouble to have boys of the same age in our house, wanting to play with them. Ugh.

  112. That wouldn’t save you. Boys and girls seem to play quite freely these days. Not in a down the back of the shelter sheds context, just normally.

    Which when you think about it actually might be a whisper of hope for the next generation.

  113. Not in my street. The gender stereotypes & segregation are strong in this lot. I have faith that any girl of 10+ that moved in here would take one look at the creatures over the road & she’d cross herself at the very sight of them.

  114. If you want a girl who will cross herself, put flyers up around the Cathedral.


  115. Or I could invite this girl around.

  116. I loved this track! Thanks for reminding me of it, Q 🙂

  117. I should have added an obscenity warning for Catty. Still, I approve of blatantly ridiculous burlesque, it’s the gross stuff that Catty complains about on children’s TV that makes me cringe.

  118. It’s not just the kiddie songs. The cartoons are getting pretty salty, too. There’s a new cartoon based on the “The Day My Bum Went Psycho” books, and in the middle of an episode, a large white evil bottom said he wanted to take over the Univarse. Seriously! I think the censors must have been asleep when that slipped through.

  119. It seemed much more good-natured when it WAS ‘The Day my BUM Went Psycho’. Now they’ve made it BUTT is seems much scarier and more sinister.

  120. I’ve seen those on the shelves at Avid but haven’t read them. Because it was Avid, I assumed it was written by a hippy to explain lactose intolerance.
    No?

  121. Andy Griffiths – insanely popular Aussie kid’s author who appeals mostly to the 6-10 age bracket, noted for his toilet and gross-out humour

    I have no information about his dietary requirements.

  122. Going by his books, his childhood diet consisted of brussels sprouts and custard, when he wasn’t being sent to bed without any dinner at all.

  123. I remember one awful night at boarding school when Chef drank more than his usual quota of vodka & made a great vat of creamed brussels sprouts. Thankfully it was one of those nights where the headmistress’s husband had drunk more than chef, so she got to share the joy.
    A new drunken chef replaced him, soon after.

  124. Oh no. The horror. And what a waste of good cream. At that age I would have happily and neatly licked up a saucer-full, like a cat.

    Actually, I think I actually did.

  125. I remember pretending to be a cat.
    Tell me when it starts looking silly because I still quite enjoy doing that.

  126. I think it always looks silly, but when the hell has that ever stopped us?

    Speaking of which I acquired Alegria sandals. OMG every step is like angels are licking my feet.

  127. http://www.shaysshoes.com.au/product-category/womens-shoes/alegria/
    Interesting.
    I’ve seen these down in the West End shoe shop but have never tried them on. My beloved Birkenstocks aren’t much good for hiking down to Spanish class at SB, maybe I need a pair of these for my birthday.
    I will have to go try them on.
    I’m so excited about your trip to Melbourne. You will have the bestest time.

  128. Ildi put me onto them. Actually, she put me into them. We’re the same size, I slipped into hers and was hooked.

    Q, the beauty part is the memory foam and cork innersoles (leather lined) – that you can replace! When they get tired you just pop in a new pair.

    Yes – me too! Last weekend was all dread and advance weasel longing, now I’m jazzed. I will give Catty a nice long hug from you.

  129. That’s odd, I could have sworn I posted yesterday am. Weird.
    Oh well. cybergoblins, we are used to them.
    I’ve admired many a pair of those Alegria sandals down in that funky West End Shoe Store but I’ve never been motivated to go in & try them on. I will remedy that before I leave.
    And give Catty & Mel an extra long double hug, because I was unfit for pleasant company when they visited in January, and because I very much appreciate their support through the NTO poisoning crisis. This will demonstrate once & for all what a bad person I am, but life is much better here now that she seems to have to spend most of her time looking after him through whatever debilitating illness he has developed. And since I’ve no doubt he was the brains behind their animal poisoning, I keep thinking ‘Good. Instant karma at work,’ and I hope his suffering is long and horrible, as is hers, looking after him.
    It’s amazing to see how many more birds there are in my garden with those two confined to the house & unable to do their Human Scarecrow patrol.
    I’ve got an entire flock of lorikeets that come to visit daily, and there’s now 7 brush turkeys pecking away at the bird seed I throw out.
    I know I grumble about Satan’s gardeners but they really are manageable now the garden is entirely geometric & it’s so easy to keep them out of specific areas.
    That was just impossible with the cottage garden design.
    Anyway, Birds, Huzzah.

  130. Karma may have nudged NTO into accidentally cooking NTBF one of his special baited steaks. One can only hope, hey?

    Q, sweetie, you were adorable in Brissie. It was me that let the side down. I was emotionally exhausted after five days with Mother. I’m itching for tomorrow. Op Shopping! Woo hoo!

  131. Gosh it was fabulous. I’ve never had more fun shopping. However, I’m now exhausted to the point of needing a blood transfusion. Yes, I shopped till I dropped.

    Thank you and another mwah, Catty!

    I think we were all heat-struck in January. I felt remarkably lack-lustre.too. Let’s catch up next time in glorious Svarlbard.

  132. Mwah & mwah & mwah right back atcha all.
    We need a portal, like that coat closet in Narnia, so that we can all assemble at tea-cake time in Mr. Tumnus’s cabin in the frozen woods. I know that my feet would probably snap off like the liquid metal terminator’s when he got stuck in that nitrogen or whatever but I do so long for a bit of immersion in some frosty air.
    That really was a horribly hot day in summer so I think we all did quite well just to show up & remain upright. The ice-cream was a good call, although I’m still shocked Morgana’s didn’t eat any. They’re obviously spoiled for choice with that gelato bar around the corner at home.
    Next time it’s a summer meeting, we assemble at the ice-skating rink.

  133. It’s delightfully frosty down here ATM – so as Catty has always said, Knockers shops was full of teenagers in hot-pants.

  134. I went for a ride on the gold coast tram yesterday arvo – filling in time so I could give the Bloke a lift home after an annoying day at work. Someone complained ‘why is there no medical air in these hospital rooms?’ & it took two of them all day to hunt through the contract & the minutes of 18 months of meetings to find two documents in which the client said they didn’t need medical air in all of the rooms because they’ve all got oxygen & it’s cheaper to wheel in a machine on a trolley, as required.
    ‘where do they want this medical air?’ I asked of project management.
    ‘In the coronary care rooms.’
    I shrugged & said ‘Well they’re all going to die anyway.’
    They snorted & said that’s what the head nurse rep said on hearing the client’s complaint.
    Anyway, there’s the proof that it’s done lasting psychological damage to me, being raised by a medical family.
    Enjoy the chill & give my love & hugs to all the crew.
    And remember to eat some cake for me – Pacific fair, at the end of the tramline, was disappointing on that count. It looks like it’s been over-run by scavenger zombies. The Bloke says they are spending big bucks on it to give it a makeover before the commonwealth games but OMG it’s in a sorry state. It was like being in Capalaba, without the customers.

  135. Thank you so much for coming out, Morgana. You and Fifi were delightful shopping companions! I spent lots of money on lots of crap that I didn’t need (you should have seen the Boss’s bewildered face when I showed him that black thermos jug!) and the time just flew by. It was such a pity we missed out on the Churros, but as you said, there are Churros in the city. I was back at MIL’s by 4:30, so she hadn’t finished the first bottle yet. It could have been worse.

    Later (at about 10:30pm), things did get worse. The middle kidlet was scratching, and demanded a nit check. Yep. Nits. Also, freshly hatched cute little baby lice, which I promptly smooshed to death. Today I will be treating the rest of the family, (including myself) just in case, and treating all the bedding and soft furnishings, also just in case. Joy!

  136. Easter. Tis the season for new life and abundance.

  137. I can’t even blame the Teen. Actually, I can, and often do, but this time there is a possibility it isn’t her fault.

  138. Catty you are the awesome! Your Easter gift just arrived, I heard the Ganja bus pull up & the delivery guy toss it over the security gate. Since Irma had arrived just before he did, you will have some idea how very, very welcome your gift was.
    Thank you, Mwah!
    Also, apologies as my attempts at Easter shopping have thus far been thwarted by no jam lady at the Currumbin Markets on Saturday and yesterday when I went to Pacific Fair, the chocolate shop had closed down. So much for that plan. So please forgive my easter delay. The Gods have not smiled on my shopping adventures. I’ll have to try again this weekend.
    Mwah! xoxoxox

  139. That was quick! I was worried it wouldn’t get there before Easter! Good job, Ganja Man!

    I’m going into the city tomorrow to meet up with Mayhem, Melbo, the Beards and Morgana. Today’s paper had this list:
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/melbourne/melbournes-10-best-chocolate-shops/story-fnpbvxki-1227285157894?sv=f0a54903b541d69f88755938406ac8b1&utm_source=Herald%20Sun&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial
    I hope to get to at least two of them.

  140. That’s quite a long list Catty. I presume Irma is circling if you plan to sample two of each?

  141. The dear Beards took me to St Kilda yesterday where, by mutual consent, CAEK was consumed in lieu of lunch. Had a lovely time shopping and going “oooh, Luna Park! Oooh, The Espy! Oooh, Abbey Road, where’s Paul McCartney?” etc.

    Ultra-impressed with the ease and convenience of Melbourne transport, too – until we got to Southern Cross to the dire news that the power lines beyond Blackburn (which I can’y hear without mentally adding “singing in the dead of night”) were down and all trains terminated whether we liked it or not. And then it became something out of the Hunger Games – including the vicious people dressed all in black trying to kill each other – when eleventy thousand cranky commuters were funneled out of the train onto the footpath to wait for the connection buses which didn’t seem to come often or empty enough,

    Eventually we walked up the road a bit, where I made the following perfectly reasonable suggestions:
    – I could go to the Muay Thai stables and offer someone a rubdown in exchange for a ride home;
    – Go to the Audi dealership and test-drive our way home;
    – Dine at a bistro we passed called “Bordello” (none of us know why, but surely entrees are called “Foreplay” and desserts are billed as “Happy Endings”?) and wait until Melbourne transport fixed the lines,

    Eventually we hailed a cab and I got to experience Nunawading, which has been a girlhood dream ever since “Blankety Blanks”. Win!

  142. Oh, crap. I hope they’ve fixed the trains for this morning, or I’m not going to make it in.

    • Well, it’s not mentioned on the website so either they have or they are ignoring it.

