What antisocial people do on Australia day

Hi All,

I just realised that it is Australia Day today! This year is all out of whack but it is slowly starting to pull itself together with natures cycles constantly reminding us that everything is part of some cosmic great plan out there. Steve and I are not social people. We prefer our own company and are too slothful to want to put on “town clothes” and race about catering and hosting dinner parties, racing about to other peoples dinner parties or even for going to the pub. We like our own company. Some people might call us antisocial, but we know each other well and we don’t judge each other (openly anyway…we are not stupid! :o) so its just easier (and less stressful) to do our own thing. All of this is leading up to why we don’t head over to a park packed full of “Australian’s” and share a communal breakfast. As a vegetarian (let alone when I was a vegan) it became suddenly a whole lot more difficult to be part of the crowd when it came to communal mass consumption of edible comestibles. If you don’t eat meat, eggs and have a gluten intolerance, you are kind of relegated to a cup of black coffee. I wasn’t a vegan/vegetarian because I wanted to be noticed. I did it for my own personal health and wasn’t out there to put anyone out regarding my own food choices and so I would always make a few things to take along. When you are eating something different to everyone else you are classified as

a/ A picky/fussy eater

b/ One of those “allergic” people

c/ A massive great guilt fest for many people

Its like being a doctor. Whenever you go to parties and everyone knows what you are, you get harassed all night by people asking you about their spots and aches and pains. As soon as people know I am a vegetarian they either get angry at me for not eating meat and try to force me to do so, or they start appologising for eating meat and their percieved unhealthy food choices! I don’t care what anyone else eats! I am not going to jump up and down if you eat an ox on a spit. Everyone has their own food choices and I am in no way going to comment about what anyone else eats. The only thing that I am going to say about food is that if you are going to eat it, at least enjoy it! I hate it when people feel guilty about what they are eating. They are setting themselves up for a lifetime of self hatred and possible food disorders. If you want to eat it, eat it…savour it…enjoy it and move on. It’s when you fixate on it, allow it to make you feel guilty and start to let what you are eating become more important than the simple act of putting fuel into your body, that you are setting yourself up for problems. I don’t like going to places to eat with lots of other people simply because I hate making people feel the need to justify themselves and that is constantly what happens when “normal” people are faced with vegetarians. What do we do for Australia Day? Well, we take our dogs for a lovely big walk down to Paper Beach. The last time we went there was the day after mum died. We felt numb and hollow and it was a grey day. We wanted to go there again on a beautiful sunny day when the sky was blue and everything felt possible. After we walked the boys they got to paddle out in the water which made them incredibly happy. We then came home and rather than a semi cremated sausage with a few flecks of burnt onion thrust at you in a dry piece of cardboard tasting white bread, Steve is having bacon, our own free range eggs, some toast cooked “just right” a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee and the dogs are having bacon and eggs as well. I get to eat whatever I damned well please and there is no-one watching me and I don’t have to feel bad because some poor media misled woman thinks that she needs to justify her food choices to me. All in all it is a win-win situation for the antisocialists and the rest of you can choose to do whatever you see fit on this day of endless possibilities. We are going to spend it perfecting our 2 player game of Mario on the Wii. We suck. We suck right royally. If infants challenged us to a game they would thrash us. We keep panicking and dying over the silliest things and besides laughing uproarously at first, it starts to wear a little thin when the other person has shoved you accidentally off the edge of a cliff for the 20th time or you have accidentally bounced off their head straight into a pool of lava and you have no one but yourself to blame for your total lack of coordination… sigh. Steve is also going to attempt to teach me how to play “Mario Kart”. I will say this right here and now, should I never post again because Steve has eliminated me and buried me under mum’s claret Ash that my lovely friend Nat bought for us to plant in honour of mum. I would certainly give it a good start in life! but I need it documented that I have no ability with doing more than 1 thing at a time. I can’t walk and drink. It’s a simple fact. I am totally unable to multitask. Most of the driving games, fighting games and even the interesting wizardy type games need you to be able to scroll between screens and load various weapons and potions etc. and by the time I have found the screen to open, found a suitable weapon, managed to isolate a potion (if I have been able to find the bloody thing in the first place that is…) and got ready for battle my monster has either already killed me, or is long gone. I don’t think it is because I am middle aged. Steve is right there with me on that score, but he is able to multitask, hurtle around tracks and generally do what he has to do. I have the wrong sort of brain for playing games. My daughters, who occasionally read this blog, will agree with me wholeheartedly as they have spent many an amused hour watching me wave my arms around all over the place to play games. This was BEFORE Wii and actual movement made a difference. They have sat there totally bemused at my utter inability to make a little kart go forwards. They have been thrashing around the track and my kart is still stuck at the starter post (in fact it is sideways against the starter post and I have NO idea how to make it do anything else). That is how we are going to spend Australia Day. I dare say there are many more people out there spending it playing games. Most of them will be driving their karts all over the place. My kart will be going backwards with an alarm message saying “wrong way…turn back”. Its the story of my life! Now I can get back to the post that I was working on for today before I realised that it was Australia Day and thought that I had best fill you in on what antisocial people do on a day like this :o). No sport for us…no watching the tennis or the cricket…no going out into the wilderness and finding like minded people to piss the rest of the world off with our antics and no hunting around to find free grub. Just us, doing what we do best, keeping to ourselves and sharing our world with our constant readers :o)

