Saturday, June 25, 2011

I hate to say I told you so but...

I told you so...Man Colds are worse than girl colds :)  Queenslander researchers have found that the immune system in men is weaker than that in women but the differences disappear after menopause.  They reckon it's natures way of looking after women of child bearing years to ensure the survival of the species.

That got me thinking about the origin of the word menopause.   I thought it meant women put men on pause because of a loss of interest in sex.  But not true.  It actually comes from the Greek "men" meaning month and "pausis" meaning cessation - therefore cessation of the monthly visitor.   Now I've gotta say that given a man cold probably only comes once a year thats gotta be better than the alternative.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rabbitting, Fishing, Yabbying and Mushrooming

Not all food was found in supermarkets when I was growing up in fact a few times a year we'd have family expeditions somewhere up the Hume Highway on hunts for food and I'm guessing this was a family legacy born out of the necessities of the Depression.

Mum used to tell me about how her uncles used to visit the Vic Market and bring home vegetables and fruit that were beginning to turn.  We didn't need to do that but old habits die hard and we'd often meet at Nana and Grandad's in Brunswick and head off up the highway looking for suitable paddocks we could wander through looking for mushrooms or finding dams where we could through a piece of meat tied to a string and pull out yabbies.

Both Grandad and Uncle Phil kept ferrets so some of those trips involved finding rabbit warrens, putting nets over the outlets and waiting for the ferrets to chase the rabbits out of the holes.   I still love to eat roast rabbit and usually after we got home and the rabbits were scunned I'd be given a rabbits foot for luck and I have to say it was much luckier for me than it was for the rabbit.  I'd carry it around in my pocket for a few days until I suspect it got a bit woofy and Mum made me throw it out.  My sisters would get a rabbits tail.

There were times when we'd spend school holidays away camping. I remember one time Uncle Phil took me with him, my cousin Phillip and a couple of others to the Barmah State Forest near Koondrook for a week.  And that was real camping, fishing every day, a bush dunny consisting of a 9 gallon drum with a canvas screen pulled around three trees to give an illusion of privacy.

Those Christmases spent camping on the Murray River at Corowa, long hot days and early morning treks down to the riverbank before dawn are great memories for me.   Later as I had kids of my own and tried to re-create those times I found that my sons never really got into fishing and I think that was because I wasn't all that good at it.    When I took them out as kids and never caught anything they just got bored with it until there was actually no point asking if they wanted to go because I knew the answer would be no.  Diffierent times, different places.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who was Annie Laurie?

Language changes and I've noticed a trend recently where the word "worry" which I have always pronounced with a "u" as in Surrey, now seems to come out of the mouths of a lot of people with the sound of lorry.  I'm not sure how or when this happened but the first time I heard it was from an old neighbour of mine who whlst he was born here had parents from Austria.  I find it all a bit wurrisum.  :)

It got me thinking about some of the sayings that Dad used to have and what the origins of some of them were in an Australia that is now long gone.

When he thought that something was particularly unlikely to happen he would say "If that happens I'll walk backwards down Bourke Street whistling Annie Laurie."

For those who don't know Melbourne, Bourke Street is one of the main thoroughfares in the Central Business District, and before we had a plethora of suburban shopping malls the Bourke Street strip was the shopping mecca of Melbourne.

Now I knew what Dad meant when he said it but I have never known who Annie Laurie was and now thanks to the wonder of the internet I can find out.

That font of all knowledge Wikipedia states -
Annie Laurie is an old Scottish song based on poem by William Douglas (1672?-1748) of Dumfries and Galloway. The words were modified and the tune was added by Alicia Scott in 1834/5. The song is also known as Maxwelton Braes.

According to the story Douglas had a fling with Anna Laurie but her father disapproved possibly because he had a problem with Douglas's Jacobite views.

So for those like me who have never heard the song here it is.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The days go by

Newhome is almost ready - plumbing is done, tiling is finished, garage doors are hung, the floor coverings go down this week and our Post Construction Inspection is booked for 12 July.   We will probably be in by early August.

A few weeks back the last of my pets from the old life was run over by a car and killed.  Connie, our Brittany spaniel was named after Constance daughter of the Duke of Brittany.   She was about 15 years old and had been ailing since Gambit, her brother, died a few months back.  But she was let out in the yard with the front gate open and wandered onto the road.  She was the most beautiful natured dog and whilst I haven't lived with her for a few years now it still hurts to think she had to go in that way.   RIP Connie.

I'm halfway through my tenure at work but the boss has asked if I'm interested in sticking around.  I've said yes but will make up my mind when I find out what the offer is.  I have a bottomline that will need to be met so that the new mortgage is covered.

Speaking of the mortgage, the CBA is stuffing us around again.  It looks like they underpaid the first of the builders payments by about $2.5k which means we now have to find the extra.  The problem is because of the way the loans were set up I have no visibility of any payments we made or fees we were charged pre March this year.  I've asked for a full reconciliation and four days later still haven't heard a result yet.   We'll definitely look at moving banks once the settlements are done.

We lay byed  some limited edition prints for the home theatre today.  An indulgence, certainly, but maybe an investment too.   The prints are those below by an artist called Alex Ross.

Erin has left school and started work.  Not something I agree with but no point in forcing her to stay on and waste the rest of the year either.  She has the next couple of years planned out - save for a car, save for an overseas trip, work overseas for a couple of years and then come back and decide what she wants to do.  I'm in fact less upset with that decision than I am with the fact that her mother did not communicate any of it to me.  I found out a week after the fact.  Still, can't be too critical can we, if I am my kids tend to get all angry with me.