Thursday, September 30, 2021

September Check in - October Goals

 It's that day again. Goals day.

And September has been a shocker for goals. Things fell apart when my boss got sacked and work has left me drained - not something which makes for good goal keeping. 

Anyway, here goes:

September was a bit of a write off. 

Read four books. 

OKay, I did this one. I finished the following: 

  • Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson
  • Woman of Substances by Jenny Valentish
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

10000 steps a day

As much as I've tried to stay active, didn't happen. Partly blaming the weather. Partly blaming work. 

Make a new dish. 

Yeah, didn't happen either unless you count making chicken parmiagiana from scratch for Blarney. 

Work on the novel for half an hour a day

Yeah, nothing got done at all. 

Watch one of those movies I've been meaning to knock off the bucket list

Nup, didn't happen either. 

And my October Goals:

Read four books.

I do like this goal. Currently reading Mrs Dalloway, andI've just started listening to a Bill Bryson, but the narrator has this awful, hokey Mid-West American accent which is very offputting. 

Try and close the rings on my Apple Watch at least 25 times in the month. 

The Apple watch works on a ring basis. My rings are set to an hour of exercise, a set amount of calories and standing for more than a minute each hour. It's a doable goal. And I can mix up the exercise. 

Attend that editing course. 

I've signed up for an editing course with Faber starting in October for six weeks. I will have to submit some of my work to an editor at the end of the course. If there is anything that will get me editing and polishing, this will. 

Go and have a picnic with somebody who isn't Jay or Cleo.

Just spending time with another human being in the flesh would be wondeful. 

Hoover and mop once a week.

These are my most hated jobs. Not that they don't get done - they just need to get done a bit more often. Especially as Lucifer is starting to shed at the moment.

Eliminate ice cream and chocolate

I started out last month so well - then there was the sacking and everything turned to crap and my sugar intake went up. It's time to get rid of it. Besides having a gall bladder attack earlier in the week, I've been put on notice.

Hoping this will be a better month (though not sure how, Mercury has just gone into retrograde again). 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Do not snog the barman

 This facebook memory came through today. 

And I'm thinking, "What the...?!"

And then the memories came flooding back. 

Did I snog the barman?


Did I want to snog the barman? 

Um, he was a ginger with an Irish accent that flowed like warm treacle, so why not? But he was a bit young. And he was a ginger. But he was sorta cute in an Irish ginger sort of way. 

Where was I?

At a pub on the Yarra in the city watching the The Eagles play Collingwood in the Grand Final. 

Who was I with? 

Blarney, Barney, Norty and their footy mate Jase and another random who I forget who was there. 

What was memorable about this day? 

It was fun to watch Collingwood lose the game in the last ten minute of the match. I was gently barracking for Collingwood, as I do, but there were some die-hards in the place and they were left crying into their beer - which is always fun to watch. 

What else? 

I got reacquainted with beer that day. Furphy's in a jug. It was very cheap beer. And I like beer because it keeps me honest and it makes me funny. I'm a really funny when I drink lots of beer. 


Oh, Norty and I irritiated the hell out of Barney by singing, very loudly along with every eighties track they were playing at the pub. Norty and I know the words to to all the eighties songs. 

What happened after?

I got on the tram and went home, a bit squiffy, but tidy enough to not sing on the tram. It wasn't too late and I'd had enough beer by then. The seal well and truly broken, I had to time the tram ride home between loo visits as lots of beer is worse than tea - goes through me like I'm a sieve. 

But did I snog the barman?

No. But I think I might have flirted with him. 

Do I regret not snogging the barman. 

No. This is a messy enough story without locking lips with a ginger Irishman. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Whittakers Jelly Tip Chocolate

 Good things come out of New Zealand: 

Things that come to mind include:

  • Lamb
  • Ice cream
  • Kumara chips
  • Gin
  • My friends
  • Fresh air
  • Political moderates
  • Fisher and Paykel appliances. 
  • Guys called Dave who seem to fix everything
  • Jandles, Chilly Bins and Jerseys
  • The diphthong 'I' sound e.g. Fsh and Chps. 
But the best thing of all to come out of New Zealand is Whittakers Jelly Tip chocolate. 

It's got three layers. A layer of wonderful milk chocolate. A layer of raspberry jelly. A layer of white chocolate which tastes akin to sweetened condensed milk. 

An old workmate introduced me to this a few years ago. He was a bad, bad man.

We can now get it in Coles. 

Because it's rather sweet, a large block will last me a fortnight. 

This really is one of the best things to come out of New Zealand.

But as we can't travel at the moment, which means that Geetangeli can't bring me over a block from Christchurch every so often, the powers that be at our supermarkets are bringing it in. 

During a lockdown, it's any port in a storm, and this stuff calms the waves. 

Today's song:

Monday, September 27, 2021

Ten questions for Anti-Vaxxers

 This was a task received in yesterday's Write Here, Write Now session with Catherine Deveny, but I wasn't in the frame of mind to complete the task. So I'm doing it now. 

As somebody who is fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and who keeps up my shots for tetanus, whooping cough, typhoid and polio and gets an annual flu shot, I'm good with vaccinations. And I'm okay with the COVID vaccinations. 

I'm also up with people's right to choose, however I then don't get why people wouldn't want to be vaccinated. I've met a few stand outs recently, opting to wait to get their shots, and I have a few acquaintances who are anti-vaxxers, who I choose to shut down quickly with the words, "You're entitled to your opinion, but can we find another topic, please." 

It's not worth it. I choose to pick my battles. 

Anyway, what would I ask an anti-vaxxer, given that I was in the mood to listen to them and not roll my eyes or walk away in disgust? 

1. What does your doctor say about the vaccine? Have you asked a medical doctor about vaccination? 

2. Where do you get your information from? Can you document the websites / articles / instagram / facebook pages where you get your information? 

3. Have you lost any friends or family to COVID? Do you know anybody who has had COVID? 

4.  Is it just the COVID vaccination that you refuse to get, or are you against all vaccinations? Explain your answer. 

5. Seeing that it is likely that vaccinations will be necessary to travel interstate and overseas in the near future, how do you feel about the likelihood of not being able to travel?

6. What would make you change your mind about getting the COVID vaccination? 

7. Are there any other arbitrary social commitments for which you are against? e.g. The wearing of seatbelts, driving within then speed limits, educating your children, not littering in public. 

8. Do you believe any of the alternative treatments for COVID? e.g. ivermectin, light therapy, anything Pete Evans espouses. 

9. What do you think about the people who are actively trying to stop others from getting vaccinated / obstructing the system / making fake bookings and not turning up for appointments? 

10. If you don't believe in COVID, what then has killed and stricken so many people across the globe? How do you explain this phenomenon? 

As I said earlier, I don't want to inflame any debate. These are the questions I'd ask if I wanted to engage on anything more than a superficial level with an anti-vaxxer. I know on which side of the "debate" I reside. I'm not looking for an argument or answers. 

Today's song:

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Bun Toting Librarian

 It's Sunday. It's a nice day and we're still in lockdown, although things are starting to look up and there are a few relaxations coming in the week - we may go 15 kilometres from the front door from Wednesday, not ten. Wow. And we can meet five vaccinated people in the park for a picnic, not two. The 9 pm curfew still applies. 

