YouBeaut Designs Collections: Homewares Décor Dining & Bed

YouBeaut Designs Collections: Homewares Décor Dining & Bed

From plain YouBeaut Designs Colours to Animals and a mix of Patterns make up this collection of Home decor items. NOTE:

The Throw Blankets in bright colours can be ordered plain without the central colour oblong.

The list of products is extensive and includes:Food Jar Labels, Cake Stands, Throw Blankets, Mugs, Door Hangers, Waiters Corkscrews,Duvet Covers, Pillow Cases, Fabrics,Placemats, Doormats, Bowls, and even Table Confetti and Customisable Door Knobs.

Throw Blanket
This all-season throw blanket is designed for curling up with a cup of hot cocoa or relaxing on a summer evening with a cool glass of lemonade. Put a unique and stylish touch on your décor with your favorite patterns or designs or make one with your family photo memories for grandparents, moms, and dads!

Food Container Label (3″ x 2″)
Easily customize mason jars & food containers and make it 100% your own. Perfect for weddings, birthday parties, and baby showers.

Frosted Glass Mug
Our frosted glass mug is our most versatile option. The 10-ounce mug is a perfect choice for tea, coffee, and cocoa as well as grogs, toddies, and mulled wines. The 16-ounce mug is styled as a beer stein and is ideal for a cold pint of brew. Whatever your size or style, your beverage will shine through with a frosted glass mug, making the perfect gift! Available in 10-ounce or 16-ounce

Cake Stands
Let them eat cake! Serve your favorite desserts in style with a custom cake stand. Decorate the plate surface with your own pictures and text to make all your sweet creations so much sweeter. Dimensions: Diameter: 10″ Pedestal Height: 4″

Our Zazzle.com/Youbeaut website offers a wild mix of things bizarre, beautiful, kitsch and good.

YouBeaut Designs HOME: Décor | Dining | Bed

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YouBeaut Collections: Art & Posters

YouBeaut Collections: Art & Posters

What is art? It’s everywhere and we don’t always know it when we see it. On a building, in magazines or the meal just served in the cafe. Look here for interesting things that you won’t see anywhere else.

There are vivid pastel works by the late Kerry Gavin. Find the most complete range of her work and details about the artist at Pixels.com

Kerry worked in a variety of creative roles before deciding to paint full time in our garden studio in the Victorian country town of Castlemaine. Her vivid abundant not so ‘still life’ compositions grew out of a love for flowers, colour, patterns, motifs and the rich artistry found in everyday things. Kerry exhibited widely and her works colour many public and private collections.

New works from both the Kerry Gavin archives and photographic images by Richard Lee will appear here over the coming months.

Richard Lee is a writer and photographer living in south eastern Australia. He is also the owner and designer of this website.

See a miscellany of images on a variety of mediums. Bondi Beach as a canvas print. Geisha Wall art on a sticker and an acrylic object along with delivery bicycles on photo prints or metal print, and much more. This collection is being developed and more images on a variety of surfaces will appear here over the coming months.

Our Zazzle.com/Youbeaut website offers a wild mix of things bizarre, beautiful, kitsch and good.

YouBeaut Art & Posters

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The Edge of the Bush

Edge of the Bush

The Edge of the Bush is a mixture of bush tales and other stories. Over half of Australia’s population now lives in cities and almost without exception, these are situated on the coast. Bush tales are still romantically ingrained in the Aussie psyche, however.

This little offering of ten short stories were written over a number of years. While some stories are set in the country, there are some that hark back to city days in Melbourne and in Sydney. A couple of stories are sexually explicit and we should warn that some people might be offended. Overall, we think you will enjoy this little book.

Here is a story from the collection. Live cattle and sheep exports are a big issue in Australia in 2018. For this reason we have chosen a short story I wrote many years ago entitled ‘Spin’. It has been updated.

SPIN

“Look Jamie, look! Baby lambs everywhere”

Jamie glanced up from his device long enough to look out of the car window. The landscape was bright green even though the country was in a severe drought. Then he saw the tell-tale black mini water-wheels, signalling they were passing through an irrigation area. ’Still pumping scarce water to fatten lambs. Jesus! Will we never get it right?’ he asked himself.

“Very nice, grandma, lovely little lambs, Gran.”

“And if they’re very lucky, they will become missionaries when they grow up.”

