Monday 25 July 2011

Good Help

The Machinist helped us a LOT at the Pie shop over the weekend.  He is so willing to help, but insists that we always have something for him to do 'next', as he despises waiting around.  What's so cool about the Machinist helping out at the shop is that we get to have breakfast. Because the Machinist makes us breakfast.

We've discovered a new brand of DOUBLE smoked bacon for the pies, and always order a bit more for us.  The Machinist was grilling the bacon for our new Brekkyinapie breakfast pie.  After retrieving it from the oven, he cautiously picked up a rasher, held it above his head, lowering it into his mouth.  Chewing and mumbling at the same time, he asked

"...Anyone else for Aussie spaghetti?..."

Saturday 9 July 2011

Fridges, Flights and Axes

The Machinist is up early.  He and Number One Son are going to Sydney to pick up a cold display fridge that I bid on and won. Usually, the Machinist and I do the Sydney trips together, as we consider them a bit of business and pleasure.  Pleasure being the opportunity to EAT out. Today, however, I have to make pies.  Lots of pies.  If I'm good and actually finish making the pies the girls are going to let me go home, so that I can chisel away at the mound of paperwork currently sitting before me as I type.

My Mam and brother are going to the UK in four days time.  I'm all nervous.  For them, and for me.  I don't want my Mam to be stressed and tired, or worry about anything (as she often does).  I want her to be calm and peaceful and enjoy her visit with her sisters and my brothers.  I'm hoping my brother doesn't get too tired with all the arrangements and responsibility of the care for both of them (he has Tetralogy of Fallot aka 'Blue Baby Syndrome').  And for me - well - I'm gonna miss them.  Seven weeks is a long time.  Oh, and the goodbyes.....

Grandpa will be staying home. At an impressive 85 years he doesn't fancy the trip.  He will be coming into the cafe each day for his coffee(s) and looking after "Blossom", their 8 year old Pekingnese.  Blossom will need a lot of care.  Yesterday, our Sarah took her to the vet and she has a heart murmer, is acutely obese, has a tired liver and possibly, even doggy-diabetes.  Grandpa assures us that he will NOT be chopping wood for his fire, and he will leave that to us.  (Even though he secretly bought another axe when he handed over his rather large axe to us).  Several trips to the outpatients, due to axe trauma doesn't really bother him.  I'm convinced he has his fingers crossed behind his back when he promises he won't EVER chop wood again, nor seek 'kindling' on the hill behind his cottage.

Thursday 7 July 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

We have a lot of windows at the front of the Cafe, and they are usually kept clean and sparkling.  While this is pleasing to the eye, it's havoc for some of our wild birds, as they fly straight into the glass, knock themselves out and fall to the ground. Unconscious.  Oftentimes, we scurry to find boxes for the concussed birds to lie in while they recover.

Last week, a brightly colourful Rosella collided with the glass and while he was recovering, his mate fluttered nervously around him. Eventually, they flew off together.  Happily Ever After.

Standing at the sink and gazing sleepily out of the window, a movement, just below the windowsill caught my eye.  A Grey Shrike-Thrush was fluttering and then lurching his tiny body at the two hot water tanks, servicing the kitchen and bathroom.

The Thrush would flutter, lurch and then land on top of the tanks, croon his head and peck....

"Would you like a cup of tea, Babe?" the Machinist asked as he clicked on the kettle.  "What are you looking at?"

I pointed to the curious activity of our avian friend. "He's picking flies and bugs out of the cobwebs", the Machinist continued.  "I watched him just the other day.  See?"

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Mathew 6:26 KJV

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Disco, Disco, Disco

We've been talking a lot about music and how our tastes vary.  When we were young, back in the late 70's and early 80's, disco dancing were the 'moves' to be had.  We love to tell our children how the floor was cleared as we strutted.  Chilly's adaption of "For Your Love" (originally performed by The Yardbirds 1965 - not that I had heard of them) was, and still is, one of our all time favourites.

