And The Cat Came Back …

I can’t believe he’s done this to me again!

Friends came around for lunch etc. yesterday and while I was out in the back yard at the compost bin, my friend called out from the front yard, “I think Flot’s here!”

I raced through the house and there he was – just like last time, in the fenced off dinosaur garden, mrrrrowing like he was in distress.  He wouldn’t go near my friend, but when I came over he ran up chirping and started nuzzling me through the fence.  After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing he accepted a salmon sachet and allowed himself to be picked up and brought into TGP’s room.

He was big and fat, a tiny scratch on his nose but paws and claws in good shape.  Still wearing his harness but missing the new tags with my mobile number and his ninja bell.  He was a bit brubby, and obviously overjoyed to be home.  He’s been burying his head in my armpit like a kitten, drooling and purring his head off and very snuggly.

Jet’s been ambivalent.  Like me, I think he’d only just got over the heart-break of last time.

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368 Responses

  1. OMG that is awesome, MM.
    I was just thinking of you yesterday & wondering how the heartbreak was healing. I still miss my Ronny but at least I had the comfort of knowing what happened to him.
    Give the little monster a big cuddle from me.
    Perhaps it’s time to remove the harness, so that whoever is so intent on stealing him doesn’t have such an easy time of trapping him in the future.
    After all that horror in the news about live-baiting & greyhound training, I will admit to concealing a horrible worry of ‘What if?’ when he vanished the last time around.
    It’s one thing to be cat-napped by someone who loves & feeds you but there’s obviously much worse things to worry about.
    Congrats!
    Let’s hope he stays put this time.

  2. It’s Jet I feel sorry for. He’s been so happy the last few weeks, like he’s finally adjusted.

    We’ll keep them in for a week or so I suppose, but I have to let them go eventually. Flot never was one for staying inside. Still, the tea-tees are in flower so it’s good news for the rainbow lorikeets. He won’t be able to cut a swathe through them, this year.

  3. I think we have to consider the possibility of um, bigamy? No? bicattery? Whatever, very glad to hear he’s back. Even if he’s a scoundrel.

  4. What a heartbreaker! Someone, somewhere, is probably sobbing themselves to sleep because Flot/Mittens has disappeared again. Serves them right for taking your tags off your cat. Have you considered microchipping? Because if you haven’t, Flot’s other ‘owner’ may have.

  5. They were already microchipped when that litter floated in on the flood-tide to me, Catty.
    I’d consider low-jacking the little monster, though.
    GB, any good tech-nerd suggestions for a cost-effective way to track him to his secret lair?
    I’ve seen the ‘track my cat’ tags for sale online but I wouldn’t know how good they are.
    Since the alternate owners aren’t removing his harness, it might be feasible to fit it to the harness where they won’t see it, and then either confront them or send the police a-knocking, next time he goes walk-about.

  6. We found a GPS tracker collar online for $250 plus $50 a year subscription.

    Not sure that that’s an investment I can countenance, since the $3 ninja bell and $4.50 tag engraved with my mobile number have vanished.

  7. Yes, I was thinking that. What you really need is a chip that gets installed in the cat.
    I’d say it’s someone local, though.
    Perhaps when you get the new tag, you could consider setting up a wordpress account for Flot & put the address on his tag.
    I’d say that it’s someone very near to you who has decided you are Not Worthy & as long as they can convince themselves that their cat-theft is righteous, they can justify giving you the worry of cat-napping him.
    If you set up his own blog account you could tell his story, post photos showing how loved he is, record his microchip number, and then get Important People on twitter & facebook to post links to it next time he goes missing, in hopes of shaming/exposing the culprit.
    My friend Deb at Caloundra took in a beautiful rescue cat & when it went missing they discovered that the crazy reclusive couple across the road had stolen him.
    So next time he goes missing, an aggressive leaflet drop campaign, with a link to his own Find-My-Flot wordpress blog – just might encourage one of your neighbours to rat out the culprit, if they can do so anonymously via blog, FB or twitter.

  8. That’s an excellent idea … and a constructive use of the children’s screen time!

  9. If he vanishes again, I know of a large construction firm that could run off a lot of flyers for you & I could then hand them on to your Brisbane-based minion for delivery to the north coast.
    So long as we have a plan for the little sod’s next vanishing act, perhaps you won’t have so much angst about it.
    I know you bear it with great stoicism but it really is just too much. I’m quite sure it’s someone close by who watches you, and they’re grabbing the cat by his harness. it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve tried to nab Jet, too.

  10. Short of amputating Flot’s legs, I don’t see much likelihood of him staying put. He must be well treated by his captor, or he would have escaped much earlier. Stockholm syndrome, perhaps? Or maybe they have a job at the Fancy Feast factory.

  11. Yes, he’s not the first Rolling Stone I’ve loved. I think we all just have to be Zen and let him be how he will be. The harness is going, though. I did have some anxious moments hoping it hadn’t gotten stuck on a bit of tree or something.

  12. I’d say the alt-Flot family have a super-sized BBQ & a penchant for rotisserie roast. That’ll be what’s luring him in. I also think that they’re people that have a lot of crimsafe & who live inside AC. They’re house will be built like a fortress; nothing else could hold him.
    Vanessa warned me that cat could escape from anything & having seen him wriggle out of our cat enclosure, I will vouch for his talents as a Feline Houdini.
    At least if he’s not wearing the enclosure, next time he vanishes you’ll know that he volunteered for captivity & it wasn’t because someone nabbed him while he was sleeping.

  13. Sigh. Wearing the harness. I have fuzzy brain today thanks to the osteo wrenching me around yesterday so that I’m straight, again.

  14. It’s o.k. I has the dumb every day.

    Today I’ve been wrangling with call centres, and we’ve just set the wheels in motion to ditch Telstrarse for Dodo. Next week it will be our energy provider – although I’ll be sad to leave Origin and their reliable, friendly service, I won’t be sad to see the back of their high prices.

  15. Oh dear, be careful with Dodo. Have you got a sub-account that you can let them direct debit from, that doesn’t have all your school fee and vodka and nom money in it? Several people have told me they take your bill money whenever they feel like it, often several times within the month whether they’re owed it or not.

    As for Origin, I can’t wait for those printable solar panels and a Tesla box. Off the grid here I come!

  16. What the Madame said. All the twitter nerds said the same thing to me, when I was so pissed off I was considering changing providers ‘Anything but Dodo!’

  17. Ick. I’d forgotten about that. I’d better go and open a Dodo account toot sweet.

  18. I suppose that makes sense.
    I would have googled small weapons on ebay.

  19. For me, “untraceable toxins”. That’s why we make such a good team!

  20. Heh, I wanted to know if reverse charge calls were included in my unlimited calls package, but the lady in Mumbai had no idea what a reverse charge call was. Not a clue. She just couldn’t grasp the concept. This is going to be interesting.

  21. If by interesting you mean the way the Chinese use it, in their curse ‘May you live in interesting times.’

  22. Dodo? Where’s my flammenwurfer?
    Dull day today (inside and out) but we get the grandspawn for a sleepover tomorrow. I am a hopeless slave. We’re laying on the floor building houses for a monkey and a mouse and she gets up and puts her arm around my neck and says “friend!” and kisses my hairy cheek. I know it’s probably some evil genetic conspiracy and powered by pheromones or something but you know, I don’t care.

  23. Huzzah to the Grandevil! It’s lovely that you’re around for her, my Mum still loves spending time with my spawn, large and hairy and ungrateful as they are becoming.

    Plus, make some monkey houses now and she might smuggle hash brownies into your nursing home. Quid pro quo.

    • NOW you’re talking!

  24. I can’t wait that long for brownies. I want brownies now!

  25. Keep the brownies, I just require some opiated hash. Like the Taliban used to export.

  26. GB, start teaching the Grandevil about single malt scotch now. You don’t want her to accidentally smuggle in inferior liquor in prune juice bottles. (Oh, the humanity!). Unless, of course, your bed is next to Bangarr’s, in which case she won’t need to bother. Knowing Bangarr, there will be a still made of bedpans bubbling away under his walking frame.

  27. Still. Made. Of. Bedpans.
    Bubbling.
    I’m just going outside. I may be some time.

  28. Hehehe.

    So Bangarr and GB’s retirement home will be like Hawkeye and Trapper John’s tent in M*A*S*H?

    That raise two questions: Who’s Klinger and which one of you wants to be Hotlips?

  29. I have a solid collection of cargo pants & army boots and Catty is blonde.
    If you expect me to do KP wearing high heels, think again.

  30. You can be Radar, Q. You’ve got glasses and you’re excellent on picking up vibes.

  31. Some vibrations are hard to miss.
    I shout ‘Incoming’ in my sleep, these days.
    Bloody helichoppers.

  32. How about spotlighting them with a laser pointer and then chucking it over the fence when the cops come round?

  33. Well, she does throw open her windows & blinds at night, once she’s turned the lights out.
    Does that get more jail time than SMSF fraud?

  34. Yes, I think it’s a Federal offence of some sort. So is mail-tampering, come to think of it. Maybe just train a digicam on her tenant’s mailboxes? Less dangerous, too.

  35. The alteration in her behaviour since I put up the Kitteh Cam in front of the kitteh dungeons is nothing short of extraordinary.
    I had the dog down at the vet on Wednesday for his annual check up, jabs, tests & dental. So all the staff were asking me if we’d moved yet & they were all worried about That Neighbour. And why wouldn’t they be? They got to nurse the cat & read the path reports. And there’s the dog, with his ongoing elevated liver enzymes & intermittent bouts of hepatitis from whatever she tossed him during September two years ago.
    So I told them that since she spotted the camera, she’s done a complete 180 & she’s all about pretending that she’s normal and she spends a lot of time inside, with all the blinds drawn, trying to be invisible.
    Much better than the stalking and the OCD scritching.
    I’m still hoping that this means that a jail term for SMSF fraud is on the cards but perhaps they’ve just developed some bizarre neurological problem that features photosensitivity.

  36. I’m not sure if you can get acquired porphyria. Are their gums receeding? Do they crave black pudding?

  37. That would solve a few problems. Crosses on the gates, Super-soaker full of Holy Water and she’s gorn!

  38. Or just call Dominos and ask them to deliver a gross of garlic bread.

  39. An awful lot of garlicky pizza deliveries do go up those stairs, and then the boxes make their way (near) to the bins out on the street.
    Could be so much toxic overload from this that they can’t leave the house?

  40. Can constipation render you immobile?

    • Yes. And no, I don’t wish to elaborate.

  41. Except to say that fibre is Da Bomb and metamucil is wonderful.

    • * Runs off to find Spanner and Nbob. Just for shits and giggles.

  42. There’s fibre in potato chips, right?

  43. Depends how much cat fur is circulating in the air.
    Speaking of which, how are your kittehs?

  44. Well, they’re fine but Jet is sick of captivity. I have a new – high-vis but normal – collar on Flot that so far he’s kept on and I’ve wormed them. Just want to give them Comfortis and then we might let them out I think.

    He’s still sooking up a storm, little mongrel.

  45. Well at least you know he loves you all & he’s sorry for his traunting ways.
    Let’s hope that his kidnappers find another cat to love that doesn’t already have a responsible loving owner – surely there can be no shortage of them – and loses the obsessive need to kidnap him.

  46. At first I thought it might be someone with kids. You know, “Mum, there’s a cat in the yard, can we keep him?”, but now I’m picturing some little old lady with three cardigans on, teetering towers of newspapers piled against all her walls, and 97 other cats pissing on the carpet.

    Hopefully Flot will recognise the superiority of your home and stay put this time.

  47. He’s a man at the end of the day, so who knows? My money’s on a cat hoarder, though. He wouldn’t suck up to kiddies, he’s quite disdainful of most people.

    • On behalf of men and male cats I object. We are a fine and occasionally useful branch of the human and feline species. Many of us have been successfully house trained and can obey basic instructions unless distracted by shiny things. (The last sentence applies only to cats of course).

