So glad you've come...

Welcome to Tigressland, my own personal little corner of the Internet where I hang out expressing my views about the smaller things in life. No controversy here (I'm saving that for the book lol) just the everyday minutiae that add up to my rather unpredictable, but always fun, life! So pull up a cushion and come chill.....and follow! We bloggers love it when you follow ;-) ~Tigress

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Falalalala and all that sort of carryon.....

Guess what time of year it is...

Oh you noticed.

So what gave it away? Was it the sudden influx of tinsel strangled trees that began loitering in every lounge room and business across the nation? Maybe it was the endless round of bell jangling Christmas songs on the radio....or perhaps it was the TV commercials.....the many, many, many TV commercials designed to guilt every parent alive into buying their children even more crap they don’t need.

The endless countdowns on Facebook don't exactly keep it a secret either

It's like a month of pure insanity and cortisol producing mayhem

All that fighting off of millions of other shoppers for bargains and car parks; that extra cool (not) dwindling of the bank account right before your very eyes; not to mention the planning of who’s going to be where and when and what the hell they will be’s not like that’s stressful at all.


But it’s not all bad news. I felt, as Tigress, it was my duty to my, possibly stressed out, readers to put a more positive spin on things, So here they are, The Tigress's 12 positives of a modern Christmas.

1, Ageism takes a break (sexism doesn’t, but ageism does), I mean when else is it cool to be old, fat and unshaven! Some guys must wait all year for this.

2, If you’re an Atheist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or other Non standard Christian in the West you get a free holiday for no reason at all (shame we can’t pay for everyone’s religious hols but that would kinda screw the economy – though feel free to swipe December 25th to celebrate whatever you like ....apparently the Christians did ;-))

3, Leftovers: ham and trifle for days, it’s fabulous.

4, No one expects you to diet. If you’re gonna fall off the wagon in a food consuming capacity, today is the day to do it, not a frown will be cast....they'll be too busy stuffing food in it.

5, Christmas lights (oh come on, who doesn't like Christmas lights?? GTFO à)

6, If you propose at Christmas, you'll never forget the date....well played.

7, You get a chance to buy small tokens of appreciation for people you kinda fancy without coming off as weird or intense.

8, Family dramas can be the inspiration for a book or movie plot

9, You can be thankful for having a small house: nowhere to put relatives, good excuse not to host the whole shebang, less space to clean up if you do.

10, If you live in a place where Christmas is in summer you get to point and laugh at all your northern friends freezing their asses off.

11, If the cat destroys your Christmas tree, at least it makes for an amusing Facebook video....not to mention the revenge of dressing said cat up as a reindeer and circulating that pic too.

12, Mistletoe.....whether over your head or in your back pocket, may it achieve the desired results ;-)

Happy holidays everyone <3 Bring on 2015!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The cat's got my tongue...

Good evening minions.

This is your ever omnipotent dark lord of the universe, Maximus, speaking.

I feel the time has come for me to voice my concern over recent events in the household and since no one in seems to be listening to a damn word I meow around here, I felt it was time to go public, vent my outrage and frustration as it were at the atrocities occurring within my very own domestic sphere.

But I have limited time. One of the humans may enter at any moment as the bindings were not that tight (there is only so much one can achieve with no thumbs).

It appears we have rodents, in fact we are positively INFESTED with the damn things (well there are at least two of them), but no one is lifting a single finger to do anything about them! I know I know, the health risks of vermin are terrible (preaching to the converted here) but it seems my humans care not a jot. In fact I feel they are even encouraging the little perpetrators’ presence!

I'll give them credit, the invasion did appear sudden (and hell only knows they scared the bejesus out of me when I first saw them) but it’s been over three weeks now for Cleo’s sake and they’re not even trying.

No traps have been set, nothing.

At first I thought perhaps the humans were simply afraid of the newcomers and did not know how to approach the situation. But the more I observe through the flywire the less I like what I see.

They’re into everything, including everything of MINE. They were on my climbing frame yesterday (the fact I rarely even acknowledge its presence is irrelevant, it’s still MINE). Armchairs: MINE, table chairs: MINE, table in the bedroom all MINE, MINE, MINE!

And they’re infesting the lot of it.

Even my own human ponged of the rank midgets the other day.

It seems all three infidels have succumbed to the intruders’ mind melding techniques, even the tallest one (he appears to be the Tom of the house) has been spotted cooing over the little whiskered wormballs. Though he has been somewhat of a suck up at the moment, he is simply not doing his job. He is just not home enough to instil the discipline and pest control this place so obviously needs.

It’s just not on.

And the little thugs are clearly illiterate, they cannot even understand basic hiss! I bare fangs and voice my staunch disgruntlement and all they do is look at me like I'm speaking dog. I would have thought “Sod off you flea ridden, daughters of Hades” would have been comprehendible in any language, but apparently not....

Argh, I all just too much....I feel I may need my smelling salts

*from elsewhere in the house*: “Max?”

Curses, the thumbed ones have escaped.

“MAX?! Where ARE you?!.....Oh My God! Get off there!!” I really gotta argh..aflqqawfsfbnv,n,m, *publish* ljkadjasbv!

To be continued.....


Thursday, 11 December 2014

It's all in the getting there

I thought I would give my computer a thrill last night and actually turn it off (I am a chronic ‘hibernator’ of my laptop you see), but I got rather a lot more than I bargained for when 15 windows updates later it finally allowed its fan to halt into silence.

Forgetting all of this I come leaping with joy and enthusiasm (well walking earnestly anyway) into the office room this morning to settle down to a hard write when I note that a wiggle of the mouse does not awaken my bear of a computer from its slumber.

“Oh that’s right I turned the damn thing off”, I mutter and immediately press the go switch.

Half an hour later (oh all right, it was only about 8 minutes, but it seemed like half an hour) my computer had finally finished updating, installing, testing, opening files, unpacking its toys, making its coffee and whatever the hell else it felt it needed to do before it would let me use it.

In the interim, I got to thinking....

Not so very long ago, this was standard practice....starting your computer and dialling up the Internet took ages and it was often a hit and miss affair at best. Merely sending an email was quite the achievement and as for downloading them...well...if someone sent all their wedding photos or something, it was very much your turn to make the coffee, drink it and go back for a second cup before the process was even halfway done.

