December 5thI tried to surprise Rosemaree by dropping in some organic banana's today but she locked her security door, so I gave up and we made banana smoothies instead. They were pretty good.
I get a bit more Christmas shopping done, trying to make it a special christmas for friends and family. I managed to get some cool gifts, so hoping they will make people smile. Too much misery in the world at the moment.
December 6thSo stoked as we have signed off on the charity project. Just waiting for some cheques to clear, but we have reached the total. So clean water and sanitation for a school. Probably in Botum Sakor in Cambodia. It's great that people can come together and make such things happen. Giving something to people you will never meet, just so they have the most basic chance of survival is a pretty good gift this christmas.
Today was the last day of the "100 days Of The Frenz" contest, we've given away so much stuff, am trying not to think what the postage cost us. I ended up donating some $ towards it, good to hear people being happy when they win some prize.
The Christmas tree went up today, which was such a reminder that Christmas is approaching at break neck speed. Mark convinced me we didn't need a new tree, and he was right, we all waste so much. I did get loads of GREEN christmas decorations, so everything on the tree is green this year. It looks pretty damn fine I have to say. Green is the new silver!
Bic Runga still in the NZ Top 10 with "Belle" cd...gold status already, I'm hoping for platinum by christmas. I keep telling people to check it out or by it online at Marbecks. http://www.marbecks.co.nz/
December 7thMark calls me outside as he has found an injured young cockatoo. I can tell by the dirt on his tail feathers he has been walking around on the ground for awhile, looks like he may have a broken foot and injured wing. I can see his parents in our tall gum trees calling him but he can't fly. So I grab a towel and an old birdcage and we manage to get him into a safe area , and I even got to keep all my fingers.! He hissed and screamed like he was being killed, just scared, I tried my calming voice, it kind of worked. I called Wildlife Victoria and spoke to Claire. She said she would call me back. She didn't tell me it would be 8.00 next morning!!!!!!
So I gave him some water from an eye dropper and sunflower seeds one by one. A slow process but we have to keep his strength up. The parent birds hang around till sunset. We both spend hours keeping an eye on him and move him to the gardeners shed where it's quiet and darker. I decide to call him WB, which stands for 'Wild Bird' to remind me he IS wild and should never have a real name. We both vow to do our best to return him to health and back into the air.
Geoff the plumber returns for the third time and finally our orgasmic hot water screeching pipes are back to normal. I talk to Geoff about another water tank, we have so much run off from the roof it is a shame to waste the water, so I think that will happen in the new year. lets hope I get some Bunnings vouchers for christmas for dear old Santa or Mrs Claus.
December 8thAt 6.00 I am up, WB's parents are outside calling him, so I feed Banshee and keep her inside. I get WB and decide to let him out in the 'grove' ... he speakss to his mum and dad, and eats some grass. He spots our living christmas tree, the one we planted from our first christmas at Ailsa Craig.. WB wobbles over and climbs into the tree, he seems to be enjoying himself. He hangs off the Xmas tinsel. I have my old camera handy so take a few photos. If nothing else he may well become the star of our Christmas photo this year. I find out it's actually his stifle joint in his 'knee' (yes sulphur crested cockatoos have knees) and the joint is sprained... so it will repair.
The Wildlife Victoria people call back and I run through a check list of things around his injury's. I also call our Vet so I can take WB in for a check up. He is an Australian native animal so vet service will cover any costs. I'm also in contact with a release carer for the final bit of his return to nature. Somehow during all this I also get lots of work done today.
I'm totally revolted by republican candidate Rick Perry , the white house does not need another moron , this one is such a pig homophobe , thankfully Americans won't vote for this turd.
December 9thI wrap the Finns christmas presents, hope to get them to NZ on time. I'm still waiting for all 3 Enz to be in town at the same time so I can jump on a flight, looks like it will be new year as Tim is away overseas. Grrr they sure don't make it easy for me.
I sneak down the road and call into the pinball place, with my deposit for a Rolling Stones seventies machine I have found. I can't believe it, these are SO rare. Maybe 7 exist in Australia, maybe less. They have to repair a few minor things but it's 99% original. This is Marks christmas present, it will blow his mind. The staff are great, have a few beers and play a few games. I get them to turn the sound up.
December 10thNick and Nickola 2nd baby is due today but it is going to be late...so a few more days yet. Nick sounds so excited, wonderful! It's a boy born a few days later.
Christmas cards start arriving, so nice when people add in some postage stamps, always a little note "thought you could use these", I love that sot of kindness. I guess that is the spirit of christmas!
December 11thI get to see Holdens new VOLT electric car and for once it's not some ugly shape. It's pretty good, won't be on the market for awhile but a vast improvement on what has bee on offer so far.
I spend some time in the afternoon on some Warhol art for our mate Warwick. I strip back the frame to just a canvas and screen and paint Andy's head, and it gets glued in the front of the book. I'm (overall) really happy how it came up. A book with some real art in it, gotta love that.
Mark makes some homemade sausage rolls today- goddess they are great, the house smells fantastic too.
December 12thSad to see that Harold Hopkins who played Cooley in the brilliant Dons Party movie died. Such a fun character. We love that Aussie classic.
WB is getting stronger and we are told he can be released on Wednesday. Yay!
