new, iPad friendly post


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522 Responses

  1. Ooooh Kitttehs!
    TThanks MM.
    Now to fix the keybboard. I’ve droppppped crumbs in it again.

  2. Looking for the phone number of RSPCA? Mmmmm.

  3. My kittehs dial amnesty when there’s a crisis. Like they can see the bottom of the food bowl when it gets low on kibble.

  4. There are apps for kittehs. There are no apps for budgies. Discrimination!

  5. DisAppointed budgies. Poor birdies.

  6. I beg to differ. There’s an app for every-bloody-thing.

  7. I stand corrected… no, scratch that. I curl up in the sulking corner corrected.

  8. Wow. Look at him trying to get the celery.
    Aren’t animals funny?
    You should see how pissed off Miss Kitteh gets with her reflection in the front loader we bought earlier this year. She keeps trying to tell us there is a devil cat lurking therein – and we believe her.

  9. Our budgie used to run across my iPad to get my attention. Her little tootsies activated the screen, and on many occasions she would mess up my Candy Crush games just when I was about to win. That got my attention all right. *sigh* I miss that little bugger.

  10. She’s in a better place, now, Catty. With Bubbles the Invisible Goldfish. And my dear old Miko.

  11. How could there be a better place than on the sulking couch with Catty, eating caek & drinking vodka?

  12. Did the budgie drink much vodka? And do you call a drunken budgie “wingless”, or just “grounded”?

  13. The budgie drank Coke. She’d run all over the dinner table and eat spaghetti or rice or mash off our plates, then stand on the side of our glasses to drink our Coke – usually dropping chunks of sticky pasta in the glass. I miss her. And now I miss Bubbles the Invisible Fish too. Where is my Vodka? I’m off to wallow in a pit of memories and alcohol.

    Probably in the sulking corner.


    Because ever since I was little, I was told “Don’t snort cocaine, or you’ll end up with a deviated septum”. So I stayed away from cocaine, only to find out on Friday that I have a deviated septum anyway. All these years, I could have been doing coke. And now I’m too old to start. *sigh* Did anyone find that Vodka yet?

  14. She sounds like a sweetie, Catty. I do love birds. The Blurry Brush turkeys are that tame now, that I suspect they’d run into the house for mash & fizzo if I left the door open for long enough.
    As for the cocaine, I think your nose falls clear off if you do enough of it, (Stevie Nicks) and it seems to lead to horror mood swings. having seen what the polydrug use did to my sister & my BIL, I think we’re all probably better off without it.

  15. The Boss would argue that I already have horror mood swings…. and if he keeps saying things like that, he will eventually discover that the worst of my swings is a left hook, straight to the earhole.

  16. Cocaine is far too expensive.

    Anyway, who wants to stay up all night chattering, when one of the greatest joys in life is slipping between one’s crisp, 1000 thread count sheets?

    I reckon that’s the true mark of getting old. Looking forward to bed time.

  17. Then I have been old for a very, very long time. Mmmm…. bed….

  18. If I sigh hard enough, it almost feels like Egyptian cotton brushing my skin.

    • I just had to ransack the linen closet for bed linen that the Kittehs haven’t shredded, for Deb. bloody cats, they mangle everything.
      Well, we are at the Qantas club. squeeeeee! Glorious day for flying. My knitting bag caused an uproar at security but my wooden circular needles were not deemed to be a threat & after a meeting with the team leader, they decided I could keep my very blunt darning needle, too. Thank goodness I put my double pointed needles in the cargo luggage, I don’t think I’d still have those, otherwise.
      Our flight boards in 10 minutes so during my long silence traversing the desert, I advise you to go look at the Margaret river fudge site & place your orders. They have a shop in Freo.

  19. Have fun, secure in the knowledge that we are all painfully jealous.

  20. Bon Voyage!

    I have to disagree about the circular needles, though. Those people have no imagination. Or have never felt the need to garrote anyone.

    Hope you have a fabulous time. And that the Bloke’s sessions aren’t eye-wateringly tedious for him, poor lamb.

  21. I just realised that there’s only 1.5 weeks until school holidays are again upon us. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. I better have a nap right now.

  22. What?! Nooooooooooooooo!

    Dear old, air-conditioned office.

  23. Oh lordy. School holidays? That means the trail bike kids will be out doing laps of the block in their lap-laps again.
    Thanks for your happy wishes, troops.
    Guess what?
    I am in a 5 star hotel overlooking the Swan river & I have the internet on my ipad! Well, it’s working for MM’s blog. It shook & wobbled & zoned out loading yours, Catty. Rather like it did when I was here two years ago. They must have an extra telecommunincations tower nearby because I’ve got an extra bar of reception on my mobile. That’s progress for you.
    It’s lovely to be here.
    We’re on the top floor in a ‘superior’ room at the far end of the corridoor, right next to the presidential suite. So long as there’s not a boy band installed in there doing hookers & blow, I think I’m in for a treat.

  24. Huzzah to the suite!

    I think you’ll be safe from hookers and blow. But if you see any Liberal pollies, give them my kind regards via a boot up the date, if you’d be so kind.

  25. If you see any pollies at all…. And forget the boot. A firecracker up the clacker would be preferable.

    And I agree with Madam, Q. In a room that posh, you won’t hear a thing except the knock on the door when room service arrives. Ahhhh…. luxury….

  26. I know, it’s wonderful!
    All I can hear is doors closing, and because we are right at the end of the hall, there’s not much of that. It’s a lovely hotel.
    I went out & bought fruit & cheese & sweets & baked goods, so I was too full & too tired for room service when the Bloke finally got in from his work do.
    The breakfast buffet opens in 12 minutes though, so hmmm….this should be interesting.
    I’ve been bouncing off the walls since I woke at 1.40am with my body telling me it’s twenty minutes to 4am & time to start gearing up for the day. It’s always weird, adjusting to the time difference, but I forced myself to stay in bed & I tried to doze till 5am, so hopefully I won’t be too tired later on today.
    Whee! I’m in Perth!

  27. I didn’t even think of jet lag. My boss was telling me that Australia is so vast, your flight path to Perth is affected by the earth’s curvature.

    Doesn’t that seem like a loooooooooooooooong way away?

  28. Yep. It’s a long way here, but the headwinds usually blow you all the way back. It’s more just the resetting of your body clock that’s weird. Meals. Sleep. Hunger. The first day is always odd. You have to force yourself to do things at the appropriate hour to get it all to reset.
    Result: it’s 6pm & all I want to do is sleep.
    the second day here is always easier.

  29. Umm, I can feel like sleeping at 6 p.m. even on a day when I haven’t left this shack.

  30. Testify.
    Well, I managed to sleep till 4am so I have reset the clock, huzzah!
    I’m off to join the queue for the mini Danishes at the hotel’s breakfast buffet…oh to share them with you. They are so light & fluffy that they float past your tonsils on a wave of sugary ecstasty.
    Nom Nom Nom!

  31. The Germans who have a stall at Yandina Market do a pretty delish Danish. If it doesn’t rain too much I might trundle out there at dawn tomorrow.

    A buffet is so much fun, isn’t it? For the consumer, I mean, not the poor wage-slaves who have to construct it.

  32. Most of the workers here are international staff on 457 visas, and the occasional stunning Nordic backpacker. The floor manager at the buffet is a white guy in a suit & I saw him lean in on top of one of the Valkyries yesterday, pressing her over the tea-bench, while he made out he was trying to reach something.
    I was pouring myself a cuppa & I was close enough to see her freeze & try not to react to that disgustingly overt bit of sexual harassment.
    She saw my reacion – he didn’t – and my read on it was that she just wanted to get on with her work & pretend it wasn’t happening.
    She’s probably worried she lose her job if she complains to management.
    I’m still bothered by that, though.
    I hate walking away from a predator & leaving them to do their thing.
    I’ll be keeping an eye on him, & I’ll have a think about that.
    Since we’ve got this swish room next to the presidential suite, at the company’s expense, (even if it is by default thanks to the guy that’s meant to be here getting ‘flu) – I suppose they’d probably sit up & pay attention if the executive’s wife commented on inappropriate behaviour from the floor manager in their fine dining establishment.
    I remember being that age & waitressing & having some piece of slime press themselves against you when you’re stuck in a corner.
    Now that I’ve seen it happen, I’ve seen exactly how calculated that behaviour is.

  33. Rain? There is rain?

    • There has been here. I’m not up on City rainfall.

  34. Oooooh, I loves a good danish, I does. The breakfast of champions – it’s fitting that you should be having them, Q. Also, naps are good. 4am, 6pm, whenever.

    So, what’s on the agenda for today? After the danishes and naps, that is.

  35. I’m having a nap, that’s for sure. I hope it stays overcast. I feel less slothful if I nap in drizzle.

  36. Why stop at one?

  37. Yesterday we went to Fremantle, which is a bit like West End & New Farm 30 years ago – very Bohemian & full of Italians. I’ll post pix when we get back but we had an awesome Italian breakfast, then wandered around looking at stuff. People in the tourist shops always look at me & say ‘You’re either from here or from Qld, which is it?’ and then they’re delighted when I admit to being born in Qld but that my Dad was from Perth & I’m here to see my cousins.
    They go ‘That’s it, then!’
    I was hunting for Quokka things in a big touristy outlet while the owner was trying to explain ACDC to a group of Japanese tourists. She was having trouble,
    ‘(Tourist: Ayseee Duckeeee?’)
    so I shazammed ‘Thunderstruck’ – which was blasting over the speakers – and handed them my phone, to look.
    Relieved sighs of comprehenion, all around.
    ‘Oh! Ayseee Deee Ceeee!’ which allowed her to progress to her point that they should walk up to the fishing harbour & get their photos taken beside the sculpture of Bon Scott.

    Apparently doing things like that (thrusting yourself into a private conversation with a ‘Here, THIS!’) is something only Perthians & Queenslanders do.
    Sydneysiders & Melbournians sniff disdainfully & move along.
    I get that a lot, here.
    It’s a constant from every trip here, the delight that the WA folk exhibit when they see that a child of one of their own has come back.
    It’s very sweet.
    But I digress.
    We fled Fremantle before 11am as it was starting to turn purple with Dockers fans, & we drove north along the sunset coast & stopped in to see our favourite beaches & suburbs, all of them copping a hiding from the spring squalls. The older suburbs have houses of stone & mortar, or brick & mortar. They have high walls to keep the wind out & I find them so much more endearing than the timber & tin colonial houses back in Qld. Somehow they are neater & better looked after. Back in our neighbourhood there’s chickens & cattle dogs & all manner of hippy shit spilling out of the Queenslanders and onto the footpath & you don’t see that here.
    It’s tidy, and it’s quiet, and they’ve got largely native gardens with splashes of lavender, roses, rosemary & bougainvillaea.
    I could wax lyrical about the beauty of Perth but I’ve been told to get a shuffle on, so, another time.
    Happy Sunday, all.

  38. Glad you’re having a great time and that the hail has not impeded you.

    And thanks for the “Thunderstruck” earworm. I need a bit of motivating, Monday morning.

    nah nah nah nah
    nah nah nah nah nah nah

  39. I keep sticking my nose in to conversations in supermarkets, when people are looking for stuff or trying to figure out which product they need. It’s weird how they react, all polite and friendly and thankful for the information, but with a facial expression that indicates they would have preferred being attacked by a bear to listening to me. But have I learned to shut my face hole? Oh, no.

    Those houses sound lovely, Q. I hope you’ve taken photos. But not too many, if the Japanese tourists are there too. When I was in Rome, they said they’ve had to ban photographs of the Sistine chapel because the flash from so many Japanese cameras was causing the paint to deteriorate.

  40. Can camera flashes even do that? I would have thought global warming, acid rain, earth tremors, etc would have had more impact.

    Maybe if I just photograph my walls a lot I won’t need to sugar soap them.

  41. I have a better method. I poke every visitor in the eyes when they walk through the front door. It’s hard to see grime through that many tears.

    Meanwhile, I am about to actually, physically start work on the Enchiridion. Wish me luck…. not just for the success of the book, but that the Boss won’t get home from the gym and tell me to stop fart arsing around with crap, and go clean the windows. He’s really picked up the pace with his nagging. I may even have to clean the windows, just to shut him up.

  42. My spooky little Elfling turned to me just yesterday and said, “How’s the Enchiridion going?” He must have sensed a tremor in the Force. Very best of luck

    I’m sorry to hear about the window nagging. He’s not sold on the concept of Italian Lace, then, I gather?

  43. Good luck, Catty.
    I didn’t get many photos – the weather was too squally & windy to get out of the car & be out in the open for long.
    I’ll probably do a new thread in the next day or so – yesterday was spent running the washing machine & then running around recovering my animals. They were in massive sook mode & kept bleating at me to sit on the sofa & snuggle them. That seemed like a good idea so I got out my knitting & watched Rebecca on youtube on Apple TV – on the big TV in the lounge. Loving the apple TV.
    They are still super snuggly this morning, but Miss Kitteh is off to the vet at 8am for her summer hair cut, and then I’m off to crochet class.
    I’m not feeling terribly awake, alert or co-ordinated because I stayed up late watching TV & reading the twitter hilarity on Tony’s demise.
    That was fun, but the real fun won’t begin until Mal chooses his new cabinet & a stack of them resign in protest. Smokin’ Joe, I’m looking at you.

  44. I’m a bit disappointed at the spill, to be honest. The Libs have now got a sporting chance at the next election.

  45. Unless the ALP get smart about it & realise that they need a leadership reshuffle, too.

  46. TGP: “Why can’t they just make up their minds?”

  47. As I watched the media feeds announcing our fifth PM (KRudd counts as two) in 6 years, I wondered if ADHD is listed as ‘essential’ in the selection criteria for politicians.

    Or it may just be the voting public that can’t make up their minds.

    To be honest, I won’t have an opinion on the subject until:

    A: Malcolm Turnbull does something excellent, or
    B: Malcolm Turnbull does something abhorrent, or
    C: The May budget.

