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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Husbands and Bunnings. Part 117.

I looked out on my chook yard earlier this week at twilight and admired the string of solar lights strung along the fence.

“They look quite nice,” I commented to Scotto in a vague, half-hearted manner.

And they did. They were a subtle and delicate, ornamental addition to our idyllic little garden.

Scotto must have really cherished the uncommon praise because the very next night, after I arrived home from work, he dragged me to the window and gestured out to the yard with the type of expectant, hopeful look on his face that invited gushing admiration.

Does not show what it actually looks like!

Festooned with a plethora of glittering lights rivalling Clark Griswold’s elaborate and decorative creation in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my chook yard glowed like Kiev after the Chernobyl meltdown. Chicken Kiev.

“Was there a sale on at Bunnings?” I asked in astonished wonder. “Do you think the neighbours might complain?”

Scotto grinned and shrugged.

“Oh well,” I sighed. “As long as the chickens don’t mind sleeping in downtown Las Vegas every night. And as long as we don’t have a Jumbo Jet land in our backyard because the pilot mistakes it for the Coolangatta airport runway, it should be alright.”

Scotto loves colourful lights. Don’t get me wrong, so do I, but clearly my husband is secretly harbouring a desire to live in Santa’s workshop.

“Wait until Christmas!” he enthused, his eyes taking in the display with rapture. “You should see what I’ve planned for the front yard!”

Since the installation of this spectacular light exhibition, I’ve noticed a lot of strange looking and various shaped poops in the garden. I’m imagining all the tiny rainforest critters are emerging from the leafy foliage at night and converging on our backyard for Mardi gras time.

No wonder the dogs are so restless at night.

I can just picture all the little bandicoots, koalas and possums frolicking around, getting high on bottle brush and terrorising the wild eyed chooks every night.

At least they’re solar lights and don’t use electricity, I suppose.

Even so, some people should not be allowed to go to Bunnings without a responsible carer.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Trouble with Being a Unisexual

Unisex gloves and sunglasses

Now that I’m back at school, Scotto feeds all the animals every evening (except for the cat, who swipes me on the ankle with her venomous claws as I’m juggling with my thermos, lunch and laptop on the way to my car every morning. It’s her way of gently reminding me just who is in charge of the Whiskers bag at the front door).

I usually arrive home as the sun is going down and the cruel and bitter mountain wind starts up and I shout to Scotto (who is hunkered in the garden cleaning up chicken shit) from the back door, not wanting to venture out in case of frost bite, hypothermia and frozen corneas.

One evening last week I blinked when I spied what seemed to be one of the swamp people in my backyard.

It was Scotto, who feels the cold quite badly, I must add.

“You aren’t going to wear that thing out in public ever, are you darling?” I gasped, trails of frost emanating from my iced up mouth.

“No,” Scotto replied nervously, as if I’d caught him out wearing my high heels and suspender belt. “I bought it for chicken feeding time.” *

“It’s just that you look like you’ve just stepped out of a movie about illegal whiskey manufacturing in the Ozarks,” I continued, my teeth chattering violently and breaking off in small pieces in my mouth. “The only thing missing is a banjo and a possum skin over your shoulder.”

“It’s cold,” he wailed. “Did you accidentally take my gloves to work today?” he said suddenly, shivering, hands in pockets and looking a bit accusatory.

I don’t blame him for immediately suspecting me, after all I had taken his sunglasses to work on a previous occasion. I don’t know how I didn’t realise because they’re quite a strong prescription. I think I merely assumed I was having a stroke, had a case of diabetes or the windscreen was dirty.

I guiltily stared into the distant houses with their chimney smoke spiralling towards the overcast sky and vaguely remembered picking up a pair of leather gloves and putting them in my glove box as I left that morning. It had been the first time I’ve ever put gloves in a glove box and I recalled how amazed I’d been at the revelation that a glove box was designed to house gloves and that’s why it’s called a glove box.

“Sorry,” I said. “I thought they were my gloves.”

I hate wearing gloves even though my hands turn white and useless when it’s cold and I’d just picked up a pair of these at the IGA on my way home.

If you turn your phone/laptop around you will be able to read this

I was excited that someone finally had the common sense to invent air-activated hand warmers you can keep in your pockets. How lovely and thoughtful.

I fished into my pockets and pulled out the unopened packet. “Look what I found at the IGA!” I dangled them in front of Scotto’s dubious face, in an attempt to appease his anger at me for swiping his gloves.

“Did you buy those for me, Pinky?” asked Scotto, his face relaxing in instant clemency and a little smile beginning around his lips.

“No,” I replied tartly. “They’re for me, silly.”

Later on, I scrutinised the packet and there are several alarming warnings about the hand warmers regarding allergies, poisonous lead residues and accidental swallowing, so I’ve decided to gift them to Scotto after all.

He can be my experimental guinea pig.

He was extremely grateful when I gave them to him.

I think I am forgiven for the glove thing.

* Poetic licence. I haven't owned a suspender belt for at least two and a half years so get your mind out of the gutter.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Holidays are Over Fudge It!

My two weeks of holiday is over.

