Monthly Archives: September 2019

just give in


Something cheerful, green and growing. Healthier than I presently am ๐Ÿ™‚

When you cannot get warm, you reach the end of the week feeling a great deal worse than you began it, and even many hours of sleep (Friday night through to Saturday lunchtime) don’t help a great deal, you should probably acknowledge that you’re genuinely unwell.

All of the above having been true, and a massive allergic reaction adding insult to injury, I finally decided that the cosmos was plainly sending me a message and stayed in bed all day.

May you be faring a great deal better with your seasonal change ๐Ÿ™‚




Posted by on September 30, 2019 in gardening, Health


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swaps and juggling acts


Never believe that hay fever is a trifling unwellness.

It’s hay fever season, and we’re all afflicted. After months of carrying a backpack holding gloves, a beanie and an extra scarf just in case, it’s now time to lighten the baggage load somewhat – well, you know, step down to a lightweight scarf that you can roll up and stow in your pocket, as well as going for a slightly smaller handbag.

Yeah, sure. But how do you manage that when you need to cart a pharmacy’s worth of antihistamines with you wherever you go?! The thing is, if you don’t come up with some suitable carrying arrangement, it’s entirely too easy to end up looking the way I did in that old photo: so swollen your eyes are almost shut, and gasping for air. That was the holiday where YoungB ended up in hospital with an allergic reaction, and – to be honest, and retrospectively assessing the degree of swelling – I probably would have benefited from medical attention, too. Obviously we both survived, but hay fever season remains a remarkably miserable time of year even with pharmaceutical assistance.

May you find the right balance with regard to both medications and handbags ๐Ÿ™‚


Posted by on September 26, 2019 in Health


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homogeneity is the name of the game


A lick of Manor Red will preserve the steps and mean that they blend better with the cabin.

YoungB has been spring cleaning, in a manner of speaking: puttying, sanding and painting those cabin steps, so that they’re better protected against weather and blend in with the other structures in our backyard village. It has meant their temporary removal to a covered area – namely under the pergola – which has, in turn, meant that there are no steps for accessing the cabin. As you can see, it’s far enough to sting your feet should you be so incautious as to step out into thin air.

The first day the steps weren’t there, YoungB fell out of the cabin twice. Duh. I’d already suggested keeping our small stepladder in the cabin, so that he could use it if necessary – and his girlfriend certainly could – and so that seeing it would remind him that there were no steps. He was initially reluctant, but, having fallen out, saw the wisdom of the mnemonic. That has proved to be a safer option all round. Even I have – carefully; and when the menfolk weren’t around to see me – used the stepladder to access the cabin (see my earlier post about the laundry fairy).

Dr B did a couple of modifications that helped strengthen the structure, which has never been particularly steady. After all, if you have something under cover, and you have the means, why not do a thorough job? With this bolt and that screw and a bit of tightening and bracing and what have you, the steps are probably now the sturdiest they’ve ever been!

May all your bolts hold your superstructure together nicely, whether or not it needs a lick of paint ๐Ÿ˜€

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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in Building and DIY


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yeah, whatever, but hot

Spicy pumpkin soup (image from Taste)

Sure, it’s officially spring. The memo hasn’t quite reached whoever is responsible for things, because today was bloody cold. Work was simply tedious and repetitive and we all had brain drain very early in the piece. When lunchtime finally arrived, I went to a nearby cafe and sat there to eat a bowl of spicy pumpkin soup (recipes abound; here’s one), all civilised like at a table and everything. The soup was piping hot and delicious. Who could disagree with that on a chilly day? I certainly couldn’t.

Plainly Dr B couldn’t, either, because he’d prepared minestrone for our evening meal. A case of twice as much is twice as good?

May all your chilly days be accompanied by as many tureens of soup as you think you need to get through the workload! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Posted by on September 24, 2019 in Food


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laundry by mum

What did I do to piss off the fairies? | Flip Flops Every day

A time might arrive when this no longer holds true, but there are other contenders

Because I was ironing anyway, I kept going and did YoungB’s… Four pairs of trousers and seven shirts later – all his! – I decided that enough was enough. I finished with one of his linen shirts. They’re such a delight to iron, and certainly reward a spot of extra steam. He thinks his linen shirts are casual wear, and wears them casually; but actually they’re much classier than his usual, everyday workwear shirts.

I used to joke that we must have a laundry fairy, because the menfolk’s general behaviour has long implied that the laundry magically happens without human intervention. This time when I returned YoungB’s laundry basket – contents nicely sorted and folded where appropriate, and ironed in other instances – he acknowledged that he’s very spoilt. Yes, he is. But at least that damn’ laundry fairy seems to have died a natural death.

May your laundry fairy also be due to disappear forever ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 23, 2019 in Musing


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or just eat at your desk

Funky? Or just a hangover from a failed attempt?

Office equipment includes sit-stand desks and the latest telephones. IT service is occasionally slow. In such a large organisation, I dare say the IT team would say they’re understaffed and trying to meet unrealistic expectations, but meeting KPIs.

Interstate visitors think we have a “funky” office. Whatever that means. The whole “precinct” is presently being redeveloped, so it’s potentially a comment on more than merely the single floor of the building we occupy. The area is fairly drab but will be more appealing once updated: that’s scheduled for completion by April next year.

In the meantime, I note there are two kitchens, one large and one small. The large kitchen lacks adequate seating and tables. The small kitchen has none. Plainly, there’s encouragement to leave the office at mealtimes. There are days when you’d like to be able to simply pull up a spot of table far enough away from others that you wouldn’t feel obliged to interact, and not do anything much but eat your lunch, without it being obvious that you’re just not in the mood. Tricky.

