perhaps a Librarian will understand…

library personnel

I attended a professional development day, yesterday and at the end of the day they had a prize draw. Name out of the salad bowl. A man won, the only male librarian present – except he had left early so they redraw the prize.

I won a fully expenses paid interstate trip to … a Librarians’ Conference!

Dear reader, I am such a Library Geek that I am excited beyond belief.

Sometimes coming second really works in your favour!

Come on do the Jerk!


My arm flying above my head in a crazed impersonation of a one armed tarmac air traffic controller, I wondered what would happen if, as in the eruption of  Mt Vesuvius, disaster struck and I was instantly frozen in my position. What would future generations make of the middle aged woman sitting upon the toilet pedestal waving her arm above her head?

It is not a long story. Some times the royal evacuation system does not function as well as is required, often thanks to the side effects of this medication or that medication, and it means a little longer linger in the smallest room in the house.

Our throne room has a motion sensor exhaust fan, and if the Royal One contemplates life and the world in general for too long motionless (heavy thinking, man) the fan clicks off, thus demanding some form of motion to restart.

I have experimented with this motion requirement to ascertain just how much physical movement the fan requires to commence its cycle. The lifting of a finger is not enough, though an exaggerated sway from right to left does a fine job; as does the lifting of the lower arm and  the waving of the hand.

My personal favourite is a seated rendition of the 1960s dance routine, the Jerk (as a small child with a sister eight years older I was force fed Bandstand on a regular basis, so I know these things people). I am of the opinion that while it does not add to the 10,000 daily step requirement, the thrusting of the arms upward and downward three or four times does constitute burning of a few kilojoules. There is a developing theory that the downward thrusts may also assist in the gravity pull on other areas, but the data is still being processed.

I am working on the Mashed Potato as well. I may suggest that Mr FD try, Shake, Rattle and Roll…

pyjama baking with a mastiff-mouthed individual


I have a favourite chair. Who doesn’t have a favourite chair? My chair is in the family room and faces the television. It reclines so I can snooze, read, eat, drink tea and pat our Augie Dog as I choose. It has an ample supply of cushions and right now a cosy rug as well. There is a little shelf near by at just the right height to keep my tea and snacks from Augie’s reach.

Last night, I arrived home to an artistic display of nature mounted on my favourite shelf, next to my favourite chair. It was courtesy of Son. One would think such a collection might be the passion of a child, but may I hasten to add that Son is an adult in his twenties!

photo 1-4

He had been tidying in the shed where we keep his car, the ride on mower, an array of furniture, some ours, some Mr FD’s late parents, and a large number of boxes that we seem to move from house to house with us! We use insecticide in that area and so all these guys, and gals were belly up scattered about the shed. The good news was that Son did not find any snakes hibernating for the winter.

The big guy is a rhinoceros beetle, according to Mr FD. Huge. It is quite off-putting when I reach out my hand to raise me cup and find myself eye to eye with the mastiff mouthed beetles . Hopefully, they will be returned to the wild, dust to dust and ashes to ashes, shortly.

photo 2-4

In the area of other matters, I had a pyjama baking morning. One of those Saturdays when I rise from my bed and start pottering and next thing I know the entire day has passed and I am still wearing my pjs. Paradise. Today, I baked savoury muffins and vegetable fritters for my school lunch. I put most in the freezer but put aside a few of each for our lunch. Very nice they were indeed.

Now I shall rest on my laurels until the morrow.


leave me to my catalogue and no one will die…

library catalogue

All week I have been cataloguing websites and placing the information into our school library catalogue,  so students have direct links to authority web sites for research. I have to admit that I have been experiencing a perverse pleasure in it that I can’t really explain.

To many people it would seem a monotonous job, uploading data into a library database, and I have to admit that I usually detest monotony. In this case, I think there is a certain sense of accomplishment that feeds my intrinsic need. At the end of a day I might have 80 or 100 websites ready for student access. A little pile of work that I can actually see.

Cataloguing these days is so easy, with all the information available through subscription and accessible just for selection and download. Even if it is a obscure title we can just submit it and wait for the information to be uploaded. Thank heavens for those little library elves who sit at their desks doing the original cataloguing, they make  life so much easier for those librarians who are spread so thin on the ground.

A couple of mornings I have been quite eager to sit at my desk and start on a new subject area, and I have felt very frustrated when I  am interrupted by the need to teach a class. Some of that is due to the fact that two of my three classes are painful groups. I want to slap them. Luckily the third group is the perfect class and I tell them everyday that they are the high spot in my week. My home class is a little different, after eighteen months with them they are like my chickens now, and I send them off every morning with the farewell, “Remember, Mrs Flamingo Dancer loves you.”

