Friday, November 27, 2009
The last house viewing was at 6 o'clock tonight and it starts at 10.30 in the morning. At 5 o'clock I get to roll up at the Real Estate agent's office and open the bidding envelopes. The house could be sold tomorrow but settling is going to be 60 days or I'll be dead.
The target group was tradies with family who could do it up or people who would tear it down for a townhouse but the tradies are winning. One more sleep and it could all be over. I'll be down at the pub if you're looking for me. I think I'll need a drink.
Last night I was so tired I fell asleep on the bed with my clothes on, woke up at 1 a.m., had a shower and went back to bed. I didn't even hear the rain belting down.
Tuesday, it was back to the solicitor's with more papers, then to Southland and home.
Wednesday, and I was re-arranging a funeral. I hadn't looked at the papers since 2006 so I thought I'd better up-date for mother (or me whoever goes first) because it's going to be paid out of the house settlement regardless of what stupid sister says. I say it's a debt and it gets paid. Well that ended up fun when the lass found out that my ex had worked for them. Much salacious gossip was exchanged and bitchiness abounded. Then I went back to unpacking boxes.
I don't know which is worse, packing up at mum's, unpacking here or re-packing for the op-shop.
I'm being ruthless and with my own things as well. Still haven't got as far as the books or videos or packed the glass cabinet in the kitchen.
Thursday, shocked to find no knickers in the drawer. Memo to self, do some washing and soon.
I had to open the emergency cottontails now I have to buy another emergency pack. I waited for an hour for a taxi, ringing twice which uses up my mobile credits and makes me homicidal especially when driver is a complete moron. He has a GPS and still can't find his way out of my street to Warrigal Road. Take papers to solicitor, get papers from solicitor. Pick up parrot seed ring for mother's bloody greedy parrots. Pick up stuff from pharmacist because stupid sister doesn't want mum ordering through the home in case she starts on a spending rampage. It's her money, you stupid tart. Stagger into nursing home just as the chef wanders past with sausages in onion gravy, waves it under my nose and asks would I like some lunch. It was divine and I faithfully promise to become vegetarian again tomorrow and eat crappy tofu. I also paid up for Sunday lunch.
Walk back through Mentone, gasping, catch bus to Southland to do the banking and say sod it to taking a bus home, deciding on taxi because my feet were starting to hurt up to my knees. I got home just in time for the thunderstorm which drenched me through to my cottontails. One of life's tortures is getting a pair of soaking wet knickers off a lardarse as large as mine. Not to mention the rain hits my hair and 'Sideshow Bob' suddenly appears. Estate agent turns up to collect papers and tells me about all the interest in the house and I'm mentally yelling "SHOW ME THE MONEY" but not before Christmas. She looks around and says that we've moved a lot from the house, I tell her this is just from the hallway.
Sister rings, she's taken down all the paintings, don't ask me why. She also wants to know exactly what times are people coming through the house so she can tell the BrickOutHouse not to be home. I would tell him but some stupid tart told me to cut off the phone. Sister is becoming a pain in the arse.
In fact there have been so many annoying people running through my life this week that it's a good thing I can't buy semi-automatics over the internet.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Two phone calls before I left so panic, panic in case I'm late so leave mobile home and spare cash.
Lovely dentist repairs filling with two pins which I think are jammed in my jaw.
The bill gives me another panic attack but she deducted the last filling amount and brings it down to below panic level.
I use mother's bank account to pay for it.
Cross the road to catch bus and pick up my glasses which they couldn't fix so have glued them so I can use them for special occasions. (I've since wrapped fine gold wire around the arm and araldyted it)
Miss bus by bee's dick but it's pleasant sitting in the sun.
Miss bus again but catch the next to Southland, cross the road and catch Berwick bus which stops closer to home but not close enough to stop feet hurting again.
Half mother's house is arriving at 3.30.
Since I pushed and shoved and removed drawers to have everything ready, it is.
Pine cabinet in through the back door.
Whine, whine, whine when I ask them to move old cupboard to carport where it will be doing sterling duty as my tool shed.
They go back to pick up bookcases and CD tower.
I didn't notice sister putting boxes on top of each other, all filled with glassware.
One bookcase down the hallway.