  143. Check Melbourne Rail on twitter. I always check QR for news of where & when the Bloke is stranded on the gold coast line.
    All of that sounds perfectly lovely, aside from the train-goth-horror-obstruction.

  144. The trains were fine yesterday and Catty and I had a lovely natter all the way back to Ringworm. The weather has been a complete disappointment though – warm and sunny all the time I’ve been here.

  145. How very tedious. Still, if climate change can fix Melbourne’s weather, that’s an unexpected boon, surely?

  146. It did get a bit hot in mid afternoon, especially while we sat on the wrong platform while our train was departing behind us, but we have had some nice rain overnight.

    There was chocolate, fabulous company, and lots of interesting stuff to ogle. Like, chocolate. I almost wet myself with excitement when I saw Haigh’s had several white chocolate items – oh, I hope it’s permanent and not just an Easter aberration.

    Have a safe flight home, Morgana darling. I miss you already.

    • I miss you too! Luckily I’m going to come back. Soon! xxoo

  147. LOL. I’ve done that, quite recently, down at the bus station at South Bank.
    I’m glad to hear that you all had a good time, but hard to imagine you guys all getting together & not having a good time, really. Especially since it is the Festival of Chocolate, after all.

  148. Yes, it was particularly well-timed. Not that there’s anything wrong with the pastries, either. Or Fifi’s cooking.

  149. Mmm….pastries. So, what did you think of Cake Land Street in St Kilda?

  150. Happy Easter!

  151. Wishing you all a day of chocolate, sloth, and indolence.

  152. I was supposed to let everyone know that Q splinched her finger. There was a nasty iPad scrolling incident, I gather. Or possibly iMouse bite. Something techy.

    The cake street was charming, that was the second place we had cake instead of lunch. The dear little French lady asked Greybeard if his cake was OK – it was a new one and she couldn’t taste it herself because she’d given up cake for Lent.

    Which sounds very holy but it’s the first place the BVM disappeared off my phone so the whole shebang might have been a front for the Lord of The Flies

  153. It’s good to be a heathen at Easter, I don’t have to give up anything except all pretence of civility to my god-fearing neighbours.

    The holiday is getting tedious due to the sliced finger tip. I made the foolish decisions to unpack the dishwasher in semi-darkness, sans glasses, to make myself a cup of tea yesterday am. I reached past a pot & pressed down on the concealed wide edge of the cheese grater.
    Good thing I’m not a Catholic as after hopping around cursing at the spurting blood & wondering if I needed a stitch (not worth dying of staph in the nearby hospital) I wouldn’t have been fit for handling rosary beads afterwards.

    I’ve recovered enough to hit the K & the I keys, now. Not on the ipad, though, the Bloke has commandeered it as the touch screen is not responsive to water proof bandaids.
    How’s your vegetable peeler injuries, Catty? I assume you’ve been cursing your digital limitations, too.

  154. I’m just applauding myself for lazing back and leaving most of the cooking to my ‘Rents – although I’m making pumpkin soup this morning. Wish me luck!

  155. Yes, I’ve been cursing. It’s complicated. I’ll tell you all what happened at Q’s Secret Squirrel Site.

  156. Oooh, ok. See you over there.

  157. I can’t stop scratching since I read Catty’s louse-infested tale of woe.
    Ugh, ugh, ugh.

  158. I’m going to suggest Catty as a Saint. We all know her fudge is a kitchen miracle.

  159. All credit to Our Lady Of The Kitchen. I am merely a tool. Stop laughing.

  160. Maybe “instrument” would work better in this context?

  161. Thermo-minx.

  162. Q wins the internet. I’m going to grate a finger for extra inspiration.

  163. I’ll send the yippy rat dog over the road by express post so you have the full benefit of my *creative* environment.

  164. Does it scritch?

  165. Can you send something a bit less edible? Oh, and don’t even THINK about putting Mummy Cuddles on the train.

  166. I have an uncle who could send them by train for you. He does very well with cats.

  167. Mmmmmrow!

  168. Speaking of death & disaster, someone needs to explain GB’s ramblings about death on the tram.
    I gather one of you lost a great-uncle on the St Kilda line.

  169. Great-Uncle Morrie! No actual relation, he was a “confirmed bachelor” and professional window dresser and close family friend. I have his signet ring that he left to Grandma.

    In other exciting family news I found out that not only is there a professional house-breaker (our convict) but all 3 of Grandma’s brothers had shotgun weddings. Yes, we come from a long line of fecund fornicators.

  170. I found out in Queensland that my Grandma was a widow when she married Grandad. Her first husband was an All Black. Oh, how I wish Grandma was still alive – I’d love to hear all the details. Well, maybe not ‘all’ the details. The bits leading up to them having a daughter could probably be skipped over.

  171. My paternal grandmother had a shotgun wedding, too.
    She’d have done far better to have shot her husband.
    It would have saved a lot of people a lot of misery.

  172. How aggravating men are is the real reason we have gun control.

  173. That, and neighbours.

  174. Speaking of neighbours, did I tell you about the woman next door?

    3 months ago she was whining to me about why couldn’t she find a man to look after her financially. I said, “You know what’s even better? Making your own money and spending it however you damn well want” then kept walking.

    Well, after – it seems, to casual observers – knowing some random bloke with SA plates for 3-4 weeks now he’s moved in and they are engaged!

    TGP’s response: “She wants him to get her pregnant so when she has a baby he’ll be too guilty to leave.”

    Out of the mouths of babes.

  175. I dunno about that, if he has SA plates I’d be checking to see if he’s got the names of 6 little Adelaidian children tattooed across his chest & his forearms.

    • I DO want to check – but will they be offspring or victims, do you think?

  176. Women like that really let the side down.

    • I know. And she spends far too much time on her nails, tan and makeup. Doubly disappointing.

  177. Well, not all of you can have neighbours like NTO.

  178. Huzzah!

    Catty, will you lead the conga line or do you wish to sub in the Wildebeest?

  179. I think NTO has enlisted him to run the orbital sander on the western front. Unless she’s managed to clone herself utilising a combination of crumpets & Keen’s curry powder.
    I couldn’t figure out why I could hear the sander & she wasn’t operating it, till the sander stopped & one of her strapping young OS lads popped up to converse with her. He wandered off (not to his flat or his car) and the sander started again.
    Do you suppose she’s got them doing shifts with the orbital sander if they get behind in their rent?

  180. Sorry, Madam, I’m in no fit state to conga. The Migraine Faerie has come to visit and I am about to snuggle up in bed with a fistful of pills. If the Wildebeest is busy, I’m sure Alfonse would be happy to fill in for me. Do you still have the keys to his shackles?

    You are probably right about the OS student working off his debt, Q. Unless NTO found the shackle keys and has stolen Alfonse from Morgana’s shed.

  181. Oh dear, I’d forgotten all about Alfonse. That explains the smell. And the cockroaches.

  182. Double yucky, Catty, and double on the GWS. Someone really needs to mortein the migraine fairy.
    Keep an ear open for the postie while you are recovering on the sofa. I will go into shock if your Easter parcel arrives today but according to Australia Post tracking, its on it’s way. So if it doesn’t show up today, then I would think, tomorrow.

  183. Oooh, that sounds exciting! I just finished the last of my Easter chocolate, and have started ogling the kidlets’ baskets.

    The migraine has subsided a lot. Just as well, as I have to make a start on all the holiday chores I haven’t started yet. Ugh. Why is my house such a piggery? Don’t answer that.

  184. Well let’s hope it’s subsided a whole lot more since then, Catty.
    I considered making a start on the chores I should have done over Easter & then I banged my finger while I was stacking the dishwasher, had flashbacks to the cheese-grater incident, and I settled on the sofa with a book.
    It is really much safer to live in a sty.
    Good news, the painter has painted our front retaining wall so that it matches the house. He was astonished to hear Scritching sounds from next door & to learn that NTO & NTBF are still at it. The painters were here in September & it’s now April. He can’t believe how little progress they’ve made & what a half-arsed sh*t job they’ve done of the bit that they have finished.
    I do love hearing their disparaging comments on her handiwork & it’s just unfortunate that she didn’t get to overhear it. (She was running the Orbital Scritcher at the time).
    Here’s hoping your parcel makes it out of captivity and through your front door tomorrow, Catty.

  185. The Stupid Migraine punched me hard in the face at about lunch time. I managed to bribe the kidlets into doing housework by promising Macca’s for dinner, and I managed to do a couple of things myself, but the house still looks like a bomb went off in here.

    Tomorrow I shall deal with the mess by going out grocery shopping.

    By the weekend, the Boss will be back from his away trip, and any attempt at cleaning or tidying will be an exercise in futility. *sigh*

  186. All cleaning is an exercise in futility.
    Unless you’re cleaning up the blood stains from murdering the pigs that make all the mess in the first place. Then you’ve got some hope of getting ahead.

  187. I can’t stand housework, flat out refuse to do most of it, and have nothing to contribute.

    Tell me more about sloth murder, though, Q …

  188. Mmmmm…. bacon….

  189. Right now I have a pressing need to dispatch a newborn banshee.
    I am unsure if I should call the EPA or an exorcist.

  190. Either would be a kinder fate than NTO is planning for it.

  191. I’m accustomed to the mothers around here prowling around at all hours with their screaming infants, taking smug satisfaction in the knowledge that everyone around them is as sleep-deprived & cranky as they are.
    Why you’d take a newborn infant into that manky disgusting overcrowded boarding house, with that manic lunatic scritching up flakes of lead & asbestos all the live-long day, is beyond me.
    The Derp is strong in this one.

  192. Well, they are probably financially stuck. I mean, is Mr Bike Rage an investment banker? And we know how overpriced Bog Hollow is. They’re unlikely to be able to afford to move within the next 5 years – at which time, huzzah, they’re in the State High catchment.

    They’re not going anywhere.

  193. Judging from how much money they’ve spent on baby fashions, furniture and accessories, and that he seems to have a thriving business selling racing bikes on gumtree, I don’t think finance is the issue. The main agenda of her bicycle rage outbursts was that he is controlling over finance & wouldn’t let her run the AC all day. As she’s clinically insane (and Asian) I’d say that the pregnancy was her way of getting the upper hand in that argument.
    As she’s wearing out a hole in the pavement in the front of my house, I’d say she’s counting on me making a complaint to council that NTO has exceeded the occupancy laws in their flat, thus ensuring that they get thrown out.
    I’m quite sure that NTO and her other tenants will be way ahead of me in the queue to throw them out so I will whine about the behaviour & let the herd sort it out.

