Saturday, October 03, 2009

More DIY

We were at Victoria Gardens during the week. We were in Dick Smith Electronics looking at brackets to mount the tv on the wall. R wanted to buy it straight away but I am more cautious. I wanted to check for studs in the wall etc. A raging blue polite exchange of words followed which took two days to mend.

The next day in Harvey Norman, we just bought the bracket. I had checked with the stud finder, how I love that phrase, and the studs within the wall seemed to be in the right place to mount the tv (Brian or old Lordy, don't you dare). It was cheaper too, $25 less.

Today we decided to put it up. There were many parts and poor instructions, probably why it was cheap. I had to get my head around it before I could proceed.

Eventually I worked it out. I attached the brackets to the tv, the tilting mechanism to the brackets and that was a mistake. The wall plate should have gone up first. I started to put the wall plate up and where the studs were supposed to be and they were not, nothing behind the plaster but some metal shavings on the drill bit. Oh dear. Drill a few more holes and not a stud to be found. Usually they rain from the sky.

Call Brother the Builder, the tradie one. I thought to indulge in some chit chat before demanding of him why there are no studs in the wall. He tackled a dozen graffiti writers last night who daubed his front fence a year or so ago and he ended up with some bruises and a broken and loose tooth. He will get his daughter to extract it tomorrow with pliers. Anyway, Brother the Builder was not very helpful, apart from knocking a hammer along the wall, padded by a handkerchief. He added, not a used one as they can mark the wall. I used a dusting cloth. He did suggest that maybe because it is an external wall, they would not use timber for fire reasons. He builds houses, not large apartment blocks.

So, obviously the stud finder ( I am getting a tingling feeling somewhere) was registering metal straps. There are no timber studs, so we cannot mount the tv on the wall.

Bit disappointed. Dismantled what I had assembled, packed it back into the box, will return it to Harvey Norman next week, and then tidied up. Wasted three hours for a person who is starting to think about a finite number of hours.

Something good did happen though. We had a too large picture, a Miro print, behind the tv and attached to the frame was a picture downlight. The picture must go because it is partly obscured by the tv, but I tried to turn the downlight into an uplight behind the tv. I clamped it the power plug at the back of the tv and it is hidden and gives great uplighting. No lamp to be seen, just a wash of light over the wall.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Letter to America

I asked some questions of Daisy a good while ago. She responded and it was quite interesting to read her responses and I thought it gave us down under and even those in ole blighty a better understanding of the United States. Go back and have a look if you like here.

Dina lives in Fort Worth, Texas and I have learned more about Australia and Australians from her blog than I ever did in school. I will ask her similar questions as I asked Daisy.

Is politics relevant to you? Do you keep up with the election news?

How many people live in Fort Worth? Does it have suburbs separate to the centre of town?

Do you visit the centre of town at all?

How far to the nearest Walmart? Do you shop there?

Do you feel part of a local community?

Do you shop in a multinational supermarket? Like a large company one?

We Australians would probably think of Texas as being hot. What is the hottest and coldest temperatures you experience? Do you have cooling air conditioning? Central?

Which public utility company annoys you the most? Electric? Gas? Oil? Phone?

Do you need heating in your home? Is is gas or oil fired and is it a central system that heats the whole house?

My council rates, that is the local government authority, are around AU$1,000, equivalent to $US870. This pays for local road maintenance, rubbish collection, street cleaning and other local services. Do you pay a similar to some government authority?

Has there ever been street cars in your town? Is the public bus service decent? Is there a railway? Can you go to New York from your town by train?

Do you have a portable vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum system for cleaning your house.

Do you walk around neighbourhood streets very much?

Apart from people who might work in shops, do you have frequent interaction with Afro Americans?

Hope you can oblige Dina.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

From Mother's Wardrobe again

Mother had three penfriends when she was in her teens, two in England and one in Japan. Here is a christmas card sent to Mother from her Japanese penpal. It is very beautiful. The picture is on flimsy tracing paper and only attached at the folded end of the card.

It was only five years after the end of WWII and from what is hand written inside, the penpal was clearly very eductated, including in English and she must have been from a relatively wealthy family. They lost touch at some point.

One penfriend in England, a Mrs Foster, was older than Mother and they kept their correspondence up until Mrs Foster died, maybe a letter ever six months. I remember parts of one a letter that arrived in 1965 and Mrs Foster was filled with grief over the death of her beloved Winston Churchill.

The other in England, Mother also lost touch with. After the war Mother used to post her food parcels, probably confectionery I reckon.


