Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Holidays are romping towards the Big House.


Here's some of the box of plants that My Girl is gonna transform ..... 

It's been a whalloper of a week! Not like in times past, with the speed and madness of single motherhood, teen rearing, school marm, householder, cos that was a kind of busy that I can now, barely even contemplate. Nah my NOW busy ain't like it used to be.

I remember limping across the end of term finishing line, where if I was lucky there'd be no marking and maybe a bit of money to shout My Girl and me a bit of a blow out at the beach or the shops or something else fun fun fun. The madness would grind to an instant halt and PJ days vegging on movies and pancakes, were not out of the question

But back to this week. I did battle with the all too often mongrel whalloper truck relays up and back to Brisvegas, twice, once on my usual Tuesday to see the kids and again on Thursday so I could be very proud Ma at my Darling Boy's Tae Kwondo Grading. Just as an aside, am I the only one to notice the increased aggression from the truckies now that there are signs going up about how, come August, they will need to stay left, so there will be no more boy racers on 32 wheels, in the fast lane, but in the mean time, they are all over the road? Really am I the only one to notice?

I filmed just about the whole Grading and he was bloody brilliant - I admit that a couple of times, even though it was against the rules, I lost control and let out a few woop woop woops, especially as he slammed those thick boards, firstly with his hand and then with his foot. Brilliant!and he was so chuffed with himself when he was finished, Ahhh,  but not so euphoric that he forgot to ask me not to post any photos of him here. Yeh he's become shy. So you'll have to take my word for it about just how damn fine he was.

And then in preparation for the Kids' arrival on Monday, cos my Girl has offered her expertise in the garden, Stevie and I wandered around the garden centre - not being even close to expert, we were just guessing what might be ok. We got a bunch of stuff and now I am hoping that my girl will be able to simply transform my fish pond and help me to fix up the rest of the garden.

But this doesn't excite my Darling Boy really. He's not all that keen on yard work. He's got a plan to do some cooking while he's here. And he's been charged with finding a recipe for his very favourite, Chicken Parmigana. I have never cooked it but I reckon I can have a good guess about the ingredient list, so this is also on my prep list.

So the tireds hit like a brick today and my feet have been up and the tellie is working overtime, in preparation for the fabulous onslaught.

The holidays are now a time of noise and activity, and a bit of chaos. Yippee!

I have said it before and I'll say it again, I am so very lucky that I get to be Ma for the hols. I know lots of grand parents sometimes feel that their babysitting duties become a bit of a chore, but I am not ever gonna whinge about it. He's now the tallest in the family and I am just pleased that he's still happy to pay his old Ma a visit.

Bring on Monday.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Winter Solstice



I am sure it has not escaped readers' notice, but I am not a scientist. I hated everything about science at school - Needed to be in your class Ms Jess, and even though there was a strong sciencey bent in university geography studies, I can honestly say that if you want some science info, you'd better ask Google cos mostly I am clueless.

But I knew it was the winter solstice today and that always makes me a little sad, cos it heralds the lengthening of days and so the end of winter. Bugger! and I had only just started to get snuggly under a bit of a cover and even though I have found my woolie slippers I am not ready to file them away for another year just yet.

I know my mates in the UK are sweating up a storm in 30 degree heat and why not, it's summer huh? Except that the fridges there don't like the heat much and pubs have a little trouble keeping the bottles cold, and so even though they will be busy shedding clothes in public parks, they might also be having a little look heavenwards, thankful for the now shortening of their days.

The grass is always greener huh?

But I do love our winter. Nah it's not a Toronto winter, where your nose might fall off if you dare walk out to catch a bus or a streetcar and have to stand for more than a few seconds, and there is no snow to cause havoc on the roads - how I managed to slip slide in my car, through the back streets of London during the rare but wonderful snow storms, without slamming into any other cars is still a mystery to me.

But it's our winter.

