Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coffee machines and busy-ness

It seems that my last post may have given the impression I was singing a litany of wrongs. It was merely a comment on the fact that ALL of us forgot to do something. The same night. MOTH even walked right past the front door and never noticed it was still open. All of us. *shakes head* And that night, the cats behaved themselves and didn't even scatter the scraps. Proud of the ginger kitty I was.

This last week has been busy at work, tying up loose ends, getting stuff finished for End Of Year processing, trying to do two jobs. Admin2 always takes time in December for holidays and the membership mailing list always seems to get busy then. I don't know why. But this week I never felt rushed or swamped or that I was losing it. Perhaps it was the knowledge that I only had to endure 4 weeks of it instead of 5? And although there was some end of year prep thrown in that I don't usually get, I didn't have to worry about doing her invoicing for January, trying to do her work while mine picks up. It's a little quieter for me during December.

I think I've finally finished all my Christmas shopping! Whee! And wrapped them all! Yes!! Now I just have to get myself coordinated *or is that MOTH* to get them posted.

All posted away and I think I am finally ready. I've worked out what to have for Christmas lunch, just a couple more things to get and all the food is sorted too.

Nearly everything at work is done, along with finalising my Performance Review. Today is my last day at work and I'm ready for my break. I'm set for a cruisy day. I ask my supervisor about something and she mentions that today is a half day. What? There were rumours but no-one in management has actually come out and said. Not a word.

The General Manager comes around and presents everyone with a bottle of wine. I appreciate the gesture but it's easy to give someone a gift when it's left over from a conference a couple of years ago. Or maybe I'd appreciate it more if it is something that I might actually drink. Management here is big on wine. Big enough to make a bottle of wine *admittedly not the cheap stuff* speaker's gifts for the conference.

Twelve o'clock comes around. All my work is done and I've left a list of things that Admin2 needs to know on her return. I'm first out the door.


Froggy's Christmas presents arrive in the mail. *for those who don't know, Froggy and i are siblings* and as I open the box, I find the present for MOTH and I. I know what it is because I've been told. MOTH had been talking of buying a coffee machine so Froggy and Moose have chipped in together and funded a voucher at Harvey Norman. I know that one of the machines is on special, Froggy knew this and the value of the voucher should cover it.

I grab MOTH and we head off for a look. Yes, I know it's early but I don't want to miss out on the special. I've already checked the website so I have an idea of what I'm looking for. And which one I would prefer but I can't afford that one. And it turns out that I really didn't have any idea what I was looking for. The image of the machine I had in my mind was totally different to the reality. The lass working the machine display gave us a sample. Not bad, not bad at all. We have one of the sales assistants check the price for us. Just in case. The store is busy and I don't want a surprise at the register. Yep, the price is correct. We grab some pods to go with it - the machine uses the coffee capsules - and we're out of pocket at the register by $2.50.

Nicely done, I say. One coffee machine and about 60 pods for $82.50. Yep, the machine was reduced from $129 to $49.

And it makes pretty good coffee too. Mmmmmm. Coffee......

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hypervigilance. Is that the word for today?

Hypervigilance. There is a lot of that happening at my house. Not...

There were two extras staying the night last night. Somewhere around 9pm, I left them to it and retired for the night. This morning I noticed ...

There are still cups and glasses on the bench which could have made it to the dishwasher with the rest.
The kitchen scraps didn't get taken out to the bin.
The apple pie is still sitting on the kitchen bench.
The fan and airconditioner are still on in the rumpus room.
I forgot to make up the second guest bed last night.
The rear roller door to the garage is still open.
So is the front door...

And I can't even say we were all drunk!

It's been a busy week this week. I've had my performance review for work. It's a big thing here, all to do with determining if you've met your performance objectives for the year, what objectives get set for the next year, what your career goals are. I know I should use this for something but I've hit a plateau in my job. I can't advance any further so what do I say my goals are? Leaving? My supervisor knows I'm ready to move on as she knows I can't advance where I am. Part of this process is also looking at strengths and weaknesses - something I find very difficult! My supervisor suggests my weakness is not using my judgement skills. This brings on a discussion *which i find very difficult* saying that I have those skills but it's very hard to use judgement when you don't know where the boundaries are. I am given a task but I don't know how much leeway I have *sometimes what is inferred is often different to the reality!* so I ask a million questions "down to the nth degree" so I know where she's coming from. She makes a note.

On a side note, we were asked to complete a survey to determine workplace culture. The "organisation" was supposed to be the whole place, but it's very hard to judge when you don't have much interaction outside your business unit. I wrote mine on the business unit. It wasn't necessarily wholly complimentary.

Admin2 is still away and will be until early January 2013. It's been a rush getting things ready for end of year. I'm hoping that I haven't forgotten anything!

Still time to put up my decorations at work though!
There have been comments about how fine the fishing line is ... so fine it's actually invisible. Non existent even...

The girl GT is leaving for the south this week. Today is her last day so we are off to lunch. I rob Peter to pay Paul and take $20 out of my bank account. We're off to the local Thai restaurant. I have a laksa but it is not as nice as the one I buy from my local takeaway. I'm disappointed, but it's not expensive at $9.90 for a large bowl.

Work Christmas lunch today. Staff are lunching at Hog's Breath Cafe, then around 4pm partners and family are invited to attend a get together at the office. The idea is to let them see where we work. Something else comes up which will be the same time as the afternoon session. I ask MOTH. Want to go here, or shall I go there? Go there he says without hesitation. SWEET!

I'm at the tail end of a customer call when everyone begins the exodus from the office. Too bad if I had been at the start. I would have missed the Christmas lunch. No one really stopped to wait or see if I was coming. Ah well. I wouldn't have minded. Really. Lunch for me was a ceasar chicken wrap. Tasty and only $9.90. Well done. Change again.

The afternoon arrives and I finally get to leave to attend the function I've been waiting for all day. The Travel Bookers Christmas party. Each year the travel agent hosts a fully catered Christmas party for the people who use their services. I love it. I get to catch up with some familiar faces and meet new ones. I'm usually by myself though so this year I am determined to talk to other people. I arrive early, it doesn't take as long to find the venue as I thought it would. They're still setting up.
The waitress pours me a glass of bubbly and I find somewhere to sit and wait...
I chat to a couple of ladies who have picked the table next to me. They are from off campus as well. Eventually Eileen rocks by and she's brought her boss with her. This is the only time I ever see her and we sit and chat for the rest of the evening. They do the prize draws, but as usual, I don't win. Eileen's boss, however, does!

I manage to catch up with my travel agent briefly. He's taken a new position within the company which will mean a return to full time work for him and a relocation to the city office, but he will still be looking after our account. Whew! He's very experienced and has great customer service.

Elder takes me out to finish my Christmas shopping ... and ... those two $10 are not in my wallet. Missing! Where the heck did they go? I certainly don't recall spending them on anything and I've only taken my swipe card out of my wallet since lunch on Thursday. Several of us were back to the office at the same time and no one mentioned having dropped anything... Where the heck could they be? Gone to join the $100 that MOTH missed last pay?? They are still missing...

The rest of the week pans out quietly. Just as well as I think I'm all socialled out. Except for the two extras... but that's ok! Elder has given me my Christmas present early. We've run out of wrapping paper, heh. I've spent a little time setting it up and we've christened it last night. Alas, only one game yet, but hey! It's Mario Kart so it's a lot of fun!

Think my wallet is going to take a bit of a beating as I work up my stock, yes?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nervy. Already.

I have a video meeting this morning. I'm a little nervous as this sort of thing is quite new to me and I shall be on my own, having to talk. *gulp!*

Two more weeks and I can take a holiday break from work. Whoo!

I've been busy again this last week at work. When Admin2 is away, I always seem to be busy doing her work and little of mine. However I did manage to get one of my tasks finalised for the end of the year.

It was a close run thing though. I discovered that one of our GTs was away for a work gig. Which no one it seems had sought the necessary approval for. Now seriously folks, they should well and truly know the drill by now. The GM put it down to the new manager not knowing it had to be done, but I was thinking that a GM worth their salt would have known what was going on and rectified it immediately instead of blaming them for not doing it properly.

But hey, they should have twigged that I would pick up on it and make a fuss.

I have a very responsible position here you know *anything goes wrong, i'm responsible, right?*

I've finished my reading and now I'm lost. What am I going to read now? The online book group I have through Good Reads has begun reading "The City of Bones" for December. But I read that in November. I've finished the series now. I guess I could go back and read City of Bones again? But wait! What's this? I've found a book in Elder's possession. "Assassin's Creed: Revelations". Looks good.

I'm now half way through. One disadvantage is trying to keep a paper book open while eating your lunch is a bit of a bother ... but I'm sure I can manage!

I am chatting to one of the GTs. He wonders about Christmas decorations. Maybe we should look at decorating the office? Sounds like a plan but I doubt anything will happen. The office doesn't stock decorations and if I recall, no decorations have been put up for a couple of years since the Canadian left. Wonder if we have a step ladder here?

