Tag Archives: possum

Spiders,Snakes & Baby-Eating Dingoes

19 May

Meet Sara. Sara is from the UK, has just recently moved to Melbourne and is crashing at my place for a few weeks. Sara hates spiders.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate them just as much as the next arachnophobe. It’s not so much the actual spider, as it is their sneakiness. They go all Osama Bin Laden on your ass. “Oooh, ooh I’m over here!” “Ooops, hehehe, no I’m not, now I’m here” “Betcha can’t find me… hehehe one minute I’m over there, next I’m over here…TO EAT YOUR FACE OFF.” Then next minute before you know it- M.I.A. Waiting to resurface when you least expect it. The similarities are astounding.

So what I can gather with my limited knowledge and 5 minute conversation with Sara, our spiders shit all over UK’s. We have ‘Huntsman” because they will hunt you down and disembowel you (Joking! Sorry, Tourism Australia.) All last summer we had ‘Rat Spider”, an extremely large spider who liked to eat small children and hang out at our front door. Last I heard, Rat Spider went to Hawaii as winter was approaching. I’m hopeful he finds a nice hula-girl, takes up surfing and never returns to our house.

But you know what UK has? Get ready for this. Garden Spiders. Do they weed and fertilise your garden for you at an alarming speed? Do they mulch and plough with such vigour, it’s terrifying? Do they attack the roses in the night with aphids? Please.

Rat Spider


The Ominous British Garden Spider

Alis: Yeah, this spider was as big as my hand. Wait, maybe my head. **Enthusiastically demonstrates largeness of Huntsman**

Sara: **Makes incomprehensible sounds that only dogs can hear**

Alis: Relax. I’m 80% sure they don’t like cold weather so you probably won’t see any whilst your here. Same as snakes.

Sara: Snakes?

Alis: Oh yeah, we have 7 out of the world’s top ten deadliest snakes. Don’t worry I’ve never seen one here. Oh except for that one I saw swimming in the river, did you know snakes could swim? Me neither. Anyway, there’s usually some red-blooded male around that’s more than willing to cut its head off with a shovel.

Sara: Right. Well that’s good to know… Holy shitballs! What the hell was that?!

Alis: Oh that’s just a possum, they’re kind of cute right?

Sara: Aww, it has such cute eyes, and it’s fur looks so cuddly…

Alis: Mmm, word of warning. Don’t try to pat the possum, it will gouge your eyes out. And don’t freak out when you’re sleeping, they’ll bang all over the roof but just ignore it. Another thing. Be careful of koalas. Those fuckers look cute, but they’re feisty little balls of fur. Nearly killed my last dog, true story.

Sara: Killer koalas? *white as a sheet, starts grasping for a paperbag to breath into*

Alis: Oh my, I’m sorry sweetie. I didn’t mean to freak you out. Seriously it’s not that bad. The worst animals are up north anyway. Goanna’s, now they scare the shit out of me. They’re pretty much blind and quite often clamber up human’s legs thinking they are a tree. I do not want a metre long lizard with giant claws attached to me, no siree.

Sara: What? Are these blind lizards here? *glances behind her in terror*

Alis: Nah, up in Northern QLD. We went on a roadtrip up there, and I had to carry a frypan every time I went to pee in the bushes. No-one likes a goanna-bitten, you-know-what.

Sara: Well now, I can see your concerns. *mentally and unwillingly envisioning a goanna-bitten you-know-what* How was your roadtrip by the way? No accidents in the Wicked Van?

Alis: It was amazing. No accidents that I can recall… Oh wait. There was one incident with a large kangaroo. God I hate those fuckers. They wait on the side of the road, and then POW! 2 metres high of pure muscle and fur jumps out in front of your car. If you hit one of those puppies, your cars pretty much written off. There’s an urban legend that they kick through your windscreen and box the hell out of you. Evil. Fuckers.

Sara: I quite liked the TV show Skippy the Kangaroo. Until now.

Alis: Doesn’t UK have any scary creatures?

Sara: Not really. Garden spiders freak me out. And foxes and badgers. But that’s about it.

Alis: Ooooh, like Wind in the Willows? I bloody loved that book.

Sara: Errr, yeh kinda.

Alis: Did you know a Dingo once stole a baby here?


