Tuesday, December 29

Weariness of the Long Distance Blogger.


Well, another Christmas has been and gone. Gom and I have concluded we are feeling our age, and found it hard to get even mildly excited at the prospect.

Of course we did our best for our little SG, since he is still only 7 years old. I decided at the last minute, I would put up a tree, for his sake, & to make things a little more ‘festive’. We have not had one for the past 3 years, as we have gone to our daughter’s for Christmas Day. I am absolutely low key, (read, non participating) when it comes to Yuletide Decorating. However, this year, it was to be at our house, since SIL had to sleep in preparation for a Night Duty.


Big Mistake, about the tree. Gom grumpily stumped off downstairs to ‘find the damn thing’, after declaring he hoped I was joking, and “he didn’t want one put up!”. After much thumping & muttering & shuffling & rearranging of stored items, he was nowhere to be seen. Finally, I ventured down the stairs to see what the hell was going on.

Now, much has been written and said, here in Oz, about the importance of a man’s Shed. To be fully, shall we say, ‘well’ a man needs a shed. Even if he just sits in it, or endlessly rearranges the contents, it is vital to a man’s mental wellbeing. Gom does not have a shed, ~ which some could say, explains a lot!~ but he does have the double garage. We only have one car. So, he has got a ‘shed’, in the sense that he is totally in charge of it, and happily rearranges it just when I have located items I actually own, & still occasionally wish to use.


Since the Christmas Tree had been ‘stored’ since the last use, it has probably moved locale several times. It turned out, it could not be located at all! I was somewhat angered at this, but I was absolutely incensed at the suggestion “It must have got thrown away at some time”. The inference was clear- he was saying I must have thrown it away!The only person who has access to the bloody garage is Gom. He has claimed it as ‘his Shed’ so how could he dare to stand there and infer I must have somehow accidentally, or unconsciously thrown the tree away?? Very uncharitable and unChristmassy thoughts were hurled in his direction.

When I asked about the decorations he declared he had found those. Upon inspection, I don’t think they contain the family treasures we have kept since our children were small. I suspect the mysterious swine person who threw away the tree, must have also got rid of those family treasures. Ornaments I bought to celebrate our grandchildren’s births, first Christmases. Ornaments our own children had hand made, as well as some our granddaughter had made as she grew up. I think the shabby box he has kept are the rejects. I was too dispirited to examine them too closely, in case I killed him on the spot!  Sheesh! Is it any wonder I get depressed!


On a brighter note, our son had come from the City to stay a few days, and he brought his car, which he loves. He has recently had it re registered since it had been off the road for approximately 6 years. It is a 1962 Pushbutton Automatic Series S Valiant (for the ‘car’ people). In fact it is the third one he has owned, and is by far his favourite.

Leaving for Home

If you look carefully, just to the right of the front of his car, is the ‘dead’ brick ‘gateway’ block our car ‘killed’ when it rolled over the road. See This post.

The Valiant

As it happened it was persisting down with rain, as he left for home. We had a nice cool Yule, as it were, for once. It began to rain on Christmas Day, & remained wet until 28th, so, though it was damp, it was comfortable.


Look who came to live with me!! I had jokingly asked Secret Santa for a Golly. Wow! What a Golly I got!

As it happened my SIL drew me, & he told the story of almost being lynched in one shop when he asked if they sold ‘Golliwogs’? 

He was told,chillingly, “We don’t call them that, and we don’t stock politically offensive items!”

Good Golly

Well pooh to them. We loved them as kids & they are just cuddly toys, for goodness sake! Golly looks very happy on my bed, & I am sure he will love being surrounded by my TBR pile of books!


I was also gifted a wonderful Topsy Turvy Tomato, by friends, planted upside down in a bag, & the idea is they dont touch the ground, give wonderful fruit, and are easy to grow with great success.

Alas, I cannot show a picture, because tragedy struck on Boxing Day and the hook upon which we had hung the tomato bag, came plummeting to earth, as the hook  wrenched from the bricks. Of course the result of that was, that the poor plant was snapped off at the roots, and all that remained was a maimed stump! I badly wanted to cry!

However another gift they gave me is looking very well, so I will have to learn how to care for it.

Special Owl

Those who read here often will be aware I am very fond of owls, so it is perfect.


Not all is gloom, with the rain, we have had some perking up in the garden- though not of the vegetable variety. Here is the Ixora, which continues to flower most of the year. It has grown into the ground, through the bottom of it’s pot, so it is flourishing.