It was a few moment before what Gran had said, registered with Jamie. He was quite busy typing a reply to a question on a forum which wanted information about alternative coding for a new smart-phone application.

“Missionaries? What do you mean, Gran?”

“I heard all about it on the radio, dear. Australia must keep sending live sheep and cattle overseas, to places where the people haven’t yet learned to be kind to animals.

“Australia already has people in those places teaching meat workers how to kill animals nicely, in the same way we do. These lambs we can see here might be chosen to go there and help. We need to send lots of them because those people need a lot of animals to practice their humane killing methods. It’s true. It was on the radio, dear.”

Jamie stopped typing and looked at his grandmother intently. No, this was not one of her little tricks to stop him using his smart phone; she was for real.

“Apparently, these people didn’t have a god like ours who taught us to be kind to all living things. So us Aussies, with the help of thousands of sheep and cattle, are going there to put things right.”

Jamie wanted to laugh but his mind was too busy sorting through what Gran had just said. Did she really believe this?

Jamie knew all about spin and fake news. What thinking nineteen-year-old didn’t? He and his friends saw it all the time on social media and stuff, but this seemed truly bizarre. Did other people think like she did, he wondered; or was his grandmother a one-off?

Jamie was enjoying his week-long stay at his grandparents country property. Grandpa was much slower in his movements than his grandson remembered him from his previous visit. He was only thirteen then, and he remembered touring the outback property with his grandfather in the ute. That was nearly six years ago and since then gramps had turned eighty; plus he’d had an accident with the tractor which, while not life-threatening, had left him with recurring pain in his left leg if he walked too far, or when he drove for too long. This time Jamie drove the ute.

The vast western-district pastoral property carried around fourteen thousand sheep and a couple of hundred cattle. These days a farm manager–who also owned and managed his own farm close by–looked after the physical day-to-day working of the property, with grandpa often going out with him to help sort stock. Grandpa was happy to open paddock gates or operate a race gate to sort stock, and let his manager worry about the mustering, and checking dams and fixing fences.

“We’re still de-stocking because of the drought, Jamie. Can’t see an end to it myself. People says it’s nothing to do with climate change but I think they might be wrong. I haven’t seen seasons like this in my lifetime. Wool’s down, so feeding animals is not profitable. We’ll keep a couple of thousand breeders I expect. The rest can go to the Middle East. Now lad, head over towards those Casuarina’s. There’s a dam there I keep meaning to look at.”

Jamie swung the wheel and took the track towards a line of trees quite a distance off on the horizon.

Off to one side sheep were spread out for what seemed like kilometres, in a slow-moving wave of orange animals on orange dust. Then, in a voice which sounded as though he was talking only to himself, grandpa said, “One could drive from here across to the Indian Ocean and not see a sheep lying down. Millions of sheep are walking all day and into the night poking about in the dust, looking for a feed; roots mainly, but even old weathered sheep shit, the bark off trees, anything they can put into their stomachs. They don’t have the time to lay down … unless it’s to die.”

Jamie knew about the drought. The environment was the major topic of interest amongst his wide range of university friends, both at home and abroad. Their knowledge was extensive and their scientific fields of study, whatever their subjects — chemistry, biology, botany, statistics, engineering, physics, geology, medicine, even astronomy, and more — could all find useful ecological and environmental niches to shine a light on. Being here in the middle of it was different. Just seeing sheep not able to stand still or lie down, and knowing it was like this across much of the continent, gave Jamie a feeling he didn’t often allow himself, anger. Anger at the stupidity of people who you wanted to believe would know better than to let the planet get this fucked-up.

“Grandpa, how do sheep get sent away for the live export market? It must be only when a boat arrives at Portland? Portland is the loading place for stock from around here isn’t it?”

“That’s right Jamie. About a fortnight before a ship arrives in Portland, the exporter or their agent calls growers who have registered with them as having livestock to go, and gives them a date when they will be accepting stock into the loading yards. We then confirm that we will be sending stock and give them an estimate of the numbers. Works out well most times apparently, unless there is a problem with wet weather, which doesn’t happen much, unfortunately.”

“Are you registered for the next boat, gramps?” asked Jamie.

“No, but we are for the third one, after we’ve shorn the last of the wethers. That will be about mid-June, in eight weeks roughly, and we figure that by then, we’ll have around two thousand head to go.”

