Saturday, March 31, 2012

Broken Heart

I am sorry, but I can't write today.  I feel like someone or something has died and my heart feels broken.

I am having a cup of tea and an early night.

I will write about it tomorrow

Friday, March 30, 2012

Treating ourselves tonight

Have been craving an indulgent dinner out the last few months.  We have been on a budget and cutting out the expensive and indulgent pastime of dining out (as opposed to when you go to maccers and they ask you if you are 'dining in?'  Since when is a cheeseburger dining?)

So tonight we have a table booked for a 30 year tradition in Perth - sizzling garlic prawns at the Witches Cauldron.  Of course it can be hard deciding between...

Deep Fried Camembert
With a roquette and pear salad & Cumberland sauce


Garlic Prawns        
Sizzling prawns with garlic and chilli

... but that's why you go with a few other greedy people .. get both and share!

It's still so very 1980's.  Which 10 years ago was tacky, now its nostalgic. 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Got a little behind (I wish!!)

I had very good intentions to keep this blog on a daily basis, but some days just don't allow me to have the time it takes to write.  Other days, its just plain hard work to get the words out, other days they flow like rain. 

Sometimes, well a lot of the times, the Tom Dog sees me on the computer and demands my attention.  If I don't go and have a cuddle, he yips (as only a border collie can) and leaps at the sliding door.  Its very hard ignoring a very large and determined BC.  But I wait until he has quietened down so we dont reward bad behaviour.  But who can resist this boy?

Its been a quite tiring week, both because I am not sleeping well, and a few wheels falling off here and there (Dad even had this happen to his literally!)  Nothing major, or should I say, nothing major for our household.  We don't ever seem to have a 'normal' life - but then I wouldn't have it any other way.  I like a dynamic and fluid life, love change and crave something different.  If I stay stagnant and in the same place I feel suffocated.

However, there are days when I would just love the routine and mundane.  Just for a few weeks until we catch our breath.  Then I will be wanting to move house, or at the very least moving furniture around.

I have to confess, I have found a new Internet obsession.  Its called Pinterest and I am having a great time making boards of pictures for inspiration and just for sheer pleasure.  Go have a look - link below...


I have found lots of things to make me smile and lots of things to inspire me to get our Guest Wing done. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Monday Tactic

Didn't go to work today.  (gee its good sometimes owning your own business)
It was kind of planned Friday, and a very caring work colleague encouraged me to take a day to myself.  I was only three quarters convinced Friday, half Saturday and a quarter Sunday.  Come Monday morning and I was 100% convinced having a day at home was a good idea.

Our weekend got gobbled up by helping out our sons with their house project.  More specifically, the decking under the patio they built on the back.  Very pleased with being able to help, and the end result was well worth it - looks awesome.

BUT, it meant I got no washing done, no shopping or cooking - the doggies didn't get their special dinner made.  The toilets went unwashed, no clean sheets (I do do love my clean sheets), and certainly no chores in the garden got done.  My pots need their worm juice and I have some bug infestation that is devouring plants before my eyes.  I am yet to catch the culprit, but I will have to soon before I have only sticks left.

So, come Monday, a little washing was done, a half hearted swish of loos, I made a shopping list, did the grocery shopping.  But I also tried to take a little me time.  Started slow, watched a few taped TV shows while I made doggy dinner (mince, anything leftover in the fridge, garlic and parsley, vegetables, rice).  Had a long shower and washed my hair, and when I went shopping, had a nice long browse in Target for some inspiration for the Guest Wing makeover planned for the Easter weekend. 

This is what I bought for $95.00

I am planning a Duck Egg Blue theme with ducks and Paris as the motifs, just in a very subtle way.  Loving Pinterest for the inspiration boards right now.

So, to the rest of you, hope you too had a pleasant Monday!!  I think I might make this a regular thing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Aahhhhhh Pantry Moths!

