Monday, March 28, 2011

Sorry Peter heres a blog posting!

I can't believe I got into trouble at work today for not updating my blog! Does this man not know how busy I am? Obviously not.
I had zumba 4 nights last week after work, 3 dinner outings and I had to do some work for my employer, my husband, my mum and the neighbour. It's a wonder I haven't disappeared up my own whatsit! Speaking of which Lakshmi the Wonder Cat just did a horrible fart - well it wasn't me so it must have been her.
So, Labor lost the state election - no surprise there. I had the local member on the blower last week asking me to vote for her, I ran into the Independent candidate at the station on the way to work, and took part in a bodgy phone survey about the Greens candidate. It's the first time so many people have been interested in what I think!
Robin is now getting ready for India tomorrow - he's headed to Hauz Khas (where I stayed last year) so you can soon hear all about naughty Hydra and the goings on with Captain Ashram and the lovely school teacher. I do hope nobody else in the house dies this trip.
I'm about to get another horror bill from Optus - why didn't I think of getting an overseas calling card thingy before. DINGBAT. I got one from MR CALLS - great name and it works so I'm happy. Feel free to insult me over this.
On Saturday I went to a wedding of 2 friends - both on their 2nd attempt. It was a hoot even though the weather wasn't too flash and I got lost 6 times on the way. No worse than a couple  of taxi drivers who stuffed it up too. It was great to run into some old acquaintances. The minister was a funny old chook who had a bumbag full of 'useful' things for a marriage - rubber bands to remind you to be flexible, eraser to wipe out mistakes, Bandaids to patch up things etc. We were all crying with laughter as she was rooting though this overstuffed bumbag to pull things out, just like Mary Poppins bag.
And, on a very lighter note, I am leading the work footy tipping comp. I do not know how. Last week Malika, from India, was in front by using the zigzag selection theory. I'm not even that organised!
Here's a photo of a painting by our friend Manish Lal Shrestha. He does some wonderful contemporary work. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rain rain go away

Over 50mm rain in 24 hours = splish splash! Shame I forgot to shut the back door before I went to bed on Friday - by the time the cat alerted me half the kitchen floor was set. So was the fridge and the cupboards, and Lakshmi now had a swim-up food bowl. Not that she was very impressed by it.
Another busy week at work followed by Zumba on the Xbox every night except Friday. I'm just just as uncoordinated as ever. But having fun anyway.
Robin had to appear at the Indian Embassy during the week to prove he isn't a terrorist. When he left India to go to Bhutan last May, the immigration police chappie didn't have a rubber stamp so just scribbled whatever in his passport. So the embassy fellow in Nepal told him that he hadn't left India (clearly, since he was now in front of him in Nepal!) and needed to show up so that they could see he wasn't a terrorist. Not that they could say what terrorists look like. Ah, India!
Yesterday was the festival of Holi in Nepal and India. Celebrated on the full moon, it signals the start of spring. It's marked by the vigorous hurling of coloured powder and water bombs. In recent years it has become increasingly violent however, so the police in the 'du were ever vigilant to stop 'hooligans'. And quite right too. You can imagine how hard it is to get this stuff off your clothes and body. Not a day to be wearing chiffon. Robin very sensibly hid in the hotel till drinkies o'clock. I got to spend it shopping at the Target sale and watching the Tahs get done like a dinner. And a not very good dinner either!
But the BIG news this week is that Robin's guide book is OUT NOW! He got some sent to him in Nepal but I still haven't seen it - gotta wait for him to post me one.
Well it's time to watch The Amazing Race - I love how dumb some of the contestants are. Captivatingly awful TV.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Steamy in Sydney

To say it's muggy would be an understatement - I hung out some laundry and it's wetter than when I got it out of the machine! I think autumn isn't quite here yet judging by the sweat running off me.
Well this week has certainly been a busy old week - I was lucky to get to bed before midnight most evenings.The usual fun and games at work which keeps me off the streets in the daytime.
I've been trying to find all the files that got mucked up or deleted when some mongrel hacked Robin's website again. Finally got them all sorted about 10.30 on Thursday night.
Robin has now left the World Ex group and is headed back to Kathmandu. Once there he will catch up on all his email, and start to organise the India part of his trip. First job, get an Indian visa at the infamous Indian Embassy Kathmandu. I don't know anybody who has been there and left with a positive impression, but they are definitely better than when I first went there in 1993. Back then you had to wait about 2 weeks after you applied for them to send a TELEX to your home country to make sure you were legit or whatever. Then you had to go back and check in some locked notice boards to find your telex and alert a member of staff who would then finish their cup of tea, comb their hair, pick their teeth and emerge from behind the counter with a key to unlock the glass door on the noticeboard. After they retrieved your telex they went back behind their desk while you waited for them to process your visa. If it happened to tick over to 12 o'clock the windows closed and you had to come back the next day. A singularly frustrating exercise and a grand introduction to Indian bureaucracy. I gather it is somewhat more streamlined now. I await updates.
I've just come back from the weekly shop and my god the prices have shot up since the floods in Queensland and the Libyan bother. $3.49 for a lettuce!!! And diesel has gone up 15 cents a litre in just 2 weeks. Good thing it's just me and the cat I'm feeding or I'd go broke. Consequently my trolley looks pretty odd cos when something I use is on special I stock up - today it was cat food, Shortbread Creams, tea and bread. Plus a few vegetable items. Eww it  sounds like an old pensioner's shopping!
To add joy to the shopping experience we have the bonus of local members touting for our votes in the State election coming up in 2 weeks. No thank you sir or madam I do not want to know what you will do for me. They are all a bunch of self serving boofheads and not likely to get a tick in the box from yours truly. So there.
More problems with mother mean a meeting tomorrow wherein my sister and I will have to sit her down and set her straight on how things are going to be from now on - of course she isn't going to like it but we are left with little choice. When you can get help which you are unable to provide to allow someone to stay at home instead of going into care you can't afford to say no. Getting a place in care for the elderly is not an easy thing.  So that will be tomorrow taken care of I suspect. I'll probably need a stiff drink after it's all over.
Of course the big news is the dreadful earthquake and tsunami in Japan.I'm sure it will be some time before the full details of all the death and destruction are known. It certainly made for compelling viewing on the big screen as the huge wall of black water mowed down cars and buildings. And now I see there is a nuclear alert there. This could get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
Have a great weekend, hope your team wins.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There goes another week

