Monday, September 26, 2011

I love not camping

Image via Pinterest

I am not a camper. Not even 'not a happy camper'. I just don't do it, the end. As a child I camped alot with my family, for long stretches at a time (over a month), & although I have wonderful memories of long stretches of time on beautiful beaches I cannot help but recall other simply horrid aspects. Air beds. Sand in your sheets. Queueing for a cold shower at the concrete amenity block. Wearing the same fucking swimmers every friggen day. Never again.

Mr BC loves camping. He camped alot as a child (mostly in his parents holiday house) & he loves it. Our kids love it. So, this past weekend, Mr BC took the children camping, without me. The downside is that he took the larger car (automatic) & left the smaller car (can't drive a manual). For 2 days, I have been left alone without any means of transport .Tragic?

Hell NO!

Day 1

  • Kiss my family farewell, with stern instructions to NOT swim if there are sharks, & be safe at all times.
  • Do some yoga with a DVD, then go for a walk.
  • Spend approximately 6 hours of uninterrupted laptop time.
  • Make a delicious meal of salmon, asparagus & steamed new potatoes, washed down with my special welcome to spring lemon balm infused vodka cocktail. It's my equinox tradition :-)
  • Send this photo to my sister, Cheryl, who sends back a photo of defrosting sausages & the message 'I hate you'.


  • Do an at home facial, make some body scrub & use it, dye my hair, give my toenails some much needed attention. Send photos to Cheryl, who texts back 'Are you bored yet?' Hell No!
 
  •  Watch Practical Magic, The Craft, a Buffy rerun & then an Angel rerun. My idea of TV heaven.
  • Go to bed & don't have to share with any other person. I miss Mr BC but not the monkeys lethal elbows.
Day 2
  • Sleep in. Wake up in a bed that contains no wee. That's a little bit of heaven right there. I swoon.
  • Go to meet up with some friends for a picnic at the beach. Walk the 20 minutes there, stopping on the way to buy local honey from the farmers market.
  • Have a lovely time catching up with old friends, meeting some new ones, eating a delicious shared table of all sorts of goodness including this divine pineapple cake. During this time I am not interrupted by any small children, I do not have to take anyone to the public toilets & argue about why they cannot go into the mens loo by themselves, I don't have to chase anyone around the park, I am not required to break up any fights, & I can have some stimulating adult conversation without interruption. 

  • Bring a friend home for coffee & garden inspection, more adult conversation.
  • Cheryl sends me a text saying she needs a holiday. I reply 'Me too! Exhausted after day at beach!' No reply. Cheryl?
  • Make a prawn, avocado salsa salad with dinner, washed down with an icy beer because I was a bit sandy & it felt appropriate. Send photo to Cheryl. No reply...

  • Lots more uninterrupted laptop time, before settling in to watch The Big Lebowski. God I love the Dude.
  • Go to bed & enjoy same sleeping arrangements as before.
  • Wake up very late.
  • Decide to share my weekend with you :-) Don't be a hater!
Jeez I love not camping.

xx

(btw don't forget to enter my giveaway!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cool things that have come in the mail: Part 2 (and a Giveaway!)


I have tried to hide it pretty well, but laundry is my life. I know that you probably love it too. I am sure that it is one of those things that keeps you up at night, especially when it is raining.

We have been lucky to have some beautiful drying weather lately - high 20's, big blue skys full of sunshine, perfect breeze for drying an endless, endless round of goddamn laundry. But I know that luck won't last, we are about to get into the wet season. The season of dryer abuse. Ironically, all that rain is not so eco-friendly for the laundry.

So when Hills Holdings offered me the Somerton Indoor Drying Rack to try out, I jumped at the chance. Because laundry is my life!


See those daggy coat hangers? That was my indoor drying arrangement.Sad, yes? One of our current household goals is to 'refresh' the laundry, but we haven't gotten far. It has had a nice coat of white paint on the floors & the walls, but that is all. The paint happened mainly because I spilled a tin of white paint on the floor. I called Mr BC at work for advice on cleaning it up & he recommended I just grab a roller & paint it out, which worked a treat & is something I highly recommend.


The Hills Somerton comes with everything you need to install it, namely 4 screws with masonry stuff so that they stay in the wall. (note those are not my hairy arms)


Mr BC is quite pedantic about using his spirit level, & took a little while to make sure everything was just tickety boo, which is very important if you are going to drill into masonry. Do you like that mirror? I claimed it from the curb about 20 years ago, when curbside shopping wasn't cool. Such a shameless cheapskate ahead of my time!


Lets take a moment to to look at the 'unfreshened' part of the laundry. Hmmmm mental note: must incorporate cupboard doors. And find better wine storage.


