Box brownie, memories and old friends


Hello Peoples,

Dry and warm, people of the northern hemisphere? Cool and away from bush fires, people of the southern hemisphere?

I have had a pleasant Sunday. Petite Fille and her Daddy drove out with some of her toys and other such necessities of life, as they are moving in during stage two of their house renovations.Tomorrow. The renovation could take up to five months. We will say no more.

Lunch was with two of my ladies who do lunch. One is nursing her teenage university student daughter who suffered burns to her hand in a hot cooking oil accident. Second friend has been suffering a mysterious ailment for several weeks now, for which the doctors are yet to name a reason. It may be ross river virus, though she has tested negative for that. Ross river has reached epidemic proportions in Queensland in recent years and it often returns a false negative result before final diagnosis, but either way she is quite ill and in great discomfort. My 2016 is looking pretty good so far!

I ordered a smoked salmon and crispy potato salad and it was soooo good. I wanted to lick the plate, but luckily had not yet succumbed to the desire when a gentleman approached our table to ask if we were long term local residents. I have dipped in and out over the years, but my companions have lived their entire lives in the area.

He explained that his father had been the local policeman about fifty years ago. At this stage, he gestured towards our ill friend and commented, “You would of course be too young to remember.” Third friend and I rolled our eyes at each other. I am one month older than said friend, the other some months younger! He was lucky I didn’t stab him with my dinner fork there and then.

He started to recount his memories, including seeing his first movie, Tammy ( the original one), with his aunt at the local movie theatre. Then he produced some small box brownie, black and white photographs and pointed to his then best friend. He was hoping to make contact with that friend.

Serendipity as it is, his friend is our electrician and lives two houses down from us! Search completed. He was overjoyed, but he didn’t top up our glasses for us in gratitude though. Hopefully, electrician will be happy to see him, or our future accounts for repairs may be somewhat larger!

Back home, I searched the back of the freezer for the sachet of lemon vodka sorbet that had been a Christmas gift from a colleague and spooned it into a glass. I had promised myself the pleasure of consuming it when I had to go back to work, and today seemed like a great time.

Tomorrow night, when I arrive home from school, our little house will have three more residents. I may need a lot of lunch dates with friends during the next five months!

If you are not going to care you have to not care…

black pearls

I’d like to say it was “the only time” that I ever walked out of the house without the pearls, but I have to be honest and admit that every weekend I dress pretty casually when I go out, especially to the supermarket. Today I had showered and washed my hair, just dragging a comb through it, before I left the house. I wore a tunic top and three quarter denims with sports shoes. No pearls in sight.

Of course, I had to meet someone I knew in the supermarket. Even though it was one of my closest friends I still knew I looked less than perfect. Shame and horror.

Not that it will make me dress any differently, I am too me, to change me, if you understand my drift. I am equally sure that my friend may have thought momentarily that FD is going very casual today and then let it go, but some hours later I am still thinking about it.

Isn’t it terrible to be indolent and immoveable and yet care how you appear? I am practically perfect in every way, I have no idea how you little people cope with being ordinary.

treats for the King

food pantryDoes your pet eat as well, if not better than, you? I just slipped a slice of smoked salmon to Augie Dog. Before that he had toast and a rasher of short cut bacon for Sunday breakfast. The bacon was cooled and cut into pieces for him; in the hopes it would slow his eating. He still consumed it before I got my breakfast onto the plate!

He doesn’t get such treats every day. Bacon is only a weekend thing. Smoked salmon is what I have some days on my wraps for school lunch, but it is portioned in relation to its cost. Augie still gets a piece – I tell myself it is good for his brain (?) and coat.

During the week he has to settle for his vet recommended dry food and the occasional dropped morsel. He knows enough to get very excited when I stand in the food prep area of the kitchen for oddly enough lots of things seem to hit the floor there…must be like a Kitchen Bermuda Triangle.

It is not all indulgence though; Augie needs to be kept in tip top form for he has an important role to play in our life, as the late Terry Pratchett described :

Pets are always a help in times of stress. And in times of starvation, too, of course.



