Tuesday, September 30

A Liberation!

It is over!! The torture in the Ovens. OMGTG!! or Oh my gosh thank goodness!!

I am sporting a very nice tan. Not that I care about such things any more. The excess bits are mostly tanned also... apart from the overhung patches. I must say, excess does not look more attractive tanned. It is still excess!!

I once aspired to a nice tan. Now? Pah! Meh! Could-not-care-less!
Slack as ever, I cannot locate the pics of the young & foolish Meggie, out on the beach, 'getting a tan'.

I have concluded the self humiliation, of standing naked, in a what seems to me, to be a primitive method of delivering the 'light treatment' to my body, is offering no relief. It also causes much humiliation, in the fact that I have been required of late, to stand knickerless, astride a contraption of light, to 'improve the itching of the groin'. Let me tell you, there was no relief, & there was anxiety, in that I had to stand in an open space- 'protected' by cotton curtains, with my head covered, & wearing sunglasses, while passing sundry nurses, who came to gawp- gape, & snigger, considerately informing me of their passing presense!

Imagine if you will, standing astride some infernal contraption, from everyone's idea of Hell, with the roaring of the machine, a countdown timer going, & your head covered with 2 layers of 'masking fabric', Dark glasses, & top clad only.
This, to me, seems primitive in the extreme, & I am sure these hideous prehistoric machines are the 'rejects' from much more sophisticated clinics, which now provide treatment to the WHOLE body, ie, the bits which hang, & obscure, etc which does not entail standing astride some primitive light delivery arrangement. Or standing, with your hands upon your head, counting down the seconds because the Nurse 'forgot' to set the timer, for your underarm lights!!

More Joy is to come. You can sit, or stand for your consultation with the Professor!

There is a scungy little room, with a mirror, many pamphlets, notices on the wall, & 'sickly looking, dirty', but recently cleaned carpet, on the floor. You are perusing the literature provided, to advertise the Moisturisers, in the slots.

Suddenly, you are made aware Proff is standing, squished in the corner... huddled almost! You turn, & are confronted by his inversley magnified glasses. They make his eyes look much smaller than his face! Very disconcerting, since I like to look people in the eye, when in consultation.

Later, he writes a request for blood tests.- again. He enquires if I am a blood donor? I am not. My veins dont like being invaded, nor asked to give!! They are very shy, & a GP once told me not to bother. I have a relatively rare blood group, & it is not readily 'donatory' !! Apparently donating, can redress the balance for iron surplus! Who Knew!!

He is not amused when I mention perhaps leeches might be the answer... It seems I have high blood Iron. How 'ironical', ha ha , as my iron was dangerously low, when in the childbearing years. FFS, I don't even eat red meat! At all! WT??

I am to take the prescribed drugs, & hopefully they will control the itches....
I hope they work, but will not hold my breath. Plus, I may have trouble staying awake to pass judgement..............zzzzzzz.

*********************************


In the midst of the whirl & swirl that is everyday living, I would urge people who love nature, & natural beauty, along with fabulous writing, to go visit A Garden In The Mountains.
It is a real treat to visit, & comments are disabled, allowing for complete relaxation, & just the joy of the visit.

We are having SG for the morning again, so must be off to ready myself for his visit. His mother said he was so excited to be coming again, so that is nice.


U2, The Sweetest Thing.

Monday, September 29

What was I thinking??....

We had SG* here today. It is currently school holidays here, so working parents dictate that sometimes the Grand Parents come in handy.


Really, we are only too happy to have him. He is in his first year of schooling. He is learning to read, & loves to practise his skills.


He was amazed at the plethora of dried leaves lying in our backyard.

"Nanna!" he said, "It is supposed to be Spring! Why are all these leaves lying here? It is not Autumn!!"


He grabbed the yard broom, & began briskly sweeping all the offending Lily Pily leaves. We have had very high winds over the last few days, & for some unknown to us, reason, the leaves have been spent, all over our back pavers.



This pic is not our actual backyard, but looks very similar! Silly me, forgot to take pics.


According to SG, this is what Spring should look like!! I tend to agree! Our Lemon tree would agree! Once more I am remiss in the photo department.

We have been treated to several SG originals today.

As Gom & I discussed something, (in friendly fashion) he declared, in a really loud voice. "You two are 'In Love', so I am not involved. I am a 5 year old kid!"


I can tell you, that made us sit up & chuckle. Where does he get these things from??


When his mother came home to collect him, she told me the story of his 'undies'.

She said when he came home from school, he had his undies pulled high, & visible above his pants. She asked about the visibility. He told her the girls had laughed at his undies, because they had dinosaurs on them. He had told the girls they "Shouldn't be looking". I think he then became determined not to hide them.


A few days later, he had 5 pairs of his undies lined up on his bed, before school. On questioning, he told his mother what pair he wanted to wear. He also told her he couldn't wear 'those undies'. "The 'ladies' laughed at those!" he said.


Today, while SG was here, I decided to clip the dogs. We have been having some very hot- & sweaty- weather. The dogs had been panting, & lying about in seeming distress. So, as the morning began hot & still, today was the day...


SG was greatly interested in this process. He decided to collect wool, as it fell to the scissors. Then, he became intrigued with the cheese bribes treats, that Leo was offered for his 'cooperation'.


SG watched, he gathered bunches of wool.