The arbitrary rules around here are fun.

Questions, as always, brought to you by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1.      When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

Oh my goodness I need my hair cut and coloured NOW! It's been nearly five months since I've had my hair cut and fully coloured and I'm hating not having my hairdresser. Hairdresssers have been closed since mid-July. People are looking pretty ratty at the moment. 

I think this every morning. 

2.      What shirt are you wearing?

I have a stripy grey and black long sleeved t-shirt on under my purple dress at the moment. 

3.      Do you label yourself?

I'm a bit of a nerd. I'm fat - though this is a fact, not a label per se. I try not to label myself , but it's hard at times. 

4.      What does your watch look like?

I bought a new watch for my birthday with the proceeds of my tax cheque and some money my mum and sister gave me. So I have an Apple Watch now, but I've got a leather strap on it as the rubber/latex straps irritate my skin. I'm loving it. 

5.      What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was about to go to bed. At midnight I was checking the door was locked and turning off the lights and thinking about reading a few more pages of my book. 

6.      Last furry thing you touched?

Lucifer my cat. He's sitting in the windowsill next to me. He's a lovely boy. 

7.      Favourite age you have been so far?

I remember 40 being really good. Your body lets you do everything you want to do, you've got the funds to do it, but you're not young and silly any more. 

8.      What is your current desktop picture?


It's generic but I think it's cheerful. 

9.      If you had to choose between $1,000,000 or to be able to fly what would it be?

At the moment, I'd take the million dollars. As much as I would like to fly, I'd also like to buy a house outright too. And then do a bit of travel when the borders open. (Unless you pay a lot of money and are willing to quarantine, they are pretty much letting nobody in or out of the country at the moment. It's been like that for 18 months. )

10.  The last song you listened to?

I'm watching the series Sex Education at the moment and I've just been treated to an acapela version of Peaches F*ck the Pain Away

11.  What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

Normally hit the machine and yell at it. Doesn't everybody do that. If I have a bit of extra coin on my I'll try again. Vending machines are terrible things. 

12.  Would you move for the person you loved?

Possibly. The circumstances would have to be right. It would need to benefit all parties. I've never been in that situation, so it is hard to tell if I would or wouldn't. 

13.  Name three things that you have on you at all times?

I will always have the following on me, or close to hand:

  • My phone
  • My glasses 
  • My wallet

14.  What’s your favourite town/city?

But there are so many to choose from. 

My spiritual home is London. Always has been, always will be. 

I also love Toledo in Spain, Boston, Massachussetts, Bangkok in Thailand and Paris, just because, but London is a special place. 

In Australia, though I come from Adelaide, and it's a good place, I love Melbourne. It's a really cool place. So much to do (when it's open...)

15.  Does anything hurt on your body right now?

Yes. Well it's a bit sore. My left shoulder and right knee both ache a bit. It's fine - exercise war wounds, but they're at least moving. Nothing that a bit of ibuprufen doesn't fix or take the edge off. 

Today's song:

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Facing Fears: Dance Class

 The great thing about this pandemic is it forces you to try new things and face a few of your fears.

This morning, I faced a big one of mine: Dance Class. 

I am not a dancer. Never have been. Never will be. With enough drink inside me I'll get up on a dance floor at a wedding with lots of other inebriated people, and of course, I dance around the kitchen when I'm on my own, because that's fun. For me, dancing always conjures images of primary school humiliations and sitting on the sidelines at high school dances - times which have traumatised me for life. 

As for dance classes. Other than signing up for belly dancing classes years ago and lasting two classes before I threw my back out, that's been it. 

As a rule, I don't dance in public. 

But, as with all things COVID, you need to get a bit creative, and as my time is on the slim side, I'm wanting to get more exercise in. Through lockdown I've joined an online studio, Move Culture. Lifern, our Pump instructor put us on to this during the big lockdown, where Ann-Marie and the occasional guest provide dance, strength, zumba, HIIT and stretch classes most days. For $15 a week you can join in as many classes as you want. And they're great. Nice people, great classes at decent times. When you don't have a gym, it's a great alternative. 

I've been going along to the stretch classes regularly. But after having a week where I haven't been able to get out due to the weather, and working long hours, I was in need of a bit more. So, today, I did something called BodyJam. It's basically hip hop dancing as a form of exercise. 

I'm the first to admit , I've got no rhythm or soul when it comes to dancing, but when it comes to exercise, I'll give anything a try - and I need the exercise badly.

This morning, I got dressed. I made sure one of my industrial strength sports bras was strapped on my chest, and I fired up the lap top for class. 

The great thing about working out in your living room is that there are no mirrors. I have the class on Speaker View on zoom, so all I have to watch in Annie doing her moves, therefore not having to watch my fridge like form try to lock and pop, scoop and all the other things that they do in this class. 

On the great side of things, the moves come in iterative blocks, so you can get the hang of what they want you to do, then the routine grows until you get it all down. You're also welcome to do lower impact moves when needed, so my current gammy knee can do all this with ease, taking out the jumps and putting in a step. I'm also a 53-year-old woman. I don't jump (or do burpees... nope) With a warm up and cool down, we were dancing for an hour. 

Strangely, I really enjoyed all of this, more for the fact I was moving and getting my heart beating faster and nobody could really see me. Annie, bless her, is always really encouraging through the class - another great thing about these online sessions.

I came out of the session having burned 400 calories, rather sweaty and with a smile on my face. 

Annie, bless her again, said I was all over it. I think she's just being nice. 

But will the dancing fridge go back to BodyJam again?


Especially while I don't have downstairs neighbours who can hear me stomping around my lounge room. 

Tomorrow's challenge is to see if I can get out of bed to try Zumba, which is on before stretch. We will see. 

Today's song:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Do Not Disturb

 I've done a trade with my manager. I worked this pointless public holiday and will have the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day in lieu. It's marked in big letters in my calendar so it won't be forgotten - mind you I have a month of holiday saved up which is never a bad thing. 

Anyway, it's a bit of a novelty working on a pointless public holiday. As it's only a Victorian holiday, the rest of the team was at work in Sydney - and a couple of the people I work with who are just as under the pump as myself were in. I made a bet with one of them that we'd talk at least once over the day. 

The day was clear of meetings. After preparing for the day and setting up the work laptop, I took myself down to Hector's Deli. They've changed the menu. They're not doing toasties at the moment - something about troubles with people milling around on the street waiting for their lunch. So no Mushie Melt was to be had. A new line of fresh sandwiches is now on offer. But the Roast Beef sandwich I ordered was exemplary. Allegedly a new favourite, it consisted of rare roast beef, sweet pickled onions, parsley vinaigrette, horseradish mayo and French’s mustard on our sourdough Turkish. Not a Mushie Melt, but divine in its own way. 

On arriving home I put on my Do Not Disturb flag on Teams and got on with it. 

The Do Not Disturb flag means that nobody can call you. Any calls go straight through to voicemail, or text. YES! I rarely use this feature, but it meant I wouldn't get numerous calls from my manager (who's in Sydney). 

It also gave me a chance to get through the 87 emails I found in my inbox. 

What fun. 

On the occassion when the manager needed to talk me me, she messaged me, and I got back to her. 

