Monday, November 2, 2009

Pot and kettle.

Yes, I am aware of my tardiness in blogging throughout that trip.
No, I am not going to apologise for it.
Better idea just to pull my finger out now and fix it.

But I'll be obeying the principle of reverse chronology, simply because that's the order in which my photos are going to be downloaded, and also a little bit because I'm a Pisces, I want to, and you can't stop me.

OK, so one thing that sat badly with me was that "convict" reputation the Brits still endow Aussies with.
Lame jokes are not in short supply, but ignorance of Australia's current cultural make-up certainly is. Just haven't kept their finger on the pulse, have they?
Australasia, mate.

For example, the group of 6 we were travelling in boasted only one member who might have held any sort of convict past in his ancestry.

1= German/Slovene
2= Lebanese
1= Northern Italian
1= Lebanese/Northern Italian
1= Patrick....

Therefore, 5/6 or 83.3% of our sample group hold no ties with the convict history, thus making English witticisms lame enough to make even Mrs Slocombe and The Two Ronnies blush.

The UK still has some wicked issues to deal with regarding racism and just cultural intolerance generally.
While we were there, the BBC let some horrific racist on TV prior to their elections and he's polling incredibly well.

In the cab from Manchester to Liverpool, I actually heard the driver ranting about "all the foreigners and illegals" in Liverpool distorting the true population figures.
When he was asked where these foreigners were from, he replied in all seriousness with, "Ireland."

That's a little like Sydney-siders complaining about foreigners from Gosford, isn't it?
Admittedly I have done that many times, so I'll shut up now.

After weathering Aussie convict jokes and the morally superior English looking down their noses at us with our customary good natured Australian humour, we took ourselves off to the British Museum for the morning...

...have you heard of that one? The British Museum.

Hands up who was hoping for tea pots, Beatles and clotted cream?

Nope. It is a collection of priceless, ancient artifacts stolen by the English from all around the globe.
The only thing in there that was British was the food, and that was a damned shame.

And when I say artifacts, I'm talking about things like.... the Rosetta Stone and Amenhotep III's busts, rather than just the loaves of bread stolen by starving people that they're still giving the Aussies shit about.
The British Museum boasts over 110,000 artifacts from Egypt alone.

Dirty thieving bastards!

It was standing thus, under some 4,000 year old Assyrian something-or-other in the very heart of London, that the true meaning of the word Commonwealth finally dawned on me. derrrr

Apparently, the museum's official stance on their ill-gotten gains is,

"restitutionist premise, that whatever was made in a country must return to an original geographical site, would empty both the British Museum and the other great museums of the world",

And translates to finders keepers, or even GGF in my book.

And I'm proud to say that one country that fought the pricks and won so far, has been.... Australia, but that's possibly because it was "only" human remains they'd taken from the indigenous population they wiped out in Tasmania, and not something they considered truly valuable.

Anyway, next time you hear a dig from the Brits about the Australian convict history, be sure to remind them of their own light fingers and heavy pockets.
I find it useful to mention that the convicts were indeed British at the time of their offense - a much forgotten fact.

Pot and kettle.

And now that I think about it, if Patrick's family had stolen something, my guess is that it was a priceless statue of a demon rather than a loaf of bread, and that doesn't count anyway, does it?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lake Bled

Surely this place cannot be for real.

Every way you look it seems more beautiful than the last glance. The colours of the alps and the water are indescribable and the overall effect is as close to having a religious experience as I think I'll ever get.

There certainly is some magic there.

I won't bother to continue, other than with a few pictures.

We're in Celje now, the town where my father was born. Tomorrow we'll head up to their castle and we'll meet Mateja, dad's cousin's daughter and then we'll go out to vitenje, the town where he actually grew up on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bled time machine?

Umm, okay, so just quickly, our hotel in Bled, Slovenia, which, incidentally is the best place I've ever been or stayed, has a hairdryer that looks (and sounds) like a vacuum cleaner hose.

At least I thought it was a hairdryer.

But since having used it, I'm now wondering whether it's not in fact, a time machine.

And I say this in all seriousness, because when I went in there it was 2009, and when I came out just a few minutes later, it was clearly 1993.

Anyway, decide for yourselves, and next time you watch Eurovision, don't be so amazed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Holy crap!

Orright, shit, where do I start?

The answer does not lie on a German keyboard. Everything is on different keys, the shift , alt functions are like special moves you sometimes accidentally pull off on Street Fighter.

So, we're well- after Jeff's protracted bout of flu and my 3 days of it. Mercifully we were with Tone during the worst of it rather than on the road.

Vienna we had internet access but not a second to scratch ourselves, so I'll catch that up later, then we separated from the others and we pressed on to Leipzig for tax purposes.
We saw a hundred year old tube of haemorrhoid cream (half used) almost as scary as a few of the tubes in our medicine cabinet.
Loved Leipzig, saw Bach's grave and then ran out to Dresden the next morning.

Almost pissed my pants with confusion trying to decide which incredible building to photograph first. Gretchen, you and I need to go there together. i shudder to think of the poics you would take there-lots of wire/construction up against those beautiful, grand churches and such.

We finally made it onto the Kurt Vonnegut Slaughter House 5 tour and now have a piece of one of it's tile in my pocket (Jeff did it)

I just posted this and lost half, so bear with me, I don't write well when I'm cranky.

We made it to berlin just in time for the anniversary of the wall which was chaotic for time poor tourists.

Am off to slovenia now, and hope to have internet in the room for a week or so, hopefully I can stuff some pics on here and write properly.

My English is now backwards becoming,a nd I hope that will correct itself once the others join us in salzburg.

I will not be reading this back or correcting it, so GGF.

Or FGG auf deutsch.

can someone please feed Adrian? That'd be tops.

Hugs to you all,


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Republic of Kugelmugel | Vienna, Austria | Atlas Obscura

As we are travelling once again to dear old Vienna, home to countless generations of Tischlers (or so I'm told), for what feels like the fourth time, I have actually taken pains this time to research the city and see what's there that we may have missed.

The Austrians don't disappoint.

Firstly, in the medieval church, St Stefan's Dom, they have 11,000 plague victims in the basement, the bones of whom it was the job of criminals to clean of rotting flesh.
As an added bonus, they have the royal Hapsburg (the ruling royal family including Marie-Antoinette's family) crypts and various jars of their organs - some of which recently leaked and created such a stench that no-one would consider going downstairs to deal with the situation for days.
Cripes, what a bunch of babies. It's only 300 year old bowel juice!
Truly...some people.

And to think that the last 6 times I've entered that magnificent building, I've walked straight over all these gems.

But also, I discovered am amusement park that boasts 4-5 ghost trains and a rotor!Put that on the list.

And then I found out that there is a Viennese guy who built himself a sphere for a house, got in a monster fight with the government about it (buildings are very much either square or rectangular in Vienna), declared his sphere a republic in, no less, in 1984, and then refused to pay tax, printed his own stamps and narrowly avoided going to a rectangular prison by allowing the to move his spherical micro-nation to Prater which is the park that contains the amusement park.

Outside his sphere he has a "scheisse list" (shit list) of people who thwarted his attempts to declare independence and who tried to send him to prison. You can imagine this type of unreasonable fascist I'm sure. If you cannot, simply get up and have a quick peep in the mirror.

I've never seen a barbed wire protected sphere dwelling in the shadow of a roller coaster before, so I'm pencilling in Monday 28th September to round off (get it?) my education.

Stay tuned, I shall be blogging my new and improved arse off throughout Europe and I ain't gonna be polite, nuther.

Oh, and if you're wondering, his republic is called KugelMugel, so, it will probably come as no surprise to you that his address is listed as:

Number 2 Antifaschismusplatz, Prater

Republic of Kugelmugel | Vienna, Austria | Atlas Obscura

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Mail call.

The other day I received a box full of goodies from Cleveland- the source of all things cool and interesting.

I almost tripped over it as I left the house in a hurry, and opened it using my very girlie lime green flowery Swiss army knife as I sat in the car waiting for Hell Boy.

It's contents were as follows:

  • Barack Obama quilting fabric LOL - 2 kinds - my mind is now fully taken over with thoughts of WTF can I make out of that!? I do have a few ideas, but they're a bit further out there than usual, so I think I should just go ahead and do it.
  • cupcake thongs/flip flops - exactly my size too
  • wine cooler with a Rabbitoh on it!
  • Oscar Wilde card *sigh*
  • groovy gift box
This is the kind of mail I like to get. Out of the blue, fun and thoughtful.
So thanks Gretchen. xoxx

Naturally I have returned serve and we shall have to wait until next week to see how that goes. ;O)

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Yoga of Pies.