There’s a nearby indoor/outdoor eating area that’s a hangover from a previous development that didn’t go as planned. It’s somewhere to sit but not appealing on a cold, wet, windy day; or, I imagine, when the weather is very hot.

So, yeah, may you always have somewhere pleasant to eat your lunch ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 21, 2019 in Food, Musing


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neighbourhood noises

If you don’t have your own barbie, or guest numbers exceed your backyard capacity, many local councils provide facilities such as these.

It’s the time of year when all the neighbourhood lawnmowers are kicking up a racket, and many of them are also throwing lots of grass cuttings into the air. Airborne bits of other highly allergenic plants mean that YoungB is utterly miserable with hay fever. I’m not far behind. But, you know, it’s warm enough that a load of laundry will dry on the outside line, which we both find gratifying because it means our work clobber is suddenly a great deal easier to manage and maintain.

Although the coming week is forecast to have cold nights, the days are definitely improving with regard to temperatures and we now have considerably longer daylight hours. It’s not warm enough to move meals entirely outdoors, but lunch is certainly a viable option for al fresco dining. I expect we’ll soon be stoking up the barbie on the weekend. As you’d doubtless agree, a BBQ can be as simple or complex as you like, but the drifting aroma of fried onion and those “scorched outside and half-cooked inside” sausages is an unmistakable part of the Aussie summer. It’s also far more enjoyable than the drifting grass.

But, hey, who could capture better what an Aussie BBQ is really about than the truly inimitable Eric Bogle? As you’ll see if you go to the link, that’s a 1982 recording. I can only say that, after all these years, I still get a laugh out of that song. I hope you, too, might enjoy Eric’s keen observations of what is a quintessential element of the Australian summer.

May all your sausages not taste like fried toothpaste ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 15, 2019 in Food, gardening, Singing


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quick brown foxes

The best advice I was ever given was to become proficient at typing numbers without looking, because they’re the farthest from your home keys. I’m not sure what this book recommends. Image credit

Typing exercises used to be such fun. I don’t truly recall ever having to type, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” but it’s a relatively easy pangram. There are many other such examples, which are a great deal more difficult because the words are less common, or their juxtaposition not something quite so everyday.

This arises from work conversation about WH&S issues and the value of touch-typing, and progression from typewriters through early computers to today’s models. Everyone chuckled when I mentioned Wang computers and those 5ย 1โ„4-inch floppy disks. The younger folk could visualise the 3ย 1โ„2-inch diskettes, which were around longer and later; but anything larger was pretty much in the category of museum exhibits.

So when you feel that you yourself are a museum exhibit, what should you do? Why, expect skilled signwriters to use many jazzy, quaint old alphabets effectively; maybe even on a typewriter ๐Ÿ™‚


Posted by on September 12, 2019 in Musing


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Others also enjoy using the park

It always helps to have some nice things to look forward to, don’t you think? With that idea driving our decision, Youngest Aunt and I have decided that we should make a regular week’s-end, after-work, tea-in-town date. The first of them is scheduled for this coming Friday, with a Chinese restaurant already chosen.

I anticipate we’ll drag out our diaries and set up the rest of the year so that we have similar cheery get-togethers planned. That will provide ample opportunity for us to sample other Asian cuisines in and around the Central Markets.

Occasionally, YoungB and I almost get our buses to coincide on the way home, which means that Dr B is able to make one trip to pick us up. I personally think that YoungB must have a far better relationship with the Doc than I do, because when our “reaching the terminus” bus times DO coincide, I’ve never had to wait. This is most unlike the too-numerous-to-mention times I’ve been left out in the elements for far too long when it’s been just me awaiting a homeward lift. Huh.

Now that the evenings are lighter, YoungB and I don’t always ask for a pick-up from the terminus. Sometimes we walk home together through the park, enjoying the opportunity to distance ourselves from traffic. That’s something else to be cheerful about.

May all your walks in the park be equally cheerful ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in Food


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or not helpful, as the case may be

The whole seeking employment lark was not without its amusing moments. While I appreciate that it’s good to have agencies that DO follow up to check whether you still require their services, it was more than a little disconcerting to receive such a message when they’d never managed to place me in any work and I’d only been on their books for a couple of weeks.

You what? Really?! Can I get back to you on that?

I mean, genuinely, would you like to remove me from your books and then have everyone go through the same rigmarole again – documentation, security checks (all, worrying, undertaken online in a time of increasing cyber crime and identity theft), and interviews to ascertain my suitability for employment, for heaven’s sake – when my present contract ends in a few weeks (or months, if I’m lucky)? That seems, well, rather inefficient and not at all helpful because I’ll need to be reinstated potentially a little before my contract ends, so that I don’t have another income hiatus.

That’s a distinct downside of today’s employment market: almost everyone is on contract, and funding is too uncertain to enable planning. It’s a dreadful way to function, particularly for any government-funded organisation, because how can you promise staff any security? Equally as importantly, it’s a dreadful way to live – we’re becoming more like North America all the time, alas – and a big factor in young folk staying home longer, and finding it more difficult to start their own families. Yeah. That’s not helpful, either.

So let’s just keep the agency paperwork in place, huh? You can almost guarantee that, if I don’t, the contract won’t be renewed and I’ll be back on the street, back battling the system, back trying to maintain my cool with dole office staff who aren’t responsible for the system but do occasionally screw up… and back on the paperwork-go-round requiring the same documents again. Yeah. OMG.

May all your employment positions meet your security criteria ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on September 8, 2019 in Musing


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