Facebook Blog Archives

I’ve closed down my original Facebook page due to hacking concerns, so I’ve decided to archive the Random Musings and other blog posts from there, should anyone want to read past entries!

So here goes!

Random Musings #1 – Beltane Babes

Tuesday, 06 October 2009 at 18:39

There are days I sit about randomly, contemplating my navel – this is one of them…
For those of you who don’t know (if you haven’t figured it yet, might I offer a clue and a refreshing cup of coffee?) I’m a pagan. Some might call me a witch. If I were asked, I’d say I was both. *shrugs*
Does that change me as a person? I’d hope not. If I loose some of my Facebook ‘friends’ now, I’ll understand. Anyhoo, having got that confession out of the way *phew!* I thought I’d babble a little tonight about October 31. Halloween. Don’t worry about locking up your kids or your kittehs, I don’t want the kittehs and we can’t have kids in the house…wait, I think that should be the other way around…I digress.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve and Hallow Mass. And despite what the candy makers, the costume makers and the psychotic mass murderer movies would have us believe, it’s not about evil afoot alongside the devil on a tricycle. It’s not even about dressing up like one of Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriends and handing out sugar-rushes to children. (I know, I like the candy part too, but seriously…)
It was originally the last harvest before winter (in the Northern Hemisphere), when fires were lit and cattle & livestock herded between them to symbolically purify them for the coming barren months – generally spent indoors with the people of the house to protect them from cold and predators. Part of these celebrations as well was showing recognition and respect for those who had passed on during the year prior, often leaving a meal and beverage out for the departed spirits to celebrate with their loved ones. It was also known as Samhain.

I’m finding myself increasingly irritated by growing tide of costuming, decorations and sweets in the shops here already, to celebrate what is effectively a very Americanised tradition (sorry to my USA friends) and at the wrong time of the year for we Southern Hemispherians. If we follow the correct seasonal pattern for our area, it’s actually Beltane, a fertility festival and the cyclic opposite of Samhain. Now Beltane… *grinning* it’s a fertility festival and a celebration of life in general. Well, there’s more to it than just that, but you see where I’m going, yes? (I’m notorious for taking a week to get to a point)

I’m much tempted to hang a sign on the front door kindly saying that whilst we are pagans, we are in fact celebrating Beltane and could all people ringing the doorbell please not be offended if we come downstairs naked and aroused or demand they go away from the upstairs window.

If we do so, I’ll ensure photos of the people at the door as we stand there in our full and pale skinned (Darrell’s a red head, I burn in the shade wearing armour) Beltane glory. Mental note, must suggest that the future in laws don’t choose to pop by unexpectedly that night…

Whether the Weather – Random Musings #2

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 at 14:36
Greetings again all!

Today finds me looking out on a dust storm – the third in as many weeks – and wondering what the heck I did to the weather gods that they chose to drum up summer up to 2 months early and to bless us with enough flying sand and crud to let me put sticky paper outside and make my own sandpaper!

I blame myself entirely for this odd weather pattern. Why? Because when I arrived in Aussie 9 months ago, the weather was apparently quite normal. By definition, that meant really hot, humid and painfully bright outside, with a colony of bats doing their thing in the early evening. These balmy summer days (BALMY?!) turned into mild autumn and then into a milder winter. Darrell (all 50kgs of him soaking wet) shivered in the 14C and 16C temperatures, whilst I wallowed about, actually able to move without breaking a sweat. T’was bliss, simply bliss I tell you.

Roll on the springtime…and…the unseasonable heat. And the dust storms. I’m waiting for a biblical-style flood, but I think that went to Samoa instead. And yes, before you accuse me of being insensitive and uncaring, I do care and mourn with them that people lost their lives, homes and so on in the tsunami there recently.

Never mind global warming. Forget Al Gore’s Inconvienient Truth. The real reason that Mama Gaia is having these natural tantrums? Me, daring to move from one place to another after 36 years. Yes, it’s overwhelming hubris to think I am the cause, but when you take into account that hell sent me back because they were afraid of a peaceful coup…

Speaking of coups, being a clerk of the courts here has the potential to be a coup, of the financial kind. Looking into costs of registry office paraphenalia for our upcoming wedding, and just to file the papers it’s $150. If we wanted a registry office ceremony, held in the very lovely court room (between the burglars and the speeders being brought before the judge no doubt) it was going to come to $450 – $150 to be paid in advance to do the filing. Granted, it’s still hootloads cheaper than what we’ve committed ourselves to because certain family members made us feel like heels for only being able to afford a registry office ceremony, but $450 for 15 minutes? What’s he doing, performing brain surgery?! (Be still all ye long-time marrieds who dare suggest that a lobotomy is not a bad description for surviving married life!)

Today’s random musing? Get married in a dust storm. Adds colour.

Gone to Bat – Random Musings #3

Tuesday, 20 October 2009 at 19:30

Tonight’s random musing… Bats.

The bat colony from close to our home has reawoken from it’s winter hibernation, and lo, we have little flappy thingies swooping overhead at dusk each evening now. Lucky for us, they only eat bugs and fruit (I think they’re fruities, but I’m open to correction on that!) and aren’t inclined to swoop down and slurp out a few litres of whichever A or B type I am. Appropriate for the “halloween” coming up, but I value my red juice too much to give it up without a battle royale. Be warned oh flappy ones!
Apparently, the local authorities (on bats, not vampire slayers) would like us to be aware of the bats and report any that are flying erratically, due to malnutrition post hibernation. Personally, it’s more likely a publicity stunt for their next web-cast “reality” show, but I shall report random batty behaviour.

I’m sure you’re all aware that I’ve been ‘going bats’ the last few weeks. Have no fear anymore however, as I am currently completely in control of my faculties and have returned to sleeping suspended from the ceiling and squeaking in a very high pitch before dinner!

Back to bats however. Tonight I found myself trimming paper with scrapbooking edging scissors in the “Victorian” pattern and attempting to make a paper bat to hang on the window. Why?! What maggot has got into my brain to make me attempt such a feat? Yes, you guessed it, I’ve been had by the marketing ploy that is “Halloween”. OK, so my bat is white and really looks more like a toilet roll cover but I have fallen prey to the need to decorate and dress up for the celebration! Well, more like dress down since it’s Beltane here in the south half of the world and all. *grins* I found myself swooshing about the house, washing dishes in my white cape, speaking aloud to myself in a really bad Slavic accent. The cape I discovered isn’t much good at holding either water, dishsoap or dishes (read back what I wrote and think about it…) and I sound more like Vincent Price on helium than some dark and mysterious Transylvanian. Never the mind, once I’ve laundered the cape, I shall simply speak as myself and succeed in scaring the living bejabbers out of any child foolish enough at Beltane to ring our doorbell (that cuckoos).

Ah, the bats fly past…they fly over…they fly around…that one on the left has been at the fermented pumpkin juice, hasn’t it…

Random Musings #4

Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 20:17

Sometimes, I sit and think, others I just sit and watch manic movies like The Cat in the Hat…

More musings on the concept of Halloween – but more along the lines of the handing out candy to dressed up kiddies thing than the pagan holy day that it used to be.

I don’t know about you, but my parents repeatedly enjoined us to “never accept lollies from strangers”. And yet, here we are, taking on board a custom from another nation and in doing so, completely nullifying that parental concern for our safety! Personally, I have concerns about sending children out (supervised or not, it’s up to the individual parents) to beg for lollies from strangers. Yes, they’re your neighbours, but in today’s society, we rarely know our neighbours, let alone know that they’re not paedophiles or axe murderers with more bodies under their floor boards than I like to consider. True, I’m painting the extreme picture here, but do you know the names of your neighbours? How about those ones 4 doors down? Across the street and 5 doors down? If you can say yes to all of these, you live in a good neighbourhood and no doubt allow your children out to beg for lollies from them. I’m sure all the neighbours are nice and give them sweets too. Wrapped sweets, of course, because they care as much for your children as you do.

Dressing up as ghouls, goblins, zombies and…witches, oh my! I loved dressing up as a child, it’s something every child should have the opportunity to do and decide for themselves if they like it.
I never got to dress as a ghoul, goblin, zombie or person with a knife sticking out of my head though, did you? Cool if you did. Means your parents were probably in the movie industry. Yes, I dressed as a ghost – I think I managed to not cut holes in the good sheets – or as a princess, and at least once I remember I was an Edwardian lady bather, complete with mob cap and knee-length bloomers. I also joined a theatrical society and wound up dressed as a biblical slave dealer selling Miss Piggy… once more I manage to digress however… All this dress up play was part of everyday, part of building my imagination and having fun with my friends, not just for one night a year when I’d go begging for lollies from strangers. And the only time I dress as a witch is now, as an adult; with full understanding and knowledge of the reality behind my spiritual choice. I look a lot like an overweight hippy or at times, an overweight Stevie Nicks, not a green warty nose in sight!

Don’t think I’m a party-pooper or grinch, all I am is wondering why we allow our children to wander the neighbourhood, asking for lollies from strangers when we’ve told them about stranger danger and not to accept lollies from said strangers?
Why are we in the southern hemisphere increasingly adopting customs from the northern hemisphere (particularly America)? Admittedly, we don’t have things that seem as much fun as going about begging for lollies from strangers on a night that’s supposed to be about celebrating our ancestors (for the northers) or the return of summertime to the world (for we southers).
How much money are the lolly makers getting from yet another manufactured “holiday”? Almost as much as Hallmark et al make from Valentines Day/Sweetest Day/Mothers Day/Fathers Day/Change your Jocks Day etc I bet!

Yes, I’m somewhat cynical. I see something that was once a simple celebration of either summer or of our ancestors and their memory turned into nothing more than a commercial money-making scheme. Yes, I feel the same about Christmas. The truths of the “holidays” are lost in the continual snatch and grab for money, the best lollies, the best costumes, the best gift. For those of you celebrating Halloween this weekend, take a moment to light a candle and remember your family and friends who’ve passed on. Leave a handful of lollies on the table for them. Yes, they’ll enjoy it! Take the time to talk to your children about those people they maybe miss or missed out on knowing. Find a funny memory to share and let the children add a favourite memory too if they want to. Look beyond the lollies and the commercialism. You never know, you may start a family tradition that lasts generations…

Random Musings #5 – Less makes More

Friday, 13 November 2009 at 21:53

Friday 13th and I’m watching a Harry Potter film and contemplating the bigger questions in life…

As many of you know, Darrell & I are planning a wedding in 2010, at Samhain no less. *grins* Yeah, yeah, Halloween for we Southies and I’m playing dress ups. Ironic considering my recent RM notes hey?

Witty Aside = Epic Fail. Neverthemind. As I was saying, planning a wedding. Well, it’s a muggle-friendly pagan-styled handfasting/wedding, but it’s simple to call it a wedding for the purposes of brevity. (Yeah, Right! LOL!) I was prepping the guest suite downstairs (Tres Posh oui?) for Mum’s arrival tomorrow for a week of wedding planning, shopping and shemozzling and I found myself taking a moment or two to perch on the chair in the room and for a change, listen to my spiritual guides. Yes, I’m one of those people that talks to Dragons, Centaurs, Fairies and beings only I can see!

The thing with spiritual guides is, they can be helpful and kind, or they can ask the questions you know should be best asked by a good girlfriend over a bottle of cheap red and a coffee table laden with potato chips, onion dip and chocolate wrappers. Today was one of the latter for me, and I’ll be frank; regardless of how bonkers you may think me; when an 11,000 year old dragon asks you “So why are you here? What have you achieved? What do you gain from this pending union?” you DO fidget and wish there was a bottle of something a little more viscerally spiritual to hand.

Taking a deep breath and blowing a raspberry in his general direction (Only I see him, remember, so I can’t divulge his exact position) I contemplated the Why, and the What times 2. After about 2.45 minutes of this wishing for the cheap red, junk food and best girlfriend, I replied – out loud in an empty room no less.

“I’m here because I fell in love, and Fate was good enough to set things in motion so that when the time was right, we’d do the whole happily ever after thing, as well you know since you started things off! As to what I’ve achieved; I’ve continued to loose the dangerous weight I’m carrying, I’ve dealt with a few personal issues in the time I’ve had whilst I’ve been out of work. It’s amazing how much thinking one can do when scrubbing a frypan. What do I gain from being with Darrell? I gain the need to be LESS. Less demanding, less pedantic, less compulsive, less bossy, less of a person physically and all because he makes me want to be more than who I am – who I was 9 months ago – and in order to become more, I must become LESS. He supports me, he’s patient, he jollies me out of my BS and he lets me sit in the living room and bawl my eyes out because I’m still processing things that should have been dealt with years ago. I can safely say that Darrell Henry Undery makes the best d*mn cup of sympathy tea with a hug on the planet. But I guess every woman says that about her soul mate. What do I gain? I gain a life. Better to have asked what he gains, but I’ll assume you’re going to clobber him when he’s not recovering from the flu.” I dragged out my hanky and played the trumpet voluntary before drying my eyes. I took another deep breath and then said “Now if you’ll get your muddy boots off that carpet please, I just hoovered…” before gathering up my cleaning paraphenalia and going to make myself a cuppa – Darrell was at work, so it was DIY tea.

So, I want to be less to be more. And you know what? I like it. I like it alot.

My Big Fat Aussie Wedding – pt 1

Tuesday, 17 November 2009 at 16:23

When one plans a wedding, there will be funny moments. If there aren’t, maybe there needs to be some relaxing of participants and some return to a gasp of what’s giggle-worthy rather than bridezilla-over-reactionary. This is a blog involving those moments thus far, simply because they’ve had several people laughing in the re-telling, and thus are worthy of sharing simply for the point and giggle factor!

LAUGH ONE:
A lovely fine Thursday here in Mur’bah, and Darrell & I are waiting at home to meet with the 3rd of the marriage celebrants we wanted to talk to. All goes well, and the very nice gentleman precedes Darrell downstairs to leave. Cheery farewells and Darrell latches the screen door before walking back upstairs.
Now, the best way to describe the next couple of minutes is this: when Darrell gets nervous, his gastric process tends to get rather, well…vocal. So, up the stairs comes Darrell, nicely accompanied by a trumpet involuntary on no less than 5 stairs.
A loving kiss exchanged, and in the next second, Darrell goes green and bolts for safer oxygen, and I do too, with the unfortunately loud comment of “Geez Darrell, what AM I feeding you?!”
A chuckle from outside, a car door closes, and the lovely celebrant actually leaves the driveway. Yup, he heard it we strongly suspect.

LAUGH TWO:
Mother of Bride has arrived from New Zealand to help me go gown shopping and so on. Fun for all! (I’m serious here!) We have an appointment in Tweed, approximately 45 minutes drive from Mur’bah for a gown hunt. All goes well till we get to a major highway interchange/directional split. Nothing to it you’d think. Follow the signs, find the shop, and spend hours getting frustrated. Oh no…
I take the left lanes as per the signs, thinking to myself “this isn’t how we’ve done it when Darrell’s driving, but hey.” then I misread the next sign and wind up tootling along the Pacific Highway at speed, bound for Brisbane. “I’ll take the next exit” I reassure my mother, feeling sure that I can find my way from there. We drive along for about 30 minutes till we see an exit, and recognising a name on the sign, I feel less lost. That lasted all of 3 minutes because yes, I did turn the wrong way AGAIN. We ended up in Currumbin on that bit, which was nice. Another road sign with a recognisable name some distance later and I opt to follow the road. About 15 minutes late now for our appointment and no cellphone with us to call anyone, I motor on the winding and mountainous road. Quite the adventure whoot! We pass a sign that tells us… “Murwillumbah –>” Yes, we were on our way back to where we started!
Another 20 minutes drive and we’re on the outskirts of Murwillumbah. I turn the RIGHT way this time and take the car to the speed limit for the return run to Tweed. This time, I decide to go with my gut and at the big interchange/intersection I turn the way Darrell drives us to Tweed. 5 minutes down the road, we’re parking at Baby’s Breath Bridal Shop, Tweed Heads South, by way of Pacific Highway, Currumbin and Murwillumbah.

