Van Slam

Ahhh yes.. its that magical time of year… when parents gather up their children, and jam them into their vehicles along with Aunty Suze, Uncle Pete, Granny & Pop, 3 bikes, 2 scooters, an assortment of cricket equipment, footballs, soccerballs, several suitcases stuffed with secret Xmas presents, and an esky and head off into this great wide land of ours, to travel for anywhere between 5 and 25 hours, to park their mobile mansions, or sometimes, their canvas castles on a patch of grass 2 foot 6 inches away from another family in their mobile mansion or canvas castle for anywhere between 5 and 25 days, where they spend their days dining on charcoaled meats and sandfilled salads, washed down with luke warm beer and soft drinks because either the portafridge broke 10 minutes after they arrived, or the ice melted and there ice man has not delivered any to the shop, being either burnt to a crisp, or saturated by a freak storm, or hanging onto their belongings for dear life whilst being pummelled by winds of cyclonic proportions, and where they spend their nights listening to the dulcet tones of the man next door snoring, or granny farting, or that bloody baby screaming for 8 hours straight, only to wake and do it all over again….

Yes, VanSlam. Its a great Aussie tradition … or so I’m told… you think I’M going to subject myself to that?… PISS OFF!!!!

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The Manscaping Thing

I recently found an old blog of mind and decided I’d share some of the entries here… I don’t use the other one any more, so why not?

so… The Manscaping Thing,

What the fuck is this all about anyway. I mean. We as human beings, have body hair.
It’s genetic. It grows. And we all have it in the same places. I mean, it must be there for a reason, mustn’t it? I get that not every man has been graced with body hair, and if that’s the way nature intended them, well its all good, but they are not as likely to get a second viewing by me. And there’s the whole discussion about the “tidy up”.

I get why I tidy up.. but men? I’m just not feeling it. There’s something really sexy about a guy with a hairy chest. For me it says I’m the man, I’m the tough guy. It’s sensual. It’s textural. It’s a visual thing. I love that line of hair that disappears into a guys Calvins. It’s like a flashing neon arrow pointing to the party.

Granted, hairy backs and the entire Victorian bushland under a guys arms is not so appealing, but in general, I like a man to look like a man. I’m not into this hairless, prepubescent look that guys are going for. I mean.. why would a woman want to be with guy that looks like a pre-teen? I don’t get it! They call it tidying up, but guys. Really? It’s one thing to be tidy. It’s another thing to be completely stripped, waxed and polished. I think guys have got it wrong.
But that’s just me.

Anyway, the reason I got onto this is because we were having a meal with my youngest son and his girlfriend the other day. I might point out that I have three sons, who are all very masculine. They have hairy chests and stomachs, just as nature dictated. As he came to the table I thought he looked odd, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. After we had eaten, he stood up and she pointed to his stomach and smiled at me. She asked me what I thought.

I looked at him blankly for a moment. (I must point out that my son was not wearing a shirt. In fact my boys idea of dressing for dinner is putting on a wifebeater with their shorts.)  I looked blankly at her. She pointed to his belly. I looked again. It was smooth as a baby’s bum!! Then I looked at his chest it too was naked!!! I didn’t know whether to laugh or laugh (it would only have been the volume that would have been different). So I laughed.

He looked at me sheepishly “umm yeah. She wanted to see how it looked” I just stared. He offered “she used NAIR, I wouldn’t let her wax me” That really tipped me over the edge.. I had tears rolling down my cheeks.. I didn’t dare ask how far he went. About a week later I asked him how the regrowth was going… needless to say. He was not impressed. I doubt that he will go down this road again unless the girlfriend catches him in a weak moment (or extremely drunk).

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So it’s been a few weeks and things are definitely happening in my garden beds.

Firstly, I’ve worked out that one variety of tomatoes is a total bust.  They kept losing their blossoms and pretty much half died.  I’ve pulled one out and the other is hanging in there by a thread.  The only reason I’ve left it is because the roma tomato plant has grown over the top of it and I don’t want to disturb it.  meh, mulch.

The Roma’s, despite the plants size, have not really produced much fruit.  But it does seem to be improving a little.  Hey, if I’m getting tomatoes off it, it’s a win, right?


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Between Then & Now

Forty three years ago I was a naive twelve year old, starting at a high school where none of my primary school friends were going.  I was young, tall, thin and shy. Unsure of who I even was. I rode my bike the couple of miles on my first day of high school alone.  Found the bike racks.  Locked my brand new two wheel push bike that I had gotten for Christmas into the rack and prayed that it would be there after school.  It was gold, shiny and the most expensive gift I had ever received. It was my transport for getting to high school.

