Monday, April 28, 2008

Passion Fruit

The passion fruit vine has a new spurt of life on it again. I'd say it had started for the season but it hasn't actually stopped producing fruit for over twelve months.

Last time it took off like this my husband gave himself passionfruit poisoning. Who knew they were a citrus fruit. Well we do now. (I'll leave the effects of over consumption to your imagination, but I don't think he'll be eating them again.)

This time I'll be making jam and freezing pulp to store excess, not leaving them on the side for my husband to poison himself with.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Boys will be boys..

Another interesting day, in the sense of the ancient Chinese curse.

Child #4 has been ill for two days with a high temperature. I knew it was viral and held off from the doctor but this afternoon decided I better get some one to look into his ears etc.

I made the appointment and they said that if I got there in the next half hour the doctor could see him straight away, or the next appointment would be tomorrow. Thinking of another sleepless night I said I could make it, mentally crossing my fingers that all the lights would be green and that no large slow moving vehicles would get in front of me. We officially live about thirty minutes from the doctor. It was doable I tell you.

I ran around the house collecting clean clothes for small children, that was when I found the cat. The cat was cowering under a bed. I wondered what was wrong and gathered her up, child #4 had apparently come around for long enough to padlock a six foot chain to her collar. So that was five minutes calming the cat, finding the key and unlocking the padlock and reprimanding #4 within an inch of his life.

Now for child #3 who had to come with us. He had disappeared. I found him waiting by the car and my eyes knew something was wrong, but not sure what. Oh well twenty minutes left to get to the doctor and we're off.

Through the door of the surgery and to the counter. I announced who I was, and who the child was, and wondered why the receptionist was staring past me. Oh well. I took a seat.

The doctor called us through and I carried child #4, who was now in full dying swan mode, in calling #3 to follow me.

The doctor started to speak and then looked past me to #3. Ah he said. The sound I made was a sort of UNh? I mean, I was carrying a sick weeping child in my arms, why was he looking at #3.

I whipped round and looked carefully at child #3. He smiled . OMG....OM double God, "What have you done!" I screamed. He has coloured his teeth in with a red marker pen. All of his teeth, bright red.

As the water in his mouth has got to it he has developed small blood like dribbles from his mouth. OMG..

Taking a deep breath I explained that the ill child was the one I was holding, the other one was just ....well, he's just, Shrug.

I am happy to report that a large dose of antibiotics seems to have perked #4 up so much that he is driving me demented with his energy, having slept for two days he has plenty in reserve. Number 3's teeth will take a while but scrubbing them every half hour or so seems to be reducing the worst of the staining.

Reminds me of a time when child #2 allowed the next-door-neighbour's daughter to colour her face in, all of it, with a green marker. Luckily that was totally washable or she'd look like a mini Shrek.

Into Scary Territory

I have just submitted a bid for freelance writing work. Scary stuff for me and outside my comfort zone. I've written plenty of in-house stuff, now for the world.

I've been writing on Helium for a while, but it isn't going to enable me to work less in my day job which is my ambition. Eventually the chicken book and the recipes for the dairy & gluten free will get turned into real books, perhaps, but until then I need to hone my skills.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I've been feeling ill

I haven't posted much recently, because I have been a sick as a parrot, a parrot that's eaten something that severely disagrees with it!

My first question on arriving at a new location is always " Where's the toilet?" This was beginning to wear a bit thin...The library actually gave me the toilet door key when I arrived last week, to save time, and the doctors surgery told me I had about five minutes before the doctor was save coming out in the middle of the consult?

I was sent for an allergy test....I have my doubts about this test as it is non-invasive. The test is based on the principals of Chinese medicine and acupuncture, electrodes and stuff. Unconvinced I sat down and the tester did a control reading, all was well. She put the first test substance in and leant forward, tapped her machines, shook her head and replaced the test vial with something else. Still nothing, she leant forward and banged the machine a little harder.

New test substance...bells, whistles and flashing lights...that was more like it. Apparently not , apparently this means that the substance is something I am not sensitive to. This happened far too infrequently for my liking.

The upshot is that I am unable to eat any dairy, wheat, pork, nuts or yeast ( and a few other things). That would make my favourite snack of a cheese sandwich a no go then, and spaghetti with cheese sauce, and lasagna, and three cheese ravioli, and bacon sandwiches....As I look back over the things I have eaten this week the reason I have been so sick has been abundantly clear, maybe.

Today is the first day of my new healthy diet, and we will see where four weeks of no dairy, wheat, nuts or yeast gets me.

