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I dread checking the air in the tyres on my car. The front tyres have a permanent semi-flat look. Would it help if I thought it is not as though I have to shoe a horse. Probably not. If it was a horse I would have the blacksmith do it. The mechanic checks the tyre air pressure, I presume, when I have the car serviced. I long for the days of the manned service station when checking the tyres was part of the service. Apparently it is really easy to use the pump now, not that I would know.
Car colours through time. The famous story of the early model T Fords, they only came in black. Red cars can be the hardest to see, not black, as you may think. Black is solid. White is the easiest to see and therefore the safest. Avoid red if you often drive through fog or mist. The seventies brought us shades of orange and brown. Maroon came along at some stage. Maroon or burgundy cars have probably been popular on and off since the very early days. Bright green cars are very rare. Bright yellow cars are also not often seen.
It has been a hot and humid day and I have a cat sitting on my lap. When the cat moves I will get up and make a cup of tea. That will make me hotter but it will be good to drink a nice cup of tea. My cat sits on everything, leaving fluffy fur all over. She is still here, but I must wait until she moves. She will. She always does. If I shift a bit she will move, if I get sick of waiting for her to decide to go. Still here. She will move soon.
I am wearing a necklace with beads and pieces of metal hanging down in a bunch. When I bent down to put the bronze orange bugs I had picked off the lime tree in a bucket of water, one of the chickens tried to eat my necklace. They also occasionally want to eat my pants, which don't look like food (I don't think they do). They think I am food, rather than the provider of food. If they were bigger I would need to keep them behind bars for my safety. I have seen what they do to a skink.
I live in the southern hemisphere where Christmas is hot. We often have a traditional, English-style Christmas dinner in the middle of the day. Seafood is also popular. This year we have an oven for the first Christmas since moving to this house. I have planned a menu of things I have never cooked before. That is not usually a wise thing to do, but it should work out OK. The dishes are a mix of traditional and new, including some seafood, and are not that far from what I know. I plan to update the Christmas decor too.
The washing has finished. It is early morning. The sun is out. The air is clear and clean and the earth is damp and sweet-smelling after another late-afternoon summer storm. Apart from the warble of magpies, all is quiet. Soon the heat and humidity will rise and the air will ring with the trilling of insects in the gum tree. Later the parrots will fly noisily overhead and squabble in the tree. Perhaps not today, but this summer, the smell of burning eucalyptus will fill the air. We will have smoke, too, if the fire is not far.
This time of year I become a weather-watcher. I look at the BOM website at the observations chart for the temperature and at an app for the estimated hourly temperature. This year I have three hens digging holes to sit in to keep cool. I am watching how the heat affects them to know when they need to be brought inside. I hope to bring them inside as a last resort, for the same reason I don't let them free range too early in the day. I want them to be content in their coop and in their environment.
Cheese is delicious. I like soft blue cheese best of all the blue cheeses. I am quite fond of soft cheeses in general, like Camembert and brie, but I don't like that cheese that is rolled in chives. I am not too fond of cheese with fruit in it. Gouda is absolutely delicious. Crumbly cheese can be fabulous. I am not a big fan of Swiss cheese. I used to love Craft cheddar but that has not been around for years. It was one of the plastic cheeses. Very salty and delicious. My favourite biscuits for cheese are thin wafers.
Today I will talk about herbs. Flat leaf parsley is a versatile herb. You might as well grow a rosemary plant, and also mint, if you have a garden. Lemon grass seems to be easy to grow and it is a perennial. It is hard to grow coriander. It is hard to keep basil in the fridge, but I have heard the leaves can be frozen. I have never tried this. I think basil is also easy to grow. My observations are based on my ability, or the ability of people I know, in keeping plants alive for prolonged periods.
The primary colours are red, blue and yellow. The secondary colours are purple, green and orange. The complimentary opposite pairs are yellow and purple, red and green, and blue and orange. Red and green are complimentary in equal portions, while the ration to the others is 1 to 3. I think orange and yellow are the larger proportion. Mixing a little of a colour's complimentary opposite in makes a colour appear more sophisticated and elegant. Red and green fight each other when used alone with no other colour. Christmas would be hard on the eye without the addition of white.
