Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Where Did My Friends Go?

Friends . . .can't live with 'em, can't live without em but having 'em is always an asset. I've always been a bit lean on the friendship side. I mix OK but don't like most people, they're opinionated, dense, uninterested in others and generally self-absorbed and competitive so when I do meet someone with zest, personality, an opinion and a willingness to listen, I latch onto them like a mollusc on a damp rock and try desperately to never let them go. But go they do. So this is a melancholy little entry for some . . I miss the StanTheMan, he didn't stay with me long but we've been such good friends. . even though he was living in the land of the long white cloud for most of his antipodean stay it was a mighty leap closer than that little island cluster he's on at the moment. I can't wait for him to get back south and I really will make the effort to visit him and his new insta-family.

I miss the DesignPrincess too . . . last time I heard from her, she was jetting about between Ireland and Germany, buying houses in Notting Hill and swanking with the trendoids. I got a mouthful too for berating her for not talking to her friends back home . . but I haven't heard a word since . . . .

Then there's that Dancin'Queen who travelled to Prague and never came back. She's cast herself a new life as well but no news is good news from her point of view so I'm not too worried. She's a hot stop on the BIG TRIP whenever that happens, just hope that my walking frame can cope with those tight alleys and that I'm stable enough to down a couple of absynthes without breaking out the Poise.

Finally there's that Yorkshire mob, only met them first in 1995 and didn't like them much when we first lobbed - thought they were pretentious - how wrong could I be. We were reunited in 2001 and had an absolute blast. They're intellectually challenging (not challenged) and have me on my toes from name that plant to my opinion on the lack of rainfall in the Andean valley. Not to mention the book reviews . . .I'll have to read another one before I meet up with them. Still, a love of the grape and all things labrador has bridged all gaps and we're still correspondents.

And . . last but not least there's the absent e-friends, Oirsh and BeanBoy, even little WeaglesFan, never met 'em, never will but they're fun to play with on the net. Who knows, maybe next time they're in Sydney, they'll look me up.

Then there are those closer to home. Not too many and I've finally decided that if they are to remain friends, effort is to be made. that's right readers, it's taken me half a century to realise that real friends are worth the effort . . .they're worth staying in touch with, having a laugh with, sharing their problems and their joys. I love Overall, BikerGirl and YummyMummy. I love our quarterly lunches stupid jokes and broad discussions on alternative therapies . . .you girls are an alternative therapy . . YummuMummy is right I feel validated after an afternoon with you lot.

I love our sporadic dinners with TheTeacher and MerryWidow - as long as the alcohol doesn't get the best of us, tends to make the tears flow - it's lovely sharing family tales, grumpy female woes and hideous sexual jokes with like-minded people. I love our weekend forays (not enough of them mind you) with TheTeacher, MerryWidow and the VetsWife. We have to be especially careful not to make her laugh too much for reasons of a weak pelvic floor despite my constant insistance that she'work it girl'.

Then there's coffee each Saturday with Babysis. We solve the problems of the world like how much cheaper Aldi is than Coles and whether generic Tim Tams are as good as the real thing, whether the quality of the horse feed is appropriate . . . how to stop 7 year olds bashing the bejezzus out of dad's PC and other important matters . . . then I feel guilty about having not done any washingl, pack ThePrincess - all covered in mud usually - in the back of the car and begin the days 'homework'.

Then there's Thommo. Bless her cotton socks, she's been around since Jobe was a baby. I always forget her birthday, she never forgets mine. She never sends Christmas cards, I always do. She frets and fawns, I'm so relaxed it's terrifying. She's rich as rockafella, I'm poor as a church mouse . . .she's thin as a whip, I'm fat as a house but somehow there's a chemistry there that makes us the inseparable odd couple. She's one of the few people I can work with, holiday with, share a kitchen with, walk 20kms with, cry with or just do nothing with.

Bless yer cotton socks Thommo . . you're the bomb!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blow Job

Ahh to be in Sydney now that spring is here . . .35 degrees in the shade, big blue skies, puffy Simpsonesque clouds . . sounds like paradise . . .

I have been unable to complete my Sunday blog due to 95km per hour winds and a bloody grassfire opposite number 7! I wasn't game to leave the PC on for fear of a blackout which came at about 12:15pm. I once fried a motherboard (and ate it with a glass of nice Chianti) through a power surge - also fried my DVD, Alarm and Microwave and blew up the pool pump so I'm very sensitive to lightening strike, power surges and blackouts.

