Thursday, 31 August 2006

At home she's a tourist

Warning Non Sequitur Risers, the Mistress is still banging on about her recent travels in Tasmania.

This trip I was so keen on seeing parts of 'Tassie' which i'd missed on previous visits that I organised a day trip with a touring company to Tahune Forest. A guided tour was my only option as i do not know how to drive, there is no standard bus service to desired destination, and curiously my sister busies herself with other activities apart from shepherding me about and indulging my every whim.

I was strangely excited about this excursion. Pictured myself on a poopy and luggzuriously appointed coach with at least 20 other tourists, mainly seniors but a few backpackers too, a chubby and cheerful male driver in hat and uniform, and a perky blonde guide a la Julie McCoy from the Love Boat, dressed 70's stewardess style, i.e. sporting powder blue or tomato sauce red coloured scarf around her neck and knotted on the right, if it's knotted on the left it means you're an homosexualiste or 'hot' for Gopher, sorry can't remember which so don't ask me about earrings and their significance, who would be talking on a microphone informing us of our whereabouts and history and that. Once at our destination we'd be left to our own devices and then regroup at a certain time to return to Hobart.

During dinner the night before the guided tour, Lucy, Mark and I discussed the tour and then the conversation passed to foolish risks we had taken in our youth hitch hiking around the time of Milat, in true non sequitur style my recounts occurred out of Australia but imagine if they hadn't... , - not the most settling of discussions for nervy b drawers. I comforted myself by musing on the coach's size, its fixtures and fittings and general aesthetics, never the destination merely the means. Mark suggested that it might only be me and the driver and i'd be in for a personal tour in a hatchback; we chuckled , i somewhat nervously feeling a tad freaked out imagining the awkwardness of such a tour, not to mention downright scariness. I consoled myself that it could not happen as there'd have to be a sizeable number of passengers for a tour to take place.

The new day dawned sunny and blue skied and at 8.45 Lucy deposited me in Elizabeth Street and i skipped towards the bus terminal happily observing a neat and sleek looking coach parked outside the travel bureau. I was about to board it as i saw other passengers seated but thought i'd better first register so entered the office instead.

I checked in and as i turned to leave stating that i would go and board the bus was advised that it was destined elsewhere and i would be travelling in the stationwagon that was parked behind the bus.

wa wa wa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

My face must have fallen, once you pass 40 the elasticity just plum disappears, doesn't it girls- yours Maggie T, which is rather surprising as my face generally serves as an impenetrable mask to my emotions, for the woman at the cunter assured me that the trip in the stationwagon with two other passengers and a driver would be a wonderful way to tour.

So a seniors couple, the driver, sans hat sans Julie McCoy sans practically everyone, and I explored the Huon Valley and the Tahune Forest from 9 until 3. It was somewhat intimate. One's mind was rather feverishly imaginative at times, particularly when we were completely isolated or the driver advised that we'd take a detour from the scheduled itinery, loopily working out escape strategies for me and the seniors from a crazed and murderous chauffeur. I kept hearing the doors automatically locking. I had read in the Mercury that morning about a Northern Tasmanian tour operator, who was suspected of murdering an Italian tourist, being found murdered the day before. Rollercoaster of fear, my dears.

At 3 p.m. returned to Hobart safe and sound with suspicions and paranoia well intact, driver's reputation in tatters, the seniors and i bade each other a friendly farewell, and I was very glad that i was alive and able to hop on a metro bus to New Town to meet up with sister and nevews at the nevews' swimming lessons. As nephew major's swimming lesson drew to an end, nephew minor entertained himself by mucking around the swimming centre's blackboard upon which he wrote a most original maxim :

Friday is not available to pull your pants down

which is rather sound advice for anyone really, wish i'd sought his counsel about other matters.

Look, as Malcom Fraser, speaking of fallen trou, used to begin most justifications to the Press, I will definitely get my licence before my L's expire, madly saving for the lessons as I type.


My 41st birthday on Sunday was celebrated in great style on Bruny Island, from where Truganini came. We drove south to Kettering and caught a car ferry to the island. Very exciting. Naturally i had barely had any sleep the night before and was the first to rise the morning of the Mistress's special day.