Ta da! All done! Mr BC & I had a small discussion about the height that the drying rack had been installed - he wanted lower, I insisted on higher. It has a rack at the bottom that would be a perfect spot for a hand towell if I hadn't put it so high up! There was method in my madness, & I certainly did appreciate Mr BC spending time on installing it....


Wait, whats this in the box? A placement guide? With a sticky strip so you can just stick it on the wall & have perfect screw placement & not have to muck around with pencil marks on the wall??


 Mr BC! Didn't you read the instructions?


I am loving how the shirt can dry on the rack without getting grubby in the sink. Perfect placement ;-)

Would you like to win your very own Hills Somerton Clothes Rack? Of course you would, it's bloody brilliant. It is dead easy to install, can hold up to 5kgs of laundry, has a 3 year guarantee & folds away if you want it to. Also, it's part of the Hills range - very trusted when it comes to clothes drying. How to enter?
  • Be a follower of this blog
  • Follow me on twitter or facebook
  • & leave a comment telling me you have done so.

I will draw the winner on Monday, 3rd October.
One entry per person please!
Sorry, but Hills Industries will ship to Australian residents only.


If you badly need a better drying solution & don't win, cheer up Buttercup! The Hills Somerton is available exclusively from Bunnings for about $30.

Disclaimer - Yes, this is a sponsored post but the words & opinions are mine, do you think Hills Holdings knows anything about the 'freshness' level of my laundry?


xx

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The 1000 Plates Project



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Also has some great recipes. Find it at your Woolworths checkout.
I was shocked to discover that  two million Australians go hungry every year. I also didn’t know that Foodbank Australia gives 75,000 meals to the hungry each day, & that the need grows every day. 

It seems the good people at Good Taste are passionate about raising  awareness about Foodbank’s vital work.

A non-profit organisation committed to fighting hunger in Australia, Foodbank distributes donated food from Australia’s producers and retailers to charities across the country. The more we can all raise awareness about this hidden social problem, the more food that will find its way to the hungry.


Please join Good Taste's campaign to feed the hungry. Simply upload a picture of a dish you’ve cooked to The 1000 Plates Project gallery on their Facebook page.


For every plate uploaded, Good Taste will donate a meal to the hungry via Foodbank.

They’re aiming for 1000 plates to start with, so upload as many photos as you can!

What you need to do
  1. Cook something (anything) & take a photo of it.
  2. Click on the 1000 plates project.
  3. Upload a picture of your meal to the gallery & tag it with your name.
  4. Tell your friends so they can do the same!
xx

Disclaimer - this isn't really a sponsored post. The PR company sent me a press release with the info & I jumped on board straight away. I even rushed out to buy the magazine, so if I do get sent a free one I will donate somewhere worthwhile immediately.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool things that have come in the mail: Part 1 (and an Award!)

My lovely friend & fellow blogger Sheri from Sheri Bomb recently sent me this amazing GUN! Don't you think that a gun is the best blog collateral ever? I sure do :-)

For when Rescue Remedy isn't working.

How real does it look? It is made of gorgeous smelling soap, did it trick you? I am currently driving around with it in my car, so that I can wave it around during a fit of road rage & scare the crap out of other drivers. I haven't actually done that yet, but it's nice to know that I can if I want, surely? The delicious airfreshening effect in my car is really just a bonus. Sheri has made me promise not to mention her name if I am arrested for any such road rage incident, but I think the police will be too busy scratching thier heads over the scent of rum permeating my car to worry about such things. That's bullshit isn't it, I am totally getting breathalised.

Ms Sheri herself.
Also from Sheri, but not in the snail mail, was The Versatile Bloggers Award! Seriously, I should send her flowers or something. Thank you Ms Sheri, this is high praise indeed coming from someone who I consider to be a gifted writer.


To accept this award, the nominee must do the following things:

1. Thank the person who gave the nomination - done, done & happily done x
2. List 7 interesting facts about him or herself
3. Pass on the nomination to 15 newly discovered blogs

7 Interesting Facts about me
  1. I am not at all drawn to cute furry critters. The Mogwai leaves me cold.
  2. I am fascinated by the Octopus, to the point that I struggle with eating them. Did you know they are one of the smartest creatures on the planet? And they can change colour?
  3. I am pretty sure a ghost has moved into my house recently. I think it's reasonably benign, but it wasn't invited & that irks me.
  4. I don't normally do regret, but I regret not going to uni. Life's not over yet though...
  5. If I don't get enough 'alone time' I start to go a little loco.
  6. I love cooking, one day I want to have a cook book published.
  7. I despise camping. Mr BC & the chaos kids are going camping this weekend - without me! Wooot!
Well, I hope that was interesting - or at least not too boring. Now for 15 7 bloggers to pass The Versatile Blogging award onto! ( I'm not lazy, I'm versatile)

7 Awesome new-to-me Bloggers
  1. Pagan Culture
  2. Crap Mamma
  3. Veggie Mama
  4. Tutu Ames
  5. The Things I'd Tell You
  6. Everything is Edible
You guys all rock my world, thank you.


xx

Boy Eats Pie

Hope this is not too stomach churning,
but if you are squeamish, look away.