This is what happens when one airlines scales are obviously set at a different setting to another airlines scales. How come Skywest was fine with my cases (and I only had a 20kg limit with them) and Virgin seems to weigh my case at a much heavier weight?

This is also what happens when you are asked “do you have anything sharp in your case? Any knives?” and you tell them that you have 3 butter knives in your suitcase. A butter knife is NOT a sharp thing. My toenails could do more damage than these but I was warned that I would have to pick my luggage up from a special area because it was considered “dangerous luggage” (as well as overweight…)

The first truely labled thing in our house! :o)

I started reading Richard Glover’s “The Mud House” today. After having a fantastic reading experience both with Nige Slater’s book Toast and with the amazing “The literary and potato peel pie society” still making me smile every time that I think about it, I have entered into new book territory. Apparently “The overnight show” has now been replaced with the regular breakfast show on our local ABC and I don’t get my regular holiday readings each day from different books. It’s a lovely idea as you get a bit of an idea about what the core of the book is like and sometimes you find a new author that delights you and entrances you and that you can explore at your leisure. I am even contemplating joining some form of book club but am being held back by my natural laziness and unwillingness to share my pleasure of books to anyone that might offer some form of criticism. I don’t deal well with criticism. I can take it when it is delivered with kindness and a degree of understanding but if it’s just criticism for criticism’s sake, it gets my hackles up. It smacks of wankers. I don’t like wankers. I saw a whole group of them huffing and wheezing themselves up the steep road Between Beaconsfield and Sidmouth today on their shmick new Christmas push bikes. All of them trying to fight the aging process by forcing their old bones into slick tight Lycra. The lord only knows what happens when they remove this manmade fibre and allow their aging skin some degree of freedom. I can only imagine that it isn’t a pretty sight. The first of the bunch was considerably younger than the rest of them but was fat. I guess his peers had not accepted him and so he had to hang with an older crowd. Fat men in Lycra are indeed a sight to behold and when they are wobbling along on a poor stressed pushbike it is hard to stop yourself winding down the window and commenting. What stops me is my previous hatred of criticism and thinking that at least he will have his heart attack on the side of the road and free up the health system for people who are not deluding themselves about their true state of being.

Can you see the tiny crab in the picture? You might have to click on the picture to make it a bit bigger to see him but Earl and Bezial saw him (as tiny as he was) and were straining at the lead to eat the poor little fellow!

I liked the barnacles growing on this rock. It gives you a sense of timelessness and that the pebbles on this beach are there for the long haul rather than being flotsam and jetsam at the beck of the relentless tide. Some things stay put long enough to set down barnacles!

