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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Two Degrees of Separation

Pinky, Lulu and Petal at Rainbow Bay

Even though all five Poinker children promised on their mother’s life to be here on the mountain on Christmas day, only one of them managed to turn up. 

(Note to self: change Last Will and Testament).

Lulu, the 20 year old daughter, appeared on Christmas Eve on her way to the Byron Bay Falls Creek music festival and could spare three days out of her demanding schedule to eat the plum pudding and recharge her phone at Poinker Palazzo.

I missed having my boys here but it was lovely to have Princess Lulu in residence. I don’t know how but she ate three kilograms of creamy potato bake, half a chicken, five slices of turkey and eight bowls of icecream then went for a thirty minute run after Christmas lunch without spewing.


She now towers about six centimetres over me and I’m not a short arse. The phrase, ‘Amazonian Warrior’, springs to mind when I take in her statuesque frame.

I made sure to inform her that her excellent physique is probably due to the fact that I breastfed her until she was two years old.

“You’re gross,” she sniffed in disgust. “Why would you even TELL me that?”

She left this morning as I was busy preparing for the arrival of some highly esteemed guests.

“So who’s coming,” Lulu asked as I was busily vanilla spraying the toilet seat.

“It’s a famous blogger from Sydney coming to lunch with her significant other,” I replied as I pinched tiny bits of vegemite out of the margarine tub. “I want to make a good impression.”

“Have you… like… met her before?” Lulu asked, scoffing down a protein shake.

“No,” I shrugged as I tried to scrape old orange flakes from the champagne flutes. “But I’ve known her for three years through blogging. Did I tell you she’s a bit famous?”

“You’re weird,” Lulu said, “Why would you be friends with someone you’ve never met?”
I tried to explain how I am actually very good friends with several other bloggers who I’ve met online and they have been to visit me and I them, several times. In fact, I met her step father (of twelve years) online, but kids these days… they just don’t understand the Internet.

So who was my famous blogging friend? 

None other than the delightful Alana House from House Goes Home, that’s who. 

Scotto, Pinky, Alana and DD

Alana brought her exceptionally handsome and witty, scientist boyfriend, DD, along and we gave them a quick tour of the mountain before Alana confirmed my suspicion that she and I are completely compatible by dismissing my half-hearted suggestion of looking at the shops and opted to go to the pub for a coldie instead.

“Shops make me feel exhausted,” she said.

As I said, I was attempting to impress this ravishing Sydney socialite and I couldn’t decide what to serve for lunch.

I opted for barbequed sausages because… barbequed sausages are yummy. They were fancy sausages though, not just your run of the mill Bunnings snags. They were Italian sausages. I had to eat the vegetarian ones which tasted like corrugated cardboard but I think the carnivores enjoyed the Italian variety.

I also bought a bottle of Procetto which I knew Alana liked because I read it on her blog. She drinks Procetto on the beach with her significant other so I knew it would be a hit. I thought Procetto was a type of dry-cured ham, but there you go.

Alana made me a bit jealous by telling me a story about how she had lunch with the Bondi Vet once. As you know I have a soft spot for the Bondi Vet. I wanted her to stay for the whole night but she had to go to another party. 

The Bondi Vet was probably going, I bet.

Anyway, we had a great afternoon and I lubbed her so it IS possible to be friends with people you meet on the Internet, kids.

P.S: Don’t be friends with people on the Internet if they say they’re a prince in Nigeria or if they say they want to show you something ‘special’ on Skype. Also, apparently the Bondi Vet is just as really, really, really good looking in real life as he is on the telly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pinky's Pitfalls of Small Community Living.

It's actually 'animal' treatment not 'anal'. (Just in case you were alarmed)

There are roughly 8000 people living on the mountain which is a pretty small community. For instance yesterday, Scotto booked a computer job which turned out to be located at my parents’ next door neighbours' house. 

Meanwhile, I drove up to the shop and was standing at the checkout when I felt someone breathing down my neck. 

It was my father.

“Your old man’s parked in the driveway of the house next door to us,” he said.

“I know,” I replied shrewdly. “I think he’s visiting his mistress.”

As I pulled out of the shopping centre who should I pass but Scotto, waving at me from his car and heading towards his next appointment.

I don’t think Scotto would ever get away with having an affair.

In fact I don’t think either of us could get away with anything up here.

There are eyes everywhere and you can’t help bumping in to people you know.

Since I’ve resided here on the mountain, I’ve patronised the doctor, dentist, physiotherapist, pet shop, IGA, newsagent, hairdresser, library, mechanic, post office, bank, worked at one of the schools and frequented a number of pubs and restaurants.

I think I’ve been pretty damn good for this community’s economy really, especially my contribution to the dentist.

I suspect the dentist has black-listed me as ‘mildly histrionic’ due the Spanish inquisition I give him every time I visit regarding exactly what he will be doing and how much pain I’ll be in. He has ordered me NOT to look up my next procedure on the Internet under ANY circumstances and not to ask him any more silly Wikipedia based questions.

