Archive for the ‘Adelaide’ Category


Arrived in Adelaide and greeted by my brother and 3-year-old niece. This, after 30 hours of being on the travelling road. I am exhausted.

I walk hand in hand with my niece who tells me that she went to my house yesterday and they pushed a button and water came out everywhere and it went everywhere and there was water all over the floor and house and everywhere was wet. She gesticulates wildly as she says this and her eyes are big as saucers.

My holiday was one big disaster after another. I am expecting my house to be destroyed before I returned. I ask my brother how destroyed the house is.

He tells me Rebecca has an imagination and the house is fine.  When we get to the house my niece shows me where the water that flooded the house came from. My water dispenser on my fridge.

Children and their imaginations. Sheesh. I had stains.


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Not Cricket

There has been a cricket plague over the last few nights. It’s been incredibly annoying.

Fortunately I do not have a bug phobia as I would be a cot case by now. This is the light where I get out of my car at work. It’s a picture taken by an iPhone so it’s not the best quality. I assure you that it is not a picture of a tree as it looks. Rather those weird shimmery lines are the lights reflectiing off the thousands of crickets swarming around it.

As you come into work crickets flock all over you. It’s impossible not to bring them into the bulding. As such we have had cricket kamikazes dive bombing onto you as you try and counsel suicidal people. We had to turn the air conditioning on full blast to keep them out of the room. I could cut glass with my nipples but at least I am not being dive bombed. Thats annoying but far worse is how they have managed to invade the toilets.

Please note how I have omitted half of the bowl of the toilet as it was still …hmmmm… gritty. (Not from me, I hasten to add.) No toilet brushes to be had. Well there is one but we have to share it between three toilets. (Oh yes, Mental health. The well funded health issue) Anyway I know there are not a lot of crickets in the picture but please note the one in the toilet which decided to make an appearance at a delciate moment in my life. I shot off the bowl like a rocket when that little bastard hit my derriere.

The other thing to know about crickets. They don’t flush away. Even when you really, really, really want them to.

I ended up having to use another toilet.

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To the consternation of my parents and their neighbours, their cul-de-sac street is the hive of drug activity. Late at night cars will pull up and park in front of my parents house and drug deals will take place.   Fabulously, these drug dealers will not be the least intimidated by my leaving the house and going to my car. In fact, they are  quite friendly about it and wave me a happy wave as cash and white powder sachets are passed forth.  It’s nice to have friendly drug dealers, I think.

Matters came to a head yesterday however. Normally drug deals are done in the middle of the night, the cars illuminated by my parents’ and neighbour’s bedroom lights as they indiscreetly open the windows to watch these events take place.  However, the next door neighbour Sandra, witnessed a drop off during the day. As you do when these things take place you do NOT call the police but rather, gather all the neighbours together to see “what we can do about it” What we can do about it involves Sandra, my parents (both 70 +) and the neighbours across the road, Harry and Mary (also 70 +).  When Sandra came gasping to the house that major drug deals were taking place and erroneously assuming my parents would be of some use in this, I had to tag along. My parents would be lucky if they knew what a joint looked like, let alone anything heavy. My mother would be more likely to add cocaine to her tea.

So in the middle of the street began the inaugural meeting of the No 1 septuagenarian Detective Agency. First point of order was to  visit the scene of the crime, the clump of trees at the end of the cul-de-sac street.

In said clump of trees is the drug container. Never having seen a drug container before all five of them were ill prepared to be looking for it.  Everyone looks into the trees and cannot see anything. In the crook of the tree is a small cylindrical container. It is well hidden and easily identifiable but I am enjoying the drug-deal where s Waldo that is taking place before my eyes.

Eventually Mary finds it. “I found it!” she screams, announcing to us, the street and any drug dealers within a fifty mile radius that she has indeed found it. The No 1 Septuagenarian Detective Agency. – Discretion is our middle name.

“Dont touch it, it might be wired” Sandra advises. Okaaaaaaaaay…… Wired with what? I am thinking however I suspect Sandra, and thus everyone else, believes it may be wired with dynamite.  Everyone looks puzzled as to how to handle the potentially lethal, highly explosive  drug filled container.

