Thursday, April 3, 2014


Your arse in a glass is an expression my kids (James and Alana) inform me they did not know. Perhaps it does come from my youth, and a certain subsection of the South African population.

Still, it was true in the small hours of this morning. I awoke to the mysterious growls... of a bread-machine. At 5 AM in pitch darkness. I got up, and found the oldest - the one we brought from SA -was mysteriously mixing nothing. So I switched it off, thinking dark thoughts about electronic component decay. Went to the 'loo, and returned to hear a noise in a far corner of the kitchen. There, where Barbs puts the glassware to dry was the bread-machine ghost... with his arse in a glass. Well, a small possum his nether end in a big glass bowl. It being glass his little clawed feet were finding it hard going. I hastily removed the surrounding wall of glasses, before they got bust, grabbed a big plastic bowl (you remember how I was going on about the usefulness of bowls - Too right)and pushed it over Mr Arse-in-a-glass, trapping him against the wall, the way you might with a spider. I used a heavy bottle of sherry to anchor it in the vague hope it would not fall off and break if he made a bolt...

I seized the chance to grab a box, and baking tray (in the process making enough noise to wake Barbs)and slid the baking tray between him and the wall. Attempting to move the whole pair of bowls and the baking tray and possum to the box was interesting in the old Chinese curse sense. Inevitably it came unstuck, but more by luck than good judgement, I managed to shove the possum in the direction he thought was was escape, but was actually the box. In all of this, no glasses, no glass bowl, plastic large bowl, or baking sheet - or possum or even me, were injured - crossing the miracle thresh-hold

My now cross wife (she does not wake well) came and asked me what the hell I thought I was doing. Fortunately, the early morning nothing broken in the kitchen (they are clumsy and messy - both husbands and possums) one possum scheduled for moving somewhat further from the house, did, when she finally worked out what was going on, improve her natural tendency in the early morning to use cast-iron frying pan first and and argue later. This is just as well, because neither the possum nor I would live through the frying pan.

Enjoying having kids home, despite possums also wanting to enjoy them.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Time flies like knives, flruit flies like bananas...

The weeks seem to be rushing past at the moment... like they were just moments. I've been trying to write a Rats, Bats and Vats short for Conclave 2, trying to edit the next Heirs book, and coping with the autumn inrush of veg. All in all I am making a mull of all of them. I did do a trip up to NE river on Monday - which was remarkable for the lack of fish caught. I did have two flathead about 3 feet below the boat swim around my bait while we watched. Very entertaining -for them. We did get some Aussie salmon off the rock at the mouth to end an otherwise unsatisfying. I know there are good fish there, but I seem proof against catching them, except at the mouth - I think it has times and places of its own to learn.

Can you still believe anyone gets into a boat with me, without spare clothes? 'tis true, despite the unlikeliness of it.

James and Alana will over soon, which we're looking forward to. I have been trying to make biltong for them, but the humidity - not usual here (summer is dry, and while we have winter rain, it is also cool, so the air is not that humid) is giving us soggy sugar (even the ants are giving up, trying to carry it away) and slow drying biltong. Awkward because I need to dry tomatoes too.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The wonders of pinapple juice.

No this is not he 'the water of green pineapples and you have not slipped into Georgette Heyer Novel.

Whether it's just the 'the stones are out' or the antibiotic, or the pineapple juice (yes we're down to trying the strange) Barbs is doing much better.

