April

april

I must be the April fool because we’re 4 days in and I just realised we needed a new thread.  Huzzah to the crisp nights and shorter days, surely it can’t be long before we thrill to Winter’s chill embrace.

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304 Responses

  1. Tell me about it. I forgot to flip the calendars over. We’ve got two, because of my over-efficiency in purchasing such when we were moving.
    So I’ve flipped to a new meer cat in my study, but the March Papillon is so cute that he might stay in the kitchen till May.

  2. Ooh, and I get a new fireman!

    • Yes, yes but we’re talking about calendars…

      • Obviously, or she would have said Plumber.

      • Silly me.

  3. I don’t need photos of tradesmen on the wall, they’re here with such frequency that I will never forget what they look like.
    counting down to the new kitchen at the end of the month – wheee!

  4. That’s exciting – have you picked out the colours and finishes?

  5. Forget colours – what sort of plumbing will she have? I want pipe dreams, dammit!

  6. Don’t talk about Plumbing while I’m at work!

  7. Ooops. Sorry.

  8. How’s the pain level, Catty? Improving, I hope?

    • Ooops I missed that. How are you doing, Catty?

  9. Definitely don’t talk about plumbing, I’ve got a dripping tap & we all know that the Bloke can’t change washers without putting the tap back on upside down. I’ll get the local plumber to do it when he comes back to do his bit installing the kitchen.
    Yes, I had it all picked out before the contract on the house was settled. I’ll put photos up when it goes in, but it might take a while as there’s a few trades involved, the last of which will be the tiler to do the splashbacks, and we’ll probably have to wait a few months till the Brisbane guy is available. I wouldn’t trust them down here, having seen a fair sample of their handiwork in the 2 years we were house hunting. I’d rather wait & know that it’s been done properly.

  10. No-one wants a leaky splashback.

    • Look, when you get to a certain age…

  11. Yes. we’ve been here long enough to start feeling the urge to redecorate. I hate the curtains in the library particularly and the paint scheme in several rooms. And the wallpaper in our bedroom is atrocious. Also looking at lever taps with ceramic cartridges to replace some of the old style ones in bathrooms. Pretty sure I can do that and just put matching plugs where the old taps went. We’ve got an expensive new garden setting (table picked up from footpath, chipped but matching chairs from junk shop) which doesn’t look bad with a couple of coats of paint.

  12. Are the curtains in the library a bit burnt orangey? Not the best colour, it’s true.

  13. They’re a sort of fussy dark floral thingy. Mostly red I think (a bit rg colour blind). I’d like something much lighter and plainer to brighten the room. Although PB did announce out of nowhere that she “really liked this room”. And she’s taken to leaving her current books on the steps so she can find them again quickly.

  14. She’s one of us! Bless.

  15. We saw a house at OFI on the weekend that had been freshly redecorated. We aren’t going to make an offer on the house (the block was at a 45º angle), but I got some marvellous ideas about what to do with our house when the money faerie finally shows up here and poops dollar coins all over the floor. The house had one of those farmhouse sinks in the kitchen, a glass pantry door, and nary a red floral curtain to be found. Also, many stairs for books to be left upon.

    I’ve had a lot of pain the last few days. In the early hours of the night, as I lay in the clattering darkness that can only be experienced when you live beside an arterial road and have a path from the pub running behind your fence, I came to the conclusion that I’ve developed a kidney stone. Despite having no foundation for such an idea, it is still floating around in my head. I have just looked at Google and while the symptoms do seem consistent with kidney stones, I’m way too can’t-be-arsed to visit my GP and arrange for testing. Maybe next week, when the kidlets are back at school.

  16. Hum, Catty, those things tend not to wait around for you to have time to deal with them. And they can be very, very nasty. So if I were you, I’d go to the GP pronto & get it looked at.
    I hate to be a wet blanket about the abdominal pain, but it’s the hardest thing to diagnose because it could be caused by anything.
    Medics hate it because there is just so many GD things that can cause it & it’s so GD hard to figure out which bloody thing it is.
    Abdominal pain tends to radiate into the other areas around it & you get muscle guarding, which means that other bits that have no reason to hurt – like your back & your hips & adjacent muscle groups – also start to join in on the pain party.
    Let’s hope it’s not a kidney stone as there are lots of ways to treat pain & it may be that a better pain management strategy is what’s needed here.
    It might help to watch this animation about peristalsis & to consider that what you’ve had removed is a long section of squeezey pump, so you’re going to get waves of pain with normal peristalsis until it adjusts to the change.
    Every time there’s a peristaltic squeeze, it’s going to impact on the scar tissue & the damaged nerves, Catty love.
    It’ll take time, and FWIW, I say go back to the doctor & talk about your pain.

    • The marsupial is wise. If pain persists, see a doctor.

  17. That was creepy. It reminded me of those scary alien movies that show evil little critters crawling around under your skin moments before they shove their tentacles and slavering teeth out through your stomach and into the nearest Sigourney Weaver.

    I’ll have to see about the doctor. This week has been carefully structured around my naps. The Boss has done his best to derail my plans already, (thank you, beer), and the kidlets have followed suit with sudden playdates being sprung on me like… um… springy things. The pain is frustrating but manageable, so I’ll probably wait until next week. Who knows? Maybe it will get better by then.

    • “Maybe it will get better by then” is a male attitude Catty, male! We’re the ones who won’t see a doctor when a leg is hanging off because it might clear up by itself.

  18. I found that strangely relaxing. I might watch it before bed tonight.

    Have you had any blood in your urine, Catty?

    • Yep. What the others said.
      Catty, if you have better pain management & less reason to lie awake at night thinking what might be going wrong, you mightn’t need so many naps during the day.
      Doctor. Stat.
      Your children need you, & lying awake worrying at night & fretting over Dr Google while you Soldier On is not the way to improve matters.

    • No, no blood. My fluid intake is high and there is little colour at all – but there is a strong odour. That was the first thing that made me think of kidney stones. I mean, after the pain.

  19. Has anyone seen this series? http://www.bookdepository.com/How-it-Works-Mum-Jason-Hazeley/9780718184216 There’s The Shed, The Midlife Crisis, Dating, The Hipster and more.

