Friday, 21 December 2012

Monster week

Last night I met up with some of my lieblings monsters for an apero. It was it always is... when I see their monstery faces. Actually this week has been quite the monster fest. I have seen monsters every single day ..all of them lieblings...every time joyous.

Tomorrow I have a skype job interview for a new job with new monsters. I have never done a skype interview before but I am guessing pajamas are not the go and I should probably wear a bottom with my top.  I am really nervous. I'm not sure if it is the interview or the job or the fact it means I am actually doing something which is making me so scared. Probably all of the above...and the fact that being worried is one of my my most advanced skills. I have a plan though if it all goes badly....a swift kick of the computer wires and an 'Oh no I'm losing the connection' should do the trick. I mean Switzerland is famous for its dodgy internet connections isn't it...along with its banks..ha ha ha.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Bad Glove

So now it definitely feels like I have traded the summer heat for a bit of winter chill. 

And in lieu of Bad Cat I decided to take Bad Glove out for some winter walkies. 

First we crossed over the Rhine and posed for pictures on the way. 

Then, exhausted, from all our walking...

Bad Glove decided to down a Cremant D'Alsace at the Munster Christmas markets.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Thank God for the Salvos

Last summer I went through a major clearing out frenzy and threw out my black winter jacket. To be honest it was time for it to be voted off the island anyway. Falling apart at the seams, loose buttons and cheesy remnants of way too many chaz bangelis streaked across its non-fur pelt. Of course now I am back in Basel I have a coat dilemma. While I could very easily walk around town in my slanket I realise I should at least try to look good on the outside so the insides can follow. Easier said than done on both fronts. The coats here are very expensive for poor laydees such as myself and I have been quite shocked at the cost of a simple and probably not even warm jacket.Enter the Heilig Armee ( the Salvos in English Speak.)
Today I found a wonderful black jacket with functional zipper AND buttons for only 19 CHF. Huzzah for the World indeed.

Friday, 30 November 2012

What's my move?

Today is a hard day for me. I always knew that it would be. I know I am still in crisis... even after so long.
And as I head back to Basel I still have no plan.
What a pity. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Choc full bags

So I will be leaving soon. 

My luggage is beginning to swell with chocolate and koala shaped toys. Every time I cuddle Bad Cat I hold him extra tight. When I have dinner with my parents or we watch Inspector Poirot reruns I try to be in the present moment and not think about the future.
Of course I knew the time would have to come. I can't hide out here for the rest of my life. Well, I probably could but it wouldn't really help me in the end. I need a job of my own, a home of my own, a pet of my own. Every time I worry about my jobless, homeless state I remind myself how this very state enabled me to come home to my parents, to my family, and spend such wonderful, quality time with them.

I won'r regret this ever. I won't trade it for another story.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

bad cat

This is my parent's cat- They call him Brother John but I prefer Bad Cat. When I first came home to see my parents I wasn't very sure about him.  I have an Ambrose-shaped heart when it comes to cats and I wasn't sure another beast could even occupy a small part.
He was pretty uncertain of me too. I was a challenge to the hierarchy of the house and he spent some time trying to work out where I would fit (deciding in the end , I suspect,  somewhere a great deal lower than him.)
It's all good now though and he likes to swap between cuddles and claws just like any true cat should.
He's quite good at dramatic sleeping too.

And pointing out directions.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Hairy friend

So the other day I went into the bathroom to clean my teeth and saw this hairy, scary friend hanging on the wall. The first thing I thought of was all my ex-students in Switzerland who would be terrified at the very sight. My second thought was how I would quite like her not to be there when I go to bed as the bathroom joins onto my bedroom. I tried to coax her into a plastic container but she was having none of that and eventually she leapt off the ceiling towards me in a bid to escape. Obviously I screamed and the last I saw was her crawling under the wardrobe covering her ears. When I looked under the wardrobe I couldn't see her but I did see a couple of her infants hanging round the back corner. Since then I have decided to adopt a principle of co-existence as I don't fancy aggravating a whole family of spiders and have them march on my bed in the middle of the night with a plastic container of their own.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

800 million dollar view

Yesterday I watched 800 millions dollars worth of metal, in the form of four C-17A Globemasters, fly over the Gold Coast beach. I have to say that for that price tag I would have enjoyed a little more roar and a bit more sparkle ...or at the very least Sergeant Body at the helm.

After the plane extravaganza I went down to the Seaway to admire a bit of flagrant disregard...

And a mighty view of the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Total Eclipse

There was total eclipse here in Queensland today. Unfortunately the full eclipse was only visible up in Cairns (which is over 1000 km from where I am)  but we were still treated to a partial form down here in Brisbane.  I like total eclipses. I like them so much I even set my alarm clock and get up early to see them. The last one I saw ( partially) was in London in 1999. I remember the sky drowning in a silvery-milk light so everything became eerie and otherworldly. It was the same again this time. Now being a sensible laydee I did not view the partial eclipse with my naked eyes  (I am blind enough as it is) so I got dad to manufacture one of those pin hole paper things. Actually mum made one first which was a beautiful circle big enough for the sun to actually fall through. Then dad came out and did one which was a little closer to the size of a pin. We then stood in the front garden and tried to view the eclipse. Mum and I kept on criticising dad's pin hole by pointing out that there was no use in making a pinhole in the shape of a crescent moon until we realised (duh!) that it was actually the eclipsed sun coming through the hole.   Not the sharpest moment. Anyway  after we had been sufficient pleased I frolicked about the garden in my pajamas with the cat enjoying the mystical, milky light that is the partial eclipse.

