And they say silence is golden ..

It was an amazing noise.

There we all were in the first floor salon of my very swish hairdresser – I will admit, it was only my second time but I am determined to be able to afford them ! – and it sounded as if everyone was having the most marvellous time. The sound track made me laugh with joy, that babble of voices and laughter and callings-out, all to the background of a music tape someone had dubbed. Hairdressers are delightful – well, this lot is: they make you feel as if you’re visiting rather than obtaining a paid service. And I do assure you that the service is EXCELLENT !

I was sitting at a big table, crocheting while my now extremely short hair (had just had a #4 buzzcut) was getting paler by the moment, in the room that has four basins for washing and tricking up colour. Couldn’t help remarking on how four totally unalike women looked almost identical when lying back with their heads in the basins and their eyes closed in bliss ..

The volume ratcheted up a bit as a late-comer from the staff arrived to general insults and calumny: you get to know them all, not just the ones who actually work on you. (And today I turned out to be quite hard work; as the top back part of my hair – the double crown – was refusing to be bleached. If I remember at all, it took the original 40′ and about four or five more lots of 10′ ! I am happy to say that the end result is, she said modestly, terrific.)

The music was pulsing in the background as a track – and in fact this side of the tape – neared the end; and shortly it stopped. One of those sudden lulls in the vocal row happened at exactly that moment; and not at all loudly but because of the unexpected quiet seemingly like a thunderclap, someone farted.

O.M.G. !

A second or two of frozen silence.

Then someone giggled. And then another person. And within a matter of seconds the entire floor was in uproar ! I honestly doubt that the perpetrator of The Ghastly Deed was ever identified, and nobody cared — it was simply hilarious.    :)

I’ve often wondered what it is about farts that makes them so funny .. I think it’s because they’re kind of frowned on but only a wee bit naughty – like, finger-waggingly wicked and not even worth a cross word. Depending, of course .. [grin]

Sat’dy morning

As the Volvo finally made it ’round the corner she was able to step off the kerb and walk over the roundabout leg, calling a couple of thoughts after it.

Such a day ! – and that nice bloke at the clothing alterations place had taken up the cheap jeans while she waited .. which was just as well, as she’d forgotten to collect the old ones when she left the flat. She blithely stepped up onto the next block of the footpath, a virtuous walking person.

Approaching the next roundabout (Essendon is rife with ’em) she saw a man appear on the left quadrant, fair way away; and as he half-turned to see her, he smile hugely and waved, immediately loudly starting up what was obviously meant to be a conversation but that couldn’t yet be discerned.

“Fuck me !” she said to herself: “do I know this bloke ? – I do not .. At least, I believe I do not ..” and she interrogated her mental gallery of acquaintances. “Oh, hang on !” – as he grew ever nearer – “it’s that fellow from the fresh market – the unfortunate bastard I practise my Italian on !”, and she waved back. “Giorno !” she cried gaily; “come stai ? Fa meraviglioso, no ?” happy in the knowledge that such basic stuff couldn’t be wrong.

They were getting closer, but the very imperfect hearing in her left ear had still not allowed her to make out anything he was saying, so she continued. “Perché sei qui ? – abiti vicino ?” (not nearly so confident, but who gives a shit ?!) and by now they were close enough to make each other’s features out.

Not the bloke from the fresh market. Not anyone she knew.

His face had fallen. “You’re not who I thought you were !” he said accusingly; “for heaven’s sake, why were you talking to me ?” A thought .. “And you were talking IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE !”

Deeply offended, he stalked off in high dudgeon.

She stood there dumbstruck for a moment, then wickedly called after him, vowels flattened, “Whaddya mean, a foreign language ?! – are you quite MAD ?” and watched him stop and turn back for a moment, his face a picture. “Jeez, mate !” she expostulated, throwing her hands in the air.

Then, gleeful, she continued on in her own direction. Very satisfying.