It is likely to get me arrested in the first few days as I am something of a cheese addict and will have withdrawal symptoms. You know, unreasoning psychotic rage, mood swings and the inability to hold a conversation with some one I don't like without telling them so.

I have plenty of recipes to try, and re do that fit the bill however and I'm going to post them on my recipe page so I can find them again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Help lines...again

Today I had to ring a government department for some help....I know that was an oxymoron to start with. They have a freephone number , very good, and when you dial it they tell you to hold. One of their customer service reps will be right with you.

Yeah, and the rest...well after five minutes I got to the automatic switchboard thing , you know, press one to be cut off, press two to be told to ring some one else, press three for free abuse, press four to go to the back of the queue, press six to hear the options again. ( I was tempted to press five to see what happened.)

I selected press three, as I figured at least I might get to talk to some one. Oh no, it's not that easy, I got a new choice list. Press one to go back to first menu, press two to be cut off, press three to report your neighbour , press four for free abuse. Ok! I pressed four.

A new menu, press in your customer number....I haven't got one....oh no, no options for not having a customer number. I sat in silence hoping for help. A calm voice said "you have not entered your customer service number, if you need help press one", I pressed one...and got the first menu back again.

Getting increasingly desperate I shouted into the phone " Please , I just want to speak to some one" There was a silence a faint click and a voice said " You have indicated that you wish to speak to some one... That is not an option."

I sat stunned and staring at the phone, how many people are driven to shouting exactly what I shouted into the phone that their voice recognition soft ware recognizes the phrase, and they have a response set up!

I pressed five. A voice answered, "Hello," I said, ( eventually, after getting my breath ) . "Can you help me?" .

"No." said the voice and hung up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've got this rash......

Those are the words that strike fear into my heart at the moment. People keep coming into the shop and saying , " I've got this rash..." A few seconds later I hear one of the girls say that they'll just get the pharmacist. I can tell by their approaching speed the age, sex, smell and general appearance of said rash sufferer.

Silently I scream "NO NO Show it to the doctor", but to no avail.

A decription just won't do, they insist on showing me, young and old, male and female, smelly...the lot. Please, please show the doctor not me. I don't get paid enough for this, really I don't.

I have seen boobs and bums and young and old alike, vests, T-shirts, nappys, lacey underwear and sagging grey boxers... Please no more.

I am left muttering "try this cream" whilst trying to avert my eyes and look interested but not too interested.

With my luck Brad Pitt would come in the show me his rash, and put me off for life. ( I'd tell him he caught it off Ange, or maybe George..)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Agricultural advances

The police here have had a good week when it comes to busting pot growers. They've seized quite a lot of crops.

One was growing on an island at a popular leisure spot, another was adjoining a remote camp site at the same leisure spot, and one was growing in amongst a farmers cane crop.

The police comment....We don't usually get many seizures at this time of the year, the weather is too wet for the marijuana to grow. The larger than usual seziures this year reflect better growing practices by the marijuana growers, enabling them to grow their crop all year round.

There you go then, advances in modern agriculture are benefitting every-one.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

faulty phone ...again

The phone lines went out at work......again...this morning. Today the phone lines went out in the entire suburb, including a large shopping centre, which is unusual , it's usually just our shop. I reported the fault in our shop to telstra, no sorry, I attempted to report the fault.

I dialled the fault line ( from my mobile) and got an automated response. Press one if you want to give us money, press two if you want to give us new business, press three if you want to tell us how good we are, press four if you want to be put on hold for fifteen minutes and then cut off. I have dealt with these automated systems before, I pressed "one, I want to give you money" .

Immediately a bright chirpy voice enquired how much money I wanted to give them and by what means. "Terribly sorry', I said, " I must have pressed the wrong button, I want to report a fault." The chirpy voice became less chirpy, sour even, and responded that I should be on hold, not talking to her. I responded that in the past this had led to an automated voice telling me to hold for service, some bad music, and a dead line. "That's right "she said , "it's the fault line."

I explained I didn't want to book a fault, but report one. Oh she said, obviously I didn't have a fault since I'd called her. I explained I was on my mobile and wanted to report a fault on a land line. This she grudgingly accepted. I told her the number and she tapped it in, muttering under her breath about having to change screens etc etc.

The next thing I heard was an automated message telling me that the fault had already been reported , and that I could expect normal service to be resumed at 7.30pm on Tuesday. ( I reported this at 8.30am Sunday).

Obviously telstra has operated a monopoly in our part of the world for far too long, the sooner we get meaningful competition the better.

The tip about automated switch boards always works though, I always press the button they advise you to press if you want to give them money. They answer that a lot quicker than any of the other lines.