Posts Tagged ‘Shiraz’

Hunky Dorey. Getting pissed.

July 29, 2017

 

IMG_1108Tash Balcony

The daughter’s balcony.

A few months ago our daughter decided to move closer to Sydney. Most daughters need help when moving. The help she needed were both materially and physically. You know how it is! Estate agents are so far removed from presenting reality in their ‘for sale’ advertisements, that I ended up replacing ‘large’ with ‘small’ and expansive  water views  with ‘a garden-hose’ or a ‘sprinkler’ going around aimlessly.

After narrowing down to an apartment with no water or city views to just rooftops and suburban gardens, Helvi with daughter and I made a move on an apartment that had a large balcony with a sunny northern aspect. It had a reasonable size lounge & kitchen, and three bedrooms, all with build-ins.  The building which holds fifty two apartments was still being finished. On arrival we were watching the gardens being put in. We also noticed kitchen cupboards being carried.  A hive of activity, one could say. The main building work seemed finished. I did not see any cranes or bull-dozers groaning around. The Estate Agent told us, ‘by the time your daughter needs to put up the lolly (settle) and pay for the apartment, all building work will then all be Hunky Dorey and finished’.

Hunkey Dorey

As sung by Christy’s Minstrels.
Air – “Limerick Races”

One of the boys am I,
That always am in clover;
With spirits light and high,
‘Tis well I’m known all over.
I am always to be found,
A singing in my glory;
With your smiling faces round,
‘Tis then I’m hunkey dorey.

 

It came to pass that after the daughter managed to buy the new apartment after selling the old one, we were called upon once again to assist in the house-moving. It turned out that the ‘2  honest guys with a truck’ at $100 per hour, were British backpackers trying to make a quick buck. Totally inexperienced, they just hired a truck and honed in on the house-moving industry.  The police were called  after one of the backpackers threatened to drive off with all our daughters belongings if she did not pay up.  This is when we were called upon. We paid them half what they charged but only after they emptied the truck of all of our daughter’s belongings. The police were on our daughter’s side which helped. I can’t imagine another road rage attack on video and on the front paper featuring me laying into  British Backpackers.

Soon after I  caught the raging cold from the female haircutter with the previous mentioned copious snot trails across her apron. They say colds are opportunistic and attack those that are weak. When the cold subsided I joined bowling, but now feel that a good ‘piss-up’ is in order. It’s been too much and so full-on.

Both of us just now went to the ‘Imperial’ and ordered two Napoli pizzas and a bottle of Deakin Estate Shiraz. ‘Just leave us the cork if we don’t finish the whole bottle,’ I asked the smiling waitress. She agreed, but we finished the whole bottle, and more.

It’s been a busy and trying time. Did we do the right thing?

Can retirees get pissed too sometimes?

 

 

 

 

The Art of Recycling the yellow lidded bin on time.

January 5, 2017

Almost There

Do you find it confusing too? We have two rubbish bins. The Red-lidded one gets collected weekly on Thursday. The Yellow-lidded fortnightly, also on Thursday. You can never go wrong with the red one. I simply put it out each Wednesday at the front on the much heralded ‘nature strip’.

This nature strip is an Australian invention as is the Hill’s Hoist. Both quintessentially Australian as a prawn on a barbeque during a boozy summer’s afternoon quaffing from a Coolabah Riesling wine-cask. The nature strip fulfils two main needs.
1. For dogs to defecate on.
2. For residents to drop their unwanted and over-bought consumables, mainly in the form of excess mattresses or bright-blue sagging Nights-and-Day sofas.

The dog defecators use the nature strip mainly at night.They are the night stalkers. They walk their dogs without the aid of a plastic bag to pick up or catch the dog’s load, and simply allow the nature strip to get used as a toilet under the cover of darkness. I would not be surprised if the walkers themselves at times follow the lead of their dogs and do the same! I am suspicious of the look of some of those turds. I am no expert, but even so.., they don’t look very doggy to me.