CD tower in the study and I do have to move the picture, do that tomorrow.
Bookcase in bathroom doesn't work for the towells so I wait til they leave and drag it inch by inch into the sewing room where it fits but blocks off power point. Buy another power board for the other side of the room.
Sit down and faint at the solicitor's letter. I can't understand a word but secretary talks me through it.
Mouth starts to hurt especially where I've bitten my mouth while it was numb.
Stomach complains through lack of food and giant dose of antibiotics.
I'm trying not to look at the bags and boxes that have arrived.
The screw holding my computer chair has just fallen off and I'm too tired to upend the thing and do the two wrench trick to put it back.
Was there a good moment?
A crappy little envelope with the initials, M.J.J. on the front and 'from the pest' on the back.
The writing is little more than a millimetre in size which is how I know it's from my father in the last weeks of his life.
In part it says,
To my Beautiful wonderful trifecta
words written or spoken could never
express my feelings for what you did for me
this past year.
None of us can remember seeing this letter before or after he died.
Such a small but wonderful treasure.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I'll have to keep posting photos since I won't be able to eat much until next Tuesday. The other half of the tooth I've just had filled fell out last night. I hate dentists who do this and then have to take out the whole thing anyway when I asked her to do just that. She wanted to do a root canal and for that I'd only have to mortgage the house. So appointment on Monday morning and another shot of antibiotics.
The arm of my favourites glasses snapped off so I glued it back with 5 minute araldyte which unfortunately melted in the hot sun. OPSM pissed me off so I called in to a small shop in Mentone and they've gone to no end of trouble to help. If they can't find a replacement arm, he'll use special UV resistant glue which should work. The trouble is that being genuine Christian Dior, they have a special fixture which shows they're the real deal and you just can't shove any old arm on. So raspberries to OPSM, I'll be going here from now on.
Saw the Estate Agent today. Lordy, what a business but she said not to try and fix anything or spend money, the house will sell as is, for land value. Just a couple of papers from the solicitor and the sign goes up next week. She's hopeful that it will sell before Christmas with a settling at the end of February. We only have to move some of the big furniture out to show the space. She's looking for a tradie who will fix the old place up or someone who will knock it down and build a 2 storey town house. She was very delicate about the knocking down bit but we agreed to swing the first hammer blow. Even the BrickOutHouse said he'd rather see it pulled down than see someone else living there.
So it's shopping tomorrow, mother and lunch on Sunday, dentist on Monday, solicitor on Tuesday or Wednesday and Southland for mother's banking on Thursday. Friday I get to scratch myself. People with cars don't realize how long it takes to get anywhere by walking and busing. My feet are already hurting.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Anywhere with comfortable seating, preferably banquettes. Anywhere they discreetly roll out the pastry wagon (not trolley, I know what I mean). No place where I can see slabs of meat being slapped on hot coals or somewhere that has a tank of fish for the choosing. So I'd have to say, a pastry shop with good coffee and banquette seating and a set of scales in the doorway that only weighs going in.
12. Soup or salad?
I only enjoy Heinz tomato soup when I'm crook so it's salad all the way. Potato salad with fresh mint, Greek salad with kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese, Coleslaw with pineapple, Rice salad with sultanas and grated carrot and toasted almonds. I have to stop I'm chewing on my arm.
13. Buffet, take-out or sit down?
Not the Buffet. A fat person going to the Buffet table is watched by every anorexic tart in the place. I'm not kidding, you can feel the hunger vibes with every spoonful.
Take-out is great but not if you don't have a car. The take-out ends up breeding salmonella by the bucket load if you have to walk it home.
Sit down take-out Buffet with a butler handing me the silver service, draping the Egyptian 500 thread cotton serviette round my neck and programming the DVD for a Harry Potter marathon is my idea of a good night.
14. What's the most impressive meal you've ever made?
A full Indian, Sri Lankan Thai banquet which was ruined by a political discussion turning violent with most of the guests of a differing political persuasion attacking the host.
And that was before they got stuck into the booze. Most of the neighbours have now upwardly mobiled themselves far far away but I bet they're still as boorish and rude as they were that night.
15. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
I used to be but now I consider myself an excellent reader of cook books and cake blogs. Any morning I can boil the eggs to perfection and get them out of the pot without dropping them in the sink is a good morning.