***********~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***********

I have to put in a free advertising moment here, because they deserve it. Baby’s Breath Bridal in Tweed Heads South is a wonderful shop for bridal and/or formal wear. The staff are professional, knowledgeable and really helpful. 3 gowns were initially brought out for me to look at and try, and would you believe it, the first one was IT. We tried the other two for comparison, but they didn’t tick all the boxes I had like Dress One did. We were out of the shop in about 45 minutes all up, dress agreed on, beading & lacework agreed on, and tentative arrangements for a measure-up appointment in the new year. Yes, they’re MAKING my gown, patterned from one that didn’t fit but that all concerned felt was The One. I enjoyed my time there, which is a rare thing when I’m standing in a fitting room in my underwear with a stranger.
Thank you to the team there for making me feel confident, and for making me look beautiful on my wedding day.

Random Musings #6 – Who hid the car?!

Tuesday, 01 December 2009 at 18:02

Some days I drink water. Others, Baileys goes better….

I forsee a moment of Compromise in my near future. For those of you that know me, Compromise is not a word I’m overly familiar with, so when I make them it’s noteworthy – hence this blog.

Yesterday was Big Change 1 (BC1) for Darrell as we cleared out the garage of all the remaining bumpfha that his twin brother left behind when he scarpered to Brisbane. I suggested we clear it all out in response to a recent hailstorm that had us thinking about damage to the car in it’s location outside the garage about 4 days back, and he agreed in principle at the time. I left it with him, as I know how hard it is to clear up someone else’s mess – even if it’s only half of what was there originally.

In the process of the clean-up, I challenged his reasons for keeping things in ratty old boxes for the sake of “I might need it one day” and he didn’t balk at my terse “Do you use it now? No? Then bin it, please” except in the case of a wrought iron candle sconce. We found things that will be of use to his brother-in-law for his fish, we found Christmassy stuff to add to our existing collection, we have a lovely classic wicker picnic hamper that we re-located, we found a boxload of artist supplies (score! He can paint again!), we put some re-usable artist’s canvas’ in a dry storage space. We lobbed out broken Christmas ornamentation, sketch books that weren’t Darrell’s (about 15 of them), a range of outdated and unused diaries, old backpacks and bags and an old cotton tablecloth.

Why did I note the tablecloth? Because it belonged to his Nan. I’ll be honest and say that the colour combo of orange, lime green and peach plaid gave me a headache at first sight. Darrell wondered if it might be useful as a picnic rug. I reminded him that we had 2 sturdier rugs already. With a last look and without further debate, he put it in the bin. I know what it means to throw things that have memories attached to them, so I left him to his thoughts and started tearing down the old tatty boxes to go in the recycle bin. Something rather therapeutic about tearing up 5 big boxes!

Anyway, we now park the car in the garage and we have a couple of big empty plastic crates – those ones with wheels and sturdy lids – available to help us store stuff from the upstairs spaces we’re planning on decluttering in the coming months. I’ve earmarked one of the crates for the Christmas decorations, the other will likely become a temporary home for the art & craft supplies that are currently housed in Darrell’s chest of drawers (don’t ask where his clothes are!).

Where does this all fit in with my facing Compromise you ask? Yes, you are, I heard you! Well, I’m used to the Christmas decorations going up a week before Christmas. Darrell’s more used to them going up around now. You see where my Compromise is going to be?

Yes, I’ll set aside my dislike for the commerciality of the celebration, for the overwhelmingly puerile need to out do one’s family and friends in the gift-giving race regardless that you will still be paying for it when next Christmas rolls around, I’ll set aside my dislike of the overt and covert religious iconography that abounds…Yes, one of my middle names is Grinch… and I’ll put my Blackmore’s Night’s CD of Winter Carols on the stereo and help Darrell decorate our home. We’ll put up the white tree – a BC for me – and fling every bauble and light we have at it. We’ll hang tinsel and probably drink some port afterward to toast the effect. Then, I’ll wait till he’s at work a few days after, and I’ll very likely do my usual trick of making up a table centrepiece with candles, baubles, pinecones and whatever else I can find in the leftovers of the first tinsel and bauble explosion. I’ve done it for a few years now, but this is the first time I’ll be doing it for my own home. If you hear of a large kiwi woman arrested for yatting pinecones from in the middle of the night over the coming 2 weeks, spare a thought for me!

Big Changes and Compromise. It’s definitely been a year for both in Darrell’s and my lives. So far, we’re managing both fairly well I think. Bodes well for the rest of our lives together…

I am what I am, and what I am needs no excuses.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 at 10:03

Not a funny blog or even a random musings one today. Instead, I’m having a rant/vent and telling my side of things and I thank certain people for making me feel I need to do that. They’re no longer on my friends list – they removed me as soon as I didn’t react to their attempts to start a b*tchfest, so they instead opted to take the fight to someone they claim to love dearly and who they would fight to defend. Far from perfect either, I call it like I see it, and I see a big, steaming pile of bovine excrement and it’s not in the middle of my living room. I see several someone’s who need to go live somewhere other than in a small town, need to experience something more of life in the big wide world and who need to get both sides of a story and at least one of them who seriously needs to grow up quite a bit before they start attempting to derail my life.

I have been accused of trying to drive Darrell’s family members away – excuse me, but if the family bond was as strong as they think, NO ONE, least of all me, could drive any of them away. Perhaps it’s more productive to look at the people in the family who aren’t willing to come along to the family get-together on Boxing Day or who tells Darrell to “man up” when they’re taking a temper out on him and point the ‘family breaker’ finger at them?

Same family member was going to be making our wedding cake; but we don’t want someone who felt so negatively towards me involved in something so important and they’re apparently now quite hurt – excuse me if your actions/behaviour have repercussions that you don’t like. And I’m human enough to find consolation in them feeling hurt now too.

I have to put up with being almost housebound because I’m not an insured driver for the car – excuse me, but I’m not the one who had an accident because I was looking at the radio dial rather than the road. Added to that, the other driver that is insured for our vehicle doesn’t even live in the same state and has his own car where he is – and he’s the one who had the accident, not Darrell. Effectively, I’m not able to do the grocery shopping, go for job interviews or even collect Darrell from work if the weather’s bad. Furthermore, I’m expected to take part in insurance fraud by saying Darrell was driving if we have an accident.

I have watched Darrell get the “you have our sympathy mate” look as we asked for our money back, after the business tried to get more money from us – after we’d paid in cash for the item – excuse me, he doesn’t need sympathy, he deserves respect for being man enough to let me deal with the salesperson when I was steaming p*ssed off.

I have discovered that unless I’m willing to put aside 4 years of tertiary education, 30 years of working life and all intelligence, I will not find a job in this town – excuse me if I look for meaningful work elsewhere so that I’m not a continual burden on Darrell or on the social system (who won’t give me any support for at least another year).

I have been made to feel like decisions that Darrell & I have made together were unacceptable – excuse me, we don’t have enough income to afford to live, why would we want to spend nearly a year’s wages on something we then wouldn’t enjoy because we would be wondering how we’d pay rent, bills, and eat for the next year? Yes, we did look sad about it, but all we wanted was for our first major decision as a couple to be supported rather than hear “but it’s so ordinary” and “You need something more memorable”.

I have been told that my suggesting to Darrell that we clear out the garage blog prior to this one was read as an ultimatum – excuse me, but much as I dislike some of the aspects of Christmas-time, decorating isn’t one of them.

I have felt that not a single member of his family has bothered or cared about Darrell enough to get his side of a couple of key situations that have occurred – excuse me, there are two sides to each story and it pays to get both of them before muttering over the teacups.

At this point in time, I feel like I can’t trust any of Darrell’s family, I feel unwelcome and have very seriously considered just getting on a plane one day when he’s at work and can’t stop me. I have felt like being deliberately unwell so I don’t have to spend time with the family on Christmas Day and then again on Boxing Day. But I’m not going to, because I love him and I will fight for what I love.
If that makes me a selfish b*tch, I’ll wear the hat, the t-shirt and the badge proudly. I am what I am, and what I am needs no excuses!

Random Musings #7 – Showering with Shelob

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 at 13:24

Some days I like to watch TV. Others, I just close my eyes and let the pixies take me…

Picture if you will, mid-evening, and me deciding that since the electrician’s definition of “either today or tomorrow morning” is considerably different to mine, to go take my evening shower to cool off and wash the stickiness of a warm day off my skin. I work to a check list for this exercise, as I choose the downstairs shower due to it’s superior space and water pressure.
1. Grab PJs.
2. Close the mosquitoes outside and turn on the stair light so I don’t go bump in the night.
3. Make my way downstairs, humming a tune done by Aussie pagan band, Spiral Dance. (Wait, I’ll explain the relevance of this in due course!)
4. Open the downstairs closet, pull out my fresh towel for the week, lights on in bathroom, open window for ventilation.
5. Grin as I start stripping, just in case the neighbours have got close enough to peer through the screen on the window. Go to shower cubicle, turn on water.
6. Test water temperature, cold is good, yes! Step in, start getting my hair wet. Turn around to soak the back of my hair…

Here’s where my check list got a little off-plan.

7. Idly note that the pattern on the tile near me is actually moving.
8. Control the arachnophobics Ululation Of Panic (Acronym: UOP – pretty much the noise I made) as the pattern on the tile resolves itself into a spider. A BIG ONE. A REALLY BIG ONE.
9. Fumble off the taps. Exit shower cubicle, closing door firmly.
10. Gather up discarded clothing, Darrell’s towel to wrap myself in, and my towel, taking care to hang the now sopping bathmat on the rail beside the glass shower cubicle. Yes, I can still see the spider. THE REALLY BIG ONE. Open shower door and bolt from bathroom in case the spider THE REALLY BIG ONE can run as fast as the horse it resembles.
11. Leave damp footprints on the stairs and a small trail of water drops in the upstairs bathroom where I showered in the poor water pressure and decided that I’d rather dry the tile floor than be continually groped by the shower curtain…which reminds me of spiders. REALLY BIG ONES. That have lots of long legs and probably are sitting in the living room drinking my Baileys and watching Supernatural on my TV!!!

Now for the relevance of song I was humming…
“The Weaver” by Spiral Dance; it’s about Arachne, the spider goddess. If I’d thought to wonder why I was humming that song without having heard it in some months, I probably would have checked the shower before I was sharing it with a spider that was the size of a small banana republic!

Interesting that the spider showed up in the time immediately after a blue moon for the Northern hemisphere, with the following 13th Dark/New Moon being dedicated to Arachne. It was also the night before my 39th birthday. By that reasoning, I’ve either got to make spider shower caps and body scrubbies, or start weaving my new web. I can’t sew that small, so it looks like weaving’s the key.

I’m hearing an UOP from the downstairs bathroom and Darrell is scampering upstairs nekkid…Shelob was hiding in the bathmat I’d so carefully hung up last night and came out to play. And he’d assumed that the spider I’d seen was a dinky little “squash with yer shoe” kind. Hehehe. It’s a BIG ONE. A REALLY BIG ONE!!! Brownie points to him though – “No one will believe us, I’m taking a photo!”

Now, do we let the family who are coming to stay with us in April know that they’ve got a room-mate???!!

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Update on Showering with Shelob

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 at 09:06

We no longer have a downstairs bathroom occupant. The heroic Sam did slew the humungous Shelob (yes, Darrell’s dad goes by the name of Sam!) in her lair last night. Now, we are on the lookout for any possible egg-sac that she may have left behind there, because I’ll be honest, the idea of over 500 little boogers that might grow to that size hanging about downstairs gives me a serious case of the creepy crawlies!
So, no more UOP’s will be heard in the evening or mid afternoons from our home. For now…. (this IS Australia, and they DO grow that big regularly!)

Random Musings #8 – Galloping Goannas, Batman!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010 at 10:06

Some days I get a kiss and a “hi honey”, others I get a hilarious story to share with you… *evil laughter* Let me take you back, if I may, to a time some 7-10 days ago…

*squiggly wiggly going back in time effect, and David Attenborough-like voice over narrates the scene*

Here we see the native Murwillumbarian, species Undery, sub-species Darrell, walking home from his gainful employment at a local retirement home. Tis a lovely day, the sun is shining, there is a mild breeze to keep things from becoming unbearable during the 15 minute perambulation to his home that he shares with his mate. Let’s follow him along his route…

“Dah, dee dee, dum de do…”
It would seem he’s vocalising as he walks…could this be evidence of the ability to multitask?…

“Ooh, a turkey feather!” *leaning down to pick it up*
He appears to have found something of interest – ah, a feather from a local fowl, the Bush Turkey…

HISSS!
What’s that?…

“YEEEEK!” *Darrell takes to his heels in fright*

“HISSS! HISSS!!”
My word! It would appear that the Darrell has upset another native species, the Goanna – a large reptile that grows to considerable size – by attempting to add the turkey feather to his collection. Note how it is pursuing him with determination. Good thing the Darrell is slim and has long limbs to run…

“EEEEEEK!! EEEEE!” *Darrell takes a quick look behind him and keeps running*

“HISSS! HISS! HISS!!”
I say! The goanna has done something rather out of character for it’s species and has risen up on it’s rear legs to chase the Darrell. Considering the goanna is about 4 feet in length, that is an impressive sight!…

“Oh Lor’…stop darnwell chasing me darnwell it!” *called back over Darrell’s shoulder*
Impressive on the part of the Darrell that he has breath to make the complaint to the reptile. A clear demonstration that a male of this species is capable of multitasking…

“HISS! HISSS!”
Watch as the goanna continues it’s headlong pursuit…wait, it seems to be veering off into the undergrowth along the pathway…yes, still upright, and still running. No doubt it is going to run until it comes to the nearest tree, will scramble up it and ask it self “what the bloody hell was I thinking?!”…

*Darrell is still running, slowing to a jog, and then a brisk walk, with regular looks over his shoulder from this point on.*

Thank you for joining us today on our look into the world of The Darrell Undery. On our next programme…

My Big Fat Aussie Wedding pt 2 – Helpful Tips for Wedding Guests (with a few personal thoughts…)

Thursday, 28 January 2010 at 17:15

**Do: RSVP as soon as possible — the couple has decisions to make based on numbers. If you have to cancel, do that immediately, too.
(We understand about illness on the day, but don’t understand about 15 extra people because your daughter wanted her boyfriend’s family along to hold her hand, her foot and her ears…)

**Don’t: Make dietary requests unless they have been solicited.
(If you’re allergic to something, don’t eat it. Menu is provided on table…)

**Don’t: Feel obligated to bring a gift to the engagement party.
(Saves double gift buying!)

**Don’t: Ask the bride to be a bridesmaid. There may be circumstances beyond her control, so don’t take it personally if she doesn’t choose you.
(I choose….PIKACHU!)

**Don’t: Pester the happy couple with all of your pre-wedding questions. Ask members of the wedding party, or consult their wedding Website.
(The invite says where, when and what, right? What did we write in ancient Aramaic?)

