October 18thGreat to see "Genera+ions" return to cable again last night. Every episode of that show, there is at least one song that I love that is backing music. "Backing music" is almost insulting as so many times the song helps set the scene. This episode it was Jupithers rather excellent "I Kissed A Boy" - which had our household dancing around the lounge room. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMnFDrrK2LI
I wake up early again today; the scaffolding guys arrived to take it all down off the East Lawn. Nice blokes and all down in record time. So another thing off our list. Now if our fence man would just return to finish the job. I'm sure there are thousands of insurance jobs up here , so we remind ourselves to be patient.
I head to Olinda to grab a coffee and run into our mate Charlotte. Mark tells me before I leave that we need oil for the lawn mower. I'm sitting with Charlotte on the Art bench area and go and pick up a plastic container to throw in the recycle bin. I have a chuckle, it's a bottle of lawn mower oil, brand new, still sealed. I don't think this is what Mark mean- "go and let luck give you the lawn mower oil".
In the afternoon I drive to Monbulk to pick up some cement and concrete as we are starting on our stone steps soon for the garage and art room. Yes doing them ourselves- plenty of slate and river stones here at Ailsa Craig -hopefully enough for the steps. If I don't need any more concrete it means they will cost us a huge $35.00. Now come on-how amazing is that.
October 19thTV show "Succession" returns tonight for it's third season and off to a brilliant start. Boy that family certainly is fucked up!
We carry a few rocks around the property for the steps , just building them up and a small pile of bricks for the base. I pretend I know what I am doing. As I walk about it's nice to smell our lavender in the air, all the bushes are in flower, they smell great. Everything grows so insanely fast up here, most of our day sidetracked by cutting back plants and flowers close to our main door way. The rock pile was token at best by the afternoon. The sky is grey and looks like it might rain so not risking a start on the steps otherwise I'll end up with a grey mud pool.
One of those nights where I just don't want to cook, so decide on homemade Pizza. One of those rare times where my Pizza dough is stubborn. Thankfully it all works out in the end , and pizza's are great for using up all those little extras. We waste almost nothing at our place -food wise. Kind of sad that almost one third of the worlds food is lost or wasted yearly. We really Do have enough to feed everyone , just frustrating with such waste on a global scale.
Mark doesn't know it but I ordered him a "Lion costume" for Halloween. Well he is a Leo after all and it was 50% off. I was looking for a cat outfit to go with my Wilfred the Dog but they were not very good and prices were crazy. If this was America I know i could get a cheap price cat suit in a tall/large size. So many awesome costumes in the States. Maybe next year.
October 20thWow, what a mighty morning at Kalorama. A beautiful sunny day. You can hear the action in peoples yards bright and early , everyone up and active. I head outside and Marks Halloween costume has already arrived, Costume Box Australia- very efficient.
We work on the rock steps for the garage today, a bit limited with the shape, size of rocks but if we are serious about keeping the budget down to almost zero we'll work with what we have. We do manage to find enough bricks at our place for the hidden base. Lifting and moving river stone and slate etc for hours and then Marks favourite job (NOT) mixing the cement. We end up with about half done. Which is ok as it give it time to dry before we work on the second half in the next few days. It feels good doing it ourselves, a few moments of changing mind, designs depending on rock sizes. I like that we can take such things on and do them. Make them a reality.
Both of us worn out so i drive and pick up some excellent Indian food for dinner.
October 21stVictoria moves past the double vaccinated mark around Covid. 12 new Covid "D" deaths in Victoria today- so we are at 187 deceased. NSW 300 more at 487. At least NSW's Delta death rate has finally slowed. I'm hoping when Victoria opens up a bit in the next few days i'll be sidetracked by other stuff. It's getting to be that fantastic time of the year, sunny days, warm weather - makes you feel alive. We are catching up with friends and enjoying life.
I take some lemons to our neighbour Hisako and we sit in the sun. She's just finished knitting the best beanie- it's one of those canadian style ones- Keith Richards appears to be wearing them onstage at every show. However Hisako looks way cooler and hers are a nicer colour. I hope she got my subtle hint how I'd love one exactly the same as hers in that colour! OK it wasn't subtle at all.