I loved these little shells. They were actually walking up the beach. Not clinging tenaciously to the rocks, but making their own little slimy sliggity way up the beach to wherever they wanted. Again, stoic little creatures that refuse to be shoved about by the mighty tide.

I am going to read my new book today. I am going to savour it and enjoy the process of reading and exploring visions in my mind. I didn’t realise how much I missed reading until I settled down in Tullamarine airport for my 5 hour wait until my next flight and after turning the first page, hardly noticed the wait. I finished the book on the plane to W.A. and enjoyed it immensely. I decided to save The Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book for the way home and I am so glad that I did. It was one of the most delicious moments that I have ever had in a book. I have the urge to buy this book so that one day in the future (should I be granted future time) I can revisit this gem of a book and be delighted all over again. I would recommend it to anyone because I am not an easy person to delight when reading a book. I took my first 2 forays into my newfound literary bent as a sign that God wants me to read more. If he didn’t those 2 first books would have been rubbish. Mr Glover has a lot to live up to but he seems to be attempting to tantalise me with humour so I will allow him a measure of my mind until I make my decision as to whether or not I am going to finish his book. I wonder if there are online book clubs. I will have to check it out. We are making soup tonight. Last night I felt like steamed veggies and forgot all about them as I had decided to cook them outside on the small gas bbq and after cooking Steve’s Chicken and mustard gourmet sausages that he chose in his gourmet meat pack from Nigel’s on Tamar this fortnight, I headed out to see the forgotten veggies and got the dreaded scent of burning…I managed to catch most of them before they tasted too smoky but Steve was very polite and ate them anyway despite him being incredibly fussy. I think having an obviously sick wife with rheumy red eyes who has blown her nose red and cracked and who hacks and wheezes every 5 minutes when she is not sneezing insanely gives a man a degree of understanding of the human condition. Men who don’t take note of sick wives tend to not last very long in the “husband” state.

Here is a story in a picture. I shared a picture of a pair of black skewers that my brother took in one of my recent posts. They were standing on some brilliant white sand against the azure sea. Here in Tasmania we have skewers too. Ours are black and white and they wander the black volcanic sands that border our rivers and oceans. This one has been wandering about and suddenly you can see the point at which he decided to investigate the sand as there may have been something tasty in it. 2 beak pokes later and nothing tasty emerged so he was off again

Paper Beach was once the place where wealthy people had their beach houses in the late 1800’s. You can see evidence of this by the large ancient palms and conifers all over the place. Many of the houses are old and regal and most of the houses have little walkways down to the beach. The house owner that correlates to this little red catamaran would have a little pathway down to this pretty little yacht. What a life eh? Living in a pretty place like this and being able to head down and out for a sail at least twice a day when the tide comes way up and it’s easy for you to shove your yacht out.

The shadows in this picture are from the massive great pine trees that straddle the tideline.

I decided that this cold needs a bit of an internal bollocking. Soup is the answer. As a vegetarian I don’t eat chicken so that most healing and soothing of cold remedies is lost to me. I do eat lentil soup, however, and this is a close second in the comfort stakes. I hate green lentils. Green lentils and puy lentils and black lentils and anything else other than split peas or red lentils are spawn of hades. Revolting sandal wearing food for long haired self-emolliating hippies who want to punish themselves for some past life wrongdoing. Not to be eaten by man or beast. I only use red lentils and if I am forced into eating “the other kind” I have to make them unrecognisable (as in mush or liquid) or I simply can’t bear to eat them. As a child I regularly partook of dirt and enjoyed it immensely so it can’t be the “earthy taste” that makes me cringe. It’s just the overall blandness of what people make out of this food and the cultural cringe that comes with having to use them in a recipe. Beans are delicious (apart from red kidney beans that is) and can be used for many things. I love hunting through ethnic websites and finding new and interesting ways to use them. I love chickpea flour and the many and varied ways that you can use it. You can make bread (Injera) you can make a tofu substitute (Burmese tofu or To hpu) out of it and it can be used in all sorts of recipes to enhance the protein level and nutrients in our food. My lentil soup love is solely for split peas and red lentil soup. I make a wholesome broth with lots of onions, an enormous quantity of garlic (who cares if no-one wants to kiss me, best to ward the throngs of admirers off now than be sued for giving them all colds…) all slowly rendered down with some ginger to a delicious fragrant paste. Then Steve works his magic. I don’t know what he puts in from this point on. He has only let me down once in the past and that was very early on in his soup dragon career and we shall speak of it no more! Steve was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon and this is his year. It is fitting that he be the soup dragon of our family. “The soup rabbit” (my sad Chinese horoscope sign) loses something in the translation and no clanger would have ever hunted far and wide for a soup rabbit. Tonight we dine on heavenly red lentil soup dragon soup!

