Australia, Environment, History & Traditions

April Fool Ghost

“So I woke up and my beautiful Schnauzer pup is laying on the back patio covered in dirt with a rabbit in his mouth. The rabbit’s not bloody, just dirty. My neighbor’s kids raise blue ribbon rabbits. I instantly knew it was one of theirs. 😢

I took the rabbit away from my dog, rushed inside, and brushed all the dirt off it before my neighbors could come home. It was stiff but I heard some animals play dead when they are afraid, but I couldn’t remember which ones.

I quickly took it and placed it back in one of the cages in their back yard then I ZOOMED back home. (Don’t judge me 😒)

Not 30 minutes later, I heard my neighbour screaming like she’s seen a ghost, so I go out and innocently ask them what’s wrong?

They tell me their rabbit died three days ago and they buried it, but now it’s back in the cage.” 😳

April Fools!

Found on social media, this was not my story. It just might be a work of fiction, or an old joke, but I wouldn’t put it past a Schnauzer to go after a rabbit!

Apparently this very thing DID happen with another Schnauzer, their owner and a guinea pig. I am giving this author, (Kathy W.), the benefit of the doubt, but it is April Fools Day, isn’t it?

Not many folks have pet rabbits in Australia. Keeping them is illegal and there are fines unless you have a special permit. Without a natural predator to control numbers, introduced Rabbits decimated Australia’s bush in the early 20th century reaching plague proportions and thus were banned.

It is legal to keep the following variety, and give them to your Schnauzer!

home made fabric easter bunny
blogging, Photography, Travel

Friendly Friday Blogging Challenge – On the Way

Even though few people are currently travelling, most of us have travel stories about our global adventures, that we can re-visit through writing and photographs.

Welcome back to the Friendly Friday Blogging Challenge, where I challenge you to create a post and share your stories, photographs, or memories, that you experienced ‘On the Way,’ to, or from, somewhere. It may be a shop, airport, workplace, historic site, residence, or whichever place you choose.

Friendly Friday Challenge Theme

On the Way

Instructions on joining the two weekly challenge is found here.

If you prefer an abridged form, you will find that further below in this post.

Now let’s take a trip through photos and a story:

In addition to the above photographs, I’m sharing a story of Just another person from around the world from 1986 that fits with the theme.

On Our Way – to the Airport

It was steaming hot and humid, as only Thailand can be. The vacation was over, but with our well-cured suntans and fond vacation memories lingering softly in our minds, the ‘Moth,’ (ie. Man of the House), and I were ushered into the rear seat of a Mercedes, by two young men who would drive us to Bangkok International Airport.

This older model ‘Merc,’ clearly nearing its use-by date, was the Taxi Airport Transfer our Travel Agent had kindly arranged, which meant we’d avoid navigating Bangkok’s public transport system in the oppressive, pea soup-like heat that had surrounded us back at Pattaya Beach.

Thankfully, the Mercedes was air-conditioned; mind you, the cooling unit was working extra hard to reach anywhere near the back seat and in reality, a vintage metal blade fan spewing tepid air would have been more effective than this car’s cooling system and I smiled a wry smile to the Moth, now seated beside me.

Photo by tom balabaud on Pexels.com

My hand reached across the numerous cracks and wrinkles in the sweat-caressed leather upholstery and touched the Moth’s hand. He’d been a tad nervous about travelling in South-East Asia and was clearly relieved he’d soon be on a plane heading home, to Australia.

Then something happened which began to make that look a little less likely.

We’d already been stuck in not one, but two, traffic jams and to pass the time, our Thai guide and his young driver would repeatedly push the ‘eject’ button, on the 1970’s era cassette player, and laugh uproariously when the ageing cassette plopped out on the floor. Added to this it seemed that absentmindedly switching the windscreen wipers on and off, and on and off again, despite the sun blazing outside, was an additional source of mirth for these two young guys.

Was this their first city job, I wondered? They looked like they were still a bit wet behind the ears.

Glancing over at the car’s instrument panel, I noticed the temperature gauge was spiking ‘hot,’ while the petrol gauge’s needle now flickered on ‘Reserve,’ indicating the fuel tank was close to empty. I raised an eyebrow and felt a slight tightening in my chest.

Cautiously, I asked the Thai Guide how much longer it might be before we’d reach the airport? In broken English, the reply came that it would be around half an hour, more or less, depending on traffic problems around the airport. I raised my eyebrows and looked again at the Moth.

Should I say something more about potentially running out of petrol?

I hesitated for a moment and crossed my fingers, but remained silent.

traffic jam Bangkok 1986
A Bangkok Traffic Jam in 1986. After two hours, we had travelled 100 metres.

