Pinky's Book Link

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pinky and the Mountain Men

The Mountain Men

The mountain men came today to get rid of the ‘snake pit’ (my neighbours’ description, not mine). Notice I used the apostrophe after the word ‘neighbours’ because it wasn’t just one set of neighbours who labelled it. It was at least two who have given vivid descriptions of red bellied blacks shimmying into their linen closets on a Sunday afternoon while they were casually reading the Sunday papers and sipping on a Cab Sav.

It seems the norm here.

As the mountain men cleared out our rainforest jungle, I stood at the back screen door, watching diligently for errant snakes who might daringly try to escape the tropical massacre across my backyard, akin to ‘whacking day’ on the Simpsons. 

It didn’t happen. Or if it did, I was too busy yelling at the Chihuahua for barking at the mountain men or distracted by making a cup of tea… who knows?

Anyway, there appear to be no snakes at all. But the mountain men did say that snakes like to live under rocks and there are a plethora of rocks in the now naked and exposed jungle. I also saw quite a lot of holes in the ground. 

My father assures me that snakes don’t dig holes because they can’t slither backwards so why would they dig a hole because they wouldn’t be able to get back out? But then I pictured in my mind a tunnel with a big turning circle at the bottom so I think my father is full of bullshit.

My father tells me quite a lot of lies actually.

We had to pay these mountain men a substantial amount of cash. Like… over three thousand dollars in cash. So that meant I had to go to the mountain bank and do a primitive style transaction where I had to write out a type of docket thing. What the…? 

 I haven’t done that for so fudging long! And I got really nervous. I thought the bank person might suspect me of nefarious dealings. She might have thought I was a crack whore cashing in my pimp’s weekly revenue or something it was such a large amount. I don’t know. Anyway, I gabbled a lot but she didn’t seem suspicious at all and I got away with it. She even called me ‘love’.

The good news is that Scotto and I, after laborious, heated discussions (and the happy realisation that we have no snakes), have decided to expand our family.

We are buying a duck…maybe a goose. We can’t decide.

Which one would you recommend?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Realisation of My Worst Nightmare.

My parents are in their seventies and eighties but pretty much have all their own teeth.

At lunch the other day, they were reminiscing about how when they were kids, everyone automatically went to the dentist when they turned forty and had all their teeth removed and were fitted for a full set of dentures.

A bit like when I was a kid and all women, as soon as they turned forty, had their hair cut short and permed.

But times have changed.

For most people.

I have this tooth you see. It’s hanging tenuously by a half-hearted, pathetically minded root. It’s a perfectly solid tooth, no decay, but the bone in my jaw that it’s supposed to be attached to has irrevocably disintegrated.

If it was a back tooth it wouldn’t bother me. Who needs to eat steak anyway? But oh no, the cavernous gap will be a visible boganesque giveaway every time I smile.

Jesus Christ.

How has it come to this?

Like most of you, I clean and floss my teeth. There were a few times in the eighties when I probably went to bed without cleaning my teeth after sculling strawberry daiquiris at the Beef and Bourbon in King’s Cross until five in the morning, but generally speaking I’ve been pretty dentally hygienic.

This tooth in question is a definite goner. The dentist told me.

She said I would have to have a BONE GRAFT to support the surrounding teeth and did I want her to take out the loose tooth there and then?

That was two and a half years ago and I haven’t been back. The tooth is still defiantly clinging on for dear life.

But I know eventually I have to go and have something done.

I googled ‘toothy bone grafts’ today and do you know where the dentists get the bone from?


Last time I looked  up ‘cadavers’, it meant ‘dead bodies’. 

I’m desperately hoping there’s a new meaning for cadavers I somehow missed? For example, does it now mean, ‘synthetic, hygienically processed, inexpensive product transferrable to human tissue’? I could deal with that.

Since when do dentists have cadavers lying around their surgeries?

I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. I don't want some dead person's bone in my mouth for fudge's sake!!!

But then I read about what happens if you DON’T replace missing teeth. Apparently, the bone completely crumbles into non-existence, your other teeth all move forward and your face eventually collapses in on itself and you wind up looking like Mrs. McGillicuddy.

I don’t think Scotto will want to kiss me if I look like Mrs. McGillicuddy. No offence to Mrs. McGillicuddy.

And after the bone graft, you still have to wait nine months before you can have an implant, in the meantime you need invasive gum flap surgery and then afterwards you have to clean your implant with a NASA approved kit three times a fudging day.

I haven’t even mentioned the cost this dental extravaganza would entail. Think “NASA launching a fudging probe to Mars” and you’d be close.