It's rained a little today. Enough to leave the windscreen spotty and for the dust etc to blow over and stick. I can't see out of that! I'm going to have to clean it. *MOTH says the water pump for the wipers is underneath everything and he can't fix it. i can't pay for a fix either* Back into the office and fill the empty water bottle. The water may (or may not) be potable, but it's plenty good enough for a dirty windscreen. Don't start the engine but flick the wipers about 5 times. Jump in, start her up and .... whirrr irrr irrr irrr click. DAMMIT! Flattened the battery. I get MOTH to phone RACQ. It will take them 90 minutes to find where I am. Provided they can find me. They couldn't even seem to find the street. It's 2 hours till gate close and then there is no way to get the car out till Monday morning. Eventually after some back and forth, MOTH and Elder come to my rescue. One of the GTs is looking under the car bonnet as well while he waits for his walking buddy. He and MOTH determine that the safest way would be to swap out the batteries and clutch start the manual. Thank heavens one of them is a manual. It works and eventually I'm on my way. Why does this happen on a Friday afternoon???

Elder tells me that there is no code for the radio and it's a musicless trip home. Oh no, it isn't! The little iPod has speakers so we rev them up as loud as they will go and yeah! Music for the trip home.

A lazy weekend for me. Nothing different there. MOTH asks if I want to come up the street with him. I should I guess, just so I don't become a Hermit. I am forced into other's company during the week so I like to spend time in solitary on weekends. He tells me it's not a requirement as he knows I don't like to sit in one place for too long. And he's right. I don't. I need to get up and move around; he likes to sit in the corner with the Babysitters Club for a couple of hours every day. I beg off ... as I knew I would. Sigh.

It's quiet this morning, everyone is still abed. Except the cats. And me. I notice Jerome is doing his something-is-different-and-I-am-very-wary creep toward one of the bedrooms. I look and ... really? How did that happen? Somehow, one of the cats has managed to get at their dry food. The packet is supposed to be on a shelf around my chest height. Ok, so not that high, but certainly not on the floor. There is a shelf below and nothing close by they can use as a step up. Nothing beyond the shelf below. I think Sheldon has been practicing his ninja skills.

I put the remaining food into plastic containers and back on the shelf.

That night, the kids are out at Elder's work Christmas party and we've packed up and retired for the night. Suddenly I hear something fall. Never mind visions of sugar plum fairies and things Christmasy, visions of spilled cat food race through my mind. Luckily the container has landed on it's lid and nothing has spilled. That's it, I shall have to find somewhere else to store this stuff. For now, it's into the already overcrowded pantry. MOTH decides to place his souvenir bowling pin on that shelf and we go back to bed.

In the kitchen next morning I see that the bowling pin has hit the floor along with the dog treats that had been left there. Bloody cat. Is nothing sacred? I never heard the pin crash but thankfully there is no damage to the tiles.

So, the cat food is in the single door pantry and I've had to move the mixer and food processors to the shelves. Hopefully the little bugger won't be interested in pulling them down.

I'm prepping dinner. And there's Jerome, sitting in front of the cupboard where the food is now stored. Sometimes I wonder who is actually running this household....

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sedimental water

That's water. With sediment. Which is what we get through our pipes at work. Not enough people on site anymore apparently to keep the water in the pipes flowing...

The last week was ... last week and kinda boring. Nothing happened. Really. I'm sure of it.

Admin2 is on leave so work has been busy, busy, busy trying to do my work and parts of her job. There is a lot of her work that I just don't do, but a lot of it this year is kinda crazy and I'm not sure what to do with some of it. Too long between drinks and I forget. Sometimes the procedure changes slightly and she tells me at the time, but chances are pretty good that was, like, six months ago.

MOTH has been spending time with the Babysitter's Club. They've been plotting among themselves about the bbq. Wombat and his wife can't come. Stan's daughter isn't coming now either. She's playing with the Black Dog and says she'll be bad company. We aren't able to persuade her otherwise.

MOTH goes out to get the food while I'm at work. I come home to find two large tubs of potato salad and one of coleslaw. Two. Large. Tubs. I ALWAYS make my own potato salad. Elder knows this too, but didn't think to question his decision. I shake my head. Well, he says, it was on the shopping list! Yeah, but, I was supposed to come with you. That was the menu and not an exact shopping list. Ah well. There will be plenty of that left over!

John and his daughter arrive a little early. I give her a hard time. She's arrived early to help me get things ready. Everything already is. I'm always up early so it's no bother to make the salad and the beans. By the time they arrive, the beans are cooking in the oven and all systems are go.

She cracks open a bottle of red. Sure, I'll have some too. Stan brings a lovely looking bottle of white, and I have a bottle of moscato in the fridge. He shares a glass of red with us.

MOTH heads out to the bbq to begin cooking. The rest of us stay inside and debate whether to eat in or out. The day is stinking hot. Suddenly, Elder comes indoors looking for something. Apparently, MOTH has run out of gas. He's sending Elder out to source some.

I told him to fart in a bottle. Cause I'm classy like that.

He laughs at me, apologises to the guests, and we wait for Elder's return.

Lunch was late but there was plenty of it. The company was great and we laughed, ate and talked for several hours before everyone left. Oddly enough, I have heaps and heaps of potato salad and coleslaw left over...

Add to that, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of moscato. Ah well. Something to look forward to. Especially at Christmas. If I can make it last that long...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Coffee with sugar.

I know I put sugar in that. Where did it go? Ohhhh, just dawned on me I didn't check the grind settings...

I didn't take notes, thinking to myself, oh I'll remember that. I should have known better. I've been forgetting so many things lately. I'm not sure if it's just an old age thing or if it's the shadow of the Dog. My sibling would have me believe it's old age, but it's gotten to the point where I feel it's beginning to affect work performance. Oops!

.... Admin2 has just phoned me. She's on holidays. She's offered me her ice break coffee drink she's left in the fridge so it doesn't go to waste...

A day for coffee.

Had my first First Aid Officer encounter this week. And it wasn't even one of ours. One of the general ITS staff was over this way and looking for a first aid kit. He'd cut the top of his finger with a stanley knife. No problem. An antiseptic wipe, pressure, bandaid and one for spares. Away he went.

OH&S day at work today. We have a questionnaire to complete about ergonomically setting up our workspace. I think I meet in most things, however it's difficult to get the correct angle between shoulder and forearm when you are ..... fun sized. If I get the angle right for leg/feet placement using a foot stool, I'm not tall enough for the arm angle. And the chair doesn't lift any higher. But wait! If I did that, I'd lose on the leg angle. Ah well. It's a bit of a conundrum.

Assessment is done but I didn't mark the boxes with ticks. Oh. Seems we were supposed to do that, get it signed and return it. Apparently I'm not the only one - they've given us extra time to get the form back.

I went with MOTH to visit with the Baby Sitters Club. It's been a while and I told one of the daughters that I would be there. Haven't seen her for a while. We are planning a bbq for the coming weekend and time is getting away from me. Apparently MOTH and I are hosting it, as a belated birthday gathering for Stanley. We were thinking there would be about *whoops! update - 11* of us but the number has dropped a bit. Wombat and his wife may not be there as he thinks he may have a gig. *all this after whinging for a couple of weeks that he didn't get an invitation. a written one that is* and Stanley's daughter may not be able to make it after all.

Still, I'm looking forward to it. I think I will be generous and let MOTH use the bbq this time.

While we are there, Wombat suddenly points out the crowd that has gathered. They're here to visit with Santa. He recalls when he used to do it there were no photos and no chair. Santa walked through the shopping centre and handed lollies to the kids. You can't do that these days!

The bell starts ringing and Santa slowly comes in. He has an entourage today. Cap'n Jack, Fiona, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. They arrive together, much to the kid's delight, then Santa goes to his chair and the others continue on. To the gingerbread house me hearties! *doesn't have the same ring, does it*

I don't recall much else has happened this week. Just the usual going crazy with stress at work. If only I could find some way to make my wage without actually working....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Someone's gonna do it

Yes, occasionally I do have "someone else" at my place who will do things. Not often, but occasionally.

I think I gave that someone a small mention in my last post. The litter tray checker is the Elder. Hopeless at remembering she has to unpack the dishwasher, but often remembers to check the litter tray.

The dishwasher seems to be Burrich. His job is to stack the dishwasher and kick it off before bed. Hers is to unpack it the next morning. Although I have set the dishes job to both of them it's usually he who remembers and she forgets entirely.

Things haven't panned out the way the Teen was hoping they might. At the moment she's living with Harry and his parents while she waits for a friend to relocate close by so they can share. It seems that the friend is having second thoughts and may not relocate at all. The rumour mill has it that some ex-friends of Teen's have been buzzing in her friend's ear against the move and the Teen. This upsets Teen greatly as friend has a small child and Teen feels the mosquitoes do not have the best interests of the child at heart.

On a brighter note, I did find out that her Christmas employment is actually permanent full time.

But again, on the whole "not catching an even break" side of things, it seems she may have to relocate back home as the arrangement with Harry was purely temporary.

Wednesday I had off work after coming down with a nasty head cold. I slept a fair bit that day. I can't take pseudoephadrine, so have to wait for the homeopathic remedy from the Chemist to kick in. It can take a couple of days.

Thursday was much the same.

Friday I was supposed to take MOTH to have an ECG done. I was still too claggy to leave the house and join the great unwashed. The Elder dropped her plans and went along with him. He has the printouts but needs to make an appointment with his GP for the final results. There is still some back flow and things might be getting to the point where something may need to be done. Not bad really, considering he had the heart attack at least 10 years ago now with no surgery required before now.

The weekend dawns overcast with showers forecast. It doesn't take long for the showers to become storms. One in the morning. One in the afternoon. A quick break and then another.

Sunday follows a similar pattern with one in the morning and a severe one in the late afternoon. We hear reports of hail in other areas; I think we manage a couple of stones about marble size. Nothing exciting there.

