Monato Zoo and Other Places I’ve Seen

First off, I just want to begin by apologising for not posting this yesterday. I’ve been feeling unwell the past couple of days and I just didn’t feel up to doing much of anything yesterday except sleep and read. Still, better late than never, right?

Aside from that, my holiday has been going quite well so far. On Tuesday, we took Wolfie (my sister’s dog) to the beach for a walk, along with a neighbour whose dog he is friends with. Afterwords we went for a drive to check out a few little towns. We drove through Victor Harbour, Port Elliot and Goolwa. Continue reading


Anticipating Autumn (2016)

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay (Photo credit: orangeandmilk)

I don’t normally look forward to autumn, and this year is no exception. However, I am looking forward to autumn 2016. Why, I hear you ask? Let me enlighten you. In autumn 2016 (from 14-31 March to be exact), I will be on holidays! Can you believe it? I have not had a holiday since I was pregnant with Butterfly. She is 14. That means that by the time I go on holidays, it will have been 19 years. That’s a long time without a break! I’m not planning to take the munchkins (or even hubby) along, but I am not going alone. My Mum is coming with me. We will be spending the first five days in Taiwan, followed by ten days in Japan. I don’t care much about Taiwan – I’m just going because Mum wants to. But I am stoked about visiting Japan! I am already counting down the days!

We have planned the dates very carefully. After looking at the dates the Cherry Blossoms have bloomed the past few years, I think that being in Japan from the 20-30 March increases our odds of getting lucky. We also stand a good chance of being there for the Tokyo International Anime Fair. The majority of our time in Japan will be spent in Tokyo. I was originally going to visit the Manga museum in Kyoto as well, but Mum wants to go to Hiroshima, so I decided to give it a miss. After all, she is being patient enough to do everything I want in Tokyo. And, boy, do I have a list! In fact, I’m going to have to narrow it down somewhat because it is far too much to fit into ten days.

Some of the places I want to visit are the Ghibli Museum (of course!), The National Museum of Modern Art, The Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo One-Day Cruise, Hakuhinkan Toy Park, Sunshine Aquarium, Namco NamjaTown, East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, Ooedo-Onsen-Monogatari Hot Springs, Tokyo Tower, The National Art Center, Meiji Jingu Shrine and The Tokyo National Museum to name a few.

As I save up over the next four years, I will also be doing my best to learn Japanese language, customs and etiquette. I know they don’t usually expect this of tourists, but with four years to plan, why not make the effort? Besides, I’ve always wanted to know a foreign language and, considering the amount of anime I watch, Japanese is the perfect language to learn.

Have you ever been to Japan? Anything around Tokyo I should really see? How long has it been since your last holiday?

Random Note #7

Today, on this ANZAC Day, I honour the memories of all those who have fought for our freedom and the freedom of our children and grandchildren. I honour those who have died in battle. I honour those who suffered and survived. I honour those who remain to impart their wisdom to the next generation. May your memories live forever in our hearts!

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget

Eggs, Eggs and more Eggs…

A Cute Little Bunny With Some Eggs

A Cute Little Bunny With Some Eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easter. Chocolate. Bunnies. Bilbies. Children. Hunting. Yawns. Laughter.

That’s right. It is Easter once again, folks. And what a wonderful Easter it has been for my children. I, like most parents, am exhausted.

Last night (being Easter Eve), I had to wait up till midnight in order to help the Easter Bunny distribute eggs. Sneaking about the place, trying to find good hiding spots – not too easy, not to hard – shhh. Might wake the kids. No, not there, the cats might eat it. Ooh…here’s a good spot. Frozen – was that a noise from Annie’s room? Better wait a bit before we go in there. Eventually all the eggs were out, so it was off to bed, where hubby kept me awake for another hour talking. In the end, I got to sleep at around two-ish.

Morning. Whispers. Rustling. Running children. Muffled squeals. Moan. I want to sleep some more. Laying in bed drifting in and out of sleep, waking with each fresh find of chocolate. I give up. Up. Showered. Dressed. Morning everyone! Happy Easter!

“Mum, mum, look! Look what the Easter bunny brought us!”

“Mum, I found an egg here and…”

“Hey Mum, there were eggs all over the yard!”

“Oooh…I wanted to tell her that.”

