Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pity and poets

It's been a bit of an eventful week and not in a good way I fear.
I ended up with tonsillitis. Again. I seem to get it at least once or twice a year. Which isn't that bad when you compare me to my niece Chiara, who comes down with it on average two weeks after her last course of antibiotics has finished. She almost always has it. So I really can't complain too much but still, it's kind of annoying.

I'm assuming everyone has suffered from tonsillitis before but just in case you haven't, I can tell you it's awful. Apart from the whole 'my throat is on fire and it hurts to swallow/talk/sneeze/breathe' aspect, there's also the lovely combination of fever, utter exhaustion and just general feeling like crapness. Yesterday I went from being so cold (on a 32C day) that I had to soak in a hot bath to getting all hot and sweaty late in the afternoon back to being so cold again that I dressed in my winter flannel jarmies.
Today I have managed the strenuous tasks of having a shower and going to the shop for more Panadol and now I feel like just napping away the entire day.

Unfortunately I can't do that.

For those of you who have Facebook, you'll be aware that my poor little Miss Molly had her own eventful day yesterday at the vet. She had to go and have her teeth cleaned and they were so bad (because her neglectful parents never thought to take her to the doggie dentist before) that she ended up having eight teeth removed. I know, eight! I actually asked the vet if she had any left over. After one of the teeth was removed, they found a suspicious lump in her gum which also had to be removed. Once we recover from this vet bill (almost $800) we can opt to have the lump sent off for testing to see if it's harmless or cancerous.

The surgery went rather well but since she's an old dame now her recovery time has been a little slow. When she was carried out to me, I thought my heart would break. She looked so dejected and miserable (and if I'm honest, downright stoned) that I felt a right cow for putting her through this. She perked up quite well once we got home but she's been very sooky, doesn't want to leave my sight and she's very jumpy. Every time I drop something or make any kind of noise, she jumps a mile and runs and hides under the bed.

To make matters even worse, just before my doctor's appointment yesterday I got a message from Christian saying he was going to have to fly to Melbourne overnight for work. Molly and I were going to have to fend for ourselves it would seem. And considering my poor darling has no opposable thumbs, doesn't even realise that I'm sick and is generally just a dog, the nursing was left entirely up to me. I had to suck it up.
Christian caught an 11pm flight last night, spent only 6 hours in Melbourne and has just gotten back on the plane, which will arrive here at half past one this arvo. He told me he's exhausted and didn't get any sleep on the plane at all. So when he gets home today, he'll be just as tired and grumpy and sorry for himself as Molly and I are.

I promised myself I wouldn't spend this entire post in a self pitying manner and so I shall move on to a more cheerful topic.

William McGonagall.

I first learned of the worst poet in the world from Boo when she posted on her blog and since then, I have been a fan. When we went to visit her last year, we took great joy in torturing Christian with readings of his poems. I even secretly signed Christian up for a 'gem a day' email, which he hastily canceled before speaking to a divorce lawyer.

What bought Mr McGonagall to the forefront of my thoughts today (surprisingly enough I can go days without even thinking about him or his poems!) was a status update from a guy on FB. I haven't met him IRL but he is friends with Mouse and Boo and so it wasn't long before we friended each other on FB. His status was this little snippet
'Upon yonder hill there stands a coo
I've just had a look
It's no there noo!'
I made the comment that it sounded vaguely McGonagall-ish and then figured I'd look it up and see. According to this page, because it's bad poetry and it's Scottish a lot of people think McGonagall wrote it but if you really think about it, you'd see that he clearly didn't.
If you're like me and half the time don't bother with links on blogs and whatnot, I'll copy and paste their reasoning here:

'It scans (more-or-less).
It appears to be deliberately comic (however unsuccessfully).
It's written in Scots vernacular, which McGonagall rarely did.
There's no mention of a date, or of an early death!'

The best part about this little discovery however is that they don't just leave it at that but then go on to say that if McGonagall had written the poem, it would probably be something like this:

'Upon the hill there stood a cow
But upon recent viewing I can say that it is not there now
For it died, most unexpectedly, of BSE
On the 29th day of September 1893.'

That just made me laugh and laugh and then go 'Ow, ow, it hurts, it hurts'.