But at the time we thought it was just brilliant. It is all, of course, relative.

When the Internet and email were new, we were fascinated with the concept of rocketing information across the ether and having it reach another person in a far off location within minutes, sometimes seconds. It was all most clever, except really we had been doing this for years via the old school methods of phone and fax.

And this is where stuff gets a bit interesting. While it is obvious that the Internet (developed in the 1950s and used successfully by the US Department of Defence under the name ARPANET in the 1960s) is the most recent of the technologies here, one would be forgiven for thinking that fax (facsimile) machines are a relatively new concept compared to the phone.


According to the youngest sibling: the aforementioned Internet, Alexander Bain obtained a patent for his ‘Electric Printing Telegraph’ in 1843, Frederick Bakewell made several improvements on Bain's design and produced a telefax machine a little later, and by 1865, a dude called Giovanni Caselli had introduced the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon. 

Some 11 years before Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the telephone. 

Well who'da thunkit? 

Though the predecessor to all this carryon was of course the telegraph and while Samuel Morse patented his version of the invention in 1837 (inspired by hearing too late of his wife’s illness and death to be able to make it home in time for anything other than a visit to her gravestone), others around the globe had had their ears to the grindstone on various telegraphic devices since 1804.

And, while we’re at, it was Morse’s assistant, Alfred Vail, not Morse himself, who actually developed what became known as Morse Code.

Samuel Morse is also credited with saying, upon the opening of the telegraph line between Baltimore and the U.S. Capitol building: “What hath God wrought?” And that’s fine, coz he actually did that one.

So what were the options before that?

Pony Express?

Well that was actually around at the same time as the telegraph (in 1859 – 60 to be precise) but because the telegraph system was not yet widespread in America people were still in need of a way to transmit information fast and these guys got your message from one coast to the other in as little as 10 days. Which was mighty jolly quick in those days. 

Previous to that?

Well it’s been the same story for thousands of year....good old snail mail (though delivery methods have varied). Since almost the birth of writing, delivering information via ‘mail’, as it would come to be known, has been the most efficient way of letting those at a distance know what’s up. The first organized system of doing such is believed to have been in Egypt back when the Pharaohs needed to sling their weight around on frequent occasion and keep the plebs in line with a decree or three.

Prior to that of course, some poor sod had to either ride or walk to the neighbouring village/tribe and tell them personally what was happening on their end of the trail.

Primitive and painfully slow you may think, but at times I can see the merit in this method. Only really, really important information was transmitted. I really doubt someone would have wandered several miles merely to share a drawing of their dinner, or acquire an audience in order to recount the latest antics of the village idiot.

*stares blankly at her 50,000 unread emails....flicks to Facebook......scrolls through the day's posts*

And God knows what the Pharaohs would have made of all this malarkey

Though on the upside, I bet they would have got quite a kick out of the cat videos. :)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A clowder of cats

It is very difficult to be angry at a kitten.

Well unless you are a big white cat called Max, then you can be highly pissed off with no trouble at all. But on the assumption that you are humanoid....kittens are very hard to be miffed at and I should know because I now have two.

Yes, that’s right, the Kevman and I are now the proud adoptive parents of two wee tabbies that are just the most darling balls of fluff you ever did see. Borderline psycho, but darling nonetheless.

Though it was a somewhat unexpected adoption.

It all started some weeks back when we visited our mates’ place and couldn't help but comment on the plaintive wailing emanating from the neighbour’s property. Our friends were at their wits end with it and on that particular night (the third of the racket) decided to investigate. Thus the adventure began. What started as a date night with Jack Daniels turned into an assault course of roof climbing, fence dismantling and tunnelling under the edge of a neighbour’s junk shed to extract four abandoned kittens.

And cute little felines they were too, but after much cajoling on the part of our friends the Kevman remained steadfast that no new mogs were entering our house; especially ones that needed round the clock feeding and care.

Fast forward several weeks and whaddya know, someone has been having a wee cogitate and decides that some more feline presence is just what that household needs (and they reckon women are changeable!)

“I think I’ll give them a text so they can bring the kittens round and we can pick one.”

I took his forehead temperature with the back of my hand.

“Sure” I said evenly, careful not to intrude into his deep thought and message composition. I felt it unwise at this juncture to point out I'd be the poor shmuck left cleaning up after them most of the time as I had to admit I had become rather fond of the thought of a new kitty or two and didn't want to do anything to jeopardize the mission.

Sure enough, an hour later, around our friends came and then it was my turn to cajole: “But sweetie, they can keep each other company if we get two”


*sweetest smile*

*stern eyebrow*

*look that suggests he is the love of my life and I would never wish for anything ever again*

*defeated sigh*

And thus Merlot and Shiraz came into our lives.

And it’s been a smooth week all up. All the hard work has been done: they’re litter trained, healthy, playful and eat and drink like champions

Unfortunately Max (who belongs to the Kevman’s resident Gypsy Niece) is not nearly so enchanted. Upon sighting the new occupants of the house, his face contorted into a severe frown and he looked at us much like we had pooped in his food bowl. If a cat could say “What the f**k?!” that would have been about the time we would have heard it.

We have attempted a gentle introduction, but in a blur of fangs and fur he scarpered like a...well like a scalded cat really. He was not having a bar of it. The concept of sharing his bachelor pad with two juniors of the species is apparently not something that is coming naturally to him. In fact he gives the strong impression that he would rather peel his ears off with a blunt instrument than have anything further to do with them.

We could be up for some challenging times here (and no doubt a few more blogs), but in the meantime we are enjoying the pitter patter of tiny paws and the fact that they aren't heavy enough to break anything.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

It's all a bit crafty really....

It’s not that I have an addictive personality.....

Ok, I have an addictive personality

But it’s not like I mean to get absorbed in an activity for days on end. Time just sort of escapes me....scurries out the cat flap like a midnight ninja before I even have a chance to notice it was there.

But I have been using this escapee time productivity, I promise. I've been on a bit of a craft bent of late and anyone who has any sort of crafty inclinations will know where I'm heading with this.

First it was crochet....found some amazing wool, ‘boom’ a knee rug is born (perfect for a gift)
Thought about a shawl but then.....