Eclipse cat

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Goodbye Norfolk

Well I suppose we had to go eventually. The bad cat of Moggill was waiting for his owners to return.
Still I had a great time on the island. It really was very beautiful and I was astonished at how many different things there were to do and admire. We even saw a whale passing by the island as we had a goodbye barbecue.
On the flight home I saw my mother looking wistfully out the window as the plane took off. Her expression reminded me of how I feel whenever the train pulls out of Florence or I fly out of Damascus. Some places really do get under our skins.

Goodbye cows

                                                         Goodbye Feral Wet Hens!

Goodbye cliffs and bays

Goodbye Norfolk Island

Friday, 2 November 2012

Culla & Co

After the near drowning of yesterday ( I feel I did not adequately convey just quite how fast the waves started coming in but that can be fodder for my dreams now anyway) I decided to go with mama on a leisurely horse and cart ride through the Norfolk countryside. The excursion is run by a man called Culla who is indeed culla-ful! This particular jaunt turned out to be my mother's tenth time. She goes  with Culla & Co every visit and probably deserves to have a hoof a named after her if not an entire leg.We started at the stables where the horses were being bridled up under the watchful eye of Culla's lovely doggy.

  Once the horses were ready my mother asked (as she can be bold in this way) if her daughter could possibly sit up at the front. Culla  (who remembered mama) said yes of course and then proceeded to comment ( as he assisted from behind)  on how few laydees wear skirts when mounting coaches these days.
It was fun being at the front of the coach looking at the rolling green hills and hearing Culla's tales about the places that we passed- I didn't like the whole 'and now it's your turn to hold the reins' part. Far too much responsibility for me!
At one stage we passed a tree ( surrounded by requisite Norfolk roaming cows) which Culla gleefully pointed out had a bum hanging out of it.
 Clearly I had to capture this!

After a while we encountered a few hills and Culla's mate whose name was Pumpkin turned up with a ute and pulled the horses up the slope. The horses enjoyed this very much and seemed a bit tearful when the truck left them at the other end. 
lots of horse power here!

Soon we arrived at field where we ate curried egg sandwiches ( Duck eggs apparently! Even the wet hens' eggs are too sacred to eat.) and went for a stroll down to the Steels Point to look out to the ocean...

and pose for photographs.

I even recreated Barney Duffy again!

This wonderful photo was taken after Culla told mama to lift her hat up higher so she didn't look like a pirate!

Culla & Co

Thursday, 1 November 2012

On the rocks - a prognosticator's tale

So in the afternoon dad and I decided to engage in a little marine biology down at Emily Bay. Dad had read the local beach reports and there was supposed to be a low tide early in the afternoon. Mother decided not to partake in our scientific expedition, preferring to prognosticate  from the cliffs about the potential of 'freak' waves and the perilous nature of rocks when wet.

The Prognosticator
It was actually very enjoyable nearly slipping on the rock pools round the bay which are usually covered by angry thrashing high tide waves.

I followed the lead of the head marine biologist -

who pointed out many a fishy thing!

Can't really tell you what these are pictures of  though - perhaps the  Marine Biologist title was a bit ambitious. Intrepid Rock-Pool Inspector might  be a little more accurate.

After a while we tired of the pools in the bay and decided to follow the low tide around the edge of the cliff where the deeper and more exciting pools lay. (More prognosticating from above was heard.)

Then out of the blue, in a smallish perhaps even freakish manner, a couple of rogue waves came rushing in and up to our knees.

The head marine biologist grinned but I have to confess I did feel a little bit uneasy and wet - rather like the hens I imagine! I also began to wonder if we were at at the tail end of the low tide and after a short discussion we both decided to climb up the cliff edge rather than navigate our way around the bay again.

Still it was fun while it lasted...and the prognosticator got to wag her finger in the car all the way home. So it was win-win really.

Penal land

Whenever I see or hear the word 'penal' settlement I always have a little chuckle. I mean I know the word has nothing to do with penis (although I imagine quite a lot of them were incarcerated in such establishments in the past) but sometimes my sense of humor can be very unsophisticated. Fanny pack makes me laugh as well. Anyway today we decided to take a stroll through the ruins of the penal settlements ( ha ha ha there I go again) down by Slaughter Bay. I feel sorry for convicts. What a crappy life. Made to work up to their shoulders in rough seas while chained to a ball, probably no girlfriends and a lot of salted pork to eat. Terrible. I mean clearly not all of these men were upstanding citizens but to be taken so far away from where you were born never to see home again. And all that salted pork! Awful.

Nice views though.

Land ahoy!