**Don’t: Ask for help with your hotel bill. Even if you’re flying in from the opposite coast, the couple isn’t required to pay for it.
(Dude, we had to sell our bodies to pay for this shindig, I ain’t doin’ one more handjob to make sure you have a room at the Ritz)

**Do: Purchase items from the gift registry and make selections based on your relationship with the couple.
(No registry? Take the time to drop an email and find out what they’d like)

**Do: Send a gift even if you can’t make the wedding.
(Gift Certificates to a major store are always useful or set up a “up to the value of” e-account at the store for them)

**Don’t: Bring a guest unless the invitation specifically says you may do so — that includes children.
(Sticky little handprints and baby sick-up on wedding gowns will be charged for)

**Don’t: Wear white. Ivory is okay. So is black.
(True story; my mother’s mother in law did that. Not a very popular decision)

**Do: Bring a shawl, jacket or a pashmina if you have a strapless dress – unless the wedding is outdoors in the summer.
(Then it’s wear a hat and sunscreen. We don’t care you got melanoma because you were too stupid)

**Don’t: Bring your gift to the ceremony, unless it is a combination venue – ceremony in one area, reception in another. You have up to one year to send something, although it’s best to send it as soon as possible after the wedding.
(You send it next year; I thank you for a belated Christmas gift)

**Do: Wait for a cue from the wedding or venue coordinator if you are late and the processional or ceremony has already started. If there is neither of these, be polite and wait until the processional is finished and enter unobtrusively.
(No singing “here comes the bride, fair, fat and wide…” as you march up behind them and shove yourself in the row reserved for family)

**Do: Remember to turn off your cell phone during the ceremony.
(Or spend some time letting it vibrate in your pocket…)

**Don’t: Take photographs during the service — your flash may interfere with the professional photographer.
(And it’s RUDE. You’re there to take part in/witness a ceremony that people deem important/sacred, get it?)

**Do: Remain respectful even if you do not take part in the religious ceremony. This holds true if it is a non-traditional ceremony too.
(And don’t join in the jumping of the broom unless you WANT kids!)

**Don’t: Go crazy at the buffet table if there are a lot of guests who have not eaten yet.
(And family: Guests eat first.)

**Do: Wait for the bride and groom to dance before you hit the floor, even if music is beckoning. The couple gets the honour of the first dance.
(Woe betide any foo’ who breaks this rule. For they shall be cursed to be forever with 2 left feet and without the soul for ‘gettin’ down’!!)

**Don’t: Just talk to your date. Engage the people at your table in polite conversation even if you don’t know them.
(You might meet your future bride/groom…)

**Do: Write or call the bride and groom to ensure that your gift arrived safely if you have not received a thank-you within two months.
(But you have a year in which to send it!)

Random Musings #9 – Gecko Rescue is Go!

Sunday, 31 January 2010 at 06:59

Some days, I melt in the heat, others, I just relish listening to the rain on the roof…

Well, Darrell’s Indian name has gone from “Runs from Goannas” to “Rescues Geckos” in the course of a few short weeks. Yup, if it’s smaller than his little finger, he’ll try to rescue it. But then again, I was trying to work out how to do so myself.

Yesterday, whilst doing my morning tooth-cleaning ritual (brusha brusha bruuuuushaa! – and only Grease fans will get that reference!) I noticed a movement at the window with a view of my behind via the mirror. Given there’s a flight of stairs and the upstairs use-only-in-an-emergency-because-it’s-stairs-are-rickety door there, I naturally took a closer look. Then the phone rang and distracted me, so I didn’t get back to checking.

Later in the day, doing my usual hand-cleaning ritual post scrubbing the tub and toilet, again, movement in the window begging investigation. This time, I heard Darrell arriving so scampered to the chair in the window’s breeze too look like I’d been lounging about all day and the cleaning fairies had been by. Sadly the sheen of sweat and the lingering pong of the bath cleaner was a giveaway. Oh well!

Yes, you no doubt are reading this and thinking “good grief the woman’s easily distracted!” You’d be partially right. If I get distracted when I’m actually DOING something rather than performing a habitual/routine function, I don’t enjoy it. However, I digress (see what I mean?!)

Roll on the evening, and I am upstairs in the bathroom again, brushing the post-wash tangles from my hair, teeth cleaned etc beforehand. Movement at the window again, and this time, I DO go investigate properly. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, a tiny baby gecko was caught in the space between window and bug screen, and clearly didn’t have the natural sense to get itself out the gaps in the sides. What to do? What to do? I speak encouragingly to the little reptile and hope it’s an easy thing to pop the screen out. I head to the kitchen, where The Darrell is making our evening cuppa, and explain about the little pink/peach coloured lizardling in the window.

Mah hero swings into action (after belting his bathrobe and giving me a kiss) and is in the bathroom, popping out the WINDOW a heck of a lot easier than popping out the screen seems to be! Baby gecko makes a dash for it, and then base-jumps from the window sill to the tile floor. Not a wise move little buddy, we both have really big feet in comparison!

The Darrell hunkers down, encourages the gecko into his hand, and then it’s a case of “Honey, could you open the door to the balcony and turn on the light” and he hunkers down again and opens his hand. A few brief seconds of deliberation and the gecko makes a surprising jump to the decking and scampers off over the ledge. Meep! Oh yeah, they have sticky feet, he’s fine, just showing off.

We close the doors, turn out the light and it dawns on me that the baby could be eaten by a bigger lizard, a snake, a spider (oy, don’t we know about them!) or even one of the many carnivorous birds that call this country home! “Yeah, that’s true, but at least outside he’s got a chance of making a life.” says The Darrell, all “Rescues the Geckos” like. He grows his hair out, I’m braiding it and sticking Shaman feathers in it.

An hour later, after watching the end of “Nanny McPhee” – do love that snowy wedding scene at the end (soppy sniffle) – I hit the loo before bed. Guess what’s on the wall in there?! Yup, another baby gecko…

Random Musings #10 – Taking Inventory

Friday, 05 February 2010 at 09:13

Some days, I bounce out of bed, ready for the day. Others, the alarm hits the far wall and I roll back over…

People sometimes take inventory of what they’ve done in their lives at new year. Others at their birthday. Me, I’ve started doing it today, only 2 days ahead of the 1st anniversary of my arrival here in Australia. Don’t ask me why I’ve chosen now rather than my birthday or new year, I honestly couldn’t tell you why. So, without ado, let’s do the inventory…

I’ve found out (gained??) that Darrell’s concept of “let’s agree not to do anything for Valentine’s Day hey?” doesn’t necessarily gel with mine. But the dozen yellow roses were lovely and I did get a little sappy. And guilty because I did stick to the concept. This year is under discussion…or at least I think it is!

I’ve found out that “warm day isn’t it?” is the Australian Understatement of the Year. And they all get chilled at around 12C, which is when I start brightening up and putting my shirt back on. I wonder if I’ll need thermals if I go back to NZ on holiday?

I’ve found out that it is possible to loose 13kg (around 28lbs) just by sweating daily. Free daily sauna, come to Australia!

I’ve learned that when one feels sick for more than a week, one should visit a doctor, not wait 6 weeks, then another week before insisting on proper curative medication. I can’t believe I put up with a life-threatening infection in my head for that long.

I’ve found out that my concept of “let’s keep it simple and affordable” is somewhat different to a few people’s. But that’s OK, they volunteered to pay for about 1/5 of it and left the rest for my mother. She’s forfeited a new bathroom and a large chunk of her retirement savings to get me here and now married off. Dowry? Paying Darrell to take me off her hands? *laughs* THANKS MUM!

I’ve found out that finding work in a small town isn’t easy. I hadn’t thought to ask Darrell about the job-availability situation before coming over. Oh well, I needed some time to sort out my attitude, and watching Darrell’s continual get up and get it done when it comes to attending work has been a good example.

I’ve found out that trying to be someone/something I’m not is not being me. Anyone who doesn’t like me, that’s their choice. Life’s too short to remain upset over small-minded people. Besides which, the few open-minded people have been wonderful to get to know with the time I’m not wasting on the others.

I’ve found out that my mother and I can go wedding dress shopping and both like the same dress at the same time, and have it be the first one I try on. I go for the measure-up and final details ironing out tomorrow morning *Squee!*

I’ve found out that sometimes, you just have to say “I’m going with you” when things are going pear-shaped for a loved one. Don’t ask them “do you want me to come with you?” twice first like I did, just do it. Without intending to or realising it till afterward, I proved myself to a very important person in Darrell’s life.

I’ve found out that boiling and then chilling the drinking water is nicer than straight from the tap. I miss Christchurch “council beer”.

I’ve found out that it is possible to live without twice daily ingestions of junk food. And I don’t miss that!

I’ve found out why my mother sometimes would just not say anything when I was babbling on about things in my life that I could change but didn’t. I’ve gained a new understanding of “no, not saying it AGAIN…”

I’ve found out that saying “can we talk?” makes men cringe – either inwardly or outwardly. “Can I have a word” has the same effect. “Hey, I was thinking…what do you think?” works better. Letting them mull over ideas and then come to the conclusion that “their” idea is a good one (note how I’ve allowed him to take credit!) is also valid.

I’ve found out that even though I’m having a nervous breakdown and am crying and snottering all over the front of his shirt, Darrell gives the best hugs and doesn’t run and hide. He also has a knack of passing wind at the most hilarious moments so the crying and snottering becomes soggy laughter.

I’ve found out that loving someone is saying sorry when it’s warranted. And being prepared to explain why you aren’t.

All in all, I’ve learned alot this year. I don’t know if it will change me, or make me a “better” person or if I will even think on any of it again, but it’s part of the inventory. Wonder what will be in next year’s one?

My Big, Fat Aussie Wedding – pt 3

Saturday, 13 February 2010 at 06:03

Oh the things that happen when writing our own wedding ceremony – the whole thing! Yes, not just the vows, but the whole fandangle. And over the last couple of days, our home has been like a scriptwriting session for an epic of LOTR proportions! (Mr Jackson, we’re free to work for you anytime!)

Picture this: it’s a lovely day, and Darrell is sloped out in his chair by the sunny window (only someone who’s part lizard could sit there in summer in the full sun, I swear!) tapping away on his laptop. He’d have been using the PC, but it blew a fit 2 weeks back and we can’t get it to even make pretty flashing lights happen anymore. But I digress… tapping away on his laptop. He’s writing the handfasting ceremony. Me, I’m tootling up and down the stairs, dealing to the laundry or else I’m reading Dawn French’s “Dear Fatty”. Yes, I’m not having an awful lot of input. Darrell appointed himself WOC (Writer of Ceremony) and I left him to it. I do however, have full edit rights.

“Oh bloody hell!” comes from the chair in the sunny corner accompanied by a huge sigh of frustration.
“What’s happened?” I ask, all concern, thinking that yet another computer has been stabbed, sung an aria for 20 mins and then expired dramatically to loud applause.
“I made a spelling mistake.” Darrell explains briefly, and then I hear him muttering “All the way through the effing thing…”
“It happens.” is my sang-froid response. After all, that’s what spell-check is for, isn’t it?
“Yeah, but they’re actual words, so the spell checker didn’t highlight them.” Darrell sighs, scrolling, deleting and tapping away.
“So use F5 and do a find and replace” says I, the trained driver of Word.
“I’ve just done the last correction, but thanks.”
“So what was the stuff up?” I ask curiously.
“Weellll…” Darrell was reluctant to reply. “I’d labelled myself as The Goon, you as The Ride and our Celebrant as Celibate.”
Thank Goddess I wasn’t drinking anything or it would have been sprayed around the room in the resulting laughter!

The next 20 minutes or so were spent in making jokes about goons riding mopeds and monks who are actually only friars so they’re not held to vows of celibacy (“Van Helsing” reference #1). There were others, but the imagery is pretty much the same. Darrell was also ordered to have some water, some food and to take a serious break for more than a quick potty stop. He wound up dealing to another 4 feet of the hedge to clear the fog. Very sensible and ultimately, practical, as we now have much more natural light in the downstairs room and foyer.

I now wonder what I will find in my editor’s reading of it that he missed…

Random Musings #11 – Leapin’ Lizards!

 Monday, 01 March 2010 at 22:00

Some nights I get to sleep. Others I watch the Olympic Closing Ceremonies to combat the fact I slept till 8am this morning…

I had the most hilarious musings topic to date to share with you this time around, but sadly, I’m not able to share it publicly here. Maybe one day, when Darrell’s no longer working at the facility I may be able to, but for those of you who visit us, ask about his adventures in the hoist.

However, I do have an almost suitable replacement musing. Again, it’s about baby geckos. We had another show up, this time in the downstairs bathroom. The poor wee doddle was spotted by Darrell as he was using the loo prior to taking his shower. Luckily he did see it, as it had hauled it’s near-drowned self OUT of the shower stall where I’d been only minutes before. (Yes, I have “Baywatch” flashbacks going in in my imagination too, complete with mouth to mouth)

“Honey, come on down and look at this!” comes the call from downstairs. So I did. (What, I’m a red-blooded woman, a call to the shower of my man tends to have me sliding down the bannister).
I casually enter the bathroom, fully expecting to find Darrell in the shower.
Nope. He’s standing at the vanity unit, one hand resting on it, the other holding his boxer shorts to himself. Yes, he was naked… I digress…
“Take a look honey!” he says enthusiastically. Get yer minds out of the gutter please. I managed to.
“At what precisely babe?” I try to save myself an obvious comment about naked men and bits I’ve seen before.
“The baby gek!” he replies, carefully lifting the hand that had been on the vanity. And lo, indeed, there was a very small, very tired looking gecko on the back of his hand.

There followed some planning on releasing the little reptile back into the great outdoors, a discussion that included my po-faced remark of “Just open the door and let him out, no one will see you.” in reference to his lack of clothing. To my mind, if people see naked people walking around in their own yard, then they need to put away their binoculars.

Suffice to say, Darrell’s pretty good at one-handed boxer donning, and the little lizard was duly released onto the outside bricks, to scamper away with surprising speed into the darkness and drizzling rain.

Hope the little booger will survive and hasn’t been too traumatised by being gathered up by a ginger-haired naked man…

Random Musings #12 – Who was that masked man?!

 Tuesday, 02 March 2010 at 11:31

Some weeks I write a single random musings, others I can manage 2 in 24 hours…

We watched most of the closing of the Vancouver Games last night – still have a thing for Mr Buble (sorry Darrell), and am wondering why so many of the performers were in padded suits, but it was still fun to watch. We trail off to bed, and Darrell decides to test his theory about his insomnia in the last few weeks…

“You know, I’m going to see if it is that.” he says.
“Huh?” I wander in from the loo, scratching my rear.
“That the bright light from my alarm clock is keeping me awake, you know?”
“Oh yeah, that’s a valid idea and you should check into it.”
So he turns out the light in the bedroom and fumbles about in the bright cobalt-blue light that lets me navigate around mobile air-con units and fallen bathrobes most nights.
“D**n, that’s not going to work.” comes the mutter from the other side of the bed. I’m bordering on half asleep already so I nod in agreement, pretty sure he has his back to me anyhoo and can’t see it.
I hear some scrabbling about and then all is dark. Really dark.
“Yup, that will do it.” Darrell chuckles and drops himself back into bed. “I can’t wait to see your reaction in the morning.” he tells me.
Now, that is SO not the thing to tell me at 1am. It has me rolling over, nearly crushing him and looking into the stygian darkness to try and work out what he’s done. Not surprisingly, I can’t see toot-all.
“What did you do?”
“You’ll see in the morning!”
“Oh come on, tell me!”
“I’ll turn on the light.” so Darrell up and lights up the room.
I look over at the alarm clock and…

(picture lost, but it IS funny!)

Yes, he put his sleeping mask ON THE CLOCK!!!

Yes, I’m still giggling.

Witchy Wording ~~ # 1

Friday, 19 March 2010 at 11:54

Well! A blog that’s not part of my Random Musings or my Big Fat Aussie Wedding collectives!
Last night saw the biggest Witches Brew gathering for a Sabbat at our home to date. We were gathered to celebrate Mabon, a harvest festival. Oversized orange taper candles, autumn leaves (some real, some faux) and mini-gourds on the altar added a seasonal tone, even if the fresh flowers in the vases might have been more summer/spring like!

As is usual with the home-based gatherings, we ask folks to bring a plate of something to share, and a bottle of fizzo/juice/whatever they want to drink. All I can safely say is “Great Goddess, what a harvest of treats and thank you for them!”

We had a vague notion of maybe holding a simple ritual to honour the Sabbat, but as the evening moved along (and it certainly did!) we found ourselves doing a lot more talking, listening and voicing opinions, as well as learning new ways of thinking about things.

