Monday, December 27, 2010

That Was Christmas, Then

The Chocolate Fairy came visiting for our Christmas. And she brought a friend. (Okay... the T-Shirts are courtesy of the Flinthart Family. But the visitors DID agree to wear them...)

The Chocolate Fairy receiving make-up from the Mau-Mau. In the end, the Chocolate Fairy wound up looking rather a lot like Raggedy Anne...
Natalie kindly consented to be made up by the Mau-Mau. Why so serious?

Younger Son now has sunglasses. And a very politically correct Chinese skullcap. From the same kind, caring gran that sent the make-up for the Mau-Mau, yes.

The Mau-mau got make-up from her gran for Christmas. I expect to hear from Child Protection any time now...

And now I'm very tired.

Gifts were exchanged. I got a key-ring. And an amusing apron, for cooking. Yes. And a copy of 'Evil Genius', to install and play upon my computer.

This is not a measure of my family's lack of thought. This is a measure of my contentment. I have pretty much everything I need, and there's not a whole lot I'm prone to wanting, either. I guess at some point a really cool nightscope for the .22 would be nice. But that's expensive. And I'm not even certain it's legal!

Other than that? I guess I'd like more time. But that isn't much of an option, is it?

The kids are happy. The Mau-Mau got painting and gardening gear, and a mad grandmum sent her make-up. Do I have a photo? Let me check... oh yes. Okay -- see the bottom picture above, eh? I'd try to do a better job of photo layout and integration, but this is 'blogger'. It's pure shit for photo integration. Screw you, Google.

Younger Son got all kinds of stuff. A microscope kit was his favourite, I think. He's been looking at stuff ever since. Heh. He wanted blood, and Natalie agreed he could have some later... but halfway through lunch, the Chocolate Fairy (one of our visitors) had a minor nose-bleed, and Younger Son was on her like a starved vampire. It was pretty funny, because the rest of us had forgotten a) WHY he wanted some blood, and b) even the fact that he'd wanted it in the first place. So we sort of stood there, blankly, for a long, embarrassing moment when he jumped up and asked the rather perturbed Chocolate Fairy if he could have some of her blood.

Once we worked it all out, though, that was fine. And Younger Son got to see blood cells. Yay!

Elder Son has scored a game of Balderdash, among other things. And Natalie got coffee, and a very small 1000-piece puzzle... and I found her a "Starfleet Medical" skivvy in the original powder blue. Unfortunately, they seem to have discontinued that amazing 1960s velour material... hers is merely a sensible, comfortable cotton. She's been enjoying wearing it down to the hospital, though.

Beeso rang somewhere around midday. Turns out he's had a minor issue with rental vehicles, and has altered holiday plans to head Hobartwards at first. He's aiming to be back this way around the 3rd, which will be cool... he'll miss the raspberries, but the blackberries should be in full production, and there may be some local cherries by then. They've been delayed by the cool, wet spring weather.

I do hope Beeso wasn't too alarmed by my notes to him about the road approaching Chez Flinthart. We'd been casually exchanging emails to keep in touch, and I had a bit of a brain collapse. Y'see, the road to my place from Launceston is steep, narrow, and winding in places. And at night, it is the domain of sundry kinds of suicidal animal life -- possums and wallabies who wait in the undergrowth by the roadside, then literally hurl themselves into the path of your vehicle. And of course, if the weather is inclement - well, let's just say that this is the ONLY place I've ever had to try to drive through heavy rain and dense fog simultaneously. I actually didn't think that was possible until it happened to me. And by now, it's happened several times.

The issue was that Beeso was due to arrive fairly late, and would have been making the drive after a long flight, in a rented vehicle, without any real foreknowledge or experience of the damned place. And it didn't occur to me to say anything about it because...well, I live here. I'm used to it. I don't think about it.

But at nearly the last moment, I realised that blithely encouraging the poor chap to charge off into the darkness was... possibly... not the smartest thing I've ever done. So I sent him some more emails. But I think they were a bit scary. He probably thinks I'm mad by now. And I'm sure that the phone calls yesterday and the day before didn't help. Natalie didn't know who he was on the phone... and then when he DID get hold of me, I'd already started in on the liquid part of the Christmas luncheon.

I think I was coherent, though. Anyway, here's hoping that Beeso &co have now landed safely, and are enjoying the southern end of the state. I'll lay in a few bits and pieces, and when they do reach this corner of the place, we'll try to treat them properly...

Anyway. Christmas luncheon went well. Baked ham, potato salad, and a rather nice raspberry clafoutis with whipped cream. Steve the Bike Guy (the Chocolate Fairy's friend, up there in the first photo) was particularly enthusiastic about the clafoutis, and I'm now under instruction to telephone him any time I happen to be making one. I'm prepared to do that, but I think he'll probably be disappointed. I'm not allowed to make desserts very often.

Still. It really was damned good.

We ate. We drank. We played board games and drank. At some point, Amazing Neighbour Anna turned up and borrowed the Mau-Mau for a few hours. We continued to drink, eat and play games. Eventually the Mau-Mau was returned to us.