Knitting: Hat, two scarves and halfway through a baby’s jersey (also perfect gifts)

But then I got a cross stitch idea

But I want to finish the jersey

But I got a really cool cross stitch idea!

And so the cross stitch phase begins. There is no controlling it I tell you, it’s like its own life form!

*Booming Godlike voice*: “You will craft or die!!”

“But the dishes need done....”

“Who cares! Thy needle shall not lay dormant!”

Like I’m gonna argue with the Craft God

Now as multi-talented as I may be, I can’t help but be aware of the fact that once upon a time many women used to dread this crap. “Come come, sit with your needle work, it’s not going to stitch itself now is it?” while they’re secretly sitting there yearning to go and poke some mofo with a sword or something much more exciting. But these days, after a day of physical and mental conquest, it’s more than therapeutic to sit down and quietly stab cloth and wool with sharp objects.

Saves on voodoo dolls.

And like the soup of a blog previous, I suspected there was quite the history to all this, though as it turns out, people have been making soup for a fair while longer than they have been cross stitching. The oldest cross stitch items are considered to be Celtic but the Egyptians were pretty keen on it too back in the day and many examples have been found buried in various tombs.

The oldest example found in the U.S of A is a sampler created by Loara Standish, daughter of Captain Myles Standish, and pioneer of the Leviathan stitch, circa 1653. (You can sleep tonight now you know that)

What I found a tad fascinating was that the two most common threads (DMC and Anchor) have been around since the 1800s! Well they must be doing something right.

Now the invention of the sewing machine in 1851, did put somewhat of a dent in the hand sewing habit but since the 1960’s it's been all go again. Even the young bods are getting into it and are bringing their modern tastes with them. In the UK, for example, one can now hang out at a “Stitch and Bitch” meeting, enjoying some stichery and a spot of hard core goss all at the same time.

Sounds pretty cool actually

What I was really curious about though (as one would expect with me) was how the gender divide was standing on this. While we are no doubt progressing in the content of the stitching....sugar skulls are now available alongside sunset scenes etc etc, are the guys busting out their needles and getting into a bit of stitch craft these days or is it still only the domain of the ovaried?

Well the stats aren't looking fabulous to be honest, but there are few guys entering the fold and one in particular is owning it nicely. So I'll leave you here with Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr X Stitch. Join him and his fellow crafters on his website or read a most excellent blog article about him on Urban Threads' StitchPunk site (both links below).

I, however, had better go...I feel an electricity in the air and my hands are starting to twitch

“Where is your needle?!”

All right, all right I’m going!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Pains in the arse...and other places...

Human beings do some pretty dumb shit at times.

And I'm not just talking about those who try to mimic their favourite YouTube stunt and consequently break their face off. It’s usually on a much simpler level than that.When it comes to our personal well-being, we’re just often not that bright.

While the diet and exercise industry makes a killing off our desires to ‘be healthy’ We don’t always pay attention to the other messages our body is sending. In fact “I'm fine” would have to be the biggest line of bullshit we feed the world (and ourselves half the time) and we really gotta knock that shit off. We often leave aches, pains, swellings, rashes, fatigue and digestive difficulties etc etc etc unattended until they really start to get stroppy...and thus make healing take twice as long.

And when we finally do go to a doctor we only do a half-arsed job of following what he or she says.

“I don’t like doctors” is a popular refrain here, the go to excuse when you really know you should go but just don’t wanna.

Ya know what, they’re probably not all that fond of you either...just putting it out there. They smile, they listen, they diagnose and they prescribe knowing full well you’re not going to take heed of the majority of health advice they, drink plenty of water etc.....hell, they'll be lucky if you even take the full course of tablets they prescribe at the times you’re supposed to.

 “I don’t like taking pills” Here we go again. My knee cap is falling off but stuffed if I'm taking any of those pills and anti inflammatory crap.

Hell no, why would you want to decrease the stress on your body that the pain and inflammation causes to make to make it heal faster. Just silly really.

And who needs to take the whole lot of those antibiotics; feel better after two days but the doc’s given you a whole week of the damn things. Yeah you do that buddy.... you stop taking them, so the bugs that remain have a chance to get stronger and make you sick again....and if you’re real lucky, they'll now be immune to the original anti-biotic and you'll need a stronger one, or better yet, there won’t be a stronger one which means you've CREATED A SUPERBUG!

Pleased with yourself?

Don’t get me wrong, some doctors aren't the best, they blatantly ignore nutritional options (whole ‘nother blog right there) and from what we hear about Big Pharma paying off the ones in America, well there is definitely cause for concern. But on the small scale, we got to do out bit.

For example, if your vision’s a bit dodgy and you’re feeling rather faint...get your ass to a doc. You've probably just got a vitamin or mineral deficiency but they’re just the people to be able to tell you which one you’re lacking. Failing that you could indeed have brain cancer but smaller tumours are easier to remove than big ones so either way, early detection is probably a good thing

In short there are a few things to watch for that will give you a good indication of when it is medical professional time.

According to several websites, they are as follows
1) New symptoms that have come about either suddenly or gradually but worsening. Things such as headaches or stomach pain that is very occasional and relatively mild is probably nothing to be too concerned with. The same things that suddenly appear and quite severely or gradually worsen over time are sufficient to sent you to the local medic for a once over and maybe some tests.
2) Common cold and flu symptoms, particularly coughing, that last more than two to three weeks. Colds and flu can sometimes be quite intense, but should sod off again once they have done their biz. If this doesn't happen then it is time for medical input to perhaps check for bacterial infection, immune system deficiencies or other problems.

3) Vomiting and diarrhoea continuing for several days and/or accompanied by blood where it shouldn't be and signs of dehydration (such as very dry mouth and armpits, confusion, and decreased urination). Green or black vomit is doc worthy as well (I didn't even know you could vomit in those colours.).

4) Pain or discomfort that stops you living your life normally or performing certain regular activities. Yes you may just me an unfit sod, but you should be able to get fit if you so desire without pain stopping you. So go get it sorted.

5) Anything that affects your breathing or swallowing as well as chest pain. Kind of a no brainer don’t you think.