As often happens when you get a group of people in the same space, the energy was flowing, the laughter was ready and easy and I’m willing to surmise that the house was lit up like Christmas to any passing sensitive person or being.

We didn’t wind up doing a ritual in the end, but we did spend some fun time sharing some of our treasures in need of new homes with our friends, and all treasures on offer went to good and loving homes as a result. We hope that their new custodians enjoy them.

I can honestly say I’ve not enjoyed Sabbat gatherings as much as I have since starting them with the Witches Brew, and I want to say thanks to all of ‘the gang’ for that. From our simple start last Samhain with one other member and ourselves, we have grown to a band of seven last night; and in our humble home, that’s a fair crowd LOL!

Blessings of Mabon on us all, and may the coming cooler seasons be good to us all!

Random Musings #13 – Sleepy Autumn Dawning

Sunday, 21 March 2010 at 08:40

Some days I slouch about, others I’m up before dawn on the Autumn Equinox to watch the fog…

I was up before dawn today. Nothing unusual in that, it often happens when one is sharing a life with someone who does shift work. In fact, if he were to go to ordinary 9-5, I think I’d probably start complaining about having too much sleep!
I could feel the coolness in the air that from experience here indicates either rain or fog, and given that there’s a category 2 storm off the coast somewhere relatively nearby, I was expecting rain. We had fog. A real pea-souper. Jack the Ripper’s London fog. And it was beautiful.
Darrell left for work with my usual farewell of “drive safe and have a good one”, and I made my sleepy way out of bed (it was barely 6.15am, I was still a little sleepy) to stand at our big windows on the upper top level and look at the fog.

There’s something ethereal about fog, especially the kind that goes from ground to sky and you can barely see across the street. There’s the oddly muffling effect it has on sound – before it burned off, the call of a whip bird or two seemed less pointed and startling, the kookaburras’ sunrise chuckles seemed to continue on for longer before they ended and the whistling and squawking of the rosellas demanding new seed treats (yes, we’re still suckers for those red-headed featherbrains) was softer on the ear. Then there’s the almost tactile sensation of being enveloped in fog as you stand outside. Yes, I did that, in my pajamas on the upper balcony. I could feel the moisture in the air, and revelled in the cool touch as it surrounded me. I left the sliding doors open, and a few daring wisps of fog came indoors, keeping me company as I returned to the living room after making breakfast. And the feelings in me when I was out there, standing in fog on this, the dawn of the Autumn Equinox? I felt like an angel without wings, for surely this is how it is to be ‘standing on a cloud’ like they are purported to do. The fog shrouded the day, which has since turned to be a cool, sunny and fresh one; very appropriate to a sacred day of celebration. Earth and Sky combined to create their own opening number special effect to the day.

In the past I’ve worked with a range of people, one of whom was a ranking member of a Christian church. I always found it fascinating that her church celebrated Harvest Festival, where they decorated the church with harvest themed items and gave thanks for a fruitful year. As a pagan, the correlations to our own Lammas and Mabon festivals would make me smile and think to myself that it was yet another example of the ‘conquering’ religion absorbing the celebrations of the ‘original’ religion(s).

My own Mabon/Autumn Equinox celebrations have been somewhat lax in recent years, and I plan to change that today. We have rearranged our home recently, and have spent a little over a year growing and nurturing a relationship to the point of handfasting. A happy harvest indeed *grins*. So, once I have dealt to the kitchen mess (I admit to being a lazy dishwasher) and have got laundry dangling to dry outside, I will take to our ‘back room’ with duster, lavender oil and plans to clean and polish/consecrate the top of my pine dresser as my new personal altar space. I’ve missed having one for this last year or more. Once I’ve got the surface prepared, I will set up some items and grab a handful of the paper leaves I cut out for Thursday’s celebrations to add the appropriate seasonal touch. I shall have to go on an acorn hunt sometime soon I think. I’ve seen pinecones, but as yet, no oak trees, so I may need someone to send out a St Bernard (make sure that barrell around it’s neck is full!) if I’m not back by Samhain!

The sun is up, the fog is little more than a faint haze in the distance around the mountains now. There is a light breeze stirring the mock-orange hedge outside the window. The only birds I now hear are very occasional whip bird calls. Even the traffic on the road outside sounds muted. Is it because it’s Sunday or because it’s the Equinox…

Blessed Mabon to you all, and may winter be kind to you and yours this year!

Is Responsibility a Dying Concept?? – Yes, a rant.

Monday, 22 March 2010 at 19:11

I know I’m possibly not going to win many friends with this blog. But I am willing to take responsibility for that. For the record, if you/your friends don’t like it, don’t waste your time telling me, thanks.

I sit here, having watched the news and heard yet more about the terrible car crash that killed a couple, their 3 month old baby and the young driver of the other car. There’s a young woman in hospital, she was the young man’s passenger. There seems to be an outpouring of blame going in the direction of the police in this matter, but mainly from a certain sector of society. To explain it:
The young man has no driver’s licence. He stole the car he was driving at speeds of up to 200km/hr. The young woman got into the car with him under her own steam and from her own choice. That was her abrogation of responsibility.
As happens in these situations, the police give chase – it’s a stolen car and it’s going at hyper speeds. They’re doing their job. What we pay taxes for them to do – protect us from criminals and hoons. At a point, the police stop chasing; it’s no longer safe to do so for ALL concerned. They took responsibility and stopped possibly being the cause for the lunatic driving. A few kilometres down the road, the young man, his girlfriend and the stolen car plow into another car. The impact is so great, one car is in 3 individual pieces, the other is incredibly mangled. The couple and their baby in the other care are murdered. THEY hold no responsibility. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, tragically.

Fast forward to a couple of days post the tragedy and the news are interviewing some young people, related in some way to the young thieves and murderers. One girl says in response to the question of how her friend might have been feeling as they were driving like demented idiots “she would have been terrified, probably screaming for him to stop…” Sorry, what part of she got in the car of her own choice did they miss?!
Then when asked what they thought of the young man – the vehicular murderer – “He’s a sweet and nice guy. A criminal, but still a really nice guy…”
What part of stealing a car, driving without a licence, speeding dangerously and KILLING three innocent people makes him NICE?!!

He decided to abrogate his responsibility to society by not driving whilst unlicenced. He gave up responsibility to not be a criminal when he stole the car. Even in death, he’s getting away from the responsibility – he can’t be charged with murder, dangerous driving or theft.
Instead, the boy’s family, his girlfriend’s family and their friends are all blaming the police for chasing a criminal to try and return stolen property to it’s rightful owner. EVERYONE who pays taxes that fund police is being blamed for one young man throwing responsibility by the wayside. EVERYONE else is being blamed but the individual who IS responsible.

When did responsibility become something that could be left by the wayside like a lolly wrapper? Which generation started it? Why is it always someone else’s fault or problem when terrible things happen?
I’m p*ssed off that I’m being blamed (as a taxpayer who pays for police services) for one young man’s failure to take responsibility. I’m p*ssed off that his family didn’t take responsibility and teach him right from wrong and are now trying to hold me responsible. Big mistake folks. If it were up to me, I’d be sending you a bill for the police time, petrol and danger. I’d be sending you a bill for the mortician’s time at the funeral home for the family he murdered. A bill for the hospital care for the girl who survived. A bill for funeral costs for the murdered family. A bill for the support and counselling that the families of the murdered people will need.

I take responsibility for my actions, and in the future; those of my children I have had any direct impact on – like learning not to steal cars and drive like a lunatic. I’m happy to wear any abuse I get for this blog. Because I’m RESPONSIBLE for it.

Witchy Wording  #2 – Orb Seen

Sunday, 04 April 2010 at 07:55

You may remember the blog about the recent Mabon celebration at our home? Well, there was one picture that I took randomly during the evening, and didn’t post because it was more a case of “moved furniture, here’s what the room looks like now” shot than part of the celebrations.

WRONG!! On doing a sort out of my picture files, I took a closer look at the picture and discovered an Orb! For those of you who don’t know what one is, it’s an energy phenomena that occurs; some say it’s light beings, others feel it’s the fey folk, angels, spirits making themselves known, random energy balls…the theories are many and varied, and until now, I’d not managed to catch any of them on camera.

At the time of photo, Darrell & Brad were in the kitchen, getting our supper into presentation mode (two males who’ve worked in the foodservice industry in a kitchen together…oy vey!). I know Darrell has been followed about by orbs a few times, and he’s complained a couple of times when they’ve disturbed his concentration, so it looks like we have orb phenomena going on!

My Big, Fat, Aussie Wedding – pt 4

Sunday, 04 April 2010 at 09:51

Anyone that says that getting a wedding together doesn’t include dirty tactics and sacrifices is fudging the truth. How do I know this you ask? Simple, Darrell engaged in both to achieve something we wanted to do on the day. Let me give you the picture…

Darrell’s Nan is pretty much housebound, so has opted not to attend the wedding. We, being cunning artificers, had hit upon the idea that we go by on the day in our finery, photographer with us, and get a proper picture taken of us with Nan. She is, after all, the last of the grandparents remaining, she’s got to represent for all of ’em!

So there we are, visiting before Easter (Darrell has to work the whole weekend) and discussing the idea with her. After a few refusals, Darrell hits on the deal of the day:
“Nan, I’ll shave off my beard if you let us come and have a picture taken!” – Nan doesn’t like his beard, for whichever reason.
“Maybe…” says Nan, most cunningly (and sweetly, because she is getting a little absent-minded).
“Done!” says Darrell. I don’t say a thing, because clearly the fact I like his beard don’t count for squiddly. 😦
We get home, unload the groceries and within moments of doing so, he’s in the bathroom, shaving off the beard.

Yups, dirty tactics and sacrifice. But we will get a picture with Nan, which was the reason. It’ll grow back from the day after the wedding. It’s all good…

Random Musings #14 – Who’s Words Are They?!

Tuesday, 06 April 2010 at 12:07

Some days I watch the rain roll in. Others, I get on my chair and I write…

As some of you may know, I’m a bit of a hobby writer. Yeah, not an author, because to my mind that’s people that have actually been published/self-published and actually have something better to write about than big blonde gargoyles named Freddie! Please stop blinking; I do love that particular character of mine! Today’s random muse is about something that’s affected me, several others I know and more recently a dear friend from my early writing days – Plagiarism. It’s a nasty thing, plagiarism. It crops up at academic levels and in social writing levels such as RPG (Role Playing Groups) and online. I’m an online RPG writer myself (hence the gargoyle called Freddie. He’s a hoot). Once more, I’m on the digression train…

As I was saying, plagiarism shows up in all facets of writing, and to my simple mind, it sucks. Yes, there’s that old adage of “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but seriously, it’s not flattering to see characters, plots and events that you’ve created as part of your writing showing up in someone else’s simply because they ‘forgot’ or that they don’t have an original idea in their heads.
I can’t speak of my friend’s experience, I wasn’t involved directly; and shouldn’t anyway, it’s caused enough hurt for her, but I can relate to how she’s feeling. And like I was lucky enough to have, she too has great friends who are supporting her through it and keeping her from giving up writing completely. Because yes, that’s how it feels – you want to stop because the fun’s gone out of it; the momentum of your storyline is lost; the characters seem violated somehow. It’s not an easy concept to articulate, but any of you that have written anything – from novellas to poetry to RPG will understand I think.

Why am I writing this blog today though? Well, I was sitting here contemplating getting back in my RPG saddle and returning to being the writing nut I have been in the past. I have friends clamouring to see me (and my madcap characters) return to the group. I have a new co-writer who is languishing (SORRY JENNIFER!!) whilst I take my hiatus to deal with a range of life-issues including a wedding. Primarily though…I miss it. I miss spending a few hours to days at a time immersed in the heads and lives of characters and beings that probably could only ever exist in someone’s imagination. Goddess knows some of the situations are so comedic that it wouldn’t be possible in reality…at least I think they wouldn’t be. I’ll get back to you on it if I ever meet a 6’9″ well-built, long blonde haired man with grey-blue eyes and likes to eat candy constantly! Oh, and he has to be able to morph into a gargoyle!

But, even though I try not to read the work of people who’ve stolen aspects of my characters and superimposed them onto theirs, have taken situations eerily similar and twisted them to suit themselves and have even given me ultimatums concerning characters I created and loaned them; I find myself doing so. I suppose it’s like a car-crash, you can’t take your eyes from it. And in doing so, I find myself wondering “is my stuff really so good that they want to copy it or is it more a case that they’re shoving home the point that my stuff was cr*ppy and this is how it should read?” Got to love those 2nd guess moments. So there I sit, missing my hobby and then reading other’s thefts of it, and wondering which is worse – my cowardice or their gall.

Anyhoot…hang in there – you know who you are. Our work IS good. It IS worth our time. And it sure as h*ll will ALWAYS be better than someone who plagiarises it. Because we wrote it first!

Plagiarism. It sucks.

My Big, Fat, Aussie Wedding – pt 5 – T-minus 14!

Friday, 16 April 2010 at 10:20

Check listing:
**Things are going along swimmingly preparation wise, and we’ve got final numbers of guests sorted out.
**Champagne is ordered and paid for.
**Catering in the final stages of sorting out.
**The cake has been finalised and paid for.
**Florist has been triple checked (somehow we were going to have our roses in an odd colour and extra flowers were being advised, and then there were problems with the orchids!).
** Photographer has been met with at the venues for pictures and she’s delighted to have several options at them for good shots.
**Celebrant has made a couple of minor changes to the ceremony for legaleeze reasons, but we’re all good there.
**Celebrant and Photographer looking forward to something different to the usual run-of-the-mill wedding!
**Darrell has vest, suit and other associated man-things sorted out. 🙂 He gonna look FIIIIIINE!
**Me – dress as good as done, hairdresser sorted, shoes being walked in around the house (Doing the vacuuming in them makes me feel like Freddy Mercury in the video for “I Want to Break Free”…) and everything else on plan. Yeah, I’ll look ok too!
**Bonbonniere are go!
**Organised the night before’s decorating/ribbon weaving party.

Random Observations:
Despite managing to be late on the first two appointments with the bridal dress people, I achieved the feat of being 30 minutes EARLY for my first fitting. So I joined the ladies in their morning cuppa before slipping into my dress for the final frimping and fiddling. And, like most brides, it had to be taken in. *big smiles* I also discovered that the idea of selling it afterward didn’t appeal as much as it originally had. “The addition of some coloured ribbons or trims and you could re-wear it as a ren-faire dress…” was the comment from my dressmaker. THAT didn’t help the “I don’t think I wanna sell it!” chorus going on in my head! Oh well, once I’ve had a full day in it, wrangled it around a park and around a pub, I might be back on the “sell it!” train.

Darrell has been fussy-cutting paper oak leaves for bonbonniere tags and adding gold script “thank yous” at a rate of 5 a night. Thankfully, because when I tried to do them it was…well, let’s go with disastrous and take no photos! He’s now officially OVER leaves and autumn colouration and never wants to see oak leaves, gold script decals or small scissors any time again soon. (“Only 10 more leaves to do Darrell!”)

Our friends are all looking forward to helping us finish decorating The Impy and weaving the ribbons for the handfasting. So’s my mother, my uncle and his wife. Sadly however, Darrell’s parents aren’t coming to help, because our pagan friends are there. (They’re in for a surprise, the bulk of the guest list are our pagan friends heehee!) I can understand them being intimidated by their son’s choice of beliefs (quote: “it’s all mumbo jumbo” unquote), but what better way to learn a little more about it than to come and be involved in a fun, social evening getting things ready for his wedding?! Especially since we are having this whole dog and pony show as a result of their insistences. Oh well, none queer as folk as they say in England!

I’m pleased that the major concerns we had were all happening well in advance of the thing. Meant we had time to formulate Plan B. And Plan C. Plan D was also nebulously considered. But we’ve not needed any of them (as yet) and it’s now at the point of if it doesn’t happen/work too bad and just go with the flow.

