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  Issue #153
The dark path to the nature strip is your destiny, BBQ

Mike's Pith & Wind - The BBQ
It’s hard rubbish time in Mt Waverley again. We pretty much missed the last one completely, so there was a lot of crap to stick out on the nature strip this time round.
The first item out there was the BBQ. I must’ve had this grand old Beef Eater BBQ sitting next to the nominal front door for about four years now, but despite the hopeful donation of a full gas bottle by my old mate Dr Wazzer perhaps as long as three years ago, I’ve not had the enthusiasm to even lift up the dust-encrusted vinyl cover to check if it’s actually usable.
Positively un-Australian I know. Positively un-manly I also suspect, but, although I admit to faintly admiring the saucy apron-clad blokes absent-mindedly twiddling with serried ranks of sausages hissing and spitting on the grill whilst discussing the footy with anybody who’ll listen, I can’t muster up the determination and derring-do to have a go myself.
So, when as a result of seeing junk piling up on the neighbourhood nature strips and an increase in the associated kerbside activity from Ausländer scavengers, discussion arose about the annual hard rubbish collection, Maria and I looked at each other and said this year the barbie had to go.
It was then I made the offer to take photos of the beast and put it up for sale on Gumtree. So when Maria went out for an appointment one late afternoon I decided to surprise her by taking some breath-taking shots of the never-used-by-me barbie and recouping... read more

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Dick's Toolbox - Grandparenthood
Well, that was easy. For the grandparents anyway. Less so for the daughter. And even less so for the very new grandson, Lachlan Ryan Griffin, as he is some time away from being able to speak and pass comment on his first five weeks. And by the time that he will be able to vocalise, the first few months of his life will really not exist. Probably mercifully as it all seems quite painful, fraught and difficult for all concerned. Quite basic and elemental in the first instance, but then quite soon transitioning into the well above average class.
Much later, he will be told by his parents at great length and probably to his embarrassment what he did and what he was like, but they will be speaking about someone else as far as he is concerned. We are all told how we were as babies, but your parents might as well be talking about a character in a film. There you are, a cute little figure in a fading black and white photograph stuck into the family album of life with those sticky triangular corner holders. To oneself what.. read more

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