A very civilised state of affairs. I got more actual work done today than I have in a fortnight. It was great.

I think I will have to do that more often. 

Today's song:

Thursday, September 23, 2021

I'd forgotten

 I'd forgotten how much I like working out in the park on a mild night. 

We were back out there tonight, Jay and Cleo and me doing exercises outside. Doing different exercises using Cleo's equipment, not the things I have on loan. 

Venus shone brightly. We watched as satellites darted across the sky. A big friendly dog came and gave us a cuddle. 

But we got to run around, hoik weights about and feel a little freer. 

And it was magic. 

But I'm going to bed now because I'm tired and I'm working tomorrow when it's a public holiday (taking a day in lieu on the Monday before Cup Day.)

But I'd forgotten how good it is to work out, at twilight, in the park. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Bring it on, Melbourne

The day started off alright. 

Woke up. Did my 7.30 mediation from the comfort of my bed. Got up. Fed Lucifer. Had a shower. Got out my work computer and went along to my 9 am stand up meeting with my colleague. 

And then, at 9.15, just as we were talking about bringing the compliance department into line, my screen starts to shake and there's a lot of banging and other noise. The cat runs under the bed. My colleague and I look at each other over the camera.

It takes a few seconds to recognise the rattling is being caused by an earthquake. 

My desk is in front of two large book cases. On working out what I was going on I moved to the nearest door frame, continuing the conversation with my colleague who was experiencing the same thing on the other side of town. 

The shakes lasted for a good 20-30 seconds, but it felt a lot longer. 

It was incredibly unnerving.

I've been in earthquakes before. On my birthday in Bali, we were subjected to a number of small quakes and significant aftershocks. But you expect them in Bali. Not downtown Melbourne. 

It was verified a few minutes later that my colleague and I weren't going through some collective menopausal glitch. The quake, getting a solid 6.0 on the Richter Scale, was based around Mansfield about two hours away. 

There appears to be some damage about, but thankfully there are no initial reports of injury or death. I've heard anecdotally that the Westgate Bridge was swaying  like a swing. A friend who was in a lift at the time thought he was going to die. 

The meeting was wrapped up quickly. I grabbed my wallet and mask and went out to get a coffee - a very Melbourne response to something like this. Get a coffee and ring mum. It's what you do. 

Two hours on, I'm still a bit rattled. Pardon the pun. 

As we are good little Melbournites, the memes are now coming thick and fast. 

Of course, Dan Andrews is getting the blame already. 

And I quite liked this one:

No idea what is coming next. 

Plague of locusts?

Will it start raining frogs? 

Release the Kraken!

And the link for today's song

Today's song: 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Good things. Not so good things

 It's all a matter of counting one's blessings at the moment. And as I'm working long days, time for writing is limited. 

So I'm looking to the good and bad of the day because I'm


I got the book group book read, against all odds. It helped that it was an engaging read. I recommend Nardi Simpson's Song of the Crocodile


I didn't get out the front gate again. 


My new Apple Watch turned up yesterday. The leather strap to go with it turned up today. Can't wait to configure it on the weekend. 


I didn't get much 'real' work done - all admin today. Bleargh. 


I ticked off a lot of the administration jobs, meaning the boss lady will be happy. 


Fucking protesters in the city. Dickheads. (I do not begrudge anybody's right to protest, but this mob appear to be ivermectin scoffing, anti-vaxxer elements of rent-a-crowd). 


It's book group tonight. 


It's more time in front of a computer. 


I've had a couple of people inquire about the lehenga. 


The downstairs neighbour is doing renos at the moment and the fumes from the painting are dreadful.


Book group was great. 


I only did 3000 steps. 

Really, if this are my complaints, I don't have much to complain about. 

Today's song: 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Skyhooks: Smut

 Song of the Crocodile. 260/400 pages read. 

I have next to nothing to write about as I'm trying to get this book read for book group tomorrow night. I might make it. I might not. Thankfully, I'm enjoying it. Thankfully the coffee and walk I was supposed to have with a college mate tomorrow morning has been postponed until Thursday when the weather looks better. 

And work is really full on, but I'm not going to talk about that. 

Instead, I'll introduce you to one of my favourite Skyhooks songs. Smut. (Youtube link attached for those who can't see the song of the day. 

Dear old Skyhooks. I used to love them as a child. I even had the t-shirt. I shed a tear when Shirley Strachan died in that helicopter crash in 2001. He died doing something he loved, but still, he was just lovely. And Red Symons is a character too. Oh, their all good. 

They're the sound of the seventies.

And who doesn't love a song about masturbating in a cinema along to a dirty movie? And what you can do with a bag of twisties is enlightening.

And any song with the repeated ephemism of 'whipping the dripping' has to be loved. 

Making this clip even better is it shows you how to play the song on the bass.

I miss Skyhooks, and the easier, more innocent times (sic) they represent.

Jay had the band play at her high school formal back when god was a boy. 

Back to the book, I say. 

Today's Song: 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Not quite 1000 questions, Part II

 Well, it looks like we're still in lockdown for another six weeks, although they're starting to relax a few of the rules. We can go on picnics with vaccinated people, but we've still got a curfew. I'm just glad I'm fully vaccinated. 

Life is really fun at the moment. And it looks like it will be another six weeks until I can get to my hairdresser (as well as waiting to get an appointment....) I think this is distressing me the most. My hair hasn't been cut since May... I look like a mix between Stevie Nicks in the seventies and Cousin It at the moment. I'm a bit over it. 

Now onto the questions, supplied, as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens?

Oh, this an American question. I'd say if God could be seen as some all seeing, all knowing construct, then they created atheists as well and all is fine. I'm very much for the separation of church and state, and being agnostic, I sort of get both sides of the coin. But even so, if you do believe in an all powerful god, then they would have created the atheists and that should always be kept in mind. 

2. Is there anything that you believe should be banned for any reason?

Yes. Religions that don't pay tax should be banned.  I've also got a thing about guns being owned in the city. Not for them either. But I'm basically a live and let live person. 

3. How often do you eat too much?

Not very often. Normally eating too much creeps up on my when I'm out and all of a sudden you realise that you've gone overboard. I try not to do this.

4. If you died tomorrow, what mark would you have left on the world?

I'm not sure I'd leave a mark. But I do hope that I'd be remembered for being kind, brave and funny. 

5. Are you a city person or a country person?

I do both city and coutnry, but I don't do suburbs. I was raised in the country, and love living out in the sticks, and I currently live inter-city and I really enjoy all that has to offer. But the suburbs, I do not understand. They're weird and they freak me out. Strange things happen in the suburbs. It's probably just what I know. 

6. What annoys you the most about yourself?

I'm a great procrastinator. I wish I wasn't. Oh look, there's my ironing pile...

7. Who was your childhood hero?

I don't remember having a childhood hero, but I have always been a sucker for Superman. He's always been the best, particularly the Christopher Reeves incarnation. 

8. With nearly 100 channels why is NOTHING ever on?

I put that down to FOMO (Fear of missing out). That and there is an incredible amount of badly made crap, alternative news and reality television that doesn't warrant watching. Too much choice, so you can't make a decision. Bring back the days when there were only four channels (as long as we can keep our streaming services.)