All I can say is … why? Why are you doing this to me, ye venerable Tooth Fairy?

In the meantime I’ve informed Scotto that if I ever have to be rushed into surgery in an emergency operation scenario and the anaesthetist asks if I have any loose teeth to please be adamant that I definitely do. In fact my tooth is so loose I’ll probably swallow it in my sleep one night.


Bloody hell I hate getting old.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mountain Nuts

At the Cheese Factory

My friend Nettie came to stay over the Easter break and kept me busy with alternate bouts of aggressive-style shopping and relentless eating of highly fattening food. Nettie is a bit of a tooth girl and in her own words, “Could easily exist on cake”.

Scotto and I are terrible eaters. It often gets to five in the afternoon and neither of us has eaten all day. I don’t know why we aren’t as thin as sticks. The wine probably.

The first place I took my visitor to was the Cheese Factory where we bought triple cream Camembert infused with chocolate (an Easter theme I guess) and some Chevre L’Ail which I believe is goat’s cheese fortified with copious amounts of garlic and which I suspect contains about 1500 calories per teaspoon. My neighbour, Mrs Bunny, invited us over for drinks and nibbles on Good Friday and I’d offered to bring a cheese platter you see.

We went to the IGA after the cheese factory and were chatted up by a couple of cheeky, but really old guys in the car park. It was pension day and the seniors were out in force, let me tell you.

“Like your car, Pinky P!” They yelled out after reading my number plate. “You wouldn’t lose that in a paddock!” They were very confident. I'm sure they thought they were in with a chance.

That night we took Nettie to our favourite watering hole for dinner but we soon discovered the average age of the clientele on a Thursday night is 163 years old. Nettie is single and was hoping to spy a mountain man closer to her age so she could brag to her friends but the only ‘mountain men’ to be seen were hobbling around on walking frames and had their teeth sitting on the table beside them as they slurped soup, so we moved on to a restaurant higher up on the mountain.

We were the only people in the restaurant. The service was excellent I must say.

The average age on the mountain is said to be 49 which is old considering all the kids here. I think all the retirees up here must be pushing the average age up. Although most people here seems to be in bed by 8:30pm so who knows.

The next day we gathered our wine and beer under our armpits and trundled up to the neighbour’s house, balancing a generous cheese platter on fingertips.

As soon as we arrived, my neighbour, Mrs Bunny, grabbed Nettie and I, to take us on a tour of her house. I think she has the loveliest house in the street and was keen to have a sticky beak.

“This is my Easter Tree!” Mrs Bunny exclaimed. 

I was impressed. I’ve never made an Easter Tree in my entire life despite being a mother of five children.

However, as we were led further through the house, serious alarm bells began to ring. Each corner we turned there were more rabbits; rabbits hanging from the ceiling, rabbits adorning the walls, rabbits festooned on tables, another rabbit tree, rabbit bunting hanging over doorways, ornamental rabbits in cupboards, paper rabbits on every conceivable surface. There were chickens everywhere as well in the shape of egg cups, salt and pepper shakers and candle holders.

It was Easter Psychoville!

I glanced over my shoulder at Nettie and tried to silently communicate my grave fears for our safety with my face.

I could hear Scotto outside talking to the other husbands and wondered if I should call him inside in case something happened and we weren’t ever going to be let out. Mrs Bunny might murder us and melt us down to make rabbit candles or something.

“You really must love Easter, Mrs Bunny,” I stammered, smiling earnestly.

“I do!” she exclaimed, her eyes shining gleefully as she took in her surrounds.

“And what does Mr Bunny think about all this stuff?” Nettie queried cautiously.

Mrs Bunny shrugged. “He’s happy if I’m happy.”

“So… do you leave this display up all year?” I asked, spinning in 360 degrees and gesturing at the magnificent display.

She looked at me as though I were touched in the head. “No, of course not. Do you think I’m nuts or something? It’ll all be packed up on Monday.”

I breathed a sigh of relief.

“But you should see my Christmas display, this is nothing compared to that…” she added thoughtfully.

Later when we sat outside drinking and eating, the other neighbours teased Mrs Bunny about how many white vans pull up at her house delivering packages at all times of the day. Mrs Bunny loves Internet shopping apparently.

We had a really fantastic time. Mrs Bunny is as eccentric as you can get but quite hilarious and a gracious hostess. She’s also the self-appointed neighbourhood watch person as she’s taken an early retirement and is home a lot. I think we stayed for about five hours and finally staggered home only because the dogs needed feeding. It’s lovely to have good neighbours and I’m thrilled to bits to have new friends.