    Given that Turnbull’s decidedly left-wing public persona is frequently shelved when there’s a vote to be cast for a decidedly right-wing policy, and given the likelihood that Scott Morrison will be Treasurer, I suspect I will have an opinion sooner rather than later.

  48. Sigh. Scott Morrison reminds me of Darth Maul, but with the face of a frat boy.

  49. Maybe he does look like Maul, but is wearing a frat boy mask? Maybe that’s how he stopped the boats…. go to the beach and whip off the mask. “Quick, turn back! Darth Maul’s on the beach!”

  50. Maybe that should be a citizenship question?

    ‘Which Side do you prefer, Light or Dark?”

    The Dark ones can be re-settled in Sydney.

  51. That lacks subtlety. Better to ask them which colour light sabre they’d prefer. If they choose a Satanic shade of red, you’ll know they’re slicing for Team Vader.

  52. It might be possible to judge community-mindedness and ability to integrate into society based on gelato flavour preference. I propose a research project.

  53. Now I’m confused. There’s a gelato flavour other than chocolate?

  54. Yes! Dulce de Leche!

    Hmm, surely neither of us is evil….

  55. Put me down for blood orange & please don’t mention the knives Bangarr sent me when he heard my complaints about the freaks in my neighbourhood.

  56. Ohh … any glass blades?

  57. Nope, but they are very pretty.
    Speaking of gelato, it was too cold & wet to sample anything from the Italian gelaterias in Freo.
    This is why it’s good to be there in summer.
    Nom Nom Nom!

  58. Gee, that’s pretty cold and wet. I still haven’t gone to NitroGenie, where they flash freeze your selection before your very eyes. Maybe this school holidays.

  59. That sounds expensive, Madam. I always wanted to go to Cold Rock, but they wanted $8 for a teensy Dixie Cup-sized serve. No ice cream is worth that.

    Speaking of outrageous prices, I was going to have brunch with The Gimmee at the newly opened Pancake Parlour across the street. We looked at the menu, boggled at their audacity (Seriously? $14 for two small pancakes, & $3 extra if you want butter? Pigs Bum!), and walked out. I won’t be going back.

  60. I’ve started doing that. Down opposite my Coals there’s a little shop that does super tasty chicken & salad sangers for $5.50.
    They were out of stock last time, so I asked them to make one up for me & they charged $7.
    Yeah, No.
    I won’t be doing that again.

  61. $3 extra for butter?

    I suppose if you bring your own butter they charge you greaseage.

    Q, that’s insane. You can get half a BBQ chook for that!!

  62. I think it’s policy because they resent the time spent preparing fresh food. They’d rather make coffee or give you something deep fried out of the grease box.

  63. Hmm, I might institute that policy at home. I, too, resent the amount of time I spend preparing fresh food.

  64. Surely all they need is the freezer & a deep fat fryer?

  65. Microwave, kettle and toaster. They don’t even need a can opener any more, thanks to ring pull cans.

  66. Ah yes, ring pull cans. Enabling men to get even drunker, when they have reached the point of being incapable of making sense of a bottle opener.

  67. Funny you should say that. TGP’s been making a lot of potato wedges in my saucepan lately. He is campaigning for a deep fryer.

  68. For all my love of fried potatoes, I don’t think I’d like to share living space with a deep fat fryer. I’d be worried about the burn potential, to youthful flesh & the rafters above your ceiling.
    I made wedges & roast potato & sweet potato in my new multi-fry, yesterday, and they were delicious. It seems to retain a better flavour than things cooked in the oven, probably because it steams the inside as it’s crisping up the outside.
    Much easier to clean, too.
    I’d suggest it as an alternative, but I remember the grease cravings of adolesence, and I’m not sure my Delonghi multi-fry would sate those.

  69. We have a deep fat fryer, and I love it. The Teenie is (usually) competent in the kitchen, but his recent request to use the fat fryer fell on hysterically negative ears. Later, I felt guilty for not trusting him, but then I remembered that his last attempt at making microwave popcorn resulted in a fire…. so now I’m glad the Boss told him that the fat fryer is broken. I wonder how long it will take him to notice that I’m still using the allegedly broken fryer on a regular basis?

  70. Do you clean it between goes, Catty – or leave the grease in for a few months, like a real fish and chip shop?

    Even greater than my fear of fryers is my hatred of tricky, drawn-out cleanups.

    Maybe I should give the DeLonghi a burl, Q. It wasn’t expensive either, was it?

  71. I bought the latest model which was just under $400.
    They are selling the older models for $250.
    The girl did the demo in the older model & I don’t see much difference in performance for biscuits or potatoes, it’s just the settings on the new model seem a bit more refined.
    Definitely much easier to clean, and probably better in the long run for heart-health given the research about childhood exposure to rancid fats.
    I’d be giving them the multi-fry just to encourage healthy cooking habits.
    It’s meant to make the best risotto ever, and the roasties & the wedges really are fab.
    Then again, I prefer my wedges roasted & then we dip them in sour cream & sweet chilli sauce.
    I’d imagine that if you buy the frozen wedges, already beer-battered & ready to go, they’d come out fine.

    • Thanks, Q! Looks unlikely to burn the shack down to the ground, also.

  72. I did intend to clean the fat fryer after each use when I first got it, but the Boss was adamant that I leave it as long as possible. Apparently his favourite fish and chip shop never EVER changed their grease, and their chips always came out soggy, brown and rancid. The Boss still craves that childhood taste. No way am I leaving it indefinitely – GROSS! So despite his insistence that the precious fat must be unharmed, I clean it when the layer of crumbs on the bottom is visible – about once every half a dozen uses or so.

    Quokka, I have tried oven baked potatoes, both home made and frozen, and they always taste dry and unpleasant. Like cardboard, really. I have no idea why.

    • Do you pre-cook them? I always give mine a spin in the microwave before I roast, Catty.

  73. It’s unfortunate that you can’t transport roast vegetables through a USB portal. They really were sensational.
    I do find that there’s a big difference between coals veg & the ones that the local Greek fruit shop supplies. I will miss them, when we’re gone.
    I suppose there’ll be all the organic farmer’s markets, but even so.
    I’ve been gossiping with the Greeks since 1987, it’ll be odd not to see them every week or so.

  74. And yeah, MM. It switches itself off, so no chance of roast inferno.
    The newer & more expensive model has programs so that you don’t even have to think about cooking times – it works it out for you.

  75. Don’t start getting nostalgic on us, Q.

    Every time you have a wistful thought about the Greeks, or Rock n Roll, or something, just try to call up a memory of NTO’s scritching, until the longing fades.

  76. Or Mama Mia, or Mrs Flanders, or that young lass who played mudslides on your lawn after a night out, or the social worker whose kids walked into your house at 7am and tried on your shoes, or the lesbian plumbers who park across your driveway, or the bongo players, or the drug dealers, or….

    so, how many days until settlement?

  77. I forgot about the shoe triers-on.

    And the ones who jumped your fence for fun, and the Bike Rage family, and the garage tattooists….

  78. I don’t need to conjure up memories, MM – she powered up the orbital sander before 8am this morning & she’s out there scritching right now.
    Nothing has changed around here. Muffy still yaps, the freaks still bellow, the nocturnal roadworks & the helicopters wake me at erratic intervals, and the cattle dog chorus continues unabated. And, lest we forget, there’s the twice daily Bucket Watering Drill where she waters her marigolds.
    Mercifully the Banshee family are still AWOL, presumed overseas, so that’s one less set of pests to contribute to the racket around here.
    Deb said that the Banshee’s chickens were on our lawn every day & the Bloke said they were scritching in NTO’s back yard while he was hanging the washing out yesterday.
    There’s only two birds left, so I guess they’re hoping that if they stay away long enough, Mr. Fox will dispatch the others before they get home.
    MotherFKN hippies, I have no time for irresponsible pet owners.
    I’m just trying hard not to whine excessively about all these damned freaks as you’ve heard it all before & I don’t want to send the rest of you as deranged as I am, by going on about it.

  79. Whoops – there was a time delay in me writing that & hitting ‘post’ as the BCC just rang me from the footpath, sounding genuinely apologetic about the chunks torn out of the footpath & the skid marks on our (obviously new) driveway.
    Yes, I’ll have to write my memoir when I leave.
    What’ll I call it?
    Twenty years of Freaks?

  80. NTO and the Cradle of Insanity.

  81. Ha. I suppose Cradle of Filth is taken, and Cradle of termite shite is getting a bit wordy.
    I suppose ‘Aisling’s Escape from the Bog’ lacks that enticing element of mystery.

  82. Fear and Loathing in Highgate Hill

  83. Heh heh heh.
    Keep ’em coming, I’m enjoying these.
    To compound the horror of being at home all day today, the burglar alarm man has come out to test the alarm that goes off so often over the road. It’s very tempting to go over there & ask them if they’ve got another just like it that they can install here at Casa Q when we leave.

  84. As I Lay Scritching

    Weatherboards of Wrath

    To Kill All The Birds

  85. And the possums, and the pedigree lap dogs, and the expensive breeds of cats locked away for safe-keeping in their three-thousand dollar pens.
    Heh heh heh…I don’t know which I like better, the Weatherboards of Wrath, or the image of her face down in the dirt, writhing beneath her orbital sander.

  86. From Here To The Scaffolding

    Not The Owner And The Deck Of Doom

    A Brief History of Ghettos

  87. Not-The-Owner and the Bed-Sit of Fire.

  88. 136 Days: Aisling Vs The Dunny Door

  89. Escape From Bog Hollow

    She Died With Hello Kitty In Her Hand

    Park Thee Not Upon The Yellow Line

    A Tale Of Two Psychos

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest… No, wait, that’s taken.

  90. LOLZ.
    You guys are better than therapy.
    If you replace ‘cuckoo’ with ‘Rodents’ you’ve still got a workable title that runs to theme, Catty.

  91. Hehehe. Hello Kitty.

    The Power of One Orbital Sander.

  92. Gone with the Windex.

  93. Of Termites And Men

  94. The Turkeys of Vengeance.

  95. Poor Fella My Nature Strip

  96. Snorkle.
    That one’s going in the top five.

  97. Pride & Wheely Bins

  98. I heard the Ibis call my name

  99. Not Bliss

  100. The house that Jackass built.

  101. Hehehe.

    Don’t Be Careful, Who Cares Who Hears You?

  102. O.k, I’m obviously outclassed here. I’ll shut up. But I expect an advance copy when it’s published.

  103. I think we’ve all run out of steam, Catty.
    Hilarious effort, ladies.
    How are the school holidays going? Still enjoying your freedom from lunch boxes or are you looking at websites for Christian youth camps, in Alabama?
    I’ve still had uni to keep me out of freak street. I took them Snickerdoodles, yesterday, as a reward for showing up when their little brothers & sisters are out living it up. That made them happy.
    Not as happy as the chocolate cake with fudge frosting made the Bloke’s office, though. I hadn’t fed them in a while & they were starting to drop hints.
    ‘done any baking lately?’
    Which makes me think that the Bloke’s complaints that I’d been overfeeding them were wide of the mark.

  104. Mum bakes every week for the kids. Sometimes her offerings are not favoured, so I take the run-off in the the office. It makes them so happy.

    People obviously aren’t baking enough. Lucky there’s Q.

  105. I’ve finally managed to get my hands on MIL’s recipe for caramel icing. My bananana caek has gone from ‘Hey, this is really good’, to ‘Can’t talk… eating…’.

  106. 🙂
    Your mother is a good soul & people do love baked goods.
    I’m looking forward to getting settled in our new house with my lovely new electrolux oven in my lovely new kitchen.
    I don’t know what excites me more, the prospect of being able to sleep through the night undisturbed, or the boundless opportunities for befriending folk through CAEK.

  107. Oooh… this a national secret, or do you dare to share?
    I love caramel icing, but I save it for marble cake.
    I like passionfruit icing on my banana cakes, if I ice them at all.

  108. Yes, tell us the caramel icing recipe. We won’t tell another living soul. You know us!

  109. What are we talking about? Oh yeah, icing!
    We won’t remember it long enough to tell a living soul, Catty.
    That you can count on.

  110. Sad, but true.

  111. I’ve been finding things I don’t recall ever purchasing while I’ve been going through my closets.
    If they didn’t still have the dockets attached I’d wonder if I’ve been sleep-walking through the malls at night, shoplifting.
    Seriously – a pair of tan knee high leather boots buried behind my patchwork. Still in their box, with the date of sale from Shays shoes in West End.
    I have zero memory of that.
    I know that sleep deprivation is meant to have as much impact on brain function as being shitfaced drunk, but farken hell.

  112. That’s a shame, we’re nearly out of winter. Put them somewhere you’ll see them next year. Or else we’ll remind you.

    Hehehehehe. I just made myself laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair.

  113. Boom-tish.
    Our cabinet-maker sent me off to Howard’s storage for useful bits and bobs to install in our closets & the pantry.
    Wonderful man that he is, for cost-saving advice.
    This time I will have room to cater for shoe storage, so I’m going to assemble all my shoes (apparently I have more than four pairs, who knew?) in proper shoe racks. They also have boot-hangers & shapers so that you can hang your boots off a clothes rack, along with crap like bags and scarves and such. I do own such things but they got shoved to the back of the closet & forgotten, long ago.
    If my storage solutions go as planned, we will none of us need to remind me that I own a lovely pair of tan boots that I’ve worn once, in the shop when I was trying them on.

  114. My love for boots is exponential to my hatred of the cold. Thus my boots don’t come off my feet long enough to store them. Except for the Uggs. They get to hide under my bed for the week or so in Summer when it’s too warm to wear them.

  115. Ah, Melbourne.
    It’s 13C here in Brisvagus this fine morn & I’m profoundly grateful it’s not December & 20C warmer.
    I got up this morning & made Barm Brack. Well, it’s in the oven. In about 30 minutes the smell of it will drift into the front bedroom & the Bloke will start dreaming about fruit toast.
    It’s an exquisite smell, baking fruit bread.

  116. Funny, at the markets yesterday when we spied a second-hand pasta maker, I was just telling a friend that I didn’t see the point of making pasta – but bread is worthwhile because it fills the house with delicious scents as you bake.