Beautiful Olang
And Robin has almost finished his stint at leading stage 1 of the World Ex GHT Traverse. Today they are headed to the Nango La with Olangchungola in their sights. Olang is where my wonderful eye surgeon, Dr Sanduk Ruit, comes from. It's a small place which used to rely on trade with Tibet. Some of my boss Peter's in laws hail from there too. Must get Robin to say hi to them. It's the last biggish place the trekkers will see for a while. After Olang Robin heads off on his own for a bit, while Toni and Greg keep heading towards Makalu and a date with Stephen Venables who is leading the Makalu to Everest part, the most technical of the stages.

Here's a couple of locals from Ghunsa, where they spent 2 nights. Robin was terribly sad to leave Ghunsa yet again, as he found the people so delightful and welcoming there. Although it was Losar and supposed to be a celebration, there was not too much partying as there had been many deaths in the village the previous year. They had a goat for dinner as well as some rakshi - no party is complete without goat curry and rakshi. The school kids turned up to sing for them, and not just the usual songs. Apparently one little boy had made up a song about why you should be clean and wash your hands! How gorgeous. Some kids also came in fancy dress of wild animals - one little darling arrived dressed as a giraffe. Don't ask me how they managed to think that one up but I think we would all do well to beware the High Altitude Giraffes of Makalu!
On the home front it was a hectic week at work and then on Friday, just as I was looking forward to getting home and going across the road for Steve's birthday and the Super Rugby (the Tahs lost) I got stuck on Sydney's busted public transport system. It took me almost 3 times as long to get home on the stupid train. Got home, opened the mailbox and found a phone bill for $398 for the MONTH thanks to having to call Robin on the sat phone. Gawd! Thank heavens I don't have to do that for much longer.
I am pleased to report that I have had 100% accuracy with my weather forecasts for him, thanks in no small part to this wonderful website. Combined with my other sites of choice it seems almost foolproof. Let's see if it stays that way.
Mother has decided to be difficult now. We have a nurse come to her place morning and evening to make sure she has her tablets and something to eat, as well as a shower and any other things that need doing.Well, Edna May has decided she doesn't 'need' it, and so locks the place up and closes the blinds and hides so the nurse can't get in. And doesn't take her tablets or eat meals. She won't be long out of care if she keeps that caper up. But try telling her that.
Life goes on...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fun and games in Kanch

Greetings from the March Mayhem. I've been kept flat out this week with work, Robin and Perturbed Parent problems.
Mum is out of respite care (which started off disastrously but seemed to work out OK) and has really gone downhill - so much that we need to start looking for a permanent high care place for her. Meanwhile, we have nurses coming twice a day to make sure she takes her medication, eats, has a shower and whatever other things need doing. The whole thing is very stressful, especially for my sister who lives just a few minutes from mum.

I have been busily checking the weather forecasts several times a day - and lucky that I did. I was able to let Robin know that the weather was going to turn, so the happy trekkers had a dash for Kanch Base Camp on Monday and managed to get a view of the mountain - and that's not always possible. They also saw a snow leopard one day when they were stopped for lunch. Lucky! This is a view of the pass near Jannu from Robin's trip there a few years ago. On Sunday they head to altitude again for a pass so fingers crossed that the weather stays clear. One of the trekkers ,Toni, who is hoping to do the whole traverse, found the deep snow a problem on the dash to Base Camp - she's only 4 foot 11!
They are all back in the bustling metropolis of Ghunsa and are excited as tomorrow is Sherpa Losar (New Year) and so they are having a day off, a party and a GOAT! It will then be Tibetan/Buddhist year 2138. How to get easily confused. So, Happy Losar to everyone.
Right now I am enjoying a rerun of The Young Ones and I am pleased to report it is still as stupid as ever. I must be a bit juvenile as I still laugh at (P)Rick with a silent P. I can't decide if my favourite is Neil the lentil-loving peacenik, or Vyvyan the punk medical student.
Right, I'm going to enjoy the silliness on the box - I need it after the week I've had - and I still need to get through Friday!!!