Hot jam donuts, iced donuts (chocolate or strawberry for preference), cinnamon donuts from the supermarket or fancy donuts from an artisan bakery, I love them all.
A friend and I still wistfully reminisce about the enormous chocolate donuts from the cafeteria under the science library at university. On a visit many years later to an Open Day with one of my children, I was devastated to discover not only no donuts but no cafeteria. I’m not sure I ever got over the loss.
I was thrilled to discover that an abandoned Hungry Jack’s site near my home had been turned into a Daniel’s Donuts. Heaven around the corner…
Recently, a new phrase has entered the local lexicon – Double Donut Day.
It’s not when you buy a six-pack from Daniel’s and because there’s only five people in your family, you get to eat two but it’s almost as exciting.
Double Donut Day here means zero=0=🍩 COVID-19 deaths and zero=0=🍩 COVID-19 new cases. We love our double donut days.
Today we recorded our 11th Double Donut Day in a row.
I’m not really much of a cat post kind of blogger but half my country is on fire and something lighthearted is needed.
Our cat Leonardo (more commonly referred to as Leo) appears to be undergoing a personality change. We think he may be developing dementia (he’s 12).
He’s never been a very chatty cat but lately he’s been positively loquacious. My favourite is when he wanders down the corridor in the wee hours of the morning miaowing in such a way that it sounds exactly like he’s saying, “Hello? Hello?” It’s hard not to call out “Hello!” in response.
While always enjoying sitting near people, he’s not really been a lap cat but the other night he went to sleep on the Husband’s lap and stayed there for half an hour.
When he asks for food, we put it in his bowl and then we have to stand there until he starts eating because if you walk away immediately he comes after you and asks to be fed. “I just did. It’s in your bowl,” we say. “What?” he says with his face. We sigh, walk back into the laundry and point to the food in the bowl. Once he starts eating it’s safe to leave. Although, a couple of times I’ve done that and he’s appeared back by my side again a few moments later asking for food. He has to be redirected back to the bowl where he goes “Oh, look at that. I have food!”
My latest project (and what prompted this post) is taking photos of the weird places he’s been going to sleep. It all started when I opened the blinds one early morning and saw him curled up asleep in the garden bed. It wasn’t even a warm morning. I was scared he was dead. He wasn’t. He just decided to sleep in the dirt and weeds (yeah, a Beautiful Gardens family we are not). And it went on from there. Enjoy Leo’s Sleeping Places.
Sleeping on the back of the couch is pretty normal
Is he still breathing??
At the back door
Because nothing is more comfy than concrete?
Sleeping on the table is his new favourite
How is this comfortable??
Okay, now you’re just being ridiculous
You have to sing the title of this post to “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues. Because I always do, that’s why.
Do you have a voice in your head? Is it one that guides you or berates you? Does it have your best interests at heart? Does it surprise you?
I have, to be honest, more than one voice in my head. Some of them are not nice. More on that in a future post. My favourite voice, however, is one I’ve dubbed the Professor.
As a family, we like to do the quiz from a local newspaper over dinner. It’s a good learning activity but really it’s just because in a house full of introverts, it’s an easy way to ensure some conversation occurs.
There’s usually 15 questions. Our best effort is 14 correct answers. We are, unfortunately, yet to crack the elusive perfect 15. On weekends, there’s an extra quiz with 25 questions. Ooh, bonus fun!
What does this have to do with voices in your head?
Because the Professor often gives me the answer.
I’m not kidding.
I’ve actually joked with my kids for months that I should always listen to the voice in my head because it always seems to know the answer even when I can’t personally be sure it’s correct.
Tonight it happened again.
The question was “Which New South Wales country town holds an annual Elvis Festival in January?”
My first response was to say, “Pfft. I have no idea.”
Then I heard it. In my head. The Professor. And she told me “Parkes.”
Did I know that? No.
But what did I have to lose by giving that answer since I had no other idea. (And neither did anyone else around the table.)
So I followed up my initial “Pfft. No idea” remark with “Parkes”.
The Youngest Son, responsible for conducting the quiz this evening, looked at me in surprise. I shrugged. He checked the answer. And then stared at me.
“Yes. That’s right.” he said.
Double fist pump in the air.