These are the little critters I have been waging a war against the last 12 months.  I have had 4 outbreaks now, last time I cleaned out my pantry COMPLETELY  .. i.e emptied every Tupperware container, scrubbed them in bleach, checked every crevice, dried them in the sun.  Then pulled out every single item out of the pantry shelves, it was completely empty.  Scrubbed and sprayed all the corners and shelves.  Left it empty for a few days to get the little grubs that hide in the cracks.  Sprayed it with insect spray and closed the door for 2 days, then aired it for 2 more.  Threw out every bit of food that could possibly harbour eggs, webs, grubs or moths.  Anyhing new that was in a cardboard box and not a sealed plastic bag went into the bin. 

The whole time I was throwing out all this food I was wishing I had chooks.

I am too scared to take the lid off this container, so its sat on my bench as a science experiment!  The moths are well and truly alive and kicking.  Seems they dont need a lot of oxygen.  I dont even want to empty this outside in case the moths take up residence around the house somewhere.  I know I am going to have to sacrifice the plastic container.  Pity, as it did its job exceptionally well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday ... phew made it

Well Friday is here. 

We survived Monday, hiked up to hump day Wednesday, and now we are skidding down Friday with a little hitch in our giddy up. 

8 hours work until its the weekend.

Two days to myself.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

A nice cup of tea

This picture says it all really.  In my new Royal Doulton* 1815 cup and saucer that Mr Kirsa bought me for Christmas.  How is it that tea tastes so much better in white fine china?  It really does taste better. 

Well I guess its not absolutely perfect as there is one of those dang bags bobbing about.  If it was a perfect cup of tea, it would have been made just the way my parents taught me when I was little.  At first I thought this was a fun little ritual, but then I soon found out their reasons for teaching me so carefully.  Sunday lay ins with tea made by child salves.  Taught my own slaves, ah I mean children this ritual when they were old enough.  Had the great pleasure of handing down the tradition to my niece this last Christmas while we were camping.  The poor child had never been shown, my brother is a terrible parent!!  Maybe he escaped the tea slavery when we were kids? 

So, a teapot, rinsed out and waiting for the first of the boiling water to warm the pot.  Swill, wait a minute, then rinse this out.  One spoon (has to be a tea caddy spoon in either silver or brass) of tea leaves for each person and one for the pot.  Having kept the water on the boil, fill the teapot and clamp on the lid before any heat escapes.  Put on the hand knitted tea cosy, especially if its winter.  This kind of panic to be quick step was always a little baffling to an Aussie kid, especially in mid summer.  It wasn't like the tea was going to get much colder.  And speaking of which, why is it that you can drink hot tea on a hot day and feel refreshed?

Anyway ... Wait.  Wait.  Its quite a nice, calming ritual, with lots of waiting.  While waiting set tea cups in their saucers, pour a little milk into the cups, remember that Mum likes hers milky and Dad less so.  One teaspoon of sugar each. 

Get tea leaf strainer.  Put over Mums cup first, pour a little test pour first, checking the colour.  Tip pot back to mix properly.  When happy with the colour, pour both cups of tea.  Stir sugar to dissolve, but do it gently so as to not spill tea into the saucer.  There will be plenty of chances later to slop into the saucer.  Try to pick up both cups and saucers at once .. hmmm bit tricky.  Decide who you love more today so that you can choose which cup to carry first.  Mum made bangers and mash last night for dinner, with onion gravy.  You take hers first.  Careful, slowly .. oops spilt a little bit, but not too bad.  Another step, watching the cup the whole time...

And so it went on.  It was win win really.  Parents with a cup of tea in bed and a child who feels empowered and proud of their achievement.  I probably only did this once or twice a year, and the tea Mum and Dad got was probably terrible but I have perfected the ritual with time!

Such a simple thing as making a cup of tea, and look at all the emotions it evokes.

* This set does not have periwinkles, nor would Mrs Bucket approve as there is an unsightly string hanging from the side.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So, how's the journey so far?