I'm positive my doctor has filed me away on his ‘irrational patient’ list due to my absolute refusal to have blood tests and my outrageous conspiracy theories regarding Big Pharma. 

I annoyed the librarian when I couldn’t work the photocopier and the mechanic was mortified that he had to test drive my canary yellow car with PINKY number plates around the mountain.

The lady at the post office knows me as the woman who asked her if she sold ‘normal’ stamps.

“Yes,” she raised one eyebrow. “We have the abnormal ones too if you’re interested.”

You know what I meant though don’t you? There was no need to make fun of me.

We took Celine, the Mini-Fox Terrier to the mountain vet today in order to replenish her menopausal hormone- replacement therapy and I was determined not to besmirch the Poinker name again.

Of course we had to take Pablo the Chihuahua along as well because the two dogs can’t be separated due to the Chihuahua’s clingy, obsessive infatuation with the Fox Terrier.

The second we pulled up outside the vet, the Mexican rat started up with his incessant, high-pitched Bar-ra-ra-ra-ra-ing. Everyone in the main street was staring.

It was embarrassing. Especially when the vet nurse requested we take him outside.

This is a dog even vet nurses can’t stand.

Celine put on the most melodramatic turn during the nail clipping episode and frankly the experience left me quite shaken. She attempted to bite the vet and struggled like a cat in a sack. It took three adults to hold the 3 kg dog down whilst Pablo growled viciously at the furore from a distance.

As we were leaving, I tremulously turned to the vet and said, “Thank you very much for your generosity.”
Scotto burst out into fit of maniacal giggles (I think he was delirious after what we’d just been through).

I quickly corrected myself with, “I mean, thank you for your ‘gentleness’ not generosity…” But it was too late.

I caught the expression on her face. I bet she writes something on our records about crazy owners and disturbed pets.

After the vet, we took the recalcitrant mutts for a first ever walk around the streets of the mountain where the Chihuahua proceeded to ba-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra at every fudging leaf that fluttered over his round-domed, behemoth of a head.

This is the first time we’ve taken them out on the mountain. I see other dog owners taking their lovely dogs out and sigh wistfully wishing my dogs could be normal.

Why can’t I ever have a normal pet? One that you can take to cafes and fancy bistros and Ye Olde English pubs, those places that have signs saying “Dogs Welcome… Children Not Allowed”? Where dogs sit peaceably at their owner’s feet and wag their tail when you smile at them.

No. I have to have a nervous, highly strung, neurotic, git of a dog and an insufferable, pugnacious, Mexican dictator who despises 99% of people with an intense passion.

Mind you when we arrived back at home they were both emotionally exhausted. 

Celine retired to the ‘good’ couch for a bit of retrospective, alone time and Pablo the Chihuahua snuggled up to his father and wouldn’t budge for hours.

Do you think I should take them to a dog psychotherapist for counselling or do you think it’s just a hereditary thing?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Christmas Miracle

I’ve recently discovered I have a special talent, a gift, some might say.

I’m a chicken whisperer.

Hodor (the paraplegic Pekin chicken who was on death’s door in my last post), is now completely cured of his affliction. 

After his insecticidal bath, canola oil massage and liberal powdering of potent, heavy duty pesticide, he took a mere three days to make a full recovery and has now returned to the coop with his two comrades, Jon Snow and Ygritte. 

Hodor at front trotting around like a healthy little ferret!

He glows fluoro orange in the dark… but that’s alright.

He probably likes the fact we’ve rendered him inedible.

Just think… we were THAT close to euthanising him with a large rock…

It just goes to show. Don’t clout your chickens before they repatch.

Now, clearly if I am indeed a gifted chicken whisperer I should own more chickens, shouldn’t I?

To be honest, the three Pekin chickens we currently own are a bit useless. We were tricked into buying them what with their silly walking style, fluffy cute feet and fat bottoms. They’re merely precious, ornamental, little things that will one day lay eggs the size of marbles, really.

So off to Uncle Tom’s at Nerang I went and forked out on a roomier coop and some larger, smellier, dumb clucks which should start laying decent eggs immediately.

I’ve calculated the dividend I receive in eggs should pay off in about 85 years, give or take.

I’ve never been one to do things by halves; five kids, four dogs… you know what I mean.

Now I own seven chickens.


Joffrey Baratheon

(L-R) Margaery Tyrell, Brienne of Tarth, Theon Greyjoy.

Some people (Scotto) are accusing me of buying chickens as a ruse just so I can give them silly names from my favourite show on the television, Game of Wishbones Thrones.

It’s not true.

As I said, I also bought a new coop so they won’t be staying at Winterfowl with the Starks Pekins. 

I’m thinking of naming my new chickens’ coop, “Casterly Flock”.

Or maybe “The Red Koop”, I haven’t yet decided.

Can you think of something better?

Yours sincerely,

The Mother of Chickens.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Chicken Might Be a Nazi

Most of you won’t be interested in this because let’s face it, most materialistic, two dimensional, shallow people don’t care about chickens. 

What the hell is a chicken? Some of you will ask.

But I know YOU care.

