Drunk injured in bridge fall fleeing from sister
Friday, July 30, 2010
Drunk injured in bridge fall fleeing from sister
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I have just received my email version of the ‘The Australian Atheist’ which of course after 'Duck Monthly' is one of my favorite reads.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The smokeless Cafe Diglas. I am pleased to say that we were there on the weekend it it was very busy. Excellent.
I have been doing a bit of Asian cooking lately and find it tedious to cut the vegetables as finely as is needed for some dishes where the vegetables have to be only cooked very briefly.
You know the thing - you cook the dish and throw the finely chopped stuff in at the last minute - its’s like a garnish. Some dishes I use Shallots and Red Capsicums for this.
Anyway - I thought I should buy myself a vegetable slicer so that I could have really thinly sliced stuff - because I want my food to look as good as it tastes.
You know those things that are advertised on TV. There is a man and a woman and the woman watches in awe as a man reduces a mountain of carrots to a pile of finely sliced carrot shavings.
Next he tackles a kilo of potatoes and produces a pile of perfectly formed chips - each one a masterpiece. Give him time he could slice the Brooklyn Bridge out of a piece of Parmiggiano-Reggiano.
So I prowled the shelves at Interspar and acquired this very find piece of kitchen equipment. It is a German engineering marvel. On Friday night before starting to cook I decided to test it with a Capsicum.
Because I had high blood pressure my Doctor in Australia recommended that I take an Aspirin every day. This apparently reduces the risk of stroke. It also means that when you cut yourself you bleed a lot because your blood does not congeal as quickly.
It took me ages to stop the bleeding and there was an immense amount of blood - and it took me a long time to clean it up - it was everywhere. I discovered that I did not have any bandages so used almost every bandaid in the house.
I am now better prepared. I have a better understanding of how the thing works - and how fecking sharp it is - and I have a first aid kit that would happily grace the back of an ambulance.
The loss of a large part of my thumb has helped my weight loss program but exercise is less painful and messy.
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is where we are going cycling next week.
We had open originally to go cycling on a Barge/Bike tour from Amsterdam to Bruges but the one we wanted was fully booked and Cate had time constraints.
So I had another look and found the Bolzano to Venice trip Boat/Bike trip. It will be something of a challenge because we are going in the middle of summer and some of the rides are quite long.
Day 1 - for example - is 70 kilometers. Granted this is not long by Tour de France standards but I expect that it will be challenge for us during the first couple of days.
We are being joined by Gwenyth and Rachel. Rachel is super fit and it will be a doddle for her. She will be propped up in the bar drinking Chianti when we straggle in sometime later.
However, there is the option of staying on the barge and this could turn out to be a very a attractive option indeed if it gets very hot - which it should - because the time we are going is the hottest time of the year.
It’s not my fault - we have to go when Cate is available - which is almost never.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Cat door without flap.
It has been hot here lately. Bloody hot. Last weekend it was 37° outside and about 31° inside. The Air Conditioning works fine except when it gets really hot - then it gives up and starts blowing out warm air. This is not helpful.
At Cate’s insistence Rozalin called the AC man - again - who came and did the usual tests and said - basically - this is as good as it gets. He is accustomed to telling us this so we had a good laugh about it.
I am sure he has no AC in his apartment so it is probably difficult for him to feel much sympathy for us.
Cate says we should move. I - who packed and unpacked last time - said that is would be a bad idea and spent a long time making lists of reasons it would be too difficult to move. Not that my vote counts for much around here but I have forged the cat‘s paw prints on a petition begging Cate not to make us move.
Because I wanted the cats to have access to the terrace - but we cannot leave the terrace doors open when it is really hot - I made a cat door. This consists of a panel that fits between the two sliding terrace doors. At the bottom of the panel is the cat door.
I thought this was an engineering triumph but Cate thinks it is ugly. It is a cat door. It is supposed to look like a cat door. You cannot make a cat door look like an Alessi teapot.
It is by far the most elegant thing I have ever made because I have negligible carpentry skills so I think Cate is being unnecessarily critical. I have seen worse things than my cat door in the Tate Modern.
In fact when we have finished with it I may splatter it with cow entrails and old underwear and offer it to the Tate. It would go well between half a donkey on a stick and two tonnes of barbed wire coated with marshmallow.
The cat door works just fine unless I put the swinging flap on the door - which renders it unusable because none of the cats can figure it out. I have demonstrated it many times but just get blank looks from the cats.
Push it with your paw - just push it - oh for god's sake just push the damn thing - no with your paw - there is no point sniffing it - jesus wept just push it with your paw.