Its a spiritual thing.
xx

Thursday, September 15, 2011

People! I TWEET!

That's right, I have been dragged into the shiny new world of technology.
Click the link to your right.

I mean, if you want :-)
xx

Monday, September 12, 2011

My favourite song of ALL TIME


When I feel like a big FAIL stamp has been thrown at my forehead,
this song restores my mojo.

Is it the fast paced catchy tune?
Is the frequent use of one of my favourite words beginning with F?
Is it because the clip is a total piss take on religion?
Is it the gobsmacked looks on the faces of the bystanders, who are not in on the joke?
Is it because it was filmed in Pitt St Mall, Sydney - a place I know extremely well?

Yes, but it is mainly because of the lyrics.

Good luck and don't dare give up
give it a little bit of vitriol!
and if its really gonna cut you up
give it a little bit of vitriol!

and if you cant shape up
nobody wants you
fuck the whole world
and what everybody's sayin' hey
good luck and don't dare give up
give it a little bit of vitriol!
HEY

xx


Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Week in 7

1 Yum Cha with Bloggers

Melissa, Penny & me. Thanks helloowl or littleharp for the photo.
I can't remember, my eyes are glazed over with yum cha induced gluttony.
 Last Saturday, I went for Yum Cha with some lovely fellow bloggers, organised by the gorgeous Dani from Hello Blogger Events. I was pretty excited to reacquaint with Yum Cha, because it has been about 7 years since we last met. Dumplings, get in mah belly!! As usual I left excited to have mingled with other bloggers, which apparently is the main reason for the Hello Blogger Meet ups - I thought it was the Yum Cha? It was lovely to meet up with Jacqui from Crap Mamma, who had the most well behaved son I have ever met; as well as Penny from Wild Life Fun 4 Kids, Bronnie from Maid in Australia, & Melissa from The Things I'd Tell you; as well as the lovely Sugar & her hubby Kelvin, Dani of course, & Zoe. That is a lot of links, but these bloggers are amazing, & super nice people, so go & check them out. I'm waiting!

OK, back? good.

2 Cooking with Garden Produce


Yeah, sorry - that title sounds very promising, doesn't it? The basil plants have been very giving, even over winter - but they where getting old & woody, so I put them out of their misery & turned them into pesto, which is their life's purpose after all. I'm sure they breathed a sigh of relief as I threw in Parmesan, pine nuts & olive oil before the stab blender sounded up. Not really cooking....

3 Tea & Sympathy, so to speak


My beautiful friend S took me out for coffee at a gorgeous french cafe in the city. The coffee came in cafe bowls, & the pastries where just to die for. The macarons looked fantastic, maybe next time? Lots of brick walls, ivy, wrought iron tables & chairs on a beautiful sunshiny day. Just what I needed.  

4 Look out World of Industry


My first coat rack, made for a sweet little cherub who is turning one. Do you remember a little while ago I mentioned how much fun I was having routing? I still am! It hasn't been painting weather, which is a frustrating spanner in the whole production works, but we'll get there. What do you think? Business worthy?

5 Another Heirloom Restoration


This chair belonged to Mr BCs Poppa, we are in the middle of restoring it. I haven't taken a lot of photos of it's progress because, to be honest, I didn't think it would survive. This frame was badly broken in 4 places when we started. The miracle glue worked it's magic & then the chair survived being sanded, & waxed with a gorgeous bees wax polish. It smells beautiful, but let's see if it survives having the springs reattached... More photos & a full post to come when it is finished. If it survives.

6 School Excursion Time


Recently The Gentleman's class went on an excursion to a wildlife sanctuary.It was staffed with many super enthusiastic loquacious elderly volunteers, who guided the children through many hands on activities. The kids LOVED it. They loved seeing a film showing how a baby Osprey poos out of it's nest, they loved looking at Mangrove birds through binoculars, they loved the bus ride to & from. Here they are getting some hands on love with a life sized Dugong statue. I think I know everything there is to be known about the Dugong. Go on, ask me. The volunteer didn't say so, but that gentleman up there on the right confidently informed me that a Dugong is the only mammal besides a human who has a fully formed vagina. He wouldn't tell me how he knew that. I checked, & it wasn't on the statue. Hmmmm.

The Gentleman being scarred for life.
The only bad bit about the day was this volunteer, on the left, who was sternly negative & terrifying. She gave a talk on Threats To Our Oceans, complete with graphic pictures & doom laden sentiments. "And what happens to the poor sea turtles then, Children? That's right, children, THEY WILL DIE."

