Sunday, October 28, 2012

A youthful birthday

Yesterday was a celebration of Ralph's 80th birthday.  Ralph is the husband of Anne's sister Merle.  And Anne's mother was there -- aged 95.  I should have felt youthful in such company but there were also lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren there so there was no chance of that.  It was a great pleasure to see the littlies running around.  There were two little girls who were in perpetual motion, one blue-eyed blonde and one half-Korean girl. Asia has come to Australia in a big way.  All the waitresses and kitchen staff in the restaurant where we were were Asian too and did the good job you expect of Asians in hospitality. We are lucky to have them.

I seem in fact to have not only Asians in my life but also New Zealanders and Dutch people.  And so it was again. One of Anne's sons is married to a Dutch girl and the other to a Kiwi.  I have had Dutch people in my life ever since my teens, in fact.  One or other of my friends always seems to hail from that windy place.

The do was in a big club -- an ex-football club at Sunnybank.  The menu was the sort of basic food you expect in Australian clubs -- steak or seafood.  The cooks knew what they were doing however.  I had the seafood basket and got Barramundi for Anne.  Both were expertly done.

Anne and I had our dinners with Anne's sister June and her man Colin.  Colin is in his 80s and has had lots of health problems but is still fighting the good fight.  He was talking with Anne about going on train trips, the Gulflander specifically.  So he is not giving up yet.  Anne greatly enjoyed her recent trip on it.

Anne in fact was just back that day from a week on Norfolk Island.  She got off the plane and took a taxi to my place so we could go to the party together.

As we left the party I was greatly honoured to get a cuddle from Zenia, Anne's niece, once removed.  Zenia is a slim and pretty blue-eyed blonde who is also over 6' tall!  She is a university student.

We came out of the club at a different place to where we had originally stopped but I didn't realize that immediately so was disoriented and could not find my car in the carpark.  As a  big club it had lots of carparks.  So we took a taxi home.  On the way home however I figured out what had happened and when we took a taxi back this morning, we went straight to my car.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A strange thirst

I have long been a rather thirsty soul.  I drink fizzy drinks by the gallon.  And despite all the dental alarmists, my teeth are fine.  I haven't had a filling since childhood.

The amount I drink has however alarmed me at times as a big thirst is a symptom of diabetes.  So a couple of years ago I had a glucose tolerance test which came back dead-centre: No sign of diabetes.  So I continued enjoying my soft-drinks.  I put my fluid consumption down to the fact that I have a lot of salt with my food.  Salt makes you thirsty.

In recent months however my thirst seemed to be greater and I started to do something I hadn't done since childhood:  drink  orange softdrink.  I had previously been a confirmed drinker of lemon squash.  So I once again had a diabetes test and came back within  the normal range.  So I continued to enjoy my orange softdrink.

Today, however, things got out of hand.  I needed to get up and drink my orange softdrink almost every five minutes.

Now I have always believed that your body tells you what you need.  If you note the strange things that pregnant women eat, you will understand.  They will eat ANYTHING to get what their unborn baby needs.

So I thought that my body must be telling me that what I needed was not orange softdrink but real oranges.  So I got out a mandarine (mandarin orange) from the fridge that I had bought some time before (I normally never buy fruit) and ate it -- swallowing only the juice.  And my thirst vanished!

I normally have some salady things with both my breakfast and dinner so I thought it most improbable that I would have a vitamin C deficiency but it seems that I did.  Despite my extensive reading in the medical literature on diet I have never heard of thirst as a symptom of vitamin C deficiency so it seems that my body was wiser than the medical journals are!

I would be pleased to see any references I might have missed, however.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dusty's birthday

The gorgeous boy is all of one now.

I got to Suz & Russ's place about midday and found quite a crowd already there.  The boy obviously has a lot of fans!

He just sat in his high chair for a couple of hours feeding himself so goodness knows how much he got down the hatch in that time.  I don't think he is going to be skinny.

There were a lot of kids running around, which I was pleased to see.  Simon & Tracy had their two along but they are hardly kids these days.

I talked a bit with Simon & Tracy about the education of their kids though I don't know that we reached any conclusions.  I rather naughtily remarked that Becky is a beautiful woman so will probably marry well -- which means that any educational choice she makes will be fine.  Far from being being critical of such "chauvinism", Simon wisely remarked that Tracy is a beautiful woman too  -- which she is.  Tracy just smiled.

Timmy was there with his colourful lady plus Jenny, Maureen, Davey etc.

I spent a bit of time talking to Simon & Tracy about the hazards of renting out properties and I think I may have changed their plans in the matter.  Simon has a new job in S. Aust. starting in January so they want to move down there but have to sell their house first.  If they could not get a sale before then they were going to rent their very nice house out.  I think instead Tracy will now stay on here until the place is sold.  Being in the services, Simon is rather used to being away from his wife -- though he doesn't like it of course.

I said to Simon that it would be fine to let his house out if he was around to punch pesky tenants in the gizzard and a definite glint came into his eye at the thought of that.  He has a martial arts hobby which is entirely appropriate for a member of the services.

The birthday boy got a mountain of presents, some of which Russ seemed to fancy for himself!  Definitely a traditional father.

Russell has a new space-age BBQ which produced some good snags and lots of onions, which I like.  The BBQ looked like a short trip  to the moon would be within its capabilities.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A good night and some good reading

Yesterday was Anne's last day at work before her retirement.  I tell her that she is now a pensioner but she rouses at me about that.  She doesn't like the sound of her changed status.  She does however have some health problems so it was high time she retired.

Anyway, to celebrate her retirement I took her to dinner at the Kafe Meze.  I ordered the usual: Tarama, Haloumi, Keftdes and Fourex Gold (beer).  It was all outstanding as usual and the beer went particularly well with the food.  I observed many years ago that Greeks in Greek restaurants mostly drank beer with their food so decided to learn from them -- and have never regretted it

But today has been rather pesky.  My cable connection to the net has been down all day.  Telstra say it is some sort of local area issue.

I do have a prepaid Telstra wireless connection as well for just such occasions but it is so much slower than the cable connection that it discourages me.  I have been able to get most of my usual stuff up today but my preparations for tomorrow are zilch.  I just cannot be bothered accessing things at a snail's pace.

I actually kept a promise to myself and spent some time instead  by re-reading Exodus (in the Bible).  It is actually quite a good story, retold with some repetition rather like a cantata.  Once again I was amused to note how unmodern Yahveh was.  But it is our  civilization that is out of step.  Yahveh's values were much like those than men have had throughout history:  Self-aggrandizing and vengeful.  He thought it greatly to his credit to wipe out the Egyptian army, for instance:  Not exactly a God of mercy.

But the one thing that stands out in Exodus is the cry of religious men throughout all time:  "Why won't people BELIEVE?"  Not only the Egyptians took a lot of convincing about the power of Yahveh but the Israelites were nearly as bad.  Yahveh was constantly having to prove himself to them.

So I actually enjoyed my time away from the internet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The latest pix from the shaky Isles

Hannah with tulip. That looks a cosy jumper too. I wonder who knitted it?

A real live pixie

Monday, October 8, 2012

Some recent pix

Some recent pix that I like -- also on Facebook

Amish lawnmowing -- photo by Ken

The happiness that only a baby can bring: Katie Brown's smile says it all

A Queensland blue heeler. Those eyes don't miss much. Just watch out for your heels

Two cousins


Unions. It's specifically a comment on a predatory American union, the SEIU

Hannah shows how grown-up she is

Hannah the snow bunny

Matthew in the snow -- photo by Ken