9. Would you adopt a stray kitty wandering through your neighborhood?

Yes. I'd adopt them all given half the chance. Not sure what Lucifer would think of that. I nearly did that a few years ago when I came across a kitten down the end of the road. When I went back to find it, it had gone, or had been taken to the local vet for rehousing. 

10. Which Lord of the Rings movie has the best ending?

Umm, probably the last one, because then the films were over. Not a huge Lord of the Rings fan. 

11. What are you missing in your life?

At the moment, gawd, there's a lot to miss. Time, friends, intimacy, love, sex, movies, theatre, the library, going to the office, the gym, and the biggest one of all. MY HAIRDRESSER! I'm sick of being in lockdown. 

12. What could you make a sculpture out of that's in the room with you right now?

Oh there is so much stuff in this room, I could use all sorts of things. If I went around the skirting boards and collect the tumbleweeds of cat hair and make a sculpture out of that. There's enough of it to get something into the Tate Gallery in London. 

13. Do you believe in the lost city of Atlantis?

Yes. Part of me thinks Atlantis is where the island of Santorini is now, seeing half the island fell into the sea. I like stories like that. It's good to believe in things like this. 

14. Have you ever read The Little Prince?

Yes. I studied it in its original French in my last year if school. I've got copies of it in French and English in the bookshelves behind me. 

15. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie?

I'm not really into fantasy. It's not my genre. Of literary fantasy and science fiction, I wouldn't mind Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam trilogy being made into a series. Though not fantasy (more dystopic science fiction) it would be amazing to see what a liobamb looks like.  (comes from genetically splicing a lion and a lamb).

Today's song:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The book group challenge

 Panic has set in. 

It's supposed to be book group next week, bit it's not. It's on Tuesday night. 

Have I started the book? No. 

What is the book? Nardi Simpson's Song of the Crocodile. A 400 pager.

When do I have to get it read by?     Tuesday, 8 pm. 

Why do I want to get it read? Because I've been in the book group for fifteen years and there's only book I haven't read and that was because I was away on an extended holiday. I've only missed two or three meetings over the last 15 years. One was the meeting about Anne Bronte's The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, which I hated and really wanted to slam. The other book that comes to mind was Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I was definitely overseas for that one. 

Also this weekend, I have:

  • The mason's books to finish and get off to the auditor
  • some cleaning
  • some washing
  • Go see Blarney for a bubble run
  • Food shopping
  • And 2 hours work to clear the decks for Monday. 
  • And I'm supposed to put forward smoething
It's going to be a challenge. 

I hate it when I loose track of the month.

Back to the paperwork, which I am resenting even more than those stupid protesters today. I don't begrudge them their right to prostest, but I do think if you're going to protest violently, making a nuisance of yourself, I'll resent the waste of resources. Wish the arseholes would put on a mask and get vaccinated. 

Today's song:

Friday, September 17, 2021

The cautionary tale

 Regular readers will be aware that my friend Jay and I have seen a lot of each other during lockdown being the most convenient person to go for a walk with, so I get to hear a lot of her stories. Jay's a doctor. She's also over people at the moment, or more particularly, the vaccine resistant of our numbers. 

Over the last week she was venting about the receptionists and patients at her practice. Protocols wren't being followed, patients with coughs and colds were turning up without being tested (BIG NO-NO in her eyes, and fair enough), patients refusing to wear masks, patients refusing to check in. 

I'd hate to work in a doctor's office. 

Anyway, Jay was telling us at our Monday Zoom P.T. session about this fellow who had come into the practice who was a bit ill. He was elderly. He had cold and flu symptoms. A member of his family had  tested positive to COVID, but he was bullet proof. He hadn't got the vaccination. He didn't trust them. Believed all the hype about the Astra Zeneca jab and he refused to get it, despite his doctor asking/begging him to get it done back in March, April, May and June. I think his doctor gave up on this fellow in the end, despite him being old and with a number of major health problems. You can only inform people. If they listen, it's up to them. 

He tested COVID postitive on Tuesday. 

Yesterday, he was in ICU, a ventilator breathing for him. 

And it didn't have to be like this. 

But we get to make our own choices. 

Some things, like this vaccination thing, for me, don't really require thinking about. 

I'll let you know what happens to to elderly gentleman if I get told. 

I just find it sad as he probably didn't have to end up where he did if he did things differently.  

Today's song: 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Stress spending

 Waking to find my tax return had come into my bank balance this morning, I could finally do a bit of a stress spend - that thing you do after a bloody awful day in the office.

After feeling the fallout all evening, where I allowed myself to be soothed with ice cream and gin, shopping was next on the list of things to do to complete the healing. 

So I've purchased my birthday present  - an Apple Watch. I mentioned to my mother that I would soon be in need of replacing my fit bit, and I've always liked the Apple Watch, so she and my sister gave me some money to go towards it for my birthday. As soon as Australia Post can get it to me, I'll have this in my possession within the next week (again, depending on Australia Post) - along with a new leather strap. I don't get on well with rubber watch bands, so a leather strap is coming too. The poor old Fitbit will be retired - but with it's cracked screen, it's due for retirement. Besides, I can't take calls or listen to music on the Fitbit. 

The next purchase was that of a short course in editing. I like this It's starting in a few weeks, it's with Faber and it's industry led. It's also tax deductible - never a bad thing. 

This was the extent of my shopping, but it felt good. Having a few extra thousand in my bank account also feels good, but the gratfication ou get from a good shop can never be denied.

And the day went well after all of the drama of the day before. It's surprising what a difference one person can make, both for the better and the worse. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

After the Sacking

 Today was supposed to look like this: 

  • Get up
  • Go to work
  • Get a lot of work done before lunch
  • Go to the supermarket and chemist at lunch, getting a walk in
  • Do a lot more work after lunch
  • Sign off work computer somewhere around 5.30
  • Do an online stretch and high intensity class online at 6.30
  • Get some personal paperwork done tonight
But this was before the sacking. 

Just to put things to rest, it wasn't my sacking. All is well in jobland for me. 

But my colleague was let go from their contract. 

And yes, I can see reasons why this was done, but I don't like the way they went about it. 

Again, I won't go into details. It's not my story to tell. 

But the afternoon went from what looked fairly pleasant to something like this. 

  • No walk to the supermarket and chemist. 
  • No work done
  • Spent most of the time having my colleague hand over their unfinished work
  • Spent the rest of the time debriefing with my other team member
  • I got out a beer at 4 pm to have a final drink with the departing colleague
  • Then finally spoke to their one up at 5 pm - they were checking up to see I was okay (nice - and like, finally)
  • Then finally got to go for a walk to the supermarket and chemist
  • And missed my stretch class
  • And to soothe the frayed nerves, I ate a lot of ice cream. 
There's nothing fun about a sacking - a firing, a letting go, a termination of a contract... what ever you call it. Well certainly not when they get rid of you - it's a bit different when the contract is over - this wasn't the case. Having been let go on a couple of occasions, I know what it feels like. It's not nice, no matter the circumstances. 

It's left me rather frazzled and writing has not been on tonight;s agenda. Instead, I've put on The Thomas Crown Affair (the Peirce Brosnan version), had another gin and tonic and will ponder the fallout that's going to happen over the next couple of days. I'm also trying not to think about the avalanche of crap that's about to come my way. 