  117. One of my sister’s BFFs is Italian & her mother – god rest her lovely soul (Breast cancer gene family, it’s awful) was the most amazing Sicilian cooking mama. I modelled my kitchen on hers, but on a smaller scale.
    She had me sold on home-made gnocchi at the tender age of 15, but I’ve never been bold enough to attempt it. It takes dedication & you really need to have a captive crowd to feed.

  118. My dad spent his teenage years in Ingham. He was sweet on a young Italian girl, and had heard that with Italians you had to woo the mother to win the girl. He spent all his spare time in the kitchen with her mother, and learned how to cook mouth-watering traditional Italian cuisine. Meanwhile, the girl went off and married some other bloke.

    It is a constant source of amazement to me that he let Mother do any cooking at all, let alone all of it.

  119. That comes under the heading of wilful self-harm, Catty.

  120. Huh. Well, they do say that marriage is an institution.

  121. Not one I’ve ever been committed to, thank Cthulu.

  122. Maybe that’s why so many married people need medication.

  123. No, I don’t really believe it.

  124. Oh, I do love Brian Ferry. Messy personal life notwithstanding.

  125. I think a messy personal life goes with the territory when it comes to romance & the music industry, MM.
    They can’t all be Donny Osmond.
    (Praise the Lord)

  126. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the Osmonds are exposed as some kind of warped sex beasts?

    No-one with teeth like that can have natural inclinations.

  127. I know it sounds wrong but all the Mormons I meet seem like genuinely lovely human beings.
    Which offers the disturbing possibility that the rest of us are doing it all wrong.

  128. Who needs Mormons to tell us that? We already knew.

  129. Speaking of doing it wrong, we’ve been watching a series called ‘The Fall’ on Netflix. Gillian Anderson with lots of botox as a detective in Belfast investigating the murders of young women.
    I binged on it on the weekend because it was just that good. Well, the first series was. Then it jumped the shark, or, more to the point, the screenwriter fired the shark out of a canon into the sun. I kept watching it just to study what had gone wrong.
    It dragged out for far too long but I can see what the writer was trying to do, and he did it brilliantly well.
    The second season became a study about how all of the women close to the serial killer closed ranks & betrayed their core values to protect him. The reviewers found that repellant & unlikely. I thought it was spot on.
    I was wondering why the guy who played the serial killer looked vaguely familiar & I realised that the next thing he’d done after that was 50 Shades of Blergh.
    Talk about typecast – I can’t see Disney offering him any roles after that.
    Anyway, well worth a look for those of you that share my fascination with detective shows.

  130. On the subject of TV shows I highly recommend – Orphan Black. It’s a BBC-Canada co-production and I found it riveting.

    Love Gillian Anderson, though, so I ‘ll look for The Fall. Thanks!

  131. Oooh, I’ve seen that pop up on the screen somewhere – I’ll keep an eye out for it, thanks!
    You’ll love Gillian’s character in The Fall.

  132. One day…. one day I shall wrest control of the remote from the Boss, and I too shall watch quality programming…. oh, wait. I only have free-to-air. Keep the remote, Boss.

  133. How’s he going, Catty? Any improvement from marinating in the germ soup at the gym?

  134. Do let us know how he’s enjoying being home for school holidays.

  135. I imagine that might be quite a strong motivator.

  136. Oh yes. He must be missing all those away trips, Catty. Unless he’s bought a boat & taken the kids on a fishing trip to Lake Eyre, to give you a break from it all.

  137. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA oh Quokka you crack me up!

    The surgeon has told him that’s it. The injury is permanent. Nothing more can be done, and he will never be able to do heavy physical labour again. Now we’re just waiting for the Workcover payments to finish, and then it’s hello, dole queue. Joy.

  138. Crap. I’m so sorry, Catty.
    How are you all holding up?

  139. Bugger.

    So Sorry to hear that, Catty. Centrelink are the pits.

  140. We are both having an Egyptian swim.

  141. I bet.
    Big hugs, Catty.

  142. Thank you.

    I feel guilty now. There’s people on TV right now whose houses were destroyed and their relatives killed by beardy freaks with bombs, and I’m whining because we’re on a budget. It’s time I re-read this, I think:

  143. What a gorgeous book.
    It’s a big life change for you, Catty. And we all identify with our careers so it’s a huge loss for your hubby. You’re allowed to grieve.
    I’ve known lots of builders who’ve shifted sideways into a job where they can use their core skills. I think that’s how our cat enclosure guys started off, but the crimsafe guys told me that & also the pest control. It’s pretty common for builders to get injured & change tracks. Here’s hoping one of the job agencies can help put him on track.

  144. He’s very limited in what he can do now. I’m hoping he will apply for the Disability Pension, because there will be more scope for retraining and assistance with re-employment than he would get on unemployment benefits. It’s not going to be easy for him, whatever happens.

    • One of our builder lads was managing a golf course before he decided to get into the building trade. Every time there was another hole to dig he got quite wistful about it. Perhaps they’ll send your hubby off to greener pastures, Catty – the type that have sand traps and birdies.
      I know it’s a small mercy but it may be a blessing that he has to change careers, in the long run. It’s not without it’s risks, building. Did you hear about that youngster who got shot in the heart by a nail gun yesterday at St. Lucia? He’s alive, but he’s still dangerously ill.
      Freak accident, the nail ricocheted off the surface he was nailing it into & it shot back through his chest.
      I’d hate to be that guy’s wife or mother or daughter, today.
      Building sites are bloody dangerous.
      Here’s to retraining.
      Fingers crossed!

  145. I know he was terrific at his job, too. It won’t be easy for any of you, that’s for sure.

    He’s good with techie stuff, too, though, isn’t he? Maybe he could open an iPhone Hospital.

  146. Snortle.
    Morgana wins the internet comedy hour.
    I can’t hope to compete with that.

  147. It’s been suggested before, Morgana. Sadly, there’s just too much competition from the dozens of Asian migrants who have set up repair stalls down the road at the markets. Those guys are amazing.

  148. Like dentistry, another profession where tiny little hands are an advantage.

  149. I have a Chinese dentist. The first time I took MK to see him, her appointment was at 2:30. The kidlets still giggle about that.

  150. Haha I had never even thought of that one, Catty, not even in all the years of weekly visits to the orthodontist to check on my braces.
    Speaking of Hurty things, poor GirlClumsy fell after her show at the powerhouse last night & has borked her ankle again. She said on twitter it has swollen up like a tennis ball. Poor Nat, how does she do these things? I wonder how she’ll cope with all the running around required for their show tonight.
    We went out to see the 6pm session of Speed The Movie The Play – because it did look like fun & because anything after 7pm is helll & torment for me. So I got to enjoy the show & then I was snoring on the sofa by 8.10pm. So much better than snoring on Morgana’s shoulder like I did for the last falafel crew production.
    The show was heaps of fun – a very cheesy reproduction of the movie with many jokes at Keanu’s expense, courtesy of DNAbeast who has that role.
    We laughed all the way through it and – probably because I stayed awake & got to see it all – I enjoyed it way more than the falafel play.
    Remaining conscious, it’s such an integral part of enjoyment of the arts.
    Wish you guys could have seen it.
    ‘It’s OK Sandra, it was cans, the pram was full of cans.’
    And meanwhile (we were seated on the bus) a baby born doll fitted out with white wings & an angel suit fluttered by the bus windows, & periodically flew in & out.
    Very cheesy, you guys would have loved it. There were lots of kids on the bus, enjoying the interactive theatre thing, so that was really good to see. Speaking of such…
    How’s your holiday from school lunches, ladies?
    Did you get up to anything fun?

  151. It does sound terrific. Maybe they’ll do a regional tour?

    Nothing particularly exciting. But also no strife, so I call it a success at the end of the day. And how nice to finish on a public holiday.

  152. Our public holiday was on Friday, for the football grand final parade or some other nonsense.

    The kidlets had a marvellous holiday, with outings, playdates, movies etc. It cost a fortune and left me with zero time for any of the planned spring cleaning. I’m not cleaning today, however. Today, I nap. *happy sigh*

  153. Sounds like you earned that nap, Catty. Make the most of it.
    MM, any holiday where your crew don’t require a trip to the horsepiddle is a good holiday, from where I sit, looking on.
    Did you get to visit Uncle RV?
    I’m still waiting for you to post pix of the miniature horses.
    When we cruised through Pleasantville yesterday (not past the house, as obnoxious as they’ve been, nobody deserves stalkers) we rolled down the hill past the local pony club. No horsies in sight, but the senior citizens were using the CWA hall for zimmer-frame dancing & karaoke.
    It was hilarious, and very sweet.
    It’s disturbing to think that this is the trajectory I’m on, but still, there are worse ways to end up, in life.

  154. Heh heh, zimmer frame dancing!

  155. As long as it’s not zimmer frame Zumba, Q, I wouldn’t be too disturbed.

    Mum took the offspring up one Monday when I had work. They got to shoot arrows at a foam pig with my cousin, so a fabulous time was had by all. Now Gigantor’s not playing cricket our weekends have opened up, though, and I’ll go up myself soon. And return with horse pix.

    Catty, happy napping. Thursday will be my day. Ahh, the serenity!

  156. It’s going to be 37ºC today. I cracked out my fave sundress, and looked in the mirror. I don’t often do that, and I discovered why. Ugh! What happened to me over winter? Was I always this flabby, blotchy and wrinkled? When did all that grey show up in my hair? That’s it. I’m throwing out my mirror.

  157. I knew about my own flab and wrinkles, but now I’m worried about blotches. Thanks for the tip. I shall also throw out my own mirror.

  158. I’m accustomed to the increasingly critical eye of the mirrors in the swimming pool change rooms so nothing the one here at home says could possibly offend me. Besides, my flesh is patchwork from 20 years of slicing & dicing at bi-annual visits to the skin doctor. I count myself lucky to be here, after some of the malevolent life forms they’ve found growing on me.
    What bothers me is the creaks from my joints.
    Stupid joints, why don’t they stay supple & flexible without effort or maintenance till we are done on this earthly coil?
    How’s the mercury, Catty? We heard about the southern heat wave on our drive down the coast & I hoped rather fervently that your pool is an alluring shade of blue rather than an algae shade of green.
    Stay cool.

  159. Why can’t every day be Labour Day?

    Well, it kind of is. But not the good kind.

  160. I love the October long weekend & judging by the crowds of happy beach goers at the south coast, so does the rest of the population. Perhaps they could just add it to the calendar as Hangover Monday, in honour of the NRL grand final?

  161. It was a stinker here today. I went to visit Gran in her lovely, air conditioned nursing home. While I was out the Boss spotted a small rat staggering slowly across the scalding pavers, and went outside to investigate/commit cold blooded murder if it wasn’t already dead. The creature had crawled behind a planter and was flat on its back with its little claws in the Shakespeare position. But it wasn’t a rat. It was a baby ringtail, so he scooped the unresisting creature up and took it inside. When I got home at lunch time, he had made it a little nest in a box, and was feeding it water with a dropper. We kept doing that, and after a few hours it started exploring the box and eating the apple slices we’d put in there to see if it was old enough to eat on its own. Yay! It wasn’t dependent on mama, who disappeared two days ago from her nest in the lemon tree. So at dust, I took the little tyke out to put it back in the nest. Well, that was fun. It clambered up my arm at the speed of light and tried to impersonate a sugar glider by hurling itself to the ground from my shoulder. I grabbed it, and with not inconsiderable effort managed to shove its squirmy little body into the nest. It promptly ran up the nearest branch and out of sight. Now, instead of a dead baby in the courtyard, we can look forward to a mating marsupial in the roof. The Boss is my hero.

  162. Aw. How sweet. Good on the both of you, Catty.
    I don’t think you’ll have to worry about too much thumping, we’ve had ringtails for our entire time here & they are wonderfully quiet little creatures.
    How is Gran, Catty?

  163. Nice work. Maybe he should volunteer with WIRES? If he’s up doing night feeds, he won’t have the energy to nag you about cleaning.

  164. Gran’s doing well. She loves her nursing home, and has nestled in firmly. It’s almost impossible to force her to go anywhere; she’s even saying she doesn’t want to go to MIL’s for Christmas. It is a lovely home, and I wish all old people could enjoy such a comfortable level of care.

    It’s not likely the Boss would consider caring for wildlife. He gets very impatient. Also, he doesn’t like being peed on. Lucky him, he managed to avoid it this time around, but it did manage to give me a dousing when I was struggling to get it back in the tree. Ick.

  165. Speaking of pee, did you know that’s why sand fly bites itch? We’re busy trying to work out if biting you gives them the urge to go, or they’re just malicious.

  166. It’s all that lazing about by the beach, they aren’t keeping up with their pelvic floor exercises.
    That is great news about Gran, Catty. Pity there’s not more of it about.

  167. My father always took the newspaper in to read while he pooped each morning. My mother always said that was because his eyeballs were connected to his arse. Perhaps the sand flies’ jaws are connected to their bladders?

  168. Speaking of things that make your eyes pop out of your head, my afternoon was disturbed by another bicycle sale out on the street – so I googled bikes for sale in gum free, and the Bicycle Rage Family have no less than 5 bikes for sale this week. Along with a new selection of frames, bike rims, tyres without their rims, and accessories such as shoes & lights.
    Google ‘bike for sale/Quokka’s suburb’ if you want to see the Everything Must Go end of spring sale.
    Truly, these people make my skin crawl.
    However much Princess Butt Wax may have pissed me off, it will be such a relief to move into a suburb that isn’t packed to the gunnels with bike thieves & drug dealers.

  169. Ugh. I hope the people you informed have noted this, and catch him out.

    There’s a thought – send PBW the details, so she can buy a bicycle from him and you can dob her in for receiving stolen goods. No, wait, then she’d use her court appearance as an excuse to delay settlement. So maybe don’t do that. Still, it would be funny to see her squirm.

    Oh, that’s right, I came here to give you all a possum update. After we released bubba two nights ago, we kept an eye on the nest to see if he or mama came back to the nest. Yesterday, nothing. But today, there was mama, snuggled up in the lemon tree nest with bubba on her back. WIN!

