Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stuck in traffic – roar!

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Traffic slows to a crawl on the Monash Freeway...

Look a little closer 🙂 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Excuse me Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver. Are you aware there’s a zoo in the back window of your car? And it seems to be slowing you down.

In the last eight minutes stuck behind you in traffic, I’ve counted no less than 14 animals calling your car home.

Not live animals, mind you. This menagerie consists of a stuffed penguin, several rubber snakes, a crocodile, a fluffy bear and one rather irate-looking tiger, among others.

But wait! What’s this? I’ve spoken too soon. There IS one live animal in the mix – a pigeon perched on the passenger’s headrest. And by the look of it, he doesn’t appreciate all your stopping and starting either.

Ahh. We’re making progress now. I think you’ve found the accelerator, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver. And you’re turning off. Sadly, I need the same exit.

Whoa! What’s this? It looks like you’ve got a dog in there too. He just poked his nose out the open window as you took that rather wild corner. And it’s a Jack Russell, no less. My respect for you, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver, has been restored.

Oh, looks like you’re home. And now it all makes sense.

You live in that crazy old, tumble down shack with a giant spider welded to the front wall, CDs strung from every tree and more cats than I can count as I drive by.

Thank you for that entertaining drive, Mr Nissan-Pintara-Driver, albeit rather slow.

Now I really must get home and raid the cupboards. I always thought window decoration could be my forte, and now I know just the place to try it.

Birds? I’m driving . . .

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Australian Wood Duck

Australian Wood Duck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, I’ve learned three things:
1. Don’t let the bird-watcher drive the car;
2. If the track looks like no-one uses it, there’s probably a reason; and
3. You’re never too old to be car sick.

I’m writing this now, so you can rest assured, it didn’t end too badly. But there was a moment I thought we were coming unstuck.

It was meant to be a pleasant country drive. A few hours out in the bush looking for birds and finding that perfect picnic spot. The reality became a mixture of terror, frustration and shallow breathing.

The so-called ‘track’ provided a perfect view over the nearby river. All good. Unfortunately, my husband was busy looking at the treetops and not overly concerned with the direction we were taking. Not so good.

Then the single-vehicle ‘track’ started getting thinner and the only way out took us down a 45 degree slope toward a watery canal. Again, not so good.

“We’ll have to go back,” I said.

“Not likely,” was the reply.

And looking back along the ‘track’, I could see the sense in that statement. Sadly, the alternative was no more enticing.

I braced myself for the worst as we made the death-defying descent.

I think I heard my husband laughing, but I can’t be sure. I couldn’t look at him. We got to the bottom and suddenly another track materialised. “Oh, there it is,” was all he said.

An hour of winding bush tracks followed. Around this time, lesson three made itself known.

All I know is this – birds may be beautiful. The bush may be too. But bitumen, sweet bitumen, is my best friend.

Love on the bookshelf

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Mills And Boon (Large Print)

Mills And Boon (Large Print) (Photo credit: Caro Wallis)

There was a time, many years ago, when I subscribed to a monthly delivery of Mills and Boon romance novels. I’m afraid to say, it’s true.

Forbidden love, unspoken love, love in the most unlikely of places. He was often rich, she was often vulnerable. They were guaranteed to misunderstand each other’s intentions on more than one occasion. But in the end, love conquered all.

Some were steamy, some were sweet, some were wholly dissatisfying and eventually – after many free gifts and a cupboard full of Mills and Boon coffee mugs – I called it quits on that monthly delivery.

It took a few years, but I finally got rid of all those books – some to the library, some to my sister, a few to my neighbours and one or two relegated to supressing weeds in the garden.

But I have a confession to make. On Saturday, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed to the charms of the supermarket bookshelf and bought the rather dramatically titled ‘Proof Of Their Sin’, by Dani Collins.

And it lived up to expectations. He was rich and so was she . . . but less so. They both had excellent back stories which slowly emerged and intertwined to explain their perpetual misunderstanding of one another. They had shared a one night dalliance three months earlier with consequences which underpinned the story. Time went by, the chemistry was undeniable, the friction palpable, but eventually they found themselves on the same page (literally and figuratively).

The thing that made this book stand out was the closing sequence. Fast forward. The wedding had been and gone, the baby had just arrived and the creases in their relationship had all been ironed out. As the husband sucked on the oxygen in the back of the ambulance (mum and bub were fine), he remarked:

“The next one is planned, start to finish.”
“Agreed.”
Four months later they accidentally conceived on a flight to Hong Kong. Their daughter arrived three weeks early in a limousine under the Arc de Triomphe.

After the drawn out tension of the 183 pages prior to the epilogue, their future was summed up in three short sentences. The contrast and the content made me laugh out loud. I suspect the author Dani Collins was relieved to write them.

My only problem now is having to return to the supermarket when the food runs out, knowing that there’s more of these little gems just waiting for me on a bookshelf near the frozen foods. Give me strength . . .