      • You are admirably domesticated – I haven’t had a better pizza since the one you made me – but arguably still distractable by shiny things.

        Look, a sparkly meteorite!

  48. Yep. I’d say it’s a cat hoarder and she seduces him in with atlantic salmon. Let’s hope he’s smartened up enough to piss on her pillows, so she has to open a window.
    Hmm….would a cat hoarder notice that, do you think?

  49. Not a chance.

  50. It’s what they have where normal people light scented candles or squirt some Glen 20.

  51. I got a scented candle for Christmas. It’s been in the cupboard, because we didn’t use candles much over Summer. I went to get it out over the weekend, and it STUNK! Who knew that candles could go off?

  52. It depends whether they’re made with bees’ wax, paraffin or lard rendered from the corpses of one’s enemies, I suspect.

  53. The friend who gave it to me only has two enemies in the world – Julia Gillard (long story), and his brother-in-law. If either one of them had died mysteriously last Christmas, then that would have explained it. But they’re both still alive, so I’m buggered if I can work it out.

  54. Liposuction? Gillard was a hip-heavy lass.

  55. Ear wax, perhaps?
    I have to clean the cat’s ears regularly & it does have a nasty pong to it.

  56. Update: After Jet flinging himself at the door this morning, we let them out into the garden. Not without some trepidation. And when I came home from work – they both trotted up to the fence to meet me! We’ve brought them in tonight for dinner and more smootching.

    So far, so good.

  57. Yay! I have this sneaky hope that the cat abductor copped a shock from the electric fence. Am I a bad person?

    Don’t answer that.

  58. Birds of a feather, Catty. Still, that’s encouraging that they are hanging out together, coming to greet you, and happy to accept curfew. Although considering the sudden cold snap, they’d be stupid not to.
    When I walk the dog in the afternoons I see a lot of cats waiting out front for their kids & their owners to get home. Very sweet, that.

  59. It’s much more elegant a welcome home than dog drool.

    Catty – hehehehe.

  60. Well, let’s hope they make a habit of it. It’s lovely weather for snuggling kittehs.

  61. Yes, both back home yesterday too. Fingers crossed this is the new normal.

  62. Fingers and toes.
    Mine have been getting a bit more active now that it’s good romping weather. They’ve been chasing ping-pong balls up and down the halls. It’s cute when they’re kittens but now that they are well & truly middle-aged, I’m finding their revelling quite endearing. It’s been heartening to watch these two bond now their brother & soul mate has gone. They still have a personal space thing that they don’t like violated, but they’re hanging out together & playing together & it’s good to see them enjoying each other’s company.
    There was a thing on RN recently about how pets grieve, and how even if two pets didn’t seem to get on, they still grieve, because they had a relationship of sorts & the dynamics change when one is gone.
    I was quite surprised at how much Tilly seemed to miss Ron & she’s been the one making the overtures to Bear. She had the classic little sister ‘I hate you’ sibling rivalry thing with Ronny but she would always turn to him in a crisis, and now she seeks out the Bear, when the steam mop or some other horror threatens her peace of mind.
    Funny little creatures.
    I can’t imagine not having a cat.

  63. I love cats, but the Boss is allergic. So, no kittehs for me. The Gimmee has one, though. Her name is Gigi, but I call her Mr Piddles, Bringer Of Death. She’s black and cute and precocious, and licks people she likes. She likes me.

  64. Did you know about the question mark tail? Apparently if they hook the tip of the tail around like a question mark when you’re stroking them it means they lurve you.

  65. That information would have come in handy 30 years ago when I was looking for a boyfriend. If it worked on boys, that is. Does it?

  66. I only ever had one lover who had a tail, and it was docked at birth.

  67. I was on a boat like that once…. docked at berth….

    I’ll leave now, shall I?

  68. No, I need more Dad jokes. I feel like the kids are missing out.

  69. After years of putting up with my Dad jokes, the kidlets would argue that your boys aren’t missing anything. Except possibly the toilet bowl. Or is that just my boys?

  70. You can’t leave yet, Catty, nobody’s had time to try the veal.
    As for piss-pots, I found that my house-male became a much better aim after I put him in charge of cleaning the bathroom every weekend. Or every time it needed cleaning. Marvelous well trained, this one. There’s a lot to be said for domestic tyranny when it comes to training the weaker-minded sex.
    So, what are we all up to this long weekend?
    I think gardening, if the weather stays nice.

  71. Funny you should say that, Gigantor and I are going dig a hole for our pond liner and then plant the edges with toad grass so it doesn’t turn into a toad orgy pit.

  72. Good plan. The Bloke has been catching and freezing 1-2 toads per week, in the last few months. I think my nice neighbours over the back in the side street have had their frog pond taken over by horny skinned interlopers. I meant to ask them if they’d been breeding toads when I saw them on the Dog Walk yesterday, but they got the giggles listening to my Scritcher on the Roof stories & then that led to Escaped Kitchen Appliances (Pamela’s Kenwood chef leapt off the kitchen bench & almost made it to the door before her husband caught it) & oh well, you know. I do have some very lovely neighbours, once you get beyond the 4-houses away limit.

  73. Tell them about toad grass. It lets frogs and other nice things through but for some reason is inimical to toads. Also not unattractive.

  74. Roger that. They are very environmentally conscious which is a very desirable trait to find in a neighbour.
    Speaking of which, remember Muffy, the white fluffy dog across the road that yaps incessantly? I haven’t heard it yapping for a while but prior to that there was a good 6 week stint of escape efforts followed by the family trailing up and down the street shouting ‘MUFFFY! MUFFFFY!’ at all hours of the day, with varying levels of enthusiasm & intoxication.
    When I went out yesterday I noticed them showing off a small black puppy to the Flake Family Freaks in Jen’s house across the road.
    Looks like the Yapinator Mark II has arrived in town.
    Let’s hope that Muffy has been kidnapped by a far more functional family that can give her a better home & that this dog fares somewhat better amidst all the shouting and mayhem. Preferably by retreating into petrified silence, until it can make good it’s escape.
    God help it.

  75. Erm, the context of that intro was on topic of ‘noise reduction’.

  76. Since when have we needed an excuse for random discharges of bile?

  77. Perhaps we could patent a super-soaker type weapon, but with personalised vats of bile. Or, for offensive neighbours and cat-thieves, a motion activated sprinkler system that sprays them as they pass.
    I envisage a rig whereby it is drained from one’s festering bile sacs during sleep, so one awakens refreshed, and ready to enjoy the shrieks of the most deserving as they get on with their irritating efforts to scritch/snitch and yodel.

  78. There should be a market for it in Traditional Chinese Medicine. After all, they drain sun bears and the like.

    I’ll put some vials of Harpy Bile on eBay and see if there are any takers.

    • Harpy bile day to you
      Harpy bile day to you…

  79. There you go, Quokka. Now everyone has tried the veal.

  80. What’s for dessert?

  81. CAEK!

    Nearly had a meltdown. Well, did have a brief one I suppose. Stayed late at work to finish up some things before the break, when I received a phone call from Gigantor’s English teacher. He had advised her that if worrying about him not completing his assigned work was stressful, she might find Cannabis relaxing. Then when I got home – in the dark – I discovered that he’d failed to bring the cats in and feed them in TGP’s room, as was my one after-school instruction. And Flot was nowhere to be seen.

    Happy ending, by the time I’d stormed over to Mt Coolum to fetch him home to ground him, Flotty appeared.

    I was supposed to be appeased by the fact that he had fed them, just outside rather than in because the only part of my detailed instructions – with actions and demonstrations! – he’d listened to was “feed the cats”.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  82. That’s testosterone for you. Take heart, it took years before I could beat that instruction into my house male and a cat died crossing the road to look for food before he actually remembered.
    He’s never neglected to feed one, since.

  83. I suppose he did feed them. He just didn’t follow through on the locking up bit. Still, alls well. And I did finally get my pond dug by way of penance yesterday.

  84. I like it when the Boss screws up. It gives me leverage. Unfortunately, lately I’ve been wasting it by screwing up myself. For example, he drove our car to work on the tollway last week – we don’t have an eTag, and he didn’t bother to call Eastlink for a day pass. Nor did he tell me when he got home, or I would have called them for a day pass. So we are going to get a bill in the mail. As they charge about three times as much when they have to send a bill out, I’m not happy, Jan. But did I use that leverage for something beneficial to the family? Oh, nooooo. I had to go and back into an illegally parked trailer, smashing a tail light. And there went my moral superiority, in little plastic pieces all over the gutter. *sigh* Pity. I would have liked a pond.

  85. Yowch, Catty.
    Still, you’re doing better than me, I nearly sent a cyclist into the air, Cirque de Soleil style. I did a u-turn in the side street near the train station, fetching The Bloke, and a cyclist decided to ignore my blinker& overtake me on the driver’s side. The usual thing. Pitch black darkness & he was clad in goth stealth gear.
    I feel for you because, Insurance – but I’d much rather hit a vee-hickle than a living creatures. I won’t call them human because I’m not sure creatures with that many lights off in their frontal lobes classify as human, still, I don’t want to put one in the horsepiddle or the grave. Imagine if all the dead & maimed cyclists rose up with Zombie virus…we’d be doomed, I tell you, doomed.

  86. Nearly isn’t good enough. Must try harder, Q.

    Catty, did I ever tell you about my Paternal Grandmother? Every time she took the car out for a shopping trip she had it booked in at the panel beater’s at day’s end, so it could be fixed before Poppa got home. She asked the boy next door to check how she reversed out of the carport, to tell her what she was doing wrong.

    “Ma’am, you weren’t going slowly enough to make any mistakes.”

  87. Oy Vey! I’d have tried that, if the local panel beaters weren’t extortionists. As it was, I tried to fix it with superglue. I have no idea why I would do something so completely, stupidly ridiculous – even now I can’t believe I did it. I blame solar flares. Yes, I made it worse. A LOT worse. *sigh* I may have to start digging that pond myself.

  88. Don’t dig any holes near a man whose car you’ve just dinged.

  89. That’s what the neighbour’s back yard is for.
    Just don’t dig near the internet cables.

  90. My punishment, apparently, is cleaning the gutters. Kill me now.

    • Does this involve being on a ladder while it’s raining? Because he may have had the same thought.

  91. We had a day of clear blue skies, GB. Was it raining in Ringworm? I’m not surprised. Melbourne weather is bewildering at the best of times.

    I managed to do the entire job. It took about 5 hours, thanks to strong winds shaking the ladder and blowing my bucket off the roof. Also, my arthritis kicked in about a third of the way around the house. My calves have swollen up to twice their normal size. My knuckles are bruised, and I hit my head on the ladder twice. (don’t ask). I am going to be sore tomorrow. So is the Boss. Mainly because he came out just after I hit the jelly legs stage, and took photographs of me up the ladder. Then he announced he was going out to buy beer. *sigh* On a positive note, I have filled up the compost bin with lovely black gutter grunge, so we are going to have fabulous compost come Spring. And one neighbour took pity on me and brought over a plate of scones with jam and cream. I have wonderful neighbours.

  92. Oh noes. How very horrible for you, Catty. I hope you make him suffer while you’re recovering on the couch today. How awesome are the scones, though? You are very blessed to have such lovely neighbours.
    I was wondering if I’d been too harsh in my judgement of the new ones in Jen’s house, but they don’t disappoint. Each day of the long weekend they sent the kids out onto the footpath to play ball, while they cleaned up inside.
    The 5 yro stands at the property boundary while the toddler & the 3yro stand at the boundary of the road & their driveway & he tosses the ball to them. He then gets to shout ‘watch out for cars’ after they’ve run after the ball onto the road when they fail to catch his throws. (And as for his throws – let’s put it this way – the AFL won’t be recruiting him for his star potential any time soon.)
    I’d wonder why they aren’t encouraged to play ball inside their fenced back yard, but given the spike in Escaped Chickens that I see over here & her stated intention to Jen that she wants to turn it into an Organic Vegetable Patch, I assume that she’s sick of chickens and tomatoes getting bonked by a football & she’s decided one less child will improve her quality of life, no end.