And I can’t talk about people collecting things because I have a cow collection so I guess Ms Bunny has just taken things a few steps further. Maybe when the mountain air gets into my system I’ll be just as loopy. Can’t imagine it though…

Cow Corner

Sadly, we didn't find Nettie a 'Mountain Man' under the age of 100, so I thought I might send her one like this...

Hope you all had a happy Easter or whatever you celebrate.

Anyone collect odd things?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Don't Mention the Blog!

Get a job! I can't take home brand biscuits for one more day my leetle Conchita.

There’s a Facebook group up here JUST for the mountain folk and Scotto is already a member. Not me, I’m not, because… it’s very exclusive and well, you know… I’d rather remain anonymous for a while for various reasons. I’m not hiding from the police or anything (for now) but how am I going to write stories on my blog if the people I’m writing about start reading it? Anyway, the people on the FB page are a great source of knowledge about all things that go on up here on the mountain.

Scotto asked about a problem with the septic tank last night and he was promptly advised to put a container of yoghurt down the loo. Apparently we now need to feed our toilet antibiographical bacteria or whatever it’s called. WHAT THE BROWN SLUDGY FUDGE?

I don’t know about you but I think that’s a bit weird… maybe they were having a lend of us, you know how tradesmen send their first year apprentices to the hardware store to get a left handed screw driver, a long weight or a bucket of dial tone, maybe the locals were doing something like that.

Besides, if we FEED the toilet bacteria, the things that live deep down in the abyss could grow into virtually anything, poo monsters most likely.

Who here has EVER fed their toilet?

And they also said if you don’t want to use yoghurt you can put sugar down the loo instead. What exactly exists in the pits of our septic tank? A sweet-toothed, dairy product aficionado with long tentacles and sharp pincers who’s preparing to rise up and nip us on the bum when we’re taking our daily constitutionals?

Speaking of bathrooms and toilets, I almost inadvertently scattered my brains all over the floor last night. I slipped on the cheap and treacherous bathmat which some idiot* had stupidly placed on the extremely glossy tiles.

Smack down hard I went, first landing on my tailbone, then my elbow and finally the back of my head ricocheted off the glass shower door. I wasn’t knocked out but I went straight to bed after the incident and fell asleep immediately. I’ve heard you should never do that after a head injury. My last words to Scotto were, “If I die in my sleep can you remember to throw that cheap, shitty bathmat out before our Easter guests arrive and please tell my kids I love them.”

He just nodded absentmindedly and kept watching the telly. When I woke up I thought I must have broken my elbow it hurt so much.

“How am I going to drive to my job interview today?” I wailed piteously.

I did manage to get myself to the interview despite getting lost both ways, on the way there and on the way home. Thank God for my Global Positioning System. I could almost hear the poor woman inside the GPS tut-tutting and shaking her head in disappointment every time I discovered (too late) I was in the wrong lane and failed to take the correct exit. “Recalculating… again, you useless git of a person,” I’m sure I heard her grumble in her odd English accent.

I wonder if I’ll get the job. Naturally they queried my aptitude with technology during the very thorough grilling. They needed to know how much the silly old bat knew about computers and if she could use her probably sparse knowledge to teach small children.

I somehow mustered the common sense to realise they weren’t interested in how many Twitter followers I have.

“I can utilise Microsoft Word with a great deal of expertise,” I smiled nervously.

“Oh, that’s good. You mean you can use Excel and everything?” the lovely interviewer asked.

“No, just the Word bit,” I replied, deflated.

“I have a blog,” I blurted out in desperation. “I’ve published an eBook too.”
They bowed their heads and wrote something down on their pads after failing to conceal slightly furrowed brows.

“Please don’t look it up,” I whispered after realising what a very, very stupid thing it was I’d just done.

“Don’t mention the blog” is what I recited to myself all the way down the hill on the way to the interview. First thing I blab about? The stupid blog. God, I hope they don’t look it up. I blame my idiocy on late onset concussion.

I left the interview with a headache and now I’m wondering if it’s the result of a slow bleed on the brain from my fall or just a tension headache, probably the former knowing my luck.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll get the job. Oh well. I can always work in a shoe shop.

"How will you ever get a job in a shoe shop you silly woman? You know nothing about fashion!"

* Me

Anyone got a suggestion for an alternate career to teaching?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pinky Returns from the Dead

Pinky stands under a tree with her hand pulling down a branch to conceal her naughty, capricious face behind some leaves.

“Hellooooo…” she peeks out sheepishly. “Sorry about making you all think I was dead. It was a dreadful display of attention-seeking, wasn’t it? I promise I’ll never do it again. Really, I mean it. I was a disgrace.”