My blog is entitled 'Journey to Contentment' ... so where on the map am I?  How far have I come and how far is to go?  I have been pondering this question for a few days now, mulling it over, going to bed thinking about it, on the drive into work, standing in the shower, whilst I water the garden - words form and I write this blog in my head.  The pessimist in me, Ms P (glass half empty? ... ha a glass, you had a glass! said in best Yorkshire accent) says that I haven't even started on the journey yet.  Life is hard and bitter and stressful and nothing is going the way I want it.  Gee Ms P is sure a spoilt brat isn't she?  But Ms O, the sunshine optimist, says I am doing just fine and on the right track.  She says it will take time, but that's a good thing as it will build a solid foundation for us.

I must admit, Ms P gets far more attention, but that's just because she is the noisy one.  She always has something to say, whereas Ms O is the quite achiever.  I must learn to listen out for Ms O more and practice good parenting and ignore the bad behaviour of Ms P.  Like yesterday.  I was preparing the end of month reports for our business, the figures looked pretty good so far.  Ms O says well it was a much  better month than the last one, that's progress.  Ms P is whining away about how, sure this was a better month but it doesn't make up for the rest of the bad months during the year.  As an average, we still hadn't made the target we set, and the only way out was to have 3 more months like this one.  This month still had expenses to be added and the only reason it was a good month is the 3 big projects all hit in the same month.  This was an anomaly and it wont last.  Sadly, I do tend to buy into Ms P's argument.

So why is my journey so linked to if we have good or bad months financially? Especially when I say (and believe wholeheartedly) that its not money that makes you happy?  Because to have no debt means you have options.  To have options means that the path in front of you opens up.  You have the freedom to choose whichever path your heart desires.  To have debt, means someone else is in control of your path.  All I want is to have my little bit of land, a modest house, no mortgage, and to live off what we have. A little bit in reserve in case the tractor dies, or the fences need replacing, or to pay for insurance every year, or if one of us needs medical attention.

This little dream, however modest, still costs money.  To be debt free is a huge step in itself.  We do have to be very realistic and wait for what we really want.  Otherwise, we will just swap one stress for another.  We have had the other stress before, when the boys were little we had a glorious 26 acres in a breathtaking little country town on the coast.  Chicken pens, organic vegetable garden, fruit trees, plenty of water, a beautiful little house....It was idyllic heaven... so it seemed on the outside.  But look a little closer and you would have seen two very stressed people working 2 jobs each, trying to make do with begged, borrowed or stolen (no not really) second hand building materials, having accounts with the local hardware store, petrol station, grocery store and always the struggle to pay them each month.  Boys wearing clothes til they fell off them, or worse, having to wear clothes that I made them! (the shame of it).  Having very old and unreliable machinery, trying to make do with every thing we did.  That was stress.

So, as bad as it feels sometimes to be stuck in the city and in a job that keeps me in a airless basement, it still feels like the right path at the moment to get what I ultimately want.  Whats the saying?  Good things come to those that wait?  We are the last of the delayed gratification generations.  It WILL be good when we get there.  Ms O and I know that!

Take that Ms P !! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slow Cooking ... Quick Blog

Trying a slow cooked recipe today.  I saw it on Better Homes and Gardens, Fast Ed section.  I don't know why I never thought of this before.  He made a traditional bolognaise sauce in a slow cooker.  I love this sauce, but only when its cooked the old way, hours and hours of cooking.  I had this in a little restaurant in Roma, I think there were 3 or 4 tables in the whole restaurant, and I asked the waiter what herbs they used in the sauce.  He bought out his Nonna .. this old Italian woman who grinned at me as he asked her again what she put in her sauce.  She spoke no English and I certainly did not speak Italian.  But with her hands and face she conveyed to me, with a great deal of pride and love, how she makes it.  I picked up basilico , carota, ragazza .. and by her gestures she told me about a long time cooking.  I got very excited talking to this lovely woman, the language of food bridging our differences.  I asked about pesto and how she made tiramasu. 

So, as I have to go to work today, and can't be in my beloved kitchen all day, I have put all the ingredients onto low in my slow cooker and tonight when I get home, I can judge the outcome.

I don't know why, but leaving the food to do its thing in an electric cooker just seems to lose its magic for me.  It becomes a perfunctory necessity to eat, not an experience to savor.

