giovedì, gennaio 27, 2011

The pleasures of the subtropics

Aw gross. There are fucking rats here. Up until last night I'd been holding out hope that somehow all those little turds that looked just like rat turds were actually from the tree frogs, and then I went into the kitchen and startled a great big fucking brown rat on the counter - agitated the poor thing so much that it fell off. Anyways, that tipped me off as to where they were coming in from, and hopefully how to keep them out.

We called the agency, who just sent round a guy to put down poison, which is gonna mean nothing but stink and, eventually, poison-immune rats. You simply cannot rely on a slow-acting oral poison to exterminate a community of animals whose life cycle is based on large litters and high mortality, evolution is working too fast. And frankly I don't want to exterminate the poor little assholes. They're cute. Aside from being revolting disease vectors, they're quite nice animals and they don't deserve to die, and if they are going to die, some animal should get lots of pleasure from killing them.

Our neighbours told us our predecessors dealt with the problem by keeping a carpet python. Those are supposed to often come up into the houses around here after the rats - theirs was a wild one they got a permit for, and they took it with them when they left. I sort of hope that a new one moves in (the locals have promised me that we'd only get carpet pythons in the house; the highly poisonous snakes hereabouts, the brown snakes, apparently "don't climb". Hmph. We'll hope for the best).

I think we'll deal with the problem by fostering cats. I miss Lexie fucking terribly but she is doing really well at Sugarplum's now, and it's agreed by all and sundry that it doesn't make sense to move her here. But I don't want to replace her, and the F-word doesn't want us to permanently take in a pet before we have some kids, so we are trying to get into a local cat-fostering programme.

mercoledì, gennaio 26, 2011

The legends were true

Yesterday was Australia Day, which we celebrated in Byron Bay, which is an interesting place. I imagine it's a lot like Scarborough would have been in the 1950's, before cheap package holidays let the Inselaffen escape their grim and moldy land on their holidays, except with better drugs and more burnouts, and better music, and much more expensive, of course. Actually it's probably nothing like Scarborough was in the 1950's but I think it's no coincidence that here in Northern Rivers I'm homesick for just about everywhere I've ever thought of as home except for North Yorkshire. Topographically it is very evocative of Yorkshire here, but it's not ruined and economically bereft, and it's about 20 degrees warmer. And people's accents are a million times less awesome.

Anyways, we stuck to the beach and one or two places off the main tourist strips and went walking around, and heard some flamenco, and it was lovely, and I saw my first wild sea turtles, stingrays, and dolphins. The last especially were a revelation, as I've always suspected dolphins were actually imaginary, since all of my faith in their existence was based on hearsay. The ones we saw were a little reddish, which was a nice touch, and looked like they were having an awesome time. This was also the first time I really went into the ocean. It's the same ocean I sort of blame for M disappearing in a ridiculous anthropomorphisizing sort of way, and for heaven's sake it was on the other side of it, but I still have to explain to myself that it's not the ocean's fault, and that I'm not suddenly going to see him tumbled up on our coast here in the waves.

lunedì, gennaio 24, 2011

Having protested too much

The F-word is having some Pink Floyd moments these days, which I can stand better than his Frank Zappa moments, which he's not really allowed to have anymore now that I work at home, poor guy, although I will let him play the symphonic music, which I'll go into my office and drown out with J-Pop if I get annoyed. I'm not substantially a J-Pop fan but it turns out it's the antidote to Frank Zappa overexposure. Especially this version of "Ice Cream Meltin' Mellow", which is the first bit of music since I was young and depressed and enjoying Massive Attack which has made me want to visit the country the people who wrote it came from. I've also got a massive jones on for sushi (see past comments about the whiteness of this town, and the attendant shittiness of the cuisine) though I can probably take care of that just by going to some part of the nearby Queensland coast whereof Australians have spent the last 20 years being half-scandalized, half-titillated (and very open to being completely ripped off in speculative real estate 'investments' - this is the country for shysters, I tells ya) about the Japanese invasion.

Anyways, I don't mind the Pink Floyd much, because 30% of it is nice and the other 70% is funny, and if the whole thing hadn't been ruined for everybody by Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals I might even enjoy it. Also I've noticed that when the F-word has his Pink Floyd moments it's a pretty clear indication he's generally happy, and that's nice. We're both quite happy - my constant complaining is, well, constant, and even in heaven I'll probably be bitching about something. My idea of heaven is not absolutely mutually exclusive of looking down at earth and doing this sort of thing:

Things are generally pretty decent - the job is good and is paying for my Mandarin lessons, the F-word is painting and sculpting and getting up to such shenanigans like a lunatic, and it is awesome to have a house, even if I suspect there are rats in it, and I know there are great big tree frogs in it, because I'll have to catch them and let them out a few times a week so that we don't step on them whilst stumbling to the bathroom at night - the tree frogs being more of a feature really, because they are fricking beautiful. And L---'s fucking whiteness is getting easier to take because I have two trips to China planned before the trip to Canada this southern-hemisphere winter, and one of the trips to China will be to deepest-darkest-most-industrial China, which will be exciting and will no doubt provide some strange, strange food that I never would have thought of eating before.