Thursday, May 31, 2007

Well, hello Dolly

I'm feeling very grown up at the moment. And snotty still, but that's old news. I'm feeling grown up because I've gone from driving this:

car after

to driving this:

Dolly the car

Actually, it's not so much growing up, it's blanding down. Until we can get byrd to do something tasteful to it in muted metallics (think of a subtle Japanese woodcut print). Until then, it just murmurs Welcome to the Burbs, Ms Duck as it swooshes around corners.

I'm ashamed of how much I enjoy driving this car. It's an 8-year old Holden Commodore Acclaim (VTII, if you care), and it has pretty much every mod-con -- except that it has manual windows, which makes me very happy. Electric windows give me the willies. How hard is it to wind a window down, bejeezus? And it's an automatic. I lost the quest to find a manual car. Manual stationwagons under ten years old just don't exist anymore.

We do a lot of long-distance driving, which is why we've gone for the big car. It will be the first car we've owned that tall Best Beloved can sit straight up in, whilst stretching his lovely long legs comfortably. And the fact that it's a petrol guzzler has strengthened our resolve to ride our bikes as much as possible, even when it gets crazy cold.

In my family we name our vehicles. It's a bonding kinda thing. My first car was Hilda the VW Type 3, then came Poppy the red Laser, then SubyRuby the wonder car and now... Dolly.

We had a debate about the name on the way to picking up the car. Bumblebee wanted to name it after his latest girlyfriend, which I vetoed (after living with at least three animals called Monica at the same time when he had a thing for Monica Trapaga); I suggested Gracie (Grey-cie? geddit?) but Best Beloved said that he quite liked Gracie as a name and didn't want to waste it on a car. 'What', I quipped naughtily, 'saving it for your first-born? Let me know when you find the right woman for that one'. BB replied 'If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.' Do you know which 'philosopher' said that? Dolly Parton. And people think she's just a big pair of tits!, which is a reading from the gospel of David Brent, of course.

We all cracked up, and whilst laughing, agreed that Dolly was an excellent name for a car. A few more quotes, a bit of singing to educate Bumblebee on the wonders of Dolly, and a car was born.

Meanwhile, Subyruby has gone to live with a friend who hopes to do her up (and strip her back to bare metal! cool! It'll be like a bionicle!). She can presently be spotted lurking near the Sydney Writers' Festival. If you see her, give her a wave for me. I had a lump in my throat as she drove off, I must confess.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bumblebee's musical education continues apace

While my brain is sludgy and it hurts to work, I might as well catch up on my blogging.

Here is the wonderous footie poster mentioned in the post below, designed by artistes Hoon and Lozza:

footie poster

Not something for the faint-hearted to hold up if surrounded by Bulldogs fans, but Bumblebee was unaware of these risks and no doubt brandished it proudly until it was surplanted by a GIANT INFLATABLE HAND. Ahem. Yes, yes, I know they're fun objects, but it was a TRUST issue, h'kay?

Now, when I was a kid I would have one ear glued to the pink cassette radio player (dead set ringer for the one in Muriel's wedding), hand poised on the 'record' button, desperately trying to catch new and groovy things to listen to when I wasn't listening to the radio. I'd end up with rough tapes full of the middle of songs, either because I would have tried to cut out the dratted DJ talking his way through the intro, or I'd have abandoned the radio for a loo break and had dashed back to press the button, and then I'd pressed the 'Stop' button just before the song came back from that false fade so many 80s bands loved, and I'd missed the end of the song.

Mind you, in those years I was listening to the local Townsville (Qld) station, and then whatever hick station in Orange (NSW), so these were never terribly cutting-edge sounds. Most of my thrills came from Kasey K (or whatever his name was) presenting the top 100 chartbusters on a saturday (?) night, and Molly with Countdown on a sunday night. I wasn't exposed to really good music until I got to Uni, and I wasted much of my BA catching up -- mostly in the uni bar, sitting near the juke box and going to lots of live shows.

What an embarrassment of riches my child has! He has just discovered that there is more to life than my CD and vinyl collection, and has taken to eating his breakfast to Jay and the Doctor on JJJ (I think he has a crush on Myf, along with every red-blooded Australian); lately he also discovered that I can download almost anything from iTunes (except Cold Chisel. I can't get any Cold Chisel. They're fighting the good fight, or else they have a dumb agent). We struck up a deal -- he gives me $1, I'll download a song for him. He gets $4 a week pocketmoney, so he thinks this is pretty cool.