6)  Psychological difficulties that are not going away. It’s ok to feel sad and negative sometimes, it’s not ok to feel sad and negative for six months, get help. If you find your moods often shift dramatically, you are addicted to certain substances or behaviours with negative consequences or that you have marked anxieties and/or difficulties in social situations, this may also be an indicator of a larger condition or imbalance in hormones and/or brain chemistry. Telling someone is important, it does not mean you are a wimp, it means you are onto it enough to know that something isn't right or that you are no longer in control of the situation and you need the professionals on the job. Just do it. Trust me on this.

This is not an exhaustive list. Basically, if something doesn't feel right, just go, especially if you have previously had a major condition, such as cancer, or the patient is elderly or a child.

And follow up for God’s sake. If the medicine doesn't work or you develop new symptoms...back you go. Some things take a bit of trial and error to work out. Your doctor is not a diagnostics computer that converts symptoms into basic error messages. He or she is human and has to work it out the hard way.

The easy thing is to start the investigation on time...that’s something we can all get smarter at.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Some soup for the soul...

I have a million things I would like to write about this week but, well, this Tigress is feeling a bit tatty round the edges to be honest....just a tad under the weather. And tempting though it is to distribute my thorough disdain for certain affluent socialites following their ass being shoved in my face via social media all week....I shall resist.

For now.

So consequently much of my time today has been allocated toward napping and making soup. It seems that one can’t go past an all inclusive meaty broth to comfort thyself during times of duress....or whenever you’re just feeling generally pathetic, a phenomenon I have comprehensively covered right at the moment.

Thus I got to wondering, as I do, about just how long this practice had been going on for. As it turns out....people have been seeking solace in the soup pot for quite a while now

According to my chums at, soup came on the scene about 6000 BC....probably due to the development of waterproof containers in which to boil it. After that it kinda just kept on developing.

The word soup, so I'm told, comes from the French soupe ("soup", "broth"), which, in turn, comes through Vulgar Latin suppa ("bread soaked in broth") from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word "sop", a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

Glad they came up with something to call it. Could you just imagine: “Oh hey, come over for some noms, I'm making my famous boiled water with carrots, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and half a cow in it, you'll love it”

Menus would be a nightmare.

Speaking of eateries, even ‘restaurants (literally translated: 'food that restores")’ were originally set up (in 1765 Paris) to only sell soup: “an antidote to physical exhaustion” Cured all your ills and half your neighbours as well apparently.

So even historically, soup was the shiz

Well all except for that “Black Soup” concoction that the Spartans ate, made from boiled pig’s legs, blood, salt and vinegar. From all accounts that shit was just nasty.

But for the most part, soup scoffing seems to have been a pleasant activity enjoyed by many and in modern times we now have whole cookbooks devoted to the subject. With contributions from nearly every country, it can become quite the culinary travelogue:  borscht from Russia, consommé from France, Bird’s nest soup from China...

And some lesser known ones...

For example, in Pakistan there is Chakna (or "chaakna"), a spicy stew made out of goat tripe and other animal digestive parts.


The Polish dig soup made from fresh or picked cucumbers.

While in Turkey no one would bat an eyelid at being served Analı Kızlı, which literally translates to 'with daughters and mothers' (the daughters being the chickpeas and the mothers being the little semolina balls).

Who knew soup could be quite so.....weird.

But as much fun as I'm having researching the predecessors and faraway kith and kin to my dinner, I had best go forth and consume it before I waste way to mere shadow of my former self.

Ok, that ain’t gonna happen but I am keen on testing the whole ‘antidote to physical exhaustion’ theory

All in the name of research, and you know how I love my research.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Australian Wildlife 101 (Or...A Helpful Guide to what might kill you in Australia)

Australia is no picnic. And if you’re smart, it’s a country in which you will never go for one either. The amount of things that can kill you in the great land Down Under is quite staggering. And it’s not just the snakes and spiders that'll do you in.

I recently had a wee probe around the Internet, doing a spot of research and happened upon the Australian Geographic page outlining Australia’s top 30 most dangerous animals.

It immediately occurred to me that the list of potentially lethal critters in this country must be fairly decent then for them to be able to isolate a top 30. I was simultaneously awed and terrified.

Let me share with you some of their revelations (if you are planning to visit Australia, you may want to skip this and await next week’s blog, just putting it out there)

Snakes: Although it is not a snake that tops the 30 most dangerous animals list, Australia is home to not only the world’s deadliest snake but also a plethora of its almost equally noxious serpentine relatives. Fortunately the most venomous slitherer: Oxyuranus microlepidotus or the Inland Taipan, is an elusive chappy and doesn't come out to play with humans very often, thus resulting in its total death count of zero. This is fantastic considering it contains enough toxin to kill several know, just in case it encounters a flock of rapid herpetologists or something.

What is not so fantastic is that of the 139 other breeds of land snake in this country, way too many of them also pack some kill juice and will not hesitate to share it with you if the whim takes them, or you piss them off; in fact 12 snakes feature in the top 30. I was heartened to discover however, that the snake considered the most dangerous overall was called the Eastern Brown snake....that is, it lives more ‘over East’....i.e.. not here.

I was not nearly so heartened to discover that number two on the dangerous snake list was called the Western Brown snake.....

I stopped researching snakes about then.

Spiders: Australia is also home to a rather nifty assortment of toxic spiders. Now to be fair, I really shouldn't wax dramatic on our little arachnid buddies as they haven’t killed anybody in Australia since 1981. And while a nibble from the Sydney Funnel Web spider (seventh on the dangerous creatures list) can make you feel rather unfortunate, and a nip from a Redback (24th) ain’t exactly a waltz in the park either, overall you have more chance of carking it from a bee sting in Australia than you ever will from a spider bite (a fact that actually promotes the humble honey bee to 2nd on the aforementioned top 30!).

So if a snake or spider isn’t the most dangerous animal in Australia, what is?

“Crocodile!” I hear you shout.

Nope that‘s number six...and while they have been verified at over six metres long (unverified up to eight metres.....just take a moment there), they are only responsible for the demise to one to two Aussies per year and snack on a very small selection of others.


Doesn't even feature on the list. Bull ants, giant centipedes and the Australian paralysis tick will do you more damage than those guys.