“Hit it with a stick, Harry!”, Mary helpfully suggests. Harry thinks this is a marvelous idea and  begins whacking the container for all he is worth. After we didn’t all blow up, everyone looks incredibly pleased with themselves. (Seriously, these people are needed in war zones. There would never be another mine death ever.)

Now what to do, decide the detective agency. “Should we look at it? ” my mother helpfully suggests. Everyone nods in agreement. Those years of watching Midsomer Murders are finally paying off for my mother. “Dont put fingerprints on it though” Sandra offers. Everyone murmurs their assent at this. Harry goes off to look for some gloves to open the container.

Harry returns with a piece of shag carpet instead. The gardening gloves are in the wash, we are advised. With Harry using the carpet square to hold the container in place at its bottom, my Dad then opens the lid off the container with his bare hands. Then the detective agency pass it around to each other ensuring that all of them share the fingerprint love. The No 1 Septuagenarian Detective Agency. – Discretion is our middle name.

Inside the container are three items: what looks like an ornament you put around a wine glass, a list of code numbers and dates and a plastic card.

Rather wonderfully, the detective agency continue their modus operandi of contaminating all crime scenes by taking out each individual item and handing it to each other. Harry continues to hold the container using the shag carpet. The bottom of that container will be print free. And here is where  all those years of crime shows have paid off for my parents. After earnestly examining the plastic card for a good ten minutes,

my father states; “I have no idea what that means”   This is what you get when your chief exposure to  crime fighting deduction is  a show about a sassy plant pathologist getting together with her sassy gardener friend and solving crimes relating to herbs.

No one in the detective agency understood any of the clues left for them, to be fair.  The drug list clearly indicated when the next drop off was going to occur but they completely missed that. And, to be honest, I wasn’t going to tell them  as they would only be standing outside with burning torches  when the next drop-off occurred. The detective agency would probably burn themselves alive before while they waited.

With the first case of the detective agency screeching to a halt, my mother came up with the first bright idea of the day. “Perhaps we should call the police.” Which they did. And the police were, it was considered, completely useless. Not only did they not come out to the street with their sirens blaring bringing the teams from CSI and NCIS  with them, but they considered the matter quite trivial in the scheme of things, when an average police day includes attending to murders and  holding speed cameras. My policey friends who read this blog should hang their heads in shame after they stop laughing.

I am not sure if they detective agency is going to paint my parent’s Winnebago funky colours, hire a great dane and travel Australia solving crimes however I have suggested they do so. I suspect they will not have time. I feel sure after this the police will be knocking down the door to have them solve all the outstanding murders for which Adelaide is known. Now THAT would make for an interesting blog.

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Finally caught up with KB;  friend, blog commenter, vegetarian on Wednesday night (as has been promised in forever if you read the comments on this silly thing and, if you don’t, you’re missing out.) FutureWife No 1 and Ms Dunn were both present.

A jolly good time was had by all. I was extraordinarily tired and not as super fun as I should be. I am always super fun  however, worry not, but I had slept maybe 7 hours in the last 72 due to needing to fight my nocturnal tendencies to sort things out prior to the holiday and, as such, was a bit spent.

Fortunately there was the Food of the Gods on standby.

Hendricks martini, with anchovy stuffed olives, which gave me instant sustenance. After four I was well sustained. Dear lord, they are magnificent. MsDunn  did not think so and thought it was not unlike engine oil. I drank her glass, the philistine, and insisted she have another so I could drink that too. Seriously, call me an alcoholic if you must, but I would happily drink these daily and repeatedly.  There is nothing bad about these drinks, despite what liver advocates would have you believe.

LOVE them. If you want to get me a present, and you should, think bottle of Hendricks.  I will thank you by drinking it.

We spent the night watching The Royle Family which was magnificent and Farmer Wants a Wife which was mind numbing. A reality show, 20 women go out to meet 6 farmers and hopefully find true love. It is complete plop. MsDunn loves it. MsDunn comes from a farming background (ie she has a farmer partner, Pete) and presumably she watches this for tips for Pete. Spookily, my friend, Tony, the dairy farmer also likes this dreck however has refused all offers of communication about it thus far. I need to set his head right.