High five, secret handshake, hand hug, you beautiful chicken aficionado.

Hodor, my adorable chicken, is still in medical incarceration in the cat cage.

He is still a paraplegic... although one leg is now twitching. It’s been ten long days of quarantine.

I’ve been doing some research and apparently it may be the dreaded scaly leg mite which is causing his affliction.

Apparently the victims of scaly leg mites begin with symptoms of walking like Prussian soldiers and eventually succumb to paralysis.

I’ve never seen a Prussian soldier marching but I do recall Hodor (in the early stages of his illness) and I remember thinking… this chicken is a fudging Nazi what with the goose-stepping thing. He was definitely walking like some kind of Neo-Nazi weirdo.

Anyway the treatment plan I discovered on the Internet was quite elaborate but today, Scotto and I followed it to the T.

*Wash the chicken in shampoo (prepare chicken).

Chicken being shampooed

*Rinse chicken with clear water and a dash of Apple Cider Vinegar until water runs clear (drizzle chicken with vinegar).

*Pat dry chicken with paper towels and massage oil into it legs up to the knees, NB: not motor oil (baste chicken).

* Spread petroleum jelly all over chicken’s legs and feathers (seal the flesh and allow chicken to absorb juices).

* Powder chicken with anti-parasite talcum to ensure any living bacteria is decimated (season chicken lavishly with spices).

*Make sure chicken is warm and leave for a while (bake chicken at 180 degrees for one and a half hours).

Surprisingly, despite the fact that a warm bath should in fact be soothing, Hodor seemed not a small bit alarmed.

The whole time during the procedure, he was watching me out of one eye.

All this trouble for a twelve dollar chicken, eh.

You can’t buy love, huh?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dear Dr Google Egg...

Scotto and Ygritte

Lately, instead of googling ailments on Dr Google pertaining to me, for instance searches such as, ‘what does it mean if you have a scaly tailbone?’, or ‘what is the lump I’ve had for ten years below my collarbone which when I squeeze it, stinky stuff comes out?’ or ‘does feeling weirdly nervy after taking Berocca mean I’m about to have a coronary arrest?', I’ve been searching more accurate and reputable sites about chicken health.

One of our chickens is decidedly under the weather. This time it isn’t because it was attacked by a rapscallion Chihuahua.

We noticed that Hodor was limping and squatting down helplessly a lot last Sunday. I thought (after research) he may be egg-bound. That would mean he had an egg stuck in his bum. But he’s a bit young and since we suspect he’s a him… it was, well unlikely. I don’t even think chickens lay eggs out of their bums but perhaps you can educate me on that.

The next day he couldn’t walk on his right leg at all.

“Could it be a tick?” I asked my father (who really wouldn’t have a clue even though he insists he is a chicken expert).

“No,” he was adamant. "If it was a tick the chicken would already be dead."

The next day the chicken was the same but on day four he was a complete paraplegic. Both legs were splayed and useless.

“We should put him out of his misery,” I wept at Scotto as I eyed the pathetic creature.

“Well, I’m not doing it!” Scotto muttered with a measure of vehemence.

Frankly, I don’t think I could remain married to a man who was capable of cold-heartedly murdering a chicken even if it was euthanasia, so I just nodded solemnly.

In my mind I pictured Scotto slamming the chicken in the head with a brick and it frightened me. I could never trust him again. Who knows what might happen next time I annoyed him with my aggravating snoring? I didn’t want to open any windows to subconscious violence, if you know what I mean.

So, after much discussion, we separated Hodor from the rest of the chickens and now he is in an isolated infirmary where I feed him by hand and nurse him around the clock.

He seems to be slightly improving and is even beginning to complain about the lack of professionalism amongst the nursing staff, the terrible food and the amount of times he has to buzz to get a cup of tea.

Today he seemed to be able to support himself on one leg.

Prayers people.

Hodor in ICU

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We Live in a Simulation

You’ve heard about how our world’s leading scientists are saying that there’s a 99% (it could be 90% or 50% I’m not sure) we are living in a simulation. 

In other words, the world we live in is merely a computer game.

This idea fascinated me. I mean to say, what the hell? Someone else is dressing me every day? It would be like living in SIMS City. Someone else decides what hairstyle I have and what I wear every day. God I wish it was true, so many less choices to make.

So after fixatedly researching quite a lot about it on the Internet and having numerous fights with Scotto because I wouldn’t emerge from my rabbit hole on the Internet to contest him in The Chase at 4:30 every evening, I came to a conclusion.

(Yes, Scotto and I zealously compete when watching The Chase every afternoon but it invariably ends in a fight because he wins and then I argue that he’s answering too quickly with wrong answers denying me the opportunity to get in with the correct answer and … you know the rest.)

My ruminations regarding the theory that we’re living in a simulation gave me an idea. Every time I am on the Internet there’s a glitch. Either my mouse won’t work or the page won’t load or it’s going slow… or something. 

Computers are unreliable.

I think if we are a simulation of the entire universe then there must be glitches, right?

So I looked up to the skies and asked for a glitch. 

I begged, I prayed, “Dear Controller, please show me a glitch!” 

