Monday, January 30, 2017

Good luck to you all!

I am in the process if trying to get fit and lose weight. To do this I have joined the YMCA gym downtown and have a personal trainer. I go three days a week and he works me very hard indeed. Today I had a very hard workout and was quite pleased at the end of it. 

His name is Kevin so he really should be Australian. But he is a nice man and is probably religious and may be even a (shriek) Republican so I sort of nibble around the edges of politics. But he has gay friends so that is a good sign. 

I rowed and pushed and pulled and huffed and puffed for a solid hour and was buggered at the end of it. (Buggered in the Aussie sense i.e. very tired -  not molested).

I thought to myself that I must be losing weight by now and weighed myself when I got home. I have gained four pounds. 

So perhaps my fat is turning into muscle. This does not seem likely when I look in the mirror - but who knows. 

And surely there must be a time in life when people should not have to look at themselves in full length mirrors. 

Honestly this does no good at all. When people get to my age they should come and take the mirrors away. They will say - hey - you look like a diseased walrus covered in barnacles - and everybody sees this when you go out - but there is no need for you to see this horrifying sight every time you go to the bathroom.

So we have replaced your mirror with a full size picture of a naked Donald Trump. This will certainly make you feel better about yourself. You will think every day ‘well I just must look better than that’. And you probably do. 

After the gym today I shoveled snow. I love shoveling snow. It is very therapeutic and I think about lots of good things while I am doing it. It was a crystal clear day and very cold and it was just marvelous. Nothing could be heard except the sounds of our two insane dogs chasing each other and growling and yelping. 

The new presidency it so much better than I had anticipated. I expected some amount of amusement - punctuated by bouts off dismay - but fuck me swinging sideways it is a complete catastrophe. 

I think the current presidency was designed by the Italians. They have turned roadside dining into an experience so surreal that people do it just to be there and say they did it. We traveled in Italy a lot and could not wait to get to the diners. 

It is like a vortex. 

Imagine a room absolutely stuffed full of hungry people. They all want to eat - and food abounds. But to get it you have to:

Fight your way to the food counter to see what you would like to buy:

Then fight your way to the other side of the room to the cashier to place your order. (remembering precisely what you want).

Pay for your food and fight your way back to the food counter - clutching your receipt - to buy your food. 

It is a whirling shrieking mass of throbbing and sweating humanity and sometimes people get spun off the edges and end up in the car park sobbing their hungry hearts out. Are they strong enough to try again?

That is this administration.

It is not a circus. A circus is organized. This is a total mess of uncoordinated rubbish perpetrated by  ideologues and fools who have no idea what they are doing and have no idea how it should be done.

I think we can say with confidence that what is happening now is going to fuck America for a very long time. 

We will not be here then - but good luck to you all. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy Invasion Day

William has booted me into life again. But I do indeed use Facebook most days - especially now that we have the orange man to talk about. 

But the lack of posting is not all my fault. There are those dogs - and many other things also intrude on my ability to blog. 

My main preoccupation over the last two weeks has been doing Cate’s US tax return. This is a truly horrendous process and takes much more time than it should but Uncle Sam wants to know many, many things - and wants a piece of everything. 

Then I have had to worry about our trip to Mongolia to see our relatives and attend a hair cutting ceremony for my nephew and then planning for our trip to Patagonia where Cate will walk 250 kilometers in 5 days. I shall think about her while I lol about in the nearest hotel. 

But back to Estonia. My $9.99 purchase of an Estonian language app was pointless. Everyone - and I mean everyone - speaks very good English. 

However we did have trouble at the supermarket where we went to get supplies. Most things were obvious except for butter and we ended up with cream cheese. However this did prove to be quite good on toast. It could become a habit. If you happen to be in Estonia and need butter - it is ‘voi'. 

We were much more successful than we were when we were in St Petersburg where we bought salt instead of sugar, Yoghurt instead of milk - and dust instead of cereal. We never did find out what it was - it may have been wheat bran. 

Tallinn is quite wonderful - as is Riga. Vilnius is not really worth visiting but it was only a flight of an hour so we went to have a look. There are some fabulous Art Nouveau buildings in Riga - look up the images on Google. 

So 26 January is Australia Day. 