Ixora 2



I had intended doing a post prior to Christmas to wish all my Blogosphere friends Seasons Greetings, & wish you all Joy for the Season. Now, I wish you all a wonderful New Year, with health & good fortune throughout 2010.


I know there are more modern versions of this song, by Michael Buble and Rod Stewart, but who can resist the velvet that was Nat King Cole’s voice. My wish for Everyone’s New Year.

Wednesday, December 16

The Hideous Case of the Nightshirt.

Long ago, and far away, in another Country, (& another era, I might add) in the early 70’s, in fact, men & women wore vastly different clothing, to what they are prepared to appear in public in,  today.

Long floppy, floral patterned shirts were the flavour of the day for men. The sleeves were slightly full, the collars had long rounded ends.Paisley was big, for both men and women, back in the Day. 

The preferred whisker, or facial hair look,  was a moustache and/or a beard, to go with the longer flowing locks. Not Mullets, you understand, but just a longer look. Something resembling the Band members of  “America”, for instance. Or maybe Arlo Guthrie, Definitely flared jeans or trousers for the women, and the men. Both sexes favoured platform shoes.


We had a friend who sold shoes for a living. A Sales Rep? I am not sure, as they changed the title of the purveyors of the goods, to improve the image… or something.  He would appear at my door, bearing his own ‘Boil-in-the Bag’ lunches, & he would proceed to prepare his lunch, in my kitchen, while displaying his newest shoe collections. Of course, he sold me many pairs of gorgeous shoes, but they were all at discount prices, & who could resist a heavily moustacheoed man, who was happily married to one’s great friend? Who proffered heavily discounted shoes because I happened to take the display size, & so ….. well the rest is history.

Gom, and the other, lovely wife,  were aware of the periodic luncheon visits & had no qualms or worries about sisnister or devious intent. We were all very good friends & spent weekends together as well as many mid-week social gatherings, to do with either the sale of shoes or the sale of Alcohol associated products. Never a dull moment in the ‘70s, I must say. And, surprise surprise no hanky panky ‘70s style shenanigans! Just great friends.

When I married Gom, he never wore pyjamas, nor did I care. My mother was somewhat horrified, & told me she had been disgusted to find, upon marrying my father, he did not own a pair of pyjamas! I, of course, laughed about it with Gom, when we married, & worried not at all.

Some years later, when we now had children to think about, Gom decided perhaps a nightshirt might be bearable for him to wear to bed. His BIL had told him he had some, & found them most comfortable. Being as the the budget was tight- (No it was not entirely because of the latest shoe acquisitions!) – I decided to purchase cotton seersucker fabric , & make some night shirts. Gom demanded they be front buttoning, so that is what I made.  They proved to be most comfortable  & successful for his sleeping comfort.

The time came when our street became designated as a ‘Bus Route’. We were not pleased, but happily concluded the Bus Stop would not be outside our house. WRONG!

We begged & pleaded, but the stop would not be moved one way either side. The sound of the idling bus kept us awake at night, to say nothing of the stench of Diesel fuel. Our protests were like gnats f@rts to the bus company. We were victims, we felt.

We did, however, discover, that there was a maximum idling time outside our house, before the bus motor had to be turned off. If it was over x amount of minutes it was over the limit.

I went off on a holiday to the North, taking our Children, as was the way of our lives then.

Imagine my horror upon our return to be told that there had been an “Incident”.

Said Incident had involved the bus revving his motor for much longer than the ‘allowed’ motor revving period. Gom, alone & rather disgruntled, no doubt, had leapt from his lonely bed, & stumped out, in high Dudgeon, wearing a flimsy front buttoning Night shirt, to shout abuse & ire at the hapless driver of this bus “Idling’ outside our very door, so to say.

I have no doubt there were buttons which had become unfastened, as apparently the Driver was struck with some type of helpless laughter, at the appearance of this seersucker-clad… oddity, -no doubt flashing, as he ranted & raved , jumping up & down to make his points, (so to say) incoherently at the driver, whilst inadvertently displaying his ‘jewels’.

Needless to say, on my return, I was quite horrified at the thought of this scene. I found many reasons not to confront this bus driving person, nor did I venture forth when a bus was stationary outside our address. Nor did I ever use such bus in any of my travels.

I am sure the image of the Nightshirt-wearing-house-owner, is permanently burned into some bus driver’s eyeballs. I hope he enjoys a hearty laugh about it all!


