Friday, 31 December 2010

Incy wincy spider...

Very very important advice - wear full length tops and bottoms when gardening. Simple. Effective. Clothes are your PPE.

Or like me when you are butchering an overgrown front of your home in shorts a bikini top and bare foot then creepy crawlies will latch on and express their opinion on your weed/branch removal.

Within 5 minutes I had a blister shaped lump. Just a small one. And this picture shows the next day. Rather raised and growth like with a constant hot itchy feel. This is no innocent insect bite. Tea tree oil in pure and antiseptic options has no effect but cleans the area. Aloe Vera in both gel and it's natural form also doesn't touch the sides. And gives no relief. It took the third day and a trip to the pharmacy for some hydrocortisone cream from mr pharmacist to take any effect. He then scared the shit out of me telling me what to look for in an infected bite... Um... Thanks?

I fell asleep on an ice pack the night before last and may have given myself ice burn at the same time... Not that it distracted from itchy burny bite. And the ice pack felt sooo good...

Today it is more dark red but not as swollen anymore and it didn't wake me in the night for once which is the most important thing

But lesson learned - long sleeves and legs for all future gardening!!

Spiders are bad. Roll up those newspapers and get them before they can get you...

Did Santa stuff your stocking?

On the eve of new year I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a merry belated Christmas. And a happy new year too.

For our first Christmas in oz we spent a lovely two days up the mountain with the rest of the McDonnell clan having far too much cheese and far too much alcomohol. And welcoming baby Archie in to the family, even though he slept through the whole event.

Luckily for us there were no bookings in the cottage. So we got to stay in the b&b for the night. We even had our own little Christmas tree. If you haven't checked it out yet may I suggest you do at it's absolutely lovely.

Santa spoilt us this year with so far 9 packages arriving. And another 1 left to go. And a huge thanks to near all of you who sent choccie buttons. I use them as a barter tool with Liam. Except he knows where they are (the fridge to stop the melt!) so it's a pointless effort.

Christmassy hugs to all x x x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A non picnic at hanging rock

Alas - I forgot to take a pic with my I phone. But yesterday Clare and I went on a mini adventure to hanging rock.

Clare has yet to be enlightened by the film 'picnic at hanging rock' but none the less with the first dry day so far we took off on mini road trip.

I really really liked hanging rock. I was warned it was smaller than you expect it to be. Which could be true. If you stuck to the marked pathways as suggested. I'm not a marked pathways kind of girl though. And luckily neither is Clare so we climbed all over and between the rocks and saw some spectacular views that way.

While walking around the rock we also spotted my first wild koala. This was after startling a wild kangaroo, several bunny rabbits and avoiding any snake contact. I was very excited about the koala. And the woman in the cafe told us there were only 2-3 koalas in the whole reserve. So out chances of spotting one were pretty damn slim!

Then we followed up out mini adventure with fresh baked Devonshire scones and a pot of tea by the riverside. Perfick.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jealousy is a Green Eyed Monster


> What a lovely morning. It is 06.26 and my train has left without me on it. Fun. Good times. I'll grab a coffee and wait for the next one then.
> And to keep me occupied while I wait - a photo message from Clare which I have to go online to retrieve. Arrived last night.
> So I am sat at a train station having missed my train at 6.30 in the morning and Clare was camped under the stars in the vicinity of Uluru.
> Jealous? Yes.
> Green? Slightly as it's still too early to stomach breakfast and that includes the coffee I'm slurping.
> Monstrous? Too tired to be. Maybe once the caffeine kicks in ;o)

The Multiple Freezings & Thawings of Hell


> This year in my absence there will be many things different about the Marsh family Christmas.
> The first being that my folks will be in Oman topping up their tans in heat hotter than Oz.
> So no Marsh Christmas on the 25th.
> But shocker... Mum told me she WAS NOT GOING TO PUT THE TREE UP (first freezing of hell). In recent years mum has used a fabulous fake tree provided by the Newman family. Still a good height. I.e it hits the ceiling. But fake. Do no watering. It won't die while they're inOman etc.
> Then Donna tells me she's off to my folks with Tommy. So I ask my mum if Donna knows about the lack of tree... "that's the surprise" my mum says. No mum. That's CRUEL.
> So then my mum decides she will have a tree... (hell quickly thawed)
> Except not only is it not in the cons. It's also shorter than my mum by the looks of it (once again hell freezes over at the likelihood of that ever happening).
> So this year is a year for many firsts. My first real tree of my own. My mums first tree of less than 8 feet tall. Tommys first Christmas. Tommy's first Marsh family tree viewing - thank god he's too young to remember how tiny the tree is ;o). But not my first away from home, but my third.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

T'is Christmas. And whether it be sunny or rainy or snowy an absolute necessity is a tree.

We were in debate this year. Liam suggesting a tree in a pot that we can keep outside in winter and re use every year. Good in theory. But a - we don't have enough outdoor space to keep it in. And b - the local wildlife. I can only imagine what cans of bug killer would do to a tree when fumigated once a year prior to returning indoors.

I wanted a good fake. But Liam was concerned as to where the hell we can store it for 11 months of the year. Fair point. Maybe later.