  194. * whine to my friends, that is. council won’t give a damn about the occupancy in there – I tried that one a few years ago when Trailer Trash Tracy was turning tricks in there & screaming at her boyfriend for eating all the lentils she was saving for her toddler son’s dinner. Council said there’s nothing they can do about overcrowding in boarding houses as the tenants & the owners conspire & lie, so it’s not until they’re picking the charred skeletons out of the ruins in places like Childers that they’ve got any hope of prosecuting the slum lord.

  195. I hope they don’t have a Bog Hollow Inferno. I wouldn’t like to think of your nice new paint being blistered.

  196. I’ve given up hoping for Wok Inferno at Bog Hollow. I’d say our last and best chance of that faded when Aisling and her curling iron moved on to greener beer.

  197. I wonder what ever happened to Aisling? Let’s just hope she wasn’t last seen hitch hiking past Belanglo State Forest.

  198. Well, as it’s Saturday morning & Consistency Thy Name is Woman, I’d say she’s lying in a pool of her own vomit on a damp mattress that reeks of testosterone-flavoured urine & cheese-burger crust pizza.

  199. Dear Aisling. Compared to NTO and the Bike Rage Family she was a breath of fresh air.

    Well, she must have smelled like a Combi van after a very wet Blues Fest, but you know, metaphorically.

  200. Bicycle Rage Baby & his/her parents have disappeared, so perhaps it’s back in hospital with a perforated ear drum.
    I’ve told you about the car that has the recurring car alarm issues between 4-5am? I got enough sleep last night to warrant getting up to investigate this morning.
    It’s some grubby little P-plater that pulls in (DOOF DOOF DOOF) and waits (i.e. hand on horn a few times) for some equally grubby little Emo kid to come out of the flats, presumably as they car pool to get to work.
    Emo Kid takes at least 15 minutes to get out of the flat (AKA: bed) and into the car. His driver has isshews because if he stays in his car, it sets automatically to the car alarm & his movements within the car (nut scratching, nose picking, texts of Hurry the Fuck Up Jaydn) set the car alarm off.
    So he has to do a complicated dance routine with the remote locker (Bird Noise Bird Noise Bird Noise) every 2 minutes to prevent the alarm going off. Frequently that fails, so the alarm goes off, the remote chirrups, nothing happens, and he has to get in & out & start/stop the engine (and the stereo: DOOF DOOF DOOF) to restore silence.
    I’m not sure if the source of this pestilence comes from Bog Hollow 1 or Bog Hollow 2, but as Car Alarm Kid parks in front of NTO’s driveway/bins/bedroom windows, I do hope she’s enjoying it.
    The Bicycle Rage family have their rooms right above NTO’s so no doubt that 15 minutes of entertainment is just what the sleepless parents of a newborn want to start their busy day.
    I suspect the squalling baby may be causing tensions to arise between the tenants, too.
    Tinky Winky’s boyfriend normally speaks very loudly on his mobile (ear piece, he’s a total tool) in their flat. Since Baby Bike Rage came home, he’s taken to pacing on the footpath shouting at his enemies. I turned all the lights on last night & went out to stare at him until he figured out I wasn’t enjoying his conversation floating up my driveway, and eventually he moved on.
    I heard enough to work out that he works as a Chugger for one of those very righteous in-your-face Give Us Your MasterCard details type Save the Planet funds. In the course of the conversation he was arguing about how it’s impossible to get ahead working for commission and he shouted ‘I’m not working for fucking CHARITY, Jason.’
    heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
    Stupid pommy git.

  201. Hehehe. Nice use of prepositions, TW’sB.

    One of my facebook friends was a chugger and it does suck, as you might imagine. Not only do you have to sign them up they have to STAY signed up or you don’t get a cent.

    They should follow the Dodo into early retirement. Who ever put on pants to go to the shops thinking, “Geez, wouldn’t it be tops if I was waylaid by a chugger or two while I’m out?”

    • Well you don’t put on pants to go to the mall at all, so I don’t know what this says about your attitude to relations with chuggers.

  202. Oooh, sounds like fun! Except for the putting pants on bit. That’s getting tiresome.

    I tried the “I don’t speak enough English to even tell you I don’t speak English” as I scurried past a door-blocking collection point the other day. Stupid Pommy Git followed me to my car, trying to ask me what country I was from, and what language I spoke. I don’t think I’ll try that one again.

  203. Klingon, Catty. You need to master some homicidal threats in Klingon. I’m sure they’ve got an app that can translate that & think of the looks on their faces when they figure it out.

  204. Or Auslan. Most people are capable of interpreting “smurf off” in sign language.

  205. Sign language. If only I’d remembered the Bogan Salute (bras d’honneurs) when the neighbours’ kids offered us that refreshing glass of lemonade yesterday.

  206. One little finger, so many shades of annoyance.

  207. The Middle Kidlet has had a 3D version of his hand, raised in a double-finger salute, printed up by Hardly Normal. It saves a lot of unnecessary articulation.

  208. Magic Eye, or do you mean in plastic? Either way I could go one of those.

  209. The 3D printer plastic variety. It was a nightmare getting the thing. Twice they called me to tell me it was ready, and both times it wasn’t. 10 times they told me in store to come back in x number of days, which I did, only to find they’d lied. All up, it took 13 visits over two months before I walked out with the hand. As would be expected, I walked out without paying, and with a profuse apology from the section manager. Sometimes it pays to be nice, but when that fails (after 12 attempts), being a bitch gets you stuff for free.

  210. Oh. I’m less enthused about it after that tale of woe, but still, way to go, Catty!

  211. The wax hand sculpture carnies at the markets are the way to go.
    I must track them down & get a quote for the Bogan Salute, including both arms & fist clenched. I’m sure if I got one of those in rainbow-hippy colours & stuck it out front on the lawn it would cover all bases to get through to the hippy ferals around here.
    We’re off to a good start here at Casa Q.
    Car Alarm freak pulled in at 4.09am & left half an hour later without his car alarm going off once. Genius!
    Of course we had the chirruping of his remote every three minutes but perhaps that doubles as a timer for his car pool buddy snoozing in the flats.
    i.e. Snooze button x 3 (apply horn, send text ‘get your lazy arse out of bed Jaydn!!!!!)
    * Shower x 3 minutes
    * hunt for socks x 3 minutes
    * hunt for other sock x 3 minutes
    * Fail. Feel depressed about life till the car horn toots again & inspiration strikes ‘Wear Sandals’
    Next Chirrup:
    * cook a perfectly done 3 minute egg, burn toast, saunter out of house yelling ‘Chill out dude, I’m like a minute late.’

  212. We have an alarm clock neighbour across the road. He drives a rather noisy tow truck, http://www.eagletowing.com.au/ which he starts at You Must Be Joking:am, then allows to idle for 15 minutes before driving off. It annoyed the crap out of me for the first six months, but now I’m used to it. Apart from that, and their overflowing bins that the local crows like to disembowel every Monday morning, they’re invisible neighbours. So I can’t complain.

    Well, I can, but only because I enjoy it so much.

    Now, let’s all gather together and wake Quokka up with a rousing rendition of the Birthday Song:

    HIPPO BIRDIE TWO EWE,
    HIPPO BIRDIE TWO EWE,
    HIPPO BIRDIE DEER EWE,
    HIPPO BIRDIE TWO EWE!

    HIP HIP –
    REPLACEMENT!
    HIP HIP –
    REPLACEMENT!
    HIP HIP –
    REPLACEMENT!

    Loves you, Quokka. xxxooo

  213. Aw Thanks Catty. I could use some spare parts – perhaps you could nip down to St Kilda beach & see if anything good drifts in on the tide?

  214. Funny you should mention bionic hips. As much as I lurve … did I mention I’m sleeping through the night now it’s a bit chilly, I’m more excited about that the I was when the kids did it as babies … winter, I’m felling a bit creaky as I stroll the pup down the front at dawn.

    Still, can’t have everything. Hippo Birdie, Q! xxxooo

  215. Thanks, MM.
    You younguns have much to look forward to.
    Catty darling your box arrived, special delivery by the postie, so perhaps the ganja bus driver has had a nervous breakdown/been arrested for DUI/is holidaying in Rwanda with equally traumatised members of his extended family/has pulled a sickie so he can smoke a lot of weed and take the kids to see the latest incarnation of Cinderella.
    I’m trying to work out what cocktail of OTC medication and alcohol would make that film bearable but I’m sure you motherly types would know the answer to that better than me. I looked at the trailer yesterday wondering if it would act as a suitable escape tour from the horrors of black paint but was so appalled at seeing Helena Bonham Carter looking blonde & benevolent that it scared me right back into my cave.
    Mwah. I love youse all, so thank you for helping an old woman over the crest of the hill. Enjoy your joints, I guarantee you that three years from now you’ll be right behind me in the queue for mobility scooters, whining about *dentists.
    (More on that later. When I’ve restocked on dog biscuits)

  216. We haven’t seen Frozen, the only Disney we have any truck with is Pirates. Thank smurf for giving me boys!

    Speaking of joints, coconut vs fish oil – thoughts?

  217. As if anyone needs an excuse to watch Jonny Depp. Although I’m guessing the CCTV monitors in rehab may render him less endearing than Disney.
    Coconut oil has to be one of the most ridiculous food fads I’ve tripped over in the last few years. My $.02 worth? whoever thought it up would have done humanity a favour if they’d injected luke warm copha directly into their veins in lieu of disseminating so much dangerous misinformation.
    I think most nutritionists would agree with me that this would serve a fine example of the true fait that awaits the coconut oil cult following.
    It’s saturated fat. Like any of us in the Western World need more saturated fat.
    Stick to fish oil, or flax-seed oil if you don’t tolerate sea creatures terribly well. Fish oil is better absorbed but those of us with seafood allergies (cough that would be me) can’t pick and choose.
    Like anything else, eaten in moderation it’s not going to do a great deal of harm. Eaten in Snickerdoodles it is a genius-level taste sensation & worth a few extra bits of plaque build-up on your arteries just for the pleasure they give.
    But yeah.
    Fads.
    There was an article on how nonsensical food fads are – I think it was maybe Susan Maushart, I know I’m still lolling at her description of Quinoa as ‘hipster fairy dust’.
    There was a much better article in the news recently that was a study on what healthy people eat & why they don’t gain weight or have health problems. And it was what the purist hippies that trained me have been saying all along – there are no wonder foods, you just need to follow the food pyramid, eat a diet high in real food & low in processed food & everything functions just swimmingly.