Thank goodness for gin, ice cream and a younger Peirce Brosnan. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Dream Plan

I'm trying to look forward, but it's a bit hard. With all this COVID crap, the mason's books, the not being able to do anything other than wander around the banks of the Yarra and within the walls of my flat. I'm taking the chance to book myself a holiday in my head. 

Planning holidays is fun. Not that we can do that at the moment, but it is fun to plan these trips in my head, because heaven forbid, they might let us out of the country in a while. 

So, I'm looking at when this project is over - which may be anywhere between March and August of next year the way things are going. What am I going to do?

Well, in my head, I fly over to England. I'm well overdue a visit. 

And from there, after a few days in London, probably staying somewhere nice and Central to get reacquainted with the place. Maybe spend some time at my favourite old haunts. The National Gallery. The British Museum. Highgate Cemetery. Westminster Abbey. Postman's Park

Then it will be down to somewhere on the coast. In my heart of hearts, I wish I had a friend who could loan me their holiday house for a month. Somewhere in Cornwall would be lovely - Mousehole, Polperro, anywhere. I think the only things I really need are a big bathtub and WIFI - near the sea would be lovely. And I'd take up the offer of that holiday home and go there for a month and just write. Get some traction back on the novel. It would be good if the place was walking distance from a shop and a pub. And a big bath tub would be a great thing. 

But that's what I'd like to do. Just go away for a while. Write. Not have all the crap of work to think about. I have a month of holiday pay saved up - I just need to be able to get some time off and to be able to go away. Which is hard when you're locked down and under curfew orders.

I got sprung doing some daydream-planning today. On sharing my screen to my colleague I was looking at holiday rentals in Cornwall. 

We agreed that somewhere like this would be good - a little place looking over the sea. In another country. 

Of course, the cat will need to go stay with Aunty Blarney or Nanny (my Mum would love to have him back).

I'm using my daydreaming to get through some tensions at work. Thankfully it's not me causing the tension - I'm just stuck in the middle of it all and daydreaming is a good way to escape. 

This is what's keeping me sane. 

Today's song: 

Monday, September 13, 2021


 Add this to the anything to keep you amused in a pandemic file. 

Jay and I went on our normal weekend walk along the Yarra yesterday. Nothing unusual about that. It was a nice day. We got out for our walk before the rains came. We do this most weekends, weather permitting. 

As we got around the big bend in the river we saw a few people standing around having a look into the river with an rapturous look on their faces. 

What was it? 

A bloody seal. 

In the Yarra River - which is renown for being a muddy brown stretch of water which nobody and nothing would want to end up in.

But there, happily fishing for his lunch (yes there are some bloody big carp in the Yarra is appears) was Salvatore, who frollicked up and down a stretch of the river near IKEA for a while. 

We watched him for about 20 minutes as he swam around, bashed the crap out if his lunch and entertained the walkers along the river. 

From what I've been reading, Salvatore was rescued from nets in the Werribee River a few years ago. He was in a bad way, so they took him in, patched him up and let him back into the bay. Now, every so often, he can be seen in the local waterways, including the Yarra, where he makes it as far as Dight's Falls. 

He's also a big, smelly bugger. What they don't tell you about seals is that they STINK. Walking along the tow path, you could smell him before you saw him. Seals really don't smell very good at all  - all rotting fish and something else which hangs in the air for ages. 

Smell aside, it was the highlight of the weekend. Despite his overexuberant bashing of the fish he found, I would have watched him for a lot longer. 

It's the little things in the pandemic which get you through. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Nearly 1000 questions Part II

 Another weekend in lockdown. The washing has been brought in before the rain comes. I've been for a walk. I've made coffee ice cream (Nigella Lawson's no-churn coffee ice cream is the best). That's about as good as it gets here at the moment. 

Questions, as usual, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

 1. Who do you take for granted?

I try not to take anybody for granted, but I know I do sort of take Blarney and Barney this way as they feed me and let me cuddle their cats once a week. I do bring over dinner sometimes to give back a bit. 

2. Short, knee, or ankle skirts? (if a man, have you ever worn kilts?)

Knee skirts and longer skirts for me. I have some above the knee dresses and skirts but they're not too short. Too old for that sort of thing. 

3. Do you wear a hat?

Sometimes. When I'm out walking I often wear a baseball cap (New York Yankees or a Boston Redsox cap - depends on the day).  And I'll wear my Crows beanie to the football. But that's it. I look good in hats, but other than when I'm out walking and it keeps my hair in check, or if I want shelter from he sun, that's all I wear hats for. I have a face that looks good in hats. 

4. Who's your favorite cartoon character?

That would be a toss up between Jessica Rabbit, Chuckie from Rugrats and Hong Kong Phooey - they're all great. 

5. Does break dancing impress you?

Yes and no. It's very athletic. Surely it's soon to be an Olympic sport soon (if it isn't already). 

6. Are you a miracle?

An everyday miracle. I mean, fifty odd years ago a sperm and an egg got together and created me. If it was another sperm, I might not be me. I see this as an everyday miracle. Just is. 

7. Have you ever eaten tofu?

Hell yeah. Tofu, when done well, is amazing. The silken tofu at Red Spice Road was incredible. Any sort of silken tofu with a spice sauce is great. It's great when it is done well. 

8. Does the moon have an effect on your mood?

Yes. I have a Moon in Cancer and a Capricorn rising, both moon driven zodiac signs. So you. And I howl at the full moon. It's great fun. 

9. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree?

No, I think Harry Potter is wonderful and it has a lot of brilliant values along with a vivid imagination. All good stuff. Yes, some of the writing is a bit twee, but the ideas and the world Rowling has created is extraordinary. 

10. What are you doing next Wednesday?

Well, we'll be still in lockdown, so next Wednesday I'll be going to work (read change out of my pyjamas into something like jeans and a top and walking into my living room), and maybe I'll do a stretch class and if I'm really lucky, my writing group might be meeting up. But that is about it. Lockdown means that the options are very, very limited. 

11. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive?

I have no idea. Wishful thinking? They're idiots? Mind you, if he was alive, Elvis would be 86 now. With his unhealthy lifestyle it would be pretty doubtful he's be here, and if he was, he wouldn't be very healthy. I say let him rest in peace. 

12. Are your hands cold?

 No. I have warm hands. Because I practice reiki, they're even warmer and can supercharge really easily. But my circulation is really good.           

13. Have you ever given blood?

Yes. I used to give blood regularly. But the rules in Australia are strick. If you've lived in England between 1980 and 1996 for more than six months, you cannot give blood. I was there from 1991-1999. According to the blood bank website, they are in the process of looking at changing this ruling. Once that happens, I'll be back giving blood. It's too important. 

14. What SCI-fi books do you read?

I don't really read science fiction - the best I do is literary science fiction by authors like Margaret Atwood, Kazou Ishiguro and David Mitchell. It's not really a genre that interests me. 

15. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity?

No. It's not something we have attached to the university system over here in Australia. It really is an American thing. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nigella's No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

You get to have some treats when you're in lockdown. This weekend, my treat is Nigella Lawson's no-churn coffee ice cream

I don't make it often. It's too evil and lethal. 