Burrich makes a comment over my shoulder about the afternoon light. I look out the window - there is an eerie red tint to the afternoon. I take a couple of pictures to see if I can catch it. I can't. Not really.

Being holed up with a stuffy head and lots of rain has been a good time to settle in to watch movies. I think I've managed to rack up the hiring of at least 8 dvds. Thank goodness for discount vouchers!

I've not watched them all, but I've made do with Battleship *better than i thought but not amazing* Pirates *an aardman animation which was great fun* The Hunger Games *enjoyable and even though he's not a main player, boy Donald Sutherland's character is not pleasant* .... and would you believe I can't remember the others!

Except Daniel Radcliffe's The Woman in Black. I saw this one at the cinema and thought it atmospheric. I had hoped to watch it with Elder and Burrich. In the dark. But they both piked so I only watched a part of it. Damn them all *shakes fist*

But since I piked before I got really spooked the action started, I still slept well. Yay for lingering head colds that make me sleepy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

So I've been reading....

... a few other blogs and now I'm distracted. I'm sure I'm not going to think of something to say today - alas, I am out of the habit of keeping notes - and I can't for the life of me think what has happened this week.

Things are still chaotic at home. Jerome and Sheldon are the best of friends. NOT! Sometimes one starts it, sometimes the other. Penny usually avoids the conflict. She is a tiny pixie of a thing, multicoloured ginger and shades of grey, long and lean with a long plumed tail. And a little squeaky meow.

Jerome has retreated down the front end of the house and rarely ventures down the back. It's odd but if they are together down the back of the house, fights rarely ensue unless play gets too rough. If they are at the front of the house, it's a completely different matter. No foreplay there! Straight into it, hammer and tongs. Jerome yowls, black fur goes everywhere and Sheldon will not leave it go but returns to begin again if you break up the fight. I'm thankful it doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it's usually several bouts in quick succession. Sheldon is becoming very familiar with the interior of the bathroom!

I love having the kids there but boy I'm getting sick of pets!

... *which reminds me, i didn't check the litter trays this morning. ah well, someone else will do it* ...

The lovely suburban area where we work has been quiet this week. The majority of the building renovations on campus have been completed. The rest of our building occupants have moved out and back to their newly refurbished offices. I went for a look. It's quiet and deserted. Everyone has packed up and left, leaving their furniture behind. The coffee van doesn't call any more. No more voices drifting up from outside. The shuttle still runs, but it's usually empty... *cue tumbleweed*

The Elder has been given her first roster. I don't know what hours she's working beyond the midnight launch of Call of Duty. She's excited. Now she needs to find her EB Games shirt from when she was working before. It's in a box ... somewhere. MOTH has shifted them all to make space under the clothes line. She knows he won't be happy that she has to move everything again.

Burrich has preordered the new Halo 4 Xbox bundle. He's looking forward to that. He gives himself a hurry along with Assassin's Creed III so he's finished in time for the Halo 4 launch. The release date is fast approaching and he's getting antsy. It's a midnight launch and he's ready to go.

Melbourne Cup this week. I didn't lay any bets. I must be one of the few Aussies who never bets on the Melbourne Cup. I just can't be bothered. Work has decided to have lunch in our office, even though the rest of ITS is having a luncheon on campus. I would have liked to have gone but even though it was only $10, I had forgotten to budget for it. *bugger* Sometimes I think that it's a bad idea to continually have our own things separate from ITS. It breaks things into an Us and Them mentality, even though we are part of that department.

Our lunch is also $10 but it can be paid later. I volunteer to bring sides instead of paying $10. The other helper was fine with this. Lunch turned out to be Nandos chicken pieces, some chips, spicy rice, corn cobettes, garden salad, potato salad, dip and crackers. The other helper thanked me for providing the extras and one of the GTs decided they got a better deal because the sides would have cost more than $10. In truth, the only extras I had to buy were the cream cheese, dip and crackers. Oh, and the jars of dressing for the potato salad since I didn't have quite enough. If I didn't restock those, I'm sure I would have made the $10 cut. Heh.

The Teen updates her Facebook status. Whoo! She has a Christmas casual job. She's excited and looking forward to it, although she's not told me a start date. I hope this turns out well for her and expands into something a little more permanent. She's working in a bottle shop. See, knew the bar experience had to count for something!

The Elder has come down with a headcold. Typical. She's been totally looking forward to going out this Friday night. Regular customers of Black Milk Clothing have been invited to a Christmas function hosted by the company. Only regular customers *dedicated purchasers are known as sharkies* can attend the Christmas party, however their partners or guests are also welcome to attend the After Party. The cold doesn't stop her from going though, but Burrich stays home.

Since she's not home, I'm up for a lazy tea that night. Well, lazy for me. Marinated chicken wings from Lenards. The marinade is Chinese honey and soy, the wingettes for want of a better word are small, not the whole wing. Zap them in the oven for about half hour or so and then dish them into bowls. Hey presto, lazy dinner. Then someone else gets to do the dishes. Whoo! Can't go wrong with that!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Another week over and I'm deeper in debt

St Peter doncha call me cause I can't go, I owe my life to the Company ... whatever that next bit is. I forget.

But it seems that is all my life is these days. Out of bed, off to work, home to cook, off to bed, out of bed, off to work and so on until the days just begin to blend one into the other.

And then I get to deviate slightly and head out to a shopping centre and discover... the Christmas decorations are up. Horror!

Elder and Burrich report to Centrelink to take some papers back and check his payment, only to discover that Centrelink has all the necessary stuff, they just need to process it. No rush, hey. It's not like it's important or anything, right? And by Elder's previous dealings, Burrich should have 'reported' that day to receive his first payment. But it's not ready and so the stress begins.

It's not helping when she tries to do her budget. So many expenses, so little budget.

Was it last week I mentioned it? Or was it early this week it happened? The devil has been visiting *i'm informed the devil's name is not Lucifer, but is actually Alzheimers. who would have thought!* and I can't remember if I mentioned it previously. Elder has managed to pick up some Christmas casual work. She had delivered her paperwork and hopefully will be able to start soon. She's very happy with this. Although it is retail, it's in the realm of her dream job. She's back with EB Games.

The stress continues when she's informed that the person who is looking after her dog Heffe can no longer do so. I'm desperate not to say "I told you so" but it had been suggested that this would happen. Now she needs to decide if she can afford a boarding kennel.

She's resumed her house hunting, although she has informed me that the funds she had been relying on have all been used. Maybe they can qualify for a rental bond loan. She won't know still she investigates. She's emailed some realtors about some properties and is somewhat put out to find the replies have all gone to her junk mail box. Not only that, when she goes to open one of the messages, they all delete and don't appear in the deleted folder. Uh oh.

I've come home from work and the bbq is missing from it's spot. Oh, there it is. It's been moved into the gazebo. And the wheel had dropped off. Well, at least the boards from my planter have come in handy for something!

Inspection is coming up soon and MOTH has dug the karcher out of the garage. He's busily hosing off the entertainment area. Gosh what a difference! He's hosed the cement and the plastic furniture and it's amazing! Even Elder got out and had a play with the hose.

The airconditioning has been playing up a bit. Well, the fan goes and it blows air but not cooling. The sparky comes for a look and decides the capacitor needs replacing. He does that and all is good.

It's all happening this week. Now the drain in the kitchen sink is running really slowly. It's a double sink and it backs up and both sinks fill and drain slowly. We have put drain cleaner down several times but nothing is making a difference. MOTH pulls the pipe apart and though it is coated with goop, it's not enough to block the drain. It looks like we will have to get the plumber in for a look as the blockage must be much further down where we can't go. Never rains but it pours, right?

Burrich is on cooking duty tonight. Home made lasagne. Nice one! I make dessert, MOTH's favourite. Lemon sago and custard. Dinner is ready early and Burrich seems a little disappointed. Not his best effort he says. I don't mind, it tastes great to me. Elder suggests it's the oven. A little hit and miss is our oven. You can't always guarantee the results. But at least I didn't have to cook it, right?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quiet in here

It is too. I've got the music turned down and no one else is around. Bliss.

Again, it's been a slow old week.

Jerome has been getting me up early again. I don't know what's with that cat. I've made sure he has food out so he can get his own breakfast, but noooo, he has to wake us up to tell us he can't be bothered shaking the kibble out of the dispenser into the tray.

I shake some out and climb back into bed. About fifteen minutes later he's back again. I get up and head down to the kitchen to feed them all. The others have no choice but to wait - they are shut at the other end of the house. I'm not game enough to ignore Jerome entirely - for all I know he might be telling me he needs to use the tray...

So I'm up early and in a spur of the moment decision I decide to ride the bus to work. It's been ages since I've done that, and sad to say, I've missed it. The trip in is fine and I debate whether I have time to top up my go card between buses. I need to do it, but if I miss the timings I have a long twenty minute wait till the next one. Whoo! Nice and quick and I'm at the next stop in time for the desired changeover.

On the way home that day, I've decided to catch the bus to the station. Some of the turns on the route are very tight and tricky. On one particular stretch the road is only wide enough for cars parked on either side and the bus through the middle. Someone seems to have just parked and has the car door open. The bus stops and I think this is what he's waiting for. It begins to creep around the corner and I can see out the window. There is a flock of galahs on the road and the footpath. They straggle onto the path as the bus comes round and he picks up speed as he heads down the street. Guess it was the birds after all. Which is good. I've seen that movie. Gotta keep on the good side of the birds.