    • Oooh, they remind me of a series of books I wanted to write 15 years ago. They were more aimed at survival for teens and early 20’s who have recently left home. It was one of those situations where I put aside the first drafts to ferment, but a month later someone brought out a book based on the same idea, only better written than mine. It constantly amazes me how often that happens.

  20. Hehehe. The Shed looks sinister.

  21. Good place for the Mid Life Crisis.
    I wonder if Avid has those?
    I do miss our local book store.
    Then again, I don’t miss the Freaks.
    The Bloke had a repeat trip to the Osteo yesterday, so he had to catch the bus in and then traverse West End from one length of it to the other, on foot – slowly as he’s pulled a muscle – and then he braved the badlands to walk to King Ahiram’s kebab shop.
    When I picked him up from the train he was still shuddering at the collection of ferals, freaks & tattoo beasts that he’d had to wade through to walk from Coals at the West End market (which I still think of as the Roundabout, from when we moved in 30 years ago) all the way up Boundary Street to Vulture Street.
    He had never understood me bitching about The Infestation as in the past, he’d never witnessed any more of it than what was visible from the safety of the C4.
    He came home twitching with stories of Things lurking & grasping in the shadows, and as we drove up the hill, passing all the golden retrievers out for walkies with their healthy fit-bit wearing middle class owners, he breathed a sigh of relief & said ‘Thank God we’re out of there.’
    I’m glad he’s been getting to see this.
    I really don’t know how the shop keepers cope with what’s there.
    No wonder the Wrapture folk plan to relocate to Burleigh.

  22. Mmm … King Ahiram. i hope he had some baklava.

  23. Sandy and the kids are still sick and she wants us to stay uninfected until Saturday. That’s so we can help out at PB’s birthday party and after that we can apparently fall prey to any disease we like (how did we get kids like this?) So Lyn has taken around a care package consisting of a bag of various fruits and a pack of Haigh’s dark choc frogs in a plastic potty. The frogs are for Sandy so she has to hide them. I took a photo of it for posteriority.

  24. And we took advantage of PB’s absence to visit Glenferrie Rd which has clothes, shoe, book and choc shops. Lunch at Bagelicious included an almost unsuckable iced chocolate of brain-freezing coldness. Yum.

  25. Mmmm…. Haigh’s chocolate frogs….

    How did you get kids like this? Huh. I currently have a sanctimonious Teenie who keeps arguing with everything we say, in the most tediously superior and sardonic tone imaginable. I was not at all surprised when he announced that he is considering changing his VCE path to Law.

    • Law? Woohoo! He can support you in your old age *and* reduce your taxes to zero.

  26. Law? Sob. That used to be my dream of a glorious retirement, until Gigantor changed career track. He’s more on the meat-head line, now.

    Tell me more about Glenferrie Rd, GB – I feel a return trip coming on.

  27. A career as a meat-head? Good gracious, Morgana, don’t tell me he’s joined the Young Liberals.

  28. Hehehehe. No, just the Defense Forces. Thanks for putting it into perspective – at least he’s not a Young Liberal!

  29. Tell him the ADF need lawyers & they will pay them good money to find ways to avoid pensioning out all the poor bastards who end up unable to function with PTSD.

  30. Maybe I can inspire him with a box-set of JAG?

  31. That would probably inspire him to leave home immediately.

  32. Yes, I never could bring myself to watch it. Perhaps aversion therapy. I’ll try to get Apocalypse Now from the video shop.

  33. Or Full Metal Jacket. That was creepy and quite off-putting and things have only got worse.

  34. Here’s the show he should be watching:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Aliens
    As far as I’m concerned, if aliens didn’t exist, how did they build all that cool stuff?

  35. Aliens is the only explanation for much of Western Queensland and the Northern Territory, too.

    I’m not talking about feats of engineering, just the population.

  36. And parts of Tassie – and don’t get me started on Bundaberg.

  37. No, go on – fire up.

  38. I can’t, too happy. Sandy sent a couple of photos from the Highland Games of PB riding on my shoulders and I’m feeling very cheerful.

  39. Cheerful is good.
    I’d like to be 30 years younger.
    Griffith keeps sending me emails about exchange student programs. I don’t remember any of this when I was a school leaver. Unless I was too drunk to notice?
    I told you about the trip to Peru, which they give you a semester’s credit for…well, now they are offering a semester studying at the university in Morocco.
    Wow.

  40. Huh. All the emails I get lately are from someone who is convinced I need medication to make my penis bigger.

    • Forget it. They don’t work – or so I’m told.

  41. Oooh, I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco. The bazaars!

    • I know. We sent the Bloke’s niece the link, and she did seem quite excited by that. The Bloke less so, because of the mess the middle east is in.
      I went ‘Um, she’s joining the fricking navy. I would think a uni in Morocca would be child’s play compared to the hellholes they”ll be sending her.’

  42. Speaking of spam, though, I’ve had several emails allegedly from the Federal Police, trying to make me go to court (although they never call it a summons) for “commitment of crime”. Hehehehe.

  43. Englishing is so hard. Yesterday I saw a comment from someone offering their condolescences, and recently an ABC reporter apologised for their technological problems when their satellite interview dropped out. No wonder the spammers get confused.

  44. Hallmark should make cards of condalescence so that we can send them to all our friends when their child turns 12.

  45. Not only cards, there should be an official day of mourning.

    I quite like condolescence, actually. It’s when everyone’s sympathies congeal into one giant puddle.

  46. It does sound a bit like a period of convalescence after a tragic event. Like, that week you spend in bed watching Bridget Jones with ice cream after a cutie pie dumps you for a cheerleader. Or, in my case, a particularly pretty drummer. I hated that bitch. The drummer, not Bridget Jones.

  47. It wasn’t Lindy Morrison, was it? My ex ended up[ owning her drum kit.

  48. I don’t remember her last name, but her first name was Danni. Cutie Pie dropped me the second she smiled at him. Grrrrr!

    • Men!