This celebrates the landing in Sydney Cove of the First Fleet on 1788. This contained the first white settlers in Australia. There were 13 ships including the ‘Scarborough’ which contained Frederick Meredith my GGGGG grandfather.  

He was not a convict and was a steward to an army captain. One of his wives - and my GGGGG grandmother - was Sarah Mason - and she was a convict - arrived on the second fleet.

So white Australians celebrate Australia Day. 

The indigenous people not so much. They generally call it ‘Invasion Day’ and it represents the day when - after 40,000+ years undisturbed occupation of the wide brown land - they commenced the process of being marginalized and exterminated.

Think American Indians. 

So of course I always celebrate Australia Day - but with a tinge of regret about what happened to the aborigines. Cate and I have aboriginal friends - and the hurt runs deep with them. 

But back to the Home of the Brave.

Now I had thought that sure he was a conman, a serial liar, a cheat, a misogynist, a narcissist, a racist and a gold plated buffoon but since he was inaugurated I really am beginning to think that he is in fact insane. 

This is not the behavior of someone with all his known failings. There simply must be a kangaroo loose in the top paddock for the truly bizarre behavior that is now a daily occurrence.

And it is not just him - they are all doing it. They are all as mad as cut snakes. The things that are happening are simply mind boggling. 

But it is a lot of weird stuff and I wake up eager to see what the crazies have done - and will inevitably do throughout the day. 

You can find me on Facebook:

Phillip Prideaux

Friday, January 13, 2017

I blame the dogs

I blame the dogs. 

I have said it before but having two dogs is not like having one dog twice. There is a multiplication factor and it is exponential. The problem is of course that it is too cold for me to leave them outside for very long lest they freeze to death and I am sure I signed something saying that I would not do that. 

So they are inside a lot of the time and stick to me like velcro. I do not mind this if I am doing something in the kitchen because they just hang about but when I sit at my computer they both sit next to me and look at me mournfully. Georgia sometimes rests here head on my knee and stares up at me. I know just what she is thinking.

'Oh I am so sad. I have a wrangler who does not love me. I am treated so badly in this house it makes me want to vomit on the carpet. There - I did it. See what you made me do!'

So it is difficult to blog - or do anything much on my PC. Others would cope but I cannot function with dogs staring at me and infecting my brain with their negative thoughts.

Of course the only advantage with the cold is that the dog poo gets frozen and is easier to deal with. I have a small pick axe to separate it from the snow.

Anyway - PK and Gwenyth arrived on time and we immediately set about demolishing the 6 dozen bottles of Austrian wine that I had bought. I got the wine shop’s last stocks of Gruner Veltliner. Nectar of the gods. 

For Christmas Cate wanted some of the usual unfindable stuff - I am talking pomegranate molasses - but I got it from Amazon and produced it triumphantly.  Cate and Gwenyth said oh we made that dish yesterday we don't need that now.  

What a surprise. 

I doubt that we will ever need pomegranate  molasses again so will store it in the basement along with the crushed butterfly antennae, the smoked goose toenails, the grilled eel ears and the peanut butter flavored smoked maple syrup.

Christmas dinner was a complete disaster. The turkey was inedible. And that was the best bit. 

We left to go to Tallinn in Estonia and got to Indy airport bright and early. Up until 20 minutes before the flight was due to leave it was shown on our United app as being on time. Then we are got a message telling us that our flight is 100 minutes late. WTF! 

Of course it got even later so we got to Newark well after our flight to Frankfurt had left.

We engaged in hand to hand combat with the United service counter at Newark to get new flights. It seems from what we went through that this is the first time this had ever happened. Oh my goodness I am not sure how we fix this. Let me look at the computer - oh is is not working very well today (surprise). 

We got hotel and food vouchers to stay at a gruesome hotel at least a half hour away by shuttle. We drove through a ruined landscape that appeared to have been carpet bombed. 

The hotel should have been called 'Grizzly Towers’ or 'Bog Hollow’. There was no bar, no restaurant and no room service. But there was a bar in the hotel next door - and it closed in 5 minutes - so we ran there and bought 3 bottles  of warm wine.

We got a pizza delivered and washed it down with plastic tumblers of warm wine. Not exactly what we had planned but it got the job done. 

We had a day to spend in Newark while we waited for our evening flight. So we asked what we should do in Newark for a day.

'Go to New York' was the answer.

To be continued.