It's just lovely, comfortable short days, and if I was given to walking out for exercise, I would be able to work quite a bit harder before sweating happened. There's the wonder about the need for a little coverlette on the bed, instead of searching for an extension lead for the pedestal fan and tossing water spray all over the sheets.

And it's school holidays and so we are getting sorted for a Grandie visit. Yippee! I rather doubt even he will be in the pool so movies and Dog and silly games will be the order of the day.

And then there is the State of Origin,  and that'll be exciting if the Queenslanders get their shit together tonight. Fingers crossed.

So even though the days are now getting longer there is still some winter to be enjoyed.

Pass me the blanket please.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Dreaming



Stevie, at my request, cos you know it would take a ridiculously brave individual to suggest loudly that I am lazy arse and that I should move it or lose it, got me a fit bit for my birthday, So I am keeping a bit of a look at just how little or much I walk every day. And here's where the Big House comes into it's own cos even on the most sedentary of days I manage to walk a kilometre or 2 just popping to the loo or the fridge.

Now you're supposed to aim for 10000 steps a day and so I put my target in at 2000. After all I didn't want to be kicking myself everyday for being a slacker, and bugger me most days the wee thing on my wrist goes off to tell me I have made the target. I mean good on me right?

The other thing it does, well I am sure there are lots of things but I just don't know what they are, cos counting steps and looking pink and cute is mostly what I care about, is it tracks sleep patterns.

Now I know I am easily awoken. This explains why Stevie's snoring sends me a mile away and why the night works so readily disturb me, but it's interesting to look at just how many times a night the THING reckons I am RESTLESS. Last night I was awake 2 times - yeh night time peeing is a bitch! and restless 10 times and then there is some sort of calculation about how much sleep I missed cos of all this activity. A lot as it happens. Oh well! I just don't know how the thing decides that I am restless, cos honestly if I had a bed as big as Straddie Island, I would roll around every square inch of in a usual night's slumber so if movement is the restless, well I am surprised it's only 10 times.

But last night was a dreamer's paradise.

The best one was all about a very large group of kids all of whom were prepped by my teaching partner and me for performance in a huge eisteddfod - is that really how you spell it? I could have sworn it had an R in there somewhere, I am trusting Google. It was all pretty frantic and kids came and went and we were trying to corral kids and teachers cos there seemed to be some big finale event where the whole school was to perform some bit of craziness. I reckon my arms and legs and probably my mouth were all going mad, cos I am a demonstrative sleeper - Yeh don't get too close in case I smack you one in the head as I fly about or swim the Channel or applaud like a crazy thing cos my lovely girl was a winner.

Yep towards the end of the dream, she rolled up all red faced and squealing with delight cos her group had won their section and she was  just so bloody excited. And here's the piece de resistence, her grand prize, in fact the prize for all the winners was a crocheted poncho! Yep they were all wearing 'em, bright yellow and cream ponchos! The colours left a great deal to be admired, but they were PONCHOS!

And so now apart from feeling a bit like shit cos of an energetic night's sleep of too few hours, I am left wondering if I should be transforming my long THING into a poncho cos after all the dream might have been giving me a big clue.

Do you remember your dreams?
Would you now be making a Poncho?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bruising

This is the culprit, the cause of the ache in my everywhere.


About a month ago I thought I'd have a little go at some crochet, I think I have mentioned this already. In any case, I bought up some wool and started and the thing is that as too often happens, the wee project has grown like topsy and now after many hours of stock still except for finger action I have a long long shawl thing that I am still managing to control and design and the most appalling pain across my back and shoulders and neck and into my head.

This all started out slowly enough and in my usual casual, blame it all on the meds manner, I just hoped it would go away, like the occasional skin flare ups or the belly aching or the bone pain or the other shit that goes along with the meds.

But this little unpleasant addition to the usual, well it just didn't go away. And it soo didn't go away, in fact it just got worse and worse, and so finally I figured that a little visit to Dr Jane was in order, but as luck would have it she was away on a holiday and I took that as a sign that the pain would just go away.

