Thursday, 28 February 2013

Life: a multi-Betty perspective

Biker Betty, that international woman of mystery and adventure, has reinvented herself a few times over the years. Housewife, mum, student, gay divorcee, author, biker, teacher, blogger… The latest incarnation is Sadie the Cleaning Lady by the Seaside.

The local school has had no need of my services so far. My innards, however, have had a continued need to ingest nutritious food, and my BANK has continued to require mortgage payments (how rude!) Then there are all the other bits and bobs and incidentals – utilities, fuel, the occasional bottle of wine *grin*. So – I find myself with three, yes three, casual cleaning gigs at the moment, and what a time I’m having!

Gig #1 is at the wonderful Adobe Mudbrick Holiday Flats where I used to stay as a guest. #2 is at a local motel and #3 is occasional errands and cleaning of holiday houses for a local real estate agent. How very different the routines are (so I will never get bored!) – and I’m probably too busy now to be teaching!

People who have known me for a while will know that housework has never been my strong suit, and will find a certain irony in my current situation. I have a bit of a laugh about it myself. (and you know what? I get quite a kick out of seeing the spic-and-span-ness when I’ve finished a house/flat/room).  Also, as a Pommie by birth, and knowing what England is like these days – where cleaners are almost always foreign – I’m also loving the ironic role-reversal of cleaning the occasional place after Indian or Eastern European guests have departed. I love this country!

So – how are the various Betties finding life? Well…

Author Betty is revelling in the minutiae of lives spent in motel rooms and the pieces of themselves that people leave behind. Such rich material (and so many toenails *cringe*)

Teacher Betty, far from feeling bewildered or bereft, is tired and sweaty at the end of every cleaning shift, but somehow invigorated. She goes home to Basil knowing that work is actually OVER for the day – and that’s something that no teacher can ever say at the end of a school day!

Biker Betty is wondering when the hell she will be able to get Piglet out of the shed and go for a ride.

Gardener Betty is having a ball. I dismantled most of the vegie cage (take note, Andrew M!) The vegies can now run free (well, they will when I’ve planted them in the lovely raised vegie bed I haven’t finished putting together yet), and I’ve preserved a couple of horse-whispering platforms for Basil and his horsey buddies. I’ve pruned, dead-headed, weeded…. There’s still so much to do in my garden. It’s a bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I suspect: when you get to the end, you go back to the beginning and start over.

Hedonist Betty is very, very happy. I have the time to do the stuff I want to do! Never in my life have I been able to get a 20-minute beach, lake or bush 'fix' - but now I can! Oh, how wonderful it is to live on the coast!

Bill-payer Betty is sometimes a little twitchy, but I’m sure it’s a temporary thing. It takes a while to adjust to the 70-80% pay-cut, and to have to really think about every cent I spend. Still, in my years as divorced-mother Betty, that was a given – it’s not like I haven’t had to watch the pennies before!

Blogger Betty is gathering material. Watch this space J

Life is beautiful!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Betty and Basil: a story of soulmates ;-)

You know I’m a kitteh tragic, right? I’ve always been this way, but my cat-craziness increased exponentially when I acquired my little bestie, (that's bestie, not beastie!) Basil, who has captured my heart and imagination utterly, totally, truly madly deeply. He’s a little cat with a giant personality. He grabs life by the balls (he has none of his own these days) and absolutely loves the ride. Indoors or out, Basil knows how to have fun, and he's made me his very own partner in crime. He even pats me on the head, coz that's apparently what besties do. I'm flattered, and pat him on the head as well.

We play chasey in the house, running and hiding around corners, and jumping out at each other. It’s just as well we live alone, or the Funny Farm would probably be sending a van around to collect me right now – and then who would feed the cat?

Outdoors, we are more sedate (ok, outdoors I am more sedate.) Basil goes nuts, leaping more than a metre in the air and executing mid-air twists and turns worthy of an Olympic gymnast. He forces me to undertake obstacle courses (oh my aching back!), ducking and weaving and bending to untangle his lead from the more jungular bits of the garden. He runs up and down trees and flies through the air with the grace of, er, something extremely graceful. He bounces and pounces, digs holes that a dog would be proud of, poops in the strawberry pot and eyes off birds, bees, beetles and butterflies. And lizards. He loves the lizards that love the rockery.
 He likes to sit atop the vegie cage watching kangaroos, 
and has made friends with the horses that wander the back paddock. I kid you not – they touched noses and he actually patted a horse on the nose. Truly. Then the horse did that snorty thing that horses do, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Basil, however, barely twitched a whisker. If I were to let him off the lead, I swear he’d be off, clinging to the mane of his horsey buddy and galloping across the field, tail streaming pennant-like behind him (why oh why won’t he get on the Harley with me?)

 He’s desperate to be better friends with the amazing variety of visiting birds, too. 
So near yet so faaaaaaar!
 Clearly that’s why he hopped onto the bird-table this morning and started nibbling at the birdseed while he waited for the birds to join him. The birds, less gullible than I, didn’t fall for his “look, I’m just another bird” cat-in-bird’s-clothing subterfuge, though, and stayed away in droves. Birds aren’t so birdbrained after all!
I'm just an innocent little birdie, heh heh. Hmmm, this birdseed's quite tasty!
He’s wanting to spend more and more time outdoors. This business of ‘walking the cat’ is going to get pretty old pretty quickly, so I’m thinking I shall build him an outdoor cat-palace. My internet research is about to begin, and my lovely neighbour has already offered me some timber. Watch this space for progress on that Grand Design. In the meantime I have ingeniously installed several strategically-placed anchor-points, and I can weed/dig/potter to my heart’s content, knowing that my Basil is having safe, bird-friendly fun, leaping on lizards, sniffing at snails and digging kitty-latrines.
Eventually, though, I always risk the Wrath of Khat by making him come back indoors when he doesn’t actually want to. He’s devised a brilliant win-win strategy. Yes, he thought this one up all by himself (not only is my cat Chuck Norris – he’s Einstein/Dr Spock as well!) He protests a bit, just for form's sake, then picks up his lead in his mouth, holds his head high and “walks himself” where I want him to go, as if it was his idea in the first place. So so SO unbelievably cute!

Oh Basil, how ever did I live without you?