And so easy.

All it takes is a 300 ml pot of double cream, 2/3rds of a tin of condensed milk, two tablespoons of coffee powder (unfortunately I'm using Moccona - better than International Roast) and two tablespoons of coffee liqeur, of which I am using Mr Blacks ambrosial stuff which makes everything in he world wonderful. 

You beat it like a red headed stepchild until it forms soft peaks. You shove it in a container, then freeze it for a couple of hours. 

Utter, utter bliss. 

And there's a third of a can of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge to enjoy in what ever way in the next few days. 

Regardless, I'm quite content now. New Lucifer episodes, coffee ice cream, washing drying on the line. The Master's Apprentices for song of the day.  What more do you need? 

Today's song: 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Stretch class

 The exercise class happens online a couple of times a week. It's great. You get to meet lovely people and exercise in the comfort of your lounge room. I was put onto Move Culture by Fern my normal Sunday morning pump instructor, who makes a guest appearance teaching online. She does a mean foam roller session. 

Anyway, Fern was teaching the stretch class the other night. 

Dutifully, I turned up a couple of minutes to class, set out my yoga mat and got warmed up while the class preamble took place. 

Fern then made the comment that the light's class was going to be concentrating on leg openers.

I couldn't help it. Flicking on my mike, I had to give a comeback. 

"I thought that was what beer was for," was my reply. 

Boom boom. 

I got on with the class with a smirk. 

Right, back to the new episodes of Lucifer

Today's song: 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Lehenga

Finally, I've got it onto Facebook marketplace. 

The bloody lehenga. 

Lehenga? Indian wedding garb. A top, quite fitted, a very long skirt and a long scarf, also known as a dupatta.  It was bought in West Footscray for around $400 two years ago and worn once to Raj's wedding in New Delhi. And it's been sitting in the cupboard since I got back form India. Time for it to go. 

I bought the outfit for Raj's wedding. I think I spent more on that wedding clothing than I have ever spent on clothing in one sitting. The salwar kameez, which was bought on the same trip I like more. It's more me. Pyjama bottoms and a long tunic in a gorgeous midnight blue. I'm keeping that. But I'd like to be rid of the lehenga. I'm hoping Facebook Marketplace will help it find a new home. 

I've got many feelings about this outfit. To be honest, I really didn't like it, even though it's in my colours. And I didn't really feel comfortable wearing it. I'm not one for ostentatious dressing. I really hate fitted clothing at the best of times. The dupatta fell off my shoulders, as everything falls off my shoulders - cardigans being the main thing, but spaghetti straps often go south too. The fitting was fun. I don't like having fittings either. And being told I should have the top low cut with some of my midriff showing  and it should be tight. This didn't sit well with me. I also wanted it so that I could do it up by myself. It never hit me how much time and effort goes into being an Indian woman until I went to that wedding. We spent the afternoon getting ready. The hair, the make up, having somebody dress the dupatta, which took a lot of time and a lot of safety pins. And I wasn't wearing a saree - which took even more time - and heaven knows how you're going to go to the toilet in one of those things.

Regardless, I felt awful wearing this this. (The other outfit made me feel great.)

But it was fairly comfortable to wear, even if the skirt was very long. I love the scarf. I wish I could keep that, but again, where would I wear it. I think it's the skirt I don't like. The gold around my waist. Anything which draws attention to my waist should not be there. But when you're dressing for something you've never been to before, it's going to be a strange thing. 

Then getting to the wedding and finding everybody in gorgeous, muted colours. I just felt wrong.

I wore Western dress to the cocktail party the night before the wedding. I was more comfortable then. A little blue number. Easy. Though I was one of the few people wearing Western dress. Raj said he was wearing a suit. I followed his lead, much to the mother of the bride's disdain. I turned up to the turmeric ceremony in Western casual - my normal Melbourne black. The bride's mum had a bit to say about this as well. 

Some said I should have waited and bought the outfit in India when I got there. But I really didn't have the time. Or the knowledge of the town - and Delhi is a hard place to navigate at the best of times. 

I also had bangles to go with it - an arm full of bangles. They got sold off a the Camberwell Market. 

Anyway, with a bit of luck, the lehenga will find a new home. I am releasing it with love.

And if anybody wants it, I'm selling it for $60. Give me a bell. Would fit somebody between a size 18 and 22. It's been worn once and is in great nick. Go on, you know you want to. 

Today's song:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Best of Cat Tinder

I love Cat Tinder. So much better than actual Tinder. 

A friend recently had her cat do a runner on her and six weeks on, not hide nor hair has been heard from him. Reportedly a gregarious beast, he's probably residing a few streets away under an assumed name living the life of Riley. 

But now my distraught friend is now accepting of the fact that her furry house demon has decamped and is on the hunt for a new moggie. 

So I've been playing Cat Tinder, vicariously, for her. I think she may have found a replacement now. He passed the phone interview. My sister also played Cat Tinder with me when she was looking for a replacement for her beloved Maggie. She now has Hope - also known as Hopeless and Hope-she-doesn't-get-run-over-like-the-last-one. 

Cat Tinder entails going to all the cat shelter websites and looking at who's available. A bit like Tinder. Except they're not going to meet you, make you feel like crap, then block you. 

I want to take them all home. 

I mean look at Elma who's presently at the Lort Smith waiting for new parents. 

Or Iced VoVo who's at Melbourne Animal Rescue. He's saving to have his other sleeve done in the new year. 

Or Horatio and Aria at Animal Aid. (Which is where I found Lucifer 18 months ago)

Or Radley, who's with the RSPCA. Who's handsome?

Or Shogun, who's out at Ingrid's Haven.  I mean, what a dude!

I'm very happy with my fluffy black boy. But there is no harm in looking, is there? Just don't tell him. I feel like I'm being a bit unfaithful. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

What's your number?

It was one of those late night, gin-infused conversations you find yourself having. One of those deep and meaningful chats that you fall into like you fall off a kerb, leaving you a little unbalanced and pensive at the same time. 

Him: So, while we're learning stuff about each other, what is your number?

Me: (internally) Shite!

After a bit of humming and harring, I came back with the standard answer to this question, provided by Carrie in Four Weddings and a Funeral. "You know. Fewer than Madonna, more than Princess Di."

After a some gentle goading, I provided my number. Which does sit in the bracket of fewer than Madonna but more than Princess Di. I hope. 

And I watched him blanch a little over FaceTime. 

Sexual histories are strange things. 

Him: Really?
Me: Yep. I'm not sure whether I'm proud of the number or embarrassed by it.
Him: But...
Me: Well, what's your number? 

It wasn't a big number. It wasn't two, either. 

Me: Part of me wishes my number was around your number. But then again, you were married for the better part of twenty years. I've never had a long term relationship.

Him: But...

Me: And no buts. I look at my life and I divide it up into two parts. Before therapy, and after therapy. I've had one partner in the last ten years. And one partner in the five years before that. They were after therapy. 

Him: And before?