At a different corner, a T junction, a woman on the terminating road wants to turn across traffic. The bus also does, down the terminating street. He has to take it veeeerrryyyy slowly as the woman is right on the midline and right at the stop line. She ends up reversing and we get past.

I'm tired but the Elder wants to see a friend's band play at a local festival, the Jacaranda Festival. She asks if I want to go. I'll go with you tomorrow I tell her. They are playing their sets both nights. Okay she says. Burrich begs off later saying he feels unwell. She's a little despondent so I tell her I'll go with her tonight.

She isn't quite sure where to go but we guess and as we turn under the bridge we see that she's right. We're facing the grounds. I can see the rides and a small side show alley. Whoo! There is supposed to be fireworks tonight too. There is still daylight and as we wander we spot the baby animal farms. Squeee! We spend some time looking at them and suddenly we spot a couple of piglets. Tiny ones! We want to get a photo but the kid sitting with them on her lap doesn't seem inclined to let them go or to let anyone else pet them either. Eventually she lets them go and they run about the enclosure. They are so little! The woman picks one of them up so Elder can snap a pic. We move off to wait for the fireworks and watch feral children misbehaving.

The fireworks have barely started but we are near the marquee so see Goodnight Midnight setting up. We go and take seats. It's a relatively short set but I enjoy it. Elder stops to chat to band members afterward and we promise to be there the next night.

I decide that I need to get supermarket stuff. Some extra meat for the week, and stock up on lollies for Halloween. Hopefully for the little buggers who won't come trick or treating. Yeah! I don't do Halloween myself, and it's been some time since there have been kids in the neighbourhood. But you never know and I like to keep some on hand for that "just in case" moment. I'm always happy when none come because then I get to eat the leftovers.

I go with MOTH and we sit with John. Wombat joins us after a while. He's really annoying me today. He's cheerful, relatively speaking, but still annoying. An older lady who knows the group stops by to say hello. She's lovely. I spot another husband and wife pairing I've seen there before. He is vision impaired and has on occasion sat with us. She brings him over and I hear her tell him as she sits him in the corner, that she will leave him there to be babysat while she did her errands. I lean over to MOTH. See? I told you it was the Babysitter's Club. He laughs.

It's raining this afternoon. In fact, it begins to storm. Uh oh. Eventually it seems the second gig is rained out. Glad I went when I had the chance then.

Sunday is a lazy day. I'm not doing much and am so very, very sleepy. I've been that way a lot really. I sit on the bed. The covers look inviting. I crawl under an next thing I know, MOTH is waking me as he's ready to go up the street. The rest of the day progresses rather slowly. I don't know what I want to do and I'm too tired to make much of an effort. The Elder washes her car. Burrich helps MOTH in the yard. I read a bit and nap. Jerome joins me. Nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I get a second wind when I prep dinner. It's a dish I've done several times and always goes down well. Sure enough, at the end of the dish when the bowls are empty, I'm asked if there is any more. Nope, sorry, not this time kids! Maybe next time I'll have to use something like TEN chicken thighs instead of eight. Sigh.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Glow in the dark

It's been a slow old week this week. For me, anyway.

Queensland Police have been asking people to be more vigilant on the roads. The road toll so far this year is somewhere in the vicinity of 20 more than this time last year. That's a sad and sorry state of affairs and I can only shake my head as I watch some drivers and wonder if there really is any way to get the message through.

There's a crossing of sorts across two lanes of traffic to the median strip, then across another two lanes to the other side of a very busy stretch of road. It's controlled by lights which bring traffic to a stop when a pedestrian wants to cross. The light is red and I wait patiently in the inside lane for it to change.

The lights change and the vehicle stopped in SECOND spot in the outside lane pulls out and passes the FIRST vehicle on the outside. In the blink of an eye he is down the road, through the major intersection and through the traffic lights at the crest of the hill and gone from view. I'm beginning to think it's not speed that kills, but plain simple stupidity. I wonder if they can gear an awareness campaign that way? I think the New Zealanders may have worked out a way....

I'm sitting at my work desk, dressed ultra casual. Just because I like to to that occasionally. I don't have face to face public contact so corporate attire is not required. A colleague comes in through the front door. A chirpy good morning! as she walks past. And suddenly she is walking backward to stand at the front of my desk. She's staring hard at me. Or more specifically, my boobs. Her expression is puzzled and I can't figure out what the problem is. I'm just trying to figure out what that is, she says. What is? I look down and realise *finally. not slow me* that she's trying to read my shirt. My hair is over the beginning of the word. I shift it. Realisation dawns. Ahhh, she says. I was wondering if that said DYKE! I was about to say Yeah, you go girl! I laugh. It says Spyke...

Elder has asked me to paint her nails. I start to pain the base coat but somehow I manage to knock the bottle over. On my dining table! Luckily, it's clear, on the stone tile not the timber and I'm able to wipe most of it up. Great start! I paint on one coat of the colour. She's decided to give it a little time to dry before we paint the next. *which reminds me, i haven't painted the next yet* While I wait, I paint a couple of coats of one she has which is supposed to glow in the dark. Huh. I've never seen it do that. But hey, it's a girly thing, right?

The weekend is hot. Waaaay too hot. Temperatures are in the middle 30's already and summer hasn't arrived. I don't want to use the airconditioning because then what will I do when it really does get hot? And humid. I've popped the one in the kitchen on using the dehumidifier setting. It's not working very well. I remind MOTH that he will have to put in a call to the realtor to have them serviced.

Elder and Burrich have done a late afternoon run up to the supermarket. MOTH is in his room and suddenly calls out. Dammit, I've just gotten comfy again after the last interruption. Yeah, whaddyawant? He comes down to the rumpus room. He's excited. WE'VE GOT OUR OWN WATER DRAGON! Oh? Yeah, it was outside. He points toward the front door. The kids came home, it ran out of the garden, along the window sill outside his study, past the front door and around the corner. The kids are chattering about it as they come in.

I decide to go out for a quick look, but I doubt it's there. Elder calls out to me on her way past "Mind the orb weavers!". Dang. Sure enough, there is a huge web and in the centre sits a big spider. I can go no further. It doesn't give me the heeby jeebys though, possibly because she is firmly ensconced in the centre of the tangle and not invading my personal space. The threads are anchored on the downpipe; a gorgeous golden colour in the sunlight.

At Elder's encouragement, I give the threads a good tug. They twang back into place and do not break. The spider remains where she is. I do this several times and still they hold. Wonderfully strong stuff that silk.

MOTH and I lie talking in the dark. He stops and asks ... are you wearing glow in the dark nail polish? I look. And hey! My nails are glowing! Huh. Well, it really does work! Looks kinda eerie.

Shame I missed seeing the dragon though. Always good to catch up with my kin. *grins*

Monday, October 15, 2012

Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?

Not much on the agenda this week. Work has been progressing as usual. Home life is still the same.

Sheldon, Penny and Jerome are still sorting out their borders. It gets exciting at times.

A strange cat is in our entertainment area this morning. Jerome has spotted it and begins to yodel his challenge. I take him away from the window, but soon he's back, calling again. The strange cat is still there. Sheldon is very interested, but silent. Penny is hiding and acts like she doesn't know what's going on but that it can't be good. I open the door, the stray retreats. But not too far. I step out, making sure the other cats haven't followed. The stray retreats around the corner and I hear it jump the gate.

I'm back indoors and things have settled a little. But not as much as I thought. Jerome and Sheldon are still on edge. Penny does something wrong and Jerome begins to reprimand her. Even Sheldon looks like he wants a go. I break it up but it still takes a while for things to settle.

Jerome and Penny are still on a tentative truce. Sometimes I wonder if she was taken from her litter mates before she learned the social niceties. She begins to play, then runs away. Of course, Jerome chases and it ends in a fight. He sniffs and she hisses. That can earn her a cuff. She gives him the long stare and he tackles her for that. Sometimes I wonder if they will ever sort themselves out. Sheldon, of course, is back to his old habits of taunting, baiting and trying to rule the roost. I'm not sure that Jerome is going to let him have his way this time.

The house hunting has ceased until they find work. I have gently expressed an opinion that being unemployed and trying to find a house will be less of a hassle than trying to find a house to accommodate two indoor cats and two outdoor dogs. Maybe one dog or one cat, or maybe just the cats. But not all. This upsets Elder immensely as something she doesn't want to deal with. I don't want to begin a spiral cycle so I don't push the issue. We'll burn that bridge when it comes time to cross it.

A friend invites me to participate in a gaming tournament he is holding on the weekend. I love gaming but am totally terrible at it. This gaming is not LAN based but board, cards and die. Some games use cards and die only to follow a game plot, others use miniatures. I decline to play but I would love to come for a look. The Elder and Burrich are going away for the weekend so I have to rely on MOTH to drive. Or do it myself. I guess I could gird my loins so to speak but I don't like walking into those places alone. Neither of us know where it is. I google map it and think I've found it. MOTH has gone out for the morning to join the Baby Sitter's Club. He's not home until nearly lunch time.

So, no one is home this morning. I kick off the kinect on the XBox and have a go at some of the Star Wars games. Whew! It takes some work! I'm getting a bit puffed. Jerome rescues me briefly by sitting in the 'play' area and meowing at me earnestly. I think he wants attention. It's good to take a break and I'm back into it again briefly. By mid afternoon I'm beginning to rediscover muscles I had forgotten I had.

I'm tired and not willing to drive into a heavy traffic area so I decide to leave the visit to the tournament. I tell my friend I've taken headache meds and that I won't be there. Shame it was this weekend! Later that afternoon MOTH apologises for not taking me. Never mind.