  49. Diverting back to Bridget, but still on the topic of hissy fits, we saw the shorts for the new Bridget Jones movie & it looks nothing like Helen Fielding’s book.
    I’m trying to remember whatever the gossip was from the glossies at the hair salon, ages back. Didn’t some sort of stink arise between Renee & Helen?

  50. I wish I could tell you, but I don’t recall what I had for dinner last night.

  51. We had chilli tofu nuggets.
    The only reason I know this is because they’re still repeating on me.

  52. Thanks for the warning.

  53. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    • I really cannot imagine why. We’re about to have sesame beef rice paper rolls with avocado and coriander and stuff. As soon as Lyn’s cooked the beef and we assemble the bits. And i finish this wine.

  54. Mmm … what’s the recipe for sesame beef, GB – or do I have to ask Lyn?

  55. We had chicken. But I wanted cake.

  56. Accept no substitutes!

  57. Zappa!

  58. Also Madam, your lads might enjoy this lovely shot from Iron Sky II. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8i3mq2yn5b9dex1/Iron%20sky%20supper.jpg?dl=0

  59. Oh, GB. You and your Kickstarters. The kids will love that Iron Sky shot – does that mean II will soon be released?

    • I’ll check the dates. Not very soon I fear.

  60. Well, Madam, at least we know we can count on GB when we finally get around to setting up a Kickstarter for our Fat Finding Tour of America. Or even better, the offshore Pirate School.

  61. Pirate school? Yaarrr! Um, I guess it’ll be a boarding school?

  62. Hehehe. I think GB just nominated for Plank Walking 101.

  63. Yes, I hear planking is very popular these days.

  64. I think we should ban all citrus at school, to produce actual scurvy rascals.

  65. It will save on dental bills.

  66. We might need a cheesecake waiver, though.

  67. Cheesecake is always permitted, surely? Also, in breaking news, it’s hard to sleep when your eyelids are being prised open.

  68. It sounds a bit Clockwork Orange around your place, GB.

  69. Peek-a-boo!

  70. Moloko all round.

  71. I like bands that sound like cocktails. Drink it in!

  72. Happy Quokka’s Birthday Eve, everyone! How’s the week turning out for you?

  73. It’s also The Gimmee’s Birthday Eve. The big 21 is almost upon us.

    I’m allowed to start doing stuff again, so I cleaned the bathroom. It wasn’t pleasant.

  74. Did you decide on a cake design?

  75. No, not yet. I must get my act together, or she will wind up with something from the fridge at Coles.

  76. Peppa Pig!

  77. Oh yeah, birthdays.
    I’ve got Spanish exams this week & next week, so it’s hard to think about anything else but that.

  78. Good luck, Q!

    Revision question – how do you say that in Spanish?

  79. Buena fortuna will do…technically it means ‘wealth’ but given the excess of our move, it’s welcome.

  80. ok, buena fortuna!

  81. Make sure you check your post office box on Thursday, Q. There’s a pressie on the way, and exams or no exams a girl needs pressies on her birthday.

  82. Sí. Muchas gracias, cariña.

  83. Empanada churro hola!

  84. Gatos? No necesitamos ningún gato apestoso!

    Arriba! Arriba! Andale! Andale! Arriba!

  85. Boner for tuna! Grassy arse!

  86. I see we have another monkey in the peanut gallery.
    Who left his cage open this time?

  87. I like monkeys.

  88. Me too. And I’m still chuffed that it’s our year. Let’s go fling some poop.

  89. Yay!

  90. (Jeeves, lay out my poop-repellant tweeds this morning)

  91. Hardy, fetch me my brown trousers! (And please, stop kissing me!)

  92. Which way to the trebuchet?
    I have ammunition, fresh from the litter tray.

  93. Ooooh, a litter tray? How very posh!

  94. Isn’t it just?
    I must get one for my MIL. She’s in vacation care at the nursing home for a fortnight while FIL goes off travelling to visit friends & have a break from her.
    From what the Bloke says of her complaints about the nursing home, a litter tray would be pampered luxury after that.

  95. If I was her, I’d keep the complaints to myself until I got home. You’d think she didn’t want to be picked up!

  96. I can fully appreciate her dismay. My poor old dad was in a respite care home for 3 weeks when mother had an operation. It was not pleasant.

  97. Considering my MIL’s personality & the fact that she doesn’t have a filter, I’m surprised the nurses haven’t killed her. She says that they spend their days trying, and I’m quite sure that she’s not lying & their efforts are justified.

  98. #teamnurse

  99. Yep. My mum was in one (unsuccessful) rehab ward and two aged care places after she broke her hip and the rest. Both the aged care places were as good as they get. Clean and spacious, all her own clothes (which she couldn’t wear) and furniture, TV and photos etc everywhere. Daily visits from family (as in every day). Even decent views. But she hated them and confessed that it wasn’t the places themselves or the staff, it just wasn’t home. And she’d had enough. I hope when we get to that age that things are more civilised and I don’t have to save up my pills and scotch.

  100. I’m hoping for sensible laws regarding assisted euthenasia. I pray that the old guard that insist it’s untenable will all develop miserable, protracted, agonising illnesses which will speed the day when they adjust the legislation accordingly.
    Nembutal, FTW.

    • All in favour say AYE!

    • Snerk

    • Hehehehehe

  101. Hehehe.

  102. So, how are the exams going so far, Q?

  103. Yes, are you the school Duck yet?

  104. I haven’t told them I’m a quack, but if my classmate comes over to study with me for the oral, she might figure it out. I’ve hung my Hogwarts graduation/medal stuff over my desk to remind myself that I’m not completely stupid. Which is how it feels some days.
    I actually kind of enjoyed the exam because so much of it was reading through essays & having to answer comprehension. I’ve always liked comprehension because I usually spot the trick questions, being such an OCD study pedant. And the vocab is pretty easy to pick up, thanks to high school French & Latin.
    I’m glad I’ve been listening to Como agui para chocolate in the car, as it meant I was a whole lot less freaked out by the volley of rapidly spoken español that they launched into for the audio part of the online exam.
    So, what’s everyone doing for their weekends?
    I will relax a bit in between study sessions. It’ll be interesting to see how many tourarists are still floating around down at Burleigh.
    I’ve seen a few Victorians & even some glow-in-the-dark pallid Tasmanians driving around. Have you got them up your way, MM?
    I suppose they don’t have their lovely holiday homes on the Great Ocean Road 😦 so it’s logical we’d get a few extras up here.

