Thursday, March 30, 2006

postcard from suburbia

Greetings from the suburbs,

Well it’s been 5 days since I finished packing and decamped to a little house way, way, way across from the city. Despite that I haven’t spent a single one of these days without heading back to the bright lights of Melbourne Town or my familiar inner city. But I can tell you, I’m over the commuting lark.

Trains: full of people, so many that even for the princely sum of $6 to travel all day – it doesn’t always come with a seat. How absurd. Maybe I should take my own chair? Half an hour is too long to stand after a long day at work. I must have looked really haggard (or just fat?) one day, when a man in his 50’s offered me a seat. I was chuffed, but despite my aching feet, sadly declined in an attempt to remain egalitarian. After all, he was probably as knackered as I was. I am getting less concerned about missing my station and have progressed to plugging into the pod and attempting to chill out. Hell, I have over 14 days of continuous music and podcasts on the thing to get through and the darling Phillip Adams keeps pumping out another edition of Late Night Live 5 days a week. So I guess there may be a productive side to commuting after all.

I am not enjoying having to get up half an hour earlier, nor getting home so much later. Yes I am a lazy Princess Woos, I know.

Speaking of Princess’s, Princess Prissy Paws is doing a valiant job coping with her new surroundings. Well the environment is fine, a nice bed with room service, but 3 new siblings has been a tad challenging. They, on the other hand, have barely wasted breath on a hiss at her, while PPP is puffing like a steam engine. No blood spilt yet. Greater tolerance than expected, all round.

Here in the leafy suburbs it’s almost impossible to have a full load of washing on the line without at least 2 items getting targeted by the birds. Birdshit lotto could turn into an exciting new game.

I have only been back to the house once, which was a couple of hours after the gutting began. “Do you find this scary?” they asked cautiously. No way! I have waited a long time to see the pine vanity unit hit the rubbish pile, the shower doors that never ran properly, the greasy crevice at the back of the stove to be made redundant.

Had better go back and supervise another kitty pow wow.

Hope all is well in your part of the world,


PS: some holiday updates over at my food blog.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

lone (wo)man in the desert


Not the best day for all the friends who volunteered to help to have monumental hangovers.

Friday, March 24, 2006

sweet cheeks

Been away.

Came back.

Should be packing boxes.

Saw the fishes on the Yarra instead.

Melbourne has gone insane.

But it's kind of nice.

As lively as it is - part of me wants to be back in NZ walking on wild beaches.

Monday, March 13, 2006

so popular, they have to give seats away

What a surprise - the organisers to the stolenwealth games are giving away thousands of seats to the opening ceremony.

2 sleeps til the games begin I leave the country.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

one of those indulgent posts

Two years ago I clapped eyes on my favourite propagandist, in the flesh, for the first time. It was the Sunday of the long weekend and we arranged to meet for a drink in a Fitzroy pub. “Black jeans, blue t-shirt”, I muttered under my breath as I scanned the boys at the bar, he turned around and smiled and that was that.

Well not really. But at least we recognised each other. Got drinks, found a cosy spot and ranted away. Politics. Check. Religion. Check. He even listened to the same radio station. Three big ticks.

We drank. We ate. We drank some more. By the end of the night we had promised to go to the Port Fairy Folk Festival together the next year.

And we did.

Sounds like a romantic date. To me it was. To him, it was just someone else to have a good yarn with. It took some time before he saw me from a different point of view.

But he did.

He does.

So this year. Anniversary. What did we do?

We got down and got dirty.

I had a flying visit of 2.5 hours to help clean out my filthy shed (sorry no before and after pics, that was a delirium induced afterthought). Years of grime. Many cubic metres of detritus needing to find its way to a skip. But now all ready to house half my home during forthcoming upheavals.

We got clean. Got dirty again. Then he left.

It was significantly shorter than our first date.

But at least this time I know I am going to see him again.

Really, I am quite a romantic soul in my own strange non-traditional way – but as he is short of time for fun things right now – a choice of a gooey eyed restaurant meal together, or heavy grunt lifting, cleaning and other manly muscle things, I don’t feel short changed.

While cleaning out the cupboards today, I found a valentines card from my previous co-owner of this home. He was big on Hallmark moments. Our 4th February together bought this one saying:

“I love you for the person that you are and who I have become since we’ve met.

I love you for overlooking my flaws and weaknesses and for drawing out the good things in me.

I love you for believing in me in a way that makes me believe, too.

I love you because of the way we can talk together and with that openness comes closeness.

I love you because you are honest with me and with that honesty comes trust.

I love you because you have brought more happiness into my life than I ever thought possible.

I love you for the good and giving person that you are.”

Nice sentiment.

We broke up 6 weeks later.

I much prefer sweat, to roses.

Happy anniversary sweetie :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

demented bunny

When I read my astrological forecast for the year sometime last December there was phrases like “sweeping changes”, “disorientation” and more alarmingly “disruptive events” to home, family and relationships. There was mention that things in my life would speed up somewhat, and for the last month I have felt a whirlwind begin to descend.

For far too long I have been stuck making decisions on some of the simpler stuff – like sell my house and move or face the horrors of renovating? I had long stopped loving the “quaintness” of a house built at the turn of the century, barely modernised decades ago by an adventurous Greek family and then suffered the ravages of being a rented house since the 70’s. The wiring is dubious, there is no bath, the kitchen lacks any real infrastructure and the water coming out of the tap over the sink is undrinkable. But I continue to like my neighbourhood and the ‘potential’ of this little chunk of real estate. I am very lucky to have it, even if as a self employed person, too darn scared to increase my loan to ‘mega’ in order to give me more space and modern luxuries.

