Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hercule, I've become addicted to you!

Hercule Poroit, you keep me entertained. Or should I say, David Suchet. I've not enjoyed any of the other actors in that role.

The kids are still out of the house. I think the cats are missing them, roaming around meowing, and getting very very snuggly.

MOTH and the Club continue to debate the move. Wombat pushes for them to move back and alas, they relent. It doesn't help that John has been finding it difficult to walkthe extra distance and Wendys is close to the chemist, the disability parking and the supermarket where John prefers to shop. The Club returns to Wendys.

MOTH, John, Stan and Special K are still competing to lose weight. I think Special K might be a tad more serious than MOTH. Or perhaps not. MOTH went to the doctor today and while there discussed options for a referral to a dietician. I wonder if this means that I will have to join him? The prospect does not appeal. I simply cannot live without chocolate!

I often have an appointment at the doctor the same time as MOTH. It saves time that way. I have a call up for my regular tests but I need the referral form. Bit of a nuisance getting an appointment just to pick up a form. Although I confess I was slack and didn't investigate just collecting the form from reception...

Friday morning I decide to donate to the vampires and have the blood tests done. It's a fasting test and I nearly blow it. I'm feeling distracted and I pop an almond in my mouth. I even forgot to drink my usual glass of water before the test! I guess that should have clued me in as to how the morning might go.

It's been 12 months since my last tests and I have heard rumours that the nearest collection clinic had closed. Never mind, there is a second nearby. I have been there once before. I arrive and there are two other people waiting. I must be right then, the other has closed. Last time I was here, I was the only patient. It opens at 8:30am. We settle in to wait. More people turn up. We wait. Some leave. More turn up. 9:00am arrives but the nurse has not. One elderly gentleman has been waiting since 7:30am. We discuss what could be going on. Eventually I twig that the referral form has phone numbers on it. I phoned the other clinic. It's open! And the one we were waiting at is closed each Friday. Even though the sign on the front door indicates otherwise!

It's after 10:00am when I finally get to work.

It's Australia Day weekend. The holiday falls on Saturday so we have Monday off. I like this. A lot. We are having roast lamb to celebrate. According to Sam, you can't get much more Australian than that, right? *for my overseas readers, it's a promo to sell lamb that's been continuing in some form or another for several years now.* We have no other celebration planned.

Just as well. There is a tropical cyclone up north that has weakened into a rain depression but still contains a lot of kick. It has ripped through the morth of the state with driving heavy rain and wind gusts to 90km an hour. It leaves behind widespread destruction and flooding. It's headed our way this weekend.

The rain starts slowly Friday night and sets in properly Saturday. The wind gusts are strong and there is rain but nothing close to the level up north.

The wind picks up Saturday night and Sunday. We've closed the house and here we remain, snug as little bugs in rugs. We hear the occasional gust, see the trees bending in the wind, and see the rain. We can't hear much.

There are warnings not to drive through flood waters and to stay home if there is no absolute need to go out. And still there are those who drive and lose their lives unnecessarily. One of them is a three year old boy.

Luckily we don't lose power and I have Fable 3 and an Xbox so there is no need to go out.

Things have calmed considerably on Monday amd we drive up the road to the shops. The juice bar is closed so we head to Maccas for coffee. There is a tree down across the road but a very helpful neighbour has gone out in the rain and cleared it up. With his chainsaw. Drat! That means I can't plead for an extra day off work while they clear it away!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bran' Nue Week

I made it through my first week back at the grindstone. I'm still wondering how...

Somewhere around 3.30am, Elder and Burrich left to travel north to visit with family. Furkid family mostly, but other family as well. Elder has been feeling very low about many things, least of which is the money situation, and missing Freddy and Hefe very much. I gave a small donation to cover the cost of fuel one way and told her to go. Arrangements were made in very short order *for them* and they were away. It's been a very quiet week!

The Teen seems to have settled into her new abode, no longer living with Harry and his parents. I'm still waiting for her to let me know the new address. She misses Harry and Ace terribly, but she has Garfunkel *ginger kitten* and one or two other furbabies to keep her company. Harry is still adamant that he's not moving out of home though as you'd have to be insane to live with your sister, right?

Babysitter's Club has been in a bit of an uproar this week. Like most old folk, they like to keep to routine and sit in the same place every day they meet. Which is ... every day. This happens to be a group of seats in the *and i use the term very loosely* food court. Tables and chairs placed centrally and surrounded by shops, it happens to be close to Wendys.