But it bloody wouldn't budge. Bloody stubborn shitful thing! Seriously if the mould in the bathroom was this bloody minded you'd have to sell up and move on.

So I popped off to see Sylvia the Therapeutic Massage woman at the physio place I go to.

I have seen her before. I like her cos she doesn't think it's odd that I bring my own coconut oil and just enjoy a lie still and a if I am honest, a little ZZZZZ off while she goes gently about her business. If I spill a little pile of spit onto the floor through the head hole, well she doesn't seem to mind that either.

But on Friday I went there and told her I was in a bit of pain and she had the usual furtile looking at movement restrictions and such like and then she got down to business.

She still used my coconut oil but that's where the similarity of the relaxing visits of yore ended.

She thumbed and elbowed and poked and prodded. I grunted and breathed and panted like I was having a baby, and not wanting to appear too whimpish, I only occasionally let her know that I was in serious pain. She giggled and regaled me with the noises other folk make when they are in pain.

I admit now that I don't give a shit what other noises fill the room from people who are hurting.

Because I was having a little bit of a cry my nose got all blocked up and so my breathing was all in and out of the mouth which was just as well cos otherwise there could have been a very big wet patch indeed on the carpet under the head hole, as it was there might have been just the teeniest little drip of snot involved.

When my hour was up, I was grateful.

I was disorientated and when I got home Stevie reckoned I looked like I had been 10 rounds with Tyson, except that my ears were intact.

We grabbed a burger for dinner and part way through I had to trundle off to find a planter stand cos a wave of nausea hit me like a brick.

And now, after a couple of days, when I thought perhaps all the pain from the massage might have done the trick, I am still just one big ache, and even with Stevie's colour blindness he can see bruising points all over my shoulders and up my neck.

So I am aching on the inside and on the outside. BONUS!


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

'Churchill'



I do love the way the Poms put movies together. They are mostly well written and well acted and beautifully shot. Yep they sure are well put together. And I am certain that it helps that I find the landscapes romantic and gentle and inviting and in such stark contrast to Oz, so it's all foreign and familiar at the same time.

Yep, I am always happy to pop off to the pictures to see a Pommie production.

So there I was today watching 'Churchill'.

Now maybe cos I am just an Aussie gal, my knowledge of British history is sadly lacking, but as luck would have there is another movie, 'Dunkirk' which featured as a trailer so I got a bit of info from that and then I just sat back and watched.

In typical Pom fashion, the cinematography is beautiful and I reckon Poms would be able to play 'I have been to that place', but not me, I could only sit back and think how lovely all the locations are.

But if I am honest I did become a little bored with it all. I just wanted the story to move along a bit faster, after all I wasn't there to see a travel doco, I wanted to hear the story.  If I was reading this I would have got to the point where I'd skip paragraphs and possibly whole pages cos I am impatient.

Anyway the movie covers the 4 days prior to D Day and even historical fools like me know something about that, so tension development was a bit of a stretch and I guess making 4 days into 2 hours is not all that easy either.

It is an intimate peek into Churchill's life and I was surprised to feel myself not liking him all that much. There are moments when he is positively yukky. And what I wondered is how was all this information gathered.

I was unaware that he gave the scotch more than a bit of a nudge. It seems he thought it was an entire food group, and I didn't know that he suffered from depression, and maybe he didn't cos his sort of depression was remarkably easy to cure in the movie, with a bit of a face slap from the Missus and some crying doe eyes of an office worker. But Churchill, the boozer,  battling the black dog, seems to be well documented.

It's possible that Mrs Churchill wrote a whole lot of journals but I rather doubt it, and I am pretty sure that Mr Churchill did not write about himself being a bit of a dick.

So where do all these personal details come from?

Alex von Tunzlemann, the author, dived into the private moments and of course poetic licence is allowed.

And then I wondered  whether other people watching the movie would be wondering the  same stuff, and I wondered if things had moved along a bit faster then I would not have had the time to wonder at all.