The thing is, when I was going through the emotional stress of leaving my home town after five decades, I did feel as though a part of me was dying.

As I backed out of the driveway of the family home that final time and watched our real estate agent, Nettie, clutching the keys, ready to pass them over to our buyer, I began to sob. Big, heaving sobs.

The relentless, over-dramatic sobbing continued until I reached Bowen (200 kilometres down the highway) when I suddenly realised there is NOTHING on this Earth more depressing than Bowen (what with the salt pans and dreary landscape),… nothing… so I ceased my self-absorbed snivelling and braced myself for the remaining 500 kilometre drive to Rockhampton.

I had company. 

Celine the Fox Terrier and Pablo the Chihuahua were tethered on the back seat and the Cat was nestled in a travel cage on the front seat. I drove in convoy behind Scotto who was able to call me on Blue Tooth if; I lagged behind too much, big trucks and caravans overtook me, or if he lost sight of me and feared I’d crashed into a creek or something.

Scotto had Willy, the Silky Terrier strapped into his passenger seat. Scotto said Willy sat up in a highly alert fashion and licked his (Scotto’s) arm continuously for 400 kilometres and it was really annoying, like water torture, really. “Then he went to sleep for three hours and just didn’t move at all. I was pretty sure he was dead,” Scotto told me later. It would have saved kennelling fees, I suppose.

We were running very late to book Willy and the Cat into the kennels in Rockhampton and Scotto became a bit sweary at me and scolded that I needed to speed up because I was a danger on the road and then I had to put my foot down and we just made it before the kennel guy shut shop.

The next day’s drive was worse and we had a fight on the Blue Tooth because of my timid driving and at one stage Scotto yelled at me and then I silently sobbed from Gympie to Brisbane. We were far too late for the kennels when we arrived on the Gold Coast (apparently my fault) but luckily my Mum and Dad said we could bring ALL the animals to their place for the night even though they also have two dogs and we suspected there’d be quite a bit of animalosity between them.

There was.


Jetstar delivered Borat, the German shepherd the next day. He’s settled in by the way and seems to have given up barking so much, which is fabulous and bizarre at the same time. 

Pablo still detests the sight of Borat but they seem to have reached a kind of truce where they now just ignore each other completely (which is an improvement on the Borat attempting to eat Pablo scenario). 


The Cat loves it here and is the ONLY cat in the neighbourhood so she doesn’t get bullied by random bastard cats anymore like she did at the old house. 


We stayed in our new house on the second night, but until three days later (when the furniture was to arrive), all we had was a mattress, a bar fridge, a couple of camping chairs and a table Mum and Dad let us borrow… but it was magical. The temperature ranged from about 18 degrees Celsius to a pleasant 27 degrees and much of the time we sat in the middle of a cloud up here on the mountain. Clouds literally pass through the lounge room if you leave the windows open. Heavenly.

I’ve spent a lot of spiteful time on my lap top comparing the cool mountain temperatures to the muggy conditions the poor suckers in Townsville are experiencing, gloating in a particularly nasty manner.

Each morning we wake up to laughing Kookaburras and magpies, singing in a chorus of piped warbling.

I’m a country girl now, almost a farmer really. We have a passionfruit vine, an olive tree and a smallish tomato plant. I’ll probably learn to press olives and make my own oil. Or maybe just put them in martinis. Do they need to be cooked first?

My Olives

NB: When I say we have an olive tree and passionfruit vine what I actually mean is that the neighbours have them but they stick out over our fence so they’re sort of ours.

People up here are really friendly, probably because they’re country folk… or they just don’t know me well enough yet.

Two neighbours from across the road called in on the first day and said they’d planned on bringing a plate of ‘welcome muffins’ to us, but they didn’t have any muffins with them. They never actually explained why they didn’t. Bit disappointing really because I don’t mind a muffin now and then. Maybe they were fibbing and they just wanted to know the cut of our jib. Naturally we were drinking at the time. I was scoffing champers and Scotto was drinking beer and nicking passionfruit from next door in case you were wondering.

I don’t know if it’s the crisp, alpine air but since moving to this picturesque, verdant and lush environment on Tamborine Mountain, miraculous things have begun to happen, and when I say miraculous I mean mystifying and not a small bit weird. It’s almost as if we were meant to be here…

On the day after we arrived, the very first establishment we patronised was the local bottle-o.

Scotto began a conversation with the attendant whilst I swanned around the white wine aisle searching for a bargain. By the time we left the bottle-o, Scotto had a job as a computer technician. I’m not lying. He got the job the first day we were on the mountain via the bottle-o guy. Another reason drinking wine is good for you.

