Thursday, 26 April 2012

In which Betty has a Colourful holiday

Wow, it’s amazing how quickly the school holidays slither by when you’re busy doing something as important as painting your Mallacoota house! And amazing how much painting a house hurts! My aching shoulders! My numb and swollen hands! My poor back!
Ah, but my house – my house looks lovely! It isn’t that I had anything against the bright lime green bedroom, except there was a bit too much of it. It was very intense. As for the mauvey pink second bedroom – can I confess that every time I set eyes on it I wanted to scream and throw Barbie dolls at it? Both are now a restful rich blue (Dulux Blue Oar). The egg-yolk yellow bathroom was all very cheerful, it’s true – but between all those bright colours and the insipid pastel blue of the rest of the house, I just felt that I wanted something less – jarring? So... the rest of the house has become a serene light grey (Dulux Silkwort). I had a few uh-oh moments - the Silkwort over the blue looked a sort of dirty coffee colour until it dried. Yikes! And over the yellow of the bathroom it looked a bright light lilac! When the walls were covered, however, and dried, yon Silkwort became the colour I fell in love with on the colour card (phew! Can you understand the sinking feeling you get after you've forked out bazillions for about a thousand gallons of the stuff, and you suddenly think "OH SHIT, it's the wrong colour!!!)

Twas hard work, especially when all my middle-aged lady ailments started kicking in, tee hee, like carpal tunnel syndrome (it’s hard to grip a paintbrush when your hand is numb) and arthritis (can I actually hold that bent-over contorted position for as long as it takes to do the cutting-in on that awkward bit of bathroom wall?)

Torrential rain didn’t help either. Paint does not like to dry when the humidity is about a million percent, as it’s been this week. Let me tell you how wet it’s been. I did some washing a week ago, and hung it on the line, then in the garage, then on the line, then in the garage… and it was still very damp this morning, six days later, when I gave up and took it to the Laundromat in town to re-wash it and then dry it in an industrial-strength dryer. I had to fight everyone else in Mallacoota for dryer time, coz nobody in town had dry undies by today! It was ugly.

Still – it’s all done now (the washing and the painting) and the house looks great. Thanks and acknowledgements to Mark, who arrived to help out a few days ago and got trapped here in the Anzac Day mini-cyclone, and Pisshead, who provided moral support and some severe hangovers, but managed to avoid actually doing any painting!

Here are some before and after pics :-)
Barbie pink bedroom *shudder*
Lime green bedroom before
Lime green bedroom after
One more before, just to ensure you get a proper eyeful of the green.

...and again, the restful blue...
Insipid blue lounge
restful grey lounge

egg-yolk yellow bathroom

restful grey bathroom
front garden before mini-cyclone
front garden when it turned into Lake Betty

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Discounts and dating dot com?

An online shopping site recently sent me a daily specials email promising ‘discounts and dating’. Huh?

It’s true. I read it twice, just to make sure. 

Dating sites are springing up like mushrooms in a damp cellar, based on your location, your looks (ugly people will be voted off by our your sexuality, your job (date a policeman!) and now, your online shopping behaviour. Honest. This one promises to match me with someone who has compatible shopping preferences. Again – huh? Hoping to lure customers with the prospect of true lurve via discount saucepans, sunglasses and Dora the Explorer backpack/lunchbox sets? Intriguing.

What would my profile say, based on my online purchases, I wonder? I’ve looked back over some of my online receipts for the past couple of years, and come up with this:

Betty is a real homebody who loves nothing more than whipping up delicious stews and casseroles (cast iron dutch oven, $49.95) under the stars (folding camp bed, $39.95). She likes variety in the bedroom (3x doona covers and sheet sets), despite being a bit of a nanna deep down (flannelette sheet set, $19.95). Not afraid to try new technology, she’s a cautious spender (el-cheapo Android tablet that died after 2 weeks $89.95) with an environmental conscience (el-cheapo mobile phone with solar recharger $19.95). On weekends you’ll find her sprawled in front of the tv ($429) with a glass of cheap red (case of wine $48, alco-meter $9.95), once she’s finished obsessively killing harmful bacteria and cleaning the house in a chemical-free way (el-cheapo steam cleaner that blew up on first use $29.95). She’s a hypochondriac (blood pressure monitor) who clearly doesn’t give a shit about her appearance (never buys clothes, shoes or accessories). Probably a lesbian (aftermarket motorcycle screen, magnetic cat-flap, bench-plane).

