Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do we eat Grasshoppers in Australia?

I have been hot on the trail of Rozalin’s suggestion that the squeak was probably the water heater. On the basis that there is only one moving part on this monstrous beast - which sits menacingly in the corner - I have let some water out of the valve thingy – which is probably called the overflow valve in English but in German may, or may not be, a Wasserkocher Ventil.

Logic and the German language do not seem to be willing participants so it could be anything at all.

This seems to have quietened it down a bit. It is still squeaking – but with less enthusiasm and less frequency.

I have probably saved us from a major catastrophe by doing this. The squeak may have been a warning that it was going to blow up and level Landstrasse – although you would think it would do something more useful than squeaking every 10 minutes or so.

How about a siren or a shouted warning Achtung! Vorsicht! Ich werde explodieren!

In Bangkok Cate has a hotel room the size of an apartment with its own lounge room, dressing room and spare bathroom. Of course the Internet doesn’t work – but that is usually the case everywhere she goes. But still – it’s at no extra charge.

Today she will charge out into the steaming heat to do whatever it is she does on these trips.

She tried to explain it to Muffin and I once but we both nodded off before she got to the good bits (if there are any – which I doubt).

When Burne and Jan come in October we (and Melissa) are going to spend a week visiting the World War 1 battlefields in Belgium and France. This will be a trip of epic proportions and careful planning is required.

Unfortunately I have been put in charge of this process but will do my best. As we will be driving I cannot mess up any train or plane trips – but there will certainly be hotel bookings that could be buggered beyond all recognition.

I may get Melissa to check these for me.

I know that you will all be fascinated by the plans so will keep you informed.

Miss Snow Mountain is going to Brazil next week to look for an apartment and will move there permanently at the end of June. This means that Muffin and I will have to break in another German teacher and we are not happy about it.

Fortunately we don’t have to do this until we get back from Australia at the end of July – at which time of course we will have the new additions to our family and Muffin will have some new friends.

Incidentally – not that anyone at all will care about this at all – but this was the first time since I have been following the Tour de France (about 20 years) that I would have been able to watch it in daylight hours.

Of course we are going to Australia the day before it starts so once again if I want to watch it I will have to stay up to the wee hours down under.

One year I would like to go to Paris to watch the finish on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées but don’t imagine there will be much support for this from Cate.

Crossfields Australian Pub in the city advertises that:

‘we serve exotic titbits such as tender ostrich and kangaroo steaks or fried grasshoppers’.

Grasshoppers? – has any Australian ever voluntarily eaten a Grasshopper in Australia – is there something I should know?

Incidentally I checked the site meter and note with some relief that the number of readers of the Blog has dropped away significantly and – based on current trends – will soon drop into single digits.

This has been part of a very deliberate and successful ploy to make my life sound as unexciting as it really is (although not to me – I Love it!)

Now – if you would ALL stop reading I could stop writing and can get on my cycling, learning German, watching naked ladies with hoops and talking to Muffin.

I am counting on your support – don’t let me down!


  1. well, glad the squeaking quieted down.
    now, now, you could not possibly stop writing the blog, otherwise I wouldn't know what you guys are up to anymore, and surely would never find out what Cate does when she travels... also, where would my coffee breaks disappear to if I wouldn't have a decent blog to follow? And in my time management training today I not only learned that my time management problems were not caused by me, but also that it is important to take breaks, to keep up a decent performance!

    Grasshoppers: well I tried them once at Crossfield, but wasn't convinced, didn't taste of much and I ended up having numerous legs stuck between my teeth. But the kangaroo or ostrich burgers are great!

  2. Well I read almost every day but don't comment all the time. As my time here in Vienna draws to a close I will have less time to read but I do enjoy your funny quips!

  3. Should we somehow psycho-analyse your not so subtle insinuation that you are writing only for us poor wretches who take pleasure in making your life miserable by stopping by here five times a day? ;-)

    Please note:
    My kids tease me all the time that I am so not funny. So!

  4. Wow - If Merisi stops by 5 times a day that means I am ALREADY in single figures.

    I regret to advise that the Blog is unstoppable.(but I often wish I hadn't started).

    However, while I am clearly getting down to the hard core (i.e. poor wretches) I will do my best to keep you up to date and entertained.

    Merisi - Ask your kids 'What do you want - a comedian or the best damn duck eating photographer in Wien?'

    Don't expect a helpful reply.

    PS Rozalin - I did some more water letting out and the squeaking appears to have stopped. Watch this space.

  5. I was curious as to the grasshoppers so I had a look but couldn't find any info specific to Australia. I did find you some nice recipes from Uganda though. Let me know what you think.

    "Grasshoppers are usually collected at dusk, using lamps or electric lighting. They are collected in sweep nests and placed in water for 24 hours. After 24 hours, they could be boiled or eaten raw, sun-dried, fried, flavored with onions, or used in soup".

  6. KP's grasshopper suggestions win no favour with me! But I thought Australia had emus, not ostriches so am a little confused. Was disappointed that there's no crocodile on the menu.

    You'll be pleased to hear that I've just moved your blog's bookmark into Jim's News folder so you should get a second reader from this IP address. He always complains that I keep him from reading your blog, but that's never been true. Anyway, I have to share anything that makes me chuckle or laugh noisily.

  7. Visit # 1 :-)

    Glad that peeping stopped.
    Keep an eye on your water heater's pressure! ;-)

  8. Hmmmm..........there is still an occasional squeak but I am keeping a close ear on it. Yes...Ostriches..I missed that. There is nothing you could do to a grasshopper that would make me want to eat one....unless...chocolate coated perhaps?

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