  105. Going by the reports of the Tasmanian bushfires recently, they probably don’t even have their main houses to live in either. Poor loves.

    When The Gimmee was doing Spanish in high school, I bought her a CD called Hide This Spanish CD. It actually helped her, as did the DS game My Spanish Coach. I think though that she preferred the CD because there’s an entire chapter of Spanish profanities.

  106. Wildly successful exams to you Q.

  107. Thanks, Khan GB.
    Catty, the textbook has an online component so a large part of the learning is audio-visual stuff. Basically it’s a terminator teaching you the language, and being a smart application it figures out what you’re weaknesses are & it drills you on all the ins & outs of that until you’ve figured it out. And then it gives you a spreadsheet type breakdown of what you need to go off & work on, and what you’ve mastered, so that you know what to brush up on. It’s really very clever.

  108. We don’t have as many terrorists as Easter – Woolies was a madhouse! – but I’m sure there are some lurking. I’ll probably see them at Baconing.

  109. We just went to the local Trash & Treasure. There was no bacon. 😦

  110. Ooh! Where did you go and was there any interesting junk? Er, treasure.

  111. It’s the Wantirna trash and treasure across Mountain Highway from Knox Private Hospital. It’s not that far from you, but it’s one of those hit-and-miss markets. Some Sundays we come out of there wishing we had a money tree, but on other Sundays we come out with nothing. Today was a nothing day.

  112. Yep, the tourarists are definitely dropping off.
    We ran (well, paddled) into a work friend of The Bloke’s on Currumbin Creek. She was playing Swamp Cop at an SUP race, it looked like hard work. The race, not the Swamp Cop duties. Lots fell off taking the sharp turn past the buoys & because we’d stopped mid-creek to chat to her (and to provide extra stopping power to the tourists in their paddle craft) we had quite a good view of the carnage, as one fell off & took out those behind them.
    The creek itself was gorgeous & Vanessa assured us that in another 2 weeks there will be nobody out there. Well, us of course because the more the sun reduces in strength, the happier I am.
    Yesterday we swam & lunched down at Burleigh so I finally had Birthday Lunch & Birthday Breakfast.
    I’ve also eaten all my Birthday chocolate, so I’m full of peanut brittle.
    I’m pretty sure it’s naptime, now.
    What a glorious day. 🙂

    • This sounds entirely birthday-appropriate awesomeness. Huzzah!

  113. Double Huzzah!

  114. Chocolate coated crunchy peanutty goodness Huzzah.

  115. What a fabulous start to the week – I’ve just frantically combed Gigantor for nits. Still, I suppose I should be grateful his girlfriend didn’t give him something worse.

  116. Which begs the question, which end of him were you combing?

    • I was going to say that at least they were head lice, but now I’m worried.

  117. Douse him in hairspray, MM. Truly. I’ve walked through West End three times now, come out itchy, and have applied a full coat of shellac & the itches stop.
    It’s like they get bogged in it & die & it suffocates them. Brilliant.

  118. Ugh. Why did you have to mention nits? *scritchscritchscritchscritch*

  119. Any particular brand, Q? I used to use Silhouette Black in my Goth days, I don’t know if they still make that.

  120. The one I had from the last time the hairdresser styled my hair. Which was probably graduation.
    L’Oreal Elnett Satin, for Coloured hair.
    It killed El the Nettos on this coloured chica’s hair.

  121. Because you’re worth it.

  122. Funny thing about Andie MacDowell. Every time she appears on my TV, I am overwhelmed by a passionate desire to slap her. Repeatedly.

  123. Because she’s worth it?

  124. Indeed she is. Every morning, day after day.

  125. Never mind Andie. Why am I up at this ungodly hour? Because I was dug out of my warm and comfy bed by a grinning fiend clutching a soggy rabbit and told it was time for my breakfast.

    (Not Lyn – her rabbit is never soggy)

  126. I hate it when that happens to me. ALL the time. *sigh*

  127. What made the rabbit soggy? Not a swim in the cornflakes, I hope.

    • Well chewed overnight. Lyn went shopping so we got into the kitchen and made a carrot cake – like on Playschool last week. Looks like I can forget about finishing off the mixture. Sharp little elbows…

      • I’m sensing a theme, here.

  128. Who doesn’t like carrot cake? Not Mr Bunsy, that’s for sure.

  129. Have you tried chocolate beetroot cake? It is also fabulous.

  130. The Bloke gave me Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book for my BD & it has a recipe for zucchini cake that looks interesting. And a very frank discussion about how some fit of insanity took hold of her & prompted her to colour the filling bile green. She included the photo as a warning to others.
    While we are on the subject of cooking & kitchens, we got the happy news yesterday that ours is ready to be installed.
    Followed by the ‘Um, you do know that the stone bench tops will take a fortnight after installation, right?’
    Snort.
    There’s only another 6 weeks of class left, so I’ve told them it can bloody well wait till then.
    No bench tops for two weeks means no sink.
    So it looks like I’ll have to spend my winter semester break washing up in the laundry.
    The Mudgeeraba show is at the end of June, and I had my heart set on entering my banana cake into the baking comp.
    I hope they get it all installed by then, so I have a couple of weeks to get used to the swish new oven.

  131. Not if you eat takeaways off disposable plates.

    I hope it’s done in time for the Show!

  132. Gold coast takeaway doesn’t cut it compared to the food in West End. Everyone seems to add far too much salt.
    Unless I’m just getting less salt tolerant in my decrepitude.
    I suppose I only eat it on hot chips & scrambled eggs, and I don’t have those very often.
    It’s OK, I’ve got two exams out of the way & after the oral tomorrow – which only lasts 10 minutes – the study pressure should go down a bit & I’ll have time to charge up the crockpot.
    If I make & freeze some soups & curries & casseroles over the next few weeks, we’ll be fine.
    Well, I was the last one out of the exam today. I don’t know if that’s a good omen, or a bad one. It was 2 hours long, and I’m pretty sure that all those that left in the first half an hour won’t be happy with their marks.
    God I’m glad I don’t have a teenager. It really makes me wonder how some of these kids get into uni in the first place. When I went through uni 30 years ago, there were only a couple in the class who obviously didn’t study & who left that early in an exam. These days, its more like 1/2 the class do virtually nothing & another quarter do the bare essentials required to pass.

