Chuffed all around

ODD 1

Mr FD’s full time job seems to have become maintaining his health in recent months with visits to the optometrist, pediatrist, physiotherapist, family doctor, dentist and now periodontist. Getting old is a full time job! It is also a growing expense due to major design faults with the human body – maybe The Big Whatever should have rested for a day before undertaking the construction of humans!

I arrived home with my post conference glow to be greeted with the fact that at the age of 64 Mr FD’s four wisdom teeth need to removed – on Tuesday. I guess the wisdom never functioned so what is the need to keep them anyway.

So, from Thursday night to today we have been in high gear in preparation for “the procedure”. It is taking place in Toowoomba which is some thirty or forty minutes drive from The Village, with a lot of road work in between. As I work 40 minutes in the opposite direction from The Village, it necessitates me taking a Family Care Day to drive and care, well, drive, at least. Then I get to spend five or six hours in a city which was home for 25 years but with which we now have no contact. See the inconvenience I am suffering?

Then there was the shopping list to the pharmacy for ice packs, pain killers, nausea medication, cotton pads and the list goes on. We had a complete list from the periodontist and I thought it would be a case of handing it over and paying for a shopping bag of goodies, but the pharmacy assistant had to second and third guess and confuse herself over every item on the list. I think she was somewhat perplexed in serving a person (Mr FD excluded) with any level of critical thinking and so had to argue every point.

I wanted to say, “excuse me, but I actually have a level of intelligence” with perhaps the addition of “more than the usual locals around here” but one must be politically correct, and so I had to work REALLY HARD on keeping my voice calm and jammer polite replies, but we must have been close to an hour in the damn pharmacy before we were able to obtain what was exactly on our list.  Not to self, take a cut lunch and a thermos on next outing to pharmacy.

There was a poor woman in the pharmacy waiting for a script who looked like a suppurating wound from head to toe, and while she was distressing to look upon I can only imagine what a misery her life must be. She adopted Mr FD and I however, in-between the pharmacy assistant appearing and disappearing on her fool’s errands, and tried to tell us her story. She wanted to tell the entire store her story, which may have been good therapy for her, but most of us had our own issues – I mean I had to lead a wisdom tooth suffering Mr FD around as he malfunctioned on pain medication.

I tried to appear sympathetic, and I was, I am guessing that she had a severe skin infection from eczema or dermatitis,  but when she started to complain about how the doctor would no longer allow her to drain her own infection by popping them I just wanted to throw up. I murmured soothingly comments, such as “oh dear, how uncomfortable for you, that must be distressing, and oh my how terrible” hoping my lack of questions or conversational natter would deter her but alas, no.

It came to the point where I was about to throw my arms around the pharmacy assistant and welcome her into my family if she took us to another department, when she actually did, and we were released from our incarceration.

However, not before Mr FD had to share a joke that he had created in the middle of the previous night, with the pharmacy assistant. I figured it was pay back for the suffering she had made me suffer, so I allowed him to roll.

My doctor says I am addicted to fishing. [Pause for the listener to react sympathetically] But it is okay because they are going to give me NEMOtherpay.

Yep, so chuffed was he with his comedic efforts that he had woken me the previous night to share his brilliance. Like I said, she deserved it. No doubt he will share with all on Tuesday prior to surgery. They may increase his pain level in return, but who would argue?

Mr FD stayed ensconced in the car, windows down a crack for ventilation, as I ran through the supermarket scooping up soups, custard, soft fruits, jelly and yoghurt for his invalid needs. Another budget blow out.

He doesn’t know it yet, but I am keeping tally on all my discomfort and efforts in his cause and he will be billed in kind accordingly. No more settling for a meagre cup of tea and a piece of toast when I am attacked by diverticulitis. I expect service with a couple S, man.

Tuesday, he is to be delivered to day surgery by 10am, nil by mouth. I shall depart to a fine restaurant for brunch, and maybe a spot of shopping, but if the weather is fine I shall walk some of the local parks which are beautiful even in the dead of winter, which is yet to arrive. Autumn passed still dressed as summer this year.

Then there will be the drive home, hopefully with a silent and docile pain relieved Mr FD in the evening to face the long first night.

Back to work on Wednesday. I think I will actually be looking forward to it!

country nights

night

At night our Village is utterly quiet, except for the trains that wind around the town throughout. I sit on my bed in our hilltop house and through the forest of trees, the street lights twinkling like fairy lights through the branches and the  waving leaves. Across the valley the yellow lights of a distant highway service station bring to mind the ramparts of a far away castle.

A train starts its climb, the sound of its efforts somehow comforting. All is right with this world.