  93. Did they import that house across the road from you from one of Alfred Hitchock’s films? Or is the woman’s name Medea?

    It always seem to be occupied with people who want their children exterminated. We can only assume it’s possessed.

  94. My dear old dad always used to tell me to go play in the traffic. Only when I was annoying him, though. I.e, when we were both in the same house at the same time.

  95. One of my workmates in creche used to mutter that under her breath whenever one of the playground psychopaths left. She’d add ‘Stay off the white lines!’
    MM, Jen’s house was the one exception to the Medea households around here. They were very responsible parents, which is how they got to be blacklisted by the neighbouring Freaks.
    Speaking of Demonic Possession, I must check up with my Blackfella mates and find out if they ever got around to purging the street. I never heard back from them, but we are often gone on the weekend & we go out of our way to avoid speaking to any of the neighbours, so who knows? It hasn’t felt as malignant out there, but I’d just put that down to NTO hiding indoors for much of the day with her blinds drawn, trying to pretend that she’s normal while the council processed her DA.

  96. It’s a wonder to me that Brisbane hasn’t sent you mad before. The traffic to get anywhere is berko. Forget tunnels and light rail, you people need to turn into telecommuters, stat.

    Or get out, which is much more sensible and pleasant.

  97. Or Q could turn Telekinetic and get NTO out.

  98. She’d still have Assorted Lunatics and the Choppers of Doom, though.

    You should win the Lotto and start our commune, catty.

  99. Funny, that. I’ve been praying for a Lotto win for years. It would probably help if I ever bought a ticket.

  100. Yes, I know I’ll never win for just that reason. Catty, you have to allow God’s Angels a little traction.

  101. I must get my eyesight checked. For a split second I thought that said ‘a little action’.

  102. God’s Angels work hard protecting all the idiot cyclists around here. They deserve a bit of fun. So if they want to go off & blow their own strumpets then I will look the other way.
    The thing about the traffic here is that I don’t go out in it. We’re so central that we can walk to the city & if I need something from the shops, I can avoid peak hour traffic.
    It is getting harder to avoid it, though. There used to be times of the day when West End was quiet & I could sneak out & do errands. Those windows of opportunity are getting harder & harder to find.
    There’s a lot more traffic at night, too.
    We had a WSW last night & it was just strong enough to blow the noise in from the nearby arterial roads. I got woken at 3.30am by an extremely POd cat (no food after 8pm as today is Dental Care at the Vet) so I got to lie awake listening to the trucks roaring past.
    Winter is normally better because the WSW blows the noise of the trains & the choppers away – and the choppers can’t come in low over our roof for a landing, they’ve got to come in from a different angle. So I presume that’s when everyone in Kangaroo Point & South Bank starts bitching about them.
    Lord give me strength. I have three hours of pissed off cats to endure before I pack up the Bear & the Dog & cart them off to the vet.
    Miss Kitteh is safe, but she’s hysterical because she knows what it means when we hide the biscuit bowls, so she’s running around like Henny Penny shouting ‘The sky is falling!’
    Here’s hoping that the vet decides the cat’s teeth aren’t too bad. I’m still reeling from Spanner’s grumps about Cammie’s missing molars, peridontal disease, and the vet’s instructions that they have to clean her teeth to stop muck getting into the sockets.

  103. Clean a cat’s teeth?

    You’d need medication for that. The operator, I mean.

  104. Sounds counter productive to me. You can scrape all the food out of the sockets, but it will only be replaced by chunks of your own flesh when the cat reacts to things being put in its mouth.

  105. Catty’s smarter than that.
    Our vet had a set of kitteh claw marks up the entire length of his arm & he thanked me for reminding him that Bear will become hysterical the moment I leave the room.
    Farken, I don’t know how I’ll stay awake today. I’ve been awake since 3am & I gave up & got up at 4am thanks to Miss Kitteh & her bitching of ‘Where are my biscuits! Give me my biscuits!’
    Little troll.
    Bear got up, noted there were no bowls out and went off to sleep in another room.
    That’s the gender difference for you.

  106. Like me Genghis has an archenemy (which may or may not be called Nowhere Bobcat). Occasionally they come to blows and bites and scratches, some of which get infected and that’s when the fun starts. Picking off his hair-entangled scabs and dabbing at his pussy (as in pus) wounds isn’t the most pleasant of duties but he’s a real trouper. As soon as he’s dumped on Sandy’s lap and the operations start, he’s learned to keep still and keep the claws in but the noise and facial expressions are Not Happy.

    I’m constantly amazed at how he tolerates it and seems (?) to understand that it helps/is for his own good. No hard feelings after either. Don’t know what his first owners were like, but he was so savage when they got him yet flinched at sudden movements. Actually I can guess what they were like. Bastards. He cuffs Phoebe lightly if she hugs him too tightly but no scratching. Poor cat’s potty about her – dumb critter.

    • So that makes two of you then, GB. OOh, BTW, I was clearing out TGP’s room and I found one of those Tupperware Geodesic shape sorters. babies love them and you can pop them in the dishwasher when they’re encrusted with rusks and body fluids. Would you like me to send it down for the new beardlet?

      • Oh thank you MM but we’ve got one here and she’s got one at home. Most conveniently she’s decided that cots are for babies and has abandoned her old room in disdain. Along with the toys therein. She has “put aside childish things” (yeah right) on account of being a big girl now.

        I’m a bit worried that all the negativity that’s directed at me is starting to rub off on her since she announced that Grah was Bad yesterday. But she had an evil grin and gave me a huge hug afterwards so I think we’re still partners in crime.

  107. A couple of days ago, I told the Teenie he was a good boy. He smiled a wicked smile and said in a brimstone voice that would put most Death Metal bands to shame, “Yes. Yes I am a good boy.” I almost wet myself! Laughing, that is…. no, I was not afraid.

  108. The God Particle has an excellent line in sweet-yet-eveil intonation. Maybe they could start a death metal band?

  109. Better than that, it is CAEK DAY!
    Yay, You!
    Happy Birthday MM. May you have a lovely restful day, only interrupted at a timely moment by the Ganja Bus, bearing our gifts.
    Mwah!

  110. Guess what was waiting in the garage when I staggered home via Woolies? Q’s gift!

    As it is not officially CAEK day until Saturday I am enjoying the anticipation at this point but the box was intact so it’s a good start. Maybe the Ganga Bus is running on Ice these days? That was super quick.

  111. Every day is CAEK day.

  112. Wow. That’s amazing. The delivery time, not my capacity to stuff up dates. I did the ‘WTF?’ thing and discovered I’ve written your birthday 2 days early in my diary & Miracle Girl’s 3 days late.
    Sigh. How do I manage these things?
    Oh yeah, the same way that Catty stores the sorbent rolls in the freezer.
    I’d do the same, if mine wasn’t full of UBD yesterday German Sausages.
    Never mind MM, have some CAEK anyway & keep that box out of the sun’s rays and Elf Boy’s clutches.
    I’m reasonably sure there’s nothing inside that he’d stuff in his innards but you never can tell with that child.

  113. Ugh. German Sausage. My MIL and the Boss have an inexplicable fondness for Rotwurst. Bleargh! I can see where they get the Rot part of the name, and Wurst is about how it smells.

  114. The Bloke likes BratWurst. I know that all the nerdenfolk on twitter like to razz me about living in the gingerbread cottage but hey, I’m not the one roasting naughty children over hot coals.
    #FeedTheManMeat

  115. Mmmm… hangi babies…

  116. Right, let’s try this again.
    Happy Birthday, Morgana! I hope you get spoiled rotten by all around you.
    How glorious to have your BD on a weekend. Will there be rest, or revelry?

  117. Happy Birthday! Carpe Cakem! Have a brilliant day, beautiful girl. Mwah!

  118. Yep, happy birthday again MM, if I got it right this time. Tis a lovely day here for a change. Yesterday it was 6 and foggy at noon, today is 16 and glorious. Just had a trip to a Farmers Market with D#1, D#2 and Grandevil topped off with a productive op shop. Hope your weekend is as much fun.

  119. And message for Q, cos this is less public than Twitter. We went in to see G-nephew and arrived in time for the Dr’s summary. He has a Staph infection between the femur and muscles but the bacterial count is dropping fast. Sending him home with a tube up one of his veins attached to a portable pump with 24 hrs worth of antibiotic and a nurse visit every day to change it for at least 2, prob 4 weeks. Poor kid. We brought him two TinTin hardbacks with 5 stories he didn’t have and some app suggestions for his misuse. Much better than grapes. Infection is bad enough but at least that’s treatable. All much relieved.

  120. Quite so, but even thus, Owch. Poor little mite. How the hell did he get a staph infection?

    • His mother asked but they’ve no idea. Can start from a bruise or strain etc according to the doc and he is a very small AFL umpire who does a lot of running but no bangs or bruises. Doc said they see it more in winter but it’s rare anytime. His older sister had a pair of brain parasites a while back too. I wonder if they were cursed when his dad was wandering around one of Saddam’s palaces?

  121. If they were spraying for cockroaches at the time, I’d be putting that to the top of the list.

  122. The Gimmee caught a staph infection in her humidicrib at the maternity ward. Stupid hospitals.

  123. Hospitals are cradles of filth, Catty. That’s exactly where you could expect to catch a staph infection, inside a hospital.

  124. Ha, yes. I do love Richmond.

  125. Huzzah all, I’m back in black. But no funerals.

    Thank you for the lovely prezzies and kind thoughts. I suppose it was a restful weekend, sitting knitting and getting up from time to time to empty spew buckets and rehydrate the afflicted. The good news is he’s well enough to go back to school. Won’t he be pleased?

    Glad the grand-nephew is on the mend. GB. In a strange co-incidence the Plumber’s baby momma has also recently had osteomyelitis. Hers was from a dirty pin, though, less Twilight Zone in the acquisition. No gypsy curses that you know of?

  126. Poor little poppet. That gastro bug is horrible, isn’t it? My lot all relapsed a day or two later, so brace yourself from a call from the school, saying he’s puked on the classroom floor.

    Now, we all need to know, Madam. What sort of CAEK did you have?

  127. Cheese, lovingly made by Mother.

    But today, courtesy of a workmate’s partner who works in catering, we’re having Caramel Sin. It’s the only reason I came to work today.

    • I remember Cardinal Sin from the Philippines but tell me more of this “Caramel Sin”?

      • When it has been sampled I shall report back.

  128. Their baked goods always were rather tasty. I knew the owner, many years ago. Although she may have sold it, that was a while ago.

  129. She bakes a good sin cake, tell her.

  130. Massage client from decades ago. I don’t think I’d know her if I tripped over her, now, as mostly what I saw was her back. When she moved north I passed her off onto my acupuncturist mate up in Elfland on Coolum Hill. You’re more likely to see her in a gelato bar or a coffee shop up there, I’d think.
    Lovely woman, I enjoyed her company very much.

  131. That’s what I tried to make for the Teenie’s birthday last month. The ganache didn’t set. It was a disaster. A tasty, tasty disaster.

  132. Mmm … chocolate soup.

  133. Yes. Yes it was.

  134. Isn’t it the chocolate that makes ganache set? Somehow I can’t imagine you skimping on chocolate, Catty.

  135. I don’t know how you make ganache, much less how you’d stuff it up.
    What I do know is that the Darrell Lee milk cooking chocolate that I found in Woollies yesterday is Da Bomb, and the Bloke reported that the chunks of Rocky Road that he took to work disappeared in record time & was pronounced ‘Best Rocky Road ever’ by their cleaner. High praise coming from her.
    So while I was out today at Cocoon/Cleveland Arts Centre, I got some Darrell Lea dark chocolate from the nearest Woollies.
    I figure it will work better with the Bounty bars & the toasted coconut.
    I’m also trying to lure Irma out of the woodwork & 72% cocoa just might do it.

