Friday, October 31, 2014


I knew the levels of absent-mindendness had reached an all time high when I skewered some sun-dried tomato and cheese on a tooth-pick (I always some minor form of tapa with the vast daily alcohol consumption (pre-tea liquer glass of sherry) - usually a handful of olives or some asparagus or a slice of smoked sausage, a few cray legs, or fried oysters. They come off the land for free, and I enjoy doing it.) and I had appreciative sip of the toothpick jar and put the lid of said jar on my glass. Ah well. Winter is creeping away on leaden feet, and we're heading into the more adventurous time of year (when the water isn't quite so cold). Barbs and I have had lousy end to winter - her being sick, and me less so, but I have done my shoulder in - a sort of weird rotator cuff injury that is driving me nuts. It aches, and doesn't like me putting my arm above my head to sleep. Guess what... that's how I sleep...

I've been -at glacial pace, working on a bunch of projects, most of which were under time/expensive bit needed halt. (I use the money I get via Smashwords for this sort of spend. It's outside the budget, extra. It's also not usually very much! Anyway, Stardogs helped a bit there, and carefully calculated purchases happened, and I'm now waiting with bated (not baited - I usually managed to go half a day without eating that.) breath for the bits. The resin for LED flounder lights has got here, and James is hopefully embedding those. They should run off a couple of smoke-alarm batteries, for a long time. As the motor-bike battery we use, usually has a fairly finite life, and is heavy too, I look forward to this - if we get a few windless nights.

The outboard project - I have an elderly Evinrude 35 which Bill gave us after his miraculous tip find (Someone emptied out a garage of recently deceased old guy, and there was a 50 attached to the transom of a boat with a rotten floor... the boat was a wreck, but the motor, though old in years, had only been used thrice. Now I have a little 9 HP on the Zoo, not really enough to get her up (she's rated for up to 50 - but that's WAY too much). A 35 is a slight overkill, but should be very fuel efficient. Only... it's forward control - not suited for blow-up boats. So I ordered a tiller control for that model from a outboard scrappy... only the forward control is a different config. So we're a few steps back. The spare fuel tank and hose have been bought, and I'm goingto rig it up in a drum of water to test it. Doubtless disasters will ensue. The trailer to get the boat to to the water easily without needing the big bad wolf (to go huff-puff) -and the towing wherewithal edge forward too - I've drilled the holes in the hitch, put bolts through (it is welded, but welding is not good enough), bought and put a safety chain on. Cut the arches for mud-guards, and the supports for same. James and I put on the tow-light fitting onto the blue slug. Alas the blue slug has a buggered rear light - and while the trailer might pass, that would cause trouble. So a new light has been ordered with the Smashwords money.

More sausage skins have been ordered - the wallaby+pork fat sausages worked very well. No you cannot place sausage orders. I thought I had a wallaby in the garden last night (Wednesday woke me, barking. Like sleep is so un-valuable to me right now, anyway.), and was gallumphing around in my undies and gumboots
and a rifle (honest, it's fashionable out here) - but the silly moo was barking at a sheep in the laneway outside the fence, which by some stroke of luck I figured were wooly before I shot one of them. Might have the sheepish cries of alarm at seeing an Australian thus undressed that saved them. I've ordered a swivel for the rifle so I can put a strap on it - make carrying and walking easier, if the wallaby won't come to me.

My other extravagance has been another hose-pipe, seeing as fire season is creeping towards us as sure as summer. And in the meanwhile I could water veggies with it (we have two, but they're both too short to actually cover the entire house.

Work continueth on the getting ready for the container which will make me a workshop, and the roof between it and the other container, a place for the boat and ute, and nets, longlines etc.

Other than that, the only news is that CHANGELING'S ISLAND - the contemporary YA with some fantasy elements that I set here has sold to Baen. I'm in the final stages of putting up my cosy whodunnit Joy Cometh with the Mourning - which is a fundraiser for the church that'll bury me, money well spent, and just sorting the cover for Paddvissie - which is MG coming of age story. And I'm working on the next Bolg tale - which includes what I suspect will be my two favorite ever sentences... "It all began with living the dream. Waking your bank-manager at dawn, with intent to do GBH."