The Coffee Club

We recently welcomed a new subgroup into our family – The Coffee Club – which contains four hens: Cappuccino, Mochaccino, Latte and Espresso (hence the name “The Coffee Club”). When I want to feed them, I call out: “coffee-time” which really confuses the neighbours (always an added bonus).

The girls have the run of the back garden which in turn has produced a ravaged travesty of a once flourishing vegie patch. But I live in hopeful anticipation of payback – I want eggs – beautiful, fresh, free-range eggs. The first hen to produce an egg will be pampered and cosseted for the rest of her life (well at least until the novelty wears off).

I excitedly informed an American friend that I had acquired 4 chooks: he paused, thought for a while and then exclaimed as comprehension dawned: “Oh Australian chickens”. I had foolishly overestimated the acceptance of this Australian idiom. The world is obviously not as small as we sometimes think.

There’s a much-loved aussie malediction that will really confuse all non-Australian readers: “May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down!”

translation: chooks = chickens, emus = big birds like ostriches, dunny = outside lavatory

Anyway to get back to The Coffee Club – I found my FIRST egg this morning! I was so excited I dragged everyone out of bed to witness this miracle of self-sufficiency. My husband was singularly unimpressed and rather nastily pointed out that this one egg has cost me about $300 in building materials, chook food and lost vegies. Men just get so caught up in petty details, don’t they?

However as eggs don’t actually come with name tags (and the girls had taken off in their latest foray to utterly destroy the garden) I have no idea who actually laid damn the thing. I think The Coffee Club was aware of this and conspired to confuse me so now I have pamper and cosset ALL of them for the rest of their lives.

Bloody chooks!


Gravity – I Hate It

What is it about gravity? I don’t like to admit it but gravity is taking its toll. Parts of my body that should be perky are drooping at an alarming rate!
It’s pretty scary – I’m a small woman but I can see in the mirror (I forgot to take my glasses off first – damn it) that some things are definitely heading south.

In her heyday my grandmother was a big-breasted woman but these days she looks more like those African women you see on documentaries. It’s a standing joke in our family (women only) that she has to roll up her boobs before putting them into her bra.

My paternal grandmother wears full body armour whenever she ventures out her front door (an unyielding bra and girdle combo) and let me tell you: gravity doesn’t stand a chance with her.

Breasts are funny things genetically speaking – in our family they skip a generation. My mother and daughter have big breasts – my grandmother, sisters and I are somewhat deficient in that department (thank goodness).

My aunt complains bitterly that gravity doesn’t work properly on her as although her bustline dropped – her belly has risen up to meet it!

I don’t really mind getting older (the alternative is pretty nasty after all) – it’s the fact that I get such a shock when I catch sight of myself in a mirror. Inside I feel about 17 but the outside tells such a different story.

I really MUST remember not to wear my glasses around mirrors any more.

Housework Is Just Not My Thing

I really hate housework – I waste more time trying to find ways to avoid it than I spend actually doing it.

But I do suffer from the dreaded “housewife guilt” all the same. If the house is messy and someone visits – I’m the one who feels responsible. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been working full-time and my husband is home on holidays – I’m the one who gets embarrassed. I know it’s ridiculous but it’s a “gender” thing. Perhaps brainwashed as a child. Something like that.

I can relate to keeping the kitchen and bathroom clean – that’s simple hygiene, after all. But vacuuming and dusting all the time – give me a break!

My grandmother was big on housework – I think it gave meaning to her life. She had a regular roster of household tasks for every single day of the week. Can you explain to me how a house containing two elderly people needs the floors swept and things dusted each and every day. I don’t understand it – I mean, just how dirty could it possibly get?

The regular drudge detail seems pointless most of the time: what’s the purpose of having floors clean enough to eat from? – I’m much more comfortable eating at the dining table, thank you very much.

If I actually wash and polish the floors, rather than just vacuuming them (a rare occurrence, I have to admit) – just as soon as I’m finished, one of the kids will drop their glass and send juice splattering all over it. Then the only thing accomplished is one very irate mother, and a boy spending the entire day in his room.

And cobwebs – what’s with them? I live in Canberra now, and I have never seen so many cobwebs in my life. I’m not sure if it’s nature itself protesting the politicians, but if you remove the webs, they’re back, bigger and more invasive, in the same spot a few minutes later.

We also have water restrictions and although I applaud the idea, in principle – it does make life more difficult. I rather enjoyed washing the outside windows (which for me meant turning the hose on full-bore and blasting the windows with high pressure water). It was a lot of fun (especially on a hot summer’s day) and I could feel virtuous at the same time. But we shouldn’t do that any more. So guess when the last time our windows were washed?

If I looked around my house I could probably see about 20 things I should do – but what the hell – I’ll ring a friend and see if she wants to go to lunch. She probably needs a break too. After all, it’s extremely hard work spending an entire day at home, finding new ways to dodge the domestic detail, and not feel guilty, all at the same time!