A morning in the life

The silence within the room lengthened. Outside, however, could still be heard the infuriating sound of the laundromat’s dryers, rhythmically whining their horrid metallic row.

“Nano-particles ..” she said.

The cat curled tightly between her knees on the recliner chair ignored this pronouncement and merely wrapped his tail more securely around himself. He was used to such utterances and had learned never to be surprised.

She’d just finished re-crocheting all the acrylic yarn already used once this-morning and was making (again) the back of a sweater, this time ten stitches wider than the one she’d been working on for some hours, so the concept was relevant: acrylic yarn is full of ’em.

“I might actually have some real wool !” she told the cat, guiltily; “remember that cardigan I started to knit ? – it’s in the hallway drawers ..” and she put the huge acrylic yarn cake onto the side table, together with the crocheted piece, failing to see that the thread was caught around one of the cat’s back feet. At the same time as she rose she gently pushed him off her lap and, too late !, saw the problem.

It was a shitfight. The enormous yarn cake went flying and she stupidly tried to catch it, not wanting to have to untangle the equivalent of eight balls of yarn; her forward leap meant that the flap of the recliner didn’t shut but opened up and caught the back of her shins punishingly. With loud imprecations she was flung at the couch on the other side of the little room and grabbed at it to stop her fall, managing only to yank all the cushions off and onto her head as she hit the floor.

The cat, meanwhile, had leaped frantically sideways out of her path and onto his climbing tree, knocking it over so that it fell behind her – fitting neatly between her slippers and the open recliner. He landed on her bum, claws out for support, then leaped off and raced for cover in the bedroom: he had a feeling she was not going to be happy ..

She lay there for a bit, shaken by the act of falling. Tons of stuff around for her to heave herself up by. The dryers just went on grinding out their hideous song from below.

“So,” she said to no-one, “what’s my take on THAT ?!”

A couple of seconds of thought, and then she heaved herself up, shedding cushions and kicking the cat-tree away.

Happily she was only bruised if you didn’t count the claw-marks on her arse. Unhappily the acrylic yarn cake was spread everywhere.

“Easy,” she finished: “forget being eco-minded.”

Thinking of writing again

It seems more than slightly egocentric to post about it; but I actually have a question to put to anyone out there who’s written more than once ..

Q: How hard is it ?I don’t want to start out with fanfare and champagne and then pathetically back away because it was too demanding.

So somehow I have to find out about going through the writing process a second time.

As to what .. I’m only capable of writing in the first person; and fiction is something I couldn’t write to save my life.  It would be, were I to get stuck in and Nike, entitled “How to Grow Old and Silly Successfully” – a topic with which I have a very close relationship ..

It would be instances of my more idiotic performances in Life, and how their various ‘audiences’ responded. In my own writing style, of course ..

Does it sound the faintest bit amusing ?

ATLMD was written from a vastly different point of view; but it did contain a fair bit of humour, as anyone who’s read it will (jesus I hope so !!) attest.

So. How hard is it to write a second magnum opus, anyone ?

A day of note (sort of ..)

Yesterday I entered upon my eightieth year.

When I write it like that, I can see what my favourite man means when he says “But the day you turn 80 is just one more day after you weren’t 80 !” when he’s scoffing at my saying I’m scared of that birthday. Birthdays are just .. well, days, right ?

So now that I’m 79 and not looking to the next birthday (well, at least saying that to him) I should be able to shrug my shoulders and say so what ?!

Ah well.

I had a wonderfully enjoyable morning-tea with my second-favourite man; and there’s another morning-tea coming up next week when we’re joined by the absent one, to make up for his not being with us yesterday. I don’t know of anyone in my age-group who gets entertained by two gorgeous and truly intelligent men.

My life with these two in it is full of sunshine (and rain, and cold – it is winter in Melbourne, after all !). I am a singularly lucky old fart.   :D

Well, I went there ..

.. but I didn’t join in with ’em.