Me: Before that, well, yeah, I'll put it down to youth, alcohol and a few poor choices. Before, well, I've never been in a long committed relationship as you know. I can sleep with whoever I want as Sinead O'Connor wailed. Sure, there's a few I'd rather not be on the list. Others I was with for a few months. But I've always seen myself as opportunistic when it comes to physical touch. If it was on offer and I felt safe, and protection was available and used, then why not?

Him: Hmm. 

Me: You're sounding a bit judgmental. 

Him: I'm not...

Me: You are. You're putting me in your terms. That's passing judgement. 

Him: But, what do you think about this?

Me: See, that's being judgmental. It's all part of a life. Besides, I've had the odd STD check. I'm clear. That's a sensible thing to do. 

Him: Really? Did you need one? I hate that you felt you needed to do that. 

Me: Well having an STD check is just sensible. The last time I saw my gynae, we were talking. I said my relationship was over and she said that while she was down there she'd take the swabs, it was nothing to get tested. I can go in clean the next time around. 

He was a bit flummoxed by this. 

Him: But, you've...

Me: I've lived a life. I've done nothing which wasn't within my rights to do. You can't change it. Move on. 

And I shut down the conversation. 

Taking a bit of a stock take later, I pondered the number. Could I name them all? Umm, if I'm honest, no. Do I have my favourites - yes. And they're mostly the guys who stuck around for a bit, or made me laugh, or they were just really good experiences. Others, not so much, but again, it's part of growing up and learning about yourself and others. 

There's also a difference between looking at this twenty years after the fact, and looking at who you were, and what your soul was doing in your twenties and thirties, and who you are now. 

And Edna St Vincent Millay starts to ring in my brain. 

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

I remain a bit more hopeful than St Vincent Millay. I think summer may return. Well, I hope so. 

And I'll silence the judgmental critics, internal and external, for earlier choices. As these choices form, for better or worse, who you become. 

Today's Song:

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Desk

I've been pondering turning my spare room into an office. 

There are pros and cons to this thought. 


  • I'd have a designated work area
  • I'd not be working in the lounge room. 
  • I could shut the door on work at the end of the day.
  • It would force me to clean up the spare room
  • and keep it clean. 
  • And work will chip in $500 for the set up. 
  • I'd be forced to clean up the spare room
  • And keep it clean
  • And if I have overnight guests, where would I put them (saying that, when was the last time I had an overnight guest? Years ago...)
  • There's no heating or cooling in the room
  • It's not a big room and there is a lot of junk in there already.
  • And there would be less room to dry clothes when required. 
  • Powerpoints are at a minimum - would mean buying more powerboards. 
  • And where will the Hemingway chair go when I'm finally allowed to collect it? 
Because of the work I do, I need a deeper desk, independent monitor and space for the laptop, so I need a desk at least 80 centimetres. Then there's all the peripherals - new keyboard, mouse, monitor and stand, mat for under the floor to protect the floorboards. It's also a lighter room than what I'm working in now. At least in the lounge there's black out curtains for when it gets too bright. I'm a bit of a vampire when it comes to full sunlight. 

I think it's just more argy-bargy I don't want to think about at the moment. 

Maybe if I give the spare room a good clean out I could see what happens. But I think a clean out would have to happen first before even contemplating buying office furniture. And it's not in too bad a state. The wardrobe needs a going through. It is the place where shoes go to die. And errant paperwork. And as we are still in this never ending lockdown, I supposedly have time. 

Mind you, I like where my work desk sits here. I'm by a window. The cat can come and keep me company on the windowsill. And the room has heating and cooling. And a place to walk around, which the spare room, if there's a desk and a Hemingway Chair. And the telly keeps me company. I'm not great working in silence. I was the kid who did her homework at the dining room table and I like having background noise on when I work. 

I don't normally dither over decisions. 

This one might take a bit more thought. 

Today's song:

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Not Quite 100 Questions

 OKay, so it's Father's Day here and I'm feeling rather ambivalent about it all. My father died over twenty years ago, and we didn't have a great relationship, and yeah, I will just shut up now. 

We're still in lockdown. I'm over it. 

So I will get on with one of the joys of my life, the Sunday Stealing questsion, provided, as always, by Bev.

(And now it is twenty to eleven at night and I forget to do this - argh!)

1.What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night?

I'm not much of terrestrial telly any more as all it shows is rubbish. If I am watching telly after midnight, I'll tend to turn on one of the streaming services and watch an old comedy - something like Frasier. 

2.Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why?

The Eighties. Ah, the music for the most part - you cannot get better. 

3.What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song?


When it comes to classic rock, you cannot beat The Rolling Stones. 

4.What Disney villain are you the most like and why?

I really can't say - I haven't seen a Disney movie where I equate to the baddie. I do like Cruella de Vil, but I'm more like her in the film Cruella, if anything. 

5.Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout?

I was a brownie for about three months. Then we moved to the country and there was no brownie pack down there. (Brownies are where you go before you became a girl guide. I'm not sure if they still exist. I was a Tintookie. That's all I remember.)

6.If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat?

I'd rather fly. As much as I like boats, flying gets you there quicker. Oh to travel. 

7. What are three of your favorite dog names of all time?

  • Sheba
  • Henry
  • Bozley
The last two were my sister's dogs and I loved them. Sheba was my dog when I was a child and she was awesome. Mind you, every child of the seventies seemed to have a dog called Sheba. 

8. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?

Happy. I love rainbows. And I make wishes on rainbows. Always. 

9. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home?

I already live in Oz - well, Australia. If it's the Oz you get to by following the yellow brick road then I'd come home. The flying monkeys, the wicked witches and that creepy wizard - I think there is no place like home and we will leave it at that. 

10. What is the first word that comes to mind when you see the word:

Air: Supply - I'm all out of Love.

Meat: Loaf - I never want to hear Meatloaf again. Grrr.

Different: Strokes - I used to love that show. 

Pink: She is an amazing artist. Puts on a fantastic show, and her songs are great. 

Deserve: Love. 

White: Linen - which always reminds me of my aunt. She used to wear this - and Youth Dew. 

Elvis: Has left the building. 

Magic: Is everywhere. 

Heart: Corazon Melone. It's my mate's WIFI password and he explained it meant 'Heart of a Melon' in Spanish. Strange, eh?

Clash: Joe Strummer. London Calling

Pulp:  Jarvis Cocker (From the band from the nineties)

I'm not surprised most of these came out with musical references. 

Today's Song: 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Bong and other Observances

There is a bong lying on the lawn near my carport. Please remember I live in a block of flats and the back lawn is a common area. 

It's not my bong. I've never owned a bong. 

And I really like using the word. It's fun to say.


(Dong is a fun word to say too)

I don't know where the bong came from. It's not a big bong, nor a small bong. It has been used. 

I believe that many people get very attached to their bongs, so why it's sitting on the back lawn, discarded, feels a bit of a travesty, because bong don't belong on the wet grass in a back yard. It should have pride of place on some bookshelves in a student's room - for isn't that where you normally find bongs?

Then I think, do I rescue the bong? Or put it in the bin? Or just leave it on the grass where it's owner might want to come and collect it. I'm still not sure how in heavens name it got there? Did a dope fiend in one of the other flats come round for a sneaky smoke, then leave it there after a few quiet chuffs? Or was it a ditch and run? An angry girlfriend from on of the other flats turfing it over the fence?

