Monday, June 30, 2008


I confess to being housework shy. Just a tick above slob but a long way down from proud housewife. Scrap that I was never a housewife ever. Now that I'm almost old, my eyes don't see the dust until a whirlwind moves it.
This cleaning up rubbish is for young people who can handle it. I have so many bruises and pains including sticking a pin through the ball of my hand and belting my head on the corner of the hand basin in the bathroom. A million times I must have told the kid to watch the corner but I had to bash it. There's something creepy about a house that's clean and tidy when it usually isn't, it's like I've gone away when I'm still here.
The only reason I've vacuumed the floor is so they can lounge around on it without crushing the wildlife in the carpet ecosystem. It's a shame the filligree hamster hasn't been spotted again, they'd have enjoyed that.
I've had the guilts all day because I didn't go to mother's. This is how you get sucked into the vortex of guiltguiltguilt. I should be able to stay home when it's blowing a gale. I should be able to be excited about the girls but because somebody is snivelling, I can't quite get there. I can't help it that she doesn't know it's Monday because I didn't go. She didn't know if I'd been there anyway. She had to ask the BrickOutHouse.
She's having a bit of trouble with the MealsOnWheels. They sent her salads twice last week and "it's just not good enough" but I know exactly what she's done. She's read Roast, hasn't gone any further and ticked the box so received a roast vegetable salad and a roast chicken salad. And it's my fault because I didn't check what she ticked. Give me strength.
This week her regular cleaner can't make it so she's getting a substitute and she'd like me to give the house a once over before a stranger comes. FFS the bloody woman's coming to clean the house not photograph it for Gracious Living.
I swear there's not a jury of daughters that would convict me.

Friday, June 27, 2008



My granddaughters are coming for a few days and I haven't seen them in two years.

I had an email last August and a card for my birthday.

I have a lovely new doona for the sofa bed and a bedroom for them.

I don't know what they eat.

I almost forget how old they are, must check birthday book.

Not tell the Blight, stuff him.

Must explain that Nannie (not me) is bonkers.

Must take naked guys off the fridge door.

Must remember to get a nightdress out. They're too young for that kind of freakness.

Camera is ready and I have two spare rolls of film.

Daughter-in-Law has changed her mind twice already so I'm not getting excited. Not really. Cool, I'm very cool.


Philip Treacey went overboard with the butterflies as hats this year but I have to admit I really like them. The purple cloud above was seen at Royal Ascot and Princess Beatrice wore her rainbows to a wedding and ruined the effect by covering the matching colours of her dress with a ivory jacket. I'm allowed to bitch, I make my own clothes. The joy today was getting out my black wool crepe dress and finding it all made up except for the V neck which I finally know how to fit in properly. The pattern says to sew up the front seam and leave half an inch open into which the V part fits....not. It slips, slides, moves to everywhere except the half inch opening. Solution, sew the seam right up to the top, tack the V piece to the centre of that seam and then take out the half inch of stitching. Now why couldn't they say that on the pattern? Thank you to Mother who wrote it down before she went batty.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Faeries in the garden are often disguised as Dragonflies.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince isn't opening in Australia until December 11. A pox on Warner Bros.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Harrison Ford, the thinking woman's mature age crumpet, actor and movie star. He and I spent a great couple of hours this morning, tramping through jungle and swashing over waterfalls, big waterfalls. I don't care what critics have said, 18 years on and Indiana Jones still rocks my boat.

I loved the way he goes from prissy archaeology professor to scruffy adventurer and looks both parts to a tee. The action is frenetic and only the fans would get all the in jokes from the first three films. Five stars from me but then I'm probably the only person in blogdom that thought "Hellboy" was a hoot.

As a change from viagra, Russians and fake rolex watches, I'm now getting weight loss spam. The email today gave me a word that should be in the next urban dictionary....fadmongery.
If any word would describe the idiocy that is diet and food management for lard arses, it's fadmongering. I expect to use it a lot.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Mine started with a phone call from the BrickOutHouse who told me not to come near the rotten old bitch who won't do a thing she's told for her own good. (Poor thing got the daily double with grandmothers. His fraternal one is also batshit insane)

Follow up call from Mother who tells me that BrickOutHouse is nothing like he used to be before that 'sheila' came into his life. In other words, he now has a life and is not waiting on grannie hand and foot. It is 8.15 a.m.