The third one is of course to put our full bins out on for the local Shire Council to collect. The confusion lies in remembering the collection of the yellow lidded recycling bin. We know that fortnightly means once every two weeks. Yesterday afternoon I put out both. I had not given much thought about the Yellow bin but assumed it was time. It was very full! The Christmas festivities and associated New Year gaiety are often trying times for the Yellow bin. The grandchildren and their presents caused much refuse. Paper wrappings, boxes and soft drink bottles. We do allow some sugar intake for the grandkids during the Christmas holidays. 😉 Hence the plastic bottles. However, we also stock up on lots of bananas and mangoes for balance. The glass bottles, of which there were many, used to contain lovely Shiraz or mouth watering Pinot-Gris.

I often am the first one to put out the bins. And so it was yesterday. It seems to encourage others to do the same. By late afternoon an army of residents were diligently putting them out.There were rows and rows of both Red and Yellow bins festooning the ‘nature strip.’ Imagine this morning discovering that the Red bin had been emptied but not the Yellow one.
Did I have my dates wrong? It was just as well that no-one noticed it was me who, as a result of putting the Yellow bin out first, encouraged all the others to follow suit. A bit like the pied piper.

It means that many residents now have to drag to Yellow one back inside. The yellow bins are really much bigger and when loaded very heavy. (One could almost live in one.) Anyway, I feel a bit foolish now. My over-concern is punishing innocent people.

It’s not a good start of the year! Is it?

Stealing cyclamen is almost an oxymoron. ( seniors)

September 2, 2016

IMG_0829The Salvia

Could a gardener have stolen these cyclamen?

One would not think that stealing cyclamen is common. It defies logic. Why steal something so beautiful and totally free to look at? Is it true that the temptation to steal a beautiful object is in some people very strong and so overpowering it overcomes their moral stance and honesty?

We woke up one morning and after a good coffee went outside. It is a rather nice exercise, and we often look for new buds or growth in the garden. Our garden at the front is small. Through the years, Helvi managed to make it a small piece of paradise. We also have a small white painted cane table outside under our two windows on which we had three beautiful cyclamen. One really deep red-purple, a pink and one glorious white one. All flowering profusely and some twenty centimetres is diameter each. They were resting on ceramic dishes from which they were free to quench a thirst. The plants themselves were also surrounded by ceramic bowls. All scrounged from second hand places. The bowls and saucers were somewhat rare and beautiful but not in a pretentious manner detracting from the beauty of the flowering plants, they always would have first ranking.

Note how I wrote ‘had’ three cyclamen. As we looked around, and as it was raining, Helvi asked me if I had put the cyclamen in the rain. We both looked at the cane table and all was gone. It seemed empty. No matter how hard we looked, they did not return. We were stunned. How could this be. We looked in the bins next to the garage. As if they would re-appear, and after apologizing, somehow get back on the white painted cane table.

Both of us felt almost sick. They had been stolen. Unbelievable. Who would go and steal flowering plants? I mean, we could understand vandals stealing and throwing them about. We walked around the block of our eight town-houses in the hope of finding them alive and intact. No. Our sadness turned into anger. Who would do such a thing? As I was casting around again and looking opposite to the garden of our neighbour I notice that her ceramic angel’s head was gone as well. The three cyclamen and an angel head in one hit would not have been the work of school kids or any young person. It would have to be the work of an adult. Did the thief drive by and loaded up his/her car? The neighbour opposite told us that the Angel head was a gift from her mother twenty years ago.

After overcoming our sadness including dejection we decided to take action. We went to the local police station. After a few questions the police woman was going to write a rapport. I showed proof of identity, and supplied all the information regarding size, colour and details about the plants and the ceramic items, including their monetary value. We ensured to the police, it was the horror of the theft more than the value. She was understanding and fully understood.

As we got back I printed five posters;

“Thief Alert.” “You have been reported to the police”. “Please, return the items.”

All in very large lettering. I stapled the notices around our compound with one at the front on the street near the letterboxes. I felt good having done this plea to the thief’s conscience. But… much to my surprise, I was angrily reprimanded by one of our less convivial neighbour last evening. She bailed me up driving to the shop to get a bottle of well-earned good Shiraz. All red in the face, she was. “Why do you put those posters up?” This was followed by, ” I am a single woman and live alone with my children.” “I know delinquents, and you are inviting them with your silly posters.” I was listening and gave her the time to vent her anger, but at the same time felt a reasonable response welling up. “Yes, I said, but what about the theft of our plants and your neighbours’ Angel head?” “What do you want to do about it then?” She dismissed it totally and ripped off one of my posters.