So now I'll go to my computer and stuck to the keyboard will be notes like this:

the wight strips

For those without children, it says 'The White Stripes, Ickythump'. I think his music taste is developing quite nicely. [Later: check out Artie Fufkin's marvellous take on it here]

Last week he ran up the corridor and dragged me into the loungeroom, saying 'this one! something about flerrs!' It was Kenneth Bager's 'Fragment seven: Les Fleurs', which doesn't turn me on that much, but it made me sample the rest of the album (fragments from a space cadet) and I quite liked it. So we downloaded it and it's been our car music for the last week. Yay for Bumblebee.

So life isn't all discipline and snot. Sometimes we have a lovely time. Best Beloved isn't into music the way I am, so I'm glad Bumblebee has inherited my love of finding something new and fun to listen to, and it sure beats listening to 'Popcorn' on repeat for three hours, which was when I switched the radio on for him.

Trying to breathe


Children. Plague rats, the lot of them.

Bumblebee brought a doozy of a head cold home with him from school last week, and I had to keep him with me in the Book Stud for two days instead of school. I could have kept him at home, but staying at home means he sits around keeping warm, reading comics and eating nice things and I don't get any work done, and being at the Book Stud means that he sits around keeping warm, making things and helping put type away and eating nice things and I do get a lot done, plus students can come in and ask questions of me constantly, as they are wont to do.

ANYHOO, he has sweetly passed his lurgy on to me, and I have been a knot of headache and snot for days, and have taken to curling into a ball under my doona and re-reading Persuasion as much as I can, which isn't much, since there are deadlines to be deaded and cats to be fed. Luckily Best Beloved hasn't got it yet (heaven preserve us from sick men) but he felt the cold yesterday, which is an ominous sign. That man wears t-shirts in winter, and only feels the cold when he's sick. I can feel the household balance of goodwill swaying on the scales... which way will it tip?

Colonel Duck is coming to stay tonight for 2 days, which will either push us all into illness and grump, or may take the pressure off and we'll eat takeaway and de-stress and feel much better. We also have a New Thing in our lives that I'm not allowed to blog about until Colonel Duck has seen it, so stay tuned. It's not very exciting, but it is fun.

Speaking of goodwill... Bumblebee went to the Swans vs Western Bulldogs game at Manuka Oval on Sunday. It was his first footie game, and was taken by a dear friend and her son. I gave him $20 and told NOT to buy one of those inflatable hand things, but to shout everyone to fizzy drinks with the money, or if he wanted a souvenir, anything but an inflatable hand. I explained to him how I felt about useless souvenirs: I hate them as a waste of money and space and he has no room in his bedroom for anything new. They are short-lived by their very nature, and just make more poisonous landfill. I'd rather he bought a hat or a scarf, or just a sticker. As his class is exploring the idea of an environmental footprint at the moment, he seemed to understand my argument.

I had some art-school chums over for breakfast that morning, and they made him the best poster to hold up (I'll try to scan it and insert here) so that he could wave something fun around. I made a thermos of hot chocolate and gave him a bag of marshmallows to go with it, and he went off, yelling 'CARN THE SWANS'.

He came home absolutely fizzing with excitement; his team had won, footie was the bomb, and he was brandishing... an inflatable hand.

I hate those parenting moments. If you don't take them seriously, they don't take you seriously. We let him fizz for a while, he told us all the stories, and then when he settled down I sat him down and asked him why he'd done the one thing I'd asked him not to do. Of course, he deflated. Apparently the line for drinks was REALLY long, the line for fun things was short, and he'd just wanted one. (My friend had no idea he was going to buy one; he'd gone off to get a drink!) I asked what else there was to buy, and he didn't know, because he'd just seen that hand. That wonderful, big, red & white, inflatable hand...

And then he asked if I'd fix it, because it had already got a hole in it. Sigh.

I didn't fix it. I put it in the bin, while he sobbed. And he swore he hated me, and I let him rant, and then I told him how sad I felt at not being able to trust him with money. And then we talked about that for a while, and about the things we buy and why we treasure them, and whether we need to buy things to remember an event, or just buy things for the sake of them, and I think he started to understand. And then we hugged, and we were ok again.

Don't get me wrong; I love souvenirs, and I love momentos, but that boy has a room stuffed to the roof with... STUFF. And our house is overflowing with STUFF. And it was, essentially, a trust issue.