He then finally declared -

"Next time I am coming back as a girl!"

We were somewhat gobsmacked at this remark!!


"Yes," he said "Then, I am coming back as a dog!"

"I will keep going" he said.

I will be a boy, then I will be a girl, & then..... I will be a dog!"


"Ha Ha" he said, "I can keep on going!! Around and around! Boy, Girl, Dog!!"
Maybe he was attracted by the Cheese treats offered to the dogs, for having to endure the clipping.
I don't think that was really the attraction, as SG is always offered Cheese, should he desire it.


We have no idea where he gets his ideas. Perhaps it is Television. I believe he watches quite a lot on his father's 'watch'.


He has been thrilled with the growth of some bulbs I finally planted. They have grown very quickly, & once more, I have not photographed the progres!! Slack Nanna!!


He finds a joy in the fact they are growing, he regards them as 'his' plants. I hope they flower for him. They are my favourite, Grape Hyacinth.
He is intrigued by my herbs, but declines to taste them. Perhaps in time...I hope!
*SG is Small Grandson.
Cat Stevens, On The Road To Find Out.




Sunday, September 28

Picnics

While reading over at Jelly's about their Disco Dance party, I was reminded of when our children were young.

We loved having picnics. We would pack our picnic fare, & off we would go, to some riverbank, or park or even to visit friends who lived on a farm.

I pinched this pic from the Internet. It seemed to represent everything romantic & enticing about picnics. The checkered cloth the basket, the goodies in plenteous array. The thermos flasks of hot coffee, cold lemonade.



It doesn't depict the oftentimes reality of picnics in the open. The sandflies at the River bank, the glaring sun, the sprinting off to catch a child about to leap into the river! The ants trying to share the food, the sand if we were at the beach. The proximity of dog droppings or the waft of pigs, at the farm, if the wind changed direction.

The rashes from too much sun, sandfly bites, or grass allergy. Ah the 'free treats'.

Of course there really were 'free treats'. The children invariably had fun, & the friendly games of tennis ball cricket would amuse.

Until my head, aka as the Ball Magnet, collected a ball in the face!



Because we lived in an inner city hotel, we didn't have lawns or a garden, so a picnic was a great chance to get out in the fresh air.

We would hire a big van, & a whole bunch of us would go down to Ashburton to the races, on Boxing Day. A country Race meeting, trots (Harness?) if I recall. It was usually very hot, & we had a designated driver.

The first year we did the group thing, we took our cars, & I was the driver, for our little group. Needless to say the others were all the worse for wear at the end of the day. Our children loved these days, & as we were the only ones who had children, they were always made a great fuss of, & grew to be very good conversationalists, with adults.

Gom, who was HYPH -Happy Young Publican Husband- in those days, let our daughter mix the drinks for everyone, one year. We found out that she had been adding a 'little of everthing' to the drinks. No wonder there were some very sore heads, & some slumbering passengers on the way home!


On other picnic occasions,we would pack our picnic fare, & off we would go, to some riverbank, or park or even to visit friends who lived on a farm, where we would sit out in the paddock!

I think this particular picnic, was a Barbeque, & it was early Spring, which can be rather cold. Friend D was cooking the meat, & we tried to find a sheltered spot out of the wind.

The quality of these grainy old photos is very poor. They have been in an Album with the sticky pages, & the plastic covers, & I suspect the film was not very good either.



Perhaps our favourite picnics were the ones we had at home. On the lounge room floor.



I would prepare all the the usual suspects in the way of food & drink, & we would spread out a cloth or rug, & sit on the floor, & pretend the grey skies outside did not exist. We could even have the gas heater going, when it was really cold, or even snowing.



We were lucky enough to have a huge lounge, & it was easy to pretend we were not at home. We would play music, & games, & always had a lot of fun.



We liked to play board games, or I Spy- pity I didn't make quilts in those days.



When we lived in that Hotel, I made what we called Filled Rolls for the bars every day. These were long bullet shaped rolls, & I would fill them with salad & various meats. I would have a whole bench full of rolls waiting to be filled, & would go flat out to get them all ready.



I then wrapped them in cling film & HYPH would take them downstairs to the bars, while I would take the children to school. Of course I made the children some for lunch, while I was making the Bar fare.



Occasionally I would buy savouries & little cakes or treats, go & collect the children from school, & we would go to a park, & have a little picnic lunch, before I would take them back to school.

Once one of my daughter's teachers told me her mouth watered every time she saw my daughter's lunch. She was shocked one day when DJ was buying a pie. It turned out DJ had sneaked her pocket money out to buy a pie! Hence Pie buying one day a week ensued, as well as the little picnics for variety.




Thursday, September 25

Odd & Imaginary Conversations.

Why does such a sweet perfume, bring on so many sneezes?
Sweet Jasmine, dripping from the neighbour's garden. Over the trees, in unruly fashion. No gardener, the neighbour, he lets it grow in wild profusion, to the annoyance of another neighbour, who leans over the fence to trim it back!



This member of the Fuchsia family flowers in wild disarray in our garden. No perfume. Just the bright splashes of colour. It was contained in a pot, but it has escaped, & established itself in the soil.