Scotto did too because after listening to me in the car for 30 minutes raving on about living in a simulation I had him convinced (or brainwashed/nagged to death) that we are, indeed, holograms.

The very next day I received a Facebook message. 

That’s not unusual, I know.

But this Facebook message was from a very dear friend who died many years ago.

“That’s a sick joke, Pinky,” I hear you say.

It’s not a joke.

I did.

I know it sounds ridiculous but I really did.

So that was my glitch.

We live in a simulation.

All I can say is, I wish my controller would give me a better hairdo. 

And maybe make me a bit thinner.

P.S. I’m not going nuts or bullshitting. Can someone talk me out of this, please.

Also, have you experienced any glitches?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Koalas Aren't Real

Flower Garden

Living on the mountain means it’s four degrees cooler than on the Gold Coast. It’s late November and at 5pm I’m sporting a cardigan; a very unattractive grey cardigan with balling and moth holes attached but the mountain folk don't care.

If I was in Townsville I’d probably still be able to fry an egg on the walls of my bedroom at 5pm. Not even joking.

I still work down on the coast though and this morning it was quite hot. We spent half an hour on the oval playing dodgeball with grade sixes and I almost fainted. I don’t know how people can be P.E teachers. They're bloody super humans if you ask me. I almost faint when I stand in a queue at Coles so I don't know how they do it all day in the sun.

But because it’s so cool up here in the afternoons, Scotto and I feel like doing various recreational activities after work. Get your minds out of the gutter, I mean stuff like hiking and gardening.

Scotto and I walk at least three times a week through the national park up here on the mountain and often whilst slipping along the treacherously muddy path, I hear a cat screaming. This cat screams at the top of its lungs as if a savage Bull Mastiff has accosted it up a tree or as if an illegal New South Wales Greyhound has it by the throat. Sometimes the cat hits a high C note with its terrifying shrieks. It’s quite disturbing; especially for the cat.

I keep asking Scotto if we should try to push through the snake-infested rainforest undergrowth to save the cat from imminent death but he just grunts at me and we continue puffing on our hike.

But I’ve recently been informed by my son, Thaddeus (who visited last weekend), that it isn’t a cat that’s screaming but merely a koala and that’s the normal sound koala bears make in the wild. 

Not that I’ve ever seen a koala in the wild. In fact I highly doubt any koalas even exist in the wild. I think it’s a myth. I’m bloody old and have lived in Australia all my life so why haven’t I ever seen one?

Clearly, koalas died out years ago and the whole koala thing is a conspiracy.

Oh yes, I cuddled one once for a photo… at a zoo… but perhaps it was just a robot koala. Who knows really?

So anyway, I do wonder why someone has placed a mechanical koala in the middle of the rainforest to alarm a middle-aged, cat aficionado, adventurous bush hiking woman but I suppose people get their kicks in strange ways.

I saw a dead deer in the middle of the road last week on my way to work. It was a proper Bambi with spots on its back and everything. What the actual??? A deer? If I’d seen a dead koala I might have just thought, “Eeergh! That poor Android koala. I hope the council workers come and scrape it away soon, or at least after their smoko break.”

But why was there a dead DEER in the middle of the road in sunny, hot Queensland? There are signs on the side of the road saying. “Beware of Deer Crossing!”

Naturally I thought it was a joke, an ironic Christmas joke or something.

Speaking of wildlife, we’ve begun taking our happy hour wines out in the backyard when we let the chickens enjoy a romp every arvo.

One of us had the stupid idea that I should buy some meat strips to feed the Kookaburras and Magpies and now our back yard resembles a scene from The Birds Vs Chicken Run. The carnivorous birds don’t fancy mince or cheap cuts though. Of course not, the pernickety buggers only partake of expensive gourmet beef strips.

We look out towards the back yard at 5:30pm and there are aggressive-looking Kookaburras squatting in the gum tree, perched ominously on the backs of our chairs or balanced on the bird bath with their mandibles clacking hungrily. Various Magpies and Butcher Birds hover, stalking us from the pool fence. Not to mention the King Parrots and Rainbow Lorikeets and wild Budgerigars that come for the seed we put out for them.

It’s like a form of emotional flockmail.

P.S. Please don’t be a killjoy and tell me I shouldn’t be feeding wild birds. 

People who say that give me the shits.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nativity Insensitivity

Image Credit

I worked in a school today where I’ve worked quite a lot this year, mainly teaching drama to replace the music teacher.

It has been an experience teaching drama to Preps (under 6s in case you were wondering).

Today I was mandated to teach grade 3 and Prep and I manipulated my plan to encompass both age groups.

For the unfamiliar, teaching Preps is basically teaching illiterates… it’s a big bloody challenge.

Firstly, Preps can’t read.

Secondly, Preps only have the memory capacity of a scrub tick.

Thirdly, Preps cry a lot about pretty much nothing. Like even if they have a memory of a pet they never met that died, they just start with the old uncontrollable sobbing.

I’ll be like, “So Dusty was your parent's Blue Heeler that was put down because it savaged a sheep and died before you were born and you’re now crying?”

