Sunday, 31 December 2017

Big Bang, No Fireworks

There I was, innocently sitting in front of the computer up in the study this morning when this almighty BANG from the other end of the house got me out of my seat quick smart. Sounded exactly like a bird hitting the window, only a bit louder, so wondered whether it was the kookaburra that’s been terrorising the neighbourhood, flying at our windows and rapping like fury at his reflection. He’s been one seriously disturbed bird, thought I’d investigate, but as soon as I headed up the passage I immediately realised that wasn’t the cause of the noise.

A distinct burning smell reminded me that about thirty minutes earlier I’d put three eggs in a pot on the stove with the intention of having hard-boiled eggs on hand for salads and egg and lettuce sandwiches. Now I’ve boiled pots dry before, but being greeted with an egg explosion which covered every horizontal and vertical surface in the kitchen, then landing as far away as the dining room floor, table and window sills, and even making it through the doorway into the lounge room, that was some explosion.

Twenty square metres of egg debris. I guess the good point is that they were hard boiled, so the cleanup, though lengthy, was pretty straightforward, and spurred me into doing the post-Christmas pack away the decorations, take down the cards and vacuum the house. Even yesterday’s dishes in the dishrack had to be done again to remove the eggy residue….as well as the kettle, the toaster, microwave, mobile, newspaper, pot plants, kitchen door, fridge, you get the picture.

Blowflies were having a field day, trying in vain to penetrate my fly-wire fortress as every door and window was opened to disperse the smell. Couldn’t really understand what the attraction was for them, it’s not like I was cooking meat, but maybe all they need to stimulate their gastric juices is the burning of anything food related. Thought I’d reward them by dumping what I collected in the dustpan out in the backyard for them to pick over at their leisure, as I certainly didn’t want it festering away in my kitchen bin for another week.

Contemplated putting the eggy mess in with my kitchen scraps which usually end up with my friend’s chooks, but that felt distinctly cannibalistic and stepping over the line as far as the fair treatment of our feathered food providing friends was concerned. Probably wouldn’t faze them in the least, but at least my conscience is clear.

So as far as this New Year’s Eve is concerned, I’ve found you don’t need fireworks to finish the year on a big bang, though in much the same fashion as confetti keeps turning up long after the honeymoon, I have a hunch bits of stray shell might continue to surface from hidden crevices for a while yet.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Would you like a Facelift with that?

Felt sure when I stared in the mirror this morning I would look years younger, but not to be. The little crater I’ve had on the top of my noggin this past month which started out as a slight bump before it was unceremoniously removed, turned out to be a Basel cell carcinoma with unfriendly cells still lurking in its depths, so further excavation needed. The crater was about to become a canyon.

Had prepared myself well, getting my hair cut an hour beforehand as I knew I wasn’t going to front up to a hairdresser any time soon looking like I’d had brain surgery, plus a new cap to hide it all so I didn’t scare any innocent Christmas shoppers with my Frankenstein’s monster head.

In the process, discovered a new meaning for the word undermine. I’ve always thought about it just in behavioral terms, such as discounting or belittling someone’s efforts, or placing someone in a bad light so their integrity is brought into question and their reputation tarnished.

One definition though actually does mean to excavate, which is obvious when you think about it, so in my case the skin specialist had not only undermined it a month ago, but had essentially under-undermined it as he now had to dig deeper. Seems my education has been sadly neglected by not seeing The Incredibles, as the doc proceeded to fill me in on the exploits of the Underminer character.

My haircut changed shape somewhat as my scone was prepped, turning me into a medieval looking monk with a bald patch on top so the deed could be done. Now there’s not exactly any fat on your head, have plenty distributed all over my body, but unfortunately none up there to soften the sting of six local anaesthetic jabs before we could even start. After that it was plain sailing, a few strange noises, not quite sure what he was digging around with, but when the stitching up process arrived, that’s when things got interesting.

