Sunday, May 29, 2011

Molester of dairy products

It’s a little past 10:30am and we’re still in our tiny hotel room on the third floor, sun streaming through the French (yes French!) doors providing a much-needed dose of fresh air.

Sapphire and Love Chunks have colds. Bad ones. Colds that make it difficult to breathe, hold ones’ head up and feel interested in anything other than internal misery, aches, fever and the desire to simply go back inside, give in to it and lie down.
My cold, on the other hand, is minor. It has made things harder than they need to be but much more sympathetic to the sufferings of my small family. It is easy to forget how the all-encompassing domination of a truly bad cold can affect everything for the worse.

Despite this - and the limitations of our hotel room and the thought of it being ‘home’ for a month - we set off to explore Geneva on foot yesterday.

“Everyone looks so stylish,” Sapphire noted. “Is that what teenagers are supposed to look like? No wonder they give me the death stare as they pass by.”
“Hang on, you reckon that kids in Melbourne do the death stare as well….”
“Yes, it’s an older kid thing, Mum….”
“Then you try something different here, then. Smile instead.”
A head-shatteringly loud honk into her tissue and an eye-roll just visible above the quivering white snot rag was her only response.

I wanted to hug her and push her at the same time. Every step was blistering her foot “why did I buy these cheap birkenstocks in Singapore?”, she felt sick, she was tired, it was too far; the woman in the department store still kept talking at her in French even though she said, “Je ne parlez pas Francais” and was dying for a drink.

All of these observations were fair ones, but the view of the lake, having a drink at a cafĂ© watching the ducks and pea hens swim up to us from the water and the unique look of the buildings and cobbled streets of the old town weren’t quite enough to lift her spirits.

And wouldn’t you know it but I got sunburnt! I’ll add Factor 30 to my shopping list that will include bed sheets,* mugs that hold more than 100ml, salt and pepper, a toaster and instant coffee which is better than no coffee at all.

Dinner last night was chicken, Japanese sticky sauce, vegetables and rice bought from a department store food hall. When you’re ill, the last thing you want to do make an effort to dress up and wander out for an evening meal and we were all grateful for the large saucepan we’d purchased earlier** and LC’s ability to conjure up something nutritious and filling. My contribution was three tiny tubs of Movenpick ice-cream which the freezer did a sterling job of turning into sludge at the time of eating.

After-dinner entertainment has been provided via iPad because the TV has forty-odd channels with only one in English. The first two nights’ have seen me feel too exhausted to fire up the laptop and write as well as the in-house wireless service having more dropouts than a tech college and me with the inexplicable urge to curl up in bed and hide……

LC and I have been given single beds, side-by-side, and already I feel sadder for not being directly next to him, touching, snuggling into his chest. Not that we’d want to perform a live version of the Kama Sutra with Sapphire in the same room, but the warmth of his back and the automatic cuddle at the end of the day is something that I miss terribly. Instead we’re all passed out by 9pm with jetlag and taking turns to puncture the air with snoring, gasps and snozz-whiping interspersed with trips to fill up water glasses and even louder nose blowing in the fully-tiled potentially-deafening acoustics of the bathroom.

And yet, I’m capable of understanding that we’ll all feel better soon and that our rudimentary grasp of apologetic phrases will sound more authentic and less shy and that we’ll find somewhere decent to live and enjoy setting it up the way that we want. I’m capable of understanding that we’re in a natural anti-climax mode and that LC’s ‘welcome officer’ will hopefully be providing us with some actual help now that we share the same geographical coordinates and will be staring at her with pleading faces tomorrow morning.

And I’m also capable of understanding that we’re on an adventure that will present its fair share of challenges and frustrations and that despair and fatigue will try their best to elbow in and take over. But there’s no two other people I’d rather be doing this with.

Now it’s time to check that we have enough tissues to last us and to stop sniggering immaturely about the 'cheese raper' we just bought....