Hysteria starts early around here.

9.10 a.m. and I ring the bank for a balance which seems to be the same as it was on Ma's last pension day and shouldn't be. 20 minutes on hold then a real person who is as bewildered as I am and keeps going away to confer until she disconnects me.

9.58 a.m. and I'm dressed and heading for the bank at Southland. Another half hour of my life I won't get back. The teller prints out the last 10 transactions and I'm still confused when I see a pension amount of $500. Ding Dong, could it be the one off pensioner payment?

10.35 a.m. and I'm having a black coffee and toast breakfast with the last of my money. I decide to ring centrelink on my mobile and check and 5 minutes of mobile money departs before I hang up without speaking to anyone. The seat was comfortable, the coffee was good so I sat there for an hour trying to get a handle on a science post that's been eluding me. Blood pressure seems to be going down.

11.45 a.m. I pick up lunch and arrive at mother's who didn't remember I was coming even though I told her during the morning's phone call. I look at the mail and find the letter from the Minister about the $500 which would have been a real help if I'd read it on Friday. Ma's looking shifty and I know she's put that letter in her walker basket instead of where it should have been.

By 1.00 p.m. I've got all the outstanding bills in order and done the shopping list for Thursday.

1.30 p.m. she has lunch, if you can call a huge custard tart, lunch but I can't be bothered argueing any more. She suddenly remembers she hasn't got any purple pills, they're green but I know what she wants. I put them on the list for Thursday.

At 2.15 p.m. I begin the trudge home because the chemist has to be paid, letters posted and every other bill can be paid at Australia post. I grovel to the pharmacist for the biggest hit of codeine in a pill without a Doctor's prescription. Bits and pieces of me are paining. My ring finger knuckle joint, my big toe, both thumbs, part of my jaw, one hip (don't mention the knees) so I get lovely painkillers.

Sit down in the park for a rest and realize I haven't bought any water to take the pills. Say several bad words and start trudging again. Pull two feet of pretty cerise geranium out of the nursing home garden and sneak off. Walk past the house that sold on the weeked for $650,000 and hope the ex reads it and chokes.

If I take enough pills I should be unconscious by 10.30 p.m. tonight.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I made this shade for my Mother-in-Law when they down-sized to a town house and she had her wish and got a bedroom all to herself which we furnished with everything shiny and new.

Originally the shade was cream pure silk but when it came back to me after her death, the colour was more tobacco and so was the odour. I even had to replace the bias binding on the frame because of the smell. Fabreeze works a treat.

I decided to re-do it exactly but in a pale pink pure silk and replace the trim which was ivory (and tobacco) with the same in white. I had just enough to do both top and bottom. The buttons also got the Fabreeze treatment. I don't turn it on often because I'm not sure how safe the wiring is and the only globe that doesn't burn the fabric is one from a sewing machine.

The ex and his new missus gave me items that they didn't think were of any value but they were to me as I'd made most of them and knew how much pleasure they had given his mother. I've washed, re-covered and re-framed her memories and I feel she's still around.


At this rate it'll be July before I get to June's birthstone but I couldn't resist these pieces of Turkish Delight. Zultanite comes from only one source in a remote area of Anatolia, Turkey. It's mined by hand with chisels and pick axes in the mountains at heights of 4000 feet. It also belongs to my favourite category of gems, the colour change stones which show different views under different light sources, such as sunlight or indoor light.

Zultanite has durability, colour saturation, light play or scintillation. Its mineral name "Diaspore" comes from the Greek word "diaspora" to scatter. The kiwi greens with canary flashes in sunlight can change to pink raspberry hues in candlelight. The faceted stone can also show khaki, sage green, cognac pink, rich champagne, canary yellow or ginger in incandescent or candescent light. Like all colour change gems, the larger the Zultanite the more visible the colour change.

Zultanite has a double life as a gemstone. A few specimens show Chatoyancy, the cat's eye effect. It's a reflection that appears as a single bright band of light across the surface, caused by parallel inclusions in the stone.