  170. I’m so happy for bubba poss.
    Our vet said that sometimes when there’s drought conditions they abandon an older baby if they’ve got to care for a new one, so I was a bit worried that might have been the case.
    How’s the air quality down there, Catty?
    We keeping hearing news about heat & bushfires, but those things don’t show up on the BOM map.
    And yeah – while I was reading about how to protect your bike from bike theft (get your licence number engraved on it somewhere & take lots of photos) I read about the penalties for being in receipt of stolen goods. Sounds like the idiots who turn up to Bog Hollow to purchase his wares are in far deeper shite than he is.
    That’s our criminal justice system for you.

  171. That’s a beautiful possum reunion story.

    Aren’t these people chaining up their bikes? Last time I bought a bike lock for Gigantor, the bike store dude claimed you’d need an arc welder to break through the cable.

  172. The guy who sold me my bike said that bike theft is a profitable business these days & the guys who are serious about it have tools that can get through any lock. He said that the only way you could feel safe about leaving your bike is if it’s in an area that’s covered by CCTV, as that’s the only place they won’t steal a bike from.
    We’ve got steel-reinforced straps with locks to keep our kayaks secure, if we walk away from them when they are on the car. The guys that sold us those said that they will only slow a thief down & someone who has the right tools & sufficient privacy can cut through them if they want to.

  173. It’s like they say, locks only keep honest people out. Thieves and JW’s think of them as a slight inconvenience.

    FIL is so concerned about thieves that he has rigged up his ratty old Calais with an elaborate alarm system. It doesn’t beep or woop, it just won’t go if you don’t start it in exactly the right way. I don’t know why he bothers; even the Boss is ashamed to be seen driving it, so there’s no way a thief would touch it.

  174. So it’s not a kill-switch, so much as a FIL-switch?

  175. A Dill Switch, to confused his enemies?

  176. Now I’m craving pickles.

  177. Sorry. No pickles, only dills here.
    Unless the silence next door means that NTO has gotten herself into one that there’s no way out of.
    I live in hope.
    I was all set to enjoy the quiet when she locked herself in her AC Dome of Silence yesterday, & it was disturbed by a long & tedious domestic between the idiot in Flat 4 (overlooks our courtyard) & a girlfriend who he wouldn’t let through the door. She stood on the stairs arguing with him for nearly 40 minutes before he finally shouted ‘Look, I just don’t want to screw you any more.’
    She still didn’t leave so someone will have to explain to me WTF that is about.
    She was Asian, so all I can think is that perhaps she’s related to the Bike Rage family & however horrible he is, the prospect of having a baby with Canadian citizenship is worth all the ill treatment he can muster.
    Needless to say, by the time the Bloke got home I was there going ‘I don’t care about the Pleasantville delays, I’m just happy knowing that in 4 weeks time I’ll have somewhere else to hang out where I don’t have to listen to this.’

  178. She’s got a remarkable tolerance for standing about and arguing through doors. Ah, to be young again!

  179. I think it’s more to do with the economics of underdeveloped countries v. entry to the lands of opportunity. A lot of them come here to study but they’re under pressure to marry well & create opportunities for other members of their family to follow.
    I didn’t hear any protestations of love from her. It was like she was standing there arguing with the bank manager.
    He’s an utter dufus, I’m sure she can do better.
    Then again she may be desperate. It’s October & perhaps her visa is about to expire.

  180. Or she could just be psycho. My brother had a stalker once. He dated this woman for about four months before discovering she was married. But when he dumped her, she refused to give up. She stalked him mercilessly. Eventually he had to leave town to get away from her, and even then she stalked his friends and family for months, looking for his new address. The only thing that stopped her is that one of his friends hit on her, and she turned her psychotic attentions onto that poor sod instead. Thank goodness.

  181. One of NTO’s daughters, perhaps?

  182. Surely that was a brave, or desperate man.

  183. He was a musician. ‘Nuff said.

  184. Speaking of musicians, have you ever had Redskin fudge? The new lady in our office makes it in her slow cooker. In the words of TGP, it’s “creamy, delicious and ingenious”.

  185. Wow, that’s devotion. I read the recipe & it says cook in slow cooker, stirring every 10 minutes for 1.5 hours.

  186. Strike that one off the list.

  187. Every 10 minutes for 1.5 hours…. Any takers on a bet that this woman does not have school-aged children?

  188. She might be like my mother’s family, Catty, and just have undiagnosed OCD coupled with a willingness to ignore them.
    When the Flanders moved in next door, she used to send her children outside to play as soon as he went to work & she wouldn’t allow them back in until he got home. They were all under 5 at the time & I have NFI what she did indoors. Perhaps she was busy making batches of redskin fudge?

  189. She’s got a blended assortment of three kids. I think she’s sugar-fuelled.

  190. Sorry, don’t mind me. I was just being jealous. Redskin fudge does sound awesome.

  191. Not quite as awesome as your Russian caramels. though.

  192. Dammit. I’ve just remembered about your fudge again. right, it’s on the list. Catty, watch the post at the end of the week. MM, I’ll put yours aside with your Chrissy present for pick up.

  193. Yay! Fudge!!


  195. Catty, yours is OTW, I will let you know when to expect it. If not Friday, then next week.
    MM, is that sufficient lure to entice you down here?
    I’ve lined up a playdate for this Saturday afternoon with our cat breeder, but otherwise I’ve got nothing else booked, yet.
    Halloween of course I will be stuck here, carless, as the Bloke will be off at twin towns celebrating his mother’s BD.
    I plan to spend the afternoon baking cupcakes & snickerdoodles for the local urchins.
    Might as well see to it that someone around here will miss me.

  196. Mmm … snickerdoodles.

    Well, this weekend is out for me to. I have the pre-Bacon sulking, then the Baconing.

    Some women are trying to get me to go to a school reunion dinner. I can’t tell you how much I wish to avoid that.

  197. A fudge emergency trumps a school reunion. There I go again, stating the obvious.

  198. “I’m sorry for my inability to attend. I have a fudge emergency.”

  199. Words with which any woman can empathise.

  200. If you serve fudge on a plate, with a knife and fork, does it count as dinner?

  201. What was the question? all I’ve retained from that is School Reunion & Knives, to which I would say, carry a sharp one & show no mercy.
    Perhaps my attitude to school reunions will improve with age but I doubt it.
    Every time I’m trapped in the same building as a school mate I find it tedious beyond bearing & I start thinking of all the other people I’d rather spend time with, or things I could be doing instead of being trapped there.

  202. I’m going to take that as a ringing endorsement.

  203. The thing you want ringing is their ears, when you tell them No.

  204. I have never been invited to, or even informed of, a school reunion. Social invisibility has its advantages.

  205. How I envy you.

  206. Feel free to go to mine.

  207. That’s very kind of you, but I must respectfully decline. I’ll be in hospital being treated for poison ingestion. Now excuse me, I’m going to have a drink…. where’s that Domestos?

  208. Try Windex with ice and a slice. It’s more of a summer drink.

    Found in my internet trawling. Perhaps you should get a shed from Bum Mings instead?

  210. Oooh… I do like the Cocoon.

  211. Perhaps NTO & NTBF will retire to it in a few years & go hatch something other than hare-brained schemes.
    We are still in Escape Mode, meaning I spend as much time away from home as possible so that her noise doesn’t make me homicidal.
    They’ve been cutting recycled pavers by hand, using a hammer & a chisel – which means that he goes Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip for a few hours every day, and come tea-time, they have two freshly cut pavers to add to their path. Every few days she has Path Direction Remorse & she digs up all the freshly laid pavers & puts them in a new & improved spot. Yesterday she ran out of pavers so they smashed up lumps of concrete to get DIY gravel to fill in the gaps. Such an attractive look for the front of their house, I am sure passers-by will stop & stare today at how her efforts at home improvement set ours in the pale.
    Seriously, if they plan to take the paver path all around the house, this project could go on forever. I’m almost starting to miss the orbital sander, and to hope that she’ll go to Bun Tings and buy herself a power saw that will cut pavers, and perhaps, if we’re lucky, bone & a femoral artery. Now that really would add value to the neighbourhood.
    We got in from a lovely morning of SUPing, hoping for a cuppa & a nap, just as they got up from theirs & resumed Paver Sculpting.
    I’m so pleased the Bloke got to hear it & mutter ‘WTF is wrong with that pair?’
    Mercifully we’d been up through Pleasantville after the beach & all you could hear up there is birds. This is because people have paid builders to do all the building & landscaping on their houses so that there is no need to whack pavers with a chisel every freaking day & instead they drive silently out of their double LUGs & disappear out into the glorious world to enjoy life.
    Three weeks, and counting, till I can call Normality my own.

  212. Three weeks? So PBW is probably calling her mother from some foreign beach, asking her to nip around to Caramello Court and scrape up all the discarded shite into boxes. By the sound of things, though, she’ll probably wait another fortnight. Surely Mother the Enabler can get the job done in a few hours?

  213. Yeah, we did the drive-by yesterday, confident that the entire block would be deserted on Saturday lunch-time. Because generally, the entire population has vacated the suburb by then. Nothing moved. There was a car parked on the footpath so either Mummy was indoors with the AC on, finishing their packing, or else, more likely, they can’t fit their 2nd car into the garage because it’s filled with her make-up & baby play pens.
    I anticipate that when we go to move in there will be a patch of dead grass on the verge where they’ve left their car for three weeks.
    They hadn’t closed any of the curtains, and it looks like her piles of crap haven’t moved since the day that we went through.
    The only thing that makes me think they’ll get all of their crap out of there by settlement is the fact that they managed to get it clean enough to show it to us & for the agent to photograph it.
    Mumsy has her work cut out for her, that’s for sure.

  214. Heh heh, I wonder what Mumsy will make of the poopy boot prints you left behind during your tradie tour-through? They should be well and truly crusted on by now.

  215. I suspect the smell will linger.
    Thank Dog I’ve got the painter booked, once he’s done, all we’ll be able to smell is Dulux Beige.

  216. That, and koala musk. It’s mating season.

  217. I’m confident the wattle will overpower it.
    Speaking of wildlife, I’ve yet to see a brush turkey up on that hill.
    The neighbour’s garden (all of them have a low maintenance mix of grass & shrubs – yay!) was full of hippeastrums, the other day, all in full bloom, surrounded by unsecured mulch.
    I’ve not been able to grow hippeastrums here, not even in pots, because the mongrel birds love to root among the bulbs & rip them out of the earth & far from their pots.
    I’ve seen Satan’s gardeners at the bottom of the hill, near the creek, along with signs of battle from the gardeners – bird wire over the veggie patches, rocket launchers along the perimeter etc etc – so maybe they are happy down there, and the snakes & the foxes & the feral cats discourage them from the journey up the hill. Well, that and being a fairly young suburb (10 years old) there aren’t enough established trees to provide the 90% shade canopy they require to destroy everything beneath it.

  218. You don’t need scrub turkeys to destroy a garden. The bloody dog dug up the mulberry seedling I was planning to espalier along the side fence.

  219. The fastest way to kill a plant is to let me look after it.

  220. Dogs do love to dig. Every now & then we think how lovely it would be to have a golden retriever, & then I think of the garden & think ‘Nup.’
    Considering how much damage our 6kg spaniel can do, kicking up the grass, I’d hate to think what something 10 x bigger would do.
    How do you espalier a mulberry, MM?
    I planted a white mulberry up the back in our early days here but it was never happy. Too dry, on the hill. I think it bore all of 5 berries in as many years before I got the smurfs with it & ripped it out.

  221. Tie it to a fence.

    That’s if you can get the damn dog to leave it in the ground, of course.

  222. yeah you might do better to tie the dog to the fence & leave the tree free to roam where it will.

  223. Oh, give me a home, where the mulberries roam….

  224. Where the freaks and the sanding coots play….

  225. Where seldom is heard an intelligible word …

  226. And the skies swirl with lead paint all day…

  227. Mmm … lead paint.

  228. Mmm… Free range mulberries….

  229. I do love mulberries. I’ll have to plant another one. Does anyone know where they originated?

  230. YEAH! Imma buy 100!

  231. I knew you’d be excited.

  232. Brilliant! I didn’t see a twitter follow & as you know, I don’t do FB – can someone yell out when they are available for sale?

  233. I’ll be first with the Polly Waffle news.

  234. are running a competition. It says there are different flavours!

  235. How about that.
    I signed up for that the other day without even registering that there are different flavours.
    Last night I dreamed that I was making rocky road at our new house, and all the little girls in the street were in my kitchen, smeared with chocolate, watching how it’s done.
    I went outside to check with one of the mothers that they knew what their kids were up to & she said ‘Oh don’t worry, Q, we’ve given them orders to learn all you know so they can make it at home for us.’
    I think that’s a subconscious leftover from the cleaner at the Bloke’s work, who swoons whenever I send it in. She thinks that melting bounty bars into the Darrell Lee chocolate is pure genius & she wants me to set up a stall at the Burleigh markets so that she & all her friends have a steady supply of it.
    Sweet, hey?


    They can print whatever you want on smarties!

    I think you should definitely have a market stall, Q. Then I could come and work for you.

    • Stand in the hot sun & watch chocolate melt?
      How barbaric. I say we just eat the rocky road & sit on our arses in the nearest surf club listening to the waves crash around us & tap at our lap-tops till someone produces a best seller.
      Then we can employ Santa’s drunken elves to make the rocky road & we supervise it via remote, from the air-conditioned comfort of the SLSC clubhouse.

  237. You’d never make a profit, Q. You’d have people from all over Australia – particularly Melbourne – begging you for free samples all the time.

    Meanwhile, I’m looking at some websites about ‘felting’ knitted items. It’s bewildering, and I don’t really understand what they’re saying. Have either of you come across it before?

