Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is it raining - or am I in a trance?

The downside of living in a normally warm and sunny country where drought is a major issue, is that when it rains for what seems like weeks, you are completely unprepared for it mentally and physically. We are about to have a long weekend in honour of the Queen’s Birthday and we have decided to go to a cottage three hours north of Sydney. As the rain drips miserably down outside and I remove yet another slug from the inside of the front door, I am considering rather feebly, what to pack and realising that we can only assemble about 31/2 waterproof coats, and even then that 31/2 includes Drama Queen no.3 being stuffed into a raincoat so small that her arms stick out horizontally. The good news though is that it is finally raining in the main Sydney dam catchment area – one of the great Sydney mysteries is why you would construct a monster dam in an area where based on the last five years it almost never rains.

We are off to the country cottage ‘en famille’ much to the disgust of Drama Queen No.1. Unfortunately in planning this rural getaway we failed to take into account that there was a chance she would fall out with best friend this week and as a result she now HAS to go to potential new friend’s party over the weekend or witness the end of social life as she knows it. A weekend with her family, out of phone range, strikes me as as the perfect way to recover from friend dumping, but then again I’m not fourteen. Fortunately I am fairly immune to claims I am ruining her life, as believe you me I haven’t even started yet.

DQ No.1 has just had exams. This is the first year that they are taken seriously at her school with a result that parent twitching levels have started to rise. She came skipping home from her English exam and explained that much to her astonishment she had gone into “like a trance” for the two hours of the exam, she then claimed that having awoken from her time on alternative plane, she read back her paper and it struck her as pretty good – call me a nasty cynical parent but I’m feeling a bit nervous about the result of this trance state, we are both awaiting the marks with interest.

From one drama to the next, possum man appeared, skipped nimbly around the roof and shot back down his ladder to give me his verdict. Basically it is never good news when the possum man shakes head and says “not an easy job”. Transpires we’ve got what could be called an open door policy on the possum front and blocking up the hole is going to require wire and concrete. In addition, as he noted cheerfully, we’ve got rats as well. Cost of rodent removal and eradication respectively is so great that moving house is looking like an attractive option.

Have to laugh – have just looked at the business section of the paper and spotted a large advert placed by the Australian Government and the Tax Office. The headline is “Don’t take the bait. Dodgy schemes can come back to bite you.” It warns against investments that promise high returns, tax breaks and no risks, and finishes with “If you are offered a dodgy scheme call us” – can’t help feeling there is a bit of shutting the stable door about this one.

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