Archive for February, 2014

28 Feb 2014

Post Holiday Post

5 Comments Australia

I never do these, but it has been a strange week.

Paul and Gillian are back. They are stooped over from carrying those heavy packs. And they have been telling me wonderful stories about Melbourne and Tasmania. About how you can be at the top of Mount Wellington in the middle of summer and be freezing. About how wonderful the food is over there. How in Melbourne they each got a tiny cold crunchy baby corn with a wafer thin slice of abalone on top and paid a small fortune for it. And they tell me I am soft in the head!

Gillian at the top of Mt Wellington


Hobart hooligans Paul and Mel

Then they told me about MONA (check it out the crazy but amazing and controversial art gallery in Hobart. About how they spent all day getting lost in its labrythine bowels. Literally, the thing shits itself. There is a giant waterfall that casades words in sheets of water; a room full of TV sets, more than 50 of them, each documenting the lives of some poor unfortunate Turks, each more depressing than the last. And there are these cute live larvae being supplied a diet of gold leaf, pearls, turquoise etc and they build their protective silk cocoons from these materials and create beautiful jewellery. All in the name of art. Art, huh, but what would I know! I never got invited.


All well for some. The magnificent MONA, but I have been sulking. And then finally Paul breaks it to me. A SURPRISE. I love surprises. My ears pricked up — they do that sometimes; it makes me look cute. Paul is taking me on a holiday to make up for forgetting to take me to Melbourne and Tasmania.

Yippee. Where?

I'll give you some clues Al. See if you can guess.

And then all week, the clues.

First I found him standing over the toilet bowl tearing up money, throwing it into the bowl and flushing it.

No idea.

The next day he was in the kitchen washing dishes, when he started tossing plates on the ground, smashing them and dancing all around them.

Nah, no idea. You should have seen the look on Gillian's face.

C'mon Al. I'll make it easy for you.

He leaves post-it notes all around the house.

Spanakopita; Mousaka; Ouzo.

I don't know. German, French maybe, double-Dutch, it's all Greek to me. I thought you said you would make it easy.

Paul is shaking his head. Then Gillian pitches in to help.

Come on Al.

And you know how she likes to be crafty. Well, we make this giant hollow paper-mâché horse. She said imagine it is wood. And we both climb inside and go and surprise the neighbours.

And I still have no idea.

Now they are both shaking their heads and looking at me in a funny way.

But I can be crafty too. When they are both sleeping, I sneak off and do some sleuthing of my own. I look in Paul's diary. There it is plain as day. An entry on the 17th March. A single word, HOLIDAY and below it a tiny doodle of a Shamrock. And in Gillian's diary. It is the same, a single entry on St Patrick's day. PEACE AND QUIET. AL AND PAUL LEAVE. YAY!!!! And another doodle of a Shamrock.

Well guys, finally I have outwitted you. This little leprechaun has got it all worked out.


20 Feb 2014

Phone Calls From Tasmania (aka Friends I Once Had)

5 Comments Australia


Can you believe it?

The bastards left me behind.

There I was packed and ready to go, saying goodbye to the ferns, when I heard the door click closed.

I yelled but there was no answer.

Then a few days later I get a phone call. The voice at the other end of the line is scratchy, faint, sheepish.

Al, is that you Al?

Who else would it be?

Al, its Paul. We're in Tasmania. The phone lines are really bad here. Sorry we couldn't call you earlier. We were up a mountain and we had no reception.

I could hear Gill in the background. Sorry Al, we forgot. We didn't mean to leave you behind. It's just you are so small.

Yeah, Al we're real sorry.


The phone starts ringing again. I pick it up.

Did you just hang up Al?

Nah, must be the lines. Tasmania you know.

I can hear Gill in the background again. She is talking to Mel and Gary. I don't think she knows I can hear her. It's nice without Al for a change. Just the two of us. Two's company, but three's a crowd, if you know what I mean.


The phone rings again.

Al, stop playing games.

I'm not.

You're sulking Al. I promise I'll make it up to you when I get back. We have had the most wonderful time. We spent three days hiking The Walls of Jerusalem. It was amazing. We carried everything in: tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, casks of wine. We camped in the most incredible spots. My shoulders are sore.

No wonder, you bunch of turtles.

What's that Al? Can't hear you clearly.

Nuthin, just muttering to myself.

Seen any Tasmanian Tigers?

Nah, they're all dead Al, extinct.

Yeah, like you when you get back.

What's that Al? Can't hear you. But we saw Pademelons (small marsupials),Wombats, Currawongs and even an Echidna. Amazing.

What did you expect out there in the wild; Starship Enterprise?

What's that Al?



The phone rings.

Al. So what about you Al. What have you been up to?

A bit of painting.

Cool Al. Good to see you are still going through that Pollock phase. Make sure you put down a dropsheet. You know how Gill is about paint on her rugs.

Sure sure. Not Pollock though. More Rothko meets Mondrian. Tiger stripes. To remind you of Tasmania.

That's cool Al.

Say, where did you get the money to buy a canvas?

Canvas. Who said anything about canvas?

What do you mean Al? Paul sounded nervous. What have you done?

Um … So far, the kitchen and the dining room. Hope you like it. Oh, and tell Gill I didn't use a dropsheet.