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Monday, October 31, 2011

Rise Of The Red Rocket

We took the little red rocket for a test drive this weekend to see if it was suitable for Miss16 to learn to drive on. It's far from perfect to look at but it seems mechanically sound and for a mere $1000 it's perfect for our needs.

The car is a manual - Master19 only has an auto license and now finds he needs to get his manual for the job he eventually wants. We didn't want that sort of problem for Miss16, and if you can drive a manual an auto is a breeze.

To be frank I haven't driven a stick for a while. Not sure how I'll go as Miss16's teacher - embarrassed to say my maiden voyage saw me imitating Peter Rabbit down our driveway.

When we arrived home with the car Miss16 still had a couple of friends here from her Halloween Movie Night. This was the first she's heard of the car, so she was very excited and suitably impressed. We're hoping this will kick start her enthusiasm to get started on her learners.

Meanwhile, we'll have a second car so we'll be able to cart the whole family around town when the baby comes :) I bags driving the red rocket! (It's got no car seats).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Word From The Coffee Snob

I would rather bungy jump naked from the wing of a Tiger Moth than settle for instant coffee. If you consider I'm scared of heights, tigers and the crazy folk who fly old planes you'll understand how much I detest the foul, loathsome stuff. 

Freshly ground espresso, on the other hand, is the liquid expression of all that is good and proper in the world. At least it is at 7am when I’m dragging myself away from a perfectly good bed.

I'm not alone in my love of the bean - it's the second most widely traded product in the world. The first being oil, which tastes horrid with or without frothy milk and two teaspoons of sugar.

When we renovated our kitchen I was mad keen to have a coffee machine installed. I used to spend an exorbitant amount of money on coffee - around $3000 a year! Put into perspective, that's nearly one hundred cartons of beer. Clearly my coffee drinking was severely limiting my potential for increased alcohol consumption. 

You have to pay big for good quality, right? We got our Miele coffee machine secondhand for $1300 - new they were $3100. I'd done my maths and worked out at three coffees a day it would pay itself off in less than a year. Thereafter, cheap coffees.

You might think this was a lot of money to spend. I know I did. Tracey, too, took a lot of convincing. Especially as I balked when she wanted a dishwasher - looking back I can't believe I tried to come between my wife and a dishwasher and survived to tell the tale. I've grown smarter since then.

The good sense of quality over price came home to us one day when we were purchasing a candle holder in Silly Solleys and it had broken before we made it through the checkout. Buying cheap junk is akin to investing in a pyramid scheme - you might get lucky, but you probably won't.

So we have this awesome (-ly expensive) coffee machine and for three months I was constantly standing in front of it, thinking to myself, "You lucky son of a beach. You have THIS! You've made it. You can die a happy man." With all the love I was feeling, you might imagine my shock then when I went to a friend's house and he produced a better result with his bottom of the range Sunbeam. Not just a better result - the quality his Sunbeam produced was head and shoulders and upper torso better than my Miele white elephant.

Needless to say, after many years tweaking my Miele, we last July gave up and purchased a $200 Sunbeam coffee machine (I figure it paid itself off in twenty days) and although the Miele has the advantage of freshly grinding the beans, I haven't made a cup of Joe with it for about a year. Now when I happen to glance at it I think to myself, "You unlucky sod. You have THIS! You wanted it. It was dead money."

It gets worse though. We'd twice needed to repair the Miele machine since it was installed five years ago, both times costing us about $400. I could have bought four Sunbeam machines or ten cartons of beer for that.

Tracey and I have changed our thinking over the last 15 years: We always try to purchase quality, even if it means we have to wait longer to save up the extra money or if we have to go without something else.

Our coffee machines prove, however, that spending bigger bucks on something isn't always a guarantee of a better end result.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fear Knots

With so many friends and customers trotting off to exotic destinations lately the topic of conversation turned to holidays at work today. While I couldn't be buggered with all that chasing down of cathedrals and Neanderthal cave paintings I totally get the lure of Italy & France - it's the chance to bond with their gloriously delicious food.