Sunday lunch time we head to a friend's place for what she terms a Get Together. They have relatives visiting, it's her partner's birthday and a house warming drinks and nibblies all wrapped up in one.
The company is good and I don't want to leave. The Elder and Burrich have returned from their trip away and meat is out for dinner. If there was no foodage planned I think we would have stayed longer.

Home and cook dinner. And I can't eat it all; I've managed half a burger.

Off to bed early - I'm still exhausted and it's only 8.30pm! Either I'm coming down with something or those three ciders I've had this afternoon have worked *and tasted!* better than warm milk...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Cooler today

The temperature is cooler today, and the sky overcast. The weatherman assures us there is a possibility of showers as well. Guess where my jumper is ... not in the same place I am, that's for sure.

It's the last week of the school holidays and the drive to work has been marvellous. Not as much traffic to contend with. No school zones in effect. I'm all for school speed zones, but not peak hour along a busy stretch of road. Who the heck would build a school ground on the busiest section of the road anyway? Why can't it be set further back so the kids aren't near traffic? Dumb idea. And there are about four of them on the same side of the bridge, then another on the other side.

So I'm guessing no more early finishes as I'm not going to be at work quite as early in the mornings. Darn.

Saturday rolls around and I realise it has been two weeks already since The Elder and Burrich moved in. I have been getting plenty of advice regarding how to handle them living there and setting rules and giving chores *pokes self in eyes* but I think that since they are my *temporary* boarders I have a handle on that anyway.

So, chores have been allocated. Well, one each. I'm not pushing myself any further than that since I'll only hold myself to one. We'll see how it goes. Already it's been a help to me. I'm pretty relaxed so I only have one hard and fast, non-negotiable house rule. Make that two. The other applies to smokers.

I've been busy tonight. I've tidied the rumpus room as best I can, shifted the kid's stuff out to the table with some of their other stuff. I've swept the carpet and stacked the dishwasher. Having to do these things annoys me *a lot* but not as much as having to put sheets on the bed when I am tired and ready for sleep.

No one is up yet so I finish the clean up. Put shoes away, pick up the cat's toys, do a couple loads of laundry, wipe kitchen benches, put oven shelves back. Small things but already the place looks better.

Visited with the Baby Sitter's Club in the morning. I don't mind sitting and talking to them but somehow it always makes me feel like I've wasted half my weekend. Much the same as having to work on Saturday morning used to. Saturday is, after all, my fave day of the weekend. Sunday is a write off cause it's just waaaay too close to Monday.

MOTH hasn't been feeling well; he suggested to Wombat it was his fault. Wombat is clogged up and gargly too. MOTH has a script for antibiotics left from the last time he had this URTI, so has decided to get it filled. We'll see if it helps.

Sunday and so many options! Play Starcraft! Play WoW. Play Diablo III. Figure out how to use this X-Box that's been attached to my television. I have permission and decide to raid the kid's stash of games and have a look at the box. It's going to take some getting used to as the controls are so very different from those of the PS3.

MOTH staggers out of bed and the kids head to the city. I don't last long at the box as the controls aren't helpful. MOTH has decided to put music on. It's loud and I can't hear the instructions on the games while it's going. I've got a headache so I pack it all away.

The weather is trying to be summer. The temperature peaks somewhere in the mid 30s, but at least it's not humid. Not yet. I can tolerate some heat, but not humidity! I'm tempted but not yet game enough to kick off the airconditioning. I wonder how MOTH is faring. At least I'm not clogged up with an infection.

Dinner is simple fare tonight. Bangers and mash. With brown onion gravy. I have three thin sausages cooked on the bbq and mash on my plate. Drizzled with gravy and it looks delicious. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Dunno what I did there...

... but it closed Chrome completely. Nice one SOL!

The week seems to have flown by. I mention to MOTH that the kids have been with us for a week. What? Really? Yep, last Saturday. My lord, says he, that's gone fast. Yup.

Kitties are still working out their boundaries. *sigh* This night they got into it. I was up and down most of the night breaking up the bickering and chasing Sheldon out of my room. That's Jerome's space buddy! This time. You can't have it all like you did last time!

Things are looking up this morning. Not. At the traffic lights and I stall the car. How the heck to you stall an automatic?? Dunno, but I manage. Whoops.

Same morning and I'm driving down the tree lined boulevard. Suddenly KLONK! What was that! Something hit the car. I peek in the mirror and as far as I can see, some stupid bird was so wrapped in giving another a hard time, they've flown straight into my car. Doesn't seem to have done them damage though. Thank goodness for that - I've hit a bird before and it was most distressing.

Been suffering with mild vertigo for two days this week. Still at work, but holding my head still and trying desperately not to look up, down or sideways. And propping myself against the wall if I'm standing. *that must look odd...*

Going out tonight. Started the meds so hopefully the spins will keep their head down while I'm out. Bestie has invited MOTH and I to Riverfire, a feature of the yearly Festival. Fireworks and laser light show, viewed from the balcony of her work place. Catered too. Yay!

Bestie suggests we travel to hers first and then from there. If we leave early enough we may be able to snag a park in her building. We get there a little early but there is still a line up for parking! Elder and Burrich have travelled with us, but leave us to make their own way once we reach street level.

The catering was good - butter chicken with rice, spag bol, sausage on bread, mini dagwood dogs. Cake for dessert, fairy floss and popcorn too! Entertainment was provided for the kids - a juggler of sorts, balloon animals and face painting. Since the light show is 'choreographed' to a local radio station, a DJ was provided for the festivities as well. We were close to the DJ but it wasn't a problem till someone angled the speaker our direction. It made talking a little difficult which seemed to upset the others, but it meant I could sit quietly without have to talk much. I recorded a part of Patrick Hernendez Born To Be Alive and sent it to Teen. Just so she could feel included. But mostly because she hates the song. Heh. It was followed by Reel 2 Real "I Like To Move It" *one of her faves when she was small* and Dave Dobbins "Slice of Heaven" *one of her current classic faves*. Didn't record those!

Bestie and I can't find the face painting. Ah, there they are. Her kids line up for theirs. Bestie and I think about it, but the line has grown a fair bit and we decide nah, not this time. The juggler is keeping the kids in the line entertained and Bestie's boy makes his presence known by entertaining the Entertainer. *read asking questions about the tricks, his props, 'helping' and other things curious boys can do*

The new hornets fly over and drop the flares. Pretty spectacular but no more F111s with the 'dump and burn' anymore. We can't see what's happening on the river, but there seem to be some helicopters hovering about *they've already flown over* dancing over the river. Eventually the fireworks start. The action happens from rooftops and barges on the river. We don't see the river as apartments block that view.

The night is fun and when it ends, it seems much later than it really is.

Today is for recovery. I'm still not well and I sleep away most of it.

And not only do I manage that, I go to bed at 9.00pm as well. Told you those tablets make me sleepy! G'night!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Week That Went Too Fast

I can't decide if it were a fast week, or a slow one actually.

I'm stopped at the traffic lights on my way to work. There has been a red mazda in front of me that doesn't seem to be able to travel in a straight line. It's now in the lane beside me as we wait for the lights to change. A movement at my peripheral vision makes me look. The red car is stopped between two vehicles ... and rolling backward and forward between them. What. An. Idiot. Glad they aren't in my lane!

MOTH has managed to get in and shift some stuff around in the garage to make room for Elder and Burrich. And all their junk. He's even put out a couple of markers so they don't go beyond that and block the clothes line.

So. Everything looks settled. Jerome can sense the tension. He's wandering around lost and a little cuddly.

Looks like rain today. They are scheduled to arrive but we aren't sure when.

There goes the neighbourhood! They are on their way and I get a text to say they were stopped at the driver reviver station at Granite Creek. They've even managed to score a box of biscuits as the bloke serving the coffee said they expire in a month and they need to get rid of them. Nice one!

MOTH and I are going out to dinner with the Baby Sitters Club. Most of them anyway - the evening has promise as Wombat will not be there. Elder and her crew are welcome to join if they arrive in time. We've decided on Sizzler. It's been a while since I have been there.

Elder and her crew have arrived. All is noise of course and the first things unloaded are Sheldon and Penny. I have relegated them to the bathroom for the time being. They are flea treated and watered and there they shall stay until tomorrow I think. When we are home to supervise the introductions.

John and his daughter collect us. We've decided to use the train as the restaurant is part of the shopping village and the station is right underneath. Much easier than driving and trying to catch a parking space. I've forgotten to warn them - not experienced public transport users - to carry change. Uh oh. But I think we can eftpos the fare. It turns out we can't but the ticket office is open.

The train is at the platform and I am fielding questions from K about how I know it's the right one. We board and wait, John and K in one set of 4 seats, MOTH and I across the aisle in the other. From there, it's one long laugh fest until we reach our station. K stops for a ciggie but it turns out the rest of the party have beaten us!

The kids don't end up joining us - they've flaked and are running on empty.

The night is a blast. We've arrived early, around 5pm and the place is almost empty. By the time we leave an hour and a half later, it is packed. I'm glad we decided on an early dinner! The ticket booth at the destination station is not open and we have to use the TVM (ticket vending machine). A lass is in front of us, we have 15 minutes to get the tickets and down on to the platform. She is so organised! She presses the buttons, digs around in her back for her gocard, fiddles about some more and I can see the clock ticking away. By the time she's finished and we make it down the platform we have about 8 minutes to wait. Needn't have worried so much after all.