How sweet is our friend in Japan. She sent me these gorgeous little pictures of the Shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train. Do you know what they are? Band Aids. But as if I would ever use them. Thanks Vik.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finding a bed

Little Jo thought the large paint tray was a fine place to sleep, so she dragged a cushion and blanket and hopped into the tray. The self amusement lasted about two minutes. But forget all your fancy or even basic toys. She played on her own for ages with rollers, brushes etc.

The Painting

Has painting our place taken over our lives or what? The worst has passed. We have finished the lounge/dining/kitchen area, along with my large bedroom and ensuite. Hallway, bathroom/laundry and two bedrooms to go, all of them smaller and not too many fiddly bits.

Before I started, R said that the inside of the wardrobes must be painted. I ignored him. I imagine dragging everything out of the wardrobes and painting inside them too. Maybe at a later date.

Before I started, R said that the skirting boards, doors and architraves must be painted. They are coated with what is perhaps known as eggshell, or two pack. They are high gloss and very chip and mark resistant. Rather than paint them I bleached them. Good result.

We started on the lounge/dining/kitchen on Sunday morning with panic in our hearts that we weren't up to it. We knew of someone who we could pay to assist and this back up was reassuring. We started and the feeling that we had taken on too much increased. By the end of the day, we had excised the hallway painting from out immediate plans and may start it tomorrow.

We have worked solidly for three days, most of yesterday afternoon spent cleaning and moving furniture back into position. Today we decided to take a day off and visited Ikea and Freedom for a new piece of furniture and a wall bracket for the tv. We may have found what we wanted, but we had to come home to check sizes. A bit more bleaching of woodwork this afternoon until the light failed.

At our ages, this will be the last time we will be able to take on such large tasks. We will just have to pay someone next time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Fev

I don't find him attractive, just to make it clear that I am not in lust nor love with him.

A football player who did not assault anyone. He did not rape anyone. He didn't apply pressure point tactics or eye gouge a fellow footy player.

What he did do was get drunk and make a fool of himself at the biggest night in the AFL socail events calendar.

So why is Brendan Fevola being so pilloried? Why is there talk of him being chucked out of his footy club?

What a load of tosh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

From Mother's Wardrobe

The Bolter, aka Nana Dorothy was an artistic type, bohemian even. I would assume she had some gay acquaintances. The lad on the far right I believe is her brother and seems to be pulling back a bit from the open affection with which the others are engaged. He was either married at the time or not too long after. The photo was taken at Luna Park, I suppose Melbourne's. What do you think? Are they a bunch of screamers? I'd certainly put my money on the doe eyed boi next to Dorothy's brother.

The lad on the edge of the waterfall does not sit in the most butch pose. He loves his dog though and the gym too by the look of his six pack. Nancy boi? No idea where the falls were. Some photos had adjacent white ink writing and some did not.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tales from the paint pot

Full day painting today. I am FKN'd (will this catch on?) . No disasters yet.

Painting tales from the past.

1960s. R's father came home from the pub with a couple of gallons of cheap paint. The next day they painted a room out. The day after, they were waiting for the paint to dry. Four days later, they were waiting for the paint to dry. A week later they were waiting for the paint to finally dry.

1970s, early. My grandfather painted the outside of our farmhouse. He tinted the paint himself. It started at the front as a nice shade of pale lilac. By the time he reached the rear of the house, it was a violent purple.

1970s, late. I helped my father paint one of his 'spec' houses. At day's end I sealed the paint tin by stamping on the lid with my foot. Next morning Father was somewhat annoyed at Mission Brown being spattered over Almond Beige walls.

1980s, early. I stepped off a ladder into an almost full paint can. Of course the tin tipped over. Scraping paint out of carpet is time consuming and depressing. Fortunately where it tipped was under where a chest of drawers sat. Whoever bought the place from us, surprise!!!

1980s, mid. While it worked in the dining room of a posh Toorak house I had visited, Olive Green did not work in our dining room. Five coats of white paint later.

1980s, late. The dog stepped into the paint tray. I shrieked, TOBY. Toby ran away and left a trail of footprints over the carpet, the floor tiles and the brick paving.

1990s. I did not paint myself into a corner when I was painting the corrugated iron roof, but I did go down a steep slope to a point where I could not get up again. Closest I have ever been to panic. I ever so slowly bellied my way back up.

I am sure I missed one.

Media Hungry Sister

From Whistler, to Brussels, to Stratford upon Avon, to the Geelong, to Melbourne's MCG, my sister manages to get her mug and voice on Australian tv. Last night she was on ABC 1 evening news holding Little Jo with the Bone Doctor cooking up a storm on a barbecue in the background at MCG parkland before the AFL grand final.

I would expect she would be quite unhappy if I suggested she was a media whore.

Thanks for the alert Jayne. She warned me in advance, so I recorded the news.