    Said by she who just devoured a packet of cheezels after having bakery crap for breakfast.
    What can I say, I was stressed by the Painter & the dentist & by the time I got to Woollies & encountered the children playing bull-rush in the candy aisle, I’d reached junk food tipping point.
    i.e. That point where there is no point salvaging any nutritional benefit for any remaining hour of the day.

  218. Yes, we must all eat something from all four food groups every day. Alcoholic beverages, salty deep fried stuff, prescription medications, and the most important food group, chocolate coated anything.

  219. I’m assuming that ‘salty deep-fried stuff’ includes the 5th major food group of ‘batter’ otherwise people would forget to eat Donuts, Catty.

  220. Yes, thanks. I thought it was ridiculous too, but wanted the official Hogwart’s view. As part of his “modified paleo” father drinks two tablespoons of the stiff per day. Ridiculous!

    Speaking of donuts the boss bought a boxful of the most divine creations ever experienced in to work yesterday. The Big Top reno seems to have included some sort of artisan donut shop. So light, so yeasty, so crispy!

  221. Stuff. But I stand by “stiff” in this context.

  222. Well, that’s my view and it’s old-fashioned. There is a core group of old hippies in my group that were taught, if you want to be healthy then don’t eat anything out of a packet/anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise.
    Or don’t eat much of it, anyway.
    There’s plenty of Hogwarts graduates who have eating disorders & are happy to support the latest craze in food fads, and will rake in the cash as they fan the flames of OCD & dysfunction in others. There’s always money to be made peddling The Magic Bullet.
    There’s usually some merit to whatever the latest superfood is, but there’s usually a cheap alternative that’s equally nutritious & simply lacks the glamour.
    Oats, polenta & brown rice will never get the magic title of Hipster Fairy Dust because they are mass-produced & readily available.
    That was one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy giving nutritional advice.
    People go to naturopaths wanting Hipster Fairy Dust when really, what they need is therapy to address their eating disorders and their inability to stand apart from the lemming herd.

  223. Oats are now available on McDonald’s breakfast menu. It is now officially a junk food.

    Suddenly I am craving porridge.

  224. I think by law they are now required to serve actual food, Catty.
    And yes, I too looked soulfully at the brown sugar this morning thinking it is almost chilly enough to justify cooking oats.

  225. Oh yum, I love porridge. Shame I’ve started skipping breakfast. Wouldn’t it make a lovely cheap nourishing dinner, though?

    If I serve it with bacon the children won’t complain.

  226. Mine would. But then, my lot would complain if their bums were on fire.

  227. You spoil those children, Catty. I let my father cook for them from time to time, so they always RAVE about my cooking.

  228. All this talk of food reminds me that I want bacon.

  229. Don’t we always?

  230. Mmm … bacon. Have a double serve, Q. Surely it’s past time to let yourself go?

  231. The Bloke would argue that I crossed that bridge a decade ago.
    Why he’s still alive is a matter of good fortune on his part that I still have the capacity to understand that I’d be living under a bridge if I get busted for culpable homicide.

  232. Why waste good homicidal rage? You have a neighbour that the world could do without. Make that several neighbours.

  233. Homicide is time consuming, Catty, and I might chip a nail.
    My preference is for them to kill each other while I view the spectacle from my balcony, cocktail in hand, shouting encouragement. Such as ‘WANNA LEMONADE?!!!!!!’

  234. Get Doofus up there. He sounds like the kind of guy who would yell “show us yer tits!”. Actually, no. They might.

  235. Doofus has a far more impressive rack than any of the ferals here in Freak Street. I suspect that’s the real reason he’s 90 minutes late for work every day. Sure he blames the traffic, but I think he’s spent an hour in the bathroom naked, fondling them while he admires His Girls in the mirror.

  236. Ugg. Moobs.

  237. Happy news MM, I just heard the BOM guy say ‘Rain’.
    Even better, he said it in the same sentence as ‘Sunday’ and as that’s business hours for the lemonade stand, I’m thinking we’re in for a nice, quiet day, where the screams stay indoors.
    Excellent.

  238. Not such good news for those of us called to Bacon, but I do love a slothful rainy Saturday.

  239. The forecast says it won’t set in till the afternoon. Perhaps as its the end of school holidays there’ll be a rush to feed the zoo before the long haul back to Brisbane & you’ll be sold out of eggs, pork & buns by half ten in the morning.

  240. From your iPad to God’s ears. Hmm, it seems unlikely that God is in charge of bacon and egg rolls. Bacchus, perhaps … Pan?

  241. Hehehe. Non-prophet organisation.

  242. https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=347
    Sunday is the feast day of St. Expeditus.
    You could pray to him for everyone to wake early, eat quickly and frock off.

  243. Against procrastination!

    Shame he’s a fake, I could really use his intercession.

  244. I’d pray to him anyway, I’m sure the unofficial saints are all allied with pagan forces & that lot are far more likely to listen to the likes of you & I.
    I looked at the forecast last night & it said 50% chance of rain, 0-1ml.
    Don’t you love statistics?
    There is half a chance that the windscreen might get wet if we venture outdoors.

  245. Leave your umbrella at home. It won’t rain if you have an umbrella.

  246. It’s already poured up here before dawn so get smurfed, BoM.

  247. The Middle Kidlet has just announced her bestie is coming over for dinner/sleepover, and tonight the Boss isn’t out drinking. Oh, Joy! An entire evening of reminding the Boss to wear pants.

  248. When he’s five sheets to the wind put him in your pants, Catty.
    That’ll scare the life out of your visitor so that she knows better than to ask to come back.
    Surely you’ve got something leftover from your days as a hippy/musician/resident of FNQ that would suit?
    https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/181968734/purple-harem-pants-women-yoga-pants?ref=market

  249. The only possible use I can see for those pants would be shoplifting – or one of those unfortunate cases of extreme testicular elephantiasis.

  250. Hehehe.
    That explains why so many of the hippies around here wear them to Coals.

  251. I once had a pair similar to these:
    http://www.hippyclothingco.co.uk/products/striped-harem-trousers#.VTLUKEbOWHs
    but the Indian silk gave out after regrettably few washes. Pity. The Boss would have looked real purty in them.

  252. Rainbow hippy clown pants. That almost makes us sisters, Catty – I had the one piece swimsuit that matched.
    So, how frightened was the child by the time she departed, Catty?

  253. Indian silk must get tired by the trip over here, I think. I bought a few pieces that fell apart too quickly until I got wise to their caper.

  254. She was making some very strange noises when she left. But I’m not sure if that was from emotional distress, or because she’s a 13 year old girl. I can’t blame the Boss, as he abstained from both alcohol and wandering around the house without pants. Bless him.

  255. Children do make strange noises. We go from trying to interpret their cries, to trying to interpret their language patterns.

    I keep having to remind myself that cool is now dank. Except for things which are cool but NOT dank, and of course things which are neither.

  256. Really? This could work to NTO’s advantage in future listings of her flats.
    ‘Dark, dank flat, suits hipster wishing to cultivate sinusy drawl.’

  257. My lot use ‘math’, which they stole from Adventure Time. I may just start using ‘dank’ to confuse them.

  258. Yeah, go with dank, Catty. It’s totally cool.

    When do they say “math” in AT? Oh, don’t worry. They probably say it all the time but my numerically averse brain just blocks it out.

  259. Finn constantly calls things ‘Math’, or ‘Mathematical!’ if they’re really awesome. Marceline still uses ‘Rad’, but then, she is 1000 years old.

  260. I think it’s just easy to tune out to children’s television, MM. When there were small people roaming around Casa Q I was so busy cooking & cleaning & organising bath time that I couldn’t recall a character or a story line from anything they watched after school on the ABC kids hour.

  261. Bring back Bill and Ben. “Weeeeed!”

  262. I’m sure there’s no shortage of that down there.

  263. Down where? At the ABC? Why doesn’t that surprise me?

  264. No, too many budget cuts at the ABC. Only the “Gardening Australia” crew can afford weed. They grow their own in Costa’s beard.

  265. I often wonder about that beard. Does Jetstar make him book an extra seat for it?

  266. I think it counts as an unrestrained animal & they make him keep it company in the live cargo.

  267. I saw them fumigating it, at Tullamarine.

  268. Tullamarine has tick gates?

  269. Yeah up in the Jetstar bit/ I think it’s a re-purposed Chemist’s Warehouse.

  270. In that case, maybe they weren’t fumigating, but vacuuming out the Weed.

  271. Weeeeeeeeeeed!

  272. I heard that if you cut off Costa’s beard and plant it, you can grow a whole new Costa.

  273. Really?

    I bet you need a hellava lot of rooting powder. Because, I’d personally need an awful lot of powder before rooting Costa.

  274. Flea powder, I would think.

  275. I was thinking Columbian Marching – but yeah, that too.

  276. He probably has a bottle of each stored away in there.

  277. On less Costa related news, I’m going to see Q and the Beards tomorrow – huzzah!

    Catty, how many squeals of delight and hugs would you like me administer to each on your behalf?

    • Add my squeal of delight to yours. I just posted pix to twitter of the rum-sucking raisins that I shall add to the cheesecake tomorrow am.

      >

  278. Convey many squee’s, please Madam. And while you are doing that, I shall be sobbing with jealousy in the sulking corner.

  279. BTW, those macadamias we bought in the Gog/Magog arcade?

    I didn’t share them with anyone and I regret nothing. Well, I regret that they’re all gone, but other than that …

  280. If they meant us to share those macadamias, they would have put more in the bag. Like they did with M&M’s…. oh, who am I kidding? I don’t share those either.

  281. Macadamias? I am all for enhancing macadamias so that they are extra delicious. Do tell me more.

  282. They were roasted to precision and then gently enrobed in couverture chocolate then dusted with icing sugar.

    I assume the icing sugar was to soak up the excess drool that tendsto pool when you have one in your hand, about to devour it.

