Friday, September 26, 2008

The strange kindness of strangers.



Rumour has it that I like South Sydney.

So much so that strangers have taken to making me things for my altar at work.
Red and green things.

I have an Aboriginal player doll, a blonde South Sydney Cinderella doll, a Souths bunny doll, a tea cosy that looks exactly like a waratah, a few little bears with knitted jerseys - one as a replacement for one I gave to a small child at work who fell in love with it.
His parents bought 20 other bears trying to capture his interest, but no.
He remained staunch.

His mother, Christine would ring me before she came in and ask me to take the bear off my counter, hoping to spare herself a tantrum.
It didn't work.
He could feel it's magnificent presence.

I even went and bought a new bear for him myself - identical except that he has Warriors jersey on rather than Souths one.
Not fooled for a second.

In the end I gave the Souths one to him and he cried with joy.

I had a phone call a couple of weeks later to tell me that he sleeps with it, eats with it and it's the first and last thing he asks for each and every day.

I told his mother to let her husband know that his son was destined to be a Souths supporter.
He was unimpressed.
Or dare I say it, intimidated.
Not everyone can cope with spawning such greatness.
He'll learn.

The weirdest thing I've been given (made) is a Souths tunic which currently on my promotional Comvite honey bear.
A good customer, Marlies knits them and sends them to Africa so that they have something to put on the babies who die from AIDS with such monotonous regularity over there, rather than throwing them naked into a hole.

What kind of world do we live in?

Whatever kind it is, you can always depend on the kindness of strangers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That's what she said.

That's what she said jokes are a big thing around here.

And they've been big for a while and they're not leaving anytime soon.

In fact, HellBoy works with them so often and with such commendable mental dexterity that he's developed a gesture capable of replacing the statement itself in order to save time and conserve energy.

He once told a friend that he should just write it on his forearm and simply raise it when it suits him. (TWSS)

Not being in the least bit commitment-phobic - he's been with me these 19 years, he recently announced his intention of taking it that step further and having That's what she said! tattooed down his forearm in Chinese characters.

After snorting my chamomile tea through my ears and scratching my head at his comic timing - we were watching the weather I believe, I asked him why not choose Arabic writing?

He tells me he would like to be able to travel without being rubber gloved each trip, which is fair enough, but such encounters would surely give rise to many juicy opportunities for TWSS, making it almost worthwhile.

Or auf Deutsch in lovely old Teutonic script?
Yoga Boy kindly translated TWSS to Das hat sie gesagt!
Made even funnier of course by the complete absence of appreciation that most Germans would have for such lame double entendres.

So, he's off to school to ask the straightest Chinese science teacher he can find to write the characters for him.
He even tells me that he hopes this guy deliberately or accidentally writes something else.
That's HellBoy's true sense of humour, and I salute him for it.

Correction.

A few months ago when I posted my blog detailing proceedings for my funeral, I told you that I didn't know anyone who shares my spiritual beliefs AND makes money from doing so.

This statement has since become absolute bollocks.

Her name is Eve Adam (yes for real) and her qualifications are as follows:

  • she has a bizarre blend of interesting yet reasonable beliefs (except that one about DNA/Palladians and the Middle East)
  • she is my friend
  • she is a Pisces
  • she really doesn't like the name George
  • she can belly dance
  • she is a militant vegan yet is a strong advocate of human organ transplantation
  • she is now qualified as a civil celebrant
  • she has already agreed to do it providing she still has breath in her own lungs
So let it be written, so let it be done.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Left holding the baby.

Hell Boy possesses an extreme talent for dealing with difficult teenagers; mostly because he was one himself.
But also because he likes them.
You can't fake that.

Whenever there is trouble at school, they head straight for him to come and sort it out.
And this he usually does with just a look or a gesture.

After all these years of teaching, he remains baffled as to why other teachers cannot just as easily accomplish the same.
But then he doesn't know why teachers would choose to eat their lunch in the staff room instead of outside with the kids.

I doubt very much whether any teacher (ever) has been as beloved as Hell Boy.
Grand statement I know, but then maybe you haven't been with him when we've been out shopping.
He gets mobbed. Regularly.

I would have added kilometres to my journey to avoid a teacher socially when I was that age.

One group of boys used to tease each other with fake Affas sightings.

We've long since run out of places to shop locally without being offered extras by students and ex-students alike.

It warms my heart just to think about others loving him, but more importantly, to think about them liking this guy as much as I do.

As the years tick by, layer after layer of good karma is built up, or repaid as he sees it. He's almost done, he thinks.

So, with this kind of raw ability for taming and moulding headstrong and disadvantaged children, what do you think he might have done when asked to mind sick 14 month old Lina while her mother, Tone and I ducked into a German supermarket for dinner supplies?

I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to guess what they were doing.

This clip makes me cry for all sorts of reasons.
I recently played it to Viv, she was wiping tears away by the end too. But she was laughing.

Typical of Jeff, he doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

Who knew that the highway to hell was actually in the car park of Tengelmann's Supermarkt in Solingen all along?
Certainly not the locals.

Anyway, teach them well.

:O) :O) :O)

video

Friday, September 19, 2008

Vice rewarded.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I was told by a spiritually trustworthy person, that in our society, vice rather than goodness is rewarded.

She explained to me that all the big money spinning industries such as sex, drugs, pharmaceuticals (IMO), gambling etc, all attract the big bucks.
NB I include you in that mix, organised religion.

The poorly rewarded vocations (AKA traditional female roles) are tied in to an unconscious belief that good should be done for free.
All JC's fault apparently.

People who help others for a living feel bad charging.
God, the amount of health practitioners and counsellors I know who shrink when it's time reach out and be paid is shocking.

I doubt that the people working in the local TAB or at the casino, the brothel etc feel anywhere near as bad when they take your cash.

And what has this got to do with me and my happy little blog?

Well just this.

This year I came in 2nd in Jo's tipping comp, netting me the princely sum of $560. A profit of $505.

I pay no attention to the tipping other than I decided to tip for spite this year.

If a team had beaten Souths (seriously,who hadn't?), I refused to tip them for a few weeks until I was no longer upset at them.
If a player had made a comment about Souths (ever), I wouldn't tip them to win either.

If a supporter of a team made a nasty remark to me about Souths (ever),well, they were gone too.
You can't be too careful.

Except for the Roosters.
Jo's ex husband still has a bit to do with the running of the comp I think, and stupidly drew to my attention that every time I tipped the Roosters, they lost.

So, death riding them quickly became part of my weekly routine.

Tipping at all some weeks was difficult, in that there was no-one I was willing to tip.

But somehow I muddled through.

And I muddled right through to second place, just using spite and malice to make decisions.

And I was rewarded, just as my spiritual friend had predicted.

But, fear not. I shall be using it to pay my tithe to the red and green God in the sky (who has been asleep for some 3 decades now, the lazy prick), so I guess that's as Robin Hood as I am ever going to be.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nutritional Necronomicon

Please Sir, may I have some more?
These are words that never were uttered due to the recipes which follow.

Having slept very poorly Wednesday night for one reason or another, I had to haul arse to work in a somewhat shabby state.
Not since I was in my early twenties have I left the house feeling so rubbish.

So, my plan of attack was to brighten myself and my surroundings up by grabbing my newest book, "Toilets of the World" and taking it in to work with me to show Mark.

Mark genuinely believes that the male staff toilets at Merrylands are third world, and blessed as I am with an innie not an outtie, I must take his word for it.
I thought this book may give some pretty tidy visual comparisons, thus providing me with a ball park to work with.

Perhaps half way through my second coffee, I had to presence of mind to remember the book and due to my rummaging around looking for that, I also managed to put my lunch in the fridge.

One of the few examples of dirty toilets keeping food fresh and disease free that you may ever read about.

As I emerged from the back room, clutching said trophy, Mark himself came scuttling around the corner with his very own trophy, wrapped neatly and deliberately in order to prevent even the smallest amount of damage.

So precious was it that I was able to read through it at lunch, but I was not allowed to take it home.

Those books are my favourites.

It was falling apart, bound simply in tomato red.

Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book.

New and enlarged edition.
350 wood engravings.

OMG Mrs Beeton's!
The retro recipe collector's holy grail.

Published 1896.
Mark had bookmarked the section for dealing with servants for me, which was very kind.
However, my sixth sense for booky nonsense being what it is, I randomly opened it up to page 79.

Hooray for page 79 too.

To my delight, this featured the following recipe.

BOILED TONGUE

Ingredients:

1 tongue

Awesome stuff.
What a no nonsense Victorian matron Mrs Beeton must have been.
I like her.

In choosing a tongue, select one with a smooth skin which denotes it's being young and tender.
If dried and hard, soak for 12 hours.
If fresh from the pickle, soaking for 2-3 hours will suffice.

They pickled tongue?
Imagine peeping into that pantry as a child.
Makes me think of the anatomy museum at Sydney Uni.

Put the tongue into a stewpan with plenty of cold water and a bunch of sweet herbs and gradually bring to the boil, skim and simmer gently until tender.

Peel off the skin and garnish with tufts of cauliflower or Brussel's sprouts.Tufts!

Everybodies favourites!

If serving cold, fasten it down to a piece of board by sticking a fork through to top to keep it straight.

Well clearly it's not just the French who know how to present their food after all.
English cuisine may not be as flashy by comparison, but they do know how to bring sideshow alley to the table.

I believe the right underneath the tongue instructions lurked information on how to make a sauce out of onions and milk to dress boiled tripe.
mmmmmmmmmm

My next discovery came on page 162.
This is a few pages into Cooking for Invalids.

Joy O Joy!

Gruel!

Yes Virginia, gruel does exist.

Gruel

Ingredients: 1 tbl groats, 2 tbl cold water, 1 pint boiling water

Mix groats with cold water, pour over boiling water, stirring, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly.

I'm not certain, but I think that's also the way you make wallpaper paste.
It's absolutely falls into a category I like to call bum glue.I wonder why this generation of people were so horribly constipated?
Also in this section are Invalid's Jelly and Egg Wine.
I wonder the first person was to stir beaten egg into hot sherry and feed it to ailing children and geriatrics?
Don't you just love the British sense of humour?

Possibly the same person whose ancestors went on to make things out of crushed Jatz biscuits and white bread in Anglican Nursing Homes all those years later.

Good on them.

Well, that was all I had time for. But I'm sure you'll agree that the rise and rise of fast food is a direct result of this type of approach to cooking.

And so, applying no logic whatsoever, my implacable conclusion is as follows:

Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book -->McDonalds --> modern obesity/diabetes epidemic --> mass invalidism --> Jerry Springer --> the return of Satan

Far be it fom me to play the blame game, but realistically, it's all her fault.
Clearly her aim was to fatten up our babies and return from Hell's kitchen to eat them all with Lucifer himself when the Mayan calendar ends 21/12/2012.

Consequently, I suggest that her cookbook be retitled Nutritional Necronomicon and that her name be changed to Mrs Beast-son.

For what we are about to receive, may be truly evil.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breakfast of champions.

I love breakfast.

I love Europe.

I love that you often have breakfast twice when you're there, and that if you plan you day right (or not at all), you can often manage a third.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



video

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exposing ourselves.

The concept of a common experience is self-deluded rubbish.

Kinda like, well, you know, even playing fields, religion and the promotion of dairy as a health alternative.

And I know all this because, once again I spent the day out and about with my boys.

First up, I had to drop in on the quilting lady and organise Clair's sampler quilt to be done for her birthday.

Plus I had to ask her all about the quilting of Dad's yellow circley prick quilt.
Fantastic news there, she can quilt the first verse of Wordsworth's daffodil poem onto it, thus saving me from a thousand expletives and perhaps 4 weeks of grief.
I hate stitcheries, and I don't care who knows it.

I also have the green light to go ahead and make my Aboriginal hexagon quilt as big as I please as it doesn't need to be custom quilted at all and therefore won't cost me $400. Phew.
So, maybe I will go on to make it the shape of Australia after all.
Creative extravagance or lunacy?

And, as my uncle had safely delivered her babies some years ago, and because I was kind enough to drop her daughter's shoes at a friend's place on the way home, she even booked Dad's quilt in before I've actually finished it.
Unheard of.
And she gave me a break on the price too.

So, it seems that I am now officially a member of the quilting community.

Anyway, I was inside with Quilting Lady (and rushing) but also talking sewing and cuddling her cat, and the boys were outside dying from heat exposure, cursing my nimble fingers.

Poor Hell Boy is sick again, which is extremely unusual for him.
The heat did him no good at all.
He looked kinda frayed and wilted when I came out, which I'm sorry for, but I emerged with the weight of the world off my shoulders.

Anyway, common activity, widely varying experience.

Next stop, Rouse Hill shopping centre food hall.

Food halls are pretty close to the way I picture Hell.
Hell would have more Roosters jerseys.
There was only one there today, but it was stinking up the joint anyways.

Seriously, the very sight of those rags makes me start spitting.
Hell Boy's somewhat worse than me, but today I noticed that even calm, loping Yoga Boy was heard to mutter "cunt" or similar, under his breath.
It certainy wasn't "ohm", I'm sure of that.

Has he finally seen the light? Or have we worn him down to a nub and conditioned him like Pavlov's dog?

We split up to select our lunch and when we met back at the table, I had to laugh at the highly illuminating selections we had each made.

Mine was brown bread with avocado, turkey, cranberry, spinach leaves and cucumber. No butter.
And water.
No nonsense, make it snappy.

Hell Boy opted for piping hot Asian prawn soup in a bid to really get his fever happening, and Yoga Boy returned with a Quarter Pounder.
He immediately proceeded to scrape off the pickles and the onions, rather like a flavour-phobic 4 year old, or an average Australian adult. Same diff.

Then he remembered that he doesn't like McDonald's chips, threw them away and purchased another burger, again without asking them to leave out either of the dreaded flavoursome items.

Our final stop was Border's of course.
And coffee.

We each purchased a book, and I believe that the titles could easily be used to sum each of us up successfully.

I'm not shy, I'll go first.

Mine was the very first book I grabbed off the bargain table for $9.95.
A fine display of my inclination (and talent) for making a snap decision and sticking to it.
I like that about me.

Simone's choice = Toilets of the World.
256 pages.

I like it because it has a picture of a female urinal device that allows you to pee standing up like a man.
I would like to pee like a man.
Squatting places you at such a disadvantage.
Besides, it would be handy for road trips and doctor's visits.

Yoga Boy's choice = The Compass of Zen.

Looks sensible, seems to be about spiritual paths, yet promises, "an often hilarious presentation" of Buddhist traditions and teachings.
I confess I've never married Buddhism and hilarity in a sentence before today.
Hmm, I don't think I'll borrow that one.

Hell Boy's choice = The Grizzly Maze.

An in depth account of Timothy Treadwell's fatal obsession with Alaskan bears, and his descent into madness as he lived (and died) with them.

Oh, and Jeff also purchased a copy of Juxtapoz magazine because he liked the picture of the tattooed goat.
Fair enough too.

So, there you have it.
Three closely connected people with similar values, identical voting preferences and exactly the same address, exposing themselves through choices as simple as literature and lunch.

No butter.







PS I think this may be my fourth blog in a row featuring urine.
Go figure.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yellow snow.

It doesn't very often happen that being pissed off coincides with pissing into a cup in the dark in public, but today's the day.

Most of you are aware of my recent health problem/s and my approach their the treatment.

Call me old fashioned, but taking drugs just for their side effects for the rest of my life is not my idea of "doing no harm."

But then neither is, "let's wait until it's critical and then rip it out or pump you full of radioactive material, even though your cancer risk is in the Guinness Book of Records already."

And I cannot accept "we don't know" as a satisfactory answer to a question as simple as "why?"

And just when I thought that describing to my friends the look on the face of the specialist when I refused his " final solution", was going to be the funniest anecdote afforded by this situation, along comes this morning.

Mercifully, Monica had been kind enough to me give a heads up, but really, there's just nothing like walking the walk, is there?

After visiting a doctor who treats and investigates biochemical variables and their role in causing inflammation and disease, I had to front up at the local laboratory to do the biochemically appropriate testing.

No problems there. After going through IVF, I don't much care what they stick in me... (that's what she said...)

Six vials of blood on day one of my period when I'm still quite anaemic? Sure. Why not?

But that was after a wait of one and a half hours.
Try and guess how many lame vampire jokes I heard from old men as they filed out the door during this time?

The correct ratio of course, is one per vial of my blood.

In a ninety minute period, that's one every 15 minutes.

Pretty annoying really - I was reading Rosemary's Baby and fake laughter always breaks my concentration.

Eventually, once everyone who didn't have an appointment of any kind had been tended to, I went in for my 9am appointment at 10:30.

And I was somewhat angry.
Thank God they weren't checking my cortisol or adrenalin levels.
Alarms might have sounded.
Anyhow, with my poker face, a polaroid might have been just as definitive as venipuncture.

So, blood test over, I was then handed 2 sterile cups and told that I must take the torch, the cups, go to the toilet, lock the door, turn out the light, pee into the container with the green lid, pour it into the container with the yellow lid with the Vitamin C in it, close the lid, wrap it in aluminium foil with the shiny side facing out, place it back into the plastic bag, mop up, zip up, not spill anything, find the sink again, find the torch again, find the light switch again, wash my hands and then return with whatever dignity I possibly could, so that they could then snap freeze and farewell my urine for $80 before posting it to Queensland.

And all while I was good and cranky, almost menstruating and functioning with perilously low blood sugar, no supplements for 4 days and worst of all, a caffeine withdrawal headache.

Oh, and no make-up.

So, I think it's reasonable to say that it wasn't just me that had a bad time of it this morning.

PS Don't eat the yellow snow. It's probably full of kryptopyrroles.


Monday, September 8, 2008

1300 Michael.

OK, Nova's out.

What can I tell you?
That's it's silly? Pretentious? A wank?
Nah. I've done all that, and you still love me anyway.
And I still love Nova.

This edition didn't really raise my already twitching eyebrow though, until I hit the classifieds.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - their rival publication, Living Now has thieved their shit hot hippie writers and left poor old Nova to struggle on, sprouting reality like most of us do grey hair.
How sad.
Kinda like watching the Titanic sink.

Although in a way, this new and unbecoming comparative straighty-one-eighty approach now makes the classifieds stand out like dogs balls.

Non-bleached, dread locked, patchouli scented, low GI dogs balls.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Buried amongst ads for sheep's yoghurt and home births, is the mother of all ads. Page 40.

Quite seriously, they have listed a 1300 number ($2.45pm, credit cards accepted, SMS rate available) for Archangel Michael.

You heard me.
A direct line to Archangel Michael.

And I'm not making fun.
It actually states that you can receive guidance from the big guy 24/7 (clearly he's an insomniac) so long as you have a valid credit card.
Imagine receiving an SMS or missed call from him?

Good on him for getting with the times, I guess.
I think it's cool when old folks do stuff like that.
Hell, even my step-mother has recently done a basic computer course...and I know this because she now sends me chain mail.
You can never have enough chain mail.

Well, all that aside, this month seems a little slow in general. Certainly nothing to July.

So, should Archangel Michael's phone be engaged or even if he's not too sure how to switch to and from call waiting, you can always give Tiffani a call instead, and clear all your issues of abuse from this lifetime or any other for that matter.
Let's hope that wherever Hitler, Genghis Khan and Boney M are now, that they take advantage of this.

It's OK, you don't have to re-live the situation, and it seems you can reverse a whole lifetime of hurt in just an afternoon.
Hooray for Tiffani!
I don't think she's an archangel though.

Otherwise, you could discover your true inner light with Tamara. What?

Perhaps harness your infinite feminine power within that circle of other women who are sure to be scary indeed?

No?

OK, what about attending a sexual tantra workshop at which singles are welcome... and here's me still traumatised from being paired up with that weird guy at the first aid course.

Well, sad as it is, Nova's slipping.
She's showing her age and mainstream has digested many of her quirks.

Anyways, can't sit around here chatting, I keep hitting redial for 1300 Michael, and I'm off to see about becoming a "Quit cigarettes in 60 seconds" expert.

Ciao.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why girls go to the toilet in pairs. Part Two.

Well, we hadn't been there very long at all when Clair assessed the roadside peeing situation as being poor.

As much as she was willing to anoint the scrub, she quickly saw that there was really nowhere to do so without being in full view 20 pairs of bored eyes.

The wait had obviously already been so long that people were getting out to stretch their legs and walking between cars anyway.
People were providing each other with water, chatting, getting things from the boot and so forth.
Not your usual traffic jam.
This was much more interactive.

What scrub there was by the side of the road was pitiful at best, and in plain view.
Even men were struggling to get away with anything, which serves them right anyway.

And yet those icey poles wanted out.

So, faced with an emergency, Clair went into survival mode.
And it was magnificent to watch.

"I'll pee in something and just throw it out," she said.

But what?

Together we pulled the place apart, searching for something appropriate - we needed something the right size and shape...
But what is the right size and shape for the average piddle?
Are we talking a cup, a litre, a handbag? I dunno. How much do we pee in one go?
I tried to think back to my geriatric nursing days, but they were all on drugs. And we never served icey poles.

At some stage, one of us found a pink metal gingerbread tin which housed my ribbons and such.
Yes! Perfect. You could easily fit a twat over that, and it should hold a very decent sized piss too.

I was ready to turn my head discreetly and create a distraction while she did what she needed to...
Good thing Clair took the time out to discover whether gingerbread tins are watertight or not...

They are not.
German efficiency indeed.

OK, so by this stage, it was becoming dire.
We had placed a couple of phone calls to our partners to find out what was going on up ahead.
All they knew was that the road was closed and that they couldn't say when it would be re-opened.
No good waiting until it grew dark to pee either - it was only 4 o'clock and Clair really didn't seem to have 10 minutes in her, let alone 6 hours.

We hastily assessed every other possible vessel for seaworthiness with no luck.
For a few seconds there, we both believed that she could just refill that damned water bottle...

As preparations for this event proceeded, Clair made me promise that if she peed in a container in my car, then so would I.
Like blood sisters.

About now she had one twinge too many. She turned around in her seat, rifled through all the stuff on the backseat of my comparatively roomy yet small 2 door car, discovered her long, flat plastic storage container with her cross stitch in it and made a decision.

Turf the precise, painstaking work of 4 years out onto the seat and piss in the Goddamn thing!

Now, Clair's taller than me by quite a bit. I'm saying she'd be 5'10 slouching. Maybe more.
I'm also saying that the distance between the top of that container and the roof of my car is a lot less than that.

Next time you dearly need to pee, see if you can do it all scrunched up, off balance and laughing.
Pissing yourself laughing, no less.

If you can also take the time out from your embarrassed (I still don't know why), contorted hysterics to remember and apologise for your B group vitamins yuo had this morning, then you're in the vicinity of Clair's experience.

I think she'd even unwrapped a pad in the hope of mopping it up and reducing splash back, but with little effect.

Now, all the commotion of a full grown woman jumping into the backseat, sitting with her head pressed up against the roof, laughing and then climbing back into the front seat, had obviously attracted the attention of, well, everyone around us in that jam.

And then it was my turn.

"You promised!" she begged me.

OFFS
I certainly did need to pee, but it wasn't a desperate need.
But I thought it would make for a good anecdote and it would antidote Clair's embarrassment.

Even so, I could see no way that I was going to be able to manage this feat in the tight jeans I had chosen to wear that day.
No way at all.

Helpfully, Clair bounded out of the car with all the joy of a person newly relieved and fossicked through my luggage for a hippy skirt I'd brought along.
Then I got changed in the driver's seat as people walked by and while the man in the car behind us watched on.

Not having attracted enough attention already, I now had to crawl over the seats as Clair jumped into the driver's eat in case we had to go.

Negotiating a long flat container and negotiating a long flat container full of piss, is quite different of course.

And hitching up your skirt, trying to fit over it without knocking it over, and trying to look as though you're not shaping up to piss, and try to stop laughing long enough to actually do the piss itself, although simple enough individual tasks, are really farken difficult when you do them all together.

Throw into this mix the fact that the pad got caught in my stream and completely ruined any chance I had of sanity as it moved around in the piss like a ferry in a nasty storm.

But of course it was at this very moment, when I was struggling to catch my breath long enough to tell Clair about the pad, that we started to move.

I made it maybe 100 metres on my throne before I just cut the exercise short, dipped my skirt in urine, got splashed due to braking, pulled up, readjusted whatever I could and climbed back into the front seat just in time to be ushered onto the emergency exit and the real world again.

Mercifully we had a lid for that container.

You may imagine Jeff's surprise when he met us at the garage upon our return and helped us to unload the car.

Clair and I both now keep soft, folding dog water bowls in our glove boxes.









Why do girls go to the toilet in pairs? Part One.

Of course, I shouldn't be telling you this, but it really was a fine example of the taking one for the team mentality that one gets at some stage during a good friendship.

And I really did take one for the team, I don't care what you say.

The trip home to Sydney from Bron's place in Merriwa is long.
Especially when it's 40 degrees celsius outside and you need to pee.

Due to the January heat, Clair and I set off home with snacks, cold drinks, and I believe that we stopped for even more cold drinks and icey poles at Cesspit, which is pretty impressive considering that I don't like ice cream or ice blocks at all.

So, passing Tuggerah, I heard Clair say,

"I could really pee."

"No biggie",
I thought, "We'll make that. Only an hour and a bit. Easy."

But make it, we did not.

Not too long before the Berowra turn off, we saw smoke.
Just a little at first, kinda like a cloud flipping the bird at us as it drifted across the sky.

Then we saw the cars.
The brake lights.
The complete absence of movement.
The smell of petrol from cars that had stopped , but still had their A/C on.

Bushfire!

But just a little one. And just about exactly where we needed to be.
They were trying to stop it jumping the highway and heading off to Manly.
Pfffft , it's only Manly FFS.

"This is gonna take a while....and that's a pity because Clair needs to pee. And I will soon too," I thought as my mind raced back to my childhood.

Now, back in the 70's, there seemed to be some sort of national obsession with pulling over on highways and peeing in the bushes.
Reluctant children in particular.

Maybe it was considered a rite of passage back then to take your kid out and make them keep Australia beautiful?

My estimation is that by 1974, highways all throughout Australia were all but lined with these unhappy, desperate little people.

Even by 3 or 4 years of age, we had to be able to gauge for ourselves whether semi-trailers or snakes posed the greater risk to our longevity as we gave in and squatted.
Too far into the scrub and you were sure to meet with natural disaster, too close to the road - well, let's just remember that these were the days before there was any chance of being caught by a speed camera.

And grown ups were certainly no use when it came to assessing our safety. As I recall, any complaint coming from a small, squatting person, was met with,

"A leaf, a leaf! Use a leaf! Use a leaf!"

"But...I don't need to..."

"Don't be silly, no-one can see you!",
they would say, the last bit usually being drowned out by the frenzied honking of car horns from the very cars of the people who couldn't see us...

By 1977, I'm saying you couldn't back out the driveway without seeing kids being forced to urinate (or worse) in public - being stood over by parents in safari suits, bell bottoms and body shirts..

The highway pit stop was always a nightmare for me, what with my sense of decorum and severe allergic reaction to ant bites of all kinds...
Nevertheless, there's many a spot in the Australian countryside that has been tended to by me personally.

I never used a leaf though.

So, thirty years later, discovering that I needed to repeat the performance, came as something of a surprise to me.

Damn those icey poles!

But what I found out by putting myself in this unenviable position once again was this;
what was humiliating as a small child, is hilarious as an adult.

Hooray for the passage of time!

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I suspected as much.

Well, considering my eternal love for nonsense, I was delighted yesterday to hear from my aunt, that Celje, the town my father's family hails from is sometimes pronounced as SILLY.

SILLY!

Hello, my name's Simone. I'm from Silly.

So, on a serious note, the bones of my ancestors rest in Silly. Many of my family were been born and married in Silly. They laughed, loved, cried, ate, baked and sewed in Silly.

Hell, my kin roam free through the very streets of Silly as we speak.

Of course they do. Of course they do.

And I have now made the final decision that the destination that for my 40th birthday celebration, as well as the celebration of Jeff and my 20th anniversary as a couple wll indeed be in Silly.

Except, my birthday cake will be found in that scrumptious little Konditerei in Salzburg, where we shall certainly make our way to, either before we go (to) Silly, or after.

Poppyseed strudel. Yes indeed.

Most importantly, we stand a pretty fair chance of co-ordinating our trip with Dad & Viv's, so that Dad may be able to show me the house he was born in, where the Tischler factories were, the route he took to school, the church and even the Tischler bridge.

And perhaps via Singapore this time instead of Hong Kong... although...hmmm

And a slight side trip to visit Tone and Lina again, but this time in Berlin.
And perhaps a cruise down the Rhein so that Jeff can visit the hamlet of Bacharach, which enchanted him so on our last journey.

OK, got to go, I have a date with TripAdvisor.com.