Key observation though? Weddings and funerals bring out the best and the worst in people. Probably why that movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was made actually! Thank Goddess we only do this once! (No Darrell, we’re not renewing our vows at the 10 year anniversary; unless it’s just you, me and a couple of candles and some incense!)

Onward to Friday, 30th April 2010!

And a Good Time Had by All

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 at 13:44

Wedding day over, yes.
Uncle and Aunt enroute back to Holland, yes.
Photos loaded onto computer, yes.
Relaxing day whilst the rain falls, yes.
Interesting discoveries on photos, YES! YES! YES!! *doing a happy dance*

As my friends and contacts know, we’re pagan (oops, there went a load of “friends” who didn’t…) and as such, we delight in finding photographic evidence of various phenomena on our camera. And this time, the pictures weren’t taken with my trusty little Kodak, but with my Mum’s Panasonic and my Uncle’s Sony [AKA: The BIG Camera]. It’s comforting to know it’s not a quirk in my camera causing the phenomena to appear.

The time of year is significant – the full moon and Samhain (Halloween), which when combined creates a greater likelihood for otherworldly phenomena – Samhain being the ancient celebration of those who have passed on and is considered pagan New Year. Also, given that our venue, The Imperial Hotel (The Impy) is reputedly haunted (room 23, very sad story), these pictures were fun and exciting to discover!

Random Musings #15 – The Things You Do For Love

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 at 22:42

Some days, I plan to vacuum the floor. Others, I wind up sleeping in the sunshine instead…

It’s late. I know this because it’s cold. (YES! Cold! Wheee!) I know that because I’m in my PJs, and I don’t have a robe. Then again, I laundered Darrell’s robe and sleepshorts today, so he’s cold too, especially as his Australian flag boxer shorts have issues with gravity. Might have to invest in some new ones for him. *adds them to the shopping list*

It’s been an interesting few weeks, as my friends know. *smiles carefully* But, now with those who take offence at what I say having blocked me from their view, I can write freely again. Not that I ever really stopped doing so! Opinions and gentle reminders not to take ourselves seriously have a way of polarising people, and sadly, my opinions and reminders have polarised the relationship with my inlaws to the point they’re Arctic. I’m looking about for white bears and penguins. But that is as it must be. I’m well-insulated and I’m willing and able to wrap around Darrell and keep him warm where his family won’t. Because that’s what you do when you really love someone. ‘Nuff zed.

Oh and we have a new living room rug…it looks like we skinned Elmo…and everyone loves it! (Yes Brad, your reaction was by far the best and no, you can’t have it!)

Random Musings #16 – Possession is nine tenths of the law.

Sunday, 16 May 2010 at 08:56

Some days I get possessed by the cleaning faery…and others my husband wants to do it for me!

There’s something about housework. You either love it or loathe it, and in many cases, fluctuations between the two states are possible. Personally, I loathe that I sometimes find housework a soothing pastime and love that first few minutes after it’s all done; sitting with coffee and a bikkie and relaxing. Then I usually drop the coffee or the bikkie on my freshly vacuumed floor and I’m peeved for the rest of the day LOL!

The last few days I’ve been possessed by the cleaning faery. Or possessed by my late grandmother. She was a neat-nut, and had VERY strong opinions and ideas on how things should be in the housekeeping field. Since Samhain, I’ve been wearing her wedding ring as my own, so I’m somewhat wondering if some of her need for clean has transferred over to me! Or it’s the cleaning faery stopping by for her tri-monthly “OMG woman, this place is dis-gust-ing!” stopover. Or, fear of fears, it’s BOTH!!

This possession (being nine tenths of the law and all that) had led to us buying a new vacuum cleaner in the days immediately following the wedding, followed by me putting off the actual use of said until yesterday. Why yesterday? I finally felt like it, and to be frank, Darrell was at work for a large part of the day, so I could put on some Nickelback and get sh*t done in my own style! (Yes, I sing loudly. Yes, I shake my bootay. Scary definitely) So there I was, rehydrating before throwing Elmo (the new red rug) over the railing to air prior to vacuuming the floor when Darrell got home from work. After he changed and had a cuppa, he immediately seized on the idea that HE was going to vacuum the floor with the new “argh! argh!” (He tried for Tim the Toolman…). There followed 15 minutes of watching him pretty much demonstrate the wonder that is the new vacuum cleaner to me. Now how many women can say that their husbands VOLUNTEER to do the vacuuming straight after a 10-hour workday that started at 5am? We’re few in number, I bet!

My only complaint? I wanted to try it first!!

Random Musings #17 – The Sound of Silence…

Monday, 24 May 2010 at 18:39

Some days I know what I’m doing…others I just wing it…

I’ve been pondering the current “Age”. It’s a communication “age” – there’s Skype, higher education, community classes, social networking like Facebook, fax, email, semaphore, Morse code, and of course, the good old telephone. A lot of people know how to work Skype, Facebook et al, faxes, and emails. A few still can do semaphore and Morse. Billions of people can use a phone. In this last week however, I have had the good fortune to find I’m now related to some who can’t.

And it’s about not something like calling up to find out how our day has been. It’s something as IMPORTANT to us as letting Darrell know that his beloved Nan has had a fall and is in hospital. I do wonder sometimes about the thought processes of people who don’t communicate VITAL news like that to the people most concerned with it. Do they think at all I ask? If that’s an example, for love of the Goddess, don’t let them drive a vehicle or operate machinery!

Communication…when it falls down due to people listening to lies, when it collapses due to people not engaging their brains…it leads to something that was best described in last night’s Dr Who episode. “It is The Silence”. It is this same Silence that stands by, waiting for a young woman to arrange to meet strangers she “met” on Facebook and the same Silence that follows her screams as she’s murdered. It’s the Silence of neighbours hearing a wife or child being beaten and not calling the Police. It is the Silence of a place where people have lost all hope, it’s the Silence that envelops a place when great tragedy occurs, the Silence of what was once a battlefield.

The old adage of “Silence is golden” is a fallacy. Silence indicates tacit acceptance of a situation or occurrence. Silence is not the great indicator of disgust it used to be. Silence is now simply the loss of sound. The loss of communication. And, in the fullness of time and life, it is the only thing we hear if those we care about are gone.

Because some chose not to Communicate, one I love had to hear whilst in a shop in town, as an aside to a Chinese dinner invitation, that his Nan was in hospital. And there was Silence. The Silence of the shop-lady trying to ignore the family news being shared in her business. The Silence that was me horrified at the laissez-faire manner of communicating important news and that we were only hearing it because we were in the place at the time. The Silence that was my beloved discovering yet again his place in his family.

Thank Goddess the Silence did not extend to the hospital where we visited Nan. She was her usual self, worrying more about the woman in the bed opposite than about herself. She thanked us for visiting. She smiled, and she chatted with us and with Uncle Dennis. The Silence does not extend as far as Uncle Dennis. He asks salient questions and actually listens to the answers. There is hope.

After a visit a few days later, the at home with a cuppa Silence is broken by a simple statement:
“I seem to get on better with my Uncle and Aunt than my own parents…I am only useful if I have information they want…”
I refuse to greet such a realisation with silence. I agree softly with the statement and tell my beloved so. Because it is truth. And with truth, we combat Silence. With love we combat Silence. I refuse Silence. It is insidious. It is a hiding place of stupidity and evil. It should be met with drums beating and songs proudly sung. It will be met and conquered with loving support.

This is a Communication Age. We will not go forth Silently.

Random Musings #18 – Charlotte In WendyLand

Saturday, 29 May 2010 at 18:29

Some days I think “TGIF!”. Others, I think “WRCT (Wendy Rule Concert Tonight) and Darrell’s a Hyperactive Loon”…

Friday night. A fresh, crisp NSW evening, and people are parking down on the street below Castle on the Hill in Uki. We pass a sign at the gate “Wendy Rule Concert, Sold Out” as we make our cautious way up the drive to the venue. One of our merry mob that car-shared makes the comment that I look like the Fool Starts his Journey card in a tarot deck, with my PPD (Pagan Posterior Device, AKA a cushion) tied to the top of my head-high walking stick. And if I’d known what I was in for when I bought the ticket to the concert, I’d have agreed with her then and there!

I’ve heard Wendy on CD. I’ve heard Darrell wax lyrical (pun #1!) about her skill as a song-weaver since the day I first met him – interestingly enough, at a multi-artist event that Wendy was featured at. I can safely say that I liked her music. I won’t say I was the biggest fan, but there was something indefinable that called to me. So when I heard that Wendy was doing a 100-ticket only gig at The Castle, on the one-month anniversary of our handfasting, it made sense to use a little of our treat money and get tickets for us both. So, there we were last night, making our way to the concert, Darrell wearing a torch on his head like some glowing third eye, me with my walking stick and three dear friends we managed to squish into the backseat of the car powered by hamsters.

Head into the venue, and I’m struck by the architecture. I can’t help myself, I love that Medieval look, especially when it has all the mod cons such as glass in the windows and flush toilets! No sooner are we near the door than our friend Brad can be scented – he’s a smoker and was pulling himself together with a ciggie. He was still a little possum-headlights from having interviewed Wendy for his magazine, Magus Opus (free advertising Brad, do I get a cookie?!).
Into the room, and we’re handing over tickets and discussing which of the CDs we still need for our collection. Damn good deal actually, 3 for $60 – Thanks Wendy for making it possible to afford your music and for spelling my name right on the first go when you signed each of the CDs for us!

Wendy started the show with a free-voice circle casting/opening, her voice making the room expand, the incense smoke she smudged us all with making the rafters dance. When I say free-voice, I mean without amplification. Seriously. Sans microphone. I’ve done 7 years opera training, I was in awe from the first notes. It’s not an easy task to do that! From there, she treated us to a range of tracks from her newest album, “Guided by Venus”, and some old favourites, all of which were soaked up by the appreciative audience. Interspersed throughout were moments of explanation behind the songs; the reasons and the people they were written for, the emotions and feelings that created them. Team that with moments of genuine self-deprecating humour (we laughed with her) and it was truly a stunning and moving few hours. Somewhere along the way, we had an interval, which gave a chance to explore the gardens of The Castle (AKA Brad Falls Down the Step and Didn’t Feel it Because He was at a WENDY RULE Concert!) and try to return to the everyday world. Well, we tried… No matter!
Second half of the show had us all (dare I say it??) spellbound again, and clamouring for possibly, maybe one more song when Wendy called a halt for the night. “Zero” was soon turned into an energy-raising event, with a spell woven into the song that we all contributed to. If anyone has the need to stand up and shout “Freedom!” like Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”, that’s our fault! Am I sorry? Nope! LOL!

I went to my first Wendy Rule concert as The Fool on his Journey. I left it feeling like The High Priestess.
Thank you Wendy. I’ve missed that feeling. It’s good to have it back again!

FREEEEEEDOM!!!!

Random Musings #19 – Paging Noah, Please answer the courtesy phone…

Thursday, 03 June 2010 at 17:13

Some days I drink coffee…others, it’s laced with something stronger!

Ah, life. Wonderful thing. I’m pleased I have it! Picture if you will (but please, not too vividly!) a pair of newly-weds, having decided they fancy a krispy kreme donut or some McDonalds as a late night snack. Please be aware that this image will be somewhat fuzzy as they reached these astounding conclusions at around 11.30pm whilst lying in bed! Now that I’ve blinded your mind’s eye…

Now picture said newly-weds, making their snack purchases as well as putting petrol in their car – the ostensible excuse for the near-midnight motoring. (Vital: Always have a good reason to be at the truck stop with the 24hr Wildbean Cafe & McD’s!) The air is cool, the climate is dry as their Holden leaves the truck stop, snacks secured inside with plans to find a local spot and look out at the Byron Bay lighthouse whilst indulging in the treats.

Now picture a sudden rain-storm. This rainstorm is of Noah’s Ark proportions to at least one of the couple in the car, and she’s getting a little antsy – never being a good passenger generally anyway. The rain gets worse, and is falling horizontally. And fast. And there’s lots of it. Visibility outside is about 30% at best…
Then, abruptly visibility drops to 0%. They can barely see the ‘cat’s eyes’ on the centreline or the sides of the road. Madame Antsy Hates Being a Passenger decrees it is time to “pull the h*ll over and wait till we can see!” The heater is cranked up and they wait. After about 15 minutes, the roll of emergency toilet paper is pulled from the glove box and sections applied vigorously to the windscreen in an attempt to dispel the condensation thereon. 5 more minutes and Mr Driver asks if there’s wet wipes in the magic glove box. Packet produced, and more vigorous window-scrubbing goes on, with a little more success.
The rain seems to be easing, bonus.
“We need to eat our food. It’s what’s making it so steamed up in here” realises La Cranky Passenger. There follows some 10 minutes of munching noises as McD’s food is consumed and the packaging (with La Cranky’s small fries) is stuffed into a compartment to halt any further condensatory challenges. Wayhey, we’re able to get underway!

The road is dark. It is winding. It is still horizontally raining and the heater isn’t up to much but it’s trying. Mr Driver decides to take the back roads back home, thinking they’ll be safer and less aqua-plane inducing than the highway. We make our cautious and slow way through a township and hit the road…and a puddle at least 1 and a half feet deep. It’s not wide, so we come out on the other side with a nice clean car-bottom. Further along the road, just outside the township, we pass a parked kombi-van, with what appears to be waving occupants. About 100 metres past them, we hit another puddle…this one’s 2 feet deep at this point. La Cranky gets fired up again and suggests turning back as she can’t see the other side of the puddle and that bugs her. Mr Driver turns the car, deciding that better aqua-planing than listening to La Cranky whine on. One of the kombi van occupants sprints to stand alongside the Holden in the horizontal rain and explains that the newly-weds made the right choice, as the water is around 3 feet high only about 800 metres further along the road, and that it’s more than a puddle, it’s more like 2-3kilometres wide.

More wiping of the windscreen – opening the window to talk to the guy in the kombi van fogged it up again – and the couple is on their way to the highway. La Cranky is definitely now La Scaredy and is holding onto seatbelt and oh-jaysus handle (you know, that one above the passenger door) whilst trying to control a hysterical need to cry like a girl as the rain continues to fall horizontally and keeps visibility down around 40%. Mr Driver however, being partially blind in daylight, is in his element WHOOT! This does not reassure La Scaredy, no siree. She is of the opinion that if she can see “eff all!” then Mr Driver can probably see less. But, she sucks it up, double checks she’s not browned her knickers and they continue home. Which, as fate would have it, has only seen a polite sprinkling of water. Barely enough to dampen the lawns…

Today, we hear of a tornado that ripped apart homes and caused considerable damage, only a little further down the coast from where we were last night…
http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/local/7337598/waterspout-becomes-tornado-on-nsw-north-coast-reports/

Random Musings #20 – Mating Seals?!

Thursday, 17 June 2010 at 19:59

Some days I wake up refreshed. Others I wish I could just put my lungs in a jar…

For any visitors coming our way, be warned, we are carriers of The Plague. Yes. The common cold. Yes, both of us. Yes, it sucks!

Darrell came down with it first, sounding like James Earl Jones in a matter of days – complete with occasional Darth Vaderian wheezes. All this teamed with a 30 tissue a day habit. I fed him, watered him and on a couple of occasions strongly cautioned him to stay away from work. Sensible thinks I, considering he works with the elderly.
Roll on to his recovering. But, I now sound like Rod Stewart after a 4 day bender. (“Bring over some of those old Motown Records…”) Not too bad, I can still manage to sing. Don’t ask me to talk though! By the following morning, asking me to breathe was also really pushing the envelope. The throat wasn’t sore anymore though, so I was seeing the bright side – I could talk again!