Verdict tonight.

Home, and after 9 hours cooking .. the taste test.

Well, it sure smelt good when we got home, but the flavour was not as good as when I cook this in my heavy Staub pot.  Husband and son agreed.  But having said that, it sure was nice to have dinner cooked barr a pot of boiled water with pasta tipped in. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mondays .. do I like them?

Well today's the day.

It's the day of the week that is least liked. 

Monday must have a real complex. It must feel like Cinderella while Saturday and Sunday are the Ugly Sisters who get to go to the ball while it has to stay home and do all the dirty work.  Wednesday gets it's own name - Hump Day- and is celebrated for being the halfway mark, Friday is known as Casual ;-) .  Tuesday and Thursday are left alone to do their own thing .. but poor ole Monday gets a song about how much it's hated.

But why exactly?

Well here is an example of this Monday for me.  I was woken at 7am by a great lumbering, sooky border collie whining at my window.  He does this when he wants attention, no better than a bored toddler or a husband with a cold.  I rolled over and tried to ignore him, but then my CD alarm went off at 7.10am.  I had chosen a fun, upbeat song to wake up to and its sunny, happy beat was enough for me to smash the snooze button.  I laid there, trying to wake slowly, it was like I hadn’t slept at all and there was no way my eyes could even flutter, let alone open.  I tried to force them open, looked at the time ... yep 7.15am - it was definitely time to get up.  I managed to keep my eyes open for a second, but then the lure of a feather pillow and more sleep was too much.  Ah, yes, back to the land of softness and sweet slumber....

7.20am... back with the happy, clappy music, damn those snooze buttons.  This time I really had to wake up. 

Then, with a seeping dread through my body, I remembered.  It was Monday.  My body had known this before me and was rebelling already.  For a moment I became rebellious too and said stuff it, I will take a sicky today, go back to sleep and stay in bed until noon.  That sounded so nice and I almost convinced myself that I could pull this off.  The mature part of me chastised my lazy self, besides, I am one of the boss's - what example does this show the young'uns?

Coffee.  That would get me going.  Up and out and down the hallway.  Great, the cat has been sick on the tiles, too tired to deal with it now, papertowel thrown over it until I have had coffee.  The dogs see I am up which means breakfast .. RIGHT NOW.  Kettle on, oh fabulous, the powerpoint has tripped off again.  Must remind Mr Kirsa to call Eric the Electrician.  Can't get the lid off the dog food, almost cut my hand on the plastic.  Feed dogs, kettle has finally boiled.  Get cup from dishwasher, there is white residue in it, machine didn't wash properly again. Wash cup by hand.  Go to get milk, bugger, we used the last of it last night.  Check calendar on pantry door.  Big circle on today’s date "Dentist 2pm" ...

Sigh ... yep this is Monday and I don’t like it at all...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicken Tante Celestine

This is my recipe for Tante (french for Aunt) Celestine's Chicken. I have adapted it from Margaret Fulton's Superb Restaurant Dishes published in 1982, and she was given this recipe from M Jean Delaunay, the demonstration chef of Marnier-Lapostolle of Paris.  Grand Marnier, an orange flavoured cognac, is the star ingredient here and the original liqueur was created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle. A delicate blend of fine cognacs and distilled essence of tropical oranges with Marnier-Lapostolle's secret touch. Bitter orange flavours are enhanced by the cognac with nuances of orange marmalade and hazelnuts. The finish is long and harmonious... lovely tasting notes but I am not drinking it yet.. not until I have cooked with it.

This recipe was my tried and tested and well loved dinner party favorite. This was back in the 80's when dinner parties and perms were all the rage. I hadn't cooked it since then, and re-discovered the cookbook recently, nostalgia propelling me to make it again.

It's not a very PC recipe.  The first ingredient calls for chicken pieces with skin on.  Do you know how hard it is to find this?  I tried about 5 different places that sell chicken - everyone of them said that they don't sell chicken with skin on.  A few said, "oh yeah we get asked that all the time".  But I guess the fat police are monitoring them.  Maybe I need to find the black market of chicken that is not destined for the catwalk!  So, without the first ingredient, I had to improvise and get naked breasts .. free range of course.  I use breast meat as I like the whiteness of it and I can cook it very little and keep it moist.

