Begonia Get It Wrong

I just popped around to my elderly neighbour’s house, as her power bill had been delivered to my mailbox. After a lengthy chat about the rising price of gift wrap and how they (the powers that be, one assumes) have gone and changed the texture of curling ribbon, I was sent forth on a mission to pick up some supplies from the garden centre. 

 

While I’m happy to do this, I’m a bit apprehensive about it. Bessie can be quite fiery when she wants to be, and I wouldn’t know a bay tree from a bale of hay if it tap danced across the garden fence. I guess I’m concerned that I’ll mess up her order, and then she’ll….what? Tell me off, perhaps while brandishing her walking stick at me? 

 

Or maybe it’s that I don’t want her to know that I don’t know squat about plants. You see, Bessie has somehow formed the idea that I have a green thumb, and my ego wants her to retain that notion. I suppose she thinks that because I have a beautiful garden, but in actual fact I rely on a professional gardener for things like plant selection, design and planting, as well as maintenance. I’ll occasionally crack out some secateurs and have a bit of a snip, but I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing. 

 

Anyway, Bessie must have seen me at it a few times, and failed to notice the regular comings and goings of gardeners to my property. Now she thinks I’m an expert horticulturist, and has entrusted me with picking up some rare begonia tubers. She said she wants me to do it because I know my stuff (according to her), and last year her daughter got her the worst batch she’d ever seen. 

 

Of course, I could have just told her that I don’t know begonias, or plants for that matter. But alas, I went along with it, and now I’m knee-deep in deceit.

Travel Green

I love the planet. Preserving the planet is something that I have always been passionate about. This includes doing my part for the conservation of animals, flora and fauna. 

I do my best to reduce my carbon emissions and have an overall lower carbon footprint. One of the most notable methods used to reduce my footprint is that I rarely drive a car. I don’t even own a car. The only time I ever drive is if I’m travelling somewhere in Australia. I don’t fly places as the emissions from aeroplanes are ridiculously bad for the planet, so when I have to travel great distances I’ll hire a car and drive. I understand this may seem extreme to some people, and that for many people it’s not feasible to travel without a car or plane. Which is why I encourage others to do their bit for the planet, however big or small that contribution may appear to be. Any contribution will make a difference. 

One contribution to the conservation of the planet that I am really impressed with is the green travel plan. The initiative is intended to promote sustainability by encouraging planet-friendly modes of transport, such as walking, cycling, taking public transport and ride sharing. As someone heavily invested in the health of our planet, this is so exciting! The fact that people are taking steps (pun intended) to help save the planet is so uplifting. I am so proud of everyone that is doing their bit towards the conservation action plan. It’s comforting to know that our children, and our children’s children will enjoy everything the planet has to offer for years to come. All because we made the effort to look after our planet whilst we were on it. 

If anyone has any ideas to help the planet, chat to a traffic engineer. Melbourne and the world in general will be so much better off with our help. Let’s do this people.

New Year Shoes

New year, new shoes: that’s always been my motto. I guess it was drummed into me in early childhood via the ritual of shopping for new school shoes, and it seems to have stuck. I simply can’t go into February without a new pair of toe-tappers. What, you don’t call your shoes toe-tappers? Get with the program.

 

School shoe shopping, for me, always coincided with getting a new pair of heel supports to help correct my mildly askew tootsies. It may surprise you to hear that it’s actually quite exciting to go for a children’s orthotics fitting. Cheltenham used to have a podiatry clinic that specialised in kids’ foot conditions, and I’d always get a jelly bean after my feet had been measured up. That was enough of an incentive for me to consider the whole exercise a fun outing. It’s possible that it made me feel special, having slightly weird feet.

 

Anyway, making the most of these interventions meant having well-fitting shoes, and when you’re a kid that essentially means getting new shoes every year. According to that Cheltenham podiatrist, this was the most important thing that could be done to correct my foot posture, more so than the orthotics themselves. 

 

It makes sense, then, that I absorbed the idea that annual shoe shopping is of the essence. As my feet tend to stay the same size from year to year and I no longer have a foot issue to correct, it’s not quite so applicable these days, yet I continue to behave as though my foot health depends on it. 

 

What can I say? Maybe I just like having new shoes – the factory-fresh smell as you open the box, the point-of-no-return moment when you take them outside for the first time, the slight awkwardness of the fit for the first few days of wear. Of course, there’s also the excitement of ‘new year shoe shopping’. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

A Wild Holiday

Today I learned some things about my mum that I didn’t want or need to know. For starters, she is completely insane. Secondly, I should never get in a caravan with her. This summer, we’ve been driving around New South Wales in a caravan, enjoying the sights that Australia has to offer. I’ve really bonded with my little brother over this holiday. It’s been so much fun. At least, it was. Until mum got behind the wheel.

She’s been begging dad to let her drive every day for the last three weeks. Finally, he relented. From the wide grin on mum’s face, I knew that he’d made a huge mistake. By the way, I’m writing this blog post from a mechanic in the Forster area, just to give you an idea about where this is going.

After mum took the wheel, the first thing she decided to do was go off-road. Hill, tree, farmhouse couldn’t stop us. Mum drove through them all. She did doughnuts in a caravan while driving through Farmer Ernest’s paddock. She drove alongside a team of horses, racing them from one end of the field to another, then used the caravan to herd the cattle. Farmer Ernest might have been grateful, until she crashed right into his chicken coop. Before he could demand that we help gather the loose poultry, mum switched to reverse and backed right out of there. But that isn’t why we’re currently getting caravan repairs.

Oh, no, terrorising poor Farmer Ernest wasn’t good enough. She had to start driving through town like a drag racer, doing her best Thunder McKing impersonation, ripping up the asphalt in the local streets. She’s caused thousands of dollars in damage, and that’s just to the caravan alone! And it’s a rental! I don’t know how mum and dad are going to afford our Christmas and birthday presents this year, when they’ll be declaring bankruptcy within the fortnight. Mum says it was all a big joke and we should be laughing, but I’m starting to think she belongs in some sort of asylum.

Regional City Raiding

Even though I’m immortal, I never thought I’d be operating a band of raiders in the Australian outback. Yet here we are, driving a fleet of cars around Queensland. From town to town we travel, just like we did in the old days when we used boats. It’s just as exciting, just as dangerous. Police cars have replaced navy ships, but the chases are still the best part of the job. We’ve just bought two new vehicles, and had a handful of people join the crew. Finally, we’ve got some four-wheel drives, letting us get to the harder spots and put our treasure there. It’s nice being on the land as well, because we’ve got maps on our phones, and can find buried treasure ourselves through the Geographical Caching Service. It’s a lot more convenient.

At the moment we’re taking stock, getting our fleet fixed up at a 4×4 mechanic. The break is a much-needed one because we ran out of sunscreen a few days ago, and the crew is starting to get a bit burnt. That’s right, although we found the secret to immortality hundreds of years ago, we can still get sunburnt. While everyone is resting up, I’m getting to know the area. Toowoomba is a nice place, about an hour and a half out of Brisbane, where our usual hideout is. We’re planning on heading back into the middle of the country, though. I’m not sure when we’ll go back to our base. We’re all having a lot of fun out here.

The best mechanic in Toowoomba thinks we should never go back. He says it’s better out this way, more liberating away from the busy roads of the big city. I’m starting to agree with him. Regional cities are simple, but they have everything you need. I think we could find a good hideout here, and get the rest of the crew out this way. We’ll have to have a team meeting about it.

– Cap’n Large