Now we move on to Earls new found play toy Mr Jellyfish. If you were to head back to the Batman Bridge and decided to walk across to the other side, halfway across you would most probably be able to see a migration of massive great jellyfish like this one on heading either in or out of the river on the tide. You don’t often see them this big washed up on the shore and Earl was most interested. I wanted to have a photo to show you how big it was but Earls head is massive and was dwarfing this giant of a jellyfish so I needed something better to use as contrast…

So I used my foot. Anyone who knows me well will also know that I have large feet. I wear a womans size 10 shoe and this jellyfish is dwarfing my foot and making me feel like my feet are quite petite. Earls size 25 head didn’t do this jellyfish justice. Can you see the cross in the middle of it?

I am feeling happier already. I have strangely been sleeping better of late. I would have thought that a cold would make me sleep fitfully but apart from having to head to the loo at 3.30am this morning and have first Steve and then Earl snoring loudly and keeping me awake from that point on, I have been sleeping like a baby. Tonight’s soup is going to heal more than my poor addled body. Soup is soul food. My son Stewart is not a fan of soup and calls it “Foods last chance to be eaten”. He is missing out. I watched Gnomeo and Juliet last night. I used to spend my evenings in the kitchen/living room on the computer researching “stuff” while Steve had carte blanche with the television (usually resulting in some form of horror movie, his favourite genre). Since I got back from W.A. I seem to have lost interest in spending long hours researching and have a new desire to spend time with Steve. He has yet to tell me that this is irritating him and that he wants to watch his horror movies and to stave off the inevitable I watched a documentary about Vlad the impaler the other night that he had taped and a most gruesome documentary it was! Since then I have been steering clear of the more gruesome horror movies that Steve has taped on our Austar box and have been negotiating nice “happy family” movies (not that they represent a large proportion of what Steve has taped to be honest). We spent a bit of time playing a 2 person game of Mario on our Wii. We don’t spend a lot of time doing this because Steve is an impulsive player and I like to think and so it tends to be me getting marmalised by the protagonist rather than Steve (who is bouncing around all over the place maniacally). We managed to play for just on 30 minutes without filing for divorce so I might just give him a repeat match. I am saving up to get the latest in the Zelda series for Wii. I love Zelda (much like Robin Williams who named one of his long suffering daughters after the game) and the very first Zelda (which this latest game is apparently a new version of) was my forte. I cut every blade of grass. I collected every single gem. I did every quest and my one claim to the admiration of both of my daughters is that I am the ONLY person that they know who was able to finish this game 100%. It’s nice to have some sort of admiration from your daughters and I would like to cement this admiration by being able to do this twice :o)

Out of all of the houses that line the river in the Paper Beach area I like this one the best. It’s certainly not the tidiest or the most well kept. It has paint peeling off and the lawn is “meh” but it has fat bossy chickens, it has plants in the windows and it has an interesting paint scheme. The rooms upstairs are bristling with interesting looking “stuff” and occasionally you get a glimpse of the head of the person who created this little oasis of interest in the middle of mundane Tasmanian life and I just know that this person is someone a little bit different.