We must do it again. Different restaurant next time? Who knows. I did find out that I let the cat out of the bag that morning. Apparently K and I are in charge of planning a bbq when Stan returns from the UK. I didn't know it was a secret ...

Not much happening Sunday. Looking around my messy house. Love 'em to bits but missing when it was just me. And MOTH. And Jerome. Already...

I think the cats have reached an uneasy truce. That is still yet to be determined.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Dr is in the House!

Well, he's not really. He's on my iPad at work. Except this week because I forgot to bring it.

Our ABC is screening this series on their website prior to it screening on Free To Air. Which is totally delightful, and I'm really enjoying this series. So far. This is week three. If it continues in the same vein of fun as it has begun, it will be a ripper.

Rode the bus to work twice this week. And what do you know? I've seen some odd things. Driving to work never gives me much of an opportunity for the weird!

I'm staring out the bus window as we pass through the city on the way to the last stop. Oh. There's a cat on the ledge at the edge of the garden bed. Wait. No, not a cat. What is it? Still thinking it's some sort of animal *a possum?* I look again and realise it's ... A WIG! Someone has left their hair the in the garden! And it wasn't even a party wig...

Cruising along the riverside, daydreaming out the window. Yes, I'm on the bus. Again. Oh. The dredge is right alongside the river bank. There is a truck and a 4WD parked on it. Spares I guess, just in case the water gets a bit shallow? You never know!

Today is R U OK day. The wider work *we are but merely a part of a whole* is having a morning tea. I've RSVP'd in the affirmative as it is in a good cause, particularly after recent events. It turns out that no one else in my office is going. Slack, lazy lot! For heaven's sake, it means a 10 minute shuttle bus ride to and from campus! *shakes head*

Since I'm catching the bus, I let all know that I will be going straight there instead of coming into the office first. I can pick up GM's replacement mobile, some coffee beans to replenish the machine while I'm there. My supervisor is fine with this. Morning tea is early at 09:30 to avoid a clash with another meeting. The morning tea is great; set up out on the balcony. Fortunately there is some small amount of shade for the tables but the tim tams are still getting a bit soft! The sun has bite in it, even at this time of day.

There are many faces there that are familiar but whose names I don't know. But I have asked some of those I do know how they have been. It is actually good to catch up with them. I don't know why my lot don't seem to want to make the effort. Off now to catch the shuttle and ..... darn. It's driving up the road and I'm still too far from the stop for him to see me if I wave.

I let my supervisor know and settle down for a half hour wait till the next one. Brilliant day weather wise and I'm glad I'm outdoors.

Turns out work had their own spur of the minute thing.

Saturday I look at the kitchen window and think it needs cleaning. I'll try the new Norwex cloth. I've used just water and most of the grime lifts off and it doesn't streak. Impressive. I wipe some of the cupboard fronts, splashback and bench tops.

But now I can see the grass. It's dying in a very rapid way. Out to water it but there is no nozzle on the hose! Dammit. I use it anyway and try to make spray using my fingers. It works. In that I get soaked. Without even realising it at first. Think being blonde is rubbing off.

I've shifted clothes and folded up the stretcher bed. MOTH helps me move the single bed from the end room to replace the stretcher. The chair moves as well, along with the small cabinet. Yes folks, Elder and Burrich are coming down to house hunt. But with all their funiture in tow. Yep, they are moving in...

I'm looking out the front window. Again, the lawn is dead. In fact, it's worse than the side lawn. The hedge is totally overgrown but at least it hasn't taken over the stairs up to the front door. Okay. I get the pruning shears and clip a couple of the branches. The pruning shears are dull as, so I can't take the bigger ones. Ah well, looks like it's something that is going to take all summer to accomplish. I don't really want MOTH to get into it. He's too messy! Heh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hello Spring!

And goodbye in the same breath! Lovely warm days in the mid 20s C, then cold again during the evenings.

The week has been busy. Well, the week has been busy for MOTH. Not necessarily for me. The Elder and Burrich are looking to move down this way so MOTH has been at their beck and call doing house inspections. It's not easy to find one that is pet friendly.

Once upon a time the Teen had a facebook. Just recently she's deactivated her account. I miss being able to snoop on what she was doing, how she was going and things of that nature. Who would have thought that it would be such an inconvenience? I guess it's a sad state of affairs relying on electronic communication so much but neither of us like to use the telephone for what it was actually invented for!

My Norwex products arrived during the week. I had almost forgotten about them. Although the hole in my wallet should have reminded me. Bestie and I thought the best way to hand them over was to join up for a late lunch/early dinner. Excellent. All set.

We had decided to revisit that pet store and pick up some diet food for Fatty Jerome. Yes, I know that could give him a complex - that's why I'm typing it here. Where he can't see. That outlet stocks all sorts of cat food brands including Royal Canin and Science Diet. But gosh they are expensive! A small bag of Royal Canin *i didn't check the weight* is around $40. Today though I am after the wet food. A very friendly shop assistant finds MOTH in the toy aisle while I make my selection. I join them and they are talking toys, pets, pet dietary requirements, rugby league, rugby union, NZ in general.

During the course of the conversation he asks what we are feeding Jerome. I tell him that at present, we have Purina and something else. He suggests that supermarket food is mostly fillers and not nutritionally complete. Hence the desire to eat grass. I just nod sagely. He could be right for all I know but as far as I remember, the Purina brand is put through some very rigorous testing. Well, it used to be.

While we are up that way, I recall that we don't have any cheese knives. I thought we had, but we don't. Not a one. We look to see if Loot might have any. There is an outlet in that centre. Nope. I didn't think so, but hey, you never know.

The Elder has asked us to inspect a property for her this morning. It's a small place, but the yard is fenced. There are about five other couples looking. Open house inspections these days only last about quarter hour. The bedrooms are tiny. There is built in wardrobes in the main bedroom but barely enough room for a queen sized bed.

We head back via the usual haunt *the village* and MOTH decides to check out the cheap shop to see if they have any. This isn't a cheap shop, I say. What is it then? It's a junk shop. *it's a small space with lots of things crammed into it. like dollars and cents and all of those 'junk' shops* But it turns out to be a junk shop with cheese knives. Cheap ones, but functional all the same. Two knives is just under $6.

Home again and clean up time. Vacuum the floors, wipe the benches, clear stuff off the table and Mr Sheen it. The kitchen looks tidy, the loo is clean. Now just time to settle and wait. I settle on the couch with a book and the tv. Aaaaannnndddd ... suddenly I'm awoken by a text message! She's let me know she's on her way.

The afternoon/evening went very well. Chicken thighs done in maple syrup, soy and sage, chicken sausages, rump steak *just for bestie as she doesn't eat dark meat and isn't keen on sausages* Boston baked beans, lots of salad and a cheese platter for dessert. Bestie brought along a bottle of Brown Brothers .... you know, I didn't look at the label! I think it was Crouchen Riesling.

Bestie mentioned that the sausages were quite tasty and after all that, I have a bit of salad left over and one piece of steak. I think it went down well. They trundled off around 9pm, tired kids in tow.

Cleaned up a little on Sunday morning, and Bestie left me a note to say we should do it more often, even hubby agreed it had been a really good night. MOTH went out to check up on the Babysitter's Club. In a way previous blog post I had mentioned the woman who approached them on the topic of religion. She approached again and MOTH introduced the Club. By his telling, she said three happy ones and one grumpy one, while pointing at Wombat.

Wombat has really been getting on my wick lately, and stressing MOTH. His digs at MOTH are becoming less polite and barely disguised as humour these days. On previous occasions he has been known to tell MOTH that someone will punch him one day. And by god if he does, that shopping centre will see a witch whaling on an old man whose mouth is too big for his head. Who knows, I might even make it bigger by physically taking his foot and shoving it in there.

Although, having said that, he's a different person when his wife is around - he doesn't speak much. And Saturday, he was pleasant and laughing.

After lunch we head out to do a drive by on another property. No inspection on this one but just to see what it looks like from the outside. If the net photos are anything to go by *HA!* I think I might move in myself. Nothing too flash but very tidy looking. And much cheaper than the place we are in!

It's a brilliant Sunday afternoon drive, and we top it off by looking at car yards. Again. We aren't in the market for a car really as we are only on one wage, but maybe in a couple of years? Who knows ...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sleepy kitteh

Very sleepy. Wow. Already. And it is only 08:51 on Monday morning. Oh wait. Monday. That could very well be it. The office is quiet this morning; only two of us are here so far. I've had a cup of coffee but caffeine is overrated. It never peps me up.

Both funerals were this week. Same day, same time. I went to support my friend while she buried her grandfather. MOTH dropped me off and went to amuse himself in the shopping centre. Ippy was very glad to see me. I was smothered in a hug while she cried for a little. The gathering was small, mostly family and RSL friends it seemed. The service was lovely; the RSL friends laid poppies on his casket.

I teared up a little at one point. They had been married for 66 years or so and it made me pause to wonder if MOTH and I will ever get that far. *realistically, probably not. we're half way and MOTH is nearly 60* And what the heck will I do without him? I nearly lost it there, but deep breaths helped.

MOTH was a little late coming for me as he had to negotiate the length of the shopping centre back to the car and being MOTH didn't get my message straight away. I caught plenty of curious looks so satisfied myself with being the mysterious blonde that turns up at these kinds of dos. In the stories anyway.