I have to forewarn guests about this dish, just in case they have a heart condition.  I start with the prelude that it is a real french dish.  They nod knowingly that they understand and pop one of their angina pills in anticipation. It has a whole stick of butter, a few cups of cream and of course lots of alcohol.  But I do cheer up their heart surgeon and say its got fruit (apple) and nuts (almonds).  Apart from a little chicken stock, that's the total of the ingredients. 

I don't think it was a French peasant dish, or at least not an everyday peasant dish. I am yet to find the origins of this, maybe it was indeed a recipe devised by the makers of Grand Marnier after all?  A quick search of the net shows me that it is a known recipe, but not very well known.  It has been said that its a perfect date night meal - there is no onion or garlic. 

For my bachelor friend, who sampled this last night and said it would be a good dish to impress a girl, here is the recipe and my notes ..

6 chicken breasts (skin on if you have contacts with the black market)
Flour seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
100g of unsalted good butter
6 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
6 tablespoons of chicken stock
2 cups cream

Cut each breast into 3 even pieces.  Put into a bag with the flour and salt and pepper and shake until well coated.

Melt the butter in a heavy based (french if you have it) pan
In batches, fry the chicken pieces until they are browned.  Don't over crowd the pan as they will stew.

When all browned, put all pieces back into the pan and spoon over the Grand Marnier.  It will sizzle in the remaining butter and smell delicious.  I get a little carried away at this stage and often add a few more glugs.  Then do the same with the chicken stock, but leave out the extras.

Turn down to very low, cover tightly and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender.  Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm.

Turn up the heat, add the cream and scrape up all the bits on the pan, stir and simmer until reduced.  Taste for seasoning.  Pour over chicken. 

Garnish with apples and almonds .. see below..

Apple and Almond Garnish - prepare this before you start.

6 granny smith apples
2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
50 g butter
60g flaked almonds

Peal and core apples.  Cut into bite size pieces and put into a shallow baking dish in one layer.  Melt butter and pour over the apples.  Toss to coat evenly.  Bake in a preheated oven 180c for 15 minutes.  Keep warm.
Toast almonds in a hot dry pan.  Set aside.

Must be eaten with real French wine, however bad.  I serve this with boiled baby potatoes, green beans and steamed carrots.  Its very rich, so serve the vegies very plain. Unless you want an 80's nostalgic moment - serve the carrots with honey, butter and sesame seeds, the beans fried with bacon and onions and potatoes dauphinoise.

Serves 6 .. or 3 greedy people with leftovers the next day.  Also good the next day, heated, for a hangover lunch after all the bad French wine.

I want the serving dish in the picture, copper and very expensive.  Maybe I will charge every person I serve this dish to $20 and I can put this towards buying a copper dish.

A love song

For anyone who knows me well, I am not at all a romantic.  I don't know why, my wonderful dad is an incurable romantic and he and I have talked about why I am more like my mother and shun romance.  I grew up watching my dad do lovely romantics gestures.  He listened to romantic songs.  Maybe the words of my then boyfriend, now husband of 26 years still ring in my ears 'I don't do romance, it makes me uncomfortable'.  Maybe, at the age of 17 when I met him, I knew that romance was dead.  But, no even before then I knew.  That's why when all my friends were swooning over Leif Garret and his love songs, I was being a realist and listening to the lyrics of KISS.

I cringe at cheesy love songs, Hollywood love stories make me puke, scoff at men who arrange elaborate stunts to propose to their girlfriends.  I get more excited about a wheelbarrow of compost than I do about a dozen red roses.  Give me a pair of secateurs rather than a diamond ring.  Take me out into the red dirt and big open skies with a snagger on the campfire rather than a candlelit dinner at some posh restaurant.  Play me Guns n Roses rather than Marvin Gaye.  Chris Isaak sums up love for me better than Frank Sinatra.

