Saturday, September 29

I Smell a Rat!

Be glad, there are no pictures attached!

Around Thursday, which is the day of our garbage collection, Gom kindly offered to mop the kitchen floor. Which is a tedious chore that we share.

I had mopped said floor on Monday. We need to do it regularly, due to racing dogs flying in the door, complete with muddy feet, or leaves attached to feet.

As the water was still hot, I had left it to cool, in the bucket, out in the back yard. I forgot to empty the water.

Thursday morning, Gom went to empty the bucket, & to his horror, discovered there was a dead rat in the water!

Rats are not unusual in our neighbourhood, horrifying as that may sound. We do live quite close to a variable sized creek, & of course rats love waterways. So we have baits laid, downstairs, & in the back of the pantry, and the back of the stove recess, in case of rodent visitations.

The type of bait we use is one that makes the rodents seek water urgently, once they have consumed it. So, to find a rat, dead in a bucket of water, seemed quite 'logical'. In a hideous, ugly, sad, kind of way.

Gom duly got the body drained, & tied securely in a plastic bag. Which he then took for disposal in our rubbish bin. As luck would have it the collection truck had just emptied our bin.

On Saturdays we quite often visit garage sales, if there are any on, in our vicintity. We have found some amazing 'treasures' on our jaunts, & also, made some very nice friends.

This morning, we decided to have a look at a few sales. Gom has some 'suspect' sneakers, ( trainers, call then what you will) which I wish he would not wear. However I try not to nag. But one thing I purely detest is smelly feet.

So off we go, finding a small trash treasure or 2, to gladden Meggie's heart.

I had bought a shirt for Small Grandson during the week, & took it to give to him, on the way to a sale in the same street that they live in.We find there is something our Daughter J may be interested in having. So back to her place to collect her, & off we go back to the sale.

She does like the item, a Futon for next to nothing. They can deliver it to her!! Even better. Then Meggie spies a deep-step ladder, which is what she had craved, being so scared of heights, & ladders. For the pricely sum of $3!! A total bargain !! So M buys said ladder, & happily sets off for the car, with a glowering Gom behind the wheel, & DJ & SG in the backSeat.

Gom leaps out of the car hastily saying. "I will put it in the boot for you!!" Meggie says, "It is OK, I have the key, & I can put it in the boot!" Then, ... the boot us open! Out pours the most hideous stench!!! I spy a Wheetbix box.
"What is that doing in the boot? What the heck?" "Oh MG, what is that stench???!!!"

Gom, slinkingly, "That is the Rat. It was too vile to put in the bin. It was too late for the collection!"
I am thinking 'What kind of insane person puts a dead rat in the car boot?? '
He assures me it is wrapped, & 'sealed' in a plastic bag, then another, & wrapped , & tucked into the Wheetbix box!

I am insane with the horrifying stench. How could he subject us to that?? I am on the point of hysteria!! What kind of MAD person does something like this???

DJ is cringing in the back seat! SG is a little bewildered? What is all this about?? Almost gagging, as DJ says, " Why is the rat in the boot?" Having heard the story about it's death, & subsequent discovery.

Gom stammers, & kerfuffles. Which is short for being embarrassed & feeling caught out, & feeling slightly stupid. He had been hoping to "dump it into a skip." We found one at the local village shops. Dare I say, I hope the rat is laid to rest... at last! Complete with healthy Wheetbix box!!

*** And on to other Irrits!!!!

WTH is up with these fatuous Twits on TV news bulletins.
"This is FOC WIT BC, Reporting on The Latest Air Disaster in which 100 Unfortunate Souls Died. We now have with us DR PROCTORBRAIN, who is an expert on these matters"

"Welcome DR PROCTERBAIN, what can you tell us about this horrifying disaster?"

"Thankyou FOC WIT BC, This has obviously happend due to some hideous accident"

"Thank you for being with us DR PROCTORBRAIN, for this report! And giving us your expert opinion!"

" MY PLEASURE!"
Slight bow to the camera, smirks, & casts eyes downward, in fake modesty.

WTF!!!???. They are 'reporting' - I use the term in vaguest frivolity- on some effing hideous disaster/world tragedy/ national disaster, & at the conclusion of the Effing useless!! interview, they say "MY PLEASURE"!!!??? Callous swine!



I live whith GOM. I am a bloody GOW!! No wonder!!!


Simon & Garfunkel, Celia

Friday, September 28

Sweet Bird Of Paradise.

This is a pic of our Strelizia, or Bird of Paradise, which is currently flowering. If I look at the natural colour of flowers, I see how well unexpected colours go so well together. I love these exotic looking flowers, & I pleased we have a plant that seems happy.


This next pic below, is of the Grevillea which grows just above the Bird of Paradise. I had a Golden Gem too, but it died, with a little help from someones clodhopper boot. The native birds love these flowers, but we only seem to be getting Shrike at present.

Another Bird of Paradise flower. The bright foliage are the new leaves of the Lily Pily tree, with the dark spindly leaves of the Grevillea in the background.


This is a bracken fern frond in the back yard garden. It grows by they gate, & I love the green fern leaves, they remind me of home.
And humble Geranium leaves. I like the lime greens & the individual patterns.

Can you tell, I am feeling disgruntled. I remember my Grandmother's words. "If you cant say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
I went out into the garden to sooth my soul, with the greens, which seem to me, to be healing colours.
And here, this little flash of red, hiding under the Grevillea. Like I hide my anger. Domestic.


Here is the beloved Maple. I love this tree. I saved it's life. When the Garden vandals began the makeover in the front garden, they wanted to remove this tree. I would not allow it. And for the past 10 years, I have loved every minute of it.
It is the Anniversary of our move to this, our very own house, again, at last, 10 years ago today.
This is the first year, of my love affair with the Maple, that I have noticed each seperate large limb 'came out' seperately. The lower branch was the first to burst into bud & unfurl the leaves, then each other branch in turn did the same, as if they waited in a polite & orderly queue. I can't believe I have never noticed before.
I wonder if other deciduous trees do the same?
Perhaps I can get off to a nusery today, & further sooth my soul with some plant purchases. I am reminded of my Grandmother again, & how she used her garden as a tonic. She would leave the dishes in the sink, & go off out into the garden. Therapy of sorts, I guess.
My mother on the other hand, could never go out leaving the dishes in the sink. I have seen us loaded up in her car, ready for an outing, & she has disappeared back inside to 'just put the cleaner over the floor'.
I am more a girl -haha, I use the term frivolously!- after my Grandmother's heart. I can shut the door & happily leave such things if a chance for an outing or some fun arises. I do exagerate slightly. If I was going out for the day, the dishes would be done, & the beds made. But to leave it for a few hours in the garden... why not!
Ah well, perhaps the crisis is averted. Perhaps I have calmed down.
Here is another pic of the Clivea. I am so pleased with the flowers.

Schubert, "Trout"






Thursday, September 27

Small Towns

This is a picture of "The Guilty Party". AKA Leo. This is a picture of the crime! Leo has been knitting! Grrrr.

I wonder if I can salvage some of it. I only wanted it for a teddy jumper.
This was last night's full moon. A little hazy, but full none the less.
I dont think I got out & bayed. Or howled. I have been having very vivid dreams.

This is a fun fabric, that I am wanting to use to make a child's quilt.