The days have been delightful. Well, looking from inside it has been and I've been receiving regular reports from the campus mailman about how beautiful the days have been. He's a lovely old fellow, always a smile and a cheery word.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to be stuck in an office all day, and could pack up and walk out whenever I wanted. I think I need a job where I can work from home at my own pace and my own hours. Any suggestions as to a job like that anyone??

The day is lovely and for something different, MOTH and I wander the car yards. We aren't really in the market but it used to be my favourite passtime when I was a kid. That, and a trip to the dump. Who didn't enjoy that as a kid. Though we were never actually allowed to get out of the car, it was still a lot of fun. The dirt. The smell. The birds. The flies. The adults and kids crawling over piles of refuse looking for treasure. Mum found so much useful stuff!

So. We wandered up and down the street, looking at cars. So many I would love to have! But hey. I'd need a second job to be able to afford one.

We decide to look at the new JB HiFi store that opened recently. On the way we decided to stop at a pet store in the same complex that we hadn't seen before. It's .... spacey. Large. Plenty of stock, specially pet food. The supermarket stuff, Royal Canin, Science Diet and many, many more. Expensive, but possibly worth looking at when we go to restock. We purchase a small 'auto' feeder for Jerome.

JB HiFi is also spacey. I succumb and purchase a couple more DVDs to add to my collection. Harry Potter 7.1, Batman Begins *for MOTH* and ... and ... oh yes. Conan. The latest one, not the original Arnie version.

The feeder is set up. It's not technical at all, just a plastic tube with a tray at the bottom that lets the food slide through. If you turn the tray and attach the tube to the other set of notches, it can be converted to an auto water dispenser as well. We fill it with dry food. Jerome eats what has dispensed into the tray and when he discovers that he has to use his paw to get it to dispense further, he seems less than impressed.

Father's Day. I phoned my dad without being prompted. And spent half an hour chatting. I think that is a record. Neither he nor I are particularly chatty when it comes to the phone. Mind, the call lasted an hour. Half hour for Dad, and another half for Ma.

I decide to cook MOTH a nice lunch. He had chosen a piece of steak from last shop which we had forgotten about. Kind of like a cutlet but probably about 500g or more. The aim was to portion it between the two of us, but I thought what the heck, you have to die of something, it may as well be something you enjoy *no, i'm not trying to hasten him along. heh* I seared it on the bbq, then moved it to a roasting pan to finish. It was still going about 30 mins later. MOTH tells me I should have put the pan on the plate, not the grill. It would have cooked better, with a more even heat distribution. Ah well, next time I'll know. It did still turn out well though, and served with some mashed sweet potato seasoned with cinnamon *his fave* some peas and carrots. I ate the peas and carrots and a couple of pork sausages. He gave it a good shot, but couldn't finish it.

He ate the rest of the steak for dinner, wrapped in bacon and trying to pass itself off as a mignon. It failed on that count *no sauce, no crouton* but was still very tender.

So another week begins. The day is looking lovely through the tinted office front door. I think I might go for a walk...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Great start to the week...

A shock start to the week to come in to work and see an email arrive ... apparently one of the young blokes *and by young I mean mid 30s* working in the wider ITS community committed suicide on the weekend. Apparently he had been very sick. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

The rest of the week kinda pales by comparison.

So angry on the road this morning! It feels like every idiot is on the road and out to get me. Well, so maybe not all of them. But a goodly proportion. Well, maybe only four. But that's enough I reckon!

Traffic is a little heavier this morning. I think I've timed my run a bit later than usual. I'm nearing the high school on a busy section of road. It's near the railway station which has no parking beyond whatever you can find on the street. It's also a residential area. Some teenager is out on the roadside near the parked cars. He drops a skateboard and kicks off. I can see he is holding what appears to be a cup of coffee and his earbuds are firmly in. Suddenly he spots the tail end of a car attempting to reverse out of a driveway into the traffic and he swerves. RIGHT INTO MY PATH. I sound the horn *and begin swearing!* and the fool doesn't even turn his head...

And then it was a 4WD mummy who was doing 20km in a 40km school zone while she looked for a park that was close to the school. And outside the parking zone I might add. She finds one right at the top of the parking zone and as she pulls in, another mummy in a 4WD pulls right out in front of me. Lucky I made it to work that day!

The Teen suggests that she would like a new job. One where intelligence is appreciated. I laugh quietly to myself. One thing I've discovered is that how much intelligence you have depends very much on how secure you supervisor is in their own job. I tell her this. Mum she says, they're illiterate here, even the venue manager. The bistro menus have spelling mistakes and are you allowed to point that out?? Ooooh no no no. She sends an example of a closing procedure. All the nouns ending with "s" have an apostrophe. Tray's. Sheet's. Jigger's. *rolls eyes* She goes on. I want to have a conversation with someone who doesn't look at me blankly when I try to talk to them. I'm tired of feeling like I'm in Grade 6 again! *we moved to a new area. a straight A student moving into a lower socio-economic school. much bullying ensued* I wish her luck. Perhaps administration might suit better than barmaid? She seems to think so.

The Elder sends me a text. Her store manager tells her she's a fantastic team member, but isn't suited for 2IC. One of her faults is she stresses much too easily. Elder agrees. The manager would like to keep her as a team member. She's not sure if this means she will be staying on as part time or dropping to casual. Head Office advise she must take 2IC or they have nothing to offer her. She is devastated.

To add a cherry to her screwed up week, her live in landlord has advised that he would like to rent the house out and they have until October to leave.

Jeebus! Why can't my kids cop a break occasionally?!

I notice a friend has posted of the loss of her grandfather on Facebook. We've been out of contact for some time now as we no longer work in the same place. I send her a text to let her know I'm there if she needs anything. She texts me back with the funeral details. I take this to mean that she would like me to attend. I've known her for about ten years, met her grandfather, brother in law and her mother. She and her mother visited me in hospital. The only problem is, the funeral is at the same time as the other. I guess I should be there for her.

An email arrives from Bestie. Did I want to come and visit on 4pm Saturday? She's have a Norwex party. I've never heard of the product but apparently it's cleaning products. With a bit of skin care thrown in. I'm in two minds but decide to go anyway.

I've bitten the bullet and upgraded to Mountain Lion. There are supposed to be 200+ enhancements/changes. And I've found some, still looking for others. These are likely to be in apps that I don't use. I like the way I can now lock the screen! That may be useful in the future!

MOTH is off the leash while I stay home and do stuff. I don't know what I did beyond clean the ensuite vanity. He's off to upgrade his phone now that the contract has expired. He's back with a Galaxy 3. I think I can now see what some of the fuss between Samsung and Apple might be about. The phones look different but if you can work an iphone, you can work a Galaxy; the way the home screens, swipes, home button, volume, lock off, swipe to unlock etc are so similar!

I spend money I don't have on cleaning cloths that afternoon, but everyone is happy and enjoying themselves, the consultant is bubbly and relaxed and it turns out to be a great afternoon. She's asked MOTH and I to stay on for a bbq dinner. It's nearly 9pm by the time we leave. It's great to catch up and I can't believe how much her daughter had grown.

Rebleach the hair this morning. What a tedious job! And having to work with dry hair is the pits. *i think there are STILL bits that look missed* MOTH goes to visit the baby sitters club and I get to work on this uninterrupted. Yay!

I attend a perfume master class today. It's brief but interesting. We learn about the different types of perfume - floral, oriental, wood, fresh. What the notes are - top, heart or middle, base or dry down. We get to smell different examples. We get to ask questions. We get light refreshments. We get to take home a couple of samples. One of them is Marc Jacobs 'Dot' which isn't released till September. We get to buy at a discount. I purchase a body lotion to go with the perfume I am getting for Christmas. Retail is $63, but today with discount and the refund of the class booking fee, I pay $36. Money well spent I thought. And I've found a new second favourite perfume. Thierry Mulger 'Alien' *quiet froggy!!*...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Normalcy. I think....

Back to the grind today. Amazing how some weeks fly, isn't it.

I may have mentioned I was on holidays this week. If not, I apologise. I was on holidays this week! Whoo!

I had intended to do an awful lot of nothing, and I think I might even have managed to accomplish that too.

It was our wedding anniversary earlier this month while I was visiting with family for Mouse's 40th birthday. While I was there, Ma gave me a small monetary gift as an anniversary present. Unexpected, but wholly welcome. I added a little bit to it and thought MOTH and I could go out to dinner somewhere. He agreed. We just had to settle the day. Saturday? Maybe. Actually, I'm on holidays next week, we can go out any time. Good point he says and we left it at that.

We decide that lunch will work well. Into Southbank for Italian? He's happy with that. We hop a lunch time bus and off we go on our little adventure. It's been some considerable time since the two of us have ventured city-wise and we notice there have been some changes. Not all of them good. New buildings have gone up, one right in the middle of the *once* common areas and it well and truly spoils the view.

Wait! What's this? A churro house? We'll go there for dessert I say. We'll see, he replies.


I've done some research so I know where the Italian restaurants are. We stop at the first. It only does pizza. *crosses off list* We find the fully fledged proper Italian one. He's not happy. There's no cannelloni on the menu. We keep going. He walks past another. Wait! Don't you want to look? What? Oh. He stops and we ask to check the menu. It's touted as Itallian but pasta dishes make up only a small portion of the menu. He sees other possibilities and we stop there.

We sit, and I see this place has done away with salt and pepper shakers ...

I ended up with fish and chips, he had a steak. We also ordered a chorizo dish to share. When he'd finished his meal *steak and mash, no vegies* he remembered the chorizo. It hadn't come out. He was going to leave it, I told him to ask for it. He did, it came promptly with apologies for the kitchen and he had something else to scoff.

