I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

The current exchange rate

My eldest daughter takes up residence and dusts off the sands of Mozambique.

“What on earth are you doing Mother?”
“Oh you know, it’s the usual seasonal problem.”
“Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, ant invasion.”
“What is that stuff?”
“Ant killer.”
”You can’t just powder the garden like that, it looks like a snow storm, you’ll poison someone.”
“Only the ants and myself, no-one else goes out there.”
“Have you checked the label? There must be some natural repellent you can use instead, something environmentally friendly. Why don’t you ever check labels?”
“Er because usually I just hurl things in the trolly, scoot to the check out and hope for the best.”
“You’re hopeless!”
“Hmm probably, I haven’t had time to …..look for alternatives.”
“I research it for you, before you wipe us all out.”


"What on earth are you doing?"
"I'm drying his wieners so that I can leave them out to reach room temperature by the time he comes home from school."
"No! I can see that! I mean why are you using kitchen paper to dry them?"
"Because he won't eat them if they're wet, and by the way they're called paper towels out here."
"I don't care what you call them, they're a waste of precious resources, squandering trees willy nilly on a whim."
"These are not "whimsical wieners," they are part of a very carefully orchestrated desensitization campaign."
"They're vile. Why don't you buy Tofu dogs instead, at least they're vegetarian."
"I will, as soon as I've used up these ones over the next few days. There again, since they're going to end up in the garbage disposal unit in any event, I could just skip that stage."
"I think I'll put duct tape over the garbage disposal unit."
"To help you to remember "not to use" it."
"Yes I do seem to have an awful lot to remember all of a sudden."


“Ooo what’s happened to the coffee maker?”
“I turned it off. It was on stand by. Everything in this house seems to be on stand by. More energy is used by domestic appliances on "standby" in America than a full day on the National Grid back home. It’ll only take a couple of minutes to warm up.”
“But my body needs a vat of caffeine right now!”
“You’re so impatient.”
“Must be old age.”
“You’ve been Americanized.”
“Too true.”


“I have to get some new slippers today. These ones are falling apart, they’re a health hazard.”
“You could knit yourself some new ones, that would save money and literally make a smaller environmental footprint!”
“I can’t knit a pair in a day! At least not if I also want to get anything else done.”
“It’s all a matter of priorities. It would do you good to sit down for a whole day and it would save using the car for another pointless trip.”
“I could walk to the shops!”
“You could, that’s a good option. It’s a question of examining every decision to get the best environmental outcome.”
“I don’t know if I have enough energy or brain power to factor in another variable into the current decision making process.”
“That’s why I’m here to help! It’s simply a matter of changing how you think about things.”
“Just remember that my brain is small, old and worn out already.”


“I also have to get some of that laundry put away today. You can hardly move for laundry hampers.”
“Ah I was meaning to say, maybe I could rig up a clothes line for you in the garden. That tumble drier is on non-stop.”
“Yes but with the wet beds and all, it’s difficult to keep up.”
“Well it’s your decision of course but think of all the energy you’ll save, not to mention money.”
I look at my 26 year old daughter. I am tempted to make a sarcastic comment about going down to the creek with my laundry and a stone to do the washing, but of course that is precisely what she has been doing for a year in Mozambique.
“But if I dry them outside they’ll all fade in the sun and far more importantly they’ll be crispy, then I won’t be able to get anyone dressed and no-one will want to go to bed.”
“It could be part of your desensitization campaign surely?”
“Maybe.” It's quite frightening to realize that she sounds just like me, standing on my soapbox, perhaps a decade ago.


“What’s all that paper scattered around?”
“Those are the things that I absolutely must do today.”
“Such as?”
“I have to go somewhere to photocopy those forms as ours isn’t working. I have to sort out that foreign bank account too.”
“Ooo look at that! You won the Premium Bonds! Pity it's not the lottery out here.”
“I know but I have to write to them to get them to re-issue the prize as it’s out of date.”
“You should do that first! It’s a priority.”
“Yes but I have to get them to send it to me here in the States, which may be against the rules. Then I have to send it back to pay it into my British Bank account, it’ll take forever.”
“Pay it in here instead.”
“Then I’ll have to pay a fee to have it exchanged into dollars rather than pounds.”
“Still fifty pounds, is fifty pounds!”
“True. Come to think of it, fifty pounds is $100 dollars!”

Today I am also over "here" at "Trusera" with "Development is Child's Play,"

and also celebrating my other life over "here" in "California Dreaming."

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