I think however that this is one of my favourite of his poems, mainly because he's pissed that people don't like his poems so he seems to think that the best way to get revenge is to leave Dundee lol

A New Year's Resolution to Leave Dundee.

Welcome! thrice welcome! to the year 1893,
For it is the year I intend to leave Dundee,
Owing to the treatment I receive,
Which does my heart sadly grieve.
Every morning when I go out
The ignorant rabble they do shout
'There goes Mad McGonagall'
In derisive shouts as loud as they can bawl,
And lifts stones and snowballs, throws them at me;
And such actions are shameful to be heard in the city of Dundee.
And I'm ashamed, kind Christians, to confess
That from the Magistrates I can get no redress.
Therefore I have made up my mind in the year of 1893
To leave the ancient City of Dundee,
Because the citizens and me cannot agree.
The reason why? -- because they disrespect me,
Which makes me feel rather discontent.
Therefore to leave them I am bent;
And I will make my arrangements without delay,
And leave Dundee some early day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Edinburgh photos!

So it's only seven months late...but I finally got around to posting some of my favourite photos from my trip to wee bonny Scotland last year!

I actually have a good reason for it taking me so long too! Usually I upload all my pics to my own computer and then do blog posts etc from there. However, at that point my computer had decided it wasn't going to play well with others and I had upload my photos onto the HTPC in the lounge room and to do a post from there I have to sit on the floor and it's uncomfortable and my butt hurts but I am doing that right now for you people and my bum is hurting so stop your bloody whinging that this post is seven months late already!!!

*phew* Ok, now that that's out of my system, here we go!

This is our room. It will forever be our room. No one else can claim it. No one!

The ever lovely Arthur's Seat.

We are all laughing. Why? Because this dog's name is Bum. Oh yes, you heard me. Bum the dog.

Wait a second! I'm sure there was a castle here somewhere...where the heck could it have gone???

If this sign says it is so, then it must be so!

Sunshine and lollypops! Wait a minute, we didn't have lollypops...awwww :(

Our camping adventure begins!
Christian in a tree. Don't ask.

Who's in the bag? Are they wearing glasses? And a beanie? And are cold and wet? Is it Flora and Nettie? It is? Yay! I win!

Hush, the White Rabbit is sleeping!

Squirrels! Red ones at that! And a squirrel sized hat factory!

Do you think they would honour this?

I love wolfies :D

'Yes dear Roger?'
'Don't look now, but there's something on the bench with us...'
'Oh dear Roger, should I get out the bug spray?'
'No Alice, I'm sure they'll scurry off soon.'
Play time!

Cawdor Castle. The crappest castle in the world. Seriously. They don't even make hats!


Pixie house.
Curses woman! I don't want my photo taken but I seem to be trapped in this giant web. I shall use my only defense against the likes of cold, steely glare!
All dressed up, let's rock this baby naming ceremony!
Inappropriate canon behaviour. I'll just let the photos speak for themselves, shall I?

Fear him...I bloody do!
Follow the white rabbit.
And you will discover something veeeeeery interesting about Nettie...
I love this photo.

Up above the world so high...

Like a wacky Brady Bunch.
Eeep! It's a highland coo!
Don't look now but there's a furry white nose growing out of my ear!

At the zoo. According to Christian, this is apparently a wolverine. Honestly, just because he can tell the difference between a polar bear and a rock, doesn't mean he can see wolverines!

Evil King Zeph!No! Don't jump!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

To complain or not to complain...

Or to return a product or not. To make a fuss or not?

I am one of these people who just cannot stand being rude, confrontational or the teeniest bit assertive. I am logical enough to see that being assertive doesn't necessarily mean being rude but to some extent it's always confrontational. It might not be violent or angry but if you pull someone up on a small mistake (however nicely you do it), there's always going to be an undercurrent of confrontation.

I however take things to extreme. My brain just doesn't work like most people's do. Returning something to the store because it's faulty makes me so uncomfortable because I fear I will be perceived as rude/annoying/arrogant/confronting.
I've been on the other end of the returns counter and in most cases I've never felt that way about the customer who is returning the item (unless they're being an asshat about the whole thing). If anything, I'm extremely apologetic and feel awful that they've been so inconvenienced. But once I'm the one returning the product I just can't do it.