And if you’re guessing shark, you’d get a big fat ‘no dice’ on that one as well. Coming in at only number four, the Bull shark (stealing 13 places on its cousin the Great White in 17th) is one mean ass predator that can swim up rivers to eat you if it so desires, but it still can’t even penetrate the top three in the danger stakes.

That task is left to other occupants of the sea.

Taking out the Most Dangerous Creature in Australia title is...

Drumroll please...

.....the not so humble Box Jellyfish, and right up its tushy at number three (flanking the honeybee in its number two position) is the Irukandji (another jellyfish).


I kid you not.

This country is so badass it just uses sharks and snakes as backup. If it really wants to kill yo’ ass it'll chuck a highly toxic ball of goo at you. And the chances of you seeing it coming are slim to none as both the box and Irukandji jellyfish have near invisible tentacles that, and I quote: “can entangle you and have millions of harpoons that inject a lot of venom at once. The box jellyfish in particular...can kill in minutes.”

Well 10 points for efficiency.

You know how Dory said “Just keep swimming, just leep swimm....”... well don’t.

The only good thing about all this, (well from a personal perspective), is that most of the real bad boys are up north, jellyfish included. So unless you’re hanging out somewhere like Darwin, there is not too much to be concerned about.

Unless, of course, you’re moving to Darwin

Where a lot of the mining work is

Like what Kevman does...

Might see if there’s any vodka left from that whole printer episode. See you next week!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Changing It Up

I finally went for a walk this morning.

Not a long one, was just a wee jaunt around a couple of blocks, but it was a start.

A start of what, I hear you say.


It’s a start to me not creaking around the place and generally feeling like a geriatric sloth.

My body, as a rule, doesn't like movement a whole heap. But it also doesn't like sitting or standing or anything else for that matter so I've decided to ignore it for a while. It’s just being an attention whore.

The ironic thing about joint pain and other various maladies of a rheumatic nature is that they generally respond well to exercise. Exercise that you do not feel even remotely inclined to do because you are usually feeling like arse when you contemplate doing it.

But I figured if I didn’t shift my posterior soon it would seize up all together and since I like the thought of still being able to amble about the place (and also of not turning into a really tubby Tigress) I figured there is no time like the present.

Now here is Western Australia they don’t do daylight savings so theoretically you can be up and at ‘em at about 5am if you so desire.

I don’t.

So at 7am, or thereabouts, I arose, ignored the opinion my body gave about this action, donned my exercise gear and went haring out the door before I could change my mind. I did do the barest amount of stretching to loosen the stiff bits first but due to the fact that I am stretchier than most I thought it best not to overdo this.

Once on the move, things felt ok (I think my body was in shock to be honest). I wasn't able to go hilariously fast like I could previously but we'll go with the whole ‘baby steps’ approach on this one (though preferably without the staggering).

After a brief conversation with a few flies, I made it home again and sat, feeling not quite so broken, contemplating life’s vicissitudes. Not too bad for a first effort.

I will confess though that this sudden desire for movement has not come about in a vacuum. I have been researching various ways to get my body behaving a bit better (and to lose a bit of excess junk in the trunk) and there is no shortage of techniques to examine. Supplements, shakes, protein bars, eating plans, meal replacers....this list is endless and quite frankly, rather repetitive (not to mention very expensive in some cases).

I just want to eat well and consume as little amount of crap as possible...not rocket science but sometimes a girl needs a little help. You see my body has quite a fondness for sugar and lets me know about it on frequent occasion:

“Ooooh look, chocolate, you like chocolate, I know you like chocolate, let’s have some chocolate...”

“Let’s NOT have some chocolate, Jesus Christ I can’t take you anywhere!”

“But I want chocwit” *sad face*

“You’ll have to chat to pancreas, I’m sure she will not be impressed with all the crap you’re trying to feed her”

“Oh pancreas is an old fuddy duddy, never does anything exciting”

“No just sits there producing insulin that stops me dying when I eat chocolate...just SAYING”


And so it goes, sometimes I win, sometimes body wins. It’s a 50/50 chance on any given occasion.

Thus enter Cyndi O’Meara and her site “Changing Habits” (see link below). Now this dietician turned part-time activist has a simple philosophy: don’t eat any crap (that’s no dodgy numbers, no refined stuff, nothing artificial, almost no gluten) and shift your butt for 40 minutes, three times a week.

This, I can work with; food as nature chucks it at you. And I must say, after nary a week of this clean eating/paleo business, I can feel a difference.

So I have spent the remainder of my morning planning a couple of meals including a shopping list and generally being ridiculously organized (I'm almost concerned).

I will keep you posted.

And in the interests of furthering the achievement of my goals, I should sod off and eat something.

“I want chocolate”

“There isn’t any so f**k off”

“But I reeeeeeally need chocolate, let's go buy some!”

“Sure....but you have to walk all the way to the supermarket?”


“That’s what I thought”


Check out Cyndi O’Meara’s website below J

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I think I have this sorted...nearly.

*Stands nervously in front of group*

Hello, my name is The Tigress and I am a Pinterestaholic

*Sits back down*

I'm not even kidding

I've been on Pinterest about a month and have more boards than Busselton Jetty.

It wouldn’t be quite so addictive if it didn’t have EVERYTHING I COULD EVER POSSIBLY WANT IN A SOCIAL MEDIUM!

That’s like a platform for communication not a chatty psychic or something.

It has pretty pictures, funny things, information, a method for sorting them all and minimal requirement for contact with other people. It’s fabulous.

For those not familiar, Pinterest is place on the Internet where you can ‘pin’ stuff you see on other places on the Internet onto “boards” under titles of your own choosing. There is no worry of copyright infringement because the pin always leads back to its original location on the Internet regardless of how many times it is repinned.

A very ingenious little set up and this on its own is not so addictive, one can only spend so long gallivanting around the World Wide Web before getting somewhat over it.


When you first log in to your Pinterest account you have a home page....with other people’s recent pins on it. Still not a biggie in itself except that they can give you ideas for new boards and then you might pin one of their pins to one of your boards and when you do that Pinterest shows the previous board the pin was from and THEN you think: “Oooh, well I'll just have a wee look.”

Aaand then you’re screwed.

