Friday, October 10, 2008

Maidens all for Lorne


If idylls are your bag...

The perfidy of strangers is not to be underestimated. The upstanding institution formerly known as House of Pants has crumbled into a pantry of paranoia over the last tumultuous year. Never before have its assets been entirely liquid and all I’ve been able to think about is that someone would just steal the whole kaboodle because it’s sitting like a duck in a soup, all in the one place – a bank! Little did I realise that my portents were in fact prophesies. Someone or something is trying to steal everyone’s money out of banks. The sooner the Pantsfolio gets sunk into land, the better. It’s considerably harder for strange forces of indeterminate inter-global evil to walk away with your house.

News reportage on the financial crisis occupies the same sanctum of creepiness as the Halloween movies for me so I’m only able to watch through splayed fingers and that has an odd impact on the numbers. I know it’s all jolly scary but I’m thrilled that Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown has moved to part nationalise British banks before they do a KLF on everyone’s pension. If ever there was a time to have a dreary tightwad at the helm it’s now. Plod away Scroogie. I do hope Australia follows this prudent lead as I have recently transferred the Pants retirement fund over, fearing it might not be safe in Europe!

But there is also occasional wondrous beneficence in this uncertain world. Ms O’Dyne, as you may know has taken me and Barney under her wing and put up with a shandrydan of shenanigans (mostly from Barney obviously) without a shred of complaint. It must be said that Ms O’Dyne does have some eccentric ways so there’s a degree of give and take. Incidentally, Barney does most of the taking and that has led to some friction, particularly in small rural towns where an owly-cat doesn’t readily blend into the scenery. It’s not as if you can say, ‘oh, he’s just out on remand and hasn’t quite got to grips with the right and wrong thing yet,’ and expect people to just grumble and go back to fiddling with their iPhones. Country folk want to know where you’ve come from, where you’re going and what you plan to do with the psychotic aunt you have locked in your cellar. Plans are something that Barney and I briefly consider we should make before one of us gets the bright idea to pour a G&T and put everything off until tomorrow. However, having surveyed the treasury of literary prizes on offer in Australia, Barney has now decided to pen his memoirs. He plans to call his opus The Owly-Cat in the Attic. I have advised him to get a little more life experience first – actually, make that a lot. I could use the break and the possums have been crying out for company.

The milky loveliness of generosity recently extended itself almost untenably as Ms O’Dyne was offered the use of a fabulous cliff-side mansion along the Great Ocean Road just outside of Lorne and asked us to join her. Barney quickly volunteered the services of the Pantiebago to transport the circus that is us to the seaside and, before you could say I left my wahini in Wangaratta, we were installed in mega-star luxury and supping G&Ts on the balcony, ingesting the gobsmacking views. We invited a few friends around for supper and it did get a bit lairy. Barney, of course, was in his element. He prides himself on getting down and dirty with the locals and needs very little encouragement to lick food off floors, tables, hands and frankly anything its able to stick to.

Unlike Barney, I’ve never wanted to be rich. There are some lifestyle trappings associated with the well-off however that I wouldn’t turn down. The new Seat of Pants is definitely going to have decent water views. They won’t be anything like this amazing villa where it feels like you're occupying the penthouse of a giant ocean liner, but my perspective will be of the same ocean. Good washing facilities too – the showers in this place were my idea of the perfect wet dream. Heating, obviously – my fingers and toes are in roughly the same condition as Sir Ranulph’s when he got back from Everest. And the only other thing I want is decent knives. When one has an owly-cat, one needs to prepare for any eventuality.

Please enjoy a selection of our holiday snaps below with captions by Barney.



Birdie Num-Nums

This Kookaburra doesn’t mince his words


Cock-a-hoop, the bar snacks are gratis!

Parrot Fashion


Foo Flighters - Enlarge this one to get the full meaning
Pity us, our lives are awful...

56 comments:

Brian Hughes said...

Miss Pants,

Thankyou for the postcard. I'm donning my best/least mouldy trunks and rubber life ring with humorous duick head attachment, and catching the next plane over there.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Brian

You'll be most welcome. I'm sure I can speak for the lovely people who own the house. Probably best if you don't mention our names though. Just walk in like you own the place and set those water wings down in the corner. It will turn out well.

xxx

Pants

JahTeh said...

To think I gave up all that to sit with my mother. I have a headache now.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Jahteh

Well, what can I say? Never turn down an invite (Barney will you shut the f...)

xxx

Pants

phil said...

Water views a Good Thing. Pity us trying sell Chateau VVB when the banks are only lending to Malcolm Turnbull.

Oh sorry, that's having a lend of him.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Phil

Oh no! I'm sorry, I thought you were done and dusted exchange-wise. I can't laugh. Banks are only guaranteeing $20K. That won't get me much of a house if the Commonwealth Bank goes under. Gloomy times.

xxx

Pants

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

If you were rich you'd have more money in banks, so more to worry about, just ain't worth it. Whenever I get any money I spend it as quickly as possible.