**************
Standing in the kitchen, preparing a chicken loaf. No spring onions, so decide to go for the garlic onion option. Heat a little oil to saute the garlic & onion.
A slight popping noise. I turn to be confronted by a wild fire in a saucepan!
"Holy Moly, who knew that oil would go up like that? "
Grab the dishcloth, cover the flaming saucepan. Flames out. Make foolish mistake of taking cloth off again.
"Whoa! Here we go again!"
Rushing outside, taking cloth & fiery saucepan. Cover again. Crisis over.
Gom running into the kitchen to see what the commotion is about.
"@#$56 #$$^^!!"
The smoke alarm didn't even go off! The house filled with smoke. Meggie's knees knocked a little.
"How lucky I was standing in the kitchen right next to the stove!"
It is not the first time I have had a blazing fire, with no fireplace. It is the first time I have ever had oil catch fire. Another time was in the oven, (no not the human oven) when a pie leaked & the centre burned on the bottom of the oven floor.
"*$%^&!" & other colourful words!
Yet another fire was in a hedge. Sitting about the kitchen drinking coffee with BFJ & Beloved Brother.
Those were the days when we were foolish smokers.
Flicking the butts out the open window.
Sudden sight of burning hedge!
Leaping about laughing & flinging saucepans of water out the kitchen window!
"Who would have thought a cigarette butt would light a hedge?"
Mother, not at all impressed, when she returned home, to find a gaping hole in the hedge.
"How did that happen?"
We lived in New Zealand. It was not prone to tinder like OZ.
*******************

Op Shopping Jaunt.
Op shop has relocated to larger premises. Much more spacious, with 5 rooms, plus a kitchen for the Volunteer Staff, who man the shop.
There is a huge room, out the back where the electricals from the Ark ancient kitchens are kept. Some crockery, cultery, slightly tatty toys, huge furniture items. A few odds & ends like fabric, craft magazines, old recipe books. Tired knitting needles, a few balls of yarn of doubtful origin.
The 'ladies' who sort & get all the best stuff first display the donations, of all types have an area at the back. It is partially screened.
Voices floating over the wall.
"Well she has the nerve to be complaining"
"Is she just! Who does she think she is"
"Who is? Is it the one with the red hair?"
"How old is she?"
"I'll be having a word with her."
"She might be invited to leave."
It seems volunteers are just as b!tchy as paid staff!
Goodness, bickering in a Charity shop representing A Christian Organisation!
There is a very large cheery man, who may be 'challenged', 'organizing' some books. He has an old pram, which he is filling with the books from a large cupboard. He is not gentle with them.
I am tempted to say "Steady on!" but I bite my toungue.
In the book room, each wall is lined with bookcases. The books are rather well displayed too, with categories!
A shame about Mr Braying Ass, standing in the middle of the room, on his cell phone, acting as if the Book Room is his personal phone booth. Bellowing about how he has been in bed with the 'flu for a week.
"This is my first day up Mate!" "I tell you I am still Bloody Crook!"
I had been about to enter, but on hearing Mr Ass, I hastily retreat mentally castigating him for spreading his damn germs about a very confined space.
"Get home you fool" I mutter quietly.
I would have loved to say to him, "So, you have had the worst flu you can recall, & you just thought you would do the charitable thing, & bring it here to share with everyone, then?"
I wander through the clothing room, wondering about shirts for quilts. Perhaps not, they are not very attractive today. Some days they are all cheery & Hawiian. Or Cheerful Checks. But not today. I can still hear Mr Braying Ass roaring away & now, coughing! In that small room. Contaminating all the books! Over the head of a small child, who is quietly trying out all the children's books.
Finally Mr Braying Ass gets off his phone, & goes off out. Mr Largely Challenged charges into the book room with his pram, & begins flinging books about the floor!
Perhaps the book room can wait for another day.
On I move, into the room of 'Better Quality China, & Crystal, & Knick Knackery'.
"Ooh look at this. Myrtle used to have one of these."
"Yes I remember it. It is very ugly. What would you use if for?"
I sneak a look, to see what they are talking about. I see a 60s style segmented platter. I remember them at parties with horrible little saveloy things on sticks with bits of pineapple & gherkin, or cherries.
I remember seeing those things that had been on sticks, regurgitated on the path outside the parties later.
Memories.
I have been looking for a salt & pepper set. We have several odd ones, where either salt or pepper has got broken. I find a nice brand-new-never-been-used set for $2. They are large, & with a bit of luck need only be filled about once every 6 months, as we are not huge salt users.
I move on out, with my quilting magazine, my fabrics, & my salt & pepper set. All mine for $4.
Gom waiting in the car, very derisory about the Salt & Pepper set. Now they have been washed & filled, & we are using them, he remarked at how nice they are. I just smiled, & said things to myself, in my head.
************
I really must make an effort to get onto some sewing!
When my friend V was here, she couldn't get over how much fabric I have collected. I assured her my stash is much smaller than many. She was staggered. She is a new quilter so she will no doubt learn, that too much is never enough!
Now where is that MOJO??
Neil Diamond, Cracklin Rose

Tuesday, September 23

Where did Spring go??

Hee hee! (Or not) I will add more to this further down the post! This is just a 'teaser'??!





**************************

We had several days of 30-something degree temperatures. Hot & humid. That is the nature of our Spring here, in Oz.


Very unreliable. Last night we were promised windstorms, duststorms & all manner of wild & woolly weather.