The Machinist confirmed this today.  He took an early shower (brought on by the ferocious wind and rain) and came through to our home office, wrapped in a blue towel, looking somewhat like the Union Jack with his partly heat-scalded red and white (well, flesh coloured) torso.  I watched his face light with recognition of the song and immediately he started to strut.  And shuffle.  And strut some more.  And then, a few popular disco moves like "The Exit" and "The Mousehole", as well as "The lawn mower" and "The air hostess".  It helped that the previous day we had checked out (and practiced) some sweet disco moves

Getting back to the group, "Chilly": - we didn't even know who they were or what they looked like.  TV invaded homes in South Africa around 1975.  There was only one channel and it was conservative, as expected.  I sometimes think it was better that way, as music and rhythm and lyrics were loved (or hated) for what they were, not what they looked like, or the image they portrayed.  After all, who, pray, could enjoy shimmering lycra, lots of pale blue eyeshadow and perfectly (page boy) styled hair worn by women (and men).

Nowadays, I often prefer remakes of older songs, as the older ones sound so 'tinny'. Take "Funky Town", performed by Lipps Inc, and later, performed by Psuedo Echo for example.

Ok, so now, I'm going to strut my stuff...

Yeah, Baby....

Monday 4 July 2011

Not On My Lounge!

A long time ago, when I was pregnant with my Emma-Lee, the Machinist and I went shopping for a bed.  We came home with a brand new lounge and dining room suite, but no bed.  We've kept both suites in immaculate condition over the years and are still in possession of them to this day.  However, I've always longed for a leather lounge set; two doubles and two triple seaters, - in dark brown (of course).  Earlier this year, the Machinist bought us a new leather lounge.  To cut a long story short, the two two-seaters were taken to the Cafe, and placed in front of the combustion fire, to sit on and linger with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

Today, after the Machinist had put the Cafe signs out on the highway, we sat together with Sam, and his girl, Hayley.  A young woman walked over to the leather lounges, plonked her baby down on one of them and proceeded to take the baby's pants off and change its nappy.

I couldn't take it any more.  I had to get up and flee to the kitchen.  This week, the two seaters will be removed from the Cafe and taken back home, where they belong. 

We have no changing table.  We have no parents room.  It is a FOOD establishment.  Whatever happened to changing your own child in your own car?

Which leads me to the next train of thought....

There are a lot of young women today - young mothers who carry on as if they are complete heroines for actually giving birth to and raising a child.  Some of them think they can turn on fertility (or lack of it) like a light switch, at their own whim. 

Mothers of old never abused this blessing of child bearing and rearing.  They were honourable and would never impose their motherly duties on anybody.

Just saying....

Signing off,

(A wee bit) Cranky in Collector....

Sunday 3 July 2011

Winter Days

Winter is here in the Tablelands.  We've had lots of frost, but no snow as yet. I'm hoping we get snow, as it's the perfect weather for roaring fires, books, hot drinks and thick woolly socks.  Of course, I don't get to do that much nowadays, but I remember.  Oh yes, I remember well.

The Pie cafe is changing. We're learning all the time, tweaking our business plan, attempting to make things simpler, yet more effective.  (I read an article which stated that oftentimes, business owners are efficient, but not effective).  The transition we are planning is challenging, yet exciting.  More on that later.

The Machinist has acquired more equipment for the workshop, as we have taken on new clients, who require a lot of manufactured items.

We have two new staff members, who are learning VERY FAST to become multi-skilled and very flexible.  On any given day, they can be chopping wood for our fires as well as the Grands, loading woodchip onto our garden beds (in preparation for spring, and the weeds that it brings), helping out at the cafe in either wash-up or waiting or even -  emergency barista. 

My mam has been for an eye operation and it was absolutely thrilling to hear her say "Helen, I can actually see.  It's like being re-born".  In two weeks time, she will be visiting her sisters as well as having a reunion with three of her four sons in England.  I sometimes imagine us all being together and the heart longing can be so strong, but in my 'head' I know and accept that this seldom comes to pass in the reality of life.  One day, though, I would love to take my own family to the country of my birth.

The Machinist assures me "our time will come, Helen.  You'll see"

For now, though, I will continue on  here where I am needed most.


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....