Bruny Island is amazing; its geography is the stuff of adventure stories and really varied -you should go there. We went to Adventure Bay in the North, then continued to the South Island. I particularly loved the south island and the old lighthouse which was decommissioned in 1996. Wonderful views of course out to sea, very rugged scenery, and wild winds, snow on the distant mountains, bunnies running around, daffs, snowdrops and jonquils in bloom everywhere. We had a grand picnic on a beach and toasted my health with some delicious ninth island champagne, tinned tongue and macaroons. On the way bay back to the ferry terminal we stopped at the fairy penguin look out and a memorial to Truganini.

My nephew asked me if I preferred Bruny Island to Tasmania, and then Tasmania to Australia. Talk about "a tough call".

It was a great day.

During my entire sojourn in Tasmania I was blessed with glorious blue skies, sunshine and a nip in the air.

On Monday back in Tasmania my sister and I climbed the Truganini track to Mount Nelson and its signal station and a memorial to Truganini.

The ascent was rather arduous, steep and rocky, took about 60 minutes, I had to sit down a few times. Wonderful views of the Derwent and all of Hobart and her surrounds, and wild flowers scattered everywhere.

That signal station had the most complicated semaphore system. Highly decorative and colourful flags for each letter of the alphabet. The letters would have been easily confused. It did my head in, why on earth didn’t they just sms?

Then we visited an ‘istoric ‘ouse, sorry channelling Parker, in New Town called Runnymede and even got a personal guided tour like. That was fun. I love being a tourist.

However not all guided tours can be as carefree.....

Fire sculptures and sweeping statements

My flight to Tasmania had transported me to Erinsborough. Everyone is out and about and chatting to you in Hobart. People are unnervingly friendly. I always thought i was quite a friendly cove but really the amount of eye contact, hand shaking and general interest would make my father feel ill at ease.

Tasmanians have social skills that are almost obsolete in sin city, shaking hands and introducing themselves to every tom, dick and Sydney.

Saturday morning was spent fleetingly at the Salamanca markets tipping my hat, fair amount of chit chat and then more of the same while watching my nephews’ soccer matches.

I went to three ovals that day and each one was in the most amazing location - a fair bit south of Hobart, up high above the channel with the most spectacular surrounding views of the river Derwent and the mountain range. That morning alone i had seen 36 views of Mount Wellington.

While Lucy and Mark went to the primary school to assemble the business for the school’s fire sculpture night, a biennial event, the boys and I went up to the oval behind their house to watch another soccer match, play with their friends and I played catch with their dog and a gaggle of five year olds– for two and a half hours.

The afternoon’s bonding with the animal kingdom, introducing myself to the community and ogling the mountain and water views necessitated several gluhweins at the fire sculpture night – I was exhausted.

At the fire sculpture night apart from partaking in a few restorative snifters I caught up with all the cast and crew I’d met earlier at the local football match. The kiddies were racing about having a ball.

The fire sculptures were excellent, they were constructed from rope and hessian and shaped into the forms of monkeys, volcanoes, leaves, toucans, elephants. They were tied to the wire fence of the basketball court and doused in kero and then lit. they looked spectacular ablaze against the night sky. There were lantern parades and choral performances by the school children. It was lots of fun but I was exhausted and had to retire to bed at 8.30 while my sister, mark and their friends made merry and kicked on with some sambuca, no doubt set alight, so much arson about in Tasmania.

So you like Tassie now?

boomed my 7 y.o. nephew, over my shoulder after i'd been exclaiming about the gorgeous white blossom in full bloom along the Channel Highway which we were driving down en route to Fish Frenzy restaurant to celebrate the older nephew's tenth birthday.

I had flown into Hobart that morning. It was a great flight and I was very chipper and excited about my five day holiday in Tasmania. Sister l met me at the Hobart International airport took me to Taroona via Battery Point where we spent the day with Mark before collecting the boys from primary school.

