Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Road trip 2011 - Days one to three

Regular readers will know we are on long-awaited holidays. For this holiday we're on a road trip with my parents. Internet service has been patchy, so here is a brief rundown on days one to three.
We traveled from Coolgardie to Bindoon, just south of New Norcia.

Beringbooding Rock

Sights include Karalee Dam, Elachbutting Rock (any advice on how to pronounce it would be welcomed), Beringbooding Rock and a brief stop in New Norcia - we will return to explore it properly.
The landscape has morphed from scrubby red desert, to blackened burnt-out desert to languid, stretching farmland vivid with green and yellow crops.
Almost every mile features wildflowers in shades of pink, white, yellow and purple peeking out from the undergrowth, refusing to let the wattle steal the show.
We encountered one wildly windy, dark night with bursts of rain, and one frigid but peaceful, moonlit night.
We have also:
* had a minor mishap with our brakes (resolved).
* had a mishap with with Mum's SLR camera (not yet completely resolved)
* dined with 20 gazillion flies.
* developed a system where after each trip to the campground facilities you report on the state of the toilet paper roll, for the benefit of the next person paying it a visit
* retrieved the kettle from the fire. Twice.
* found a pocket of vegetation atop Elachbutting Rock that was like coming across a secret garden on the rooftop of the world.
* sat back and drunk the requisite number cups of coffee and glasses of wine stipulated in Holidays 101.

Happy hour. Paul gives it the double thumbs up,
so you know it has to be good.

Canola fields.

Elachbutting Rock.

We are actually on day four now, and are at Perth. Tonight we will be in the audience of Wicked the musical. Well, Mum and I will be; the guys don't really go for "that kind of dancey, la-la caper" quality entertainment.

Here is a quick slideshow of some photos taken so far:

And a couple of brief videos. Which aren't all that interesting and were only recorded because I wanted to play with my iPad.

Coming soon: Day four to whenever I get to do another update

Friday, August 12, 2011

Taking a break. But hopefully not a bloggy break

Image from here
At long last, I'm about to go on holidays. OK, so I had a holiday last September-October. And it was a pretty big one. (You can read about it here, here, here and here.) Nor have I exactly been been worked to the bone since. But it sounds better saying it like that. Because after months of the blasted, blaring alarm blasting and blaring at 4.40am, it feels like this has been a long time coming.
So, the Desert Rambler will finally do some desert rambling. And a bit of beach rambling. Even a tiny slice of city rambling.
I'm not sure yet what it means for this blog for the following couple of weeks. We'll be traveling through the region between Perth and Kalgoorlie and I've no idea what internet service I'll have. So, while I hope to use my days away from this thing they call work to write some drafts, things might go a bit quiet around here in the interim.
There is one thing you can expect: lots of photos. I love taking photos. My parents are traveling with us and they also are fond of taking a snap or six thousand. So much so that Mum has joined a camera club - and I fully intend to appropriate borrow some of hers to pretty up my posts here.
So be prepared for many, many pics, uploaded either during the trip or once we're back in civilisation.
Which leaves me with just one more thing to say for now:
 - I'm. ON. HOLIDAAAAAYYYZZZ!! (Yes, mispelling this word goes against my grain, but what the hell, I'm on holidays. I don't care about mangled English).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some days, most days... featuring chocolate and tight pants. Which may or may not be related

It's choc-o'clock somewhere.
Image source: www.corbisimages.com
* Some days I make it to 7pm without chocolate. Most days I make it to 4.12pm - the moment I get home from work.
* Some days I'm on twitter too much. Most days I check in every now and then and notice everyone is having wonderful, entertaining tweetversations while I'm missing out oblivious.
* Some days I swear my pants have shrunk in the wash. Most days they are merely what you might call 'slightly too snug' - I can tell, because Paul makes lewd, appreciative comments, and when he finds them that attractive they are generally too tight for public consumption. But some days I get this particular pair that almost cuts me in half. It's just that one pair, so the blame lies with the pants, not my girth, right? Right?
* Some days I don't even think about how many shifts I have left before I reach my days off. Most days, recently, I've been counting down several times a day - because I'll be having not just RDOs, but holidays! Woohoo, holidaaaays! They begin at knock-off time Thursday, just so you know.