It is not wise to give an OCD child a platform on which to basically sort the entire Internet.

Some of these boards have over 200k pins on them.

I never stood a chance.

So I now have boards for recipes, boards for health and exercise, Boards for crochet and knitting, boards for a ridiculous amount of different countries and boards for other shit that just looked pretty.

And I don’t even begin to imagine I'll stop there, because I can be rather.....anal.

I mean if you’re gonna sort shit, do it properly *twitches* None of this: “Places to see before I die” bollocks, or “Beautiful Earth”; I mean yes, the Earth is indeed beautiful, but it’s also f**king huge for crying out loud: “125k pins” oh you noticed!

You end up with the aurora borealis snuggled up to a’s just not natural.

Don’t get me wrong I love variety as much as the next guy, but with these types of boards one minute you’re in Abu Dhabi, the next you’re playing stare eyes with a “Phantasmal poison frog”. My psyche just can’t handle it.

But this is not to say that attentive sorting is without its share of headaches.

As noted above, I have many boards devoted to specific countries. I also have one for beautiful moon shots, one for castles, as well as another allocated to delightful silhouettes.

So what does one do with a photo of a Scottish castle with an epic moon behind it...

that’s also a silhouette.

You don’t want to know the amount of mental turmoil that one caused me.

Sometimes I just set myself up for trouble, I swear to God.

In fact, I can imagine the Kevman now (he who has watched me organise groceries into their correct spots on supermarket shelves as well as categorize several thousand e-books on a hard drive into files by author)

“Look honey, here’s a nice picture, come check it out.”

“What’s it of?”

“It’s a black and white photo of a neat bridge in Japan, you must have a board that can go on”

“I have three damn.......wait, you’re smiling aren’t you?”

“Oh yeah”


Go catch “The Tigress” on Pinterest, she’s been a busy lass ;-)

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Tardy Tigress

Argh, I’m late...

Not like possibly pregnant type of late, just I should have had this published yesterday....but in my defence...I have a man.

While I can imagine all the women nodding right now without need for further explanation, this is no ride on the gendered: “Men are just like extra kids” bandwagon. Instead, it’s more to do with the fact that mine is only here one week out of three...and he is currently home...and a distraction (albeit an adorable one).

Just to clear things up, the Kevman would love be home 7 days a week but works FIFO, a common practice with Australian mining companies involving a ‘Fly In Fly Out’ roster to his place of work. While it pays handsomely it can be hard on relationships with some workers being away from their families for around four weeks and only home for nine days.

For us, the Kevman’s roster means 15 days away and six at home. We are luckier than most and like to appreciate every moment together.

Which brings me back to my original dilemma...

That of tearing myself away from joint activities to work on my individual writing pursuits.

You see, the Kevman and I love playing games together, going shopping together, going out to dinner and/or a movie together, sitting around having a drink and chatting together, visiting friends together...

In short, we’re enough to make even a diehard romantic puke, but when the alternative is 14 nights of Skype and 15 days of Facebook Messenger, you kinda dig the real life stuff that bit more.

But a Tigress has gotta do, what a Tigress has gotta do! 

The show must go on!


Oooh, I think he’s waking up...

*Smiles deviously*

Look, there’s other stuff we like doing together as well ok.

See you next week! ;-)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.....

Now one of the perks of growing up way the hell down the bottom of the planet, is that New Zealand has some wonderful and unique native flora and fauna. Tracks and trails world renowned for their beauty and splendour....(and ability to make the occasional hiker disappear without a trace) are the stuff of legend the world over. It's rather a pretty place.

Don't get me wrong, my new home of Australia is chock full of wildlife treats as well, but unfortunately some of them try to kill you.....and very efficiently at that. This has made me a tad wary of exploring even the local park here let alone a hiking trail and does lend to me pining at times for the lush shrubbery and reassuring snakelessness of my native land.

At this point I would like to say that I have blissful memories of happily bouncing about in the bush, bonding with nature and being a prime example of fitness and health.

I would like to say this...but I can't

The most recent memory I do have is loosely summarized in the following and if you're looking for a motivational health piece, I can assure you, this isn't it.

Once upon a hiking trail....

My friend and I decided one morning, in the interests of health and well-being, to go and have a wee stroll through some of the local native wildlife (well the flora part of it - it's a bit hard to stroll through a New Zealand wood pigeon).

So we set off with a great deal of gusto to the local hiking track. Drink bottle in hand and sensible shoes afoot, we commenced our journey along the trail and felt right proud to be active and social and all that other shit we get told we should be on a regular basis.

This track, being a popular one, had several options available including going the whole nine kilometres, or settling for the more respectable three and a half kilometre loop track.

In the interests of still being able to walk the next day, we chose the latter.

Which turned out to be a very smart idea because while New Zealand forest is quite breathtaking, very little of it is parked anywhere bloody flat. About 10 minutes into the venture I was rudely reminded of how much my fitness has deteriorated in the last year.

My friend, also not the fittest, was faring little better. "Time for a stop I feel" she huffed, as we neared the first lookout. I thought this was a sterling idea and promptly took to briskly leaning against a tree.

Once our breath had stopped exiting our bodies at quite such a frantic rate of knots, and we had analysed the surrounding greenery and creatures therein for way longer than was necessary, we continued.

After what seemed like hours, but was possibly only another 10 minutes we reached the path to the first lookout point. This was where I encountered something that had been all but a foreign concept up until that point: downhill. This would have been just peachy if my legs wanted to cooperate. I think they had the climbing wobbles....sort of like speed wobbles but...slower. "Tell you what..." I said to my mate, " about you pop down and have a little looksee and I'll supervise from up here"  I kinda figured that this was a better option than risking snowballing my unfit ass down a set of very pointy steps.

Now supervising is hard work, so I sat down. I sat down again too when we hauled ourselves back to the track proper. And I had never appreciated sitting down quite so much in my life.

Another thing I appreciated was the apple I brought. Only this was no ordinary apple; by the time I got my hands it, it had morphed into ambrosia. I savoured every bite of it and probably took twice as long as necessary to eat it due to putting off the heavy duty act that would need to follow it, that of standing up.

