Thursday, September 13, 2018

If its not one thing...

Ah the wonders of modern technology...

Or rather - what the?  I wonder about modern technology.

We recently received new phones - because the old phones are ancient - like TWO YEARS OLD which means that they are past their use by dates.

V's phone actually decided that about 4 months ago and the screen went black never to resurrect.  He has been limping along with a phone from the ancient early teens counting down the days to late August.

My phone was working well - if you count having to connect a microphone for phone calls because the internal mic doesn't work - which sounds innocuous until the phone rings and you have to find the earphones with mic, untangle, connect and answer within the timeframe allowed - it often doesn't.

So anyway, finally I got around to ordering our new phones and they have arrived most promptly.

Thus prompting me to do what has been on my to do list since early May...  Find my way through my labrinth of passwords back to an old email address - and thus, to the portal that is this blog.

Hello blog, you old beggar.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bath R-ant

So I was having a bath.

(no, not for the last 4 1/2 months - although there be former flatmates who may attest that I have attempted such in the past - I was doing other things, like trying to remember to put all of my passwords in a safe place so I wouldn't have to do the whole find myself online again malarky I go through every quarter or so to update my blog)

As I was saing, I was having a bath.  I do like a bath.  I like a long bath, a warm bath - a bath you can relax and read in.

The book wasn't that crash hot, but Paris was in bed (hooray) asleep (miracles) and I didn't have any work needing my attention that evening (hallelujah).

I was teetering on that precipice of deciding whether the book was worthy of persevering with or not.  I am old enough and have wasted enough time on reading to be fairly ruthless regarding what is worthy or not - it doesn't just rely on literary merit (heck, I don't mind a bit of trash in my voracious diet) but also on whether I actually can be bothered with the main character - and she was getting on my nerves in the first 15 (crucial) pages. 

However, as I said, water warm, no humans in need of me - teetering.

When I was pushed - by an ant.

I know!  Me too!  What was an ant doing in my bathroom - let alone bathtub!!

Apparently, finding my neck rather tender...

I grabbed him (or her, really, isn't it?  We actually had an Attenborough thing on ants today, and they're all girls) - so, I grabbed her and she was HUGE!!!

Well, probably not that big, but big enough to shriek at and fling - into the water beside my knee.

Double eek - I didn't want to condemn her to death - just because my neck had got in her way doing whatever she was doing in my bathroom - and so I tried to sort of swish her to the side.

Funny thing about physics and waves and water - that which swishes, swishes back, and so the more swish I applied, the more back towards my knee she came.

I then tried to push a wave towards the end of the bath, and at first it seemed to work - she went past the knee and calf area, and was almost at ankle-entry point when the swish-back interfered again with my cunning plan.

Not only did she swish back, she swished back quicker and on the crest of a wave, it appeared!

When she was back to almost knee level, I dropped the whole "don't want to condemn her to death" stance for the more selfish "don't want her taking me down" viewpoint.

I threw down the book and grabbed the washer - and in the ensuing mayhem, LOST SIGHT OF THE ANT completely.

She wasn't in the water...

She didn't appear to be on the washer (although my eyesight is dodgy at the best of times)...

Dear god, I hoped that she wasn't on my body hiding out somewhere?

I frantically washed and emptied the bathtub, calling for V - who failed to respond (probably because it was yelled at a very low level, so as not to stir Paris - and probably because I yelled it at normal Jeanie-range, which is not always at normal V-hearing range).

I eventually dressed with dread, fearing that every fibre on the surface of my body would ping to the presence of the ant at any minute.

I think I may be showering for the next few months...

Anyway, that's my excuse - what's yours?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Apparently a celebrity arrived at (every) Shopping Centre in the local big smoke over the weekend.

I am afraid I am fairly firmly on the "Humbug" side of the ledger when it comes to the whole success story of Santa-marketing strategies.

Don't get me wrong, there are some truly lovely things about Christmas, but they ain't the jolly old man in red malarkey (in my opinion).
I will tolerate - and I ask that the rest of you tolerate my lack of the enthuse.

Luckily (?) my children have not inherited my attitude.

Don't get me wrong, there will still be no Christmas Cards of my kin on any red-trousered knee.  