Then…. “Well, that was weird.”
It’s honestly a little creepy.
On a rational note, obviously at some point I must have read an article or seen some news on the television about the Elvis festival and my brain has filed that information away somewhere and when I was asked the question, the memory was triggered and I had my answer. Despite the fact that usually I can’t even remember the lyrics to a song I’ve sung a hundred times.
But I think I really prefer the idea of the Professor and her wisdom feeding me answers. It’s nice to have people on your side. Even if they’re just in your head.
I live with boys. Lots of boys. I have a husband, three sons and a male cat. Then there’s me – the lone female in the house. (If you don’t count the resident spiders some of whom must be of the feminine persuasion. I don’t love spiders. I’m just not a fan of housework.)
It’s not a major problem. I suspect the universe gifted me such a plethora of testosterone because I can take it. Probably better than I’d take a plethora of oestrogen. I am not a girly girl. Never have been, never will be. I was quite happy to have boys. Not sure I’d know what to do with a girl. Admittedly, I was lucky they turned out to be geeky boys rather than sporty ones. Science fiction and fantasy I get. Football bores me to tears.
However, as much as a family of boys suits me, there have been times when the testosterone load gets a bit much. Especially as they have got older and messier and smellier.
One day, a bit over a year ago, during the long summer holidays, I went looking for somewhere to sit down for a while. As I wandered around the house, I found the Eldest Son sitting at the dining table eating his lunch, the Middle Son watching Japanese anime on the television in the lounge room and the Youngest Son playing video games on the computer in the family room. Oh, and the Husband sitting on my side of the bed in our bedroom listening to the cricket on the radio.
There was nowhere to go that didn’t contain testosterone. And that includes the kitchen. Even if there weren’t any boys in it at the time, all it reminds me of is endless requests for food.
It was a breaking point of sorts.
For a number of years I’d toyed with the idea of taking over the cubby house in the backyard as my own space. The boys didn’t use it anymore and it was a usable size. Unfortunately, it was full of junk and the very thought of clearing it out gave me an attack of the procrastinations. I did try. I pulled everything out one day, sorted it, threw out rubbish. Then had to put it back in when it started to rain. The next time I went to tackle it, there was more in there. Sigh.
Moaning about the situation to a friend one day, she suggested that I ditch the cubby house idea and just build something new.
This was an attractive idea.
It would entail some expense. Some studio/cabin options were in the vicinity of $20,000. They were commonly around the $8,000-10,000 price range. This was not so attractive.
Eventually, after extensive research, I settled on the idea of a basic timber shed that I could upgrade. It would mean more work but it was less than half the cost of other options.
The people of Design A Shed deserve a plug for their helpfulness, friendliness and patience.
I ran the idea past the Husband, couching it in terms of being for my 50th birthday (he went to New York for his) and adding value to the house. He agreed to the proposal.
In fact, he more than agreed and this is my favourite part of the story. He not only agreed, he got it. As I listened to him explain what we were doing to his family and our neighbours, I knew that he’d heard me.
And so began Operation She-Shed. It was long, it was arduous, it was frustrating and it took well over a year from purchase to completion but I made it. And I made it.
Following is a pictorial history of the journey from pick up at the factory to the last brush stroke. Along the way, I’ve learned to do so many things. I’ve driven a truck, constructed a kit shed, installed insulation, cut down and fitted a door, lined a ceiling, laid a floor and a deck, cut and installed skirting boards and beading, built furniture, designed and constructed planter boxes and done an awful lot of painting. I’ve used a drill, a circular saw, an impact driver, an orbital sander, a drop saw and a nail gun. I got to know my local hardware store really well. The only job for which I called in the professionals was plastering the walls. I thought about doing it myself but I was getting impatient and having it done in an afternoon was easier than figuring that one out myself.
So, as I sit here in my new space writing this blog post, I still can’t really believe it exists and it is mine. Really mine because I made it myself.
A shed load of love and thanks to all the family and friends who helped me realise this dream through practical help, moral support, lending me things and making the appropriate wow comments whenever I shared my latest achievement on Facebook. You all rock.