Linking up again with Lulu from Cherry Blossom Adventures for this 'Some days, most days' post. Thanks Lulu!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The kind of day that should sod off and never come back

Saturday was not a great day. It was one of 'those' days. One where sticking my head in the industrial-sized drying oven and slamming the door would likely have been more pleasant and productive.
It began while making my lunches for the next few days. I normally try and do this in advance but I hadn't been exactly industrious the night before.
The lid of one container would not, no matter how much I wrangled with it, snap on. I love Tupperware, but sometimes it is just too good at sealing for it's own good, if you know what I mean.
While eating breakfast I tried to join Maxabella's 'Grateful' blog link. But the linky tool thing was slow and I thought it hadn't worked. So I did it again. And sure enough, when I got around to checking it a couple of hours later, it was there twice. Sorry linkers, I wasn't being intentionally greedy, just an impatient, technological idiot.
Short on stature but big on fury? I can relate.
Image source: www.dailymoxie.com

Anyway, moving right along. And when attempting to get dressed I couldn't find a clean shirt. I knew I had at least one left, but it was AWOL, so I picked Friday's out of the basket. The husband said my clean washing was probably mixed up with his and went to look for it. Three times I said, "Don't worry about it, I'll wear this one", but he ignored me and got it. Normally when I ask him to fetch something he's all huff and puff and Idontwanna - either that or, half jokingly says 'sure thing, if you *insert sexual favour* for me', so why he actually did it when I didn't want him to, is more than I can explain.
Next up, pulling my shoes on. I pull out a chair so I can do it sitting down, and turn to pick up the boots. Paul pushes the chair back in on his way past. He's the messiest man on the planet - why did he choose then to have his once-a-year moment of neatness? Again, fecked if I know.
So, I pick up my boots, pull them on, lace one up. Lace the other up and ping! The lace gives out. It's cactus.
Finally we get out the door and I try climbing into the ute - 4WDs are not made for females of the stumpy-legged variety, I can tell you* - and bang the side of my head on the door frame.
We got to work a bit late so I bunked off from the morning meeting. It was a Saturday, so chances were there weren't many bosses around who'd notice.
Got on with what I had to do, my fingers stiff and sore in the cold. Jammed one painfully between two steel pipes at one point. I didn't realise it was bleeding until half an hour later when I took off my rubber glove and the middle finger was coated in blood. Not pretty.
Then while doing some of the paperwork I put a couple of numbers in the wrong section. Later I couldn't see where I'd recorded them (obviously). Entered mild panic that I'd missed a vital step in the process. Fortunately I soon located them. End panic.
Time came to prep the sample solutions. Like a moron I failed to distinguish between a '10' and a '5' and used wrong sized pipette on one, necessitating doing it again.
The morning ran a little more smoothly from there. But I had yet to do the town delivery, and, given how well the day was going, I was a bit nervy about getting in a vehicle. I am clueless about cars and mechanical stuff, so if something went wrong I'd be up the proverbial creek.
The first 10 minutes of the trip went well. Then I heard a weird noise. Looking down in alarm, I realised I'd somehow gotten up to 120km/h. Phew. It was just the old rattle-mobil doing some extra rattling in protest. I returned to the speed limit and it behaved.
Once I'd made the delivery I decided to spend my break having coffee and hedgehog slice at a cafe. Another mistake. While parking I almost took out the verandah post of the shop adjacent to the parking space because the handbrake wasn't on properly and the vehicle rolled forward a frightening distance short way.
I got out and went to lean into the vehicle to retrieve my bag. Got blinded by sun, miscued and brained myself (yes, again) on the door frame. Stood there, half bent into the driver's seat, rubbing my skull, until someone in a ginormous wagon* wanted the park beside me. Unfortunately for them, my rear and the car door were blocking their way, and they were forced to wait until I had locked up and scurried off.
The day wasn't so bad after that - it's amazing what coffee and chocolate can do. A few sundry balls-ups like burning myself with the hot water tap, putting the wrong sample in the wrong bag, and dropping things left, right and centre hardly counted.
And finally the powers that be decided I'd been hassled enough.  "You can have a marvellous day now," they seemed to say. "Especially since it's basically over."
Well, powers that be, THANKS A LOT!

* Huge 4WD vehicles tick me off. We have one, and it especially ticks me off.

