Pray there is never another potato famine…


Holy Mother of Whatever, the kids are feral!

First day of term, two periods into the day I felt as though I should have been issued with a chair and whip. It didn’t help that after never ever having a policy on mobile technology, in particular mobiles, this was the day that we got to announce that they were no longer to be seen, let alone used, during class time. Also no selfies at school, at any time!

I felt as though I was going to be chewed into minced meat and spat out, when I had to deliver the message to my home class.

I have to admit though, that it did feel good, that I no longer have to tolerate the “It’s my Mum” pretend excuse anymore. Mum, if you do phone your child during class time, you should be beaten. If it is an emergency, phone the school to deliver the message, don’t interrupt everyone’s learning and my teaching!

No use trying to say that they can’t chat, or text on their phones all day in the adult work world, either. The horror and disbelief on their faces was so real it was horrifying.

Minerva and I have a code word, “potato” which basically means we are going home to drink vodka.


In the Kitchen with Flamingo Dancer; and tomorrow is another day

Hedy Lamarr in Adrian -

36C temp today, but thanks to the assistance of air conditioning I managed to prepare meals for the next three nights. All Mr FD has to do is pop the dishes in the oven at the appropriate time and we shall feast like kings. Maybe not kings, but merchants. Sorry, history teacher poking through.

The reason for my domestic superiority? A cholesterol test that came back at 6. I already take 80mg of Lipitor every day, and I have decided that I am not going to add another medication to my already lengthy morning regime. My self selected challenge is to return for another test in 9 weeks, after making some effort for a change, and if I have, hopefully, the next test will show a positive improvement. If not, then I have to surrender to medication. My goal, naturally would be to shed all medication, but first things first.

So, to stay away from temptation, I put in an effort and made three meals. Exhausting. Being perfect is so exhausting, I think that is why so many of us fail along the journey. Fall down eight times, get up nine.

We are also holding a shared morning tea tomorrow for two colleagues in the library building. Instead of the usual sweet food, I baked my savoury mediterranean muffins, and will take some salsa to serve with them. I know Minerva is on a Lite and Easy diet over the last few weeks, so at least one person will appreciate them. I had to hide the muffins from Mr FD who scoffled  three down as they were cooling from the oven!

Back to school tomorrow. It was a nice break. Late today, Daughter2 sent through air tickets for Mr FD and I to fly to Perth in December to be with them when Baby Peppercorn is due. If Baby is late, Mr FD and I may just be able to squeeze in a trip to Margaret River – the food and wine area of Western Australia. Baby and Perth will hopefully get me through the next nine week school term.



Living in a whirl


Social whirl, people, positively, a social whirl. One day going to a concert with Petite Fille and another, breakfast with the Ladies who Lunch [the Ladies Who Breakfasted?]; except this time we had a couple of guys with us.

Petite Fille is a musical little lady and so we attended the Lah Lah’s Big Live Band concert in Brisbane. The performers brought their instruments out to the theatre foyer afterwards to allow the children to meet them, and interact with the various instruments. Petite Fille loved the performance so much that when she met Lah Lah, who was sitting on the floor, that she gave her a neck hug!

Afterwards, we took in lunch at the State Library, a walk through the Bookshop there, a very important half hour taking in children’s play area within the State Library and a few minutes watching a children’s busker on the green at the Cultural Centre, before going home to collapse on the couch. Well, Grandma collapsed on the couch, I think it was the “all adults up and dancing” session during the concert that did me in; or maybe the fours thousand stairs between theatre, library and cultural centre car park! Maybe both.

Petite Fille, the two and half year old fashionista.

Petite Fille, the two and half year old fashionista.

Breakfast with the Ladies, long term friends, was filled with love and laughter. Food was just a very ordinary pub dining room breakfast, but it was all about the people really. That said, the coffee was dreadful, should have stayed with the tea!

One friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of years, and in the meantime she met a new partner, so it was lovely to meet him at last. She is 57 and he is 72 though, not that he appears “old”, but time has a way of cutting such relationships short. Then again, she has already suffered a stroke and we all know that there are no guarantees in life…

More of a worry is that he has had 4 exs, though! They met when Friend started cleaning his house after Ex No.4 exited. Lovely to see her so happy, as she suffered dreadfully after a very unexpected divorce some twenty years ago. I wish her well and that her happiness lasts forever.

Nice too, to forget for a few hours that the new school term starts on Tuesday. Nine week term, and the graduation of another group of year 12s. Then off to Perth to await the birth of Peppercorn! Yes, Christmas in Perth this year – I have never been away from home for Christmas, so it will be like living life on the wild side!



I was naked and afraid!

naked and afraid spider

Actually, naked and vulnerable; or naked and surprised, might be more accurate. There was definitely nakedness involved, though.

Clothing discarded, I raised a dainty hand to turn on the shower when my little eye fell upon a spider the size of a rhinoceros in the bath.

Okay, a rhino may not fit in our ensuite bathroom, but I exaggerate to you not, this specimen of the phylum Arthropoda was HUGE. It may have been a mouse spider, or a wolf spider; either way it did not belong in my shower.

I am not usually phased by spiders. Strangely, I am more gung-ho towards spiders than Mr FD; maybe it is the beating with stick things. However, I challenge anyone to feel gung-ho whilst naked.

I grabbed a towel (Son was in the house!) and called for Mr FD to “bring your cane!” I dashed to the pantry for the insect spray, which I handed to my erstwhile knight. Mr FD drowned the thing in insect spray, our usual modus operandi, then squished it to pieces with the end of his cane. Hence our indecision over exact order of spider. Big, ugly – did I mention HUGE?

Spider mulched, and despatched to the bin, I had to throw open the bathroom window to let the insect spray fumes escape. I ran water over the shower but the it was still slippery underfoot when I finally ventured in for my shower.

Just got to love Spring when nature is on the move. Due to the dry weather it is driving many creatures towards civilisation or indoors. There have been reports of carpet snakes in toilet bowls searching for water…perhaps I should not complain about a spider; but it was HUGE and I was naked!


Country life : egg poachers and neighbours at the mail box

eggs in a basket

I am so excited.

I have a new egg poacher!

Mr FD can poach a fairly decent egg in a saucepan of boiling water with a dash of white vinegar, but the few times I tried, the egg was, well less than delectable.

In the past, we have owned several egg poachers, but they all had plastic cup inserts, which often cause multiple issues. The cup slipping and egg overflowing into the water so that the water would then boil over making an horrible mix of watery egg. The last set of egg cups may have melted when someone left the pan on the stove and forgot to  turn the stove off. That was a few years ago and so we have been egg poacherless since then.

I am Flamingo Dancer, and I have been frying my eggs. Not in fat or lard, but with a little vegetable oil spray, but fried none the less.

So, recently when I was purchasing a chef’s knife for D2 Son-in- law’s birthday (Peppercorn’s Daddy to be) I succumbed to the lure of the shiny new egg poachers and ordered one online.

It arrived while I was in the City and I had to drive to the post office to collect it. Oh Happy Day. To illustrate its importance, it had been packed in a delivery box about twice the size of the actual pan and the said box filled most of my car boot {trunk}.

I raced home with it, wanting to stroke its gleaming newness, but at the mailbox I was flagged down by the neighbouring lady who wanted to chat. I know, niceness. Niceness when I have a new thing!

These neighbours have lived beside us for two years, and while Mr FD and Son have spoken with them, I have somehow never had the honour. For those of long term readership, they are the neighbours who wanted us to chop down our trees to suit them!

Husband has recovered from his foot cancer, but is now so obese he cannot fit down their halls, or pass through their doorways, so they have built an obesity house, as I call it, on the other side of our Village. They will be moving out over the next month. I always seem to get to know neighbours as they move out…oh dear, how sad, not.