  283. Impressive restraint, Madam. Mine never stay in my hand long enough for anything to pool. They barely stay in my hand long enough to get any icing sugar on my fingers.

  284. Did I tell you that we went to Milany gelato last Sunday? We shared one of their Carbonaras – Catty that’s the hazelnut gelato put through the mincer so it resembles spaghetti, drizzled in chocolate & caramel fudge sauce & layered with toasted nuts & sugar-glazed macadamias.
    I don’t know where they get those macadamias but it’s almost like a toffee coating…nom nom nom!

  285. I’m so jealous, I think I’m going to cry. Can you post me some? Please? *sob*

  286. Some delightful friend once gave me a box of macadamias that had been dipped in toffee prior to their chocolate dunking.

    They were fabulous, but soon disappeared from the shelves.

    Why?!

  287. The people stacking the shelves probably take them all home & eat them before the punters can arrive to stack them. I met one of the chocalatiers in that sweet shop in the Myer centre & she said she & the other girls are all hooked on the Tunnocks tea cakes so they have to order extra for the staff to take home.
    And Catty, it’s funny you should say that as when we were in Milany I did consider sending you a freezer bag full of the stuff. The gelato spagheti melts very quickly in summer so you do have to gobble awfully quickly.
    If you had an old fashioned mince grinder you could DIY, though, with the Hersheys fudge sauce. It takes two of the little girls behind the counter to push the gelato through the mincer & it is part of the fun watching them giggle & shove the damned thing around.

  288. Eat, not stack.
    Plainly there was far too much rum sucked up into those raisins I dumped in the cheesecake.

  289. Oh, you lost me at Hershey’s fudge sauce. Hershey’s chocolate is on my Bleargh list, so I don’t think I’d enjoy the sauce very much. The gelato, however, sounds magnificent. I think I do have a mincer hidden away in one of my many boxes of hoarded crap. If I ever find it, I’m going to try that out.

  290. Mmm … chocolate mince. I’m going to have Q’s cheesecake for breakfast. Too much rum for the poor children. What a shame. Looks like “pirate” is off the careers list, also.

  291. I was hoping for a dentist, a chef, a plumber and a lawyer. Looks like I’m going to get a vet, a games designer, a scientist and a dole bludger. Somehow I doubt my future nursing home aspirations will be fulfilled.

  292. Oh, I don’t know. Games designer and scientist may well come up trumps.

    And if your dole bludger should slip and fall somewhere lucrative … Woolies, for example …

  293. A friend of my in-laws tried to sue Woollies after she slipped on a grape in the fruit & veg dept. She lost. Apparently they have OH&S certification, showing that the fruit & veg dept has all the safety measures required to prevent accidents that WorkSafe consider to be feasible. I.e, there are small non-slip mats (possibly old car mats) in front of the refrigerated produce shelves at the side. As that is where the grapes were displayed, Woollies had legally met their safety obligations. And, apparently, it is infeasible for a grape to roll past the mats. In short, Woollies lawyers were better than hers.

  294. I don’t like anyone’s chances of sueing woollies & winning. What you could do, though, is sue the parents of the children playing Bull-rush in the cat food aisle, when they push you into the tins of meaty bites.

  295. If you want to sue rich parents, you really should consider that house on Wallaby’s Knob or wherever it was. Then you could lie behind an AWD BMW conveniently close to home.

  296. I don’t want think I’d like to sue rich people. They’re lawyers would just argue that my joints were crapped out before the fall & they’d have done me a favour by finishing me off.
    Gosh it’s lovely to have those disgusting summer days gone but OMG, my joints when I stumbled out of bed this morning.
    Time to get into the arthritis remedies, methinks.

  297. I was tempted to do something similar when we wanted to replace the Kia. But knowing my luck I would die under the wheels and there would be no witnesses when the BMW owner let her pet rottweiler eat the evidence.

  298. Mmm … evidence.

    Q, I will not hear a word said against this weather. Flannelette sheets! Hot chocolate!! Snuggles!!!

    If it could be Autumn all year round I’d be a happy weasel.

  299. It is glorious. And the cats are being very cute.

  300. Aren’t they? So full of love in the colder weather, bless their craven comfort-loving souls.

  301. It was 18C in the kitchen this morning, and Miss Kitteh jumped up on the kitchen bench, shook, and delivered up a veritable snow storm of white fur.
    What kind of ridiculous cat sheds on a cold day in autumn?

  302. She might have just had her dander up.

  303. I thought it was the boy cats that got their danders up?

  304. I had a joke about old fellas and peacocks all lined up … but then I decided it was not suitable for this timeslot.

  305. Rightly so. It’s too early, I wouldn’t have got it.

  306. I wonder if someone could debark a peacock for me? They really are lovely birds, but the screaming gets you down.

  307. There’s too much screaming with geese, too. Usually from me, when they attack my groin – which they invariably do. Ducks are better. They attack my ankles, so it’s not as hard to kick the little bastards.

  308. Geese tried to gang-bang me once down the Uni lakes.

    Perhaps they knew how much i love pate?

  309. It doesn’t get fresher than biting it straight out of the goose.

    • I hope you know how much I love YOU right now, Catty.

  310. I remember running from the geese at the local riding school where I spent my weekends as a wee lassie. They were fearsome beasts.
    I was tempted to get a pair in our early days at Casa Q, when I had such trouble persuading the residents of Bog Hollow & the local free-range children to remain on the other side of our 6″ timber fence. The Bloke refused to agree to it, preferring to watch me go slowly mad & crack my molars by grinding my teeth in frustration, instead.
    Now that he has to pay for repairs to those molars & he has to live with my lack of sanity, I hope he’s realising he should’ve just let me have the geese.

  311. OMG, you went to Miss Whatshername’s up Settlement Road?

    So did I, but I never was chased by a goose.

  312. I spent one day of every weekend up there, ‘working’. Which meant that Dad waved wads of cash at Hilary to keep me out of his hair so he could sleep all day. An activity that was widely frowned upon by the neighbours & my mother’s family, who failed utterly to comprehend the kind of night terrors one might suffer after 5 years getting shot at by German aircraft intent on blowing you out of the sky in WW2.

  313. So few of those blokes survived. That in itself would have been terrifying, without the shooting etc.

  314. I read somewhere that there are more WWI Australian flying masks in Germany than there are in Australia, thanks to German soldiers keeping them as souvenirs. War is a horrible thing. Why do governments still keep thinking it’s a good idea?

    Answer: men. One of JB’s Burgers once told me that war is necessary, because without war, half of the world’s economies would flatline. I would argue that without idiots like that particular Burger, the world’s economies would probably do very nicely, thank you.

  315. I do have to agree. Shall we make the yurts women-only? I’ll need some sort of hormonal exemption from time to time …

  316. Arms production, slavery, drugs & prostitution do tend to make the world’s economy go around.
    Which is probably the reason why my head spins the way it does when I hear some of the news that flows through.
    What a day.
    Oh well.
    I had a friend come over for hippy soup & cake today, so that was a pleasant distraction from the sounds of roofers hurling colourbond into people’s garden beds. Our builder is coming around to quote for that on Friday – not sure if he’s seen the weather forecast but as they’re predicting up to 300ml from Thursday-Sat, I can’t see the wisdom in choosing Friday to crawl around on a roof.
    Oh well.
    Hey, happy news – I saw the GP today (nothing exciting, every 2 years my referral to my skin doctor expires) and I had a good whine about the aches and pains in my feet & my hips. He can’t find anything wrong with the joints & says there is no arthritis in there anywhere. Which means my osteo is right & it must be the ligaments creaking from declining levels of oestrogen. So it’s time to hit the Black Cohosh & after that I’m setting off fireworks.
    It’s hormonal & it’s fixable.
    Huzzah!
    Dear D’Orth, he just looked at me & said ‘You’re just getting old, Q.’ and grinned that evil satisfied grin of his.

    He had the usual student doctor in for work experience so he asked me to tell the newbie all my problems. I don’t have any problems so I showed him my scars & whined about my aches & pains. Of course they wanted me to remove my shoes & socks for a better examination of my aching feet.
    ‘This won’t be pleasant,’ I warned them. ‘I’ve been vaccuming in these socks. Stand back.’
    D’Orth then asked me about my vacuum as his sucks. Well that is kind of inappropriate. His vacuums never last longer than a year. I told him I have a wonderful vacuum & it’s made the world of difference to my asthma.
    ‘Oh good, what is it?’
    ‘I have a Dyson Animal,’ I announced, sounding smug.
    Mirth erupted.
    Why is that so funny?
    http://www.thegoodguys.com.au/dyson-dc54-animal-barrel-vacuum-65027-01
    It is what it is. Hopefully he’ll buy one as he has fluffy cats too & it truly is the goods.
    He was still disappointed that I didn’t have anything interesting to offer the student doctor so he said ‘Is that all? What else have you got?’
    So I got them to check the bridge of my nose in case there’s a skin cancer there, as there often is, and if there is a BCC or an SCC I don’t want to wait 3 months to see the skin doctor.
    The junior found an odd area on the bridge of my nose so D’Orth got him to describe it using all the technical terms, before he switched on the magnifying light & announced the offending mark on the ridge of my nose was an indentation from my spectacles.
    So D’Orth diagnosed Spectacle Trauma, and pointed to the heavy book I’d lugged in with me so I didn’t have to read about the royal baby or the bulimia on Home & Away, and gave the ‘Q is a nerd’ wink to his young apprentice.

    Those poor student doctors. D’Orth always sets them up to try to find something wrong with me, & inevitably he shoos me out the door saying ‘You’re a picture of health, go away.’

    Heh heh heh. Nerd Girl has Spectacle Trauma.
    That poor child, they just don’t prepare them for creatures like me in the labs at UQ.

  317. Hmm … my right hip has been giving me curry lately. Maybe I should hit the black cohosh, too. And chaste tree, do you think?

    • If the hip pain is recent I’d look at what you’ve been doing – haven’t you been going to pilates classes?
      You might be doing some of the exercises the wrong way & it might need correcting in class &, if it’s bad enough, by the osteopath.
      My hips are the way they are from 20+ years of walking off balance on a nerve damaged foot that rotates to compensate for the loss of feeling. It’s been a constant struggle with yoga stretches, massage therapists & the osteo to untangle the mess that results as my joints & spine go off-balance to compensate. I expect to get osteo in that joint prematurely just because of all that extra grating.
      Those of you that are better-balanced individuals should, you’d hope, have an easier time of it fixing such things.
      Talk to your pilates instructor.
      I’ve found that sore hips are often the result of badly done lunges and twists where you load your weight in an area that’s putting pressure on the joint rather than stretching & strengthening muscles & ligaments as the teacher intended.