It's so bad that it's a running joke in my family now.

Here are some examples of when I should have returned something or complained or spoken up and I have not. These have all occurred in the past couple of weeks.

* I bought some pre-grated cheese and it was mouldy. I threw it out and went and bought some more.

* I bought a 2L bottle of diet coke. When I opened it, I discovered the seal had been broken and the coke was flat. I poured it down the sink.

* The other night my mum took us all out for dinner and my meal didn't arrive. Everyone else was already almost finished but I didn't say a word. My mother noticed and called over the waiter to ask what had happened to my meal. He apologised, explained it had accidentally been forgotten about and he would be right back with it. I was silent the entire time, beet red and squirming from embarrassment in my chair.

* I went to Ikea the other day and wanted to try one of their Daim cakes. I left their 'market' store only to discover I had bought the wrong kind of cake. The friend I was with told me to go back and just swap it over but I wouldn't, I just said 'No, you can have it'. In the end he went in and bought me the right kind.

*I bought a different brand of cereal the other day, thinking I'd try the home brand since from the packet it looked exactly the same as the branded kind. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever had, it tasted like it had been burnt. Christian had it too and was so annoyed that he actually rang the company to complain. I would have just thrown it out and never bought it again...

And now I have the conundrum that our new toilet seat we got the other day is broken. The thread for the screw is buggered so we can't attach it to our toilet. I've asked Christian to take it back so he can explain why we need a new one but he just gave me a look and told me that I wanted the damn seat so I can take it back and get a new one.
I know that I just won't be able to do it, I'll end up having a panic attack and then leaving it until it's way too late to return in and we'll end up wasting the money we spent on it.
I know it's illogical but unfortunately I did not inherit my father's Vulcan personality so logic be damned!

I may need to use my cunning womanly wiles to convince my dear husband to do this for me. More likely I need to bloody well grow a damn pair and man up.

I'm putting my money on option A...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Attack of the GIANT spider of DOOOOOOOM!*

*No actual attack took place...

Today was an absolutely glorious day! It was only about 27C or so and the sun was out and there was a lovely breeze and so it was the perfect time to go for a walk down through Bassendean (a suburb very near me that sits on the banks of the Swan River).

I parked my car near the main road and headed off in the general direction of the river. There were lots of other people out and about and I would have probably walked right under the GIANT spider of DOOM if not for some cyclists taking photos of him.

He was perched in a tree right about the footpath. Isn't he awesome???

Complete with web and eggs!

I then headed down to Point Reserve, one of the many parks in Basso (I will take this opportunity to say that spell check has an issue with 'Bassendean' but not for 'Basso'...interesting). The entrance to the park has some painted murals depicting native fauna.

The Killer Kookaburra.

The Deadly Dragonfly.

The Bloody Bobtail.

A Fearsome Frog.

So there have recently been lots of floods over East and up North and I have wondered how likely it is that we will ever suffer the same fate. A newspaper article in the local rag I read a couple of weeks ago said that if the Swan did flood, experts expect Bassendean will be one of the worst affected areas.

I wonder how often this has come in handy in the past...?

There were a gaggle of geese frolicking around on the grass. As soon as I got within 20 meters of them, they formed up and started advancing on me, honking furiously.
I'm well aware from reading Footrot Flats that geese can be a (literal) pain in the arse so I high tailed it away from them.

"And don't you come back now!"

This pink and grey was much more sedate.

The river is rather pretty.

Just look how the morning sun shines off it!

Marvel at it's murky browness!

I rather liked this tree so I snapped a pic of it from the end of the jetty (contrary to popular opinion I cannot walk on water).

Finding my thimble sized bladder alarmingly full, I decided to make use of the facilities at Point Reserve. I had never ever before used a chain flush toilet.
I can now strike that from my bucket list.

I want this house! I'm pretty sure this used to be a church of some kind that is now being renovated.

Unless it's just a seriously cool house...

After about an hour I was making my way back to the car and spotted these magpies. Apparently there was good pickings along the wall!


And lastly, for your viewing pleasure - ducks!