Today, I taught both horror classes and then had a period with my home class combined with another, so that made 48 students using a lesson plan from the curriculum leader that we had to adhere to and it was a boring croc. We ended up watching Dr Phil for the last 10 minutes where they learnt more about life relationships than they had in the other 40 minutes of the lesson. (The joy of having your home class in the library is that you get access to televisions!)

Then a colleague insisted she had given me something that I know full well that she hadn’t, but she kept insisting. She is going higher and higher up my stick list.

Tonight, I am tired, exhausted, stressed and feel like my head will implode, explode and just plain self-destruct. Not even a cup of tea will help, that is how bad it is!

I am so over this teacher thing tonight. If I put a little donate button on my blog will you all give me a dollar so that I can retire? I will say thank you. I will even send you an autographed photograph.

Tomorrow is another day … and that is the problem.

19430s cocktail mixing machine

1930s cocktail mixing machine

Flamingo Dancer has a little husband who drove her to school one day and he broke all the rules.

woman car

Thirty six hours later and I am still annoyed.

Mr FD was to drive me to work as we had a joint after school appointment and we didn’t want to leave my car parked at the school after all the rock throwing silliness of last week.

First I told him we absolutely must leave by 6.30. We left at 6.45.

Mr FD decided that Augie Dog should have a drive. Augie Dog has never had more than a ten minute drive in the car, so am 80 minute round trip was a new experience. It took some time for Augie to realise that if he sat, or lied down he had more stability, so we had to drive a little slower than usual. We also had to stop to close the rear door of our 4WD as Mr FD had not closed it correctly and there was a danger of a 40kg dog flying out the back of the car. Hmmmm.

dog car

Mr FD decided to take the back road, rather than the highway route I normally take. Quieter road, but more corners and worse roads. And Augie.

As we neared School Town, Mr FD announces that he doesn’t really know the best route through the city to the school. As I always approach from the opposite end of town and only have to slip of the highway and stop as one set of lights before arriving at the school, I didn’t know either.

My suggestion was that we follow the signs that read CITY CENTRE and follow the main road to the other side of the city. Logical. So Mr FD drives a little way and then spontaneously turns right, throwing his life to the wind.

Not long  afterwards I notice he touches behind his right ear which is a dead give away for “I am damn lost” and so I suggest he is a fool and to go back and follow the signs saying CITY CENTRE. He ignores me and appears to take yet another turn that has us heading almost back towards home!

It is then that I suggested that when one’s wife has to be at school at a certain time to open the library on a freezing morning for all those poor students early to school, it was 1. not a good time to start off late, 2. not a good time to bring the dog on his first long drive, and 3. not a good time to take a route one does not know. And did I mention, dear, that our new boss is starting today?

As we then appeared to be leaving all aspects of the city behind and were once again striking out to the rural area I suggested ways in which he might die. Did I mention that he stop and allow us to us the GPS, but he just kept circling? Yes, dear reader there was a very expensive GPS installed in our vehicle all this time.

I was not officially late but much much later than I normally am. As I entered the library, the head of IT said he thought I wasn’t coming and had called the Deputy Principal to see if I had called in sick, but he said I hadn’t and so they were both worried then. They were going to give me another 15 minutes before they panicked.

As I opened the library, I apologised to the students and told them, “it is a long story, but let me just say, it was my husband’s fault!”

Mr FD and Augie returned home, where they both went back to bed for a morning nap.

As I said, I am still annoyed.


just call me, Bubbles, baby


Into the city for a Saturday sleep over with Petite Fille while her Mummy and Daddy dined at a French restaurant to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sunday morning it was back to bubble blowing, and making aeroplanes by linking plastic clothes pegs and adding imaginative sound effects. I am a magnificent granny, as you would have expected.

Then it was out to lunch, before returning home to the country. We went to a nearby Japanese restaurant where I ordered a tempura prawn bento box with miso soup, and washed down with green tea. I joked Daughter1 and Mr Boy are eating their way around the globe this weekend, with an English style roast dinner planned for Sunday night dinner as well!


Petite Fille had a lunch brought from home but did have a valiant attempt to master the chop sticks, and may just have pipped Grandmama on that task. Her papa, the foodie, was so proud.

The restaurant had an artificial cherry tree with fairy lights in the centre of the dining room, which of course took Petite Fille’s eye as soon as she spied it. I suggested that her parents should include such in their upcoming house renovation, but I fear my suggestion fell on deaf eyes.


Petite Fille has learnt lots of new words, one being “sit” but she kind of says it as “shhit” so of course we take every opportunity to get her to say “sit” so that we can hear “shit”. It is a cruel trick on a small child, but a good one. It will make a great clip for the 21st birthday celebrations!