16. Do you know what vichyssoise is?
It's French. Something to do with potatoes, leeks and chicken stock and you can serve it cold.
There's something horribly wrong with cold soup.
17. Who's your favourite TV cook?
It has to be two, Simon Bryant and Maggie Beer. I love what they do with the most incredible ingredients and they tell you about them, where they're grown and who grows them. I just close my eyes when they go to choose some clucker, moo or bah for the chop. It's all very well to tell me that they've lived a happy free range life and death was peaceful but slapping a slab of meat on the counter when I'm still out there free ranging isn't my bag.
18. Can you name 3 famous cooking personalities?
Stephanie Alexander, bless her for the school vegetable garden scheme.
Margaret Fulton, who started my passion for food when I saw her full colour cook books.
Nigella Lawson because she licks the spoon when baking a cake. She was a great favourite but the sexy cooking act is a bit too staged these days and I find her boring.
19. Home made or home made from a box.
If we're talking weetbix, it's home made from a box. Anything else from a box is useless because the instructions always say, add meat or add something else and if you can't make the dinner out of the box itself, what's the point. Home made from a bottle is something else, vegetables and bottle pasta sauce is my staple diet. ( don't mention the apple cakes)
20. I'm supposed to tag 3 more foodies but in my circle of blog friends I might be better off trying to tag 3 more boozers.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
As it hits, it swamps the wall with local people saying it is the largest wave they've ever seen.
The storms hit coastal regions with a vengeance with the strongest winds of 100 mph recorded at Needles on the Isle of Wight.
It's a bit too late for me to put this on my "bukkit lizt" but I dreamt of defying gravity in my younger days. Now the "bukkit lizt" has 'learn to waltz' as my only ambition. ( and staying upright while I do)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
There's no doubt about the poms having style even though the country might be drowning in debt, Harrods are flying the flag for Christmas. Gold Christmas crackers, glitter leaf, gold bows, glitter gold feathers and Christmas trees. Almost too good to rip 'em apart except for the goodies inside.
You'll have to click to see the luxe inside the crackers but I have dibs on the cloisonne enamelled box with crystals although the fine socks would keep my toes warm for winter. I haven't a clue how to work an MP3 player and I don't have pierced ears (nipple studs for Andrew?).
Friday, November 13, 2009
Emotional crisis is easing to below hysteria level.
Financial crisis has eased thanks to lovely people who are so trusting they're prepared to wait until the selling of the house and settlement.
Still my bitching sister wants more.
Contents insurance is no more just the house is covered which saved us a grand total of $25 a month. Need I say she doesn't believe in insurance?
Monday I go to the bank with my best begging appearance and try to stop the payment of the mastercard completely until the house settlement.
All saved money will go towards the nursing home's new rates. Centrelink bastards are going to want backpay of this additional payment, right back to the day she went into care, 22nd August.
You notice who's doing all this begging and phoning, not sister and on settling day I promise myself she's going to get a mouthful.
The good ship 'Mother' sails on contentedly. Reading books, winning at Bingo and making lists of what she wants done with her worldly goods. She's off to the RSL for lunch next Friday and looking forward to the residents and family Christmas Party. I'll be sneaking in the Bombay via a water bottle.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Jayne, he has a drop of water on his jaw, you might like to come over and use that whole towell to wipe it off. I'll just stand and watch.
Kath, would you like to give a review of a good melting chocolate? I wouldn't want to drip any nasty compound stuff on him.
Andrew, you may look but not touch, the girls and I don't like fingerprints on our sweets.
Monday, November 09, 2009
This is all my fault. Last week I had 24 hours where I was blissfully happy, bills paid, groceries bought and enough money to buy a pair of Homeyped pewter sandals for summer. I was smiling with the happiness-o-meter off the scale.
Until I got home and picked up the thin envelope with one sheet of paper that said we had to pay and extra $24.22 a day above what Mum is paying with her pension. You've all seen those films with the earthquake making a huge crack in the ground and everything falling in which is where I've been for the last couple of days.
I've finally come to terms with her being in the home because she's so happy. I've finally put away all her ribbons and laces, given a lot to a charity group and the activity room at the home doesn't know what to make next after years of never having enough. It was a big adjustment, mentally, to see these things disappear.