We spend a big part of the day working on the stone steps , alter them a bit (again) and they now look more like steps instead of Mr Brady from the Brady Bunches home made waterfall! Still a bit more to go, 2 more steps, fixing parts of the broken garage wall , only tiny and polishing the cement off the stones. The best weather to do this, we hope tomorrow is just as good.
11.59 tonight-Lockdown lifts in Victoria.
October 22ndI wake up with a beam of sunshine sneaking into my window- we are lucky another sunny day. Yes perfect for more work on the stone steps. I head off early and start working on them. Only 1 row left at the top - when Mark arrives and says "good job". We'll have to cover them tonight, rain on the way. Annoying as all we needed was one more sunny day to complete them. That's ok we are both patient.
A knock on the office door and Mark turns up in his lion Halloween outfit- so fucking cute! Sorry swearing, but he is. I love it.
Dean calls and it's been a week or so , and a phone chat with lots of laughter. Marky lectures him, jokingly. I like it when the boys are chatting and usually stirring ME. It's all good. Amazing when someone fits into your life, well like a glove, I keep waiting for the penny to drop, instead of just being 100% happy. Life is pretty good I must say.
OK how good is Marky. Somehow he manages to get us a Bluray of the impossible to get "Velvet Underground" movie. So awesome HD and he just surprises me with it, i swear i almost wept with joy. It's everything i expected and more- the perfect balance of interviews, never before seen footage, loads of cool stuff from the Warhol Factory days , and those exceptional songs. I was captivated- a must see. Thanks Mark. Talk about musically happy, I go to bed and have the best dreams courtesy of Lou Reed.
October 23rdBanshee managed to wake up even earlier this morning. So not much sleep. I give her the dirtiest look, she walks up and nudges my leg-OK you are forgiven, I can never be angry at this nutty furball.
The weather has turned to shit, which we expected. The stone steps are covered by a tarp to protect them from the rain while they dry. Our work on them has stopped till the weather improves.
I head to Montrose and check an old Lotto ticket and win $20-so that covers milk, bread etc. I also spot a final birthday present for our friend 'Belle in France so purchase that. I'll mail the parcel off tomorrow- and hope it gets to her on time. You just never know with International postage. A friend in the states sent me 2 parcels on the same day. One took 10 days to get here, the other (exact same size) took 28 days. Insane.
October 24thI am excited to see my Red Sorrel return to the vegetable patch this year. I love it when you don't have to do anything, suddenly it is there. One of the in demand super foods from organic farmers. Our is so healthy-crisp, bright green with those red veins. Think I'll use some in our lunch today. Maybe this midday sunshine will hold- would love a few days of more sun, less rain.
The thoughts of my second Covid vaccine shot tomorrow is sitting in my head , I just want it done & hoping not too much of a hassle.
Tonight we might watch the documentary on the Carpathian Sphinx. It's situated in Romania and so many 'theories' about this one. I am intrigued.
While my enchilada's for dinner are cooking away, I chat to my wonderful sister. Both laughing at how ridiculous it is that my TWO mobile phones are now not working. Think she is going to take the situation in hand and get me a new phone for Christmas and make it work- we both agree it should not be this difficult.
October 25thI'm awake fairly early and off to Eastlands for my 2nd vaccine shot. I just a walk up, and that's all ok. I'm technically getting my booster 2 weeks early, but still within the legal side. A different between State and Federal. Happy it is done. Mark shouts me lunch which is great.
A few hours later and still ok- no reaction. I call up my Uncle at the 'Gong to wish him a Happy Birthday, a really good chat.
I drive to the Olinda bakery later, just the urge for a coffee and a custard tart. I sit in the Art area and I have to admit I am feeling rather like I am stoned, so that is the only side effect. I'm ok to drive, just really mellow.
I chat to a mate for what seems forever, I think we both freaked each other out, which is ok. A good freak out.