For me a tour of these countries would involve a maybe five simple meals a day, plus snacks. I sometimes wonder whether I was a hobbit in my previous life. Unfortunately I don't think I'll ever manage to get to these countries though, because the odds of them building a bridge between Australia and any of the other Continents in my lifetime are slim. And I don't fly well.

"More chance getting killed in a car on the way home tonight than crashing in a plane," one of the girls at work said in an odd attempt to make me feel better about flying. It doesn't. 

"That's not it," I informed her. I thought the conversation would move on, but it didn't.

"The food can be a problem," prompted another of the girls. 

"That's not it," I said. You see, the problem I have with these long flights is I refuse to sleep on the plane.

"Can't you take a pill?" someone else suggested. 

"That's not it," I told her, and I realized I'd begrudgingly have to spill the beans. The reason I won't sleep on the plane is the first thing I do when I wake up, just prior to full consciousness in fact, is toot. It's biological or genetic or something. So I have this fear I'll let off a bum burp rather loudly, possibly even asphyxiate a few passengers, and then have to spend the entire flight with everyone looking at me.

Although tooting involves a completely different orifice I gather it's an extension of my fear of public speaking.

And it's not that I'm not afraid of flying - I am. That and a whole gambit of others. Being a parent can do this to you - suddenly you see the potential for disaster in every puddle of water and Lego block. There's my fear of heights, my fear of drowning & conversely my fear of dying by fire, my fear of snakes and my fear of being eaten by sharks, tigers, hippopotamuses &, since Jurassic Park, velociraptors. My fears could fill your average theatre.

Only thing I'm not scared of is actually dying, but the how I die is a whole other kettle of fish. And in fact I suspect my fear of flying is more my fear of the two minutes of plummeting out of the sky than the actual impact. But no need to go into that here, I can save it for when I get me a good psychiatrist. And trust me, he's gonna be rich.

Never quick to quit, the girls at work tried to allay my fears so that I might one day bite into a chocolate eclair or have Foie Gras on toast for breakfast in the home of the guillotine (fear of having my head chopped off, Highlander style, isn't in the good seats in the Auditorium of Bruce's Fears, but it definitely gets invited to the after party).

"I fart on planes all the time," said one of my lovely workmates. Don't be shocked. I'm the only bloke at work and this conversation is lame compared to some of the topics I've had the pleasure of trying to ignore. "Nobody can hear you toot over the sound of the engines."

And for the first time in many years I actually thought flying might be doable for me. Until I got home.

"Oh, they'll hear YOU alright," my sweet wife told me. "Although there's a chance the people up in business class might just think it's really bad turbulence."

I never like air plane food anyhow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crappy Beer

As wonderful as this holiday has been something icky has come to my attention which nearly threw the whole thing off.

I was watching telly with the kids, as you do - a show about green energy and solutions. Have you ever noticed how kids’ shows are so much more informative than adult shows? I can watch the news and come away with more questions than answers – What are our troops doing in Afghanistan? Why is the Reserve Bank putting up rates when the politicians don’t seem to want them to? Where the hell is Port-au-Prince? If I ever want the real lowdown I turn the channel to Behind The News, a program aimed at explaining current events to kids. At least I can understand what they're going on with.

So I was watching this show about green stuff, like alternative energy generation and water conservation, and it was all finally starting to make a bit of sense, when they started talking about beer. Hallelujah! I had to wait until I was 18 to learn the important stuff. Kids these days are so lucky.

Only it wasn’t all beer and skittles. Turns out there’s a brewery treating raw sewerage to use in their beer making process, instead of turning on a tap like normal people.

And it’s a brand I drink! Well that certainly leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. So did I miss a memo? Is this why they call it piss?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We're Back From The Black

Day one of our technology hiatus and I was reading not one, but three books - anything to distract me from my lifeless looking laptop sitting in the cupboard.  My three books were Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Charlaine Harris’ Altogether Dead. I couldn't seem to settle on one, even from hour to hour, and keep flitting from one to another as my mood took me. And I was moody. Oh so moody. The kids kept asking me what they'd done wrong - that can't be good. So it seemed that so far the turning off of laptops hadn't been great.