Now as a Leo and a fixed fire sign, I need my house to keep me grounded. It's my pleasure palace as often as not masquerading as a rubbish dump but my treasures are in every corner. I fought to keep it when El Creepo pissed off with his tart although I offered to leave his name on the title. Generosity made me do it and getting up her nose with said generosity as 'tenants in common' meant that if he croaked she would get his half but not until I kicked the bucket but in the end he gave it to me as long as I gave up any claim to his money. My deal was better.
So today was spent appealing to Centrelink and the Department of Ageing who enjoyed using me as a shuttlecock as they each told me to contact the other. It's no dealing with them at all, the cut off point for using 85% of a pension is assets of $91,000 and so we have to pay and we don't have the money. The rent that the BrickOutHouse is paying is just keeping up with the debts mommiedearest left to us. I've called the Real Estate agent to inspect the house next week and it goes on the market as is.
It was check AGL, APIA, council rates, St George reverse mortgage, S.E. water to see if we had to pay out any account before settlement, fortunately not. Our solicitor does all of that. I still have to do a deal with the nursing home as it could be 5 months before selling and settlement and we still won't have enough money for that extra. They have put me on to a financial advisor that specializes in Aged Care trusts since I'm determined that Centrelink will not get its greedy claws into whatever is left after all the bills are paid and drop her pension down. Poor financial advisor, he won't get paid until settlement either.
I feel for my nephew. After the three years of hell his grandmother has put him through, he's had two and a half months living in a house to himself and now he has to go. It isn't fair but he's taking it okay, obviously not a Leo fixed fire sign. I don't even know if we'll be able to give him some money to get established. There's only the three of us in the family and when the house goes, we'll be broken up, memories are just memories not superglue. The 1953 house on the muddy road in the bush is now in the middle of hotshot suburbia and I don't think I'll be able to walk down that street again.
Mum is fine with it, she said on Sunday that it hadn't been her home for a long time. She did tell me to use Aitken Real Estate as she liked the man she had out to value it 10 years ago. Ten years ago, six months ago she couldn't remember her own name which is why I don't mind how much this great place costs us.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Foie Gras. Tripe. Anything I've been introduced to. Anything I'd have to kill myself. Pig's ears, not even Nigella can make eating them sexy. Duck's feet, actually anything feet. Not even swimsuit boy in his yumminess could make me chomp on his feet.
7. You need a drink, you grab a...........
Cute waiter, well I'm thirsty and I need attention. mumble, mumble back to the meme. If it's summer then soda water with lemon and a million ice cubes. If the sun is over the yardarm then add Bombay. If it's winter, coffee with cocoa in the morning and Earl Grey tea in the afternoon. (I'se so terribly refined)
I also love fruit smoothies at any time but the kilojules would bust a diet in the manner of Humpty Dumpty, never to be put back together.
8. What's the most decadent dish you've every had?
Ooh, there was that time we used that sweet thing as a serving platter for Petit Fours using his navel for a sugar basin for the tea. What? I see, cooked dish. Damn, I don't think I've ever had a decadent dish. Does eating fish and chips out of clean white paper instead of newsprint count?
I did eat one of those enormous ice-cream sundaes with 5 flavours, chopped nuts, raspberry, chocolate and passionfruit syrup. It was when the City Square went all underground with lounge chairs, for which the homeless were eternally grateful, and they had an American type ice-cream parlor. The sundae came in an 8 inch tall champagne type plastic container.
9. What's your favourite type of food?
Nothing that's moving. Nothing I have to eat with chopsticks. Nothing I have to share with anybody. Something I can eat with fingers in front of the teev or with one fork and one dish. Nothing on bamboo skewers, everything falls off after the first bite.
10. Favourite dish.
Do you have an hour to read this? I've already done bread, pavlova, chocolate, ice-cream.
I do love pasta with a yum sauce especially papardelle pasta. I never eat pasta outside, in public or on a first date. It is an anti-social dish best eaten with a tea towell and painting drop sheet. I have never yet eaten a whole dish without dropping half down the cleavage. It also has to have three cheeses (kilojules again) parmesan, romano and cheddar. Don't forget the garlic and herb bread for mopping up.