  136. I haven’t seen it at our Woolies but by crikey I’m going to stack on a turn until they stock it. Those corporate rescuers are geniuses!

  137. Thus far I have found it in the baking section at Woollies of Annerley & at the Carindale mall. Woollies also have a good range of that Lighthouse baking flour that the bakers recommend. I haven’t tried that yet but today seems like a good day to test out the pizza mix with my newly replaced Breville.
    Irma has finally arrived to torment me.
    I’m gonna need a lot of caffeine & carbs today to cope.

  138. The Woolies I go to isn’t very big, and doesn’t stock a lot of things I like. It’s particularly annoying when there’s something they don’t stock listed in the sale catalogue.

    All this talk of baking and chocolate is making me hungry. I think today may just be a Brownie day.

  139. That used to mean place settings and Kumbaya. I’m glad it’s now molten chocolate goodness.

    Mmm … Brownies.

  140. Dad would never let me go anywhere near Brownies. Not that he was against extra-curricular activities – anything that kept me out of his hair was good, so long as it didn’t involve Christians or was run by the local sticky-beak gossip squad. I think he was suspicious about the entrenched paedophilia in some of those church run groups and there was no freaking way he was letting the God Squad get within coo-ee of me.
    And they said he was crazy.
    Pfft.

  141. It makes me sad. I knew several priests during my childhood, and they were invariably funny, compassionate, kind men. The paedophile priest stereotype did not fit any of them, not even remotely, and it doesn’t seem fair to me that they have probably copped a lot of very unfair discrimination over the years. (In case you’re wondering, I have the paedophile equivalent of a Gaydar. It’s common in abused children.)

  142. Quite so. That and the ability to sniff out kindred spirits, I think. I’m always so much more comfortable among those who’ve been raised by wolves. Normal folk scare me.
    Back to our primary obsession with sugar, any tips on getting French Jellies out of the tray?
    I’ve been experimenting with confectionary again today. I was feeling rather pleased with myself as the cleaner at The Bloke’s work said that my rocky road was even better than Darrell Lee (thank you DL for your cooking chocolate) and I thought I’d try something more difficult. So, while I’ve made French Jellies in the past, I’ve never attempted the rainbow layers.
    The competitors at the Ekka assure me it’s a nightmare to get the layers to stick. So. Armed with my Blue Ribbon cookbook & the instructions of the fellow who wins every year at the Ekka (he’s a fitter & turner from Maryborough, suck on that CWA ladies) & a smidgeon of googled advice from Jamie Oliver, I’ve spent the day hunched over a cauldron of boiling sugar.
    All good thus far but I can see myself having canniptions getting the damned things out of their trays tomorrow.
    I’ve cheated with one tray & I’ve used baking paper but even so.
    Surely someone here has made them? Or has access to some wise old confectionary crone who knows all the tricks?

  143. Like any jelly, and run it under hot water (the outside obviously) for a moment?

    This is more advice for next time, but possibly line your tin with gladwrap, a lovely long bit so it drapes over the edge and you can lift it up?

    I am NOT a confectioner. No patience, no sugar thermometer.

  144. Yes I did wonder about that. I’m clumsy, though, so I’d probably drown it.
    I trawled some american confectioner’s sites & they said to rub a hot tea-towel over the base.
    I might sit it on the cat’s heater pad for a few seconds, if it’s stubborn.
    I made two trays for experimental purposes – one is greased with butter (as advised) and the other is greased with coconut oil & lined on the base & 2 sides with baking paper, so I can lift it out.
    I grew up making confectionery, out of my sisters’ discarded home ec book.
    I love it, but it’s definitely a fine art that requires patience & your undivided attention. I’m old school & while I bought a candy thermometer a few years ago, I’ve never used it. I go by sight, smell, experience & instinct.
    That blue ribbon cookbook really is a joy, it’s conjured up many happy memories of all the fab things we used to find at The Gap High fete when I were young & impressionable.
    The Mudgeeraba Show is on this weekend so I’d like to drag us through so I can see the Horsie Jumping and the cooking section.
    That’ll be my local if/when we move, & I have fond notions of joining the local CWA & honing my skills as a confectioner/baker.
    That seems about as admirable a raison d’etre as I can come up with for justifying another 20 or 30 years of walking the earth. As long as my orthotics arrive soon – otherwise I’ll be back on the sofa, whining, as usual.

  145. I’d heard about the hot water thing too, but the one time I tried it, the jelly got wet and started to dissolve. The gladwrap idea sounds better.

    Is layer separation a problem? MIL makes layered jelly all the time, and it never separates. Mother made it every year for Christmas dinner, and I don’t recall that ever separating either. She put tinned fruit in it, so each layer had a different fruit. It was very pretty, and far nicer than the disgusting plum pudding which always seemed to end up in my dessert bowl. Blech!

  146. According to the CWA ladies I met at the Ekka a few years ago, with French Jellies that have layers, it’s a problem. Nobody that can get their layers to stick together will give up the secret.
    I figured that the FJ winner would disclose the recipe but not the technique in the book, so I’ve done the opposite of what he suggested – which was making the layers over three days.
    Jamie Oliver says that ordinary jelly needs to be poured before the layer below is fully set – it needs to be sticky in order to attach.
    So I’ve put my trust in Jamie Oliver, as he is all about gaining people’s trust in his technique so that you buy his books. Whereas a show cook just wants to keep winning blue ribbons at a show, & they’ll take their secrets to the grave.

  147. I think that’s what MIL does. She leaves the bowl on the bench instead of in the fridge, and when it’s just about set, she adds the next layer. Sometimes there’s a very thin strip between the layers where the colours are blended. If she uses the right colours, it’s like a rainbow. Very pretty.

  148. Yes, I’ve seen that effect in the rainbow jellies. I’m not sure if you’re meant to aim for that in show cooking, but I think it’s very pretty.

  149. We did that one you get at Yum Cha, rainbows and al;\so with layers of coconut cream and agar agar. That stuck together OK, and unmoulded with a hot knife run around the inside of the tin.

  150. Yes, a lot of things become unmoulded when you run a hot knife around their rim. Jelly, cakes, my mother’s roast beef, possums….

    On a lighter note, the Boss had a big barney with his parents last night…. they were all spectacularly pished, but it’s upset the Boss enough to make him determined to move house. I’ve got all the paperwork for a bridging loan, we’ve got a few inspections lined up, all systems are go.

    You know what this means? I have to pack up my hoard piles. And the Boss can’t help because of his injury. *sob* I can’t do it without some sort of help. Is there such a thing as intravenous CAEK?

  151. Okay, I think I’m happy about this news … but where will he stay now, when he’s drunk or you get the crock-pot out?

  152. I can’t bear to think about that just yet. Actually, one of the OFI’s is two streets away from the mate who takes him to see bands like Kiss and Motley Crue. Remember the Rose Tattoo concert, when he managed to stab himself in the eye? He doesn’t. Anyway, the mate inherited his dad’s 4 bedroom house a few years ago, and it’s just him and a boarder living there, so there’s plenty of space for the Boss to crash. I like the sound of that, as the house that I was really gunning for has just cancelled its OFI and put Under Contract on the listing. Pooh. I knew I should have called them on Monday, instead of waiting for the OFI.

  153. Oh noes, Catty. Still, perhaps they’ll recover from their barney and all will be forgiven in the next drunken sitting.
    Still, moving house does sound like a good plan & I have a crate of French Jellies here leftover from my sugar experiments that I can send you.
    Well, I would, if the gelatin wasn’t choc full of sulfites.
    I’ll find someone to unload them on who isn’t going to get poisoned by the damned things.
    I tried to fob some off on Morgana at Boylapalooza dinner but she wisely played hot potato & shuffled them up the line till they wound up in Lori’s unsuspecting hands.
    Never mind, I will make sure Elf Boy gets three times as many next time I get the opportunity.
    * Evil giggles*
    Thanks for all your advice about the jellies.
    I will mutter more about that at my blog.
    Meanwhile, it was wonderful to see the crew on Friday night. I just wish I wasn’t such a zombie after 7pm at night. My brain just stops processing information & I sit there smiling & nodding like an idiot & hoping nobody is noticing that while my face may be moving, my brain has hit it’s automatic Sleep setting & it’s shut down for the night.
    Lori asked me to repeat something that I’d told her yesterday, via text, and I said ‘Que?’ as I had no memory of that conversation. None.
    I don’t understand how normal human beings come to life at night, I’m sure I was left here by aliens as a trick to confuse the real humans.
    How’d your house hunting go, Catty?
    I’d be more enthusiastic about the Doss house where you can dump your spouse if the house we liked at Elanora yesterday wasn’t across the road from one of those. 30yro surfer dude in nice house across the road, by the looks of the records he’s bought it off his parents for 50G a few years ago – & he was in his garage building a u-shaped skate ramp during the O4I. His kids (the ones that live with him – perhaps he has older ones that are on the Week About system & the O4I was timed to miss their visit) are 4 & 6 so as they are a bit young for a skate ramp & he did a lot of practice on it, I assume he’s building it for himself & his mates and no doubt they will gather on Friday nights to practice doing double flips over a few crates of beer.
    Footrot Street.
    We’re going to mull it over a bit this morning, but we’re very tempted to make an offer. There’s a bun fight over it already so someone will probably offer more for it than we do, so I’d say it won’t work out.
    Do you think this generation of 4-6 year olds will grow up to be more interested in a skate ramp than their computer games?

  154. We only went through two houses. Everything else was under contract. One house was a rotting swamp. Literally! We got bogged trying to park in the street. I think that may have been a deliberate tactic to stop people fleeing at the first whiff of the inside. My guess is they used camphor to try and cover the damp stench of mould and old dog. Ugh!

    The other house was this one:

    http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-ferny+creek-119676207

    The Boss is madly in love with it and called them to make an offer. I’m not so sure. The house itself is perfect, and the land is huge. But the drive up there was nail biting. I felt like we were on death road in Bolivia. I shudder at the thought of a half hour terror drive twice a day when I do the school run. There’s a steep little driveway and a cliff in front of the house; if your brakes gave way, there’s a looooooong drop. There’s nowhere for visitors to park, which made the OFI interesting. Also, there’s no mains sewerage, and the water supply is via a ‘temporary trunk’ which all seemed rather complicated and a bit dodgy. There’s some question about the property next door, too, as the GoogleEarth pictures show some strange images. The Boss thinks it might be some sort of workshop where revheads work on their cars before doing donuts in the paddock. And to top it all off, the S32 says it’s a bushfire prone area, so insurance will be expensive if we can get it at all.

    Personally, I think we should keep looking. But the Boss is right. The house is fabulous. So if he signs the papers, I will sign too.

  155. Catty that is just beautiful. I think you’d adapt to the drive, and there’s always home schooling.
    I will cross my fingers & toes for you.

  156. Those views are magnificent, Catty – you’ll soon get used to cliff-driving, we’ll fetch you a copy of “The Italian Job”.

    Q, what is it with you, real estate and skate ramps? It’s an Unholy Trinity.

  157. The Bloke pointed out that our nice neighbour across the road used to go out and play with his skate board. He’s confident that the same fate awaits this fellow.
    i.e. nasty fall, nastier break, even nastier stay in hospital followed by extreme nastiness from wife, who did not approve of this activity in the first place & developed zero tolerance to the skate board once it prevented him from bathing the children & stacking the dish washer.
    I think one of those fires I complained of was Jen pouring petrol over the offending item & saying hubby would follow if he attempted to replace it.

  158. The cliff across from our potential new home would make the ultimate skate ramp. Terminal, even.

  159. Perhaps they can trade skateboards for hang-gliding, Catty. Or base jumping, or whatever it is that they do in those jet-powered bat suits.
    That really does look like a corker of a place to live, I hope it works out for you. Any news from the agent thus far?
    And MM, how went the festivities?
    Do tell, was there bloodshed? What was the body count, by the end of the revelry?
    * Envisages Game of Thrones wedding type scenarios.