And I decide to be adventurous with my drink. The waitress asks if I'm sure. She's seen customers order it and walk away with it untouched. I'm game.

There's just enough room to go back for churros dessert.

On the way back to the bus stop I pause to look in the window of a little boutique that seems to have some interesting shoes occasionally. MOTH draws my attention to this pair.

I wonder what they would be like to wear as they seem to be made of plastic.

I have a whole week at home with MOTH dragging me along to the baby sitters club. Why not. It's an outing. Of sorts.

The Elder is in a huge panic. She as worked extra hours this week and is expecting a big pay. She is planning to use it for a visit. She gets only half *employer has stuffed up somewhere and has taxed her at a rate like 50%* She is well and truly upset. She checks with her boss who agrees that something has gone wrong. She tries to phone HR the next day buuuut....

Today is RNA Show Holiday. The Ekka is in full swing but I've decided not to go this year. I seem to have run out of funds. Never mind.

She tries again on Thursday and manages to get something sorted. Her fingers *and toes* are crossed. The same thing happened to Burrich but his employer said they couldn't fix it and he is to wait to tax time to claim it back.

It seems there is a new JB HiFi store opening locally. I'm sure the sign said today but research on their website indicates next week. MOTH decides he needs to get mower blades and we'll have to stop in the hardware place on the way throught. *rolls eyes*

We go to park around the back and the shop is definitely not open yet. Ah well. We drive round the front and MOTH and I wander through the hardware where he eventually selects mower blades. He's not sure if they are the right ones. Did you check before we left home? Nooooo.

I decide I want to visit a different JB HiFi store. Turns out not only have they got DVDs for $15.95, there is also a buy 2 get 1 free deal going. I end up with six DVDs and one extra MOTH chose. Which, oddly enough, wasn't part of the 2 4 1 deal.

The Elder and Burrich arrived just after midnight / Saturday morning. Up again next morning. She and I went shopping for a dress for a friend's wedding while Burrich stayed home and played WoW. We found a dress with promise very quickly but the size was wrong. Back home and she and Burrich head out to the Ekka.

The next day they are out and about again to check out that dress in a different store and a different size. She's still not happy with the fit. Dang. It had such possibilities.

They pack belongings and dogs *yes, they brought both the dogs with them* which proves to be more difficult that first thought. Freddy is fine but Heffe doesn't want to jump in the car. He sticks his head in and has to be manhandled in. *he's 10 months and is bigger than Freddy* We don't close the tailgate fast enough and he's back out. He's headed toward the neighbour' garden and suddenly he sees a bush turkey. The turkey's off! Followed by Heffe! Followed by Freddy! Followed by Burrich! While we stand and laugh. Eventually we get the dogs rounded up and in the car. The door is closed a bit quicker this time! They're in and headed off around 2.30pm. Fifteen minutes later I fall asleep in the recliner.

A busy week. Not bad considering I wasn't supposed to be doing anything!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So it occurs to me...

...that I haven't updated this week. Um ah!

Spose I should get on that. But the last week has been very quiet.

I've worked a short week this week; winding down for a holiday is why. Just a week off, but sometimes a week break is just what a person needs. I don't have anything planned, just log on occasionally so I can chat to Froggy.

And even though I've been working shorter days - that's what I meant by a short week - I still managed to get sick and take a day off.

Oh. I've not quite managed to finish my task today so it looks like I will have to check my email while on holiday to see if the travel agent sent the e-ticket and forward that on. Nicely.

I'm busy facebooking and a post pops up in my feed. It seems that Blizzard have released a note stating that some accounts on the American servers have been hacked. They aren't sure what has been taken, but it's a good idea to do a password change blah blah blah. Really people! Obviously some people have too much time on their hands, an over developed sense of entitlement and other people need to kick their arses all around the world. Sheesh! I'm so sick of reading about people's online accounts getting hacked!

So password reset *grumble* I haven't received any notification - yet - that my account was one of the ones affected...

And that was about the highlight of my week.

Oh, except 16:00 Friday afternoon. That was pretty darned good too!

Monday, August 06, 2012

What? Is the weekend over already?

*yaaawwwwnnn* I think today is going to be one of those days. I overslept. The garage door took about five attempts to close. It took longer than usual to get to work. The milk I set to heat overflowed the mug - AND it wasn't even as full as usual. The towel dispenser nearly came off the wall. *sigh*

There's an intersection just off the roundabout on the way home. Well, there are a couple of streets, possible points for u-turns and right turns on two lane traffic. All in the couple of hundred metres from the roudabout exit to the first set of traffic lights. I always do 60km there instead of the limit of 70km. You never know what some idiot is going to do. Today it looks like I've missed the idiocy. I can see two police vehicles, red and blue lights flashing. There is a blue vehicle parked between them. A group of blokes in yellow reflective trousers are gathered kerbside under the tree. A flatbed towtruck loiters. I don't see any other vehicles; no ambulance, no fire engine or recue vehicle. Looks like the action is over. Thankfully. The idea of being delayed on the HOMEWARD journey does not appeal. *workbound? different story*

The following morning you would never know an accident took place there.

I decide to take a trip into the city during my lunch. I want to get something but it's going to be a two hour round trip. It's to fetch a birthday present. *yeah. it was. i'm sure* I find the store. It's a store within a store, a cosmetic counter - kit - within Myers. The cosmetics at kit are not available at any of the other counters in Myers itself. I want some mascara for the weekend so haven't bought online. They don't have it in stock. I decide to have the sales assistant show me other products from the same line. They are so expensive here but kit is the only distributor in Queensland for Too Faced. I think I shall buy online next time. At least that way I don't get the 100% markup. I end up spending more than I orginally intended; a primer and concealer.

I get a facial from the experience. Like most, the makeup is nice but never applied the way I like it. Using my own products that night produces a reaction from senstive skin. I don't think I'll buy what she used instore!

Cruising down the city street. It's amazing what you see. I see a Caucasian man dressed in a neat business shirt and dress pants. His hair is pulled back in dreadlocks. Those locks almost touch the back of his thighs...

On the way back to work on the bus, dodging cars parked down narrow streets. Wait. What? There's a girl car. Or a gay car. Maybe the latter. It's wearing long eyelashes! *no time for photo!*

Friday drags and I'm nervous. I fly out today to join sibling Moose to help with her birthday. I'm leaving straight after work and I've allowed an hour and a half to get to the airport. We decide to use the airport tunnel but join from a different spot than when we did the dry run last weekend.

We're crusing and looking for the exit. Wait! There it is the signage, and there! We need to be in that lane ... back there. Right back there. Did you see it? Behind the truck? The one you didn't drop in behind, or follow the arrow to the left if you didn't want to change lanes? No? There was too much traffic and you didn't want to get stuck with the truck? *siiiiiigh. never mind*

Made it. Through security and sitting in the departure lounge. It's 4.30pm. Planned that well. Too well. Flight doesn't leave till 6.30pm...

Met a friend in the lounge. We're on the same flight and headed to the same house. Whoo! We arrive in good time and get settled in.

Out to get some stuff for the party. Uh oh. She's left her wallet at home. Luckily, I have mine so she can pay me back. Better still, you can buy me lunch. I manage to catch a quick glimpse of the Elder at her workplace. I thought afterward that I should have taken a photo. She's wearing leggings and a DRESS. She looks lovely and feminine.

We lunch at the Coffee Club. We get adventurous and order lime spiders. When it's time to settle the bill, the waitress asks how they were. No one was sure how to make them - lime softdrink isn't on the menu. They were perfect we chorus. She is relieved.

The night rolls on and Moose is getting nervous. We're running a little late for set up and she's beginning to panic. Breathe we tell her. Most people will be a bit late and those who turn up on time can help. No problems.

The evening seems to go well and the costumes look great! I didn't dress up but instead chose a colour that began with the letter B. Can you guess what it was? And I didn't even have to make any wardrobe changes.

Met the Teen and Harry for breakfast the next morning. They pick me up in Harry's mum's car. A Nissan Micra. I pooh pooh the car, but once inside... there's so much room! We get breakfast from Gloria Jean's. They've mucked up my order. A bacon and egg toastie isn't a chicken, cheese and avocado. Last time I compared, anyway. But the coffee *white chocolate mocha with cream* is good. And lo! While we were consuming breakfast one of the guests from the night before rocks up to use the ATM. I introduced him to Teen. He's a bit of a character, was her final assessment.

Moose has been gloating that she has been headache free for a while now. Today.... hmmmm. Ma is sure it's the alcohol but I don't think it is. I think it's sinus mixed with a dash of overtired and dehydration. The sniffles and sore face tells me this. Ma is not convinced. I pop a couple loads of washing through before heading out to visit with the olds. It's a pleasant couple of hours before heading back home to get ready to leave.

There's a few of them come to make sure I'm really leaving. I've already checked in but my baggage tag won't print. Off to the desk to get it done. An early call to proceed through security and I leave them waiting outside the departure lounge. I find out later they could have come through with me. Dammit.

Boarding call and I head to the desk. I have my phone with my boarding pass on it. It won't scan. They say they need a printed boarding pass. It won't print. The bloke on the desk recognises me from the problem with the baggage tag. He grins. It's your fault he says. Eventually there are four of us who need printed passes. Eventually we board the plane for our trip home. Gotta love technology ... !

Home again. Both the boys are happy to see me. I'm off to bed at 9.30pm. Visiting is such tiring work!