ANYHOO again, it was one of those learn-a-lesson moments, and he doesn't want to talk about the hand ever again, which is one of the reasons I'm writing about it. He's never going to forget sunday afternoon, and unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. I probably will forget about it, thanks to my brain like a sieve, and this is a good way to remind myself -- and him, when he's older and wants to read my blog (he will, because he's one of those people who likes to read stories about himself).

Ack, children. Plague rats, all of them. Now excuse me while I go and hack up something disgusting.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And while the Force is with us...

... congratulations to George Lucas for an idea just so crazy, it has sustained itself for 30 years, made him a zillionaire fifty times over, and has taken over my son's brain. And probably millions of other people's children's brains over the years.

Mind you, it seems like a lot of people have jumped on the gravy speeder. All those comics, books, toys, costumes, tshirts... sheesh, the opportunities are endless. And the links! I just read of a man who does a one-man Star Wars show. God, I live with one of those, complete with all the sounds and effects.

Yes, my master...

When Bumblebee plays like this, he's thinking of being a Sith. I'm thinking of George, rolling in all that money. May the purse be with you. And also with you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

They Refuse to be Victims

Bernie Slater and Julian Laffan, two very up and coming Canberra printmakers with their politics in the right place, have work in the latest exhibition at the ANU School of Art Gallery, Thresholds of Tolerance. They are part of a collective called Culture Kitchen, incorporating Australian, East Timorese and Indonesian artists, raising awareness of human rights issues in the Australasian region. The series of images, printed onto large (and portable!) white sheets using various techniques such as woodblock, screenprinting and stencil spraying, are titled We Refuse to be Victims.

We Refuse to become Victims: Human rights

They have just been profiled on triplej, and you may catch them talking on the radio over the next few days. If you are in Canberra it is worth a trip to the gallery to see the real thing and to see the video footage the Australian team shot whilst travelling through the region. The exhibition is on until 5 June 2007.

[cross-posted at the Book Studio blog]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Use the Force, Lord Mayor...

Bumblebee would think this story is perfectly reasonable... I wonder if Peter Adamson used it to communicate with his staff?

I am still alive, just finishing a few things. I'll be posting a bit more soon, with any luck.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Remember to breathe

I forgot to remember to breathe, and it shows, doesn't it, with all that crabbiness of the last few posts. I'm sitting at my art school computer, and I don't really have an image that I can post nearby, so I offer humbly some space...

... and my favorite find of today's crop of ebay searches: a name.


Isn't that a great name?

I thought it MUST be a pseudonym, but then I found an article written by him where he tells of creating a flotilla of pseudonyms to fill the first issue of his mimeographed zine (note to anyone thinking that 'zine' is a modern term). As if you could make up a better one than his own name! I am all curiosity as to what those pseudonyms were, and if I ever get time, will hunt down a copy of the first issue of The Nekromantikon to find out.

If anyone out there know anything about any of this, please share!

Monday, May 14, 2007

LAZY, peoples, LAZY

Time only for a brief list... I stayed up too late last night so I crave a bit of sleep tonight.

-- Mother's Day was memorable for a lovely breakfast in bed, a couple of cheesy DVDs as a present, and a choral rendition of the following lyrics, garnished with lots of hysterical giggles:

Diarrhoea... from Mum's re-ar,
It is cle-ar-
ly a dirty brown...

Diarrhoea... from Mum's re-ar,
It is cle-ar-
ly stinking up town...

Charming, don't you think? There were other verses but I couldn't distinguish them from the giggles. I think even the cats joined in. I must stress that the topic had nothing to do with me, my bowels are sound, it's just an attack of Mother's Day humour, which beats the hell out of saccharine sentiments.

-- We have spent an unhealthy chunk of our weekend looking for a new car. Apparently it is An Impossible Thing to find a manual station-wagon anymore. Automatic is the new black. LAZY, I cry. You're all bloody too LAZY to change gears anymore. We have resigned ourselves to driving a car like a dodgem car, but I won't go down silently. LAZY! And apparently many car manufacturers have abandoned their wagon lines in favour of all-wheel drives, because people think they are safer and they like being taller than the majority of cars. LAZY and SCARED. Phooey.

-- I've also decided that car colours are an indicator of how boring and bland Australian society has become under the Howard regime. Once upon a time we were all advised to have light-coloured cars for Road Safety, for Visibility. That's all gone to pot as a plague of black, grey and navy cars has taken over the roads. Shame, people, shame. We need a line of fresh oranges, greens, yellows, whatever gets people feeling ZINGY again.

