Showdown at the Tulip Corral

The weather was fine for the first time in weeks. A near month of rain had caused flowers to bloom and inhabitants to crawl up the walls with cabin fever. A couple of decent storms had filled the swimming hole with debris and the garden was wild and weather beaten.

Bilbo stepped tentatively from the window that was always left open for him, even in the most biting chill. He wasn’t keen on the cold and preferred to sleep, eat and not much else in the winter months. His humans still liked to give him the option to go outside as he pleased. Mostly because they didn’t like to change the litter box too often.

Today was different.

Today, it was sunny. Flowers were blooming, in anticipation for the spring and the sparse warmth of the sun gave new life.

However, Bilbo wasn’t interested in flowers.

He liked clay.

The sun, the clay and the close proximity to chlorine made for a strange chemical reaction in Bilbo.

It was a perfect day.

Before long, Bilbo’s brother Spiffy had a similar idea, yet only simliar in the sense that he wanted to be outdoors on such a glorious day. Spiffy loved to be outside and had been terribly frustrated at all that water falling from the sky ruining his important business.

Immediately on stepping through the window, Spiffy spied his brother and strolled over to say hello.

Spiffy told Bilbo that he was going over the fence to take care of some long overdue business. Bilbo thought he’d take advantage of the peace and quiet, and have a bit of a lie down and enjoy the afternoon sun.

Little did he know, Spiffy had other ideas.

Nobody likes being stalked with stealth, no matter the intention.

Spiffy snuck up from behind. “BOO! HAHAHA!!”

He gave Bilbo an awful fright.

Bilbo was livid. “Don’t EVER sneak up on me like that!! I’ve told you too many times! Leave me alone!!”

Spiffy was beginning to enjoy his little game.

“Hehe, got ya a beauty!”

“Fuck you Spiffy! I’ve got a foot and I’m not afraid to use it!”

“Oh yeah? Let’s see what you’ve got…”

Bilbo launched a swift kick at Spiffy’s sternum.

“Owww! You didn’t have to hurt me!”

“Hah! Now who’s “got” who?” said Bilbo. “And just for that, I’m going to show you my scary face!!”

Spiffy was taken aback, but only momentarily.

“Pfft” he scoffed. “You call that a scary face? I’ll show you scary…!!”

“Right! That’s it!!” growled Bilbo. “It’s on!!”

And so it was at the Tulip Corral.

 

 

Song Of The Day – The Cure – A Forest

Far Too Random For A Cohesive Title

Woah.

My eyes are going crosseyed and my shoulders are super tense from typing.

Typing what, you ask?

I finally came to realise yesterday, what a bloody good thing is flickr.

I’ve had an account for a while, but haven’t really used it until now. I was having a poke around the site and was impressed with the easy and logical methods as to which you can organise your photos. Also, they’re stored online whether you pay your bill or not. This is heartening and to me, a lot more comforting than my non-existant dodgy backup methods.

I also realised pretty quickly that the free account wasn’t going to cut it for the volume of photographs I keep on my computer. I upgraded to the Pro account and since yesterday, I’ve uploaded, labeled and categorised 350 photographs… and I’ve barely touched the surface.

Tonight I was uploading photos from a trip to Sydney last year, and I noticed something strange. Literally as my photographs were being uploaded, people were looking at them. Freaky. The more I uploaded, the more the individual photo view count increased, within seconds of uploading.

I’m bloody glad they you can adjust the settings for who can view what, although I have to admit I did get a bit of a thrill from people actually being interested in my boring holiday photos, heh.

I was given the gift of Photoshop a couple of weeks ago, and it’s got me all gooey about taking photos again. Although, what I’ve been uploading to flickr, is mostly archival to this point. Check out my page if you’re having trouble sleeping, heh.

It’s 3am and I’m done with flickr for today.

In lieu of something more interesting, here are some photos I took of a truck that rolled over on the Mitchell Freeway recently. I thought it was pretty exciting….

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As you can see, emergency services were out in force. It made a big bloody mess. Thankfully nobody was hurt.

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Yes, I am taking photos and driving on the freeway at the same time. Don’t ty this at home, kids.

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It’s around this time that I’m feeling rather smug for driving north at the right time. Those people would have been stuck there for hours. And I mean, hours. The jam went on for miles, too.

Other than that, I’ve not energy for much although I’m feeling quite spiffy from a few glasses of the ol’ strawberry champagne….

