Friday, April 25, 2014
My only ANZAC observance was to put up an article about it on my AUSTRALIAN POLITICS blog.
My main activity was to attend the lunchtime birthday party of little Suz. Her birthday was in fact earlier but she felt that having the party on a holiday would make it easier for everyone.
So Anne came over on Thursday night to be ready for the party. We dined at one of our favourite restaurants but found it had changed hands, so was pretty empty. With Anne's assistance I ordered something not on the menu. I ordered spaghetti "with the works" -- all the spaghetti additives they had. They did of course charge a bit extra but it was delicious.
When I came to pay, I found that their EFTPOS machine had not yet arrived. I normally walk around with a pocketful of cash so that would not normally have bothered me but, just for once, I had only a few dollars in my pockets and intended to pay with a card. So it was quite vexing. I had to go to an ATM a few doors down to get money -- and that machine was a bit bomby. I had to put my card in 6 times to get it accepted.
Anyway, Anne made me hot porridge for my breakfast next morning, which I always enjoy.
At Suz's party, I talked to Susan, Simon and Paul mainly. I also had a chat with Ken about the monarchy. I am quite surprised that he is so vehemently against it. He seemed quite passionate in his views. Apparently views such as his were rather common in his childhood in the Northern milieu from whence he springs. Had he been simply indifferent to the monarchy I would have understood it better. There is huge support in Britain for the monarchy, generally reckoned to be in the 90% range. Simon's view of the monarchy is one I understand. He stands for the national anthem out of courtesy but doesn't really believe in any of it.
I also talked a lot with the admirable Susan -- but mainly about kiddy things. Little Elise was amusing. She just sat there eating the whole time. She definitely has Johnson genes. She even managed to get some spaghetti down. She's got no teeth so presumably just gums her food. Dusty's blond curls were curlier than ever and Sahara was dressed as a princess. Russ told me that when he said to her that she was a princess today she replied that she is a princess every say! Lucky girl!
Suz made us spaghetti for lunch followed by a cheesecake with caramel topping. Very nice.
Ken was at one stage saying that you need government to ensure that Australia's vastness is settled. I had just asked why when Simon sat down near us. So Simon too pelted Ken with whys while I just looked on. I felt a bit sorry for Ken as he was clearly outgunned. Simon is a military man and the main argument for more decentralized settlement in Australia is that it helps to defend the country. That is however a very dubious argument, which Simon pointed out at length.
I am buying Jenny a new BBQ for her birthday so she has been making enquiries to find out what would suit her best. As Russ has a BBQ that doubles as a spaceship, she talked to him about BBQs. After that she came over to me with a clearer idea of what she wants. She said: "I have just been talking with the BBQ King who lives here ..." I am sure she got good advice.
Anne drove us to the place and also on the way back. Suz & Russ have just moved and their new place was quite outside my ken. Anne knows that area fairly well and also used the TomTom (SatNav) in her new Corolla. Those things are fairly impressive. It amused me by frequently telling Anne that she was exceeding the speed limit.
When we got back home I made up a lemon mocktail for each of us and we had them on my verandah. Like a cocktail, they are slow-drinking but are also very tangy and refreshing. I only give the secret recipe for them out to people I know.
Then for supper we had steak sandwiches and chips from our local hot food place washed down with Alsatian wine. Both were excellent.