The ute slowed as Jamie guided it towards a long dam bank in front of the row of trees. He drove slowly around one end of the bank so that they could look into the dam. He wasn’t prepared for what he saw.

A tiny pool of muddy water filled the bottom of the huge bare concave, surrounded by a five metre rim of mud. A large female kangaroo was stuck in the mud. Jamie knew that the animal was still alive. The upper part of her body was still upright and even though her eyes were closed, he knew she would be leaning over if she were dead. A metre away was the body of her joey, face down in the mud and obviously dead.

“Oh no. Poor sod. I should have got here earlier,” muttered grandpa. “Well, we can back up and get a rope on her and dig around her and pull her out; or we’ve got a rifle behind the seat if you want to shoot her. Your call Jamie.”

It took only a moment for Jamie to decide to get the ‘roo out. It wasn’t that he couldn’t shoot her, just that he figured that she probably would survive once she was freed, so that was what he would do. They backed the ute down as close as they could to where the animal was stuck. Grandpa went to the back and got out a length of rope and a webbed belt saved from old horse harness and sometimes used to get stranded sheep out of dams. He bent and put the rope loop onto the tow-bar then passed the rolled up bundle of rope to Jamie to lay out. Then he motioned to Jamie to look in the ute for a half-a-dozen old boards he carried to lay on the soft mud to walk on. Jamie took out three boards and turned and walked as far as he could before the mud became too soft. Then he lay down a plank and walked out further and put down another.

He had almost reached the kangaroo and when he straightened up and looked at her, he saw that one eye was watching him. Then the other opened and they stared at one another. Jamie returned to the ute.

“We’ve got a water bottle, have we grandpa?” he asked.

“Yep, sure have son.” He reached into the back of the car and passed out an old army flask.

“Thanks,” Jamie answered, and picking up the rope, he headed out on the planks. When Jamie came close to the ‘roo, he made soft reassuring sounds, saying, ‘Easy girl; everything will be all right real soon.’ He adjusted the last plank to get up close; then he placed a hand on the kangaroo’s back. She didn’t move. He uncorked the water bottle and, with one hand holding one side of her mouth open, he placed the metal neck in between her gums and teeth and poured a little water into her mouth. She didn’t move and he poured a bit more in; then her neck moved involuntarily as it took in the water. More water and more swallowing followed until Jamie thought she’d had enough. Then he walked halfway back to where gramps was waiting and holding a shovel. “Thanks.”

Jamie dug first in front of the animal, being careful not to go down too far to where her long feet must be buried, then at the back and on each side to where the base of her tail would be.

“Doing a good job, lad,” called his grandfather. “Just say if I can help.”

Jamie stood upright and smiled back at gramps. “Looking good so far. Fingers crossed, grandpa.” Jamie fastened the harness around the waist of the animal, just under her elbows, and joined the rope to it. He wondered whether it was the right place. ‘We’ll try that,’ he murmured to the ‘roo and himself. “Can you do the driving, grandpa?” Jamie called.

“Sure can. Put your hand up and yell Stop! if you want me to stop. Are you ready now?”

“Ready.”

As Jamie stood in the hot sun waiting for grandpa to make his way slowly up the bank to the ute, he reflected on how one’s circumstances could change so dramatically. At one moment he was immersed in study in the university library, looking forward to an evening out with friends at an inner-city bar, hidden in an old bluestone-floored warehouse that many years before housed hundreds, maybe thousands of wool bales. Then, within what seemed like only hours, he was sharing his physical space with a kangaroo in a place where the hand of man was very evident but where the true master was neither a computer chip designer, a mathematician nor a dictator, but simply the natural environment.

Jamie saw that his situation was really not a lot different to the furry animal beside him, except he wasn’t stuck in the mud. Being out here with his grandparents put him closer to reality than all the books in the library would ever do.

As the ute took up the slack and the rope grew taut, Jamie put his arms around the animal and lifted. He needed to be careful not to end up off the plank and in the mud. Slowly but surely she lifted in slow motion until she was fully out of the mud and partly standing on the same plank as Jamie. Jamie put his hand in the air and called ‘Stop!’, and stood trying to work out what to do next. He loosened his arms from around the kangaroo slowly, watching to see if she stayed standing up. She wavered for a moment then pulled herself nearly upright.

