Roughing It

So, it’s a short week this week due to Australia Day on Monday. Yay Australians for having a day. Although not technically Australian, I took the holiday regardless. No one has asked me to explain myself.

We camped on the Murray River with about a dozen other people, including assorted children and dogs. I had none of the children and two of the dogs. It was a great time, but then again camping always is. I was wearing a cross-back singlet top when we arrived, and after putting up the tent in the full sun I felt the slightest bit tingly. Burn? Me? With blue eyes, blonde hair and skin so pale that phosphorescent insects are attracted to my luminousness? I do not comprehend your meaning, sir. Anyway, no real harm done due to diligent application of sunscreen. But my fatal mistake was wearing the same singlet the next day, and getting more sun, thereby cementing the criss-cross pattern indelibly on my back. It’s like the mark of the devil. I could worship the sun for the rest of the summer and I would still have the stain of inattentive tanning etched on my back. And as I don’t get that much sun at the best of times, I see a future in which next summer, I will still see a ghostly white apparition visible on my back. Pray for me.

Come Fly with Me

So I just came back from Queensland for work. Yes, you hate me with the fiery envy of a thousand suns. I wouldn’t bother, really. But if you must.

For the flight back I scored a window seat, and an empty seat beside me. I began my secret gloating, as did the woman on the aisle seat. Not that we made eye contact – however, I knew she knew, and she knew I knew. The empty seat between us had brought us together. However, as always, it came to an abrupt end about 3 minutes before takeoff, as a guy hastily pushed his way between us, complete with bulky backpack and flailing Doc boots. Cue abrupt end to gloating, replaced with quiet contemplation of the upcoming 2 hours wedged directly next to another human being. The Dance of the Elbows began, complete with “sorry” – “no, excuse me” … and I remembered why flying is always more fun in expectation than reality. Then again, I bet I had a better time than the Yorkshire Terrier I saw being loaded into the cargo hold. Although it looked slightly alarmed at travelling up a conveyor belt into an aeroplane hold, I think it was most upset about being in a cat cage. Dogs have feelings too. Even little dogs.

Bachelor Schmachelor

I don’t watch many reality TV shows. In fact, truth be told, i don’t watch much TV at all anymore. This sounds noble and like I have filled my time with more worthwhile pursuits … in fact, I just spend more time on the Internet. However. One program I do watch is Wife Swap, the British reality show where the wives in two families swap for two weeks. It’s English, which automatically makes it a step ahead of the US shows. For example, there are no catchy phrases and no-one gets to carry flaming torches. Although flaming torches are not, in and of themselves, detrimental to reality shows. Very real, the flaming torch.

But I digress. Wife Swap screens on Channel Nine, the channel you watch when you’re not watching Ten. And I happened to wander into the lounge slightly earlier than usual, and turned on the TV anyway. It seems Channel Nine chooses to screen back-to-back reality shows – quite frankly, this is a wise move as it seems no-one but me has anything against them. And this particular one was The Bachelor IV – The Bitches Bite Back. OK it wasn’t really called that; but I don’t remember its lame and pointless actual title. Ladies Night, or something. Basically, it consisted of all the dumped Spinsters talking about why they were dumped by the Bachelor; and how if he’d only seen their real, true selves, then they wouldn’t have been dumped. Quite entertaining, in a vacuous fashion – I love the complete lack of self awareness that reality TV contestants often display. Well, I enjoy it for about 2 minutes, and then I get embarrassed for them, and then it’s all over and I have to change the channel.

As amazing as it may seem, I have not seen a Bachelor to date. And apparently they are up to The Bachelor IV. What Have I been Doing with my Time. If only I’d known, I could have been watching the journey of this Bachelor through the 25 Spinsters, firing out roses and rejecting many an American beauty. However, now I have rectified this and I am all caught up. Apart from the small matter of the Bachelor’s name. They must have mentioned it somewhere, but I will continue to call him the Bachelor. I don’t think he’ll mind. And in fact, since I will no doubt forget his very existence by tomorrow, it is more economical not to clutter up space in my head with the name of the Bachelor. After all, what if they go on to The Bachelor V? My knowledge will be useless, like my Medieval English credits. In fact, if I could chuck out all this Chaucer in my brain, I might have more room for Bachelorisms.

