One of "Those" Bloggers

Despite this being a personal blog - and a travel blog of sorts - I haven't been posting much lately. I know it, you know it. I guess I've gotten so ingrained with the 'culture' of blogging as a job, I've somewhat forgotten how to just blog. Get it all out there and that good stuff.

I've decided to become one of 'those' bloggers - you know, the ones with the good blogs because they actually talk about their personal lives and just give people nicknames. I've kind of done that here - no, my husband isn't actually named The Bloke - but I haven't gotten into the nitty because... Well, I don't really know why.

I guess maybe because I'm afraid of it coming back to bite me in the ass. Maybe it's because I mix business and personal on the blogs that could be considered close to personal.

Not matter what the deal is, I really do want a place where I can just be me. Talk about even the nitty gritty of life. Maybe I'll start and decide that I need to 'do this personal stuff' on a different blog, or maybe not. I'll deal with it if/when it happens.

Maybe I'll end up blogging more, maybe it won't change a damn thing. All I know is that I think it'll make me feel a hell of a lot less stressed.



Sitting here under the cafe umbrellas to escape the inner Melbourne heat of the day, I listen to the magazine hawker call out about the latest "big issue". The potent scent of body odor wafts by on the hot, dry breeze and I scrunch my nose, hoping it will pass quickly.

The number 86 tram stops about six metres away and about three dozen young people run off the tram screaming, smiling and laughing.

Somehow I'm not surprised.

The scene causes a few turned heads, a few chuckles, but not much more than that.

Just another day in the city.

The hawker slumps more than sits in his chair and I can't help but wonder when they started getting chairs or sitting on the job. Then again, perhaps it's just a perk of his particular 'territory'.

He looks at me once again - he's looked at least a half dozen times since I sat down. I get the feeling it's more about me not buying his magazine than about him wondering what I'm writing...


Please Help the Bushfire Victims

"Australian Bush Fires have destroyed whole towns in the state of Victoria.

Please Donate: Anything you can WILL help

Overseas donations can be made via this website:

Just be sure to put in 'Specific Use' that you would like the money to go to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. It will go to the RedCross

More information about the fire:

My deepest sympathies to all victims. Truly a tragic few days I hope we will never witness again. Hats off to all firefighters and all emergency support staff (volunteer and paid)....your bravery and dedication is testament to the meaning of being Australian."


Penny for Your Thoughts

If you are unable to donate anything else, please donate a few moments and your words to let the victims of the bushfires know you are thinking of them.

Thank you.

Australian Bushfire Assistance

CFA bushfire hotline -

Red Cross -

Salvation Army -

St Vincent de Paul -

Wildlife Rescue -

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund -

Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund - Donations can be made at any branch of National Australia Bank (BSB: 082-001, Acct. No.: 860 046 797)

Another excellent thing you can do is to donate blood. This small act of charity will make a big difference, particularly if you have a rare blood type. If you would like to make an appointment to do this, I urge you to go to the Red Cross website and fill out their online request form:

Devastation Across Victoria

Note: While this news report states that the death toll is around 60, we have news reports already this morning that the toll has risen to 108. And there are still areas that haven't been explored yet.

This makes me feel so devastated and sick to my stomach. Places that I visited just a week or two ago are completely gone. So many people have lost everything, and too many people have lost their lives.

When I saw the dust/smoke cloud coming over the eastern suburbs on Saturday, I got this horrible feeling in my gut that something was very wrong. I only wish I could have been wrong.

This is definitely a time for all Victorians - and Australians - to pull together and support each other. I may not be a citizen yet, but this is my home country, my home state, and my heart aches for all the people who have lost so much.


Hottest Place on Earth

With the hot winds howling and gusting, and the temperature now having reached 45.3 C (113.5F), The Bloke and I are officially holing up in our flat and doing what we can to stay as cool as possible.

According to news reports, New South Wales is set to be the hottest place on Earth tomorrow with temperatures possibly reaching up to 47 C (116.6F).

If that wasn't enough, the gusting wind seems to have picked up heaps of dust (and no doubt smoke as well from the bushfires). This picture is from outside our flat just minutes ago.

Please keep in mind (or pray, if you're the praying kind) the men and women out there for SES (State Emergency Services) and battling bushfires in this heat, wind and dust.


Snags and Sweet Potato

Say hello to my first lot of snags on the barbie.

Okay, so it's not an actual BBQ, but we don't have one of those. We do, however, have a small 'sandwich grill' that grills just about anything quite nicely. So, despite the heat, I turned it on and 'grilled' some snags along with some sweet potato (my favie!) for dinner.

What you don't see is the pot on the stove filled with other veggies to go with it. I promise we didn't eat only snags and some sweet potato for dinner.

It's not the healthiest meal, by any means, but I'll count this as another Aussie first and enjoy it anyway. (And just do more time on the elliptical to make up for it.)

Yum yum!


Heat Wave Survivors

Well, the heat wave appears to be over - for the most part - and I have seen a lot of Aussie blogger posting about the 'casualties'.

My beloved ivy Dexter has survived, thankfully. The Bloke and I don't have any other plants or pets, so we didn't have anything else to worry about. I feel bad for the people who are now trying to figure out if they can save their scorched gardens and poor, poor pets.

A particularly Ass-like pub goer who seems to have a thing again 'Septics' (Americans) told me, "This is Australia; get over it."

I wanted to him to fsck off, but I restrained myself. I'm thinking of the people who have lost instead of stoking my anger at The Jackass. A scorched garden might not seem like a big deal to some people, but I come from a line of lady gardeners so I know how important they can be.

I just hope no one has lost anyone or anything worse. I haven't heard anything, so here is to crossing fingers.

I apologize for not updating before this. The Bloke and I don't have air conditioning (a situation set to be remedied tomorrow) in the flat and the night didn't offer any cool comfort. I spent my days working at the library and then the Bloke and I hid out at the pub. It was a schedule that tired us both out (and made us miss proper home cooking something dreadful) but we had to do what was necessary to keep from getting ill from the heat.

We actually got some rain today, thank goodness. Even though it brought sticky humidity later on, everything needed the cool drink. Hopefully there will be more of the same tomorrow.

Until next time...