Jamie realised that he should have put down two planks side by side as the animal needed a wider path than himself. Just as he was deciding whether to go and get another plank, the kangaroo lent forward and placed her front paws on the plank and moved her back legs up towards them so that one leg was on the plank while the other touched the top of the mud only gingerly. She then repeated the move and within moments was out of the wet muddy area and onto the harder dry mud. Jamie was thrilled. Then the kangaroo stood up and looked around and stared at Jamie as though to say, ‘Well, are you coming or not?’

Jamie laughed, but realised that things were not over yet. He needed to get the harness off the animal quite quickly before it made up its mind that it was time to leave. He approached her slowly as she stood looking at him. He knew that she was quite weak but perhaps not so weak that she couldn’t become difficult to deal with if she got excited. To his delight, she stood still as he unclipped the harness and drew it slowly away from around her chest.
“There, does that feel better?” he said softly. “Now, how do I know you won’t head back into the dam?”

“Well done Jamie. I don’t think there is much more you can do unless we go home and get one of the big plastic water bowls and a bit of feed of some kind.” On the way back to the house, Jamie’s grandfather said how he’d thought about not having checked that dam for three nights in a row and then each day something came up and he’d forget about it. He said he felt ashamed but also embarrassed that he so often forgot things these days.

The two men loaded a large plastic bin and filled two ten litre cans of water from the shed tank. Then grandad grabbed a bucket and half-filled it with grass pellets and pointed to the nearby hay shed and told Jamie to get a wafer of hay. Then they headed back towards the dam. Jamie thought this was a good moment to ask about grandma.

“Does grandma forget things too, gramps,” Jamie asked, renewing the recent conversation.

“No, she’s good, your grandma. She does drive me mad though, sometimes.”

“Why is that, granddad?”

“She listens to too much talk-back radio and she’s always coming up with crazy ideas because of it. She didn’t used to be like that. I’ve got my theories about it but I doubt anyone would listen,” he said.

“What’s your theory gramps, I’ll listen,” replied Jamie, with a supporting laugh.

“Well, there was a time when radio and even television were important. They gave us the news and entertainment. Important things when you live out in the bush. “It started about twenty years ago I reckon, nothing seemed important anymore. The world just got too big. No one wanted to take a serious look at things because it either took too long, or, if it was presented as serious, people no longer wanted to know.

“People wanted instant everything, or they thought they did. Well I started watching and listening, and over time I worked out what had happened.”

“You’ve got me granddad. What happened?”

“What happened, Jamie, coincided with what was going on in the world. The discovery of amazing new technologies, and the concentration of investment in huge single corporate entities and which people put under the label ‘globalisation,’ were the big things that happened. “When that happened, along came new influences in mass-communication. Of them, the major two things were ‘spin’ and ‘sound bites.’”

Jamie’s grandfather stopped for a breath.

Jamie was impressed with his grandfather’s perceptive understanding of the modern world. But then why wouldn’t he be able to see how things really were. Grandpa was an intelligent man. He had been a university student in the 1950s, earning honours in mathematics and law. He had chosen to become a farmer later in life when he inherited the farm of his grandparents.

“So, what we’ve got now is a bucket full of babble. And your gran is a prisoner of it.”

Jamie thought this might be an opportunity to mention the live-animal trade, to get his grandfather’s views on it. “What you are saying gramps, I understand and agree with. It seems to me that the use and effects of ‘spin’ instead of natural exposition or reportage in the media, is more serious than people think. “An example that you might not agree with me on, is the question of our live-animal trade. I would like to see it stop, and I, and many of my friends, actively promote banning it.

“Now you might not agree with me on this grandad, but I mention it because, on the way to the farm on Friday, grandma told me how she believed the sheep going overseas were like missionaries. Along with the Australian meat industry advisers, they would make it possible for people in foreign countries who hadn’t had an understanding god like ours, to teach them how to be kind to animals. I must say that I first thought gran was joking, but I soon realised that she wasn’t. Now to me grandpa, she was the victim of ‘spin’. Would you agree?”

“Totally … totally,” came granddad’s enthusiastic reply.

“You mean it’s not your view gramps? And you think she is the victim of spin?”