Are black and white colours? Black is the absence of colour. White is a colour containing all colours when it is a light. In physics black and white are not colours because they do not have specific wavelengths. Black or white paint can be purchased in a can or a tube, so both are colours for decorating or artistic purposes. Coloured pencils, chalks, etc come in black and white. The use of black and white can appear atmospheric, raw, natural, moody or stark. White mixed with a colour is called a tint. Black mixed with a colour makes a shade.
A drive from semi-tropical Sydney to a pretty inland town on a sunny, hot day. A sleep in the car on the way, rather than behind the wheel. Lots of sheep, cattle and goats seen in the paddocks. No kangaroos about today, last time we were here they were lounging in vacant blocks around the houses. The nights are markedly cooler but the house remains hot so it's a hot night. A shame I don't notice the ceiling fan until I looked up and saw it the morning. Another hot day for the return journey. No sleep this time.
The watch lay on the floor of the car exactly as it had been left several months ago. He could not believe it had not been stolen, for no better reason than it was there. He would move it later, when he was back home. That was why it was still there, he never thought to pick it up and dispose of it at a convenient time. He opened the door and got out of the car, locking it as he walked away. He wished he had time to eat before this meeting, but that would have to wait too.
He entered the building and walked to the front desk. He was asked to take a seat and wait. He didn't mind sitting in comfort for a bit longer, although he did want the meeting over with. He watched a cockroach meander across the floor and disappear under the water cooler. There was no getting away from them, even in this building, the envy of the city. He had heard you could train them, but he couldn't see how. Hearing his name, he stood up and turned around to see his old boss and mentor approach with his hand outstretched.
"Hello, Bob" he said. "James, it is good to see you. How is Sue, the kids?" "Fine, fine..." James said as his old boss steered him across the foyer to the lifts. He had a tough job ahead. He hoped to talk his old mentor into underwriting his new project, the refurbishment and development of the Beauty Point Lighthouse Resort. Right now, though, he wished he was home in his slippers, in front of the fire, with the dog. They travelled up sixteen floors and entered Bob's office. "Now James, what can I do for you?" Bob asked. "Well, I..."
An hour later James found himself back on the street, walking to his car. His potential financial backer had not said no, which was encouraging. He congratulated himself on his courage in approaching his old mentor. Bob had heard him out, and then requested more detail on various areas of the project. He unlocked the car, got in and started the engine. He drove home pondering the questions Bob had raised. He would do the research and complete the submission as soon as possible. As soon as he got home he went inside and turned on his computer to begin.
James had been working on the computer for several hours and did not notice how late it had become. His stomach growled and he became aware of the aroma of spaghetti. Sue was cooking dinner. The thought of Sue reminded him of the watch he kept forgetting to pick up from the floor of his car. He did not think it was repairable and thought he would buy Sue a locket instead, at the next opportunity. He stood up and stretched. He glanced at the sign on the wall of his study, "My home is my castle". Yes, it is.
Red is the colour of heat and fire. A small touch of red can enliven a monochrome design and has been famously used for that effect, quite a bit! I, not so famously, have red cushions on my green stripy lounge. The fact that red and green represent Christmas made me wonder if it was a coincidence that these colours ended up being those chosen for my new lounge. The shell is lime green which I really like. It has a Nordic feel. It will go well with the new beech dining chairs. I am spending like a drunken sailor.
Green is everywhere. Some bright-eyed religious type once told me it is wonderful God chose blue and green for our world, for imagine how hard on the eyes it would be if grass was red. This is quite right. It would be very stressful to have red everywhere. Red is not meant to be everywhere. Another red anecdote for the green day is, a teacher is told to not wear red as it excites the students. This was the end of the nineteen seventies and so much more than the wearing of red was permissible earlier in that decade.
My favourite colours through the years were:
Red was I think my first favourite colour.
Black was the colour everything had to be when I was a teenager, trying to be cool. I think I was emo before it was a thing.
Blue came to the fore in my twenties.
Purple was the mystical must have in my thirties. Not too keen on purple at all anymore.
Yellow entered my life for the first time in my forties and I was absolutely smitten.
I am pretty sure I don't have a favourite anymore but like every colour in its place.
Metallics and anything glittery were a favourite when I was younger. I can't stand wearing anything glittery now. Remember when makeup had glitter in it in the '90s? Everything had a bit of a sparkle. There was even sparkly powder or gloss for your body. It seemed right at the time. What happened in the '00s. I don't remember. Skirts that sat on the hip rings a bell. What on earth did I do in that decade. It's as though it didn't happen. I had a dog. I walked a lot with the dog. That's pretty much all I did.