Then the visitors trundled off home, and children were folded away, and Christmas was declared over. Except for lingering drunkenness, of course. Bleah.


  1. Tasmania has a lot to offer us. Some good wine, beers, produce and your blog. So far since Christmas Eve I've enjoyed all of them. I reckon Beeso will be all over that raspberry clafoutis if its let out to play again.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  2. Beeso will likely have to settle for something similar made with fresh blackberries. I know -- it's hard to take, but I think he's got the strength of will to bear up...

  3. And Steph: Yaaay! Viva el boozo!

  4. Beeso knows you're mad so no worries. Now that i know younger son likes skeletal structures, expect something in the mail from Montana I found while riding one day. I miss you so and wish I could come so far to visit. I'm just not a good traveler anymore, or really ever. I am making journey to Doolin this year for first time in at least 5 years. Great having Hughie visit and enjoyed his company and music. Wished you were here.

    Pix are great even if Google is shite. Happiest of New Year's and all blessings my good friend.

  5. The picture of Mau Mau is a little disturbing actually. Flinthart-grade intelligent eyes in the middle of a small girls face... And younger son does look VERY cool :) When I come to casa Flinthart, I will have at least three forms of maps - A GPS thingo, paper and topographical :)

  6. Bart: that's not a bad plan. Also ensure that your phone is connected via Telstra, or it will cease functioning.

    You are right to beware the Mau-Mau. But the intelligence is still somewhat formless. Which is kind of annoying, really.

    Skygirl: thank you, as always and ever. Hughie is one of life's good guys, and I'm glad you got to meet him. I hope his stories weren't too... over the top. It's true I may have misbehaved a tad when we worked together, but nobody actually died or anything, so it's all good.

    And I'm very glad to hear you're headed back to Doolin. A dose of the Irish POV will do you no end of good.

  7. Mate, glad you had a good one, not that different here at the Pondo either I might add. I fear, I need a bigger, slightly more robust digestive system. There must home been some foreign occupants in SOMETHING we consumed for DAYS and I means DAYS afterwards...DAM!......not good.

    As for the NIGHT SCOPE, might find yourself in a spot of bother there. I do believe, I must have seen it on the net/ web thingamajic, that you can purchase monocular IR night vision devices. apparently, they can be MOUNTED onto....things. Now, it would require a dot being placed in center of the clear end bit, which I guess you could do with a perm marker, then the tricky part. You need adjustable mounts they say!, to zero it in. ( not really required with a 12g.

    bolt actions, well I would remove the bolt, shoot light down barrel or laser if you happen to have one and match top dot, to barrel generated spot.( assuming I had any of that of course)

    OR! a RED Filtered spot light. LIGHT-FORCE is the best, they do a portable battery powered job, small, light and battery life is excellent...AND, its Australian MADE and bloody OWNED as well. They do a scope MOUNT for the light, lets you use a standard SCOPE as well. THIS would be MY CHOICE!.

    have a great new years.


  8. Huh. Interesting. I never thought about a red-filtered spot before, Havock. Not a bad idea.

    I'd considered the monocular IR piece. The idea about removing the bolt and slotting a laser into place to allow for a sighting dot is... pure damned genius. Thank you!

  9. No probs.

    Red filters don't spook the animals as much.

    ref Laser dot for sighting.

    Lock rifle in VICE.

    insert laser into end of breach ( Bolt removed obviously) and project onto target. Here's where it gets kinda cute, but as you are not a knuckle dragger, i'll forge on.

    Mark the laser dot with a pen. This gives you the standard Bore sight. And you will have noted that your scope sites anywhere from 2-4 inches higher than the barrel. and bullets don't run flat all the way to the target.

    Standard trajectory drop for .22 rimfire rounds is around 3-4 inches at 90 meters or about a hundred yards. Thats if the scope and barrel are totally parallel to each other.

    Only other thing to remember is that you have two distinct types of ammo. Standard and what they call hypervelocity.

    Stirling and winchester etc do standard, you can get rounds called Stingers by CCI, which are hyper rounds, typically 200-300fps faster, alters you aim point. Not that I do any of this, just heard it about the traps.

    A vice clamped to timber and rested on tail gate or other flat source, allows ya to scope / sight in, without the HUMAN variables coming into play.


  10. Three kinds of ammo, actually. I tend to use subsonics, since I'm just pinging rabbits.

  11. Better!, wasn't sure If you would be using them...or OTHER grey bloody fury things were an issue!

    Same principle then.


  12. What? Oh, NEVER! It's officially NAUGHTY to shoot wallabies with a .22 cal. Can't do that. Oh dear no. Not even through the head with a high velocity round courtesy of a 'scope and very careful stalking. It's cruel, you see.

    Rabbits, on the other hand, are fair game. And subsonics tend to disturb groups of the bastards a lot less.

  13. We'll be there long before dark on the fourth mate

  14. Oh, good. I won't need a nightscope for you then.