Did not happen. Probably a good thing. The dust storms here, can be so vast & thick, they are visible in sunsets, coloured red, in New Zealand skies. Firestorms can produce the same results.


All day Sunday, we could see, & smell, smoke from fires. I am unaware of where those fires were, but they have not been a feature on what passes for 'news'. I am thinking, therefore, it was local, & contained, therefore not worth National News. One is tempted to ask WTF Barrack O's wife ~or indeed BO~dancing on some 'cow's' lunchtime TV 'show', has to do with National News, but we were 'treated' to the sight, nevertheless
I truly truly hope, I never have to be one of the captive audience, in some 'Home for the Aged' who is strapped into a chair, in the 'Day room' & forced to view the fecking huge TV tuned to some bloody lunatic's idea of daytime television entertainment. I have witnessed tormented elderly, who can no longer speak, who are writhing in agony, in such situations. My offspring have promised me Mercy Killing.


Today has seen rain, dull grey skies & coooooler temperatures. Gom is huddled under his quilt, in his chair. After our venture out for my 'oven' - more on that later- visit, we hunkered down with dogs draped around us, & watched some DVD entertainment. A whimsical Irish movie called "Breakfast on Pluto". I really enjoyed it- well for once, we both did.




Here are some photos of the 'woolly children', taken this evening. Here is Honey, on the sofa, determined to keep warm. How she hates the flash!




Here is Leo, in the chair, looking a little peeved. He hates the flash too!

Before he jumped onto the chair. "Nooo Please dont take my photo!!"


***********************

This is the story attached to the lead pic.

A disturbing new fashion trend has been sent to me, & I am sincerely hoping it will not become the 'fashion'!! Or even a trend, in reality!

Apparently someone, somewhere, thinks it might be fun.

I hope "he" gets Cholera or something worse. I hope "he" has to wear photo image jeans with a small withered Chilli pepper for the front view!

Now it is so late, I can't give the "Oven Story", so that is for the next post.. Insert evil laugh at this point...


Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil.

Sunday, September 21

Storm in a Teacup.

Before I begin my rant, here is a brag. My beautiful Grand nephew. He looks good enough to eat! He is 6 moths old now. No wonder he is the Star of the Family!





I am not a tea drinker, apart from herbal teas.

My mother was one of the last of the great tea drinkers. Now I suspect my Beloved Brother IS the last of the great tea drinkers.



What better way to procrastinate for hours, sitting sucking up gallons of tea. Vile brown stuff that it is. Then you can spend the next few hours looking for places to empty the 'used' product, so to speak. He loves his tea so much it can interfere with travel plans. Given half a chance he will remain another hour or so drinking "Just one more pot of tea". Being the bossy elder sister, I have been known to head him off at the pass, as it were, rushing to unplug the jug of water, or declaring loudly that "NO" he is not going to make just one more pot of tea.



I used not to mind tea. Weak & black. A dainty thin slice of lemon was nice, the way my Grandmother liked it. It had to be freshly brewed too. When I became pregnant with my daughter, I began to vomit at very strange times, & finally worked out I had become sickened by tea. Never did take to it after that.



My mother's generation seemed to live on Tea. They would make pots of tea, & sit around talking & drinking for hours. I didn't like the taste until I got to be a late teenager, but I really preferred coffee. You could be frowned upon for asking for coffee, since at one stage you almost needed a bank loan to buy coffee!



My mother was thin most of her life, & I swear the strong black tea she drank, probably took away her appetite. Towards the end of her life, she could not take it too strong, & she had cut down on her intake. She would enjoy a weak coffee, with milk, though once all her drinks were strong & taken black.



I do think she is right about one of her preferrances. My mother always said the cup or mug made a difference to the taste of the tea, & I do now believe she was right. I have recently got myself a new cup, it is nice bone china, & I seem to prefer to take my herbal tea, as well as my black coffee out of that cup. I like the whiteness of it's inside. I like the delicate little violets on the outside.



I don't have a tantrum if it is not available, & I still like the black Weiss mug my daughter gave me many moons ago, for coffee. I have several decorative teapots, but they never get used for actual tea. If friends want tea we have it, & Gom drinks it every now & then. I try to drink lots of water now, instead of hot drinks.



**********************



Gom has stomped off downstairs in a huff. He is doing his displacement activity of retiring in wounded silence to play Cher at the top volume. I used to not mind a little Cher, but have gone right off her since Gom adopted her as his security blanket. haha.



Yesterday we bathed Leo, & he was not impressed. He got away as soon as he was able, & before clipping could take place. He needs to be clipped again, as it is getting quite hot some days. He is ok with his face being clipped but his feet are out of bounds, & he hates his tail feathers being brushed or clipped. Honey is ok, she takes her bath with a resigned air, & will stand a fair amount of clipping.



Our daughter came up with SG last evening, & it was nice to spend time with them, though SG flies close to the wind with his taunts to his Grandfather. They don't always see eye to eye, & there is not that helpless devotion that was there for our granddaughter, sadly.



***************



Though there has been little quilty content here lately- lost the Mojo again- I do still think about it all the time. I do believe that once you become a quilter, it completely changes the way you view the world.



Patterns for quilts leap out to the eye. Colour combinations strike you as being quiltable- or not.



I bless the internet for allowing me access to so many varied quilting styles & ideas. I just need to employ some of them!!