Pets I have had: A cat called Bill. Lovebirds Fatso and his wife. Their children. A cat called Mickey who only hung around a day or two. A cat called Moggy. A cat called Eartha. Her kittens (I kept one, Rodney, for a short while). Twinkle Toes the budgie. Max the ginger cat a friend couldn't keep. Juna the kitten. Marshka and Blackie both cats. Mellow the dog. Pieter the professional pet (cat). Splat the cat. Current: Figaro, another cat that couldn't be kept by his owners. Lexi the beautiful three legged feline. The three hens, Henrietta, Vivienne and Mildred.
There is something to say for being caught up. No one can ever be totally caught up I guess. I have a dream to be caught up with everything. It would be so good. Things get out of hand so easily. I might make it a goal for the year ahead, to get to a position of caught-upness that I am happy with. The only way to be caught up without using lists, I think, would be to be so caught up you don't have anything to write on the list. Some people are like this. Oh, I dream.
Off to work for half a day (more than that actually!) then off home to prepare for Christmas tomorrow. To the markets first for the final fruit and veg supplies. I have at least completed my Christmas present shopping and need do no more of that. It is the first day of a ten day holiday. Marvelous! I can't believe I normally work between Christmas and New Year. Sure, no one is there, and you get a lot done, but this will be better! I now have air con at home, maybe the ability to stave off the heat helps.
Today is Christmas Day. All the family were here for lunch, for the second year running. I cooked the meal and chose recipes I had not tried before. all said and done, I was very pleased with the results! Being only eight of us, it was like cooking for a dinner party, which I understand some people do all the time! The new lounge arrived in time for Christmas which I did not expect. The new dining chairs did not arrive in time, which I did not expect. I didn't care, something to look forward to! A great family day.
Today is Boxing Day. Apparently so named as it was the tradition to box up food for the poor. No one explained that to me as a child, but perhaps I didn't ask (although I remember wondering why it was called that). Guests stay another night! Woot! This is unprecedented. I make a kind of ordinary breakfast but do make use of my own hen's eggs. The TV is on cricket for hours (possibly the first ever time, and it is an old TV). I go for a bike ride! First one for a while! It is raining. Screeching brakes.
Guests leave early leaving room for a day of chilling out. Christmas can be very hot but the weather has been mild this year. I am especially happy to have such weather being off work because I dislike extreme heat. I don't mind rain. I'm thinking of doing this every year, a few days off the week before Christmas to prepare, and the time between Christmas and New Year. The afternoon consists as usual of picking stink bugs off the citrus trees and dropping them in a bucket of water for the hens to eat, and drinking a few beers.
A longer bike ride. No rain and no screeching brakes! I went to the old places and then deviated to a path I had not noticed before. On to a new place and found a pond with lots of interesting birds. I did not take my binoculars even though I have told myself before, "always take the binoculars", nor the camera, apart from the camera on the phone. Never mind. It's so good to be free to do whatever I want. I have seen a few cyclists about on what look like Christmas bikes. Mine too, it is so new.
I install a box on the back rack of my bike to hold heavier things, so the basket at the front is not overloaded making the steering difficult. I also put the frame with a picture of my dog on the bike, finally. Before my ride I make the mistake of looking at my diary to see if there was anything I was supposed to do, and see there was something quite important, for work! I have done an excellent job of forgetting all about work, then! Worrying a bit, I go to the same place as yesterday, with binoculars!
The box I installed on my bike worked well yesterday. Today I also take my camera on my bike ride. Yesterday I saw lots of great birds but only had my phone which is not that great for distances. There were babies and adult birds, it was great! Today's ride is to a beautiful garden where I do not see many birds but have a lovely walk. I take lots of photos of trees and flowers and in the end get tired and am glad to come to the end and cycle home. It's good to have the dog along.
I have some vouchers from a clothing store which will expire in a few days so I decide to go shopping. After that I go for another bike ride! It is addictive! I ride for ages without seeing any birds and then on the spur of the moment stop at an ordinary looking place and get out the binoculars. I see a black swan and a bird which could have been a cormorant or a darter. Although Google images is extraordinarily helpful, I need to join a birding group because I hate not knowing which. Maybe also a cycling group.
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