October 26thNot much sleep, the cat, the vaccine, and todays return to the charity kept me awake. I was up at 7.00. It's my first return day to the charity in 4 months. They failed to tell me that the main store was closed, our is a BIG store but they'd decided to have a side walk sale instead and guess who was in charge dealing with the public for most of the day-yes this little Kalorama duck. It was a beautiful day, by afternoon, rather hot. The people were all nice, some cool items went. This younger woman got the BEST coat & she looked amazing in it. I did tell her so. It was kind of odd being out in the sunshine as the store is like a huge metallic cavern at times. Only a few of the staff are back , but it was lovely to see them all. At lunch break I headed to Woolworths and grabbed some icecreams and then some japanese for dinner. Today was an early closing day so i was home by 3.30.
Another long phone call, pretty deep but that's important. Some people you do get to know at an amazing level. It causes "other stuff" but even that you just deal with it if the friendship is of value.
Our power goes out twice tonight and temporarily wipes the Foxtel IQ box. Massive fatigue hits me and I'm in bed early. Mark sits next to me sipping tea and a really good chat. No one comes close to him. He knows that.
October 27thSunny day, awake early around Miss B and cleaned her litter tray-how glamorous is my life.
I'm off this morning to do the most bizarre thing, kind of mentally scary and I expect amazing. I put a lot up on the diary but this one still not ready for it to go up.
While out I grab a few cool Halloween things that I spot out of the corner of my eye, plus a few for MIM from her Uncles. I use my Chemist Warehouse voucher to grab Bioglan healthy eye vitamins- they work so well for me, plus a big box of hayfever tablets and it's basically free so that is wonderful.
The session went well, really well-the people are excited. It was fascinating for me, scary, mind blowing and all the other stuff. Still can't say exactly what.
Lovely afternoon with Marky completing the top stone step at Ailsa Craig-yes finally!!!!. Now for it to dry, need to attach a few bits and pieces, tiny bit of paint work-fill a small crater next to them where a tree was ripped out during the disaster. Dust them up and clean them down and they will do. They are not magnificent , rough as guts but seem sturdy. All for the cost of $75.00! We saved around $800.00 and got a far sturdier "product". Stone masons we are not, maybe Stoned Masons at times-!!!!!
October 28thI love that we live in a National Park where social distancing is measured in "Platypus". At least 3 Platypus apart-well so says the sign at our local shops! Come on, that's cute.
Mark just handed me a disc with the bonus tracks on the Stones upcoming special edition of Tattoo You. He un-bricked walled them; brick walling sucks. "Living in the heart of love" isn't too bad as a demo, kind of liking them. "Fiji Jim" is pretty good too. Mark was harsh about them but I'm really enjoying them. I'm pushing him to re-listen.
"The Green Knight" looks like it's a pretty good movie. Anything with Arthur, Camelot and Peter Green Knight in it will always be appreciated by us. What the Green Knights name is Peter, no I'm sure it is. *GRIN*.
Endless talks about my hypnosis session, yes hypnotised. Amazing! So there ya go.
October 29thThe Delta AY variant detected in NSW . It's causing problems in the UK, 10% of new cases in UK are that variant. Early tracking data suggests AY 4.2 is growing 17% faster than other variants in that country. The first International flights return to Australia in a few days time, so lets hope this isn't a bad surprise arriving with them from jolly old England.
Another big storm hits Melbourne and Mt Dandenong takes a whack. I head outside at 4.30 am to move the Red Beast as tree limbs are falling. I find a safer place on the road. It shows I'm still scarred - the storm intensifies when I'm out and our huge trees are bending. One splits in half and comes crashing down, shakes the earth. In the distance i head many trees crashing down again. It almost freezes me on the spot. I get it together and keep moving. I will NOT be afraid. Till sunrise the storm continues-thankfully no more trees down at our place. At 8.30 am the power goes off.
We go for a walk and trees (thankfully not ours) have taken down multiple power lines and across the roads. Mark keeps saying it will be off for weeks again. A bit of a bummer. We find out that 520,000 houses across Melbourne have no power. That's a lot of repair work, mark may well be correct.
We activate our storm emergency plan, it's all second nature now, after the last big one. At 6.00 tonight the shops are finally re-opening. So instead of sitting in a dark candle lit house, I encourage Mark to head to Eastlands with me for a super shopping trip. He says "Yes" straight away and "Are we mad". We won't live in fear of Covid-& we will be sensible.
