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 @

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.


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.


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




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



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!!



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 –

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.



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  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.


October is the final month for the Poetry Challenge.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing – Day 10 ‘Ready’

The 31 day challenge is to writing for five minutes ( or thereabouts) on a given topic, each day. The topic for Day 10 is “Ready”

8.20 am


“Are you ready yet?” My other half calls, anxious to get going on our weekly shopping expedition. But I am tapping away on the keyboard writing yet another blog post. “Won’t be long,” I distractedly shout back down the hall.

But time has slowed and I am engrossed in getting my opinions down amid the jumble of words that spin about in my head. And I do dislike shopping for groceries, it is such a mind – numbingly boring task that my other half likes to repeat each week. As if it is the modern day equivalent of some religious ritual. Each week, I have to grit my teeth to prep myself for the grocery ritual, by first visiting a delightful cafe run by a Venetian man with a deep baritone voice, named Aladdino, who makes THE very best Italian hot chocolate! Some consolation for the battle ahead. And it is like a battlefield: the stainless steel shopping trolleys our ‘cavalry steeds’ and the supermarket aisles, a place where a cavalry style charge occurs a little too frequently, particularly during those red light specials! Each week shoppers try to emulate the reality show TV cooks in a vain attempt to keep their tastebuds on their toes, (or should that be tips?), whilst balancing the budget. Prices continue to spiral upwards, forcing us to buy generically branded cheaper and “crappier” items from dubious manufacturers. Convenience/ready-made meals means it may soon only be the elderly members of the community that remember what a virgin vegetable actually looks like prior to peeling, slicing and dicing and wrapped in plastic bags lined with preservatives! But we all have to eat, or face a riot on the home front, particularly from the adolescent members!

“How much longer are you going to be? ” The disembodied voice filtering down the hallway suddenly drags me back to suburban reality. It has happened again:  I have become engrossed in another blog post and am still not ready.

Ready or Not: Something to Ponder About