I had one of those 'you should have stayed in bed' days yesterday to make up for it - tried to start the white car. Failed. Did have some wonderful pyrotechnic sparks when Barbs connected the the jump leads to the wrong terminals... anyway, no harm done, except to the tender nerves. was due to meet Bill at the Emita Church 8.30 to get the tide and get him some Abalone for his visiting family. Only somehow we got our times wrong, and he left before I got there... I noticed my tire was flat and going flatter as I watched... hmm. Personally I think the ABC might want to buy it as sitcom, or at least sink-lower-com. Aha! but we have 2 spare tires. Pop the jack under... and find the first spare is flat. Words are said, not many of them polite. The second one is not a lot better. Anyway I waited for an hour and drove very cautiously back, put air in and made a worried call to my friend... Who had decided I'd gone ahead and chased after me - come back to look for me, missed me. So it was a good 3 hours after the tide before I got in, to discover that some lowlife has even pillaged the undersize abalone off that spot. Really there were thousands there, and someone must have been stupidly greedy. Anyway, that's people for you. I blame some of the holiday visitors, but we do have a few local jackasses too. On the plus side they caught a nice flathead and I seem to have given myself really miserable sinuses - which is a plus in that that makes me less tempted to not work (yes, I have prepped the next lot of Biltong, and had an interesting epic getting the white car to start. Tow. Start. Die. Repeat( maybe 6 times). It has some kind of fuel issue, that just means it hates being left for more than overnight. Anyway, mostly it was cheap, and largely is reliable... as long as it goes every day. And it has a roo-bar, which the red ute does not. We're very patriotic. we have a red vehicle, a blue vehicle, and a white vehicle. Of course we planned it like that, and the white is the star performer. They all have issues, but all go.

Oh, had Yellowtail kingfish for tea last night. Barbs says she prefers flathead. We've had two yellowtail since I've been here, neither of which I caught. And about 1000 flatties. Hmm. This is not the way around it usually works:-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Barbs is home and we are still none the wiser as to what it is.

Norm's brother is here, and he wanted to take him to our dive spots, so we had a beach launch this morning - some moderate swell, and need for the maxtraxx - and then Norm left us holding the boat - I lost my hat in a wave, so maybe the swell was not so moderate - the hat was recovered and we were wet and the boat full of water, but not all dismayed. The joy of inflatable boats... We did manage our bag limit of crays, mostly around 1.8kg - so not huge for here, and one of about 3kg. We noticed the birds working while we had lunch, and Norm has a paravane he wanted to try - it caught 6 fish, the ordinary lure... none. It was interesting to see Aussie salmon, yellowtail scad (horse mackeral) and a small yellowtail kingfish - all caught in the same area, all feeding on the same baitfish I would guess.

The swell had shifted round and it was a pounding trip back and interesting landing. Interesting in that I thought we might just lose all our fish, abs and crays, if not the boat, but it was actually no drama pulling the boat up with the ute. Then I had to rush and fetch Barbs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm awaiting Finagle's revenge.

Well, I was nervous when I went for the test/interview. No reasons, baring our friend Finagle's modification of Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong, will, at the worst possible time). Finagle did his humble best crashing the computer system, letting me think I didn't have a vital piece of paper, but against the odds, we did win through. And yes, I got the same mark in the little test as my wife, so you are stuck with us. I thought his performance with my debit card at Tamar Marine more petty nuisance than his normal effort (I've got sinker molds and a new tank for the boat - you'd have thought he would have weighed the disaster potential of these and left me to it.) I did not break a leg walking up the gorge. The tea did not poison me. A peacock - despite being in the tree above us did not poo on my head or the tea....

So now Barbs has gone for her CT scan. Results not for a few days. Let's hope and pray this is not it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

citizenship etc.

The wind is blowing so hard that if you face into it, snot comes out of your ears... And I am flying to Lonnie, to do my citizenship interview/test tomorrow morning. Barbs has been real crook with what we hope is a kidney stone. If you're hoping its a kidney stone... She flies off on Wednesday to LGH to have a CT to check, so we're occasionally home at the same time. Let's hope it's nicer flying weather and she's feeling much better.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The fishing went quite reasonably, but not terribly productively (we got 17 flathead and 2 gummy + one I threw back because she was female and just size and we already had two, and I'm not that fond of gummy so 'productive' is relative) And managed for once an almost perfect launch and retrieval -As the sea was quite large - about 0.8 meter that was a good thing, indeed. It did make hauling the longline hard work - 2 sets of 2 lines is a lot of hauling a heavy boat into a pitching sea, and I did all of it. If I did more I'd get fitter and wouldn't whinge so much. Still, I was fairly exhausted when I collapsed into bed - too tired to shoot the wallaby we need. So last night I had another go -and the mist came down. I did see and shoot one, a small red - so 800 grams of dog tucker. That's not going to hold them long. I wonder how they feel about potatoes?

Writing proceedeth.