Monthly Archives: December 2006

CARgo

Ok so this afternoon I received a text message from my beloved mission team leader: “would you be able to fit a trolley in your car? Mine’s full”.

My reply explained that my (hatchback), although currently empty, would hopefully contain a drum kit, bass guitar, box of kitchen appliances, two first aid kits, luggage and camping equipment for two people for 11 days and a few anatomy textbooks by later tonight. Oh yes and we would like room for the brother and I to travel too.

Luckily my beloved mission team leader is a most excellent chick and was quite happy (well the tone of the text message indicated this anyway) to find someone else to transport the trolley.

So it’s now 10:32pm. My stuff is all in. Most of the drum kit is in. And there’s still half the boot for the brother’s clothes and a tom or two. Oh and three empty milk bottles.

However when we arrive I don’t think anyone will be yelling at us because we could have fitted a trolley in…

exerciselog

Good day everyone! Guess what? My laptop balances on the computer console of my exercise bike! How cool is that?!

So anyway today I’m packing for mission. I’ve decided that we will be setting out at 6:30 tomorrow morning. We are meant to be there at 9am and it’s a 4 hour drive but I am leaving later because I think it’s more important to get enough sleep and to have a safe trip than to be on time but dead!

Oh yes! I forgot to mention something very important in my Christmas narrative yesterday! My grandma wanted to see my blowtorch as the mother had told her about it and she’d never seen one. So I got it out and showed them how it worked. This was while we were eating dessert (ice cream cake Christmas pudding). I wondered aloud whether flaming ice cream would work… my family encouraged me to try it. So I sprinkled a generous layer of demarara sugar on top of my ice cream pudding and fired up the torch.

Wow. That one’s going in Blowtorch Cookery With Yay.

A festive account

It has been a rather pleasant Christmas Day at the House of Yay.

The brother and I had initially intended to go to the 9am service at the community church branch of our church (meets at the local school). However we both forgot to get up. The mother also appeared to have forgotten to go to the 8:45 service (in the church building) so the whole family ended up at the 10am service.

On arrival at church we were greeted by one of the youth leaders wearing a fluoro orange vest who had been given the job of traffic control. Do you people find that Christians are terrible at parking? Well it certainly seems that way in Sydney. Luckily I had my radar gun in the car so while stopped in the middle of the street (waiting for someone who clearly didn’t know how to park), I handed it out the window to him. Matched the vest too.

The service went well. This was the first time that the senior minister was not present. He has ongoing back problems and is currently on orders to lie flat for 6 weeks. I thought that they could wheel him in on a trolley but no. The assistant minister was up at the community church and I’m not sure where the old folks’ minister was. He could have been there. So the youth minister and the kids minister ran the show. And they did a good job. The head honcho would not have started the service 10 minutes late (although that is more a reflection of the congregation than the leader) but they had it finished in under 45 minutes so that’s still good. The senior minister can do a Christmas service in 35 minutes but then he’s had more practice.

When the service was over I had to go and show my radar gun to the friendly constable in the congregation. He was duly impressed and agreed that it’s the best toy ever. Then the brother and I left as we were taking the mother and she had to beat the grandparents who were due at 11:30.

At 11:10 the grandparents arrived, only narrowly beaten by us. They brought with them turkey, a photo of my grandfather on an exercise bike in the 1950s and a Christmas scarecrow:
<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/157/332452893_553a632e75.jpg?v=1167025659″
The grandmother presented the instant scratchies. In the Yay Family, the scratchies traditionally form a part of the place markers on the lunch table. When Christmas lunch was held at the grandparents’ house, she used to make the place markers/instant millions. Now it’s held at our house and no place markers had been planned… so this created a challenge for the brother and I – to make place markers using the available materials.

We located a strip of gold cardboard, left over from my brother’s two crowns for beach mission. Things can be made from cardboard… although when cut into 8, each person was only allocated an 8x8cm square… cutting these in half gave two strips… these could be turned into cylinders… then two slits in each cylinder and behold! A scratchie holder. Hmmm but surely we can do better. I told the brother to fetch his Christmas hamper. At first it seemed like it would not hold any solutions but then we came across the cheese. The cheese was conveniently divided into 8 segments. Good thing there were no extra cousins this year.

So with our cheese wedges, my labelling machine and some gold cardboard, we came up with these masterpieces:
<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/135/332461123_c899b40d9b_m.jpg”
(nb. the scratchie shown is actually mine – note that it won $5. I think I must have destroyed the rest of my cheese device during the festivities)

Preparations complete, the brother and I joined the grandparents and parents in the lounge room to await the arrival of the other grandma who would be brought over by the uncle and aunt and young cousin.

When this party arrived, we were amazed at the difference in our cousin. She’s 10 years old (heh I didn’t believe her when she told me that) and is a wonderful, confident, intelligent girl. She changed schools two years ago due to bullying and despite the bully having followed her to the new school (but don’t worry, she’s leaving next year for a private school), she told us that she has best friends and seemed so happy and stuff. We had fun letting her play on my brother’s drum kit (which is rather extensive and has various synthesiser doo dads integrated… as well as billions of cymbals and other things to hit). It was a lot of fun. In the past she has always been far to shy to hang out with the brothers and I and tended to cling to her parents a lot (I suppose this is why I was so surprised that she is now 10). We have intentions to catch up earlier than next Christmas.

Then it was time for the uncle, aunt and cousin to go and time for the rest of us to commence eating.

I don’t think there’s anything else of importance to report. But it was a good day.

how fast are you going now?

