al fresco

This renovating thing has some slight drawbacks. For example, if your laundry is spread from pillar to post, you’ll have to find another place to do, well, the laundry.

Step 1: Find a place with both a tap and a power point.

Step 2: Oh, and a drain.

Step 3: This place should not be the kitchen, directly in front of the sink, as the kitchen tiles are not finished and also the kitchen is then unusable for the length of a wash cycle, which is 1.5 hours.

Step 4: Yes, 1.5 hours. This front loader is 10 years old and likes to take its time. I imagine they’ve got faster over the years.

Step 5: The tap and the drain and the power point, remember?

Step 6: No, not the bathroom either, as it’s also being ripped to bits and currently has no taps. Or power points, come to think of it.

Step 7: We’ll settle for just the tap. And the drain. Don’t you have a tap just outside the laundry door?

Step 8: No.

Step 9: Find the outdoor tap. Not that one in the front garden, there must be another one.

Step 10: On the far corner of the house? Really?

Step 11: Far corner of the house, you say. Which is not undercover. And it’s directly in the middle of a rainy Melbourne winter. When I need 1.5 hours of non-rainy weather per wash cycle.

Step 12: It’s not raining right now GO GO GO. Where’s that long outdoor extension lead?

Step 13: Good thing we’ve got this handcart. I’m sure we’ll be going to hell on it soon.

Step 14: No, wait, that’s a handbasket.

Step 15: Enjoy your al fresco laundry experience! In between rain showers.

Is that a black cloud? Oh crap.


It’s fair to say that during this renovation, I have received a fair amount of help. I’m sure you remember Exhibit A as shown:

And that helpful effort is currently slap bang on the outside of the new front door, ready to greet you as you enter. It’s only the undercoat, but still, a great team effort. However once the door was up, clearly the helpering had to move on. Perhaps some helpering needed to be done under the house?


I don’t know what you are yelling about and I will stare airily in this direction until the yelling stops. Also my face is heavy.

And since the helpering was clearly under control below, perhaps someone could get going on the above?


… oh, the flash. Right. Only a ceiling cat, then.


We do go to dog training, honest.


stop helping me

Painting the new front door (inside, because it’s so cold and windy outside it will never dry).


picture heavy

Why yes, I have been overseas again. I am turning into quite the cosmopolitan jetset traveller. Not by choice, this time, but due to my work’s conference, which was great. Sitting by the pool, day tripping around the country – what’s not to love. I had a great time, right up until the point where people started falling ill left and right around me. And then I still had a great time, because I (miraculously) did not get sick myself. Apparently the Gastro Event Of Extreme Horror I went through last year may have better equipped me to handle similar things in the future. Which is good, because MY GOD I did not want to get that sick again. So I survive, with just the faintest touch of frailty and digestive upset. Then again, the same thing pretty much happened after our USA trip, so apparently a trifling change of diet is enough to upset me. (Mmmm, trifle.) Sorry, sidetracked. Want to see some elephants?

This was amazing, clearly. Watching this many elephants together (about 40 all up) made it really obvious what a social animal they are. Lots of play-fighting, pushing, poking with trunks, and rolling around in the mud and the water together. There were three small elephants that were totally submerged for most of the time, with just their trunks poking out of the water, as they formed and re-formed a big underwater elephant knot. This is an elephant orphanage, by the way, where they’re raised and then released back into the wild. Which is pretty much the other side of the river, to be honest.

What else? Oh, I took this photo on the plane over; it’s my view between the seats in front of me. Unfortunately my sneak photo-taking skillz need some work, but the lady in front of me had been watching Lord of the Rings and then paused it to take a three-hour nap, with the screen tilted in such a way that I could see it. Sadly for me, she paused it right on a scene where Frodo is passed out and staring blankly out of the screen with those big empty eyes, and I kept catching this disturbing image out of the corner of my own eye. Disconcerting.

Anyway, after my trip I returned home to find my laundry being ripped out. Yay! I have been wanting to do this since we walked through the house when considering buying it. Our kitchen has a little laundry room tacked on the end of it, and the plan has always been to smash out the wall dividing them and make it into one larger space. Now that wall is gone, and also the cupboard that used to be the entire end of the laundry room. LOOK AT THAT WALLPAPER. Just look at it.That had been hidden by the cupboard, by the way, so I had only seem glimpses of its magnificence before this. And it turns out that before this was a laundry cupboard, it was actually a toilet (see the roof cornices dividing it off, plus the louvre windows at the end). I can only think you would do your business and get the HELL OUT as soon as possible.

Luckily for us, one of our best mates has a home handyman-type business, so he and Mr. T are destroying the house together. Well, when I say Mr. T is involved, I believe he is in charge of making the coffees and fetching the left-handed screwdrivers. Also keeping the Little Dog out of the way, since he seems to have no sense of self-preservation. He walks into the path of swinging hammers, lies down in grout, sniffs running power tools, and yet is scared of the metal tape measure. Anyway, ripping up the laundry has revealed no less than four different types of tiles/lino under the sub-floor, as well as some rotting floorboards due to water damage, which have been removed to be replaced.

Unfortunately, having holes in the floor makes me morbidly conscious of rats, and having the cats flitting around getting into everything just makes me jumpier. When a sinuous furry thing come slinking out from under cabinets, my first thought is not GET OUT OF THERE CAT but instead a visceral GAAAAAAAH GIANT RAT KICK IT KILL IT KILL IT. My cats are lucky to still be alive, is what I’m saying. I mean, I’ve never seen a giant ginger rat, but there’s a first time for everything.

We are not rats. We are LOVELY.

And yet another four;

Stephen King, “Everything’s Eventual”. I found this abandoned in a suitcase.

The snores of the Little Dog, who sadly seems just as loud and snorty at night as the Brown Dog.

Endless episodes of UFC, which is some sort of fighting… thing. Do not want.

I’m having a bit of an avocado binge. The Little Dog likes them too.

Renovations! Apart from the cost of said renovations. Let’s not think about that part.

If there is dirty washing in the basket, the cats ignore it… but if it is CLEAN, one of them has made a nest in there within 10 minutes. Five minutes, if it’s black clothes.