Buster very much likes the look of the feathered bar snacks.

That's So Pants said...

Your Dameship

Believe me, it isn't my habit to have money in the bank and the sooner it heads Tara-ward, the more comfortable I'll feel. The local supermarket has jumbo packs of wild bird seed. Guess you could say the locals saw us coming.


xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

Ripper bird photos Pants. What on earth was that song Wangaratta Wahini about? Made as much sense as My Canary has Circles Under its Eyes.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Andrew

Thanks. The birds were very tame so I'm not quite Steve Parrish I'm afraid. Yeah, good old Cap'n Matchbox eh?

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, It all looks too good, I'm coming to join you. I think you owe me for the hospitality I extended to Barney.

I did enlarge the Foo Fighters pic but don't think I got the full meaning.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

You're always welcome at Seat of Pants (wherever it may land). It's just that the two parrots seem to be doing a sort of kung foo thing with their little hands, although I can tell you they are holding little bits of almond. I guess you had to be there.

xxx

Pants

Ann O'Dyne said...

Yep "all forlorn" - I am pining for the place already, but not for the very steep road up to it.

That's So Pants said...

Don't fret Annie, I have a feeling you may be returning there very soon. Spooky, hey?

xxx

Pants

Caroline said...

Take it out and put it in a sock. Or better still, go on a stocks and share spending spree. I hear things are cheap at present.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Caroline

Now this is spooky. I was posting a comment on your blog at the same time as you were visiting here. What are the chances?

xxx

Pants

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh, I do hope you find an ocean view with the rescued and temporarily dormant pantpennies. Real estate is the only way to go. I'm so NOT itoldyousoing to my friends whom I warned 2 years ago to get out of the markets. Now they are all crying and more freefalling ahead.(Most are staying in the markets, yegads).
I'm quite envious of you and Barn and the lovely penthouse.
XO
WWW

Lunar Brogue said...

Almond-clasping parrots! That is posh.

That's So Pants said...

Hi WWW

I'm still nervous and it's only savings! Hopefully the agony will end soon for all of us and we can look forward to a rethink on the whole capitalist thing which turns out to be not so clever after all. Who knew?

Hi Lunie

Yep. Well spotted. The king parrots got almonds, the kookaburras and crows got the barbie mince and the cockatoo picked out the sunflower seeds from the wild bird mix and left the rest for the crimson rosellas. Quite a time we all had, I can tell you.

xxx

Pants

BlissHill said...

We stayed at Lorne on a trip through last year. It is a particularly beautiful place. We fed white cockies hot chips on our little balcony and I still have the photos.

Love your writing and sense of humour

xxx

That's So Pants said...

Hi Blissie

Well, the wildlife is hardly 'wild' in the traditional sense. 'Oportunistic' would be my word. Oh, and thanks for the ego boost too. I'm feeling particularly wretched of late. Every little helps.

xxx

Pants

Debi said...

Hi, Ms Pants. Thanks for the visit. The perfidy of strangers neatly balanced by the kindness of friends? Everyone should have a Ms O'Dyne.

R.H. said...

I'm taking you to a goat meat cafe in dirty Footscray,
I want to see if you've lost the common touch.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Debi

Yes, I am lucky. Ms O'Dyne has saved me from drowning in a cultural quagmire, for sure. Blog friends, can't beat em.

Hi RH

I've had more goat meat than you've had frothy lattes old chap. I just spent a month in India! Goat, rice and peas has been one of my favourite takeaways for years.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

So?

Who hasn't been to India?

That's So Pants said...

Barney, for one. He was interned at the time.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

How fortunate. They'd have eaten him.

That's So Pants said...

More's the pity.

xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

I think RH likes you Pants. He is inclined to swear and insult when commenting on my blog.

PS, just had another look at the photos. They are great and one day when you are old, you will fondly remember the birds at Lorne.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Andrew

Thanks. No mean feat to get 'action' shots on the Kodak, I can tell you. However, I think these natives might have been preconditioned over a long period of time and they did tend to hang around as long as the kitchen was open.


xxx

Pants

Ms Baroque said...

God, and there was me thinking I should go up to Springfield Park and see some nature... bloody hell. Ms P, I feel for you. And I know how you like having your space and your routines and all that, so even though this is all spectacular I know what it is for you... thank heavens for Ms O'Dyne!

I'm glad Barney is at least kind of behaving himself, at least I don't see hm up there trying to knock the cockatoos off their perches. I realyl think once an owly-cat has been raised in Hackney it will be incredibly hard to retrain.