Here is a list of music I joyfully downloaded on the weekend:

Emilie Simon – Ice Girl
Emilie Simon – Femme FataleEmilie Simon – Je N’Veux Pas Rester Sage
Emilie Simon – Fleur de Saison
Emilie Simon – Le Desert
Emilie Simon – All Is White
Emilie Simon – Flowers
Marvin Gaye – Praise
The Jam – The Butterfly Collector
The Jackson Five – Looking Through The Windows
Pulp – Cocaine Socialism
Brian Eno – Another Green World
Curtis Mayfield – Trippin’ Out
Gang of Four – To Hell With Poverty!
The Verve – On Your Own
Geordie – All Because Of You
Dusty Springfield – How Can I Be Sure?
Dusty Springfield – Wishin’ and Hopin’
Nick Drake – Tow The Line
Charlotte Gainsbourg – L’un Part L’Autre Reste
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Little Monsters
Charlotte Gainsbourg – The Songs That We Sing
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Morning Song
Coldplay – Bigger Stronger
The Osmonds – One Bad Apple
Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World
Jona Lewie – You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties
Chris Spedding – Motor Bikin’
Phoenix – Long Distance Call
Phoenix – Run Run Run
Phoenix – Too Young
Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
Arctic Monkeys – Bigger Boys And Stolen Sweethearts
All Saints – Black Coffee
Joy Division – Dead Souls
Nick Lowe – Cruel To Be Kind
Dave Edmunds – Girls Talk
Talking Heads – Crosseyed And Painless
Talking Heads – Radio Head
Outkast – Two Dope Boyz (In A Cadillac)
Kings Of Convenience – I’d Rather Dance With You
Kings Of Convenience – Misread
Kings Of Convenience – The Weight Of My Words (Four Tet Instrumental Remix)
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
ABBA – The Day Before You Came
Razorlight – Before I Fall To Pieces
Razorlight – America
Razorlight – Golden Touch
Razorlight – Stumble And Fall
Anita O’Day & Gene Krupa – Side By Side
Time Bandits – Endless Road
The Finn Brothers – Won’t Give In
Britney Spears – Breathe On Me (Jacques Lu Conts Thin White Duke Mix)
The Toys – A Lover’s Concerto
Air – How Does It Make You Feel?
Air – Alpha Beta Gaga
Air – Surfin’ On A Rock
Johnny Wakelin – In Zaire
Gorillaz – Ghost Train
Judy Street – What

Music makes me happy. You may have guessed.


Song Of The Day – Talking Heads – Crosseyed And Painless

I Am Not Dead (Yet)

I have been sick.

Sicker than sick.

As sick as sick can be.

I am still sick.

It’s been 13 days now.

I’ve had enough.

[cough, splutter]

At least I am no longer coughing up blood. That was not fun.

Tonsillitis. And the Flu. And a generalised infection.

I haven’t felt this sick since I had Glandular Fever (Mono). I was in hospital for two weeks. Mainly because I had Viral Meningitis as well, but I was sick for months that time.

I hate being sick. [grumble, grumble]

Thankyou to everyone who has missed me. It feels good to be missed.

This is me:

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This happened a lot when I was at my worst:

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Breathing made me cry. Don’t even talk about swallowing…

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NOTHING helped (except the antibiotics). All these drugs are a ruse by the pharmaceutical companies to make a load of cash out of people’s suffering. Take note.

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I have done nothing but sleep and watch television and movies for 13 days. This is what my eyes look like now:

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Here is a list of movies I have watched. Some I barely remember due to my state of semi-lucidity, but I’ve seen most of them before anyway. Some of them more than a few times:

Mildred Pierce

T.I.S.M – Incontinent In Ten Continents

T.I.S.M – TV Primer

American Psycho

Bad Timing

The Virgin Suicides

Harold and Maude

The Taste Of Others

Sunset Boulevard

Inside Deep Throat

True Romance

In Her Shoes

ENRON – The Smartest Guys In The Room

Puberty Blues

Stoned

Love My Way – Series One

Monster

The 40 Year Old Virgin

I *heart* Huckabees

Shampoo

Don’t Look Now

Withnail & I

Hi Fidelity

Swing Time

The Birds

Shaun of the Dead

Thank You For Smoking

 

 

 

I will write more when I am able.