But it was while we were lunching on the fruit of the heavens that we saw the most interesting creatures of the day. Now I am not talking about our furred or feathered friends no no; these creatures were of the humanoid persuasion. Not only were they long and lean, but they had an unusual gait. I think it's called 'running'

My friend and I looked at each other: "They were running!" we spluttered in unison. 

I wasn't impressed. Here I was struggling to get enough oxygen when completing the most basic of human forward motion, while these clowns were leaping up the slopes like a herd of demented gazelle. 

Pfft, that'll be enough of that sort of carry on, I thought. It was time to complete this journey so we could both go home and die quietly.

The second half of the quest, at least, involved mostly gentle downhill slopes and a fluttering of birdlife...or maybe that was the angels coming to take me away because I'd died back at the previous corner...I wasn't entirely sure.

Either way we made it safely back to my friend's mercifully air-conditioned vehicle. I finally concluded that I must not have departed this mortal coil due to the fact that my arse was starting to hurt like a bitch and there was foreign matter in my hair...possibly from the aforementioned fluttering entities.

"Well that was a success" my friend chirped happily "Didn't we do well?"

I wanted to strike her with my drink bottle

"To still be breathing? Yes."

"Oh it wasn't that bad once we got into it...I reckon we could make the whole distance next time...the nine kilometres!"


Such a shame I moved to Australia before that could happen....I'm truly devastated

Friday, 3 October 2014

So who ordered the double dose of Monday?

Another Monday has come and gone in the Tigress household and I feel I have taken the Mondayitis concept to a whole new level.

Previously I have heard people whinge and bitch on regular occasion about the requirement to rise early and return to work at the start of the week. But for the most part this fails to impress me as a reason for abject misery.

My recent Monday however....well that’s a different story.

Now in this particular weekday’s defence, it is not its fault that my beloved Kevman (he’s like a Navman but with waaaay more features :D) flies out to work every third Monday, and to be fair, he does fly back in on one two weeks later....

But to add to my cause for snuffling on this particular Monday, I kinda bent the car.

I have my darling’s Holden SV6 at my disposal while he is away and thus it was what I was driving home from the airport on this particular Monday. But, it was wet...there was a roundabout....I had to change lanes mid turn.....

It did not end well.

In fact, after careening into a curb, then up and over it (ultimately entering the road I actually required) I was somewhat rattled...though extremely grateful that it was a public holiday and no other traffic was on the road at that time of the morning. 

I briefly entertained the thought of stopping, but after noticing the car was driving like a hairy goat I just wanted to get it, and me, home to assess the damage.

Miraculously it was only the wheels that copped it: two comprehensively flat tires and a nifty new wheel alignment. I knew I needed help....then the text came:

“Did you make it home ok honey?”


“Ummm, sort of...”

He took it well really considering the bond most guys have with their vehicle. His only concern was for my welfare and within an hour or so his Dad was at my door to investigate the state of me and the slightly injured vehicle

Now the Kevman’s Dad is a lovely man but comes equipped with a rapier wit when the mood takes him, which is frequently. On this occasion, however, he behaved in a most concerned fashion and didn't even stop to tell me what a daft tart I was for launching one and a half a ton of motor vehicle up a curb

Instead of the acidic backchat I felt I deserved, he simply grasped my shoulders and asked if I was ok.

I detected possible overtones of: “Jesus Christ lass, my boy has finally found a woman he likes, quit trying to damage yourself.”

But I could have been mistaken. He may have just been incredulous at the efficiency with which I break things.

After reassuring him I was merely feeling somewhat shaky, he went about the process of changing the tyres and generally making sure the car was drivable to get said tyres replaced....there would be no fixing these babies, they were munted.

He also informed me that I probably had a slow leak in the left rear tyre which is what would have caused me to lose traction.

In other words, it wasn't really my fault.

Alrighty then...I'll take that. And you sir, are welcome here any time you like.

Overall, it wasn’t too traumatic an experience and things could have been much worse, but Monday? Really? Sometimes you just ask to be hated.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Doesn't time fly when you're.....old

My daughter, Miss 18, and I had wee discussion via Facebook ‘tother day about her elderly overlocker (that’s ‘serger’ in North American). She inherited the machine from my mother but of late it had been misbehaving and she wasn’t too impressed with it (though to be honest if I was trying to organize four cotton threads at that speed, I’d probably collapse into a snivelling heap occasionally too.)

“I’ve tried looking it up on the Internet but it’s so old there’s nothing on there!”

“Honey, I was 13 when Grandma bought that thing....the Internet wasn’t even invented yet.”

After what must have been a bemused cyber silence my child replied: “Holy shit, at first it sounds like you're joking but it just literally wasn’t lol”

Not in 1987....hell, New Zealand only just got its first mobile network that year....but the Internet as we know it did officially ‘materialize’ (well as much as thin air can materialize) two years later in November of 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee got all technical with his  Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the World Wide Web was born. It all became very handy dandy....just not when I was a kid.

This got me to thinking about all the other things that are the norm in my offspring’s life but were mere fantasy in my childhood.

(This is the peril of being a writer you know....your brain never just stops at the end of a conversation and moves onto the next thing like normal keeps nagging at you for hours: “Can we stop and write about that stuff we were talking about earlier? Please? Can we? Like now?.....OK after the dishes. What about now? Stop doing that, just stop....STOP EATING AND WRITE DAMN YOU!)

And here I am....

Now take the Compact Disc for example (a strand of technology already becoming obsolete); it, and CD players, may well have become commercially available in 1982 but nothing much reached New Zealand shelves till several years later. I remember Miss 18, just exiting her own tweenhood, being enthralled to discover that I never owned my first CD until I was 18, by which time we could afford something to play the damn thing on. “That was only three years before I was born!” She gasped. “So what did you play music on before that? “On tapes dear child and prior to that, records.”

“Wow, you mean like those shiny round black things??”

I sent her to clean her room before I was tempted to beat her within an inch of her life with a flaccid album cover.

But other similar discussions have been had at various points along her developmental span, usually provoked by random events: I would be mid account of a childhood adventure when she would ask: “Why didn’t you just text?”

“Because I didn’t have a cell phone.”

“You di....oh did you like actually ring people and stuff.”

“Well normal people did, I had a pathological fear of phones so avoided them wherever possible...but yes, telephoning was the norm.”