Night before we started this torment I went to G-town to pick up Miss16 and bring her back to Tin Can Bay. While I was in town I dropped in on a few friends including Maree & Denny. I spent a very present half hour trying to convince Denny of the benefits and joys of Facebook and computers, but despite what I think are solid, indisputable arguments – which as you know include keeping in touch, ease of banking & access to porn – I don’t think she was sold on the idea.

Tracey must have been feeling equally as mind-numb from no internet because she didn’t even notice I was missing for half an hour. By two o’clock I was sick of looking at my neutered laptop so we took the kids to the local bowls club (do you like how I say we took them, like it was exactly what they wanted and nothing to do with us) and they played in the kiddy area while Tracey and I enjoyed a relatively quiet drink. Naturally we were on call for disputes and hugs, but mostly we were able to sit there and discuss Christmas presents and our complete lack of any idea of what we’re buying. And because we have no internet we can’t even look up ideas on line.  

Furthermore, Miss16 was taking the whole ‘no laptops’ thing way too well, meaning I hadn't even been able to enjoy her misery. I suspected when she’s sneaking off she was using the computer at her friends’ houses. Clever bitch. Wish I had friends. Tracey ducked down to the library a few times, and it occurred to me they have computers there. I was dying to ask her if she cheated, but then I thought I might also want to go to the library by myself to look for yet another book later (wink wink), so I thought I'd better keep my mouth shut. Meanwhile, I was really starting to wonder why I was bothering with this.

The next day went much smoother for me, until mid afternoon when my Kindle died (I should perhaps explain that while our techno hiatus started out as an all points ban, it has continued subject to certain exemptions - primarily it means no telly, no gaming devices and absolutely no internet, but Kindle can be used for reading and mobile for phone calls) I realized I didn’t bring the recharger cord (so much for that, just the mobile for the next few days). Reduced to a single book until I can get to the library, I spent the day reading a couple of pages and then lying on the lounge with my eyes shut - not sleeping, mind, because that would mean leaving Tracey to look after all the kids by herself and I wouldn’t do that to her. Afternoon did seem to go very fast though.

Miss16 had a lovely time styling Miss7 & Miss4’s hair for them, then we took the kids out for a photo shoot by the water (dodging jelly things on the sand) and ordered fish and chips for dinner. Only no-one wanted fish and chips except me (when did these kids start getting choices?), so there was also a heap of burgers and dagwood dogs. 

First place we went to order dinner was recommended to me by a customer in G-town, however the stupid shop didn’t take eftpos. I can’t believe the number of places down here which don’t take eftpos. It’s like the whole place is still living in the eighties.

And while I love how laid back and casual it all is, I’m driven to distraction by businesses which don’t want my money simply because they can’t see the notes and jiggle the coins. Madness.  The shop attendants are always quick to point out the closest ATM but if they aren’t prepared to harden up and face the 21st century then I’m not going to do it for them (until I get over myself and go to the bank - in this case the following night, and yes, the fish and chips at the recommended shop was far, far better).

So I had the second best fish and chips in Tin Can Bay followed by the best. Miss16 stayed out until 7.30 with some friends (we met her at the shop to buy her a burger). Night was drawing and colouring in with another platter of cheeses and I did some writing the old fashioned way - with paper and a pencil and no spell check. Blech!

By Friday we were in a much better place as a family (read as, I wasn't so moody about not having my laptop turned on and facing me). Tracey did heaps of crafty things with the kids, including making sandcastles from toilet rolls, and was taking loads of photos and I went on two bike rides a day with the kids. Two! I'm thrilled I got to do this because G-town is not a good place to take kids riding, so it's good to get a heap in while I can.