  160. There was blood, how did you know?

    The 70th was lovely but then the birthday girl is lovely so that should come as no surprise. At the Bardon Bowls Club which has converted a former greenskeeper’s shed out the front to a quirky little espresso bar and is set in the bush at the foothills of Mt Cootha.

    The anniversary dinner was remarkable only that when Dad went to pay for our table of ten, the dear little lady in traditional dress rushed over to make sure the rest of us weren’t taking advantage of him and free-loading. We were, but as his offspring and grandoffspring, he’s used to it.

    When we got home, though and were sitting around the pot-belly stove, TGP flung some of my knitting – with needles attached – straight into his Poppa’s eye. He claims it was an accident, but Greybeard could tell you different.

    Antibiotic ointment and he can still see. All my brother said was “He’s got a good arm.”

  161. Was he provoked?

  162. That’s dreadful, Madam! I hope your dad is o.k. On a positive note, when your dad says that something is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick, he will be speaking from experience so you’ll know it’s true.

  163. What an odd thing to say.
    Whenever someone tells me that my situation is better than a poke in the eye, I ask them if they’d like one.

  164. Hehehe.

    He’s just lucky I prefer to knit with bamboo rather than metal. And that TGP was quite tired when the flinging occurred.

  165. Your father should know better than to leave soft body parts exposed when your youngest has such easy access to projectiles.

    http://www.cafepress.com.au/+tote_bag,57096118

  166. That’s a great bag. I might get one for my sister – who, you’ll be not be surprised to hear critiqued my knitting technique until I found it no longer relaxing.

  167. Silly woman. And you with your garrotting instruments at hand.

  168. Are you sure the projectile wasn’t meant for your sister’s heart instead of your father’s eye? TGP is very protective of you, and his aim may have been off due to a: tiredness and b: difficulty in finding the target, what with your sister’s heart being a small, hard pebble and all.

  169. Not a chance. I’ve seen him rehearse his throwing skills in MM’s local cafe & I am here to tell you that his talent with projectiles comes from focused & intensive practice.
    As Morgana said, if those needles had been metal, the ambos would’ve had to pry Poppa’s head off of the fire place using an angle grinder.

  170. ‘Tis good Morgana is wise enough for bamboo, then. Nobody wants to have to plaster up knitting needle holes in the wall. Matching paint is a bastard.

  171. I quite like the bamboo knitting needles too, and I’m sure Elf Boy has learned his lesson.
    i.e. Never wound that which you can’t kill.
    It’s just as well he hadn’t inhaled a kilo or two of my rainbow jellies prior to this episode, or I’d have been arrested for conspiracy to murder.

  172. Good point. As it is, he’s somehow managed to turn ABH into a sulk fest. He left his Uncle’s Clan before he could send him a dragon on the grounds that he didn’t deserve one.

    Don’t ask me. It’s some Tablet thing.

  173. The only sentence I understood in that post was the first one. What’s ABH stand for? All I can think of is Apres-Bleeding-Horror.

  174. Actual Bodily Harm. It’s written on my charge sheets and court documents. Don’t ask.

    Meanwhile, good on TGP for leaving the clan. But dragons aren’t the worst his uncle could have done. The Barbarian King and the Archer Queen are way more savage, because they will kill all your troops and you can’t defend your kingdom. At least if the dragon destroys your kingdom, you can build up your troops in line with the kingdom rebuilding, rather than having other clans come in and help themselves to your hard-earned resources. It’s extremely frustrating!

    I so wish I didn’t know that.

  175. Me too.

  176. Apres Bleeding Horror – hehehehehe.

    Maybe TGP should join your clan, Catty? Have you got any spare dragons?

  177. Well I’m breathing fire today, if that’s any use to you, but that may have something to do with another instalment of the builders being here for 20 minutes before deciding they can’t actually build anything today.
    I’ve got cabin fever something wicked from being told to be here every day for the last two weeks to expect them and then, this.
    Good grief, are all men this stupid or is there just something in the air this lunar cycle that none of them are capable of more than scratching their arses and looking like their liver enzyme count is higher than their IQ.

  178. Why can they not build? Have they been wearing skinny jeans and consequently acquired compartment syndrome? Have they forgotten how?

    I can assure you that the surf this morning was not particularly pumping so it’s not that.

  179. Well, the arse just fell out of our world, so I’m guessing it’s the fault of some particularly demonic faeries on an ice-fuelled coast-to coast rampage.

  180. Oh Catty. I just saw the update at your blog. Scoot up beside me in the snarling and grumbling corner and have a good vent thru a chocolate biscuit. I find that always helps.

  181. Oh sorry MM. Apparently if the builders build, they will be in the painters way. The builders were meant to fix the roof over the spa before the painters started so as not to be in their way, but we wouldn’t let them take the easy (and ugly) way out of fixing the roof, so that’s why they didn’t get it done last week.
    They plan to come back to fix the roof tomorrow. I told them what BOM said, that tomorrow is meant to be the wettest day this week & storms are possible, so I wouldn’t want to be them, clinging to the roof in the wet. They hadn’t heard the weather forecast, and when the guy delivered the materials earlier that they will need tomorrow, he cast a disparaging eye over the combination & said ‘I really can’t see how this combination makes any sense but that’s what’s on the order form.’
    So if, come tomorrow, I’m still wearing my cranky pants ($19 on sale at Coals last night) that’ll be why.
    NTO is, of course, up on her roof banging things and staring over the murraya hedge in fascination, watching our painter. I had to take the dog to the vet for his arthritis shots earlier & the poor kid looked at me with fearful eyes and said ‘Will you be gone long?’
    Sigh.
    No. I will not be making plans to go anywhere until it’s all done, because I know that I need to be here to protect them from the mad bitch by casting my own manic and gleaming eye over the manic beam emitting from hers.

  182. Oh. Oh dear. This all makes TGP’s snot and writer’s group seem quite manageable,

    I’m going home to count my blessings!

  183. Save those snotty tissues & pop them in the kiln. They’ll make fabulous flaming missiles to lob at NTO from the trebuchet.

  184. I’ll Express Post them, so they arrive fresh and germy.

  185. Send them to Flat 2 next door. They’ve moved out, so NTO is free to open their mail at her convenience rather than settling for merely fondling it and sniffing it.

  186. Fondling. Hehehe.

  187. It’s probably what she’s doing, Fondling on the Roof.
    ‘What has it got in it’s pocketses, then?’
    Lots and lots of lovely freshly stamped mail belonging to it’s tenantses, that’s what.

  188. Wow. Had a busy but lovely day here so I look at my mail and thus the blog and what do I find? Catty has had a disaster (and whatever excreta has hit whatever rotating blades Catty, I hope it all turns out well. Cybernetic support hugs). NTO has morphed into Gollum, though that’s not a huge step really. The builders are acting like tradies, Madam M has gone into Bioweapons (again, not unexpected) and TGP is trying to kill people, which only happens on days with a “y” in them?

    I went to the park and kicked piles of oak leaves, spun roundabouts, talked to mums and grandmothers (a man!) and chased a giggling toddler. She turned on me and ran full tilt into my arms grinning fiercely. Must be the only person in the world who trusts me, even if I’m BAD!

    Sandy (aka D#2) is quite huge but healthy. I was following her up her back yard, preceded by a small child and a large cat and surrounded by three clucking chickens. We walked past her husband’s brew shed and up to the fruit trees and I wondered what had happened to my cool, inner urban professional daughter. Meh. She was fun, but so is this one and even lovelier.

    • And how goes D#1? Good news from the docs, I hope?

      Give the Grandevil a splurt (raspberry on the belly) from me. And a cheery hello to Fifi, whilst you’re about it.

      • Not the greatest news but could be worse. The epilepsy isn’t coming from a specific lesion but from a “layer of cells across the surface of the brain”. That puts an operation out of contention about which I have mixed feelings. The op option scared the tripes out of me but still… Good news is they’ve changed her meds and tried some kind of TENS type brain zapping (very gentle) and while she’s still having seizures, they aren’t as frequent. She & Fifi hit the op & 2nd hand bookshops today, with some success. How strange?

        As for splurts – or zurbits as we call them – she is a magnet for them so it will be a pleasure. Sandy walked in the other day, sniffed a foul odour and looked at GE. She in turn, without pausing her playing, pointed dramatically at her father. He was so surprised he confessed. Dobber!

  189. Well, huzzah to fewer fits, anyway.

    Grandevil sounds like she’s turning a bit Shakespearian. Maybe she and TGP can share a stage?

  190. Heh heh. Your life sound great, GB, want to swap places for a while?
    A friend’s husband works in that building in the CBD where someone jumped off the roof the other day, so I keep reminding myself that my life isn’t all that bad & my misery is temporary, and perhaps one day NTO will jump off of her roof, too.
    Although I think at this stage, my painters & builders would settle for ‘fall’ or ‘pushed’.
    We knew that having tradies here would tip her back into her roof-climbing stalking frenzy & I just have to remind myself that once there’s nothing to see here, she will get down off the roof & find someone else to annoy.
    I confess it’s made me somewhat unsympathetic to the scribe whining that he can’t organise a burger gathering because of his stalker.
    Cry to me when you’ve got a Stalker on the Roof, matey.
    Meh.
    Still, we’ve woken up to glorious thick pea soup variety fog, today. So today could be the day that she falls off her scritching post & snaps her leg in three places.
    I live in hope.

  191. I really don’t think you want NTO in a wheelchair, Q.

    “Rear Window”, anyone?

  192. Yes, but let’s be positive here.
    She goes out at dawn each morning and shifts her garden stakes and hammers them in at some random new location (6am whack whack whack whack whack whack are you awake yet, tenants? No? Why not? Whack Whack Whack Whack Whack) so if she falls off the roof and lands on the migratory garden stakes, she might break her leg AND take her eyes out.

  193. Why does she shift her garden stakes??

    WHAT THE SMURF IS WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN?

  194. I’d be keeping away from those stakes if I were you. They’re probably baited with Warfarin.

    But on a positive note, if she falls on one, it may pierce her heart. Is there a crossroads nearby where you can bury her?

  195. Well, as they’re made of pine, I assume that she’s trying to outrun & addle the white ant population of Bog Hollow by making them chase that delicious unprotected timber over the entire length and spread of her property.
    Unless of course the tenants get up at 2am and shift her runner beans to a different spot to smurf with her head.
    I could understand the motivation.

  196. Mmm … pine.

    I’m sick as a dog. It’s only a cold but I’ve dragged myself in to work and my head is entirely congested, yet helium-light from all the meds I choked down this morning with my espresso trying to make me functional.

    Feel sorry for me, if you’d be so kind.

  197. Oh noes MM, how horrible.
    My first thought when you said you were sick was ‘Not the vomiting’. I hope the swathe of relief that washed over me when you said it was Snot Fever does not mean that I’m a bad friend.
    GWS. Mwah.

  198. Oh, I had all but forgotten the vomiting. Thanks for the reminder. I feel better already!

  199. If it’s any consolation to your Plague, I have Pestilence.
    Bastard Ants.
    They must all be zombies as I’ve killed so many fecking ants in the last three months that there can’t possibly be more live ones out there.

  200. You have my sympathy and Fifi’s Madam. We’re off to get our flu shots early next week – hope we’re not too late. Sandy’s doctor has topped up her measles etc vax and she’s going to get a whooping cough booster before the bub is born, to give some immunity right from the start. They never used to do that but the old diseases are gradually creeping back as herd immunity fails. That whooping cough is a right bugger, even for adults as we now know.

  201. On the bright side, we had lunch and cake at the Hopetoun Tea (and Cake) rooms, which have many, many cakes. Melbo organised it and Catty, Fifi and I turned up, along with Paul and Lori but not Mayhem. https://www.dropbox.com/sc/9myivtefxv2seoq/AADFWPJNC2EgObO8x2UmH7B_a

    • Is Mayhem feeling ok? It’s not like her to pass up CAEK.