Picking up the shed
I must thank my friend Kath for coming to my rescue and driving the truck to Melbourne to pick up the shed. The cost of delivery was phenomenal so there was nothing for it but to collect it myself but I didn’t think this was the trip on which to learn to drive a truck. She did make me drive it back to the rental depot after we unloaded for which I am grateful because now I can say, “I drove a truck”.
Picking up the truck
Here it comes
Ready to roll
Ooh, look at me! I’m a truckie!
That’s an awful lot of shed
Preparing the site and putting in the elevation kit
We don’t live on an easy block to put things in the backyard. Everything has to be carried up steps. We also live on clay so digging holes is a mammoth task in itself. I’m incredibly grateful to my husband for taking on the task of putting in the elevation kit.
Making a sloping spot flat
Goodbye old trampoline
A long way up
All the way up there
Elevation kit installation completed
Building the shed
Oh boy. Or oh boys. Thank heavens for three boys. Carrying all those pieces of shed around the garage and up the steps and past the clothesline and up a path to the spot in the backyard was no picnic. They worked hard. And I’m still traumatised by the act of getting the roof on. (And yes, it’s a tad off-centre. Close enough.) I must also thank my friends Kris and Meg for lending me their impact driver and cordless drill. We would never have got it together without them.
Look at it perched up there!
When it came to putting on the door, I held it up to the spot to check the fit and instantly lost a lot of light. Urgh. Hm, I thought. Wouldn’t a window be nice? So I went hunting through demolition yards and found a new door which I then had to cut down to fit. Still quite proud of that effort.
The original door
The new door
And there it is
Installing the strike plate
New lockable door handle with decorative feature to hide the fact the hole I cut was off-centre
The verandah and deck
When it came to putting up the verandah, it was only when it weirdly sloped upwards that I realised I was supposed to cut down the railing posts to the right height. I’d already screwed them in so there was an interestingly unsafe exercise of cutting through them with a circular saw vertically while the boys held up the roof. Installing the deck was much more fun. I rather like banging in nails. Once more, thank you to the boys for carrying, lifting and holding.
Just got the last nail in before I lost the light
It’s so cute!
One day I had a vision of my shed in dark purple and white. Cruising around the paint charts at the hardware store, I dismissed one colour as too dark and too blue but then read the name. “Dark Heather”. Well. Nothing for it but to ask for a sample pot. When she opened the tin, I knew it was exactly the colour I’d been looking for.
‘Dark Heather’ The perfect paint colour.
Insulation, ceilings and walls
The one thing about timber sheds with a corrugated iron roof is that they are hot. I knew I was going to have to insulate and I also came to realise that I was going to have to install some sort of ceiling with insulation even if it meant losing the skylight. My solution was to cut the leftover insulation in half to make it thinner, glue it to the back of some plywood and screw said plywood to the roof frame. It came up better than I could have hoped. Thank you to my friend Carolyn for solving the issue of “how do I get massive pieces of plywood home in a sedan?” by lending me her tray truck. When I got the quote for plastering the walls, I nearly had a heart attack and I wondered if I could repeat the same process on the walls as the ceiling but by the time I added up the materials, I was only a few hundred dollars short of the quote. I figured that $300 was worth the ease of getting someone else to do it. Thanks to Craig at Feathers Plastering for doing the job that many other plasterers turned down as not worth their while.
Beading and inside painting
Craig had asked what I was going to do about the join between the walls and the ceiling and I told him not to worry, I’d find and install something. Part way through installing the beading when I’d broken my drill bit drilling guide holes, banged my fingers, dropped the hammer from the ladder about five times and uttered numerous four-letter words, I was wishing I’d added it to Craig’s quote. But I got there in the end. And my solution to how to meet the pieces in the weirdly angled corners was to just keep the edges straight and then hide it all under putty and paint. Worked a treat. Painting the inside white added so much lightness that I didn’t miss the skylight at all. I also discovered I am not a fan of painting. I don’t have the patience. Although, using the roller was quite fun.