* (“Pardon, madame? You want what – a bedsheet? We have none – just the, errr, quilt and bottom sheet….”
“Sorry? You need another pillow? We only have one per guest.” He softened slightly when I explained that Sapphire couldn’t breathe and needed to lift her head up a bit in bed. “I’ll see what we have in the cellar.” We’re also hoping that the single bog roll we’ve been given to last us the weekend will suffice. Small gripes to be sure, but they’re basics that, if automatically provided, would have made things a fair bit easier.

** ‘kitchenette’ for a month-long stay makes my parents’ cramped caravan seem like a fully-equipped catering school. One small fruit knife and no kettle does not a mealtime make.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nude Wombats

nuts not like balls nuts but like almonds and stuff

sheedy kevin choc

when you win a free boost bar where do you get it from?

is warwick capper circumcised?

bum lamb pics

i like when burbs kiss low

My bra cuts



Deformed Malteser

......I guess all of the above search terms leading to Blurb from the Burbs are largely deserved, if puzzling, and I'm now about to unplug the computer and do the last lot of vaccuuming.

Love Chunks' jumper is covered in dust as he's been the Number One Lifter and Mover in every large item that has left the house. Allen keys, screw drivers and the sack-truck are the items he reaches for most now that Mrs Krups and his beloveds* are gone.

Milly no longer barks when the doorbell rings but stays in her beanbag: slightly anxious and puzzled. How do I explain to her that she's about to go to a boarding kennel for six weeks before being packed into an airconditioned crate for 27 hours but that we haven't abandoned her? I've decided that lots of belly rubs and head kisses will have to do. That and sleeping in the same t-shirt for ten days so that she has memories to sniff for a while.

The house now echoes due to its emptiness and sleeping on a blow up mattress last night alongside a restless almost-twelve-year-old child was informative rather than relaxing. She's everything you'd expect to be right now - sad, worried, trying to be confident, tired and a funny combination of occasional exuberance closely followed by a shutdown; blonde hair swinging down over her face as she withdraws to the safe and controllable world of the iPad as her parents scurry and bustle around her.

A pongy t-shirt and frequent belly rubs aren't going to help, but maybe frequent kisses, some hand holding and regular 'Mmm hmms' when she wants to open up and talk at 1am just might.
See youse in cyberspace soon!

* Arcosteel copper-bottom saucepan set, bought during his first year of post-university work in 1989. No metal scourer was allowed within sight of his 'beloveds' and I used to joke that if we ever got divorced, they'd be cited as an item of interest for him. Despite this, they were sold (and waved off with relief) two days ago.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No point buying a new roll of gladwrap....

......Sapphire can make-do with lunch being covered in alfoil and popped into a brown paper bag. In fact, we've only bought four bog rolls to last us the week and that's a big move for me, a seige-mentality shopper-and-storer if ever there was one.*

With chests of drawers already sold, clothes are now in green bags on the floor. The outfits we're taking to Switzerland are already chosen and are not to be touched until we're jetlagged and staggering around in a new hemisphere. The 'wear nows' are sorted according to social acceptability versus merely house cleaning, and unworn and nearly-news have been donated to the Salvos.

Garage sale day dawned on Saturday inasmuch as 'dawned' meant black clouds, freezing sleet and wind that blew our umbrellas away. Signs pointing to our place gradually turned to paper mache, as did the blackboard with 'INSIDE' hastily scrawled on it.

Still, 'INSIDE' a few brave souls did venture and most got more than they bargained for.

"Andrew if your wife says you can't take the wheelbarrow because it's roughly two-thirds the size of your courtyard then at least take this miniature dolls' house to go with the scooter. She'll love it!"

"Jon, it's good to see that the fishing rods will go to someone who'll appreciate them. And nothing says 'we caught a gourmet dinner' like an oversized granite mortar and pestle that you'll need LC and that burly couple lurking near the crockery over there to help drag over the doorstep."