Back in the olden days, when I was a kid, our school had no canteen.
Thinking rationally now, perhaps this was why my parents chose it.

And back then, during winter, we would excitedly expect a visit from the pie man.
Mondays I think.
Yoga Boy believes it was every Monday throughout winter, but I thought it was only once a month.

20 cents? 30 cents? Something like that anyway.

First thing in the morning, before class had started, the teacher would grab the list and ask you to raise your hand if you wanted to order a pie for lunch.
The groans and shufflings form the children who, for one reason or another didn't have the money was awful.

But it never fascinated me me as much as the kids who would raise both hands straight up in the air, declaring that they could eat two pies!

Bloody hell, to me that was like some sort of contest that was worthy of prime time television.

Matthew Crawley. I can still see him with his arms right up over his head like he was about to dive into a pool. His were the first up and the last down- just in case the teacher missed his order.
He can't have been the only one, but he's the only one I can remember. Funnily enough, that's the only thing I can remember about him save his name.

I do also remember that you were meant to bring along a bowl and a spoon on pie day.
We had one teacher who would dogmatically enquire whether you'd brought it all along before asking you to raise your hand, thus briefly (and cruelly) implying that if you did not, that you might be facing disqualification.
Ghastly stuff for nine year olds to deal with.

Just last year when Hell Boy and I visited Henry VIII's Hampton Court in London, we checked out the kitchens and learned that pies were invented to save money on buying expensive crockery.
The pastry itself, which was discarded, served only as a case or bowl for the pie's contents, and also made for the very first "fast" food in that it could be easily transported and eaten on the road.

Bring a bowl indeed.

Now, you may not know this, but there is in fact, more than one way to eat a pie. TWSS
And usually, I would quietly imply that the inclination stemmed from genetics or familial example.
But I can't, it stems directly from peer influence alone, and I have photographic evidence to back me up.

Yoga Boy, my senior by two years, seemed to have learnt all about pie eating on those Mondays at Burnside Primary.
I'm glad I missed it back then, but some thirty something years later I must now watch it each time we go to the football.


Last game I took the camera so that I could capture the technique for you.

1) Peel off lid
2) Eat lid
3) Mix tomato sauce into now luke warm filling with bare, unwashed fingers
4) Scoop out filling with first two fingers, straight into mouth, disregarding all hygiene regulations and any sort of manners
5) Repeat
6) Make a big show of "cleaning" fingers with tongue despite the fact that it is in far worse shape
7) Scrunch up empty base into a cylindrical shape and eat
8) Wipe excess spittle and gristle from fingers onto trousers - right thigh area seems to be the best for this
9) Smell fingers whilst pretending to scratch nose - pfnaar pfnaar

So, if you're feeling up to it next time you're in public, give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not welcome.

I am not welcome in the ocean.

I've known it since I was quite young, maybe 4 or 5 years old.

Actually, now that I think of it, I'm not really welcome in most bodies of water, be they salt or otherwise.
There's almost always a drama, and the few normal saturated experiences I've had were due to me being under Hell Boy's protection for a brief period. Like having an maritime bouncer or like in Pac Man when you eat the ghost and are briefly invincible. Heady stuff.

Hell Boy is descended from many many generations of seafarers, and I know this to be true because his mother once gave me instructions as to how to beat an octopus to death on the rocks.

Having grown up on Maroubra beach, and having spent time as a surf lifesaver, he feels very connected to the ocean and very comfortable in it.
He says he can feel it doing him good and washing away the negative residues of life. When he's in the ocean's embrace, he is completely happy and his soul is at peace.

I'm not like that.

When I'm in the ocean, I'm looking around, frantic, trying to determine from which direction the next onslaught will come.
As soon as I make contact with that salty water, it does all it can to eject me.

And if you don't believe me, I once got dumped in ankle deep water.
OK so it was at Maroubra, which is not the indigenous word for calm water, but still, 3 year old kiddies were pointing and laughing at me.

So, for one reason or another, I simply do not equate the beach with relaxation.
Except for the times I've been with immersed with Hell Boy, I have felt harrassed out there.

Harrassed by bubbles, even the fluffiest of which have the ability to knock me over if I lose my concentration.
Harrassed by every piece of seaweed in the vicinity.
Harrassed by small curious fish who scare the shit out of me with their goggly eyes and scaly slimes.
Harrassed by phantom shark sightings.
Unnaturally terrified of electric eels, pirhanas, moray eels and quicksand, all of which are looking out for me even as we speak.
Harrassed by blue bottles, for whom I appear to have a magnetic attraction. My guess is they're seeking the refuge of camouflage on my skin.
Harrassed by the agonising sensations of cold water that only someone with a light frame can ever understand.
Harrassed by the excrutiating pain of old middle ear infection scars due to wicked coastal winds.

And then there's the rips, the freak waves, that pointy scratchy sand, the cement...

Yep, the cement.

I was with Hell Boy at Avalon beach, hoping that the elements might be kind and give me a break so that I could share his joy in the beach experience...

And because he'd noted that the surf was too rough for me (it was barely moving), we went to swim in the tidal pool at the south end just to be sure.

I hate deep pool water, it makes me panic. But I decided to grin and bear it for at least 5 minutes.
I was cold too, so I hopped out and was sitting on a nearby ledge trying to warm up in the sun, thinking that it might take another 20 minutes or so before my poor skin began to change from frost bitten blue to sunburnt red.

And then, even though I was nowhere near the water itself at the time, I got dumped.


How the hell is that even possible?

Well, the scar running down my left elbow and both my thighs confirm that you can in fact be dumped whilst not actually being in the ocean.
But only if you're me, so don't worry.
I slid a good 10 metres across a cement landing before coming to an abrupt halt up against some rocks, nails ground down to tatty splinters, dignity non-existent, a bleeding, pulpy mess.

Not welcome.

Poor Hell Boy.
At least I try to enjoy his passion though. TWSS

After this happened and the general amazement died down, it occurred to me that the situation felt somewhat familiar.

My mother lived for the sun (clearly not a genetically dominant trait) and as small children, Yoga Boy and I spent many an afternoon either at Mona Vale beach or at Parramatta Pool doing the whole 1970's bronzed Aussie thang.

Except me.

I was doing the "that dead blue bottle just stung me" or the "almost drown while both your parents are holding your hand" thang.

My parents had taken me for a little splash into the babies pool (ewwwwwwwwwww) which was perhaps 1-2 inches deep in the shallow end. I was maybe 18 months old.
They were having a little chat, each holding one of my hands and eventually looked down to discover that I was way ahead of any schedule and was already floating and on the way to becoming blue.

At the time I'm sure they felt a little negligent and very confused by it all.
My father being an engineer, never quite saw how it was even physically possible.
And lets' face it, it isn't.

Years later, after realising my God given gift for defying the aquatic odds, they just scratched their heads and hoped that I'd have the good sense to steer clear of the water.

And so I did until 20 years ago when *enter Hell Boy stage left*

Friday, June 19, 2009


Far be it from me to thumb my nose at ancient beliefs...

I am prepared to make an exception for the ancient Mayans because they were savvy enough to use astronomy whilst also believing in the power of goats and such.
Mainly, however, I choose to embrace the prediction of the Mayan calendar, that the earth will encounter it's end, catastrophe, or simply a major change in spiritual dynamics on 21-12-2012.

Indeed, I hope it's so.

Being on board the day the world ends would be almost as exciting as being swept up in the mosh pit at a Ramones gig, and I've already done that, so I'm up for something bigger this time.

As such, I issue ample notice that on 2oth December, 2012, we will be hosting a party, just in case.

Fancy dress no less, and the theme...
...Let's confuse future intergalactic archaeologists!

Imagine for an insane moment that the prediction is correct and the world really does end that day.

Wouldn't it be nice to leave a confusing legacy so that in years to come, alien investigators will discover beautifully preserved pirates, milk maids, zombies and 7 foot chickens all happily spending time together?
Universal recorded history as we know it will change for the better.

Earth's reputation as a planet will change from "narky, stupid and violent bipedal life form who polluted their own planet" to " we don't know what they were exactly, but they looked to be having a good time!"

