Archive for December, 2007

So many reasons

December 30, 2007

It’s Christmas time and I have to arrange all this Christmas stuff for work.

I’m moving to a new job in another city early in 2008 and it takes lots of time/worry/effort to do that.

I’m trying to sell a house and buy another one so we have a place to live in the new city. Heaps of time/worry/effort in that pair of activities.

I had to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.

My son and his wife are on holidays and we are looking after their four year old daughter. Grandparents have heaps of time — but only for going to the park or reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar several times a day. Today we went down to see the newborn foal not far from here, that took a bit of time. He’s very friendly, so is his mother and older brother from a few years ago. Just the kind of family we needed to introduce the world of close up horses to a four year old.

Oh yeah, the dog ate my homework.

So there you have it, all sorts of reasons why I haven’t added anything to the blog for two weeks. And soon it’s New Year, and then we’re going on holiday, and then we’re moving house (as long as we can find a house to move into) and then the new job starts up with a vengeance. So it might be another gap before I post the next time.

So have a Happy New Year y’all out there.


December 15, 2007

I blogged a little while ago on two ‘Gone’ guys here in Australia. And the opposite of gone?

How about that guy in the UK who walked into a Police Station and said he’s just come out of amnesia? Couldn’t remember anything for the last five years, he said. There he was out canoeing and suddenly he’s somewhere else and he’s lost five years of everything he ever knew.

Turns out he’s changed his story since then. They can do wonders these days with the right medicine. But he did give them a clue or two. Well, for a start, how did he know it was five years if he had amnesia? Bit of a give-away, that one.

Then again, the man used to be a prison officer. Perhaps he’s just used to measuring time in 5 year lots. Most guys doing time would rather forget about it, so I can’t say I blame him for not wanting to remember anything.

Not only that, but his wife has started to remember some stuff about him as well, such as how he was living in their wardrobe for years when everybody else thought the poor bloke was dead. OK, I promise I won’t make any Narnia jokes. But C.S.Lewis must be turning in his grave. And that was not a Narnia joke.

Everyone knows that you have to have a good memory if you are going to be a successful liar. So claiming to have forgotten absolutely everything means you start out dead in the water. People are starting to wonder if his story has more holes in it than his canoe seems to have had.

One can only wonder what makes a man pretend to have amnesia. I’m sure all that life insurance money that his wife had already spent had a bit to do with it. However much it was. Can’t recall just now but it’ll come to me.

For a while there I thought the two might have called the whole charade to a halt so they could sell the story to the newspapers. But then I thought, ‘What would they be able to write about?’ Let’s face it, a secret life in a wardrobe is not very eventful. Unless you are C.S.Lewis, of course. But he’s already claimed that as his own and I do not think that Mr Darwin is going to be getting any awards on this trick.

So there we have it. Welcome back to the wide-awake, dimly remembered, not so happy world of the un-gone.


December 14, 2007

Rejection does not mean dejection.

That is Scribbly Gum’s First Law of Getting Letters from Publishers.

OK, you guessed it. I just got a rejection letter. A rejection email, but the result is the same. After all, they wanted the sub on email. The publisher has had the full manuscript since mid October. It took eight weeks for them to get back to me, that’s normal.

The letter was polite. That is not necessarily normal but probably an increasing trend.

It was a SNARL – which is not as bad as it sounds – a Sensitive New Age Rejection Letter. A friendly snarl, one with a smile and a final line of good wishes with other publishers.

The result? I refuse to get dejected. I’ve had rejection letters before. They exist. They float around out there in the ether or in cyberspace or wherever it is that things float these days. And having floated, they settle on people. Tonight one settled on me. I shook it off before it’s little brother ‘Dejection’ caught up with it.

I will work on the novel. I will consult with people who give solid advice. I will submit to another publisher. I will re-invent the wheel. Oh, wait a minute, somebody’s already done that.


December 7, 2007

Jeff lives across the road. He’s an energetic kind of bloke. In fact he inspires me with his energy. He’s always out on his ride-on mower. Always.

We’ve been trying to figure out if he’s left handed or right handed. Whenever he’s mowing both hands are working independently of each other. The left hands steers the mower and the right hand controls the beer.

For a while we thought that perhaps he’s ambidextrous. Then again, we’ve never seen him spill a drop of beer but there’s sometimes a blade of grass that he’s missed. Right handed has the odds for the moment.

Oh, and a postscript to yesterday’s post on Wellies. Check this out.


December 6, 2007

Here in Australia we have gum boots. When we were living in England we found ‘Wellies’. They’re still gum boots, but.

Posh people wore green wellies. The posher types had green wellies with fancy fabric lining and corduroy tops to grip their trousers. Some even had buckles to tighten the top around the leg. What a wonderful country to think of all this just to raise the standard of the gum boot.

We were so taken with green wellies that we brought these home with us.


We wondered about the name for a while. Why ‘Wellies’? What’s wrong with ‘gum boots’ for a name? It didn’t take long to recognise a bit of a pattern of English life. We realised that the English are always naming things after other things.

We first saw this in relation to cheese. See how far from wellies we’ve come already? The thing about cheese is that we thought it was only Wallace and Grommit who loved cheese. But the whole country is mad about the stuff. They are so mad about it that they even name their towns after it. Good on ’em, I reckon.

Here in Oz we name towns to reflect Australian life, such as my old home town Kickatinalong. Hundred miles further west there was Wheelabarraback.

New Zealand named their capital city after these green boots because the place is so wet most of the year. Can’t hold that against them. They say NZers are more British than the Poms so it’s a very natural process.

Billy Connolly wrote a song called ‘The Welly Boot Song’. Then along came John Clark and re-wrote Connolly’s song and now it’s a gum boot song. This is one area of life where everyone wants to change the name of the simple boot.

Way back in England’s almost forgotten history there was this bloke named Arthur Wellesley. Arthur was very taken with his wellies, even to the extent that he did a minor name change on himself and was known as Wellington forever after. Not many people know this.

Anyway, back to our precious little souvenir wellies. It’s been a few years since we lived in England and we have given in to the inevitable – we are using them as soap. Bit of a silly time to do it, really. Well, there’s this drought on and water is a bit scarce, so it’s not as if we’re going to be using too much soap for a while. Our wellies are safe for a while yet.

But enough about life in England.


December 5, 2007

It’s true. Nine years here and we are on the move. It’s the longest we have lived in the same house for the past 32 years.

house 01

See more here —

And we’ve decided to see if a couple of old dogs can learn a new trick. We are selling the house ourselves without using a Real Estate Agent.

Can’t be too hard. We’ve sold a car or two without professional help. And we managed to sell the children off for scientific experiments a while back. But that was when such a thing was fashionable. That fad seems to have gone the way of the Edsel.

Oh yeah, also sold Grandma as I recall. It was my business partner put me up to that. “You’d sell your own grandmother,” he used to say whenever I got the best in a deal. I could never figure out why he complained, after all he shared the profits.

Anyway, now it’s the house. Any takers?

What I really mean is, “Any buyers?” We are not really interested in people who want to just turn up and take it. Please don’t take offence.


December 3, 2007

In a moment of trying to do nothing much at all last night we wandered innocently into Dr Tatiana’s Sex Guide to All Creation on SBS. There went innocence for the evening, but what lot of fun.

Dr Tatiana is a blending of TV foodie Nigella Lawson and Australia’s very own Umbilical Brothers. Some of you will probably have to do a bit of googling at this point.

What a wonderful world we live in!