Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, April 30, 2010

Seagull or Fish?

The die was cast a long time ago, but we don't know yet whether we are the seagull or the fish.

As far as we can tell things are proceeding normally with the contract while debate rages in the media. Rage about whether it's even possible to gain approvals to construct the transport corridor in its original location.  Rage about when a decision is not a decision.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Rage, rage against infrastructure and population growth, rage against lack of infrastructure, rage against stuff happening in their backyard.

Their rage is blurring our thoughts, so we try to keep some focus on plan "A" and leave the rage to others.

Que sera sera.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today the Building and Pest inspections went without a hitch.

Today was the day the "cooling off" period in the contract was to have expired.  Just how a government actually cools off was not explained.  Neither, given that the inclusion of such an instrument in a contract was designed to overcome pressure sales tactics applied to unsuspecting old ladies by gold toothed rats wearing white shoes rather than considered and protracted resumption purchases by governments, was the reason for actually having such a provision in the contract.

Today was the day we received the letter from their people advising that the revised alignment of the highway has been reconsidered and that there will be no need for resumptions in our neighbourhood and that they'll catch up for a chat in a few weeks.

Today we are not quite sure exactly what is going on, but why, we ask ourselves, should today be any different to any other day in the last eight months or so?

Today was a day filled with very strange emotions indeed.

As is always the case when one is in the midst of great personal turmoil, the rest of the world raced by, going about its business without so much as a sideways glance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I think I'll miss this more than anything else.

Sitting on the back steps early in the morning with my coffee.

High tide.

Floating above the clouds.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Home Again

Home again and the soldier crabs are back too.  There are just a few at the moment, and unusually large they are as well, but if all runs true to form they'll soon be joined by hundreds of offspring, no bigger than a pea.   The smaller ones have much less colour and tend to blend into the greyness of the muddier sand near the low tide mark, but I have never been able to fathom the camouflage of the adults.  Sure their legs look very much as though they were meant to disappear in the sand, but hmmm... I wonder where their bodies are?

We have been known to spend quite some time watching them from the comfort of our deck, through binoculars, as they marshall their troops and capture each tiny hill.

The stingrays don't bother to watch, and probably have never seen the colour either.  They just cruise along pumping them from the safety of their own homes.  No building and pest inspections required by the stingrays, they resume them and flush them through the system, no beg pardons.

They'll be here soon.  The stingrays and the building and pest inspectors.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Wimmin's Business

While the rest of Australia had a day off to commemorate ANZAC Day,  the wheels of industry didn't stop whirring in Springwood.  

It's now just three weeks give or take, until Lily arrives to meet the family, and it's not just the blokes who are madly tiling and painting and trying to bring some semblance of completion to the house renovations.  Mother and daughter(s) have been going through the whole nesting thing all weekend.   Cots have been erected, curtains 'taken up', furniture shifted from one side of the room to another and back again.

I hope after all this, she likes us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I am led to believe that parading in public in plastic clogs that are cheap imitations of a well known brand is decidedly uncool, perhaps even more uncool than parading in public in orange versions of the well known brand.

Fortunately for me, parading around in caravan parks is socially acceptable it seems, as indeed is wearing them for any workshop related task where thongs don't provide enough protection.  They've been copping a bit of a flogging of late, plastered, splashed with artists acrylic paint and tile cement, but I know that I only have to sneak them into the washing machine with a bunch of towels and they'll come out as good as new.  (Just don't tell you know who my secret!)

I had thought of giving them a whirl in the dishwasher, but they don't quite sit in the plate racks like thongs do, and I'm not sure if the heat would do them harm.

I have a dark grey pair as well, but I keep them for best.  Actually if rumours are correct, we may be seeing the last of the cheapies, which is a shame because while I can't remember exactly what these cost I did buy a watch and a pair of thongs at the same time and had change from twenty five dollars.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Repressed Memory

"Tiling Floors" is the other name for repressed memory therapy.  It's only when one begins and can't back out of the job, that the memories of just how long it takes and how bad one is at it and how sore one's back can get, and how badly damaged one's knees really are, come flooding back.  By then it is too late.   