***********

In other news, I sourly view the politics of the world, & feel sickened, at the way the sycophants of certain would-be Political Bigs, flock about those people like blowflies about fresh cow dung. I cant apologise for that, because that is how I see them. Support is one thing, but dotage is quite another.








Cat Stevens, Wild World.

PS. I had to edit this post. I had labelled it gogreous baby! Just could not leave that!

Wednesday, September 17

"OLD"

What is old??
Styles? Music? Perfumes? Recipes? Bodies? Beliefs?

Who can define "OLD"?

I am always stunned by the power of a perfume. The ability of the olfactory sense, to transport me to another time, place, or feeling, is amazing.

I consider myself so lucky, to still have my sense of smell. I know many people begin to lose that sense once they are around 60. I am one of the lucky ones, who still has a sharp sense of smell at 65.

I can be transported to other times by perfumes.

Today, for no apparent reason, I was gifted with strong scents of a perfume I loved when I was younger.

This particular perfume was "L'air du Temps", by Nina Ricci. Oh how I loved this fragrance when I was a young wife. It spelled romance & exciting nights, of rapturous love, with the man I married. Many happy times are resurrected in memory when I smell this perfume!

Where did the strong odours come from? Was it some nostalgic memory, generating the scent, of days, (& nights) long gone? It seemed to arrive, unbidden, out of the ether.

I was reminded of songs of love & sentiment, that I have loved over the years.





There is a deep core part of me, that will always remain, in the magic of my past. I will always be, "Forever Young"


Tuesday, September 16

Gratitudes, I wish I could make....

There are so many "Thank You"s I wish I could make.

So many joys, my life has been given.



One of my favourites, is the humble little Grape Hyacinth, Muscari.

This is a muted, blurred vision of my favourite little flower.







This is a slightly muted, munted, version of the lemons on our pitiful tree. I love them, in spite of their imperfections..

I love their lemony colour, & their bold happiness, intending to be stupendous! I won't say, if they are, or not. I will just enjoy them, & thank them for being.




I wish I could thank all of the composers, the performers, the songwriters, the singers, who have given sound to the wonderful Sound Track of My Life!



They can never know the pleasure, the joy, they give to me, on a daily basis. The light, the genius, they give. The purpose, when all seems so dark.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3HoOR8OhuRMhttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3HoOR8OhuRM

I thank all of the composers, the performers, the musicians, for the sheer magic they can give to a world sadly lacking in enough Joy, & sheer Pleasure.

The contribution to the soundtrack of my life is beyond measure.

Credence Clearwater Revival, Down on The Corner.

Monday, September 15

Absurd Observations.

Somehow pictures gladden the heart, when looking at a blog.
These are some taken in the garden late this afternoon.

The Promises of the lemon tree. I think it needs weeing on, as it never seems to produce more than 2 lemons, even though it has all these blossoms. Gom is open to all sorts of ideas, but draws the line, at being one to wee on the lemon tree!



This is a struggle. The Allamanda struggles bravely through the vigorous orange vine, & they compete for space along the fence.

The strong looking ribbed stem, in this 2nd pic, is the orange vine, pushing the Allamanda aside.

This looks like the portent of summer fires to come. I hope not. We have had plenty of rain, but the downside of that is the fact that growth is very lush & full, & when Summer's heat arrives.... bad combination.

Anyone for salad? I keep threatening the wild Nastursiums I am going to use them for salads, but I never do, & I do enjoy their bright flowers, with endless variations.





This is my loved Port Wine Magnolia. When Gom thoughtlessly murdered accidentally killed the Passion Fruit Vine, we bought this to take it's place. It is very healthy looking, & each year is covered in these lovely little blooms, which perfume the air gently.


WARNING!!

This next section might cause offense to some USA Citizens.

No offense is intended. This was merely my impression, as I watched bemused, & somewhat popeyed, at a part of a programme of an interview with John McC.

There seemed to be 5 women conducting the interview. Whoopi Goldberg & Barbara Walters OMG it is so long since I had seen this woman! What hell happened to her? was she in a train wreck? Or has she been shrink wrapped, & all facial expression sucked out of her body?.

There were 3 other women on the other side of J McC. I didn't recognise any of those women. One did have hair that might have needed a vehicle of it's own to transport it- you know the kind- BIG hair! ( have just remembered, the programme was called The View.)

I didn't take much notice of the questions or answers, but then heard one of them say that next up Mrs McC was coming onto the show. I had never seen a picture of Mrs McC so I waited to see her appear.

This apparition like an aging Barbie appeared, dressed in Fire Engine RED! A whole pants suit, with red undervest! I was expecting klaxxons, & sirens.I was rivetted. Not so much by the startling choice of colour for the Missus, but by the body language of J McC. He sat ramrod upright. He desperately clutched his hands together... almost white knuckledly! They seemed to sit just a tad further apart than I would have expected as the discussed their 'happy 28 year long' marriage.

Nervous is the way I would describe Mrs McC's answers. J McC sat, carefully angling the 'better side' of his face for the camera. He had to pounce join in once, & 'add' -forcefully- to an answer of Mrs McC.

The thing that got me the most, was the terribly, anxious, cheek-clenching stance (if you can use that word to describe a seated position) of J McC! He looked as if he was momentarily expecting a large cracker to explode in his anus. Please pardon that description, but that is honestly how it appeared, here in OZ, the land Down Under, to one viewer.