Minutes ticked by and I began to calculate whether we could still make our flight if we did get stuck in another of Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams and whether the car would run out of petrol before we reached our destination.

I decided I should speak up.

“Won’t you need a little more fuel, soon?” I finally said, in a polite, suggestive way.

Both the driver and his offsider looked at each other, befuddled. After a moment, they shook their heads firmly. It seemed I might need to clarify a little more what I meant.

“The fuel gauge,” I said, gaining confidence and pointing.“It is showing empty.”

“Ah, hah,” the young Driver said, with a gentle laugh.

Temperature,” he said smiling and tapping the petrol gauge with a knowing nod.

Umm. I don’t think so.” I offered. I was shaking my head but in those days, I had a soft voice and hadn’t developed any kind of authoritative tone, so the driver easily shrugged me off with a quick, “No problem,” and flashed that broad and innocent Thai smile, that can charm almost anyone.

I sat back in my seat thinking there was no way we’d catch our flight if we ran out of petrol. I looked at the Moth, imploring him with my eyes to say something to the driver. His eyebrows were knitted together, yet he remained silent.

Would you like something to eat?” the driver then piped up? “A bowl of rice? You have time,” he said pointing to his watch.”

I thought a detour may use up even more petrol and remembering his questionable skills in reading gauges, I wasn’t confident we had any time for food. Declining politely, I advised him we’d eat at the airport, adding under my breath – if we ever get there.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

Several minutes later, the frenzied finger-pointing and gesticulating towards the car’s instrument panel, accompanied by feverish Thai mutterings between driver and colleague, suggested something was amiss.

Without warning, the Driver stepped hard on the Merc’s gas pedal. We sped off at high speed through the traffic. I suspected it wasn’t the pressures of time that had prompted his change of heart. He must have realised his mistake in reading the gauges and surmised fuel was now perilously low.

Falsely thinking that accelerating and reaching the airport faster would prevent the car from running out of petrol, meant we were now overtaking every car on the highway, at breakneck speed. I gripped the armrest tightly with one hand and the Moth’s hand with the other.

Just hold on! the Moth mouthed at me silently.

After what seemed like an eternity, I saw the terminal of Bangkok International Airport loom ahead of us through the windscreen. If anyone had been listening in at that moment, they would have heard four very audible and loud signs of relief from both the front and the back seat of the old Merc.

We had arrived.

Join in with the Friendly Friday Challenge

Do you have a story or photograph or two to share?

Compose a post, be that photograph/s, story or recipe, with the theme, ‘On the way,’ somewhere – and include both the tag, ‘Friendly Friday’ and a url linking back to this post.

After publishing your post, return here and leave a comment with your post’s url. That way other visitors can find your post and visit.

Do Follow the Friendly Friday Challenge blogs: The Sandy Chronicles, and StPA for future prompts.

Remember this challenge runs for two weeks and you are encouraged to post once, twice or as many times as you like.

Sandy will be back on Friday 26th February with a new challenge.

denmark
blogging

Find Out Your Royal Name

Are you in need of a laugh this morning?

Photo by Bestbe Models on Pexels.com

Post in the comments your Royal “Name,” by listing:

1. Lord or Lady
2. Name of a Pet
3. The last thing you ate
4. add “of”
5. The Last Place You Shopped

Princess

Mine is:

‘Lady Rebellion Biscuit of North Lakes

Sounds Legit?

Clearly I’m missing the Tiara and the Castle. (NB. I am no Monarchist!)

castle in Italy
Sirmione

Thanks to Linda P, my old friend for this bit of comic relief.

schnauzer dog in pupsnaps bed
blogging

Has the World Gone Entirely Crazy?

As if Covid isn’t enough to contend with, have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go as it should? Where it seems the forces of the Universe are set against anything going smoothly? Yes, it was one of those.

Things happened.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Chaos Rules or Life by Crisis Management

  • A friend I haven’t spoken to for over a year sends a message, out of the blue, with only the words, “How are you?” There was no other context to her message and yes it was her – I did check. A little odd or, perhaps, spontaneous. She was just wondering how I was, she said. After a year without communication!
  • My daughter rings to make an appointment at a medical specialist doctor and the Receptionist asks her to supply a full length photo for a the appointment. Weird. Full length?
  • Three out of three kids then had mini breakdowns of sorts on the same night, unrelated to each other, sending us scampering from one to the next in succession. It was a busy night.
  • That same night the neighbour sent me a message at 7pm that he wants to come sit on my garden bench for a while. Did he have a fight with his partner, I wonder? This is out of character. I only saw the message at 9pm whilst scampering to and fro, said kids.
Schnauzer dog

Finally late on the same day as ALL of the above:

We discovered the new pup had eaten the TV remote control, yes, the plastic controller part. The Moth’s favourite activity is to watch television and you can imagine what the Moth said when it became apparent he could not change the channels or adjust the volume. Not to mention the possible harm to the puppy, which resulted in my daughter having to check the poo for remnants of plastic when she walked the dog around our estate, for the next few days.