Sleep well.

The Queen was in the throne room

Call us spontaneous, as with my sister riding in the back seat, we went in search of my mother’s family home. Mr FD and I had tried a few months back to pinpoint the seat of my maternal home, but as I was about 8 the last time I was in that area, and that is the odd decade or two (three or four, then) since, I was not sure of the way and we missed the turn off. My older sister was about 17 the last time she was there and so was able to locate it with more ease. Our great grandparents had settled the farm as new immigrants from Germany/Poland.

We pulled up and the present owner of the former dairy farm was working in the yard and so we asked permission to take a photo, though I would have even if he had said no!

 

Grandparents  House   The house originally had iron lace all around the veranda which was removed and the veranda closed in during my mother’s childhood – with nine children, the two boys slept on the closed in veranda. Being a Polish/German family the farm was always pristine, with not a thing out of place in my childhood, with a very large Victorian style garden with neat rectangular beds edged in rocks removed from the fields as borders. There was also a large orchard, but all this is now gone and turned over to lawn. Still, the old home looked wonderful, and brought back so many happy memories for my sister and I.

Afterwards we drove to Spicer’s at Hidden Vale, which is about 20 minutes from our house,  for a late lunch. My sister had already lunched at the Home with Mum, so sister and I shared a ploughman’s platter and then scones with jam and cream. We sat on the veranda of the original homestead and took in the views of the valley plains below while a jazz duo played in the background. I am told it is how the other half live. Spicers   spicer at hidden vale While there was much to photograph I had to share this photo with you – the toilet roll holder in the ladies toilet. It is the Australian coat of arms. How apt for the throne room! toilet roll spicers 1   toilet roll spicers 2

 

 

To read the history of the HIDDEN VALE area go HERE

warning men at work

The boys, Mr FD and Son have had a very eventful day at home.

Mr FD set the fire alarm off by cleaning the bar-b-que outside on the patio. He started to clean it while it was hot, and so the cleaning product started to smoke and the smoke went in through our bedroom window and set off the fire alarm.

... and the expected life span of  Mr FD

… and the expected life span of Mr FD

On the weekend, I suggested that is was time to call the plumber to fix the leaking tap in the main bathroom. Mr FD decided he would see to it, and took it apart, checked on the internet and found that it was superseded and so a replacement part could not be procured. He put it back together again, and said he would follow up today.

He certainly did, when I wanted to shower tonight, Mr FD had to go outside and turn the water back on while I showered and then turn it off afterwards, to stop the water gushing out of the bathroom basin tap.

The plumber is due in the morning. Sometimes I am actually thankful that I am out of the house all day…

I see dead things.

Driving home from Brisbane on our recent microwave buying adventure, Mr FD had to slow on the highway to avoid contact with a turtle (turtle, tortoise, I never remember the difference, or even if there is one!).

Driving home at the end of first day of term. in almost the same spot and in heavy traffic I was unable to slow or avoid a turtle (the turtle?) trying to cross four lanes of traffic. The clunk as the car tyres hit its shell was sickening.

I would like to imagine, that like the turtles in all those looney tunes cartoons of my childhood, that it actually pulled its head and limbs inside its shell and merely spun around on the road before recommencing its trek. But I know…

turtle

No doubt, in some culture, somewhere, killing a turtle tortoise is a summons for bad luck that will last a lot longer than the bad omens attached to the shattering of a mirror. I am not sure I want to know if it is.

I am a killer of turtles. It may have been a stupid turtle trying to cross a four lane highway at peak hour. I mean couldn’t it have considered itself lucky to have made the trip once and not chanced a second throw of the dice? Well, actually if it was the same turtle, it had crossed the highway, crossed back and then was back for a third journey. Either that, or it was one damn slow turtle, and maybe it deserved to be road kill. Those genes didn’t need to be passed on!

I am gutted… well, I guess, so is the turtle! [Black humour is a coping mechanism, honestly].

Should I perform some sort of cleansing ritual? Should I go conduct a smoke ceremony over my car? My name is Flamingo Dancer, I kill small, slow , dumb creatures.

Nice then

nice

Do you ever have one of those days when someone asks you, “How was your day?” and you reply “Nice, it was a nice day.” and you really can’t recall why it was nice, or how it was nice, but it was nice, and then it dawns on you that it was actually the absence of any form of irritation that made it nice?

Well, yesterday was like that.