The picture is almost true to life, as far as the colours go, so it will need to be a little girl's quilt. I am trying to decide what colours to use with it. I can see the colour of that mangled yarn would be perfect, but I dont have any fabric in that
colour. Hmmmm perhaps a trip to Spotlight...
********
In yesterday's post, I was reminded of my life growing up in a small rural town.
How many 'characters' there were, for such a small place!
There were many Churches too, for such a small district. There were the main contenders for Souls, such as Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, & Presbytarian. Then there were the 'weird fringe' churches, who catered to very select, small groups, regarded with some suspicion by the bulk of the population of the town.
There were also smatterings of families who had very different faiths. I dont know if they had actual centres for gathering, or whether they just pactised their particular brand of faith in their homes.
There was a family of Sihks, the tall thin boys with their turbans, & beautiful silver bracelets on their slender smooth brown wrists. I dont recall them having a centre for gathering, though they may have had one. I seem to only recall the one family, & dont remember any girls. It was rumoured in the town, that one of the Sihk boys in Standard 6 which was composed of mainly 12 & 13 year olds, was actually 28. I suspect that may have been a lie!
But the one religious place I most vividly recall, had a church of modern style, situated almost in the heart of town. I can't remember which religion they claimed to follow- Baptist or Bretheren I suspect. I did have some dealings with some of the members, because they did their level best to 'convert' my girlfriend. We had both been raised in the Anglican Church, but by the time I was a teenager, I had decided that the Church & I did not agree. It seemed the more I saw of hyporites "Christians" the more I mistrusted them.
My girlfriend was an easygoing girl, & she was happy to "go with the flow" .
Boy! did they work on her! A woman called Hazel decided to make my friend J her special project. Hazel had small children, & J & I were available for babysitting duties. We babysat for J's older sister, & various other people we knew, who had small children, & needed a sitter for an occasional night out.
J & I would babysit Hazel's children while she no doubt went off to do churchly activities. Hazel then began to invite both of us to 'slide evenings'. These were terribly boring affairs, which I loathed, but J begged me to go with her, for company & moral support.
We were warned by Hazel to avoid the old chap who gave these slide showings. He had fat white maggot sausage fingers, & they strayed, always 'accidentally' to places on young girls'- & Hazel's- anatomy, they should never have touched. In short, he was a lecherous old turd, toad, who should have been exposed for what he was.
I suspected that Hazel secretly enjoyed those furtive encounters, & she would blush & giggle. The lights would be dimmed for the slide showing, & then the fumbler would strike. I can't recall where her husband was, while these little brushes were happening. Maybe he couldn't stand the slides either, & worked overtime or something. It appeared to me, there were a lot of men in that Church who had wandering hand syndrome. I never went to the church, but a man who ran the St John Ambulance Cadet classes was a member, & a notorious 'fumbler'.
Enough to put anyone off religion I felt. I am almost certain they were racist also, as there were no Maori members in their congregation, yet all the other churches had mixed congregations.
My friend J attened now & then, was not overly swayed one way or the other, & seemed not to notice, or care about, the hypocrisy connected to the church.
I did not intend this to be about religion, but more about the social stratas in small towns. Well, the small town I grew up in.
There was a dear little old "Miss", the head of the infant school. I swear she never forgot a child's name, & would greet you by name even when you were an adult! She was quite scary really, & did her level best to convert me to right handedness, every time she saw me.
There was a seemingly ancient Maori woman, known as a Kuia, who sat on the steps of the Post Office, & her chin had a tattoo known as a moko, in the style once popular for Maori women. I always felt quite intimidated by this woman, & her eyes would follow you, in her wrinkled old face. She always wore a scarf around her face, covering her hair, and she always dressed in black.
There are many stories I could write about that small town.
Another day.
Scott Joplin's The Entertainer.




Wednesday, September 26

Treats & Gifts.

Look at this beautiful creamy lemony Clivea. It was given to us by a very kind neighbour. It didn't flower last year for some reason, & so I was so excited to see the buds form.We have some orange Cliveas which are flowering under the Maple tree. I had divided them up, & there were many clumps, but they seem to have all faded away, & we are just left with the original clump.


I love this view, which is what I look at when I sit out on the patio with GOM. There is a Bangalow Palm tree, which I am rather fond of, the Maple, which is just showing its' new lime green foliage, & the tree fern is in the foreground.

Lovely new shoots unfurling. It reminds me of New Zealand. This tree has taken a hammering from drought, but it seems the rains we have had, along with Spring's warmth, has spurred it into fresh growth.
We have 4 other fern trees, but one seems to have died. We are not sure why, but have wondered if it is run-off from the poisoning mission on the Neighbour-Privet. It is slightly downhill from the Privet, so perhaps the poison leached down the slope.
In the evening there is the most glorious perfumed air. There is Jasmin flowering in overgrown profusion in the neighbour's garden. They also have wonderful Azaleas which are in full bloom, & give off a sweet scent. Our Port Wine Magnolia adds to it all, as well as the lemon tree, which is just a riot of blossom. Seemingly overloaded, & it worries me a little. I have read that some trees produce a plethora of blossom just before they die, as a sort of last ditch effort at prolonging life.
I have not noticed many bees at the the Lemon tree this time, & yet they are usually thick, when the flowers appear. I am very watchful, as I am allergic to bee stings.
I remember lying under the blossom trees, - peaches, nectarines, apples, -smoking cigarettes, with a young man I had a crush on. He was a neighbour of my girlfriend, & we used to spend time with his younger sister. I was still a teenager, & I think he was 20. So handsome, & seemingly so dashing. He smoked, offered me cigarettes. Of course, not wanting to appear unworldly, I took the proffered, horrible things. They made me dizzy, & feel slightly sick, but as I was lying under the fruit trees, I just pretended I was enjoying them!
My girlfriend had more sense, she refused the cigarettes. But then, she didn't have a crush on Mr Suave! His 'Little Sister' was never offered. She was younger, & she looked like a little doll. Such a pretty, blonde haired girl. Her mother had died in childbirth. The Grandmother had raised the children, the father never really recovered from his wife's death, & he was what would be called today, "A Functioning Alcoholic". He did his job, then went home & drank himself into insensibility every afternoon. Poor man. But I know he loved his children, dearly.
And another neighbour, of my girlfriend's, had a hideous huge silver Stainless Steel Seal, balancing a huge stainless steel ball on its' nose. Forever condemned, to stand on back flippers, holding the ball aloft, in a pond/fountain, on the front lawn. They also had a small dog, a bundle of white fluff & frenzied ferocity, that went insane every time the paper boy rode past, delivering the paper. I know from inside information, how much he yearned to give that little canine flying lessons.
The Waifs, Vermillion

Tuesday, September 25

In the Lemony Light...

In the Lemony light of today,
it felt like we could all drift away,
on meringue puffs, no substance.

With small bitter-sweet pieces of lemon,
the rind,
to remind us, all is not total sweetness.

There is the sly sour,
the rough skin, intruding on the
shape of the fruit's gifted sweetness.

The wonderful scent of the blossom,
belying the tart, sharp rein of the juice!
Checking unfettered tastebuds,
on a journey of wild possibilities.

The light, the lightness,
the perfume, the sweet memories,
Days gone by, Spring fruit,
falling.

__________**_____________

There were friends to share the day.

This girl is Lemony, & she cries if you tip her world upside down.
She is very sweet, sad, abandoned,... to another life.

Sweet Lemony, you can stay with me,
until you find another home,
someone who truly loves you.

Here is Good Golly Ms Molly.
With the sad 'Ball That Nobody Wants'.
Ms Molly has had some tough moments,
shoved deep in the cupboard.
No one wants to see me sitting,
with idiot grin,
waiting to be loved.
Do they??

______________****_____________

Ah my Son, my beautiful son.
Your gifts & talents, ~treasure.
Proceeded with your life,
Thinking only of your pleasure.
You threw them all away,
Riches without measure.

Face and physical form
Grown to perfection.
Your mind was captured,
Stunted, stilted, on rejection.
A mother mourns , the choices made,
The sad, misplaced, selection.
________________****________________
Los Indios Tabaharas, Amapola

Monday, September 24

Today felt like cake...Red Warning! Please turn away, if you only like pretty or funny!

So, if you are going to ask me what the hell do I mean? Well, I am not going to say. About the cake. Or maybe I will.

But you must know that, 3, 4, or 5-year-old, feeling, when it is your birthday, & you just know you are going to get cake? The level of excitement builds up, & you think you will burst? The cake comes after the presents... the presents were nice, but you were too excited to concentrate on most of them.

The cake, with candles, & the singing~ Just for You!! The lights go dim, the curtains or blinds are closed to simulate darkness, in the small family room used for family meals, celebrations, & the candles are lit. You stand there, anxiously, ~knowing you have to make A WISH. You have to blow all the candles out, or it won't work! Your wish won't be granted. Oh! The pressure!!

Or, if you are living another life, not nearly so nice, you know, when it is your birthday, you will be lucky not to get a biff under the lug, for daring to mention it. "Who would be glad you were born?" "You snot-nosed little snivelling brat!" "Shut your whining you little sh!t." "Dont come near me, or I'll kick your scabby, sorry arse! Give you something to whine about."

The picture those words conjure up, is just hideous. But sadly, it is all too common now, with fractured, broken, & divided families. A mother who may love her child, but 'loves' the new partner more, sides with the de facto. So she won't lose that modicum of 'comfort & love'. Which is nothing more than tyrany, & domination. Often with cruelty, & harshness, for her own-born child, as the result. I cannot fathom how a mother can 'sell' her child out for 10 2 minutes of lied-about shabby lust passion. What has happened to our society, that young girls & mothers seem to think & feel they are defined by a man's dick, penis, call it what you will. As if he honours her by using it, in her, 'for' her.