That's why they're called LONG weekends I suppose.

Friday, April 23, 2010


What a strange new batch of demons I've been battling!  Until now, painting has been a rare activity in our household with the results only to be seen by consenting adults in private, so actually contemplating a series with the intention of not only allowing strangers to see them, but heaven forbid pass comment or even take one home brings with it a level of insecurity which would make a terrorist proud.

Despite all of that, I've called this one finished so to preempt  all those questions that I so dread:

It's called "Tie Dye"
Yes it is bright and no it won't match your regency curtains.
No it won't fit in your flat, it's 1500 mm square, which means he's a LOT taller than Julie.
Yes it did take a few weeks, but watching me kept the grand dog entertained while I was supposed to be minding him.

Now for whole weekend away from the brushes. Oh that's right, off to the big smoke again to tile a certain new family room before the new family arrives.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Life's Imponderables

How, I ask, can it be, that for the relatively small period of time that we are at home, can two people clutter up such a moderately adequate living space with so many works in progress, and when they do, how is it that the colours and tones of the unfinished paintings just lying around match those of the sewing machine when it's wheeled out to it's working spot?

But it is fun having stuff half made lying in the way everywhere.

We can't do that in a tent.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where did that come from?

I've just been to the loo.

No one needed to know that except that last night I was quietly painting away in the shed, listening to an interview with Doug Parkinson who was talking about Max Merritt, and it just seemed strangely co-incidental that the words of one of his (Max') songs,

"Baby I've been watching you,  watching every thing you do,"

wafted into my consciousness a second before I saw this thing watching my every move.

I have no idea how long it's been watching, maybe for months, and it's facing the shower too.... errrkk!

But the contract did turn up as promised, and it is now signed and dated, so we only have to worry about the "building and pest inspection" and wonder if they'll pay us more if it turns out to be easier to knock over than they thought.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No turning back.

Just why it took until today for me to walk around the beach to Roger and Margaret's place to take a photo of ours is not something I can explain.

Perhaps there's some sort of genetic link to Lot's wife, because today their people advised our people that the contract had been signed and was being posted back this afternoon. It seems we are finallly on the move.

It's an interesting view really, looking back.

While we can see but one house, they can see several. We aren't aware of the dominating form of the place next to ours from within our own boundaries, nor can we see the line of pontoons which seem to serve no purpose other than to anchor the occasional crab pot.

It may very well be all over tomorrow, this nine months gestation of our new direction or at least the impetus for it.

There again, I did look back today, and thankfully I'm not yet a pillar of salt, so perhaps that's just another sign that our journey has not yet begun.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I seem to recall when I took this photograph of the original Astroboy drawing in the British museum a year or so ago that I could see no reason for doing so.

Little did I know that it was to illustrate our routine of today. Mr Three was sleeping beside our bed while we were in the big smoke, to give his mum a bit of a chance to sleep longer while she's battling with this all of life morning sickness thing.

He's not the cuddliest little person first thing in the morning but it's amazing how that's changed since he's discovered Papa's computer can find episodes of
Astroboy on the internet before anyone even gets out of bed.

We daren't move a muscle first thing in the morning, or he'll be on top of us, with pillow and big Ted, squeezing in and making himself a seat between us ready for the show to begin.

We on each side of him and bleary eyed, fiddle with the laptop till we find an episode, then settle back as well for twenty minutes of snuggly TV time before breakfast.

As the patron saint of those who dislike using television as a child minding device I shudder in shame at my own actions.

It's OK I suppose, it's his daily dose while we're there and he's already checked out the big TV several times today, and confirmed that the red "stop" light is still glowing.

Besides, I quite like Astroboy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

While Uncle Matt and I finished the deck in the nick of time this morning, the kitchen started filling itself with cakes and sausage rolls, and pink whipped cream for crying out loud.  By early afternoon the estrogen index was starting to reach danger levels, so while Uncle Matt bolted off in his boat, Mr Three and I decided that an afternoon of blokey pursuits in the bush was in order.  

After tracking down one or two of our most common marsupials and the odd tawny frogmouth in the trees, we decided we'd been away a safe time and surely some of the girls would have vacated, after all the sun was starting to hang low in the sky.

