Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It is cold.

Oh it's so cold. We have no ceiling. We have no ceiling because I kicked it out. Most literally. From above. Kick kick kick kick kick. Til it was gone. And now we have no ceiling, and it is cold.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Remember; you heard it here first.

After years of painstaking research, and, in the interests of animal welfare, of submitting myself to gruelling experimental trials, I can now proudly declare:

I have done it.

I Have Invented Hot Chocolate.

Growing up in Australia, I, along with every other Australian child, read British stories in which, far away in that fantastic place of snow at Christmas-time, coal fires and elevenses, the children would snuggle up with their Nurses and drink hot chocolate. Only ever having tasted cold chocolate, I naturally imagined that hot chocolate was made by melting milk chocolate bars until, somehow, it was runny enough to drink from a cup, but not so hot as to scald. Oh, the decadence! Surely only the wealthiest British children would have hot chocolate to drink. This was confirmed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which Charlie, the poorest little boy in all of England, only gets to drink hot chocolate when he wins the prize and visits the marvellous Chocolate Room, where he drinks it from the Chocolate River.

I was somewhat disappointed when the movie came out and the Chocolate River looked exactly like water with brown food colouring added, but I decided that this was because movies can't really capture the reality of a river flowing with melted chocolate, mixed by waterfall.

You can imagine my disapointment when I discovered that what the Brits meant, when they talked of hot chocolate, was cocoa. Cocoa, in hot water, with sugar added. This, of course, looks exactly like the water with brown food colouring added.

Oh, we had cocoa, alright. And Quik. And Milo. But nothing ever even approached the wonderful heavenly beverage advertised in the books.

Anyway, my point is coming, and my point is this: The awful truth of the matter is that, until recently, hot chocolate did not exist, except in the minds of Roald Dahl and myself.

Until, as I said, recently.

This morning, in fact.

It is indeed a fact that, this morning, as I was making my morning cup of coffee, I did notice that on the bench had been left a jar of Nutella. Ajar. Further, it is also a fact that, after I had poured boiling water into my cup, and was sleepily stirring my teaspoon of coffee in that cup with a teaspoon, I noticed that I had a teaspoon in my hand.

Although I was as yet unaware of the fact, history was about to be made.

For, although outwardly my appearancewas that of a person barely able to connect two logical thoughts in sequence, inwardly the neuronal networks were already connecting and firing, dancing a mad, frenzied electronic tarantella. Subconsciously, and without even thinking about it very much, I removed the teaspoon from the cup, steered it toward the Nutella jar, scooped out a teaspoon full of Nutella, and guided it swiftly back to the cup. All of this in a matter of seconds. Thereupon, I rapidly stirred the sticky substance until it was fully disolved. Rapidly, I mention, because I knew I was onto something. Then, in one crazy, serendipitous moment, it occured to me that, only steps away, in the refrigerator, I had some milk. Quickly, and without stopping to process the monumental significance of the moment, I dashed to the fridge, poured a standard quantity of milk into the cup, stirred again, had the rare forethought to remove the spoon, lifted the cup to my parched, yet hopeful, lips, and tasted the concoction.

Yes! Hot Chocolate had been discovered.

My life's work was complete.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bali Hi!

We're off to Bali soon.

[Contemplatively places fingertips together. Observes index fingers tapping.]

You know; Bali, Indonesia. Famous for its terrorist bomb attacks, tsunamis, and drug smuggling detainees. And its shopping.

Not unlike Mexico.

(This last comment, for my US readers. West Australians are often tripping off to Bali, just as your Statesiders are fond of nipping down south, and for much the same reasons. The beaches are nice, the food looks foreign but has all been appropriately doctored, and the locals are really friendly even when we get drunk and throw up all over their sidewalks.)

Yep. Swap the pigs in Mexico for monkeys, and you've got Bali.

Actually, I must admit. This jet-setting lifestyle to which I so casually allude is a fancy. The Quirkie Clan is only getting to Bali because Miffy and Par Two are paying. This is because they took Polly when she was nine, and now Mayday, being nine this year, is having her turn. Except Mayday, bless her, was too anxious to go alone, so we all get to come and keep her company.

Hmmmm. A fortnight with my parents. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[Contemplatively places fingertips together. Observes index fingers tapping.]

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Well, golly. I didn't think it would take *this* long to get over a stint in paid work. I've been all of a dither. You see, Paid Work, being far more credible and useful for society in general, (compared to my usual self-indulgent passtimes of lazing around at home with the children, pointlessly soul-searching in successive university courses and generally being a drain on the honest, hard-working taxpayers that make up the backbone of our nation) was also a rather convenient and respectable excuse for not working on a project that really should be much further along than it currently is.

Now I have no such excuse. Except for the one that goes "But I'm really actually stupid, far more stupid and incompetent than you could ever have guessed. And I'm ugly."

But I'm saving that trump card for when I really need it. And, knowing how these things can string out, I may have to hold that one for some time.

However, and this leads me to my original point: I'm in a dither. Which is not such a bad thing when you have a glass of champagne in one hand and a well-built fisherman in the other, but I tell you it's a bugger when you're behind on your assignments.

What one really needs now is some chocolate. Then, I say, one should flick through one's Favourites menu once more and read some blogs, just to get one's mind into a, er, thinking mode. One should then remind oneself of one's inestimable worth in the eyes of the Creator, and not base one's sense of identity on the success or failure of the aforementioned project.

One should do one's best to believe this.

Then eat some more chocolate.

Then, when one feels one is really ready to spurt forth with effervescent perspicacity, one should immediately, and without hesitation, throw oneself fully and bountifully into the ...

...task of opening the front door. Sigh. The kids are home.