Fish Frenzy is a great fish and chip shop restaurant on Constitution Dock. As we drove over the dock's bridge we espied a a handful of police and a group of 5 people, who were standing on a driveway that leads to some luggzurious apartments, chanting against the workplace laws. Fortunately it wasn’t against Fish Frenzy as I was hankering for some delicious crumbed scallops and chips. Perhaps Kevin Andrews was in town. Didn't want to enquire and lose my appetite, entered the restaurant to bags a table.

When we left the restaurant the protesters had departed but the four police officers remained. In Tasmania police still wear those hats with the flat, white, round top that resembles a frozen Sergeant’s pie, much nicer than those baseball caps that coppers seem to wear in NSW and Erinsborough. The coppers were just idling about chatting and informed my sister and her mother- in-law that the PM was in town staying at those flats. And it was from there that the cowardly boob announced the Government’s sale of its remaining shares in Telstra.

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

round and round she goes

Went to the opening of the Giacometti exhibition on Thursday night. It was lots of fun; can't tell you what the actual collection is like for in true shallow Sydney style was too busy swilling champers with Lillian Frank, Bubbles Fisher and Susan Sanger.

Yes, it was 1980, my favourite social period, and I think the current director of the glorious institution that is the art gallery of NSW was even directing the joint way back then.

Have listened to a few talks by said director over the years and he generally struck me as rather Nilesish from the Nanny in appearance and personality - his talks had been rather vinegary of tone, but on Thursday night for some reason I found him rather charmin' and witty, practically alluring. Perhaps it was the lighting, it was very dim, but he resembled a really dapper and urbane version of Iggy Pop or was that a louche version of Roger Moore?Who knows? Who cares? A curious turn of events and really of no interest to anyone but myself, well Susan and Lillian found it vaguely divertin', - am evidently well and truly off my rocker. But it's high time that Sydney had another Sexy Ed. Oh Sydney it's been too long.

A few other fun social events includng dinner chez sister G on Saturday which was very merry, a bit too much mirth really for the mistress was incapacitated come Sunday, pounding headache. All she could do was lie in bed with the eye mask on, occasionally removing it to read Nick Tosches's Dino, muttering to herself that she had a nasty migraine but I think in true Auntie Mame style the Mistress was just very hung.

With the mirth and mayhem the mistress does like to throw the occasional bit of community spirit into the mix and has spent two days facilitating at community consultations. They were good. Wonderful consultees and I think their concerns and suggestions were very thoroughly recorded.

And now the Mistress is on holiday!

Off to Hobart Friday morning, my nephew's 10th birthday, to visit sister L and her family. Yes if I’m not doing Auntie Mame impressions I’m channelling Monte Woolley in the man who came to dinner. I hasten to add that I am rarely Uncle Monty.

I love Hobes. Will keep you posted of any adventures, of which I’m sure there will be many.

Pleased as punch and waiting for the fall, which could be imminent, am flying jetstar, oh my !


Good afternoon my special fwends.

The blog is a powerful medium.

A couple of postings ago the mistress lamented the dearth of red hot chillies, more prized than truffles and keith floyd at the mo, and lo and behold what should arrive in this evening's post but a parcel of fine fresh chillies direct from Bendigo. Lawks I hope that didn't contravene border control.

A lovely parcel and a lot more welcome than a rat a tat tat on the door and a newspaper parcel of poo ablaze on the doorstep.

Thursday, 17 August 2006

it's mick'n'bianca all over again

The affair between Paul Robinson and Lynnie Scully of Neighbours has been deemed ridiculous by many; nevertheless I am enjoying it and am struck by their physical resemblance.

The affair will end shortly but Lynnie and Paul will clearly remain the best of friends, for they've got the 'brother/sister' alikeness happening.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Mrs Beeton's blues

Forget about the shortage of bananas, where have all the red hot chillies gone? I haven't been able to get my hands on any for a month. So I’ve sampled the green and orange variety and they don't have as much heat, alternated with ginger and pepper but they don't have quite the desired kick. I've had to resort to the bottled red hot chilli. It's ok but it doesn't have the same bite or appeal, for starters you use a teaspoon so you don't experience the stinging sensation that you get when you rub your eyes after cutting and handling fresh chilli. Yowzer. The thrill is gone.