Muffin cannot understand it because she is 18 and has never been able to understand cat doors. In Sydney she would sit outside watching the other cats go in and out through the cat door - then she would meow plaintively to be let in and I would have to open the door for her. Pathetic.
I expected better from Sissi because she is clearly intellectually gifted. I will keep trying. I am looking online for cat training videos.
So at the moment we have to leave the flap off - which does not help when the weather is hot.
The city is pretty much deserted. It is always like this in July and August. The punters all go away - somewhere. Wherever it is I am glad I am not there because it must be currently the busiest and smokiest place on the planet.
Cate is back from her latest trip and will be hanging around for a month or so. The week after next we are going cycling in Italy. Why are we going cycling in Italy at the hottest time of the year? Well, firstly because it is the only time Cate had and secondly because I am a nitwit.
More about this next week.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Some sort of Australian Duck I saw at Blackheath a week ago - Maalie will tell me what it is.
I have had the feeling over the weekend that there are many people out there in pain. They are sick or they have suffered loss or they are just plain hungover.
Doesn’t seem like a good idea to me but perhaps there is a larger plan of which I am not aware.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
On Emirates just a common or garden variety Business Class passenger - as Emirates is not part of her usual airline consortium. Consequently when things go awry she cannot play the Austrian Airlines ‘Senator’ card to get special treatment.
This is not usually a problem on Austrian (Oh of course Ms Martin Senator - grovel) but Emirates basically farted in our general direction and said there was nothing they could do.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
There is nothing quite like the Blue Mountains in winter. In summer they are harsh and dry and brittle – but in winter they are soft and wet and woolly.
This is one of our favorite parts of Australia and when we lived in Sydney we usually came up here at least once a year to stay in a mountain cabin and go for long bush walks. The days would end with us sitting in front of an open fire with some good Australian red wine. Bliss.
Our favorite walk is where we are now in Blackheath and starts from about a kilometer away. It is a four hour walk and takes us down to the valley floor and along a crystal clear river winding between canyons and dense bushland.
The only difficult part is climbing out of the valley on the other side but we are always spurred on by the thought of a Steak Sandwich waiting for us in the Wattle Café.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This was not fault of the telecommunications companies but of the curmudgeonly mean bastards who rented us the overpriced sub-standard house in which we stayed – in the delightful community of Tamborine Mountain.
This is a wonderful spot behind the Gold Coast in Queensland and is an oasis of rainforest and wildlife with not too many houses – but with of course the obligatory street full of schlock filled ‘village stores’ stuffed to the gunwales with crystals, oils, candles, local artifacts, stuffed bears and – in this case - Cuckoo Clocks. (Cuckoo Clocks?). But every town in the known universe has this type of stuff and it is simply unavoidable.
Our house had potential on the Internet but proved to be unworthy of our patronage. It had no microwave, no clothes dryer, a blunt axe and – worst of all – no coffee machine. What sort of troglodytes would rent a so called luxury holiday house without a coffee machine?
The axe was needed because it was bloody cold and there was no heating except an open fire in the lounge room which we had to keep going so that we did not freeze to death. It was not unusual for us to go to bed fully clothed. There was plenty of wood but the axe was so blunt that we had to sort of bludgeon the larger pieces into burnable chunks.
There were also very few of the types of things one would expect in a house like this. There was a gigantic deck overlooking the mountain and the Gold Coast about 30 kilometers away – but no outdoor furniture and no barbecue. A snazzy sound system was installed – but was completely clagged. Any music that was played sounded like ZZ Top playing underwater.
I am guessing that the house was rented to a group of people who had a hell of a party and destroyed the furniture, barbecue and sound system and the owners lost heart and could not be bothered to replace any of this – but neglected to change their website to reflect the changed circumstances of the property from luxury rainforest villa to frozen equipment-free cabin with rooted sound system.
However, life moves on and we are now back in the beautiful house we also rented last year in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. It is a wonderful place in the bush with large grounds, lots of birds, wallabies and other wildlife. I am sure it has its fair share of snakes and spiders but we are not worrying too much about these.
But we should be careful because we come from a country where the most dangerous animal is a hedgehog – so we may have become complacent about the hordes of death-dealing creatures that abound in Australia.
I am pleased to report that PM Gillard has shelved the stupid Internet filter idea and has called instead a ‘review’. This is Polispeak for ‘this is a stupid idea and needs to be buried deep underground until people forget about it’.
Ms Gillard did have a complete brain snap about the refugee issue but I am really hoping this was a temporary lapse and not – as it looked like – a sign of insanity.