The addlewitted blitherings of the Meandering Matriarch’s ‘Stunt’ Double.

Hello. Before we get any further into this, I am an interloper. If you’re an ‘accept no substitute!’ kind of person, then I am afraid you will be disappointed. You see, my mother has decided that I have to contribute to her blog. Fortunately for thee and me, she was specific about what I was to contribute. In short, I was to ‘blog’ about my current visit to Fossil Cove (AKA The Scorpions Den).

So, here goes…

Let’s start in Fossil Cove. As you may be aware, it is a beautiful house and property. The house is modern, unconventional in design, airy and spacious. It is filled with dozens of works of art, curios, and photographs from all over the world. The furnishings and décor are all of high quality, quite stylish, and very comfortable. It is … elegant but welcoming.

There are various plants around the house. They’d be quite lovely if she occasionally watered them… as is, well, let’s just say the words ‘forlorn’ and ‘droopy’ and leave it at that. There are also a couple of quite demented cats. Okay… so. Nice house. Wilting plants. Groovy art. Mad hatter cats. Got it?

But wait. There’s more. There’s scorpions.

The evening of my arrival was much as you’d expect. There was ‘the catching up on the news’. There was ‘the eating of the favourite dish’ (Reuben Sandwiches). There was the ‘fossicking about making the youngest son unbelievably comfy’ (This does not suck…). But that was the first night. The next morning, just after breakfast (strawberry shortcake… Was I going to say no?) I had this casual comment directed to me that I should wear shoes indoors. Needless to say, I assumed that there was a risk of a mental cat incident. No… because of the scorpions.

She explained, quite innocuously, that they were all over the place and that one needed to watch where one stepped… but if you should find one, feel free to stomp it several times. It needs to be several times because one stomp wouldn’t usually kill it. It’d be quite mad after the first stomp, and they are generally quite fleet footed, so it’s best to not muck around.

A Scorpion (photographed outside, thankyouverymuch)

Just to recap; my mother’s house is infested with immortal scorpions that apparently take offence at being savagely attacked. Sigh… It will come as no surprise that I went out and acquired some almost suitable footwear. I say almost, because try as I might, I couldn’t find a medieval knight supplier to fix me up with metal boots.

Moving right along, whizzing past the point where she proudly showed me four crunched scorpions that she got all at the same time… after a couple of days, the ‘main event’ of my southern jaunt was upon us. We were off on a great expotition (if the reference eludes you, then you need to reacquaint yourself with Christopher Robin and Pooh). Our
journey was to the west of Tasmania. An area referred to as the Tarkine. The drive there was about 5 hours. So we of course extended it by three hours and took the long way, stopping over for the night in a little town called Waratah.

The accommodation was an Aussie Pub. Complete with its own ‘Bruce’ Fawlty. It was quite surreal. The building itself was rather old and had – at some point – about 1972 if I am any judge – been ‘spruced up’ and ‘modernized’. Yes.  The punters want plywood paneling and wallpaper with that velvety stuff. Got t’ stay current, ya know. The furniture was far more contemporary – no older than 1984, I’m certain
– and the menu was classic. Among the wide variety of permutations of ‘meat and three veg’ was a claim of  Tasmania’s best burger.  Hmmm…

Taking them at their word, we both promptly ordered a burger without the Aussie bits. This is where we came to grief. You see, Australians for some daft reason think that a burger should have a meat patty, a bread roll or bun, some tomato sauce, lettuce, onions, a slice of tomato or two, bacon, some onions,  – wait for it – and a fried egg… and some canned pineapple… and some canned beetroot (beets).  Sigh. Well, neither the Meandering Matriarch or the blithering stunt double had any intention of ruining a perfectly harmless burger by having that kind of nonsense whacked onto it. Enter Bruce Fawlty.

He seemed to think that it was just short of scandalous to suggest that it was possible to make a burger without things that came in a can or out of a chicken’s behind. In the end, after much to-ing and fro-ing about what could be done, being awfully helpful (read that how you wish) he suggested that we just pick off what we didn’t want. It was easier, see, because if he had tried to get the cook to do it our way, she’d come at us with a rolling pin. Hmmm…

Well… Do you know what you get when you have a hamburger with a meat patty, a bread roll, tomato sauce, lettuce, onions, a slice of tomato or two, several strips of bacon, most of an onion, a fried egg, some rings of canned pineapple, and several slices of canned beets? You get a burger that is seven inches high. Me, I just ate a layer at a
time. I got about a third of the way through.

Well, this is getting a bit long… so I’ll temporarily wander away.  The second part will come soon. It will feature Corinna (our actual destination),  soup, my mother’s apparent determination to rid the world of flying and crawling things that sting, my desperate desire for a tree-change, editing of The Book, some more soup, and probably a fair bit of incoherent babbling. See you then!


Adam Gray

PS.  My house is NOT infested with scorpions or any other thing, unless you count cat hair.  And I never said they were all over the place.  I only have a few inside in a year, but most come in March. No one has ever been stung by a scorpion at or in my house, including me!   I’m perfectly happy for you to believe any of the other stuff if you want to.

The photo, by the way, was taken OUTSIDE.       MM