(Well, there may be, as 'Salina is now a legal voter and she got some other rights thrown in with the birthday as well, so while I may HOPE that there is no knee activity of any sort of Christmas Card she may choose, I have to accept the lot in life that comes with the price.

But I am pretty sure that it will not feature any birds, fire or Santa suits.)

Both of the girls have a terror of the strangers dressed up as Santa.

I am pretty sure that I need NEVER worry about Paris breaching the 4 metre zone around such dangerous creatures - that is not based on intuition, she is quite verbal in what is not an acceptable request even when it has never been (and unlikely to ever be) requested.
 I was going to be the mother that was honest with her child and would NEVER foster the fairy-tale, and thus not build the song and dance routine that seems to accompany the whole performance.

Initially, I was unwittingly aided and abetted by my mother-outlaw, Baka, who presented the 13 month old with a "Singing Santa" -it was a scream.  Quite literally.  Salina only had to look in its direction to start screaming, let alone insert the batteries and turn him on to sing and dance along to her hysteria.

I was talked into terrorising her again at two - the only difference is she had really learned to gain control of her reaction and put some POWER into it.  Some other little child thereupon received the joy of Christmas through the delights of the Op Shop after that.

However, when 'Salina was three - when 'Salina was three I was advised that she was "going to marry Santa Claus as she loved him so much".
I mean, I know that, as a mother, I will break my children's hearts throughout their childhoods, but that was a very big crossroads moment for this mother to chose the path of least resistance.

As she is the eldest of all of the cousins, 'Salina still "believes" because she knows the true value of Christmas - stay schtum and ye shall receive (the gratitude of my siblings and their spouses) (not me, the original grinch in the beginning of this story - still under this fun loving exterior).
Paris, on the other hand, interrogated me with evidence and theories of the non-existence when she was only 5. 

Ever the thinker, she mysteriously changed her tune (after frank and earnest discussions with 'Salina) and I was advised that her new policy would be to believe in whatever I want her to believe.  I think that she too has realised the true value of Christmas - stay schtum and ye shall receive.  She is one of the youngest - she doesn't need gratitude.
And whatever you do, don't get me started on that bloddy Elf on the Shelf. 

Out of my way on the 22nd December, folks - that is my designated Christmas shopping day.  Tra-la-expletive-deleted-LA.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Baka's Kolaca, Golden BB and time March-ing on...

(This post comes with a warning of a possible Irish influence - Irish Cream, to be sure... but that is March for you.  Not always exactly what you expect, and possibly not all of what you may need - but its what you get.)

Tonight I am attempting to concertina a little time...

You see, when Baka taught me this recipe, the most important ingredient always stressed was TIME.

And time I do not have - due to time on the weekend expanding and overflowing its bounds. 

(The weekend was a glamorous, glittery destination filled with of fine cuisine, fine-tuned teenagers, fabulous feasting with fantastic people (frantic, fairy fiersome foes and friends navigation for the 7 year old), and a festival for (technically) my longest-serving friend (True, there were also incidents with hammers, horses, heroics, histronics and hugs in the intervening years))

Ooh boy, was Paris weekended out! (The one window I had to get ingredients for a luncheon tomorrow slammed shut by a sleep-deprived, over-stimulated, post-afternoon-napped doppelganger of Paris).
(* this post was not sponsored by Arnotts - unfortunately - however a special at the supermarket this afternoon meant the absolute need for such a sponsorship was negated somewhat.  Note to the US especially - you can't get these over there, and your Kolaca is resultantly very expensive - finding plain sweet biscuits in a rectagular shape was a mission over there that I am still  recovering from!!)

Which toppled the dominos well and truly.  In my mind, I had this orderly progression of the steps to create the perfect imitation of Baka's Kolaca.
Just by being me, my bar is already far lower than the standards maintained by Baka in the creation of the cake.  When she first met me, she advised her son that he was to treat me like a snowflake.  However, once she learned of my rather slap-dash approach to perfection there were words exchanged in Hrvatski that may not have been always referring to my qualities.
So tonight, all I had to do (after getting Ms Paris to get past that whole "I'm not tired" song and dance routine and settled into the ten-foot-under slumber that is the first half of her night) was make the chocolate cream (cool it for several hours) layer up the (cooled) coffee-dunked biscuits and the (cooled) cream, melt the icing and spread and refrigerate overnight.
When you start time is after 9 and you expected finish is WELL after your bedtime, might I suggest that investigating your newly acquired liquor over ice is a most excellent way to assist in the cooking process?