  133. I’m just glad I don’t have to study anything anymore. I still have “didn’t prepare for the exam” nightmares after all these years.

    • Oh yeah! And teaching nightmares but only about exams. They’re due to start, I can’t get the papers, I don’t know what room the exam’s in…

      • Hehehe. My hell will probably be Mayne Hall, with a supervisor with squeaky shoes.

  134. I’m already having the horrors of ‘Did I miss a page?’
    Which is entirely possible given the brain damage that comes with menopause.

  135. Still, it’s kind of worth it. The Bloke got the DVD of ‘Like water for chocolate’ for me, and I’ve been watching it & I can understand a good chunk of the dialogue.
    Not bad for 6 weeks worth of uni. And that’s all I want, to be able to watch the movies & read the books.
    Well worth the pain & suffering, really.

  136. There are some great Spanish-speaking (writing?) authors. All of those magical realists.

  137. There’s some good music, too. Also, some really bad music – like Christina Aguelera singing in Spanish. Avoid that at all costs.

  138. Don’t worry, I surely will.

  139. I love those magical realism stories, I must read some more.
    I read Isabel Allende a few decades ago, and it was lovely to read Like Water for Chocolate again, as well as to see the movie, again.
    The Spanish Film Festival is on at the Barracks cinema for the next few weeks. I’ll have to google it & see if there’s anything worth catching the train in for.

  140. There’s bound to be!

    E.g.: http://www.spanishfilmfestival.com/films/embrace-of-the-serpent

  141. That would be worth watching, even if only to see if it was Nilbio or Antonio who wore the bananana hammock best.

  142. Mmm … banana hammock.

  143. The Boss has picked up a couple of hammocks off hard rubbish piles. Now he’s regretting it, because I’m nagging him to find somewhere to put them up.

  144. There’s room on our back deck, Catty.
    Just pack them in your swag for when you run away.
    🙂

  145. It’s not as exciting here as a new kitchen but today we’re resurfacing the bath tub with this epoxy gunk and the brass brackets have arrived for the rail. I was even more excited until I saw they’d included 50 brass old style slotted screws. Who does that? Slot heads are the invention of the devil and should not exist in a world where there are phillips head screws. But give me a week or so and we should have three rails and a ladder to finish things off.

  146. Greybeard! Step AWAY from the ladder!

    • Aaaargh! Why didn’t you tell me to climb down first?!

  147. Oooh, then it will be a real library! Pictures, please.

    • Happily!

  148. oooh. Moar Books, and you can read them in a freshly epoxied tub.
    Wait…MM, are you asking for photos of that?

    • Well OK… But I’m warning you, it’s only a small tub.

  149. Noooooooooooo! Not the tub!

    Unless it has the Grandevil and lots of bubbles. In which case, bring it on.

  150. When I think of GrandEvil, the only bubbles I can envision are the smoking ones fizzing off the top of a glowing green beaker.

  151. She’s look completely adorable in a little lab coat.

    • Now you’ve done it! Jen went to Supernova as Clara Osgood (Dr Who fans will know her) and was very chuffed to have several people ask to have photos taken with her. The costume includes a labcoat to which I’d ironed a UNIT logo and an Osgood/UNIT ID badge on which I’d put Jen’s photo. Now I have to look for a very small labcoat…

  152. Good Heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You’re beautiful!

    • She took her glasses off and untied her hair?

  153. You said “Sakamoto”, now I’ve got the “Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence” soundtrack playing in my head. Could be worse.

  154. Sorry. I was channelling my inner Thomas Dolby. When my parents got a cleaning lady, poor old Dad kept complaining that she had tidied up and now he couldn’t find anything – so of course I called her Miss Sakamoto. He, however, merely referred to her in scornful tones as ‘That Woman’.

  155. Send “That Woman” my way. I need all the help that I can get.

  156. Embrace the filth, Morgana. Filth is your friend.

  157. Nice bit of muck over here.

  158. Good gracious, Greybeard, don’t start me on the Monty Python quotes. I’ll never stop.

    • It won’t happen again. I’m feeling better now…

  159. Filth isn’t just a friend, it’s a family member.

  160. One who likes to drop in just before visitors arrive. And then stay indefinitely after the visitors have gone.

  161. I’ve been wondering what you were doing, while I was off cleaning my windows.
    Onto other news, I just found a dying flea on my keyboard.
    Perhaps I should spray it with frontline?

  162. A flea? Good gracious! What has the Bloke been getting up to this time?

  163. Miss Kitteh sleeps behind the Big Mac. She shouldn’t have any fleas, being an inside creature. But something in the midst of it’s death throes may have leapt from the dog’s back onto Miss Kitteh, & been ferried up onto my desk to die a nasty chemical death.
    The dog takes a tablet once a month to kill such things.
    But you’re right, given the kind of building sites the Bloke visits, not to mention the Creatures on the train, he could well have carried it home.

  164. Pack a bottle of flea powder in his lunch box for the train ride home – that should set him right.

  165. If you make him wear the Dreadlock hat, no-one will come close enough to him to reinfect him.

  166. heh heh heh heh heh.

