Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When Mum hit the nursing home, she was lucky to remember what day it was but two years on and she is almost entirely with it. Almost, it's been handy having her short term memory fritzed since I can tell her the same thing every visit but her long term memory has sharpened.

I bought her a book of the history of Mentone published by the Historical Society and I've been told the most amazing things about the family which I've never heard before. Just flicking through the photos has jogged memories to the surface and Brindisi Street where the nursing home is now, has been a busy street since the 1900s.

From out of nowhere she told us a story about our father. There's not much that stops my sister in her tracks but this did. He worked at the pre-fab building factory at Holmesglen and we think this must have been in 1955 since a lot of the work was building the Olympic village for the '56 games.

The main bus along there was the Ventura, still is, and there was an awful accident where a truck tore along the side of the bus, ripping it open. According to my mother, at least 7 people died. The men from the factory came down to help. There was a small girl with her leg trapped underneath a seat and my father, having driven buses for the past few years, knew all he needed was a screwdriver. One of the blokes had a work bag but wouldn't give him the tools and I don't know what Dad did, but he got a screwdriver. He had the seat off the little girl and she was out in no time. So, knowing Mum's memory, why do I believe this? Because my father instead of giving the bloke back his screwdriver, threw it at him. Now that is my father.

I asked her why she had never told us this and she said it never occurred to her to tell us. That's what it was like in our day, you didn't tell kids anything. It explains a lot about why the old boy used to get hysterical if we were five minutes late from the bus or train. And the first time I went out with friends in a car, there was a crash just around the corner from the house. Mum told me then that he nearly wrecked the house for fear it was me. When sister and I went on a cruise, he raced to the cabin to count the life jackets and it was all downhill from there. We had a cabin too far down to have a porthole so he raged in anxiety for the whole 14 days we were gone. The day we docked, my mother looked exhausted because he'd been at the wharf since the early morning to make sure the ship didn't turn turtle 5 seconds from home.

We didn't tell him about the sewerage problems on board or the fact that they had to keep the engines running in every port we went to since they weren't sure they could restart them but he did ask questions when it caught fire on its way home to Greece. He was too polite to ask questions about why I came out of customs carrying a large wooden spear and supporting a drunken yob while my sister carried his suitcase. He should really have said something then, I married the drunk.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Still glassing

Fashion designer Donna Karan is giving luxury consumers a version of her Golden Delicious fragrance, at a price, a wow price.

The perfume which sells $42 can now be had in a million dollar wrapping – the most expensive perfume bottle created to date.

DKNY and designer Martin Katz worked together to create the million-dollar perfume bottle, which is carved from a combination of 14 karat yellow gold and white gold. The bottle is embellished with nearly 3,000 gemstones – including 15 pink diamonds, 4 rose cut diamonds, a 4.03-carat pear-shaped diamond; a 3.07-carat ruby and a 7.18-carat oval shaped cabochon sapphire from Sri Lanka. The precious stones are set in the gold apple-shaped flacon in the shape of the New York skyline.

All net proceeds from the seven-figure bottles of Golden Delicious will be donated to the Action Against Hunger charity. Before being sold, the million-dollar bottle of Golden Delicious will go on exhibit around the world.

I still don't like her fashion clothes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The best for last

Janis Miltenberger makes divine glass objects. This chair called 'Softly Held' is 34 inches high x 9 inches length x 9 inches width. Nearly 3 feet of intricate glass making and I love the flowers.

This chair is called "Sweet Discovery" and is 37 inches high x 9.5 inches in length and 9.5 inches in width. The image below is a detail from the top of the glass chair.

I do love these candlesticks though, it is the birds again.

As much as I like the candle sticks, I have to go for her drinking glasses. Not that I'd ever drink from them, I'd be terrified to even pick them up. They are gorgeous.

For more of her work click on and drool.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One cannot have too much glass!