I will add that I did listen to those questions & answers, & will keep my views to myself over both. Suffice to say, I would never vote for that man in a million years.

I swear 'Barbie' is afraid of him??

Lonnie Donnegan, Does Your Chewinggum Lose It's Flavour, On The Bedpost Overnight!

Sunday, September 14

Long time gone..

Firstly, I thank you all for your kind wishes, & thoughts during the dog days.

I am feeling a lot better. We had 2 lovely warm days, & yesterday was downright summery, climbing to 31 degrees, & making us begin to think about summer clothes. OMG what the hell am I going to wear? I can't have really gained that much weight... can I?

I had a letter from my Dear Niece, with news of family. Also, sadly the passing of their lovely cat, Paddy.


Paddy was very old, & had been with my niece from the beginning of her marriage, & the eventual arrival of her 2 daughters. Paddy cat was really so much a part of the family. She took turns sleeping with the girls as they grew up.

Paddy had 6 toes instead of the usual 5, & she was a very dignified darling. In the end her 'father' had to take her to the vet's to be put to sleep. She had begun to just fall over, & had fallen of the couch. The vet was quite amazed at her age, & she had moved many times with her family. She was born a country cat, but became a city cat, while just a kitten.

My niece said 'Daddy' brought her home in the cage, so the girls could say their goodbyes. The younger daughter asked if she could take Paddy to school for Show & Tell. My niece said she could just imagine the teacher's horror!

She was made a very elegant coffin, & laid to rest in their, hopefully, peranant garden. RIP Paddy.

********************

Recently I was looking for recipe ideas among my old battered books, one, given to me when I first got married, by my mother. It is a Collins recipe book, they were common in New Zealand. First aid tips. Pages of alternative measurements. Sections for various dishes. Meats, Savouries, Desserts etc.

The book is somewhat splattered in parts. New Husband learning to cook Afghans. Children learning to cook various dishes. Hurried Meggie splatters, making hasty teas.

There are wonderful memories of friends & family. Usually when I wrote a recipe in the book, I also named the person who gave me the recipe. Hence I have 'Sue's Sponge' 'Bob's Chicken Casserole', that sort of thing. Some recipes I have no memory of ever making! How extraordinary. Plus we found our tastes changed over the years & things I once made often, are little thought of now.

One old favourite is Golden Sausages. Gom still loves them, but I am not keen anymore- they give me indigestion. Our Daughter still loves them, though. I was given the recipe by a neighbour, when our children were small. We still keep in touch, & she still makes the recipe now & then too, for her grandchildren.

When I was a newlywed, there were plenty of cooking shows on TV. It seemed to be a 'Thing' of the era, in the 60s & 70s.

There was Alison Holst, who was a sensible 'downhome' cooking Mum, & her recipes were usually family friendly. She had an easy manner, & was very popular. I still have quite a few recipe leaflets, featuring her recipes.

Then there was Graham Kerr, who was more flamboyant, & he tried much more daring recipes. New Zealand was beginning to open up to more varied cuisine. Graham was such a success, and his lighthearted humour was very popular. He did move on from NZ, & became a star with his series "The Galloping Gourmet".

I am not sure where, in the timeline of it all, there came upon the TV scene anther cook, Des Britten. He was an amusing flamboyant cook, who owned a restaurant. He really shook up the nations taste buds, & organised a nationwide cooking competition, with people entering various sections, from all over the country. I have a copy of his cookbook to this day, & though I rarely use it, I still enjoy looking through the recipes & reading his tips, he usually added at the end of each recipe.

I do believe Des 'got God' & became a minister of some religion.

I sometimes watch another exKiwi, cooking show host, Iain Hewitson, who is on TV here in Australia. He sometimes mentions Des, & being a contemporary of his. I don't remember Iain cooking on TV in NZ.

Another really flamboyant & highly humourous couple, was Hudson & Halls. I was surprised to find a documentary about the couple has been made for NZTV.

They were a male gay couple who were very entertaining. I was surprised to learn they are both now dead.

I know that not everybody enjoys watching cooking shows, nor even likes to cook. It is something I really enjoy, when I am in the mood, but now I also love to dine out when I get the chance. So nice not to have to do the dishes or think of the plan!

Bryan Adams, Summer of '69.

Thursday, September 11

Down Under



I am too down to post.

Too sad to do funny- either funny.

I am not sure why.

It could be the Black Dog, paying me back, for keeping him artificially, at bay .

Or it could be the tears that I have not cried, over the death of my beloved Aunt.

Whatever it is, it has to run it's course.

I see the glimmer of light, struggling behind that cloud.

I have to believe it will shine again on me.

For now, it is too dark.

To believe, or see.

Bread, He's A Good Lad.

Monday, September 8

Mystery & Intrigue

Here is another Lily. This one is not torn, & has a brown edge. The stems are very short, so they are quite hard to photograph.
Really, I am not sure if I like them or not, but the leaves are quite attractive.




We had SG here for the morning yesterday. His parents were both working, & so was his adult sister, so he came spend time with us. He was good really, got bored a couple of times. Nana's lecture about not being bored fell on deaf young ears! haha.

I had heard a peeping all morning, & went out side to discover this very young little baby Black Shrike, sitting in the Grevillea. His mother would come back every so often & stuff food down his little throat.