They've been discussing the possibility of changing places. Helping this decision along is an older woman who has decided the seats are hers, takes them if the group aren't fast enough and gives them a multitude of filthy looks if they beat her. Not that it bothers them particularly. They've also heard good things about one of the little shops *a juice bar* and it's at the other end of the centre.

Some incident occurred involving Wombat and the staff of Wendys *i think an offhand remark regarding the higher level of trade that day by one of the staff during a conversation with wombat but i'm not sure* resulted in comments by Wendys owner's husband to the tune that the staff were no longer allowed to talk to Wombat. *his story*

The Club decided to move *i'm told this was Wombat's suggestion* to the other end of the centre to the juice bar, a much friendlier place with much better coffee.

The next day Wombat reports that he's received a phone call from Wendys husband to 'explain himself' and that Wendys had spoken to him and cried all over his shoulder about them being her best customers. Perhaps the Club should return?

Coffee at the juice bar with the Club and the coffee is really very nice! The proprietors of that place are so very friendly too, bright smiles and hellos. The Club feel very welcome. I'm watching though as a couple who have been kept waiting *maybe 15 to 20 minutes max* without receiving their order demand their money back. They've abused the waitress, the owner, and her husband. According to the owner it would have taken her about 1 minute to fill the order. It took them longer to abuse everyone and get their money back than it would have taken to make 2 cups of coffee.

I'm dragged up that way again the next day at the request of Special K. The juice bar doesn't trade on Sunday so we've settled on the Coffee Club. Special K has decided we won't go back again as although the coffee there is indeed very good, her wallet can't tolerate it. Perhaps next Sunday we'll go Maccas for coffee instead. They agree.

She's assuming I'll tag along of course. Never a given!

We're sitting there and Wombat wanders past. He hadn't joined us that morning. Again he brings up the crying on his shoulder and maybe the Club should go back?

After he leaves Special K is rather disgusted that Wombat should make the whole situation about him and try to guilt everyone into going back to a business that never seemed to care about them anyway. Wendys *the owner* has NO customer service skills.

MOTH and I have some groceries to pick up this morning. We're chatting to the daughter of an old neighbour when Special K and John come back from their shopping. She tells me Wendys has been crying on John's shoulder about the situation *not her shoulder mind!* and asks if we should go back. My firm opinion is go where you want!

Macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight. I haven't made it for a very long time so I can't remember the recipe. I think I'll prepare it like scalloped potatoes. I'm staring at the tv and decide to switch to the food channel. Nothing else I want to watch. And behold, one of the chefs I've never watched before is making ... macaroni and cheese. I end up following her recipe.

Guess what I have for lunch today??

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Summer = Ice Cream Sodas!

Alcoholic ones, preferably. Failing that, a good cold cider goes down well.

The chambord did go very nicely over vanilla icecream. I found that one on the chambord website among the recipes. It also goes quite nicely in the aforementioned soda. Lemonade, a dash of chambord and vanilla icecream... mmmmm!

Seems it's been a week or two since I last wrote. That's something I've noticed when I'm on holidays, I can't tell which day is which. And it seems I'm not the only one. Burrich has been eagerly awaiting my return to work. So he can tell which days are the weekend.

One of the games that arrived from Santa with the wii console is Just Dance 4. I looked at in the in shop and remarked I probably wouldn't use it. Elder smiled and kept browsing. And there it was. Oh dear, thought I. I'll never use that. Never.

Famous last words. Well, just briefly. I'd watched Teen and her friend give it a very enthusiastic go. Might as well try it. Whew. Three dances was my limit. I could have kept going I suppose but I was huffing a bit already. This looks like it might be a good way to get some exercise. *ooooh. naughty word. i should wash my mouth out with chocolate*

I just have to find a time when a) it's not so hot that I'll pass out and b) there's no one else around to watch Unco Queen at her best.

Burrich hands me a game for the XBox. You might like this, he says. Hmm. Fable II. I try it. Now I'm stuck here and I've only got a week left of my holidays and there's not enough time to finish it and oh my god leavemealoneandletmefiniiiiish...! Actually, I do finish it. And just before I do, he hands me the sequel. Just found this he says...

The Babysitter's Club has been making plans to have an outing during the week. Stan has heard of a nice place for fish and chips. It's a bit of a drive but that didn't deter them. The weather has been very hot and humid but this day is probably about a degree or two milder.

We headed out straight from their morning gathering. John and his daughter *let's call her special k* travelled with Stan and MOTH and I were by ourselves. Off we go, MOTH leading the way after taking his cue from Stan.