FutureWife no 1 is Annie. We are all mental health nurses. I’ve known Annie for as long as KB. She has been engaged to marry me for the last 14 years and has been pregnant with my child for the last 15. I don’t want the child to be born a bastard. I’m old-fashioned that way.  Futurewife no 1 became FutureWife no 1 after a long list of females made it known they  want to marry me. I am up to FutureWife no 7.  Would, would, would that I had this effect on men. I can’t give myself away to men and I am clearly that fabulous in the sack that I have to beg people to have sex with me more than once. Woman, on the other hand, line up to have my children. Perhaps it’s a forbidden fruit thing.

KB gave me some delightful presents on the evening. What was more impressive about the presents though is she clearly is a fan of this blog. Each present reflected a blog entry or two. First was a lovely silk (not polyester) tie and cufflinks set. However, as lovely as that was (and it was, indeed lovely) it was not as lovely as this present.

OH. MY. GOD!!!!!

Twinkies!!!!!! In Australia!!!!!

I fell to my knees and genuflected. After I stopped weeping I cradled it lovingly in my hands. I am not eating this yet. I am not allowed. Personal trainer forbids me from eating anything but ice cubes and broth made out of mud and curry paste. But soon. Very, very Soon.

There will be a blog about it too.

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Well that was lovely.

Last night was super-duper special. Whenever I mention “something is just so” or “I am enjoying this because” I jinx myself and it all goes pear-shaped. Thus it was I said this summer had been quite mild which indeed it had, all things considered. We haven’t had last year’s unending weeks of weather over 105°F, for example. (See, I’ve just jinxed myself there.) However the last few days have been just peachy with the weather yesterday hitting 110°F during the day and plummeting to the icy depths of 84° F/29°C overnight. I have been becoming psychotic.

Summer is bearable as long as you can sleep. I loathe summer but as long as I am cool enough to get some decent rest, I can cope with it without becoming too mentally ill. Though that’s debatable too, I guess.

The only way to do this is to have the air conditioners going at max, preferably two, one under each armpit. I am amazed at people who don’t need the air con on when it is this hot. Future Wife no 1 is such a person. God forbid if you turn the air conditioner on in these people’s presence, as then they get “too cold” and I have to murder them with a machete.  I will have the air conditioner running 24/7 when it is hot. Sod the electricity bill, don’t care as long as I am comfortable.

Until the power goes off. Then I am (rhymes with ducked).

I’m currently at my parents house as the air conditioner in my place has been on the blink for forever and I am at war with air conditioning company (another blog). Yesterday the mythical electricity generator blew somewhere in the local area  due to  over demand and the neighbourhood  was without power, air conditioning, lights, all the mod cons.

As is often the way when you have Nigel’s life, the exact same time you need to use your phone, both mobile and landline, is the time when both phones need charging. Clearly this is a genetic thing as my parents had the same. So without phones or computers we toughed it out in what was quite a long night (a very, very long night) without power. I had been at my friend’s house initially then he got too cold. His body is under the steps but don’t tell anyone.

In fact the power came on about 5 in the am, by which time I was a puddle on the bed and completely heat struck. You know it’s hot when you shower yourself with cold water, don’t bother to towel yourself and you are dry by the time you walk from the bathroom to bedroom. I slept I am sure but it was broken and sweaty and uncomfortable and disgusting. I feel washed out, as you do after heat sleep.  It is all I can do now to stay awake.

I am tempted to buy a generator. I wouldn’t know how to use it but having access to electricity when you need to cool yourself down and answer your friend’s emails would be considerably useful. I am not fond of generators though. Every horror film I have seen has a generator that doesn’t work or is turned off by the killer and people get murdered when they go to turn them on again. I’m not sure I should risk that.

Oh Lord I am rambling. I hope that was coherent. People shouldn’t be allowed near blogs when they have heat stroke.

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If you read here, you will get the back story of this current scenario. If not, know that I am at breakfast at the Pancake Kitchen and am seated next to the most unlikely couple ever. She is, I am guessing, 65 and has bright red, dyed hair. Think  a ginger Susan Boyle in ten years.  She makes me look thin. He is a stick insect, bald and wearing coke bottle glasses.

