Shit Buddha forgot to say….

You’ve always wanted to know how to get reincarnated as a house cat – and now you CAN!  Rose’s semi-demi-autobiographical work of almost-non-fiction, ‘And that’s Another Thing – Shit Buddha Forgot to Say‘ is now on the shelves at Amazon and you can have it for 99 cents (well, if you read my blog you got it for free) for the next three weeks or so.

Shit Buddha forgot cover pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it about, you ask? Well, have you ever wanted to cut your ex-lover into small pieces?  Have you ever been tempted to take a homeless person home for a hot date?  Would you dare to wear the Pink Tee Shirt of Doom?  Go buy And That’s Another Thing and find out the answers to life’s most pressing dilemmas!  And if you do buy it – leave me an honest review and I will love you for ever.  If you leave me a dishonest but flattering review, obviously I’ll love you a lot longer than that.  (No really, I do want to know what you think. I may even go back and change stuff.)

A story of love, betrayal…and fish!

deeper2Deeper – a dark, modern fairytale of love and revenge…

Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (you’ve maybe seen the totally unrelated Disney film of the same name), DEEPER is the story of what really happens when a curious mer girl rescues a self-obsessed writer, living alone in his lighthouse by the sea.  What happens when she makes a pact she can’t go back on, for love of a man she barely knows?  If you think you know how it ends, you probably don’t.

Deeper is available as an e-book on Amazon and now as a paperback If you read it, don’t forget to review it – it helps!

Here’s the latest review – with thanks to the reviewer.

Mermaids. A book about mermaids, for grown-ups. Really?
Really. And an extraordinary book, too, a book full of wonder and sadness and violence. A world under the sea and on its shores so beautifully drawn, realised in such detail that you’re ten minutes into the book and you’re there, with Melur and her sisters, her misfit friend, her brutal father, the terrifying “grandmother”, a mer-cast that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading their tale.
There’s everything here, there’s magic, there’s coming-of-age, there’s clash of civilisations and Robinson Crusoe and humans, too, drawn warmly and wittily and economically and mercilessly – drawn the way that other great Australian writer Peter Carey might have drawn them.
And finally, there’s prose so smooth you don’t even notice it passing through you until you’re caught by some detail, some word or phrase so good it sits there like a rock in a stream, rippling, reflecting, making you pause, and smile, and carry on past.

A wonderful book. Read it.

Love, actually?

On the first day of Christmas my truelove gave to me…

One big red ‘powerstation’ camping battery – but hey, it’s not Christmas any more, it’s Valentine’s Day (which just happens to be two days after my birthday – kinda awkward romantically but whatever).

So my honey gave me not one but five presents – and they all had hearts on them! And he made me pancakes in bed with berries on top.  That makes up for a lot (and sometimes, there’s a lot to make up for, but that’s another story).

But this is why I love him like no other.

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Well technically the man-in-the-moon incense holder didn’t have a heart on it…

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The joy of…putting weird shit on your hair

It’s coming up to about two months since I washed my hair. That is, with the conventional stuff, you know, shampoo, conditioner, things you buy at the shops. Ms M and I both decided to ditch the bottles in favour of Seeing What Happens If.  Since we started the big experiment, we’ve washed our hair with –

  • Baking soda. Cheap, easy to make (you just put a spoonfu in water), and gets the oil out. Other than that, thumbs down.
  • Green tea and sage leaves soaked in hot water.  Sounds good but it feels like you went swimming in a swamp. Thumbs down.
  • Apple cider vinegar in water.  Makes your scalp dry and does not result in lustrosity of any kind. Thumbs down.
  • Stale beer and eggs.  My Thai massage lady suggested this (Ms M thought she was playing a joke on me).  Works on her (long black shiny hair) but not on me (smells like scrambled eggs and the pub).
  • Stale beer by itself!  Well, River God likes to leave the fag end of the beer in the bottle, on the grounds that it’s too ‘yeasty’ to drink. So why not avoid waste and tip it on your head!  Not bad – the pub smell only lasts half a day – but again, hair still lacking in lustrosity. Mind you, I think it had a slight blonding effect (maybe cause it’s pale ale).
  • Honey and water (shook up in a jar).  Apparently it has to be ‘natural’ honey and ‘distilled’ water, but what the hell, I used tap water, what’s the diff!  Ms M did it and her hair looks nice enough, as usual, but I have yet to see head-tossingly glamorous results a la ‘You’re Worth It’.
  • Honey and a few drops of sage oil. Now it’s just getting silly!  Cream and eggs, anyone?