  318. Plus some evening primrose, to calm the rage. And bicarb to calm the stomach, after the evening primrose cramps start. Then iodine to settle the hormonal thyroid hiccups, magnesium for heart cramps, iron/calcium/vitamin D for bone strength, paracetamol for the arthritic pain, St John’s Wort for stress, milk thistle for liver health, vitamin B for energy, and cranberry for the invariable vitamin B bladder inflammation.

    Or I could just down a bottle of vodka.

  319. And cake, Catty. I still have lots and lots and lots of tray-bake chocolate cake.

  320. We’re doing more Tai Chi than pilates, but I wouldn’t call myself well-balanced. I had that borderline hip thingo when I was a bubba. If I was a German Shepard it’d be hip dysplasia, you know the one …

  321. Aha. Still, if it is just one joint I’d consult the osteo. And I’d put more faith in the fish oil for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. If I didn’t have the fish-intolerance thing I’d be going down that path as it’s far more effective.

  322. Only if the Osteo has cake. Mmmm… breakfast…

  323. I’m still craving bacon but it’s too wet to go out.
    I’m regretting putting that entire packet of bacon into the Shepherd’s pie mix, the other day. It’s a great pie, but Silly Me.

  324. Poor love. I’d give you some of mine, but my throwing arm’s not good enough to get it to you.

  325. It’s OK. I went out into the storm & I stocked up on basics & I found a nice steak & mushroom pie for lunch.
    I was going to make a quiche but as the Bloke isn’t taking the weather warnings terribly seriously, I probably won’t have to feed him tonight. He may yet end up sleeping on a bench at Helensvale station with a lot of soggy school children, and serve him right.
    My golly it’s wet.

  326. Well there you go. I could have put the bacon in a bottle and thrown it in the water to float to you. I could have – if I hadn’t eaten it. Sorry.

  327. Bacon in a bottle. They needed that on the Bruce Highway last night. I gather most of the exits were flooded so it just turned into a giant, wet, camp-out.
    Not to worry, Catty, I sent the Bloke out this morning to get us wraps for breakfast, so we are full of bratwurst and bacon & haloumi, according to our requirements.
    Well, that was a soggy little adventure, yesterday.
    The Bloke decided to ignore my request to be home by 3pm before the tropical low struck, so I had to go out there and fish the leaves out of our overflowing gutters all by myself. I’m too short to reach all the dodgy bits, even with a ladder, and the ladder isn’t a great idea given that I’ve had the nerve supply to one foot half severed. I gave him a mighty bollocking when he got home.
    Anyway, I managed to flush out the blocked gutters before it overflowed into the eaves and backflowed down the internal walls of the house so there you go.
    Meh.
    When the roof gets replaced we’re getting gutterguard, so I never have to do that again.
    To my very great disgust his train didn’t get suspended at Coomera. I was hoping he’d have to spend the night on a park bench, alongside a swamp troll with infected genital piercings & a full body-stocking type anarchy-themed tribal tattoo.
    Next time.

  328. Three people died in Caboolture! Mind you, people will insist on driving flooded roads, but still. Don’t expect that in a winter storm.

    Speak to a roof plumber before you put Gutter Guard up, too, Q. If you’ve got lots of gums and other natives dropping those little silty bits of flowers and twigs on your roof you can get lots of sludge UNDER it, that is even worse than just clearing the damn things.

  329. The Boss brought home dozens of rolls of Gutter Guard, and promptly stored them in the shed. They sat there for about three years. Then during the very last hard rubbish collection, he tossed them all on the kerb. He said it was because he was too tired after working all week, so he couldn’t be bothered putting it up. I told him to get his arse back out to the kerb and bring the rolls back in. But it was too late. Someone had claimed them all. The Boss was relieved – until the next storm, when he had to climb up on the roof and clear out the overflowing gutters. No sympathy here!

  330. It’s just our poinciana, so the problem is created when the seed pods get thrown off the tree during the storms. They create damns by clogging the flow of the smaller stuff which does flow easily through the down pipes.
    So when there’s a storm, you need someone here who can actually reach the fecking gutters to pull the damned things out.
    We’ve got an area of damaged paint in the eaves over on the east now, where I couldn’t reach to get the damned things out on Friday.
    I’m still cross with the Bloke for not bothering to be home by the time the storm hit on Friday & for insisting on past occasions that we don’t need gutter guard.

    The builder who did our internal renovation & the guy who did this one AND the guy who put the roof on, 15 years ago, all advised us to use gutter guard as it would stop the problem.

    We’d still need to get someone up on the roof at regular intervals to sweep stuff off & check that you aren’t getting a build-up of decomposing leaf material, but it would mean that during a storm nobody needs to climb up on the roof & do the Lightning Dance when a gutter gets clogged by the pods.

  331. Oh, and MM – the body count went up to 5, at Caboolture.
    I’m still horrified by that, and the number of callouts for rescues from vehicles crossing flood waters.
    So unnecessary.

  332. I’m confident Poinciana pods can’t get through the mesh, so sounds beaut.

    Yeah, I’m much sadder for the poor SES and emergency services than those drongos, personally. People who die driving through floods are doing us all a favour by evacuating the gene pool. And roads.

  333. It’s a pity they have to traumatise so many others with their choice of departure exit, though. I’ve seen the statistics for PTSD in first responders & it’s not pretty.
    Back to my pod issues, though, yes, the gutter guard should make a world of difference & thankfully the Bloke is now in agreement that it should be installed when the new roof goes on.
    Simon is coming out tomorrow to measure up & quote on it, and I am immensely grateful for him adding his voice to the ‘Vote 1, Gutter Guard’ campaign.
    How did you fare in the end of April slush, MM?
    I heard lots of stories of shipping containers floating away in the slush down here, so I’ve been waiting for the headlines to hit twitter.
    ‘Missing, shipping container. Contents: 2 hard to rouse teens, their mates, some soggy roaches, and a much-loved bucket bong.’

  334. Well, TGP decided he’d broken his toe at after-school care so I spent many hundred of the mms of rain we copped driving between the doctor and the X-ray.

    No fracture, and thank smurf no car accidents either. Tea trees copped their usual trim but else OK.

    Sadly, the mice survived.

  335. Erm, isn’t the X-ray located at Nambour? I hope this wasn’t Friday night, as from what I’ve heard of the Bruce Highway, nothing moved in either direction for at least 6 hours. We contemplated driving to Redcliffe on Saturday but even then there were traffic warnings spruiking lengthy delays all over twitter.

  336. Thank goodness it was mostly before 5 and so the X-ray was local.

    If it had been Nambour I think I would have just strapped it up and offered him a Vodka and Valium smoothy. It really was pissing down.

  337. Well that’s all the doctors do to treat it, isn’t it?

  338. I think you’re confusing treatment with pre-medication enjoyed by the medicos themselves.

    Hic!

  339. Well, next time it rains, be sure to double the quantity of bubble-wrap around him before you allow him to leave the house. Aside from providing a useful buffer layer during Bull Rush, it’ll act as a floatation device for when your garden grows a moat.

  340. Hmm, maybe I can take the padding out of his parka and replace it with bubble wrap?

    I’ll check Pininterest, someone’s probably already thought of it.

  341. I think they need to change the school uniforms to this:

  342. I particularly like the anti-aerial poo bonnet. It would also deflect missiles launched by your classmates, and serve as a feeding trough at meal times.

  343. True.
    And here was I thinking that you’d never lose another rain-coat, or an umbrella.

  344. That’s not an issue, they refuse that sort of device. I can only hope their disdain for personal protection does not extend to condoms.

  345. I was watching one of those nerdy shows on the ABC TV & some clever scientist has invented a new product that they think will put the old lot out of business. iView is sadly no longer an option, but here’s the transcript. Pity you can’t see the segment, it was impressive.
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4210031.htm

  346. Well, that’s a good idea. Yay science!

  347. If you want my two cents worth, that bubble suit will lead to eczema. What we really need is more schools like Swanson Primary in Un Zud:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/03/21/when-one-new-zealand-school-tossed-its-playground-rules-and-let-students-risk-injury-the-results-surprised/

    And then I can keep the bubble wrap for my poor head. Worst. Headache. Ever.

  348. Oh, Catty. Poor darling. Hold this ice-pack on it. The straw is for sucking out some of the Vodka-Prozac slushie when you have the strength.

  349. Oh Catty, you poor love.
    I do wonder, given your tooth issues a while back, if it might help to get a splint to stop you clenching your jaw & grinding your teeth at night.
    Mine has made a huge difference to the headache reduction. Admittedly I chewed through that splint at the height of NTO’s foul behaviour, but I doubt I’d have any teeth left if I’d gone through the last year without that to save them.
    They are expensive, but cracked teeth are a far bigger expense & as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.

  350. Thanks, guys. It’s finally eased off. I’ve never had a double migraine before, and I hope I never have one again.

  351. I’m glad it’s eased off in time for Mother’s Day. I assume you’ve shaved the Wilderbeest in preparation for breakfast in bed?

  352. Sounds prickly. I assumed you’d done that for a hungi.

  353. It’s awful when he he sheds all over your Vegemite toast. I like to floss AFTER I’ve eaten.

  354. I didn’t shave him. It’s been so cold lately!

  355. True, Same goes for my legs.

    Well, finally my monstrosity-building neighbours who have been busily constructing what can only be – from the almost complete absence of windows – a multi-room torture chamber or cold-war inspired bunker – have finally built their khaki 1800mm Colourbond fence.

    Why yes – it is ugly as sin. However, every time I go to my clothesline or compost bins or wander around my own garden I can now do so without making forced stilted conversation with Mrs Monstrosity who is always lurking on the back deck, presumably to get a breath of fresh air or a moment’s respite from the floggings. Huzzah!

  356. Huzzah to fences! I wonder why they didn’t build it sooner, MM. I would’ve replaced ours out the front as a priority one in the build if NTO had not made such a fuss when we tried to replace the fence in the back yard. It was the first thing we did, when we moved in – built the 6″ timber fence.
    Oh well, at least now you can put some plants in the ground to block it all out so you don’t have to look at it.
    So is it all finished?
    I’m horribly envious that they’ve built an entire house & we’re still waiting on bits & pieces of our reno to get done, not to mention the damage from the ice-storm.