December 13thWe both worked in the office all day, a really long one from 8.00 till 8.00. Got a lot done. We are closing the office for a few weeks from Xmas till mid January, if I'm lucky I will avoid answering emails too. Some time off, how cool will that be.
December 14thUp up and away, there he goes super sulphur crested cockatoo. His family sitting high in the gum trees at Kalorama oval squawk encouragement , Wild Bird is wild again- he turns his head and lets out a shriek to say thank you (or maybe "up yours"...) and I have such happiness in my heart, I don't like birds being in cages, they should be flying free in the sky.
The power is off (again) today more line work up here. So we head off to do some christmas shopping. I walk past the remote controlled helicopters, the big ones, I've invested my pay into Marks present so I look sad and think 'maybe next time'. If I was mean spirited and didn't buy all these other presents I could easily get one. oh well.
We are back at Prahran, Mark goes into JB HI FI, we keep our eyes out for crazy Vivienne but no sign. All the super cheap white LEVI boxer shorts have sold. I knew they'd go quick, such a bargain and so comfy in all the right areas. Guys would get where I am coming from (or chicks with dicks). Comfort between the legs *SIGH*.
We call in and see Greg Skyhook. He gets his christmas box of goodies and seems to love the Andy art ("Glitter Andy"), it goes straight up on his wall- he is excited -nice to see. Big Al is there, we have a bit of a verbal entanglement - yes I won- did you expect me not to. He is so competitive - it was almost rude, so I just went for it. Just all a bit too odd- no wonder he likes Tony Abbott (someone has to).
The traffic isn't too intense heading home and we arrive just as the electricity comes back on. Those day drives to the city just seem so long these days- wears one out.
December 15thClub fundraiser auction finishes today, some great items, and some very happy people. Just adds some dollars into our postage area.
December 16thToday is decoy day. Rosemaree, god bless her picks Mark up at 4.20, so he can remove a door from her bathroom etc. Really it's a way to get him off the mountain so I can have the Rolling Stones Pinball machine delivered. It's going to the back entrance, into the 4 car garage. Wrapped in black bubble wrap it will be hidden till tomorrow when the family christmas dinner is on. The driver is right on time. Both of us carry it in. It's amazing, late seventies great condition, beautiful artwork... we think there are about 7 in Australia and maybe as little as 32 world wide. A true Stones collectors item. Mark will have a grin like a cheshire cat!
I carry tables, chairs up to the house and do some food prep. I pick the wild raspberry's and soak them in alcohol, crush them and weave them through the chocolate mix of the mousse.
Marks is home and helps with the tables. It's about 20 people which is fine, we figure there is room for them all with chairs except for a spot for me ): I'll work that out tomorrow I say-I allow the gods to do their thing.
December 17thI'm up at 5.30 and start on the christmas pudding, it has to boil for about 5 hours. I cook a chicken indian dish, a syrian vegetable stew, bake the infamous passionfruit cheesecake, coat 2 chickens in a sundried tomato mix and add some vegies, kofta, huge fruit platter- and how good is the aussie fruit this year-yum! Kabana sticks with cheese and little umbrellas on them...and more. It looks good. Mates add to the food so we should have enough. We always end up with too much bread! Rosemaree makes her killer Lasagne (made from fresh serial killers- no not really)...and a spare for us which keeps us going for days (thanks R! xxx).... Jane brings in Allies exceptional dip- Bek begs for the recipe but no..... 12.30 people start arriving, I love seeing how the kids have grown. The christmas tree is surrounded by presents, and people are chatting and laughing, it feels like christmas should. Tania is a late show so I DO have a seat at the table-yey!
After desert well DESERTS I sneak out and Santa appears, the adults seem to dig it as much as the kids. I do find a suit and disguise brings out a whole new persona. So cute, later our friend Toija calls and her son said in the car going home "Mum & Dad I do think Santa is Peter". Love it like it's my day job. Maybe Santa's eyebrow ring and tattoo gave it away! I thought i was so good, I got out of the suit in 13 seconds! Oh well kids are much sharper these days.
Warwick surprises us with 2 baby helicopters so we spend time learning to fly- very sweet gift. Mark almost decapitates Bek with his. Mark is walked up to the garage by numerous woman, he is wearing a blind fold. He takes it off and there is wrapped machine complete with giant bow and red tinsel. Bolly is popped and he has this huge smile, I truly thought he might cry! Ok it is a F-ing amazing gift. Glad I've made him this happy.
The night rolls on, some of it we spend on blankets under the stars in the gum tree grove, a lot of it around the pool table or flying helicopters. A really good night. Warwick stays over which is sensible, too many police out and about. Think it's about 4.00 when we finally go to sleep. I'm sure I could hear reindeer on my roof!
December 18thI'm just a bit dry throated today, had a bit of pot, and quite a few drinks, but I feel brilliant. I decide to cook everyone breakfast. The boys give me evil looks for waking them. It's a total recovery day, and that's what sundays are for eh? The house- so many empty glasses and plates like hundreds visited. It takes 1/2 the day to clean up, 5 loads in the dishwasher and 4 hand washes as well! The presents are lovely, our friends have great taste.
The 'real' Christmas is only days away, have a great one and thanks to the many who have sent us cards (and included postage stamps- brilliant).
All the best- Ho Ho Ho!
and especially you Deb! [editor's note: Thanks, PG! Lots of love to you, Mark, your animals, and all the fans!]