Another month of blogging

This is being prepared the day before you see it, as happens with most of my posts here. This snapshot of November on the blog will not change all that much, I suspect — but I have carefully dated all the stats.

NOTE — In fact by 8.30 pm today the total views reached 1,578!

Number of views in November

Better than 2021!

Where did views come from in November?

Finally — your ancient Blogger!

I was downstairs greeting the Woolies truck — the truck was what I was trying to get a pic of….

Still having odd things happening with the phone camera.

On pics of lunch and why I do them — plus best food vlog I know

Yes now I have a smart phone with a camera I have taken to photographing my meals! Well, some of them…

Why? Because I can, I suppose, but then why share them on social media or here? Strangely the lunch pics tend to get more likes and responses from Facebook friends than most other things I post. Given I am an old codger, maybe they are just glad for this evidence that I am feeding myself in my 80th year!

And maybe that’s what motivates me too in part. Not that I am an amazing cook — very ordinary in fact. But the pics at least indicate some thought about what I eat, and a kind of record.

Of course when I eat out the meals are more interesting — maybe once a week these days rather than the three days it once was, or even every day if you count the regular Yum Yum Cafe breakfasts I used to have a few years back. Mind you that was normally just raisin toast and coffee.

At City Diggers last Friday

At SoCo Kitchen with ChrisT — our Friday lunches used to be regular events but have lapsed in recent times.

Yesterday — at home.

A bit of a home standard — Woolies burger and veg.

And another.

Inspiring foodie vlog — Blondie in China

She’s Australian, and about much more than food. As I said of this one on Facebook: “Amy from Sydney is a constant example of finding the best in people and in our shared humanity. And fun….”

Friday at City Diggers — deep

Set off in the morning — aim just to renew some medication at the pharmacy, then go to Diggers for lunch. This is at the bus stop in Mount Keira Road, looking towards Mount Kembla:

So having been to the pharmacy I went to the Club and to my surprise Col turned up. Things with him have been a bit dire lately. Later on Adam joined us.

Events later in the day surprised all of us, I think. But first I had lunch. Col had by then gone elsewhere, Adam was playing the pokies….

Col returned after lunch. He, Adam and I sat back in the lounge section and talked.

The conversation after lunch took a turn that I think surprised us all — profoundly honest and deeply personal. I cannot share it but I said this on Facebook:

Yes Adam, Colin and I talked about this 70-year-old photo of yours truly — but that is the least of an extraordinary day of conversations among us today at City Diggers. With luck they may even be life-changing, as we were dealing with the most profoundly personal issues.

I can’t share, obviously — except to say I hope the outcome is good. It is no exaggeration to say a life is in question.

I think the turn our talk took surprised us all — in a good way.

On the Nokia C30 and chronicling the mundane

The great thing about a blog — especially one as unsystematic as this one — is that I can do what I please really!! So if I want to post photos of cats, or my meals, I can.

I am not making a living from this after all.

So why? Well chronicling the progress and arrival of my online order from Woolworths gives me satisfaction and some of you even enjoy it too, it seems. After all, my mundane may be your exotic!

Take yesterday for example. The Woolies order was submitted on Monday and set to arrive between 6am and 9am on Tuesday. It rarely arrives at 6, more usually between 7 and 8. But not yesterday morning.

I received an SMS just as I woke up: “Your order number ****** is next in line for delivery. See you soon.”

So I up and dressed and as above looked outside, recording the event with my C30, as you do. I have only just got advanced enough to use the magnification tool, by the way. See my August post Slowly learning how to use the Nokia C30 camera. I am a slow learner and also quite clumsy with the phone. I do prefer a real camera!

“You got me out of bed!” I said to the driver as he deposited the bags at my door.

“Sorry about that,” he replied. “but I’m on a grand tour of Wollongong this morning.” Telling me where he had just been and where he was going next.

“No worries. Enjoy your tour!”

And off he went.

The order was complete but with two substitutions — which is what they do if what you order is out of stock. In this case one was a better loaf of bread than the one I had chosen, and the other a substitute for their generic Spaghetti Bolognese. Prices are kept at what you originally ordered. Usually a bargain in your favour. The spag bol sub was this:

That is 5 minutes if you microwave it, but I decided to do it the long way in the normal oven. Thirty minutes all up. This was the result, though the photo does not do it justice:

It tasted pretty darned good, actually…

And on the exotic world — well a year ago I was a virgin at this — of Woolies shopping online, see this family order. Mine costs a lot less. I do get free delivery.

Elsewhere much was happening yesterday. Much of our state was breaking flood records, such an extreme contrast to November 2019! Our Prime Minister met at last with Xi Jinping, having already met with Joe Biden. Putin was not at the G20 though there was much weirdness surrounding the smarmy Lavrov who may or may not have had a heart scare in Bali….