Floor and skirting boards
Soon after starting on the floor, I realised it really needed three people to be able to click in the whole length properly. Thanks to the Husband and Middle Son for helping out. I tried cutting the first end board with the circular saw but it was ragged so for all the rest I used a hacksaw. Yep, cut them all by hand. When it came to installing the skirting boards, I knew I was going to need a more accurate method of cutting 45 degree angles than the ‘protractor, pencil and hacksaw’ method I’d used for the beading with limited success. I put the call out for a drop saw and am grateful to my friends Julie and Cam for lending me not only the drop saw but also a nail gun. No more banged fingers. Using the drop saw was so amazing, I wished I’d thought to ask for one when I was doing the floor. I’d have had it done in half the time. I really want my own now. The nail gun was efficient but nerve-wracking. I blame that WorkSafe ad.
Steps, planters and painting the deck
For some reason, when we put the shed together on top of the elevation kit, it didn’t fit properly and we ended up with the front stumps exposed. This presented a problem for installing steps so I had to extend the deck. I think this was probably my favourite thing about this project – coming up with creative solutions to problems. From a decorative disc to hide an off-centre door handle hole to shoving a piece of timber up the inside of the door when the bottom hinge wouldn’t attach properly to building planter boxes to hide the posts sticking out the front, it’s been gratifying to find ways to hide the flaws.
No more clambering up onto the deck
Planter boxes. Not that I knew what I was doing. I imagined it and it somehow worked out.
You’d never know those posts were sticking out by mistake
Decking it out and connecting power
Ooh, the fun bit! I had a highly successful trip to Ikea for a shelving unit and a place to store tea and coffee supplies. And putting together Ikea furniture seemed a breeze after the various challenges with building the shed. It was a fun, if very wet, weekend. (You should have seen the mud I had to clean off the deck…) The desk is an old work desk that the boys used as a computer desk until we rearranged the family room and moved the pc to a smaller desk. I sanded it back, painted it and attached some new handles to the drawers so it wouldn’t look like the place that boys had sat at for years. And there were all sorts of bits and pieces sitting around waiting for a home, especially my series of coffee-themed pastels by artist and friend Jill Shalless. But my favourite item is the chaise-longue. I must thank my friend Naomi for spotting it on an op shop’s Facebook page and letting me know and then driving us to the town more than an hour away to pick it up in her station wagon.
Power at this stage is connected via an extension lead from the garage. Probably a more permanent solution is warranted but it’s working quite well at the moment. (I’d considered a solar system but couldn’t justify a system that cost more than the shed.)
Power connected via extension lead from garage
What’s with the name?
I knew I wanted a name for my place. It’s personal to me. Boireannach is Scottish Gaelic for woman. It was perfect. It looks like the name of something, it represents my Scottish heritage and it signifies the importance of my ‘no boys allowed’ space. Thank you to my friend Margaret-Rose (aka M-R) for the nameplate.
Wondering how to pronounce it? Here’s a fun video that may help you.
The End and the Beginning
So there you have it. If you’ve stuck with me this long, thank you. It has been important to me to document this journey officially. It’s been a long road but I got there. There’s still some landscaping to be done but at last I’m in situ. I’m looking forward to the many creative adventures ahead in a place of my own.
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it “Christmas” and went to church; the Jews called it “Hanukka” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukka!” or (to the atheists) “Look out for the wall!” ~ Dave Barry
It’s going to be 35 degrees on Christmas Day. That’s in Celsius, by the way. As in, Bloody Hot. Needless to say, lunch will not be a hot roast. And you can keep your pudding and brandy custard. Ice cream all the way, baby.
Now, I can imagine my Northern Hemisphere friends are trying to wrap their heads around a Christmas Day with sunshine, heat, a cold lunch and flies. And why wouldn’t you? It’s not the common conception of Christmas, is it?
See, we here in the Southern Hemisphere have the advantage of being able to simultaneously understand both a hot and a cold Christmas given the plethora of snowy Christmas TV specials and movies that abound in the global culture in conjunction with our actual experience of Christmas. Pity, then, those in the wintry Christmas lands who are spared the equivalent televisual experience of a baking Christmas (and I’m not talking about cookies). I imagine one can count on one hand the number of Christmas movies set down south of the world.
So you may or may not understand this song.
I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year. ~ E.M. Forster
Last year someone suggested to me that I should be developing my own Christmas traditions rather than just perpetuating the ones from my childhood. I found this mildly confusing as I thought that was the whole point of tradition. Also, given my boys were already teenagers, it seemed a bit late to be starting new traditions.