We arrived back with the party still in full swing, and I began to ponder the expression "tired but happy" when related to a three year old.  One apparently common way of appeasing the "tired but happy" three year old as I understand it, is to park said three year old in front of a television set which I duly did.

This seemed to have no effect whatsoever and merely left him pleading with ever increasing urgency for me to turn it on please.

Tomorrow's downfall for Papa, happened at that precise moment.   "Do you see that red light on the bottom of the television?" I enquired, "Well what does a red light mean?"

"Stop" he suggested, quite correctly.

"Well I'm afraid we're going to have to get Uncle Matt to turn it to green before we can make it go".

He seemed satisfied with my explanation, and we played with trucks and magnets and an old scrubbing brush, but I fear tomorrow evening, when he discovers the television is going despite the red light.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


By a strange quirk of world time, we spoke to an absent husband in America last night when it was this afternoon here, and this morning in London,  all within twenty minutes of one another.

It was even stranger to have all three of the girls sitting around a table once again, chatting, laughing and going mad because they were in their dressing gowns (well the one in London was) and I was wandering round with my camera and the mother busy in the kitchen.  How incredible is technology when we can walk someone in London around the new house renovations, show them the unborn baby moving and see that they are apparently eating well enough all before tea time on a Saturday.

Meanwhile on the outside, after a day of blokey endeavour, the side screens for the new deck are ready to erect in the morning, just in time for a thing called a baby shower. While inside the gastronomical preparations seemed endless.

I've heard of raining cats and dogs, but really, a baby "shower"?

I suppose with two arriving in the next six months, we will have had more than our share of baby precipitation by year's end. 


Friday, April 16, 2010

Out of Sorts

Another day entirely with a brush in hand, with the grand dog at my feet.  Poor old Sam is just a bit out of sorts at all of the translocation he's been suffering of late, and the attention he gets round here has him entirely confused.

He's rarely more than a few metres from one of us during the day, and if I put my shoes on to go out he's at my ankles, which is why it was unusual for him to go AWOL this afternoon for half an hour or so.

We needn't have worried (we didn't actually) as he was just sitting in the car as we packed it ready to visit the kids in the big smoke once again.    

He must be having a dreadful time working out who he owes for his last meal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A whole day of luxuriating in the shed, the granddog at my feet, nothing but paint and canvas to play with and the radio on.  I can't remember the last time I had a day like that, and it was good enough to make me want to do it again tomorrow.   Which is just as well, because I've still got two canvasses to sketch out and underpaint, and then I can start the hard bit on all seven of them.

I sent an email to Celine thanking her for giving me the incentive.

I really should have been playing this game for years, I might have been good at it by now, and efficent to boot, but I say that without a whisper of regret, because I played other games and the reality is that if I am to get these things finished by June, I only have a few months of days like this to do it in!

Ahh.  June.

We'd better book a flight or two or we might have to reconsider our plans for the mid-year period!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Shark is Dead

The first words I heard this morning were "The shark is dead" and in my confuddlement to be frank, I had no idea what she was going on about.   Then the fog started to clear and I thought Greg Norman had suffered a nasty accident, but no it was "our" shark, finally met his match.

After eight years as king of his patch, it seemed like an ignoble end to be spat onto a concrete drive a few metres from safety.  He'd withstood countless attacks from cranes before, he even bore the scars from one near escape, but this time a single grey feather at the edge of the pond telegraphed how he'd met his end.

It was the shark which had kept Mr Three terrified from going too close to the pond when he was Mr Two.  It was the shark that always came to greet visitors when hundreds of his progeny remained hiding in the plant.   It was indeed the shark, shrivelled and pursued by ants as he lay lifeless on the path this morning.

"One can see how legends and superstitions were created in days gone by" she said, watching the lifeless creature and musing on how it had been the first inhabitant of the pond, even before the house had been completed.   "Another metaphor" thought I.