So now for a recommendation, or not..... I reckon I would be happy to watch it again on the tellie if I could skip through the ads or grab it on DVD, cos let's face it, a delay of a few more months is not gonna change the well documented outcome. I am not sure it's worth the ticket price at the pictures.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A Story in 2 Halves.



Once upon a time a certain someone moved out of their house into a brand new - to them at least - flat. They had sourced a mortgage and furniture and all the usual shit that one has in their house, as well as stuff that is not necessary and perhaps some stuff that had been collected over a life time, both theirs and other people's, stuff that perhaps was gathered by mistake or by design or just by stealth. In any case there was much excitement cos they had their own flat and their own stuff and other people's stuff and a new sex partner and a job and plenty of cash for holidays and socialising. Yep all was good in their world.

And once upon another time, a different someone was forced out of their home, the one they had decorated and furnished and loved and paid for, and they were living day at a time on other people's couches.

Yeh this is not even a thinly veiled look at divorce.

And there are absolutely NO prizes for guessing which of these scenarios would best describe the outcome for most women.

Oh sure there are on occasions, splits which are reasonably amicable where assets are divided equally and splits which are not the result of the man sticking his revolting little cock into anything that'll have it. But I don't think that amicable is a common description for most divorces.

Yeh all too often it is the SHE, who is the person couch surfing after a dozen years of propping him up and supporting him and more than paying her way. Through the blindness of LOVE, she might have adopted his appalling debts as her own and now it is SHE who is left without the energy to go 10 rounds over a coffee cup, let alone trying to get what is reasonably owed to her.

She might have supported him for all the time he was unemployed after he was sacked in less than clear circumstances, all the while stoking the fires of his poor dented male ego

She might have supported him while he gained new qualifications and started up a new business, helping him celebrate every little win along the way.

She might have maintained the mortgage and all the household expenses and had no respite until finally, after a long long time, he found another job.

She might have paid and worried, and paid and worried.

She might have become tired cos of work and the propping and the ego stroking and finally cos of the wondering where he was and what he was doing or who he was doing.

He could have squirreled away cash in hidden accounts held by people he could trust not to spend it, while he courted and bedded who the fuck knows, all the while making sure that his wife became a miserable soul. Yeh not much love left there huh?

He might have played hide the sausage with a work colleague while the wife cooked his dinner and kept house.

And given all this, He might have been fair and equitable when he desired divorce.

But this is not a fairy tale.

This is playing out right now, probably far more often than we think, and all too often it is the women who end up in dire economic situations when relationships die, even if they were not the ones wielding the murder weapon. How is this reasonable or fair or just?

If I had been caught out with my knicky noos all a kimbo and the smell of some other bloke wafting about me, then my conscience would kick in and I'd walk away with fuck all cos of the guilt. But too often it seems the one 'playing away' comes out on top - excuse the pun, and perhaps that's just cos they have had ample time to plan and scheme and the other poor soul is hit with a sucker punch and is an emotional basket case while things disintegrate around them and so they are just not up to the fight over the 'good towels' or the coffee machine. They haven't got a solicitor on speed dial and are not familiar with the ins and outs of the law. They are starting so far behind the cheater, that they are never gonna catch up.

Let's shine a spotlight on these turds who think they above reproach, above reasonable expectations, above treating others with dignity and fairness and let's NOT allow them to slide by thinking no-one has noticed, or that because no-one has said anything that it means their appalling behaviour is acceptable.

Let's shine a very bright light on 'em, and then walk away, leaving 'em to stand there alone, with only their sad little cocks to keep 'em company.

I hope yours falls off G!



Thursday, 8 June 2017

What is your favourite cake?


It was my birthday last weekend and my lovely girl made the drive down and arrived with a bloody marvelous cake. Her birthday cakes are legendary. She makes 'em from scratch and they are a diabetic's worst nightmare, because she decorates 'em with the birthday person's favourite sweeties. SO even though the cake was light as a feather, well actually light as any mud cake ever is, it was well and truly ladden with all things lovely. I licked the plate when I was finished. YUMMO!