Golly, what a catch. Suitors will be queuing down the street and around the block! More excitingly, based upon those purchases, who/what on earth will my discount dates dot com come up with for me? 

I don't know about you, but when I'm shopping for a bargain, romance is the furthest thing from my mind. I doubt very much that Mr Right is going to be lurking behind a bagless vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter ($79.95) or a Funky Urban Shag Rug for under $50!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Office Memo

Dear Anonymous Car-Driving Member of Staff,

You recently sent me a verbal request via one of the office ladies. You wondered whether I might park my Harley on a gravel verge, instead of taking up a ‘car space’ in the staff parking area.

The answer is an emphatic no. For lots of reasons.

  1. I’m staff and I need to park. That is what the staff parking area is for.
  2. There’s no dedicated motorcycle parking at school – simply a ‘staff parking area’. I park in a designated parking space, just like everybody else. Anybody else who rides a motorcycle is welcome to share that space with me.
  3. Piglet is a road bike, not a dirt bike. I am not going to try to manhandle 250kgs of Harley Davidson onto a small sloping patch of fine-crushed gravel on a clay base. You are totally clueless if you think that would be a simple thing to do. Gravel is unstable and slippery, and the clay beneath it turns into even slipperier mud in the rain. Given my history, it’s best avoided.  
  4. Said gravel patch is used as a thoroughfare by students crossing the access road, and I’m not prepared to leave said Harley Davidson in their path.
  5. I take up one parking space, which is no more than anybody else.  The difference is, I use single-person transportation. Perhaps there’d be more room in the parking area if a few more people rode single-person transport instead of whopping great 4-wheel drives or family sedans that are made to carry 4 or more people.
  6. I am usually the first or second person to arrive in the morning, and the parking area is empty then. Perhaps you should get to work earlier.

Thank you, that is all.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter Escape

Oh, at last! Time to blog! This term has been (in fact, still is) horrendous – but the Easter break gives me four whole days of breathing space. The noise in my head is pretty persistent at the moment, but after being in Mallacoota for half a day, things are slowly quietening down. I'll probably feel human tomorrow. Right now the breeze outside is making the trees sigh and whisper; the moon is full, and keeps slipping behind clouds, and the frog is back!

When I came here briefly in midsummer, it had been so hot and dry (hard to believe, given we’ve just had the wettest summer in about a million years!) that my little pond in the back yard had dried up. I was quite distressed. The pond had been home to a frog that made a funny sort of rhythmic wooden clunk in the evenings. No water, no frog… eek! But - the frog is back! He’s out there at the moment, clunking up a storm. Isn’t nature grand?

And speaking of nature - look what I found in my front garden when I got here. I photographed it next to my mobile phone to give you a sense of its size. White-tipped, but mostly black/grey, and impossibly soft – sugar glider? Oh dear… wonder where the rest of it is…and what separated it from its tail...and whether it's lurking in the long grass... Must attempt to get the creaky old lawnmower started tomorrow, and do something about the jungle that has sprouted in my absence.

Oh, it does my soul good to be here at last, mysterious body parts in the garden notwithstanding! I left Canberra at about 6.15 this morning, and encountered almost no traffic whatsoever. The potholes on the road to Bombala were big enough to lose a horse in – recent rain has done dreadful things, washing away big slabs of road, but apart from having to dodge potholes, I had a peaceful and uneventful drive. I timed it well, I think, judging by the traffic that’s been streaming into Mallacoota all afternoon! Community markets tomorrow - wheeeeeeeeeee!