Darrell’s now had a relapse of the stuffy head and potential runny nose. I’m still hacking up lungs. That tends to have interesting moments though…
“It’s like sleeping next to a mating seal” says Darrell in the wee hours of this morning. I’m alternating between bouncing the bed and coughing or snoring.
“I know.” comes the very droll response, in a very masculine tone of voice.
Darrell makes a sensible choice to not react any further and puts at least another foot of distance between us in the bed…
We’re talking about the fact I’m keeping him awake (despite my suggesting he kick me downstairs if I keep him awake!) and I remark that my late brother Alex once complained to me that sleeping in a room near me when I had a similar barking cough was like sleeping next to mating seals.
Darrell blinks and then begins to laugh, realising who in fact it was that had replied to his observation earlier in the morning.

All I can ask is this…they’ve both slept next to actual mating seals before?!?!?!?!!

Blessings of Yule!

Sunday, 21 June 2009 at 15:46
Happy Yule everyone! Or Happy Winter Solstice if you prefer. For my friends in the North, a blessed Litha/Summer Solstice! And for those of you not of similar belief to myself, have a blessed day anyway!

Once more the winter has reached its shortest day and once more we are looking forward to the promise of springtime and summer. Considering that I’m in a sub-tropical climate, it’s appropriate that instead of falling snow, we have falling rain; and man alive has it fallen in the last few weeks. I’m looking on it as nature taking a long shower, clearing the decks for the coming warmer seasons and the growth they bring.

I thought I’d finish this blog with a poem by a favourite author, one that I recite often at my Yule celebration.

The Shortest Day – By Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.

And when the New Year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.

And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Wee Wicked Witchy…

Friday, 25 June 2010 at 15:34

Do you have a magickal name?
Yes, and those who need to know it do. For the rest, I have a perfectly good name given to me by my mother LOL!

Does it have a special meaning?
Yes.

How did you find Wicca/Paganism?
At high school, from reading ancient cultures myths & legends at lunchtimes in the library. I was an “antisocial” child…

How long have you been practicing?
About 20 years now.

Solitary or group practitioner?
I’ve done both, but prefer the solitary path. It’s difficult to find the right people you resonate with and who understand some of the things I choose to do.

What is your path?
Eclectic

Are you out of the broom closet?
Yup, and put the brooms back in there to save clutter!

Gods/Goddess
Goddess & Gods

Who are your patron Gods?
Good question. I’ve had dealings with Osiris, Nergal, Anubis, Cernunnos…but none of the guys has actually ever stood out as a patron per se.

Who are your patron Goddesses?
Erishkegal, Morrigan, Sekhmet

Do you fear dark aspects of the Gods/Goddess, or rather, respect them?
Every being has a shadow or dark aspect, so why would I fear them in deity? Respecting the dark aspects is infinitely more sensible, yes?

Do you worship the Christian God?
Not as he’s represented in the various versions of the Bible, no.

Do you ever worship animals? Or plants?
No. I honour nature though.

Do you regularly commune with nature?
No. I’m rather agoraphobic, so getting outdoors is difficult.

Ever walked barefoot in the woods?
No.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature?
LOATHE camping. I would rather have my uterus ripped out via my left ear than go camping.

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth?
I’ve not had it yet.

What is/are your power animal(s)?
Bear, Dragon

Do you have a familiar?
Used to. Not allowed pets now however.

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Or a plant?
No.

Do you hug trees?
When I’m brave enough to be outdoors and one looks in need of a hug, yes.

Give them gifts?
No.

What is your favourite flower to work with?
I don’t generally work with them.

What is your favourite tree to work with?
I don’t generally work with them.

What are your favourite holidays?
Samhain

What if your least favourite holiday?
Whichever Christian ones the State (so much for separation, hey?!) forces on us as being the only “official” days off.

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday?
Yes wherever possible.

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a pagan holiday?
Yes. I had an arrangement with my previous employer. My co-worker got all the Christian holy days off, and I took the Friday closest to my sacred 8.

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21st rather than the 25th?
I celebrate it on whichever day it falls in June.

Have you ever felt the Veil thin?
Absolutely.

Ever danced the Maypole?
Yes, and only the once. I was a maypole virgin who wound up dancing with 3 ribbons…don’t ask me how I managed it…

Know what the Maypole symbolizes?
Don’t we all?!

Ever made love on Beltane?
Aiming for it…

How do you usually celebrate the pagan holidays?
Home, alone, with a simple ritual generally.

Do you use Tarot?
Yes, I do.

Do you use runes?
I’m trying to get a handle on them, yes.

Do you use a pendulum?
Yes, but the one I use is in need of a minor repair so I can use it again.

Do you use dowsing rods?
Never have. Might be fun to try one day though.

Do you use astrology?
No.

Any other form of divination?
No.

What was the first spell you did?
It involved a hanky, some cheap patchouli oil that smelled like cat-pee and posting it off to the guy who wouldn’t leave my friend alone. From that I learned that being assistant in someone else’s magic was interesting, but stinky and to not accept the ‘gift’ of cheap oils! My cat was not happy with me when he scented that stuff LOL!

What was the latest?
To be silent…

Ever done a love spell?
Yes.

A job spell?
Yes.

A healing spell?
Yes.

What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed?
The love spell, not that I realised it was one at the time!

Do you believe in Vampires? Werewolves? Shape shifters? Elves? Faeries? Dragons? Nymphs? Sprites? Mermaids? Sirens? Satyrs?
Yes, and all other beings only I can see!

Ghosts/Spirits?
Yes. Met too many of them not to.

Ever “seen” any of the above?
Yes, regularly.

Ever talked to any of the above?
Yes.

Ever called on any of the above in magick?
Yes.

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian?
Yes.

Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon?
A smiley face. I’m in the Southern Hemisphere.

Own a cat?
I wish.

When you meditate what does your sacred/safe place look like?
A garden…with it’s own graveyard.

Do you work with Chakras?
Yes.

Do you believe in soul mates?
To an extent, yes.

Ever met one?
Yes.

Do you have a Spirit guide?
Yes.

Is it always love and light?
Oh dear, fluffy bunnyville?!!

Random Musings #22 – An exercise in thanks and pride

Tuesday, 29 June 2010 at 22:00

Some days I look for inspiration…others it runs up and pops me on the butt…

Have you told someone you care about that you’re proud of them lately? That you’re grateful for something someone did? This blog is going to incorporate both of those. If it stirs you to share the good feelings forward to another, please do so. There’s enough people complaining and shouting at each other in the world. Let’s try to make a small difference.

I want to say I’m grateful to a few people, who all had a hand in one thing. First off, I want to sound like a rabid fan-girl and thank Wendy Rule for her concert at the Castle on the Hill at Uki in May. It was a beautiful way to celebrate our one-month wedding anniversary and it brought about something incredible in my husband that will lead me onward into the telling someone I’m proud of them shortly. THANK YOU WENDY!!
I’d like to thank the lady who organised the concert, SueMaree. She did a load of organising and made the night happen. THANK YOU SUEMAREE!

OK, now the bit where I say I’m proud of someone I care about. I care about him alot. I better, or I married under false pretences hey?!

Darrell H Undery, I am extremely proud of you. Since that concert and the song that particularly moved you and helped shift the emotional and spiritual block that was in you, you have made so many changes in your life that I am both startled and humbled. I wish I had your degree of courage my love, I truly do.
You have taken a stand in a family situation that many would find impossible. Oddly enough, neutrality suits you. In doing so however, you have reclaimed your right to be happy, to be treated like someone of worth rather than someone that can be bullied and treated badly.

You have redefined your role in your professional life. You found a solution to a dilemma you were in and you stepped forward into a new environment and job armed with hope that it would be better. The jury is still out on that, but it’s early days still.

You have regained your creativity; have started your craft work again. This is your gift and you have regained your inspiration to exercise it again.

I am proud of how you are coping with the massive life-changes of having a hyper-emotional, currently unemployed woman in your life. True, sometimes we could probably kill each other, but by virtue of a hug and your willingness to listen and/or just let me vent, we muddle through.

I am very, very proud of you Darrell. And despite what detractors may say, I do love you very much.

So there you have it. Telling some I am grateful. Telling someone I care for I’m proud of them. If it only makes one person feel good, I’ve made a difference in the world. My work here is done today. 🙂

Love to all!!

Random Musings #23 – Back to the Future!

Friday, 09 July 2010 at 11:51

Some days I get moving early…then there’s the days I procrastinate till lunchtime!

An interesting thing occurred yesterday for us. No, not that our fave brand of choc or of loo paper was on a very good special at the supermarket; but that Darrell’s twin brother finally signed the paperwork required to remove his name from the lease and from the list of tenants here at our unit. It’s been over 14 months since he moved out, and it only took 2 months to get things all settled. Not bad time-framing really is it? (Yes, that is a hint of sarcasm you hear).
We signed our required areas as we paid our usual 2 weeks rent yesterday and felt a curious sense of deflation as we went out of the Real Estate offices. But we had a short parking time allowance and had a few other things to do in that so our minds were somewhat distracted!
On arriving home, we opened the door, shared a look and said “well, it’s all ours now”…”Now what?” we ended on a shared laugh. All that anticipation, sometimes annoyance and now it’s settled.

The “Now what?” has been answered however, with the advent of Darrell’s final pay from his previous job arriving in the bank. We can now afford to move to where his new job is, saving us around $75 per fortnight in petrol costs alone. Which we will add to our available rent budget, since where we have to move to is somewhat more pricey in that regard. Never to mind, it’s also a beach-side township, the geography is FLAT (yes, I’m either buying a bicycle or sneakers), it’s closer to his work, and it’s an opportunity to start our lives as ourselves, not as extensions of Darrell’s family – many of whom still live in this town/immediate area. It will be a chance for Darrell to forge an identity of his own, separate from his twin. That’s good because to be frank, from what Darrell’s discussed with me at times, being mistaken for his twin has not been a pleasant experience.

It will also be an opportunity for me to meet new people and find friends of my own. Yes, I can hear you asking why I’ve not done so here. I have to a degree, but most of them are mutual friends. I freely admit to a small degree of paranoia when in town here, based on how I think (possibly imagined?) I have been represented to people here by certain others who have had a less than positive view/opinion of me and who are relatively well-known (won’t comment if they’re liked however) in town.
I also freely admit I’m not the most out-going individual on the planet and that my take no BS attitude can be somewhat intimidating to some. But, if I intimidate people, then I shouldn’t be considering them as friends. Logical that.

So, by a simple signature (which wasn’t so simple to attain) we have a range of new vistas opening before us…looking forward to the future!

Random Musings #24 – Early SUNday mornings

Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 09:15

Some days I sleep till 9am…others I get dressed warmly.

One of the “joys” of a long commute to work at present for Darrell is the need to wake up in the pre-dawn dark at 4am. Usually on Saturdays and Sundays. This sees him on the road at 5am for a 6am work-start. Dedication thy name is Darrell Undery.

In my need to make certain he’s woken up on time to drive safely; I set my own alarm clock to beep like a maddened rosella, thus giving us a backup wakeup should his cellphone decide to brain-burp in the night. So, there I am at 4am, lying a-bed, listening to the morning rituals of potty, breakfast, potty the sequel, dress, teeth/hair/deodorant and GO!. I’ve gotten into the habit of being half-aware for the 4.30 chimes on the donging clock in the living room and ensuring the morning ritual continues from it’s stop at the breakfast section. We’ve found that it is entirely do-able that whilst sitting on a sofa and wearing PJs and a green uber-fluffy lap rug that a healthy young man can fall back to sleep whilst balancing a plate of toast on his lap. The faint snore is a dead giveaway!

Once Darrell’s gone, all’s quiet. He very sweetly leaves the selenite lamp going on the side-table in the living room for me to navigate with as he goes. Yes, I’m afraid to be alone in the house in the dimness of the pre-dawn. I’m not too cowardly to admit to that fear. I usually lounge about in bed for another half hour or so, flipping back the cosiness of blankets and double duvet around 5.30. I dress fast, keeps the warmth in my body rather than letting it escape and wander to the kitchen/living areas for my own morning rituals.

I don’t know about anyone else who’s sat up at that hour, but I feel like that time immediately before the birds welcome the day and the sun peeks over the horizon is special. There’s an energy around; an ‘awakeness’ that seems to build as the heralds of the day continue. The kookaburras chuckle, the mental-as-anything leatherhead does his morning swear at the world and lo, the sun is coming in through the windows, trying to improve the inner temperature despite the tree cover and the angle of the planet.

The sun catches in the crystals hanging on the windows, scattering a smattering of miniature rainbows through the bedroom as enroute to teeth-cleaning I bid good morning to the rosellas who are peering demandingly through the window at me. They don’t so much beg for a new seed bell as order it imperiously. Bad luck birdies, it’s not shopping day yet. Go forth and forage. You’ll need to go back to doing it all the time soon enough! When they realise we’re not a full-service restaurant, they still perch on the branch, waiting. Waiting for the sun to rise a little more so their transit around the neighbourhood is warm? Waiting for the sun to light further? Or just making plans? Only they know for sure.

I too perch. In the chair in the sun, in the ‘sunshine corner’ of the living room. I suspect I’m turning into a salamander as I’m wearing polar fleece whilst doing so. But, in the warming of the days, there is a hint of spring and summer’s warmth already. Not quite the strong and rich gold of summer or even the bright florals of spring, but something a little more pastel-toned, slightly watered down, but the promise is there.

Early Sunday mornings, welcoming the arrival of Sol. Good morning world.

Random Musings #26 – Iminabox, Queen of the Moving

Friday, 20 August 2010 at 08:47

Some days I wish for aircon…others I let Mother Nature do it for me. (Yay for rain!)

Moving house.  One of the top most stressful things to do in one’s life apparently.  The others are deaths, getting married,  divorces, job changes/losses, and some others that I forget…

Hmm.  Looking at that list, I should really be a complete gibbering wreck.  I have moved nearly 30 times in my 40 years of life.  In the last 8 years I’ve lost a brother, my grandparents, an aunt and at least 2 much-loved pets, not to mention within 3 months of my arrival in Aussie, Darrell’s grandpa died. In the last 2 years  I quit my job in NZ and have been job-hunting ever since – with no financial support from the govts involved.  I have moved internationally.  Got married.  And am now, yet again, moving house.  Yes, that gibbering sound from that big box in the corner is me, and yes, it’s taped up from the inside!

But despite most of the packing work being my responsibility (due to Darrell’s work schedule), there are moments that have the tears in my eyes from laughing:

Example One:

“Hi honey, I’m home”

“Hi.  I’ve been shifting rocks.” *indicates several boxes of packed up crystals*

“So I see.  Are those my balls in that basket?”

Cue fall-from-the-couch laughter from the wife…

Example Two:

“I’d forgotten how good that book was.”

“Finished it huh?  You know that you packed up the rest of the books, right?” Says grinning husband.

“Five minutes and a craft knife is all I need…”

And my particular favourite:

“I know exactly what’s in each of those boxes.  OK nobody move, I’ve misplaced the TV…” – said to an empty house. (Well, it looks different at floor level and with the bunny ears not extended!  The reception is tons better at floor level though…)

We’re also moving to a smaller place, so that’s necessitated some downsizing and serious decluttering.  Darrell’s done some serious decluttering – to the fullest sense of the word – and he’s finding things he thought he’d lost ages ago.  He’s also found a few things he wishes he hadn’t, but that’s what bins are for.  I’ve done my share too, and most of the remaining childhood dolls/bear collection hit the bin too.  I’ve kept a couple of important ones, but even my first teddy sent to me by my grandparents in their very first “care package” nearly 38 years ago is now gone.  It’ll be weird not having him somewhere around…

Well, time to pick out my box and make sure I leave myself a 1/10th roll of packing tape inside it!

Random Musings #27 – The Rain in Spain…

Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 18:54

Some days I watch “Mamma Mia” until 11pm, others I read till 3am and it’s the next day…

We’ve moved house.  It’s a lovely place, the township is lovely, there’s only one honker of a hill and that’s easily circumvented, the beach is on the doorstep pretty much.  It’s all good.  Except for one thing.  It’s raining.