Why ? – because never have I seen in one place so many people (of all ages) being really competitive. Competition is not my jam (as one of my two new but already dear friends likes to say); and it’s clear at the Maribyrnong ParkRun that those who run are all competing against everyone else.  As for the ‘walkers’ – I couldn’t possibly even catch them up, let alone match their pace ! Even the people wheeling baby carriages were either running or walking at great speed.

I’d plotted out half a kilometre on Google, and walked at my own speed – not as fast as I used to do when living in Sydney, but not all that much slower – there and back two times without stopping ! AND ! – I could’ve done another pass were it not for the fact that the balls of my feet were on fire.

So I returned home (via the two trams), pensively working out how to afford a good pair of running shoes. Haven’t got there so far ..

Anyway: I won’t bother going on with ParkRun because the poor sod designated any day’s Behind the Last Walker would make me feel terrible (as Debra spoke of the other day) – couldn’t do it. Besides, I’m still not up for 5km, yet.

So I shall simply do one of my 1km local walks every day. And who knows what I might work up to in time ?!


Circumstances conspired ..

.. and definitely against me.

So, erhmm .. what do you see as being important in ParkRun’s requirements, eh ?

I had, last Sunday, ordered on-line a credit-card-sized thingy with my name and barcode on it. Didn’t make it here by yesterday’s mail, dammit ! Oh well says I, I’ll just do as they say and print mine off for tomorrow which I would’ve done had my Pixma not had a hissy fit and chosen not to function. It wasn’t the Wi-Fi connection or suchlike but your actual mechanical problem buggerit. No  barcode no participation: the ParkRun site makes that crystal clear.

I was actually relieved on account of having worried myself into quite a state regarding my ability to last anything like the distance. I decided that I wasn’t meant to start today but spend the next week getting in some trial walks: drew up a few Google maps with that in mind.

There’s nice – the delightful little park a few doors up ..

And that kilometres takes in some of the very pretty Bulla Road environs – should be indeed pleasant !

And to replicate ParkRun – were I full of bullets –

So that’s enough practice for a squadron, let alone one old broad ..

I doubt I’ll ever do that 5k walk around my area – it’s not all flat ! But the two single kilometres should be fine for ascertaining my degree of – not fitness, no .. of ability to walk. And then I can go to Maribyrnong without having to be scared because of not knowing if I’m going to collapse or somethin ..


From MyWW to Lite n Easy explanation

What happened was that I completely fell out of love with cooking.

It was fine as long as I could make my 1-pot stovetop meals and work my way through them. But my sister Paula had pointed out that I wasn’t eating any complete protein while cooking my beans-based vegetarian meals.

It was then I found out that I CAN’T COOK NON-VEGETARIAN. No: not that my noble spirit won’t allow me to; but that I’m not able to !


So I struggled along doing things like eating a shitload of salad with tinned tuna, until I felt that another mouthful of tuna would see me screaming. And Woolworths over the road had put up the price of its roast chickens to $11, which I refused to pay. So for a while it was those deli packets of sliced ham and stuff like that – all of which I actually detest.

And so, of course, I then fell out of love with the MyWW regimen. It was all too hard because I’d never used any of their hundreds of recipes.

Happily, I moved here to Essendon and had changed my Home Care Provider (as mentioned yesterday) and so have someone to offer advice – or, rather, suggest possible solutions. My Look-Afterer says he often eats Lite n Easy meals for the sheer convenience, and recommended a couple. (But he and his wife and kids eat from the straight dinners menu – not the calorie-counted meals; so his choices aren’t available to me.) I signed up; and I’m here to say that although the delivery men are stroppy bastards – well, mine is ! – it’s most definitely worth it !!

I get lunch and dinner. I’ve swapped out my oats banana for a grated apple, and believe me it’s a YUMMY breakfast ! And to not have to even THINK about preparing food is the most delightful thing – just wonderful ..

