Saturday, January 31, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Did you hear about the new dog cross-breeds?

They crossed a Collie and a Lhasa Apso.
The new breed is a Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.

They crossed a Spitz and a Chow-Chow.
The new breed is a Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot.

They crossed a Pointer and a Setter.
The new breed is a Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.

They crossed a Great Pyrenees and a Dachshund.
The new breed is a Pyradachs, a puzzling breed.

They crossed a Pekingese and a Lhasa Apso.
The new breed is Peekasso, an abstract dog.

They crossed a Irish Water Spaniel and a English Springer Spaniel.
The new breed is a Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean.

They crossed a Labrador Retriever and a Curly Coated Retriever.
The new breed is a Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of laboratory researchers.

They crossed a Newfoundland and a Basset Hound.
The new breed is a Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors.

They crossed a Bloodhound and a Labrador.
The new breed is a Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly.

They crossed a Malamute and a Pointer.
The new breed is a Moot Point, owned by....oh, well, it doesn't really matter.

They crossed a Collie and a Malamute.
The new breed is a Commute, a dog that travels to work.

They crossed a Deerhound and a Terrier.
The new breed is a Derriere, a dog that's true to the end.

They crossed a Bull Terrier and a ShihTzu.
The new breed is a uhh, I'll get back to you on that...

And then there is this, which is just fucking wrong. Seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Aye, robots

**pulls out a can of machine oil**

Main Entry: ro·bot
Pronunciation: \ˈrō-ˌbät, -bət\
Function: noun
Etymology: Czech, from robota compulsory labor; akin to Old High German arabeit trouble, Latin orbus orphaned — more at orphan
Date: 1923

1 a: a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being ; also : a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized b: an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically.

2: a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks.

3: a mechanism guided by automatic controls.

When I was young, we had Alan Parsons and I Robot. Then it got a bit evil

(Austin Powers)

followed shortly after by

(Will Smith)

oops, wrong one


Other movies and TV shows gave us robots as tools and companions and to sci-fi writers, they were basics. Everyone knows about ultra-manufacturing using robotic assembly plants and most have seen those little robot vacuum cleaners that scuttle around like a rat on heat but I hadn't thought of the scope of their use,


nor the abilities they now have and the resource efficiency they could bring. And think of the the fun they could be despite the jobs they could/will cost the ordinary people.

and they can even dance... cute, eh!

Not so cute is their potential use in warfare (imagine a saw or automatic weapon strapped to the snout of this)

(Boston Dynamics Big Dog)

but my favourite one would have to be


"The first ten million years were the worst, and the second ten million they were the worst too... the third ten million, I didn't enjoy at all."

What brought all this on? I stumbled on something and the rest was automatic.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Ads and I had plums and spring onions from the garden. Leafy had free range eggs. We each converged today, North and South, on Thames where the Flatcats had jars of pickle (and H, at the end of her holiday) and we played swapsies. We came home with eggs and pickle; Leafy went home with plums, spring onions and pickle. I love to barter.

And then there was the divine meal we all shared before hitting the road in our respective directions. Sometimes the simplest days are just the best.

Oh and we got H back, too. The kids haven't even had a fight... yet...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Round up

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Yesterday I made the most of the dry and almost zephyr-less morning to kill a few weeds. I filled up my 4 litre sprayer with my Round Up glyphosate clone (4 times) and set off to battle the creeping dock and convolvulus once more competing for World Domination on my northern boundary. To the East is the honeysuckle, kiwifruit and privet attempting (and failing) to get a toehold to regenerate into bloody great trees again. The South has creeping dock, grass and red hot pokers (I'm not allowed to spray the pokers, the Old Man would get pissy) and the west has wandering jew and baby flowering cherry trees sprouting up all over anything that doesn't move.

To the north east and south west come a different and specific kind - people. Apparently, I'm not allowed to spray them, either.

So, by the time I had lugged the sprayer around the whole boundary, applying it with gay abandon everywhere I went and did the same all over the old man's driveway and fence line in the sun, with my big hat on and shortly thereafter came to the conclusion that menopausal women with MS should not wear a fucking hat in the sun - talk about dripping with sweat.

