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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?