      I love that place! Mel and Catty and I went last time I was there. However, it’s true when you say that I’ve never been there with you, so I’d best come back and remedy that glaring error. Maybe not in summer though. Doesn’t it regularly go over 40?

      Happy Birthday to the birthday girl and splurts to the soon-to-be Big Sister. And big hug to Fifi.

  202. I’ll do the pic links in separate posts so they don’t have to be approved. https://www.dropbox.com/sc/xydebxpfsyavyvo/AAAERnmYyzPS0iW_xHGG66Pwa

    I had a Ploughman’s Lunch. Mel had my poached pear, Fifi & Paul had toast and pate and brie or I’d never have got close to finishing it. And I nicked some of Fifi’s cake. Did I mention there was cake? After that we went to Haig’s chocolate emporium and bought dark choc frogs amongst other things. Tough day all round. Tomorrow I’m cooking masses of BBQ pork ribs for Sandy’s birthday and Fifi is making an Orange and Almond meal cake so Jen can have some (GF). I’ll be adding a drizzle of dark choc icing.

  203. When you next come to Melbourne, we would love to take you there. It is the wickedest cakerie around and better I think than Acland St. If we could ever get Q here, the same offer goes. You could come in summer?

  204. GB, after the latest round of insomnia, I would happily never go anywhere again. I dread going away for holidays, because I know it will take a month to get my sleep cycle back to normal. It’s taken a week to get my sleep cycle back to normal after staying out till 10pm with the crew last Friday.
    I’ve had a lifelong struggle with insomnia and a while back I just accepted that my body is hard-wired to want to sleep between 8pm & 3am. Any attempt to muck with that routine, and I either don’t sleep, or I sleep for two hours and wake with horrific nightmares that leave me too adrenalised to allow further sleep, and then I’m tired all day and cranky and I have horrific mood swings, and everyone hates me and I hate myself.
    I always swear that I won’t give in and accept invitations to nights out and sleep overs.
    I never cave on the sleepovers because I know damned well that no sleep will be had.
    Occasionally I cave on the night out thing but recovery from the last two times I did that has been so fecking horrible that I will be finding every excuse under the sun never to do that again.
    The insomnia is a nightmare because once it starts, I panic that there will be months or even years of it. Which isn’t an unreasonable fear as that’s happened before.
    So sorry troops. I love youse all and I love seeing you, but I’m going to continue to say No to nights out and sleepovers. Breakfasts and lunches are fine, and if you need someone to chat to at 4.30am, I’m here, I’m awake, and I’m eager for cake.
    Nights out – no thanks. You just have to accept that I’m a freak of nature & I can’t go out after dark.
    *Shudders*

  205. Did we stay out until 10 last weekend?

    No wonder I’m still tired. 20-year-old me would have thought 47-year-old me is hysterical. Hysterically pathetic, I mean.

  206. You did score the trifecta, with bleeding eyeballs thrown in for good measure, and that assault on your system is currently punishing you with infectious snot. Up until your immune system caved, I was envious at your resilience. Now I’m just congratulating myself for knowing that I need to be locked securely in my cage for at least a week after a night out. Otherwise I’d be hurling knitting needles, too.

  207. To be fair, I was just the arms dealer in the needle-hurling incident.

    But – indeed.

  208. Pfft. I’ve heard your stories about your father. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.

  209. I doubt my aim is as good as TGP’s. Are the Assassin’s Guild hiring?

  210. I’m sure I don’t know. You’d need to talk to Spanner, and Nbob.
    *whistles & wanders off looking ignorant of their plot*

  211. He wants a kayak for Christmas now. Can anyone think of a way that can be converted to a lethal weapon, other than death by drowning?

  212. No, but I’m quite sure he’s already considered it.
    Why else would he want one?

    • I immediately assumed that he wanted a Ka Yak…. has he been reading any Steven King novels lately? TGP may have decided his destiny is to ride a hairy bovid in search of a Dark Tower. I hope so, because Wildebeests are also bovidae, so you could palm our Wildebeest off onto TGP for Christmas and save yourself a lot of money. Win win!

  213. He claims he wants to accompany his brother on fishing trips. On the subject of fraternal solidarity, let the record show that, when it got dark this last, rainy Saturday night and we started to wonder where Gigantor was, all TGP said was:

    “If he’s been abducted, can I have his stuff?”

  214. If you value your first born’s life, I’d remove him right now from your will.

  215. Hang on, you think he’d kill us BOTH!

    He still needs me, I think. Especially when tired, sick or sad.

  216. No, just planning ahead. I think you’ve got a bit of time left on this earth. How long before he turns 13?

  217. Hmmm…. which birthday is the antichrist supposed to get his hellhound? I always thought it was the 11th birthday. So unless Sari’s saliva is corrosive, like the sulphuric fires of the eternal pit, then TGP is probably merely earmarked for Senior Henchman, rather than Chief Eater Of Souls.

  218. I thought Sari was meant to be the hellhound, and she lied on all her references & is actually a big marshmallow.

  219. She doesn’t even look like a hellhound. She’d make a great toilet-paper salesperson (could testify on the great taste and look cute and cuddly in ads) or possibly bean-bag (loves snuggles, doesn’t mind if people are on top of her).

  220. And marshmallows. She’d sell a lot of marshmallows.
    Speaking of confection, have you all been suitably horrified by the news that Allens plan to deprive us of Green Frogs & Spearmint leaves?
    As one old dear on 612 said, now WTF are we going to decorate our Xmas Cakes with?

  221. Allens said on their Facebook page that they stopped making spearmint leaves last year. Also, green frogs. Meh. I never liked either.

  222. Any frog other than a Freddo is of no interest to me, but I did like Spearmint leaves when I was a lad.

    Spear is by far the finest of the mints. Smurfs me why Pepper is in such ascendance.

  223. I’m still trying to understand what went wrong that they deprived us of polly waffles.

  224. According to my children, it’s the Illuminati.

  225. Well they are greedy sods and they should give them back ASAP.

  226. You wouldn’t want them. You wouldn’t know where they’d been.

  227. The Illuminati are Bavarian. Perhaps they needed all the pollywaffles to add to their cheesecakes?

  228. Or as decoration on some Black Forest cakes? They’d make great fallen logs.

  229. They floated so beautifully in public pools. Not like the inferior Picnic bar, which sinks.

  230. Speaking of logs, it’s a shame you guys don’t tweet. Chaz made the most amazing looking Yule Log for Xmas a few years ago. The chocolate curls he used as bark almost made me weep. No wonder Mrs. Chaz adores him.

  231. I remember seeing one with chocolate curls on one of those bake-off shows. It looked scrummy, but too bloody hard. I always make Nigella’s Yule Log, because it’s easier than Mary Berry’s.

  232. I wish we could do Xmas seasonally instead of by the calendar. I’ve sworn off baking in the heat – the only dessert I’ll be doing for Xmas from now on will come out of David Lebovitz’s ‘The perfect scoop’.

  233. Mmmmm…. brain freeze….

  234. I was tempted to whinge about the chill wind yesterday, and then I remembered that we only have two months left to enjoy this & then overnight Qld goes back to suffocating, sweaty heat.
    How are the kittehs getting on, MM?

  235. Flot ventured briefly into the front yard the other day, but he’s happiest when I sit in TGP’s room with my knitting and him on my lap.

    He’s a reformed character.

    On the subject of frozen Xmas, my sister’s got a great recipe for a frozen pudding that involves Panettone and chopped Vienna almonds. Tell me if you want it.

  236. It sounds intriguing, but I’m not sure I’d make it. Not a big fan of panettone but I am a great pudding voyeur, so if you get a photo next time she makes it, I’d love to see what it looks like.
    That is happy news about Flot. I hope he’s being nice to his brother, after all of the heartache that he’s caused you all.
    Glad to hear you are enjoying your knitting.
    I stopped in at ‘Knitch’ on Latrobe Tce – it’s just opposite that cafe where you & I & Ild met that time – to ask about knitting classes. The knitter had gone home with flu so I might phone, instead. She had some fab fun things in there, knitted toys and such – so I think the lessons must be pretty central to her business. Well worth a sticky-beak if you are in the area but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go there as there’s a limited selection available & more fun to be had in Lincraft, I would think.
    I was on my way home from the dentist so I stopped in. Chipped lateral molar. None of us know how I did it, short of being hit in the jaw by a 9-Iron or a terminator. Perhaps I’m developing real life injuries from my nightmares?
    I got the junior dentist at The Gap as the senior dentist is off on some expensive holiday, funded no doubt by his 48 hour cancel-or-cough up fee for the scaler & polisher – & the youngster is wonderful, easily half my age but such a funny sweet boy. I’ll be asking for him if I need to go back before we move south.
    The Bloke was at the new dentist at Burleigh the day before so he was gloating about how fabulous & economical his experience was & how clever I am for picking him out of the crowd.
    Burleigh dentist laughed when he was told we’d been house-hunting for nearly two years, as he set up his practice at Burleigh 20 years with the goal of buying locally & it still hasn’t happened.
    Perhaps he hates white tiles even more than I do?

  237. Speaking of frozen, it actually warmed up to 14ºC here yesterday. Nice.

    *wanders off with her teeth chattering*

  238. Fifi just went a-foraging and says it’s 6ºC outside, at 2 pm. La la la, I’m so happy, I don’t care because my gut has stopped exploding.

    Aunty Q, I thought you wore one of those protective things that stop you r̶i̶p̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶B̶l̶o̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶a̶t̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ grinding your teeth when you sleep. That is most unfortunate and I’m glad you found a good dentist. I miss the TUH dentists in Brisbane. They tended to look like schoolgirls on work experience but were the most painless, efficient and happy bunch I’ve ever found. Young is good.

    The Bug has kept me away from Grandevil and her mum equally. The thought of pregnant D#2 emptying from both ends does not bear thinking and little ones dehydrate so fast. Might add I’ve been sleeping downstairs and avoiding Fifi too. But I do believe it’s all over. Had a video call with Sandy & PB. PB said “Grah!” with such delight that I teared up (don’t judge me!). She kissed and hugged the phone, said “Lullo!” in her deep Big Bear voice, told me “I love you”, something incomprehensible about the chickens and asked me to play. I am happy/sad/happy/delighted.

  239. The weather report on the telly said that we got up to 9ºC today. I don’t believe it.

    • The weather for this suburb said earlier “7ºC, feels like 5ºC”. Now it just says “Shit man, don’t go out there!”

  240. Greybeard, I’m terribly sorry that (a) your malady has taken this long to resolve, and (b) that I haven’t thought to enquire about it. Very glad to hear that you’re on the mend. Hope you’ll be in good splurting order in next-to-no time.

    Q, I’m pretty sure that you can’t wait 20 years to unpack your hoard. Let’s just assume Burleigh dentist doesn’t have a tame architect, so it’s harder for him.

    Catty, how are your ducts, darls?

  241. Not to worry MM, Khan GB has had lots of TLC (tough love from cocks) on the twitters for his malady.
    I’d say that he’s learned the value of suiting up & wearing gloves & mask when he’s mixing viruses in his lab, but as he’s had so many bugs since they moved (and I have spies everywhere) I’m more inclined to think that Melbourne is trying to kill him.
    It does explain why we get so many nasty viruses in winter here in Qld – the Victorians bring them up here when they visit for June school holidays.

    And yes, building from Scratch may be on the cards if we haven’t found anything suitable to purchase by the end of this summer. I keep looking at the surf cam going ‘Dang’ & then I look out the window at what’s on display here and go ‘Double dang & dammit.’
    At least during winter the helicopters come in on a different flight path so they aren’t waking me up at night, rattling the whole house as they come in for a landing.
    Huzzah for the south-westerlies.