But there is one song that moves me.  That makes me think of what true love really is.  That ignites a tiny spark of romanticism.  It is sung by a man with a lovely voice, backed by the unique riffs of a signature electric guitar.  But if you listen carefully, there is also cello and a big beautiful double bass holding the background of a very passionate arrangement.  I don't know if its the words sung, or the stringed instruments, or the electric guitar that get to me. I do get a thrill when I hear the dulcet tones of that bass.  Its like a safe, sure caress.  I love that my son plays this instrument as its truly my favorite.

Here is one of the song writers, also the guitarist who plays the signature solo at the crescendo.  His name is Slash (there's a romantic name right there!)..

Then here is Adam Levine (Maroon 5),  the co-song writer and singer (see tats can be romantic!)

The words ....
I've been saving
these last words for
one last miracle
but now I'm not sure

and I cant save you
if you don't let me
you just get me,
like Ive never been gotten before.  


Isn't that a beautiful word?  To be gotten?  Isn't that what we all want?  To be gotten?  To be understood and heard.  I think if more people were gotten the world would be a far better place.  To be gotten means our needs and desires are being understood.  It means the other person sees the real you.  They 'get' you.  Isn't that just beautiful on so many levels? 

Go have a listen and see if I am right!


And here are a few more of my favorite non-romantic songs...

Babe I'm gonna leave you by Led Zepplin.

Dont you want me by Human League

Cum feel the noise by Slade

Youre so vain by Carly Simon

Estranged by GNR

and of course the very apt Cold Gin by KISS

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Saturday

It's Saturday and I should be doing many other things other than sitting at my computer reading and writing blogs.  But I am not!

Saturday is sheet washing day.  I love the end result of this chore, love the first feel of crisp white, sweet smelling sheets.  For the first few days, getting into bed makes me smile when I remember I have clean sheets.  Such a simple thing that brings joy!  But the process of getting this joy is sometimes a pain. 

I normally get up and strip the bed before I do anything else.  Before I even have put the kettle on.  But this morning, my bed partner, a little white spoilt dog, did not want to get out of bed when I did and I didn't have the heart to rush her.  She is old and sweet and I followed the saying to leave sleeping dogs lie!

Now its mid morning, two cups of coffee and toast and marmalade have slowed me down.  I know I have something smelly in the washing machine to deal with first.  I threw all the cleaning cloths and dog towels in the machine last Sunday night and went to put it on.  We have been having trouble with the circuit breaker that the washing machine is on, and it had tripped out again this night.  It didn't come back on all week, until Eric the Electrician came yesterday to fix it.  Thanks Eric!

So now, I need to go wash smelly rags in a hot and bleach filled machine.  Then I will run the machine again to clean it.  Then I can do my sheets.  Then I can wash the floors, clean the loos, vacuum the lounge...

But you know what?  I think I will just have Saturday off and do all this tomorrow. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

When a husband collects

When girls have a collection, its pretty and nice and decorative.

 When boys have a collection its ugly and messy and not at all decorative.

Mr Kirsa has been collecting military helmets for a few years now, but in the last few months this obsession has reached a peak.  He is on evilbay daily, finding new and exciting items that tickle his fancy.  Finding a new item to bid on propels him out of his chair to show me the pictures, all little boy excitement at this latest discovery.  Yesterday it was an old soldiers travel trunk.  It looked like it had been bombed in the blitz, left in a muddy trench, then dragged home to sit in a shed for the next 50 years. 

It was in Melbourne and the cost of shipping it to us was more than he could buy it for.  But the excitement of purchasing a WW2 relic, with the soldiers army number on it was too much for him to pass up.  I believe his poor Aunt, who lives in Melbourne, now has it sitting in her shed.  I don't know how he thinks we will get it back to Perth, but for now he is happy with the fact he owns it.

Our lounge room is being overrun by helmets, guns, bayonets, bags and badges.  He has procured one of MY collections to help display his.  My 'blue bottles' aka empty Bombay Sapphire gin bottles that I have been diligently collecting .... hey ... don't laugh, I am NOT a Gin Lush.  The blue bottles are for a window in my walled kitchen garden that I will one day build.  Really they are!  I even get my friends to help me collect them.  My friends are ever so willing to help, truly generous they are.