And they haven't signed the contract yet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Today's photo wasn't technically taken today, or even this century, but when Joan recognised the people in yesterday's post, I wondered if she'd remember this car.    She was actually a passenger one day when we were pulled up by a policeman, the first we had ever seen wearing a gun.   We had done nothing wrong, and I have no idea why my poor little car used to draw so much attention to itself and it's long haired drive.  On that day, as on many other occasions we were let off with a "warning".   A warning for exactly what I never discovered, although on one occasion after telling the nice policeman no I hadn't had a drink, and he telling me they'd get me one day, and me explaining that as I didn't drink that may be quite difficult to do, he did offer that there was the "or a drug" option.  Being absolutely too smart to respond instantly, I was "let off" with another warning.

Which is exactly what happened to Jen today, or at least her car.  Parked happily as it was on the nine metres of footpath, at least six from the road itself, a ticket appeared advising that the car had committed an offence and that the penalty was ZERO. 

Now it has to be said that I'm older, but not much wiser, and no less angry about authority, so I spent a pleasant hour drafting all sorts of notes to all sorts of people in the name of our eldest.   

I wonder if she'll be brave enough to sign any of them.  


Monday, April 12, 2010


Nostalgia is something one is supposed to feel while looking through one's parent's belongings, not stumbling through the kids old books, but this evening I picked up a book and out fell a book of matches we were conned into buying in 1982.

We are staying at Ab's, she of the whale like proportions and big smile, waddling round like a gigantic waterbomb and doing all the things that pregnant women do, like painting ceilings while standing on stepladders, and taking care of her sister and Mr Three.  Jen meanwhile mostly is as serious as she was in the picture, concentrating on keeping herself out of hospital this week, thankfully managed to keep down almost 750ml of fluid yesterday, and none of us celebrated more than she.   

Here we all are, under the same roof, just as we were in 1982, except they are the age we were then.  One of us is missing of course, but she didn't come on the scene till well after the photo was taken.

They ate spaghetti that night in Venice, we had pizza and had our photo taken reluctantly but still happily paid some outrageous number of lire for the matchbook that still exists.

It all happened yesterday, we remember everything.  

We are no older, but my how they've grown....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Perfect Fit

Today we relocated Jane and Arthur's bees, or to be more precise, we upgraded their accommodation just a tad.   They'd been defying the odds for a few years, but surviving quite comfortably it would seem, on a piece of ply under an upturned ice cream bucket after the limb in which they had been living dropped from its tree.

In what can only be described as pure chance, the usually messy job turned out to be text book simple, as the ice cream bucket was actually almost the same dimension as the bottom section of the hive box.

The more I play around with these little creatures, the more I like them.

Here's hoping the Great Beekeeper in the Sky has a box that will fit us as readily!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


A castle, lost in a sea of grey suburbia.  That's what we have now, and that's what we are looking for but the one we found today seemed to be full of hot air.

There was a time when I'd be dismayed at spending weekends alternating between looking for houses, sorting out computer files and carrying out miscellaneous repairs on houses, but no more. We'll just start the weekend late!

The fence in his photograph is so disturbingly grey and uniform in colour that it looks like one of the corrupted files I've spent too many hours rooting out!

Friday, April 09, 2010


Pronounced "prod-youse" rather than "pro-deuce" the stuff of which I speak springs bountiful from our garden on occasion.  Well perhaps that's not entirely true, but we do get the odd speckled passionfruit which seems to just appear from nowhere, and although one of us would claim that the aubergine was i and intentional by-product of sowing seeds of that very same variety, the other remains unconvinced.

I do know that the photo, not quite in focus, is very much how we treat growing edibles.  The ambition is there, but it's the focus that we lack.

Perhaps some future time will see harvests of plenty, and when we do we will no doubt feel no less satisfied than we did this evening while consuming our home grown fare.

It was fitting reward I think after a day spent finding ways to foil the most pedantic of building inspector, while at the same time trying to consolidate twenty years of computer files.   At least the building stuff has an end in sight!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If things can go wrong...

If things can go wrong they generally will.  Which I suppose is why I am such a cautious person.  When I upgrade the system on my idiot proof computer, I make a complete new backup, which is in addition to the two I keep as a matter of course.