  242. There have been some beautiful dawns, of late. All overcast and platinum and with the full moon still up out west.

  243. That full moon has been lovely. The ABC staff keep tweeting photos of southbank in darkness with the full moon hanging over it. It’s so good to see how in love with it they are down there, after being so unhappy & worried on the old site that was so inexplicably maldito.
    It was so gorgeous down at Burleigh the other morning that I’m tempted to look at units up on the hill. Not the touristy bit down on the esplanade, but the older 60s built things up on the headland.
    I doubt that we’d buy one, but it’s worth reviewing our options seeing as it’s been so hard to find something we both like around there.

  244. Full moon = Aunt Irma’s night light. It is pretty, though. Like the Death Star at Christmas.

  245. Deck the halls with laser blasters
    Fa la la la la, la la la la…

    Oh, I’m a big fan of 60s architecture. I hope you find something with a sunken lounge room!

  246. Our house is on reclaimed swamp. I hope never to have a sunken lounge. So far, so good.

  247. Or sunken eyes. Although I’d LOVE to find some sunken treasure.

    Sunken. The more you type it the odder it seems.

  248. Well we’ve got a sunken trampoline we’re going to convert to a sunken garden. Does that count? Apparently these old style tramapolines with no nets or even spring cushions are so unsafe, the gubbinment has even considered a buy-back scheme. Anyway, for the preservation of visiting kiddies and drunken adults, I’m going to dismantle it and part fill the small quarry in which it’s set with earth. Maybe a small Hobbit house? Troll cave? Suggestions welcome.

  249. Oh, TGP has been yearning for a Hobbit Hole. Build one of those, GB! Although you never know when you might need to accommodate a troll, and I don’t want troll ooze in my nice ensuite.

  250. Also, Son in Law and D#2 have been trying out names on the Grandevil. Stuart is now right OUT.
    “Do you like Hamish?”
    “Haem-ish (sweetly)”
    “How about Stuart?”
    “Stu-pit (equally sweetly)”

  251. See how she goes on Spiderman. That was Gigantor’s choice for TGP.


  252. Sunken outdoor fireplace, Khan GB. You could probably do some retaining, do a concrete pour, and do something creative with tiles or render to create quite a nice grotto. Just don’t forget the drainage, unless you need another pond to keep your frog spawn in for the summer.

    Unless you want to get really artsy, and build a cubby house with a dungeon?


  253. Unless you want to cook up some yummy treats for the coven executive when we come to visit, by making a grotto with a pizza oven?

  254. http://australianplungepools.com.au/gallery.php
    Stop asking me design questions. You know how I am with design, I can’t stop!

  255. I do like the idea of a hobbit hole. Or an alien landing craft.

  256. But what about Mayhem’s Mum? Where will she keep her rat minions?

  257. As much as I love the idea of a hobbit hole, I think those rain water tanks that have been converted into plunge pools are a very clever idea. I love the 50s look of them.

  258. Hobbit hole, Hobbitt hole!

    Is that all they are, Q? I do like the mosaic tiling.

  259. The one in the photo is prefab concrete but I’ve seen people make them out of recycled rain water tanks. I found them way back when we were looking at that house in Flaminia Street, and I was wondering how to make the street front more appealing & private on a limited budget. I was very impressed with the idea of the pergola & then the 50’s style mosaic plunge pool. I didn’t look into costs, I just eyed that off & thought ‘cute!’
    I like the idea of the sunken fire pits, even though 2 minutes next to said fire would be sufficient to set off my asthma & have me on ‘rhoids for the rest of the winter.
    Speaking of which, have you been warned, MM, that Winter is Coming?
    BOM said that we are in for the coldest days of the year thanks to the cold front moving up from down south. There’s an article in today’s Brisbane Times about it.
    Sunday, Monday & Tuesday are meant to be nasty cold, with showers, too. I might think twice about going to the Samford Show this weekend. Brrr!

  260. Oh, that will make the tournament delightful! I suppose suffering is the most medieval of all past-times.

  261. I feel for the knights. That chain link armour will be chilly, and if they’re not careful, it’ll rust.

  262. It’s so heavy I think being cold will be the least of their problems. I suppose armour greasing is one of your serfs to-dos?

  263. You just can’t get good help these days. I tried yelling “Serf’s up!” but people threw things at me. Sharp things.

    Actually it stinks. Even the inside of the helmet (remembering bucket helm here) smells of rust, sweat and old breath since the padding means you can never totally clean it. I tried Febreze and it really wasn’t too bad. First you put on yer underdaks and t-shirt, trakkie daks or leggings. Over that goes a gambeson which saves your life. It’s made from layers of thick, cheap cotton camping blanket (we still have a couple of uncut ones) and without it you get soaked in sweat, then frozen as soon as you stand still (if winter). I’ve never worn armour in summer. The recipes for broiled Greybeard aren’t enticing. The rest of the stuff is just heavy, movement-limiting and sweat-provoking.

    Damien used to belong to one of those rapier et poignard groups who wear loose shirts and black jackets with broad-brimmed hats. Elegant and comfortable. Smart fellow that Damien.

  264. He was in Prima Spada! They’re very dashing fellows. Doublet and hose, suitable for any climate.

    So, just for interest’s sake GB, what seasonings would one use for Broiled GB? Just academic interest, you understand.

  265. What a coincidence! The Boss was just saying he needed to go to Bunnings because his hose was too short and he wanted to doublet.

    Today was fun. I rang the council and asked them to come and collect our piles of crap from the kerb. Then I took the kidlets to see the Minions movie. By the time we got home, more than half of the crap had been purloined by industrious hoarders. One was digging through the pile when we arrived. It was my FIL. He found a number of things he wanted to take, mainly The Gimmee’s furniture (which he will be cutting up and using for firewood), and also his tumble dryer, which he was a little annoyed to find on the pile. Anyway, at this rate I doubt there will be anything left for the council to toss into their compactor truck.

  266. Hehehe. Not the gothic chair!! Don’t let him put that on the fire!!

  267. I thought your eldest was smarter than that, Catty?
    By the time we were 16 & we’d been turfed from the family nest we all knew what to expect if we stored our extraneous stuff with relatives.
    Sorry, can’t laugh at that one. I still get the shudders at the thought of my evil stepmonster giving my stuff away to charity. Urgh.

  268. I think a lot of my stuff is still under the family house. Would you like some of that, Q?

  269. That depends. Do you have my complete collection of 1970s wonder woman comics and my case of Barbie dolls with the clothes my mother & my aunts made for them?

  270. It always bugged me that my childhood treasures were turfed within seconds of my ousting from the family home. Even the handmade clay bust of Winston Churchill. Now how shall I fight them on the beaches?

  271. Oh no. I was more Tonka trucks and slot cars and I suspect my brother trashed most of them. That’s heart-breaking.

    Catty, that’s an odd choice of subject. He would have made an excellent Toby jug, though.

  272. I was on the beach at Burleigh with the dog yesterday, so I can tell you that there is plenty of ammunition on hand in the shape of forgotten shoes and greasy burger wrappers. Not exactly deadly unless we get GB to wipe his nose on them before filling the trebuchet.
    Unless a northerly blows in bringing lots of jellyfish we can fling at them, we’re screwed.

  273. I’ve confessed before, but when we cleaned up my parent’s house, there were still a few boxes of my stuff there. Now we have the boxes of our kid’s junk – mainly memorabilia that they’ll never look at again. Fifi had the other experience. Went out west to teach, came back for a visit after two weeks and her room was cleared and occupied by one of her brothers.
    Her mother is still a fanatical chucker-out. “Now you need to keep this box because it has the instructions and the cable for loading new photos etc.” “Can you load some new photos?” “Sure, where’s the box with all the stuff in it?” “Oh I threw that out.”
    (AND she threw out that semi-transparent pink top with the silver embroidery that made it more or less decent for Fifi to wear in public. I’ll never forget that.)

    A milestone has passed, painfully as passing stones is wont to be. “Shall I put you in your chair?” “No. Big chair now. Cushion.” So the high chair is retired until {insert name here} needs it. That all seems to have gone very quickly and I’m a little bit sad.

  274. Cheer up, GB. They’re a lot of fun when you can have proper conversations with them and they start saying peculiar things, too.

    Although I, too, am wistful for Gigantor aged about 3. ‘Big hug” he used to say and stretch his arms out wide. He was only knee-high, too. Sigh.

  275. Chin up MM, some of us still appreciate big hugs.
    I could have done some this morning when a *friend* took me to task for neglecting to wish my sister a happy birthday.
    My response: ‘I haven’t spoken to her since I answered all the AFP’s questions about her husband the Drug Lord . And no doubt it’s horribly remiss of me, but when the AP tell you that it’s advisable to avoid the person you’ve just ratted out, I tend to take that advice seriously.’

  276. I hope you went on to add something about the last time you spoke to her she was muttering darkly about how your *friend* would be sorry she’d crossed her… and sharpening some looooong knives.

  277. I’m doing a bit of dark muttering myself. When we got up this morning, we found several new items had been added to our junk pile – all of it was stuff the council told us not to put on the pile. TV’s, paint cans, batteries, etc. I’m ropable, because I have no idea what to do with it all. Some people deserve those long, sharp knives, right in the ribs.

  278. I’d be ropable too, Catty. Our builders have a policy that they get skips delivered & removed on the same day in order to stop people doing exactly that. So council must be aware that it’s something people do. I’d call them early on & tell them what has happened. What a shame you didn’t have a camera trained on it so you could restore the junk whence it came – or at very least, you could show it to council & let them sort t out.
    NTO has a habit of dumping her hard rubbish on our footpath. If it’s still there at dawn I dump it in her flower beds out front, so that has discouraged it somewhat. One of the blessings of Toad Park is that there is no item so hideous that a scrounger won’t take it, so aside from being woken by people scrabbling through the junk heaps on their nocturnal wanderings, it’s all good.

  279. Speaking of nocturnal scramblings, I’ve heard a bit of scritching in the walls lately. I think some of TGP’s escapee mice have taken residence.

    Does anyone have a spare carpet python?

  280. Oh & re: the sniping, it’s a regular thing & I try to breathe through it, stay calm, set boundaries, & just mutter crossly afterwards. Her sister committed suicide & killed her child so there’s not a lot of perspective about why someone would not want to wish their sister a happy BD. Aside from which she drinks since a car accident & I suspect she has undiagnosed PTSD.
    If people are willing to put up with my levels of insanity I suppose I should try to do the same. Albeit muttering under my breath irritably, but I do have a theory that none of us walk the earth unscathed or overly sane.
    My patience expires with Louise Haye, though.
    i.e. MG is still using the tried and tested methods of The Secret to manifest Mr. Right.
    My pointing out to her that my tame house male still hasn’t figured out that you need to cover spag bog with cling wrap before defrosting it in the microwave, and that invariably he does exactly that on the eve of the day that I’ve cleaned it, has not dissuaded her from her conviction that Walt Disney is up there in heaven granting little girls’ wishes.
    I wish that Walt would indoctrinate them with the edict Thou Shalt Not Splatter, since their mothers seem to have failed with that one.

  281. No, but there is that boa constrictor loose on the spit.

  282. Killed her child? That is one form of insanity I’ll never wrap my head around.

    How is poor old MG?

    I have no faith in the Secret, but I did have a friend who manifested a white Merc. Stuck a photo on the fridge, meditated on it, won one three months later.

    On balance, a Merc is a better bet than any man. Better trade-in value.

  283. Nasty story. Toddler being sexually abused by predator father who carried a lot of clout within the judiciary, & persuaded the courts that he was sweet & the child’s mother was making stuff up. She couldn’t run, she couldn’t protect her child & thanks to John Winston Howard her child could look forward to a week about with a predator.