“Yes, to both. Your grandma is another story, but the live-animal trade is like a disease. We caught it back when shipping became cheap as a result of too many ships being built. Believe it or not, this ship building came directly or indirectly from the extraordinarily huge amount of money that was printed and loaned out by the USA, beginning at the time of the end of the Vietnam war. It’s like the world choked on the excess dollars and, suddenly, it was no longer the same world. Manufacturing goods cheaper abroad, in poorer countries, and dragging container loads of products around the planet to wealthier countries, became the basis of the new business model. Only now are people seeing the real damage that results from printing too much money.

“We’ve had the recent financial crisis in the US, the European currency cannot survive the loss of jobs to the far-east, and the US owes so much to China that each cannot do without the other. Add the threat of credit defaults in Italy and some south American countries and you quickly realise that things are more dysfunctional than anyone thought. And why is this so? You would want to say greed, but the truth is that it’s caused by ignorance. And don’t get me started on why that is. We’d be sitting here in the ute for bloody ever.”

There was silence for a while.

Jamie was impressed with what his grandpa had said. Most of it he already sort of knew, and it fitted in well with his and his friends’ world view. Grandpa’s description of the financial causes of the current situation were new to Jamie, however, and he made mental a note to research it fully once he was back at uni. And did grandpa really say ‘bloody’. Wow! He’d never before heard him utter a swear word of any kind.

“Grandpa, it seems to me that a lot of the problem relates to over-production. Do you agree?” asked Jamie.

“A phrase we’ve all grown used to hearing and never question is ‘economy of scale’. In other words, the belief that being able to produce a lot more of something leads to each individual item costing less, suggesting that we must all benefit. There is something innately wrong with the concept which takes a bit of explaining. It seems to make sense but in reality, if judged from the perspective of the ‘common good,’ it is a disaster. It makes sense for a few things but not everything. It’s mostly an excuse to make money. One day we’ll talk through the arguments. That’s if I can remember, of course.” Grandpa laughed.

“You just suggested in what you said grandpa, that you don’t agree with sending livestock abroad. How come you’re planning to do so, and is this the first lot?” Jamie asked.

“It is the first lot, and we have yet to confirm it with the agent. Grandma met some women friends for a shopping trip to Portland a couple of months back. The husband of one of them is an export agent and when the girls popped into his office for his wife to leave a message, your grandma mentioned we were on the land and it wasn’t long before he phoned and made an appointment. Over tea and cake he made everything sound so simple. And when I asked about conditions on the ship, he pulled out his folder of photos taken on one of the boats showing animals being well fed and watered, and generally cared for. It all seemed pretty good. And when I asked about what happened the other end, he produced more pictures of the inside of an abattoir in Kuwait or somewhere, which looked much the same as any abattoir here.

“And then, of course, there is the money. We don’t get a lot, but in a drought situation like this, when we cannot run stock on till spring and fatten them for the local market, they have to go, regardless.”

“And if sending the stock away by boat wasn’t an option grandpa, what would you do?” Jamie asked.

“The simple answer is dig a pit for the bodies and shoot them. It’s the last thing in the world a farmer wants to do but, if there is no water or rain, there is no other option. I’ve seen it done once on a neighbour’s place, and awful though it sounds, I was impressed at how well the farmer handled it. Now that I’ve had time to think about things and since we’ve heard — and I think we can believe it — about the mistreatment of animals in some overseas countries, I’m of a mind that shooting the animals we can no longer feed is the better option. A quick death at home against a bloody awful trip abroad and the possibility of a cruel and painful end. The options are limited but I know which one I’d choose.”

Jamie drove slowly around the end of the dam, not wanting to frighten the kangaroo. To his surprise, she was nowhere to be seen. What surprised him more was that the ‘roo’s baby had gone also. Jamie turned and looked at his grandpa.

“What’s happened to the Joey, grandpa? I’m sure it was dead.”

“It was, lad. And if you cast your eye way over there you’ll see it, or what’s left of it.” Jamie turned and looked towards where his grandfather was pointing. Out in the orange dust of the paddock, two wedge-tailed eagles were feeding on something brown.

“They must be young birds. They would have been a bit nervous of the mother, and waited until she had come out of the dam before they took it. Looks like she’s headed off, probably into the trees. I reckon we should leave the water here in case she comes back. She should smell it, especially if we leave a bit of food nearby.”