  238. Ha, thanks for the lovin’ but I couldn’t stand up straight long enough to keep up with demand. Besides, I gained an extra 2kg this winter eating rocky road ingredients so I dread to think how much worse it would be if I had that stuff in the pantry all the time. No amount of time or torment on the elliptical at the Griffith gym seems able to shift it, either. Marshmallow, it must stick to the fat cells on your arse far more enduringly than fudge or peanut brittle.
    I have seen felted things on display in Knitch so I’d say, take yourself off to a yarn shop that runs workshops on it & quiz the shopkeeper about it, Catty.
    On the rare occasions when I cruise the West End markets I see bags & clothes down there that look like they’ve been made by Santa’s Elves – the ones that were laid off for making the kind of clothes & toys that disintegrate like autumn leaves the moment they get washed. Some of them look very clever & if I was thirty years younger & still in my Stevie Nicks phase, I’d probably own a felted cloak that would be straight off the set of Willow.
    Restekpah for anyone brave enough to get into it, though.

    Ask the hippies at your nearest hippy markets, Catty. this is the kind of thing I’ve seen our ferals peddling. Looks like hard work to me & I doubt very much it would survive the spin cycle in my front loader.

  240. From what the instructional websites say, it’s the agitation and the spin cycle that cause the knitting to felt. I think. But I could be wrong. I know how to make felt from unspun wool fibre – that’s done with tulle and a wooden Japanese massager – but making felt from knitted fabric is just not settling into any of my brain’s pigeon holes.

  241. Seriously? You would take perfectly good wool & mash it up into felt? I just assumed that they bought the felt & then they mangled the crap out of it to make whatever the hell it is that they make. I’ve seen the felt skirts and cloaks & gowns around, and not being a GoT fan, I just assumed that it was some sort of Back-to-the-Vikings mediaval fashion thing.
    Some of it looks absolutely amazing, but I wouldn’t wear it now. I burned through some pretty wild outfits when I were a lass but even then I had an eye for things that I could wash & wear. I have no idea how you’d clean a felted skirt if you dropped a carafe of red wine & a choc-nut sundae over it.

  242. I don’t know how you do it. I keep thinking, surely most of it would stay in the stitches, whatever you did to it?

  243. Mmmmm… choc-nut sundae…

  244. Mmm … Japanese massage.

  245. For a really thorough Japanese massage, ask Tim Mathieson for his proctologist’s phone number.

  246. I’ll repeat what I said when I heard him say that.

  247. I said that on Friday night, when a massive spider threatened me in the laundry. My arachnophobic hives are still itching.

  248. Did it have a GM stamp with Greybeard’s trademark on it’s arse?

  249. When you visit, Catty, just remember to steer clear of my laundry. It’s a spider sanctuary.

  250. If you’ve got some particularly large & hungry ones, pop them in a postage box for me?
    I must remember to book the bug spray people. When the AC was serviced a week or so ago, they found a shirt-load of gecko-poop in one of the units. Those things are legendary for destroying AC units.
    Until I get around to that, let’s hope the barricade spray holds them off.

  251. Any little horsie photos to show for your weekend?

  252. No, rain stopped play. Instead of going to the farm, I lounged around reading my Kindle. It was awesome!

    What do you spray to keep geckos away?

  253. We’ve got some sort of mortein barrier type spray, and I have no idea what the pest control uses. Best not to ask, really.

  254. Dang, hit post before I meant to.
    It has been perfect for the kindles. What are you reading?
    I’ve got ‘the dressmaker’ loaded on mine at the moment.
    I’ve been out on the front porch this morning reading it & it’s been surreal.
    I was reading the lines that the cliquey bitchy towns women are muttering just as the lesbians & NTO had a chirrupy exchange of ‘My isn’t your new deck looking fabulous!’ and ‘Oh yes isn’t it wonderful!
    I told the Bloke & he burst out laughing.
    Then again, they are lesbians, it is unfair to expect them to recognise a cock-up when it rises up behind them.

    • Oh, bloody hell. I just wet myself laughing.

  255. Some website or other recommended “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier. Never having read it, I thought I’d give it a crack. So far, so good.

    Are you enjoying The Dressmaker?

  256. Really? But Hitchcock did the movie, I thought you would have been all over it.
    I love the way that de Maurier turns the house into a more vivid personality than the narrator, she’s very clever.
    I made the Bloke watch the movie with me a few weeks back. No hope of him reading the book.
    There’s a sequel that was authorised by either her or her estate, and it’s worth a read, too.
    Um, yeah, very good. I finished the dressmaker & will read it again – the trouble with kindle is it’s so hard to flick back when you realise there’s 30 different characters & you’re having trouble figuring out who did what, and you can’t just flick back through the pages.
    I was reading a review of the movie & it ran along the lines of it’s vogue couture meets Deliverance. I hope the movie is a hit, the author deserves it for creating such an accurate snapshot of an Australian country town.
    Yup. Nailed it.

  257. Oh, I loved ‘Rebecca’! You can see the influence the Brontes had on her writing. I didn’t know it was made into a movie. Is it very different from the book?

  258. It won two academy awards so I suppose I’m not alone in thinking it was brilliant. 1940, Laurence Oliver & Joan Fontaine. It brought the book to life & it was wonderfully gothic – well, Hitchcock. Perfect for it. Joan Fontaine captured the youthful naivette & the anxiety & low self-esteem of the narrator. For all her beauty, it was easy to see how she’d be intimidated by having someone like Olivier as her husband.
    I found it on iTunes & we watched it on the apple TV. Marvelous thing, the apple TV.
    I quite enjoyed the Sally Beauman sequel – which is the one approved by the de Maurier estate – as it tried to open up some insight into the complexity of Rebecca’s character, so that she wasn’t such a 2-dimensional villain. It’s flawed, but worth a read.
    No sequel could ever be as powerful as the follow up to Jane Eyre, though. I read The Wide Sargasso Sea agaiin this semester – I can’t believe that Jean Rhys wasn’t more widely appreciated for that. Ahead of her time, I guess.
    Ah, it will be so lovely to have the peace & quiet of the Mudgeeraba state forest beside the new Casa Q so I can read & revisit more lovely books, away from the noise of the freaks around here.

  259. Thanks for the tip, I’ll look out for the sequel. And The Dressmaker.

    My only problem is that I can’t read and knit at the same time.

    • The library has them on audio, you should be able to channel them through The Mac.

  260. Same here. I’m currently working on a special knitting project, but I have to drop it now so that I can go to the library and borrow Wide Sargasso Sea. Which, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I have not heretofore heard of. If you don’t hear from me for the next 48 hours, shhhhhhh I’m reading.

  261. i do hope you enjoy it.

    But what’s the special knitting project?

  262. That’ll be my special Xmas bicycle seat cover to stop it giving me groin indents when I’m silly enough to take it out of the garage & coast down the hill.
    Surely bike seats weren’t that uncomfortable back when we were 12?

  263. Don’t ask me what it was like when we were 12. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.

  264. I had pixie sticks. I know this because my tongue is still blue & WHEEEEEEEEEEEE! Sugar Rush!
    I have to see D’Orth for wart burning (I know, I know, I will miss those come halloween) this arvo & if he thinks he can fire up the cryo gun without getting me to open up & say ‘AH!’ & scare the crap out of him, he’s got another thing coming.

  265. Mmm … pixie sticks.

  266. Half right. It’s not bike seat covers, but it is a Christmas project, so I can’t tell you what I’m making. Mainly because if I stuff it up, I’ll have to send you rice cookers instead.

  267. Well, rice is nice.

  268. Maybe if my project doesn’t work, I can make a rice-cooker-cosy instead? Or a Thneed. A Thneed is something everyone needs, right?

  269. No, don’t cut down the Truffula trees to make Thneeds!

  270. I didn’t get to read the Lorax when I was little.
    Wasn’t it on Joh’s Ban & Burn prohibited book list way back then?

  271. Probably. Most books were. That may be why I’ve never heard of Wide Sargasso Sea before. Speaking of, the library didn’t have it. I don’t like our library any more.

  272. That’s crazy.
    We had to study it in English Lit & FFS, it’s the prequel to Jane Eyre!
    You need to go into your library and bail up the librarian and tell her that BCC have 6 copies available & your Brisbane friends are sneering & asking how it is that Melbourne can give itself airs about being the seat of Kulcha when your library stocks the Lorax & refuses to carry Jean Rhys.

  273. What about the ipad, Catty, do they have it listed in ebooks over at BorrowBox?

  274. When I went in to the library, I couldn’t find the book. I’d have asked the librarians, but one was busy with someone who really should have had the word ‘Idiot’ tattooed to their forehead, and the other librarian was talking on the phone to what I can only assume was an automated queue for a call centre in India. The library probably did have copies that have been checked out, and I probably should have waited to put myself on the waiting list, but there were chocolate lava cakes waiting for me at home. Notice I said ‘were’. And that was lunch.

    The iPad didn’t occur to me. I went crosseyed the first time I tried to read a book on it, so now I just use it for gaming. Maybe it’s time I tried again…. BorrowBox, you say? I’ll look that up later. Thanks for that, Q.

    Hey, did you see all that nonsense on the news that said eating bacon is as bad for you as smoking? And red meat is as bad as mesothelioma? And eating salami gives you rectal cancer? Who sponsored this study? These guys?

    • Have you looked on the elib catalogue? I just assumed that the Melbourne libraries would have the same remote system as us here in the banana republic, being that you can login to your library account at home & order whatever you want.

  275. Oh, for goodness sake. Why don’t they discover something useful, like work gives you cancer, or for optimal functioning the human body needs at least one lengthy nap per day?

  276. I thought they already worked that out. Siesta!

  277. I got really cross about the way the ABC (radio, twitter/news online) promoted that story. That research is really old. I read the links between excessive red meat intake & colorectal cancer 30 years ago.
    The same with nitrates & the links to pancreatic cancer & bowel cancer. They knew about that because of the high instances of pancreatic cancer in people that eat a lot of processed meat, and Asians that eat a lot of pickled fish.
    The nutrition guidelines have long said that it’s inadvisable to eat red meat more than 4 x pw, and nobody should be eating preserved meat on a daily basis.
    The reporting on the ABC became a lot more balanced towards the end of the day – presumably after people like me had expressed their fury at the clickbait sensationalism they used to deploy it – but I doubt anyone was reading it any more.
    They’d all listened to Bruce on Spencer Howson’s show saying ‘my grandmother ate Devon every meal of her life till she was 94 and she didn’t get bowel cancer so none of us will either’ and they’d switched off & headed out for a bacon & chip buttie.
    It’s all about lethal dose.
    The conversation needs to be about the excesses of our lifestyle, not a blanket statement like ‘bacon & red meat gives you cancer.’
    The current guidelines say that (lean) red meat 4x a week has a beneficial effect & I think the guidelines for preserved meat are in that <2% of your diet category.
    Old news, they must have gotten bored waiting for the next DV murder to happen in a 5km radius of Casa Q.

  278. This was posted on Facebook last week, by whom I can’t remember:

    “It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.
    The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
    The French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
    The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
    The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
    The germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
    Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

  279. Well, we all speak Australian, so we should be in the clear. Pass the bacon!

  280. The Wildebeest ate it.

  281. That explains this trail of half-chewed rinds.

  282. Actually that was me.

  283. Well, you are under a lot of stress. We’ll forgive you, but next time eat all your rinds.

  284. Must’ve happened when I was making the pastitsio, I have been extra forgetful.
    Speaking of which, can you email me your mother’s phone number? If she’s up for it, I’d like to zip over to the western suburbs & leave the Meltables with her before I turn the spare room into wall-to-wall cardboard box storage.

  285. If you have any ice cream in that box of Meltables, my mouth is available for storage anytime. Ditto for brownies.

  286. You’ll have to visit so I can take you to the local gelateria, Catty.
    Did I tell you that the one at Coolangatta had 5 varieties of caramel, last time I was down there? I had the one with the crunchy toffee chunks…mmmmm.

  287. Mmm … all the caramel.

    Done, Q. And she’s hoping you’ll make it to Knitting, one day.

  288. You can take me when I move in to Caramello Court, Q. And then Madam can take me to her mum’s knitting klatch. It’s not long now, I’d better start packing.

  289. Thanks, MM. Email deets & hospitality duly noted & appreciated.
    Catty I’d love you to run away from home, you can slap me when I wake up every day & burst into hysterical wailing, looking at all the boxes.
    One week today & we’ll be getting the keys, woohoo!

  290. You will remember to sterilise them before you use them, won’t you?

  291. Locksmith’s problem, Catty. The first order of business is to get the entire house newly keyed.

  292. One week until you get the keys … I hope you’ve got some smudge sticks all ready to fire up?

  293. Yes, but a sage stick is no substitute for Aisling’s curling wand when it comes to what’s needed to drive out the debbil-debbils around here.

  294. Dear Aisling. If only she knew how much we missed her.

  295. She’s probably in Ireland by now, wondering what on earth happened to her 20’s – and why she has developed a phobia of toilets.

  296. I’d say she’s still locked in a portaloo from last year’s Splendour in the Grass.

  297. To be fair, doors are very complicated.

  298. So the cats tell me.

  299. Ugh. There is something distressing about the smell of portaloos. It’s the same with aeroplane and coach toilets. Must be a repressed memory of some sort. I have a lot of those.

  300. Liam Hemsworth’s character in ‘the dressmaker’ might take the sting off both of those, Catty.
    We just got back from the cinemas & I was very impressed at the work that went into modifying the book to give it depth, without losing it’s eccentricity.
    I advise you all to see it, it was fab.

  301. Ewww…. Liam Hemsworth! He had sex with Miley Cyrus! Yeah, I know, he’s only one of several thousand people who have had sex with her, but he did it several times, and publicly admitted to it. Ick!

  302. Catty if anyone in Hollywood says they haven’t had sex with Miley Cyrus then they’re lying or deluded. The only reason anyone admits to it is when it’s been captured on CCTV.