  284. Ok, that’s the only valid reason I’ve ever heard. What the smurf is wrong with some people?

  285. Well, we know what’s wrong with the psychopaths. As for the people they so convincingly sucker, I’ll never understand WTF is wrong with them.
    I would have explored the option of nixing the predator, but the trouble with that is that you end up behind bars & you can’t protect your child when you’re trapped in a cage.
    And if you end up in jail, you’ve got to worry about who ends up taking care of the kid. If there’s one predator in the father’s family then you’ve got a problem in that the remainder of his family will have willingly shut their eyes to it, so they’re idiots, and there may well be other predators. At least when you kill the head vampire they all die, but child predators will pass on their tendencies to a percentage of their prey.
    I understand why she did it. She was Catholic, and, I think, a teacher, so I think she’d have understood from personal experience or exposure just how hard it is to recover from being abused at such a young age.
    Meh.
    I could go on, but I’m happy to sum up by blaming JWH for a lot of trauma-related angst, and hope he comes back in the next life to experience first hand why his policies are a crap idea.
    Onto other news the plasterer has finished. He’s also splattered bits of plaster all over everything that’s recently been cleaned, painted, touched up or redone, so I’ve been eyeing off the knives & wondering how messy it is to sever testicles.
    Not as messy as mending a plaster roof, I’m sure.

  286. I’ve looked back at all the PM’s we’ve had since I was old enough to have any idea what a PM was, and I have come to the conclusion that they are all unmitigated arseholes. It must be part of the job description or something.

  287. I think humanity’s best and brightest avoid politics altogether & use their powers for good. Did you guys see this article yesterday?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-09/mirror-box-therapy-tricks-brain-into-helping-damaged-limbs/6601106

    Want!

  288. So clever, so low-tech, so cheap!

    I had to laugh at “Dr David Butler, who lectures in anatomy pain”, though. They all lecture in anatomy pain. It’s a bitch of a subject.

  289. Yes I saw that & wondered if it was medical, psyche, or a typo. Then I remembered how painful it was studying anatomy & thought that perhaps they’ve added that as a descriptor so the health science students know what they’re in for.

  290. The only good thing was the skeletons. I do love skeletons.

  291. The one nice A&P teacher that we had ruined that for me. He showed us where our skeleton had copped a blow to the head & said that it had probably come from the black market in India, and his mother had probably sold him to organ harvesters to stop the family from starving.
    I think they’re all plastic these days, but given how much other cheap crap that fraudster imported from India, it was very believable.
    Urgh.

  292. Yes, that’s why they stopped the bone trade. My skeleton has no head trauma, though. I like to think he died of something not very painful, in his sleep.

  293. Vodka & asphyxiation, perhaps?

  294. sounds like my plan for the weekend!

  295. LOL. I think my neighbours have got a jump start on you, but judging by the sounds it’s asphyxia by strangulation. Huzzah for the rain that will keep them indoors.

  296. Except will it to stay away from the Abbey until we’ve tourneyed.

  297. Which day are you going?
    Sunday is meant to be clear, but much colder. And for all their dire predictions of rain and storms later today, the radar is clear. There’s been a thick fog over the river since I got up at 5am, but it’s just started warming up.

  298. We seem to have copped all the windy, icy rain. And I have just packed up LK to head out into it for a sleepover. I am the worst mother in the world. Now, excuse me, I’m going to put a pie in the oven for dinner, because LK doesn’t eat pies. Yay! Pie!

  299. Icy rain? Wind? How very odd. I suppose I should look outside sometime but the blanky is so warm and Fifi keeps making cups of tea to go with the chocolate biscuits that have that layer of caramel. And I have books to read. The only thing that could lure me out is the promise of snow within a reasonably short drive. And spicy food and wine close by.

    D#1 is going into hospital on Tuesday to have her brain zapped and some more tests. I hope the zap (actually a painless tickle) proves to be effective. Better than moar drugz.

    • All the very best to D#1 for an effective and trouble-fee zapping.

      Splurts to Grandevil and Big Sister to be.

      And much love to Fifi

  300. It was today!

    We saw dryads and a plague doctor and gypsies and a three-foot John Snow. And there was a Tardis out the front.

    Speaking of fronts, am I imagining the icy chill creeping over the white tiles, or has it arrived?

    • Now I have Tournament Envy! And I heard Qld was getting cold, but 3 feet of Snow?

      • Hehehe. That’s your best one this year!

  301. Yes, tournament envy. Why don’t they have anything like that down here? Without the Tardis, though. Those things freak me out. I much prefer Dr Poo’s Turdis . I only mention this because I have recently managed to buy a CD with most of the Dr Poo ‘Knees Ahoy’ episodes.

    Fingers crossed for D1, Greybeard. I have been putting off my own MRI for some time, and the Boss is nagging me to book in this week. Ugh. I’m sure I’ll come up with some excuse…. oh, that’s right. I can’t do it this week. I have to do the Boss’s tax return. And the week after that I may have to go shopping for cheese.

    But for now, the oven is still warm from pie. So I got the Teenie to put more in. Apple, this time. And there’s custard! Happy happy joy joy!

  302. Mmm … cheese. And pie.

    It’s OK to eat quiche in this weather as long as you don;t inflict salad on anyone, isn’t it?

  303. Mmm, Pie.
    It must be the weather, because I’ve been eyeing off the pie & quiche recipes in Paul Hollywood’s ‘how to bake’. Mostly it’s a bread book – it has some deeply disturbing photos of how to get the butter layers into danish/croissant pastry, basically by bashing a 250gm rectangle of butter with a rolling pin until it’s flat enough to fit neatly on top of your rolled out pastry.
    The French were very clever to know that weather like this requires so much more than merely carbohydrate loading.

  304. I once looked up brioche, intending to give it a go. Once I saw how much butter was in it, I changed my mind. It’s a wonder Marie Antoinette wasn’t the size of a house.

  305. Scary, heh?
    I’ll have to try them, though. I love bread making & if you’ve ever seen Paul get into it on the TV or youtube, he has a way of making it seem like its easy & you should be doing it every day.
    If you want some food porn, get his book out of the library. Lots & lots of useful pictures of instructions, too. Is good!

  306. If I want bread porn, I get the Boss to make some of his Maple Syrup Dumplings. Veeeeeerrrrry good. Mmmmm….

  307. That’s why brioche is tasty! Since when have we been anti-butter?

  308. Since Irma tightened the elastic on my sweat pants, that’s when.
    But yes…home-made danishes…nom nom nom!

  309. We need to invent stretchier elastic.

  310. And stretchier polar fleece, that’s far more forgiving of my winter indulgences & inertia.

  311. I like coral fleece. Do they even make that in stretch fabric? Because they bloody well should.

  312. A polar fleece muu-muu would be good. Except for the drafts.

    What we need are smart leggings, that can take a note of the calories you’re consuming and the exercise you’re avoiding and adjust accordingly.

    • I know there are jeggings, so maybe we could call smart leggings “smeggings”? Y/N?

      • FAR too much like smegma. Is Red Dwarf on Netflix?

      • It’s a YES from me. But possibly not from Simon Cowell.

  313. LOL. Give that man a liver treat, he’s earned it, today.

  314. Mmm, not sure. I haven’t seen it pop up in my SciFi searches.
    Greggles, is J off to her zapping appointment today?
    Give her our love, and virtual cheesecake.
    I hope all goes well.
    Mwah! xxx

    • Thanks Q. It’s tomorrow but we might even manage real cheesecake and I’ll pass on the rest. Off soon to pick up latest guest from the station and use her as an excuse to go and have fun. Oops.

  315. She’ll probably be glad of a few volts, in this weather.

    But in all seriousness, yes indeed. Hope it’s a great success and not too vile. The zapping, as well as the hospital food.

  316. They have food at hospitals now? My, how times have changed. Yes, GB, add my positive vibes and virtual cheesecake to D1’s care package.

  317. Just make sure that hospital food isn’t a part of it. Bleargh.

  318. Thank you all for your kind thoughts towards D#1. A long time ago, I had a double hernia (68kg UPS, confined space, impatient & angry, what was that ripping oh dear I don’t think it was my trousers…). Anyway, I went into the Mater Private for the op and they had a *menu*! With real food, though no wine list. Dinner was actually quite pleasant. Only time ever in a hospital.

  319. I knew friends who had babies at Sunnybank Private. They had a wine list.

  320. On two separate occasions I was hospitalised with no food for 24 hours. They told me that if I’d wanted meals, I should have filled in the little meal card the night before. I told them that I wasn’t in hospital the night before, and therefore couldn’t have filled in a card, but apparently that was not their problem.

  321. Hospitals, ugh.
    I know they pay my mortgage and on a few occasions they’ve save my life, but still – ugh.

  322. I hope I die suddenly. i can smell that smell every time I read “hospital”.

    If I look like lingering, can someone ask Bangarr and/or nbob to do me a favour? Or Greybeard and some of his lovely weaponised germs?

    • Yup. And aged care places are even worse. The smell is like gaseous depression. Bleargh. Bzzzt! Reboot brain, change subject!

  323. GB’s biowarfare is designed to debilitate for protracted periods. Well, that’s what I’ve inferred from the series of *accidents* in recent months where he’s managed to infect himself.
    If you want to go quickly, buy Elf Boy a dart board so he can get in some practice with poison darts. I’d set it up out front where it’ll reduce sales & productivity at the surf shop.

  324. Book a holiday at the Bates hotel, and go for a shower. It might not be painless, but it will be quick.

  325. Where would I be without you, ladies?

  326. Well, you’d be safe from the auditors at ASIO who tally up our threats of homicide & arson.

  327. Yeah, funny they haven’t been in touch yet. I suppose they’ve got a fair bit on.

  328. They’re watching you right now, and recording everything you say. Lucky them. All I have to watch is cute kitteh videos, and a film clip of Kanye West attempting to sing Bohemian Rhapsody, which for some inexplicable reason my friends keep sending me. It’s like being RickRolled, only nastier.

  329. Kan-Kanned?

  330. Since it’s Kanye, and I’d never heard of rick-rolling, I assumed it would be something like that cheese rolling competition they have in Gloucestershire, but with dog turds.
    Don’t ask me how I came to that conclusion.
    Oh yeah, Kanye, and the hallucinogenic effects of Irma doing laps through the arctic vortex hanging over my head.

  331. I adore this Vortex. I’ve been sleeping in until 6. 6! I feel like a new woman.

  332. I just want to cry. Buggered if I know why.

    Oh, did I mention I got a new crockpot last week? Twice I’ve gone to use it, and the Boss has gone drinking. So today I waited until I was sure he was going to be home, and finally took the new pot out of the box. It’s been on for over an hour, and it’s barely warm. We are going to have a very, very late dinner.

  333. Dang. Sounds like that is the next night’s dinner, to me.
    Which product did you get, Catty?
    I’ve only ever used mine as a slow cooker, so that’s 6-8 hours+. I switch it on at 8pm at night so the squeaking as it switches off works as an alarm clock. That way it’s got time to flavour up before we eat it for dinner.
    I haven’t used mine for a while either, as I’d been letting the freezer lunches dwindle down enough to clean out the fridge & the bar freezer.
    Did I tell you I got the seals replaced on my 15yro Kelvinator mini-freezer & it’s worked brilliantly since? No more icing up.
    I’m planning to get the seals replaced on my big fridge, too, as they’ve gone mouldy and skanky & I’m sure at 15 they aren’t sealing as well as they should.
    I have to clean the damned thing again before he comes out to do that though…and no way am I doing that in these temps. Brrr!
    So did you get a hot dinner last night, or was it toasties & hot cocoa all round?

  334. We got the Russell Hobbs 3 litre model. It’s not as hot as my last two crock pots, but now I know that I will adjust my timing accordingly. Still, it was ready only a little past our usual dinner time, and dinner was delicious. The Boss refused to eat, saying he wasn’t feeling very well. I think it might have been a bung Chiko Roll. He does tend to snack a lot more, now he’s home during the day. Or, seeing as he didn’t stop drinking until 4am, it could have been a hangover. Either way, there’s lots of lovely leftovers for lunch. Mmmmm…..

  335. Mmmm…dinner. what did you make, Catty?
    I made a couple of quiches, leek & blue cheese, & the usual mushroom pie.
    Good choice as we could eat with our fingers, which were too cold to manage cutlery. brrr!

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