Jamie filled the plastic water trough with the water. “There’s a couple of heavy rocks in the back of the ute. Best put those in too. They should help stop it getting tipped over if she accidentally kicks it.”

When they headed off, his grandfather asked Jamie to keep driving parallel to the line of trees. When they came to where the casuarinas finished and a group of ancient red gums clumped beside a creek, grandpa asked him to stop. The two men left the ute and wandered casually towards the gum trees.

“What are we looking at over here, gramps?”

“Well, Jamie, I’ve been thinking through what we’ve just talked about. I’ve known all along that shipping live animals was a bad idea and it shouldn’t happen and I have to start doing something about it now if we are ever to make a difference. I’m looking for a quiet spot where the digging is easy for the scoop on the tractor. We will need more than one trench of course so I will look around the property over the next few weeks. We’re not sending those sheep away after all. I’ve decided they will die here. No fuss, no loading and unloading. It makes sense, don’t you think lad?”

Jamie smiled a broad smile at his grandfather. “Yes, gramps, I certainly do.”

On the drive back to the farmhouse, the two were quiet. Then grandpa asked Jamie if he would consider being there to help when the time came to kill the sheep.

“Sure, gramps, and if it’s okay with you, I’ll bring a couple of friends.”

“It’s going to take a bit of organising lad. And the job itself will take time. We definitely won’t be rushing it. I want to set an example to others who might also decide to face up to the truth. We’ve got to get it right. Things like killing in small batches, and checking each kill is successful before burying. And I reckon we should kill from the back of the race — not the front — so that a beast doesn’t see what is happening to the one ahead of it. The situation demands we put as much thought as we can into it beforehand and I’d appreciate your help, Jamie. You’re a smart lad and you know a lot about all sorts of things and if you can get like-minded people interested, all the better. Now the only problem is how to tell your gran.”

Jamie was already thinking about it. He could see a late-into-the-night group discussion with his friends looming. ‘Something to really get our teeth into’ he mused. Maybe a video would be in order; strict rules about filming and internet access though. For a moment he thought about adding links to sympathetic video’s then pulled himself up. That stuff would happen without him needing to do it. Forget the spin. Let the facts speak for the themselves. Grandpa would want that.

Dinner at his grandparent’s farm was alway a delight and Jamie enjoyed helping in the kitchen. Often grandpa would join in, peeling the potatoes or shelling peas. There was a time, before his accident, when he would have kept working out in the shed or yards until grandma called him in for dinner by banging on the metal bin lid that hung from the veranda roof outside the scullery.

Preparing the evening meal was a time when all three were actively doing something together and it reminded Jamie of being at school camp or down at the beach house with his family on summer holidays. People working together usually joked and sometimes said silly things to or about one another that they would not otherwise have said if they were simply sitting having a meal or a cup of tea. His grandparents could never resist at least one or two digs at the grandson’s vegetarian diet.

“What’s the vego having tonight?” was grandpa’s favourite, usually followed with something like, “There is a new batch of lucerne pellets in the barn if you’d like to try them, Jamie? I knew you were coming so I ordered the ones with the extra mineral supplements and double molasses.”

When the laughter died down, grandma would say something in Jamie’s defence. “Never having had a chop in his mouth hasn’t stopped him growing and I reckon his probably bigger and stronger than you were at that age, Mr Universe. And your hero, Cliffy, the sixty-one year-old potato farmer who won the Sydney to Melbourne foot race, was a vegetarian.”

At dinner, the conversation would most often be about the family, or the farm, or about what Jamie would do when he finished his studies. Tonight, in the middle of the first course, grandma dropped a bombshell.

“I am now of the opinion that we should not send our sheep overseas,” grandma announced suddenly. “While I think it’s a very worthwhile cause, the truth is we can’t afford the water,” she continued.

Grandpa sat with a piece of lamb impaled on his fork, half way between the plate and his mouth, staring at his wife. Then he looked at Jamie and raised one eyebrow.

“Is that right, dear?”

“Yes, I heard it on the radio this morning. A listener rang in and said how, what with the drought and the problems with the environment, we shouldn’t keep sending our water overseas.”

Jamie and his grandfather exchanged glances.