I nervously found my way to the school hall, along with the other kids, newly graduated from primary school.  There were two types of us. There were the confident, beautiful, outgoing ones who had several friends already with them. Then there were the ones like me.  Shy. Not particularly athletic. Immature. I was young to be starting high school.  I had just turned twelve, and although I was tall for my age, I was not physically advanced at all.

And worst of all.  I was at a school where none of the kids I knew from primary school were.  They all went off to different high schools.  I don’t even know why my parents chose this school.  It was brand new.  Only had been open for twelve months.  Perhaps they thought it would be nice. Going to a school where everything was shiny and new.

And there weren’t that many students.  Only four classes from the previous year.  And now, about six new classes.  That’s less than 500 students.  Not as scary as going to an established school I guess.  But I was still scared.

I hung near the back.  Not looking at anyone.  Afraid to make eye contact.  I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. I was having enough trouble understanding what the head mistress was saying about classes, and lunch breaks and sporting teams.

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Let’s Cook Something! – Latkes (Or as I call them Potato Pancakes)

Recently I came across a recipe for latkes.  Typically a Jewish dish at  Hanukkah time.  We’ve eaten these on and off for years and simply call them either fritters or potato pancakes.  These were a little different to how I make them usually, and I decided to give them a go.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Pay It Forwards

As a lot of you may know, yesterday was a pretty traumatic day for Australia.

We were subjected to a vicious attack by a man who acted alone, basically holding innocent people hostage in an effort to foist his manic message upon us.  He basically hid behind a religion, making people question a group of really lovely people.  I know this, because I know a lot of beautiful Muslim people.  I’ve been to their homes.  I’ve eaten with them, celebrated with them, been joyful with them.   And this man set out to tarnish them.  And that I cannot accept.

The day didn’t end well…..   two people lost their lives.  (I refuse to acknowledge the third)  And that made me very sad.  For them.  For the other hostages.  For their families and their friends.  For Australians all around the country.

I don’t live in Sydney.  I sat and watched is all unfold from my living room, and my heart was broken for us all.

Today I woke up and felt terrible.  I couldn’t lay flowers for them.  I couldn’t sign the memorial book.  So I did the only thing available to me.  I bought a coffee for a stranger.

Actually I did it twice.  The first time, the dear man behind the counter was sort of confused and mistook what I asked for.  They delivered two coffees to my table.  I smiled, asked the waitress to take back the second coffee and asked her to make sure that someone, anyone received my small gift.  I told her that if they asked, to tell them it was for Sydney.  As I sat and drank my coffee, I could hear them telling people their coffee had been paid for.  I left and people were still paying it forwards.   That’s the Australian spirit, right there.

Later in the morning, I was walking past another small coffee place and a lady was standing counting out ten and twenty cent pieces to pay for her coffee.  I reached over her shoulder and gave the woman serving her the money.  I’m not saying the lady couldn’t afford the coffee.   She may have simply been cleaning out her coin purse.  I do that all the time.  But it was spur of the moment and she was shocked and happy and thankful, trying to run after me to say thanks….

I didn’t stop.  I didn’t need to.  I smiled and waved and kept walking.  It wasn’t much, but it felt like I had, in my own way, laid a tribute for Sydney.

It’s really not difficult to pay $4 for someone else.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, for no reason at all.

Pay it forward.

You’ll be glad you did.

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Well, it’s mid December and it’s been about three weeks since I posted, and WOW.  Things have really changed.  Some things for the better, some things for the worse.

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Posted in Bucket List, Gardening, Growing Vegetables, Humour, Life, My Life, Retirement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Well, things are coming along with my veggie garden beds.

I’m finding that while the plants themselves are growing, they come with some problems.

Blossom Drop – now, I didn’t actually know that what was happening had a name, but it does.  Seems my tomato plants are suffering from something that makes the flowers, dry up and fall off the plant before the fruit has a chance to set… great… It’s caused by a lot of different things.  In my case, I think it was the couple of really hot northerly wind days we had.  Or maybe it’s not, and it just coincided with that.

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Let’s Cook Something! – Scotch Eggs

I’m a bit of an experimental cook.  I love savoury foods.  Not much of a dessert maker though.

Anyhoo, I saw this recipe for Scotch eggs.   I’ve never eaten them.   But the one’s that I’m familiar with are English.  Pork mince, crumbed.  Pretty simple.

The recipe I found uses Italian mince (which apparently you can buy overseas already made).  But I found another recipe and winged it to make my own.  Also, they are baked, not fried.  That’s a good thing, right?

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New Projects – My husband is gonna kill me

So to fill my time, now I’m retired, I’m looking around myself wondering what I can do that won’t cost an arm and a leg and give hubby a heart attack.

18 years ago, my kids were little, and having three boys extremely close in age (I had 3 boys in 4 years) we needed to paint with (a) washable paint and (b) a colour that wouldn’t show too much dirt because, really, how often do people wash their walls?

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