Beetroot & Port Toffee

22 Mar

aka DeathI know…. sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Well let me tell you from personal experience that Beets, Port and Toffee should never be put together. Ever.

Sunday night, candles, excitement in the warm autumn breeze… It was our annual girl’s dinner. An annual occasion when I stupidly decide to produce a 3 course meal for 6 eager and high-pitched females. There were a number of odds against me last night, all undeniably self-inflicted.

Day-long winery tours are unimaginably wonderful. Glass after glass of holy grape juice, party buses with loud music and even louder occupants. And the best bit? The looks from well-bred wine connoisseurs looking down their noses at us; the uncouth rascals of generation Y. What?! You don’t think it’s a good idea for me to do a drunk walrus impression on the tasting counter? Bollocks. It’s a brilliant idea. What?! The bus has left without us…. Oh no, scrap that, it’s just moved around the corner. Quickly, call all the troops I just txted saying I was stranded in the Yarra Valley. Crisis dissolved. As I said, winery tours are amazing. The next day is not so good. And so, when I decided to cook the meal the next night, well my hangover decided to kick my ass. Physically, mentally and spritually (OH GOD !!Why the fuck did I say I’d cook dinner??? That’s about as spritual as I get).

Oh yeah, and the recipe I decided to cook? Never cooked it in my life. But it was on MasterChef, so surely I could master it? Right…? Wrong.

Me: Hello Mr. Cute Butcher. May I please have one lamb saddle please?

Mr Cute Butcher: Sure sweetheart, flank on or off?

Me: Flank? That sounds hot… Umm, I’d like to say take it off, but unfortunately for this recipe, the flank must remain on. I think.

Mr. Cute Butcher: Flank on for the lady. So what are you exactly cooking? And what does the recipe ask for?

Me: See that’s just the problem! I reallllly don’t know, and it just says Lamb Saddle! (sweet, naive girly voice in full swing and roping cute butcher in)

Mr.Cute Butcher: That’s ok darlin’, we’ll sort it out. You just show me the recipe and I’ll handle the meat.

Me: Oh I bet you will!

Mr.Cute Butcher: Now, how long are you going to cook it for?

Me: Oh you! Hahaha. (cute girly laugh now working some magic)

Mr.Cute Butcher: Errm, yeh. So I think you should cook it for around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Me: Really? My recipe said 15. Crap this recipe is going to be a fucking disaster. God, I’m an idiot….(Head hitting on bench repeatedly in time with hangover migraine)

Needless to say my cute,pathetic,naive girly voice transformed to panicky, helpless, hopeless case who desperately needed some sedatives. I’m pretty sure feminists around the globe would have sneered at the irony.

With the odds against me, my dinner actually wasn’t too bad. Sure, the lamb was slightly undercooked, border-line ‘baaaaaaing’ and the spinach ball looked like a combo of a gallstone and a cat’s hairball. But the real ‘piece de resistance’ was most definitely the Beetroot Glaze. Iraq’s been developing a weapon of mass destruction- I can guarantee it shall be no match for our Beetroot Glaze. This shit could kill nations.

I tried and tried and just couldn’t get the fucking glaze to work when my bestfriend Kate stepped in and took the reins. I was relieved to hear she’d been hiding her masterchef skills for the last 25 years, and was indeed a gastronomical genius. So she set to work boiling the glaze (in her words – “If everything else fails, just cook the shit out of it!”) and it actually started to resemble an edible sauce, rich in colour and thick in substance. So thick, it started to resemble toffee like my mum made for my school fairs when I was a kid.

The exact moment I became suspicious of Kate’s culinary skills was when she nervously whispered to me that we would have to put the sauce on last minute before serving and run the gauntlet to the table as fast as we had ever moved in order to give everyone their meals before the toffee-like substance sets on everyones plate’s. Masterchef-in-hiding, my ass.

The beetroot glaze set rock-hard on everyone’s plates wayyyy before we reached the table.. From now on when we have guests over, I will have to explain why there is a deep crimson lump on each of our 6 dinner plates. Someone claimed to have broken a tooth, but I suspect they were stirring poor Kate. Another victim- the fork whose prongs were badly injured and deemed futile. A possum may or may not have been killed as a result of someone frisbeeing the beet-toffee into the trees…

And so, I repeat. Beet, Port and Toffee should never be put together.