“So did you have email?”


“A computer??”

“When I was a teenager we got one; we had a Commodore 64 that played arcade type games and stuff.”

“So like Granddad’s Wolfenstein?”

“No those games needed Windows or something similar and that (as you would recognize it) didn’t come out until the 90,s....these games were DOS based.”


“Disc Operating know the black screen you sometimes see when a computer is booting up? We used to play in there.”

“I didn’t even know you could DO that!!”

“Live and learn, Ducky”

It was even more entertaining listening to her discuss these matters of generational difference with my father:

“Your Grandmother...”he would extol, waggling an earnest finger “you’re grandmother will tell ya clear as anything...there was none of this being driven to school in shit weather carry on in her day, no no, she used to have to walk to school, even in the snow and sleet and rain and hail, and it was uphill, she’ll tell ya! Uphill both ways!!”

At which point my mother would bellow from the kitchen: “I do bloody not say that you lying old git!” or words to that effect.

You should have seen when he got to the bit about the dinosaurs!


I’ve discovered that ultimately one does have to accept the transition of life as you know it. It happens to us all; little tell-tale events will regularly remind you that your time of being ‘current’ has indeed come and gone, or is at least slipping ominously from your grasp....all those things you found so super important in your youth are now a foreign language to the next generation.

And if you’re lucky it looks a little something like this...

I found Miss 18 and her eight year old sister rummaging around in the garage one day hunting for God knows what when I heard the eldest exclaim: “OH...MYGOD...look, look at this!!

“What is it?” Lil Blondie’s face crinkled into nonchalant curiosity.

“It’s my Tamagochi!” my teenager squeaked, her face aglow with memories of her deep amusement with the tiny toy. “I use to play on this thing for hours when I was your age!”

“You seriously used to play on THAT!” the Blonde one snorted. “Didn't you have an iPad or anything?”

It was almost poetic...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I print, therefore I....must've finally installed the damn thing

It looked so innocent, sitting there in its cardboard kennel, peeking out from behind polystyrene with only a tiny black glint from its shiny bits. Printers can seem that way, innocuous, but so full of promise....

Until you actually try and use them.

Now electronic devices in general are not to be trifled with, but printers are just a law unto themselves; you show nary a moment’s weakness and you’re gone (probably insane). Should you ever need to install one of these devices, my advice is to approach the situation in a calm fashion, with stable blood sugar levels and possibly some vodka.

 With this in mind, and supervised by Max, the resident cat, I removed the box

And the polystyrene

And the plastic bag

And the instruction manuals and disc taped to the plastic bag

And the twenty seven pieces of padding and blue tape that held everything to every other goddamn thing.

I’ve seen fewer layers on riot police.

But the naked beast looked impressive, resplendent in its gleaming plasticity and when I plugged it in, little lights came on so I figured things were definitely looking could it go wrong?

I figured, since it could be a wireless type printer that I would test the theory and have it in the office while my laptop remained in the dining room. Thus I sat determinedly in front of my computer with the installation disc in one hand and various sheets of instructions in the other.

Step One: “Install ink cartridges into the printer”

Right, yes...I knew that....

Back to the office I went.

With only slight drama and furrowing of brow I managed to get four cartridges installed into the correct spaces

I returned to my computer prior to reading the next bit which involved knowing what the screen was displaying after said cartridges were in place.

I returned once again to the office and checked that the screen did indeed show the required fields; so far, so good. And pre-empting further shenanigans, I chose to continue reading whilst still standing in the office.

“You may now insert the installation disc into your computer”(Had I returned to the dining room prior to reading this I swear to God it would have said something else....the writing would have morphed like a Harry Potter newspaper into: “Please ensure your printer’s doodah switch is set to neutral” or something)

I returned, once again, to the laptop and inserted the disc into the drive. The disc congratulated me on purchasing the product and then asked me if I would like to install it.

What else do you think I want to do with it?

I click “Install”

“Please ensure you computer is close to the printer during the installation.”

“Oh for f..........fine, just fine”

I detach my laptop from its auxiliary speakers, power cable, mouse and USB hard drive and move it into a snugly position with the prima donna printer.  

“You have 10 minutes to complete the installation before the process will auto-cancel”

Yeah, yeah, all right, don’t get your megabytes in a twist.

Miraculously, also supervised by the cat, the installation goes smoothly. While waiting, I get shown various pleasant pictures including one of a row of five smiling little kiddie faces; no Asian kid or any child with a serious amount of pigmentation, but hey the little pink and coffee coloured cherubs were adorable. It's a nice start I guess.

But I digress.

“Installation complete!”

Oooh look, an exclamation mark, they’re as excited as I am.

Now lemme print something...

“Would you like to print a test sheet”

“Why yes, yes I would” I audibly reply. There is nothing quite like interacting with home computers I've discovered, to get you talking to inanimate objects. Well that and using a self service kiosk at the supermarket.

The printer roared into life with a set of random staccato noises that sounded something akin to a typewriter having an orgasm. I waited with childlike anticipation for the paper to exit out the correct orifice; which, I astutely noted, could only happen if I put some in in the first place. Fortunately, I achieved this prior to the process reaching the good bit.

I needn't have panicked, however, all I got was three dotted, coloured boxes in the top left hand corner of the page. Well at least the yellow, cyan and magenta were playing the game. What the hell the black was up to was anyone’s guess.

After unsuccessfully printing two more test sheets, in a fashion similar to how one repeatedly clicks on a frozen computer screen to get it to work, I decided to check the ink cartridges again; which was a very good idea, but will only work if you can get the carriage to sit anywhere sensible; i.e. not under the side of the printer where it currently was.

With the reluctance of a man, I consulted the manual.

“How to change a printer cartridge”

I got this.

“Once the carriage moves to the central position....”

I don’t got this.

Eventually I find the bit in the bowels of the manual (you know, where they put all the really useful shit) that explains what to do when you need to change a cartridge prior to being prompted. And it is about this time that I discover that the little yellow taggy thing hadn't been removed from the black cartridge....which of course was the cat’s fault, he was supervising.

But at long last I could print.

And I did, apparently a little much.

“Your ink levels are critically low”

Sooooo, about that vodka.