-- And in the latest Public Service news, Best Beloved ordered a filing cabinet for his new office the other day. It arrived within a day or two, but securely locked. No-one had told him that you need to order the key separately. Classic.

I'm sure I wanted to type more, but I've lost the plot. Happy mother's day to all of you who aren't deliberately barren, and keep up the good work to all of you who are, especially if you're wearing the matching t-shirt.

Oh yeah! For the best literary fun in town, visit Ask the Bronte Sisters. My favorite is Emily. BB asked me the other day why Wuthering Heights hasn't been exploited the way all the Austen books have. My answer was that he obviously hasn't read the book, because it's not a romantic comedy or light-hearted drama. It has ISSUES, man, and big ones (not that Austen doesn't, she just gives them to you with a smile). He seemed quite intrigued by that answer, but sadly not enough to read the book.

I just finished Lionel Shriver's The Female of the Species (1987). Wow. Did anyone read that interview with her in The Weekend Australian? I haven't read Kevin yet, but I will very soon. She was GOOD.

Enough. Bedtime.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


bingo card

Tonight I went to a ripper little fundraiser for Craft ACT called the CRAFT ACT BINGO EXTRAVAGANZA!

Prizes galore, a nice crowd, and a caller who had the voice but sadly didn't really do his homework on the bingo calls... just five minutes on Google would have done the trick. Still, we did a bit of yelling back at him and at times he rose to the occasion with flair.

I sat at a table full of winning energy and luck. Two of our members won five prizes between them, and another member and I won something as well (a $20 voucher at the local art supply store). We all agreed that if any of us won another prize, we should all duck for cover as glasses would be thrown at us.

The people I arrived with ducked out to buy some nibblies as the games were starting, so I marked their cards as well as mine, and discovered that a keen typesetter's eye is a distinct advantage. When they came back I found marking one card a bit boring, so I moved to two, and by the end of the night, three cards, none of which were particularly lucky.

All of it flashed me back in time to when my late Nana took a teenage me to a bingo venue in Perth to join in on her regular game. She was a true professional, armed with her flat-tipped bingo marker, and at least four cards laid out in front of her. Her hand would flash back and forth, and she would join in to all the comebacks, because for many of the bingo calls, there is a traditional response, from whistling to cheering to chanting along. I wish I'd paid more attention to them, but I did have a few on hand tonight. I tried to channel Nana Annie tonight, but she seems to only be present when I'm doing a housework binge, not a gambling binge. This is strange, because she was the sort of person, bless her, that if she won at Bingo, would take the money and buy a lotto ticket with it. She must have spent the equivalent of a lottery win in tickets over her lifetime.

She was a classic nana, sending us bits of money in our birthday cards (these cards stopped as soon as she was bedridden; no-one else took up the habit, and my grandfather always relied on her to know the right dates), using Darrel Lea like a supermarket and sending us packages stuffed with lollies, and taking on the role of being shocked whenever we did anything outrageous. We only saw her every few years, because of the vast distance between WA and wherever we were living, but she made the trip as much as she could, and we returned the favour as much as we could. Nanas are always the cement in a family, aren't they?

Ahh, Colonel Duck will be thinking of Nana Annie tomorrow; he always manages to tell us wistfully sometime on Mother's Day that he 'hasn't got a mother anymore' and we mentally play snarky little violins for him, but at the same time tossing around a thought for Nana.

I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow -- there has been a lot of whispering about me between my boys over the last few days. It's usually pretty entertaining, so I'll keep you informed...

Friday, May 11, 2007

And now for something completely different

Bugger the budget. Look what Val made! Nice combination of form and content...

... and while I'm on to making, check out the subversive cross stitch flickr site for some heart- and cockle-warming crabbiness that just fits this week's mood . I want this one (as featured on the latest whip up post):

... and blimey, these are almost worth cutting my toes off for! (Curse my big clunky feet.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Disapproving Ducky

I'm feeling so sour about Australian budgetary matters and politics at the moment that I used AP's wacky webcam (I don't think she even knows it's on her new computer) to join the Disapproving Rabbits club. Horrendous, but then I'm not much chop without the distortion, so what does it matter? Desperate times need desperate humour.

Disapproving Ducky
I disapprove. And I will keep disapproving, I suspect, until after the elections.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Build it and they will stand empty

Just then (5pm news) on Radio National there was a story about how delighted university leaders are with the infrastructure money pledged to them from last night's budget.

