Husband went back to work yesterday and left me with a small list of errands, like getting new keys cut and dropping off his dry cleaning. So I set off to investigate the local shops.
I popped into the pharmacy for a few provisions, like anti-bac hand cleaner for the bathrooms, cotton buds, loo roll - typical stuff one needs for the home. I popped into the charity shop and picked up some port glasses and cups for putting tooth brushes in. Met the local butcher who was a very friendly man; and why wouldn't he be when it was reported yesterday that butchers have the best sex lives of all jobsmen. He took pity on me because I had no idea what I wanted to make for dinner, and still feel a bit weird about the cost of things because I have no idea if anything is a good price or not and I still don't know the value of all the coins, so I look silly dithering about with my playmoney and checking the values of my small change. Why is the $2 coin smaller than the $1 coin?? Why are there no pennies and yet things still cost .99 cents?? Eventually Sean the Butcher suggested I try some of his home-made beef sausages and I bought six. Then popped next door to the fresh fruit-n-veg market and got some potatoes, salad leaves, garlic with cloves the size of shallots and a very lovely mild, sweet taste, two huge apples for the girls to munch on the walk home, and a bag of coconut covered apricot balls. All for less than $5 which I think *was* a brilliant deal as the veg is far superior to what I've had in Scotland which is small and scarily overpriced.
Unfortunately my newly cut keys didn't work, so I walked back down and asked the guy to try again, he talked to me for a while about his motorbiking adventures in Ireland and we laughed about how the Brits always end up burning themselves in the summer because they think they don't need sunscreen. See, I grew up in hot summers; I know. Not to be outdone, I'm constantly warned with a mischievous smile, "Just you wait."
I keep noticing small things that amuse me, like tea bags are called Tea Cup Bags, not teacup bags nor simply teabags but tea cup bags. Also I was watching a sport report about how someone was "Sickened" and thought, poor guy puked on the field, and it took me a moment before I figured out she meant Second. Husband says if I laugh too much about the accent I'll get beaten up, but I know from experience, I'll get back what I give out. Heck I'll get it even if I don't give back so why not enjoy my own digs? Also, they use, on the news anyways, the word "Nailed" a lot, especially in sport when someone was tackled, they were nailed instead. Someone caught in an untruth is also nailed. I haven't heard it used yet in a sexual phrasing which is how I'm used to hearing it. All this nailing makes me reconsider the conservative label I've been led to believe about Australians. The Costco sized sex toy store out near the airport was an eye opener too.
I took the kids for a walk through the local park which was full of eucalyptus and pretty pink lawn flowers and all kinds of trees I've never seen. A lot have no leaves and there's one in particular that looks like some kind of chestnut which is covered in dangling spiked balls. There's this other tree that have seeds/nuts that are about the size of a huge acorn with a deep triangle shaped dent in the bottom which we've discovered makes an amazing whistle - way better than an acorn cap. I only hope they don't turn out to be something painfully toxic, but I don't think so as I noticed birds picking at the ones that had fallen and split. The hard green ones - awesome, loud whistles. (You know to use your thumbs to make a tiny triangle shape and blow on an acorn cap to make a high pitched whistle, right?). We saw lots of magpies, myna birds and those red and green parrots I think are Eastern Rosellas. I had one bird come and sit next to me while the kids were in the park, and I don't know what it was. Once he realized I didn't have any food for him, he went back into the tree and began to strip the bark off the trunk. Just a tad passive-aggressive don't you think?
Today I'm out to try a different key cutter and see if we can get me a key to this house. I have no other plans outside of that, so I'll meander the streets, find interesting things to look at and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine we've got this morning. Oh, and try not to get swine flu. Seems to be media hyped that the flu is now out to nail all of healthy younger adults (I still count as a young adult, don't I?) and it's even taking down (Like we're a herd of elephants and the flu has us at gunpoint) people with no pre-existing health concerns. Better lock myself in! Hide from anyone and everyone. Sanitize the mail!
Have I mentioned that the Aussie media is fucking insane? No really, these morning lite news shows are swinging between nitpicking the stories and warping them into something out of control - case in point being the all day reporting of a UK midwife saying women should endure natural childbirth and not expect an epidural. Which later became "UK Dr tells women to toughen up!" and "Toughen up Girls, it's just labor!" and onward spinning in order to create a furor when the man actually was advising women not to expect an epidural to be a saviour and that it should be used in case of dangerous or troubled deliveries. When I later asked my friend in the UK what the Brits' take on this story was, she'd not heard a thing about it. Then we get segued to another story about health and fitness that turns out to be an infomercial about some Pilates machine. What is with the on-set infomercials? Truly annoying. I liked it better when the infomercials were all clumped together in their own channels at the far end of the satellite channel selections. It just makes me click over to something else, which I must wonder if I'm alone in that. Having these obvious adverts during showtime must really bite into their ratings, right?