Then another solution appeared. I could rearrange the back half of the house to give me wondrous new amenities, but not get any more space. Remodel rather than extend. This was a third of the cost, got me the real things that I needed and could happen in under 2 months (all going well). Wheels started in motion, tears were shed over quotes, phone calls made to reel in family loans and within two weeks I was looking at tiles, paint charts, vanity units and other such strange things.

And the movement of the earth seems to be speeding up. Changes in my personal life came good, incentives arrived to get me working on an outline for a book, a quick trip to the motherland was booked and all I have to do now is start packing.

The downside is: I am not keen on shopping, so the whole decorating thing fills me with dread. Five visits to tile shops later, I am none the wiser. The feeling of horror every time the quote is revised, even though I seem to take as many things off the list as are put back on. I will have to move out and graciously be accommodated on the other side of town in the suburbs (an absolute horror for an inner city gal). But worst of all, Princess Prissy Paws will move too and gain new step siblings. As an only child and a delicate one at that, her world is going to collapse and worse than that, her new friends will be moving back into her own home with her.

“Change is a good thing”, I am chanting under my breath.

“This is much better than living in Iraq”, I counter, every time I get overwhelmed.

But most of all, I just want to have a good night’s sleep again.

(I guess this is my way of saying “transmission may be disrupted for the duration”)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

thorpie update

The poor luv is still feeling crook.

Perhaps it is a bad case of karma.

Back in the run up to the Athens olympics, Thorpie slipped on the starting block and failed to qualify for his signature 400m race. The bloke rightfully winning his chance to represent Australia was young Craig Stevens. Craigie was then put under a shit load of pressure to stand down and hand over the chance for gold to flipper feet Thorpe.

He did. Cos Craigie is a good bloke. Or he lost out to Thorpie in kiss chasey or something. Who knows.

But now it has all come back to bite Thorpie on the bum and it is his turn to stand down from the blocks.

He's really, really crook.

(I just love this pic from The Age so much I had to use it again)

Too crook to swim in the stolenwealth games.

Guess who's taking his place on the team?

Monday, March 06, 2006

breakfast in the garden

Princess Prissy Paws decided to get tough on the war against territorial invasion. This morning. At 3.15am. On my roof. On my roof and the next 3 neighbour's rooves. Picture scantily clad owner (no please, strike that), half blind running out on the street trying to break up the cat fight. Finally, PPP staggers in with a cut on her cute little nose and god knows what other little nasties brewing in her body.

After a night like this, it was a morning to risk a strong coffee and reward myself with a cooked brekkie in the garden.

See my food blog for recipe.

Actually, when I am not breaking up cat fights, or working, I am cooking and writing and thinking about food far too much these days. Bugger politics - let's eat!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

school milk

Fortunately I missed the era of free milk in primary school. My brother told me horror stories involving warm milk, violent ejection of said substance from his mouth and a fair bit of trouble. Little did we know at the time that we were a family of poor wee lactose intolerant mites.

But I do have some kind of lurking memory of birthday’s in kindergarten. Milk must have been part of the regime because on your birthday the big treat was getting a glass of pink milk, thanks to a few drops of cochineal (how excited would we have been if they had told us the drink was coloured with dried old bugs?) The special birthday milk was accompanied by a cardboard cake with 5 holes. The appropriate number of candles got slotted in and the lucky child would blow them out with the usual off-key rendition of "happy birthday" ringing in their ears.

I think I only remember this because my birthday was always in the school holidays, so I never experienced this moment of glory.

Just as well, considering I am a lactose free, non insect eater these days.

But I digress. The wonderful socialist government in Bolivia, thinks that school milk is hooey. The new foreign minister (evidently a self-appointed spokesman on both education and health) has declared that coca leaf (our starting point for cocaine) would provide more nutrition for the country’s impoverished children, than milk. He claims the leaf has more calcium and phosphorous than the currently provided bovine option and should therefore replace milk in school lunches.

I can’t imagine my brother spitting that out!

But will they get a special pink leaf on their birthday I wonder?

(just love this botanical illustration of coca from the BGBM)

PS: while doing a coca image search the first to come up was this delightful piece of satire from France

Coke enema anyone?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

game on

More news from the bad mannered Games:

BYO blood, or if nothing else make sure you wander the streets of Melbourne with an appropriately matched donor, just in case you have an accident. It seems the powers that be are just a bit worried that the blood bank vehicles mightn’t be able to make it through the Games congested arterials quite like they usually do.

Maybe the Red Cross could jump on a tram with it, because that’s what the State government is telling the rest of us to do for the duration of these so-exciting-no-one-who-lives-here-can-give-a-fuck Games. That’s right drivers, we have been duly warned that there will be no on or off street car parks available in the city and there will be hell on the roads. So catch a tram with an extra 50,000 others. I’m sure our reliable public transport system will be equipped to cope with that.

While on the tram/train/bus – smile at the out of town visitor who is getting a free ride if they have a ticket to the united-by-the-moments-in-a-cramped-train-carriage Games. The locals who are being inconvenienced by the whole jolly event, will pay as usual, just as we always have through our taxes propping up the privatisation of the network.

Another place to smile at those coming to the stolenwealth Games, is from the solidarity of the demonstrations organised by the Black GST. Until big brother inevitably intervenes (with no nice Gretel to soothe us on the couch) camps will be set up around the CBD parklands to remind everyone that we have an appauling record of atrocities against our indigenous people

…and that’s a sport we aren’t proud to get gold for.

PS: Thorpie watch – the boy is still very poorly. Hands up any fine young ladslasses who’d be happy to rub a bit of Vicks on his chest. That is if menthol is not a banned substance.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

pants on fire

More on Wheatgate. Looks like Downer is a bare arsed liar. Who would have thought it?

In the meantime there are less than veiled references to the deputy PM coming back from Iraq too late to be interogated in question time.

And we have entrusted these guys to run the country for us?
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