The run of luck was with me, and I garnered another poo nappy to change. That is four for four. Oh, the joys of grandmotherhood are varied and many.

a cry for help or a cry to pee; or maybe a cry to help pee…


Nothing makes my eye roll back in my head faster than anyone sallying forth to describe their dream to me. Well, except for when they want to tell me the entire plot of the movie they just watched.  The dream I had early this morning, however has me breaking my own rule. It was either a cry for help or a cry to pee; or maybe a cry to help pee!

It went thus:

Driving on the highway the car radiator over heated, but I was able to coast into the carpark of a holiday park where I discovered that someone had shoved a pair of female panties into the radiator. A man came to help, and then for some reason I set off on foot while the radiator cooled down. I was most concerned that I didn’t know where I was, or how I would instruct anyone where to find me to assist me.

I ended up in a retail area and entered a David Jones store (an iconic Australian retail chain for the upper middle class where I never shop) This is when the toilet drama entered. I could see signs directing customers to bathrooms but could never quite find them. One sales girl was very helpful and directed me but I still could not find the actual door. She even tried to lead me there, but I just ended up on the street.

Then I was in a brownstone residential area (Australia does not have brownstones) and I saw beautiful large brown rabbits. They were just spectacular and I want to take their photo but I had too much in my hand – phone, camera, keys, and so couldn’t quite manage to take a photograph. One rabbit picked up a plastic trash can and replaced it on the front step of a house. When it stood up it was as tall as a person. The two rabbits went hopping along the street picking up rubbish and tidying the street as they went.

I thought, wow, they would make a better pet than Augie Dog, as they could help about the house, but rabbits are illegal in Queensland.

I was back on the search for a toilet.

My dream was interrupted by Mr FD and Augie Dog have a discussion in the living room and so now I don’t know if I ever did find a toilet, or ever got back to my car…


Quite a reasonable dream for a sane person, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

Blow, blow, blow the wind down.


It is not a night for either Flamingo Dancer or Augie Dog to be out. The westerly winds are howling around the house, and moaning through the trees in the garden. I pity anyone who has to leave there cosy homes tonight.

On the drive home the wind made continual effort to push my car into the new lane and it was quite a tussle at times to keep it on a straight course. It is a long time since I have experienced such strong winds. Tucked in bed with a nice cup of tea and my laptop I am a happy little homesteader.

First week of term completed. First week without our former leader. Someone commented today that the school hasn’t skipped a beat since he left. Also that everyone seemed more, well, authentic and at ease. The underlying stress and pretence has evaporated. We have an acting principal arriving on Monday who will be with us until the end of the year as they were unable to find a suitable replacement. I think this principal might be a “try and buy”.

By a quirk of circumstance, I know Mr Acting, as he was the deputy at the girls’ college our daughters attended in the 90s. He is a nice man and easy to approach so that augers well. However he has spent his career at girls schools, so I am sure our co-ed school will be quite a change for him, along with the issues our indigenous and pacifika students bring!

The down side of this week is that following the classroom vandalism over the holidays, someone has taken to throwing rocks and keying cars, along with breaking into them and stealing whatever they desire. They have done this to both teachers’ cars and to student cars. Our kids are not rich and those cars are often earned with a lot of hard work and assist them to get to their after school jobs which often assist their families, so it is a low blow. I heard on the grape vine that a parent may have taken a photo of the person or persons doing the vandalism. I certainly hope so.

Only nine weeks to the next vacation break!

Flamingo Files – drive by style

car drive 1

Thoughts during a long drive home :

Why do so many old ladies wear huge glasses that cover the entire top half of their face? Is it so that they have a better chance of finding their spectacles if they mislay them?


If a shelf talker claims a book is “unputdownable” it really means the bookshop staff have either not read it at all, or can’t think of anything to say about the book. I know, I used to write them.


Why do people ask “are you eating your lunch?” when they find you sitting at your desk eating your lunch?

And then, why do they still ask you to do something?


Colleague, He Who Never Ceases Talking, keeps walking into my office to watch the new school block being built adjacent to the library, as my window has a perfect view of the construction site. By 11am this morning he was in severe danger of winding up under a digger. How many weeks until holidays?


Why do they think that people who work in libraries do nothing all day but drink coffee and read books? I drink tea.

Why does the car that holds everyone up in the 100kph zone always have to be the one that speeds up in the 60kph zones?

Why do students believe everything a teacher says? For example a student was having problems logging onto his laptop and asked me to help. I told him to retry his password to as expected it worked. “Wow” he said. “Don’t you know everything when works when a teacher stands behind you?” “Really?” he asked with a look of wonder on his year 8 face. “No!” I confessed. “Oh…” the sound of disappointment in his voice was matched by expression. Sometimes it is like kicking a puppy.

Why is it that as soon as the water gets switched off everyone needs to go the the toilet?