I was in Mabley Street the other day, looking over across the playing field... I felt very wistful indeed, you may be interested to hear. And also: they have been landscaping the place: there is a gigantic sculptural boulder, at least ten feet tall, plonked right smack in the middle of the field now. In full Lake District mode, I could make out small figures clustering round the bottom of it. If you were still here I'm sure you'd have a job of it getting Barney off the top of that thing, you know.

Plus ca change, though: the talk was all of locking everything up because the gypsies are camping on the edge of the wood.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Ms Baroque

Well snapperoonies. Last night Ms O'Dyne and I were watching a documentary on Django Rheinhardt and I was relating to her the story of the last time travellers decided to park their itchy feet on Wick Woodland. These were crusties rather than Romany Gypsies btw. The end result after a year and a half of burning tyres and displaced wildlife, was fifty grand's worth of tree rehab. I think the most fearsome aspect of it all is the complete impotence of authorities whose only response is to call anyone who complains about environmental destruction a nimby and a racist, the immediate impact of which is to incite actual racism as one group perceives another of getting away with wanton vandalism while they themselves would be staring at four walls if they so much as dropped a crisp packet in the street.

Of course Romany Gypsies have been setting up temporary homes around Hackney Marshes for decades and their official site has been subsumed by the Olympic menace. I do miss London terribly. Most of the time I'm better than I thought I'd be but when I do have a bad phase, it's much worse than I anticipated. Hopefully things will settle down soon. You know how superstitous I am so I can't say more than that at the moment.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

There is nothing whatsoever I would miss in this dopey country, if my adversaries here can get me the cash I will go and live in Santa Monica.

Truly.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Santa Monica hey? Your 'adversaries' would need to dislike you an awful lot I'd say to amass the sort of wad needed to decamp to SM. Good luck with that one.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Yes well I'm hopeful, they just have to despise me a little bit more.
I'm working on it.

That's So Pants said...

Piece of piss - and, I imagine, a lot of fun.

xxx

Pants

swimmer6foot4 said...

Dear Ms Pants,

Yesterday, en route to Stratford, the over-crowded North London Link train I'd squeezed onto at Dalston came to a standstill ... just outside Hackney Wick. I'd already had a lengthy chat with the handsome artist who was struggling to carry aboard a six-foot high sculpture of a Kalashnikov rifle - and who was now competing for space on the train with passengers, cyclists and a tiny mum with an enormous buggy.

Some five minutes after we'd come to a standstill the guard made an announcement. At least, I think he made an announcement. Or perhaps he'd accidentally switched on then dropped the microphone whilst clearing his throat. Either way, the noise was incomprehensible. Thinking it was just me who hadn't understood the tannoy I turned to a passenger nearby and asked him what was said. He was none the wiser too but seemed willing to chat. However, on looking into his eyes I was struck that one of his eyes was grey brown and the other a striking blue. I've not seen such an overwhelming - and beautiful - phenomena since that fateful day in 1974, when I sat on the knee of a beautiful man (in Hell nightclub, off Covent Garden), flirted with him and kissed him on the cheek. It was only later that I discovered he was the, then openly bi-sexual, David Bowie. Conversation faltered as I struggled to deal with this sensorial flashback to my youth.

At last, all remnants of conversation petered out, the train engine was silenced and, apart from the light buzz-saw snoring of the man beside me, the only noise came from the birds roosting in the trackside shrubbery. The sky was clear and the late afternoon sun shone directly into the carriage.

I was en route to yet another boring session of staring at flaky magnolia paintwork while the clumsy staff at the Royal London pump toxic chemicals into my body but - for that moment - on a crowded train carriage outside Hackney Wick - the world seemed to stop still and feel absolutely peaceful and benign.

Then came a piercing - but this time audible - cry: "We apologise for the unavoidable delay which was due to an animal on the track. We will be moving again shortly" And seconds later, we were off.

An animal! On the track at Hackney Wick! How bizarre, I thought. And, though I haven't ventured onto the internet for absolutely ages, my thoughts turned to you, and I wondered: "What would have been Ms Pants take on this Hackney Wick happening?"

So, prompted by that thought, I visited your blog and am overwhelmed by the views you have of the sea and wildlife. Yes, I know that I am damn lucky that Gospel Oak station and the Men's Pond are less than 15 minutes away from here on the North London Link/SilverLink/London Overground (ever changing nomenclature but the trains stay the ruddy same), but I still feel a twinge of envy for your views of the wildlife and the sea.

Also, I'm well overdue a visit to Kew so, in preparation, I went online earlier today and came across this Pants picture (from a blog entry about the Royal Botanical Gardens in Victoria, Australia) which reminds me of you. I hope you like it.

I get the impression that you are enjoying your move to Australia, and if so I am glad. It also inspires me to get out of Hackney a bit more.

With best wishes,

Swimmer6foot4

That's So Pants said...

