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Showing posts from 2011


And jolly good luck for the New Year!

OK. They are a bit moth -eaten, which is rather how my fortunes feel at the moment, but wish you luck anyway!  Leicht angenagtes Glueck! for my German speakers. I really, really want to believe in Luck in 2012, so daughter and I went out early this morning to hunt for wild four leaf clovers. I also made a lucky pig. Pigs are lucky in German culture as are chimney sweeps and lady birds. Pigs are considered lucky in China too.  I suppose if you were wandering through a snow -covered wasteland in the dead of winter and found a pig, you would feel pretty lucky too, if you didn't happen to be a vegetarian. It wouldn't be all that lucky for the pig either. Sighting a chimney sweep or a lump of coal is considered lucky in Scotland as well, what with those bracing winters.  I'd probably be happy enough at the sight of a plumber or any sort of tradesperson during the holidays here, not that I have need of one at this moment. On New Year we like to do a bit of lighthearted f

The post Christmas lull

Had a lovely lazy day yesterday, watching Soderbergh's Contagion, while everyone else went to Questacon. This traces the path of a pandemic, a suitably depressing topic for the post Christmas period. It has some big stars, but not a predictable happy ending. I like that. It makes it more realistic. Catch a bit of it here: Contagion Trailer by teasertrailer We also watched the seasonally appropriate What would Jesus Buy? with the Reverend Billy of the Church of Life After Shopping, by Morgan Spurlock, creator of Supersize Me and several short episodes of what's wrong with life in America. The one about what it's like to live on the basic wage was particularly moving, although as articulate, college -educated white people wielding a movie camera, the ease with which they landed low wage jobs may not be typical. Still, I don't think that catching a urinary tract infection in an unheated apartment was fake, nor were their extortionate hospital bills. Freedom in Am

The beauty of small treasures....

A long legged giraffe stands tall by the door  From the outside, this looks like a very ordinary 50's house and the interior spaces are quite small, yet some people have the knack of being able to transform bland spaces into something much more with just a keen eye and a little imagination. Inside, Tardis -like it packs in a lot more than can be seen on the surface and like a time machine it reaches back to the prehistoric past and forward to the science fiction future with a little fantasy and playfulness in between. I photograph the objects trying to capture a little of this, but the photos don't really do it justice. There's the juxtoposition of things. The high tech and the board games, the little groups creatively placed. The odd unsual thing. It reflects the owners' personalties rather well. There' s also a bit of a jungle theme going here. Elephants  and zebras wander over tops of cupboards And window sills And over doors

Boofy the Vampire Slayer

One of the things I sacrificed while packing was my shampoo and conditioner, partly to keep down the weight and also because airlines are inclined to make you throw away liquids in excess of 100 mls. No problem, I thought. At worst, I could buy some when I got there. As it turned out, that wasn't necessary. What with seven adults in the house, there were enough beauty products cluttering the bathroom to do the cosmetic industry proud and they nearly all professed to be cruelty free, organic etc. etc. (I would like to dispute the first!). The trouble was, that by the time I managed to seize my moment in the bathroom, I didn't have my glasses with me and with someone's else's clothes already lined up at the door, I wasn't about to go back and get them. Blindly, I groped for the nearest container. I have no idea what it was. It could have been hand lotion, moisturiser, bathroom cleanser or any of a number of other possibilities. All I can tell you is that (a) It


 It was a struggle but well worth it. Finally saw Melancholia. Here's how: Son uploaded the film to my laptop. The small screen was much better and I was able to pause it and have breaks. I also drank ginger tea which is good in cases of motion sickness too. If  you are in a cinema and have the same problem with cyber sickness, try sitting as far back as you can. Although the younger members of the family found the film a bit too slow as a disaster movie,  I liked the slow wind up and really appreciated the interesting cast, the strange light, the original script and the  non -Hollywood ending. I have become quite addicted to Lars Von Trier having watched his  series The Killing. It's too bad that so many of his other major films have the same problem. Will struggle on. On toys, there have been a couple of interesting articles and posts. A friend sent me this link on Facebook to point out that Lego is going pink and trying to attract the other 50% of consumers. Lego make

A bit of Canberra Street Art

I can not only identify with the caption on these gentlemen, but there is a certain familiarity about the body shape too. Truly a rennaissance. Someone is reclaiming public space. You don't have to be Michelangelo

Moving Pictures

Had the oddest experience last night. I had so been looking forward to watching Lars Von Triers Melancholia and here we all were sitting around the big screen at my son's place and starting to watch when about twenty minutes in, just as the plot began to thicken, I began to feel violently ill - cold sweat, nausea etc.  I ran to the toilet and almost threw up while everyone puzzled about what might have brought it on. Was it the chocolate cheesecake? The turkey? The bit of left over pizza I ate at lunch? No one else felt ill. Feeling a bit better, I sat down again, ready to continue. As soon as my son pressed the play button, I was off again. It was like Kryptonite. Eventually my youngest son remembered something he'd seen on Mythbusters and looked it up on his iphone. Surprise, surprise, I am by no means alone in this. This movie was awarded a 4 Star rating in terms of how many people it affected this way and there are plenty of others. In fact, about two Christmases ago, m

Alright, Merry Christmas then!