So we decided on a real tree. A one off. And something we can bin after Christmas.

So then we had to agree on a size... I was debating a petite one. But Liam wanted a less petite one. And neither of us could decide until we saw the only place with good trees and settled on the only size he sold a 5 1/2 foot green bushy thing grown in Ballarat.

The smell of pine is fabulous. And albeit a lot bushier than I'm used to Jessie as we have named the tree has about 4 pints of water per day. Brought a few earwigs with her. And so far 6 spiders. I say so far as many more could yet appear as she is rather bushy for a christmas tree and I have a funny feeling there may be more critters hiding...

I will post a more festive pic once I remember to take one. And to want any of you interested - stay away from my parents... They're not putting their tree up this year which can only mean one thing.... Hell has frozen over ;o)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Clare. And the Grey.

Clare is here! Welcome to Melbourne Clare! And after a beautiful first day wandering round the zoo Melbourne has decided to show Clare it's true colours.

Please be standing for the Grey! It is a mass of grey covering the city having a cold bath effect on anything and everything in it's path. It shows no sign of leaving. And is putting sun cream companies out of business.


Saturday, 4 December 2010

And rain brings life...

All the rain has finally done some good. The roses out front have bloomed. Not as majestic and red like the courtyard roses but lovely in a pink marbled Ferdinand Picard type way. Without being the expensive Ferdinand Picard type roses.

It's a sign of my age that I am happy that the roses have bloomed...

Friday, 3 December 2010

To straw or not to straw

A week I have suffered with sensitive teeth. A whole week. Thinking just a side effect from a pavlova on the weekend (a lot of sugar was used in it's building) I bought a new tube of sensodyne and even some of that colgate pronamel.

But today there was no denying it - it was the same tooth I thought I'd knocked my filling out of previously...

Whether it be fallen out loosened it just cracked. The pain when even room temperature water hits it... Well... It's interesting...

Suffice to say that until my emergency dental appointment on Saturday morning I am resigned to drinking through straws to avoid liquid to tooth contact.

Probably good that I'm not drinking wine this evening.... ;o)

Fuddy duddy customs?

You know you love it. It's like a guilty secret. But when that Aussie border control show comes on tv you can't help but watch at the stupidity or genius of hidden drugs, food and banned items. My favorite were a pair of Thai ladies who had given themselves a spice girl lift in their trainers which funnily enough turned out to be coke. And not the type from the vending machine at the station...

"I bought them from a market"

You paid for those trainers?!!

Aussie customs on the wrong day OR if you're the wrong person can be obnoxious, full of themselves and almost aggressive. On a good day with innocence on your side they are cute liddle puddy cats. These are the days that your time between baggage and the arrivals hall are halved. Perhaps even quartered...

So it never surprises me when I get messages saying someone has sent me something. And two weeks later... Still waiting. (I AM on the other side of the world after all). And like the baggage hall - that box/envelope has to get through customs. And that could mean a combination of sniffer dogs, x ray's, human selection, that machine that 'smells' explosives and those swabs they take to detect drugs.

It's not surprising that they get confused with a parcel of delicious (and of course nutritious) English goodies and tea bags and need to 'hold on' to that parcel for further inspection.

This (clare's goody delivery) parcel has been my first since my birthday. And the last one on my birthday was sonia's who also had the same customs garb in it.

They are lovely enough to tell you they've searched your package. And then there is another leaflet. This second leaflet will tell you if something has been removed. Fortunately. I have yet to have anything removed - yey! But I know people who have lost tea bags. I honestly believe that is because the plastic manufacturers wrap had probably been removed. Therefore the tea bags could be tampered with...

I have a good story from one person. Who actually got a hand written letter from customs addressing their parcel which had taken something like 5 weeks to get through... The moral of her story was to ensure your mum; if sending butterscotch angel delight to you, really really shouldn't remove it from it's packaging and put it in a ziploc bag with 'angel delight' written on the side. An odd yellow powder in a plastic bag.. Hmmm... The mind boggles.

The good news - She did get the remaining angel delight that had not been used for testing. Perhaps they should just start selling it here to avoid that trouble in the future?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The great Aussie BBQ, a hiatus and the rain

It has been a while. I apologize. I have been very entertained with stories of snow. I like it. So much has happened in the two weeks I have not blogged I will try and remember it all!!

The BBQ - we have one. It is quite pretty. It was too big to come home in the car so it had to be delivered the next day. Ruining our plans of a BBQ that night. But never mind.

The BBQ came with a recipe book. And instructions for cooking temperatures. I have read them but they mean little to me. I have only ever cooked on disposable ones from woolies. Professional eh?!
Liam of course hasn't read the instructions as he's a man. And men don't need to do that right? Because they just KNOW instinctively how to cook on a BBQ without instruction. It's in the Aussie genes he wasn't born with ;o).

But even without reading instructions Liam has made a mean steak with fried onions - yum. Without the grief of pans to wash. And without heating up the kitchen like a sauna. It can be hot enough already without cooking indoors!!

The BBQ is currently in his coat as the rain continues to pour on Victoria. Thus is the wettest year in donkeys. And they're expecting a wet Christmas... Yey...?

Someone remind me why I moved here please?