Yep, yesterday was the day from hell. Hot, windy, smokey, noisy and enough to make ThePrincess so fearful that she spent the bulk of the day wedged between the couch and the side table or cowering in the shower recess.

Not unusual for us to have an Indian summer before the long weekend but this was scary Sunday. Branches from the lemon scented gum narrowly missed my roof and another heavyweight fell just centimetres from the back shed. The entire lawn area (about 1ha) is strewn with twigs, branches, leaves and other debris deposited during the wind storm. All I have to do now is get Babybro to overcome his fear of mixing two-stroke and using his mofo of a chainsaw in an attempt to tidy up around the place.

He's already panicking about the place looking a mess for the big NRL Grand Final BBQ next Sunday - he needs to chill, doesn't he notice that every Saturday afternoon, the leaves have magically vanished, plants are watered, pool is clean . . . men, they don't notice a damn thing unless it's 2 centimetres from their schnoz, clearly labelled and attached to something alcoholic as an incentive to read and recognise.

I hate gum trees, those of you who know me are aware of the affinity I have for my leaf blower and it's not for any kinky reason. Gum trees shed, leaves, bark, branches . . . even the bloody flowers waft all over your windscreen. Kill them all . . this does grate against my environmental bent but after living in close proximity with them for almost 2 decades, I can safely say that deforestation can't come soon enough for me. It will take us a week to clean up the twigs, flowers, fallen branches bark . . . if it can come loose it WILL fall off a gum tree.

Four flyscreens suffered also and three of them are now all bent out of shape and half way up the back yard and my newly spruced and cleaned swimming pool has a layer of sticky gum flowers bunging up the works.

Still, ever the optimist, managed to back up with a BBQ once the wind subsided, GymJunkie and ClareBear were already coming for dinner but ended up with DrummerBoy and a number of other post pubescents eating me out of house and home. It is nice to be able to share the virtues of a Mudgee Verdello with your son I must say . . . only the best for my little soldier boy.

Resolution for today: Try to get DrummerBoy to think of sausages as a food group not just a collection of lips and arseholes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


What is it about the mature age worker that prevents them from embracing technology, enjoying the internet, learning how their PC works . . .learning how to type or put paper into the printer the right way round! It's pathetic.

I'm crap compared to most gen Xers but jeez, I know how to change the batteries in my mouse and add some extra RAM . . I even work with someone who still yells out to his assistant for phone numbers when he's got some pretty sophisticated industry software sitting on his PC which not only tells him the client's name and number but how often they go to the loo . . . hopeless and no desire to change.

Another things that 'they' think Excel is hard wired into the computer and that anyone who can master it must be an IT genius or bloody Software Engineer - oh no that wouldn't be right, they'd think a software engineer was someone who designs cushions.

Others are two-finger typing at a pace that is nauseating to the point that you just do it for them. You know, it's like watching Clare Bear's boyfriend GimJunkie trying to iron a business shirt, eventually you get up and do it for him because the pain of watching him struggle with a seam and trying to work out whether he's left or right handed makes your brain hurt and your eyes bleed. (Actually I didn't do it for him but I might next time . . .) We even have a guy at work who asked for some keyboard shortcuts . . not the sophisticated ones, oh no . . no F9 for him . . Ctrl B, Ctrl I, Ctrl X . . . need I say more.

I can do it and I'm old enough to remember the first PC . . . I had an A4 Apple before the Mac bit came in . . . and it was stunning. State of the art, everything a Copywriter needed and in a format that could be read. I knew my SCSI's and dongles . . even had a RasterOps screen . . I've just grown with them. I'm not a patch on young Arkenstone or the BucollicBoffin but I know my way around a directory tree. Enough to train my own younglings to optimise their Macs and Defrag their PC's.

Get with it you old farts . . . it's not as hard as it looks and I need some more legitimate adult geeks to blog with.

Resolution for today: Reassure MarkyBoy and UncleBob that the Directory Tree is actually available via their PC, not planted in the park.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Brain Dead

Ha ha, not that you'd notice but I had to recreate this because I forgot not only the login but also the password to my own site . . .shouldn't admit it but I thought it was funny.

Mudgee Magic

Just come back from a lovely long weekend in Mudgee, NSW wine country. Thommo, MarkyBoy the Merry Widow and I jumped in the Callias for a trip west and joined TheExpert and TL for three days at the wine festival. Stayed in a fab cottage with river views, an Alpaca, and Ostrich named Miss Olivia, two sheep a lonely goat and a plucker of chooks and ducks and an albino Turkey who wasn't fussy who he cracked on to. Very pretty.