Then I felt guilty about being a lazy arse sitting around on long service, so I asked Scotto to drive me around to some local schools to put my name down for relief teaching work. Next minute I received a call saying that one of the teachers had broken both her arms so could I please come in for a day of relief work. Booyah!



I had nothing to do with the broken arms… but it just goes to show the power of prayer.

The wildlife up here is quite thrilling. We have a jungle in one corner of our garden which all of our neighbours, in hushed tones, refer to as the ‘snake pit’.

Fenced off 'Snake Pit'

Apparently there are Eastern Browns nesting in there and maybe a Red-Bellied Black snake or two (which is lucky because I think that’s better than having pythons which might attempt to swallow the Chihuahua). We’ve enlisted the services of a local landscaper to come and clear it. You should see this landscaper. He’s about nine foot tall and built like a Greek God. Scotto said he felt like a hobbit standing beside him. Same with our pool guy, he looks like the Bondi Vet on steroids. I think it must be that the mountain air is good for growing young lads. (It’s certainly increased my appetite, and the cat’s.) I just hope our landscaper knows first aid for snake bites because he’s too big for me to carry him anywhere.

We also have ants that bite. I forgot to wear my farmer-type gum boots the other day and an ant bit me on the toe. It’s still swollen four days later. The dogs kept getting stung as well. 

Icing Celine's stung paws

Naturally, we called in the local pest guy to come and spray the yard. He had to cancel his first appointment because there was an oil slick on the road leading up. The road leading up is so steep and scary I have to squeeze my eyes shut when I drive down it. Imagine driving down it when there’s an oil slick! It’d be like one of those roadrunner cartoons where the coyote gets slammed flat into a cliff.

It’s been really lovely spending time with Mum and Dad (who live ten minutes up the hill). They bought us a chandelier as a house warming present. Quite posh don’t you think?

Mum took me to her favourite library yesterday (she belongs to three libraries). I’ve always secretly derided my mother’s obsession with libraries but I think she’s converted me. It was like being in the monastery of a silent order of monks.

Bedraggled people sat around reading magazines and noiselessly turning the pages. Old, nun-like women padded around on the carpet with wistful smiles on their faces. No one spoke at all and then Mum bedazzled me with the technologically savvy manner in which she checked her books in and out via a scanner. “I never need to talk to anyone at all,” she confided gleefully. “I come here every week and haven’t spoken to anyone here for years.”

I’m joining the library.

We’ve been down the hill to Bunnings more times than I like to remember. Scotto fell through the decking around the pool (almost broke his leg) and it all has to be replaced because it’s rotten (we were warned about that when we bought it). 

Scotto has taken on the job of replacing all the boards himself and while he was looking at boring drill bits, I bought myself a little spade for gardening and for ferrying dog poo down the yard to poke it behind the Norfolk Pine in the back corner (I’ll stop doing it in November so we can use it as a non-smelly, authentic Christmas tree). I bought gardening gloves too, and some potted colour. One day soon I will do something with it all. One day.

We have water tanks and a sump system. There’s no pipeline up to the mountain or sewerage, so if you come and stay you can’t have really long showers or put tampons down the loo. Mind you it rains A LOT and we have three tanks so there’s plenty of water. 

You must check between your knees when sitting on the loo to make sure there are no Eastern Brown snakes poking their head up the cistern so I suppose that’s why you can’t put tampons down the toilet because snakes are attracted to blood.

What? No… ?

Scotto just said that’s sharks.

Okay. Look between your knees for sharks poking their heads up in the toilet bowl then.

Or just don’t put tampons down the loo.

We have discovered our favourite watering hole on the mountain which is guarded by a massive Saint Bernard who can be found lying across the threshold all day and night. The beer garden has amazing views across the valley. 

View from the Beer Garden

They’re very ‘doggy’ people up here, thank God. Every night at about six o’clock the dogs in the surrounding hills all start barking at one another. There’s barking coming from ten kilometres away. No one seems to care.

Finally, I’ve met my tribe.

Anyway, I love you and have missed you soooo much. I will have lots of meaningless stories coming up. Probably more than you could ever want.

Thank you for sticking with me xxx

Oh, clearly I’ve changed my banner up top which Scotto did for me and which includes ALL my animals 
(L-R: Cat, Willy, Borat, Pablo, Celine) not just the two spoiled bratty dogs. I think it fits in with my country farmer style life don’t you?

So thank you to Scotto for his artistic/geeky skills.

So tell me, what sort of farmer would you like to be? Ever cooked olives?