The gem wasn't faceted until the late seventies and is still extremely rare in jewellery. The stone is very difficult to cut even by experienced cutters. Each crystal has to be orientated to get the best of its colour change and 98% of the crystal can be lost during the cut. Faceted Zultanite over 5 carat size is very rare.

As with all gems, it has esoteric properties attributed to it. If you want to believe, Zultanite can assist in the development of psychic power, astral force, ambition, intellect, desire and emotions.

It's definitely on my want list.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I know where J. K. Rowling got the idea for her soul sucking dementors....She has a mother.

That roaring noise from the south was not a volcano was me.

And it seems I must apologise to you all for my fat arse making Australia sink into the sea.

I will now do the only honourable another packet of black jelly beans and find where I hid yesterday's chocolate.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


There was some chat a while ago in the comments at Pavlov's Cat about how delicious Coles Belgian chocolate with the mint crunchies was. I hadn't noticed it up until then so I tried a small block, delicious.

Today I walked into the supermarket and was met by a wall of Coles Belgian chocolate in the large large size and only 2 for $4.


So strong I only bought two blocks.

So strong I haven't eaten any yet.

I really need a backbone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Two days til the Solstice. I'm watching the moon rising over the roof top next door as I blog. I think I'll give dancing nekkid a miss this year, it's freezing out there.


I have a birthday coming up, "Chocolate" pearls are acceptable as are Maltesers and Jaffas, just so long as they are in jumbo size packets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The dangers of the WWW. I went looking for this month's birthstone and became lost for hours. Those delightful earrings have as their centre piece, "Chocolate" pearls, a product of a bleaching process developed by Ballerina Pearls.
The Gemmological Institute of America conducted a series of spectroscopic tests, Infra-red, Near Infra-red Reflectance, Raman and Photo luminescence on chocolate cultured pearls, silver dyed Tahitian cultured pearls and natural colour Tahitian cultured pearls.

They also cut into two pearls to a depth of 1mm (pearl on the left) and a deeper cut toward the nucleus (pearl on the right). The induced colouration appeared homogenous throughout both pearls. The GIA deduced that the treatment alters the organic components of the pearl nacre unlike an introduced dye.
A dye or stain will only penetrate the top layers of nacre, lessening in intensity toward the nucleus. This dyeing process (using silver nitrate) will also work on white or grey South Sea pearls. Dyed "chocolate" pearls are considered a "treated" pearl.

The bleaching and heating process used on jet-black Tahitian pearls reduced the lustre but since the pearls chosen are usually a very shiny black, they end up with a warm iridescent copper, bronze or rust-brown glowing colour.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Ray Almeida, a school principal just purchased a wedding ring. Almeida, 47 is marrying his partner, Alan, a 46-year-old accountant. He wants a ring that says, I want to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you.

Jeffrey Dreiblatt, 47 and Willie Walker, 44, a legal assistant plan on marrying in San Francisco.
Dreiblatt said,"When I was younger, I didn't understand the point of getting married and replicating heterosexual life. But over the years, my thinking has changed. The law in California and the implications for New York spoke to us and said, 'now is the time'."

Ed Schultz, a social worker who became domestic partner to Steve Berlin last year plans to marry on July 10. "Marriage has a certain dignity," he said. "When I go to work and say, 'I'm domestically partnered', that's something different than saying 'I'm married'."

Armistead Maupin, one of the city's most famous authors, who married his partner, Christopher Turner in Canada last year, will probably marry him again in California. "Straight people have grown up thinking they're entitled to a fairytale wedding. One of our great advantages as gay people is that we've been forced to forge relationships without that fantasy. In doing so, we've figured out what's at the core."

Faced with a wilted economy, water shortages and price shock of petrol, Californians are welcoming Gay Marriages with open arms ( holding bank accounts). A study by the University of California predicted that over three years gay nptials would contribute $US684 million to the state's wedding industry and $US64 million to the state budget.

Social justice only comes when the price tag is high enough not when discrimination is socially unacceptable.


From the Latin:

Cat - Feline. I knew that.

Tortoise - Testitude. I didn't know that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Everyone knows dial-up is slow so while the page was loading I thought I nick in the bathroom and wash my hair.