  167. Now there’s a mental image it will take me a while to shake.

  168. I’ve had to put the dreadlock hats away, to prevent Miss Kitteh from disassembling them. She attacked them with a vicious tenacity that makes me wonder if she’s reminiscing of the ferals from Toad Park.
    Just to catch up, Catty, Miracle Girl told me ages ago that she has bought us beanies from the local markets. She finally gave up on seeing us any time soon & posted them, & it turns out they are those dreadlock hats that are designed to hold entire colonies of tangled rasta nits. I consulted MM as to what else the hippy marketer sells, so that we can exchange them.
    They’re very pretty, but I guarantee you that the Bloke will not be caught dead in a rainbow layered rasta hat & they’re rather a tight fit for my comfort.
    Although now they’ve gone into the back of the closet for safe-keeping, that might be the last time they’ve seen daylight for another 20 years.
    The Bloke tells me that he took the bedroom & closet doors off the cabinet maker’s to-do list, when he realised that costs were blowing out & his company seem unlikely to come up with the long-promised hospital-completion bonus.
    So it looks like we won’t be unpacking the Box Room & transforming it into the Guest Room any time soon.
    Oh well.
    On the plus side, if that persists through Xmas, we’ll be well placed to claim No Room At The Inn when his family want to come to stay.
    Swings & Roundabouts.

  169. Speaking of gifting, I’ve thought of a use for the Dreadlock hats – regifting!

  170. Don’t fret, those rasta hats have a habit of disappearing all by themselves. I made one for the scribe once and it has completely vanished. I started making another one, but I don’t know where I’ve put that, either.

  171. Maybe they’ve run off to join the Odd Sock Commune?

  172. Interesting you should say that, Catty. I reached in to the top of the closet to pull them out this morning & only one of them appeared. A cloud of moths appeared in the closet, so perhaps they were hungry.
    I wonder what to do about the moths?
    Without closet doors, I can’t leave moth balls & such around because Miss Kitteh might get into them. Everything is a toy, with those Turks.
    Is there something else that you can use?
    It’s been so long since I’ve used anything else that I’ve got no idea what’s on the market, that isn’t completely horribly toxic to humans as well as the little winged hat-consuming rodents.

  173. Well, you can get anti-moth stuff in little plastic containers that hang off the clothes rail – a cat wouldn’t be able to reach them.

    And doesn’t cedar wood repel them, too?

  174. Yes, cedar wood is a good natural repellant.

  175. Thanks, folks. I might try the cedar wood. Our cats aren’t normal cats, they will jump at anything if it takes their fancy. And when it disappoints them, they’ll give it to the dog.

  176. Well, cedar wood smells so nice, you can’t really go wrong.

  177. I tried cedar balls and cedar oil soaked bits of wood at the old house. We had lovely smelling moths.

  178. Right.
    I might just blast them with the mortein next time I see them flapping around.

  179. It might work on normal moths. GB’s were probably genetically “enhanced”.

  180. It’s sleepover day (good) and PB just tricked Lyn out to the laundry so she could climb into her (Lyn’s) chair and eat her breakfast (good, but don’t tell Lyn). She’s now “full as a tick!” (deal with it mummy, that’s how kids talk these days, right?). But you just know there’s a bad. We’re all off to IKEA (woo-oop, woo-oop, danger!) Mother & daughter shoppers, PB, baby Hamish and me…. remember me kindly.

    • You will not grow old, as those who are left grow old…

  181. I made Swedish meatballs once. They were very good.

    • You are > IKEA

  182. What are you getting from IKEA? Other than a nerve rash and some psychological trauma, I mean.

  183. We’re back! And it was relatively painless. Lyn was looking for curtains & pillows and stuff – nothing exciting. But at least the wee kiddies giggled and gurgled respectively so that was fine. Except PB telling *me* “c’mon kiddo, hurry it up!” I don’t know where they pick these things up. I bought a bird mask with a yellow beak but I’m not sure where to wear it.

    • Next time there’s a plague upon your house?

      • Oh I’d love one of those plague-doctor masks. They’re splendidly creepy but I don’t think Ikea stocks them. (Checks Pestdoktorpointiface just in case)

  184. Bacchus Marsh, outside Havoc’s house, during Duck Hunting Season.

  185. Next time you think you saw a puddy tat.

  186. Wear it while you’re on Twitter.

    • Too late. PB seems to think it was for her.

  187. I had to drive past Ikea twice yesterday, as I had an appointment with the skin dr. Which was fine, but I’m getting delayed shudder reactions to being that close to the Swedish meatball showroom.
    I do need a few things from there, but I just can’t face it.
    I’ll wait for at least 2 more of their PONG! armchairs to break before I tackle that hell hole again.

  188. We’ve got armchairs that PONG, but strangely they didn’t come from IKEA.

  189. Sorry about that. It’s the cologne I bought the Wildebeest for Christmas. You’d better tell him to get off the furniture.

  190. I did. And he told me he would, after he’s watched the midday movie, and would I get him another beer.
    Surely we can find a better pet for our clubhouse? I’m sure it discourages normal sensible folk from visiting, and if they do, from sticking around?
    I mean, where the hell is Melbo & Stafford, these days?
    Still trying to get the wildebeest hair off their trousers, most likely.

  191. A monkey! Let’s get a monkey!

    • OOK!

  192. Nice try, but you know how nervous it makes me when I see your youngest on the sofa, in his gorilla suit.

    • Suit?

      • He has a monkey onesie.

  193. Ixnay to the monkey pet idea. I don’t think the chandelier could support more than one of them.

  194. Oh! I thought Q meant *our* youngest, Hairy Greybeardson. He needs no suit…
    (And his stoner housemate has stopped paying rent completely but HGBS’s had an offer to move in with a bunch of girls who’ve been very kind and supportive.)

    • Girls?! Not more lesbian strippers!!

      • Well…they’re not strippers. They’ve got jobs and everything.

  195. Between HGBS and a houseful of lesbians, I predict a permanently blocked shower drain.

  196. And no hot water, unless he boils his own in the kettle.

  197. I bet there will also be Kombucha.

  198. And cupcakes.

  199. Mmm … cupcakes.

  200. I just hope they remember he’s male and wear clothes around the house this time. No fun seeing the cupcakes but, you know…

  201. You don’t want his urges inflamed?

  202. Or covered in ganache.

  203. Hehehe. I think that’s a prequel to 50 Shades: ‘Cover My Urges In Ganache’.

  204. Another reason to love ganache.

  205. This is a sad day. I am forced to disown my son-in-law who thinks Hamish has arms like Popeye. https://www.dropbox.com/s/zyv1l6ygcethevc/DSC_2080.jpg?dl=0

  206. He’s so cute! I just want to splurt his belly.

    • We all do it and he laughs delightedly.