I’m so excited!! This year my family decided to do Christmas presents on Christmas Eve due to the brothers being involved in music and the father being the bouncer (bouncer/welcomer/sidesman/whatever!) at church tomorrow and the presents bit needing to happen before the grandparents arrive for lunch but not coinciding with when the uncle and aunt bring over the other grandma and oh man someone has to make lunch too… anyway! So hopefully that’s an acceptable explanation.

But oh! My parents gave me a Hot Wheels Radar Gun!. Think of the uses! And my brother gave me a kit thing for my car with jumper leads and a reflective triangle and AN ORANGE VEST!! And gloves and all sorts of things. I’ll be able to go out on patrol!

Then there were some books, season 2 of House (Dee and I will be synchronised in our viewing) and various other bits and pieces.

All in all, rather successful.

And my brother liked the moose shaped pasta that I bought at Ikea.

hmmmm

<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/328651515_1f5dd7025e.jpg?v=0″

Don’t they know that I have six years of food magazines and can tell when a cover is repeated on a different magazine?!

interactive dessert

Yesterday my brother’s girlfriend came over for dinner for the first time. I was in charge of dessert. I decided that I needed to use my blowtorch again so it looked like a variation on creme brulee was on the menu. I decided on a low fat fruit brulee thingy (partly from a recipe but mainly experimental) and after a trial run the night before was happy that it would all work out well. So yesterday morning I put together the bit that isn’t the burning sugar and chilled until it was time for dessert. But the master stroke of my plan was that everyone had to flame their own brulee. See I was thinking that if I went to someone’s house for dinner and they were making my dessert with a blow torch, I’d be a bit jealous and want to try it out. So we passed the blow torch round and everyone flamed their own dessert.

I can’t think why the girlfriend was scared of me when she first met me. I mean, really!

a perilous mission

The brother and I just went to the supermarket to buy some shampoo and conditioner and Nerds. I knew the mission was doomed when we came across an acquaintance barely halfway between the car and the edge of the carpark. Small talk was had and we parted ways at the store entry. Acquaintance #1 headed down into fresh produce while the brother and I aimed for the shampoo aisle. However! We were thwarted on our way past the Asian condiments aisle by two friends of the brother (Acquaintances #2 and #3). Another brief conversation, aborted by yours truly saying “ok then… anyway…”. We picked up some shampoo and conditioner and NEARLY made it to the confectionery aisle when BAH! Who should arrive on the scene but a friend of mine from uni and his girlfriend (Acquaintances #4 and #5). Now #4 is always off in his own little world so I safely walked right past him without being sprung. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the girlfriend was on the ball and spotted me. This put me in a dilemma. Did she see me, think that I had not seen them? Did she not see me and everything was ok? Or, the worst case scenario, did she see me deliberately not seeing them? And further, would she say something to him about this or would it be our little secret?? Gah! Clearly the only solution was for the brother and I to temporarily abandon our mission and stalk them in the ice cream aisle. We made our presence known eventually and all was well with the world. They headed off towards confectionery and we continued down ice cream. Only to come across #2 and #3 again. We alerted them to the presence of #s 4 and 5 (who I don’t THINK they know… but clearly it’s a rather small world) and they alerted us to #1 who was apparently also in confectionery. We parted company again – the brother and I heading towards milk and yoghurt and #2 + #3 moving towards garbage bags and light bulbs.

Now confectionery was the tricky part. See I suspected that all of the abovementioned acquaintances would ultimately end up in confectionery. From the safety of yoghurt and custard, I checked out the situation. Hmmm no sign of #2 or #3 or #1 but #5 but browsing at about the bagged chocolate point. The presence of #5 means that #4 will be not far away and POSSIBLY rapidly approaching. We sought refuge in desserts and toppings, biding our time till the iron was hot (you know, you have to strike while the iron is hot and all). After a minute discussing the finer points of instant puddings, I decided that another reconnaissance mission was in order. We made our way carefully back to the lookout point, and, under the guise of discussing the merits of chilled desserts, surreptitiously glanced down confectionery. Hmmm #5 was still there… and GAH!! Sprung by #4 who restarted conversation! Bah! He returned to #5. We examined apple crumble tubs. FINALLY the aisle was clear. Moving quickly, but not so as to arouse suspicion, we went in for the kill. I was oh so close!! Boxed chocolates! Nearly there! When BAM! The brother was intercepted! Oh no! Who on earth is that?! Phew, she just wanted to know what time it was.

One packet of Neon Nerds. Time for… the check outs.

Hmmm express lane was not in operation. #4 and #5 were in the first open check out. The second queue looked promising. Just one person waiting and he only seemed to have 2 bottles of sparkling apple juice. On closer inspection, #1 was in front of him, however a casual slowing of pace ensured that a further encounter was avoided. We dropped our items on the conveyor belt and relaxed. Hah! And were ambushed by #2 and #3!! We pointedly placed the dividing bar behind our shopping. And noted that all our purchases were pink and theirs clearly did NOT match.

While waiting for mr sparkles to finish paying, #6 and #7 walked in. Not together. Just at the same time. Then the brother spied #8 patrolling near bread and cakes.

I signed the credit card dealy and made my final statement on the matter.

“Let’s get out of this freakshow!”

Wiblog entry for 16/12/2006

It’s been a very busy day. Well. Sort of. I decided yesterday that my 6 years worth of food magazines was taking up a bit too much space. So if anyone wants a box of food magazine with the chocolate/cake/dessert features ripped out, let me know.

I also rode 12km while watching England not field very well. If I’m sorting magazines WHILE cycling, I seem to do 6km in 20 minutes. It’s hard to maintain speed whilst tearing out pages.

But I must be careful not to overdo it or I will end up with a severe case of cyclist’s buttocks. And that is NOT a desirable outcome.