In my case, as a child, I was very loved. I had cakes, which I have forgotten. I know they didn't work, those wishes. Because I always made the same wish. It never came true. But I sure knew I was loved, & cherished. What more could a child want?

But I digress a little here, darkly.
I intended to post about how light I felt this morning,
As if the Season's ponderous change has lifted, & I am now "Being In Spring"

It has been a lovely warm day.
I have had fun conversations. I have been assured the "Boob Eating Itch" I am suffering is probably nothing more than eczema. Treatable. Not Boob threatening. Which may be TMI ....but too bad! It is my blog, I will say what I like!

****** Converstion from today, that reinforced my "Cake" feeling. With outrageous laughter.

MD.- Did I tell you about the dog eating snail bait?
me- No.
MD- He was having dog Parkinsons. I rang PMD, who rushed home.
Indeed dog was displaying Parkinsonian behaviour. Twitching, shaking uncontrollably.
PMD- Have you got a thermometer?
MD- Yes here it is. You hold him while I insert said thermometer.
PMd- He has a temperature, we must treat him.
Proceeds to administer treatment, which shall remain secret.
MD thinks to throw out the thermometer. Then thinks she may need to reuse it.
So MD leaves large notice beside thermometer. "DO NOT USE. HAS BEEN UP DOG'S ARSE"
MD, returns to work.
PMD returns to work.
Bossy Daughter of MDs arrives home.
Placid Daughter of MDs is nursing sick dog. Has not touched thermometer.
Bossy uses thermometer. Bossy rings Mother. "This dog is not well. I am taking dog to VET!"
MD meekly- Yes well we realise his is not well. Hurry they will be closing soon.

Phone call from Vet to PMD. Some hostile discussion ensues. Dog remains at Vet overnight.

MD goes to collect Dog, on the morrow.
Young Vet hastens out, to inform MD it may be "Funny Little White Dog Syndrome"!!
Ye gods. -What??
Young Vet- Well it seems to be something the small white dogs get... we are not sure what it is. But it can be treated......blah blah blah, coritsone, blah blah blah.

It turns out PMD had laid snail bait. But didnt want to admit it. Problem solved with small white dog. We all hope.

So, I had to tell tale of Granddog, who has some skin condition. Chew the hair right off his bum, back, most of his hind legs.
I told MD he looks like some bare bummed invitation to gay dogs!
MD knows the look.
Their Female has the same problem. Only she is a she.

I have no idea who sings this, but, Who Let The Dogs Out!

Sunday, September 23

Kings Cross - remembered.

I have no idea what Kings Cross is like these days. I would imagine it is much the same as when I first visited some 30 odd years ago. I have been back in the years between, but that first impression has never left my mind.

We had never been on an overseas holiday before. My Best Friend J & I had travelled to Christchurch, thinking we would be moving on from there, & planned to go to Aussie, which was the mecca back in the day, for young travelling Kiwis. And many musicians.

Of course life intervened & BFJ & I both ended up married to Southerners, & so thoughts of overseas travel went on the back burner. Or to be more precise on the 'never never plan'!

We had some good friends, & jokingly, they suggested we should come for a holiday together, to Aussie. Initially there were to be 3 couples, but one couple decided they couldn't manage it. We saved & planned, & excitedly looked forward to our trip.

The evening we left Christchurch, a lot of our friends came out to the Airport to see us off. A lot of drinks were shouted in the Airport Bar, & we were a little tiddly by the time we boarded our plane. In those days, free alcohol on the flights was the order of the day, & so people tended to gollop down far more than they should, or perhaps these days, would.

Our arrival into Sydney was dark & slightly fuddled. A maniacal taxi ride whisked us off into the Cross, & to our Motel. We had requested a 2 bedroom unit, but had been given a one bedroom unit, with sleeping for two in the lounge. Which meant we tossed for the bedroom. We won the toss & L & M slept in the lounge. They had to come into our room to access the bathroom, & we had to access the lounge to get to the kitchen. Not very happy, we complained, & were assured we would be transferred the moment something else became available.

Of course the first night we arrived, though we were tired, it was decided to walk up the streets, & see the sights. In those days Gom was HYPH, happy young publican husband. He knew a lot of people, so it was no surprise when he was greeted in the street. As it happened it was an ex pat, T, who had taken up residence in Aussie. He seemed to be involved in all sorts of things, & had entry to a lot of nightclubs, & strip clubs. He offered to take us with him, as he visited various venues.

So off we went, for a free tour of sleazy nightclubs, strip clubs, porn movie 'palaces', sex shops. I can't say it was an enjoyable tour. Imagine being confronted with genitalia 4 feet high! On a screen the size of a house! Not my idea of fun. Our friend M had to be nudged as he sat, with mouth gaping open in shock. We were moving on, time to go.

A rowdy nightclub next, down dark narrow stairs. Taken out to the kitchen area, where we were parked to wait for our host. A tall Fijian girl, with chest hair, snarling & growling about her girlfriend, who was apparently going on holiday without her. Killing her was the least of her threats of revenge, should she be unfaithful to her. A sight of a gun, in a man's jacket pocket. He realised I saw it, & leered at me. Our host laughing, assuring me the gun toter was no threat, to us, he was with T.

On to another venue, a strip club, to see tired strippers performing their sad rituals, & even sadder acts involving men. I fail to see the attraction. I am not a prude, if others want to see such things, & someone wants to provide it, well, who am I to say it is wrong. But I was to learn, over the course of that holiday, that many of those sad girls got into that vicious cycle & got hooked on the drugs, & then, could not seem to get off the roundabout.

The next morning, after very little sleep it seemed we were up & out again. We stopped for breakfast at the then famous & fashionable Bourbon & Beefsteak Bar. There were large windows along the front of it, & they were flung open to the street, & as was sat eating our breakfast, we watched a 'working girl' make 4 trips up the stairs in the doorway opposite, each time trailing a man. And each time she returned, after the man had scurried off, she seemed to have not a hair out of place. Our friend M could not get over it. He always talked about how in the time it took him to eat bacon & eggs that girl had 4 customers!

Imagine our horror on the second day, when Hyph & I came back to the motel, we found our belongings completely gone. The unit was bare with no sign of L or M, & we rushed down to reception, aghast at the thought we had been robbed.

It turned out a larger unit had become available, & so L & M had just packed all our stuff up, & moved down there. Reception had been supposed to tell us.

We had a lot of fun on that trip. We had contacts in the Liquor Trade, & we were hosted to wonderful boozy days out, with a meal at a famous hotel that had a BBQ where you could cook your own Steaks. Of course I didnt eat steak, but there was Quiche or salads for the non meat eaters. We were taken to a fabulous huge Chinese Restaurant, & spent the afternoon there. We were given a lot of free booze delivered to the Motel, with flowers & chocolates. We had wonderful nights out at nice Nightclubs, & were taken to some fabulous Leagues Clubs, the likes of which New Zealand didn't have.

We went to Les Girls, & had a fabulous night out there. There were a lot of NZ people who worked there, & the cabaret was really worth seeing.

But under all the glitter & the false glamour, there was such a sad undercurrent to Kings Cross, to me. I couldn't stop thinking of sad ruined lives, & I felt sorry for the prostitutes, of both sexes. Their sad & sorry eyes just haunted me. I hated the men who lived off those people.

We watched the spruikers outside the clubs, calling people in, to see the delights of the flesh. We laughed at some of the calls, the 'suggestive' things they said. We used to stand across the road, & watch one such character, & then M, who was really a scallywag, began to mock him, & mock his calls. I swear that Spruiker would have flattened M, if he had caught him.

We would see some of the residents, coming & going in the midst of the clamour. I wondered how they could stand to live in among such sadness & squalor. Murder even. Drug addicts dying.
Kings Cross left me very depressed for mankind.

We had other holidays, where we stayed there again. It was so central to the city of Sydney. There were characters who seemed happy to be living there. Some said they felt at home there. They could be accepted, in a way they never were at home. I could sympathise with them, for that.

I never felt so depressed about Kings Cross again, after that first visit. But a niggly little voice inside me wonders if that is a good thing- or bad.

Emmy Lou Harris, Hour of Gold.

Friday, September 21

Zig Zag

Do you find there are times in your life, when you feel you are zigging, when you should be zagging? Or vice versa?

I must be having a little patch of "off the zag" or something. My brain is playing the wrong tune, or I am missing the beat. Or my thoughts are 'clouding' my ears!

I've tried to tell myself I am just singing the harmonies. Or hearing the different drum. I don't think I have convinced myself really.