I fell headfirst into the @#&%ing bath.

I was swearing and laughing so much I couldn't get out.

I'm okay, hair is washed, page loaded, sense of humour intact and live blogging five minutes after the event.


Saturday, June 14, 2008


Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures

hello, is anybody there?

She yells in a small voice from a deep pit.

I can't think, my mother ate my brain so I'm finding it hard to blog anything remotely intelligent.

I'm trying to finish a winter dressing gown before spring.

I'm still reading April New Scientist.

I'm still trying to finish reading two novels.

I haven't managed to see 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'.

My diet is down the crapper even after reading Craig Harper's motivational blog post about not making excuses for life changes. Craig Harper meet my mother.

At least the dishes are under control in the kitchen, they're confined to the sink indefinitely.

But in the words of the great Arnie, "I'll be baaack!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


On Sunday night troops returning home from Iraq were left stranded in Darwin after a bird collided with their plane and the captain decided to turn the plane around and assess the damage.


Saturday, June 07, 2008


Chaiten Volcano in Chile is still erupting ash and steam over land and sea. The image from NASA below shows a blue-green plume along the coastline which is likely to be ash and pumice in the water. The inland lakes to the east show a similar blue-green colour which could also be from volcanic material. A fresh ash delta extends into the harbour and mud has also filled the river channel forcing a slurry of ash and water over the banks of Rio Blanco and through the town's streets. The volcanic plume appears to be hugging the valley floors as it moves inland, leaving the mountain peaks clear.

This image, also from NASA is a false-colour thermal radiation image of the volcano at night.
The light colours are high temperatures (the caldera). The dark colours are lower temperatures (the ash plume)

The lava dome is continuing to grow with fresh material emerging from the earth.


I bought a print of this Fragonard painting when I was 18. I was interested in 18th Century French history and even more interested in fabrics and fashion of that era. So when I looked at this, I saw lace, silk, the hat and the slipper shoes. I studied the construction of the clothes and how the hair complimented the fashionable dress.
It was only after a lecture on 18th Century art that I found out it was a lovely example of l8th Century soft porn. It's not just a pretty girl in a silk dress on a swing. She's kicking her leg high enough to lose a slipper, high enough for the well-dressed gentleman hiding in the bushes to get a good view up that leg. Ladies of that era did not wear undergarments and by the look on his face, he's enjoying the view. So who paid the shadowy figure (possibly wearing a cleric's collar) in the background to send the swing so high? The lady with the high kick or the gentleman with the low look.
It's not what we look at but what we are taught to see.


Conservative MPs are still attempting to stop Labor passing laws that recognise gay partners in the same way as married couples in public sector superannuation laws. The Coalition has managed to delay this by sending it to a Senate inquiry.

Brendan Nelson and his Coalition want to be seen as defending the institution of marriage.

Yes, it's that Brendan Nelson, the one who ordered $14 million worth of clusterbombs for the military.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008


1. What food do you consider the best "date" food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

The thought of me looking sexy near any kind of food is hysterical to start with but the choice is kind of limited. Nothing that will stick on teeth, nothing sticky to make teeth fall out, nothing that will melt in inappropriate places and please, no garlic.
It will have to be raspberries in Dom Perignon and in a very, very expensive crystal glass, better make that a large bowl, no, glass, I forgot the looking sexy bit. Perhaps a delicate silver pickle fork to fish out the raspberries instead of spearing them with a fingernail. That's a helluva lota work, can I slurp from the bottle and eat out of the punnet? Not Sexy enough?

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal with?

Share??? Kevvie would probably say Grace. Prince Chuckie would want to talk to the flower arrangement. Elton would want to wear the flower arrangement. Aha! I see a loophole, it doesn't say which sex. Okay, I'm having tea with The Queen at the Palace if I can get my tiara back from Elton in time. The Queen and I have so much in common, she likes gin.

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (food and the details, please)

Whaaat! Oh right, food part, you're not getting the details. Um, food, right, just wait a minute til I get my eyes back in focus. Mini croissants, several different preserves, fresh coffee, long black. Chocolates, Swiss-made, in a large box, for the choice. I mean I'll only have time for one or two.
Shut up, civilised people eat chocolate for breakfast.