Not so strange, I suppose, but given that we live in an area where there are lots of tradie workmen building new homes, you have to imagine the strident scene of strange stares and comments when they see a pretty young teen, now adult, picking up dog poo on the footpath, then examining it closely, feeling it and squishing it around in her hands, (inside the doggy poo bag of course)!

It seems the little pup has a penchant for chewing anything. Here’s more evidence of her dental disasters.

And the final piece of news – we have “worms.”

Not in our bodies thank goodness; we’ve merely purchased a batch of garden-variety, soil-improving worms and installed them in their new home at the Home by the Sea.

At least the worms aren’t having a personal crisis or feeling chocked up with plastic remote controls.

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

– Richard Bach
#WQWWC
stpa logo

blogging

Trump Mood Meter

Thanks to TheKing’sNecktie, I discovered there is a Trump Mood Meter in existence, to determine, that is, the leader’s, former President’s mood. This is presumably, tongue-in- cheek.

However, I am confused as to its authenticity. It claims to guard against stock market volatility, by predicting the mood of Donald Trump. If folk voted for the Don, I am guessing they may believe the Mood Meter when buying or selling stocks? In the Trump – Covid era, anything is possible.

N.B. The meter predicts his mood based on Trump’s tweets for the last 24 hours.

Interesting that if it is not swinging towards cheerful, the meter will read as raging! Two polar extremes, like the man himself. This meter might become more interesting as we get closer to Trump leaving the Whitehouse, by force, or by his own volition.

Photo by Priya Karkare on Pexels.com

It may just be the angle of this photo, from Pexels, but, weirdly, I see a silhouette of the barrel of a gun in the external shape of this building. But that’s just me, I suppose.

Something to Ponder About

dog drinking juice
blogging

Slanging a Schnauzer

To my mind, they are irresistible bundles of fur, fun and friendship. Who wouldn’t love a Schnauzer? As hard as it is to believe, it seems there are a few folk about.

Well behaved Schnauzer Dogs

A week or so ago, we were hanging out at our favourite Dog-friendly Cafe. I have to say, Dog Friendly because unlike Europe, most cafes and establishments in Australia are not Dog Friendly, at all.

Certain cafes are open to having dogs visit their premises in dedicated zones and that’s so welcome when you have well-behaved dogs that like to be around their owners. My dogs are part of my family, you see.

My doted dogs are clean and house trained, bark only a little, if you darken our doorstep, in short: they love everyone. One of our dogs is still a puppy, who wants to meet and greet everyone, if we let her. We don’t.

Most people enjoy saying hello to a puppy, or even want to give them a quick pat on the head. One Cafe’s owner even likes to give our dogs a small piece of Brioche bun, when they come to visit.

But it was one comment from a customer, at the Dog-friendly cafe, that had me transfixed to the spot. I was so dumbstruck by this woman’s comment on seeing my puppy, that it took a few minutes, of rooting around in my brain, for a possible explanation. I wondered what she could possibly mean?

Why would she say such a thing? Did I hear her right?

First, let me introduce you to Athena, appropriately named by my daughter, or so I thought. Pretty cute, right?

schnauzer dog in pupsnaps bed

This customer, who sported a black bouffant hairdo, apparently thought otherwise, as she spied Athena settling down under the table across from her.

“What IS that?” the ‘black bouffant spat so loudly that all the patrons at the cafe could hear. “Oh, it looks like something you’d see on the bottom of a shoe!”

The bottom of a shoe? I thought.

Really? Who even says such a thing?

Sadly, it doesn’t end there with negative commentary about cute puppies.

The Schnauzer breeder, with which we are acquainted, received the following report from a puppy purchaser.

“My new “la de da” neighbour who swans around in her ‘Camilla kaftan,’ sucking on pink champagne from an equally “la de da” champagne flute just asked me if, [my Pedigree Schnauzer puppy], was a “bitzer.”

I then replied, “No she’s a purebred mini schnauzer,” as I drank my Coles mineral water from a Hungry Jacks yellow-striped glass. (Okay, to be fair I added Bickfords Lime juice). Anyway she then replies, “Oh that sounds German or something. I’m actually German with some Hungarian and Italian mixed in there.”