Swimmer dear! How absolutely delightful to hear from you and thank you so much for the wonderful link too. I do hope your treatment isn't too debilitating and is making you well. I've had my moments with the move but mostly I'm okay about it now. You could get out of Hackney more - it always worked for me. Victoria may well be overkill but if you do decide to venture forth, you will always be welcome at House of Pants.

xxx

Pants

trousers said...

At times like this I wonder if I'm the only person who has nothing, but also owes nothing. Would that this might render me immune to the current problems, but I doubt that to be the case.

Anyway - another delight to read, and the pictures are just wonderful. Frustratingly, the same thing has happened as ever it does when I'm chez pants - I see a lengthy piece of writing and think, oh, I'll come back to that later. Then I take ages to actually come back, and when I do, I always enjoy it and wish I'd read it sooner.

C'est la vie.

(Incidentally, the word ver is "wynamnxg" which started out sounding - to me, anyway - like an Australian place-name, but then ended up more sort of Chinese(ish). I'd better stop now)

That's So Pants said...

Hi Trews

Lovely to hear from you as always. It is really quite a delight to hand feed birds. The conservationists tell you not to do it because the birds will starve if people stop feeding them. This seems quite flawed thinking to me as 1) this will never happen as long as Australians have barbecues and the local supermarket continues to stock wild bird seed 2) parrots and cockatoos live to be much older than most people so they must be quite good at staying alive. 3) the pleasure seems to be quite mutual and that's a good sign the behaviour will continue on both sides.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Andrew. I'm conducting a suit with this woman. It's usual. You wouldn't know. Comment when you start chasing women yourself (shop lifters don't count).

Laurie said...

Hello Ms Pants - I came across your blog via Phil's Veni Vidi Blogi. I must say - you have a wonderful turn of phrase. This is excellent writing - I'll be coming back for more.
Cheers
Laurie

P.S. Did the Great Ocean Road trip earlier this year - wonderful!

That's So Pants said...

Hello Laurie and welcome

Thank you. It isn't often we get new commentators at the Pantiebago - most people take one look at the assembled rabble and run a mile. I'll pop in to see you, if you think the neighbourhood can handle it.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I'm taking you to the Spottiswoode pub, a very intimate place surrounded by factories. It is a very old place, a place time forgot and wouldn't like to remember. 'Broken-down' in other words. Yes, but with a very nice publican who at fifty-eight has won the Dirty Boogie Dance contest five years running. What a star.

Reading the Signs said...

"assembled rabble"? Damn cheek. Take no notice, Laurie, we are all scholars and intellectuals here.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

I think I passed Spottiswoode on the train. Looks nice, like the kind of place where they still chill the white wine and not in an ironic way.

Hi Signs

Quite right. It's people like you who prevent the tone from sinking entirely.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

That's right. And until recently it had a banner outside showing a lady in underwear and the words "Topless Waitresses and Foxy Bairmaids". I've wanted to go in and see what a Foxy Barmaid is because I've no idea, but now the sign has been removed and I think probably after complaints from social-science ladies rattling past on the train to Williamstown.
"Inappropriate" is the word, I believe

R.H. said...

It's embarrassing for me but maybe endearing for you to know that before I take a lady out to dine I always check the place first. The Spottiswoode has three main dishes:
1. Rissoles with french fries.
2. Rissoles with mixed vegetables.
3. Rissoles with mashed spud and peas.

Knowing you've been in pommyland a while I thought you might like a plate of kippers but they've never heard of them.

R.H. said...

Apparently the truck drivers like rissoles so that's all you can get. But there's a bit of variety there so what do you reckon, counter lunch Saturday?

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Rissoles it is then. Is it OK if I bring Barney? He's king of the rissoles.


xxx

Pants

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Rissoles it is then. Is it OK if I bring Barney? He's king of the rissoles.


xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I like it so nice when you say it twice.

R.H. said...

Yes cats are welcome at the Spottiswoode, the mice have been getting a bit arrogant lately.

That's So Pants said...

Damn, damn. I couldn't remember how to delete comments. I hit the button twice. Other people's computers drive me nuts too btw. I've just put up a new post.

xxx

Pants

swimmer6foot4 said...

Thank you so much Ms Pants - I may well take you up on the kind offer! In the meantime I have been invited the Kew Gardens and when I take up the offer there I shall think of you and your exotic foliage.

Some blogs ban poetry, others ban jokes; so feel free to ban the following unsolicited joke (I know very few jokes and this one is about rissoles).


A nervous and somewhat naive young woman walks into a cafe and checks out the poorly printed menu. The snooty and impatient waiter approaches and demands to know what she wants. She quickly points to the first item on the menu and says: "I'll have the pissoles please."

"That's not a P, that is an R!" he exclaims disdainfully.

"I'm sorry," she says, "in that case I'll have the R-ssholes."

That's So Pants said...

Ha, ha Swimmer. Most wry.

xxx

Pants