Then, at an event this year, we were asked to bring along something that represented a Christmas tradition for our family. Uh oh.
I conveniently forgot to take anything.
But a few days later, as we decorated the Christmas tree, I realised that we had established a new Christmas tradition. Introduced two years ago, we have our own special tree-topper that minds our Christmas tree each year now.
Why have a standard star or cutesy angel on the top of your tree when you can have one of the most terrifying monsters ever to come out of Steven Moffat’s frightening head? #ChristmasWeepingAngel #WeAreNotInsane
I can’t wait for the next opportunity to share that Christmas tradition.
In a wonderful book I was given for Christmas by a dear friend, I learnt that you can learn the twelve cranial nerves to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. It might be my new favourite carol.
On the first nerve of the cranium, my true love gave to me: My sense olfactory.
On the second nerve of the cranium, my true love gave to me: Two eyes a-looking, And my sense olfactory.
And so on, the last verse being:
On the twelfth nerve of the cranium,
my true love gave to me: Twelve lovely lickings, (Hypoglossal) Eleven heads a-tilting, (Spinal accessory) Ten heartbeats a minute, (Vagus) Nine quick swallows, (Glossopharyngeal) Eight sounds, and balance, (Auditory) Seven funny faces, (Facial) Six sideways glances, (Abducens) Mas-ti-ca-tion! (Trigeminal) Four superior oblique muscles, (Trochlear) Three cross-eyed glances, (Oculomotor) Two eyes a-looking, (Optic) And my sense olfactory. (Olfactory)
Santa knows Physics: Of all colors, Red Light penetrates fog best. That’s why Benny the Blue-nosed reindeer never got the gig. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
Half the parcels I’ve been waiting on (stocked full of Christmas presents for the boys) haven’t arrived. It’s a common phenomenon apparently.
Sucks to be a postie at this time of year.
Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.
~ Johnny Carson
To all my friends, family members, fellow bloggers, and random strangers who came here by mistake, I wish you all the appropriate greetings for the celebration of your choice and hope that the coming year brings all of the things you want and none of the things you don’t. And may we all find peace on earth.
I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: “Why, this is Christmas Day!”
~ David Grayson
(You would know this if you’ve read the extensive list of what I’ve attempted to be good at on my About page.)
Hidden in a shed at my parents’ house there is a boat. My boat. The “Eleanor Rigby”. (I was a big Beatles fan from about the age of nine.)
She hasn’t been sailed in…. oh…. I don’t want to think about how long. Decades.
It’s time to let her go.
I haven’t sailed her since my teens but I’m finding it unexpectedly heart-wrenching to part with her.
I developed a passion for sailing after reading Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome when I was twelve. I think part of the reason why sailing, in the end, didn’t stick was because it was never (and was never going to be) like it was in the book. I wanted to sail with hearty mates. I wanted to sail on a lake to a private island. I wanted secret adventures and seed cake and tea cooked over a fire. I wanted to be friends with John and Susan and Titty and Roger. I most especially wanted to be best friends with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazon Pirates.
But it was fantasy and this was reality.
So I sailed in a not-a-clinker dinghy on a bay (well, technically a lagoon off the bay) by myself and there were no private islands on which to camp and make parley with the natives.
It was never quite the same as the dream I held.
But I think it’s mostly hard to let her go because she reminds me of my father.
A father who understood the weird dreams and desires of his youngest daughter and bought her a boat even though money must have been tight.
A father who drove his daughter every week to the lagoon and waited on the bank while she tried to fulfil that dream.
A father who travelled hours around the bay towing the boat so his daughter could share her sailing passion with her school friends at camp.
A father who continued to pay the registration on the boat trailer for years after his flighty daughter had moved on to other things just in case she wanted to come back to sailing.
Life changes. Dad is gone. Mum needs to move on. And the boat must go.
Anyway, she needs to feel the wind in her sail again. Feel the water lapping at her sides. It’s only fair.
….there’s a new craft business taking the world by storm!
Okay, so maybe it’s only taking Australia by storm.
Okay, so maybe it’s just my town that’s getting stormed.
Okay, okay, so it’s only my immediate circle of friends and family.
And there’s no storm.
It’s not even a business.
It’s just MOSY Creations – my new initiative to explain the weird handmade gifts I like to give to people.
