Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A special Monday

Yesterday was a very special Monday for me, as I kept exclaiming to the Man Who Cooks as we drove around Castlemaine and environs. Why was it special? Because it was the first time in about 15 years that I did not have to work on the first day of the semester. The first weeks of each semester are always a very busy time and no one is allowed to take time off then. I no longer have these constraints. After about the third or fourth time of mentioning this gleefully, the MWC said I was not allowed to do this type of celebration again, but then I reminded him that really, the beginning of the FIRST semester is even busier and more frantic, and that I will be celebrating in March even more. He has conceded this, probably knowing that he has no say in the matter.

Thanks to those of you who wished me a happy mini holiday - it probably sounded grander than it was meant to be, but one shouldn't take these things for granted. We had a lovely time up there which, however, could have been diasterous. We were about 40 minutes from home when I asked the MWC if he'd packed the doona (he's in charge of packing the car, you see). Now, as Lee-Ann from Pear Tree Cottage mentioned recently (I thought of you as we passed Kyneton on the highway, Lee-Ann!), it has been mighty cold up in Central Victoria (mighty cold in Melbourne too, but at least there's the central heating). Turns out the MWC had the packing list, but once he'd ticked off all the food, he didn't bother with the rest of the list! Doona was written quite clearly just under the food items. (Just thought I'd point that out.) We weren't going to drive all the way back for it, but fortunately we keep in the shed 4 sleeping bags, and 2 army type blankets from MIL that are very effective. And so they were. We were plenty warm, even though it was cold enough that ice had formed on water in our tea mugs.

P.S. For non-Aussies, doonas are quilts, usually filled with goosedown.


Val said...

Errm - for your overseas readers - please, what is a doona? Ice in your mugs?? Eeeeek.

Alice said...

Sounds like the pioneering spirit in alive and well and thriving in Castlemaine. Glad you had a good weekend and a lovely beginning of semester in absentia.

Val said...

Val, thanks for the wake up call. I've put an explanatory P.S. in my post.

Alice, I love the sound of "semester in absentia"! Must remember that for a future post.

John Cowart said...

Doonas... As you brought up in a previous post, What language do you folks speak at home???

Sue said...

I'm also glad you added the PS for clairification. However, the mere thought of a quilt while sleeping sends shudder through me right now!
It should be much nicer here by Oct!

jellyhead said...

Hi Val,

Isn't that John Cowart rude and cheeky?! We speak perficktly gud Englush here.

I can just imagine your glee on Monday, especially a would-have-been-frantic Monday. Just think - no more Mondayitis for you, ever!

Val said...

Yes, Jelly, that John Cowart is cheeky. And he'll probably ask next what cheeky means. That and the word doona are only two of the many Australian words I had to learn when I came to Australia. I used to teach high school, and the very first question I was asked here I couldn't answer. The question was: "May we use a biro?" For non-Australians and non-Brits, that's a ballpoint pen - it was a brand name that no longer exists. But I couldn't answer that simple question! "How embarassment" as Effie would say. John, don't ask!

Silvia said...

Glad you had a good time. I am also glad you explained what a doona isas it is not what I thought it was!! I cannot Imagin Ice on anything in Australia. All I ever think of is boiling heat.

Alice said...

....and do you know why it's called a 'biro'? Because it was a Hungarian printer named Laszlo Biro who invented the ballpoint pen. So it's not just an Australian idiosyncracy to call it a biro.

Val said...

But I think it's pretty much confined to commonwealth countries, never heard of it in the U.S.


Alice said...

In the same way that Americans and the British call vacuuming Hoovering, although Hoover is only one brand of vacuum cleaner.

John Cowart said...

Hi Val,
Could not get my e-mail reply to work; No, I do not have the e-mail address you asked about.
Yes, I have never been called cheeky before.

DellaB said...

I am glad that you managed to get warm - I really really do not like to be cold - I once had a husband who unpacked ALL of the shirts & blouses I had ironed for a 10 day holiday to put something else in the bag - and didn't put them back!

[blouse = a shirt girls wear]

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

What a wonderful time you seem to be having and to think that you don't have to return to work.

I enjoy hearing/reading the way you Aussies talk...it's nice to learn the new words.

Val said...

Alice, I can't remember "hoovering" being used in the U.S. Has anyone else heard that used there? Of course, I've been here so long (32 1/2 years) that often I forget what is U.S. usage and what's Australian. My spelling too is a mixed bag. I don't put the "u" in words like "color", but I've switched to an "s" rather than "z" in words like "organise" and "cosy".

John, I don't think you would mind being called cheeky, it can have an endearing connotation!

Della, the word blouse seems to have disappeared here. I could swear that we used to see that word in the 70s. Is it still used in the U.S.? And I hope you used the blouse-less incident to go out and buy a whole new set of blouses! But gee, what a shock you must have got when you opened the suitcase!

AIP, don't pay too much attention to what I write and say for your Aussie education - I'm too mixed up!

Kali said...

Val ~ I had a smile spread right across my face reading this, for the visuals!
Glad you enjoyed yourselves and that you survived the cold without the doona.

ahhh, it's great to hear that you are enjoying your well earnt retirement!

Also wanted to say thanks for your birthday wishes :)

Kerri said...

Thank heavens for the sleeping bags and army blankets or poor MWC would've been in the doghouse!
No, I don't think we use the word 'hoover' here for vacuuming. We just vacuum (although I do it as little as possible :) I think it's more an English expression.
When I use 'cheeky' over here the yankies get a kick out of it..they enjoy our Aussie expressions :) I love to discover the different usage of words from country to country.
Glad you had such a fun first day of the sememster NOT working!
Fancy these men trying to boss us around...they don't know who they're dealing with, but they should by now! :)
Alice called me a duffer in an email recently. I haven't heard that expression in years. I love it!