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21 December 2006 at 21:05

HNT and family christmas letter

December already, and it's been quite a year for us starting in January, with the toaster going on fire on the very morning that Rob had invited some neighbours for tea and toasted buns.




Not the couple on the left of us, who are very nice but play golf most days and import/export alloy car wheels. That couple has 2 fax machines in their front room, and their actual work seems to consist of waiting for the daily incoming fax, which they then tear off and re-fax elsewhere. I'm not sure why they need 2 machines, but I suppose one's for import and the other for export.

Mind you, they've never properly recovered from being burgled one night, when Steve was away for 6 months in Tokyo on business (ahem) and poor Jana had to hide under her bed while the place was ransacked and they lost both the faxes and a photocopier (apologies to Pete and Ethel who already know this). When the burglars had finished, she emerged from hiding and came to our door in distress at 3 a.m. It was a pity that the batteries in our doorbell had run down, and she was much too reserved to bang on our bedroom windows, so it was the next day before we were able to share the excitement.

But back to last January. Rob had invited the couple living on the other side, Jim and Eileen. Rob first met Jim soon after we moved in here. Jim was mowing his front lawn at the time. He looked so much the part with his tattoos, baseball cap and dungarees that Rob assumed he was the gardener and asked how much he'd charge to mow our lawn. To give him his due, he quoted a fair price. And he did make a beautiful job of our lawn. And Jim keeps his ears open so he's the man to know if you want to know what's happening in the street. Burglaries, that sort of thing.

Anyway, I know what you're thinking - how could we toast the buns with a broken machine? Well, with an hour to spare Rob raced to Kmart and found a digital toaster, the last one in the shop, with an LCD screen that tells you how many seconds to go before it pops up (the toast, not the screen, though that wouldn't have surprised us either). And it has extra-wide slots and a special setting for browning muffins! Not that we pretend to understand this technology stuff, but it certainly saved the day, especially as it gave us a topic of conversation over tea while we tried not to mention the lawnmowing incident, and we all agreed we must do it again some time, and I was just saying the other day we should really make the effort at least once more before this toaster breaks too (not that I'm mentioning names, but someone likes to warm their breakfast plate on top of the toaster while it's on, and you can't really get away with that for long on a plastic toaster, can you Kev?) Russell Hobbs would never have used plastic. Or was it Morphy Richards? One of those people, British "know-how", you could roast a whole meal in their toasters if you wanted without problems.

In March, we were delighted to receive the news that Rob's old "chum" Richard from the Glasgow days was touring Australia, when we would sadly be out of the country ourselves. (Sorry about that Richard, but the neighbours said you were very comfortable in the garden, and do please let us know next time you're in this hemisphere.)

But no Christmas newsletter would be complete without The Big Trip. In May, the mountain bikes were overhauled and pumped up for Rob and Kev's camping trip to the Blue Mountains in Australia, possibly the first instance of a mountain bike actually being used in the mountains. Now, many people claim to find two-and-a-half-million acres of eucalyptus and dry scrub boring, but the area actually abounds with natural fauna. Rob had never seen, for example, so many different species of fly, thanks to his decision to dig the "latrines" so close to the tents.

But enough of our lives here. It's sometimes easy to forget that there's more to life than mulching the azaleas. It was with great sadness that 1000s of innocent civilians were slaughtered in the middle east, as the price of freeing the world from tyranny. Thank God that in every tragedy there is a silver lining. On the very day that the civil war officially began, little Oscar achieved a B+ in Grade Three electric guitar! And with Rob accompanying him on the ukulele while the dog howls in ecstasy, there's not many a visitor to "Chez Rob" who doesn't leave feeling they haven't been right "royally" entertained.

Arguably the low point of the year came when Rob brought home some new "high tech" dental floss, teflon-coated so that it slides between your teeth. It actually works so well that it's unusable. You can't grip it unless you wind half the packet round your fingers! What's the point of that?

December is the time of year when we reflect on the past, and our dreams for a better world. Rob had a great dream last week, in which he discovered a long lost 13th episode of Fawlty Towers. If only he could remember the actual script, it could be worth a fortune.

But look at the time! The shops close in 25 minutes and it's my turn to pick up the prawns this year, and I daren't buy them from the local fishmonger again after what happened last year or my name will be mud in this house, well not mud exactly, but that's another story, suffice to say that the German word, "durchfall" means literally "fallthrough". So we'll have to tell you the rest next year. For instance there's a couple we know, where one of them wanted to use a condom but the other one hates condoms, so they reached a compromise by cutting the end off. Hope you don't mind waiting another year.

Joyous tidings to you and yours, from "all of us" in the "UnHeard Of" Islands.




HNT_1

If you missed previous HNTs, you can access all the old half baked thursday posts here.



This is a freelance Taoist blog.
Every true story contains a wee lie.
And every lie contains a grain of truth.

Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! What an exciting life! Nothing ever happens here since I try hard not to do anything. How did you get the flugalhorn on your bike? A back up team would have helped. Hotboy  

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Blogger Suze said...

A lovely reflective post. All served up with some very nice buns!

Happy Christmas HNT sweetie ;)  

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Blogger Polyman3 said...

Life. Always expect to unexpected.
Love, peace & happiness to you and yours in the coming year.  

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Blogger Eric said...

Toasted buns...

I shall visit the land down under one of these days. From here, I can dig straight into the ground and pop up somewhere near your home.

Happy Holidays! Peace on Earth!  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Eric - try to avoid ending ypur tunnel in the middle of our bushfires. That would help.  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Zeig! Is this your longest ever toast... post? Have you toasted your bum before? What for? Wonderfully, naturally condescending to the working classes, of course. Homoerotic too, obviously. Perhaps your cross dressing friend, who visited when you weren't there, and the man with the tattoos could have done a bit of wrestling on the newly manicured lawn. Got you now! Sing when you're glad to be gay, Adolf! Sing away! That would definitely help! Hotboy  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Hotters - you can be aristocratic and svelte, and enjoy classical music, without being gay, you know. Does that help?  

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Blogger robmcj said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.  

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Blogger Lee Ann said...

First of all....I love those toasted buns!
I imagine the mountain bike ride in the mountains in Australia was amazing!
Great reflection Rob.
Happy late HNT!

Have a joyful holiday Rob!
Love,
Lee Ann  

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Blogger Lee Ann said...

Merry Christmas!
Have a safe and joyful holiday!
Love,
Lee Ann  

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