  357. Oh, I know why. There’s a wide storm water easement just over their side of the existing fence that runs all the way down their block. AND the new plan also has the eaves going over it. He couldn’t build the fence until the Council had signed off on it, because it is in the SWE.

    For reasons know only to himself, he wanted ME to pay for the removal of the existing … needs maintenance from time to time but still serviceable … fence. If I’d agreed, he would have built the new one on the old fence line at the time of construction.

    He would have been waiting until Hell froze over for that. He’s the same one who demanded $300 the next day for “my share” of tree lopping he wanted done – that my lawn dude did for me for $50.

    So know as I understand property law in 20 years I’ll own a small strip of his block. I wonder if he’s related to NTO?

  358. People are strange.
    If he starts obsessing with the orbital sander, that will be the giveaway.

    Here is the mixed berry bundt recipe, for your indulgence, MM.
    http://ieatthereforeiam.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/accidental-berry-trifle.html

  359. Mmmm … I have a silicone ring “tin” (mould?) that will be just right for this I suspect.

    Isn’t this frosty weather a delight? I can’t stop smiling.

  360. Perhaps if you do a practice run with your berries of choice? I’ll be interested to hear how that goes. I’ve been tempted to buy a silicon cake ring but I’m not sure if they’d get that same nice sort of crust that you want a syrup cake to have.
    My guests arrived just as the cake came out of the oven & I was making the syrup, so the girls sat & watched in fascination as I applied the syrup. Their mother says she is cursed when it comes to baking, so she doesn’t try, and they were bemoaning the fact that nobody has taught them.
    I can see myself running a baking workshop here when their exams are over.
    It’s a bit sad that of my grandmother’s 10 children, I’m the only one she passed the baking baton onto, and after me it’ll be lost from the line.

  361. 10 grandchildren, not children. Duh. She had 4 children but scarlet fever took the eldest when she was 18 months old.
    I don’t know how mothers stayed sane in the days when ordinary childhood illnesses carried so many little ones off.

  362. I suspect that’s why they had so many. And also why laudanum was so popular.

    You can get a crispy crust/outer layer in silicon. It must be the heat the ingredients reach, rather than a characteristic of the “tin”. I use silicon baking sheets instead of baking paper now and things get crispy on that all the time. Caveat – they’re a bugger to clean.

  363. True. Although, 20 years ago one of my cousins told me that her mother found a condom in her bathroom & had no clue what it was.

    That is happy news about the results from the silicone baking pans. I’m keen to hear how you go, before I go out and buy a silicone bundt tin.
    I bought some novelty moulds for dinosaur cakes when the Bloke turned 50 & the cakes weren’t happy about wanting to come out of them. They did bake beautifully, but I’ve been suspicious ever since.

  364. I always grease, or grease and flour mine as well. Things with walls, I mean – not the sheets, they’re OK.. They’re less-stick. but not non-stick. Main advantage up here is they don’t rust!

  365. This is why I prefer the non-fluted things, because I like to use sheets of baking paper so that you can just lift things out of their tins & peel the paper off gently. I’ve gone off dusting the greased tins with flour as I can taste it in the crust.
    I make an orange-poppy seed cake that survives my bundt tins ok.
    I think it’s the mix, with the berry recipe. Lots of almond meal & sugar compared to the flour & those things, with the berries, do tend to stick.
    Super-delicious and so worth it, though.
    When’s the Golden Day?

  366. 20th June. And I have a good friend’s 70th to attend beforehand.

    Wow, all of a sudden I feel terribly old.

  367. Ha. Say that to the guests & they’ll smack you with their zimmer frames.
    What have they got planned for the anniversary, MM?
    Will there be any jet-setting off to Morocco to relive misspent youth? Or will it be like Xmas, without the aggro & sloth of Brisbane humidity?

  368. Vietnamese Garden in West End. You know that one on the corner of Melbourne Street?

    My brother and his family and sister and her self will be there. Let the snarling commence!

  369. We haven’t been there for ages, it used to be great.
    It was battened down & looked very, very closed the last time we went past it.
    We were wondering if it had changed hands, or if they were perhaps renovating.
    I think it was Saturday lunch time or some other time when they are usually exceptionally busy.
    Hum. Unless there was a family funeral or something so they just had to shut down for the day.

  370. The Rents went as a trial run last Friday and it was up and running. From Mum’s description of the twinkly lights in the courtyard and menu, it sounded pretty much as I remember it from when someone took me there on a date in 1980 something.

    Maybe a fact-finding mission? Hope that means deep-fried desserts are extensive.

  371. yeah I just did a google check on reviews. Apparently it changed hands in 2014 so who knows why it was battened down when we drove past.
    The reviews weren’t ecstatic, but it seems like it’s common for patrons to complain that takeaway gets prioritised over sit-down customers. I’d say all those units that have shot up in the area mean that they do a regular roaring trade with the Gen Y worker bees within, so maybe that day we went past, they felt like they could all afford to take the day off & go to the beach.

  372. There are more units going up where the Greek Club used to be too, aren’t there?

    Or did I dream that?

  373. Yes they’ve got something planned for where that old heritage building next to the Greek club accidentally caught fire & burned to the ground after town planning had repeatedly knocked back their requests to level it & turn it into a car park.
    They also own most of that block, the next one towards SB, just north of Wrapture, so there’s work starting there to level a lot of that for some big mixed development. No loss, those buildings, they are ugly as sin & it should get rid of a few old tenements around there. Once upon a time I’d have been concerned about the residents but given the element of creepiness added to modern development in street drugs, not so much.
    At least the drunks used to just hassle you for fags and spare change & the junkies were off quietly stealing your car stereos…this lot that roam West End are an entirely different breed.

  374. Although they might sometimes be burnt out by sunset. I went to the Bar of Social Conscience and then had dinner at Ahmet’s with a friend on a Friday night recently and the worst we saw was a slightly inebriated, over-friendly bloke on a yellow unicycle.

    Good old West End.

  375. You got lucky. The unicyclists are much better company than the slouch bikers.

  376. My parents have their 50th anniversary on the 5th of June. Hmmm…. we’re the same age, our parents were married in the same month/year, our mothers get bleach on everything, you have an evil sister, I am an evil sister…. Madam, are you sure we’re not sisters?

    I don’t know what my olds have planned for the big day. It’s taken me months of effort, expense, sneakiness and bribery to assemble an appropriate gift to post up to them. I finally picked up the finished photo book from Ted’s yesterday, and it is pretty good. Well, I think so. If they don’t, I’d be seriously tempted to smack them with it, so it’s probably just as well it’s being delivered by post.

  377. Catty, I would LOVE us to be sisters. I already think of you and Q as sisters. Weird Sisters, like in that Scottish play.

    Oh, you went all out and spent actual time. You’re a good daughter. I found some Phyrne Fisher inspired coffee mugs on the National Gallery of Victoria website and bought two of them. I was going to buy golden krill oil tablets but they make me feel sorry for the whales and other filter feeders.

    Who’s the evil sister, again?

  378. Ah, the Scottish Play, whose name shall never be spoken. I played the drunken porter in that, during high school English classes. I got a very good score for my performance – thank you daddy, and your home brew.

    I reckon there’s no reason we can’t both be the evil sister… except that your wealthy sibling blows us all out of the water. I recommend taking a spray bottle full of lavender water to the restaurant, so every time she says something unpleasant, you can spritz her with it.

    Oh, and good choice with the pair of Miss Fisher mugs. I probably would have done something similar, except that there’s no guarantee Australia Post would get them there in one piece. Well, technically two pieces, but you know what I mean.

  379. I see your evil sisters and I raise the Ace in hand, my evil sister who married the Drug Lord. Oh the tales I could tell. If I hadn’t turned 50 last month & as a result can’t remember them all. Thank God.
    Naturally I am the evil sister in my family because I don’t have a substance abuse problem to dampen down the unalloyed abrasiveness of my character.
    Unless you count sugar as a substance abuse issue.
    Just because I’ve spent three hours this morning tramping around the city looking for a silicone bundt ring plus another hour on line trying to work out how to get the limited edition Tupperware one up here from Adelaide by 3pm so I can bake another berry-vanilla syrup cake…that doesn’t count as obsession, surely?
    I think we need a bonding title.
    Perhaps the Sugar Snap Sistas?
    Since sugar deprivation – or possibly excess – sends us all into Snap Mode?
    Mwah.
    I love youse all.
    And just so you know, you are all making me very glad that I’m an orphan.
    I think my parents were married in either 61 or 63 – I know it was October 5 but the year means nothing. My mother and her bridesmaids wore ghastly knee-length dresses & it was a lesson to me that the bandy-legged should never wear skirts more than 3 inches above the malleolus. If you’ve got legs like the bastard child of a jockey & a pirate wench it’s best you keep those suckers covered.

  380. Mmm … sugar snaps. So delicious raw I rarely get a chance to cook with them.

    So few people look good with their legs bare. Mostly kids under 8 and super models. And kids under 8 who are super models.

  381. OH Huzzah huzzah, there is a God.
    Breaking news, I have a silicone bundt mould! Tupperware, so it is quality sh…er, Smurf.
    My, ahem, *Dealer* had one in her closet. She’d used it as the display model so she gave it to me for 30% off.
    So I’ve bought frozen berries and more eggs & tomorrow when this alleged rain turns up, I plan to go nuts again with the bundt tin. Technically it’s Kugelopft but I have no idea how you spell that and neither does spellcheck so henceforth it is simply known as the Fluted Tupperware Silicone mould.
    So I should be able to do the test run for you, MM.
    Gosh that was good. I had one goal today & it was to find a silicone ring tin, and thus far the nearest I’d come to that was ebay via Adelaide.
    *Lets off fireworks & runs naked round the garden.

  382. What, wait? We need an excuse to do that now? Damn. No wonder the neighbours won’t talk to me.

    Actually, I had gorgeous legs up until about 19. That’s when I got fat. (Blame it on the sugar. Or the boogie. Whatever.) When I got skinny again 3 years later, my legs didn’t return to their former gorgeous selves. Bastards. It’s all been downhill ever since, so I have resolved to keep them carefully covered up – at least, when I’m not celebrating with fireworks in the garden. (Or on the roof.) And also, until spider vein patterns on furry fluoro lumps come into fashion. When that day comes, look out world!