You see why I'm doing this in parts? The hunger, I'm like a vampire on speed when reading food blogs especially the cake blogs. It's a blessing I've become too lazy to cook, looking at the pictures is enough. And, weighing oneself in the bathroom instead of the bedroom drops the scales out of the redwarningdanger by 2kgs. W00T!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
1. What's your No. 1 comfort food?
I know you lot, you're all thinking chocolate, right? Wrong, it's bread. Gorgeous wonderful bread in all its varieties especially straight from the oven. And with butter, which I'm not allowed to have but occasionally sneak onto a bread anything. Is there anything more delicious than a sausage with fried onions and tomato sauce on a thick slab of fresh white bread? Sanatarium make tofu sausages that almost equal the meat sausages so I recommend them. There's a shop in Hampton that bakes huge blocks of Turkish bread, divine. Cheese bread with olives and tomatoes......... I'm dying here.
2. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 foods would you want to have with you to survive on?
All the fixings to make bread.
Butter for the bread.
Ice-cream to put the chocolate on.
Gin. Bombay Sapphire is too a food especially if it has a lemon in it.
3. What are your signature dishes (what dishes are you known for making)?
I had signature dishes once when I used to cook. It makes me tired just to think about them.
I used to make tiny meatballs wrapped in bacon, on a bed of rice, covered with a tomato sauce and sliced stuffed olives.
I used to make a Christmas cake full of fruit full of booze but not ordinary booze, Tia Maria which gave it a coffee kick.
Then there was the year (talk about Julie and Julia) where I cooked my way through Charmaine Solomon's Asian cookbook. I even made my own coconut milk and hand ground the spices.
My signature dish is now bread and jam and ice-cream with melted chocolate, okay two signature dishes.
4. It's Friday, you don't know what to cook, you opt for......
Chips. If I want to be fancy, chip butties. If I've forgotten to buy spuds, it's butties anything that hasn't died in the fridge. I know chips come under cooking but if you can cook it in your sleep, technically it isn't cooking.
5. What's your ultimate food weakness?
Pavlova. Coffee pavlova, plain pavlova with cream and passionfruit, praline pavlova with chocolate cream, anything pavlova. I'm like a truffle pig, I can sniff out a pav within three miles.
At a buffet, I start at the Pavlova end and finish there. Crispy shell on the outside, luscious marshmallow melting centre, whipped cream and raspberries with drizzled melted chocolate. If only they made blokes like this, I could get to like sex again.
Monday, November 02, 2009
There was that enormous thunderstorm on Thursday night, a light show that went on for an hour and teeming rain.
I like a shower at night but I'm canny in a thunderstorm, I light a candle in the bathroom. It's very Hitchcock to be in the middle of a shower when the lights go out.
What I didn't need was a factory alarm to short and continue wah-wahing until 4.30 in the morning.
More thunder on Friday night, more rain and lightning. No sleeping so I turned the computer on and surfed until the wee small hours. Back to bed and drifting to sleep when 'the noise' went off under my bedroom window. Not a cat fight, not a possum fight but a lost duck. The duck family have taken up residence in the pool across the road but this one must have faulty GPS to land under my window and if it flew in, it could fly out. Just another noise in the catalogue of things to fright about.
Mother rang to say she'd paid for my Sunday lunch at the home. Now that's blackmail, who can resist a free meal. Luckily the apple cake bakery is open all day on a Sunday.
A lot of omens but I couldn't find a horse that suited any of them and as much as I would like to see Bart win another Cup, I really want the longest priced outsider horse to win. That's what makes the Cup great, the uncertainty.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
A bit of a brew up with the ghorls
We make a mean proof gin
This year we didn't dissolve the cauldron
Forgot the olives
Flight home was a bit bumpy
But coming in on a broom and a prayer
A Halloween tradition
Bloody Igor! Two instructions only
Let the bats out
Leave the drawbridge down
If the ghoul had half a brain it
would be lonely
Wait, he has only half a brain
Sold the other half to
that looney doctor down the hill
for some science experiment
Well that's it for another year
Done me broom licence
Didn't think the brew was that strong
All Saints Day now
Damn ringing bells