My sarcasm escaped and I replied, ” Oh, so you’re a bitzer then”? With that she wafted off yelling “Yann darlink, I need a refill.”

Okay, I’d had a long day and wasn’t in the mood for “Zsa Zsa Gabor,” stuff.

Credit : C.Lindenberg

Clearly, like the black bouffant, this neighbour of said puppy purchaser must be a cat person or the following pictograph is seemingly how she views a canine friend.

What do you think?

Can you see any resemblance to a stiletto or the sole of a sandal?

Blog logo on transparent background
Girls happy dancing friends on traffic light control
Australia, blogging

Ending a Friendship

Recently at the Home by the Sea, I met a new friend. So that he can remain anonymous, I’ll call him, ‘Old Mate,’ (as we sometimes do in Australia).

Most people who met Old Mate, thought him brash and cocky, but I was utterly charmed by his youthful exuberance. He’d entered my world uninvited and I’d welcomed and even encouraged him to visit me whenever he liked. “My door is always open. Come over anytime,” I told him nonchalantly.

Perhaps that was my mistake? I can be naive about such things.

Being a good neighbour, or so I thought, I’d offered him food and refreshments whenever he rocked up. He really did like that. So much so, that he brought his partner over to meet us. We were chuffed.

Both Old Mate and his partner were talented singers and would regularly entertain us when they popped in. It was obvious they were planning to settle nearby and start a family. I was looking forward to sharing their world and continuing our wonderful friendship.

I had no inkling that Old Mate would take liberties with our friendship in a way no one else has done before.

It came to a head this week.

Jumping around on my Dining table was, to say the least, extremely unsettling, so I was forced to do something I’ve never done before: I told Old Mate he had to leave – ordering him out of my house.

He didn’t take my announcement well: becoming angry and flustered, making excuses to check out several rooms in the house, before finally agreeing to leave.

That was the final straw. I abruptly terminated our friendship.

I feel bad. I miss him, but it has to be this way.

My door is now closed.

Snow pea insect
Australia, Food

What’s Cooking at Home

Are the supermarket shelves emptying of your standard pasta sauce?

The solution is to Make Your Own. It is not hard, says Nat.

‘Nat’s What you Reckon,’ will tell you how.

He is rough, ready and he hates jar sauces and processed food.

Yet, this guy can cook.

Hidden behind this tough exterior are really useful cooking tips, and you might just get a good belly laugh along the way, with his laconic comedic manner.

Which we can all use right now.

Warning: Hold on to your seats. The language is colourful. And it is a useful brush up on Aussie Slang!

Quarantine Pasta Sauce

Anyone can make this. Nat’s here to help.

Nat can also coach you in Mushroom Risotto and Carbonara Sauce. And gives you some laughs on his adventures to Cat-Con.

Catch more of Nat here:

YouTube @ Youtube.com/c/NatsWhatIReckon

waterlilly
Community, Environment

All Sorts of Crap and the PKR

It was a Saturday morning, 2012 and my phone rang impatiently. When I picked it up, an unfamiliar voice asked,

“Is that Amanda?”

“That is me,” I answered.

“Yeh?” [pause]

” It’s Susie. I’ ve got your crap here.”

“Sorry,” I said, about to hang up, thinking that this was a prank call.

But then I was a little curious, so I tentatively asked, “What kind of crap have you got?”

[Believe it or not, this is the second time in my life, I have had to ask a stranger this exact question. This time I was not in Denmark, but that’s another story.]

The Caller continued.

“Well, I dunno. There’s a box here, with your name on it and it says that it’s umm, filled with crap.” It had your phone number too, so I rang you, ‘cos, you know, I don’t want it!” Susie exclaimed.

The penny dropped.

“Oh, okay. I know what it is. It’s my toilet paper,” I said with sudden clarity.

[Frustrated with too frequently needing to change the toilet roll and attempting to shop more ethically for environmentally friendly products, I’d purchased a regular delivery of toilet paper from a profit for purpose, online store, Who Gives a Crap and hadn’t received a notification that delivery was imminent.]

“They’ve delivered it to the wrong street address,” I squirmed inwardly, realizing how ridiculous it must have sounded to Susie, to have toilet paper home delivered, in the days before online shopping really became mainstream.

What? Susie asks, sounding confused.

“I bought some environmentally friendly toilet paper online – it is recycled, you see.”