Ordinarily, it doesn't bother me too much if my thinking runs against the grain. I feel I have come up with solutions to some problems, by thinking outside the box, or whatever you wish to call it.

For now, it just seems to be a bit wearying. Like swimming against the tide. Though I am not really.

****

I am humbled to receive another "You Make Me Smile" Award from Sheoflittlebrain, from One Acre Wood.

I seem to be unable to get the size correct on the side bar, in spite of following all advice, so I will just leave it here for now.

[make%2525252Bme%2525252Bsmile.jpg]

****
Retreating into the past again, I have decided to post about a small cafe I once owned.

Shall we call it Kenny's Noshery. That wasn't the real name, but something similar, & when I purchased the business, to avoid all the legal messing about, I just continued trading under the same name.

I purchased this business on the assurances of our current accountant, that "You can't go wrong! It is a bargain."

Taught me 2 things. Never totally trust an accountant. Never trust a man saying, "You can't go wrong".

Said mongrel Kenny, misrepresented all his figures for starters. Then he lied blatantly misrepresented his customer numbers. Mr Dimbo, our accountant was so intent of prying the balance of our savings out of Gom's hands, for another "too good to be true" scheme, that he didnt bother to give proper & decent pause to investigate the 'shonky' figures, or the 'shonky' lease.

So, here I was up the creek, so to speak. Kenny had given me some vague recipes for the "Specialties of the House" & assured me that the 2 staff would remain to help as long as I would care to employ them.

With the first few days, came the dawning of the reality. The Arcade the shop was in, was not exactly the hot path to the altar of Foodville. Nor was it really handy to businesses. It was a sort of little hidden backwater if honesty prevailed. It was on a pathway to a busy car park, but most of the foot traffic used the alleyway as a short cut. They scurried past.

The two girls who had been staff for Kenny, agreed to spill the beans, when they could see that I was not a mean cow, nor was I about to sack them. They admitted they had been told to fudge the figures, to write false takings in the days notes, to lie about the food quantities.

One girl could see it was not a going concern, & she took another job offer. The second girl D came to work on the 3rd day, hideously beaten up, by her partner. I am talking teeth knocked out, & a very black eye. I told her never mind, take her time to heal, & come back when she was ready. Really I was shocked & sickened to see her damage. Aside from the fact she wouldn't leave the beater, I liked her. She had a wonderful sense of humour, & was popluar with the customers we did have.

My Daughter J came to help me, some days GOM came to help, when he was on a night stint at the "Golden Opportunity." I learnt to make the Lentil Burgers, & the Fruit Smoothies, & various other foods which were freshly prepared each day. I introduced new lines, with some good success. A man came from some distance to buy my chicken sandwiches. He claimed they were the best he had ever tasted, would order for all his staff.

D came back to work, healed up, & swearing that if it happened again, she would leave the beater. She didn't leave him while I still had the shop, but she did eventually.

The shop gradually built a regular clientele. A couple, who worked at the Council, & who were having an affair. He was married, had a son, wouldn't leave till the son was grown. She had never married, but seemed content with the way things were. They often brought a friend. They were nice people, full of fun, & they often brought some wine- though we didn't have a BYO license. They laughed & said, "We are the Council, if you have trouble, just send them to us". They broke the corkscrew, replaced it with a very posh one! Loved having their wine every Friday.

A small timid woman who used to come in, after all the others had left, & always ordered the "Quinch & Salad". I never had the heart to correct her, & tell her it was pronounced "Keesh".

Young Brett, who I have blogged about here, used to come & sometimes help in the shop. Or just call in, to ask if he could come to stay with us for the weekend. Another young lad, who worked locally, came for comfort & company. I suspect he had a small crush on DJ.

The Arcade had a few 'Rules'. There were several different food outlets, & one of the rules was, we could not sell each other's food specialties. Which worked. Until the shop opposite mine, opened a counter to the pavement, & began to sell the same food as mine. When I complained, I was told they had negotiated a new lease. They did not have to abide by the 'Rules' I has signed for.

I had a very good offer, from a man who was very keen to buy the lease from me. He offered a very generous price. Negotiations got under way. Time passed. Then I got told it was not going to proceed, as the leasors had denied the sale. We had it on very good authority, that the Leasors, would not lease to people of their particular Ethnicity. They had a reputation for buying businesses & if they went belly up, they then lit said premises to collect the insurance.

I have no idea it that was the truth of the matter, but the sale was denied.

I eventually sold the shop, to an Italian girl, who was eager to try her specialty food. Her father was providing the money. He had a heart attack & the sale almost fell through. I had joked with D, that I had a bad feeling, & hoped the father didn't come to any harm.

Imagine my horror when I found out about the heart attack. At least we didnt lie about our takings or any other details. They didnt care about such things, as they wished to have a complete change of food style, & decor.

I kept in touch with D for many years. She lived on her own with her two sons, & still had a relationship with her partner. She said they just couldn't live together, but got on really well, living apart.

For D.
Phoebe Snow, Inspired Insanity.

I had to edit this to get the link to Brett.

Thursday, September 20

Black Is Black

I probably don't have the right to say I am feeling Black. Or Brown. Or Blue.

I am all of the above. I am physically feeling lousy. I have a headache, my lip is painful, a tooth is aching in a way that cannot be good.

All the glands in my neck are enlarged & painful. I am going to drink some wine, to dull the pain of it all. Self medication of an idiot perhaps. But who cares!!We have had a grey, wet day. With rain. With brilliant sun. With clear blue skies. For about 10 minutes. Then the huge grey rolled back. Rained on us.

Heavily, from a seemingly great bl**dy height! I know, the ground needs it. The farmers need it, desperately. But I am not sure they got any of it.
The main effect, for us, was the poor shorn Leo, shivered & whimpered all morning. He cuddled up to us all night long, & was glad of a blanket to warm his skinny body this morning.
He sought refuge on my pillow, on our bed. He was a wimp. Fair enough we told him. It was unkind of the weather to turn so nasty, just as he got shorn. He was like a Samson, stirpped of his strength, & superior being. Honey took advantage.
She has not been clipped yet. She still has her woolly coat, to protect against those sneaky spring chills, & showers. I suspect she has been rubbing it in, in some doggy fashion. Leo tried to keep her from Gom's knee. He became the most possessive of the knee, that I have ever seen him! But Honey ignored all that & jumped up anyway.
It didn't help my mood, when I read this post, at Lone Grey Squirrel, this morning. I weep at the incomprehensible beasts who roam the planet, & can perpetrate such monstrous obscenities on helpless innocent children.
I take it as a personal affront. I hope they catch the beast/s. I fear it is the many headed monster, & it will never be stamped out.
My son is equally despairing over such things. We fear such heinous creatures can never be irradicated or stamped out. What is the answer?? There is none.
We had Small Grandson here for some hours today. We had a delightful time. He played all sorts of games. He has become quite inventive in his play, setting scenarios for me to act out. He told me I needed to remodel his 'Castle', which was a plastic castle given by a friend. He also received a tool set. So out came the hammers, the pliers, the screwdrivers, the pipe wrench, the nuts, bolts.
I was instructed on "Technique". "This is the technique you need to use Nana! You need to move this level to there, & take this tower here, & I want it all done when I return". "Here, here are all the tools you will need!" Hammer, nails, bolts, various other vital needs.
He spent a long time MIA. Calls elicited the answer "I am in the toilet. I will be back soon." Loud singing ensued. Poetry was quoted. Conversation was heard, but not the exact theme. He reappeared. Isn't it nice when they are almost 5, & they "don't need help in the toilet!" "I am just going to wash my hands"
"Have you flushed the toilet?"
"I am just going to do that!"
"My first tooth came out. I am a big boy now. The Tooth Fairy gave me $2. I am saving for a Play Station Game!"
Holy Moly, the tooth fairy must have won Lotto!! When did she start paying such high prices??
SG's mother eventually arrived to collect him. He had been such a good lad. Full of fun. "Can you smell something peculiar?"
I think one of the dogs had a gas accident.
He seems to have learnt so many large words since we last had him for a few hours. He was such a delight.
A shame I was feeling so physically lousy.
Never mind, the wine is beginning to kick in! I begin to feel better for the evening.
And this little Azalea is doing it's level best to cheer me. It is totally neglected, but still it struggles to bear it's blossom. Of course the showers keep it flush.
It can only be
Joni Mitchel, Blue.