They spend their time looking at each other adoringly over stacks of pancakes and, regrettably, choose to express their love for each often and voraciously through the art of french kissing.

They are both nurses, she still wears her name tag (Kitty-Ann) and his name is Clint. (pseudonyms, obviously). They have, like my group, just finished their night shift. Some snippets of (their frankly staggering) conversation:

KA: “They’re jealous at work, you know, of us. I can tell.” Strokes his emaciated head. “You’re a catch.” ( tongue, tongue, slurp,slurp)

KA: ” I don’t like to chat when I am at work. That’s why everyone loves me. They know I will get on with it. I just do my pills and go sit down and read Women’s Weekly for the rest of the night and they know not to come near me. I’m a people person.”

C: “Did you visit Colin before he died?”

KA: ” I most certainly did. I looked him straight in the eye and I said, “Look Colin, I know it was you who ate those biscuits. But you’re going to God now and maybe He will be able to forgive you for that.””

C: “Good for you, lover.” (tongue, tongue,slurp, slurp) “What did he say?”

KA: “Well he still had his tubes in his mouth but the ICU nurse said he could hear every word….”

KA: ” They love me at work. I am fair and impartial, that’s why they let me do everyone’s rosters.” 

C: “Hell yeah, lover. Have you got Christmas off then?”

KA: ” Of course. And I gave myself New Years off as well. I’ve been working too hard all year…”

C: “Not as hard as I’m gonna work you..” (tongue, tongue, slurp, slurp)

KA: ” Steven said to me ” Nana, Can you take me in that hot air balloon?”  I said to him, ” Look Stevie, you know Nana’s had her hips replaced. I can’t lift my legs to get into the f***ing thing.” He cried for a while but I soon told him to stop that. He needs to learn he can’t have everything by now. He’s six next birthday..”

They left after that, though there was more tongue over coffee. I watched them leave my life, walking away down the street, all the while as Kitty Anne groped Clint’s bottom.

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So after all that travelling and 29 hours of non stop planes and airports I arrived in Adelaide to be greeted by my gorgeous extremely-excited-to-see-me niece and the family. This is adorable. She gives me a clay(?) ornament (that has been baked) to hang on the Christmas tree. It is a jigsaw puzzle after weeks of waiting for me and has now been held together by sticky tape.

The first thing to note is that it was SO HOT!!!! Having left North Carolina and being extremely annoyed at missing out on the snow, hitting the wall of humid heat was like being smashed in the head with a brick.

The family and I got to my house where I then struggled (and my brother, Robin, struggled more) with the fact my air conditioning was on the complete and utter fritz. Again! Just like last year!! Everyone huddled under the fan while I sweated and tried to open suitcases for presents.

As I am doing this, the heavens opened in a downpour of hot rain that Adelaide hasn’t seen in decades. So much rain, in fact, that the drain in my courtyard starts backing up and soon my courtyard is underwater and I am wondering if the house is going to be flooded.

As you can imagine I am THRILLED, thrilled I tells ya, to be back.

I am exhausted, overheated, emotionally spent and not able to make a decision to save my life. And the house is going to wash away while the air conditioner refuses to do anything!

I mention the fact I have returned as I still have LOADS of posts about various adventures and insights of the US and friends still to come. Like last time, I will be discussing this holiday for days after I returned. This is sort of bitter-sweet. Forgive my indulgences. I use this blog as much as a diary for me as anything.

So glad to be back? Hmmmmmmm

Ask me later. I have MUCH thinking to do.

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Smile Because He Has Lived

I attended a funeral today. Normally I wouldn’t post such private events of others on here however the event was significantly different that I wanted to mention some details.

Firstly, the funeral was held in the  Adelaide Crows Football Club Rooms. This is apt as Australian Rules Football (of which the Crows are a team) is a form of religion over here. The power of the game enraptures people and it makes sense that for this man, an agnostic whose sporting passion was this team, held his final moments in their presence.

This gave a unique spin to the funeral and it’s wake. Below the area where the service was held was a massive open area gymnasium where, presumably, players practice their kicking when its raining. (?? – no idea. I don’t have a sporting bone in my body) This allowed the children and their suited parents to kick footballs to each other after the service.