The dogs barking didn't seem to phase him & he only spooked when SG came roaring up the path.

I was sorry to see he had gone, & looked carefully about, then saw him sitting in the tree fern. I suspect his wings are underdeveloped, & he -or she- cannot fly very far.

SG came barrelling out when I pegged out the washing, so the little bird took off again. I lost track of it after that, but I could still hear it's little calls to the mother, & her piping replies. I hope it survives.

I am not very interested in politics. Irresponsible I suppose. I used to listen to my mother's heated rantings, & wonder why she bothered. A friend's husband used to stir her up- he loved to hear her sound off!

I vaguely remember my grandparents heated arguments. They each supported a different party. I think even way back then, I decided that it was not worth the agravation.

I have been dismayed over the past few days. The State's Premier has resigned, along with several others, & now there is a new Premier in place, along with a new Deputy- much being made of the fact that the Deputy is a woman! Gasp.

I watched some news item when the outgoing Premier was making his farewell speech or interview to media personnel. I did not particularly like or dislike the man. He looked humiliated, & sad, & as he strode off with his children & wife at his sides, I felt sorry for him.

I also felt angry that people who fall on their swords, or walk away, or are dismissed for whatever reason, seem to feel it necessary to flaunt their children, like some mantle or garb of protection. I cannot feel that it is fair to those children, to be paraded in that fashion.

They may choose to support the parent, but I don't think that choice is an option if you are 5 or 6 or even 8 years old.

Perhaps it is the bandaid for the wounds of leaving public office under a cloud. As if to say, 'well someone still loves me, someone respects me!' I wonder at the poor spouse. Does he/she feel they are being used?

I have often thought about this family factor, when watching political figures around the world. It seems a universal reaction.

I wonder about the children, & the effect it leaves on their lives. Do they suffer later? Do they feel bitter? used? Do they always remember the feeling of humiliation their parent had. Are they embarrassed by the public glare.

The 'Gorilla at the helm' for want of a better title, feeling peeved as I am must have felt that our son has not been kicked enough, recently. His wallet fell out in a taxi & he had to cancel his weekend plans. Along with his cards, of various sorts. Calls to the taxi company held no offers of help. As he said, your whole life goes on hold, if you lose all those cards.

So Gorilla, just know that I would love to be able to Kick Back!

Augie March, Bottle Baby.

Saturday, September 6

Wouldn't it rot your socks!

I feel this weather would rot anyone's socks, - & probably while they are wearing them!
It has blown, & howled & rained all night! Great gusts of wind, trying the windows, & sneaking in cracks. Thrusting against tree trunks, forcing the palms almost double.

This is the dismal view from our lounge window. Grey on grey, with more grey for salsa.


We have watched all our taped & DVD entertainment. I am trying to locate some tempting books to read, but Gom, the meddler Efficient, has taken them all out of the bookcase by the bed. grrrr.

No doubt they are squirrelled away down in the garage. It will take me a week of searching to locate them. *^%$$@!

No bread for toast in the house, meant I had to be creative, with my breakfast choices. I actually dislike toast, it mostly tastes like cardboard. I also detest cereal, due I suspect to the sickening -as in vomit- effect of milk when I was young.

I decided to treat myself to hash browns, bacon & eggs, this morning.

As I cooked the bacon, I was swept back to my childhood, when my Grandmother used to cook us breakfast every morning, & made sure we left for school, with a full nourishing hot meal to begin our day.

I remembered how she used to cook the bacon in the huge cast iron frying pan, which was covered in pale green, cream speckled, enamel. It was a very heavy pan, & the bacon would crisp up nicely. To avoid the spatter factor, my Grandmother would take a sheet of brown paper, & tear a small hole in the center of it, then place it over the top of the pan.

I would watch as the grease spatters gradually turned the paper to 'greased' paper.

She would place the bacon on more brown paper, which was crinkled up, so that the bacon fat drained off, & place the plate in the oven, on the warming plates for our breakfast. Those days were before Paper towels had become a household staple. Groceries still came in brown paper bags, & the butcher wrapped the meat in nice clean sheets of white paper, with a final wrap of brown paper. No plastic to pollute.

The eggs were always cooked in the fat from the bacon, & she would ladle, flick, or spoon, the fat over the yolks, so they turned white, & were cooked, but not hard. We would usually have toast under the eggs, or beside the eggs.

We walked, or rode our bikes to school, so I suppose we burned off the fat! It was always butter for the toast too, as margarine was yet to be introduced to New Zealand.

Some days we had hot baked beans on toast, or tinned spaghetti, or creamed corn. And other days there would be poached eggs, or delicious scrambled eggs.

My tastes must be changing, because I was never one for sauces on foods. My mother loved Worcestershire Sauce, & we always had Tomato sauce in the cupboard, but I was happy not to use either.

I was never very keen on the taste of Worcestershire sauce, & when I became pregnant with my son, I could not stand the smell of it, & it is an aversion I have until this day.

My Mother & Father in law used to make delicious tomato sauce, & I did occasionally eat some on meat. We never did get the recipe from them, & so now it is lost to us forever.

Lately I have taken to having a little tomato sauce on bacon. I am surprised with myself.

When I think of my Grandmother, or my Mother & their cooking I am always reminded of words from a Phoebe Snow song, Sweet Disposition-
"You have got a sweet disposition,
Warm like the oven, in my mother's kitchen."