 

 

The cats always get the last word:

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Song Of The Day – Tex Williams – Smoke! Smoke! Smoke That Cigarette

Tiptoe Thru The Tulips (with me)

Alright, alright. I admit it. There’s not a lot of tiptoeing going on here, nor much in the way of tulips, for that matter….

… but I did spend a lovely couple of hours in the garden yesterday, planting some bulbs which had been sitting in the fridge for longer than the required 6 weeks. I’ve also just found out that they aren’t supposed to be stored in the crisper along with fruit and vegetables, as the fruit and veg gives of ethelyne gas which wrecks the bulbs.

Oops.

In case you can’t tell. I’m a novice gardener. The last time I planted a bulb was as part of a school project when I was 7 years old. Actually, that was the only time I’ve ever planted a flower…

Fingers crossed for these little beauties:

I mixed the pink and red tulips together and planted the rest in separate pots. Aren’t they the prettiest things?

Of course, now I know that you’re not supposed to store them with vegetables, you may see another photoblog with the bulbs looking exactly the same at the end of winter. [worried look] Fingers crossed…

See, I went to all this trouble…..

I got very, very dirty.

Nothing beats sinking your hands into soil..

Oh, well. If worse comes to worst, I still have my other lovelies. Yay for potted vegies! I’m in love with my tomatoes, chillies, onions, baby carrots, spring onions…..

[Spot the dead alien in my pool]

Speaking of tomoatoes…..

Yes, I know it’s just a tomato plant, but it’s MY tomato plant and it’s the first one I’ve ever grown. Well, make that the first six. They’re cherry tomatoes and there are six plants in that pot… and more tomatoes than I can count from here. So sweet and delicious….

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make myself a salad for dinner…. 🙂

Song Of The Day – Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot

Yacht Rock to the rescue

(previous text deleted due to reasonable fear)

****************

I know a little something that might cheer me up.

Yacht Rock.

Yes! That’s the answer!

Never heard of Yacht Rock? It’s an internet tv show and a fictional satire about the lives and times of the big players in soft rock from the late ’70’s and early ’80’s. Think, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Toto etc.

Yacht Rock makes me laugh in watery ways, although I seem to laugh at different things than most of the people who commented on YouTube – go figure. It’s ridiculously stupid and deceptively clever, riddled with more pop references than you can shake a stick at, and shot like a really cheap porno minus the sex.

Thre are 10, 5 minute episodes and I’m thinking I might post them all here as a series in weekly installments.

In Episode One, we learn the origin of the mother of all Yacht Rock songs. I will never hear What A Fool Believes in quite the same way again, heh…

Teehee!

Viva le Yacht Rock!

Ah, I feel better already.

Coming in Episode Two: Hall and Oates challenge Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald to a songwriting duel.

It’s true what they say about gardening…

I used to really hate gardening. I could kill a plant at 20 paces, just by looking at it. I used to joke that I had a brown thumb. It all just seemed like an enormous chore to me.

Then, at the beginning of this year, I went through a strange and rather complicated metamorphosis*, which saw me turn into SUPER NAKED GARDENER.  I had a sudden urge to take my clothes off in the garden and plant things, often.  Fortunately, I got really lucky with the costume. Gardening is a dirty business and a cape would just get in the way.  

I’d heard people talk in whimsical and reverent tones about the wonders of working with the earth for most of my life, but my utter self absorption and short attention span never allowed me to truly discover the deep satisfaction that is to be had by sinking your hands into the dirt and nurturing a plant into bloom.

It’s true what they say. Gardening is a form of meditation. There is nothing else (with the possible exception of having an orgasm, oh and skinnydippng), that clears my mind in the same way, or takes me to such a simple place of pleasure and sheer enjoyment of life.

Ok, the pleasure principle is somewhat different between gardening and sex, but you get my drift, right?

I love planting. That’s my favourite part. I love mixing the different soils and mulch. I love digging my bare hands into the soil and letting the dirt fall through my fingers. I love popping the seedling out of the container to admire and gently free its delicate root structure. I love digging a little hole and placing the seedling, just so. I love giving them water and verbal encouragement daily. It matters not to me that they don’t have ears. They respond to my care.

Apricot RoseApricot Rose 2Azaleas

These flowers are blossoming in my garden right now. I can’t take credit for them, for the plants were here when I moved in — but if you click on them you’ll see they are very pretty, indeed.

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I have discovered my true love is growing edible plants. Flowers are nice, but there is nothing like eating food you have grown with your own loving care. This is a photo I took of some baby carrots I planted on 1 April.