My Home Care Package picks up 70% of the cost, which means I’m paying just under $41 for a whole week of lunches and dinners because I decided to go with the 1200 calories a day set. Interestingly, moving up to the 1500 a day looks to me to add desserts, coz the menu items have the same names. I’m not a dessert person, and I fill up quickly these days; so as I don’t want to drop too much weight in the short term I’ve ordered some extra soups for next week. It’s all fun !   :)

You can see what I mean about losing weight too quickly .. Of course, a sensible person never weighs herself daily; but I’m glad I did !

I can’t go on eating 1200 calories a day indefinitely; so at some point I’ll cut out the lunches and just order the dinners. Or maybe go up to the 1800 cs a day ! – wowee !! I must check those meals out, sinful as they are ..

But I want to share the joy of never needing, ever !, to think dismally “What on earth am I going to make for my dinner ?” while knowing that it’s meant to be HEALTHY and all that.  With Lite n Easy all that shit’s done for me, lazy old fart that I am ..

Exercise ? – ACK !!!

But yes ! – exercise.

I suddenly and inexplicably grew tired of having to choose the radio button that says ‘nil’ when indicating how much of it I do.

No, that’s a porky. Wish it were true.

I came across a link in .. in .. dunno: maybe The Guardian ? – it wasn’t the ABC’s Just In column. Musta been The Guardian (to which I subscribe).  Yes, this was it. Never knew about ParkRun; or if I did I’ve managed to push it to the back of the ancient brain.

It grabbed me instantly. And that’s NOT a porky, believe it or not ! It fired me up to remembering how I used to do this daily walk, after Chic had gone and I mysteriously decided to lose some weight:

It was, of course, an absolutely GORGEOUS walk with Sydney Harbour everywhere around. I had some terrific photos taken during it, once: but no more. And that’s a tale from the M-R Madness files ..

Back to ParkRun ..

My local one – there are thousands throughout the world !! – is, I am very happy to report, at Maribyrnong. I have a very soft spot for that area as a result of living there for almost a year and having fallen in love with the beautiful little river – around which, as you can see, the ParkRun course runs. As do its participants – well, not this one: I don’t run, I walk briskly. I actually can’t run: something to do with balance and fear of falling ..

I start next Saturday. And I’ve already started on ‘Lite n Lean’ lunches and dinners: I can have my Home Care Plan pay for 70% of that ! In other woids, apart from seven bananas with seven servings of 40g of rolled oats and some lactose-free low-fat long-life milk for my coffee, I eat fourteen meals a week for about $48. Heh heh .. good for me and very good for my wallet ! Which has been attacked relentlessly of late by the need to have furniture taken away and in a couple of instances replaced by smaller things – this is a very small apartment indeed ..

Today my scales tell me 76.9kg. Comme vous pouvez lire, my weight continues to fall, ever so slowly. As I said to the young bloke who looks after me – upon whom I dote – in my Home Care Plan Provider company, Aunty Grace,

it’s my ambition to reach 70kg so that I can be a regular person in a lift. Don’t get it ?: lifts have plaques telling the gross weight they can carry and also the number of people. It always divides into about 70kg. [grin]

There was a very, very long time during which I would have to look away from that plaque ..

They say that exercise is addictive. Hmmm .. I shall have to avoid talking to my dear Hev, as she will only push me to do MORE. Still, getting up on a Saturday morning and taking a coupla trams to ParkRun should be tolerable: after all, I did that Pyrmont walk every day for quite a long time ..

Watch this space ..

And about bloody time !!!

Very happy to identify my political leanings.

It was well past time for Australians to take ScoMo to task for his absolute refusal to acknowledge climate change and his own betrayal of trust regarding a Federal Integrity Commission.

Amongst other things, of course.

The only awful news coming out of yesterday is that our tv screens and online newspapers will shortly be filled with images of the repulsive and completely OTT Peter Dutton as he becomes the Opposition Leader.

I couldn’t bear that: I shall have to start selecting a god to pray to that the ABC and The Guardian don’t give him as much coverage as they did ScoMo ..