And that sounds a little better, doesn't it?
Almost like partially writing your own eulogy. Hey that's an idea... hmmm

But not as entertaining as Bukowski's epitaph which reads, "Don't try" or Spike Milligan's which was meant to read, "I told you I was ill..."
Such a pity that his stupid, boring family dropped the ball and denied him that final laugh, a bigger pity too that the bastards refused to allow him to be buried in a washing machine, which would surely have been a fitting acknowledgement of his genius.

Anyhoo, pencil it in.


About 7:30 will be fine.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our garden.

Our house is kind of on a battle axe block, meaning that it's really deliciously private.
Like retire and run a nudist colony out there private.

A weird, half-arsed tropical oasis complete with banana tree, mango tree, koi pond and conceptual art, courtesy of the area's friendly, if incontinent fruit bats.
Absolutely nothing gets that stuff off, so we choose to regard it as beautiful.

The cats adore this garden, enjoying a variety of hidey-holes from which to spring at one another with no warning.

We also share land with a family of blue tongued lizards who appear to be evolving specifically to be better equipped at frightening the pants off me at regular intervals.

This block came to us, equipped with an intricate cat alarm system, maintained by those shitty little grey minor birds that some idiot brought over from India.

And you know what I like best about these birds?

They're blatantly rascist.

Seriously. They have major issues with black cats.
Brown's OK though.

These intolerant, noisy "junkie" birds as Hell Boy calls them , squawk mercilessly in groups of up to 20, as soon as they see one of our black 2 cats enter the garden.
I've had to turn the hose on them to be able to hear myself think.

Poor Poppy, she's never known anything different. She just thinks that's what the great outdoors sound like.
In one way it's quite good, in that we always know where the girls are.

Honourable mention to that community of hand sized spiders who string their webby business up from October-April each year.
Why they choose to live at 5m intervals in a direct line between our front door and our garage door is known only to them.
Sometimes it looks like an Indiana Jones movie out there.

What I do appreciate about them though, is that each year, they actually learn the measurements of our tallest regular visitor, and they then make the necessary adjustments to their nightly engineering, so that after about a month of mutual disaster, all webs are precisely 1 inch higher than their heads.


So, the garden renovations are about half done, with no immediate plans to advance that.
We can see that as being slack, or we can see it as leaving nature alone for a change and enjoying some level of domestic wilderness.

Anyhoo, for now, the frogs, ants, bugs, fish, cats, rats, white peacocks, possums and whatever the hell else is out there are all happy, healthy and noisy.
So all is well in our little piece of 'straylia.

Welcome any time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New life

What a year of change 2009 has been.

I felt it arriving, ready or not, and so followed my intuition and went with the flow.

And what difference.

My health has improved, I feel happier, more enthusiastic towards all areas of life, and I wake early each day, barely able to make it to 7am before getting up and starting my day.

My life is filled now with only positive people, and I believe all aspects will continue to grow and increase with joy and fulfillment.

I have found the perfect clinic space, and in so doing, I suspect I have discovered a bunch of new friends who will go on to become very important to me in the years to come.

All of my life experience and professional experience will now be able to emerge, uninterrupted and complete.

The support and encouragement I have given so freely to others during the course of my life is now returning to me ten-fold.

I accept that there will be bumps on the path, but from now on, it's my path.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Maturing nicely.

By and large, 40th birthday presents should be elegant, boring or appallingly tokenistic. Perhaps all three.
That is, if the person celebrating the milestone is generally regarded as an adult.

Apparently, I am not generally regarded in such light.

But that's good, right?

What am I talking about?

I'm referring to the list of gifts I received for my 40th birthday. I think you'll agree that either, this is:

a) pretty damning evidence
b) worthy of inclusion in bold on the cover sheet of my CV.

In random order, because that's the way my brain works, I recently received the following:

  • 1000 worms (incl vegetable scraps and a clump of pubic hair for them to eat)
  • compost bin 1
  • compost bin 2
  • floor cleaning slippers
  • hand sewn "Still hate the Roosters" block by Clair
  • pirate bandaids
  • giant eraser
  • home made doll of Lila by Lila
  • home made earrings from cat bells
  • home made Beatles reiki pack by Cath D.
  • Glo-Stix earrings
  • The Atheist Manifesto
  • Edelweiss handbag
  • Pandora turtle
  • Pandora bunny
  • Pandora football
  • comical underpants
  • slipper socks with pig pompoms
  • brass flying pig watering can which is not water tight and looks a lot like Phoebe

Please be advised that all of the above mentioned gifts are cherished.