I have no idea why there is a bong sitting on the back lawn other than it's not mine.

In other news, the supermarket was out of panko crumbs, or so I thought. It's time to make chicken pajamas (Chicken Parmagiana) again. I'll make the red sauce from scratch - a can of tomatoes, tomato paste, onions reduced down. I'll make the chicken schnitzels too. And I like using panko crumbs, not ordinary breadcrumbs - maybe with a bit of parmesan in there to for good measure. 

Anyway, in the Asian aisle, they were out of these posh breadcrumbs. But in the spice ailse, down the bottom, there were some European boxed panko crumbs. Not the bag of crumbs that come from the Asian aisle.I hope they work alright. 

Other observances:

  • New Lucifer episodes come out next Friday
  • Knitting cables is becoming easier
  • The inch of rain we had overnight has made the place smell better
  • And the cat is giving me longer cuddles and I love this too.

Yes, I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel, and when you're talking about bongs, panko crumbs and ABBA you know that pickings are slim. 

Today's Song: 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Hard Topic: What is your favourite ABBA song?

Like most children born in the late sixties and early seventies, the first album I ever owned was ABBA Arrival, and yes, we then grew up and d;iscovered rock and alternative rock and the great plethora of music out there to enjoy.

But ABBA remains a stalwart, a daggy cousin that you shouldn't admit to liking, just as you keep your penchant for watching Days of Our Lives, snacking on Chick'n in a Biscuit or trying to hunt out those elusive Bubble 'O' Bill ice creams you had as a kid (Though on the latter, please give me a packed of Barbeque Shapes and a banana paddlepop).

We had a chat about this at work today. My one up, who's about twenty years older than me, and my team mate, who's my age. And we agreed, there is something very timeless about ABBA. We all know their songs. We can all sing along to them. They have created many a great earworm over the years. So I asked the question of my colleagues. What what their favourite ABBA song?

Now, that is a question. 

You can subscribe to the Muriel Heslop school of though that all ABBA songs are your favourite ABBA song. Muriel's Wedding did bring back a bit of a resurgence in the group's popularity. 

There are also those who don't have a favourite ABBA song until they find themselves singing one in a lift. 

For me, I don't think I could nominate a favourite ABBA song. It used to be Chiquitita until it was taken over by the McDonagh Brothers in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri when the cop goes into a rage. It's a bit like the song Stuck in the Middle with You. It's like you can't hear that song without imagining Mr Blonde cutting off that bloke's ear in Reservoir Dogs.  

Of Waterloo, my mind always goes to the Eurovision song contest. 

Mamma Mia takes me over to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Oh I love that film - complete with its ABBA references. 

When siging Fernando, normally in the car, normally at high volume, I have to sing the alternative lyrics and it has to be off key, complete with a few howls - just because. My old dog used to like howling along to ABBA. 

Of my favourite ABBA songs - well, that would be a toss up between:

  • The Winner Takes it All
  • Take a Chance of Me
  • When All is Said and Done
  • Doesn Your Mother Know
  • The Name of the Game
Sure they're not the best known of their tracks, and if you have a listen, it's got all that wonderul stuff that ABBA is best known for - easy lyrics, early synthesised music and dodgy fashion. 

You gotta love them. 

And many secretly (or not so secretly) agree. 

And to think, after forty years, they've just released some new music and will be doing some avatar driven virtual concerts... heaven help the world. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Sorrow and Bliss

 Don't let the title put you off. I'm blogging about the book I'm reading. I'm mostly okay. 

Anyway, I'm engrossed in a book, so much so, all I want to be doing is lie on my soon to be procured Hemingway chair and read it. Sod work, sod everything else. I'm in love with this book. I'm there. It's drawn me in. 

The book is Meg Mason's Sorrow and Bliss. The book was liberated from the Mary Martin Bookshop near work, also known as the most dangerous place in Melbourne. It spoke to me. 

Anyway, the book is wonderful. Part Bridget Jones' Diary, part Fleabag, part Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisted (or Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle) set in the noughties, it relates the story of Martha as she travels through life. 

What I can tell you about her is that she is a poor cousin, her parents, a scultptor and a very unsuccessful poet live in central London, supported by her mother's sister. You get to meet the aunt's family in their Fitzrovia mansion. Characters include the adopted 'coloured' son, his brother and his school friend, and the slightly airy-fairy younger sister. 

Martha's own sister reminds me a lot of Fleabag's sister, Claire, though I think Ingrid is a little less snippy and not as demanding.

Martha has a lovely husband called Patrick, who's a doctor, and tolerates her occasional bad behaviour. 

Oh, and Martha has some pretty big struggles with mental illness. As yet, she's not got a real diagnosis, but I'll put my money on her being bi-polar at worst, or chronically and clinically depressed as a next best guess. The novel gives a realistic view of mental illness. 

But I'm loving the book. The scenes of London in the nineties, Martha's struggles with her wastrel parents and how she seems to drift through life. 

It's also making me very, very homesick for London. 

The writing is incredible. Sharp, witty, funny and glorious. The plot is relateble. The characters are people you know - or want to know. Or maybe don't want to know. 

I'm just adoring this book. It's taking every fibre of my being not to lie down and read it all day, but the short sections mean it's great for having mini reading breaks. 

It'll definitely be on my book group short list. 

It's the thing that's keeping me happy at the moment.

Today's song: 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Let's get sweary

I'm over this. 

Seriously, I'm just completely over this COVID shitfuckery. 

And yes, I know it is for my own good. And the good of the community. And I know that if we don't do it lots of people will get very sick and die and put a massive strain on the health service, and then be sick for weeks and months after that. 

This extended lockdown is about as wanted as those text messages the Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly are bombarding your phone with ad nauseum. 

But I'm fucking over it. 

I want to: 

  • Get my bloody eyebrows waxed so I don't look like John Howard any more
  • Have my hair fucking cut and coloured. My hair is now past my bra strap.
  • See a sodding movie on the big screen
  • Have some dinner with my flipping friends
  • And have dinner at their bloody place and not have to be home by 9 pm. (I'm not twelve)
  • And I want to get on a bloody plane and go somewhere...anywhere that is not the four walls of my fucking flat. 
  • And meet up for breakfast at Cafe D'Lish after meditation
  • And maybe go on a date and get laid (yeah, I know, big call)
  • And work from the office where I don't get excoriated by the flipping cat on a daily basis
  • And to have the ability to go on a munchie run at 10 pm for a Magnum
  • And the list goes on. 
Yes, I'm over it and I'll get fucking sweary because I fucking can. 

Please note, I'm not angry with the State Government. I do get why they are doing this and for the most part, they're doing a good job. Their job is unforgiving. I couldn't do it. 

And I'm fully aware of the privileges I have being employed, able to work from home and having taken up the chance to get vaccinated early.

And I will still silently judge people who choose not to get vaccinated because their immune systems will suffice/don't believe in COVID/think the vaccines are going to implant a 5G chip in their bodies as selfish cunts. But I will do this silently, just as they have the right to do as they choose, I have the right to silently judge and not to direct my seething disbelief and anger. 

It's three fucking weeks. I'll just pull up my big girl trousers and get on with it and keep on swearing intermittently. 

That feels better. 

Today's Song: