Archive for the ‘walkabout’ Category


Cheese Shop variations

May 8, 2012

At the Meteor Crater Gift and Rock Shop, Arizona:

Me: May I have a thirty-two cent stamp, please?

Woman 1: We don’t have thirty-two cent stamps.

Me: Oh, OK then.

Woman 2: Do you mean just a postcard stamp?

Me: Yep.

Woman 1: We have those but we charge more for them because we have to go out and buy them.

Me: How much?

Woman 1: Thirty-seven cents.

Me: That’s fine.

Woman 1 then sells me a thirty-two cent stamp for thirty-seven cents.



One Delorean, two Deloreans

April 22, 2012

…three Deloreans, four.


Actually, there were five all up in this parade.


America, I am in you.

April 17, 2012

The Curmudgeon and I are on a winning streak.
That’s not us. But this is.


This morning we asked a chap where we should go for breakfast. Somewhere the locals eat, we said. Turns out he’s San Diego’s top food critic. So we took his recommendation seriously.

The Curmudgeon hasn’t been here as long as I have so he’s still enraptured by the novelty of eating the oddest thing on the menu. Peanut butter and banana-stuffed French toast for him! Elvis-death styley! Apparently it beat an Iron Chef in a breakfast throwdown and was featured on a telly show called ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’. For me, a more modest pile of pancakes as big as the fat-tyres wheels of our hired beach cruiser bikes.

I am very greedy. I am a lifetime member of the Clean Plate Club. Yet this is as far as I could get.

In further luckiness, we strolled past the San Diego Museum of Art and free tickets were thrust at us by a passing couple who had spares. So we found ourselves in a fantastically kitsch and barmy exhibition of floral interpretations of artworks. It was the silliest thing. Some people interpreted paintings of a vase of flowers by constructing… A vase of flowers. Others got a little freaky. We loved it. I took one snap before I learned I wasn’t allowed to do that. Oops.


Today: on to San Francisco!


Dogs and names

October 13, 2011

The Curmudgeon, Squid and I went for a long walk on the weekend. So long, in fact, that we had to stop at the cafe/nursery in Yarra Bend Park for tea and mince pies to be sure we’d make it home alive.

As we sat, a woman walked past with a lanky black dog called Max. (We know he was called Max because she addressed him as thus.) We admired his gleaming coat and general handsomeness,  except Squid who was concerned he might get mince pie crumbs that should be hers alone and glared accordingly. His owner took him into the nursery and tied him up.

A minute or two later, an illegally liberated Max trotted out, lead a-trailing. He stomped over to the gate and looked around. Cars were driving in front of him and the possibility of a flat Max was very real. I leaped up and called, “Max! Maxie!”

He jerked his head towards me and pricked up his ears and tail. He ambled over with a look of cheerful bemusement. His demeanour seemed to say, ‘I don’t know who you are, lady, but you know my name so we must be friends.’ I told him he was most excellent and grabbed the end of his lead, delivering him back to his owner. “Excuse me, Max was looking for you over near the gate.” She was a bit concerned but ultimately delighted, as all us dog nuts are when our dogs are delivered safely from potential disaster.

I returned to our table and Max, securely held, kept staring at me for some minutes, amber eyes steadfast across the nursery. He peered around his owner’s legs. I could almost hear the cogs turning in his head. ‘Who the dickens is that? Where have we met before? Was it at the Henderson’s last summer?”

Dogs don’t call one another names, do they? How does Max know that he’s Max, and Squid know that she’s Squid? If a stranger says, “hey, dog,” to Squid, she generally ignores them. Whatevs. But if they say “hey, Squid,” she wriggles and writhes and grins even if she’s never met them before. Maybe, to a dog, their name means “I’m a friendly human who wants to pat you” and each time you use it you’re actually introducing yourself.

Whatever it means, ain’t dogs grand?



September 27, 2011

Beestung lips are so hot right now that I went back to the dermatologist today to get injected, sliced and stitched. Never let it be said that I don’t suffer for beauty.

Yup, the Thing grew back. I was decidedly unimpressed. The dermatologist felt a bit guilty, I think. She took extra special care this time. Bigger slice, neater stitches. Fingers crossed. I need my whistle back!

These lads were less keen for the beestung look:

We walked through Edinbugh Gardens on the weekend and spotted a bunch o’ boys who had stopped their soccer game to stare at bikes. Can you guess why, reader?

Because a swarm of bees had landed on one of them. See the handlebars thick and furry with beeeeeeees?!

On the plus side, that bike was in no risk of being stolen.


Bali dogs

August 10, 2011

What a pack of mongrels.


Biu with a view

August 3, 2011

We rejected winter. We glared at Jack Frost. “No!” we shouted. “No, Jack! We can’t abide your icy influence. We’re outta here!”

And lo, a big jet plane took us to a little Indonesian island. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Bali?

There were, let me see, giant barking geckoes, manta rays, hunting bats, mammoth moths, delicious things, bananas (biu) by the bunch, hundreds of mangy mutts, turquoise waters, sunny days and balmy nights.

There were also a lot of foreigners. If you scurry away from the south (which seems to be a commuter suburb of Sydney) you can escape most of the Australians. And anyway, the Balinese thought we were Dutch because we were tall and very white, being the only antipodeans who were behatted and sunscreened.

Twas grand.