There must be 'something in the air'. I have just received an email from my Beloved Brother, with memories of the eggs I have been posting about!


Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here.

Thursday, September 4

Mutterings

The weather has turned snakey again. We had 2 teasingly beautiful days, with mild breezes, & warm sun, & no humidity. Perfection. Tricking us into believing in the myth of Spring.

It all turned to custard, however, with slushy sleet showers yesterday, rain during the night. Lazy winds, cutting right through your body. Outdoor activities to be avoided, where possible.

This pic of one of the measly crop of flowers on the vine. Others have these vines dripping solid walls of colour. This one never has produced that dreamed of wall of colour.



This small blossomed Azalea, a happy pink splash, somewhat overshadowed by the red Grevillea in our back garden. It struggles with the lace bug all over it's leaves, but still seems to valiantly produce a full array of flowers, in spite of neglect & crowding.

Some years ago, I took some lilly plants from a compost heap/wild garden in the untamed backyard at a house being rented, by acquaintances. I brought them home, & planted them in our garden. They initially threw up a few leaves, then seemed to vanish- for years! I know Gom was responsible for the destruction of some of them, but finally this year, under threats from me, he restrained himself, they were left alone, long enough for them to develop. Imagine my surprise when I met the shy flower.

A light delicate green with the gentle yellow ?stigma?style?. How much of school biology I have forgotten! This is the second flower the group of plants have produced this year. The other group of plants seem to have vanished. I won't blame Gom. They might just be sulking...

Speaking of which...

I have long enjoyed Patricia Cornwell's books. I rather like the gory details & intrigue.

I am wondering though, if I am the only one who finds the 'romance' between Scarpetta & Benton somewhat tedious, for want of a better word.

They seem to deserve each other, both being written as given to arrogance & a certain disregard for the feelings of others. I am just finishing Predator. I have Trace waiting. I am unsure which was written first. I dont care, since I also find the BS about Lucy a little tedious too.

Bottom line, I dont really 'like' the characters any more. I used to rather like Marino, but even he has changed to someone who I am finding irksome?

In fact, I am beginning to wonder why I continue to read these books?

The detail to 'brand name' objects, the detail to guns, vehicles. Perhaps I have got am getting old & crabby!

Yes, I do realise I could always stop reading her books!

In the same vein I have enjoyed Kathy Reichs' books. 'Bones', the TV show, has almost cured me of reading the books. I find the TV version so irritating I cannot watch it! I become enraged at it's seeming stupidity.

Sitting ranting at a TV screen is neither healthy nor attractive!

Much more fun, to find a kindred spirit & sit & rant with them, about all the TV shows, books etc, that we 'hate'.

That was one thing V & I could do in tandem. What fun we had, & how liberating. Who says Little Old Ladies can't cuss! We could prove that wrong. Really it was healthy, cleansing, venting. How we laughed, & laughter is always good for everything that ails one! Plus no one got hurt, or offended.

My back seems to be determined not to improve much. So no sewing, not even any hand work.

I was born without the sport gene. Exercise & I have been sworn enemies for most of my life. I know that I need some form of exercise though, so am reluctantly thinking of (shudder) 'joining' something. Since I have a knee that needs replacement, walking it out. The idea of sitting solitary on an exercycle doesnt really appeal much.. although, perhaps if I had an ipod or something??

I did love swimming, & guess that would be my best avenue. But what the hell does a ruined body wear to 'swim exercise'? A tent would be good....

Sting, Fields of Gold

Monday, September 1

Murphy's Law again..

I had plans to photograph some of the lovely Spring blossoms about the neighbourhood.

I resolved to get some of the colourful 'art work' on walls.

Was never going to happen. I didn't know of course.

I am unwell, have an infection. Spent the day cringing about in agony, like some bent over old hag. Barely moving & in wrinkled agony. I caught sight of my face unexpectedly, & what a creased old mess!! Wizened springs to mind, except I am a bit too plump.

I couldn't make the Oven today. Could barely walk, so I dozed & read, & self medicated for pain until I could see the Dr for pain meds, & antibiotics.

Our son had to go for an endoscopy today. I felt sick when he told me what they found. I wished we had gone to collect him, & take him home. He has had so much trouble with his stomach, for such a long time. He has been to numerous Doctors seeking some answers.

This is the first time he has had an endoscopy. It seems he has really, really bad ulcers, so inflamed & raw, many are bleeding. He has to take 2 weeks medications then go back for another endoscopy.

He is relieved at last to have some answers. His pain level has been dreadful to see. I feel furious that he has spent so long trying to find some answers. It is as if no Doctors he consulted believed him. I guess that is why I believe in one 'family doctor' who is familiar with my body & it's foibles.

I will never get over being a mother. His father will never get over being his father.

Meanwhile, I have to say Gom has made me a wonderful tea, & he even gave me some of his Coffee chocolate. I am not a big chocolate eater, but I did appreciate this taste!

A friend plays Scrabulous online. She invited me to join her. Her current score is something in the 90's. Mine is a pitiful 27! I will have to engage my brain!

Today was beautiful. It was 24 degrees at one stage. Perfect 1st day of Spring. It is to be sh!te weather again by Wednesday, so I won't get too excited.

I am sure tomorrow might still be a nice day.

John Denver, Farewell Andromeda