So there I am, knowing my new friend The Egg Poacher is waiting for me, and I have to stand and exchange life stories. Twenty minutes. I guess I got some vitamin D. She is lucky she didn’t get a stick list position.

word games


Lying in bed, unable to fall back to sleep, my thoughts turned to the subject of religion. Don’t psyco-analyse it, please.

Not the bigger questions like WHO IS The Big Whatever, or mortality; not this Flamingo Dancer. [For those who wonder, for this little birdie, The Big Whatever is not some supernatural patriarchal figure in the sky, “the big whatever” is the ” spirit for good” within us and our working for the common good. I view it as social teaching. I also don’t believe that life necessarily has a “meaning”. We live, we die; end of story.] Back to subject…

Bedtime at the Harris Orphanage at Preston

No, in the wee dark hours I started to analyse the language of some of my childhood prayers. The arts graduate deconstructing literature.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

I prayed that every night as a small child and now that horrifies me. Fancy having a small child contemplate death as they settle down to sleep. No wonder we had nightmares!

Another prayer we said every day during my Sister of No Mercy days, was the Hail Mary which contains the lines “the fruit of thy womb…”

Except no one ever told us what a womb was, and certainly not what the “fruit” of a womb might be! There we were, piously rattling off words for which we had no meaning or understanding – and what is more, I don’t think I ever held any curiosity in my younger days to find out!

Senseless. No wonder there is such a disconnect with religion today. I won’t even start on the stupidity of taking the bible literally, as so many people devoid of critical thinking do… Too often it just gives the haters a reason to hate.

I am starting to think that the spellchecker is an atheist, for every time I type the word soul it automatically changes it to the word should. Is it a message for me, or just a petulant spell checker?

Anyway, that is what filled my sleepless hours. Not sure if it was better than counting sheep.


True Confession : My dirty little idiosyncrasy

clothes lines 1One of my little idiosyncrasies. Most people in Australia, who live in single family dwellings, have a clothes line. Some apartment blocks have a shared line, also. There are few days in the year when the weather is too ghastly to dry clothes outside, especially in Queensland, the Sunshine State!

This is where my idiosyncrasy comes into play, though some might tag it by its possible clinical term as an “obsessive, compulsive” habit ritual.


When I peg the clothes out, the coloured, plastic pegs chosen for each item must match. Two yellow pegs, or two green pegs; at all possible costs it must never be a yellow peg with a green peg.

Oh, and my clothing needs to have blue pegs. Blue is my favourite colour, most of my clothing is blue (or black, a little grey in winter). So it follows that the blue pegs are for moi.

Mr FD, uncouth and uncivilised, (be they of the same literal meaning?) follows no such gentility and will now only use random colours, but [name and shame] he deigns to even peg a pair of undies with a shirt. Yes, dear reader, a shirt will be pegged, not from the hem line, but from its shoulders and will frequently have a pair of undies dangling from a shared should peg. I only than the Big Whatever that our clothes line is at the back of our property and unseen by other eyes, except for wallabies and kangaroos who disdain the wearing of underwear anyway.

Yet, this attention to detail does not carry through to other areas of my life. My children have entertained dinner guests with the many and varied uses their mother has found for a tupperware lettuce crisper. Why limit it to just holding a lettuce, I say? Great for holding left over roast, for instance. And small, bouncing balls; or cotton wool. I wonder if I could set jelly in one?

Just this weekend I horrified Daughter 2 by informing her that I carried my fruit salad to school in a tupperware sandwich keeper. It doesn’t leak for a start. Why is everything a”keeper” with tupperware? Are they worried we might lose our sandwiches on the way to lunch?

I speak of tupperware though I have been but to two parties in my life. Most of my tupperware has been inherited from my mother who could never say no to anyone inviting her to yet another party plan event.

Do you think there are secret meetings of tupperware addicts, who meet in church basements under cover of darkness? “Hello, my name is Darleen, and I have 42 tupperware lettuce crispers.” Too frightening to contemplate.