We drank in the afternoon we arrived and then went to Eltons for dinner yum . . I'd forgotten how nice Veal Marsala really is. We stumbled home then played a game of Stink (I dunno we couldn't work it out either) and were beaten by TheExpert who was more pissed than all of us. Fluke or what?

The only problem living in the country is the bloody birds get up so early. Tweeting and shrieking, quacking and gobbling . . . I swear they're worse in spring so I was up spritely at 6.00am as usual, creeping around on my own waiting for the day to start.

Saturday we went to the Growers Market at the Catholic Church and bought honey and olive tapanade. Then just to show that we are egalitarian atheists, covered the craft market (I use the term loosely) at the Anglican Church across the road. You'll be pleased to know that there is still a market for tea towels with crochet edges and do it yourself cushion making . . indeed you can buy a template with a lovely rottweiler head on it or even your fave Massey Ferguson Tractor in glorious red. Bought ClareBear a little metal dragonfly made out of recycled car parts that was cute - and fitting - seeing as her major project is making Sustainability sexy!

Sight of the weekend: The country ute with the largest arials you've ever seen, Jim Beam Stickers "I'm a shooter and I vote" sticker, bull bars, roll bars, a heavily reinforced cage with the ugliest hunting dogs you've ever seen tucked safely inside and a poor wild pig, gnarled to bits on the back of the tray. Very country and reminded me to count the fingers of everyone who poured a tasting wine (make sure there were five on each hand) and to check name tags . . . I'm not going near anyone called Mable or Clitus.

Then we did the wineries, Frog Rock, Blue Wren http://www.bluewrenwines.com.au/(nice little cellarmaster with strawberry blonde hair who gave us a free bottle of the competition's rose), De la something or other with a nice golden retriever and yummy Sicillian olives and marinated mushrooms, I think the wine was OK too - I only bought the ones with the pretty labels (who say's I'm shallow). Then onward and upward to a number of others - many whose names I cannot remember but tasted everything. Lunch at the Cheese Factory and the best macadamia and olive pesto I've ever tasted.

The late afternoon was a bit boring until Thommo hurled her bocce ball into a water feature and TL and MarkyBoy had to get their feet wet and rummage in the mud with a rake to retrieve it. Ah well . . . if anyone was going to plop it in the water it would be her. I refrained from playing . . . they were hurling the bocce like shot puts . . more arse than clarse so MarkyBoy and I, the true 'good life' Pitt Street farmers checked out their irrigation system.

Saturday night we cooked at home but it was restaurant quality, bbq seafood and a chunk of fillet that went down well but in Thommo's case came right back up again . . .at least we think it was the steak . . .couldn't possibly have been the merlot.

Sunday we had a slow start, a big brekky and hit Burnbrae where I bought a nice sticky and then on to Andrew Harris and Logan for coffee and cake with a view and a dalmation with painted claws, before heading home. All in all a very noice weekend.

My house was even tidy when I got back, DrummerBoy had been out biking all weekend and came home covered in dust with the usual horror stories, leaping of 60 foot ramps into a cliff face. He's been attempting supermans, seatgrabs, off-axis leaps and whips. I don't even want to know what sort of danger he's in when he does this. Why couldn't he take up lawn bowling or cricket and ClareBear had hardly been home with Biology excursions, Saturday at the races and wakeboarding on Sunday.
Only ThePrincess was home all weekend and very pleased to see me. This is Lily for those who haven't met my third child. Nicknamed ThePrincess by Babybro because she is overly indulged.

Ah well, that was my little excursion for the month. Back to blowing leaves, washing and cleaning for the next couple of weekends. the only thing that went wrong was within five minutes of arriving home, I blew up my oven . . .bugger . . . there went the Sunday roast.

Resolution for today: try to understand why Burnbrae Chardonnay has a 'nose' like burnt toast.

Deferred Birthday

We put our house on the market. I've lived there on a massive block of land with some member of my extended family or other for over 17 years so it's time to cut the apron strings. First with Bumper, then Hippybro, now Babybro. We all cohabit happily with our kids and dogs and washing and gum leaves and skid marks on the grass because we're too lazy to use the driveway.

Anyway, we've been gazetted for subdivision but nobody's banging our door down to buy. I can't understand why, it's a big and generous block with favourable rezoning. Sadly prices are falling . . . not even a business card in the mail box. Meanwhile we're all sitting around asset rich and cash poor.

Babysis wants to build a new house and have lots of jewellery . . but we all know what we have to do to get jewellery don't we girls and it aint wait for an inheritance.