I have, for many years, rather enjoyed making things as gifts. I’m pretty sure there’s still a couple of small framed watercolours I gave my parents for Christmas when I was about 13. I know. You may pity them.
I especially like making things when babies are born.
I went through a period of making animal gift baskets with themed baby items including embroidered singlets. eg, a duck basket with ducks embroidered on socks, singlets, etc.
Then, each of my nieces and nephews received a handmade teddy bear for their first birthday. (The absolute tragedy of this commitment is that I never did the same for my own children. I still feel bad about that.)
Then, in the throes of raising my own children, I got a bit slack. My apologies to any friends whose babies received a store bought present. I owe you one.
I did, however, keep my hand in by making costumes for my kids when required for various school events.
The Youngest Son dressed as some explorer whose name escapes me for a ‘Wax Museum’ exhibition of his work. Some of it made from scratch, some just a clever use of what was in the wardrobe. The jacket was a lucky find in an op shop that just needed the sleeves adjusted to look like they had cuffs. (Smoke and mirrors, people, smoke and mirrors.)
But recently, I’ve been reinvigorated to make things again, inspired mostly by a creative friend whom I knew would fully appreciate a handmade gift.
First it was Mr Snuffleupagus when her son was born.
A year later, I dragged out the knitting needles for the first time in about ten years to knit him a beanie. (It’s Rowlf, for the Muppet-uninitiated.)
And there have been capes and wallets and Muppet Money (very valuable on the Puppet Exchange).
But the thing about all these creations is that I really had no idea what I was doing and was mostly just making it up as I went. Snuffy was based on an elephant pattern but I had to adjust his head. And his trunk. And his tail. (I think it took three trials to get the tail right.)
The beanie was made up of four different patterns.
So they’re never perfect. There’s always a slightly dodgy element to them all. But I never really thought of giving them a label until recently.
Another friend was expecting her first baby this year and she’s a Doctor Who fan. So, it occurred to me that a really cool present would be to make a Tenth Doctor doll (David Tennant being her favourite Doctor). I figured I’d try and knit one but when I went looking for patterns, I didn’t like any of the knitted ones. I did, however, love a crocheted one I found:
Image courtesy of Allison Hoffman at craftyiscool.com
In typical fashion, I took to this project with gusto despite not actually knowing how to crochet. (Sometime in my deep dark history I must have learnt because it felt familiar but let’s just say YouTube is a wonderful thing….)
It was far from perfect. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. So, this time I really felt I needed to attach a tag to clearly indicate that this was made by a Jack of All Trades who definitely had not mastered crochet. And thus MOSY Creations was born. It seemed easier to declare at the outset that this was something you would not find on Etsy or Ravelry or even some sort of “Crafties Have Talent” excruciating audition episode. “This is just between you and me”, it says. “It’s not perfect but it’s made with love.”
I was still pleased with the result of my efforts. You know, in that “Gee, that was hard, but I did it” kind of way. And as long as I didn’t keep going back to look at the picture of what it was supposed to look like….
I should perhaps explain that this is a baby-friendly version of the pattern. The original required a piece of dowel in the neck and wire in the limbs. These were obviously omitted in this rather wibbly wobbly Doctor.
My dear friend loved it and she paid me the ultimate compliment. On opening the gift she exclaimed, “Where did you find it?!”
Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Do you have an imaginary friend now?
If you once had an imaginary friend, I feel very happy for you.
If you have an imaginary friend now, I feel even more happy for you. (You thought I was going to say I feel worried for you, didn’t you?)
I think I’d rather like to have an imaginary friend now, at my age.
But that’s a discussion for another time. It’s not actually what this post is about.
Sometimes, a random thought will come wandering into my head like a lost tourist, plonk itself down on its suitcase in the middle of my thoughts and wait for me to ask if there’s anything I can do for it.
The latest one was this:
“I wonder what it would be like to be an imaginary friend?”
Let’s think about that, shall we?
You’d never have to feel guilty for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time. An imaginary friend always has perfect timing.
You’d never have to take your foot out of your mouth or apologise for saying something thoughtless, hurtful or stupid. An imaginary friend always knows the right thing to say.