"Lynne, I see you cacking away at our truly daggy CD collection but I'll have you know that we've not opened one case since we moved here and it's all itunes for us these days, baby. Let your boyfriend enjoy these modern antiques and I'll get the oil heater into the car if you lean back - yes, over the exercise bike and the pedestal fans - and grab the leaf blower as an accompaniment....."

"Yep, take 'em all for $5. Actually have this hammock as well - are you sure you don't want it? Fair enough, we didn't have two trees big enough either. Hmmm, I can't let you leave the house with just five books; might as well carry the wicker hamper and parmesan cheese grater home too, hey?"

After the last of the browsers had departed and our fingers had thawed, all big items left over were put up on ebay for 99 cents apiece. No thoughts of financial gain anymore, just the blind hope that someone will pick them up and take them away. Our house now has distinctly geometric patterns of dust on the floor where items used to be and with each new empty space comes a tiny speck more of inner excitement.

Love Chunks and I lunched in Puckle Street today and headed over to the lawyer's for a final tying up of necessary knots. We both looked like two unemployed bogans wandering idly in Moonee Ponds in mismatched clothing when workers were busy pushing past us. "Can you believe it," I whispered, gesturing to our leave-in-the-bin-when-we-leave clothes, "that we - yes, us - are moving to Europe?"

No way anyone in the street would have guessed it.

* When a tin or two of chopped tomatoes is taken out of the pantry, there must be at least two waiting behind them. Always. Same goes for toilet paper, gladwrap, tubes of toothpaste and blocks of cheese.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Head sore and heart sore

I've just spent twenty hours visiting and farewelling my best friend Jill.

The flight over was just for her.

We've known each other from birth but started paying attention in year three. Her with her fancy pierced ears; me with my blunt-cut fringe and pig tails.

She's helped LC load me into an ambulance at the lowest point in my life and been there to see me get married, write a book and determinedly deal with a few demons.

I've seen her earn Dux of her course, been her bridesmaid, a godmother to one of her three fantastic children and cheered her as she ran (skipped in glee, actually) over the finish line of the 2010 Melbourne marathon.

In January this year, she was riding in the Jacob's Creek Down-under bike race and fell; somehow entangling handlebars with her fourteen year old son Patrick. She was knocked out for several minutes, Patrick seeing nothing but a limp body and blood all over the road in front of him. Her husband Kent SMSed a photo from the hospital bed that didn't resemble the girl/woman/friend/goddess I'd known.....

Five months of slow and steady recovery later sees the outside of her face healed but another year is needed for her brain to get back to normal. Truckloads of rehab assistance and patience is needed and as little noise, bright colour and movement as is feasibly possible. A trip to the supermarket provides too much stimuli to handle and can leave her with a huge headache and a need to sleep it off for hours.

"My world has got so much smaller," she despaired. "I'm sure that everyone just thinks I'm taking advantage of it and am being lazy."

Oh how wrong you are.

But yes, your world has shrunk - for now - dear friend. For someone who holds down a hugely stressful job, actively mothers three children (with the accompanying taxi driving and diary coordination), power walks, bike rides and marathon trains, helps her husband set up his own consultancy business and ensures that the house runs smoothly and eventfully, this has been and will continue to be a big, big change.

But a good one. I know that's incredibly trite and easy for me, the non brain-injured to say, but Jill needs a rest. One without guilt or obligation or the need to explain; even if just to herself.

One without having to reapply for her own job for the third time in four years or worry about whether she's achieving enough to earn the tightly-held approval of her parents. One where she can see - really see - that her husband is there for her, as ever, as always; his eyes joking one minute but full of love and concern the next.

All this I wanted to say to her over that afternoon, night and morning we spent together, but instead I was loud, goofed off too much and made her so very tired knowing that she'd end up paying triply for my visit with more physical pain the next day.

"I'll just tell myself that you're still only in Melbourne, and not Geneva," she said, as I climbed out of their car and grabbed my bag.

"You'll see us there next year," Kent called from the drivers' seat. "And remember, we're only a quick 27 hour flight away!"

I sobbed throughout my walk through insta-check in, x-rays and last boarding call and sniffled throughout the flight, ensuring that the couple next to me weren't keen to have a chat or quibble over the arm rest real estate.

Love Chunks drove through the freezing hail and I climbed into the car. "How was it?"

"It was wonderful, truly wonderful," I blubbered.

Jillian Elizabeth Gregory, the mold broke when they made you and every day of every month of every year you just keep getting better, stronger, bolder and more beautiful. Thank you so very much for being my friend - my life is so much the richer for it.

Twenty seven hours isn't really that far you know......

Monday, May 09, 2011

TV War Part Deux

First there was Mini-mind.

Thankfully he chose not to reply to my final email.

Today, there is 1980horrora.

All I want to do is sell a bloody TV - is 1980horrora a vengeful and slightly twisted mate*** of Mini-mind or am I now just too tired and stressed to see the humour in it? I'll gladly welcome your interpretation of the following:

Dear Lots-o-Choc

Thank you for your well described item. I often look at televisions on the internet and am constantly dismayed by the poor quality and disparate measures to which salesmen (or women - let's not forget them) will go in order to sell a television.

I have a number of questions for you about your item.

1) I note that you seem to be selling the larger entertainment system surrounding the television. Since you are adding in extras, would you be prepared to submit your dog for purchase? I note he is in the photo. Is he in fact the KDL40X3100 40" ? I only have a small flat and a 40" dog may be too large for my apartment.

2) If you are interested in putting your dog up for sale, I could purchase it all. This would allow my cousin Vinny, who has a dog allergy, to be the owner (of the TV, not your dog). If I was to purchase it on his behalf, would you consider having it (the TV, not the dog) drycleaned? Otherwise I will be unable to avail myself of the on-sell option.

- 1980horrora

Dear 1980horrora

Dog (aka Milly) is actually coming with us to Geneva, which is why we're selling the TV and pretty well everything else. She may only have cost us eighty bucks at the Lost Dogs' Home seven years ago, but now she's priceless :)


Dear Lots-o-Choc

I understand from your email that you are going to Geneva. How Fantastic! I have family in Geneva. They live at 4/6 Boulevard des Philosophes, Geneva, Suisse. They would be most affectionate if you would like to stay with them. You would be able to see from my old room some lovely sites, though you may have to share with my little brother Juergen. He sometimes wets the bed, but as long as you are quick on your feet I do not believe it will be a problem. Juergen is also a tremendous trombonist and will be able to serenade you as you fall asleep.

I am deeply saddened that you will be taking 'AKA Milly' with you. Will the television still work without her? Or will I need to also go do the Lost Dogs' Home? Is $80 still a reasonable price to pay to get a TV working or should I expect to pay less since this is an older model now?
Finally do you have any games that are with the PS3? in my salad days I was a big fan of GO! Sports SKi, but unfortunately I am yet to have Ski'd as we kept our old PS3 beside Juergen's bed and it was unfortunately not as spritely as I imagine you will need to be.

If you stay with my family would you be interested in perhaps reducing the cost of your television, since it does not come with a dog of any description, perhaps by $80 ....
- 1980horrora

I'm too tired to write a reply. Does that make me an unfun person or a wise one?

*** I think that this one's a bloke as well.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

TV war!

Cramming a family, memories, treasures and an entire house into three cruelly inadequate 22kg suitcases about to wing their way to Switzerland for 2-6 years has been a massive effort. So much so that my back and brain have somehow melded together to transform me into an S-bended humanoid honey bee who flits from box to shed to table to cupboard to plastic bag to wheelie bin to checklist and back again; never stopping, always doing, constantly fretting.

Apart from the Trading Post, friends, family and a garage sale, a few key items have been placed on eBay: one of which is our beloved TV.

This baby was a rare extravagance for us, purchased in December 2007. Top of the range Sony Bravia. Picture so clear you can tell what each Crows player ate for breakfast before the game and what time the remnants were due to be expelled from the body afterwards. Realistically we won't be purchasing a TV of similar quality in Switzerland and decided to offer it for sale for a smidge less than half price.

Ebay allows potential buyers to ask questions about the item on sale and I've been busy replying to questions on the length and width of our kayak, the size of the viola, brand of our washing machine and the precise colour of our brown leather sofa. The TV discussion, however, has developed into an entirely different beast. This is what transpired. Yes, I am 'Lots-o-Choc':

Dear Lots-o-Choc
hello there i'm only interested in the tv. i'd like to offer you $500 for it. the reason is there was 52" of the same tv that went for $1025. here are the details about the other tv:
Sony BRAVIA KDL XBR 52 1080p LCD Television
Item condition: Used
Bid history: 56 bids
Winning bid: AU $1,025.00
if you consider my offer i will pay "CASH" on pick up because i live local as well.

Dear Mini-mind
Sorry but that's an entirely different model - ours is the very top of the range and is still retailing for $3300. The asking price still stands.

Dear Lots-o-Choc
hello again thanx for your reply. i just like to address to you that i am a " professional home entertainment consaltant " i deal with these things 24/7 so i know the difference between "EVERY" model tv thats available in australia. My offer is still valid and if consider it, let me know thax.

Dear Mini-mind
Sorry, as stated the model still retails for $3300. See:

Dear Lots-o-Choc
hi, i don't know where you are getting your info from, but you are wrong because if you want it to buy your tv direct from "SONY" they will say to you "SORRY" we don't make this tv anymore because we made that tv back in 2008 no longer available it is discontiniued model. the only way you will find it is if some one tries to sell it for $1600 and no one will bid for it at that prize. good luck to you.

Dear Mini-mind
Yet again I ask that you refer to this link -
The TVs are for sale everywhere.

Then LC came in and read over my shoulder. “Actually, they are discontinued. Better change the ad.” Oh hammer-gun my calf muscles to the side of a chariot and set it to Ben Hur speed....! I did change the ad. Immediately. Despite the amendment, Mini-mind still had time on his*** hands and a bone to pick.

Dear Lots-o-Choc
I guess I forgot that it is very hard to explain to a person that has no idea of what they are talking about. all I have to say to you is I wish you good luck.

Dear Mini-mind
And I'm surprised that for a supposed 'home entertainment consultant' you can barely spell, are very rude and seem to be extremely persistent for someone who claims that they can find this same model for $500. If that *is* the case, then why do you keep emailing me about this TV?
Please don't contact me again.

Dear Lots-o-Choc
first of all if you like correcting peoples spellings, why don't you become a teacher. and second of all I'm not insisting on your tv its just I'm just trying let a dumb and stupid person like you to realize that your tv is out dated and its not worth it what you are asking for it but I am pretty sure you will find another person like yourself to buy your tv . I wish you the best of luck "LOOSER"
oh by the way its been how many days and nobody made a bid for your tv because nobody is dumb like you. thats it end of discussion.

Dear Mini-mind (what an appropriate name - clearly 'mini' reflects your IQ)
I *am* a qualified teacher as it happens, and I wish you the best of luck in trying to find a TV like ours for the $500 that you seem to think you can get it for. Fantasyland, I presume; otherwise why are you still here being annoying and not already enjoying such a TV?

By the way - it's 'loser', not 'looser', so I hope that in your career as 'home entertainment consultant' you're not required to write anything of consequence down for your 'customers', whomever they may be. Now run along you mental pgymy and stop writing back to me.

Or am I using words too big for you to understand?

And damn the annoying little bugger, we haven't had a single bid!