The radio headline was BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME.

Build it and WHO will come?

I don't know about other campuses, but all ANU has done in the last few years is build buildings. I have heard university management admit that they have lots of money for buildings but no money for staff. Or fittings, for that matter.


I had to stop folding book pages for a minute because I was spitting in my fury.

Where is the money for people, people? Save teaching jobs. Hire more staff. Give students value for money!!!

This Government sucks. And so will the next one, probably. I want to move somewhere sane. Any suggestions?


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Remember to breathe

straight lines

She's cut down
On her lovers --
Though she still dreams
Of them at night.

She's growing straight lines
Where once were flowers;
She is streamlined,
She is taking the shade down
From the light

To see the straight lines,
Straight lines.

Suzanne Vega

Well, that's what was going through my head on Sunday when I looked up and saw this in the sky.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Overdue cat blogging

The marvellous fluffiness of Pavlov's cat made me realise that there haven't been enough cats on this blog, despite there being plenty of cat action around Duck's Private Jetty.

Look at them.

Mr Padge
Mr Padge

Mr Pooter
Mr Pooter

Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, would it?

But witness this:

cat spat gif

That's what happens when you watch them too much. They start showing off. All over the garden, all over the house. Sometimes we have to put them on their naughty chairs to make them ponder their behaviour. It doesn't seem to make much difference. Where's the Cat Nanny when you need her?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

An open letter to Spammers

Dear spammers

I have hearing from you a lot lately. Some of you are quite open about your intentions, others of you try hard to be inconspicuous in your attempts to winkle money out of me.

I'd just like to tip you off on something. Nearly all of my friends know how to spell, and those who don't aren't regular correspondents, and prefer to use the phone. So I can usually spot your ploys immediately.

I received this lovely one today:

Hello friend !
You have just received a postcard from someone who cares about you!

This is a part of the message:
"Hi there! It has been a long time since I haven't heared about you!
I've just found out about this service from Your WIFE, a friend of mine who also told me that..."

If you'd like to see the rest of the message click here* to receive your animated postcard!

And when you pretend to be a bank or a service like ebay, there's always a telling typo to tip me off, as well as the fact that most of your bank names don't exist.

I'm only mildly cranky about getting so many of your letters, although I'd love to be totally free of them (something I'm working on daily); I'm cranky that there are many people out there who do think you're real, because they don't -- or can't -- spot the problems with your spelling and syntax.

So maybe I should be writing this letter to the Government, to point out that the best tactic against spam is literacy? Spelling as a form of self-defence? It's so crazy it might just work.

Don't say I didn't warn you,


* new link provided by me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pushing some buttons

I'd like to share some scenes from a fabulous little show at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery called Push Your Buttons.

A badge show, featuring ten local contemporary artists: Al Munro, Barbara McConchie, Bernie Slater, Charlie Sofo, David Wills, Ivo Lovric, Lucy Quinn, Silvia Velez, Stephanie Jones and Waratah Lahy. They all made a heap of badges of their own design, and set up fab little installations, and then on the weekend they held a badge-making workshop (attended by many, including Ellis Hutch).

Forgive me for not going into this in depth (or favouring some artists over others), I'm chewing through my lunchtime here. But there is some pretty cool stuff:

Push Your Buttons: Wills & Slater & Velez
In the foreground here is David Wills, with his row of baby singlets; on the wall behind is Bernie Slater's life-size drawings of a Cronulla rioter and a detainee.

Push Your Buttons: Wills
Each DW singlet has a variety of badges. This is an example.

Push Your Buttons: Slater [1]
The drawn detainee wears real badges of blindfolded famous and ordinary people...

Push Your Buttons: Slater [1] detail

Push Your Buttons: Slater [2]
The Cronulla rioter (or maybe ordinary Australian bloke) has Australian flag pins on his body...

Push Your Buttons: Slater [2] detail
... as you can see. I really like these works.

Another favorite is by Stephanie Jones. She habitually works with children's lollies and domestic imagery, like bubblegum used to reproduce decorative railings on federation houses. In this case, she has made badges using those loveheart lollies as her basic imagery, and then used every euphemism for breasts and vaginas that she could find (well, the ones that would fit within the loveheart parameters) and then used the badges to write with:

Push Your Buttons: Jones

Here's a close-up:
Push Your Buttons: Jones
Hopefully you can read some of the words!