I just liked the water in this picture and over in the distance on that far hill is Marion’s vineyard. They have just erected a HUGE great bird on a large pole in the vineyard grounds. I am not too sure why. I would have thought that it was for scaring away the blackbirds and starlings, but the bird appears to be a goose! No self respecting blackbird or starling is going to be scared of a goose no matter how massive it is for very long. I will get Steve to stop so I can take a photo of it when we next drive past so you can see what I mean. The owner of Marian’s vineyard is an American eccentric. He has some “Crazy Ideas” about environmentalism and his own way of implementing it (including getting the locals to work for him without paying them…) a most interesting person with an enormous goose on a pole…does nothing for improving my opinion of most Americans however :o)

This is why I felt like I was in a foreign country when we first got to Tasmania. You saw the white sand and azure seas that I grew up with in some recent posts. This is totally wrong! Pebble beaches over black sand and tides that go all the way up to the land…

This is how shallow the water is at this time of day, Steve and the boys were almost able to walk out to that boat in the picture. Bezial was most interested in 4 dogs that were off their leads and rapidly approaching me (and the dogs) while their impotent owners waved their arms around (leadless arms) frantically calling their names while they were summarily ignored and their advancing hoard of various shaped dogs kept coming. I just don’t get why some people think that rules do not apply to them? If our dogs eat their dogs you can imagine who is going to look the worst in the newspaper report can’t you? Lucky our boys are not cannibals. The lady who was walking along our road this morning while I was shutting the gate who’s dog barked at me and who took offense when our boys barked back needs to learn a lesson from the “good dog owners” manual. I might put a copy in her mailbox as we next pass her by :o)

I can hear Steve being crushed in the lounge room. He has decided to play the Mario game on the Wii himself. It’s a sad sound that little noise that symbolifies death on Mario. Almost a triumphant little herald but with a sad little twist. I told him that once I finish up here that I will play a 2 player game with him. Removing yourself from your 24/7 partner and spending a week apart gives you a new degree of understanding for just what you have. I want to share some “quality time” with Steve and hopefully we don’t kill each other in the next 30 minutes. Wish me (and Steve…he is the one that is going to wear the worst of this foray into Wii gaming…) luck! We managed to play for about an hour before we decided to call it quits. We had been falling off the same pile of undulating sand for about 30 minutes and had gotten incredibly frustrated at our total inability to learn from our mistakes. You can only take so much self-frustration before you have to call it a day. We then watched Grimm and each episode makes me wish that they had paid someone better to write for them. Good actors with bad lines and all of the money spent on special effects rather than a plot. That premise could have been as good as the X Files, but they decided to go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer rather than take advantage of that ever burgoining group of intellectual giants who are now socially acceptable (the media have worked out that nerds and geeks have LOTS of disposable income…) who can make or break shows like this. This show is lightweight and I am only slightly intellectual. We will keep watching it but it’s off our series link and should we miss one, I doubt I will be upset about it or clambering to watch a re-run in any sort of hurry. I can’t be bothered with most commercial television any more. I think that as you get older, you totally lose your ability to filter out crap. It starts to annoy you and make you verbose with your outrageous indignation at the total lack of quality that you pay for. I find myself drifting back to my book. I actually want to watch the ABC and SBS. It’s not so much getting old, but its part of the process. The longer you have managed to stay around on this ever moving planet the more experience you have had. The more you are able to weigh up what is worth it and what isn’t. Steve Tyler and J-Lo and their obviously scripted “auditions” made me angry. I want interesting television that allows me to think. I don’t want to be told what to think, I am not an American. I think that as your brain gets older, it does get wiser, not because you are any smarter, but because it has learned to cypher through a whole load of bampf to find what it wants. It can tell garbage from quality because it has been exposed to both. I am over crap television and I have just made an Australia Day resolution. I am not going to watch it any more. I can’t be outrageously indignant if I don’t allow that crap into my senses. I actually believe that you are what you eat and you are what you allow into yourself. If you watch that crap, it infests you. You start to become a selfish disenfranchised person who thinks that they are the centre of the universe. Watch it at your own peril! I will be off reading a book, hunting for things online and watching the ABC and SBS in the kitchen on my enormous monitor/television that is hooked up to the free to air arial that we have on the roof. Steve can have the loungeroom again and all is calm in the evenings on Serendipity Farm. Especially Bezial who HATES it when I yell at the television because he thinks that he is going to have to defend his demented female owner from something that he can’t even see as she is obviously distressed about “something” but he can’t sense what! Poor Bezial. You sometimes have to sort yourself out “for the kids” don’t you? :o) See you all tomorrow (if we survive the Mario Kart incedent that is :o)