So his helmets sit propped up on my bottles, proudly displayed like a military museum.  In my IKEA cabinet that was destined to shelve other, prettier things.  I have told him that we will turn the old office into a library with a very masculine theme and he can have his precious displays in there.

I secretly like his collection, but ssshhhh... I don't want to encourage him anymore.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poached Egg for Breakfast

Felt like something savory this morning, not the usual jam/marmalade on toast or muesli and yogurt.  Cheese on toast seemed a little indulgent for a weekday, and eggs on my own, Mr Kirsa doesnt do breakfast on a weekday, was a lot of effort for one person.

But I thought, what the hell, poached egg for one does sound good.  On went the pan, water and vinegar (only had good white wine vinegar but it did the job) and in the time that it took the water to boil I had emptied the dishwasher.  In went the egg, freerange of course, but alas not farm fresh, but a lovely yellow yolk just the same.  Sourdough bread sliced and in the toaster and will be ready in chorus with the egg.

It was perfect.  White just cooked, yolk cooked but still runny.  Black pepper and sea salt.  Just a simple thing, but it did make me smile.  Still wishing for chooks of my own, but thats will have to wait until all the planets align.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures of my daydreams.  Some are practical, some are possibilities (Hi Dad!!) and some are just so over the top that no self respecting Aussie Chook would be caught dead in them.

And of course here is a potential tenant

And this is a weeks rent

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's grumpy Tuesday .. on a Wednesday!

I call it Grumpy Tuesday.  It's my way of separating the person I have to become to be effective and the real me.  I only let it last one day, then I go back to my old self.  Its too hard to do it for more than a day and anyway why spoil all the days of the week when you can limit it to just one.

Why is it called Grumpy Tuesday?  Because its the day that I call my overdue debtors and ask them when they think they will pay me the money they owe.  I do it on Tuesday as doing it Monday would be just adding another reason why I dont like Mondays.  From Wednesday onwards I feel good as the weekend is approaching and I dont want to spoil that feeling.  And I get Grumpy as I get the same old tired excuses as to why they cant pay me this week. 

Its the business version of the dog ate my homework.

  • We dont have any record of that invoice.
  • Oh, really?  It was posted to your correct address AND a copy emailed to both accounts and the person who placed the order AND I have sent you statement asking you to check you have all the invoices.  But my bad .. I will send it to you AGAIN.

  • The Accounts lady only comes in once a week/month
  • Well could you ask her to please do her job when she arrives and pay the bills?

  • The boss is away overseas and cant sign the cheques
  • Oh, and how did you get paid this week?  And who 'signs' cheques anymore?

  • The invoice doesnt have a purchase order number on it
  • Well next time we wont sell you the product unless you produce a PO.  Like the last time, when you had an emergency and we said we wouldnt do anything until the accounts person could produce a PO  .. yeah right.

  • The IT department still have that on their desk for approval
  • Well off you go then and get it! 

  • We only pay our creditors on 45 days after receipt of invoice
  • Gee, thats nice.  I will only pay my staff after 45 days of them working, maybe your boss should do the same to you?

  • Our payment run is this Friday
  • Thats what you said last week.  Oh.. you mean a Friday too far away?  A Friday in the next month?  A fantasy Friday?

  • The cheque was posted last week.  You havent received it?  I will check and call you back.
  • I will sit by the phone and grow a big long white beard while I wait for your call.

  • We dont have the money/waiting for a cheque to arrive/clear.
  • So why did you use our service or buy our products when you dont have any money?  Do I look like I own a bank?

  • Oh Jodes ...
  • They think using my nicname that only my best friend uses will make me all soft and gooey inside and tell them they can pay whenever they feel like it.  Oh wait, they do that anyway.

I was in far too good a mood yesterday to do it ... so it will have to be done today .. sigh.  Hopefully someone will come up with a good excuse today and give me a laugh!