Push Your Buttons: Sofo
Charlie Sofo made categories of badges of all kinds, from vintage designs downloaded from teh web to comments on his favorite cultural icons, to more domestic ideas like from scraps of orange bag net and bits of his favorite shirt. In his installation there are things to listen to, folders to open, categories to explore and relate to. The bloke in the excellent jacket is making the most of his time with the badges, he's not part of the piece.

Push Your Buttons: Lahy
Waratah Lahy is another favorite artist; she makes very wry and affection Australian observations within her painting practice. These badges all incorporate flies.

Push Your Buttons: Lahy
I want this one, which is a fly on the National Library. I'm such a covetous wench.

Push Your Buttons: Quinn
Lucy Quinn, a printmaker, made her badges into a flow of consciousness:

Push Your Buttons: Quinn detail

Push Your Buttons: Munro
Alison Munro, another printmaker who sets up sticky questions about humans and nature, made odd bunnies which made my eyes go squiffy (in a good way). It's the combination of pattern and greenness.

Push Your Buttons: McConchie
Barb McConchie made weather patterns. The clouds are excellent, and so are the badges, which speak not only of earth's climate, but also our political climate.

Push Your Buttons: Lovric
Ivo Lovric pulls no punches with his observations about war and society. He used his badges like medals and chess pieces.

I just realised that I forgot to upload a shot of Silvia Velez's piece, damn. But you can see it in the background of the first image -- it's a peace sign, and each badge has a segment of drawings on post-it notes about peace rallies.

Finally, I'll give you a shot of some of the badges I bought from the show. They have bowls of badges for sale for $2 and it's been very tempting, so I've bought lots. here's a selection.
Push Your Buttons
Can you see the one that made me do a double take? It's the name of one of my cats, which is apparently an American euphemism for a vagina. I went home and apologised to Mr Pooter, but he didn't seem to mind very much. He is a pussy, after all.

Push Your Buttons is on at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery until 5 May. Worth seeing, if you're in the area!

Womanly blessings

O, wot a week. Busy as hell, thanks to the demands of the Bot and her anxious spouse wanting a number of her books to arrive in London before the glue is dry. I tried to tell them that the British Library wouldn't be so keen on it if I made hasty mistakes, but they're blinded by the light. I have been in the Book Stud every day since I escaped from the clutches of Mary Gilmore, printing, stitching and gluing, and thankfully have only made minor boo-boos, nothing to really stuff anything up. Phew. That batch is done, only 11 copies to go, and last tonight I celebrated that and the fact I'm not pregnant with a large couple of glasses of Aldi's wine and dark chocolate.*

The latter celebration is a silly and controversial one; I have been forgetting to take the Pill, and then when I ran out of it, I couldn't find my prescription and have been too busy to see a doctor, so the last month has been a bit dodgy. Of course, I figured my insides were too scarred and old to fall pregnant randomly (last time was thanks to a massive dose of folate -- it DOES work, ladies.) so we got a bit cheeky with each other without protection. Ahem. And my reward was a late period and a complete inner freakout on my part because I've just put my foot down about not trying for another baby until my book project was in the bag, if ever again. Ahh, nothing like a scare to get the adrenalin rushing, and it made me realise that if I HAD been pregnant, it would have been a very very negative experience, and possibly damaging to our relationship. Isn't it fun, being a woman? I've said it before, I'll say it again... roll on menopause. Sounds like a big stretch of freedom to me.

Also, the pressure builds to get another car. Our poor old multi-coloured Suby-Ruby has a lot of things wrong with her, including the fact that her suspension is so buggered that she's chewing through tyre tread like white bread. I had a flat tyre last week in Civic, with AP sitting demurely in the car; quite an experience! Luckily a stray NRMA van came moseying past trying to find a park to do some banking, so he stopped to help much earlier than the operator had promised. I know, I know, I could have changed the tyre myself, but what the hell do I pay all that membership money for?! i can't do everything in this world, although I do admit that I seem to try.

I was going to drop in a taste of a great exhibition on at the moment, but it's turned out a bit personal, this post, so I'll write it up separately... remember to breathe, won't you? It might help you live longer (thanks, Zarquon!).

*$2.99 a bottle. Geez we're clarsy. Have I ever mentioned that both Best Beloved and The Albatross are big fans of Aldi stores? Each for very different reasons; but at least they've got something in common beside love of Bumblebee. Gives them something to talk about when they see each other, anyway.