Monday, December 19, 2005

Merry C and Happy NY

This morning I received a nice invitation to buy Viagra online, from Demographic F. Cellophane.

This will be my last blog of the year. I have two days and nights of solid work ahead then we drive to Devonport, get on a boat to Sydney, get off and drive to Canberra, rejoice in the birth of the Messiah, drive to Melbourne, get on a boat to Devonport and drive home.

So I hope you will all have a nice break from routine, somewhere you like with people you like, and don't eat too much. Go for a walk and when you get back there will still be plenty to pick at, that's my advice.


Cheese camera

Marcus was crafting this morning. I gave him a tray out of a chocloate box and a few other things. He taped the tray to a sheet of paper, held it in front of his face and said "Look - its a cheese camera". Then he explained it wasn't really a camera. it was actually for hiding behind so people can't see you. He said offhandedly "I don't know why people call them cheese cameras".

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Shanes 16 d Sisters of Sincerity 15

The Shanes' finest hour. A tight tussle with the old enemy. Blown open when a lucky shot knocked the jack into an off-target clump of Sisters' bowls, suddenly they were six up. Backs to the wall. Plucky resistance. Spirit of Anzac all round. Five down when the bell rang for last end. Best hope to salvage some pride and cut the margin.

All Shanes stood up under pressure. Your correspondent, Hunter, Dave - we all delivered good solid shots, nothing amazing though. Suddenly we were holding 4 bowls and only needed to improve a tad to tie. The Sisters' no 3 put her last bowl in the gutter - choked. We held five - good enough to tie.

Our skip stepped up and got his bias wrong. As his bowl scooted at 90° to the intended course the Shanes each retreated into our inner worlds of calm in our own way. Hunter smoked furiously.

Their steely skip Geraldine had defused bombs of this sort all night and I expected she would steer them home. Her first attempt was a cross between a draw and a drive and missed the jack by a whisker. Our skip got back on the horse, set his jaw and delivered a quality bowl that gave us six, good enough to win if Geraldine failed to demolish the whole shebang with her final bowl.

Time stood still. All other matches were over and the clubhouse was full of people waiting. Geraldine gave it her best shot but under pressure her bowl went wide, failed to connect with even one of ours so the six points stood. We had snatched V from the Js of D.

Once again, bowls, Australian Lawn Bowls, was the real winner.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bogged blog

Blog bogging down presently due pressure of work. Will save time leaving out prepositions. Sounds like Superman vis a vis kryptonite. Must finish Western Front book, CD-ROM before Christmas. Otherwise family wave to me bye bye from boat to Sydney.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Some goats, some raspberries and a ukelele

We visited our good friend, neighbour and goat farmer Melinda yesterday for brunch. I am a big fan of goat kids and always find them friendly, happy and just that little bit mad. The boys loved them and Marcus wanted to gambol in their paddock. Melinda lives in the narrow strip of South Hobart on the western side of the rivulet at the base of a nearly-vertical hill, and goats are probably the only animals that would be happy in this particular precipitous field. Even they have been provided with little ladders to help them get up and down.

Melinda has an excellent crop of fat raspberries and she made us pancakes to wrap them in. Michael found a ukelele and was hard to seperate from it, even to play with the goats. I went outside with Marcus at one stage and then saw, through a window, Michael attempting to play Melinda's cello with her special cellist's screwdriver. We smartly reintroduced the ukelele and there was no more trouble. He strummed it, he hugged it, he talked to it. The good thing is its exactly the same as the one already put away for Christmas.


Marcus is a keen and talented goalkeeper. When we play soccer in the backyard we only have room for one goal, so one of us is the keeper and one takes shots. He likes the diving about, so he usually contrives to stay in goal as long as possible. Our "goal" is a long upturned table. Our ball is a soft foam thing he was given before he could walk. I ping it at him from a fair way out, and he leaps about like a demented antelope. Obviously if it hits the table, its a goal. "No, that's not a goal - it bounced off" he'll say.


Marcus has really taken to a show called The Way Things Work, which is set on an island populated by people and benign wooly mammoths. We think (and hope) he was quoting this program when he bellowed at Elf "Get moving, you shaggy beast!".

Two lumps

Marcus got into an altercation with his friend Campbell at school on Friday. Then as Campbell tried to jump over him he collected Marcus with a sandshoe to the eyebrow. Caroline the carer did a fabulous job with the ice pack, and what was initially a golf ball threatening to split, was only a mauve shadow the next day. Caroline needed the ice-pack so Marcus and I went to the soopy for frozen peas.

It so happened the school Christmas party was on the next day. It coincided with torrential rain, so it was a bit like downtown Hong Kong - wet, steamy, crowded and manic. [I have never been to Hong Kong.] Santa had sweat streaming off him. He had presents (smuggled in by the parents) for all the kids. It went for about an hour and Marcus was 3rd last to get his loot, but he was very good about it.

Then as we were assembling ourselves to go home, Michael walked into a table and smacked himself just-not-quite-exactly where Marcus had. Caroline fetched the ice-pack with an air of resignation. He scared us by going very pale and not breathing for a little while but he shrugged it off very well. He has a smallish lump and is scamping normally.

Yoghurt and pencils

The breakfast stuff was on the table this morning; cereal, two-fruits and the tub of yoghurt. Michael is a big, big yoghurt fan. Usually theres also a wide range of junior arts and crafts materials, but we tidied the table on the weekend. Marcus got three-quarters of the way through his cereal and said "I've had enough - I want to do a drawing of a monster". He hadnt even looked around for the bucket of drawing things when Michael asked politely "Put pencil in yoghurt?"

Marcus composes

Guest blogger Elf writes:

After playing a particularly moving and 'sad' sounding piece of music on the piano with Chris, Marcus said
"That was about a beautiful flower that was picked and died and the person who picked it was trying to put it back together but he couldn't. It was very sad because the flower didn't want to die and didn't need to die."

A little later, after another pretty play: "That was a bell that woke up the flower."

There followed a few other pieces (undoubtedly in response to our great encouragement) among which were the explanations: "That was about a pickle who was lost." (Upon question, a pickle is "green and crisp...and sometimes purple".), and later "That was when somebody found the pickle and took it home."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Falabella

From Guide to Horses of the World " cannot be regarded as a serious riding pony". No kidding.

Western Front

I'm working on a CD-ROM for the Dept of Veterans Affairs at the moment. It's a school resource about the Western Front in WWI, designed to be useful for teachers from kindergarten up to grade 12. Some of the written accounts are very disturbing indeed. One nice little oddment stuck out though - from this list of the occupations of Australian men and women who enlisted.

Professional 15,719
Clerical 24,340
Tradesmen 112,452
Labourers 99,252
Country callings 57,430
Seafaring 6,562
Miscellaneous 14,122
Nurses 2,063

Isn't that nice? All the roustabouts, shearers and general hayseed farmhands come under "country callings".