The question is; what do you, dear readers think the right action would be? Just cop it sweet, do nothing? Or, should I proceed in stapling up more posters on fences , telegraph poles around the place? Warn others and try and get our cyclamen back.

Even now thinking of making posters offering “Reward for stolen Cyclamen and Angel’s head.”

What do you think?

How sweet the fore-skin!

September 22, 2015
Our kitchen of 'give and take'

Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

The country was mesmerised. There was to be a ballot. Our Prime minister was to be challenged and it was on TV. We put on the kettle, settled on our divan and watched it all unfold. Scurrying politicians were seen running along the corridors of power at our Parliament.  The King rat at front, the V shaped tribe following. It was all at fever pitch, 54 to 44 in favour of the challenger Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott was seen afterwards followed by his tribe. Malcolm graciously praising Abbott about his past leadership but glowing at his own success.

It was as good as Shakespeare. A  human drama of huge proportions.  Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Goal also came to my mind.

” He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead …”

In front of our town-house we have two cane chairs on which we sit in the late afternoon, usually after all the house-hold chores have been done. We are in the habit of a glass of red and either talk a bit or just look out at the snippet of garden that is facing us at the front. Of course , ‘after all the household chores are done’ seems to suggest waxing of furniture, scrubbing the doorstep, peeling potatoes and polishing the silver. That’s just nonsense. It means hours of pouring over the computer, dragging a mouse across and wishing for the day to pass at greater speed so we can get to the wine-reward a bit quicker.

On the ABC Drum has been a raging debate on Female circumcision, or better known in its abbreviated form of FGM. ( female genital mutilation)  A flurry of responses by men defending or attacking the cutting of the fore-skin in men’s genitalia soon followed. So typical of men hijacking the debate. I was most guilty of it.

Race and religion, the pro and anti fore-skin defenders, it all came to fruition in over  two hundred responses so far. The story was written about the practise of female mutilation in some sections of the community. A court case is ongoing at the moment of two little girls allegedly having undergone this practise. Two doctors have testified that no mutilation could be detected. The defence is arguing  that the operation was  ritualistic and did not  include any cutting.

Hereby my contribution to the debate  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-22/ferrari-fgm-in-australia/6794278

“Circumcision on the male is a cruel practise. The foreskin is meant to give increased pleasure during sexual congress by facilitating the penis to move freely up and down protecting it from a too vigorous thrusting.
To take that away diminishes the intensity felt during sex.

Of course, when men get old and reflect (while nodding in a comfy chair at the ‘Fair Haven’ retirement home)) on all that relentless up and down moving, might well come to the conclusion; is that what it has all been about? Is this what has driven me?

Was it all worth it?”

Fore-skin is raising its ugly head at this hour of 7.30 in the morning. Isn’t there something else you can write about? Well, yes but there has to be something else besides Abbott. We had two years of shade and darkness. People need to have a letting off steam. I can’t wait for the afternoon and getting outside on our cane chairs. Bask a little in spring sun. A glass of Shiraz and partner

. A hoorah on life. What’s wrong with that?

Borgen :11 out of 10

May 30, 2013

borgen3-620x412

Borgen; 11 out of 10.

You can’t go past a good series of Danish TV. Not long ago we had ‘The Bridge’ and ‘The Killing’, which I believe was a Swedish-Danish Co-production. It was riveting TV watching and we were counting the days when it would be on again. The pepper-crackers would be out and the Stilton cheese with the Shiraz brought to room temperature together with my ear-phones. Those earphones were superfluous. The series were translated in English sub-titles but I wanted to hear the Danish language. Dutch and Danish are brother languages, (or sisters for the pc readers of this blog).

What makes these series so extraordinary is the ordinariness of it all. The prime minister lives in a modest house with the dishes piling up at an overflowing kitchen bench top, husband walking around in his singlet and their children wanting to eat Coco-pops for breakfast. She goes to work on a pushbike without wearing a helmet, and seems to have no security concerns. Husband of the PM and mother of their two children seem to have the best of a most normal of functional marriage. The odd thing is, in most of the Northern European governments, the Borgen treatment of PMs (and their royal families), it is not that far removed from reality.

