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If I were a rich man……..

If I were a rich man, all the things I could do, if I had a little money, it’s a rich mans’ world, words  after my own heart by Sheldon Harnick and  Jerry Bock, from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and ABBA. They say money can’t buy happiness and I would not want it to, but wouldn’t it be fun trying. I really don’t think money would change Brian and I, we are quite content with our lot in life, but that is not to say we wouldn’t like more.

In saying that I have been telling Brian for years that I could feel a big win coming, and I still can. We are not poor but we are not rich either,we have been through hell and back financially, we have paid the price for our folly and we have grown and moved on, and we are rightly proud of where we are now.

What will I do when that windfall blows in, first cab off the rank and Brian and I would go away to consider our future, to decide what we will do with our new-found wealth. Without question of a doubt my four sons would all get a handout, nothing ridiculous, they will have to wait and see what is left  in the will for that.

If I know Brian he will want to give his mother some, we would buy our dream home, buy me a new car as he has just got one, and have a long, long holiday. When the dust settles and we are in our dream home it will be time for my racing pigeons, no expense spared.

I am also a big believer in what the Universe gives it can also take, so just to help karma a little we would give a certain amount to charity, although my personal preference  would be to buy some new equipment for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

I can’t help thinking I have forgotten something, oh yes, I would retire. Dream on Sunshine.

Memories of World War 2

I have just spent a pleasant afternoon with my 80-year-old Dad. It is not uncommon for Dad to reminisce when I am with him and today was no exception, the memories today were of his childhood in Adelaide, South Australia during World War 2.

Dad was four when the war started and ten when it finished, and he remembers my grandfather taking them for a drive to a local Adelaide beach, but you could not use the beaches during the war as they were covered in barbed wire in case the Japanese invaded.

He also remembers that the people who lived next door would not talk to his family, they would not even return my father’s ball, because their father had been sent to war and my grandfather had not. My grandfather did try to enlist but he worked in munitions so he was sent back to work for the war effort.

Before the war my grandfather used to breed spaniels, at one stage he had over twenty, but as there was no meat to feed them during the war he had to take them to the local council to be put down. Something one never considers when talking about the war, the effect on people’s pets.

My grandfather also dug a bomb shelter in the back yard which he lined with mud as you could not get bricks, and my grandmother used to cook outside using any wood she could get for a fire.

Here we are 70 years later and we take so much for granted, we truly do live in the lucky country.

Father’s Day 2015

Well that’s it for another year, Father’s Day 2015 is over. I am a happy man, I have seen all my sons and their families today, and that is all I ask. I don’t expect presents or cards, all I ask for is a visit, and that I got. Thank you boys, you don’t know how much today meant to me.

Ryan and his family came first, closely followed by Wade and Gink, then Blake and his daughter Jade, and finally a very hung over Kane and family. Not as young as we used to be hey Son, it takes a little bit longer to recover than it used to. Don’t get me wrong, Kane is not a heavy drinker, but it was a work thing and he had to entertain clients, at least that’s his excuse.

I called my own father this morning and will see him next weekend.  Father’s Day is not a big deal to him but he is getting older, and let’s face it none of us know when it could be our last.

I also remember someone who meant a lot to me for a very long time, he has been gone longer than I ever knew him, but his memory will always live on. Uncle Max was a substitute father to me at a time when I needed one, and I was not close to my own father. He will always have a place in my heart.

Remembering Kathy

Kathy is someone I will never forget, it has been a long time since she was tragically taken, but memories of our time together are still strong. There are a couple of funny memories I would like to share, I hope they bring a smile to your face as they do to mine.

Although Kathy and I had our ups and downs like all friends, somehow things always worked out. We were workmates first and then friends, and while we had a lot in common, at the same time we were very different. Kathy had a failed marriage, and I had a failed marriage, and I think that was the common bond.

I remember one day I went to the toilet and the zipper on my pants broke, Kathy knew I had to go home by train so she offered to stitch my pants together, so she did, with me in them. In between pleading with her to be careful where she put that needle, and threatening her should she slip, we laughed. I suppose you had to be there but the office got a good laugh at my expense.

My funniest memory, well you need some background first. In those days I often worked back, and I was often the last one in the building. One night when I was alone the hand dryer in the men’s toilet went off, I crapped myself and rang my son, I told him to stay on the line while I checked it out, and if I was not back in five minutes he was to call the police, needless to say I went back. Silly me , I made the mistake of laughing about it in the office the next day, little did I know that one day that hand dryer, and Kathy, would come back to haunt me.

A few months later I was working back again, although this time I was supervising the office staff, Kathy amongst them, as they were keying a recent stocktake. Anyway I was in my office and the girls were down the passage way in the open office, glass petitions all the way, although only half way up.

