Great word: Omphaloskepsis

15 03 2007

Go on, look it up! Now I’ve just got to figure out how to insert it into everyday speech…

(Hint: try

Great signature line!

7 03 2007

It’s probably very politically incorrect, but I love this sig line copied from a colleague’s email:

Some people are like Slinkies… they’re not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Discovering new wineries

5 03 2007

The Blackwood Valley area of Western Australia has been a late bloomer as far as wineries goes, but they are rapidy on the move. I’ve heard that there are now some 20 wineries in the region, and we’ve made it our mission to visit them all and find out as much about the wines and the winemakers as we can! (For any West Aussies out there, this is reminsicent of the early days of the Margaret River region.)

To that end, we took some time out yesterday afternoon and drove out past Boyup Brook to a winery that appears to be in the middle of the wheat and sheep belt! We first had a Scotts Brook wine (2004 cabernet sauvignon) at the Bridgetown Hotel with a meal a week ago, and now were on the hunt for more. Unfortunately, they’ve sold out at the winery, and all the local outlets are also out of it (including Manjimup -yes, we went far afield looking for this superb wine!)

However, all was not lost as we got to meet one of the owners of the winery (Kerry) and spent an hour or so with her tasting their other wines (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, cleanskin [an unwooded chardonnay], and Shiraz), talking about lifestyle changes (she and her husband are ex-teachers), and life in general. They have a lovely tasting area at their house, and with this winery being only a 30 minute drive from Bridgetown (going on the back roads) we can see us going there quite often!

We went through Boyup Brook on the way back to Bridgetown and called in to see Jenny Duncan at Chudacud winery (pron chew-da-cud). She only had a Cab Sav and a Shiraz for tasting, so we bought one of each and listened to her plans to add an eating area. We also checked out the local talent – some young emus and some gorgeous alpacas with eyes to die for! From there it was a quick 10 minute drive back to Bridgetown to open a bottle of the Scotts Brook shiraz and enjoy it with a roast pork dinner.

Picasso, an alpaca at Chudacud winery

Lessons learned from the move

4 03 2007

Well, it’s almost two weeks since we shifted from Perth to the quiet of the southwest of Western Australia. So what have we learned about moving?

  1. Stressful though it is, we should do it more often – 16yrs of STUFF is too much to deal with!
  2. Life in the country has so far lived up to expectations – the air is cleaner, it is quieter, the birds sing, all the people we have met have been friendly and welcoming. Oh, and there are more bugs that come into the house…

Next, my list of essential tools for anyone considering moving:

  • box cutter so you can remove that packaging tape easily when either you stuff up or when the box gets to its new location
  • packaging tape dispenser (like they use in shops/warehouses) – saves your fingers, stops scissors from getting gunked up (technical term!) with the sticky stuff from the tape
  • pedometer so you too can be amazed at how much walking you do moving stuff from its home to a box then back from the box to its new home (and any double or triple handling in between)
  • bubble wrap – go buy a big roll from your office supplies store; you’ll be glad of it for all sorts of things, including artworks and mirrors as well as the small breakable bits and pieces
  • sense of humour – ‘cos you’ll need it!
  • mental health check before you start – ‘cos you’ll question your sanity and that of your partner at various times
  • time – allow enough time to consider each item and then make a quick decision on whether to toss (charity or garbage) or keep
  • a comprehensive list of what’s in each box – saves your verging-on-madness sanity when you need the xyz item NOW! (I needed a replacement fax roll three days before we moved as the bank sent through a 27 page fax! I located and had it installed in about 5 minutes because I knew it was in a specific box – all I had to do then was find the box in the garage, open it, feel around, and voila! new fax roll!)

Bosses and employees: understanding each other

2 03 2007

I found this link on Seth Godin’s blog: “Note from boss to employees“.

An excellent summary, followed up by some great comments, especially those that turn it on its head and become “from employees to boss”. Great for two-way communication.

I’ve been in both positions on various occasions and the stuff about being a boss of someone who was a co-worker was particularly pertinent for me – it was one of the hardest things I had to deal with, and, in hindsight, I don’t think I dealt with it very well at all.

Millipede invasion!

1 03 2007

I have no idea why we have them, but we have an invasion of Portuguese Millipedes! It’s not just us – it’s the whole town, and much of the southwest. And according to the CSIRO, much of southern Australia has these beasties – including Perth, though I’ve never seen one in Perth.

Anyhow, these little buggers are EVERYWHERE. Last night, my husband went around the outside of the house spraying bug surface spray at every opening and crack where they might get in, and cleared heaps of them from near the back door. This morning, there were hundreds of them in the sliding tracks of the back door, hanging from the eaves, inside the house (not so many there, thank goodness! Many were dead – but lots were alive and wriggling.

Portuguese millipedes milling at the back door!

It seems they don’t hurt or do damage, and they’re not poisonous, but they are a darned nuisance! A friend who popped around last night said she’d even found them in her underwear drawer – ewwww!

And of course, we found out from the Department of Agriculture’s Fact Sheet on this pest that they are more prevalent when it rains, and that in March/April they’re particularly prevalent as it’s mating season! Which means when the babies hatch, there’ll be even MORE of them…

Ah, the joys of living in the country!