Wednesday, September 19

Leo ...the Reverse Skinhead

Well, what a shock we got, when we went to collect our little Leo. He was almost completely bald! No tail feathers at all. And he acted almost guilty, as if he was ashamed of his nakedness. The groomer had a tough old time trying to complete his feet. I bear the scars from his frantic scrabbling as we tried to hold him still, so she could finish off his paws. Here he is on our bed, with one of his beloved soft toys. He was very subdued when he came home, yesterday. He lay next to me for a time on the sofa, & even let me cover him with a blanket.

He spent the whole night on our bed, & I suppose he was a bit cold with all his woolly coat gone.

Here he is, out in the sun this morning, waiting for Gom to come out. He sits beside him while he eats his brekky in the sun.

As you can see, he looks a very reduced hound! And we can see the legacy of his little black poodle mother, in the dark spots on his skin. Hopefully, as his wool grows back, he will let me brush him, & keep him from becoming so tangled.
And this was his sister yesterday, missing him & his boisterous ways.

When our kids were young, we used to go for evening strolls into the heart of the city, since we lived on the edge of the city centre. I remember seeing young lads with mohawk haircuts, & some of them had those huge spikes they used to glue into peaks.
Our son was fascinated, & could not take his eyes off these young men. I told him, "If you ever come home with a mohawk I will cry!" He was only about 10 then.
Well, you guessed it, some years later, when he went off flatting with his girlfriend, he came home one weekend, complete with mohawk haircut. I admit, I was quite appalled, but I didn't cry. I didn't really like it, but felt it was not a crime compared to what some young chaps were doing.
Then, the next weekend he came home, he had attempted to dye it, so it was black, with bleached sides, which had turned green & blue. Very peculiar. We took our daughter to the Airport, she was 'leaving home' for her first time. Going to another country. I was full of tears, & trepidation.
Our son came to farewell his sister, complete with multicoloured, multilevelled hair. Little boys stared in fascination, much the same way he had done when he was young. Gom put his arm around his shoulder, & said "Never mind Son. You may look funny, but I still love you!"
He was teased mercilessly at his work, apparently, & an elderly woman who worked in the office, asked what on earth his parents thought about his hair. He, being cheeky & flippant, replied his mother thought it lovely, & she had got a mohawk too!
We had occasion to take a paper to his work, & I wondered why this woman had rushed out of the office, & blatantly stared at me! She couldn't believe we were such a normal, conventional looking couple.
I always did try to encourage my children to be 'their own person', and not blindly follow the herd. Of course, I had not envisioned mohawks to be in the 'think for yourself' range of what they might choose to do. Nor had I thought about them dying their hair... well not the sons anyway.
Those phases have all long passed, & I recently asked SB if he was glad he had got his mohawk when he was young. He told me wasn't & couldn't believe he had been so stupid! I told him not to regret it, because if he hadn't he might have spent the rest of his life wishing he had! He also could not quite believe he had dyed his hair, I think.
****
I have a large cold sore on my lower lip. It is the same site it always develops. I always get miserable & feel most unwell, when I get a breakout. I have not had one for a few years now, so that may explain why I felt so tired. I hadn't realised it was developing, so missed the crucial first hours with the Zovirax.
****
Gom is fussing about in the kitchen, so I might go away & just rest. With my one skin bodied hound, & one shaggy little girl, who will have to have her wool cut shortly.
Bob Dylan, Beyond the Horizon.

Tuesday, September 18

A Trip to a Mall.

We took Leo to be professionally clipped today. I warned the nice little Groomer girl, that he is a naughty boy, & she might need to muzzle him. He looks oh so cute, but he is anti-social. I blame us for that, because we dont take him out with other dogs, & though we have tried to train him, somehow it hasn't worked.

We have friends who come to visit, & some he is accepting of, but some he continues to be rather hostile about. He wont allow them to touch him, in spite of being given treats. Honey, on the other hand is everybody's friend, once she gets over her initial bark.

It has seemed a long day to Gom, who has become Leo's best friend. Leo suspects me of wanting to groom, or clip, him- which is true! He is so woolly, & his wool had got very tangled, since he wouldn't allow brushing either. He does let me trim his facial wool, so I told the girl, if she had to muzzle him, & couldnt clip his face, that won't matter.

So after dropping the little monster darling off, we went off to a Mall, to fill in a little of the day.

We wandered aimlessly about. People watching is about the best thing to be said for Malls, unless of course, you are there to shop.

We went into Target & strolled past all the electrical gadgets. Great stainless steel contraptions, that looked as if you might need a license to operate. With myriad levers & buttons. Enormous great things, looking rather like the panel in a small plane. Or a small vehicle you might almost drive down to the shops. Gom looed at the monstrous price, disdainfully flicked some levers, & said, "It's only a toaster!"

We examined a new-age 'dust-buster'. Trying to work out how to get it to look as it did in the picture on the box. Trying to see how it could possibly work. Gom pulling out nozzles, & extending bits, & twisting knobs, & then unable to get them back. Better put it down, & slink away, before we break the darn thing!

A youngish man trying on caps. The kind that have the adjustable strap on the back, & the bill out the front. His bald patch gleaming out through the hole in the back. I am not sure if he bought it, but he will be nastily burnt if he did! I decided against telling him about it.

I looked at the shoes. All those wonderful pointy toes, the lovely colours. I sighed & felt glad, that once, I had worn shoes like that, & loved them all. I never will again, but once upon a time... I danced all night in shoes just like that!

An elegant looking, slightly older, mother, with 2 lovely looking children. A girl & a younger boy. The boy having a minor tantrum. Mother must have been tired, because she whacked his little bum, quite hard. Of course he shrieked louder. I was a little surprised, because she looked so ...well,... good looking, ..& ..elegant. You dont have to be nasty looking to act nasty, I suppose.

We purchased some lettuce & tomatoes. Salad this evening with our dinner. I really wanted to buy a beautiful large eggplant. Gom wouldn't eat any, so I decided to wait until I have some guests to share. I don't know if the vegies have risen in price in anticipation of the drought or if they are genuinely drought affected, but they sure seem to have doubled in price since last week.

It does seem rather strange & quiet here in the house with no Leo roaring about, playing with his toys or following Gom about. We have watched some TV, & done a little reading. Honey has cuddled up to both of us in turn. We wonder if she is missing her boisterous 'brother'.


The Waifs, How Many Miles.

Monday, September 17

So Tired

I dont't know what is wrong with me today, I seem to just be so tired. We have had windy conditions, which I always find vaguely unsettling. The house seems draughty & even though it is not cold, it give the feeling of chill.

I sat down this afternoon to read, & knew I was losing the battle to stay awake, so I just let myself go, & had about 90 minutes sleep.

I have been surprised & flattered to have been given 2 awards. I don't really 'do' speeches. I say very humble Thank You to Bren of "Pieces From Me" for the badge "You Lift Me Up".

The following is the message that came with the award, from the person who wrote it initially

The thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading his/her blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell and I am grateful every day for each person whom I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement. Although there are MANY people I want to give this award to at this very moment, I am going to choose ten bloggers:Please grab your badge and wear it(with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me, thank you.

I always find these things very difficult, & just cannot limit myself to a number for passing these things along. Obviously, if I read your blog I enjoy it! And I try to leave comments where possible, to let people know I have been to visit, & pass along my admiration.

So while accepting my award with surprise, I will not pass it along. I feel everyone I read, lifts me up in some way. Or, allows me to share their pain, grief, or joy, or talents. Which is a priveledge, to be allowed into other lives, & share their ideas, & Oh! the Fun!


My other Award, or Medallion, was from Rev. Anaglyph, of "Tethered Cow". This was a great fun exercise, & I had so many laughs from all the witty suggestions. I was chuffed to get the chance to play, & was so surprised to see I had won! I am still working on trying to get it properly onto my side bar! When I first tried to do it the way it should work, it wouldnt show up, so I must be doing something wrong... Which is not all that unusual!
Thank you Rev!


******
Further laughs from yesterday, included a lone man sitting at his vendor stall, with tat & trash, & chipped old china'antiques'. He did not look the type of person to have a stall selling such items. Which is judgemental, but not in an unkind way. He was young, had red curly hair, & seemed to be minus all of his teeth. All of which is 'not his fault', as they say. He was quite dismal, because his site was at the door to an Indian Restaurant, & he bemoaned the fact that he had to sit wreathed in the strong smell of curry, all day, & we gathered from his expression, & comments, that he did not care for curry!