Even managed to carry Miss4's bike down to the paths a couple of times so she could ride with her older siblings - she loved that. Usually I walk along side her and we go around a few blocks.

Master6 caused a few little accidents by riding into his sisters, which is beginning to tear his confidence apart. At one point he was walking his bike and refusing to ride because he was too dangerous, but we built him back up. Jeez, if being a little chaotic on the road was a reason to stay off them my folks would never be able to back over their letterbox and go shopping.

Tin Can Bay is just what we needed to recharge the batteries, and we recommend it to anyone wanting to go somewhere and do nothing (at a very reasonable price). But if you want restaurants, shops and excitement, avoid it like the plague. As we were leaving we met some lovely people across the road who let us look through their rental (in case ours sells and is no longer an option). They were horrified when we said we were there for two weeks.

"What did you do?" they asked. I'm thinking they came for 3 days and left for life.

But sadly it's all over now. I'm definitely a net junkie though because now it's Saturday and we're home and all bags and bikes and assorted claptrap from the trailer are unloaded, but only as far as the balcony, and already I'm on my laptop trying to ignore my kids. Oh, well, they'll get their chance again next month.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lemony Pudding Cakes

I will give you fair warning, these little cake things are extremely yummy. They're light and tangy and there's a little saucy goodness in the base of each serve.

This recipe probably won't make it into a diet recipe book, but then I'm not on a diet so it's fair game. I don't know what they can be classified as (cakes or pudding or whatever) so I've called them what comes to mind as I eat them - lemony pudding cakes.

With the whole family disappointed Master19's train was turned around because of last night's huge storm (meaning he didn't make it up for the weekend) we needed something to cheer us up.

My parents still came up for lunch, which was great, but nothing says "it's all okay" like food. As Miss4 borrowed a cookbook from the library the other day we went through it together and picked out something to cook together.

You will need:

50g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 lemons - zest & juice
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups milk
An iron will, to stop you eating too many

Preheat the over to 160c. Grease some ramekins (we made eight).

Cream the butter, half the sugar and all the zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and flour, then lemon juice and milk.

In another bowl, mix egg whites until peaks form, then slowly add remaining half of caster sugar until thick and glossy.

Fold egg white foam through the egg yolk mixture and then divide up evenly into the ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a large baking pan, half filling with boiling water and then bake for 30-35 minutes - until firm and golden.

We loved them just like this, but you can pretty them up with cream or icing sugar if you like.

It ended up a lovely day, made even better because we found some stray friends and their kids at the park who came back to our place for a drink and catch up, and we had a BBQ dinner with Uncle Jason & Auntie Bel and their kids.

Still would have loved for Master19 and his lovely girlfriend, Frances, to have made it up and to reconnect with his siblings. Maybe next year's holiday.

For someone allergic to nuts Master6
can't seem to keep his hand off them

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Five Things I Never Want to Hear My Kids Say

  1. "It worked out better than I expected. I'm due for parole in six months."
  2. "Dad, you can't come to my birthday party. It's more for friends and close family."
  3. "I remember the first time I heard you and Mum having sex."
  4. "We've got heaps of time to get to know each other. The baby's not due for another eight months."
  5. "It is too a modelling job, Dad. So what if I'm naked."

Feeding the Troops

Tracey & I enjoy going out for meals, don't get me wrong, but we enjoy it more without the kids. Sometimes we'll sit, childless, at a nice restaurant staring into the middle distance just enjoying the novelty of being able to finish a thought.

Plus, if we take the whole family, we tend to ruin the evening for the other diners - it's hard for people who aren't use to eating in a war zone to carry on a conversation with our mob all talking at once and demanding dessert for their main.

Taking our lot out for a meal can also be very draining on the purse. And it's the drinks which can really sneak up on you in a restaurant: just a single soft drink can cost $3.50. Well we need twelve of them for the two hours we're ordering, waiting for and eating our two coarse meals, so that's $42 before the food bill.