Okay, okay,so that's not all I got, I did in fact receive some lovely, sensible gifts, but I'm not proud of that, and I'm not inclined to mention them.
Of course, amongst everything else, I did get the gift of freedom when I quit my job, but that's not silly, so I'm not counting it.

Hooray for life, luv sim xoxo

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thanks a lot, Michael...

I'd like to take the time out of my busy schedule to thank someone for reacquainting me with my dark side.

The OCD- I cannot leave it alone once I start it jigsaw puzzle gene I inherited from Dad.

Staying at Clair and Michael's (and Dawn and Daniel's) as I was last month,Michael popped out his Australian map jigsaw puzzle...which I tried to resist, briefly, and later had to drag myself away from as I feared I'd complete it before he returned home from work the next day, thus ruining the experience for him.

Hooray for my self discipline.

A week or 2 later, I made Hell Boy take me jigsaw shopping, both of us knowing full well that this was going to be bad for everyone, except maybe the cats.

K-Mart obliged us with a selection of ghastly $4 jigsaws, which sadly meant that between the 2 of us, we came to the conclusion that we should purchase all of them.

I've done an average of 1 per week (1000 pieces) and the last one was virtually within 2 days...and we went out for Yum Cha into the city, so...

In other news, my neck and shoulders seem to be quite painful.
I was even so brazen as to confess to Ed, my osteopath, that I had indeed injured myself doing a jigsaw, perhaps the nerdiest thing I've ever said.
I didn't help that he was genuinely impressed.

The last puzzle, I even had the help of Igor's 5 year old boy, Lennon. He actually found 2 pieces of the sky which was all the same shade of blue.

Lennon declared to me," not everybody can do have to be smart."
"And patient," I added.

The second puzzle I did - the one with the missing piece - I'll blame the cats, but honestly I believe I vacuumed several pieces up, I got Dad to help me with.

He was over at Easter and I brought the board out. He went through his usual routine of,

"Shit, Simone, what are you doing to me? No, Jesus, that's terrible!"

And then kept Viv waiting for 2 hours while he refused to budge until he'd found that piece with the stripe and the crooked leg.


So, after doing 3 1000 piece puzzles of images I really didn't like at all, I decided that I wanted to do a puzzle of Schloss Neuschwanstein - my favourite building in the world, and a place we're going back to in October.
We trekked into nerd headquarters, HobbyCo in QVB, but they only had a 1500 piece one, so now our house has a permanent source of frustration, triumph, musculoskeletal disorders and profanity right in our dining room.

So, once again, hats off and a very big thank you to young Michael for setting me off and a bender.
Where was Beagle Bay btw?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New places

Apart from being a year crammed full of huge changes for me, this year I will be visiting a few new places.

I like to visit new places.

Additionally, I will be re-tracing footsteps in places that will look totally different due to seasonal changes. eg Vienna, Budapest and Salzburg sans black ice!!! woot woot

This trip , we will be seeing the following new cities:

Melk - to the Abbey of Melk, where I will hopefully be finding a wicked souvenir or two for Monica

Berlin -cripes, where do I start? Hitler's bunker, Unter den Linden, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, Nazi walks, Reichstag... better bone up on the WWII history. TWSS

Sans Souci/Potsdam -Charlottenburg Castle

Dresden -to visit the scene of Slaughterhouse 5, and to dash though the medical museum so that I may claim my trip on tax.... oooh, and to see the most heavily bombed city of WWII

Leipzig - to visit Samuel Hahnemann's statue - he founded homoeopathy, thus another tax dodge, God love him

Bled -the most beautiful place on earth

Celje -Dad's birthplace

Vitenje -Tischler town - meeting my Slovenian relatives

Ljubljana -including day trips to the coast line and to wicked castles


Piran -Jeff would like to retire here



Liverpool - BEATLES pilgrimage

But what I'm really excited about is meeting some of my Slovenian relatives. Just yesterday I received an answer from Matja, who is married to my Oma's brother's grandson...what's that, second cousin?