Belts and braces you may think, but I've been bitten before.  Tonight just as the final touches were happening, the screen went blank.   I went clammy.

Nothing happened for more than a polite length of time, so I went and ate, then ambled back to consider my next move.  Well if the thing was asleep all I had to do was wiggle the mouse or tap on the keypad.

If it was in a coma, perhaps I could just give the on/off button a gentle touch.  Or two.  Or perhaps a longer sort of hold down action thing....  OOOPS!   I hadn't seen a screen like that before.

It can't be good, but after a reboot all seems to be well enough, everything checks out and we have a normal pulse.

I suppose the house contract version to backing up the hard drive is to run around and do all those little jobs that one has been avoiding before the building inspection happens.   After a day of plastering the boat shed ceiling,  the screen on the computer isn't the only thing not moving.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Shadow Boxing

A momentous day perhaps, at last contract is in place.

But why, when a house is being bought, in the fullness of time to demolish, would that contract be subject to a "Pest and Building" inspection?

Strange times do not become any less strange.  

After nine months, we can wait for another two weeks to resume normal sleeping patterns.  Or not.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Marking Time

Having now completely no idea of where we would like to live, nor even where to start looking, we seem to spend a lot of time watching the sun come up, and watching it go down again.

At least we have babies being made to distract us, and hospital visits, and all the other things that we haven't done in the last few months.

Monday, April 05, 2010


The half-hearted quest for a new spot to live continued today, albeit with little enthusiasm.   It's not that we can't get accustomed to the thought of living somewhere with no driftwood (although it is nice to have the occasional visit from a tree on its way to the ocean), but the mind shift we need to make to get serious about the move.

In the back of our heads I am sure we think if we don't find somewhere suitable, we won't have to go.   Of course if we don't get a contract soon, we certainly won't!

Tomorrow, "next week" begins in earnest.  The day after, by my calculations is "mid next week".

Will their people prolong our agony further?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The folk at Kawana Hardware don't miss a beat.  Their Easter message was simple and to the point!

On a completely unrelated note, our Sunday was pretty good too, even if it did involve over 300 kilometres of travel.   It's funny how visiting the kids, the rest of the family and catching up with friends can force us to drive far further in a day than our self imposed limit when touring.

We need another driving holiday to slow down!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Testing Times

Just in case what we have been told actually turns out to be, we decided that we really should start the ugly process of finding a new habitat for ourselves.  

It took no time at all to discover that when one is blissfully happy with one's situation, one tends to get very very particular about replacing it with a lesser one.  To be frank, our pair of wheely bins would provide a larger and aesthetically more pleasing abode than some of the "exclusive addresses" we have visited today.

The general tawdriness of what we saw combined with the fact that nothing is actually for sale, but "open for offers" or "expresssions of interest" or "tender" or "auction", so there is no way of gauging how much one is expected to pay, nor whether one's offer would have a hope of reasonable acceptance by a vendor!

That will teach us for going out over Easter!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday

Still suffering from tent-lag, mostly due to the impact of crossing that last time zone, I woke before dawn and wandered down to the beach for some peaceful contemplation.

But it's Easter isn't it?  Even as the sun rose the cycling, jogging, dog walking holiday hoarde descended, and before I knew it I was deep in conversation.   

Thank goodness the Van Wegan's had been baking all night, so breakfast was the usual Good Friday fare of hot cross buns (some fruit and some chocolate) all hot from the oven.   We can't move too far away from here, we'd (alright I'd) miss the tasties.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

We're back!

Who in their right mind would arrive home the day before Easter?  Trying to get our heads around finding somewhere else to live, opening the mail, paying the bills, visiting the optometrist, cleaning our gear, repairing and unpacking or repacking as necessary, and remembering we have flights to France to organise, all the while thinking of a daughter in hospital, just didn't happen.

So we went for a drive through the 'burbs and found ourselves on Phil and Chris' doorstep begging for coffee and cake, and of course they readily obliged.
It truly doesn't seem like Easter.
Perhaps I needed some mad last minute deadline and to have arrived home late, tired, with the adrenalin still pumping.
Or perhaps I should just enjoy life at its new less urgent pace.
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