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And this is how they look today, 12 days later. The rapid growth is almost like instant gratification, with a lesson on patience thrown in for good measure. I can’t wait to see what’s below the surface!

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I adore rocket. I could just munch on rocket leaves all day. This is my rocket 12 days ago…

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And here it is today. Growing like a rocket, no less! Yummm….! I’m having salad tonight….

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I’m so excited to taste these cherry tomatoes, I can barely stand it…. but they’re taking so long to turn red! I mean…. HOW MUCH LONGER?? There are around 20-30 of them in that pot and I’m loving that specific, pungent aroma of the tomato plant. It takes me back to my grandparent’s vegetable patch from childhood…

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Jalapeno’s anyone? I love chillies, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this many of them. There are about 10 on that one plant right now and more popping up every day. I guess I can always freeze or dry them… Don’t you love that green?

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This little fella makes me smile. Look at the way he’s climbing up the trellis all by himself. I thought I was going to have to tie him up, but it turns out he’s a very independent and capable little snow pea plant! If you look closely you can see 3 snow peas of varying sizes…

I’m also growing a lot of other things, like various herbs, red onions, and a lemon tree in a pot amongst other things — but we’d be here forever if I showed you them all. These are my star performers.

So, it seems I may have a green thumb, after all.  Who knew?  I think I was always going to have to be in a still and quiet place of personal transformation for the growth of a plant to become something I appreciate deeply.  It’s quite symbolic.

I also love that when it’s warm, I can just turn around and dive in the pool to get clean.

It’s the simple things…

Now, I have a question for you:

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I recently got hold of these rusty old buckets and I want to plant bulbs in them next week (jonquils, tulips and hyacinths). I’m really new at growing things and I don’t want to take any chances in terms of poisoning them, so I’m not keen on putting the soil directly in contact with the rust. Does anyone know of any product or method to coat the inside of the buckets to form a barrier between the metal and the soil? I’m thinking I might just have to line them with plastic….

I’d appreciate any ideas…

* My amazing metamorphosis may or may not be discussed at a later date. I’m a bit over talking about it for now.

Song Of The Day – Donovan – There Is A Mountain

The Little Birdy That Could

One thing I seem to do on a fairly regular basis is rescue animals.  Maybe it’s my calling and I’ve been missing it all this time; who could know?  I volunteer for a cat shelter, who send me out to pick up strays and abandoned kittens, and I quite often rescue small mammals and birds from the jaws of death on my own property.   Although the resident poosycats, Bilbo and Spiffy, would prefer to be referred to as ‘Wildlife Control Officers’, don’t listen to them.  They’re renowned for putting a positive spin on every evil deed….

One night recently, I witnessed Spiffy whizz by the loungeroom window, and in the brief streak of light I saw he had something in his mouth.  The constant jingling of the bell on his collar was also a dead giveaway.  He likes to play ‘Toss’ with his prey.   He thinks it’s fabulous fun.  Me?  Not so much…

I sprinted outside, grabbed Spiffy by the scruff of the neck, growled and shook him until he let go of what I thought was a mouse, but instead I found this little guy:

Little Birdy

Cute, huh?  Talkative, too.  In fact, so talkative that I had to put him outside in the garage for the night, because he wouldn’t shut the feck up. 

Next day, I took him here:

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Just up the road and luckily a vet that specialises in native wildlife… 

So, despite being mauled by what must have looked to him like a gigantic, fanged monster from hell, it looked like he was going to live to tell the tale, although it was unlikely he would see his family again….

After that, I was feeling pretty good about my place in the world,  so I thought I’d take a drive down the coast:

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… which was rather nice, but really, driving and taking photographs at the same time is not something you should try at home, mmkay kids?

I did stop for the sunset:

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… which was quite lovely.   By that time I was feeling extremely Zen and well connected to nature, so just before the sun went down, I stopped at the National Park up the road from my house in the hope of seeing some of these little fellas:

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Kangaroos make me very, very happy.  There are more of them than you can see, they’re just too far away to pick up at dusk with a camera.   I visit them quite regularly.  They’re my furry little friends.  Actually, they’re not that little; I know who would come off second best in a fight…

It was a good day…

I just hope I don’t have to see another potential kill in the forseeable future.  Because really,  I’d rather not have to rescue anything…

Song of the day: Jarvis Cocker – (Cunts Are Still) Running The World