Published: February 19th 2006February 12th 2006
Abby modeling how the Frangipani flower is worn.
Odds And Ends
Feb 19, 2006
Things are winding down here. We’ve started packing and stopped buying the largest size of milk. We are also mostly eating takeout food again as we transition out of a permanent residence to just-passing-through status. Naturally it is now, as we are about to leave, that I finally bought my one billionth smoothie and was promoted to the VIP level. It was all very exciting. I was given a free smoothie (extra jumbo size) and I received a VIP card that will give me 10% off for the rest of my life. I also get a free smoothie on my birthday. Whoohoo! Too bad my birthday is 12 days after we leave the country. Still, it’s nice to be a VIP if only for a few days. I don’t suppose my VIP card will work at say a Starbucks back home.
We’ve also had a bit of excitement around a reality TV show being filmed. The show follows the life guards of "the world's most famous beach" and seems to be filming all the time. Most notably, this last weekend, there was a nasty riptide that was literally sucking people in right and
Les Goes Surfing
Les gets his board. The red shirt let's people know he's a beginner. Otherwise how could they tell?
left. The life guards were in constant rescue mode and we probably saw 15 rescues just in the hour we were there. The show started airing this past week and it’s really cool for us since it will be chronicling this summer, our summer, at Bondi. The riots, the sharks scare, and all the fun in the sun that is this town. I'm going to try and buy the series as it will essentially be a documentary about the summer we lived here.
Speaking of fun in the sun, Les took a one hour surfing lesson yesterday. He said it was lots of fun and much harder than it looks. Still, he did manage to get up a few times, and while nobody would mistake him as a Surfer Dude, he obviously learned the basics. Of course, like my VIP card, timing is really everything. I doubt he’ll be practicing ‘popping up’ anytime soon at the beaches near our home in Boston so his full surfing potential may never be realized.
On a down note, Casa Baird has become the cool hangout for the Huntsman Spiders of Bondi. Suddenly it's like the 11th plague of Exodus in our
Ta da! Les is about to stand up here and do a 360 on his board, too bad I missed the shot!
apartment. Ok so actually we've just had four. But four is four too many, can I get an amen?
I won't belabor (too much) the whole ordeal since we've been down this road with Huntsman #1. But I would like to point out that Huntsman #2 was in Abby's room in between her window panes. When I, unsuspectingly, went to close her window by turning the lock, the Huntsman actually rode around on the lock as I turned it. It was not till it rode OVER MY FINGERS that I realized that we a problem. If it's any gauge, Abby thought it was really funny over the next day to say, "Mommy," and then throw her hands into the air and run screaming down the hallway. Ha ha ha. We kept this one (dead as a doornail in a tightly sealed jar) and I showed it to my landlord.
He laughed and said, “Well that’s just a baby one. You know they can get in through closed windows.” Then obviously remembering some previous rant I’d had about screens he added, “They can get in with or without screens. They just crawl between the panes. ”
What was in the kitchen
Need I say more? This was after it was dead incidentally. I'm not about photographing live spiders that might pounce unless from far, far away.
Huntsman. #3 showed up Thursday morning in our kitchen by the window. Did it have the decency to wait till I'd had my coffee? It did not. Whatever. So it took me 45 minutes to kill it and I basically poisoned our entire eating area with roach spray. So what. It's dead isn't it? Have I become mildly obsessed about all this? You betchya.
I've become convinced that they are not 'blowing in from the trees' like another helpful neighbor suggested before reminding me how harmless they are and how great they are for catching mossies. (What? Do we live in the Middle Ages? Do we need 'ratter cats' now too!?) Rather I’m certain they are crawling down from the roof. To that end I've started scanning our windows and roof area from outside our building when walking up to it. Today, I caught #4 in the act of trying to sneak into Abby's room. Les got that one with the mop - finally proving its uses are not beyond killing Huntsmen.
So, where was I? I get very distracted when I start to think about the Huntsmen. And a wee bit twitchy. Oh yes, I’ve
The 'baby' from Abby's window on the left. The kitchen one on the right. The others declined to be photographed.
wanted to also write about Frangipanis. Well they are lovely flowers that grow on short, little trees with shiny, green, rubbery leaves. The smell wafts in (when not totally annihilated by the smell of roach spray) on the breeze and truly smells like perfume. They drop to the ground all the time and by simply placing them in a bowl of water they make the whole apartment smell Frangipanilicious. Abby and I wear them in our hair as in the style down here.
But, I have to say, I'm ready to go to New Zealand. We all are. Ready to be in cool alpine weather, ready to not fear my windows and what may lurk in them, ready to pretend I’m Frodo Baggins marching along to Lothlorien. Ok that last pretend is ENTIRELY my wish, not Les’ in the least. His NZ dream is to bungee jump from the world’s first jump site - invented as the astute readers will remember -- by our pal A.J. Hackett.
Here are a few other random pics of just general life down here that I wanted to post before we were totally packed into a suitcase.
Till New Zealand .
Yellow ones. This tree is behind our apartment.
There are more photos below