But sadly I took a photo with my new phone that Stevie got me for said birthday and I have been waiting for it to sync up with my computer by magic ever since and so this is the excuse for no stories. But it seems there is more than one way to skin a cat - what a fucking terrible expression huh? who wants to skin a cat? and how many ways can there be? and who did the research anyway? So the photo is me holding my new phone with a photo of the cake, bloody hell. And if anyone has a simple solution for idiots to sync things up I'd be pleased to hear it.

Anyway I reckon my favourite cake is one made in my girl's kitchen, cos they are made with such love. She agonises over every detail and she starts with a picture in her mind of what she wants to create and is always critical of her efforts but she is the only one. She's been making people cakes for their birthdays for a long time. It's her present to 'em cos cash is light on. She always apologies for the that, and I just want to give her a bit of a tap when she does this cos I reckon the home made cake is the best pressie ever.  

Apart from a delicious cake, my birthday nearly always brings a few days of cooler weather which is bloody wonderful. I found my fake uggs and pulled a little blanket over my knees, just like an old person and am as happy as a pig in shit, and now when I have to shrug off my wee cocoon to pee or get a drink or whatever, I do so in the knowledge that at least I am getting some 'steps in'.

Cos my arse has become square and I asked Stevie for a 'Fitbit' for my birthday so I could appall myself about my abject slothfulness and maybe move about a bit more.

Yeh so things went like this. Lazy - Fitbit - new phone cos old one wouldn't work the Fitbit - no sync on computer - further slothful ways cos where's the point in moving?

But not really cos I have discovered that even on a lazy day here in the Big House, I walk about 4 km. How about that? I know it's not much cos 'they' reckon we should do about 10000 steps a day and I am only doing about 6000, but it's more than I thought - clearly not enough to walk off a big chunk of my lovely's cake but not too bad. And as I am competitive old thing, I can keep an eye on it and if I see me getting even more lazy, then I can think about stepping thing up - shitful pun I know.

I very much doubt that the idea of the things is to allow complacency, but it works for me.

6000 anythings in a day is a good day I reckon.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Birthdays YUK




Years ago when it was my birthday a gaggle of us women would head out - near enough was close enough given the need to shuffle childless weekends and stuff, and we'd drink too much and flirt a little, OK maybe more than a little and did I mention drink too much? There was dancing and dare I say more drinking.

But in my 50s since my body has well and truly failed me, think rotting from the inside, now for my birthday I do something daring and OK more than a little strange, yeh I spend the day dying my hair an unlikely colour - Not permanently a strange colour just painted for a few washes, and then it will be it's old blonde, grey brown self again.

So tonight Stevie and I are gonna walk around to the local Thai place for dinner where I hope he's gonna show off all he learned while in that mother country and I'll have a glass or 2 of white wine and then we will toddle home where Dog will no doubt be pleased to see us, and tomorrow my lovely girl is coming for breakfast, and I am gonna feed her some pancakes cos recently they have become her favourite.

Except that this time I am not gonna use the recalled frozen fruit to make the compote. Last time the kids were here, while Stevie was away, I used this diseased stuff which was recalled just a couple of days ago, and then afterwards I was extremely unwell. I just put it down to the meds and when it all went away a few days later, I was pleased.

But yesterday I saw this recall and then I checked the batch number on the stuff I had left over in the freezer, and bugger me it was the self same stuff. Well I'll be fucked. 

I reckon I have got to my current decaying age without ever having something that needed to be recalled.

Stevie's car was recalled for something, I can't remember what, but it can't have been life threatening, but that's as close as it has come.

The warning is that the fruit which was processed in China, was filthy with shit - human, doesn't that just make you feel good? and so there is a threat that folk who have eaten it - that's MY FAMILY! - could have contracted Hepatitis A.