Monday, 14 August 2006

Yeah, yeah

said in a really rapid way in response to your answer is soooooooooo rude.

Don’t make a query if you don’t have time listen to the response, great rude articles. It’s particularly annoying when one generally replies in a fairly concise manner, ‘whatever’ gets me through the working day quite adequately thank you very much. In fact 'yeah yeah' has almost become the 'whatever' of the workplace.

And no I'm not talking about replies to social enquiries. As much as i am tempted when asked about my health i do NOT go into detail about the number of times I’ve blown my nose that morning (10 times so far) or other exciting and graphic details. Yeah, yeah could be justified then.

But sweetheart, if you are going to ask me for some information at least have the patience to listen to the reply or don't pose the question, cock robin.

When I think of the bores I have suff..................

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Written on Friday posted on Sunday

Well since the last posting the digs have undergone a major health and safety inspection. Thank goodness it was done. Constable Care discovered that the kitchen tap was leaking down into the cupboard underneath and hazardously close to a power point.

So I called in Sam the plumber who is very efficient and prompt and fixed the problem with a flick of his spanner.

Now I can stop worrying about that at 3 am. and return to my fear of being reprimanded by my employers for blogging at work, crippling debt, embarrassing incidents starring moi over the decades or waiting for my heart to stop. So many choices, pass me that paper bag now.

This week I have been very productive at work, I haven’t been blogging there for starters and barely emailing. Sunday’s almost shock has transformed me into an uptighter citizen and conscientious employee. I have also changed the time of my daily stroll from after work to lunch hour. It is a lot nicer. I go through Hyde Park and the Domain then down to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and up to the Opera House then back via the Botanic Gardens.

Very beautiful and generally quite peaceful apart from those herds of corporate heffalumps who jog, grunting and edging you in to the gutter as they stampede their way past - limbed versions of a 4wd. Occasionally I stroll with a companion but I generally prefer to walk alone as I can trip up those brrrutes, my trusty cutlass ever ready, without any witnesses, and catch snippets of other walkers'/joggers' conversations.

Yesterday I heard “he’s short and she’s tall, so…….” and they jogged out of earshot so I naturally concluded that they were talking about the act. Dudley Moore and Susan Anton came to mind and I thought about that coupling from the entrance of the Botanic Gardens to the Boy Charlton pool. Apart from mulling over grabs of conversation that the ears receive, my mind just generally relaxes while marvelling at the trees, the gorgeous sandstone and harbour.

Last night I was out with a party of five to celebrate Lisa’s birthday. We went to see a live performance of Hedwig and the angry inch. I hadn’t seen the movie, had never had any real desire to see it but like Susan and Dud am up for most things and the birthday girl was keen and who was I to rain on her pawade. I have my moments and an invitation is always treasured. The show was quite good. I did get a bit restless at times, occasionally squirmed, towards the end got a bit fed up as I found the jokes rather lame, and when the strobe lighting lasted for ages during the finale I had to close my eyes. Most of the audience gave the show a standing ovation. I couldn’t, I didn’t think it was that good , so p'raps someone’s blogging about that nanna who sat in her chair clapping and sucking on a lemon. I should be so blogworthy. At the time i rationalised, it was a long standing ovation, that i didn't give Pamela Rabe a standing ovation for Mother Courage and she really should have got one. I just hate drawing attention to anyone but myself.

Nevertheless it was a nice night's entertainment.

I have got my third cold in three months. A hat trick of sorts. Am off to the Blue Mountains this weekend.

Love yas.

Monday, 7 August 2006

Lax times at the mansions

A curious wind of change has blown into the flat and caused a completely careless almost reckless version of the Mistress to appear and flagrantly disregard Health & Safety regulations at Tupper Mansions.