Brazen Hussy

This romance book cover art* is just fantastic. (* Ed: Link dead, long live the link!) The attention to detail reminds me of my favourite Mills and Boon romance novel, that I read at T’s grandparent’s bach in the Queen Charlotte Sounds one Christmas. I feel obliged to give all sorts of excuses for reading this crap – I was on holiday at the beach, it was the only reading material available apart from old National Geographics, I had finished Crime and Punishment … but I will fight the urge. OCCASIONALLY I READ BAD FICTION. Especially if it is around 100 pages, contains more froth than a tall latte, and can be polished off with no effort within 40 minutes. But I digress.

This particular Mills and Boon had suffered a hard life. Falling to bits, it was from the ‘vintage’ era of romance novels where the heroine was either a nurse or secretary. This particular edition was not well copy edited; as I remember, the heroine’s name briefly swapped to that of her sister during one torrid love scene. That woke me from my skim reading stupor – “what the … threeway action? In a Mills and Boon? From … wait … 1951?!” No such luck – the name reverted back to the original and the deeply uninspiring love scene continued.

However, cue later love scene – Stock Romance Cliche #14, where the heroine tries to resist the mesmerising power of her suitor, then crumbles under the weight of his devastating attraction. (These sorts of scenes always make me vaguely uncomfortable – if you don’t even LIKE him, why are you in a deserted moonlit chateau in France together?) But this particular scene is destined to remain permanently engraved in my memory. As she gives way to her passion … and I quote … “she felt something deep within her crack”.

Gold. Pure gold. And I last saw that book over ten years ago.

Late night Ramblings

Somehow, even though I have been working for 5 years now, I still run on my university body-clock. That is, my natural inclination is to start the day slowly, ramp up, slacken off in the afternoon, and then at about 10pm I get a heady burst of activity. This is the time where I want to DO things. These things may include rearranging furniture, starting a new book. walking the dogs, or baking. Obviously this timing is far from impeccable, considering I still have to get up by 7am regardless, if it’s a work day. If it’s a weekend, then I will sleep till around 10am. This worked out fine in university (although I modified it a bit by getting into the lab by 10am. A crucial distinction.) However at the moment it is all late nights and early mornings, coupled with sleeping the weekends away like the dead. Not good, considering it is summer and the weekends are all sunny and good to do things in. So unless I force myself to go to bed at a decent hour, the cycle repeats.

Case in point. So if you’ll excuse me, I will now go to bed. After I do the dishes and clean the bathroom.

I hope you don’t think I’m kidding.

Release the Hounds

OK so now we have dedicated web space. Although ‘dedicated’ might be pushing it a bit far – I don’t know how committed the space is, or what family obligations it may have which would interfere with it’s dedicated duties.

I think it’s fairly obvious that it is late and I am extremely tired.

Pushing my luck

Try for another image. How hard can it be??


I am still sick, and not an interesting naseous kind of sick either. My head is filled with bugs. Wrapped in cotton wool. Occasionally one will boot me on the side of the head and give me a hideous headache spasm. I am drinking lots of soda water to replace the fluids constantly leaving me through my sinuses. Yeah, everyone wants to know about sinuses. It’s OK, I’ll stop here.

Well apparently since I am externally hosted (that sounds sort of perverse), I should be able to upload images. I can’t see it happening. Let’s give the giant cicada picture another go. Now that I’ve hyped it into some big event, like it’s as big as the cat or something. Although if it was as big as the cat, it WOULD be a great photo. However. Not.

People, I think we have a winner.

Happy New Year

Yes, late, but how unusual is that. We took the dogs for a run today in a park off Glenferrie Rd – the Brown Dog can RUN. The rest of us staggered round under the weight of T’s sister’s left-behind cold. All the sneezing is really taking it out of me.