Another vendor of "Old Wares" was situated outside in the courtyard, & he fitted the bill, as far as appearances go. He had large bushy eyebrows, laughing brown eyes, behind 'gran'pa' glasses, & wore a large Tweed Cheesecutter hat! His curling grey hair, peeked out over his ears, under the cheesecutter. A potential customer offered him some chips, & he confessed to me, that he was going to have to go & get some for himself. I couldn't see who would mind his stall, while he was absent. I fleetingly thought to offer to mind it, then thought better of it... what if I got robbed! DJ was taking the opportunity to have a quick smoke, so she was not available for 'duty'. He had beautiful cup, saucer, & plate sets, so dainty & pretty. And pricey, though not outside their worth, I would think.

Perhaps the saddest of the day, was the obvious 'Weekend Dad'. He had his smallish young son, & they were perusing the "50 cent sale" shelves, & he was giving a great show of generosity, telling the boy to choose what he wanted. There was slightly forced, 'hearty' laughter from WD, & unsure nervous glances from Son. Who knew, when the chosen 'prizes', might be snatched away, or mocked.

There was a Grandma, who seemed to be WD's mother, & she was attempting to keep things "real." WD was being the 'fun guy' trying on silly hats, posturing with masks, & holding up odd & ends, poking fun. Son was not-quite-sure, about all this 'fun'. Grandma was reassuring.

Somehow DJ & I could see the balance of the afternoon unfolding, once they got home. The WD, who had held it all together, for the outing, would relax, & 'reward' himself with a few 'bevvies'*. The Grandma would referree. At handover time, we could almost see the mother's stiff disapproval, the stilted greetings, the eyes not met, & the son, feeling guilty, wishing his parents were still friends, at least. Feeling it was somehow all his fault.


* 'bevvies', is an Aussie name for beers.


Eric Clapton, Tears In Heaven.

Sunday, September 16

In the Midst of Life...

For some obscure reason, I have been thinking about death. Of course it is with us every day, even though we may not think about it, on a conscious level.

I suspect that my thoughts were jogged by a view of the 'bones' of cactus over at Granny J's "Walking Prescott". I found this very interesting, & it seemed to tie in with my thoughts of death, & how it has affected me, at various times in my life, when loved ones have died.

When my beloved maternal grandmother died, it was a shock. She had a massive stroke, & we travelled, full of fear, to the Hospital in another city, to visit her. She never regained consciousness, but we felt she knew we were there, & waited for us, before dying.

My mother was paralysed with grief, & could not bring herself to attend the funeral, so I stayed with my mother, & didnt go to the funeral either. I have sometimes regretted that, but felt my mother needed me more. It was a terrible loss to us, as we had lived with her for a best part of my life, & of course, it had seemed she was invincible.. I know my mother grieved until she died.

The death of my stepdaughter was just horrendous. It took a long time to learn to live with that grief, & it will still catch me at times, with sudden tears, at the memory of her loss. And her little hand in mine, when I first met her. Her trusting brown eyes, when I told her she didnt have to call me Mum, when my Mil was insisting she did.

The next significant death, or the one with a severe impact on me, was the death of my Father in law. I was not particularly close to my Fil, but it just seemed so sad. He had had a stroke, & my MIL who was in early stage Alzheimers did not tell anyone. Consequently, he was in bed for a week, with no treatment before her brother found out accidentally what must have happened, & he called my SIL. She organised to get Fil into hospital, but didn't tell us any thing about it. Her husband went behind her back, & rang us to tell us he was very bad, just before he died. We never got to see him, & when we attended his funeral, it just seemed so horrible to think, we could have visited him before he went, if only my Sil had not been so spiteful.


Our fist instinct was to make love, as if the act of procreation, could somehow stave off the reality of the death. I have been told this reaction is quite common. A sort of primal instinct to reaffirm life & living.

We had to make hasty plans to fly to NZ for the funeral, & it was a sad journey. I cried all the way home in the airplane. It seemed worse, as they had cartoons on the screen in the plane, & my Fil had loved his cartoons. He loved to watch them with his grandchildren.


I had recently undgone a hysterectomy, so I suppose that, combined with Fil's death caused a sort of breakdown mentally in my health, & I just couldn't stop crying about it all. It was a truly awful time.

We had recently found out our daughter was having her first baby, & it seemed our new little granddaughter filled a serious gaping hole in our lives. Cuddling her, was like reaffirming life, & I am sure her appearance in our family had a great healing effect.

When my father died, I was devastated, not least because I didn't know him well. It was a sad funeral for me, & I wished I had had Gom with me. He had only met my father once, so he didnt really know him, & he felt he was needed here in Oz. I have blogged about meeting my half siblings for the first time at my father's funeral, which was a very bittersweet event. I knew for certain that I could never get to know my father then.

My Mil was the next to go. We had found out finally where she was, & had gone to visit her, luckily. We asked to be informed of any change in her conditon. She had advanced Alzheimers, & didnt really know us. Though, I felt she knew Gom was there, when I saw the tears come out of her eyes. We were let down over her death, & made a hurried dash to the funeral, & returned to Oz almost immediately after. It seems so sad to me, who has family ties so tight & close, that Gom & his only sister are estranged. A strange woman, who, in many ways has had a very sad life.

No one ever wants to think about the death of their mother. That will probably be one of the most devastating death's of all, for any person to cope with.

My Mum had a great sense of reality. She used to tell us in detail, what she did or did not want in the way of a funeral. She was very adamant there was to be no religion mentioned. No matter how hard you try, the buggers will always try to sneak it in!

Mum would have us in fits of laughter, in the end, about what she did, & did not, want in funereal farewells. Though it was terrifying to live through, I think that fact that we had had many discussions, & much laughter well before she died, was a help, in dealing with the actual funeral.


This post has turned out rather sad, which was not my intention at the beginning.

I have had a great outing with Gom & my Daughter J. We went to a seaside Market, & I cursed myself roundly for not taking my camera. Next time I will, as the building is lovely, & quite unique. It has been restored & is a fascinating place to see, even if we didnt buy any of the wares on offer.

We did have a lot of fun people watching, & were several times forced to choke back laughter.

It was strictly No Dogs Allowed, & we were greatly amused to see a very crabby looking old couple, with a little black & white dog sitting between on a chair, at a table. When I bent to admire the little dog, the womans face was transformed into wreaths of smiles, & she said "She is waiting for her dinner". And the old man beamed with pride upon 'his daughter'.

I will add it is an outdoor venue, so the dog was technically not inside. There were quite a few little dogs, clutched lovingly in arms, & they were all very well behaved.

There was a wonderful free puppet show, which had adults as well as children, enthralled. The characters were different & unique, & were very well made, & the variety of voices the puppeteer managed was quite incredible. We wished SG had come with us, but he had decided to stay home.

As we came round on our second lap past the puppet theater, he signed off, & said he would return in half an hour. DJ & I hung about wanting to catch a glimpse of the 'magic man'. After intently watching the back of his little tent, bulge, & sag, & bulge & sag again, we wondered what he could be doing in there. DJ finally concluded he was getting dressed! So off we went conjuring up images, & reasons why that should be so, & we never did get to see him!

On the way home, there was a sign for a Scout Garage Sale, so we called into that. They were on the last bits & pieces, but everything was half price, & you could fill a bag with books, for a dollar. DJ got some lovely books for SG, all in really good condition, & she gave them $2 for them. I got a box of puzzles, & games with some stuffed animals for $3, so SG scored the puzzles & games, & Leo will no doubt make good use of the stuffed toys.

It has really been a perfect Spring day here, light breeze, & 27 degrees of beautiful sunshine.




Hope you have all had a good weekend.
I have probably bored you witless with this longwinded affair, but since I didn't get on here yesterday, you might forgive me. I write it for me, in case I develop Alzheimers!

Janis Ian, Aftertones

Friday, September 14

Short Storm.

We had a sudden sharp storm late this afternoon. I wanted to get pics of the ominous build-up of great black clouds. After reaching 28 degrees, around 3pm, the temperatures suddenly dropped, as the clouds continued to roll over from the West. This is the aftermath pic, facing West. There is dire need of rain in the west, or the crops wont grow, & we are told to brace for a lousy Spring crop & very expensive vegetables. I have a feeling none of the heavy rain landed in the west, & it was not here for long either.

Though it was nice & heavy, & cooling, it quickly moved out to sea, with thunder & lightning. And Leo, the woos crept onto my knee, then behind the sofa. He hates the thunder.

At the time of the clouds building, the Carpet man came to fix a couple of minor glitches, & so I missed my photo opportunity. Dogs had to be shut out, so Gom stayed out with them.

Once the rain & clouds had passed, I watched as the skies cleared, & the ghastly Koel bird began terrorising Mr & Mrs Black & White! I tried my best to get photos of it taking place, & these are the best I could do.