One of the most effective activities was learning how to pollute a catchment area.
It's very easy, if everyone does their bit. Oh for SHAME!

 Most of the parent volunteers had a great day, & really enjoyed
spending time with our little darlings on their learning adventure.
7 School Athletics Carnival


It was Athletics Carnival Day at the gentlemans school. He had lots of fun running in the 80 metres dash, throwing a frisbee, running in the relay & playing tunnel ball. The highlight of Monkey boy's day was the sausage sizzle, which was, in his words, 'Just Awesome!' Interest in sporting pursuits can never start early enough, I say. About midday the heavens opened up, so the rest of the day was cancelled. Lucky, because Monkey boy was so exhausted he had to run home & have a nap in his dragon suit.


The End.

xx

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Broken Bums

When I was little, my mum told me that if you swallowed a seed from a piece of fruit, a tree would grow out of your bottom. I remember being horrified, & then seeing some sort of feathered show girl extravaganza on the TV (it was probably Don Lane) remarking sagely 'Oh, they must have eaten cherry pips or something', much to my parents amusement.

Mr BC has told all of our children that 'OMG look my bum is broken! It's got a big crack in it, it must be broken!' The boys thought this was hysterical, but Teenage Daughter, (who was 2 at the time) was a bit distressed that her bum had a crack so it must have been broken too.

Mr BC also has some confused memories of his mother telling him that the Yarra River in Melbourne has contradictory currents, i.e. it flows in one direction at the bottom & flows the opposite way at the surface, which he stood up in class & proudly recited only to be cut down cruelly by his teacher, so you would think he would know better...

I have told all of my children that when the ice cream truck plays music, it means they have run out of ice cream - it's for safety reasons, so that children don't run onto the road & get run over. Because you know, the truck won't stop because they don't have any ice cream. The boys totally believe this, still, but Teenage daughter never bought it.

Tonight Monkey Boy coughed on a mandarine seed, so I told him that a mandarine tree would now grow out of his back side. He just dug his hand deep into the back of his PJ's, laughed at me & said 'well I can't feel it!'

Bet his bum was broken.

xx

Monday, September 5, 2011

Haka

I am well known to be sport challenged. No, really - I know you are surprised, but sometimes I need to be reminded that Rugby Union is the one with the funny shaped ball, just like Rugby League (as if that means anything to me). I wish I knew more, but frankly I just don't care. When it comes to sport, I have extreme apathy.

One thing I do love, though, is the Haka. The Haka is a traditional Maori war dance that the New Zealand All Blacks play before every rugby union game. In fact, any kiwi rugby team will perform the Haka before any game. If you are a male growing up in New Zealand, you will play rugby & you will know the Haka. The player with the most Maori blood is the leader, but every team member will know the Haka, regardless of his colour.  Which is probably why this flash mob went so well in Auckland recently. (Are you at work right now? Turn the sound down..)

NB: If you are a girl in NZ you will play Netball & you won't be allowed to Haka. It's a boy thing, get over it. No one complains.




Despite being born in Australia, Mr BC spent his formative years in NZ so he definitely knows how to Haka, not that he does often, but I'm sure he could in a pinch. If he ever does, I promise to post the video on this blog. Oh, hello darling! I didn't know you read my blog!

On one of my first trips to NZ we went to the Auckland Museum (which is truly excellent) & attended a Haka demonstration at the Maori Cultural Centre. After the conch shell called us up the stairs to the small auditorium we rushed to get front row seats, because I am a total nerd like that, & eagerly awaited the show.

About a dozen large traditionally garbed & tattooed Maori men gathered on the 2 foot high stage, about 2 feet from the front row, & commenced the scariest fucking thing of all time - the full on Haka, almost in my face. To say I was shit scared was an understatement, it was that intimidating. I gripped the seat of my chair, white knuckled. Tears of emotion (fear? Something more visceral? I'm only a little white girl for fucks sake!) ran from the far edges of my eyes. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in a museum, surely they couldn't hurt me, right? I mean, the Maori haven't been cannibals for over 100 years, right? The thing that really kept me in my seat was the fact that being in the front row, I couldn't escape inconspicuously.

They did a few other tribal dances, one that meant 'Welcome to our village, these are our rules'. The Haka explicitly means 'We are about to slaughter you'. It gives the Maori courage, & scares the crap out of the opponents. Probably why it is such a great thing to play before the footy game starts...

When the show at the cultural centre had finished, my Mother in law went up to one of the performers & said 'Hey Whitey! What are you doing up there? I'm browner than you!' I almost died. But this lovely man laughed & gave her a beautiful smile. 'Yeah! My grandfather was full blood but I take after my Mum, eh? My cousins all make fun of me too!'

Just goes to show. Such is the power of the Haka.

xx
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