Even this morning we went along to the markets to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables and would have needed to fork out $30 to fed everyone a sausage on bread ($5 each for a bratwurst!). Instead we came home and cooked up American hot dogs for the tribe for a grand total of $7.50 (or a more reasonable $1.25 each).

Markets can be a great place to save on fresh produce, if you know your prices. After buying a heap of fresh pink lady apples, lady fingers bananas, mushrooms, capsicum, lemons, limes, cucumbers and a pumpkin we let the kids buy themselves a little bit of junk from a stall - costing a big 20c each.

Then we stocked up at the local supermarket,  buying enough meat for two dinners, two lunches and three breakfasts, and enough yummy snacky stuff (like cheeses, dips, chips, salami's, kabana's and biscuits) to sink a battleship. We'll be eating like kings over the weekend - not real kings with their foie gras and sturgeon caviar, but certainly up there with my old mate Rob King and his family.

Total was $100, which is less than what it would cost us to eat just one meal at the local pub. Is it any wonder we don't do go out to dinner often.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Day of Arts & Craft

Today was a crafty sort of day, although it still included a heavy helping of bike riding: I rode with each of the kids to the post office so they could send a postcard to their friends at school.

While I slept for two hours with little Miss1 (insert big smillie face here), Tracey got the kids involved in some crafty fun: Plaster of Paris of Winnie the Poo characters, and making their own little Zhu Zhu toys, which will no doubt be joining each of them in bed tonight.

We always take a large box of craft stuff with us, like stickers, pom-poms, paints (powder & sauce bottled), pencils, paper, beads, boxes, paddle pop sticks, scissors, string, wool, canvases, glue and cardboard (and we're increasing our supply toilet rolls every day), so we never have to hear them say they're bored. It takes up room in the trailer which might otherwise be usefully allocated to beer, but it is worth it for the peace you get while they're making stuff. And for the thrill on their little faces.

Seriously, the kids were happier, with their jumping up & down and screaming, when Tracey pulled out the craft box than when we announced we were going to walk to the park for ice-blocks.

One of the kids favourite shows on tv these days is Mr Maker, where a guy makes stuff out of cereal packets and toilet rolls. They're literally glued to the screen (okay, not literally, that would be wrong - although not as wrong as stapling them to something surely). We brought a Mr Maker DVD with us and the only DVD the kids have asked for more has been Another Cinderella Story (well, the girls - it drives Master6 mad).

Best thing about all the crafty stuff is Tracey LOVES doing it with the kids, so I don't have to :) I get to put Miss1 (and myself) down for her nap.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feeding The Dolphins

We were up at sparrow's this morning because the sign at the dolphin feeding spot said the dolphins would be fed from 7 to 8am. What they meant was the dolphins would be fed at 8am, but you could look at the dolphins for the hour prior to that. If they showed up - they are wild dolphins, afterall, and don't know how to read things like tourist information and signs (which are incorrect anyway).

My kids quickly lost interest in staring at the big, lazy fish and began burying each other in the sand. Here's the thing - when dolphins aren't jumping through hoops and stuff, they're pretty boring. These ones weren't even talking, like Flipper, they just lay there in the shallow water waiting, like us, for the ladies in the kiosk to start selling fish.

Interesting thing the people 'protecting' the dolphins do is insist everyone wash their hands in a bucket of disinfectant before going to stand in the shallow water - so I assume all forms of foot fungus are a-ok.

Despite this sanitizing of hands, you're not allowed to actually touch the dolphins - that would incur a $300 on the spot fine, as the nice ladies at the kiosk kept telling people. And while the good people at the Important Dolphin Inspectors Organisation Treasuring Sanitation (IDIOTS) seem very careful for everyone not to pass on any germs, I do have to wonder if the disinfectant on the people feeding them the fish won't cause more damage than the odd bit of leftover pee over-sprayed on someone's hand - especially as some of the boats anchored around the little beach would have been pumping their raw sewerage straight into the river the dolphins were in. But what do I know? I'm not one of the IDIOTS, I'm just a banker.