  303. Should I read the book first, or see the movie?

  304. There would be enough footage there to make an entire series. And that’s just this year’s footage.

  305. See the movie first. And go on your day off, before all the spoilers come out. The cinema was packed at the 10am session on Sunday & between Kate Winslett’s acting & the costume design, I’d say it will take off in the same way that Priscilla & Muriel did. It held some dark truths about bullying, so I think it’ll strike a chord with the populace & it’ll be embraced in the same way as those movies are.
    It’ll be easier to make sense of the book if you see the movie first – I had trouble keeping all of the characters straight. I saw a review that said that while she writes well, her characters are as flat and as two dimensional as a set of Old Maid cards, and it’s like she just keeps shuffling the pack to keep the story going.
    That was pretty accurate. The scriptwriters have done a fabulous job of lifting that into 3D & there’s such a great cast of actors that they breathe life into it & make it believable.
    Kate is wonderful but Judy Davis is sensational. and most of the rewrite has been to her character, and it really lifts the plot.
    Definitely see the movie first, it’s the better written piece.

  306. I do love Judy Davis. Thanks, I’ll attempt to do so.

  307. It really was a wonderful cast. The women got right into their roles as small town country bitches. I had no idea Sacha Horler had such a knack for comedy, I can’t remember what I last saw her in but she was so drab & lacklustre that whatever it was, it was an appalling waste of her talent. for the brief time she was on screen she completely stole the show.

  308. I watched a TV show that was based on something Danish, last week. I’m not sure why I was surprised that it was bleak and depressing.

  309. How can pastry possibly be depressing?
    Either you or the film-makers are doing it wrong.

  310. There were no pastries. That’s what was wrong with it.

  311. I just went shoe shopping down in West End & I found the most gorgeous Italian biscuits in the Swiss Deli. gosh I will miss my weekly forays down there, for food scrounging. Anyway, new post so you can appreciate them too.
    I found some very comfy sandals, too, but shoes cannot compare to baked goods.
    Good thing I went down there.
    This year I hit upon the idea of unloading my leftover Halloween swag onto one of the Catholic charities down there – they always do a Xmas hamper and a food drive for the families that they look after. Apparently I’m the first person who has thought to unload Goblin Sugar on them & they were thrilled, as they are starting their drive at the end of the week.
    I also junked my Halloween decorations at the lifeline shop down there.
    Now that I’m getting clear of that unholy cabal across the road, there will be no need to worry about Sugar Fest.
    One less sack of crap to pack up and move, and I feel fabulously liberated.

  312. It is nice to get rid of things. I should have another tip run.

  313. Relatives?
    do what I do. Wait for Xmas, till they’re asleep.

  314. Good old turkey. Puts everyone to sleep.

  315. I can’t eat turkey. We had a neighbour in Helidon who kept turkeys. Occasionally he would slaughter one and chuck it in the hangi pit, after first removing the feathers with an acetylene torch. It was most unpleasant. Especially as he was the Boss’s employer at the time, and he always invited us over for the turkey dinner. I sure could have used that Excuses app – you know, the one we never got around to designing. If we had, we’d be rich by now. Sorry about that. But I was busy washing my hair, and then the phone rang, and I had this thing to go to, and….

  316. Ugh, as if turkey isn’t a horrible enough protein source without having to inhale the feathers being blowtorched.
    It’s never to late to collate our Excuse Generator App, Catty.
    Although I don’t think you can go past the one on the flip-chart in my kitchen.

  317. Heh! Love that one! I also like “I have PMS and GPS. I will find you and I will kill you.”

  318. LOL. Although that reminds me, I must get our new house delisted off the real estate dot com site, I don’t want any of the Freaks around here working out where we’ve gone so they can find us & slash our tyres & poison our pets down there.

  319. Silly Q. You’re assuming that they can not only access the internet, but also read the listings. I’m pretty sure you’re safe as houses.

  320. Agreed. The only people who will actively seek you out will be the people who love you, your hilarious wit, and your tasty, tasty noms.

  321. Mmm … noms.

  322. Thanks, all.
    Well, I was meant to make a curry before I went out on my playdate (Dressmaker again & it’s even better the second time around) but my morning has vanished dealing with the iForgot app that’s a feature of Australian males issued prior to 1965.
    I discovered that he hasn’t ordered the flyscreen to go with the new louvres for my bedroom. Which is odd as I ordered him to do that weeks ago.
    He didn’t place the order because he’s quite sure that they can’t install flyscreens on louvres (Snort!) and he closed his argument by stating that the bars on the windows (horizontal security bars that line up with the louvres) are on the inside of the house & not the outside.
    Because why would you put security bars on the outside of a building, where it might deflect chunks of hail the size of dinner plates & burglars with cast iron bars. Far better, he says, to have the screen on the outside and the bars on the inside.
    Some days I wonder if he’s spent so much time designing high security prison style psyche wards that it seems like the natural solution for renovations to my Boudoir.
    So I had to sort that one out & get the louvre people to talk to the pawproof screen people.
    The screen lady nearly fell off her chair laughing when I explained why the architect husband never got back to her, & she wants me to write a book when we move & then ring her & order lots more screens so I can expound on the genius of mankind some more.
    Some days I wonder how he builds anything at all.
    Then I remember that mostly what he builds is hospitals & they don’t put louvres or fly screens in the operating theatres or the morgue.

  323. Um, if the bars are on the inside, how do you open the window when it’s hot?

  324. Don’t ask me to explain his thinking processes, Catty. If he keeps it up I’m sending him off for an MRI & a PET scan to see if the screws holding his marbles in place have come unhinged from his late night whiskey tippling.
    Speaking of which, how’s your house-male faring?

  325. I think I’m beginning to understand why so many women want a divorce when their husbands retire. Not that I want to divorce the Boss or anything, it’s just that it’s a big adjustment having him home all the time. He gets so frustrated when he sees something that needs fixing, and he is not physically capable of doing it. And we all know how irritable a frustrated man can get. On a positive note, I have someone to play with during the day. Yay!

    An idea occurs to me. The Boss is totally brilliant about coming up with solutions to household problems. (What Darryl Kerrigan would call ‘an ideas man’). If he teamed up with the Bloke, the two of them could design stuff that was both beautiful and practical. If there was a way to make bars work on the inside and screens on the outside, the Boss would find it. I always thought the Boss should have been an architect or an engineer. He’s really clever and creative – he thinks sideways, upways, downways, in- and outways… Sort of like Willy Wonka’s great glass elevator. If only he hadn’t dropped out of high school, I reckon he would have designed that elevator by now. Dyslexia is a bastard like that.

  326. I hear you, Catty.
    I always said that the Bloke & I would be fine when he retires, but I’m starting to think I should encourage him to work long hours away from home until he’s at least 90.
    He never used to be like this, but he’s developed what one of my older GFs calls ‘Middle-aged-man syndrome.’
    i.e. The more wrong he is, the more deluded he becomes that he’s utterly, 300%, virtuously in the right.
    She says that you just have to learn to say ‘Yes dear,’ and that the best way to sort out life’s problems is by keeping the man of the house out of the loop, when it comes to trouble-shooting. Otherwise you’ll be tempted to solve the trouble by shooting the man.
    Not a philosophy that I’ve embraced over the last 28 years, but I’m starting to think it’s a wise choice.

  327. My pet hate is when the Boss ‘notices’ something is broken, and denies vehemently that I have ever mentioned it before. It’s like my constant whining and nagging about it for the last two, three, five etc. years has been mere white noise that he tried hard to ignore. Like tinnitus. I am his tinnitus.

  328. I have made exactly the same complaint & have told him that if he keeps it up I will be shifting gear & ramping up from tinnitus to tooth-ache.

  329. On that subject, Catty, I got so sick of the convenient Amnesia that last time it happened I wrote down the topic of the argument in my diary, wrote his response (yes dear I promise I will fix it) and then got him to sign it & date it.
    I told him that every time he develops traumatic amnesia from being asked to fix something, I will log it in a book & get him to sign it and date it.
    Nothing will get fixed, but at least I’ll have it all documented so that I can argue my case for men in white coats to come & take him away.

  330. Brilliant idea! I must buy a student planner for just this purpose. In the meantime, I will also ramp up my nagging. I will cease to be his tinnitus, and will become one of the Bronte sisters. I.e, if the Boss ignores me again, he will suddenly find he has a sore arse.

  331. Perhaps I, too, should put all of my bitching into one dedicated Book of Nag. It’ll save me flicking past notes like ‘buy peanut butter’ and ‘anti-psychotics for the cat’ to find the relevant memory offence.

  332. There’s a judge on America’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ who has us all beat in the bad memory department:
    “What do you mean, you already told me he was dead? Nope. Nobody mentioned it to me.”

    Hey, there’s a thought…. maybe he isn’t dead? Maybe he’s living in Hawaii with Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson? This might have been a big ruse, you know, like, “Hey everyone, let’s pretend I’m dead so that Bindi can win a few grand in some lame-arse American TV show in nine years’ time”. Yeah, that would be it for sure….

  333. It doesn’t matter how much documentary evidence you have – there’s no room in the psych hospitals for negligent architects. On the upside, I saw a video on YouTube that shows you how to convert hair straighteners into a home ECT machine.

  334. Your YouTube must be better than mine. Everything I have seen there lately involved cats doing stupid things.

  335. In my experience, boys can do many more stupid things than ever occur to a cat.

  336. That’s true. I doubt it would occur to a cat to pee next to the litter box instead of in it.

  337. Boy cats are every bit as stupid as human males, Catty.
    My beloved boy that went to kitteh heaven used to arrange himself in the litter tray so that his arse was hanging over the edge & then he’d drop his dacks.
    I had to replace the litter trays with enormous plastic crates because he thought he was being ever so virtuous, the whole time he was spilling his load.
    I loved that cat but by Dog he was Dumb.

  338. Dumb, maybe, but he was pretty. Pretty kittehs can get away with anything.

  339. He was gorgeous. And such a sweet boy.

  340. Well, another weekend of cancelled farm visit. Upside, much more time for lounging around with the Kindle.

    How was everyone else’s weekend?

  341. Dang, I forgot about that. Wasn’t your mother meant to go up there too?
    I’m enjoying a lovely wet, cool day of solitude here in Vagus.
    Just doing lots of cooking as I lured the builders south of the Coomera-Logan Murder line by promising them lots of home-cooked vittles.
    I’m sure I could just throw them a fridge full of meat & point to the BBQ at the top of the street (lovely facilities up at Pleasantville) but I’ll want them to come back at some point & do some more work.
    So the food enticement matters.
    Where are your chillun, MM, that you get peace to read?

  342. Spending quality time with their computers. Good old You Tube.

  343. If I see that Noot Noot mashup one more time, I may scream. Bloody Youtube should be shot.

  344. I haven’t seen it. Sounds like I should be grateful.

  345. Yes. Yes you should.

  346. I’ve got a terrible urge to enter it into a search engine. Somebody hold me back!

  347. If you choose to click on the link, I would advise you to do so when your offspring are out of earshot.

  348. I lasted three seconds before shrieking and hitting the kill switch.
    I am grateful you shared that, though, as I’d spent the last week thinking that all that Halloween candy had made the local kids retarded.

  349. I’ve got two things to say about that video. Noot noot.

  350. hahahahaha.

  351. It’s stuck in my head. I swear I’m going to answer the phones “Noot Noot!”

  352. I had my revenge this morning. I walked up to their beds, leaned over and screamed NOOT NOOT! in their ears to wake them up.

    I am such a bitch. Heh heh heh heh heh….

  353. I wonder if I can make it into my ringtone?

  354. Interesting. I can see it’s value as a door chime.

  355. Or a car alarm. What can’t a Noot Noot do?

    • Perhaps they could use it as a ‘You’re up next,’ signal in the waiting room of the counsellor’s office at BGS.

      • Hehehe

      • I’m tempted to study for a doctorate in languages, solely so I can write my thesis on Noot Noot.


    I am totally getting this.

  357. Well, you won’t be tempted to leave your phone ring too long.

  358. *mute*

  359. I’d REALLY like this as a car horn.

  360. Ooooh, YES! I want! I want! Oh, wait, the Boss has to drive the car too, and if I did that, he would divorce me…..

    ….. but I’d get the car in the settlement! NOOT NOOT!

  361. It would certainly sort out cyclists and pedestrians. Noot Noot!

  362. You can keep your Noot Noot.
    I want that missing Taser that the cops left on the roof of the patrol car & drove off without it – on their Monday morning coffee run to Woodridge.
    If you see it on Etsy, see if you can crowd fund it as a Xmas present for me.
    Just think of the good I could do with it…

  363. Just think of the hits you’d get on Youtube. Viral!

  364. But Catty, Stealth is the primary objective when you’re contracting hits on the neighbours.

  365. LOL!

    Yesterday was MK’s birthday. She wanted us to take her to Food Star (used to be Sizzlers) for dinner so she could stuff her face. That was fine with me. I’m all for face stuffing. I sent The Gimmee a text saying “Wear shoes”, as she usually refuses to wear the things, even to restaurants. She responded that she already had her shoes on. I almost sent another text saying “Wear pants too”, but I figured it was unnecessary. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The Gimmee showed up in a pair of laddered leggings and no pants. “They’re not leggings”, she declared. “See? They have a logo on the ankle. That makes them Activewear”. No, Gimmee. Just, No.

    Anyway, I had to give her a pair of my jeans. My fat day jeans. (She’s gained a ‘little’ weight lately). And because life works that way, I’ve woken up this morning with Aunt Irma wrapped around my midsection, but I have no fat pants to wear. I may just have to go shopping in my Activewear.

  366. Q should taze everyone who wears leggings instead of pants.

    Actually, we could probably fund that with Kickstarter.

  367. Oh dear Catty.
    Nbob has spent years trying to persuade the Bobette to wear #pants, and even now she has a nursing degree while admittedly somewhat less inclined to go without them on a trip to the local servo, she still requires encouragement. I fear it is a phase they go through.
    I would have happily tasered everyone in a 500m radius of me yesterday, but today I left at dawn & spent a rapturous day floating about between Burleigh Heads & Casa Coastal Q, doing Bunnings trips & supervising the tradies.
    It is fabulously, gloriously, exquisitely quiet & solitary up on that hill & I have come home blissed out from the tranquillity of it all.
    Give me another 30 minutes of listening to NTO rabbiting in and out of her toad-hole & going ‘BANG! BANG! BANG! with the screen door as she leaps in and out, pouncing on tenants & unsuspecting passers by, & my normal levels of homicidal agitation may be somewhat restored.