My camera doesnt have digital zoom, so I have to use the somewhat inadequate optical zoom. I know they are not very clear, but you can see how large the bird is, & see by it's positioning, it is a menace to the other birds.

It is a shame they are such long shots, becase I could also see Mr or Mrs Black & White trying to defend itself.

I wonder if there will be any Black & White little ones hatched out this season?

After the downpour, the air smelt so fresh & clear, but because there had been such heat during the day, there is now a steamy humidity... a forewarning of Summer.
****
Finally the question of hair began to play large on my mind. Very untidy, & not grown enough for me to really want to risk another cut.
Some good news, in fact. I went to Salon, where I have once before been, & the owner is an Italian Gentleman. Gianni didn't actually cut my hair, but his lovely bubbly little assistant did, & she made a very good job. Trained by Gianni. I am sure he would never let a client walk out his door, with a bad haircut. It is only a little shorter than I had hoped, but as she explained it is nicely shaped to grow some more.
We watched a sad tableau unfold out in the streets. A clearly disturbed man, who was accompanied by a small extremely worried looking little dog, was being herded, literally, along the footpath, by a burly man dressed in a costume labelled Security. He was accompanied by a huge bob tailed Rottweiler.
The Disturbed Man, with red rimmed eyes that looked as if he might have been crying, was shouting. "Don't call me 'Rubbish'! Don't make me feel any worse than I already do! If you want to really F**K me up, keep hounding me!!"
"Back off! Just f**king leave me alone!"
Security snarled "Just keep walking. I don't want to talk to you!"
I felt so sorry for DM, he looked so haunted, & his little dog appeared frightened too, his little legs going so fast to try to keep up. DM reminded me of a shipwreck somehow. So desolate, & lonely.
I really would have loved to give him a hug. But I probably would have been slapped for my trouble. I am almost certain he was not a druggie. What ever his problem was or is, he seemed to me to be in pain.
As we rounded the corner, we saw 2 other Security men running after DM. Then the one with the Rotti broke into a run too. I think they hunted him to a standstill further up the street, where there were a lot less people.
I hope he gets some help. I hope he gets some ease for his 'grief'.
Travis, Sing


Thursday, September 13

Smoke Signals

We descended upon the Southern City
With it's forboding, -or promising ?
Steeple Spire.
Unsure,
Where would we fit?
We have no Belief. We have no 'University'?

But we run, in the woodsmoked evening air.
full of joy,
& perhaps, sly deception.
wearing our thick,
black tights.
Passing as Students.

Calling into a Pub,
The bar, warm, inviting,
Filled with Students.

Who spy our warm, fresh faces,
gravitate to drink in our innocence.
Ask questions.
We answer, with lies,
carefree.
Knowing we are unknown.
Do not have to care,
can tease, lie, laugh.

Run away, unknown, annonymous.
Knowing we may be searched for,
on Campus.
But we cannot be found,
By subject, name.
Lost in the misty,
woodsmokey, eveing air,
As we run off, laughing.

Later catch sight of vaguely familiar faces,
who look,
with puzzled, questioning glances.
we laugh, together in our secret sisterhood.

Our Secrets are safe.
We stick together.
Laugh. Laugh.

For BFJ.
I never knew a truer friend.


Ben E King, Stand By Me.

Wednesday, September 12

Pieces

This is another pic of the sky last evening. This is my view, when I am sitting in the lounge. The tallest tree in the centre of the pic, is the one where large black birds are building, or have built, their nest. There are some smaller black & white birds who have built their nest in the tree to the left, which is a Norfolk Pine, and it has rather bare top branches, we think as a result of the drought.

It seems that Mr & Mrs Large Black have taken a distinct dislike to Mr & Mrs Black & White, & they dive at them over & over again. As far as I can tell, the black & whites don't venture into or onto the tallest tree.

It seems that every year, there is a large black bird which comes from Papua New Guinea, to spend the spring & summer in our neck of the woods. The noise these particular birds make, can be maddening. It would not matter so much, but they begin their endless irritating call around 4am. They call loudly, & seem to just repeat the same loud infuriating sound over & over. One of our neighbours hates them so much, he swears if he gets the chance he will shoot them with his air rifle. (I am sure he won't really) He even rang the Council to see what or if, they could do anything. They told him, they won't & can't.

I am not sure if Mr & Mrs Large Black are the intruders from overseas, but I don't remember seeing them nesting in that tree last year.

*****
I pinched this off another blog, but I really like it, so I am writing it again.

" Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet, is fighting some kind of battle."

*****

Joni of My Piece of Heaven tagged me for 2 memes.
Here is the first one.
RULES: You have to post these rules before you give the facts. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.
I do have a middle name that I detest! So I wont use that, I will choose a name I like, instead. Lynn. Lynn has the same number of letters as my real middle name, so I am not cheating too much.

L. Life's free treats! They don't all seem like 'treats' at the time. But on reflection quite few events could be called a treat if I look at the results.

Y. Yellow, one of my favourite colours. I love yellow roses best of all roses.

N. New. New lives, always a wonder & a gift.

N. Nature. Native flora, fauna. Natural light.

*****

The second Meme, is 10 questions.
1. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!)


2. Were you to find your self stranded on an island with a CD player...it could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be?
Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra, Opium
Ben Harper, Fight for Your Mind
Chris Isaak, Baja Sessions.
Phoebe Snow, The Best of.
Joni Mitchell, Blue
Janis Ian, Restless Eyes
Los Indios Tabajaras, the Collection
Simon & Garfunkel, 20 Greatest Hits
Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company.
Enya, Only Time, The Collection.

3. If you were a smell what would it be?
Joy, the perfume.

4. What bird would you most like to be?
Owl.

5. If you were a bird who's head would you poo on?
I wont say on this public blog.

6. Are there any foods that your body craves?
Fish

7. What's your favourite time of year?
Autumn

8. What's your favourite time of day?
Early morning.

9. If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose?
A rest.

10. If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.)
My Mum, GOM, My 3 children. (Yes, boring to others, by my favourite people in the world.)

****
And here is a little dirty ditty I wrote, after contemplating Men in Skirts.
If you are easily offended, please avert your eyes!

Kilts.
You have to be Spartan,
To dress in the Tartan.
It will leave your cheeks chilly.
It may chafe off your willy,
But at least it will muffle the fartin.

I am supposed to tag others for the memes, but I wont name anyone. I have the feeling everyone has done them by now, but please feel free to be tagged if you would like to do them.

Now, I am off to search for a CD I couldnt find. Grrrrr! I wonder if 'the others' have borrowed it??

Tuesday, September 11

Hopes

This was the sky on Sunday evening. A hope signal for a fine day, after we had a week of rain.

The promise was made good, with a fine sunny day yesterday, & it looks fine this morning. We had had washing on the line in the rain for the whole weekend, so it was nice to get it all dried yesterday. Mundane & boring stuff!

For some bright Treats of the Quilty kind, go & visit Wanda, at Exuberant Colour! She has the most gloriously colourful quilts you could wish for, & she has just given us a wonderful Tour of the Illinois County Fair. Be sure to visit her lovely quilts in older posts. It will surely brighten your day!

I have been having some computer problems, so wasted spent a great deal of time on here yesterday, fiddling about trying to work out how to save my blog, onto a disc. A very obliging friend came over to help me, & I may have it saved, but along with a lot of other rubbish valuable data. I really should go & have some proper lessons & find out what I am doing. I see Wanda also teaches computer, & she will never know who many times I have wished I lived close to her!

Writing about Mr & Mrs J, in my last 2 posts, reminded me of how much a bunch of our mutual friends used to love my Chocolate Souffle Roll, which I have posted the recipe for last year, & this should be a link to that post.

My Beloved Brother came down to stay with us, in Christchurch, when the Commonwealth Games were on, as we lived within walking distance to the stadium, & BB had bought himself tickets to events that he wanted to see.

He used to set off early & had a great time viewing all the events he was interested in. I didn't bother to go, apart from one afternoon, to watch the runners in some elimination heats. I went with our kids, & a neighbour's younger sister. Even though I am not interested in sport, it was quite a nice day out really, & the atmosphere in the stadium was quite infectious.

As it happened we had a baby staying with us for some of the time, during BB's stay. The 8 month old daughter of a friend, whose mother had died suddenly. My BB loved little Juanita, & she was a gorgeous roly poly little baby, with beautiful brown eyes, & lovely olive skin. BB would amuse her while I prepared tea, in the evenings. We had Juanita for a fortnight all told, as her parents had to wind down the Mother's house, in the North Island, & sort out a future for the orphaned young sisters. (They adopted them, & then their family grew from 4 daughters to 6!) Lovely generous people.