  207. Just be careful not to splurt him if he’s been eating spinach.

    • (Cue music)

  208. NOT a happy weasel… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-30/large-hadron-collider-shut-down-by-a-weasel/7372752

  209. I know people who are desperate to weasel their way in there and ferret around; they’ll be glad to know it’s actually possible.

  210. Speaking of volts, how are all you Melbournites feeling after the storm (that I just saw in my news feed)? Are we all safe & dry?

  211. We were all jolted awake at oh-dark-hundred by a house-shaking crash. I was convinced the house had been struck by lightning, but nothing was on fire so we went back to sleep. Today it is cold and wet with light breezes. Perfect soup weather!

  212. All good here too. Some minor leaks because the rain was horizontal but nothing bad. Saw a couple of trees with fresh lightning scars at Kalorama and they hadn’t had power since 3am. We looked at the most beautiful house & cottage there but don’t regret not buying it. Also the Chestnut festival had rain and wind and 9C. But also spicy bratwurst, beef rolls, mulled wine and coffee, cheap plants and fancy jams.

  213. And chestnuts? Were there any chestnuts?

    What sort of soup, Catty – and is it as good as Q’s French Onion?

  214. Oh yes. I brought a bag home for continued nibbling. And the mulled wine was particularly good. (I was jealous). It was a magic place though, completely surrounded by tall trees and mist and delightful smells everywhere. There were highland dancers followed by a pregnant exercise-Demon leading a coven of dancing ladies. I refuse to believe she was human and had so much energy! She was amazing but probably fed on the souls of unwary visitors. Luckily I stay well away from exercise.

  215. I tried to grow chestnuts, but they kept falling off my chest.

  216. Oh dear. This is getting worse all the time. Now worse than me and sinking towards Al’s standards.

  217. I knew a woman with chestnut hair, Catty – made finding a bra that fit almost impossible.

  218. Oh dear. Well, at least I know that all I’ve missed is hairy nut jokes while I was nursing my Telstra Gateway Max modem/router through the horrors of it’s death throes.
    I had a terrible time installing the new Netgear Nighthawk, until I read the fine print & discovered that the password was quite literally PASSWORD rather than the password they’d typed on the back of the modem.
    They do these things just to screw with people like me, don’t they?
    I’m glad you all survived Thor’s bolts & can now enjoy scotch mist, antarctic chills, and soup.
    Our rain seems to have scarpered, so we’re heading down the creek to SUP, after breakfast.
    What are we all up to for our Monday off?

  219. No Monday off for us. I had to take LK to his annual dyslexia testing, and then I had that stupid ultrasound. But they didn’t include a report with the films, so I have to wait until I see the GP before I know what they’ve found. She’s booked out until Friday. *sigh*

  220. I cleared out a huge mound of dreck that had accumulated next to my bed, so I could vacuum the floor!

    Now I’m tired. I shall sit down with my Kindle.

  221. Well Catty, I’m glad you’ve finally had the tests & here’s hoping they don’t find anything on the scan. So are you booked in for Friday, or can she talk to you over the phone?
    Congrats on the dreck clearance, MM.
    We just finished vacuuming & mopping, too.
    I had to recharge my kindle as it was getting so low.
    The Bloke has become quite the bookworm from his train trips & is reading more books than I am. He’s been working his way through all those Lee Child books, I will have to ask the Burger Boys what else he can get from the BCC library.
    It’s lovely to see him getting into books.

  222. Reading is a delight. It’s funny how more men don’t do it. Or only read sports bios.

  223. I marvel that people write sports bios.
    Can you imagine the tedium of it?

  224. On a par with the tedium of watching sports?

  225. At least they get to drink beer & sleep through the watching of the sport. And while I don’t dispute that most sports bios are probably penned with the aid of copious quantities of alcohol, they’d have to remain conscious & passably sentient to achieve that. It can’t be a satisfying pastime. Surely.

  226. There is much in life that I find mysterious. For example, why do they televise car races? It’s just round and round and round until someone crashes. They could just air a live feed from the traffic cams in Cavil Avenue.

  227. You make me doubt my male credentials. I can’t imagine reading a sports bio or a political one, or a celebrity one… And I never watch sport or motor racing (is that a sport?) Now I’m worried – better check with Lyn.

    It’s OK. When she finished laughing she said I’m odd but male.

  228. Well, you are quite handy – for example, how is the library ladder?

  229. The Boss likes to watch the Tour de France. I asked him once how he could stand staring at crowds of lycra-clad arses bobbing up and down for hours on end and he told me he just likes to look at the scenery they’re riding past. So I watched some of it with him. He’s right. It’s very pretty.

  230. Thanks for the tip. It sounds soothing. I’ll YouTube it next time I can’t sleep.

  231. The Bloke told me that, too, but you’ve got to watch an awful lot of shrink-wrapped lycra arses bobbing about before they flash ever so briefly to the scenery.
    He records the highlights every year but gets cross if I ask him to fast FWD the arseholes so we can get to the good bits.
    Speaking of arseholes, is there any problem in life that can’t be solved by a pair of marauding Turks?
    Remember my Oh Dear I need to exchange Miracle Girl’s dreadlock hats at the Eumundi markets isshew?
    Well, I was just contemplating the logistics of that, (i.e. how can I get away for an overnight trip when the Bloke needs the car to get to & from the train for work) and I was looking for a suitable date in my diary when I could go up & spend a night with my mate Deb at Caloundra, and jolly off to the markets the next day.
    I’d been quite inspired by your tale of sorting out the dreck, MM, so I’d pulled everything off the top shelf of my bedroom closet (bearing in mind that we still don’t have closet doors, so there’s just the 1800mm H shelf & the robe rail below) and I’d heaped the drecky mound on my bed to be sorted & folded back into nice orderly piles of Pants, Not Pants (leggings) jumpers, t-shirts & assorted crap.
    I turned my back for one minute to make a cuppa & when I came back I found that both Turks had sensed an opportunity for destruction & they’d snuck back inside from their pen. One was rolling around on the bed cheerfully shredding the hats while the other one looked on from below.
    Meh. This is why I keep telling you guys never to send me nice stuff.
    Anyway, problem solved, the hats are sufficiently mangled that it’s out of the question to ask the hippy sock seller to exchange them for something else.
    Oh well.
    I’ve patched them up as best I can & I’ve stuffed them away in the box room.
    Once those Turks get it into their heads that they’ve found a fun new chew toy, they never, never, ever forget about it.
    At least I can thank the cats that I no longer have to think about driving to the north coast any time soon.
    I’m catching the train to South Bank tomorrow with the Bloke, so I can meet a GF for lunch & a movie.
    And this time I’m taking my noise-cancelling headphones, so that I don’t have to listen to Beryl & Cheryl chatting about what they read in No Idea in the course of their long weekend.