James Minson is an Australian artist and he created the cloud mobile above. It took a lot out of him physically. At a gallery show in 2008, the mobile which hangs on a stainless steel umbrella,
was hung on a cable not able to take the weight and it crashed to the floor. At the same gallery, he had a blue chandelier which a very tall man walked straight into, crash. The perils of being a glass artist.

So now we have the silver cloud mobile with what, I presume, are glass raindrops.

But this has to be my favourite, a jelly fish chandelier. When I win the big Lotto and I have my house on the cliff overlooking Bass Strait, with the giant windows, I will have jelly fish chandeliers in every room. James also makes perfume bottles but nothing went to my heart like this chandelier.

I have a new book

The Penland Book of Glass is fabulous, several glassworkers show masterclasses in pictures. I've always been fascinated by glass and how it is made but glass as art is a whole other discipline.
The little birds here are by Shane Fero and I couldn't have enough of these in my house. The one above is called 'a conversation about eggs'.

Deceptively simple looking but such work goes into each little bird. Even the legs are put on in two pieces, the first before the joint is hollow then the pieces down to the feet are solid and the feet are arranged and melt glassed to the leg.

He's cute and has personality. The body is gently rolled in powdered glass, heated then rolled in another colour to give a graduated shading.

I like his little beady yellow and black eye

But this one is my absolute favourite. Shane Fero named him the "Rings of Saturn" bird and if you've seen photos of Saturn from the orbiting Cassini spacecraft, he couldn't have named him better.

Another artist showcasing his work is Vittorio Constantini, who not only works the most amazing fish but lifelike insects but I've fallen in love with his fish.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hippo Birdie

I'm a day early but I want Miss O'Dyne to wake up to this birthday gift cake but she's been on a diet so I'll have to take care of the eating part. Not only a cake but a cake full of chocolates, now that's two presents in one and I'll take care of both of them.

*Thinks* Where did I put the Tia Maria for the coffee?

I'd better get out the cake forks as well, don't want to make an unladylike mess.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Still voyaging with VC&A

Let's hope this removes that horrible post about blubber. From the top, a matching necklace to the Stromboli earrings. It looks exactly like a volcano ready to erupt.

And to match the penguins, a diamond encrusted polar bear sitting on aquamarines.

The watch collection for the Voyages is just amazing. This is obviously Africa from Five Weeks in a Balloon.

From Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, the Medusa jelly fish brooch.

Back to Africa and diamond monkeys.

The whale pin in the last VC&A post has a hidden mechanism that when pressed makes the whale spout of water appear and disappear.

I lost myself for an hour just looking at the watches of the collection never mind the other goodies.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wedding present.

Van Cleef & Arpels again and Princess Charlene of Monaco wearing the Ocean Necklace. It's made of diamonds and graduated coloured sapphires and I'd like it for Christmas.

Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels and the books of Jules Verne, come together in the Extraordinary Voyages collection.

From Twenty Thousand Leagues under the sea, penguins on glacial blue.
Another from undersea, the Raie Manta Clip.

From the Earth to the Moon.

The jewell surprises with the rocket and diamond belts

whirling around the blue clip.

It couldn't be anything but Five Weeks in a Balloon

sailing over Africa.

These earrings are called Stromboli from

Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Back to Twenty Thousand Leagues and a beautiful whale.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I don't want to look at this post

Obese model Susanne Eman is saying 'Supersize Me' for real - in her bid to become the fattest woman ever.

The 52-stone bombshell aims to reach a whopping 115 stone, or 1,600lbs, by guzzling at least 20,000 calories a day.

I'd love to find out if it's humanly possible to reach a ton,’ she said. ‘A previous record holder was 1,600lbs (115 stone) , so I have to be at least that.

‘My next goal is to be 57 stone (800lbs) by the end of the year.

‘At my current rate of growth, I should be 115 stone by age 41 or 42.’

Susanne visits the supermarket once a month with sons Gabriel, 16, and Brendin, 12, and spends up to eight hours filling six trollies.

‘It's like a full day's work,’ said Susanne, who uses a motorised scooter, but astonishingly believes she can stay healthy.