“They made the very good point that our bodies are more than ninety percent water and sheep and cattle are the same. I’ve forgotten how much water they said was contained in wheat, but it was also a lot so we shouldn’t send that away either. It makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it? Then they said if everyone stopped sending produce from one country to another, people would stop going on about that silly climate change. They said it wasn’t the, what did he say it was, CFC’s or the CO2’s that the scientists keep talking about, it was all that water going to where it wasn’t supposed to be — strawberries from Africa to Aberdeen or oranges from California to Canada, and so on.”

Grandma fell silent and continued eating, emptying her plate with a final mouthful of mashed potato. Then she said, looking at her husband, “I’d suggest we don’t send our sheep away George. I’ve gone off the idea totally.”

Jamie and his grandfather looked at one another and then at grandma. After a few moments, grandpa spoke.

“Well, Mary, I don’t believe they should be sent away either, so I’ll ring and cancel their holiday trip with the shipping agent first thing in the morning.”

Grandpa beamed a relieved smile at Jamie.

Grandma smiled, then said, “Thank you dear. Now, who’s for fruit salad and ice-cream?”

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Love and lust – The Fifi Code

The Fifi Code – Love and lust for people who love people
Love is the essential message of The FIFI CODE. It comes under the heading of Erotic Fiction and it appears here because I wrote it, not long after meeting someone at a birthday party, who suggested that this genre sold well in the world of ebooks.

THE FIFI CODE

Needing money, I put aside the grand novel I’ve been working on for the last couple of years, and took time out to write something just a little different. It might not be a book that you would possibly contemplate reading, but here it is.

Discover the secrets of the special lovemaking trigger codes that Rosa and Bertie share after fifty years of marriage, devised to prompt her very fit and virile husband, following his recent partial loss of memory. And what happens when others discover the codes? Discover too, Rosa’s network of women friends and lovers, all of whom she is happy to share, both with her husband, and each other.

Rosa maintains that the kiss is the most important part of sensuality, and that there should always be loving intent when expressing ones affections. Enjoy the adventures of Rosa’s family friends, Helen and Maude, and Helen’s step daughter, Alice, and her friends, Freya and Angie. This book is a loving rampage through sensual love and lust, innocently enjoyed by all

The book can be bought from Amazon as a Kindle ebook or as a 270 page paperback book.

Here is a chapter from The Fifi Code. Please be warned that it contains language and situations that could offend some people.


Chapter 8
ANGIE’S STORY

You will remember that members of the Feeling Sweet club agreed they would each tell their most memorable sexual adventure.
We have already heard Alice’s story and Freya’s story. Here we discover Angies’s amorous account of passion.

Note: Angie is using a spoken word approach to telling this story. We hope it works.


You might recall that before I started at university, I worked as a teachers aid and doubled as a youth worker, at a city senior high school.

I had moved to the city at age sixteen, to live with my aunty Betty, mum’s younger sister, and had worked mainly in rubbish jobs. Getting the job at the school was a step up.

One of the youth worker tasks that I particularly enjoyed was going on school camps. It meant that I got away from my crazy aunt who I loved dearly but who could be quite demanding. It also gave me an opportunity to work in a responsible and serious work environment.

The school owned a couple of holiday camps, one in the mountains, the other in bushland that fronted a beautiful beach. I got to know them both very well.

As a member of staff, I was involved in the planning of student activities. This also involved getting the students up early, and organising them for bush walks or beach trips, or whatever.

Most times everything was good, and the kids were great. Occasionally there would be a couple of kids, or I should perhaps call them young adults — usually sixth formers — who could prove tiresome and shirk their rostered duties, or disrupt some well planned activity.

We tactfully tried to sort these students and put them into rolls where they couldn’t easily stuff up.

My story begins with a planned combined canoeing and bush walking trip.

Everybody knew what tasks they had been allotted. The weather was perfect, and at nine fifteen we congregated at the centre of camp, then moved off towards the jetty and the canoes.

It was at that moment one of the staff notice that two of the boys were missing, and I was sent to find them and hurry them up.

I headed up to the rows of tents. It was very quiet as everyone had already headed to the beach.

I approached the tent of the two missing students, Roger and Kevin. As I drew close I thought I heard a sound. I walked around to the back of their tent, and peeped through the mosquito netting of the small back window.

Rodger and Kevin were laying on the floor with their trouser pulled down around their ankles. Each had a hand on the others cock and both were rubbing and tugging furiously.

Instead of immediately leaving, I stood fascinated and watched until the two ejaculated, then I quietly left, my mind swirling.