  368. I know that feeling. The Boss finally agreed to get rid of the massive old telly from our bedroom, so it went into the shed. When The Gimmee came over, he asked her if she wanted it. She did. He told her that he’s not allowed to lift it, so she would have to carry it the metre and a half from the shed to my car. Her response was, “Oh, if it’s too much bother for you, then I won’t worry about it”. Eventually, with much eye-rolling, I persuaded her to get on the other side of the telly and we carried it together. Once we got to her place, it was a much greater distance – about eight metres – to get it inside from the driveway. She looked at it, looked at the door, and announced, “I’m going inside to find someone to help you carry it in”.

    There is no hope for that child.

  369. I disagree.
    When we moved our massive old clunker the bloke dropped it on my toe.
    that effing thing weighed nearly as much as I did, it’s amazing I still have any toes.
    She’s a genius for saving herself & throwing the rest of you under the bus.
    Or the analogue TV, this time around.

  370. You’re right, of course. I guess I’m just sick of doing things for her and giving her stuff when she is too lazy, greedy or selfish to lift a finger – even when it is solely for her own benefit. It’s become such a habit with her that she now becomes sullen and petulant (or even angry) if people don’t give her what she wants or do things for her when she wants. *sigh*

  371. Pavlov’s dog, Catty.
    This is why I suggested getting in touch with ARAFMI. They run courses for parents to retrain you into changing your behaviour so that you don’t stay stuck in that dance.
    If you don’t have time for that, maybe search the library catalogue for Melody Beatty’s ‘Co-dependent no more’. I know it sounds trite, but it’s helped a lot of people break that cycle.
    I still think ARAFMI FTW, though, because you’d get the support of a bunch of parents going through a very similar thing.

  372. Sorry Catty, that didn’t sound very sympathetic.
    I do know, because of all the dedicated substance abusers in my family.
    You don’t get more narcissistic than that, and I had to learn the hard way that they would never change, so creating the change that I wanted was purely down to me.
    Next time you’re tempted to solve one of her problems – Don’t.
    Give the TV, the pants, the cake, and the furniture to someone else.

  373. It’s like the Boss says. Givers have to set limits, because takers never do.

  374. Exactly.
    Trust me, I find it far more satisfying these days to give something to someone who actually wants/needs/appreciates it, rather than trying to ingratiate myself to someone who is never going to be pleased, regardless of what I do.

  375. Sorry for my absence. I’ve been drowning in snot acquired from TGP. Umm, that came out wrong. The cold he gave me. Oh dear, I’m having trouble braining today. Should stand me in good stead once I get in to the office.

  376. That is so sucky, Madam. Still, on the upside, they probably won’t be too keen to have you back for baconing. Unless, of course, the customers start asking for the Special Sauce.

    I’m surprised you’re already back at work. You need at least two more days in bed. You should ask your mum for a note to give your boss.

  377. Infect everyone.
    You’ll give them an excuse to avoid the office Xmas party and you will be praised & revered by all.

  378. Genius! Why didn’t I think of getting a note from my Mum?

  379. She’d have left it in Brisbane with the fudge anyway.

  380. I am a mother. I can assure you Morgana’s Mum knew exactly what she was doing.

  381. Catty! Surely you don’t think she’s trying to embezzle my fudge?

  382. Well, she did say that the Coven of the Drunken Wool was due, so I reckon they saw it on the countertop & made short work of it.
    Your Minion has probably had to order new stuff online to replace it, in hopes that we will never know.

  383. Those damn knitters! I shall cast them off, forthwith.

    • Morgana’s here all night folks. Try the fudge…. oh, wait….

  384. If she’s gotten them hooked on Margaret River fudge, it is yet possible we can find a way to make this work for us…that stuff is addictive, if they got into it last Thursday they’ll be doing bulk orders for their coven meetings by now.
    We just need a volunteer to intercept their fudge guzzling…

  385. Well Dad and the dog won’t be of any assistance. My best bet is to train up one of the chooks.

  386. We need a camera trained on them. And someone tall enough to install one, unseen, up in the roof.
    If they are up to more than bootees & bootlegging, Yarn-Cam will get to the bottom of it.

  387. It might be easier to just spread a rumor that fudge interferes with the absorption of alcohol from champagne. That’ll stop them in their tracks.

  388. Heh heh heh.
    How’s the snot virus, MM?
    I do believe you’re sounding a tad more chipper.
    And I don’t mean that in the Disney sense, I mean it in the good, back to your old self, Fargo kind of a way.

  389. I’m still a little bit congested, but nowhere near as bad as I was, thanks. And no fevers and chills today, that’s a very good thing.

  390. Well, any improvement is always good. Let’s hope it sods off by Thursday so you can enjoy your day off. And go out to see the Dressmaker, while it’s still on the big screen. 🙂
    I just had the horrifying realisation that Xmas is a few weeks away, and schoolies starts this week. Ergo, Niece will be up here sometime soon. Presumably she’ll be too busy getting drunk & laid to bother with us, but you never know. School leavers don’t call their relatives during the festivities, do they?
    Not unless they need bail, surely?

  391. They’re more likely to call you than anyone else. There’s a lot to be said for charming company and a plate of tasty noms.

    I’m glad you’re on the mend, Madam. Ditto what Q said about being better by Thursday.

  392. I have to get my driver’s license renewed. And I’ve got an appointment with the dental hygienist this afternoon. Truly, this is a week from hell.

    Q, I wouldn’t stress. She can only call you if she can find your number, and she can’t find your number if she’s blind drunk and/or tripping balls.

  393. Tripping balls!?!! That’s a new one.

  394. Don’t get me started on rolling on molly.

  395. Speaking of ‘don’t get me started’, the Boss’s WorkCover payments have just been cut off because – get this – they’ve realised his October medical certificate was made out for 31 days instead of 28. Although the September certificate didn’t expire until after the start of the October one, and the November one begins before the October certificate finishes, they apparently won’t accept the certificate because they class any certificate of more than 28 days duration to be invalid. As soon as he opened the letter, the Boss rang WorkCover, the WorkCover insurer, and the rehab co-ordinator. Nobody would take his calls and none of them have called him back.

    Who do I beat to death first?

  396. Beating them all to death will be very tiring, and might cause strain or injury to you. I would recommend shooting or exploding them.

  397. Yes, it would be tiring. But so, so satisfying.

  398. That’s insane. In what medical book of injuries did they glean that the body magically cures itself within 28 days of sustaining an injury? WTF do they think we are, salamanders?
    Tell me where they live, I’ll do the beating.

    Irma reappeared yesterday while I was gardening & because I haven’t taken my witchy things since July, she’s particularly nasty.

    Poor Catty. I suppose you’ll just have to sit on the phone today until one of them takes your calls. That’s hopeless.
    Fingers crossed they do something about it today.
    What a bunch of idiots.

  399. It’s typical of them. There’s another horror story of utter stupidity from last week that I could go into, but it’s complicated and merely reinforces my desire to be a unicorn so I can stab idiots with my head.

    Also, the Boss’s GP went against WorkCover’s wishes and sent the Boss for blood tests that should have been done a year ago. It came back with a negative result for arthritis. That’s really going to show the whole lot of them up as idiots, and I’m tempted to find out who the industry Ombudsman is so that I can write him a letter…. or more accurately, a novel…. exposing the litany of mistakes. I shall name it The Book Of Stupid.

  400. Well I suppose the Mormons already have the Book of Moron, so that title’s taken.

  401. I’m thinking of giving away free fire extinguishers with mine – for when the Stupid burns.

  402. Or a little pot of aloe vera, would be nice.

  403. I’d give Vodka and Valium, but I need it all myself.

  404. I’ll take a few of those fire extinguishers, Catty.
    I’ll pitch one through her bedroom window the next time her smoke alarm goes off after midnight. She may drug up enough to sleep through a screaming smoke alarm, but if a 20kg canister lands on her pillow, at least she’ll wake up in the morning with a clue about what she’s missed.

  405. How the hell can you sleep through a smoke alarm?

    Be of good cheer. I’m pretty sure she’s dead.

  406. She’s walking around today in her scarecrow gardening outfit, so I’m pretty sure she’s Undead, MM.
    In the scariest possible way.

  407. Ordinarily I’d say put Holy water in a Super Soaker, but I think you’re going to need something stronger. Perhaps Napalm.

  408. I keep telling Spanner to come do his Saturday morning archery practice on my front deck & the sod never does.

  409. Pour whole bottles of undiluted Domestos in her ugly gardens. Start spreading a rumour that there’s Dihydrogen Monoxide in the local reservoirs. Watch her lose her shit.

    Or, oil her deck for her. With cooking grease. You can pick up a 10 litre tub of vegetable oil at Coals for about $5. Well worth it, I reckon.

    Neither one will leave her with a pierced clavicle, unfortunately. Poor form, Spanner!

  410. I’m hoping she’ll restore some sort of order to her ugly garden before we want to leave Casa Q & rent it out.
    Her idiot hick builder is currently occupied rebuilding the concrete stairs between her garden & the garage. The same garage that has three cracked & crumbling retaining walls holding back a 2m high bank of dirt; said walls having been condemned long before we moved in 20 years ago.
    Why she hasn’t rebuilt the fecking garage, I don’t know.
    He’s been jackhammering out the old stairs & forming up new ones at the rate of about two a day.
    Or so the Bloke says, as he gets to see it on his way to & from the bus.

    This is another one of her trademark genius constructions – i.e., it is utterly futile because one day someone will have to dig it all up again & rebuild it.
    When the carport does finally collapse, in order to replace it, they can’t just pop new retaining walls in where the old ones were.
    They’ll need to get a bobcat in & dig out at least 600mm beyond the existing line of the retaining walls, in order to dig out a new footing and to adequately waterproof the new retaining walls.
    Since the carport is right on the boundary & she’s been so very horrible to the slumlord next door, there is no way he will give her permission to dig out along the boundary line, meaning that if she wants to replace her garage, she’ll have to set it a metre further from his boundary…meaning she’ll have to push it a metre further over to the east to get the space.
    This will:
    1. Require the total destruction of the new stairs they are currently forming up to be filled in with concrete
    2. Hit the sewer so she’ll need to relocate that.
    3. Cost a ridiculous fortune.

    If it was anyone else I’d assume that it was all part of a master plan to bodgy it up for a quick sale at the end of summer, but since it’s her, we assume that it’s all just part of the Magnificent Stoopid that swirls around in her deluded brain.

  411. If they were in the backyard, I’d think maybe she wanted to hide NTB’s corpse under them.

  412. We went to look at a house up in the hills a few weeks ago. Going by the long list of incredibly bodgy renovations and repairs, I suspect it was NTO’s before she moved to Bog Hollow. Seriously, some people should be shot and buried under their stupidity.

  413. Judging from what we saw in our two years of house hunting, that would eliminate at least 80% of the population of the southern gold coast.
    Fire at will.

  414. Poor Will. Everybody’s always firing at him.

  415. I’m sure he did something thoroughly rotten to deserve it.

  416. That, too, accounts for at least 80% of the population. After an exhaustingly unsuccessful 3 hour shopping expedition at the nearest major complex, I find myself weeping for humanity.

  417. Oh, don’t mention shopping, please. I don’t know what’s happened to me this year, but I have yet to do one bit of Christmas shopping. Pray for me.

  418. The worst of it is that they started playing Frosty the Snowman tunes on a loop over 2 weeks ago. The earworm as you punch the crowds out of the way will be the worst of it.
    You have my sympathy.
    Surely it’s not to late to buy everything online from Think Geek or the Fudge Factory?

  419. You might be onto something with the fudge, BTW, Mum came through with mine on the weekend. MMMMMMmmmmmmm! Thank you very much! So far the kids don’t know I’ve got it, too. Shhhhh.

  420. Heehee.
    That is my very great pleasure, MM.
    And it’s why I added the jar of macadamia chocolate spread from Mudgeeraba woollies. If they’re busy smearing that on sandwiches then they are less likely to detect the sweet allure of Margaret River on your breath, when you cuddle them.

  421. I thought that would be nice as filling for tartlets, actually. Has anyone tried that?

  422. No, but I immediately imagined that smothered in freshly whipped cream, and wondered what Irma has done to me.
    I hate whipped cream, but right now it seems like the perfect topping for breakfast.

  423. And for half-naked firemen. Mmm … firemen.

  424. Doesn’t really rhyme, does it?

    “Valium, vodka all mixed in a slushy,
    Macadamia spread, gooey and mushy,
    Oiled shirtless fire men smothered in cream,
    These are a few of my favourite things….”

    But I think we should send it to Julie Andrews anyway.

  425. After a few valium-vodka slushies, no-one will notice the scansion.

  426. NTO didn’t even flutter an eyelid at the firemen.
    Truly, she isn’t human.
    If you’re mixing another round of that in the blender, Catty, would you add some kettle crisps to mine?
    Irma says that my salt levels are perilously low & if I’m to continue bloating I’ll need a serve of nachos, STAT.
    While I was out at the pet store I asked my owner-friend’s advice about how to deal with the slow-roasted Ecuadorian hornados opposite Casa Coastal Q.
    Vicki said to be super-tactful & maybe give her a small gift to help the insult to her intelligence go down.
    ‘A gift? Like what, the rotisserie off the BBQ we’re tossing out & a set of heat beads to speed things up?’
    Apparently she meant chocolates.
    I think hot sauce and a set of skewers are a better match for her methods, but WTF would I know.
    I don’t think I’m ever going to master this Secret Language of Women crap.
    Seriously, you have to give a woman chocolates if something you say might possibly save an animal’s life & in the process may imply that she’s as dumb as a post?

  427. Skip Pilates woman and go straight to the RSPCA.

    • I really don’t want to have that kind of relationship with another neighbour. I’ll casually walk by one arvo with the dog & will speak to one of the kids – the oldest looks to be about 10 or 12 & as they’re a single parent household, I’m sure the oldest will be wise beyond her years. Also, children know how to use google, and as she’s nearing the end of primary school, she will probably have a stronger grasp of biology than her beauty therapist mother.