After a while that damned hand dryer went off again, and again I crapped myself as I knew that no-one other than me was in that end of the building, and none of the girls had come anywhere near my office. I decided to casually meander down to be with the girls and keep to myself what had happened, I did not want to look like a woos.

As I got to the open office I noticed that Kathy was not at her desk and the other girls could not contain themselves, they were roaring with laughter. Kathy had crawled on her hands and knees the entire length of the building and snuck past my open door to set off the hand dryer.

Not to be outdone I hid under Kathy’s desk and a few minutes later she came down the passage way wetting herself with laughter and asked the girls where I was, at which time I jumped out from under her desk and got my own back. A silly memory, but  a happy one. RIP Kathy.

Skin Deep

You know the old saying that beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes right to the bone, well I don’t think they were talking about looks here, they were referring to our souls, our attitudes, the way we treat others. You know that other old saying do unto others, I believe in that.

I will never understand why we cannot accept ourselves with all our flaws, particularly the physical. I know that being overweight is not a good thing, so yes we should probably all be conscious of our weight, just as long as it does not become a obsession and lead too far the other way, being too much under weight is just as serious.

What I do not understand is people’s obsession with cosmetic surgery, in particular the female obsession. I ducked for cover as I wrote that one. Nose jobs, boob jobs, butt jobs, the list goes on. I am all for plastic surgery for medical reasons, but not for reasons of pure vanity, of not being happy with how you look, and don’t blame the men in your life, if they cannot love you as you are they are not worth the effort. I ducked again then.

I think we have all had a giggle at those that take things too far, it’s sad really, sad that they feel they need to go to such extraordinary lengths to be beautiful, when really they look ridiculous. If I was younger and single I don’t think I would be attracted to someone who had obviously had plastic surgery, I would prefer to know what someone really looks like. I want to know what my children will look like to, I don’t like surprises.

Spray tanning is another obsession that I just don’t get, I am so tired, despite the giggles it brings, of seeing orange oompa loompas everywhere I go. Yes I know that oompa looopas are blue, but writing it made me laugh. I like looking at a nicely tanned body as much as anyone else, but I prefer it to look natural, although not to that dark, leathery state that also makes me laugh.

OK, that’s me done. Fire back, I can take it.


Strange Pets

Like most children I had quite normal pets when I was growing up, we had a number of cats and goldfish at different times, one dog, and of course there was my racing pigeons, not really pets but that will do for the sake of the exercise.

In turn my own children had their own pets, again a number of cats and goldfish, a couple of dogs, an axolotl, and hermit crabs. I wouldn’t say they were deprived of pets would you?

Well apparently the axolotl and the hermit crabs did not satisfy their urges for the unusual. Son number 4 has the goldfish, dog and cat, but not Son number 3, no he has a saltwater crocodile, not a particularly big one at the moment but the potential is there. I hear on the grapevine that he wants to add to his menagerie, I shudder to think.

Shudder is exactly what I do when I now visit Son number 1, he has a guinea pig, two dogs, a cat, a tortoise, and a budgerigar, nothing unusual there you might say, but then there are the four rats, and why does he have four rats, why to breed and feed his two pythons, why else? Why else, to scare the crap out of his father that is why else.

Thank you Son number 3, you only have a dog and he is on holiday with us.

Mariners Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago Brian and I went to Mariners Restaurant at the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia with good friends Jo and Kate. All four of us were looking forward to a great night out and good food as we had heard good things about this restaurant. What a disappointment it turned out to be, it took forever for our entrées to arrive and there was hardly anyone else in the restaurant, we could only assume they had a function going on somewhere.

For entrée I ordered Oysters Grilled, Japanese Style with Soy, Mirin, Pickled Ginger and Caviar, I absolutely love oysters and I love Japanese food, so I thought I was onto a winner. The oysters were pathetically small but I could look past that except that they had no taste. The pickled ginger was shriveled and looked like it had been under a griller, first strike. I complained to the maitre’d and he gave me a free drink, and although I appreciated the gesture I would rather have enjoyed my oysters.

Main course and I ordered Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Scrumpy Cider Jelly, Cauliflower Florets, Basil Crisps and Cherry Vinegar Glaze, pork is my favourite meat and I couldn’t wait to tuck in. The cauliflower was roar and the pork belly was stone cold so I complained yet again, and again the maitre’d made his apologies. Brian had Sous vide Atlantic Salmon Cutlet with Cauliflower Puree, Grilled Asparagus & Butter Glaze, and he also sent that back.

Take two and this time my pork belly was hot, fresh from the microwave, but alas no cauliflower or jelly. That was it for me and when the maitre’d asked if we were ready for dessert I politely explained that he was not getting the opportunity of a third strike and we asked for the bill.

I have to say that the maitre’d handled it all very well, he was only young and it was not his fault. We were not charged for my meals and will not be going back.



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