Birds and stars

25 03 2007

One of the things about living in a country town and on a largish block of land with fruit trees (yes, fruit trees – lemon, orange, mandarin, apple, plum, and a grape vine are those I’ve discovered so far), is that birds come and visit regularly… and they chatter all day long! I’m not a bird person, but so far I’ve been able to identify these: Western Magpies, kookaburras, blue wrens, Western Rosellas, Australian Ringneck parrots (known as twenty-eights), New Holland Honeyeaters, Bronzewing Pigeons, and lots of other little flitty birds that I don’t know. We’ve also heard black cockatoos in the distance, but haven’t seen any yet. There’s a nice page of many of the birds we have in the garden here:

The other thing is the stars! Wandering out into the dark at 5am to collect the paper from the verge is an awesome experience – the Milky Way is just so bright against the black of the night, and some of the stars seem close enough to touch. I’d forgotten how bright stars can be – all those years of living in the glow of the city lights takes that away and you can only really see the very bright ones. Here, you can see them all. And they are an awe-inspiring sight.

“Tyson the Dyson”

25 03 2007

Wow! I never thought I’d write about a vacuum cleaner!

Our old vacuum cleaner was one of those cheap piddly little cockroach things that had very little suction and a short cord. Although it was a brand name (Hoover), it really didn’t do the job very well. And when it started cutting out because of overheating – like after about 2 minutes vacuuming time – that was it. Time for it to go to another home.

So when we were in Busselton the other day, one of our tasks was to see what we could find as a replacement vacuum cleaner. I’d heard about the Dysons (ugly beasts that they are), and when the girl in the shop raved about hers, we had to investigate further. Well, not really investigate – I held the end to test the suction and nearly had the palm of my hand taken off, it was that good! We bought the DC08TSY model (pics and details here) and I used it for the first time this morning.

Tyson the Dyson As I said earlier – wow! This thing has a really long cord – long enough so that I could do the whole house without unplugging it; a really long hose, and a telescopic wand with a handle. And the suction is unbelievable! It wanted to lift the loose rug in the living room, and when I had it on carpet mode instead of hard floor mode, it tried to lift the vinyl in the office. After vacuuming the whole house, the bagless barrel had HEAPS of very fine dust and other particles in it… and I only vacuumed the house last weekend with the old one. BTW, we don’t have children or pets, and we’re very meticulous about cleaning up after ourselves.


So amazing that I’ve even named it. In honour of the king hits that Mike Tyson did, I’ve named it “Tyson the Dyson”. I NEVER name things, so that’s a first. (BTW, I don’t like boxing, and I sure don’t condone Mike Tyson’s actions – it’s just that his name rhymes and this vacuum cleaner is a “knockout”.)