Rain is good, it clears out the gutters, and washes roofs and cars (hey, why do what nature will volunteer for?!) and refreshes the earth for the growing season underway.  But, as is often the case lately, I’ve managed to have a load of laundry out there!

It happened around this time last week too.  I put out the laundry, and then forgot to get it in before we headed out of town to our Witches Brew meet up in Mur’bah.  We get home and it’s already starting to rain, dangnabit.  Oh well, thinks I, it will pass over and the laundry can drip dry on either Friday or Saturday.  WRONG.  I got it in on Wednesday between showers and decided to re-launder it.  Sea rain does tend to carry a little bit of saltiness at times after all.  Laundry goes out again on Thursday and is 80% dry when another band of showers passes through.  Oh well, the spare room looked like Mother O’Malley’s Chinese Laundry for the night with shirts and pants on coat hangers festooning the curtain rail and a range of “smalls” and tea-towels on the only drying rack.

Cue a few days of good weather, and you guessed it, Mother O’Malley’s Chinese Laundry was flat out and flapping in the light breeze that whisks past our laundry line, channelled by the shape of the building.  YAY!  I have dried it and caught up on it!  Cue The Happy Dance.

Today, time to do more laundry… gloriously sunny day, you’d never believe we’d had major thunderstorm warnings complete with hail and possible flash flooding warnings yesterday…I peg out a load, thinking it will be dry in a couple of hours.  WRONG!   We have a thunderstorm, with steady rain precisely midway through that couple of hours.  Cue heavy sigh and a determination to leave the laundry out there till tomorrow on the off-chance.  Girl’s gotta have hope after all!

If hope fades, I’m off to the local Mitre 10 to get some of the bigger drying racks and the newly-discovered space in the garage will be commandeered.  A girl’s gotta have undies!

Random Musings #28 – Just Lizzing Around…

It’s been an interesting week.  I shan’t go into most of it on grounds it’s other people yet again creating hurt for my beloved and I, and I’ve resolved to stop giving it my energy and my time.  Better things to waste my energy on; like being happy.  🙂

On Thursday morning, we opened the blind in the kitchen to be greeted by sunshine –  a rare thing of late here at our little home by the sea – and this lovely lady.  We’ve named her Lizzie.  She’s an Eastern Bearded Waterdragon, so I guess you could say we had a dragon on our window ledge!

Lizards are all about taking note of your dreams and the messages and lessons therein for you.  So, looks like the dream diary is going to be handy for the next few weeks.   Lizzie measured in at about 2 & 1/2 feet long, which in Darrell terms is “One BIG lizard!”

She didn’t seem to care overly much that we were googling through the window at her, she was far too busy striking a pose for the camera.

We’re not going to take to feeding her when we see her though, as doing so will only encourage her to come into the house (something we DON’T want!) as well as exposing ourselves to the risk of a nasty bite with her septic teeth.  We’ll just let her sun herself as she wants, and thank her for eating the ants and other annoying bugs that come by…

Random Musings #29 – Tit Slings and Tickers

Thursday, 21 October 2010 at 18:13

Some days it’s sleep till 9…others, the buzzer goes at 4.30…

After loaning Darrell’s father’s “Nav-Man” – which incidentally sounds like a “Nav-WOMAN” – Darrell and I set out on our Big Brisbane Adventure yesterday morning.  Well, almost.  We faffed about for 20 minutes trying to get it to work before we realised that it might be sensible to actually turn on the engine to provide power.  Hey presto, directions to the Bra shop.  Once we had that all sorted, we tried to put a little engine oil into the car motor, since that was the only vital fluid we’d not managed the day prior.  No, we didn’t have the engine running, but it might have helped if we’d had some kind of lever or power tool to remove the oil cap!  After much not-twisting and swearing, and with schmutzy fingers and hands, we declared it a non-essential and hit the road.  After washing our hands. And grabbing the water bottles.  And turning back to remind Darrell to close and lock the door behind us.

Enroute we were, making good time, despite the somewhat gloomy weather.  Then we hit the Numbinah Valley area, and Goddess help us, down came most of Noah’s flood in one massive rain storm.  We couldn’t see the lines on the road, more than a foot past the windscreen, and we were travelling at 90kph.  Go, go magic car!  I’m a shocking passenger at best, and when it’s that bad, I panic, reiki myself and close my eyes till the bad things stop.  Poor Darrell.  The rain stopped just before we reached the outer edges of the city, in an ironic piece of Mother Nature’s whimsy.

Whoot, tally ho, there’s the Bra shop.  Oops, no parking to be had.  Oh well, do a block, see what we find.  YAY!  Parking outside the bead and crystal shop.  Go into said shop for a browse.  Darrell buys a piece of jewellery finding that he needs for a project.  Hold discussion (OK, more like me declaring it’s not right to park in front of their shop whilst we’re going to be at another shop 15 mins walk away for at least an hour) about parking and it’s head back around the block to try our luck at the Bra shop again.  YAY!  Parking outside!  Go in, Darrell wisely heading for the sofas in the “waiting area” near the door, gathering up a copy of Guinness Book of Records as something not sporting or motoring themed reading.  I guess it’s better than hanging around like a boob.

I spend 45 minutes whipping The Girls in and out of various shades, shapes and sizes of lingerie, finally settling on 3, in beige, beige and save the boobies pink.  Thank you to the team at Big Girls Don’t Cry Anymore for having a ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ deal going, I got 15% off as well as 1 of the 3 chosen being 50% sale.  BARGAIN!!

We head out of the city after lunch, with Darrell wondering what the Nav-Woman is playing at by taking us via the central city rather than the route he would have gone over the bridge.  Never mind, we’ll see what it does.  Cue Noah’s flood rains again, having caught up with us from our inwards trip.  Did you know that tall buildings affect only Nav-Women but not monsooning rain?  Who’dve thunk it?!  A near miss and some city-dweller’s horn solos later, and we’re enroute home again.  The route plotted by Nav-Woman obviously confused the rain too, as we left it behind relatively quickly.  “It’s quite pretty you know…the water being pushed off the road by the tyres, making a kind of fog…” says Darrell randomly, no doubt enamored of the aesthetics of slick road and fast vehicles.  Me, I’ve got my eyes closed again.  Go, go panic attacks!

We hit Tweed and Coolangatta, certain of our way from there, so Darrell decides to see what Nav-Woman is capable of.  She kept up with his changes in route for a full 5 changes before finally giving us the digital finger and telling us to reconsider where we were actually going just as we pulled into the car park at Tweed Centro!  I’m impressed, because at least one of those changes involved driving the wrong way up a two-way street and the voice on the machine remained calm and collected, merely directing us to take the 2nd exit at the roundabout 500 metres ahead.  Clearly, she couldn’t see the oncoming traffic!

Into Centro for a cuppa and a wander about to stretch legs and de-numb Darrell’s bum.  Yummys had at Michel’s, and the whole time, Darrell’s engaging long-distance squinting to try and see the window display at the jeweller’s alongside the seating area.  Coffee done, he opts to get closer and actually see what he’s been trying to for the last 10 minutes.   Minutes later, we’re coming out of the shop with a gold tone pocket watch, works able to be seen via the front and the back.  50% off sale in progress.  BARGAIN!!

Back to Mur’bah to return Nav-Woman.  Who now has to be called Nav-Man to save confusion.  Then it’s out to dinner at our favourite restaurant, Rumors @ The Ozzie.   The food was magnificent.  Darrell’s beard has never caught so much of it before.  Luckily, as it was a tomato based pasta dish and he was wearing a white shirt.   The entertainment (a new idea) was good; it was nice to have some music to mellow out to.  But the priceless moment?   Darrell saying:  “Well.  We’re all sorted.  You have new tit slings and I’ve a new ticker.”

Cue me snorting cola out of my nose…

Random Musings #30 – ALREADY?!

Saturday, 06 November 2010 at 20:06

Some nights I just snore (ofttimes badly, according to Darrell), others I hold complete and lucid conversations…in my sleep…waking Darrell up to do so…don’t ask me how I do it…

The clean up of the spare room is done, and it looks oddly empty for the first time since we moved in.  That won’t last, the sofa-sleeper is arriving on Tuesday, and will make the room seem crowded when it’s fully extended I suspect!  We opted for a chocolate shade of fabric on it as it will…well; match the rest of the furnishings.  Besides, the darker colour will hide a multitude of coffee spills and chocolate schmeers as well as make the multicoloured cushions that we still have scattered everywhere (Isn’t that the point of scatter cushions though?!) show up nicely.  Once again, thanks to the wonderful Bryn, from Super A-Mart in South Tweed.  Great service, great deals.  And I’m sorry for the dodgy line about Darrell getting his thing out.

It was whilst we were mall-ratting after buying the sofa (going to investigate why Darrell’s new pocket watch wasn’t keeping timehe’d been winding it the wrong way for a week.  The joys of being a left hander…) that I noticed decorations up in the mall.  Trees.  Sparkly things in them.  Swags and bows, all things a-glow.  Yes, you guessed it, the Christmas decorations were up at Tweed Centro ALREADY!   We were shopping on 3rd November for the record.

Taking a much needed oval office stop (Potty break for those unfamiliar with my turn of phrase), I found myself humming along to the muzak that was piped in from the mall proper.  Shock, horror, nightmarish stuff; I was humming along, whilst on the loo, to…”Do You Hear What I Hear?”  (Tinkle, Flush, Splash of taps and Whoosh of hand drier…)  To make it worse and more nightmarish, I slowed my departure from the ladies room to listen to “Emmanuel”.    Thank Goddess it was a dreadfully muzak-y version or I might have been arrested for loo loitering! 

I admit, I’m not a big fan of the whole commercialised Christmas thing.  In fact, I am the nearest thing to a Grinch this side of Jim Carrey in green makeup.  Is this because I’m pagan?  I don’t think so.  I wasn’t a big Christmas person before I found my path either.  I think it’s more a case of I dislike that each year, the decorations, the promotions and the “Big Sales!” start earlier and earlier, pushing people to spend – possibly more than they can afford – rather than taking time to spend the holiday time with their families/friends/those who mean something to them.  Too often I hear of parents still frantically running about the malls at midnight on Christmas Eve whilst Grandma and Grandpa are kid-minding, desperately trying to get the latest game/doll/thing that NEVER has batteries included.  They’re stressed, they’re tired, they’re worried (or not) about the finances and by the time they get home, hopefully with the gifts wrapped by the equally frazzled free wrapping service, all they really want to do with their day off the following day is sleep.  But no.  It’s up at dawn with the kids, and then it’s preparing Christmas Lunch or going to family they only see once a year or at funerals for Christmas Lunch.  Afternoon snooze whilst the stomach starts its annual Christmas Purge Process.  Then it’s more mince pies and a couple of snags on the BBQ for dinner.  Oy, there’s the Tums coming out for the poor stomach!  Yeah, another beer/brandy/whiskey will wash those down nicely.  The kids are still bouncing about like kangaroos on crack from all the sweets and excitement, so for what remains of the night it’s Nessun Dorma (none shall sleep).

From that day, we move to Boxing Day…when the “BIG BOXING DAY SALE!!” starts.  Many of the frazzled and insomniac parents are back at work.  They drove most likely.  Scary concept, all those exhausted drivers on the road with the equally exhausted holidaymakers and visitors to the area.  Before long, the phone call comes “The batteries have run out!”…

Promises to bring more enroute home later do little to soothe the upset child, but it’s better than leaving $50 on the kitchen table for them to get them themselves, right?  Given how fast children are growing up, that $50 might go on clothes that make girls look like miniature crack ho’s and boys look like they’re in prison and donating their rears so they don’t get beaten up.  (Yes, that’s what the whole pants around the knees look is based on folks.  “Here, I’m letting you have access to my backdoor easily so you don’t have to beat me up to make me stop running”)

Anyway, I digress.  Christmas decorations and carols on the muzakola at the beginning of November.  It’s somehow wrong.  Yes, decorate the shopping centres etc, but do it a little closer to the time.  December is early enough for most of us I suspect.  Make a big day of it, Mr Shopping Centre Manager.  Advertise that the centre will be decorated on December 1st (random December date for ease of writing!) and make it a promotional thing.  “Come see the decorations!” or something.  Just make sure there’s no tacky ones up, hey?   And for love of pickles, make it a rule for all the stores in the centre to turn OFF their muzakola and let the centre play the muzak.  The cacophony of every and all carols played at full volume from each store is painful.  Truly.  I like hearing the words and melodies, especially to “I wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas”.

At this rate, we’ll be seeing the Yuletide decorations and songs coming out at actual Yule (for we Southern Hemispherians)!!  Saves the weird looks we get for having them up in June I guess…

Random Musings # 31 – Adventures in Decorating

Saturday, 04 December 2010 at 10:07

Some days I sleep in, others it’s wise to spring out like toast in a toaster…

I knew it was going to be one of those days when Darrell cheerfully got out of bed singing “Tree’s goin’ up so you better get that vacuum started!” to the melody of “Party Started” by Pink.  That it was then stuck in my head for most of the day that followed was the Christmas bonus!  It was December 1st, the tree was going up and to heck with Darrell’s feelings of ‘bah, humbug!’ he’d been having.  I never expected him to take my suggestion that having the tree etc up when our friends come by for the Solstice on the 18th quite so to heart and be 2 weeks ahead of that date.  Maybe it had something to do with my threat that if we didn’t do it together before then, I’d be putting it up at 4am on the day by myself?

Last year, I found out that Darrell’s baubles don’t have any kind of hanging hooks or thread, so they were impaled on the ends of the tree branches.  (I’m going to keep reading that, it really doesn’t sound ‘right’…)  My cunning plan was to invest in some paperclips and do some judicious jiggery pookery and at least have them dangling this year.  Slight change to that plan, as Darrell offered to buy the paperclips whilst he was at the beach.   Off goes the intrepid beach comber to the local newsagent, returning about 90 minutes later with pockets full of beach pebbles (a craft project in progress), sand all through his leather work shoes (SIGH!) and a packet of paperclips that “only cost me $1!”   Onward to the tree!

I turned on my only CD of Christmas music (I have more enroute via Mum and I’m buying the Sunday paper tomorrow that has the freebie Michael Buble one), as that to me is obligatory when doing the tree.  “You’re not going to play that cra…stuff whilst I’m putting up the tree are you?” came the complaint from Darrell.  Yes, he who was singing about putting the tree up earlier!  I politely tell him to blow it out his ear and turn the music up, singing along as I help him straighten out white faux pine branches, which is not my favourite colour for a Christmas tree to be honest and this year some of the branches have a decidedly yellowish tone to them, probably from sun damage or similar.  Never mind, it’s up and we’re decorating the thing!

It took about 30 minutes to get the branches to the resident artist’s satisfaction, and once that was done, we opened the bauble sack and the box of decorations.  In the course of this, I also opened the box of paperclips, ready to do some advance re-bending.  Holy cookies, those things are the big ones!  45mm paperclips to hold up 20mm baubles…oh well, what else would we do with 100 humungous paperclips anyway?  We get the baubles dangling and decide that shoving a wizard-bear-beanie baby on top as a topper isn’t quite where we want to go this year, so it’s a shopping expedition next week for a star and a mini tree.  Yes, a mini tree.  I have a set of resin ornaments that are a family of bears decorating (complete with little ladder and so on, too cute!) and for several years have thought they really need a tree to be grouped around to get the proper effect.  So, mini tree and full sized topper, here we come.  I wonder what looks we’ll get buying both at the same time?!

