Not quite, Dog Crosses Road.


Darcy Doyle

One aspect of living in a rural area is the sense of community that has been created over time; or as Mr FD like to tease me as I was originally a country girl, generations of inbreeding. My mother declares to this day, demented or not, that she and Dad were not related – well, not closely anyway.

People get to know people. Your electrician is my electrician, that sort of thing.

We have a little community magazine, that started life as a weekly paper eons ago, but is now just a little 6 or 8 page magazine filled with local news, photos of garden show participants and the largest vegetable at the local competition. It is like sitting on the deck with an old friend to share a gossip. Important stuff.

This week’s main article was breath taking however. Memorable.

It seems that a local business had need of the help of the local electrician. He assisted working through the night to restore their power. Job completed Sparky locked up, went home and then onto another job. Business owners returned next morning only to discover they needed Sparky’s help again. But alas, he had gone to another job!

The word from his wife was that the route might take him down the main street and right by the business. So ever the need, the Owner wrote a sign with the words “Dan call in!” and plants it on the footpath. Dan being Sparky’s real name – sorry if you thought he was really called Sparky.

Now it gets hilarious here…

Turns out Owner has an employee named Dan who was having the day off. Someone saw the sign and told Day off Dan he was needed at work. So Day off Day gets dressed in his work clothes and presents himself. What a hoot, the wrong Dan!

Yes, that is the kind of community we live in now. The simplicity is just wonderful – quarter page article and photo of the sign complete.


Don’t spoil my day by asking why they didn’t phone Dan on his mobile. Let me live in my Norman Rockwell fantasy a few minutes longer.


Coffee in the park

Enjoyed a coffee in the park with Petite Fille this morning.


Yes, the playground at neighbouring suburb [ cappuccino drinking, professional parents, 1.5 children type of ‘burn]  has a pretend coffee machine in its play area! I can’t really criticise as Petite Fille demanded the froth off her mother’s coffee at breakfast today!

I was gifted breakfast out, another late Mother’s Day celebration.

corn fritter, bacon, mushrooms, relish, poached eggs on sour dough. I drank tea!

corn fritter, bacon, mushrooms, relish, poached eggs on sour dough. I drank tea!

Then it was on to an afternoon concert – rocking it with the toddler set at a Play School concert.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Granny actually made it down to a sitting position on the floor without dislocating anything. Then, Petite Fille decided to sit on Grandma, so more muscles got strained and stretched to accommodate her. We took it to another level leaping and dancing with Teo and Rachel from Play School, with Petite Fille trusting Grandma to save her falling perhaps more than she should have! There were general celebrations all round when Granny could actually rise off the hard, timber floor after the 45 minute concert.

Sitting with Petite Fille on my lap, I looked over at her Mummy sitting on the floor beside me, and remembered that it only seemed a blink of an eye since I had her on my lap at a Play School concert (John and Bettina in those days!). Time passes so quickly, another timely remember to savour every moment.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone…

Oh,  and I hope I can savour the moment of being able to walk tomorrow morning too!


Birds of a feather

The last couple of mornings, I have taken the end slices of a loaf of bread out to feed the birds. This morning, a rather chilly morning, I sat in my favourite chair with a lovely breakfast cup of tea. Augie Dog, however had other ideas, and after looking through the glass patio door to the garden beyond turned and barked at me.

Augie’s bark is a rare occurrence, and so when he does bark we normally pay attention. It took me a couple of minutes to realise that Augi wanted to go feed the birds. This is not in particular that he loves birds, it is more that it is one piece of bread for Augie, one piece for the birds!

So out we go, expecting the usual magpies and miner birds, but today we were blessed with a Kingfisher



and a dozen or more Scaly Breasted Lorikeets.

scaly-breasted lorikeet

scaly-breasted lorikeet

Terrible name, but so delicate and pretty. Very noisy though! We always know when they are in our garden, for when the flock, often two or three dozen birds, in our trees, their screeching rises above everything else.

Friday, Friday how I love that day

lunch pair

Friday and a public holiday in our school area, so double relish to my sleep in this morning. Then Mr FD and I drove to Toowoomba about 45 minutes drive away, and where we lived for over 25 years,  to take care of those always present financial issues.