Anyway, I have discovered that she is a teacher and he is a scuba diver....WTF. They both trundle around the world scuba diving.

Don't you just love having cool relos?

Her manner of speaking is kinda familiar to me in that she was very friendly and offered me plenty of virtual hugs already. LOL Even I kept it reasonably unemotional for the first email, so I think from now on, anything goes. And most of you reading this will know how bad that might prove to be.

So, I have booked and paid for all the flights, and a couple of the tours. I'm fine tuning the Berlin leg and then I can book all that, although most of it will be independent anyway.

Then all I need to do is compile a list of the stuff we're planning to do as a group and cough up the cash.

Luggage is bought, got the North Face jacket this week, still have thermals and could pack the rest tomorrow if I had to.
Only thing I need is a new pair of boots, but as I want exactly the ones I already have, I'm resigned to giving in to the Gods of shoes, who hate me so very much.

Next week, I'll dump thew entire itinerary on here, more for my peace of mind than yours.

I'm writing this on my new laptop, which I bought for my new clinic, but it'll be coming along on the trip do that I don't have to be arsed finding God awful, smokey internet cafes all over Europe.

So, strap in for long winded blogs this time rather than 2 paragraphs of garbled nonsense on Facebook.

woot woot

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mercury pulled it's finger out.

By astrological terms, Mercury has been retrograde since at least January sometime, bringing all sorts of hitches to communication, transport, basically smooth progress of anything.

Seems that today it pulled it's finger out and played catch up for Simone. (TWSS)

Backing out of the driveway this afternoon, I almost ran into the delivery van.
It was close.

So, Hell Boy got out to see what he had - neither of us could remember visiting Ebay or Amazon, so we had no idea what he was going to present us with.

As Hell Boy waited for the guy to stop rummaging around in the back of his van (TWSS), he went to the letterbox.

Well, today, instead of bills or bad news, we were besieged with gifts.

From all over the place.

In the mail from Clair, I received a block (early WTF) made from killer red and green fabric. It came in an envelope with a Russell Crowe stamp, lovingly defaced by Clair with a talk bubble saying, "Go the Bunnies."

Then Hell Boy threw a parcel through the car window onto my lap from my aunt.
A belated hand made 40th gift, held up because it was entered in a competition somewhere and had been busy winning the GRAND CHAMPION award.
It's exquisite. Tiny, tiny, perfect embroidery stitches. Just amazing.

As I was yet enjoying this feast of crafty loveliness, I heard him say,
"Farken A! It's from Cleveland!"

Another much larger parcel, containing the North Face jackets he's been in love with these 6 months at least, sent on to us by Gretchen all the way from Cleveland clap clap clap Cleveland clap clap clap

Far better travelled than either the sender or the recipient, these magnificent items, even with postage costs, still were significantly less than store price in Australia had we bought them here.
And this tells me that either the good people at North Face don't believe Aussies get cold, or that they simply don't care.

Anyway, many, many thanks to the lovely Gretchen for the time and trouble of getting them here and making Hell Boy's day/year and for filling the box (TWSS) with all manner of goodies for me.

I'm guessing the Amish people cookie cutters were for me and not Hell Boy?
Fabric, cookie cutters, a Statue of Liberty building book (LOL) and my new favourite mug from Charlie's Dog House Diner....cripes, what a jackpot.
Chili Dogs!
WTF are chili dogs, and why haven't I had one yet?

Well anyway, Gretchen, I hope you enjoy the pics of me using my Charlie's Dog House Diner mug for the very first time.
Sadly, I feel as though I'm getting a cold, so I used it to take some of the worst tasting herbs in recorded history, and I've made up some shit, I mean,seriously, but the good news is that I was able to use that yellow cloth you included to stop myself from vomitting afterwards, so nothing went to waste.

Monica and Clair, you'll appreciate this ... Andrographis, Olive leaf, Golden Seal, Elder and Echinacea (all triple dosed)...not even a jot of Licorice to bust up the taste... gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarhhhhhhhhhhhhk, dirty son of a...

Nice to see me getting a dose of my own medicine though, eh?