By bed time it was obvious I'd overdone it, if the pain in my left hip is anything to go by. Oh and my right leg isn't working very well. Walking is a bit of a gamble. A girl could be forgiven for feeling old but I'm too busy being decrepit to get around to it. I can't take Pams tonight - I have to drive to Thames tomorrow and the two are mutually exclusive.

Next week it's Tordon Time. Then Woody Weedkiller a month after that. Then finish up with glyphosate again so when winter hits they are already screwed. I do wish the Council would send their crew around a bit more often, though; spraying their weeds tends to take its toll but I can't let it go back to what it was.

I'd never find the plums in the long grass...

Everything is such a battle sometimes. I guess that's what challenges are made of :0)

Monday, January 26, 2009

While on the subject of spoons

We are going to have a short break for refreshments and I'm going to digress a little (how unusual) and rehash the Spoon Story.

Normal service will resume shortly.

The Spoon Story (Not Mine)

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have MS and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about MS. She came to doctors with me and she saw me walk with a cane. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know? I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn't seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of MS. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity.

I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have MS”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands. I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted. Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions.

So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case MS, being in control. She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of "spoons". But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with, which you wont know until you wake up. To answer your question we’ll start your day with twelve. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out the12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn't even started yet. I’ve wanted more "spoons" for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has MS. I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said " No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can't take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too." I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her a spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon.

I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If my shoulders and back hurt I wont be able to put on a bra. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this. I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons.

I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s "spoons", but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less "spoons". I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a virus comes, or a treatment reaction, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on "spoons", because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night. When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so dizzy, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it.

I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared” It’s hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to.

I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day's plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count "spoons."

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say that she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can't go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said, “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding MS, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my "spoons".

Ha! Someone once promised to share his spoons with me.

Right, now where were we?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


**pulls out a fresh paper towel serviette**

Ads is back on his Rubifen twice a day and so isn't hungry much at dinner time. After a long day mowing the lawn, guarding the ham and shopping for shoes, neither of us was feeling hungry or wanted to cook so we didn't.

You know how there is brunch, right? BReakfast + lUNCH. There's no dinner one, is there? I was trying to retrieve it from my memory banks earlier and came up blank. I figured it was because I was hungry after thinking about brunch and came up with dinner + supper = DIPPER and that sounds stupid. I like SINNER better.

So for sinner tonight, I had 2 cheese, tomato, spring onion, ham, cucumber and sour cream on whole grain bread.

I feel so virtuous! Especially as they are my tomatoes and spring onions and would have been my cucumber, too if I hadn't bought a telegraph one wot needs eating.

I could really go some tomato and cucumber in vinegar... just like Mum used to make but without the onion. When I was little I used to pick it out; now I'm a big girl, I leave it out :0)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I went to my favourite shop today and spent some money. Funny that.

After I dropped Ads at planes, I trotted next door to Bunnings intending to buy a couple of starters for the guppy tank light and ended up buying plants as well; a golden raspberry, a red raspberry and a loganberry from my half of the plum money. I figured that it came from the garden, it should go back into something long term. It can be a start of a mini summer fruit orchard down the driveway side of the property. The golden raspberry is a metre tall and fruiting, all we have to do is figure out how you know when they are ripe.

Speaking of guppies, we have babies tonight. I had to make a breeding net in a hurry to chuck Mum in to house them, the rest of the fish were enjoying a right old fry up.

Today should have been my 22 wedding anniversary, but it wasn't.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Different perspective

**waves a tissue**

Love of hate Barack, someone took some good pics that day.

Life isn't just black and white; it's brown and grey and green, too.

Life is as colourful as you see it.

But only one per room.

Sometimes where things begin and end can be a bit warped

but it would be fun polishing the edges.

And some live a prolific life and check out when their art fries their brains.

Ear, ear.

I just wander around telling myself 30 plus surplus butternut pumpkins won't be an issue; we'll just sell them at the gate. Thank God I only planted one seedling.

I wish the watermelon had grown like that. Sulky bloody thing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Plums a new depth

**shoves a bunch of tissues in mouth**

55 bags. 55 bags of plums sold at the gate in 2 days.

Only one tree is empty, the other still has a few bucketfuls to go. Oh oh...

I've been playing Brain Games here. They don't have plums there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Plum crazy again

**runs out of tissues**

I had an epiphany today *snigger*

I decided we should bag up some plums and hock them at the gate. So we did; 18 bags of them in just over an hour. Buckets and buckets of plums later, I'm sick of looking at them.

The last time we did this was for spending money for the kids when they went to Oz in 2005. Looking at the wastage on the ground over the last few weeks, I think we should have started earlier and next year, I expect we will.

In the meantime, the grapes are starting to colour up and before you know it, I'll be sick of them, too. I don't think my belly will survive the onslaught. Or anyone in the house.

Until then, the next time I have a fucking bright idea, I think I'll keep it to myself.

Monday, January 19, 2009


**coughs into tissues*

Just when you had decided that the best thing you could buy the hypochondriac who has every thing was penicillin, along comes a link to the Symptom Checker.

They can tailor-make a disease to drive any half way competent health professional to the pub.

Bottoms up.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plum crazy

**pulls out a handful of fresh tissues**

This is a little bit amusing.

I giggled over it tonight whilst sitting in the swing seat, listening to the light rain patter on the canvas above and, briefly, the possum falling out of the tree behind me. All I could hear was pattering above and the creak of the swing as it rocked back and forward until the rain eased off and once more the sound of plums missing the net and hitting the ground reminded me that I've variously disposed of 3 buckets of plums, there is 7 odd litres of plum sauce in the freezer, a bucketful of "eaters" in the kitchen and a lot of tree left to catch in the net. I thought I might branch out into plum crumble, plum and apple pie or perhaps plum sauce muffins next.

The Universe has been very kind to me lately and so I bagged up some plums to give away and dropped them off. I know, I shouldn't expect thanks but simple manners are free. Aren't they?

Maybe they aren't. But this next clip puts all things into perspective. It's very good.

Nick Vujicic

I'm off to bed to count plums. Recipes, that is.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yes, well

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

What's wrong with this picture...

It came from here.

I have 3 buckets of plums in my kitchen. There could be something wrong with that picture, too.

Friday, January 16, 2009


**pulls out another towel**

It's too hot. Seriously. I was sitting here enjoying the night's coolness and pissing about surfing and thinking about bed when I Stumbled on this. A very good plain language description or what MS is, what it does and how it does it. Which reminded me why it's too bloody hot. But it also reminded me of my own progression this past 12 months and stuff I'd probably selectively forgotten.

I've been down this road before, or one just like it. I'm just not going to end up in bed for 6 months again and I am not going to use that wheel chair and that should be all the motivation I need to start climbing out of it.


A few days real downtime would be nice, though, I'm that tired...

The big kids went to the pub with the Old Man tonight for karaoke and had a blast. They are 18, in a pub with an 80 year old, singing varying renditions of popular songs into a microphone in front of other weirdos people who like to do that and had fun. I find that quite frightening.

And to think I turned down Ritchie Pickett at a bar with him tomorrow night. Last time I went to Ritchie Pickett at a pub with him, 25 years ago, some bastard stole my wheels. I didn't want to risk it happening again - the taxi fare home is a killer and dealing with the cops would have been funny if it wasn't so pathetic but that's a story unto itself and for another time.

Anyway, a new feature I thought up - a Random Sniff. Just a completely useless and potentially unforgettably trivial collection of bits of data.

A Random Sniff:

Q: What is christianity?

A: It is the belief that a two- thousand-year-old jewish zombie
can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh
and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master,
so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present
in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake
to eat an apple off a magical tree in a wonderland.

Ok, so that was different...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gardening in pyjamas

**pulls out a dry towel**

We have had some wild weather - a swarm of thunderstorms rolled up the country yesterday and roamed right over the top of us. I went out in it to make sure the stormwater drains were clear and spent 20 minutes cleaning out the long drain at the end of the house that has been gradually silting up. Because it was still daylight, I didn't get a fancy light show for my trouble - the jafas got that as it moved out to sea off Auckland's east coast.

At 6.30pm, the stormvue tracker looked like this

and what that lot deposited on the Kaimais looked like this

It was so cold when I went to bed, I shut my windows.

So, this morning was clear and bright and washed clean and it's a delight to potter around in one's night attire (you deal with the prospect of nudity). Until the dogs started barking down at the park; and the people started yelling. After a while, the yelling got to be a pain so I wandered over to the edge of the bank for a squizz and saw what looked like two people, 3 dogs in a screaming mess in the middle of the fields - two dogs attacking, one man trying get them off, neither on a leash (he didn't even have one on him) and I'm bloody sure when he pulled the main attacker away, it was tugging on an arm.I hope that was just my crappy eyesight and I wish I hadn't seen that.

One cellphone, one phone call and police and ambulance were on their way. Reinforcements showed up from across the bridge. The ambos worked on this person for thirty minutes or more. The police came to the door. The council animal control people called me.

I think I want to move house - that's 4 111 calls in just over a month, 3 domestic related scenarios being played out within earshot (one bashing/ one loud yelling and swearing/ one yelling and swearing and shrieking on the other side of the bridge. Jeez sound travels...) and two unleashed, out of control dogs chowing down on something they shouldn't. There's something really fucking whack about this sudden influx of public nastinesses. Once upon a time, all we had to worry about were unsupervised softballers kids and the touch rugby brats, thieving little non pink bastards, noisy clubroom functions and pissed people shouting at the person next to them in the car park just prior to doing doughnuts in the gravel at 2 in the morning. Life was so much simpler, then.

We get to pay the council $1400 odd bucks a year for the privilege of having this lot for neighbours. And the 1.5 acre "front lawn" with established trees which is a delight that the council mows for us each week. Thank God they do, I don't have that long an extension cord!

The other thing I was going to say (ha! I remembered all by myself!) was about this and this

A World War II Spitfire aircraft, due to fly at this weekend's Wings Over Wairarapa air show, crashed at the Masterton Aerodrome today.

The Mark 9 Spitfire crashed just after 3pm, said a fire communications spokesman.

The pilot, whom 3 News said was owner Doug Brooker, was not injured in the crash. However, the plane would not be able to fly in the air show now.

The cause of the crash was not known.

"Nobody actually saw it, because of course the threshold of that particular runway is out of view from anybody on the aerodrome," show director Tom Williams told 3 News.

The recently rebuilt plane was going to fly decorated 91-year-old World War II spitfire pilot John Pattison over Wellington.

Mr Pattison was awarded France's highest honour, the Legion d'Honneur, by French president Jacques Chirac.

He was a commanding officer of 485 New Zealand Spitfire Squadron during the war, and was wounded in battle after his plane was shot down.

I might have a pic or two of the airshow to post next week, Sis and hubby are heading down in the camper van tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I'm feeling a bit hammered tonight and I haven't had a drop to drink. Well, not of anything exciting.

I trotted off to the doc today, as ya do, with my shopping list in one hand and my printed de-brief of the duration and unpleasant aftermath of solumedrol in the other (which made carrying my cellie and keys rather difficult, so I stuffed them in the pockets of my cargoes) and got myself a little barrow load of pills and my Numpty Nana toe checked out. If you are wondering what my Numpty Nana toe is, it's the great toe on my right foot that has gone a bit numb. Ok a lot numb. It goes hand in hand ('scuse the pun) with my left hand's frequent numbness, which is occasionally accompanied by my right hand's random numbness.

You get the picture, eh.

The doc told me I needed to stop sleeping for more than 40 minutes in the day time to compensate for not sleeping in the night time and that doing so, combined with taking heavy duty painkillers (for the sore bits) and anti-histamine tablets dispensed for my hay fevery type symptoms (which were never an issue before the last couple of years, not being an allergic beasty to begin with) even if I'm not hay fevery at the time, would keep me asleep through the night.

I don't think he's ever met the Worms.

As fab as he is, even doctors are not immune to a complete lack of understanding of how something physical that sounds so trivial can drive every aspect of one's daily (or nightly) existence. In this case, out of bed at 2 in the morning. Like now.

So, whilst now having a cupboard full of meds again, all of which have a specific purpose in mind, none of them overcome (let alone alleviate) the Worms which means if I take all of them together, I get to stagger around like a drunk at two in the morning instead of just staggering around like someone with MS who's having a regular really crappy night.

But I'm still semi-conscious.

Oh well, at least my curt summary of Five Days in Solumedrol-Land will be winging its digital way over the hill to the Neuro for future reference sometime soon.

In the meantime, I'll keep on sleeping as needed to handle the fatigue (it has been bloody hot, after all) and if I'm grumpy and shitty when I wake up, it probably won't look any different to the shitty and grumpy version when I'm pretending I can function on 4 hours tossing and turning and twitching which represents sleep each night.

I'm a real fucking charmer like that :0)

The moon is on my bed now and so is Tinks (she's having a bit of Mum and cat bedtime bonding the last couple of nights) so I'm going to go lie in it and count worms. It bleats beats the hell out of counting sheep.

Floyd, Waiting for the Worms - it's loud.

Those bloody hammers always mesmerised me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

There it is again

**pulls open the curtains**

There's that big ol' moon, all big and podgy in the sky and just begging to shine on me in bed tonight.

Well, something had to, eh.

But the big, full moon is like a blessing shining down on us, even without the addition of Pams, hmm? A big Universe smiling down. Well, Mr Smiley Universe struck again, today. I can't say what, and I can't say who, but today someone bought something for me that I have been wanting for ages but couldn't really afford. Just because they could.

And it doesn't get much nicer than that.

Thanks really is too small a word sometimes, don't you think?

And a little light relief :0)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I'm too tired to write, so will let the pictures paint a few thousand words.

Nature's best photography

Creepy beach sculptures

Trilobis 65 Floating Home

And a sad ending for some hard workers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

I am soooooo over this whole MS thing. It pisses me off no end that it bites so hard at just doing ordinary things.

I brought home a very large and very dead punga the other day from my sister (in 2 pieces, it was too big and heavy to handle in one). It's been on the list of things to do for a while, even though at the time I said I'd take it I had no idea where the hell I was going to put it.

Since then, I had decided I needed a new garden, having not "created" anything for a while and feeling rather bereft for the lack, so I had started planning it and the arrival of the punga (and some baby agaves) prompted me to get digging and just do it.

So I did. Now I have a neat new garden bed outside my bedroom window with the pungas in pride of place and so far populated with a couple of red flaxes, a hebe (grown from cutting), a ponytail palm (thanks Shaz), a variegated yukka (thanks Vic), a bit of this and a bit of that and approximately half of my calla lilies. Next to go in will be the best part of a hundred irises, some daffs and lots of marigolds (when I sow the seeds, they germinate and grow big enough to transplant). By then, I will have decided where the next garden is going.

I should also have made a list of changes needed in the vege garden next year - less veg (just basics like spuds, pumpkin, toms, corn, shallots and cucumbers), more fruits (white alpine strawberries, boysenberries and raspberries) and decided which method to use to carry the berry fruit vines I want to focus on and where to plant the tomatoes all in one spot instead of 4 separate locations. I should also have figured out which annual type flowers I want in (less californian poppies, more carnations and other poppies), planned where to put a huge plot of sunflowers and found homes for all the cuttings of various kinds I have coming along.

Just thinking about it makes me tired. More tired. Thank God Sequel mowed the lawn.

When I was at my sister's the other day, I admired her compost bins and wished I had one like them. This afternoon, my neighbour the lawnmowing man came over with a 240l compost bin that one of his clients didn't want any more, asking did I want it? Cool, eh! What else could I say but "fuck, yes please!"

So I did. Well via Adam in a half asleep, partially coherent fashion - it was nap time, after all.

Now the contents of my compost drum has a real home, a rotting one to be proud of. I also have a new green waste compost pile at the other end of the garden, made from the top skimmings of my new beds. It should be nicely composted down by next spring when I need it.

Am I boring you? Surely not! I bet I'm amusing the hell out of my bloody mother, the real gardener and inspiration for my efforts- I'm not a gardener's arsehole lol

But I am sick and I am tired and I am pushing my weakening arms and legs to harden up and get some bloody muscle tone going (even though it's pretty damn good anyway); that old "use it or lose it". I'm very scared I'm going to lose it - I've been a bit too sedentary the past couple of months.

Today a compost bin, tomorrow, maybe a backpack spray unit. Next week, a Crossfire would be nice and the month after that, that really really big thing I want.

Yeah, don't I wish.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

You've heard all those "What do you call an irishman in a/under/with..." jokes, eh.

We had a wee session of them at New Years



Simple humour.

We watched a re-run of the final episode of M*A*S*H tonight, and I thought about how many times I'd watched M*A*S*H over the years and what kept it funny all that time and I decided it was simple humour. I'm finding I want most things simplified at the moment - a shorter/faster everything because I get so tired so easily. In a vain attempt to alleviate the stiffness and fatigue, I thought a bit of gardening might do the trick, so I've started digging a new one, cos I've hardly done anything other than pull a few weeds, harvest a few bits, do a bit of trimming and pruning and a lot of tying up/down.

Hardly endorphin-inducing.

I'm struggling a little with the concept of injustice, unfairness at what life hands you when you're making other plans, and why I can't have the other plans instead. Life's not fair, it's more a dark mahogany colour.

And I'm tired of activity, heat and sunshine. Phones and visitors (don't get me started, all I need now after today's fiasco is a visit from J&J over the hill and their tribe of unsupervised and ill-equipped kids carrying unhealthily weird names) playing taxi and just generally taking care of business. I was a rolling example of the advert on TV, coming home the other day, the one where the father nods off and kills them all. That can't be good. Time to downsize my expectations of my own abilities for a bit and not get hot.

Ads was saying tonight that one day he'd take me on holiday. I said the perfect holiday for me at the moment was utter solitude, peace and quiet. It sounds like pure heaven.

I can't find anything Heavenly about life in general at the moment.

PS - there's a very simple pleasure to be found in gently stroking big, fat monarch butterfly caterpillars. Try it.

PPS - tomorrow I'm going to start making sweet plum sauce.

PPPS - if you put blueberry jam into leftover whipped cream, you get blueberry cream. It's yum. You should try that, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


**pulls out a fresh box of tissues**

At 5.07PM on January 3rd, 1991, after 17 hours hard slog, a baby girl was born.

She grew up straight and she grew up beautiful.

Today she celebrated her 18th birthday. Happy birthday my darling, we love you heaps.

Friday, January 2, 2009


**pulls out a fresh tissue**

Bearing in mind I don't do NY resolutions, today has brought forth a need to sort my shit out.

I can't solve the two biggest issues in my life, but I can do something to sort out the two most bloody annoying - the Offspring.

I can't deny it, even to myself, that I am getting worse. I'm over heating; I have the fatigue knocking on the door; my concentration isn't very good and my hands are numb more often that not. Both are treating my efforts to work through these problems as nothing and becoming demanding of my resources - Ads is once more attempting to assert a dominant male role and H is treating the house like a hotel which functions based on her frequently changing whims.

And I'm sick of it. Master Caveman came close to a serious fuck up today, whilst Ms Guest just pissed me every 30 minutes for something to do.

We have just spent two lovely nights in Thames eating ourselves into The Guinness Book of Gluttony with the loveliest people we know, but a combination of extreme fatigue and a road accident delay on the way home, followed by unloading the car by myself sent me off for a snooze, abruptly ended the third time by kids arguing over who was cooking what, a door slamming tanty from Ads and a couple of home truths from me before I gave up and went for drive in a huff (sans cellie) where I ended up wandering around the family graves in the foggy gloaming and hugging the huge camellia tree for a while before setting to rights all the offerings left on graves in the rest of the cemetery that had been blown over by the weather.

Today held too many "whys" and "whats" and none seem to have answers.