And because we did this last year I also knew you had to ignore the IDIOTS at the kiosk saying they weren't taking money off people yet and there was no need to line up. You damn well better line up, we found out last year, or you're quickly at the wrong end of a long line of backpackers.

Me taking one of a series of useless photos of my daughter feeding a dolphin
 because I didn't check the settings and all the shots were over exposed

Master6, being allergic to fish and chip-off-the-old-block paranoid, opted out. Miss3 was disgusted with dolphins, because they ate fish. She was also disgusted to learn that fish ate fish ("eww"). I think she sees it as some form of cannibalism. Because I lined up for 35 minutes, leaving the watching of children to Karen and Luke, my Miss7 was first of well over fifty people to feed a dolphin from her disinfected hand.

And she loved it. Best $5 we've spent this holiday (can you believe that - $5 - what a bargain). And if the tone of this post has been a little on the negative side, it was pre-coffee and because of the aforementioned sloppy signage we were up an hour before we had to be. The ladies at the kiosk and the ones in the water were actually nice though (if misinformed/ignorant of the importance of early queuing).

So a big thank you to all the IDIOTS who helped make this happen :)

Benny Hilled Holiday

We were joined last night by our Excellent Friends, Karen & Luke, for dinner (Karen says my Guinness Pie and Sticky Date were better than some of the really bad meals they had in France, so that's quite a pat on the back - I think) and some drinking of grapes and barley. Then this morning we watched Miss7 feed a dolphin before enjoying a big breakfast back at the house.

But what do you do next on an miserable morning with a storm brewing in the distance? Well, you film yourselves running around like idiots and put it to the Benny Hill theme song, obviously.


Unfortunately, Master19 won't be joining us until the weekend, and Miss16 took the bus in to G-town to attend school today. But the other six (and a half) of us and Jazz The Dog were captured on film doing what we do best  :)  having fun.

Our Excellent Friends & film makers extradenaire, Karen & Luke

Since we made the little video the kids have watched it no less than twenty times (I literally had to wrestle the laptop away from them to post this up). If they don't stop playing it soon I think we may need to insist on headphones or it may ruin all my fond Benny Hill memories from my childhood. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flipping Hell

As you can see from each of the above shots, A) taking photos on a bike is hard, and B) I am not a very good photographer.

My little pep talk with Master6 about the importance of not slamming on his brakes in front of his slow re-flexed father made no perceptible difference to his riding style today. In fact, at one point today when he was checking his brakes I went clear over the handle bars in an effort to avoid him and ended up tangled in my bike while a couple of ancient, cragged, pot-faced, wife-left-them-cause-they're-bad-in-bed fishermen pointed and laughed at me. Fortunately for them I'm not one to hold a grudge (and I wasn't sure which car was theirs so I couldn't let down their tyres).

I believe the top left shot is the mid-flip shot. Of course, the fact I was attempting to take photos of the kids while we were riding can probably be held a little responsible for my fall. A little. But the rest is all my little future Pedders employee of a son.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bulk Buying Beer & Wine

Holidays! While Tracey has been working on packing bags and toiletries and all the usual stuff, I've been focusing my effects on calculating my beer consumption and the necessary quantities of the amber liquid I'll be needing to purchase. It's a thankless job but necessary to ensuring a great holiday. Although I admit the task is made easier because Tracey is A pregnant, and B not a beer drinker, so I only need to multiply by one.

When a lovely customer of mine, Jenny, told me there was a two day special on XXXX Gold at her bottle shop I raced in. Instead of $74 I paid $60 for 2 cartons - that's $14 in my pocket right there. I usually buy six packs, which would have been $104, so that's a $44 saving on my usual expenditure - although I buy six packs during a working week (one a week tops, Mum, I swear) because if I had a carton someone would drink it and that's not a saving at all, that's a party!