The TV show apparently was difficult to obtain in the US with claims by competing commercial TV stations of piracy. I believe in California people can now see the series legally. It seems that the differences of political systems and the holders of power between the US and Denmark were seen as almost un-transferable in a TV series and, that at least in the US ‘normality of politics’ is hardly ever residing in a world of being ‘normal’. No president would go to the White-House on a bicycle and would probably have to go through numerous security cycles to just buy his wife a bunch of flowers.

The Danish TV drama shows how the PM can remain herself despite having risen to the highest office. She remains cool and normal and the series is not blown up in grandiosity like so many American dramas such as West-Wing, Homeland, and House of Cards. There are no lines of limousines or black-clad security lurking on roof tops with machine guns at the ready or hovering gun-ships overhead. No one is seen talking into their sleeves or wear Polaroid sunglasses.

The Danish way on thorny issues and legislations are resolved or passed with the parties sitting around the table sipping coffee and making sensible compromises within minutes. The Danes have a serious addiction to caffeine. What I would not give for our Australian politicians to behave like that!

We had just about given up on TV watching when Borgen rose up like Phoenix from ashes, none too late. The urgings of funeral insurances advertisements and the manic laughter of so many comedy trailers got us so depressed our intake of Stilton with Shiraz almost doubled. True, the Ancestry.com.au kept us going but soon waned when most of people restlessly searching for their ancestors ended up teary and overwrought when it was found out, their great, great, great, great grandfather had succumbed to whoring and a dose of the clap with blindness to dear Aunty Betty at birth in 1789 in Yorkshire to have been a result of all that.

We soon came to switching off the telly and just sat amongst the crackers and cheese, talked or did the after dinner washing up instead.  Not anymore now though. Another five days and Borgen will be on again.

There is hope for all of us now.

Go, buy some good cheese and watch “Borgen.”

Rosaria from Gozo (Entertainment with Friends and Ophra)

August 15, 2012

 

Back in Australia’s Rockdale, Hzanna with husband and friends inside the RSL club made the hazardous trip to their dining table without anyone getting lost in those labyrinthine, twinkling, garish and beckoning gambling caves.

As is normal in many clubs, the menu is perused by the hungry on huge blackboards behind the counter. Only the best of sign writers are employed in using the many colourful arrangements of crayons to write up an ever-changing daily menu. This perusing is done while patrons shuffle patiently ever forward in a queue which can be quite large, especially moments after opening for dinner.

Mr Azzopardi had a penchant for roast pork with apple sauce. The main attraction for him was the salty crackling that accompanied this particular dish. He always, rather good-humouredly, warned at the cash register that the crackling should not be missed. It was just one of those little culinary joys of life that he looked forward to. It was perhaps all a bit askew, seeing he was a purveyor of ‘meat solutions’. Surely this butcher from Malta had all the logistics at his finger-tips to produce all the crackling he could ever eat. There you go though; life still holds mysteries, even in Rockdale. Challenges and solutions are galore for those with enough business acumen.

After everyone had settled at the table waiting for their plates to arrive, they started sipping the chardonnay. Hzanna, after the invigorating hot stone treatment that afternoon felt aglow with life if not hunger as well. She ordered a bottle of bubbly pinot and with a twinkle in her eye to her husband; she quickly gulped down a large mouthful. The evening was young and anything could happen.

While the plates arrived, the pre-food wine sipping started to work wonders, loosening tongues and giving oral bravery to where there were none before.  The Azzopardi couple’s friends soon started divulging and exchanging intimate tit bits on their relationships. “We are working on ours, trying new things.” . This sexual little confession worked like grist for the mill. “Yes, we too”, are trying to invigorate with new techniques as well, the other couple responded.

Do you ever watch Ophra? It’s a really good program and very intimate.   They are so much more advanced over in America. They all work on relationships, almost non-stop. Of course, Hzanna hadn’t quite got to grips with the somewhat largish black American woman on the TV. She knew that that show was enormously successful. She was also very rich and influential. Indeed, Australia was soon to be graced by her visit, promising to outdo a previous papal visit.

Hzanna was puzzled however that her visit would put Australia back on the map as far as tourism was going. Would tourists flock to Australia because of Ophra?  What about tourism based on the wonders of Australia, she thought?