 

…where have you been? I’ve been to Australia offending their Flamingo Dancer

fd pink

There has been a bit of a rumble in the kingdom these past couple of days. An element of interference in my universe. A territorial dispute. The “other” royals, those foreign interlopers, William and Kate, and their cutesy wutsey baby boy, George have been round and about the place. They have the temerity to venture within mere miles of Moi this weekend too!

I have chosen to take the moral high ground and have issued no invitations to them.

In fact, I have decided the best course of action, or non action might be more accurate, is to ignore them totally. Well, except for the time I am watching the news and they happen to appear before my eyes, numerous times a day. I am after a a tolerant woman, and they are young and inexperienced. One must understand that they do not know what they are doing, straying within my lands.

The days are pleasant, the sun is shining, the parrots are tweeting, tweet tweet, so what better that a morning in the garden? The basil was taking over the orchard and blocking the bath of the sprinklers and so that was cut back. Then, onto the daisies that line the stairs to the orchard terrace.

This is an area where caution is required. It is a dry stone wall and a favourite place to sun and hide for snakes, so it is with some caution that I venture thus. I always wear knee high wellingtons when I garden as a form of self protection, and have gloves as well, but where there is a will there is a way for woman and reptile. I wonder if it is a female snake? There must be one somewhere hence the spawn. Anyway, that is not my subject too. What is my subject?

Oh yes, gardening. If anyone is wondering what happened to the sweet potato I planted so earnestly some months ago, well nothing happened.  They popped up and started to grow and then they must have become a tasty meal for possum or rat, as GOF predicted. The spot remains empty.The End.

I have plans to plant nasturtium to attract bees for the fruit trees, but I am not expecting my dining companion not to return to make it difficult. The orchard garden is on the edge of our property and backs onto open bushland, home to everything and anything.

Gardening completed on a perfect autumn day, I retired inside to a lovely cup of tea, a yorkshire blend for the gardening goddess, only to be offended anew by William and Kate, sans George, meeting the cheering peoples of New South Wales’ Blue Mountains. There is only so much a goddess can tolerate, and so I called for my stick list.

Home alone though, so no minion came forth. Too comfy after my morning’s efforts to rise, I gave W&K a momentary pardon. Just this once, mind you. Just once.

 

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to look at the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do there?
I frightened a little mouse, under the chair.

kookaburra return

Since the recent rain, the grass has greened up and the worms have popped up, and our kookaburra friend has returned.

I didn’t want to frighten him/her so this is just a hasty shot taken with my phone.

Australian Kookaburra - pronounced cook, not koooooook

Australian Kookaburra – pronounced cook, not koooooook

[Since the little pile on the ground in the corner of the fence - dog poop. Son piles up Augie Dog's poop there. Don't ask why...]

 

A somewhat better shot someone took earlier:

kookaburra 1

not a difficult blessing to count at all!

Today was a family perfect day. We met Daughter1, Mr Boy and Petite Fille for lunch before returning back to our house so that Petite Fille could have an afternoon nap while we devoured birthday cake (or maybe that should be pre-birthday cake as my birthday is not until Monday).

D1 was experimenting with eggless cake recipes as Petite Fille has an egg allergy, and also used dextrose instead of sugar as they try to be sugar free (Mr Boy is more committed to this than Daughter1). I have to happily admit that her efforts were delicious.

IMG_0489

Petite Fille put up a few protests before settling for her nap, and when she cried, Augie Dog stood at the door and whined, and once barked in agitation at her distress. Once she settled he did too. She slept for over two hours before waking for a bowl of strawberries and a walk around the garden with Grandma (me!).

My Dad would always take the babies and toddlers for walks around their suburban garden each visit, and now I get the joy of following in his footsteps. It is amazing how many times I catch myself doing something with Petite Fille that I know my parents did with my children.

Maybe in this every changing world, there really are some things that stay the same – the love of a grandparent and a grandchild. I would like to believe so anyway.

raindrops and linen sheets

Woke at 7am, made breakfast for Augie Dog and myself, Mr FD still slumbering, then Augie and I went back to bed. I woke with a start at 11.30am, Mr FD still beside me. We had a lunch reservation for 12, a celebration for Mr FD’s birthday which is tomorrow – we were only five minutes late! Not that it really mattered as it was not at any michelin star restaurant, but the local pub. We ordered their fish platters, which had those lovely chips (fries) that were crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside.

 

photo-11

 

The pub is popular with family groups and on this rainy Sunday was busy, noisy and stuffy. A cup of coffee and we were done. We drove home, my tummy working hard to digest the heavy fare.

So, what better place to digest than back in bed? I climbed back under the sheets and slept until 5pm, when I rose and fed Augie Dog again. I couldn’t face dinner.

A Sunday to be recommended to all.