Yes, I've made the assumption that it's a 'he' and picturing a smallish man who hopes to browbeat people on ebay into selling him things for a bargain price so that he can sell them for vast profits later. I'm also assuming that he's extremely unattractive and smells bad.
Sunday Selections

Kim from Frog ponds rock invites bloggers to post up photos on Sunday that they haven't used yet.

You may have forgotten that we booked a family holiday to Singapore over Easter. Having the news of our move to Switzerland a mere two weeks before heading off to the tropics with brother Rob and Sis-in-law WC, it was a mixture of exhaustion, interest, excitement and bewilderment for a few days and I still don't know how to write about it in a way that properly shows what a wonderfully intriguing and lovely place it was.

It's not just a stop-over to journeys in the northern hemisphere and nor is it the tacky 'Singapore is a fine* city' t-shirt slogan beloved of drunk bogans everywhere.

However, I'll post these pictures up for now when I should in fact be sorting through my wardrobe, filling in my residency application, downloading the international drivers' licence forms and getting stuff ready for Saturday's garage sale.

Not sure of the appropriateness of the 'i Heart Sex' shop right next door to Kids World in Bugis market. SpongeBob SquarePants looked particularly creepy in that context.

222 Drunk Sit, just off Orchard Road. At least they're honest about it.

I was fascinated by the high-rise clotheslines - wooden poles stuck out of their windows.

The name is wrong. The food was delicious and is a favourite lunch spot of my sister-in-law.

After a steamy morning of walking, sightseeing, shopping and eating, everyone needs a can of Kickapoo: the original joy juice to cool off. Considering the name, it was a relief to discover that it tasted a bit like Passiona.

'I wish Ko Phone get back his original size' - Hindu temple on Kusu island. Make an offering and write down your hopes. Most concerned exam results and wealth but one person did write that they wished to be taller. I suspect that Love Chunks wrote something about improving the win-loss ratio of the Adelaide Crows.

I think that the Lesser Bird of Paradise should seek legal compensation for decades of public humiliation, misunderstanding and dreadfully hurt feelings.

The only 'copy' I found, Bali-style in Singapore. Then again, we weren't actually looking for it.

Couldn't do duck tongue, feet or (on another sign) gizzard. Did do sweetcorn ice-cream, durian-topped ice kechang, avocado donuts, sweet Chilli crab (of course), banana leaf fish slice, kaya toast, yin-yang blend (coffee and tea mixed together), mock meats* and aloe vera jelly juice. Yes, and a very expensive Singapore Sling at Raffles hotel.

Our hotel pool had a glass wall that was right by the lobby lounge. People sitting there waiting for the bar to open or a taxi to arrive would therefore be treated to the sight of Sapphire and her uncle doing water ballet, Six Million Dollar Man running and various poses.

The infinity pool on top of the city's largest building, the Marina Bay Sands. We plebs got a bit of a look into main part of the deck which is just for hotel guests. I'm not sure that I'd want to pay a small fortune to stay in seven star luxury where plebs could gawk at me in my bathers.....

SafeWork in Singapore is a serious business. Many tragic injuries have occurred from soggy grass in office blocks and an inability to comprehend the ramifications of walking upright.

* There are fines for everything - gum chewing, loitering, littering etc. Maybe that's why their city is clean, safe and friendly...?
** What did the chicken say when it went to the vegetarian restaurant? 'Mock mock mock!' (that might work better aurally than in writing because it slayed 'em in the aisles at the time)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Bra-less in ugg boots

He's leering at me again so I'm resting my head in my hands and staring down at my knees, willing not only for his attention to turn back to his drunken mates but also for the damn automatic door to stop opening and blasting me with freezing night air for just one minute.

Heart palpitations is what brought me here. No sooner had I gone to bed feeling relieved that my Rude Finger had reduced in size and swelling than the chest pains started.

I was strangely calm, even when doubled-over in shock and saying "Ooof" every time a spasm that felt not unlike a stick was twisting in my heart. "It can't be a cardiac arrest because my pulse is steady: a decade of running does that to you."