And so maybe for my birthday I could have given myself and the kids Hepatitis A. And so maybe I should google that and see if it is as bad as I think it is. And maybe I should mention it to the Doctors and get an extra test done just to be on the safe side.

Or maybe I can just ignore it, apart from buying real fruit again for the compote and making sure that in the future, I check out all the ingredient details in the small print, and only choose glass and kitchen flat packs made in China and leave the food well enough alone.

There you see there's the silver lining in the aging process, wisdom. Bloody marvelous huh?

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ban the ...What the fuck are we Banning NOW?

This bag has been used twice, how often was that disposable nappy used?



'The Project', a sort of news come variety show on the tellie here every weeknight, has taken up arms against the sad old plastic bag. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones which hold your 300 bucks worth of groceries, yeh the ones into which the checkout person shovels your eggs along with the bottles of stuff, and they're the ones that catch all the spilled milk and scrambled shit so it doesn't all slop about in the back of your car, on your way home.

Yep 'The Project' folk have decided that it's time the government BANS something else.

I am so far fucking over BANNING shit.

I reckon people should get to choose.

You remember CHOOSING, for yourself?

These sanctimonious folk who find the humble plastic bag so offensive, well let them carry around a big old satchel just in case they fancy buying something and they don't want to have to juggle it and possibly drop it into the gutter where quite possibly a filled disposable nappy has floated.

Surely people can choose?

And perhaps we could all be encouraged to consider our 'footprint' when choosing, and you know what? I'd still choose the damn bag.

Unlike 'The Project' people, who (I don't know this for an absolute fact cos I haven't spent time drifting through their rubbish bins,) more than likely have used disposable nappies to collect their offsprings' shit and piss, I used 'wash 'em every fucking day after scraping off the shit nappies.' SO for every nappy I didn't use, surely I am entitled to a bag or 2? My 'Footprint' should allow that.

A disposable nappy takes somewhere between 250 and 500 years to break down - same time as it happens for a grocery plastic bag. So I want to be able to choose the bag, cos unlike the nappy, which unless you are a very strange soul indeed, is definitely single use, I use the bags for all sorts of stuff. They are definitely not SINGLE USE here.

Our inside rubbish bin is designed to use these bags. Sure I could waddle out to the wheelie bin and toss every little bit of rubbish in there, unwrapped and festering and if everybody did this then maybe I could take up a job as the Pied Piper to rid the world of vermin.

I use these bags to wrap my smelly sneakers when packing a bag for holidays cos I don't want all of my clothes to smell of feet, and I am pretty sure that people I meet on my travels thank me for my kindness.

We collect up our lovely dog's shit in em but I guess instead we could just get a shovel and launch big old piles of the stuff straight over the fence onto the footpath, and if I was feeling kindly, perhaps I could make some sort of warning alarm to enable passersby to either run or put up an umbrella.

I even remember a woman making bread wrapper hats when I was a girl. She'd cut up the plastic bag wrappers into long strips and crochet it all into hats. Perhaps that's taking the reusing just a little far. I was pleased that she was not my mother.

But the point is that most of us are aware of the environment and do our bit. So what if I want to use plastic bags for my groceries. I wash in cold water, and have no heating in the house and only turn on the air con maybe twice a year, my dog eats just about every scrap of leftovers, I have even been known to grow my own tomatoes and my car is regularly serviced so it doesn't spew out fumes, and of course I washed all those fucking nappies. It's just a balancing act.

My 'Footprint' like most people my age, I reckon is far smaller than the clodhoppers of today. People calling for BANS should just BAN themselves.

In the UK, a number of stores have decided for themselves to not have bags, except that well of course they have bags, cos how else can their customers part with large lumps of wonga for their groceries if they then haven't got any way of getting the stuff home? Yeh they have bags, but instead of supplying them as a courtesy or a necessity, they are now charging for them. Sounds like Aldi huh? Go there, don't go there, it's your choice. Remember choosing?

I reckon that stores can please 'em selves, but calling for a universal BAN just gives me the shits.

I remember choosing fondly.