I hosted my lunch with the girls from work who all drove the one hour and fifteen minute trip up the mountain. I decided to be clever and order some chicken and salad platters from our local deli instead of doing any actual cooking because that is how I roll.
Scotto was commissioned to go and pick up the pre-ordered platters for me whilst I nervously sprayed the toilet with Glen 20 and wiped dust from the skirting boards.

When he walked in, five minutes before the girls were expected, with the said platters, I began to dribble in a fit of apoplexy.

“What the FUDGE are THEY?” I screamed. “Platters for fudging ants?”

Honestly, they were pathetically minute. They wouldn't have fed fourteen pygmies let alone fourteen teachers with hearty school holiday appetites.

So poor Scotto had to drive back up the top of the mountain and get more chicken and salad.

Lucky I had plenty of champagne. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that you basically can’t trust any bastard. Especially delicatessen bastards.

My luncheon girls

So then I had my trip to Townsville to catch up with my kids.

That was really lovely. I won’t mention the fact that I had no sleep the first night because the ‘person’ I shared a room with snored in what I would describe as a fudging DEATH RATTLE all night. At 4:00 am, in desperate frustration, I even tried to video the earsplitting sound on my phone but I was too delirious to be able to get it to work.

I was waiting for her to wake up the next morning with a wild eyed, manic, lack of sleep hysteria expression on my face.

“I have to tell you something,” I hissed like Linda Blair in the Exorcist and wringing my hands in a demonic fashion.

“What?” asked my oblivious companion shaking out her hair in a casual manner, clearly refreshed and chipper.

“YOU SNORE!” I whistled through grinding teeth. “YOU SNORE REALLY BLOODY LOUD!”

My companion (who I can’t name because she would disinherit me) denied any part in my dearth of somnambulism and said I was imagining it and that she didn’t snore and that I was basically making it all up and how dare I accuse her of snoring.

Family Reunion

I had a lovely night with the family though and we celebrated our new found Scandinavian heritage which we didn't know about until my DNA results came through.
Recent photo with my apparent relatives (who don't snore).

Then I came home to the mountain and celebrated a reunion with my friend Kyles, the music teacher, and we had such a good time that we stayed up drinking until 12:45 because she thought the time was 8:45 because she wasn’t looking at her watch properly and she got the small hands mixed up with the big hands and we all had horrible hangovers the next day.

Kyles and her husband and us.

Then I went to Sydney Town with my eldest son who I adore with all my heart and we walked and talked and went to shows and the beach and it was all wonderful.

Finally, I had lunch with my very handsome husband and now the holidays are over and I haven’t done any planning for school. At all.

Oh well. Fudge it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ancestry DNA Surprises!

                                                                                              Image Credit
                             By Lestat (Jan Mehlich) - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,

The news is in my friends.

My Ancestry DNA results arrived yesterday and as I was at a reunion with my family yesterday, it was the perfect time for the big reveal.

“I’m 19% Polish which means you must all have Polish in you too!” I screamed whilst miming playing a piano accordion.

So ecstatic at the exotic heritage revelation, last night we all danced around doing the polka, eating sausage and generally celebrating the fact that I had 19% Polish DNA (which was a bloody surprise let me tell you). 

“Hey Pilchowski!” someone would call out in a Bronx accent. “Pass the sausage, Werkonski!” someone would holler amongst various other names that end in ‘ski’ which were thrown back and forward with gusto all night. This went on incessantly as we told Polish jokes, shared war stories about the German Invasion in 1939 as if we had actually been there and basically celebrated the Fatherland in joyous patriotism.

The unfortunate thing was that I had been forced to read the results of my DNA test on my phone as my laptop carked it just before I left to go on holidays and I read the wrong results because the stupid phone screen is so small. This morning, however, I realised I’d clicked the wrong button and I have NO Polish DNA whatsoever.

Nary a scrap.

I have 19% Western European DNA, which is the Belgium/France/German/Swiss combination and nothing at all Polish in me, apparently.

Oh well. It was nice being a one fifth Pole for one night anyway.

So, as I predicted, I am 43% Great Britain, 21% Irish and delightfully 13% Scandinavian (which explains why I seem to have turned into a blonde over the last six months and it’s nothing to do with Stefan Hairdressing salon visits. It’s all natural.

It seems my ancestors liked to hang around Western Europe and not move about very much.

I’ve decided to completely ignore the 43% British component in my DNA but I do like the Irish element. I’m almost a quarter Irish so that means I can celebrate St Patrick’s Day with some authenticity now instead of faking it like all the other drunks.

The Scandinavian bit must be from the Vikings when they raped and pillaged the Celts and Saxons. I’ll have to get one of those little hats with horns and start naming my pets after characters on Vikings instead of Game of Thrones.

The Ancestry DNA people also send you the names of close and distant cousins who have undergone the testing process.

My closest match was my uncle! I haven’t seen or spoken to my uncle for about twenty-five years (no one in the family has) and it shocked me how accurate these tests must be for them to identify us as a very close match. There are over three million profiles and they matched me with my uncle!

Anyway, yah, I’m off to the spa, yah. I’m going to eat some pickled herrings and meatballs and listen to ABBA songs yah!

Top o the morning to you. May the wind always be at your back and may you be at the gates of heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead! It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.

Fiddle-dee-dee potatoes!