And this is what she eats daily:

Breakfast: 6 x eggs scrambled, cooked in butter 468 cals. 1/2 pound bacon 1,168 cals, 4 x potatoes as hash browns 672 cals, 6 x pieces toast with butter 600 cals, 32 ounce cream shake 1,160 cals. Snacking 1 x bag of animal cookies 1,950 cals, 2litre bottle of soft drink 800 cals, 1 x 10.5 ounce bag of barbecue flavour crisps 1,650 cals, 3 x ham and cheese sandwiches 1,576 cals.

Lunch: 3 x beef, bean and green chilli burritos with 1 x cup of sour cream 1,453 cals. Salad (1 head lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup carrots, 1 cucumber, 1/2 cup ranch dressing, bacon bits, 1 cup crumbled cheese, 1 cup chicken 1,479 cals.

Dinner: 12 x filled tacos + 1 x cup sour cream 4,906 cals, 2litre bottle of soda 800 cals, Dessert 8 x scoops vanilla ice cream 2,080 cals, 1 x small pan of brownies 1,200 cals.

Total: 21,962 calories

You can't believe how much this infuriates me. People reading this are going to go on a fat bashing crusade against people like me who do struggle with weight and with all my laughs about just one more cake, I do watch what I put in my gob and there's no way I could eat all that food in one day. She also said in the article that she exercises, that is, she goes for a waddle every day. Oh cheers for the fat lady, she can't even walk around the supermarket to buy the food for the obscene diet.

She actually believes that being this fat has made her feel sexier.

I'd say being this fat has addled her brain but I don't think she has one. And I'm allowed to post this because I'm fat so it's not fat bashing, it's ranting against an irresponsible mother who has made arrangements for her kids to be looked after in case something happens to her. I'm so mad all I can say is, selfish bitch. She has two lovely boys and can only think of herself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm back, again

I suppose I should give an interim report after being MIA for what seems like months.

Weight: Don't ask. I'm eating my way out of a nervous collapse and if keeping my mind (Ha!) means being mistaken for Moby Dick, I don't care. I am hanging on by a thread and an apple cake.

Diabetes: Stable. I do a blood test in the morning and last thing at night and cheat like hell during the rest of the time.

General Health: Crap. Sinus infection makes me dizzy. Lungs have given house room to some virus that feels like it's sucking the water out of every cell, making my lungs feel like they've been tracking through the Sahara for a week.

Mother: Worried. She always is when I'm crook just in case I drop off the twig and leave her to the tender mercies of my sister. The rest of the time she's off to the coffee and cake shops, crafting cards, with bereavements slightly ahead of birthdays and conning most of the staff into shopping for her.

The BrickOutHouse: Still grieving for the kitty. Still shows no sign of leaving and I am not about to throw him back into the arms of "the girlfriend of very little brain". Still has three cars in my drive and knows every inch of them but can't remember to put the bins out on Wednesday nights. I waver between finding him a good woman and footing him up the backside with a steel capped Blundstone boot.

Financial: Good gravy on a sausage, the bills!!! Insurance for the contents has yoinked way up but the actual premium hasn't. It's the fire levy, state levy and the GST. I don't know what it would be like without my old age pensioner and no claim bonus discounts. The house insurance also went up but that's a direct debit so it's not as bad as the contents. I'm sure they write those clause booklets in ancient Egyptian then translate it into something like English but I can never understand a damn thing. I really tried to read and understand it after the flood fiasco in Queensland. It seems like I am covered for every thing including planes and/or meteorites crashing through my roof but if rain comes in through the said hole and ruins the contents then I'm not covered.
And then we have the Council Rates. Four years ago or thereabouts, I was paying by Postbill, a fortnightly sum which continued throughout the 12 months but with internet banking, Australia Post just up and stopped it, cretins. I rang the Council wanting to pay with Direct Debit but the arse in charge said people wouldn't leave the money in the bank. I continued to pay at the Post Office fortnightly and as long as I paid they couldn't do a thing and I kept going long after the rates were paid and the rest came off next year's bill. So now they have trumpeted a new arrangement, we can pay by direct debit in 10 equal instalments except I'm not, I will go on doing what I'm doing and I hope I'm annoying them.
This year I have a new charge on the rate and valuation notice.
Waste Choice C - Landfill Levy Charge ($25 p.a.) On the back of the notice it says: A service charge applying to developed residential properties for the collection and disposal of refuse (includes Landfill Levy) where applicable. No other explanation and if it's a choice why am I being billed for it?
The City of Kingston is now on Facebook. Oh gee golly gosh, does that excite me not in the least.