Tuesday, December 15

Forever Young.

It is, after all, what we all wish.

When we are  18, and bullet proof, can fly, and already know the answers to the Universe, we don’t need counselling or advice. Good heavens, we know it all!  No one can possibly tell us anything we don’t already instinctively know.

We can read Con men. We can foil their flimsy attempts at deception. We know they are married, or in the process of separation. Or Not Being Married Anymore. Or, more importantly, wishing they were still married.

They gasp in surprise, shocked that we guessed or ‘knew’ their secret. (Are we Witches, or Psychics??) Mostly they decided we were witches,  we did nothing to discourage this belief. I mean, how exotic was that!!

They never thought we would see the child’s records amongst their collections. They never thought we might notice childish notes amongst the detritus of  their ‘other’ life. They never seemed to know that a child’s record, might be some type of giveaway, as to parenthood.


Our Forever Young dreams never cam true. Nor did the young man’s, But we hope he found a truer dream, and future  Some of our Dreams came true. I hope some of his did, also.

Rod Stewart.

Fate’s Fickle Fingers…


Yesterday I wrote a perfectly sane and amusing- well, I thought so- post. Glossing over the ugly bits, to make them appear funny, and light reading.

I must have just accidentally hit some key, only to have the whole thing vanish without trace!


We have been having a somewhat trying time of various things lately, & the vanished post seemed somehow, to be the Last Straw!

I searched in vain for the lost post- haha- then took myself off to bed in High Dudgeon.

As I am now using Windows Writer to do my posts, I don’t have the Autosave feature that Blogger has. Win some, lose some. Perhaps it was a lesson to teach me to periodically click on ‘Save Draft’.


I have taken myself off to have a dreaded blood test, which is no biggie, just routine, but I have ‘shy veins’. They hate being stuck with any sharp objects. The bloodsuckers I mean blood takers always assure me they can find a suitable vein with no ‘digging’. Invariably they lie, & I end up having the blood taken from the back of my hand, having had holes poked in all directions. I was most amazed when this morning’s blood taker had success at finding a vein- “As big as Texas” she said. Also, & most importantly, it was not painful!


Our ancient Airconditioner finally gave up the ghost, & comepletely died. Yes, on the hottest day this year- so far! At it was fully ducted system, it would cost the funding & feeding of a small nation to have replaced. We are settling for something within our modest means, & are promised that this Friday it  shall be installed. Thankfully the weather has been only moderately hot while we have suffered with no great means of cooling down. We have a large room downstairs, which remains about 8 degrees cooler on a really hot day. We have spent some time down there trying to read & amuse ourselves & keep the dogs from ripping out the screen door at every passer by.


Speaking of our canine kids, I bit the bullet on Sunday, & attempted the massive clipping, and bathing. I managed to get Honey quite balded, much to her disgust.



Honey shornHoney shorn 2 Leo trimmed


I could not get her to sit down for me, & so this is her begging pose, as much as to say “No more! Please!”


Leo just will not cooperate for a photo shoot, & I am ashamed to say, he beat me with his legs, & just refused to tolerate me clipping them, so I think he will have to go to the groomer.


Another little stab from fate, was the shatting breakdown of our TV. We had luckily taken out an extended Warranty, so we rang up to see what we needed to do. We were told they no longer stock our model, so we could have a refund, or Store Credit. We took the credit & hightailed it off to choose another, more modern, & very satisfactory Televisual appliance. Of course, it cost more & it is not exactly the time of year for having to purchase mammoth appliances. Mind you, only the price was mammoth, (well, mammoth-ish)we chose a very modest sized TV.


We were very proud of our SG as he won the Class Award this year. I was taking some photos to send to his other Grandparents, & he asked if I would put him on the Blog. He is rightly very proud of himself.Medal Darcy 2009 Class 1A  Bless his Heart


We had SG to stay with us on Friday night, & on Saturday morning, we thought he might enjoy looked at some garage sales with us. We duly got ready & he stood beside me, outside the garage, whilst Gom was reversing the car out onto the drive.

I am paranoid about children & vehicles, & either get them seated & belted in the vehicle, or I hold onto them to ensure no accidents happen. We were standing together when we heard a loud cracking noise. Uh oh, I thought, Gom has hit something.