Then, after being reminded how poor we are, and how miserable our old age will be, we rewarded ourselves with a lovely lunch, a slightly belated Mother’s Day lunch for moi. I had the most delicious vegetarian tartlet of buffalo mozzarella, onion jam, roast peppers, Persian fetta with fig, gorgonzola & pomergrante salad, vino cotto and roast sage potatoes.I may have also have chosen a glass of Edwards Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Western Australia’s Margaret River.

parkhouse 3

Mr FD choose the tasting plate with chermoula prawn skewer, lemon pepper squid, arancini, salmon roll, mini Korean ribs, warmed olives, saffron, pistachio & quinoa salad, dukkah flatbread, hummus, olive oil & balsamic.  Delicious.

parkhouse 2

We were like a pair of well fed cats afterwards and I would dearly have loved to have done nothing more than curl up in the sun and snoozed, but we did have to drive home. Thankfully, Mr FD did the driving; I did the snoozing.

If only every Friday could be thus…

friday hug

One thing I particularly noticed was the number of “ladies who lunch” lunching solo. These ladies were all in their forties or early fifties, some in upmarket winter gym clothes, all eating salads, but solo. It was as if they had just popped out of the house to have a little salad in a restaurant before picking the children up from school. How times have changed, women would have felt so odd lunching alone not all that long ago.

Mr FD observed them also, naturally, and commented that one day I would be able to “do lunch” in such a manner, but in the meantime it    was great that I enjoyed my work so much.

I stared him down over my wine glass.

“I would resign tomorrow if I could, there are a hell of a lot of other things I could enjoy more!”

He said no more. Occasionally, Mr FD is a wise man.


book slap

up hill, down dale and a bit of hurdy-gurdy


Perhaps it was not the wisest way to end the type of chaotic, exhausting week I have just lived through, by going to Aldi to grocery shop with Mr FD, but I did, and we did and now the groceries are packed away in the pantry. My nerves are on end and my muscles feel so tight I could snap any moment, but the week is done.

Too much being nice, too many long work days, too much work and too many demands, ending in a crash and burn Friday when I felt very unwell and huddled in my bed for  the day.

Such is the modern woman’s life. Well, the modern person’s life, really.


Next week we are visiting our financial advisor to start kick start our ” transition to retirement ” but my retirement is years away if nothing changes the status quo. Mr FD is already retired due to health issues. Nothing is as we had hoped and planned, but rarely does life ever go according to hopes and plans. Not saying it has all been bad, we have been rather fortunate in many ways and many times, but I do think we have had enough “character building” knocks to make us “grateful for the good times”! The quotes are Mr FD’s mother’s comments repeated many time over the year, so often I wanted to rip her arms and legs off in the end. She is dead and gone now, residing for the rest of eternity as a little box of ashes in a brick wall, so it matters not what she said now does it?

High point of the week: receiving an email on the the weekend from a student who wanted to tell me how much she had enjoyed a book from the school library. She read another book during the week and made a point of telling me it was a winner too. If only they were all like that!

High point: After my “show and tell” release of our LibGuides I was inundated with compliments, appreciation and requests for resource support, thus proving, once again, that Teacher Librarians are indeed necessary in 21st century high schools. Nice too, after all the nights I sat up to eleven o’clock or later, at home, building our lib guide pages and guides. More than one night, Mr FD had to come in and lecture me to go to bed, but I have reached a point where it is a relevant resource now.

And you? Still breathing?


and the sun came

breakfast may

Tres bit tired and emotional last night. A late rising this morning, our Saturday breakfast, which has even Augie Dog dancing about in the kitchen in anticipation each weekend, and then a return to bed to sleep until early afternoon, put Flamingo Dancer in a better place.

Most Saturdays, once everyone has risen, the timing of which is rather varied in a household of adults, I cook a bacon and eggs breakfast Sometimes with mushrooms, or bananas, or avocado or whatever we choose. Augie receives his usual breakfast piece of toast that he gets each day, but his weekend treat is a small rash of bacon.

As we cook it, he dashes back and forth across the kitchen. If it doesn’t seem as though we are paying attention to the bacon frying, Augie may bark in his frustration. Once it is in his bowl, he calms down and often has a wee nap. Surely, a reminder that the simple things in life are the best!

It is late afternoon, and I have accomplished very little today. A couple loads of laundry is about it. Right now, I am enjoying a Pink Flamingo cocktail (last night it was one Moscow Mule; we are big on the animal cocktail spectrum!).

Tomorrow it starts over again. Not quite an early weekday start, but I will need to leave by 8am, so no sleep in, no leisurely breakfast. They have promised us a free coffee and muffin…sigh.


[The rain cleared in our area, but five people drowned after trying to cross flooded roads last night, three in one family …]

if you cross a wallaby with a hare what do you get?




Wallaby-largeThe wildlife count today:

A stand of wallabies just over our boundary fence as I drove out, and a hare in the garden upon my return.


I am starting to feel as though I am living with an Australian version of a Beatrix Potter tale. Perhaps I should start calling Mr FD, Farmer McGregor?