And I've found out that if I don't want a smartmeter then I can tell them to pissoff in no uncertain terms. I don't want a smartmeter. They're getting told.

Any good news? Our dearly beloved Lord Hughes of Fleetwood has deserted Farcebook (took him long enough) and has come back to the welcoming bosoms of blogdom. I must go and find my book of pommy insults.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


I love to read gossipy books by the people who were there and Diana Vreeland writes some of the best. She had an opinion on everything and knew just about everybody of note. From the late 20s to the 70s, I don't count anything as 'interesting gossip' today, she was interesting.
She met Callas at a Thanksgiving party.
"So she arrived - the greatest actress in the world. She wore black Milanese clothes: her hair which she wore in a pony-tail, was literally this thich; her manners were beautiful, she was very, very, sustained emotionally; she made things very clear emotionally - she was everything you would expect of Callas. We sat down at the table. Then, suddenly.........the veil dropped.
She was as common as mud. I didn't know anyone could be that ordinaire and still know how to use a knife and fork." (How I love that acid drop comment)

Diana then goes to see her perform in La Traviata. (The photo above is Callas in Medea but it was one of Diana's favourite images.)
"She just opened her throat. But I want to tell you that a tenth of a second later I was totally drenched, I mean totally - it had nothing to do with crying or weeping, it was shock. It was total electricity. I had been prepared to hear the most dramatic singer in the world, but this.....and by God, when she died, she was dead. I've never seen such a death scene. On stage she didn't have a gauche thing about her. She was unique."

It explains why she fell for Onassis, he might have had brass but he was also as common as muck.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Not just a cave.

Caves, water and me are not a good combination so never expect me to become a cave diver or even stand inside one like this to take a photograph but landscape photographer and environmentalist, Linde Waidehofer, from Colorado has been coming here since 2003.

They call it the Marble Cathedral, a network of water-filled marble caverns in South America's second largest freshwater lake, Lago Carrera. Ice fields once blocked the western end of the lake but now the the glacier-fed waters drain into the Pacific Ocean where Chile and Patagonia end.

Geologists believe the colour and clarity of the lake is due to finely ground glacial silt. The water level is constantly changing and the photography is never the same because of the filtering light.

The water can vary from turquoise to deep blue depending on the weather and the time of the year.

But just because it's so beautiful doesn't mean it's safe. Patagonia's Baker River which flows from this lake is part of a dam system that Chile wants to develop even though this area has been named an official nature sanctuary.

If you want to read more about these beautiful caverns then information about Linde's book "Blue Light" can be found at http://www.westoneye.com/books

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Wednesday photograph

Granddaughter 2 photographed the lavender heads with the setting sun behind. She thinks she has her father's eye for photography and she's artistic enough to keep at it.
She has to do a seven minute monologue for her English exams and write a Greek tragedy for drama, neither of which she'll have trouble with. I've heard her speak without drawing breath and she's been a natural actress since the day she first walked.
She wanted to donate blood but they sent her back to her doctor and she has to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. It's probably only an irregular heartbeat due to her flitting about like a dragonfly over water but it brought a lump to my throat. She's only 7 years younger than her father when he died and that's when I realized how fast time moves, not in minutes or seconds but great lumps of years.

Monday, August 01, 2011

My Birthday present

A photograph of my youngest granddaughter

on her way to the school formal.