  One of the best gifts perhaps was the look of utter astonishment on the girls' faces when they came upon nibbled carrots and scattered peastraw mulch and the fairy dust where Santa's sleigh had stopped. We didn't actually see Santa, but we could see where he had been. And especially where the reindeer had been We also had some very funny moments during the carrying out of forfeits. Four members of our team had to select a Christmas related product to sell to one of the neighbours - they chose the reindeer droppings, beautifully boxed, and proceeded to go door to door until they had made a sale. Youngest son doing a lap of the street in a wrapping paper toga and a tinsel lei was also much appreciated by the neighbours as was a spirited rendition of  Jingle Bell Rock. Good to know that the neighbours are a friendly and tolerant bunch. You never know when you might need to borrow a cup of sugar. That's if we ever dare to see them again without a prevail

Reasons Greetings

  I pinched this from Alex Day's webpost and he hasn't replied to my request for permission. Will take it off on request. I think it sums up my own thoughts as well as those of the other member of the LAX (Let's Abolish Christmas) Club, though I would like to keep all the fun things, just not the consumerism, the obligations, the tinsel and the tack. I want my Atheist Pudding by Alex Day on Saturday, 17 December 2011 at 23:03 As Christians get ready to celebrate an event they stole from the Pagans with an open display of their chosen lifestyle, I have started to consider the start of an International Atheist Day. We could have banners in shop windows and street signs wishing us all a Happy Atheist Day. Atheists could send cards to Non-Athiests. We could buy them presents and expect them to do the same for us, even though we know they don't want to celebrate the occasion with us. Families could get together and cel

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas

Looks like Santa might have traded in the sleigh There are stockings hanging in the front window. I have a cold. There are Santas in the arcade and the queue in the ABC shop was so long, I gave up waiting. At home, the place looks like a bomb has hit. There is wrapping paper all over the floor and stuff I am trying to cram into my check -in luggage. Some sacrifices will have to be made. The computer? The books? Definitely not the pressies. I am a grandma after all. A few signs of life  down the road. Another addition to the Do People look like their Dogs? Someone else has fairies at the bottom of their garden, too And a missing turtle (same house). Hope you find your turtle! Another sign of the times, different house The banks here are in for a bit of opprobrium for not passing on the recent interest cuts. I haven't joined the party, because mine has treated me fairly well lately. I am not sure what they have done in the USA recently apart from foreclosing on mor

Summer Monsoon

The thunder rolls. The rain buckets down. We are having a summer monsoon. Serves me right for hanging the washing out. Sorry to keep going on about the weather. It just continues to be a complete surprise.  The tree ferns are doing exceptionally well.They have reached the top of my kitchen window. Soon it will look like a jungle. I was looking for an image from that doco that shows cities gradually being overgrown by vegetation. Couldn't find it it, but these films both look pretty good. Hope they are still on after Christmas. Interesting screen shot here too – says please embed! I also like the ad, though you may have something different on your screen. They presumably change according to what Google thinks your interests are. I wonder how they ever got that idea? Chinese Lady for Dating 10000 Chinese Lay await love, Seek one & Join Now! Hope I don’t give myself a communicable virus ripping that! Nor do I have any right to chu

A question of balance

I just clicked on that Coles Competition again and lo and behold, I now have two icons for Coles on my facebook page. I couldn’t delete them, so I have added two for The Ethical Consumers Group , in the interests of balance and to show that as usual, I am in two minds. I just have to go along with with Lisa Alther (Kinflicks, 1975) who said, "I happen to feel that the degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic." I do have to get my organic, green, free -range, recycled toilet paper from somewhere as I am not yet into crafting my own and I still buy coffee and canned goods there too. If we had an Aldi, I would shop there as they source 80% of their products from Australian companies. I do however, like it that Coles does home delivery. That means that about 130 people a day are NOT driving their cars across town to pick up their shopping and it saves time standing around at

Who needs Masterchefs?

Oh dear, I can smell another original culinary creation in the making. I have been trying to install the new flashplayer, wrapping Christmas presents and answering mail. I forgot all about my breakfast bubbling away on the stove. It was bad enough that I had run out of muesli, so I was making Russian millet with stewed apple. Well the apple is now caramelised, but I suppose that could fly with suitable prose. I doesn’t even taste too bad, but the house reeks of it.  Last week I accidentally poured uncooked rice on my chopped apple instead of muesli. The containers are identical. Shoved that lot in the microwave with a bit of water, some sultanas and a dash of cinnamon and another culinary masterpiece was born.  I used to be quite good at multi tasking, but am so distracted at this time of year. Now where was I? There's an interesting post on adbusters too:  

In the trenches

Catalogue outside the Dick Smith Store  Now there's the true spirit of Christmas, but I wonder whether we are sending our kids the right message? Competetive shopping anyone? Finally made it to Toyworld today but came back empty -handed. Apart from plush toys of which the littlest fairy has shiploads, there wasn’t much of a selection for the Under 1’s. I doubt that she will feel too put out. It was pretty scary though. A toy stroller there cost more than a real one and yesterday while I was looking in the educational toyshop, there was an iron and a microwave that cost more than the ones I use. This is a TOY stroller for Heaven's sake! Young fashion seems to be one of the few places doing a roaring trade Most of the big stores were surprisingly quiet. Only one person was on the checkout in Target and only three people were in the queue, not at all like the riot scenes on Black Friday (after Thanksgiving) when all the sales start in the US. I un