And at last here in West Wollongong the sun went down over Merrigong — Dharwawal Country.

On online shopping, food, Diggers and the Lycra Apocalypse…

I take a break from sad and weighty matters…

A FB Memory item yesterday reminded me that I had been online shopping at Woolworths (Woolies) for a year. Yesterday I put in the order due today.

You can do this on a phone app, but I prefer the larger screen size of the laptop.

I begin with “Buy Again”…

I began in fact with Coles, not Woolies: 15 July 2021 — Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 2.

Yesterday for the very first time I went online to do my grocery shop at Coles. I did not have to resort to this in the March lockdown! Again, I told the story first on Facebook: “Took me a little while to work this out, but I have now done the big shop. This is just part of it. It will be left outside my door (I hope!) on Friday morning. Contactless COVID-safe and all that…”

All went well until one day it didn’t!

That happened 12 September:

LATER: Looks as if this was real!

SMS timed at 5pm from Coles: “Unfortunately due to operational issues affecting our Warrawong store, your order for tomorrow morning cannot be fulfilled and has been cancelled…”

I NOW SUSPECT THIS SMS IS SPOOFED.

But email also just arrived: “We’re currently preparing your order a127967081 which is booked for the 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM, Monday 13 September, delivery window. We’re planning to arrive between 6:20 AM and 7:20 AM, but you won’t need to be there as you’ve chosen to have your order left unattended. We’ll send you an SMS to let you know once your order has been delivered.”

If the first is the final word then that is more than inconvenient….

Only too real. The order never arrived, and all customer service did about it was an email reply:

Unfortunately due to operational issues affecting our Warrawong store, your order for tomorrow cannot be fulfilled and has been cancelled. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. If your bank card / PayPal was charged at Checkout due to pre-authorisation, this will be refunded back to you automatically – wait times depend on your issuer. 

Thank you for your email, 

So I switched to the other principal supermarket chain, Woolworths. And the first order went really well. And then came the second order.

Which is where the kangabangas come in:

17 September:

Given snags are the best bet for me because 1) they are bloody tasty! 2) they are easy to cook! 3) they are cheap 4) they have a long shelf life in the refrigerator — the problem of what is in them remains. Take salt for example.Nice to see though that eating our national animal is an exception. Also low fat! What is not to love? Yes, I have had them in the past — and they are good.

So in my latest Woolies order are KANGAROO SAUSAGES — Kangabangas! Coles did not have them. Let’s hope they are in stock — in theory they are. Looking forward to them!

Eat Skippy! It will do you good!

Do look at High salt snags: The top 5 saltiest sausages in Australian supermarkets — which then lists the five healthiest — kangabangas coming in with just 1g of salt per 100g!

18 September:

Well! Guess what? My Woolies order “disappeared”! No, not delivered to the wrong place or something. never loaded on the truck from Woolies in Burelli Street! However Woolies Online messaged me and rang me and spoke to me — a real person and not in India! The order will be replaced and delivered tomorrow instead. And the delivery fee will be waived. And I get a cash voucher to spend next time.

Lady was very apologetic and thorough — says it is a mystery, not happened very often if at all. Promised it would not happen again, especially when I told her why I left Coles and started with Woolies after Coles had stuffed up.I do have enough at hand btw — so I won’t starve….

And the email responses arrived instantly.

But this online ordering/contactless delivery stuff is not glitch-free, is it? Have to say though that Woolies customer service is miles ahead of Coles.

Hence on FB last night I posted: The kanga bangas have landed. That is to say, my Woolies order has arrived at last!

And there was one extra pack of Anzac Biscuits as well!

Monday’s lunch was at City Diggers

Here is my photo diary from Facebook.

The rissoles in recent times were dry and dreadful, so I banked on the new chef improving them. He did! But still too much crunch…

Ended up chatting with that couple, Jeff and Marion, about the Queen, Trump, WW2 and more…. On the same page.

The Lycra Apocalypse

Yes, The Gong rejoices/suffers an invasion in the coming week! On the bus home on Monday I got chatting to a couple of workers from one of Wollongong’s major tourist hotels. They were seriously contemplating staying at home during that week, unless the boss provided them with helicopter transport to and from work! The local media and some businesses — by no means all — and of course the organisers have been propagandising like mad about how wonderful it will all be, despite the street lockdowns and clearways involved.

On the way to Diggers they have been tarting up the abandoned David Jones store, which until recently had been the Covid Vaccination Hub for the area.

City Diggers is celebrating the Lycra Apocalypse by launching a new menu today — with FISH AND CHIPS back on! That at least is a blessing!