So, here we are, tree up least.  The rest of the frippery is still in its storage box as our get up and go got up and went by the time we’d loaded, aimed and fired the bauble cannon at the tree.  That’s how I’ve done it for years and this year, Darrell decided to try it too.  The tree as a result, looks wonderfully…organically decorated.  OK, so it looks like a pack of 7 year olds with a fetish for gold and silver balls and paperclips did it, but isn’t that the purpose of the tree?  I see all these magazine articles, TV programmes and e-articles on how to decorate your tree in the latest trends/colours/ways, but seriously, who wants to feel like they can’t bung a present under there because it’s not wrapped in the colour scheme or is causing the whole “look” to seem unsymmetrical?!  And at least now if I manage to knock it over (yes, done so already) I won’t be concerned about what bauble was where as I try to hide the evidence of unsanctioned and unqualified logging in the living room.

Travelling home from Darrell’s work last night, we took the roundabout route, and looked at the lights on people’s homes.  At the last one, Darrell says “Pfft.  Christmas.   And I think we need a new tree.  Ours is looking really grotty.”  (And yes, those first 2 words (sounds?) were delivered in his original ‘bah humbug’ tone.)  Good idea in theory, I observe, but it’s all dependant on the dentist’s bill I’m going to be racking up in 10 days time, surely?  Besides, we’ll then have to re-decorate the tree won’t we?  “So what?”  He replies.  I can see where his devious mind is going.  New tree, new paperclips, another chance to stop the bauble cannon firing…

Random Musings #32 – Open letter to the Goddess

Tuesday, 07 December 2010 at 15:07

For those of you who wonder about my relaxed method of addressing deity; it’s how I’ve always done it, because my deity is my friend as much as “the higher power”.  And as such, I’ve written a chatty letter to my friend…

Dear Goddess

It’s been quite a year.  I’d like to thank you for the lessons you gave me, the ones I’m still learning and the repeats of some I don’t think I quite got in the past.

Thank you for the people who love me.  The one who give me a shove to find happiness even though it cost them; the one who put his heart on the line on the off-chance; the ones who stand by us through it all.

I thank you for my friends.  The ones who proved they are true and the ones who proved that I should be a lot less trusting and hopeful.  I’m not going to say that I’m not hopeful or trusting anymore, just that I’ve learned to pick better who I place both those things in the hands of.  Trust and Hope are fragile and easily broken, so should be given to those who I am learning will handle them with care.  Send your blessings to those who do, and I will, through gritted teeth, wish your blessings on those who didn’t.

Thank you for love.  I didn’t even mind the falling into it!  Each day, each week is something new.

I thank you for courage.  You know better than I how much I’ve had to draw on it this year, I lost track about this time last year to be honest.  Time and again I was shaking and scared, and time and again you gave me the courage to take a deep breath, dry my eyes, blow my nose and metaphorically lift my middle finger whilst smiling.  Whilst we’re on the subject of courage; thank you for the courage Darrell has had to find this year.  It can’t be easy when making the decision to be happy you find out that a lot of the people who are supposed to love you and care unconditionally actually have their own agendas for you being miserable.   He’s changed My Lady, but it’s all good.

I do however want to raise a few things, things that I’m confused and concerned about;

the first is this:  why is it that friends who are my sisters-in-the-soul are going through so much hell?  I want to support/help/hug them, but seriously Goddess, I am on the other side of the planet and unable to get to them.   And it’s not just for me I’m asking you to clarify, because these friends have others who rely on them for care and love.  Or is this another of those lessons that goes along the lines of “you can’t fix everything”?  I know I can’t, but I wish I could at least do some Christmas decorating, or some making of soothing chicken soup, or some hands on Reiki or simply sitting around sharing a drink and a laugh with them once the kids are settled down.  But I guess I haven’t quite got the lesson right.  So I’ll do what I can from the distance.  And learn.  It sucks though.  Just sayin’.

Secondly;  what were you thinking to make Darrell have to choose between being happy or doing the “family way” of things?!  Yes, there’s a tone of anger and demand there.  NO ONE should have to make that kind of choice.  No one should have to hear a week or so before their wedding from their twin brother “I don’t have a brother” and “you’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it”.   You remember, I lost my brother, so I can say it’s effing horrible to be without one.  But at least his dying was a better reason than whatever passes for a reason for Darrell’s brother.  All I can say to that is this; no proof, no truth.   And learn.  It’s cruel to someone I love though.  Just sayin’.

Aside from those two key issues, life’s pretty decent really.  I’m not starving, not ill, not wondering how we’ll pay the bills etc.  In fact, I would even dare say life’s good.  We have a lovely home, Darrell has a good job (maybe now one for me please?), we’re happy together and we’re being courageous together.  I swear at times we must look like a couple of leaning towers of Pisa, propping each other up when we’re feeling less than our best.  But, that’s what one does, right?

Anyway, I better get on now, there’s sand on the dining room floor tiles (I swear that Darrell is trying to build a sandpit!) that I need to sweep up and put outside.  And you no doubt have a lot going on just now too with the Solstice coming up!   So, I’ll say goodbye for now.

Love

Charlotte

PS:  If you could send about 5 days of nice weather our way please, I could get the laundry done… thanks!  🙂

Random Musings #32 – 6 of the best at Christmas

Monday, 27 December 2010 at 13:55

Some days I wake up to sunshine…others; it’s nearly 2 weeks of unending inundation…

Ah, the silly season. Yuletide, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or whichever of the celebrations that you have, if any.  It brings out the worst in people – something I’ve discovered in the last 2 years – and in the case of our celebration of the season this year, it brought out the best for us.

Things had been going rapidly downhill all week, with a dentist bill that was twice what was expected battering the meagre savings remaining after having to raid them to pay the bills a month ago because of a payroll lack of communication.  We paid bills; we just had very little cushion left if we needed it.  And we did as it turned out.  Thursday and payday came by, and we went to perform our planned grocery shopping and bill paying role.  Things weren’t looking good when we discovered that not only could we not actually access internet banking (that wonder that lets us pay our bills without leaving our comfy chair) but that all the identifying information we gave the helpdesk operator on the bank’s helpline wasn’t enough to identify us.  Does anyone else find it ironic that the bank tellers can’t know your PIN number or password, but the telephone operator somewhere unknown asks you for them both as well as your full name, date of birth and so on?

I digress however.  We put shopping on hold until we could get to a branch to clear things up, and to be honest, trying to get around the car park at Tweed City shopping centre was very much a ‘take your life in your hands’ thing, with double axle trucks actually making deliveries via said car park.  Oh, and there was a bus amongst it all too. It was 3 minutes of “sit still, shuddup and shut yer eyes” for me.  I hope Darrell didn’t do that last one as he was the driver…

No money was in the bank we found out once we’d changed course and headed to Mur’bah instead. Headed back to Potti and Darrell’s workplace to find out what was going on.  Long story short, payroll error, money went into the bank on Christmas Eve.  Thanks.

Christmas Eve saw us haring out buying the bare essentials for Christmas Day, a little cheese, some crackers and some soft drink.  No gifts was the rule for us both as we’d no spare cash for frivolous things.  Effectively, Christmas as 75% of the rest of the world knows it was for us, cancelled.  Still, we had paid our rent & bills, we had nice nibbles for the day proper and we had each other, it was going to be fine.  We made time to visit the outlaws and deliver cards – all we could afford to do.  Besides, isn’t it “the thought that counts”?  I shan’t detail the ‘conversation’ Darrell had with his sister when he called by her place, hiking up the 15 degree sloped path in the rain, carrying their newspaper from their mailbox at the bottom.  All I’ll say is he came back to the car in under 5 minutes, with the newspaper still under his arm because he was so brassed off.  He stuck it back in their mailbox, which is a drier spot than I would have left it.  Christmas Eve for us was spent trying to figure out what exactly we’d done wrong this time.

Christmas day came at 5.30am with the alarm clocks going off to summon, stir and call forth Darrell to go to work.  Yes, someone has to make sure those people in the retirement home are bathed, breakfasted and bouncing to go when their families arrive!  I phoned home and then dealt with some last minute housework, because we were expecting friends for the afternoon.  When they arrived, it was finally beginning to feel like Christmas for me particularly, as I very much missed conversation like we were having whilst we waited on Darrell’s return from work.  It was irreverent, witty and at times salacious, and so help me, it’s how I’d love to spend more Christmases!   Darrell arrived home to find us tucking into the nibbles, laughing without reservation and he joined in swiftly.  A brave thing to do considering that it was unlike any Christmas he’s experienced before.  I think he and I are still smiling.  A very lovely change from our first Christmas together.  I think we’ll keep smiling for a while still.  🙂

In the course of the festivities, we indulged our inner children, dunking things in the chocolate fountain flow (I still want to try a denser fruitcake in there!) and pulling Christmas crackers, putting on the daft paper hats with grins and reading out some really cheesy jokes.   And that’s brought me back to the title of this blog really.  6 of the best at Christmas – here they are:

1.  What do you get if you cross a cocker spaniel, a poodle and a rooster?

A Cockerpoodledoo

2.  Why did the parrot wear a raincoat?

So he could be polyunsaturated

3.  What goes ha, ha, ha, thump?

A man laughing his head off

4.  What has 4 legs but only one foot?

A bed

5.  What gives milk and has only one horn?

A milk truck

6.  How do you keep a stupid person in suspense?

I’ll tell you tomorrow

And now, as the thunder rolls above me, I shall switch off my computer…and pray for 4 days of sunshine to get the laundry done before new years!

Happy Holydays everyone!

Random Musings #33 – Power Tools – Agents of Evil?

Monday, 17 January 2011 at 13:41

Some days I leap forth and go boldly…others I grab my walking stick and hobble to the loo…

The hubster’s on holiday from work currently.  The first couple of days were spent laughing at the text messages that came on his phone from his work – asking for people to fill the very shifts he works.  Ooops, looks like someone made a rostering SNAFU!!  He had a pajama day – he slobbed about the house wearing his trackie daks and a sweatshirt (yes, he sleeps in those) and also had a couple of walks on the beach.

Yesterday he closed himself in the garage with his pyrography tools and a bit of bog-oak (some 15,000 years old) to create the matching athame to go with Merlin, the wand we used at our wedding.  He came out of the garage yesterday with a big smile and a deep sigh of relief that he’d managed to duplicate the spiral designs from the wand onto the athame handle.  No biggie I think, the tool tells you what it wants as decoration, don’t argue with it.  But, this one agreed on spirals too, phew.

Today, I hear the sound of power tools in there.  Now don’t get me wrong, he’s better with power tools than I am, but I am currently being assailed with images of “Tim the Toolman” with me in the role of “Al” – not that I’ve had to come out with “I don’t think so Darrell” …yet LOL!

What is it about men and power tools exactly?  Is it the primitive need to bang two stones together that started with Ugg the Caveman back in 10,000BC or is it something more testosterone fuelled (so much for cars being the ultimate symbol of masculinity hey?) that sends them into garages and sheds the world over to play with their toys that go whirr-whirr and buzz-buzz and bang-OUCHMYBLOODYTHUMBYOUSOBOFAHAMMER!

Is it the same need we women have to either shop, eat cake/chocolate/potato chips or to have mani & pedicures or is it something more sinister?  After all, we women don’t hide in the garage or the shed to shop, eat cake/chocolate/potato chips or to have a mani & pedicure…

As far as I’m concerned, anything that requires 25 bits and a power surge protector to put a bitty wee hole in a piece of 15,000 year old tree has to be something sinister.  Something evil.  Perhaps it’s my own ignorance of the use of tools that makes them agents of evil?  Goddess knows that particular rationale has been applied to me the person in the past LOL!   The idea fits, I’ll work with it whahoo!

Take putting feet on the sofa-sleeper for example.  It takes a high-speed drill to put the 4 inch screws into the base of the sofa.  Not a screwdriver, no, a high speed drill.  The delivery guys bolted for the door when I asked if they had one.  Shame on their part for lacking an agent of evil or simply in a hurry for their next delivery? (Which ironically was to hubster’s workplace).  Hubster borrowed his father’s drill for the process, and lo, it was accomplished in moments, after stripping 3 screwdriver heads and a great deal of bad language on both our parts initially.  Agents of Evil 1 : Us 0.

Putting together the BBQ is example #2, but in this case, it was accomplished without power tools, but with a lot of bad language and a couple of hours between sections to calm down.  Yes, it likely would have been simpler and faster if we’d had a power tool, but we don’t so we made do – with a set of jeweller’s screwdrivers!  Agents of Evil 0 : Us 1.

So, the moral of this process?  If you use power tools or hand-tools, it’s going to take a lot of bad language to get it done, but at least with power tools it’s over faster.  Yup, agents of evil.  A bit like a nuke really.

PS:  Himself has just emerged from the garage, with an almost finished athame in hand.  OK.  I’ll admit it.  It looks good…

Random Musings #34 – The Orangutan in Pants

Monday, 24 January 2011 at 15:34

Some days it’s get the housework done…others it’s just more fun to Facebook!

I’ve an admission to make.  I’ve decided I don’t much like it when Darrell’s on holidays from work.  Aside from the power tools episode, the midnight mountain ascent (complete with highly venomous snakes, fallen trees and spiders the size of a sandwich plate), the very heavy wheelie bin full of garden debris, the discovery of one of the few decent plastic storage container lids being used as artist palette, the pings and pongs of “Bubble Pop” from his computer…there’s also the Orangutan In Pants.

As many of my friends and readers know, my hubby (love him to bits, really!) is a redhead.  A ginga.  A ranga.  (for those of you who only speak Kiwi or Aussie) This sadly, makes him incredibly susceptible to sun damage.  Now you’d think after living all his 33.5 years in Australia that he’d know the inherent problems with being terracotta warrior and exposure to sunshine, wouldn’t you?  Hells, I know them and I’m a Kiwi!  Then again, I burn sitting in shade wearing 6 layers of clothing (including gumboots), so I can’t brag.  I digress (I think I shall make that my byword…)

My Beloved orange roughy heads out for a beach walk, having decided the night before that a wander in the sand and surf from Pottsville to Cabarita Headland is a good way to kill a few hours.  He tells me he’ll see me in about 8 hours and as I’m calculating that means he’s home around 7pm that night, he heads out, dressed in T-shirt, beach shorts and sandals.  Taking full advantage of the predicted time out of the house, I call my Mum in NZ for our usual 2 hour gab about life, the universe and everything.  Towards the end of the gab, in walks the Mister of the House, looking a little wet and rather pleased with himself.  An ocean-flavoured kiss and a few cheery words with my Mum later, he’s in the shower washing off the effects of a rogue wave that tipped him on his backside in the shallows.  Luckily, he tells me, he had his phone and his shoes in hands so he could lift them high out of the water-zone.  Very lucky, those were new shoes just last week!

Out of the shower, and the Gingerhead man is relaxing in his chair, looking oddly at his lanky limbs.  I’m observant.  I make the remark:  “Looks like you got a little sun there honey.”  His calm agreement is not unexpected, and he remarks that by the following day he’ll be tanned and looking like he’s indeed had a holiday somewhere.  (Gee, is our place at the beach not somewhere?!)   Anyhoo, a couple more hours and he’s decided that not only did he get a little sun, he got a lot burned.  He’s red.  A nice combo with his hair and beard, let me tell you!    Evil witch that I am, I grab the camera, chanting the family motto (we say it all the time, ergo, family motto) of “I gotta take a picture, no one will believe it!”….

He didn’t sleep too well that night.  Funny how that works out hey?  The following day was shaping up to be worse.  In fact, so worse that I was at the supermarket getting a cooling post-sun spray “with soothing and cooling aloe vera” at 7.30 in the morning.  Now I ask you, is that a moment worthy of a Tim Tam or what?!  0730hrs in a supermarket on Saturday morning!

I thought it prudent to replenish our sunscreen supplies at the same time.  Given that we had none, it made sense to me.

I love my hubby, truly I do, but what right-minded orange wedge goes out in the middle of the day in Aussie WITHOUT SUNSCREEN ON?!?!  For nearly 4 hours?!?!?!

He calls himself an Orangutan in Pants.  Only real difference is, orangs know to get out of the sun!  🙂

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