“Yes,” they sob. “But I still miss him. I lubbed him!”

My plan for the day was basically a shite load of warm up games and then a vastly modified re-enactment of the greatest story in history: The Nativity.
Well, it is nearly Christmas so I thought I was on theme.

When I arrived at sparrow’s fart, I scoured the music room for resources and discovered two moth eaten robes for Mary and Joseph, a star on a stick for the Angel (which I kept mistakenly referring to as “the fairy”) and an owl puppet wrapped in a purple veil which represented ”the baby Jesus’.

The problems which ensued were numerous.

The robes were far too long and the various six year old Marys kept catapulting into the Angel during the bit when she took offence at being informed she was ‘with child’. Mary consequently tripped, unceremoniously took down the various expensive guitars spaced out in the music room and landed splat down own her face and started... well... crying.

The response when the diminutive Joseph found out his betrothed was preggas with the Son of God was invariably a bit over the top for a six year old. 

He shouted, “Who’s the father then? Is it Colin from number 25? The bastard!”

I just made that up.

Or did I?

The amount of giggling over Mary as she was handed a purple veiled puppet owl in the guise of our Lord and Saviour took away from the credibility somewhat.

“Why is Jesus an owl?” they howled in laughter.

“It’s symbolic,” I countered. “Jesus was wise and so are owls!”

I don’t think they bought it. Even though Preps are clueless they can be quite canny.

I must comment that the fairy (I mean angel) who delivered the owl ( Baby Jesus) when Mary gave birth was a bit rough in her handling of the Son of God. 

Baby Jesus precariously dangled by one thumb and index finger and I thought the angel (fairy) might have been a bit more sensitive. 

I might add I didn’t encourage the re-enactment of labour pains or anything but I did expect a certain element of realism which was sadly lacking.

That’s just my review anyway.

I don’t think it would have passed muster at a BAFTA awards night anyway. But I still think I have a bit of a knack with children's theatre.

Any suggestions for improvement?

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Bucolic Alcoholic

Bucolic scene on Tambo Mountain

I was trying to explain to my father my desire to transform the “snake pit” in our backyard (which has been cleared of debris at great expense) into an English country garden.

We’d thought about designing a Japanese garden but seriously, the idea of pruning and cultivating miniature plants and all the origami involved did our heads in. Plus the fact that Buddha statues are a bit passé and dare I say, 'Bogan'.

Instead we’ve opted for a rambling, straggly, perambulating English type thing which has been passé for so long it’s now IN (or so I’m led to believe by that show on the telly about English stuff).

I was describing my erudite vision to my discerning father as we both perched on our back patio and shooed flies from our various orifices.

“I want chickens meandering around in the manure… and cascading vines,” I waffled as if I were a character from a Bronte novel.

He nodded sagely in agreement.

“And bird baths and verdant hedges,” I continued in a flurry of enthusiastic zeal. “ And a pond with goldfish and shrubbery and daisies and stepping stones and gnomes.”
He furrowed his brow. “You lost me at gnomes,” he interrupted tersely.

“But… but surely one gnome would be alright?” I pleaded. “One little terracotta gnome tucked half out of sight? No one would even notice it.”

“No,” he asserted with a death knell type tone in his voice. “Gnomes are kitsch, Pinky. Don't have a gnome.”

I shut up... but I’m still getting a gnome. I don’t care if they’re kitsch. 

My father is kitsch. 

We’ve ordered a custom made wooden carved sign from the local markets for the chicken coop (which houses our surviving Pekin chickens; Hodor, Ygritte and Jon Snow).

It’s in an Old English font and says, “Winterfowl”. 

My father will probably think that’s kitsch too.

The guy we ordered the sign from was quite disparaging.

“I hate Game of Thrones,” he scoffed. “I tried to watch it but it was boring, it was the same episode over and over.”

I almost immediately cancelled the order on the grounds that he surely must be an idiot but then realised that maybe I’m the idiot and also because I don’t know anyone else who is willing to make a silly, hand carved sign for a chicken coop for thirty-five dollars.

Dad, in a fit of unusual generosity, gifted us a rubbish cubby house he wanted to get rid of but which fits perfectly in our future country garden. 

What do you think?

I think it’s a perfect home for a gnome or two. Or maybe even a family of gnomes actually…

Are you a gnome racist or do you think they're charming?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

R.I.P. Khaleesi

The only chicken a Chihuahua should eat!

So there I was, staring vacantly out the kitchen window, waiting for the jug to boil for coffee, when I suddenly noticed one of our baby chickens was merrily pecking OUTSIDE the fudging coop!

“THE FUDGING CHICKENS ARE OUT!” I screamed to no-one in particular but very loudly and in an accusatory manner as if it was someone else’s fault.

Panic ensued.

Scotto and I, tore outside towards the coop. I was first there and swept little “Eejit” (the ginger chicken) from the ground and placed her back in the safety of the coop. Third on the scene was a puffing Scotto but he was beaten to the scene of massacre by the wily and expeditious Chihuahua, Pablo (who was in actual fact already in residence and had beaten us all to the genocide).