I ventured into the garage to see what the problem was, & the leaf blower, had fallen off the shelf, & was now wedged between the front wheel & the bumper bar.  Gom decided he would push the car forward, so I could release the blower. Which would have been fine, except he released the handbrake, & as I released the blower, I noticed the car was gently moving!

Of course I shrieked out, & Gom tried to stop the car, with his body. By now it was gathering momentum, & approaching the doorway of the garage, which was lucky, as Gom had to leap aside. We had had no idea our garage floor had any slope. As our drive is quite steep, we could tell, it was inevitable the car was on it’s way across the road, heading towards two neighbour’s houses. Thank goodness Gom was inside the garage and also thank goodness SG was also inside, as instinct is not always wise, & I would hate to think one of them might have thought they could stop the car from rolling.

As it happened our neighbours had a smallish gate pillar about 3 feet high, made of solid bricks. Thank goodness the car came to an abrupt stop, knocking the gatepost out of the ground, but halting progress of the runaway car. SG was hysterical & Gom was so upset. I think I was just so relieved we were all ok, but it was still a shocking thing to have watched, & it left us quite shattered.

Our neighbours were out as it happened, & when the young husband came home, he had not even noticed his ‘dead’ gate pillar! Gom went over to apologise, & the young man was quite surprised, but not very alarmed- plus he had had his wisdom teeth removed, so had worse things to worry about!

We could hardly believe our luck, when Gom drove the car back up our drive, the only damage done was a little paint scraped off the bumper! As there is a very steep drop to either house opposite ours, things could have been very dire indeed, so we did get off very lightly. Needless to say, we went nowhere that day, but did thank fate for small mercies.

And I confess, every time I looked at the knocked down pillar, I had to laugh to myself.


In other happy news, look at this Gorgeous little Soul. She is the Granddaughter of a dear friend, & I think she has been this way before, with those wise eyes.

Gorgeous little Soul

I am still trying to pretend that Christmas is not going to happen, & there have been times I have felt sure it won’t!


I wonder if anyone remembers this is the song they played to wake the Astronauts on the moon, in 1969.

Tuesday, December 8

The Angst of Christmas Shopping…


Really, leaving aside my dark patch of the present, what the hell is the hoo haa, agony, & sheer distress, of people doing “Christmas Shopping’.

This year, due to various financial necessities & ‘reasons’ as Thirdcat might say, we decided to do the “Secret Santa’ thing.

This entails each person listing up to  3 choices of what they may like to receive. A monetry limit was set between blah blah & hah blah. Some drawees, decided they needed to spend the Hah blah amount.

Unfortunately, seeing we are a small family group, we all worked out who got who. I am appalled at who got my choices, which, though very moderate, &, I felt reasonable to any budget, are proving to be a little ‘off beat’. I know the person concerned is trying to do the ‘right thing’. But the agony it is causing is not worth it.

If I had my ‘druthers’ as the Americans say, I would opt for us all to just buy a gift for a needy child to gift to a tree, & leave it at that. After all, we all have enough ‘things’ to last a lifetime. We are not wanting for any creature comfort, so anything outside that, has to be just surplus to our needs, in fact, an utter indulgence!


The butterflies are quite happy with our Buddleia  shrub, though I have yet to capture any sitting on the flowers.

My vegetable garden endeavours all ended in disaster, & I may in fact, be lucky to pick a tomato or two when they ripen… always supposing they will get that far.


Ivy Geranuium

The Ivy Geranium seem almost indestructable & I still have some Oregano.

Oregano flower

The Basil tends to come & go, due to lack of water. The Thyme, which is one of my favourites is trying to strike up random plants from a shrub I had for many months.


look closely. 

If you look really closely here, you may see tomatoes, but they will amount to very little, I fear.

I have strawberries the size of less than my small fingernail, …sweet, but useless really.

The Radishes I planted looked so good when they sprouted, but are being eaten by snails--- where the f are the lizards I see lazing about the garden??? I thought they loved to eat them??

I thought to buy one of those snail bait thingies, where the dogs are protected, because they are too heavy to overturn & it is a bait motel, where the snails & slugs enter to gorge & thence die. At 30% discount to leave a cost of $30 each I decided I will troll garage sales for large, heavy, ugly, ashtrays!

This morning I went to collect SG to take him for the Bus stop to school. He was delighted to find a pink feather for his sister –“She loves Pink!” I am not sure, but I think he wrecked it, so no more was said.

We were so proud of him, he got the Class Award this year, & has a love medal as a prize.