It helps when you realise that you didn't apply enough vigour to the early stirring of the cream mixutre to avoid the requirement to delump for the whole million years it takes to get the right consistency and add the chocolate et al.
It helps when you realise that the last of the fantastic (cool) coffee has been demolished and you need to speedily cool a fresh instant for the layering.
It makes snapping the biscuits to fit the layers less perfect - but, ah well.  Baka won't be having any of this.

It makes spreading the melted chocolate layer smoothly that much less important when they will set before they spread if you take "action" shots.
Mmm - now, who can I get to lick the bowl...

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Great Glitter Explosion 2017

This post shall not be littered with photos - I shall expect you to use your imagination - as long as it constantly throws glints of gold from every angle, its working well.

Allow me to preface this with the first world acknowledged fact that young girls do like a bit of the glit - well, all young girls who I have birthed that is true for, anyway.

And we all know there is never "just a little bit" of glitter, is there?

So yesterday, we saw out the end of Summer with a little craft before bedtime - a pinch of gold was used to accessorise the odd colouring in, but all in all it was relatively contained - if relatively equates to across the table, on the dining room floor, around the rubbish bin and traipsed through the house.

But relative is relative.

Last night, Paris was slow to go to sleep.  I put it down to it being hot.  I put it down to being melancholy at her sister starting her new life far away.  I put it down to her fidgeting.  I put it down to her needing to go to the toilet.  She took an age to wash her hands post this reminder.  Hindsight would have cued the ominous music at that point.

Then she started crying, and voiced her fear that the whole school would laugh at her.  I did my mum thing and lay down with her and talked her around from the anxiety of anticipated bullying and mean girls and how to win the schoolyard skirmishes and positive approaches to the new month and resilience and by the end of my little talk, even I was feeling like grasping hold of life anew.  Go me!!!

I could even feel glitter between my teeth when I was getting ready for bed, and I did notice that the bar of soap had a very bright sheen.

As I said, relative is relative.

We are currently breaking Paris of the habit of crawling into our bed and taking up 70% of available real estate EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  Until recently, our mattress was extremely uncomfortable and truth be told V and I almost raced each other to nab hers when that moment occurred in the wee hours of the morning.  However, her area requirements are growing AND we bought a more comfortable mattress, so we heralded change in this area to go with the changes in every other area of her life this year.  It is an ongoing process.

She went REALLY well last night - only one 3:30am sneak in for a cuddle and return to her own bed.  I was very chuffed at her and vowed to myself that the promise of scrambled eggs was as good as cooked.

When I had finished my morning rituals including the promised eggs, I went in to waken her for the start to her new day, the new month and the new attitude to life, and...

I awakened a GOLDEN child.  From her eyelashes to her toes, there was glitter.  The trail of glitter across the books at her bedside (and strangely, bottle of nail polish.  Huh?), pooled throughout her bed and piling underneath the bed belied a saga of a little girl who had a glitter nailpolish desire after lights out, and how it went so HORRIBLY wrong.

The poor darling.

No amount of showering, scrubbing and empowering discussion would erase the hue, the tone and the fear of eternal chastisement from the THEM at school and she never, ever wanted to leave the house again.

It was a VERY LONG MORNING.  The eggs helped a little.  The promise of school swimming today had torrential repercussions.  There was the leading with the front foot lecture (where the title of this post comes from).  The negotiations required were very delicate, pivoting precariously at every juncture.

When we got to the classroom this morning, she was slightly buoyed by the greeting of one which didn't SEEM to be too mean.  The teacher had just dealt with one child broken down by the lack of her swimming bag, and greeted Paris with "well, at least you aren't crying and you have your togs, hooray!" 

I advised her of our morning and she remarked "you look quite glorious yourself" to me.  When I told her of Paris' big fear, she deserved every shekel of her salary when she responded "Oh darling, they won't laugh at you.  They will be jealous.  You look FANTASTIC!"