On Saturday night I had Johnny, Brook and Huey over for a special dinner and we had a very merry time. I whipped up some lovely dishes, the Margaret Fulton chocolate mousse was a particular highlight. Thanks for finding me that book L & M. At quarter to one my guests left, i remained on the couch enjoying a selection of my favourite hot vinyl, oh yes, I was ‘singing’ along too. Poor neighbours. I retired at ten to two and got up eight hours later to discover I’d left the heater on in the dining room ALL NIGHT LONG. Lord. Fortunately no incident but I felt kind of ill at ease and very annoyed with myself not to mention feeling a tad seedy from the margarita, the Champagne and the red wine.

I donned the hairshirt and tidied up, entertained my parents who had made a special guest appearance as they’d locked themselves out of their house and had to collect a spare set of keys from me, after a cuppa, some nougat and speculation about the origins of the term the Sweeney, yes, as in the John Thaw and Dennis Waterman masterpiece, then a dispute about my explanation, I farewelled the olds and retired to the sack to finish my comfort reading of the O’Sullivan Twins and start on Summer Term at St Clare’s.

At 8 p.m. I finished Summer Term at St Clare’s and was ready to fall asleep so I extended my arm somewhat awkwardly to switch off the bedside lamp and almost electrocuted myself!

You see my bedside table is one of those old ashtray stand tables and I had placed this lamp precariously atop the nook where an ashtray is supposed to go, and kept a glass of water on the table section underneath. For someone who is so cautious I cannot believe I persisted with this accident waiting to happen. I knocked the lamp off the table, with my tennis elbow afflicted arm , which in turn jolted the glass of water resulting in glass, water and lamp flying to the floor. The glass didn't break, the water did spill , the lamp went phht, and I was terrified.

I wasn’t sure whether the floor would be live. So I removed a sock from my foot, opposed to where? my schlong?, threw the sock onto the floor to check if it sizzled, it didn’t but really I couldn’t be sure so I reached over the end of my bed to scoop up the rubber sole house slippers. Fortunately, I had a torch and then went and turned the electricity off at the main and mopped up the mess.

I will never have a lamp and a glass of water near each other again. It probably wasn’t as bad as I think but I feel utterly freaked out. I still feel sick at the thought of it and my incredible stupidity.

What a fool.

Friday, 4 August 2006

The only way is up

In keeping with the trend of blogs of note compiling important lists, you too can now feel up to the minute and bloggable by compiling a very, very special list.

YES! YES, YOU CAN! Anything can happen and it usually does in August as the Mouseketeers would have loved to have sung.

Vote for your top ten favourite Neighbours' characters from the past twenty-one years at perfectblend which is compiling a top 50 of Neighbours characters. Polling closes 31st October 2006.

Remember vote early and vote often.

It's bucketing here in Sydney. There was a wonderful thunderstorm this afternoon. It's really spectacular weather. Stanmore Road is flooded, well actually, in true Sydney style all the gutters of her streets and roads are flooded, causing great fun for everybody's friend the four wheel drive motorist who careers beside the gutter at great speed, churning a great wave that soaks passing pedestrians.

Yet another incentive to get the driving licence by June 2007. Deadlines play a very important part in the establishment of boundaries.

I love a rainy night and it looks like Sydney is in for an entirely wet weekend. Yes sir, that's my city.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Dumb things i gotta do

So you know I can’t stop thinking about or making references to Strangers with Candy at the moment. I’m looking forward to the movie version despite suspecting that it will be a bit of a dud and an inferior rehash of the TV series. It'll go straight to DVD in Australia; well that's my monster prediction for 2006. Hope SJP's role isn’t too prominent but I’ll probably enjoy getting annoyed by her. I wonder if Paul Dinello is resentful of Stephen Colbert’s success. Perhaps he and Amy Sedaris tease SC about his Emmy nomination for the Colbert Report - wish SBS would broadcast SC's show here. I doubt there would be any malice behind Amy Sedaris' taunting, she couldn't care less, but I can imagine Paul Dinello seething with jealousy, feeling hard done by for after all it was he who was the hunky one with the hot bod and pillowy lips.

Due to the news reports about Fidel Castro's ailing health, April sun in Cuba has been making a few special guest appearances this week in my feeble excuse for a mind, while it can be a hindrance being simple, at times it can occasionally bear fruit.

