Sunday, December 31, 2017


The last day of 2017. Right now it's 11am and Ben's in the kitchen solo-playing Onirim while waiting for UFC 219 to start. YouTube is auto-playing music of varying quality in the background. Downstairs, the washing machine noisily cleanses an assortment of ragged towels, old clothes and a new Coles Christmas t-shirt. The joyfully-red shirt has been in active service for three evening shifts a week while its generally-solemn wearer re-stocks shelves and helps customers locate items. The other evening, I asked for directions and was directed to a non-existent aisle 23. Mum, who's rarely here, was here briefly and has just left. Jazz is out in the yard snoozing amongst the peach pits. Two motorcycles sit idly in the garage, parked between the old blue Ford and a less-old Holden station wagon. The even-older Skyline has been sold to an enthusiastic younger person with lots of plans. Household finances, an ever-present post-retrenchment concern, have been eased by occasional freelance work with known publishers. As a result, those red zones on the planning spreadsheets have gradually been pushed back and we're safe to stay put for the next 12 months. UFC has started and our former-traveller is resting tiredly on the couch while heavily tattooed adults beat each other up using an assortment of fighting styles on the TV. "He's in a bad situation here," according to Joe Rogan's commentary. As for us, we're doing OK.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Dark Arts.

We've been re-watching the entire Harry Potter series. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Delores Umbridge is placed into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by the Minister of Magic. Ms Umbridge happens to be particularly fond of cats and her favourite colour is any shade of pink. Ostensibly she’s there to teach but she has a secret agenda as the Ministry seeks to gain control of the school. Clipboard in hand, Umbridge clinically assesses the staff and decides who stays and who goes. Sybill Trelawney, the Divination teacher, is marched out while the entire school looks on in dismay. With the connivance of the Ministry, headmaster Dumbledore is sacked. The highly-respected wizard who devoted a lifetime of service to the school is forced to leave. In a memorable scene, Dumbledore refuses to go quietly and disappears in a spectacular flash of flame. "You have to admit that Dumbledore's got style," concedes one member of the Ministry.  This story springs to mind today, the first anniversary of my own experience of the dark art of retrenchment. This will be the only anniversary because I would like to obliviate those unpleasant memories and move on.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Harry and Raffy.

[A very good tale.]
Today was clear and sunny which is unusual for this time of year but not unusual this particular year. While Ben waited patiently in Dr Bob's surgery, I waited patiently in a nearby park and read a good book. I had a bench all to myself and enjoyed the sun's warmth on my back. Gum trees were flowering and cheerful sounds of parrots filled the air. A Filipino lady appeared, attached the leads of her two shaggy terriers to one leg of the bench, checked that I didn't mind then walked off to the Salvos op shop. Before she left, I asked about the dogs' names but it wasn't really clear which was Harry and which was Raffy. One whimpered constantly and looked sadly in the direction of the shop. The other growled at anyone who walked by and yapped at other dogs in the distance. I kept reading. A few minutes later, a grandfather arrived. He was pushing his grandson along on a colourful plastic trike, one of those trikes with a long handle at the back. "He likes dogs," the grandfather explained. "They're not mine," I replied. Soon afterwards, Ben came to tell me the doctor was running late. He kept his distance but was clearly amused by the small crowd gathered around my bench. Dog leads were entwined around the grandfather's legs, one dog whimpered, the other one growled, the grandchild sat quietly on his trike slowly extending his tiny fingers towards Harry's or Raffy's nose and I kept reading.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Kitchen gymnasium.

[Kitchen gymnasium on a sunny autumn-nearly-winter morning.]
Our kitchen has been the focus of many activities* over the years. In its latest iteration, the area has been transformed into a small gymnasium complete with floor mats, punching bag, boxing speed ball on a stand and 'Draco' the Jiu Jitsu grappling dummy.

The TV has been moved to an adjoining room which has become the "home theatre" complete with a comfy couch. We're all amazed that, considering how many years we've lived in this house, no one thought of it earlier.

The table has been pushed up against the bench so there's not much space for eating in the kitchen these days. However, like many of our relatives, we can now eat dinner and watch videos while sitting on the couch.

One year in the kitchen (2013),  Heating and sleeping (2012),  Kitchen workshop (2013),
Camping in the kitchen (2013),  Music in the kitchen (2013),  Christmas in the kitchen (2012),
Kitchen tap (2012),  Yoga in the kitchen (2012),  Kitchen battlefield (2012).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Cottage.

The cottage sold for $135,000 back in August 2013 and has just been listed for sale again at an asking price of $189,000. The new owners have made many improvements. It now has a wood heater, two large plastic water tanks, a good-sized tool/garden shed, a concreted area behind the house and some nice landscaping. One of the photos shows there's even a very neat and tidy dog kennel situated behind the rear bedroom. All of the original furniture is still there but is not included in this sale. No longer connected to the grid, the cottage has solar panels with a 24v battery bank, though I wonder how they manage during those dark wet winters. One of the locals mentioned a generator when we re-visited the town earlier this year. As I write this, Ben's still in the kitchen and happily back into WOW and other internet activities. There's no NBN access in Weldborough. If there was, that little cottage would be mighty tempting!

29689 Tasman Highway Weldborough Tas 7264

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tick Tock.

Tick tock,
Time to stop.
Story continues,
Blog ends.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bourne in Berlin.

(web image)
We’ve been watching and enjoying the Bourne series. According to Ben, "Jason Bourne wouldn’t be such a hero without the European public transport system". He especially enjoyed identifying familiar places in The Bourne Supremacy which was set in Berlin. We do have to return to Berlin for one final medical procedure, probably next year, and will make good use of the trains.