Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday Selections #225

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.


Like River I usually run with a theme. This week I would like to share a very scary morning.


My youngest brother and his wife have to find a new home because of asbestos contamination.  The good news?  They found one they think is suitable.  The bad news?  It was up for auction yesterday - when they were in another State for medical treatment.  The scary bit?  'Will you bid on it for us?  I don't want to be on the phone with you while the auction is going on because it will be toooo stressful!'

'Why thank you brother.  I wouldn't want you to go through any stress.'  Nice to be trusted, but a HUGE responsibility.  The real estate agent was unimpressed with his cowardice and told him that he really should be on the phone while the auction was underway.  I expect she thought he would increase his maximum bid.  She was wrong. 

So yesterday morning bright and early we headed across town.  It was a chilly start to the day, but bright and sunny.






The house isn't to my taste (lots of very small rooms), but it doesn't need to be.  I did like the wheelbarrow full of pansies though.

Heart in mouth, and knees knocking I started bidding.  And yes, the brother (stressed out to the max) was on the phone.  There were two other bidders and at one stage it was on its third and final call on my bid.  I put in a valiant effort - but failed when the other bidders got their 'auction legs'.  $43,000 over the upper limit I had been given it was sold (I believe it was grossly overpriced).  The nearest unsucessful bidder burst into tears.   Oh dear.

Better luck next time brother mine.  And hopefully you will be in town to do your own bidding.



Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Words for Wednesday

The lovely Delores at Under the Porch Light has been running this meme for a considerable period of time, week after week - even through the A to Z challenge.  Sadly she is having issues with her computer freezing on her (much as my brain does when faced with some of her words).  She has asked that someone take over on a temporary basis and I have stuck my hand up.
Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   

Wednesdays prompts are intended to help break down the barriers and get the juices flowing. Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme.  If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

This weeks prompts:

Abracadabra

Carillon

Bent

Glower

Nuisance 

Smiling

OR

Reluctant

Torpedo

Sweet

Growl

Persistent

Apple


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunday Selections #224

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.

Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am focussing on the weather, and on its impact in the garden.

We have been having some very, very windy days.  Some of you will remember that a large gum tree crashed into her house while I was talking to one of my sisters-in-law on the phone.  This week it was our turn.  A substantial branch came down and landed on the bed I had been weeding.  It was all I could do to drag it off the bed, so I am glad I was not in the garden at the time.


Our tree dahlias (dahlia imperialis) also suffered.  We grow more than a dozen of these leggy beauties every year and keep our fingers crossed that they will bloom before the frost kills them.  Things were going well.  Most of them were at least eight or nine feet tall and laden with buds.

And then the wind snapped all but three.  The remaining ones were bent, but not broken.




The next day showers were forecast.  Showers we got.  Showers of hail.

 



That night temperatures plummeted and my city recorded the lowest temperature of anywhere in Australia, and we got a heavy frost.

The remaining tree dahlia's leaves are black and burned.  They still have buds, but I am not hopeful.



I expect that next weekend I will be cutting them back to ground level, and hoping for better luck next year.

And yet.  It isn't yet winter here, but many of the spring flowering bulbs are poking through the ground.  And some are in flower.



Weird. Discouraging and hopeful at the same time.  But gardening is like that...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Family phrases

Relatively recently, rhymeswithplague put up a post about the things his parents used to say which got me thinking.

I think most families have some phrases in regular use.  They can form an unbreakable code to outsiders, and act as a kind of shorthand within the family.  For example, rhubarb is always known as 'thumb' in our family after a brother's mishap when preparing it.  And my father called all sauces gravy.  I remember seeing visitors cringe when he offered them gravy for their ice-cream.

Both of my parents had a treasure trove of phrases which they trotted out on a regular basis.  Some of them were true, some were helpful, and some decidedly the opposite.  Some were just odd.