  428. No nachos here, I’m afraid. Just a pizza loaded with chicken, bacon, mushrooms, pineapple and barbecue sauce. It’s rather nice. Here, try some.

    You mean there really is a Secret Language Of Women? Oh. Well, that explains a lot.

    • There is, and if you aren’t a mind-reader who is willing to suck up to the stupidest & the vainest of them, you’re mince meat.
      Trust me, I went to an all-girls’ boarding school.

  429. Put my pizza in the blender with the corn chips, Catty love.
    It sounds great, but I’m too tired to chew.

  430. I already did. It was a bit dry, so I added some Vodka. It tastes funny, but at least it’s not getting stuck in the straw any more. Drink up!

  431. But does it go well with the Valium?

  432. I saved that for dessert. Valium-chip brownies, anyone?

  433. Mmmm … sedalicious.

    • Mmm, brownies. Maybe I should add some of the dog’s tramadol to the next batch.

  434. Stop it. I’m getting hungry.

  435. Tramadol brownies would be nearly as good as hash cookies, I reckon.

  436. Speaking of hungry, I got the guinea pigs over the road out of their slow cooker, yesterday.
    I had to placate a few neighbours because the builders had cranked up their power tools at 6.15 am, so while I was writing the apology to the Enlashener I added ‘I didn’t want to knock & risk disturbing you with a client, but I did want to check that you know guinea pigs are v. susceptible to heat stress in temps over 24C. Our neighbour in Brisbane lost all of hers & the kids were devastated.’
    This was slightly misleading information as Mrs. Flanders turned hers loose in the back yard to fend for themselves, so feral cats, foxes & the Lost Ferret of Rosary Crescent would have spared them the suffering of organ failure & heat stress. When I came back later & it was 30C the pigs had moved, and a Malibu bronze Minion with unnaturally high & pert breasts told me that yes, yes, it’s all good, the kids had just forgotten to move the cage.
    There’s a 2m diameter of crop circles where the pig cage has been scorching the grass for the last few months so I’d say that they’ve forgotten to move the cage since August, but hey – it’s moved, and at least they aren’t roasting their pets somewhere that I have to watch & endure the torture.
    The other neighbour seems much nicer & she rang us & apologised for complaining & was really lovely, and funny. This is the teacher at the local private school & she has one very well managed child, so without having met her, I quite like her.
    She had vanished by the time the tradies admitted to their crimes, so I left her a bottle of Cab Sav. I’m no wine buff, but the label Castillo dos Diablos seemed appropriate & given her mirth, I infer that she enjoyed the joke.
    Hopefully we’ve gotten off on the right foot with this batch. It’s much better not to live there thru the renovations as neighbours do forget the horror very quickly once it’s over & it’s looking good – it’s just awful trying to live there with it & dealing with the simmering tension that arises from trying to avoid their eyes while they glare at you through the dust & the sonic fallout of power tools & Gold Coast FM.

  437. No crazies yet, so so far, so good.

  438. I’ve heard of house wine, but not castle wine. I’ll take a dozen.

  439. As long as it doesn’t have an after-taste of moat.

  440. The moat here at Toad Park tastes of effluent.
    If only I could bottle it & leave one under each of our neighbours’ Xmas trees, I would leave Freak Street feeling I’d done my best to repay them all in kind for the displeasure of their company over the last 20 years.

  441. If only biological warfare wasn’t outlawed under the Geneva Convention.

  442. We must ask Catty’s mother how she gets past that when she serves up Xmas dinner.

  443. What the Hague don’t know, won’t hurt them.

  444. Not unless she caters their Xmas party lunch.

  445. Having tasted turkey, mince pies, brandy custard and plum pudding at numerous Christmas functions over the years, I have to say that traditional Christmas food is so universally vile that nobody would even notice if my mother had cooked it.

  446. Amen to that.
    And yet people continue to feel sorry for me when I insist year after year that I plan to spend Xmas in my pool, spitting water melon seeds over the edge of it & engaging in none of this cooking & entertaining palaver.
    I do not miss the mad scurry for cooking & the sick headache at the end of the day that comes from entertaining.

  447. That’s how Gran feels. She’s announced that she will not be setting foot out of her comfy little nursing home on Christmas day. If any one of us want to see her, we can bloody well get off our bums and come to visit – and then we can bugger off so she can eat her lunch in peace and take a nap. I like Gran.

  448. I like Gran, too. And I wish I had a nursing home I could hide in.

  449. If any of you get the urge to hide, pack your swimmers; I will buy an extra watermelon.

  450. Oh, we’re packed already, Q. We’re just waiting for the all-clear that the renos are finished and our beds are made. If the Wildebeest gets there before me, make sure he doesn’t nab the top bunk. I call dibs!

  451. Nobody wants to sleep underneath the Wildebeest. You know his bladder gets irritable when he drinks eggnog.

  452. Whose doesn’t?

  453. I will never know, because I will never let a drop pass my lips.

  454. If you write him a reference as a babysitter & we wax his back again, I’m thinking we could send him over the road to the Bronzed Spray Tanners. If we give them a carton of vodka cruisers they might just get confused enough to think he’s one of their ‘Rhoid enhanced boyfriends, & we might just be able to unload him on them for good.
    I’ve forgotten….how does he like his guinea-pigs, medium rare or broiled?

  455. Either way is fine. He isn’t too fussy after a few Vodka cruisers.

  456. Nobody is too fussy after a few Vodka Cruisers. That should be their motto.

  457. We should be in advertising.

  458. Probably just as well we’re not, we’d end up in court, and then in jail.
    As much as I rail against advertising, I’m a dreadful sucker for it. When I’m totally lost, I let the label do the talking.
    You know how lost I am in a bottle shop, hence the Castello Dos Diablos Cab Sav for our neighbours – who gratefully heeded our warning yesterday & vanished early so that the tradies wouldn’t annoy them.
    As the painters will be back today & I didn’t want trouble, I bribed them with beer to be as quiet as house elves.
    Hopefully they’ll remember what happened to Dobby, if they dare disobey me.
    To make my point, I produce a pack of pale ale called ‘Wicked Elf’ to hand out just before quitting time.
    They were ever so happy with it, & the Bloke was once again amazed that for someone that loathes beer as much as I do, I seem to have a knack for picking jewels out of the swill.

  459. Would you serve that with fairy bread?

  460. Why not, I love fairy bread. In fact, that might go on the ‘It’s 36C & I want to die’ dinner menu.
    Speaking of overheating, do I smell broiled angst and bacon?
    MM, are you OK?

  461. My word it was hot. Drinking 2 litres of cold water helped, but not quite so much as finishing and leaving did.

    I’m too old for this.

    I like the idea of Wicked Elf – pity I don’t drink beer.

  462. Keep up your fluids, Madam. The only thing that should be dehydrated is food, and you are not food. Yet….

  463. Oh, this isn’t good. I don’t want to start eating people’s faces. You don’t know where they’ve been.

    • These flesh eaters…are they looking for lodgings near West End & how do I find one with a preference for weathered meat with earthy tones & a hint of asbestos?

  464. Mmm … asbestos.

  465. You’re not likely to find a zombie tenant, Q. Once you’ve moved, there aren’t going to be many brains left in your neighbourhood.

  466. Or class, for that matter.

  467. Aw, thanks, both of you. It is a good thing that you two love me because all of Freak Street will be glad to see the back of me. Never mind, they can all stand around and listen to NTO’s satisfying rants about how we are the worst neighbours ever because we won’t move the water main and how all of the surveyors in this town are crooked & there’s a conspiracy to defraud her of about 90 square metres of land.
    The social workers are all married to lawyers, perhaps they’ll open their ears & their hearts to her misery & get their charming husbands to intervene.

  468. I think you should advertise for tenants in the Fortean Times. Cryptozoologists would enjoy studying her.

  469. I might write to the Raelians & see if they know anyone who can beam her up.
    If nothing else they might pull the psycho stick out of her arse. That’d be a start.

  470. Hmmm… maybe you could expand your search to include commercial tenants. Your home is ideally placed to serve as a business centre. The JW’s could possibly rent it as their local headquarters, or maybe there’s a Madam looking to expand into the area? I still think renting it out to an at-home bagpipe teacher would be the most sensible option.

  471. I’d nearly forgotten the Raelians. I’ll bear them in mind, next time I want to feel normal.

  472. There’s a Christian Science Reading room sitting on prime real estate overlooking James Street at Burleigh. (That’s the boutique/eatery stretch, kids, but it doesn’t have anywhere near enough cakes).
    Perhaps I could persuade them to change headquarters?
    Bog Hollow always seems to have at least one psychotic trainee radical Christian pastor, and a houseful of those can’t possibly make any more racket than the Bike Thief Family and the Fire Drill Indians.
    They could use NTO & NTBF to proselytise for them, and provide a living advertisement for their philosophies.
    They could sit on the deck singing ‘We don’t need no Medication.’
    And nobody who passes by would doubt their commitment to the cause, because it’s obvious that they aren’t taking theirs.

  473. I think Bog Hollow is a living example of what happens when they close the asylums.

  474. Easily fixed, I’ll have a sign made & I’ll drill it to her fence at 2am during one of my bouts of insomnia. If I get it nice & close to her vertiginous letterboxes, it will explain their positioning.

  475. Make sure to hang it nice and crooked.

  476. LOL. I will line it up with the letterbox so it’s obvious they’re a matching set.

  477. I like it. I’d ask for one, but the Boss wouldn’t let me put it up. He says there’s no need to advertise.

  478. You have to be careful, or all the lunatics will want to move in.

  479. Don’t listen to her Catty, she’s just trying to scare you. She knows perfectly well NTO has them all locked into three year leases next door at Bog Hollow.

  480. They say that out of every four people living in a household, one will be crazy. That’s just rubbish. I’ve looked at the other four people in this house, and not one of them is crazy.

  481. There’s only three in my place, so we’re safe. Our allocated crazy person is probably living in Bog Hollow.

  482. If not then they’ve definitely been conceived in there.

  483. “Inconceivable!”

  484. “You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”.

  485. “You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

  486. “As you wish”.

  487. I love that movie. I wonder if I can make the kids watch it with me?

  488. If you hold a gun to their heads, I would think yes.
    The police just arrested someone at Rochedale, if you want I could zip out there & see what kind of weapons they leave on the roof of their cars when they secure the crime scene & drive off.
    Anything in particular that would force their attention, MM?
    A Glock, maybe, or a taser?
    I’m sure at the very least they’ve dropped a can of Capsicum Spray.
    It wouldn’t be a normal week in Logan Policing if they didn’t.

  489. What would be handy would be a paralyzing agent that makes them immobile, but still able to breathe. Tequila?

  490. Pizza and beer in sufficient quantities should do it, but I take no responsibility for the attitude it generates, or the smell.
    Speaking of things that stink, its occurred to me that I’ve got the entirety of 2017 to persuade Niece to choose a career other than nursing, and if she must join the ADF, to talk her into something that’s a protected non-combatant’s role.
    You just can’t trust the Seppos to know the difference between a Medicins Sans Frontiers unit & a lunatic stronghold…so she might thank me one day if I can talk her into doing something safer & more profitable.
    I suspect her parents have twigged that if daughter trains as a nurse then they won’t have to fork out any of their hard-earned cash when they get decrepit & require in-house care.
    That alone should be enough to frighten her, surely?
    Any suggestions for careers that the ADF might fund & which might not see her getting assaulted, shot at, accidentally bombed, or spending the best years of her life atwitch with PTSD & popped discs, MM?
    Griffith said that if she gets her grades up in first year she can just do an internal transfer into their psyche course & since most veterans refuse to go to treatment, the VVCS psychologists mostly end up tending the wives & children who have to deal with it when husbands & fathers hit the piss & go squirrelly.
    And after five years of that she’d be free to nick off to private practice charging $150 – $190 p/h.
    If I wasn’t old & incapable of passing their sanity test, I’d be tempted to do it myself.

  491. Despite the common rhetoric, I’m still convinced this is the start of WWIII. But then, it’s hard to know what’s really going on when the media and various governments keep spoon feeding us preconstructed opinions. Anything you try to tell Niece that doesn’t fit neatly in the parameters we’ve been presented will be dismissed as over-reaction at best, or a conspiracy theory at worst.

  492. Yeah I doubt she has any kind of grasp of just how much conflict there is going on in scary parts of the world – much of it run by drug cartels. You can’t tell that age group anything – my nephews rolled their eyes at me when I tried to tell them what life is like in Mexico & South America. Then again their mother did all their homework all the way through high school & university so that level of ignorance shouldn’t have surprised me.
    I think when I point out that she can earn more money for less hours & not wind up being the best qualified child to wipe her parents arses when they decline to leave the family home, that point may resonate with her.
    I’m counting on her father’s values to rise to the surface & save the day.
    i.e. Self-interest & Mammon.

  493. The scary thing is, she’s more likely to be raped and shot by US soldiers than she is by beardy nut jobs.

  494. Our ADF guys would film that & put it online. She’s going to meet some choice catches for husband material. Remember the navy strangler that jumped off one of the Gold Coast unit towers when he realised the gig was up?
    I doubt that I’ll have to work terribly hard to talk her out of that career path. A few shifts in emergency at the university hospital should say it all. Especially if she gets rostered on for a Saturday night.

  495. Ugh. Nursing must be the worst career ever, with Aged Care nursing being the most revolting subcategory.

  496. If you’ve got the passion for it & the personality to suit it, I would say do it.
    I just can’t see it with this child. They do volunteer work for those camps with kids with cancer & I’d say that’s where she’s gotten the idea. Palliative care for terminal children is one thing, but that’s a very small percentage of what a nurse actually gets to deal with unless they specialise. And the ADF isn’t going to pay for her to do post grad studies in nursing sick kiddies. Nor is Qld Health, if she winds up in our system, because there is No Money for post grad studies. they import the specialist nurses from elsewhere – it’s cheaper than training them.

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