“Mum, there was an egg in your kitchen witch!”

“Mum, guess what? Most of the eggs are big!”

“I got a Humpty Dumpty and a train and a bilby and..”

“Mum, there was an egg on top of the gas bottle and it was melted. I drank it!”

After the cacophony died down, we all settled down for some morning cartoons and Hot Cross Buns. Something or other Network of Kids. Ruby Gloom (I love that show!). Avengers. Then it was time for the TV to be turned off so we could the children our eggs. Count Chocula for Annie. A Peter Rabbit book for Yasmine, a Peter Rabbit tin for Storm. Chocolate truffles for Butterfly. All with eggs included of course.

However we saved the best for last. Asking the children to close their eyes, Earth and I fetched their gifts from Grandma. Such round eyes when they opened them to see their huge chocolate eggs plus extras!

The rest of the day, the children spent playing together and using the computer for longer than their usual allotted time, finishing with a delicious meal of Satay Chicken and some Miss Marple (yes, it was my turn to choose lol.)

Today’s funniest moment was watching Yasmine struggle to take the first bite of her chocolate teddy bear. It was so cute, she just couldn’t bear to eat it at first. LOL

Now, the day is winding down. Rellies have been called. Dishes have been done. Younger children are in bed. I have finally taken possession of the computer.

Happy Easter everybody. I hope you had as good a day as I.

My Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Valentines Day. You know it’s coming. The stores are scattered with chocolates, jewellery, hearts and roses. Retailers are trying to persuade you to show you care by buying your love the perfect present. Young men are screwing up the courage to ask out a pretty girl, or propose to their love. Relationships are moving to the next level – or falling apart altogether. In the immortal words of Tom Jones ‘Love is in the air…’. But what is Valentines day really? What does it really mean? What does it mean to you?

I can tell you what it means to me. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We don’t celebrate this day – haven’t for a long time. Why?

Well, to begin with, I don’t need Valentines Day to tell how much I am loved. Earth and I have been together a long time – sixteen years this coming March. We live with each other day in day out. We are comfortable in each others company. We have four beautiful children together. I know from the bottom of my heart that my husband loves me – he shows it every single day in a thousand different ways. I don’t demand chocolates or roses or diamonds as proof.

Secondly, it is simply one more expense that we do not need. Even Xmas and Easter are really only celebrated for the children. Tucked in between Xmas/Back to School and Annie’s Birthday/Easter/Butterfly’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day simply doesn’t make it onto the list of what is important to me – we surely have better things to spend our money on.

So, how do I feel about Valentine’s Day? Like many other holidays, it has become just another attempt to satiate corporate greed. Any true meaning is long gone.

What do you think?

The Chemist’s War


Prohibition (Photo credit: hublera)

It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball bat.

Before hospital staff realized how sick he was—the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom—the man died. So did another holiday partygoer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it. Within the next two days, yet another 23 people died in the city from celebrating the season.

Doctors were accustomed to alcohol poisoning by then, the routine of life in the Prohibition era. The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made people sick. The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came tainted with metals and other impurities. But this outbreak was bizarrely different. The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government.

Full Story:

Disaster Strikes by Eve Pownall

Wet Season storm at night, Darwin

Wet Season storm at night, Darwin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Australia’s past has had its share of great natural disasters. Our Continent is constantly seared by bushfires, parched by drought, and torn by cyclones.
Included in this collection are the stories of the great fire of 1851 that in one day burnt out the whole state of Victoria, and the cyclone that struck Darwin in the early hours of Christmas morning in 1974. There are also individual disasters, stories of people who suffered alone against the elements.
These events and others have been gathered together from newspapers, reports, inquiries, and other contemporary sources. They are not only a tribute to those who endured calamity with fortitude, but are events that we should not forget.
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: @@@@
Pages: 128
Year: 1982
Comments:These stories are written simply so intermediate readers should have no problems. A great way for children to learn about Australia’s history, the stories in this book are divided into the four elements of Earth (‘A terrible Journey’; Outback Surgery; Missing at Christmas), Air (Mountain Drama; Fury on the Wind), Fire (Colony in Flames; Inferno on Tuesday) and Water (Hurricane in the North; High Water over Brisbane; So Close to Home).