“Recycled? Toilet paper? What?” She asked, seeminly incredulous at my wild suggestion. [Apparently, the hole I was digging, was getting deeper]

“It’s a little crazy but it is a genuine product, from a company called Who Gives A Crap, and they are, you know, all for sustainability and helping the environment, you see. Their sales speel is really corny Dad jokes and puns about toilet humour which they print on their wrappers.”

Susie was not convinced, but eventually agreed to a suitable time to pick up my box of “crap.”

On collection, she cheezily remarked, “You’re finally here to pick up the crap, are ya?” The toilet humour was wearing a little thin, by then. I wanted my loo paper and to get out of there. So, I thanked her for her honesty in calling me and offered her a roll to try out for herself.

“No, I don’t use it,” she said.

Now it was my turn to be confused. How could anyone in this day and age, get away without using toilet paper? I pondered.

I had to know more.

Let me say that Susie was only too willing to share the finer details of her medical condition which required her to use soft wipes instead.

Before we delved into the realms of TMI, I decided to take my environmentally friendly crap and trot off.

2020

Can you imagine if the same incident happened today?

There’d be some kind of snatch and grab feast in the burbs. Not only is Who Gives a Crap now a widely known brand, but a free box of 48 rolls of EXTRA LONG Toilet paper, would be akin to finding the golden ticket to Willy Wonka.

Who Gives A Crap?

Let’s face it anyone brave enough to call their company, Who Gives A Crap, is worth a look. Plus 50 % of profits get put back into Water Aid and projects that improve sanitation in the Third World. I love that. And according to its founder, it has a low PTR!

What is PTR? you may ask. It is a Poke-Through-Rate because no one wants crap on their hands: as Simon explains in this promotional video.

To test the poke through rate yourself, you’ll have to wait a little, as the current runs, (no pun intended), on toilet paper has Who gives a Crap stocks completely SOLD OUT, in Australia.

Roll on.

This story was promptly by Barb at Barb’s blog, discussing the Corona pandemic.

Community

Poetry Challenge – September Round up

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

 

The Prompt for September was to write a Limerick or humorous poem.

Only five lines long, limerick poems have an ‘AABBA’ rhyme scheme.

 

Featured Poets – Colonialist’s Blog

 

 

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I do suppose that each season
Does come with a kind of a reason,
And most are quite fine,
But I draw the line
At seasons that have my toes freezin’!

 

~The Colonialist

 

 

Find more about the Colonialist here

 

 

Hester writes a real cracker, really capturing the essence of the limerick’s humor:

 

An OLD bird who LIVES at the COAST

Lied DOWN in the SUN and she DOZED

She THOUGHT a light TAN

Would CATCH her a MAN

But NOW she’s burnt CRISP as dry TOAST

 

~Hester

This is a really awesome limerick!!! I love it, and it has that memory making sing-song quality so that it sticks in one’s head for quite a while!!

 

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I invite you to read this month’s submissions for the A and I Poetry challenge   who have all done a fantastic job.

 

Poetry Challenge Contributors for September

 

Ju- Lyn  varied the theme of seasons in refashioning-rules  but also decided to give the limerick form a go, here. And I am very glad she did. The limerick is deceptively easy to write but difficult to convey a message in such few words. Ju-Lyn nailed it.

Manjamexi  – penned a cheeky limerick with beautiful illustrations of mouth-watering photographs of a Cypress field many incarnations through the seasons.

Ineke’s delightful limerick on the seasonal changes in New Zealand – Scrapydo2.wordpress.com

Abrie Joubert – writes in Afrikaans but copy paste this into google Translate or use the translator button and you will find some wonderful words.

Abrie’s post on the A and I Poetry Challenge inspired two other Afrikaans writers to write limericks in the comments of Abrie’s post:

Hesterleynel  – she is at it again! Well done, Hester.

Toortsie

Perdebytjie

Very well done to all of you!  The translations were a lot of fun to read! One word translated to diarrhoea!! Not sure that it was meant as such, but it certainly was humorous!!

Hester’s post inspired Vuurklip to contribute in Afrikaans,on Hester blog post here

Tafuzul  – submitted a surpise poem.  He asked me to choose his best poem for his entry this month. Find it here

If you have written a poem in September and would like a linkback included here, please comment below.

Host bloggers Amanda  from Australia at Something to Ponder About and

Ineke from New Zealand at scrapydo2.wordpress.com  jointly host the challenge.

Ineke mostly does the poetry in Afrikaans, while Amanda uses English.

The challenge is open to all, from first-timers up to well-advanced poets. Be sure to comment here so that we can find your poem for October and add you to the link up post at the end of this month.

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October is the final month for the Poetry Challenge.