26 January 2009

Freedom of speech

Hi readers & cookie munchers
You are absolutely right - I seem to have gone "lo-cal" on my blogging & this is because I have felt the perils of persecution regarding blog censorship this past week.  I've just become aware of how OPEN this blog is.  I have no idea who reads it & yet, I write whatever I like.  Spud has made me aware of this after reading my blog regarding my latest pizza pie purchase (see post dated 10 Jan).  Plus, this week at work I inadvertently sent emails to the wrong person.  Not that it was any kind of problem really, other than the recipient had no idea why they were receiving the information, but it made me aware of how labile the internet is.  However, I do enjoy blogging & will continue to do so but will just think more carefully about what I am writing.  If you notice, I have never really expressed any political or religious views on these pages, but if you must know: I was very happy to see Barack Obama inaugurated this week! 

I feel he represents hope for America though I will say that he has one HELL of a big job ahead of him & I fear it will be a long and hard road.  I hope that people will understand that it will take more than six months or so to fix things and that he will receive a lot of support. However, it was so great to see how happy everyone seemed and I think that, despite the whole exercise being so expensive (while the country seems to be going down the tubes), it was such a morale booster that the cost didn't matter.  And then of course, there was Aretha's magnificent hat. W.O.W!  
So, back on the ranch (& that would be MY ranch and not George W's) things are slow, slow, slow.  Yes, we have "sold" our block of land but I say that with inverted commas as it is still under contract & we will not be able to breathe easy until next Tuesday, when it becomes unconditional.  Meanwhile, our house has had 60 groups of people through it in two weekends and we have not had one single offer - gulp :o( We feel this could be because our agent is marketing it as a 3-bedroom house, which it really isn't.  It could be, with 2 hours of a handyman's help, but currently it is realistically a 2-bed + sleepout house.  Of course, the price is all wrong too, given this fact  @#$%^&*  We just don't understand why someone just doesn't chuck in some crazy offer & see what happens, but it's like no-one wants to make the first move! The people who have bought our block of land offered us $70K less than we were asking in their first offer, so why doesn't someone try that with our house?  It would be a horrible shock but at least it would be something!!  We've looked at what else is on the market in the area & ours is very competitive, despite it's bedroom status.  At least it has two modern bathrooms, which is one more than most of the other little houses for sale! 
Shall I talk about the weather now?  Oh crikey.... it is The Pits!  For the last few days the humidity has been around the 95% mark so everything is sticky, damp & smelly.  The mozzies are out in force, as are the possums.  The cat has barfed onto my iPhone & then into my shoes... The windows are all open but there is not a skerrick of breeze and then when it does rain, it absolutely thunders down.  It's truly hideous.  Soon the mould will start to grow.  I know there may be some of you who would relish this but believe me, it's foul.  I went running yesterday morning with my friends & despite starting at 5:30am, it was already so humid that when I got out of the car, my glasses fogged up.  I only managed 9kms which felt like running in a pool of liquid marshmallow ...  Is there such a thing as liquid marshmallow?  Meanwhile, in Sydney, my brother has been forced to find the longest running movies he can (ie Benjamin Button) to escape the 40+ degree temps there.  I wonder if he's lined up 'Australia'?  I have seen only one movie, which was 'Slumdog Millionaire' and I know the reviewers rave about it being a "heartwarming" story etc, but I found it bloody harrowing...
So, today is Australia Day & we are both recovering from the annual barbie at our friends' place, which we attended last night.  This friend of ours (an Italian planning to become a citizen) has the most incredible shed in his back yard.  I wish I'd taken my camera so I could have posted some photos.  He has built it himself & it is positively smashing!  He has a pizza oven and a fireplace in there, posters of Elvis, chandeliers made of left-over Christmas lights, a dart board, a medical notice board pilfered from the dumpster at the local hospital, a singing fish wall plaque and a flashing neon "PIZZA" sign above the door.  Then, on the terrace outside is a large table with an awning over the top to protect us from rain and possum poo and the whole lot has been built by him.  This awning came about following the same party three years ago when a mischievous possum in the mango tree above felt an urge to drop his business into our pav!  We chowed down on roast lamb & roast beef (cooked in the pizza oven) followed by ritual pavlova while we enlightened ourselves with the Australian Citizen handbook, which also inclused the test you have to pass to become a citizen & I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even know the answer to the Very First Question!!!  What year did Australia become a Federation? Shame, shame, shame.... how un-Australian of me.  The mischievous possum was there too, poking his head out of the branches but foiled in his attempts to ruin our party.

I've been trying to find a good Australia Day-type photo to post here but found this instead & thought that Mr Bean & a bunch of surf lifesavers was pretty close, don't you think?  Not sure what he was doing on the beach but let's all be thankful he wasn't in his budgie-smugglers! Okay, time to close the lid on the cookie jar for today as I've been sitting here for an hour & there are things to be done (ie like finding out how to escape the humidity today)

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