“Khaleesi” our whitey chick, lay strewn on the ground like it was asleep (but in a really bad, uncomfortable sleep). There was no blood but the Chihuahua sat with an incriminating white feather glued onto his diabolical muzzle.

I gasped and spun around trying to site the other two missing chicks. Somehow they had escaped the coop and the Chihuahua had sprinted down the garden and managed to throttle Khaleesi.

Nek minit, Pablo had our little black chick, Jon Snow, by the throat. It all happened in a flash. I screamed (out of some sort of primitive instinct) and Pablo dropped the black chick (as abruptly as Mariah Carey dropped James Packer) and I grasped the poor creature from the jaws of death into my hands and hoisted him to safety.

"Hodor", the weird-looking chick, was still missing. We searched high and low. We searched low and high. Eventually we decided to get a glass of wine and see if he would just… appear.

We are optimistic types.

Nek minit, who should arise from the ashes but Hodor! Shaking out his feathers from behind a rock where he’d been interred in undoubted terror he was suddenly alive. Meanwhile, Pablo the Chihuahua had been banished in disgrace to the kitchen.

Scotto went in search of a plastic bag for the recently passed Khaleesi in order to bury her in the wheelie bin.

When he returned to where I sat perched on a rock watching the chickens, he was a bit distraught.

“I gave her CPR but she didn’t respond,” he rasped.

“Did you do mouth to beak or just the compressions?”
I asked, slightly curious.

“Everything I could,” he answered, wiping the sweat from his brow.

“Did you do the compressions to the beat of ‘Staying Alive’ or the ‘Chicken Dance’?" I enquired gently.

“A mixture,” he answered inexplicably.

We sat for a while pondering on the loss of our beloved chicken and how and when we should punish our despicable, murderous Chihuahua.

“You know that sometimes chickens play dead,” 
I commented softly.

Scotto arose slowly and went back to the wheelie bin.

He said that he gently shook the plastic bag but there was no movement whatsoever. 

Then he went back a half hour later and the result was the same. 

I don’t think Khaleesi was playing dead.

Please don’t think I’m making fun of the death of my chicken because I’m not. Chickens have feelings. That’s why I don’t eat them.

I might start eating Chihuahuas though.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pinky is Fowl!

Hodor, Ygritte, Khaleesi and Jon Snow

So… we bought four chickens.

First we bought a nice little A-frame chicken coop then we tracked down a chicken vendor on the mountain, cunningly negotiated with the chicken seller, then stuffed the four chicks in the cat carrier (our cat sleeps in) and transported the little buggers home. I imagine the poor fluffy things probably freaked out at the malodorous scent of murderous cat.

The lady who sold them to us couldn’t guarantee that they’re all hens and promised to honour a return policy in case some of them turned out to be roosters because the council doesn’t permit roosters due to the well-known propensity of roosters to initiate irritating crowing at four o’clock in the morning or something.

We named the chicks, Jon Snow, Ygritte, Hodor and Khaleesi, after the Game of Thrones characters, but Khaleesi is such a butch and gargantuan creature, we suspect we should have named her/him Brienne of Tarth and that if one of them is a rooster it is most likely Khaleesi what with the strutting and ball sack.

Joking. There’s no ball sack.

Our four dogs are enamoured of the chicks in a manner of which I would describe as undesirable and shameless yearning.

Pablo the Chihuahua, sits outside their coop licking his lips like a pothead staring at a KFC advertising billboard.

Borat the German Shepherd, circles the coop like a wolf closing in on a flock of defenceless, tender, juicy chicks and if not for the presence of chicken wire would have consumed them all by now.

They’re Pekin chickens and have fluffy feet and don’t grow to be very big which means they lay small eggs which is a bit bloody crap really. The only reason I wanted them is that having chickens is one step closer to being prepared to go off the grid (in case of the apocalypse and everything). We have our own water and we have our own sewerage system and now we have our own eggs. Well, we will in a few months anyway even if we will need about seventeen eggs to create a decent omelette.

If we hadn’t been so impatient we could have purchased some proper, fully grown chickens (that definitely aren’t roosters) ready to lay proper sized eggs but because we are impetuous fools we bought these four fairly useless things that may turn out to be roosters and we will be far too attached to them and won’t want to return them and then we’ll be fined by the council and we’ll still have no eggs but lots of baby chickens.

Also, now that I’ve had a real chicken as a pet I am no longer a pollo- pescetarian-vegetarian but just pescetarian vegetarian.

God help me if we ever buy fish.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Adventures with Dentures

Image Credit

My husband, Scotto, has a very dear, lifelong friend who has lost quite a few top, front teeth and was forced to get a partial denture. One day when this friend was perched on the loo, sans denture, he witnessed in a certain measure of alarm, his ill-disciplined dog hurtling past the loo door mischievously.

The dog was merrily sporting our friend’s expensive denture with bucktoothed pride and looking like he could eat a chew treat through a tennis racket.