Children were invited and well catered for. The large open area allowed a group of dedicated people to sit with all of the children ( if they wanted) and do artwork with the arts and crafts provided. This turned out to be a stunning idea.

As a result of this, it was the first funeral I have ever been to where I held a teddy bear throughout (the teddy in question, Georgie, belonged to my niece and was  abandoned with gusto when she realised there were better toys on offer.) Teddy Bears at funerals are curiously beneficial. People may have looked at the bearded guy in the suit holding the teddy with curiosity but you could tell they were jealous they hadn’t thought of it.

Adelaide is an incredibly small town where the degrees of separation are two instead of six. After the service I met up with a friend of mine, Michael, who makes my feeble attempts at maintaining friendships look herculean.  Michael has been in town for two years and not contacted me.


Michael, a doctor turned Catholic priest, (as you do), was then beaten up with Georgie for a full five minutes for being a crap friend.

I do not cry at funerals. As anyone who knows me this is not for a lack of sensitivity on my part. Just a weird quirk that it is the one time I am stoic. However today, while I watched a three-year old girl playing with her friends making art and bubbles, laughing and chatting happily at the same time as her father was having his eulogy delivered, and her without a care in the world…God love her……I got teary.

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Tales from my Belt Part 2

South Australia  had introduced a no plastic bag policy in shopping centres in 2009.  When you now buy groceries you either remember to bring your cloth bag (which you keep for grocery emergencies in the back of your car and forget whenever you enter a shopping centre} or you can buy a new cloth bag at the counter ( to go with the twenty others you keep in the boot of your car that you bought the last twenty times you went shopping). Or you could do strategy three which is the one I adopted  after I realised I was slowly going bankrupt buying cloth bags. Strategy 3 is buying as much as you can carry in your hands and  just shop more frequently. In the false economy of the environmentalist, you help the environment by not using plastic bags but by driving your car to the shops ten times more often than you had done previously.

Anyways….. sometimes I get keen buying groceries and buy more than I can carry and then I am forced to use whatever is available, more often than not stuffing things into my pockets and looking like a homeless person. Thus it was yesterday that I was struggling with my groceries and had stuffed some toothpaste and mouthwash into my pockets and I slowly but surely realised that  the weight in my pockets meant I was losing my pants in the middle of the supermarket.


New belt hole! The diet is working. I’m still fat but a notch less fat.


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… and Everything In Its Place

My brother and I, God love him, are very alike and very different in many ways. One of the ways in which we do differ is our response to anal retentiveness orderliness.

I am fastidious for the most part. Everything has its place, anything could have a filing system if you tried really hard enough and if something is not in its rightful place then I develop a tic. Some of that is a joke.

Wrapping presents should be a work of art. Perfect folds and invisible tape and colour coordinated ribbon. My family openly mock me. (My brother looks like he wraps his presents with his feet. Fortunately he married a woman who completely understands the need for colour coordinated perfection under the Christmas tree. Finally a comrade in obsessiveness!!)

My brother needed his portable hard drive to be defragged. I’m not sure why he required my computer to do this but I was happy to help, even before I realised Id have free range access to his *ahem* filing system on the hard drive. Bear in mind there is nothing of importance on this hard drive; it is solely to house all of his films and dvds and television shows that he has acquired.

However my brothers filing system is essentially it can stay where it falls. Files were scattered in a way that made higgledy piggledy embarrassed with shame.  Top Gear would be next to Glee would be next to The Dark Knight would be next to Wallace and Gromit. It pained me to look at it.

So he left me the hard drive to defrag ( which took 10 and half hours to do so!!!! 500 gb will do that) and then I suggested I could sort out the files for him. He agreed. Let it be known, for the record, he agreed.

It is now perfection. Everything has  been impeccably filed. Everything has an order, all the doubles have been deleted, all the typos were fixed….. It took me forever. 500 GB will do that.

He will hate it. He will have no idea where anything is. No idea at all though it works out perfectly in my mind’s filing system. I, however, am ecstatic. His ten-year old nephew who despaired for his filing “system” will equally be impressed.

And I don’t mind that he will curse my name when he tries to find things now. The important thing is I can look at his computer filing system without my eyes bleeding.

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