Anyway, the magic of Ophra’s show certainly was the theme at this dinner table. Ophra never held back when it came to couples divulging their relationships on her TV shows. Not an issue was kept away from the cheering audience. Nothing too shameful or too intimate a detail was to be denied to the ever sensation hungry crowd, nor would any reticence by the participants be allowed. Just a grimace or an awry pulling of face behind the backs of the hapless couple  and a renewed cheering on by the crowd, would result in more outpouring of more detailed sexual intimacies. All their secrets were thrown for instant consumption by the hysterical crowd. All was clapping and ovations, while Ophra counted her billions.

Hzanna thought it all very silly but nonetheless, the table was all in praise of trying out new things and renew the fervour and excitement with ‘working on’ their relationships. If Ophra gave it the nod of approval, why not do the same for Rockdale couples? “Bert wanted me to do things with vegetables”, the wife blurted out. “Yah, but only if you sliced them up afterwards and put them in the soup”, Bert replied.

Bert was now duly fortified by the Shiraz coyly named the “Promised Land.” The diners, now well over half way through their dishes and three quarters through their wine, hooted in response. “Did you see, Dr Phil and that man who confessed to erectile dysfunction on stage yesterday, Bert’s wife blurted? “No, I didn’t Hzanna replied”, noticing Bert was stooped over the last of his roast lamb wiping his plate clean of the remnants of the mint sauce. She hoped that the wife’s resorting to using vegetarian dildos wasn’t due to Bert’s over indulgence to wine and his ensuing floppiness during trying out ‘new techniques’ and working on a ‘renewal’….of an Ophra induced marital work-out.

Hzanna was getting ill at ease. The evening’s conversation was not focussed on exchange of something new, just seemed to meander on being rather soulless. She often felt an ache when trying so hard to make new friends.

No way was she going to reveal their marital state. What was there to work on? Surely, the ups and downs were all part and parcel of anything, especially relationships? Her husband was still munching on his pork crackling which he had kept till last. He did not want that to be spoilt by the thought of an inappropriate use of vegetables, no matter where they ended up being put.

To him food was sacred and to be respected. He did entertain the idea though, that he might try out selling hot crackling. Hot crackling in a nice container could sell easily for three dollars a pop. His busy brain feverishly and always at work, always improving at things.  He was  mentally already back at his Meat Solutions shop, honing his filleting knife, getting ready to  strip bare the potential fat off whole sides of porkers. It could well be a go-er.  Nothing would stop this brave entrepreneur.

He also did not feel too enticed into revealing the ups and downs of their relationship, decided to keep all that firmly tucked between the sheets of their recently acquired King Size bed with built in surround sound, no matter how often Dr Phil or Ophra would make public America’s obsession to use TV as a confessional for trivia.

Still, each to their own, if others felt the need to work on their relationships and use props or other devices, so be it, he thought benevolently. Rosaria had just sent them some music from Malta. He made a mental note of putting the music on when back at home. Hzanna eyes were still twinkling with promise, even though half the pinot remained in the bottle. The evening wasn’t finished yet!

Rosaria from Gozo (Entertainment with friends and Ophra)

September 15, 2011


Back in Australia’s Rockdale, Hzanna with husband and friends inside the RSL club made the hazardous trip to their dining table without anyone getting lost in those labyrinthine, twinkling, garish and beckoning gambling caves.

As is normal in many clubs, the menu is perused by the hungry on huge blackboards behind the counter. Only the best of sign writers are employed in using the many colourful arrangements of crayons to write up an ever-changing daily menu. This perusing is done while patrons shuffle patiently ever forward in a queue which can be quite large, especially moments after opening for dinner.

Mr Azzopardi had a penchant for roast pork with apple sauce. The main attraction for him was the salty crackling that accompanied this particular dish. He always, rather good-humouredly, warned at the cash register that the crackling should not be missed. It was just one of those little culinary joys of life that he looked forward to. It was perhaps all a bit askew, seeing he was a purveyor of ‘meat solutions’. Surely this butcher from Malta had all the logistics at his finger-tips to produce all the crackling he could ever eat. There you go though; life still holds mysteries, even in Rockdale. Challenges and solutions are galore for those with enough business acumen.