Naturally, the exorbitantly priced denture was uselessly mangled after being worn by the recalcitrant mutt and at last report, still needs to be replaced.

So when my front tooth was callously ripped from my upper jaw last week and temporarily replaced with a partial denture, our friend’s naughty, thieving dog was the one image running through my mind.

In fact one of the warnings that come with a denture is, “Keep denture well away from dogs.”

Who’d have guessed that one?

Three seconds after the dentist had wrenched my tooth from its pitiful socket, he then proceeded to cram an acrylic denture the size of a dinner plate in and up against my hard palate.

To say it felt like an invasion of my cranial space at an extinction event level is an understatement.

I drove home feeling as though driving off the cliff and plunging down the mountain in a fiery fireball might be a better alternative than living with Martha Stewart’s Tupperware collection in my mouth.

When I finally walked through the front door and tried to talk I could hear my voice echoing in my head like I was standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and I had no control of my tongue whatsoever.

“You just have to get used to it,” sympathised Scotto. “Give it time, little toothless Pinky.”

“Thuck woo!” I screeched, stomping into the bedroom. “It’th alrighth for thum people!”
I sat in the bedroom petulantly singing the ABC Sesame Street song for an hour attempting to accustom my tongue to its new surroundings and eventually emerged sulking and sat in the lounge room slurping on a cuppa soup.

It’s been a week since then and I can happily say that I still want to kill myself.

I can’t swallow properly.

I can’t talk intelligibly for the first two hours after I wake up

… and when I eat, I dribble like a centenarian.

But at least I can smile with confidence… I thuppothe.

I don’t know how our grandparents survived with full dentures.

The moral of the story is; dogs are ashmoles and can’t be trusted and also you might want to look after your gums.

Any experiences with strange objects in your mouth?

(No rude comments, thanks).

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Being Born a Genius can be Hard

Trees on Tamborine Mountain

It’s been difficult to write posts lately because all of my subject matter is either going to offend someone or reveal too much about me.

I CAN tell you that I did attend a very posh and arty function on Sunday where I was awarded a framed certificate and a coffee table book and then had my photo published in a local rag.

I can now add “award winning photographer” as well as “published poet” to my brag book.

Scotto and I arrived at the award presentation which was held at a local winery and were amazed to find about 100 people in attendance including the ACTUAL MAYOR and the previous mayor.

The mayor smiled at me and said congratulations when I sashayed past him as I gripped my framed certificate and grinned like a fool.

Ah… I’m such a celebrity here on the mountain now. I’m practically besties with the mayor.

Scotto and I were given a token (each) for one free wine on arrival which was a pleasant surprise. Naturally, Scotto tried to order a Corona with his wine token and was refused which took a bit away from our credibility as sophisticated, wine drinking, photographer types.

I wore my leather jacket in an attempt to look artistic. It’s not real leather but has a certain madcap/fearless, quality I thought might add to my authenticity as a gifted artiste. I have a leopard skin beret in my undie drawer which I considered, but I thought that might be overkill.

Everyone at the award presentation spoke in very posh, well-enunciated voices. Nobody actually talked to us but I eavesdropped on a lot of conversations and quickly realised that we were mingling with intellectual types far beyond our bogan circumstances.

The presentation began with a lady reciting a poem in a totally unexpected manner. We were all sitting there scoffing wine and gobbling down smoked salmon canapes when a woman perched halfway down the staircase started blathering on about Lyrebirds on the west side of the mountain.

Scotto almost choked on his mini spring roll.

Me, being a published poet and award winning photographer and all, frowned at Scotto and smiled knowingly at the culturally sensitive performance of the lady on the staircase, nodding and smiling at the correct moments and applauding delicately and knowledgeably at the finale.

It’s hard being an aficionado of the fine arts and being married to Scotto sometimes. He just doesn’t understand the subtlety of creative genius.

What are your 'brag book' moments? 

Please don't comment if they're better than mine.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


I’m highly competitive. 

I love to enter competitions but I never expect to win and frankly, I never do. 

When I say never, I mean NEVER.

I have occasionally come second or third, but I never win.

Once, when I was twelve years of age, I won a picnic blanket in a raffle and my mother used it afterwards as a dog blanket which was a disappointment because all I ever yearned for as a child was a picnic. 

The fact I remember that unremarkable incident from forty-four years ago, should relay to you how truthful my statement is that I just don’t win stuff. 

Plus it should reveal to you what a picnic deprived childhood I had.

I always rehearse my winner’s acceptance speech for anything I enter because, despite being a serial loser for the last 56 years, I still always expect to win. I think that’s what I would call an optimist. 

It’s always a suitably fake-humble acceptance speech I must add. I ALWAYS thank the other competitors in my pretend acceptance speech.

So when I saw an email in my inbox yesterday with the subject title, “You Won!”, I was understandably skeptical.

I assumed it was a Nigerian Prince telling me I’d won his private lottery.

I almost deleted it.

What could I have won? I hadn’t entered anything lately that I could recall.

For some reason I clicked on the email and fudge me... I had actually won something.

Not money.

Of course not.

But it was something I had accidentally and serendipitously won.