When an hour had passed and the spasms were becoming more insistent I started pacing the living room floor but couldn't find a position that eased things. "Ooof!"

LC woke Sapphire, got her dressed and drove me to Royal Melbourne hospital. I had time to find some tracksuit pants and my ugg boots. Arriving in just a t-shirt and knickers didn't seem the right thing to do, even in a so-called emergency situation.

A panic attack? Pretty bloody likely. But I was calm. Quiet, even. And the spasms of pain were too difficult to ignore - let alone stand up straight - and it didn't feel right to write them off as stress-related.

The night nurse covered me in sticky suction thingies and measured my ECG. All normal. Blood tests were taken (from both arms - I didn't have quite the werewithal that I'd had earlier in the day regarding the Rude Finger to remember to tell them that my right arm is categorically useless for finding a vein willing to give blood) and I was told to sit out in the waiting room and do just that. Wait. "Go home," I whispered to LC and Sapphire. "It's clear that I'm not having a heart attack, so whatever it is will be taken care of."

Four and a half hours later found me missing them both a thousand times eleventy billion triple lutz to the power of three. My warm bed the same amount.

Shivering and acutely conscious of my bralessness, I tried hard to not smell the two homeless blokes who'd arrived separately for a free night on the lino in front of Dem-tel adverts; the woman who moaned every ten seconds as some form of positive self talk as she slumped up against her husband; the father with a severely bee stung face barely keeping the balloon effect down with a now-thawed out ice pack; the loud but mysterious vomiter and the Lebanese boofheads.

I knew that they were Lebanese because they said it. Loud and proud, many times. One of their brothers had injured himself and the six of them were all there to offer moral support.

Said support seemed to involve play wrestling, swearing and frequent visits outside for a smoke or three. When that failed to amuse them, they'd turn their attention to me.

Not a 'what are you here for/we're all in this together' sort of focus, but a "I'm bringing sexy back" sung to me over and over and over again. Apparently it was hilarious. Seeing me clutch my chest and rock back and forth in a hard plastic chair until the attack passed didn't seem to concern or phase them. Or the two hard-faced nurses on the front counter.

Three major car accidents took the resources, interest and energies away from those in the waiting room. The decent, moral and mature side of me entirely understood this, but the frightened, occasionally-convulsed and exhausted little git wanted it to be my turn. Sod the rest of them, when was it going to be MY turn?

At 4.30am, it turned out. Five hours after being told to sit back and wait.

The doctor was lovely. Jeff. Kind, understanding and proficient. "It seems to be a Saturday night on a full moon out there tonight," he said, and after my chest x-ray he said I could wait for the results in the technician's office. Tears filled my eyes with gratitude.

Nothing majorly wrong. Heart, bloods and chest all okay. But the pain?

"Have you been throwing up lately?"

Why yes, now that you mention it. Mr Migraine paid me a three day visit that saw most of Saturday/Sunday taken up with trying to prevent my head from shattering whilst balancing a chuck bucket on my knees and simultanously exploding with diarrhoea. Why do you ask?

Turns out my oesophagus is a bit strained from the violence of heaving for hours with no discernible results. Today my chest feels like it has been stretched out like a strong man's hot water bottle and snapped back into shape with a decided lack of respect or finesse. That I can live with very very gladly.

As I wandered out at 6am waiting for LC to pick me up, the Leb Bros were still in the main foyer, their energies sapped and boredom sending them into snooze mode. I wished them all a hearty, lingering hangover and a chafing rash to the nether regions that no scientific or medical endeavour would never be able to fix.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Finger

I'd better do that response to the ebay guy before I walk into another room and get distracted by what's hidden in the cupboards I've not yet dared to open.

"Come on Milly, let's pop outside." Yep, that's right. Hook that metal thingy on the end - it'll hold, I'm sure it will and grab that pen out of your mouth to take notes and run it along the back of the kayak to the other end and then we'll find out how long it meas--------

Thwackatta Thwackatta zzzzzziip SLAP!