You’d never have to agonise over a gift, wondering if it’s appropriate or too much or too little. An imaginary friend always buys awesome imaginary gifts with his/her imaginary millions.
You’d never have to second guess yourself about whether you were a good friend or not. An imaginary friend has absolute confidence.
You’d never have to make conversation with other friends or relatives of your friend, especially those with political views that make your blood boil. An imaginary friend is invisible to everybody else.
You’d never have to worry about posting the wrong thing on Facebook or Twitter or forgetting to reply to an email from your friend. Imaginary people don’t have Facebook or Twitt….er….acc…..ounts….. Okay, you might have to wear that one.
It is now more than eighteen months since our correspondent, Heath Dempster, was evacuated from the Central Republic of Kitchen in the wake of sustained attacks from wardrobe terrorists and continued unrest in the rebel Northern States of Boys Rooms. In this special report, Dempster returns to the region to discover how the people of CRK are faring. He spoke to our presenter Nigel Havestock yesterday.
Heath, it’s so wonderful to speak to you in the CRK again.
Yes, thank you, Nigel. It’s wonderful to be back here.
So, how are you finding it?
It’s very interesting, Nigel. In some ways, things haven’t changed but in others they have changed dramatically – both good and bad.
What’s been happening since you were last there?
Well, you would recall that my earliest reports were in regard to battles between the rebels and government forces in the Bench areas of the country.
Yes, the beginning of the Crumb Wars.
Precisely. There have been some interesting developments. Approximately six months ago, the Leader of the CRK, Mother, initiated a new Sourdough industry in a bid to improve the wellbeing of her citizens.
That sounds wonderful.
One would think so. Unfortunately, what it has done is exacerbate the conditions in the Bench areas and guerrilla attacks of toast crumbs have increased dramatically.
And what has been the response from the government?
That is what is interesting, Nigel. It seems that in order to support the fledgling Sourdough industry, the government has been tolerating these attacks, entering the area only when the rebels have moved on and initiating clean up before the rebels return. This seems to be maintaining some semblance of order while minimising the chance of increased hostilities. And, of course, the Sourdough industry is thriving in response.
What about other areas in the region, Heath? How are they doing?
Unfortunately, the Northern States of Boys Rooms have descended into complete anarchy and chaos. There was some attempt early on to enforce civic order but following extensive carpet bombing by leaders in the Northern States, this has been abandoned. It is unknown just how the citizens are surviving in such conditions but they have been sighted outside the States searching for food.
Heath, last time you were in the CRK there was some tension between the Leader and the Deputy Leader, is that correct?
That’s right, Nigel. Mother had sacked the Deputy Leader, Father, as the Secretary of Cleanliness on suspicion of siding with the rebels.
How is that relationship now?
Nigel, that is the most fascinating of the good news/bad news discoveries on my visit here. You may recall reading of the Leader’s humanitarian visit outside the CRK late last year?
Ah yes, in the wake of the recent earthquakes?
Yes. While she was absent from the CRK, the Deputy Leader was in charge and by all reports did a reasonable job of maintaining services and some civic order. He was particularly active in ensuring the continuation of hygiene and sanitation services, somewhat unusually as he has often spurned offers of ministry portfolios in these areas.
Within days of Mother’s return to the CRK, there was a shocking assassination attempt by a wardrobe terrorist cell, the Clothing Moths, that had been ravaging the country. Fortunately, the assassination attempt failed. However, the Leader was severely injured and unable to resume duties for some months. Father continued in the role, ensuring transport, food provision and sanitation services were maintained throughout the country.
What has been most fascinating, Nigel, is that while Mother has now resumed the leadership of the country, Father has retained his role in coordinating hygiene and sanitation services.
That is fascinating, Heath. Why do you think that is?
I’m not sure, Nigel, but I suspect Mother was not keen to resume control of those ministry areas and Father felt no option but to remain. It will be interesting to see if it continues in the longer term but it does seem to have brought some stability to the region now that the Leader and Deputy Leader appear to be working together for the betterment of their citizens.
Well, Heath, I wish you well on the rest of your visit to the CRK and do keep us posted.
Of course. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you, Nigel.
That was Heath Dempster, our correspondent, reporting from the Central Republic of Kitchen. Heath travelled to the CRK as a special media representative with the United Household Nations.
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