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 12:30:26

    Well I’m with you on the Mario cart game. I totally suck! I can’t seem to steer the damn thing and end up going everywhere but the road lol. I get very bored playing that stuff so the boys have it all to themselves. I have found that I can whip their bums at Wii balance games, much to their disgust. They have such egos my boys ha ha ha. Its the only thing I’m better at. Wii have a “soccer” game where you have to hit the ball with your head and omg I just end up in a heap laughing my head off! It is fun if you don’t mind contorting yourself around trying to hit the ball and not the panda head or the shoe. We are having a bbq for Aussie day. A few friends over, slushy pina coladas and sitting in the pool mmmm sounds good 🙂 I’m glad to hear you are on the mend. I hope Steve doesn’t suffer too much, in which case so will you lol. I will have to go to the library and find the potato book to read, it sounds interesting already. Well have to go get ready so take care, enjoy your Australia Day and hope you whip Steves ass on the mario lol. x


    • narf77
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:54:49

      No ass whipping. We totally suck! We just spent the better part of 3 hours on a single part of level 2. We kept dying and towards the end, the computer was taking pity on us and allowing us to have more than our fair share of free stuff to try to finish the level. Even the computer is pitying us! The urge is high to drown my sorrows in beer but I think Steve just drank the last of it so I am going to have to make do with ships lime cordial. I have decided to finish for the day and Steve is now watching the wrestling. At least Steve got to have his bacon and egg breakfast (as did the dogs) so everyone is happy on the food front. Now we just need to learn how to play a simple childs game. I am not bad on the Wii balance but when I have to close my eyes I am pretty sad. If the boys laugh at you when you are playing Mario Kart or Soccer just whack them over the head with the balance board and they will soon forget how funny you are! :o) Have a great rest of the day and enjoy your well deserved pina colada slushy in the pool with your friends. :o)


  2. Pinky
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 13:22:02

    I’m currently using the Wii for Zelda and am at a tough bit that requires me to flail away at a bad guy but to try and coordinate my flailing with his special moves. Not happy Jan!!!!! Jason is stupidly trying to “help” me with lots of exasperated sighing and comments and I swear i’m going to insert the Wii contoller somewhere the sun wont shine if he dosn’t learn my glaring signals!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    It is a good game though.


    • narf77
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 15:45:38

      Steve and I just spent 3 hours trying to do a single part of level 2 in Mario. Even an infant could do this level, but Steve and I keep dying on the stupidest things. I am starting to rethink buying Zelda because if I can’t kill a goomba, how the hell am I going to flail in coordination with the flailing man!!!!? I can flail with the best of them but my flailing tends to result in death. We have given up for the day. I am going to do a post for tomorrow and Steve is going to watch the wrestling. All is well with the world again :o)


  3. Kym
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 19:36:43

    Well I must have been a bit drunk or a lot distracted when I made my slushie because it turned out to be a margarita lol, still yummy though.. Don’t you hate it when men don’t get your “shut the f….k up look,” then get all hurt when you actually tell them to. Would consider hitting the boys with the balance board only it just might put my back out lol. Bruce is now snoring in his chair, and the weather has just spat out a few big drops of rain so now it is humid again. Might go jump in the pool and have another slushie mmmmm x


    • narf77
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 21:18:59

      Yeh…men can be SOOO dumb at times! Just give Bruce a couple of Margeritas and he will soon forget about it :o). It’s not hot at the moment but so it shouldn’t be at just on 9.30 in the evening, but tomorrow is most likely to be hot again. Oh well, I guess we are starting to get used to it now :o) Have fun watching the fireworks (we don’t even get them here in Launceston, they did them 2 days ago W.T.F? that’s Tasmania for you! :o)


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