Flying fried fudge flickin' farnacles, I'm literally seeing white sparklers in front of my eyes and feeling as though another two are being rather roughly shoved up each nostril in a crude attempt to give the frontal lobe a bit of a nudge and make doubly sure that all my nerve endings are feeling the effects..... having a metal measuring tape whip back and cruelly crack my infected middle finger hurt. Really really hurt.

The smoking guy on the level two balcony next door heard my agonised sob and saw me doubled over and shuffle crab-like back inside like a shrivelled blonde Shelob before turning his head back to look at the Dodgy Brothers Car Renovators continue their argument in the side street. I guess the issue of whether you'd root Megan Fox or Beyonce is pretty vital viewing.

After a night of tossing and turning in such a way that my middle finger stayed outside the covers like a flesh-coloured fishing pole, today it was time to see the doctor. Large and ET-like at the best of times, today my rude finger (as Sapphire calls it) resembled the celluloid alien's actual head on the end of my finger with its own painful pulse.

Trouble is. the half-hearted health hub we've used for the past two and a bit years is closing down next week and it seems that they can no longer be shagged to answer their phones or - as I discovered this morning - open their doors. I managed to catch Love Chunks at the next set of traffic lights and clamber back in the car.

There was no way I was going to risk my delicate digit to the ministrations of Dr Dodgy in Welly Street. He's infamous around Flemington and LC has never gotten over how I booked him in there for an urgent grease and oil change two days after we arrived: the broken window, slightly rude receptionist wife and slapdash approach to knowledge and professionalism is still the order of the day. LC remains convinced that shivering anatomy served as the street's entertainment that afternoon and still shudders every time he passes by.

No, I was going across the road to Travancore to beg the fancy doctor to see me. He's the guy that everyone says, "Oh yes, I see Dr Divine but he's closed his books now, so I don't know what I'd do without him." Me either, and I'd never got past the clipped, "Sorry, we're not taking new patients" of January 2009.

Feeling ever so slightly tearful as I toddled past the mechanic where Maggie the magna was getting her roadworthy overhaul done, I pushed open the medic's door; brass bell a dinga linga linging.

I decided that a visual was the best way to get the attention of the woman behind the counter and walked in brandishing what looked like a swollen and very angry red version of The Bird.

"Hello my name is Kath and I usually got to Half-Hearted Health Hub on Racecourse but they're shutting down and we're moving to Switzerland in exactly three weeks to the day and somehow I've infected my finger, no that's a lie, I know how I did it because I shred the cuticles around my nails and finally I've got the result I probably deserve but it is making things like taking DVDs out of their covers and into plastic sleeves and packing boxes pretty hard and I'm hoping - no, actually I'm begging you; you seem like a very kind hearted and reasonable person - to get me looked at today---------"

She held up a hand to stop me. Lord knows I couldn't. "How does lunchtime sound?"

It sounded utterly brilliant. I skipped out of there - well I tried, but the pulsating weight of my Rude Finger meant that I instead lurched slightly to the left and found myself falling inside the laundromat next door before altering my stride to make it back home across the road.

A couple of hours later Dr Divine said, "You're not a fainter, are you?"

Nope. Never have been. Had enough blood tests due to the 'ol tumour that I can tell you exactly what vein to shove the needle in and gleefully watch as you do it.

Well ram my sorry soggy arse up against a poo encrusted mini skip and call it Tony Abbott what the hell are you-----

"Sorry about that, I have to lift up the nail and puncture the skin around it a few times to let some pus out, so it'll sting a bit."

No sparklers today; this time the cartoon tweety birds made an appearance.

Back home with an arm no longer dragging on the ground and the simple bliss of soaking the finger in a cup of warm salty water whilst trying to type out 'self contained accommodation, pet-friendly, Geneva' is a simple pleasure.