Also picked up six bottles of assorted Wolf Blass on special for $36. Because they usually retail for $15, that's a saving of $54. These will be good for when family and friends drop by next week, and any left over will be stored for bargain Christmas presents.

So saved ourselves $68 today in the bottle shop - to put it in a working man's perspective, that's six bucks off two cartons of beers. But if you look at my usual shopping habit of buying beer in six packs, that's $98 in savings, which is 2 and a half cartons!

It's thirsty work, all this maths ;) Time to crack one open.

Bulk Buying Bum Tickets

A lot of internet sites on bulk buying I've been looking at lately say stocking up on toilet paper is a no-no. They must all own a bidet or something, cause we go through toilet paper like....well actually when we're using something up really fast over here in Devereauxland we say, "We're going through whateveritis like it's toilet paper."

We use a lot so it's a big drain on our weekly grocery bill. If we can save a few bucks on bum tickets, it adds up to big bucks.

So in classic Monty Python I fart in the general direction of these websites and their dislike of and generally poo-poo the idea. We buy toilet paper in bulk every opportunity we get.

Today, the local supermarket had toilet paper at half price - from $4.50 to $2.25. It works out at 21c per 100 sheets. I bought 13 packs (would have been more but it was all I could fit in my trolley with the other groceries. That's a saving of $29.25 - or, to put it into perspective every man and his dog can understand, one carton of beer! (On special beer).

Storage is the usual wall the sites put up, so I built a toilet paper wall in protest. Storing toilet rolls is just a matter of making space in the high part of a cupboard or the garage or somewhere out of sight. Okay, you don't want to pile it up in the corner of a bedroom or living room, but $30 is worth having a wander around the house to see where it might possibly go. This mountain of toilet paper in the picture will likely last us less than two months (we go through minimum 10 rolls a week, although these are BIG rolls).

Only downside to all these big rolls of loo paper might be Miss1 and her toilet training, because the only part of going to the toilet she seems to have a handle of is unfurling great wads of tissue and filling up the toilet bowl. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Redecorating While We Wait

Aching teeth woke me up at an unseemly hour today - 5 am. G-town bankers don't get out of bed before 7 (the smart ones).

A quick search of the net informed me it was most likely a sinus infection of my teeth roots. I say 'most likely' because the other suggestions don't bear considering: perhaps 'most acceptable' would be a more apt description.

Tracey already had an afternoon appointment to check up on her belly so she ducked into the consultation room before me and left me with the kids.

For once, all my little kids (Miss7, Master6 & Miss4) were behaving. The people sitting around us were nodding appreciatively, if imperceptibly, at such good behaviour. My kids were reading and drawing and looked just like the kiddies you see in reruns of the Eight Is Enough or The Brady Bunch.

The baby, Miss1, not so much. I assumed she was just tired, so I sat her on my knee. While I waited for my turn with the doc I began to distract her with chatter and bobbing her on my knee. But as it turned out she had a distraction for me.

By the time she'd finished throwing up on me I was covered from behind my ear to just below my right knee. My chest caught the worst of it and I'm not sure there's a Nappysan strong enough to return my shirt to white.

The nurse mustered us into an unused room. Miss1 loved the new room, although perhaps not the decor. She immediately set about redecorating the walls and floor with a fresh bout of projectile vomit.

When I sat back down in the waiting room with her, the people in the neighbouring chairs had very different looks on their faces, and their noses were screwed up. I don't blame them. The smell was awful.

"Poor little poppet," said a nice woman. "The doctor will fix her up."

"Oh, we're not here for her," I told her, while I scrapped a bit more of my daughter's lunch off my neck with my tie.

By the time I got back to work I looked worse (and smelled worse) than when I went to the doctors. But my self-net-diagnosis was confirmed - infected sinus. This doctoring stuff is easy. Getting vomit out of waiting room carpet, now that's hard.

Iron Man

My good wife wacked me on the bum recently (because sometimes I deserve to be smacked - lucky me) and then complained because it hurt her hand.

All this bike riding is really starting to pay off - I have buns of steel.

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