How often do you have days like this? What do you do to cheer yourself up at the end of them?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Caturday - The Bigfoot Edition

The rules seem pretty loose on the gorgeous rainbowtatt's Caturday event, so I'm linking up today. Because I forgot yesterday.
Here's Toby, aka Bigfoot, on a blanket now so coated in cat hair I don't think I could bring myself to do anything else with it, even after a wash.

Unless you want to cop this clodhopper on the ear, just let me sleep, all right?
Happy Caturday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grateful for ... my beanie. Kind of

Lately - meaning ever since the temperature dropped below 15 degrees - I've been grateful for my beanie. Even though it only cost $4 from Woolies and makes me look like I work for rentathug.com, it does the job on nippy mornings.
I'm also grateful for my ability to swallow my vanity and wear it. Especially as I have to team it with a hard hat, completing the thug/total nutter look. As demonstrated:
The beanie:
I don't want to write a caption because it would mean
having to look at this photo, and I'd rather avoid that.

The beanie-helmet combo:

And finally, I'm grateful for people who see me in it wait til I'm out of sight and/or earshot before wetting themselves with laughter.

PS Any of you clever knitter/bloggers out there who'd like to make me a more stylish one, feel free. I will pay!

Joining in Maxabella's lovely 'Grateful' link-up again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Refugee swap on YouTube: Crap policy, crap programming

Asylum seekers held in detention.
Image source: www.singaporedailynewsblog.blogspot.com
Two things guaranteed to leave me angry and disappointed: our Government's refugee policy and reality TV. Actually, I fib. Reality TV rarely upsets me anymore because I don't watch it.
And now the two are going to be combined, with the Federal Government planning to film the transportation of asylum seekers to Malaysia and place it on YouTube (not exactly TV, but you get what I mean). You can read about it here.
I may be missing something with this story, but I don't see how the move is going to be a win-win for the Government.
The aim, supposedly, is to deter people smugglers and potential asylum seekers from coming to Australia in boats. Now, to work as a deterrent, the footage is going to have to make for unpleasant viewing. Which shouldn't be hard, should it.
Yet promoting itself as a government that treats people in such a way is hardly going to do it any favours in other circles. As far as I can tell, anyway. But I'm no expert on politics, so maybe I am, in fact, missing something.
As much as I wish this wasn't happening (the shipping people to Malaysia part, that is. I welcome the part of deal in which we accept 4000 refugees), I hope commercial TV producers don't pay it too much mind. Otherwise we may be in line for more god-awful shows.
Instead of one called The Hills, we'd have The Cells. Or, rather than My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, there'd be My Big Fat Shafting by Australia.
No. Please no.

What are your thoughts on the issue? And can you stand to watch reality TV?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Our new-old house

Linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for another Wordless Wednesday post. Thanks Trish!

We are very excited to be in the midst of buying a house.

Sold! To the blogging lady and her handy husband.
This house:
A tad overgrown at the moment. And don't get me started on the purple trim.
Clearly, it needs some attention. And that's just on the outside. 

But, in my head, it will look something like this once we're done with it:
Cute cottage.
Image source: www.blueprintbliss.blogspot.com

Ideal for Nowheresville, Western Australia, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Some days, most days

Nuts: Gotta love 'em.
Image source: here
Some days nuts are all that keep me going from breakfast at 5am to lunch around noon. On the days when you're flat out they're a handy option: grab a handful or several on the run and down them, leaving your hands free to do the thousand jobs that have be done in the morning.
You know that scene at the start of The Devil Wears Prada where the fashionista daintily counts out her almonds, taking care not to exceed her calorie allowance? Yeah? Well, that's not me. I grab a fistful and shove as many in my gob as I can chew without spilling any.
Most days ... I have time for more sustenance, and cups of tea.

Some days I can't wait to be a mother. I want to hold a chubby bubba RIGHT NOW! Some days I think my life is perfect as is and it would be madness to change it. Most days I merely look forward to motherhood as a 'down the track' thing. Albeit a 'hopefully not too far down the track' thing.

Some days I learn, either first hand or online, of yet another person experiencing some form of mental illness. And my heart bleeds for them. Most days (every day, in fact) it also heaves a massive sigh of relief that I, and my nearest and dearest, have been lucky to have so far escaped the scourge. Lucky beyond words.

Some days I can hear the birds singing as I leave for work. Most days there is simply the peaceful silence of a country town in the pre-dawn.

Linking up again with Lulu from Cherry Blossom Adventures. Thanks Lulu!

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