Saturday morning, unable to sleep

I feel exhausted from getting ready to go on holiday. We’ve been packing, writing instructions, tidying and cleaning the house, and getting the spa cleaned and filled up. I wrote out to-do lists for both of us for this week – we each had slightly different tasks to assigned. Despite a full day yesterday I’ve been sitting here since 3:50am, unable to sleep. I’ve been listening to the Dixie Chicks through my headphones. We leave for Geraldton early on Monday morning. It will be a relief to be no longer getting organised for the holiday, and to be finally actually on holiday.

Books I’m bringing to Geraldton (I may not read them all – hopefully I will be too busy doing other fun things) are –
Two newies I haven’t actually read yet:
Humble Pie – Gordon Ramsay’s autobiography (interesting, for the American market, it appears to have been repackaged and renamed)
The Life of Elizabeth I – Alison Weir and perhaps
one of my old James Bond novels I haven’t read for a while – most probably Diamonds are Forever.

And of course, while we’ve been getting organised for the holiday this week, with just spectacular timing, both the VCR and TV in the lounge have decided they are ready for retirement – first the VCR started adding a thick layer of snow to everything played on it, rendering all videos unwatchable, and then on Thursday night the TV’s infrared receiver packed it in – we can still manually switch it on and off and use the buttons on the TV itself to change the channels and adjust the volume, but there is no way at all of selecting the AV channel – which we did via the remote – and so it is impossible to watch videos or DVDs on that TV now. Seeing as I record Jac’s favourite TV shows on the VCR so she can then watch them later and fast-forward through the ads, the VCR is no good for that any more, and of course, even if it were, we couldn’t watch them on the TV!

Anyway, my friend Adam and his wife have come to our rescue with the loan of a spare TV, and for the timebeing, I’ve shifted my VCR/DVD combo player out from the study into the lounge. (Yeah, we have separate TV sets and VCR/DVD players in lounge and study – this is because 1) we like very different shows and movies and it’s just easier for Jac to be able to watch what she wants in the lounge and for me to watch what I want in the study, since I’m usually in the study sitting at the computer anyway) and 2) sometimes I end up having to record stuff for Jac on the two VCRs at the same time – such as on Monday nights when she might be out playing hockey, and SVU and CSI are on at the same time on different channels.) I’m not that surprised about the VCR stuffing up – I’ve owned it well before I met Jac and well before DVD players became affordable for ordinary people like us. It’s had a life of heavy usage, having recorded lots and lots of TV, including multiple seasons of Water Rats, ER and X-Files over the years. It’s even been to the repair man a couple of times when tapes got stuck or chewed up years ago. We really have squeezed a lot of usage out of it. The TV used to belong to my parents, and it’s about 10 years old, I think – and so considering it was a freebie from my folks when our old TV died a few years ago, we can’t really complain. (Actually, I got the impression giving us the old TV was my Dad’s sneaky way of getting a new TV to go with their new TV cabinet – I’m not complaining, he was happy, we were happy).

The TV and VCR stuffing up are not a complete tragedy, but this has occurred at a most inconvenient time, with the holiday coming up and then Christmas (please, no holier-than-thou preaching about the evils of television bla bla bla- we know, we know, and while we actually don’t watch that much TV these days, we use the television for entertainment and relaxation, as is our choice – we do use our leisure time to do many more things than watch television, including activities that involve exercise and sunshine). Anyway…

EDIT: Oooh, re-read that last paragraph – don’t I sound crabby! *snort*

Yes, there is some food in this post. This was my dinner on Thursday night – takeaway from Maya Masala: a piece of chicken tikka (AU$2.50) *EDIT: original typo said $12.50 ooooops!* with chicken briyani (AU$8.00). The chicken was succulent and had a wonderful charred flavour. The bits of coriander on the chicken tasted surprisingly OK (regular readers will know I don’t like coriander leaves). The rice was tasty – curried with chunks of chicken and cooked tomato. I’ve become hopelessly addicted to that briyani. For $8.00 you get a takeaway container’s worth of briyani, which I usually find is enough for two meals – dinner and breakfast the next morning.

Chicken tikka and chicken briyani

Well, it’s now 5:37am and I’ve done what I intended – tired myself out so I can go back to bed and try to sleep again.

Hopefully I will get the chance to post a couple more times before we leave on Monday morning. I’ll be taking the camera to Geraldton, of course – and I plan to take lots of photos. I’m also bringing the laptop so I can download my photos to it each evening as well as write up my posts for the blog, but as I’m not sure if I will get to access the internet at all while we’re away, the site will probably not be updated until I get back. I hope I can at least check my email while we’re away. I’ll get terrible withdrawals if I can’t at least check my email!

EDIT: Oh, and I wanted to say thank you to everyone who left comments and sent me emails regarding Garnishgate. Thank you for spending the time to reflect on what I’d written and to express your responses and thoughts in writing. Having these dialogues with you (and not just on controversial topics :)) is what makes me keep blogging.

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