And the upside of all this?  BEFORE, I was worried about my hair thinning.  I even tried pills (until my beard started growing).  But AFTER?  I’m pretty sure it’s thicker.  Maybe it’s all the goop.  THEY keep saying hair dyes and shampoos make no difference to female baldness but I remember when my eldest sister let her hair go grey (ie stopped dyeing it), that comb-over look went within a month. So there.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve put in your hair – and has anything made you look remotely like Salma Hayek?

Love at first sight, cookery, and other unlikely stuff

I’ve never fallen in love at first sight (although, as soon as I saw my hairy hippy I knew there was something about that man). But…

This last month I’ve been preoccupied with publishing my friend Irena’s Hungarian cookbook, which is an amazing work of love and detail.  I met Irena when I was giving one of my talks on how the elderly can get around without a car (part of last year’s job) and this very old, short, foreign lady piped up from the back of the room ‘I wonder if you could help me with..’.  Well, I gave her a lift home, and promised to visit her with some bus timetables, and the next thing you know, she was telling me about how she met her two husbands.

‘Back in those days’, says Irena, ‘you had to be a virgin, you weren’t allowed to do anything before marriage! So, well, I wanted to have sex, there was nothing to do but get married.  But I didn’t love him.”

I thought only men did that!

But later, I was working in a cafe in Sydney – I didn’t know how to make coffee or anything but I was very pretty in those days so the owner didn’t mind – and this Englishman came walking in with his hat and his umbrella, and I thought, this is the man I want to have my child with!”

“But why?” says I.  “I think I dreamed of him,” says she, “when I was lying alone in bed at night, my husband out cheating with other women, I dreamed of a man just like this, gentle, kind, tall.  And then he came.”

And one thing led to another and they got married, and now I’m trying to format Irena’s cookbook so she can hand it out at our local multicultural festival in three weeks’ time. When I was in kindy I was the worst in the class at making my exercise book look pretty, so – but I’m doing my best, anyway.  Besides, when me and Ms M went to Europe a year or so back, we were absolutely wowed by Hungarian food – the best I have ever tasted anywhere, and we didn’t even eat the meaty bits, being vegetarian. So I will be snapping up this cookbook as soon as it’s in book form, crappy formatting and all!

Love,though.  Aint it funny? River God believes you haven’t lived until you’ve had a ‘great love’ (I’m pleased to say that I am apparently his).  Do you believe in LAFS?

Here’s one of Irena’s recipes!

APPLE PANCAKES

Almás palacsinta

1 cup flour

Pinch salt

2eggs

1 cup milk

2 medium tart apples

1/4 cup soda-water

2 teaspoons melted butter

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Make a pancake batter with the flour, salt, eggs and milk.
  2. Wash and peel the apples, then using the grater with the largest teeth, grate the apples around the core. It’s best to grate them straight into the pancake batter as apples brown very quickly when cut.
  3. Blend the grated apple into the batter, then adjust the consistency with the addition of soda water. If the apples are very juicy you can omit the soda-water, as long as you achieve a thick, pouring texture.
  4. Ladle 1/4 cup portions into the preheated and buttered fry-pan, and cook untill lightly browned on both sides.
  5. In the meantime mix the caster sugar with the cinnamon and generously sprinkle each pancake as it comes out of the fry-pan.
  6. Fold the pancakes in halves and serve while still warm.

Yields 8-10 small pancakes.

Staying Happy – Remembering today and forgetting about yesterday

When you’re trying to be happy but shit happens…

Today I was happy, because River God was in a good mood.  He was huggable, he was kissable, he was talkative.  He’d had a good time bicycling around the lake in the rain, got sopping wet, and that brightened his hippy heart.  So he came around full of cheer and romance, and because I’m a bit of a litmus paper, I soaked it all up and was happy too.

