Showing posts from August, 2011

A Crazy World? Or Is It Just Me?

I won't be popular for saying it but ... was one Emperor Penguin really worth the $80 000 spent to return it to its natural habitat?

Sure Happy Feet (as the penguin was known) captured the hearts of millions ... and yes, what a privilege to see one up close ... and of course, it provided valuable practice for veterinary students and biologists ... and naturally it brought the conservation debate to the forefront of thinking (personally I don't know if that's a good thing but I won't go there) ... but really, was it worth the cost?

I personally prefer not to think of the alternative (having an animal put to sleep) which probably makes me a hypocrite (then again, I eat meat and prefer not to think of where it comes from either) but on the other hand, is this penguin likely to survive in the wild? After all, he was found on a beach far from his natural habitat with his stomach full of sand. I have a feeling that Happy Feet may have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic.…

Apparently ...

You can cook sourdough under a grill for forty minutes as long as you realise your mistake in time and switch to bake function for the remaining 20-30 minutes.

I know.

Because I tried it.

Not on purpose.

I wouldn't recommend it - even if it did work this time.

Week Eleven: Surprise

It was bound to happen. When renovating an old house, surprises (usually of the nasty variety) are sure to come. That we've managed to get this far without discovering rotting floorboards, sagging foundations, and extensive borer is in itself miraculous. That we thought we would get to the end without any surprises, was totally naive.

Everything was going well this past week. The plasterers came and started doing their part, the new doors went up in the back entrance (okay, they did order the wrong doors for the wardrobe but that was their mistake this time and not ours), and it looked as if we were going to get our veranda restored to its former glory.

Enter the council who deemed it necessary to rebuild said veranda. It doesn't seem to matter that the veranda has withstood the ravages of time since the house was built ninety-eight years ago: the council says it has to have all new foundations, bearers and decking and we can do nothing but comply. That this will push out the …

Week Ten: Almost

I had thought of giving this post the title "Over" since at the beginning of the week I was so over this business of renovating. I just wanted everyone out of my house who didn't belong there ... whether it was finished or not. I got over that and by the end of the week had reached a hard-won truce with the whole process.

"Over" still seemed appropriate since Week Ten was the week the building was meant to be completed thus ending this nightmare (from my perspective at least). It's not over but it almost is. And almost is good enough.

Because apart from the architrave in the back entrance, the doors for the wardrobe and laundry cupboard, the removal of the old kitchen wall (which I suspect has provided a welcome windbreak in this chilly weather), and the laying of new decking, it is virtually over. The building part at least.

After that the plasterer, the painter, and the flooring contractor will all do their bit and then it's time for my new kitchen t…


Why when the rest of the country was experiencing snow - even those areas whose temperatures didn't drop as low as ours - we missed out? What's that all about? Our greatest claim to fame is that some areas in our city had snow and we managed a few tiny specks (although some intellectual called it some fancy name starting with 'g' which probably means it wasn't really snow). If we get the freezing temperatures why can't we have the excitement of snow as well? I mean we're suffering along with everyone else so a little bit of white stuff on the ground would make it all worthwhile. (Before my Northern readers think I'm insane please remember that this is a once or twice in a lifetime event for us here in our area.)

However, since at least most members of our family experienced snow I've decided that snow by close association is close enough to actually having snow. And now for the proof.

The campus of the university MY two sons attend:

MY son's bac…

More Spots

The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 rang me at 7.20 this morning to tell me that they had snow on the ground and in their tree! The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 then got on the phone and told me, "Snow. Snow."

Obviously they were excited - and with reason. This is the first time we have had snow since 1974. It's a "One in 50 year event" and it's something to get excited about.

We even had it here where we live. Certainly we didn't have it lying on the ground as some have had - probably too close to the coast for that. But we had our own small taste of it - even if it just looked like a few white spots here and there.

And while The Most Adorable Granddaughter#3 may not have shared her sisters' excitement it was probably because she had spots of her own to worry about. Yep, the poor little darling now has the chicken pox.

Week Nine: Lost Again

It seems that Week Nine was the week when I finally lost my sense of humour. The week I lost sight of the end goal ... the week I lost my sanity.

That's how it feels anyway.

I'm so tired of the dust. Of not just smelling it but also tasting it and also of the hay fever that it stirs up.

I'm tired of the noise that at times I feel as if I can't escape. Tired too of trying to be sensitive to the builders' needs and not playing music that only I like (so I don't play any - and I miss it).

I'm tired of being a prisoner in my room because I'm too nervous to leave it in case I bump into a builder or get in their way. (This was really bad when they were working in the hallway outside my room and I had to pass them every time I wanted to go to another part of the house.)

I'm tired of my makeshift kitchen and being able to only use one appliance at a time otherwise the power trips out. (Do you know how many meals can be cooked with just one appliance or how …

Big and White?

This morning I went down to church with my arms filled with lace and tulle and all things white. Our ladies are going to be hosting “Wedding Dresses of the Century” sometime later in the year and wedding dresses are needed. I can’t fit into mine – and am certainly not alone in that respect – but was hoping that there would be a young pretty model that would fit it.

While there I was asked to try on someone else’s wedding gown and agreed to model it.

I went home and told DH and Son#5.

DH: Whose dress are you wearing?

Me: Heather’s.

DH (with obvious surprise): Really?

Me: What do you find so surprising about that?

DH: But she’s not big.

Me (trying not to get upset): Noooooo.

DH: So who’s wearing yours?

Me: Jaycee.

DH: She’s tiny.

Me (thinking it was about time I stood up for myself): Actually, Amber tried it on and it was a bit tight on her.

Son#5: But Amber’s small.

Me: Well I was small when I got married.

Son#5: But Amber’s small.

I could have told him it was his fault – his and his brothers – that…

Week Eight: Lost

We're at an unsettling stage - for me anyway - in our renovation. I've endured seeing my house torn apart and looking like a construction site; I've learnt to work around numerous males in my house when I like my privacy; I've coped with preparing meals in a makeshift kitchen that does my back in; I've survived when the walls came off, the fire couldn't be lit, and the power tripped out on the coldest day in recorded history; and I've even managed to smile throughout most of it and see it as an adventure.

But now that we can see the building stage coming to an end I suddenly find myself not coping. The rooms are beginning to look like rooms now and I have an urge to get in and clean up the floors. Ridiculous when there's so much dust and rubbish from the building and the rooms aren't finished yet. It would be pointless anyway. Why vacuum carpet that is only going to be removed in a week or so?

I feel as if I've lost my old home but haven't yet…


Just over two weeks ago the Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 began the school holidays with the chicken pox. Her sister, The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2, coveted those spots. She closely examined every area of skin for the slightest change in colour or the tiniest increase in size that would indicate that she too was getting the chicken pox. We indulged her fantasies and pretended to see spots where there were none.

Finally, she got her wish. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 has the chicken pox. She has spots on her eyelids, in her hair, in every crease, in fact, all over.

And she's miserable. Our usually happy Adorable Granddaughter#2 is now crying in pain and complaining that it hurts. Sleep has become a distant memory for her parents.

As with these things, it must run its course. Hopefully it will be a reasonably short course. I imagine though that The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 will be more careful about what she wishes for in the future.