Also due to the lack of fat on top, getting the skin back together after creating a darn big hole brought with it a whole new sensation. The needle was going in and out, hate to think what life was like before anaesthetic, and as he worked his way along the open-cut mine with his expert needlecraft, everything suddenly went tight. This picture instantly came to mind of an eighteenth century woman (or whatever century it was) being laced up in one of those torturous corsets till she can't breathe.

Was I getting a bonus instant eyebrow lift, or maybe a mini facelift? Whatever was happening, it certainly felt like it could only be a good thing, just so long as I didn’t end up looking like I’d been caught in the headlights with a permanent stare of shocked surprise, or had been botoxed and couldn’t move my eyebrows.

But the mirror doesn’t lie, face looks the same, just as old as it did yesterday, no smoothing out of wrinkles. I have a pic of the outcome, as I knew it was the only way I would be able to see the doc’s handiwork, but thought it best not to share it. He did a good job mind you, but it’s not my best angle. My little experience under the surgeon’s knife for health reasons certainly convinced me I’d never go through the full enchilada voluntarily just to improve my appearance.

Will have to simply age disgracefully.


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Winter Solstice

It might be the shortest day of the year, but I’ve been up for more than seventeen hours. By rights I should be tucked up in bed by now, but seeing as I forgot to turn on the electric blanket an hour ago, I might as well use the time wisely, or at least fill it with something while I wait for the bed to warm up.

Not unusual to wake up two or three times a night, so managed to roll over and check the clock this morning just before seven, enough time to drag on some clothes and head out to take in the winter solstice sunrise. 

A sharp crescent moon with a superbly bright Venus beneath stood out boldly, vying for attention as the sky gradually lightened. Their impact faded as the pale glow on the horizon became more prominent, and as the sun crested the hills beyond, my surroundings took on new life.

Dry winter grass glowed, welcoming the warmth. Magpies left their nesting places, taking up residence on the stately dead eucalypt to greet the day with their musical morning song, and the mountain took on a faint blush of pink.

My morning walk inspired today’s offering in my daily ritual of haiku writing.

Haiku # 211

Sun, Moon and Venus
this winter solstice morning
good morning, goodnight

Clouds gather, air cools
reminds us of what’s ahead
on this shortest day

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Home Invasion

I like my house. It’s more than just a roof over my head. It’s the place I retreat to at the end of the working day, my haven. The bag is dumped on the floor, the kettle switched on, and I feel embraced by the warmth of the sun pouring in the windows. I feel cocooned, safe and at peace with the world.

In the last few days however, this peaceful existence has been undermined. I’ve had to share my space, not with a friendly visitor, but with at least two dozen unwelcome invaders. I rarely eat meat, so I know it wasn’t my cooking that attracted them. I also know my fortress is virtually impenetrable, but there they were, two flies zooming around the lounge room the other night. Not blowflies, just normal house flies, which I thought was strange given the cold temperatures outside. Had they snuck in for extra warmth?

Dispatched them forthwith, but when I came home from work the next day there were several on the dining room and kitchen windows basking in the sun, one in the bathroom, another in the bedroom, then as the sun made its way around to the lounge room even more appeared.

My detective skills concluded it had to be an inside job. Louie the Fly obviously had something to do with it, but it was Lou Lou who had caused this current predicament. Somewhere in the past few months some dear little female bearing her bacteria laden maggot producing progeny had alighted somewhere in the house, hiding her collection of eggs or whatever flies do to propagate the species. I don’t know what the gestation period of house flies is, but whatever was lurking unseen tucked away somewhere nice and warm and cosy had now borne fruit, and I have a fly graveyard scattered all over the house as grisly evidence.

Thought I’d seen the last of them yesterday, but there in the bathroom this morning were two more, who didn’t last long, and another two in the dining room when I came home, so I’m not heading round with the vacuum cleaner until I’m convinced the invasion and subsequent carnage is over. At least I’m thankful they all didn’t hatch at once. Twenty-odd maggot boxes in one hit circling overhead and dive-bombing would’ve been a bit much.