We are lucky to get a park, Eastlands is packed, like the Christmas sales, but 99% of people are wearing masks, social distancing and the shops are magnificent-excellent staff. Mark is the one who single handedly puts the Victorian economy back in the black. He went for it, also treated me to new runners, some books and a full length PVC body suit with a stitched mouth- ok the last item is a lie. Plus we bought some Christmas Presents. I kept saying "HOW EXCITING' - and he was smiling. We had a really great time. Date night too which consisted of fast food consumed in the car (again) but you know, "anywhere with you babe", eating dinner in a car, as long as you are with me it is paradise.
October 30thI head out to make some calls to a few mates so they know we are ok. Telstra have all pay phones free in our area - because of the storm so i take advantage of that. I arrive home to find Marky chainsawing the fallen tree. I just admire him even more, a man of action. I get changed and come out and help, chop some more wood for the pile. By 4.30 the power is somehow back on, all the streets around us, not so. We do not ask how. 180,000 houses still without electricity.
I hear that 80% of Victorians are double vaxxed now , so that is good. Mark gets his 2nd one in a week. Good when we both have that out of the way.
October 31stVery sad to wake up to the news that Australian icon Bert Newton has passed away. I have 2 favourite memories of Bert, & they both happened on the same day. I was working the media for a Skyhooks project & took Greg Skyhook into Berts tv show-just down the road at Como (Prahran). I made sure we were early & Bert was in a fuss. He'd left BOTH his toupee's at home. I had my phone out & had to call wife Patti- to put one of them in a taxi asap. He said to use Eddie! At the time I never knew he had both toupee's named. Eddie arrived at the entrance to Channel Ten on time & i dutifully took it to Bert. After the show we somehow talked about horses & i mentioned my Great Aunt had a racehorse in a major event that afternoon. 'Come with me young man' - that cheeky Bert smile appeared. He put on a hat & glasses & off we went, crossing Toorak Rd & into the TAB! Apparently a regular thing, Bert loved to sneak off & put on a few dollars, waiting incognito (which he wasn't) in line with some pensioners putting a few dollars on my Aunt's horse. I remember that it won & thinking "Well Bert will be happy". There will be so many tributes- a sad day for our tiny Australian showbiz industry. Vale Bert Newton.
Miss K calls from the USA - so a happy halloween chat with her, as does Dean, Wendy, Sassha and Caz and my sister and MIM.
Halloween today, and we start getting the back gate area ready. At 4.30 i head down to the oval. Paige & Dana did a fabulous job organising the afternoon Halloween get together. Yes I wore the Wilfred suit , much to the delight of some, maybe not Paige as I tried to dog hump her leg. Naughty doggy Wilfred. So nice to see so many familiar faces. The weather was wonderfully warm, even in my dog suit it felt good. I stayed a lot longer, so a bit rushed to get the pumpkin carved and finish Halloween stuff.
I decide on Pizza and Beer tonight, so Wilfred drives to Olinda with his side kick. Mark takes a few photos- Wilfred with a 6 pack leaving the IGA bottle shop, Wilfred and Pizza. People giggling and loving it. A car pulls up with some of the Kally Oval Halloween girls and we are all laughing. Our community knows how to have fun.
We zoom home, rush our Pizza. I re paint my doggy nose and do Marks lion make up. Mark OMG, so sexy as a lion, he is after all a Leo so it comes naturally. We phone our neighbour-Hisako-photographer to the Stars to take some photos. We have these fake huge spanners covered in blood and hit each other over the head. Lets get all that anger out eh? Photo shoot is a hoot. Mum calls and has already had 3 trick and treaters. She made up some candy baskets-bless her.
Pumpkins and candles are lit, treat bags on the table, smoke machine adding some Halloween vibe. The first arrivals are a lady we dig from the Olinda bakery and her 3 ghouls. They loom so cool. The Mum takes a few photos of us all. By 8.30 PM all the treat bags have gone, one of our busiest Halloweens so far. At midnight i sit on the new stone steps with a pumpkin for one last Halloween snap before the dog suits goes away for 3 more years.
Happy Samhain, Happy Halloween to you all.