4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?

Piled on top of the Pavlova he's holding. What other use would there be? REALLY, you can do that with whipped cream? Where does the Pavlova go?

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? or something else?

Idiots! I'm on a yacht, I own it so I grab the cabin boy. The cabin boy I've personally trained to carry chocolate and a bottle of champagne 24/7 in case of this kind of emergency. I'd leave Biff behind, he's rather a bore.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


I've written about spectroscopy for analysing solids and gases so it's about time for a living organism. Biospectroscopy is used to solve biological problems and reveal the chemistry of individual cells.
It uses a combination of visible light and infrared techniques to chemically analyse individual cells. That's an individual cell not a cell cluster and since cancer causes chemical changes in cells long before morphological changes, analysis of a single cell could lead the way to much earlier diagnosis of cancer. Early diagnosis of cervical cancer in women is under this type of research at the School of Biospectroscopy at Monash University using the Australian Synchrotron.

Microalgae are good idicators of the health of oceans and are the basis of the aquatic food chain. Fourier-transform spectroscopy is used to study algae where the change in a live single cell alga is recorded over a period of time. The alga can be stressed by too much ultra-violet light, increased carbon dioxide, deprived of nutrients, over-nourished, deprived of light, exposed to pollution.

By analysing the the spectra of the bio-chemical changes, researchers can see how a single alga responds to this external stress in their environment. They can measure how much the proteins, fats, silica and carbohydrates change over time.

And this is how to hold a single cell for analysis. A method called acoustic levitation which was developed for zero gravity experiments in space and successfully adapted for earth laboratories.

This image of a drop of blood in an ultrasonic acoustic levitation device won Steven Morton equal first place in the Eureka Museum Science Photography section, 2007. "This set-up enables us to probe the molecular structure of living cells without interference from any surface and without perturbing the morphology of the cells. It is part of the technique used by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne to monitor drug uptake by red blood cells that are affected by a range of diseases, including malaria and sickle cell disease."

Monday, June 02, 2008


Oi Gerry
will this do?
Or maybe this one?
I'm trying to be kind to the aged here.

Bloody bear

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Saturday wasn't funny after I stood on the scales. I haven't dropped a gram in 8 weeks, nothing, nada. It's very disheartening especially when other bloggers have stuff about peppermint frogs which I read late at night and get a craving for. But according to the paper this morning, help is on the way.
A diet pill is going to be marketed here which will help people lose, on average 10kgs, in six months. Somehow I don't think it's the pill that does it. The side affects are so bad you won't want to eat food. Nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, insomnia and an increased heart rate. The drug affects the part of the brain controlling appetite, making people feel full soon after starting a meal.
When are these dumb arse scientist/doctor/obesity gurus going to finally twig that comfort eaters don't worry about appetite and feeling full? We eat because it's a tranquillizer, food makes us feel better. Food takes us to a place where we don't feel anything bad is happening. I am constantly trying to meditate, calm down, change my lifestyle and stick to portion size of anything I eat including peppermint frogs. As it is I'm too frightened to look up how many calouries are in gin.
After that bit of madness, I came across the survey from FHM magazine. Almost one in three Australian men say they want to marry a virgin. 41% wanted a bride who had had five partners or fewer (that's right - fewer) and only 5% wanted a bride who had slept with more than 15 men.
Okay, I guess that means men are officially crazy. Most of them wouldn't know how to identify a virgin for a start and no woman in her right mind would tell a man anything about the other men in her life. We are sensitive to the little green monster lurking in their puny minds, you know the one that wants to know the important details like, 'how big....?'.

But I leave the best til last. Some dreadful cyber vandal has been playing with Mick Keelty's wikipedia page and portrayed him as a deranged conspiracy theorist.
The unidentified hacker mockingly quoted Mr. Keelty warning: "The Americans should stop looking for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. I have particularly sensitive intelligence from aliens he's living in an outside dunny in Dubbo. At this time he is training terrorist pixies and raising an air force of stealth budgies to strike at the heart of the infidels."
I love it, terrorist pixies and stealth budgies, divine. I just wonder how long it would take the CIA to work out what a 'dunny' is?