After everyone had settled at the table waiting for their plates to arrive, they started sipping the chardonnay. Hzanna, after the invigorating hot stone treatment that afternoon felt aglow with life if not hunger as well. She ordered a bottle of bubbly pinot and with a twinkle in her eye to her husband; she quickly gulped down a large mouthful. The evening was young and anything could happen.

While the plates arrived, the pre-food wine sipping started to work wonders, loosening tongues and giving oral bravery to where there were none before. The Azzopardi couple’s friends soon started divulging and exchanging intimate tit bits on their relationships. “We are working on ours, trying new things.” . This sexual little confession worked like grist for the mill. “Yes, we too”, are trying to invigorate with new techniques as well, the other couple responded.

Do you ever watch Ophra? It’s a really good program and very intimate. They are so much more advanced over in America. They all work on relationships, almost non-stop. Of course, Hzanna hadn’t quite got to grips with the somewhat largish black American woman on the TV. She knew that that show was enormously successful. She was also very rich and influential. Indeed, Australia was soon to be graced by her visit, promising to outdo a previous papal visit.

Hzanna was puzzled however that her visit would put Australia back on the map as far as tourism was going. Would tourists flock to Australia because of Ophra? What about tourism based on the wonders of Australia, she thought?

Anyway, the magic of Ophra’s show certainly was the theme at this dinner table. Ophra never held back when it came to couples divulging their relationships on her TV shows. Not an issue was kept away from the cheering audience. Nothing too shameful or too intimate a detail was to be denied to the ever sensation hungry crowd, nor would any reticence by the participants be allowed. Just a grimace or an awry pulling of face behind the backs of the hapless couple and a renewed cheering on by the crowd, would result in more outpouring of more detailed sexual intimacies. All their secrets were thrown for instant consumption by the hysterical crowd. All was clapping and ovations, while Ophra counted her billions.

Hzanna thought it all very silly but nonetheless, the table was all in praise of trying out new things and renew the fervour and excitement with ‘working on’ their relationships. If Ophra gave it the nod of approval, why not do the same for Rockdale couples? “Bert wanted me to do things with vegetables”, the wife blurted out. “Yah, but only if you sliced them up afterwards and put them in the soup”, Bert replied.

Bert was now duly fortified by the Shiraz coyly named the “Promised Land.” The diners, now well over half way through their dishes and three quarters through their wine, hooted in response. “Did you see, Dr Phil and that man who confessed to erectile dysfunction on stage yesterday, Bert’s wife blurted? “No, I didn’t Hzanna replied”, noticing Bert was stooped over the last of his roast lamb wiping his plate clean of the remnants of the mint sauce. She hoped that the wife’s resorting to using vegetarian dildos wasn’t due to Bert’s over indulgence to wine and his ensuing floppiness during trying out ‘new techniques’ and working on a ‘renewal’….of an Ophra induced marital work-out.

Hzanna was getting ill at ease. The evening’s conversation was not focussed on exchange of something new, just seemed to meander on being rather soulless. She often felt an ache when trying so hard to make new friends.

No way was she going to reveal their marital state. What was there to work on? Surely, the ups and downs were all part and parcel of anything, especially relationships? Her husband was still munching on his pork crackling which he had kept till last. He did not want that to be spoilt by the thought of an inappropriate use of vegetables, no matter where they ended up being put.

To him food was sacred and to be respected. He did entertain the idea though, that he might try out selling hot crackling. Hot crackling in a nice container could sell easily for three dollars a pop. His busy brain feverishly and always at work, always improving at things. He was mentally already back at his Meat Solutions shop, honing his filleting knife, getting ready to strip bare the potential fat off whole sides of porkers. It could well be a go-er. Nothing would stop this brave entrepreneur.

He also did not feel too enticed into revealing the ups and downs of their relationship, decided to keep all that firmly tucked between the sheets of their recently acquired King Size bed with built in surround sound, no matter how often Dr Phil or Ophra would make public America’s obsession to use TV as a confessional for trivia.

Still, each to their own, if others felt the need to work on their relationships and use props or other devices, so be it, he thought benevolently. Rosaria had just sent them some music from Malta. He made a mental note of putting the music on when back at home. Hzanna eyes were still twinkling with promise, even though half the pinot remained in the bottle. The evening wasn’t finished yet!