About an hour up the coast and we arrive at our destination. We weren't sure where Stan's eatery was located and pulled over to check. Nope, he drives right past. Fair enough, he knows where he's going so we follow.

Nope, he had no clue either. After some discussion we return to the esplanade where a fish and chip shop was located, across the road from the beach. Nice food but very expensive. The Club chose a place to sit, near the roadside without the shade. Very close to the amenities though! The day remained overcast and a brisk breeze blew. Heat? Humidity? What heat? What humidity?

It turns out that .... Stan's eatery was in a suburb some distance away that also began with the letter S. Oh dear! He insisted he knew this and had mentioned it several times during the week. MOTH insisted that he kept mentioning the suburb we were in.

This didn't detract from the day and we gave Stan plenty of stick about not being in the right place. While Stan was absent, Special K suggested the food was good but not worth the hour and a half drive. I mumbled that Fish on Flinders might have been though. She almost laughed till she cried and insisted we use that line to rib Stan when he returned. I ended up with a fit of the giggles and couldn't repeat it. My turn to cop the stick.

On the drive home, MOTH and I detoured until we found the place we were supposed to have been. And took a photo. For Stan. Just as well he has a sense of humour!

Shame I had to wait till my holidays were nearly over to go somewhere, but I really did enjoy myself.

Now, be quiet and let me finish this game ...

Friday, January 04, 2013

2013! Happy New Year!

It feels like ages since I've been here, and I had to read my last post *can i hear dogs howling??* so I could remember what I typed about.

Here is my coffee machine...
It makes pretty good coffee too considering it's a pod machine.

Christmas Day dawns and it's hot. Hot, hot, hot. Well, humid anyway. One day I swear I am going to spend Christmas in the snow. Just once. Sometime. Maybe. The lotto gods willing. Breakfast comes first and then Santa hands out the presents. I think I manage to do alright. One of the gifts is a book Underwater Dogs. It's a great looking book. The tree is no laden with presents and it doesn't take long. Everyone plays with their gifts for a time and I head for the kitchen to lay the snacks on the table. Christmas Day fare is light, mostly all day snacks with salad and cold meat for lunch. I'm baking a ham this morning for something different. Lunch is laid out - the cooled ham, duck and chicken cooked yesterday and a light garden salad. Dessert takes the form of condensed milk tart, caramel tart with cream, an ice cream cake with vanilla ice cream, berry sorbet and crushed pavlova nests, and Lion's Christmas cake with brandy custard. I'm disappointed with the duck and chicken. They were beautiful and moist yesterday and dry and tough today despite being covered overnight in the fridge.

Would you believe that dessert was hardly eaten, and there was plenty of it left over!

Tradition seems to dictate that if Bestie isn't heading north to join family for Christmas we spend Boxing Day together. She offers baked ham, turkey, Boston beans, pumpkin pie and who am I to argue, right?

We're on our way to her place when Elder sends me a text. They've cancelled her shift for the day. Massive upset as the pay for working was going to be a good one. Things aren't helped when she discovers that she hasn't been allocated any shifts for January.

Time to tidy up as the Teen and ... and ... by golly it's been so long since I mentioned him in a post I can't remember what name I gave him! At any rate, the Teen and her lad are arriving this week. Elder has instructions to make sure the guest room is devoid of belongings and the bathroom is clean.

It's good to see the Teen again. This is the first time I have seen Harry *yay! i remembered!* for a while. I don't know if I can still call him that as he no longer looks like Harry.

The noise level in my house has just doubled, and none of it comes from Harry. *happy face*

Burrich celebrates a birthday this week. Plenty of friends are invited but not many turn up. The Elder and the Teen have offered floor space for sleepovers, which I guess is sensible, but they failed to check with me. I don't have enough beds or bedding. I don't see in the New Year and when I wake up, someone is sleeping on my couch. I'm quiet but I manage to wake her just before 6am. Disappointed about that as I wanted the clock to wake her. *i have a clock in the rumpus rooms that makes a terrific racket. goes off at 6am* She soon wanders off to sleep in a vacated spot in the spare room.

The Teen has brought with her a bottle of chambord. We were supposed to use this to cook duck confit, but I haven't been able to get duck. I think portions would be much better than the whole bird. She leaves it with me when she goes. Think I'll try some on ice cream.

The visitors have all gone and it's desperately quiet! Missing them already. But then again, it does give me time to play with the Wii. My Christmas present from Elder and Burrich.

Happy 2013 everyone!