  232. Don’t worry, you can still felt the hats.

    They’ll be just as good cat toys, felted.

  233. Heh heh heh. Actually I remembered what you said about turning them into tea cosies. If we ever get this kitchen installed & I manage to find my tea pot, that’s a wonderful idea.

  234. I almost bought you a tea cosy for your birthday too. It looked like a pineapple. But I put it down because cats.

    Why did you take the hats off the kittehs? Give them back you big meanie.

  235. Of course you’ll get the kitchen installed. Where else will Catty and I cook when we come to live there?

  236. True, true. I appreciate the reassurance, it is starting to feel like a long time without a kitchen. (coughDISHWASHER – but Shh, I insisted I’d cope without that for a few months but as it turns out, No. You should see the stains on my tea cups, I have to scrub them with bicarb & vinegar at intervals to get the tannins out).
    Catty I love the pineapple stuff but nothing is safe because Cats. Truly they are destructive little beasts.
    I booked them into the local cattery for Kitchen Week & I think they’ve been reading my messages & are out for revenge.
    Bastard cats.

  237. I use salt to get coffee and tea marks off cups. It’s far quicker and easier than using bicarb and vinegar.

  238. Also, Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you.

  239. It would be great in Scotland. The Fourth could be with them at the Firth of Forth.

  240. Heh heh.
    By lucky coincidence I sallied Forth into South Bank today with my Star Trek bag.
    I got to eat breakfast & lunch at Cafe Wrapture, go to the cinemas & swan about in Avid books.
    Chrissy told me that the Scribe is going to publish a book on writing. I lost interest when they said it would be kicked off by Earls. Is it just me, or has he become much more Smug since they adopted that child from one of those 3rd world countries where the celebrities shop for theirs?

  241. I’ve never been able to stand Earls. I can’t tell you why, but it’s very ingrained.

  242. During our girls day out yesterday we decided that men become much more arrogant after they turn 50, so maybe that’s it.

    • But then they get better again after 60, right? (bats eyelashes)

  243. What movie did you see, BTW?

  244. Yes, what Morgana said. Not that creepy Batman vs Superman thing, I hope.

  245. I saw Superbat with the Bloke when it first came out & it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.
    We went to see ‘Mother’s Day because there wasn’t much on & because we both like Kate Hudson. The script borrowed heavily from every other successful Rom Com that’s been made in the last 20 years & so I for one enjoyed it, because it was like watching a ‘what not to do’ to make a good movie.
    But that’s me & I actually quite like seeing things that don’t really work, because I can then sit back & pick them apart & work out why.
    Julia Roberts did an amazing job with her part, when the writers failed to let her shine with her speaking role, she made up for it by pure comedic genius. Watching her play the part of a woman over 50 who has never picked up a baby before was pure brilliance. I couldn’t sit through that bit without feeling the compulsion to rush into the screen & save the poor bloody baby from getting dropped/squashed/mangled from her tender embraces.

  246. Aw, I want to see that! I’m a closet rom-com tragic. I am somehow able to suspend reality so that the plot flaws (or gaping holes) slide right by unnoticed. Well, not really unnoticed, but I’m usually enjoying the movie too much to care. The Wedding Singer is on TV tonight, and I am fighting with the Boss about whether we are going to watch that, or Planes, Trains and Automobiles. His argument is that I have seen The Wedding Singer at least 10 times, but I’ve never seen P,T&A. My argument is that he can shut up.

  247. Oh, no – not John Candy! Slip something in his dinner. Like half a bottle of Vodka.

  248. The kidlets watched P,T&A. We ate red velvet cupcakes and went to bed to watch a program about Higgs Bosons and the Hadron collider.

  249. Was it the footage of the weasel that tried to blow it up?

  250. Sabotage weasel!

  251. No, it was about how the Hadron Collider is proving that there are aliens living on other planets and that they travelled here to teach us how to do stuff. Stuff like how to build a Hadron Collider.

    I did read that the Collider has discovered something that could possibly be a new particle. They reckon that they may have found the existence of the Gravitron – either that, or the Higgs Boson could be made up of smaller particles. They’re not sure yet. Which is silly, because everyone knows the Gravitron exists. It’s the best ride at the Show!

  252. Urk, spinning things. You can have them, Catty.
    Do you know, I’ve never actually been to Dreamworld or Movie World?
    It seems a waste of money, because I get seasick just thinking about all those rides.
    The Bloke has gone there with his nephew & niece a few times when they’ve been to visit.
    That reminds me, I’ll have to go visit the wildlife sanctuary at Currumbin sometime this year.
    Birds!
    Although there’s so many lorikeets roosting in the pine trees on Burleigh Esplanade at night that it’s hard to imagine finding more of them at the Sanctuary.
    They are so cute, nestled in pairs with their little heads tucked under each other’s wings.

  253. The kidlets’ high school oval is like a bird sanctuary. I like to get there early for afternoon pickup, just so I can watch the flocks of ducks, cockatoos, crows, native pigeons, galahs, lorikeets, magpies and more, all grazing on the oval. There’s usually several hundred birds pecking, wrestling and squawking. Even after the bell rings and the students rush out to throw things at them, they don’t fly off. They merely waddle/skip out of the way, and eventually move over to the far side of the oval. It’s very pretty. Especially the crows. I like crows.

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