Babybro wants to go to Queensland and live the dream even tho all his children are spread about the southern east coast. I'll give that one a couple of years before he realises that life in paradise is as boring as batshit . . you can't play golf 7 days a week no matter how hard you try .

Then there's Hippybro who's already blown most of his on a house that hasn't even started to be built who knows what he's done with the money - prolly gone into home theatre equpment or up his nose.

And me . . well I've put off my trip to Paris which was to be the starting point of a long, long holiday before launching into some sort of volunteering for a worthy cause and part-time paid work. As a consequence, I have postponed my birthday to 2007 hopefully when the house is sold, I am mega rich and can afford to travel.

So my beloveds, no presents for this little black duck this year . . hang on, I didn't think that one through at all . . .

. . actually I would like Bulgari or Dune eau de parfum, (ea de toilette is too feint), a toasted sandwich maker for those late night munchies, a case of Verve Cliquot to wash it down with and and an espresso machine . . . cappucino's for brekky. OK so I am fickle, a Libran and a woman and thereby permitted to constantly change my mind.

Resolution for today: Devise a way to receive presents without acknowledging the half century.

Old Boiler

I've been calling myself an old boiler since I was well, a spring chicken but it's suddently dawned on me that I really am. My daughter says I drive like a geriatric and my son says I smell like elephant brains . . I think both were meant to be terms of endearment but I took them darkly. I decided to start a blog after being thoroughly entertained by the streams of younglings who expose their lives, dreams, hopes aspirations, drinking and sexual habits all in some cathartic or maybe it's an exhibitionist way to vent, reflect or just to document their day to day existance - either way it's a voyeur's paradise in bloggworld.

Not that I'm a voyeur just a Sunday surfer . . .and not that I have anything as interesting to offer I just thought I'd have a bash. My interest was also sparked by a couple of e-friends who I've adopted through my business life and we've become good pals although we've never met and I'm old enough to be their mother. Tempted as I was, I've never lied about my age to these e-buddies but they seem to enjoy the occasional banter with some client in Sydney even though it's highly unlikely they'll ever share a joke let alone a beer. I suppose I'm a safe proposition, fun when it suits . . no commitment . . . Addicted as I am to some blogs, all written by people who I have never met and probably never will . . I decided to start my own journal.

Even if it's not nearly as entertaining as some. I now know, I can get things out in the open without boring my children, MSN'ing my tiny contact list of computer literate peers or at the very least have something that my overseas mates can log into from time to time to gauge just how tragic the middle ages (mine that is) can be. First place of choice was 'My Space' but realising that there are no postings for people ove the age of 40, I turned away, spurned, hurt and cut to the core because I'm not 40, not even 45 but only a matter of weeks on the right side of 50 and that dear readers is what cuts me to the core. Inside, I'm fabulous . . .young, spirited, thoughtful, feisty . . Christ, I listen to Triple J - I can't be that old, my girlf rides a motorbike in races for heaven's sake . . .I say fuck and like the Foo Fighters . . . but every now and then, my alter ego surfaces, that grumpy old woman that laments kids today because they don't know the art of conversation, it's all done via SMS on mobile phone or heiroglyphic messages on some chat line :) (: :P }} }}, btw, imho . . .electronic coms sux.

Alternatively, that anal woman occupies my body and freaks out unnecessarily about the way a towel is strewn all over a bed or loses the plot because shoes are not neatly placed together and God forbid if anyone gets instant coffee granules in the sugar or leaves the toilet seat up - because the world as we know it will end.

Then there's that weeping mess of a waste of womanhood that just bursts into rivers of saltiness because someone left the door open or let the dog out or didn’t' make their bed or was so selfish that they couldn’t bloody be bothered to go up and buy some milk when they know all I want in life is a CUP OF TEA IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!

Not to mention . . .that ballistic bombshell of spiralling overconfidence, the legend in her own lunchtime, that amazonian decision maker with supreme knowledge grounded in nothing but sheer belief in her ability . . .In a nutshell, that's me . . .

I look in the mirror and see a tall, slim, dark-haired, brown eyed beauty with a face full of character and charm. A smile that would melt the ice caps and velvety skin that any man would find irresistable.What's really there is a mere semblence of my formal self, not so many wrinkles but I've just about forgotten what my original hair colour is . . frequently tinted to hide the grey. My silph like figure has well quite simply ballooned so now I really am a woman of substance and my skin . . well, nothing a 10 week acid peel regime can't fix.

Resolution for today: Remove all reflective surfaces from view.