  383. I never had nice legs, Catty. My tall sister got the Hollywood legs. Albeit she chose to maintain them by descending into eating disorder territory, so if she ends up with osteoporosis from that & the booze, it’ll be a horrible price to pay.
    I’m still excited about my silicone ring.
    Wheeeeeeee!
    The other bit of happy news is that we finally got someone to value the house at what the insurance does. Jen’s agent rang me back yesterday, full of songs of praise for modern architecture & said what I’d thought all along – he’s never seen anything like it & he had no idea you could do all this with a simple Greek worker’s cottage. He thinks if we put it on the market (finished) they’d be fighting over it & it would set a new record for 3 bedroom houses in the ‘hood.
    So that happy bit of news means that we’ll be comfortable to hunt for houses at the coast in the 650 range, which is a considerable step up from what you get for 550. It means we can avoid things with concrete cancer andwhite ants, not to mention anything listing drunkely to one side because the tradies that built it were three sheets to the wind.
    Wheee!

  384. I think it might be Kugelhopf. I was forced to learn German against my will at The Old Prison Camp.

    Excellent valuation news, Q. I keep thinking surely, with shrinking and no-kids and singleton households on the rise there must be an end to the 6 bedroom McMansion at some, sane point. May you lead the vanguard. Also, tell the Bloke I said huzzah for architecture!

    Catty, you have such a lovely soul nobody cares about your legs. Except the Boss, and he likes them most on a piano.

  385. Heh heh heh.
    And thank you.
    Yes, as long as my legs take my weight without too much creaking and complaining, I’m prepared to be happy with them.
    50 feels marvellously liberating, I must say.
    I feel like I’ve attained some sort of ‘who gives a damn’ landmark.
    Let the spider veins roll. So long as my brain doesn’t look like my legs do, I don’t care.

  386. I’m right ahead of you. I haven’t given a smurf what anyone thinks for about a decade now and gosh it’s relaxing.

  387. The MK wanted advice on how to apply her eyeliner, but it’s been so many years since I wore makeup, I’d forgotten how to do it.

  388. God yes. That stuff makes my eyes red & puffy, it’s decades since I’ve tried it.
    Surely that’s on youtube, these days.

  389. Does she want the full cat’s eye, or just something subtle?

    I can also do an Egyptian sort of one. Once you go Goth … um, you’ll serve Yog Sothoth.

  390. I can only be of service if you want some eyes blackened.
    Irma is circling & if I didn’t have so many mystery aches & pains, I’d happily thump the first in line to earn it.

  391. Bloody Irma! She was two weeks late last month, but is on time this month. For goodness sakes, doesn’t she know it takes me the whole 4 weeks to save up enough for Kettle chips and Tim Tams?

  392. Funny how you come to a complete understanding of Irma during these her farewell tours. I gave a recalcitrant client a serve yesterday morning, thought, ‘Hmm, that was forceful, must be PMS” – and bang! Irma appears last night.

  393. I’ve just got ghost-aches while she circles. I fed her half a dozen Tunnocks caramel wafers for lunch yesterday hoping that would lure her off her broom.
    No such luck. I may need something stronger. I may need to dip them in butterscotch schnappes.

  394. Hmm, you could probably do the Tim Tam Slam with them. I’ll run a field trial.

  395. Oooh Tim Tam Races.
    I’ll threaten the spectators with the starter’s pistol. That sounds like fun.

  396. Well, I’ve now got the first cold of the season and Aunt Irma. I’m actually kind of enjoying the cold. The lightheadedness is enjoyable. Downside, I can’t taste these chips.

  397. I ate an entire packet of Red Velvet Tim Tams yesterday. I wonder if they would have tasted as good without Irma sitting on my head?

  398. Ack. Winter ills. How very sucky. GWS, MM.
    I’ve still got half a packet of Tunnocks caramel wafers in the pantry & zero interest in eating them now that I’m entertaining Irma, too. She found me at the sushi bar at West Burleigh yesterday. Bitch.
    Amazing how she manages to track all three of us down at once, regardless of how we scatter & hide.
    She must have us all chipped, and she operates via satellite.

  399. Speaking of Irma I had an interesting discussion with my sister about sea sponges, reusable pads and menstrual cups. Surely when you can lose huge clots the size of your palm none of these have got any hope of holding back the Read Tide?

  400. Yup. I’d advise squatting over a milking pail, for those heavy flow days.
    Odd they’ve never used that image in a sanitary pad commercial, really.
    I know they’re aiming for visions of relief & reassurance, but running through the fields with buttercups really doesn’t cut it, does it?

  401. I booked a budget holiday once. I paid the fee, then the travel agent handed me a box of tampons. “What’s this?” I asked. He replied, “With these, you can go horse riding, swimming, cycling, skydiving…..”

  402. Ka-boom. You’re on a roll, Catty. It must be the inspiration from all that whirling machinery outside your back door.
    QUT just emailed me an invite to attend this fun event, and I must say it did seem like the perfect advertising setting for a bunch of menstruating women. All that’s missing is guns & grenades.
    http://theholtbolt.com

  403. Oh, it’s just a version of Tough Mudder. I was hoping it was a shooting range with Andrew Bolt strapped to the target.

  404. That doesn’t sound like any fun at all. Surely it would be much more fun if he were chased through all that mud by a spear-wielding posse of all he’s offended in the last four weeks.

  405. The Frenzied Bolt?

  406. Oh, Madam. And he always speaks so highly of you.

  407. The Fuckknuckle Derby

  408. Ha, yes. We could give him a head start on a quad bike. That could prove to be more lethal than the pack in pursuit.

  409. One of those low to the ground drifting trikes. A pack of hounds should also be unleashed, preferably rabid. Depp could provide them as community service.

  410. And some monkeys, to fling poo.

  411. Heh heh. I’ve changed my mind about Barnaby, he should mouth off more often, just for the entertainment value.

  412. How dare they make jokes about our government ministers and Midnight Oil without mentioning that Peter Garrett is actually a government minister? What a waste of comedy. Shame on you, America.

  413. They probably have him confused with Schwarzenegger.

  414. Come to think of it, they probably wouldn’t find it amusing. (*cough*RonaldReagan*cough*)

  415. They say you elect to President you deserve.

    Is Bobcat Goldthwaite running, this time around?

  416. Please don’t say that… at least, not until Warwick Capper’s dead.

    • And Jarrod Bleiije.

  417. And Brynne Edelsten.

  418. And all of the Wiggles.

  419. Gee, thanks, Madam.

    Hot potato hot potato!
    Hot potato hot potato!
    Hot potato hot potato!
    Potato!
    Potato, potato, potato…..

  420. Mashed bananananana ….

    Smurf.

  421. No thanks.
    Make mine a mashed smurf.

  422. Do you think smurfs taste more like blueberries, or fancy cheese?

  423. *slurp* Tastes like chicken.

  424. I tried to eat one once, but I was put off by the difficulty of peeling the skin off.
    My potato peeler has never been the same.

  425. So a bit like blue crocodile, then?

  426. Yes, it’s best to make shoes and handbags out of them.

  427. I wouldn’t mind pixies if they did the housework. I tried leaving out a saucer of milk for them but between TGP and the dog it got hoovered up.

  428. $43.62??

    I could buy a bottle of vodka and a six-pack of Tim Tams for that!

    Then again, they are kind of cute.

  429. Odd. I just got a ‘this comment cannot be posted’ message. Weird.

  430. How bizarre. As you know, you are free to post whatever the hell you want as far as I’m concerned.

    Maybe it’s an iRritation of some sort.

  431. The iPest had cancelled my login, so I had to do the password dance again. I have no idea why it does that. I was just making happy noises because I went to the hairdresser for the first time since October, so I haz eyebrows again. Well, until the chlorine from the pool fades them back to grey. And the Bloke says I’m back to my Morticia look so this makes me happy too.
    The hairdresser had wanted to smurf me up by turning my hair blue so I think that was my attempt to stay on topic.
    Stoopid iPest. If they’re so damned intuitive then WTF made it think I wouldn’t want to be logged in to all our blogs?

  432. An Apple a day keeps the bloggers away.

  433. I love your old iMac. The children scoff at it’s lack of gaming capacity, but as all I need to do is blog and process words it makes me very happy. And such a nice big screen for my tired old eyes.

    Yawn. When is nap time?

  434. LOL to Catty and yes, I love my macs, despite their intermittent eccentricities. Speaking of oddities, can someone tell me if school children are doing exams at the moment? I would have thought June, but there were a lot of teens roaming around Burleigh yesterday afternoon at 2-ish & the Bloke’s nephew & niece (uni & year 12 in NSW) have been grumbling about exams.
    I’m just wondering if the grunge rock billowing out of the Stockland McMansions yesterday was a frazzled teen letting off steam.

  435. They had Naplan, umm, last week? Well, week before the one just gone.

    NSW would be different though. MIdterms?

  436. I thought naplan was nation wide on the same day?
    And I have no idea how NSW works.
    It’s occured to me that there’s probably a few uni aged kids still living up at the Stockland development – those houses are massive & kids don’t leave home till they get married, these days, so odds are there’s a few letting off steam in between uni exams. We had a few blasts of noise here, last night.
    Understandable. The combination of sudafed, lexams & home-brewed cider is a heady mix.
    The Bloke suggested that we should explore the eateries at Main Beach, today. I shuddered & dived back under the covers. Traffic. People. Surfers. Ugh.
    He must’ve forgotten who he was talking to.

  437. Sigh.
    We looked at the house yesterday & it’s quite nicely done.
    Only one problem, a very wide and grand internal staircase that plunges down from the front door/bedroom level to the living room. The dog fell down the stairs & if I hadn’t grabbed his harness that would not have ended well.
    The Quest for a house suitable for an old blind dog & his almost as clumsy mistress continues.
    The Bloke has made me an offer: if we buy Bonogin we can stay here for the first few months while we send in the crew to renovate it.
    i.e. new kitchen in a sunnier spot, blow some holes in pokey bedrooms out the back to create cosy living/media room such as we have here at Casa Q.
    I’m feeling very tempted by that.
    How did your house hunting go, Catty?
    What’s filling up your weekends, MM, is your oldest playing AFL again?

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