The "riff", well particularly that of the chorus, of April sun in Cuba, is a slowed down version of the rolling stones' Live with me. It is, it is, it is true. Because each time I start singing the chorus of April sun in Cuba, after several refrains it always becomes live with me - a concrete argument, positively indisputable. It would be a very smooth merge if both tunes were on a stars on 45, the dragon stones mix, believe you me. And if you play live with me backwards, you hear Mickey j repeatedly whispering .............., well, I won't spoil the surprise you'll just have to play it backwards.

Lunch today was lots of fun for I met up with some ladies at the Treasury Bar and we had quite the debrief about BB2006 - general consensus was that it was pretty disgusting and hopeless yet we still watched it. Curious. That Treasury Bar is quite a find but keep it under your hats ok.

As we toddled down the steps of Town Hall I was struck by how many teenagers were sitting around, we hadn't been out to lunch that long, surely, school must be out earlier than usual. Just as I was about to text the local Truancy Officer who should i espy gliding down George Street on his skateboard but Yannick, teen representative for youth affairs to advise the middle-aged and square. What a lovely surprise. He greeted me warmly and advised that school finishes early on Wednesday, which I vaguely recall from my days as a teacher was when you'd have very long staff meetings. To think last week I was contemplating returning to a career as a "chalky". Must have been suffering from quite the excy c. (These abbreviations are annoying you, but you know, deal) fortunately, it's passed as I have tennis elbow to ponder.

Then I went back to work and wrote up a report about my lunch. No doubt I'll be submitting such reports to a peer of Yannick or even Yannick in several years, time passing faster than a knitting Nancy and whatnot.

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Of horse and wattle

Happy Horses' birthday.

Happy Wattle Day.

Imagine sharing your birthday with such heavyweights. How would you be?

Just remember you are on Non Sequitur Rising, pets, and today’s posting is not going to inform you how these momentous occasions came about but how they relate to the Mistress, natch.

Ok now, got that straight? To things equine. Oh, alright. Well it’s only southern hemisphere’s horses' birthdays today, northern hemisphere horses celebrate their special day on the1st January. And horses share the same birthday so it’s easier to keep records and breed and that. But can we just get back to me now, thankee.

Yeah so horses and me. I have never ridden one, or taken smack for that matter, wo ho, oh. My only understanding of a horse, oh and H, is through books. I loved National Velvet and Black Beauty, oh Ginger, what a darling, I still feel teary thinking about her. My first anti-hero. Also loved the movie National Velvet starring the most beautiful 12 year old who has ever lived as Velvet Brown. Frankly Liz's beauty at that age was verging on the obscene. I must say her vibrato trill calling Mi wore a bit thin last viewing. The tune accompanying the racing of the Grand National was very exciting and it is still the soundtrack in my mind when i have to run for the bus. It's a wonderful pace, and you know what, haven't missed a bus yet.

Oh i liked Follyfoot too.

The closest I came to being a horse was at age 7 and having my older siblings teasingly comparing my appearance to that of Princess Anne. I of course retorted with a hearty "naff orf.” Longing to be Liz but being compared to Princess Anne sums up my life. But it’s cool, it is a-ok, it’s all a long time ago, la, la, laaaaaaaah, it’s in the past, it’s all in the ………

Um, happy Wattle Day too. While Wattle Day was officially declared 1st September nationwide in 1992, it’ll always be Wattle Day on 1st August to me. Has a ring of tomorrow belongs to me doesn't it, sorry but I guess that's in keeping with the idea of Wattle Day.

Wattle Day was celebrated on the first of August in NSW because the wattle is at its peak here/there then, where, when, what, oh cock, what am i talking about.............

Wattle Day started in Hobart, middish 19th century, and I’m proud to be going to Hobart at the end of the month in my capacity as NSW Ambassador for Wattle Day.

What’s your favourite variety of Acacia? Mine is Cootamundra. Lovely, feathery greyish green leaves and gorgeous fragrant puffs of bright yellow blossom. Doesn’t live very long the Cootamundra and is prone to toppling, aren’t we all at times.