The funny thing is that Scotto was entering this same competition (on a subject of which he has some expertise) and when I was lying in bed beside him one night I stuck my big snout in and said, “What are you up to, buddy boy?”

He told me he was submitting some entries into a local photographic competition and full of Dutch courage and unwarranted confidence, I slurred, “Well enter me too! I ha
ve an entry!”

Reluctantly, he did. Even though my photo entry was taken on my shithouse Sony phone.

The result is that I won and he didn’t.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Come Meet the Locals on Tamborine Mountain

So... we've been living on Tamborine Mountain for seven months and we haven't gone bonkers yet despite everyone's predictions. 

Mind you, apart from our lovely neighbours, we haven't really made any friends so today we thought we'd take a stroll around the village and attempt to strike up an acquaintance or two. 

I must say... they weren't a very talkative bunch.

There was Pam the artist who ignored us as she was busy playing Pokemon Go and couldn't tear herself away from her art.

There was Bill (or Ben... not sure) who kept asking us if we had any weed...

We came upon a dragon with bloodshot eyes who kept puffing smoke and I really began to wonder about what the locals are growing in their fields.

This family were friendly but haven't seemed to have grasped the whole engineering aspect of train tracks...

This girl captured my heart with her pink hair but I think she might need to think about switching nail salons.

This is actually my dentist. We have a love-hate relationship but let's just say I hope he and his family enjoy their holiday in the Bahamas on me.

This is Alice who was waiting outside the dentist to have her braces fitted. She can't afford a car anymore because of the expensive dental work so she has to catch the bus. There are no buses here but I didn't tell her because I didn't want to upset her what with her looking as though she might have underlying anger issues.

This is the guy waiting outside the dentist for when you don't pay your bill. He's called the EXTRACTOR. He's quite nice when you get chatting.

This lady, Glenda, is what happens when you drink far too many Chardonnays at Clancy's Irish Restaurant and then irresponsibly get on your broom to fly home. 

 This is the local alcoholics anonymous rep coming to invite Glenda to a meeting.

This is Glenda's mother coming to pick her up. She'd been babysitting Glenda's kids last night and had them come with her in the back seat to see what a disgrace their mother is.

This is Glenda's friend, Mabel, who she'd been partying with last night. She had a really good time at Clancy's. "Life's too fudging short, you losers!" I believe were her last words as she plunged towards the ground at 150 kilometres an hour.

This is a local real estate agent. His clothing reveals just how tough the property market is at the moment.

This suave lady's man is our local book worm who sits outside the library. He told me that he once had a one night stand. But his books wouldn't all fit on it.

This is Con the Fruiterer who is hungover from his night at Clancy's where he'd whooped it up with a couple of wild women. He wondered how they felt this morning. He hoped they felt better than him.

Meet our Vet. He's treating this cow for mastitis and mad cow disease.

They do serve crow at this cafe, believe it or not. But they call it chicken on the menu. Jokes. 

It was a warm day so Scotto sat down with a couple of locals.

 I'm glad to see ET found his way home to his gingerbread house.

This is caring Carla from the RSPCA.  She wonders why the entire community seems to have such a murderous hatred towards crows,

These people were just down the road from Clancy's Irish Bar and still haven't made it home from the night before.

Ah. Me old mate from Mitre Ten. These blokes were the first lovely people we met on the mountain when we went up looking for snake proof chicken wire and they laughed and laughed at us. "Our mountain snakes eat chicken wire for breakfast," they mocked.

This is what happens when you swallow water melon seeds. Don't do it kids!

This is Tammy the local tourist guide looking glamorous as usual. 

This guy is a patient waiting outside the doctor's surgery. He'd been at Clancy's last night too and had fallen off a table whilst trying to simultaneously dance with Glenda and Mabel and play the tin whistle.

 Scarecrow fail.

This guy was waiting for a Tarot reading. He'd met a couple of fun chicks at Clancy's last night and wanted to know which one he should ring for a date.

Master chef of desserts this guy is. I could tell by his moustache and his OUTRAGGGGEOOUS French accent (plus the ice-cream he's holding).

These guys are tourists up from the coast visiting the Monkey Tree Bar on Gallery Walk. 

The family resemblance is uncanny... I think it's the eyes.

Hay baby!

This guy wanted a hug from everyone who walked past.

This chef went mad so they shot his legs off and now he has to ride around on a wine cask in fields of lilac. 

This is a scarecrow of a crippled Dachshund.

This is the dachshund the scarecrow was modelled on... Andrew Morris.(That's his actual name). I know. Awwww.

This is the mayor of Tamborine Mountain. 

Naturally there were shenanigans going on at the Brewery where some poor avocado farmer had been abducted by a giant crow. I don't blame the crow what with the price of avocados these days.

This is Jack, one of the local lads. He works at the local nursery and specialises in growing legumes.

And last but not least we bumped into Molly, the St Bernard's Hotel mascot with her new little companion. 
Of course we had to drop in for a drink after all that walking.

This is all part of the Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival which was held this weekend. 

Good wholesome fun!