Yesterday, things were different.  I was at River God’s country residence, it was stinking hot, and we had a disagreement about the correct way to fill buckets with used bathwater.  It was too hot to cuddle, it was almost too hot to be near each other, it was definitely too hot to consider intimate relations. River God was cross because in the middle of the night I crept out to my car with an old duvet and slept in the back of it, in the cool.  “You shouldn’t have come then!” he mumbled (as one does in the small hours), meaning “I feel bad about you being uncomfortable but worse now you’ve done something about it’.

I’m one of those people who is fine as long as the people I care about are busy cherishing me.  I wilt under criticism, coolness and being temporarily ignored.  So the trick for me is to hold the memory of today (cherished, adored) against the memory of yesterday (grumped upon) until the sun shines again.  I know there’ll be lots of sunny days and plenty of thundery ones too.  So cheer up, me, and think of the good times.

Oh, and this is the country estate (roundabouts).  You may think it looks nice, all blue and everything.  But trust me, it’s much better when it’s all grey and misty, because that’s when River God’s trees grow.  This is what the morning of a stinker looks like.

Rye Park

I donated money to a homeless guy – and he paid me back!!

You know the scenario.  A fellow blogger says they’re a homeless single dad struggling to provide for their litte girl.  They ask kind-hearted people to donate, to help them get back on their feet.  You think, right.  They’re probably living in a condo in Florida and spending all the money on champagne.

But – on the offchance,and because you’re in the midst of a ‘goodness’ spree – you DO donate.  Then you forget about it.  If he’s swilling champagne, so be it.  If he’s been able to buy his kid shoes for school, so much the better.

But today, I got an email from a guy I donated to more than a year ago, thanking me for my contribution and offering to PAY ME BACK!  Here’s what he said:

On 6/28/2013 you donated 20 dollars to me and my daughter when we were facing homelessness and I would like to repay the same dollar amount back to you. I would have love to pay you some interest on your donation but because Paypal took out processing fees from your donation I did not receive the full donation but I want to repay you your full donation amount. 
 
I have not gotten out of my financial crisis but I am slowly getting out and I think I can easily repay your donation without it cause me and my daughter any financial hardship then the one I have in my heart with owing and burdening society with my crisis. 
 
Therefore, I would like to send out a check to your home address today but I would like to confirm and verify your mailing address I have on file before I mail the check out (etc etc).
 
I thank you for your generosity and support. 

Respectfully,

Jorge Luis Oyola

Well I never!  Obviously I declined his offer to return the money, but I am really pleased, anyway – both because my trust in Jorge was vindicated and because he IS back on his feet.  And by the way, my tongue-in-cheek account of the wild goodness spree in question is on Amazon for free (KDP Select) from the 24th to the 28th December, right here.

Before you live the dream, you gotta work out which dream you’re living

I’m sitting on my inner city balcony, checking out the skyline. In a little while, I might stroll in to town to see a movie, pick up some pad thai, or maybe take a promenade by the lake. The whole thing is so chic it hurts.

At least, this could be me, sometime soon.  River God and I are looking at buying Property – at the moment, an inner city apartment – each of us with our own dream of car-free urban living and sky-rocketing rental income.  That’s what property does to you – it turns you into a real-estate dreamer, just the sort of person an agent likes to see wander in over their brochure-strewn threshhold.  The question is,what exactly is the dream, and do we want it?

Are we going to be living The Good Life on our country estate, surrounded by rescue donkeys and lavender plantations?  Or are we going to be inner city hipsters?  We can’t do both (can we?). Are we going to live cosily in our little place round the corner from the blues bar – or are we going to rent our love nest out to strangers?  Are we going to be scared to read the property section of the paper in five years’ time – or are we going to have trouble wiping off our smug smiles?  Will River God have long since fled, due to uppity teenage kids (mine) and dogs who pee on the verandah (also mine)?  Will I be glad to see him go, so I can sleep in for a change?

What’s your dream and if you got it, are you sure you’d want it?  Is your dream by any chance a book for Christmas? If it is, you should head over to Smorgasbord for some pointers about what to read – my personal favourite is Bertram & Gertrude’s Steamy Amsterdam Weekend.