As a child I had difficulties with the concept of left and right, and could never remember which was which.  My ever so helpful father told me 'Your left hand is the one with the thumb on the right'.  Why thank you Father.  Thank you so much... 

How about you?  What helpful (or otherwise) things were you told?  Have you carried them forward or started new secret codes of your own?

The smaller portion and I have adopted and adapted a phrase purloined from another family.  A workmate told us that while on a country drive her youngest daughter had pointed at a cattle truck and said 'oh look!  That nice man is taking his cows for a drive.'   More than twenty years later we still refer to nice men taking a variety of things (garbage, furniture...) for a drive.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Sunday Selections #223

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.

Like River I usually run with a theme.   Insomnia and habit mean that I am an early riser.  At the moment it has the advantage that I can get (quiet) things done before the skinny one is up.  One morning this week just before dawn I noticed a soft rose glow through the window.  And headed out with my camera.

It was subtle to begin with.


 And then I turned around and looked in the opposite direction - to the east.







 And back down the valley again...



Early morning magic.  Mad woman in dressing gown with camera dances were involved.  Again.

His high and skinniness is still verging on toad-like behaviour.  Fortunately, despite himself, he is mostly improving.  If I don't kill him he will probably survive.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sunday Selections #222

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen.

Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am going trawling back through old photos.  Photos from the holiday of my life, which culminated in a trip to Antarctica.  I have inflicted Antarctica photos on you often, but don't think I have shared these photos of La Boca, a neighbourhood in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

It is an incredibly photogenic area, but it is now somewhat of a tourist trap and largely fake.  Originally the homes were painted in multi colours using dregs of paint because it was such a poor area.  It is I believe still a poor area for some, but money is made there.  For some, lots of money.  Now the homes are gift shops, coffee bars, restaurants, art galleries, theatres...

Just the same, I am glad to have seen it.  Despite the tourist dollars which are extracted there, it is still a tribute to people who didn't allow poverty to 'grey out their world' but lived with quirky colour.









Friday, 1 May 2015

Home Again.

Himself was released from durance vile aka the hospital late yesterday.

His breathing is better.  But not good.  We have some follow-up appointments to go to over the next few weeks and he has come home with some exercises (and a nifty little gadget to blow into) to improve it.

He is glad to be home.  Very glad.  After some hesitation (because he smells funny) the cats are also pleased.  I am ambivalent.

He came home with instructions that he is not to drive, stretch, or lift anything over a couple of kilos (which includes Jazz).   All these surgeries later none of these are new restrictions.  His current breathing problems mean that he goes an attractive grey shade and starts gasping if he exerts himself in any way at all. 

And, in his usual fashion, less than a hour after we got home he demonstrated  why I tell him he is a vile convalescent.  Untrustworthy and a complete toad.  

While I was visiting him one day the cats were bored and lonely.  Somehow they managed to push the set-top box off the entertainment unit and bring it crashing to the floor behind it.   And repeated the trick the next day.  In the fall(s) a multitude of wires and plugs were disconnected.  It is (of course) relatively inaccessible.  I have got the television working again (a must because he is an addict).  I was pleased (and a little proud) that I managed that much.  Some other things have power, but don't (at the moment) feed into the television as they should.   I am not technologically adept, and have mobility issues.  It is probably not a good idea for me to attempt to disconnect and reconnect everything.  I have arranged for someone to come in and fix it all for him (with my fingers and toes crossed hoping there is no irreparable damage to any of the components).

So what does he do?  He sends me out of the room to get something for him.  In my absence he stretches behind the entertainment unit and starts to haul on the morass of wires, holding the set-top box over his head.  And pulled a stitch.  It is seeping rather than gushing, but to come back into the room I left only minutes before and find him grey, gasping and bleeding filled me with useless rage.

He is asleep at the moment.  Long may that state of affairs continue.

Shortly I have washing to do.  And plans to booby trap the area around the entertainment unit to prevent a repeat of that particular trick.  No doubt there will be others.  Hiss and spit.