Back to the cake, which I would occasionally make & take round to friends for afternoon tea. I made one for my Brother, who has a sweet tooth. I also used to make a Chocolate Fudge Pudding, which I also made for my brother. He knew that another friend of ours loved this particular pudding, & he rang him up to tell him we were having it for tea! Mike burst out laughing, & called BB some other names.

It was Mike that introduced the cake into our circle of friends. He had taught his new wife Sue, to make it on their honeymoon! He didn't make the Chocolate Fudge Pudding though, & loved to have it at our house.

On our last visit to Christchurch we called in to visit with Mike & Sue, & GOM had parked our rental car in the driveway at their house. It had been over 20 years since we had seen them, & I guess we had changed. Mike was not at home when we arrived, & we were sitting talking to Sue when he arrived home. GOM went out to see Mike, who was gruff & cold, & asked why the car was parked in the driveway. Mike had not recognised GOM. So GOM played along, pretended he was a friend of Sue's, told Mike Sue had told him he could park there. He told Mike his name was Bill, & he, Mike, must have heard of him, as he was a very good friend of Sue's, wink wink. Mike came huffily into the room, then burst out laughing as he recognised me.

On that visit to Christchurch we had another encounter with a man who used to be our Night Manager, & he failed to recongnise either of us! It cut both ways, with GOM failing to recognise Grant. I took one look at the little boy holding his hand & could see Grant's wife. The little boy turned out to be their Grandson!



Travis, Driftwood.

Sunday, September 9

Men In Skirts.

Sadly, there are no photos for this post.
On the other hand, it was not a pretty sight.
Somehow, men's hairy legs, do not look attractive in a skirt. Nor do they, under those just-below-the-knee pants, which seem to be the new style.

The eight to twelve inch stretch of hairs between the hem of the pants, & the top of the socks, on white & spindly male legs, are quite repulsive to the eye!

But I digress. Back to the skirts.

As I previously wrote, the Welcome Party for Mrs J's sister & new Bil, was held in Mr & Mrs J's split level home. While it was a nice home, it was in perpetual renovation. Mr J was a builder, & at any given time, he would suddenly have an idea for improvement. So often, whole walls may be moved, or sudden arches would appear, where doors previously closed.

Now Mr J needed to work 2 jobs to keep buying material for his constant renovations. Mrs J also worked another job, besides being mother to her 2 sons, adopted daughter, & the dog & cat.

Mr J's second job, was as a barman, of no mean flair. He worked for GOM who was still HYPH, (happy young publican husband). Mr J was responsible for inventing some wild & wonderful drinks & he was quite the showman, serving them with flourishes, & witty remarks delivered in his wonderful Scottish brogue.

Since the Hotel was a busy Inner City Tavern, the clientele were the equivalent to "Yuppies." A lot of young lawyers, dentists, accountants, business men from all sorts of interesting retail outlets, or the 'Sales Reps' for large companies. The Young & Beautiful People of the inner City. Plus a good smattering of Doctors & Nurses from the nearby Hospital.

Since there were so many business 'contacts' among the patrons, there was always a chance to purchase wholesale jewellry, clothing, shoes, furniture, almost anything you could think of. There would be someone who could supply your every need or requirement, at suitable discount rates.

Often, when HYPH & I were invited out to parties or events, HYPH would be working, so he would arrive after the Hotel was closed at 10.pm. The night of the party to Welcome Mr & Mrs J's relatives, happened to be a night when HYPH was working along with another invited guest.

It just so happened that one of the Staff was a clothing Rep. He had brought in some sample items of clothing, to see if anyone was interested in buying some. So of course smarty pants pantless clowns decided it would be much more fun to arrive modelling the clothing, rather than just having them hang limply off an arm or hanger.

For some reason I now cannot remember, another guest & I had been discussing the unfair fact that men often seemed to end up with more shapely legs than women. So you may imagine my horror, when I looked up to see HYPH & M arrive showing plenty of leg under very short skirts.

Of course Mrs J was not amused, & even Mr J had the clenched-teeth grin, as he introduced his idiot friends, to his new brother in law, & sister in law.

Life was certainly never dull living with HYPH, who is now GOM. He is still apt to surprise, so life is still not dull.


****
I have been tagged for two memes. I will have to think about those Joni. I have a middle name I won't own, so might choose something I do like.

****
If you would like to see some lovely New Zealand Quilts, have a look at Ali Honey's blog, "A Quilting Orchardist". She has very generously shown us some wonderful displays.

It is raining here, sneaky, shivery, sharp & spiteful little showers that chill the air & mock the Spring!

Travis, Why Does It Always Rain On Me.

Friday, September 7

Old Friends & Other Memories.

I suppose, because we have moved to another country to live, we have lost touch with a lot of old friends.

We can still return to Cities where we have lived, & take up with friends from days past, who still remain friends, in the true sense of the word. They will relate to our sense of humour, our sense of justice, & on the whole, we will retain the ties that forged the friendships in the first place. Some of them have come to stay with us, & it has been so great & comfortable to have them.

Fortunes will have risen & fallen, but the basic friendships still remain.

Of course, inevitably, there have been friends who seem to have totally gone from our lives.

But the memories still remain. Vivid & filled with joy, laughter, & a little sadness at the passing of the relationship.

We had a very fun-filled friendship with a couple who were Scottish, by birth. They were from Glasgow originally, & had decided to emigrate, & begin a new life together in a new country. They said they landed at Sydney, & detested it. So they moved on, to the South Island of New Zealand, & there they settled. The wife, J was a middle child, in a family with 3 daughters. She said she always felt she missed out. The eldest sister got all the new things, such as clothes, shoes, & the love & admiration of the parents.

J said she never had a new bra in her life, until, at 18, she bought herself a new one, that actually fit, with her own money, from her pay. She said her younger sister was treated to all new clothes etc, because J had worn them out, as hand-me-downs.

I am not sure why Mr J, as I will call him, decided he wanted to have a new, fresh life, but I gathered he didnt get along with his father. Mrs J had the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen, with light blond hair. Mr J, had wonderful velevet brown eyes, & black curly hair. They had 2 sons, close in age to our children, & the children all got along well, which always helps in friendships.

Mr & Mrs J also had a couple of pets. Shandy, who was a very hairy, Longhaired Spaniel, & Whisky, who was a long haired ginger cat. Both animals shed copiously & Shandy was given to violent flatulent outbursts, which, while silent, were quite violent, in a malodourous fashion.

And who knows, who sneaked one off, in the prescence of the unsuspecting Shandy, knowing she would be given the blame without hesitation.

We used to play Scrabble with the Scots. We had such fun with them. We went to Wine & Cheese Parties with them. We stayed with them when our first house sold, rather quickly, & our new house was not yet vacant. We slept down in their Games room. There was no door on the Games room. Their house was split level, & the stairs passed by the door to the Games Room. They could view the 'sleeping beauty' of their guests, as they came & went at early hours.

The door had been removed to use as a huge table for a very large welcoming party for the "Younger Sister" who had married a rather highly paid Airline Pilot. The Party was a huge success, & the Newly Weds were suitably impressed at tanned skin in October. New Zealand could occasionally be kind to sunbakers, very early in the Spring season. And, we all lived close to the sea, so visits to the beach could be daily.

The only slight marring of the Welcome Party, for me, was, after boasting about how attractive the Gom's (who was Happy Young Publican Husband, HYPH) legs & slim ankles were, compared to his sister's rather thick, solid, pins, he appeared wearing a SKIRT!! Along with another, male. friend, in a skirt also! Mrs J, was nervously horrified. After all, she didn't want her sister, & new brother in law to think she was friends with idiots & clowns!

But that is another story, for another post.

While the Sister & Pilot BIL were visiting, we moved out, & into our new house. And as a return favour, for having been housed, I agreed to babysit Mr & Mrs J's children. Who had now grown to the 2 natural born sons, plus an adopted daughter, called Ainsleigh.

Ainsleigh was about 2 when the visit occurred, & she was a beautiful little girl, & the delight of her parents. And, imagine my horror, when her parents, Mr & Mrs J, plus Younger Sister & Airline Pilot Husband, arrived to collect the children. Just in time to hear me saying, rather loudly, & plaintively, "Ainsleigh, if you dont want to eat it, please dont massage it into the kitchen floor!"
(It was a peanut butter sandwich.)

Which I suppose, is quite inoffensive, given some of today's favourite pleas to small children!



k.d.lang. the whole hymns of the 49th parallel.

How brilliant are Candadian Musicians, & Songwriters!