Another crazy week in a crazy world; or perhaps I should say, another week, another student complaint. So over students’ total self centred sense of entitlement at the cost of others. Many mothers on my stick list for making their kids so co-dependent and pathetic. Teachers are people too!

We farewelled our senior class on Friday. I was particularly fond of my home class’s group of seniorsand will miss them. One came in with her Mum before the ceremony to give me a gift and it was a tough moment. I want so much for that young lady – happiness and success and oh, everything.

It was a 38C day as we piled into an undercover area for the ceremony. Adolescent boys are smelly things at the best of times, but third day of heat in a row and the area was ripe. I always take my folding paper fan with me and this day it was used more to waft the aroma away, than to cool. At times the fanning was frantic! I don’t want to smell your sweaty hair.

Mr FD has to stay a third week with his Uncle on the Farm, who like too many old people will not cooperate when the family are trying to source support for them. Everyone is working to keep him in his own home; which is not easy when he is on a farm and a distance from services, and to maintain his dignity, but the damn fool won’t cooperate and he is aided and abetted by some very self-seeking people. Mr FD’s sister has arrived to assist now.

Missing his dog and his own home, I sent Mr FD a couple of photos to remember us by.

View from our front door

View from our front door


The one and only Augie Dog

The one and only Augie Dog

And of course…

His wife.....hahhahahahahahaha

His wife…..hahhahahahahahaha

HIs dog wrecked my night’s sleep. He woke me about three a.m. whining, so I took him out to his patch, but I think he just wanted to chase cane toads. When we went back to bed he was agitated and it was only after I sat on the side of the bed and stroked his head for awhile that he calmed down. I went back to sleep, but I don’t know what Augie did. He may have whined, he may have partied, he may have thought deep and meaningful thoughts, but he left me alone until 8am.

When I stirred from my nightmare, and it was nightmare for the Deputy Principal was in my dream, I had a headache. We were in my parents’ house and I had about 30 naughty students with me who needed to be sent to RTC but the DP was telling me how peaceful my parents’s house was, despite my protestations that we had sold my parents home. We all know that he would cut his tongue out before saying the word “peaceful” so it was total terror. Who is this monster I am with?

Today is predicted to be 39C. Yesterday was 38C. The breeze feels like a furnace. My school office is air conditioned, but not the library so it is miserable the moment I walk through my office door. Our house has many levels of cooling so I am ensconced for the day. Hand me my “orange juice” Jeeves.

On the positive side, I have been offered an interview for the TL job 9 minutes from home! Monday 4pm QLD time, so have power thoughts for me . You work out the time difference and if it is in the middle of the night your time I expect you to rise, walk to your window and face Australia. No, that is not the floor, you are down under, not us. You are behind us, unless you are a New Zealander and we won’t make the NZ  joke that is begging to be made there

10 school days until Summer Vacation! Minerva made me a little calendar to count the days, The Big Whatever Bless Her Soul. That woman can read my soul, and she guessed I had applied for another job. If I do go, she is the real regret I will have leaving that library. We are peas in a pod, but she is a better person than I. I guess, we shall see what we shall see.


Attack of the killer moths

Moth 1

Well, maybe they aren’t killer moths, but they are jolly huge. At least 10 centimetres (4 inches) from wing tip to wing tip. They hover outside the screen door, peak time being the early morning. A soon, as we open the screen door to allow Augie out to his yard they zoom through the opening. One busy morning, four of the beasties made it through the portal.

This morning I found one trying to hide in the kitchen sink! It was despatched with insect spray. No mercy to any insect that enters my castle!

If left to their own devices they crash and bash about the room, gradually building in confidence until they commence dive-bombing victims.

Once sent to that great moth heaven in the sky, we have to race with pan and brush to deliver to the bin, before Augie decides to make them a new toy or an after breakfast delight.

Moth 1

That said, despite their kamikaze tendencies and lack of  “pretty” colourings, the patterns on their wings are quite intricate and rather delicate. A thing of beauty.

They just need to stay where The Big Whatever meant them to be – not in my house!