I reported back that the boys couldn’t be found and they were both marked down for detention when back at school the following week.


The thirty or more students on the trip had a great time. It was interesting observing them. Some seemed so young while other were quite adult. All were entertaining and so often I smiled watching what they were up to.

One girl, Judy Somerville, was the girl who had everything going for her and commanded attention wherever she went. Not only was she tall and shapely, she was also beautiful to look at, and spoke confidently on all matters.

If Judy Somerville had a problem, it must surely have been that she was what the boys would call a ‘cock tease’.

She knew that she reigned supreme over all the other girls in the school and that she was the most desired female on the campus. And if that wasn’t enough, she had a more than adequate bosom which the boys could never pass up the opportunity to comment on, or make unsavoury jokes about them.

One wanted to be sympathetic to Judy but it just was not possible.

Judy had a couple of girl friends but they were only their to bathe in her glory and enjoy her occasional largess as a wealthy benefactor. Judy Somerville’s parent were well-to-do, and she made sure that everyone knew about it.

Judy had a boyfriend who sometimes picked her up in his father’s expensive European sports car. Judy was unattainable by any of the lads at our school.


After school one day, I called out to our school camp naughty boys, Roger and Kevin as they headed off for the mall. I said that I had a few hours paid work for them at my house and asked them to get there as soon as school finished on Friday. When Kevin, the cheeky one replied ‘we are expensive Miss’, I replied ‘so am I, but everything is negotiable’. Just be there.

Friday came and the two lads knocked on my door, and I showed them in. I told them to follow me, and led them to the lounge and asked them to sit on the sofa. They were out of their comfort zone, and a bit self conscious.

I don’t think male students take too much notice of a women’s clothing, being usually fixated only on her anatomy, clothed, but preferably naked.

I had worn a very tight dress which accentuated my prominent backside, a very low cut top, and I wore stockings and high heels, and lots of lipstick and put on perfume. Hopefully they’d notice that I looked a little different to how I looked at school.

First, I told them to each move aside and make a space for me on the sofa as I had something to tell them. I sat down between them, making sure my skirt rose above my knees, then on pretence of needing to switch something off in the kitchen, I stood and walked slowly away from them, towards the swing door.

Immediately through the door I turned, and looked through crack on the side. Both boys were grinning and nodding, and Kevin made a gesture with his hand indicating he was doing something rude with himself and with me.

I smiled to myself. Bingo! They’ve noticed. I came back and sat on the sofa.

“Now boys, it’s your lucky day.”

“How come Miss?”

“Well, how will I put this? I’m sure you both have fantasies. In fact I’m certain you both fantasise about Judy Somerville, for instance?”

There was a stunned silence.

“Oh, and in case you are wondering, why I invited you, you are here to help me with my fantasies. Yes, girls have fantasies too.”

The two stared at me with a wide-eyed look of disbelief.

“And just in case you both feel disinclined to share my fantasy with me, I should tell you one important thing. I saw you wanking each other in your tent at camp last month. So if you don’t do as I ask, I could put out the rumour that you two are wanking each other, and that is probably something to do you with you not being able to get girl friends.”

The two young men stared at me then at each other. Kevin turned to me.

“Oh no Miss, you can’t do that. We don’t do it much Miss. Please don’t tell anyone.”

“Good, Kevin. Now tell me, when you were both tugging on each other, what was your fantasy at that moment? Roger, you go first.

“Gees Miss, do we really have to do this? This is so embarrassing. We came to work in your shed Miss, we should get started.”

“Kevin, you are the cheeky one. Tell me what you were thinking about. Were you thinking about Judy Somerville? Were you fucking Miss Somerville in your head, while Roger was giving you the hand job?”

Kevin pulled a face.

“That bitch should be fucked. She’s such a bitch”

Then Roger added his thoughts.

“Yeah Miss, every bloke at school wants to fuck her. She’s so sexy and good looking.”

“So Kevin, if you had Judy Somerville here right now and you could do anything you wanted with her, what would you do? Tell us Kevin. What is your fantasy about the gorgeous Judy? You can say whatever’s in your head.”

The two boys each looked past me, and at each other and grinned.

“Well, Kevin?”

“I’d first give her big backside a good whack. In fact, I’d push her over the back of this seat, drag down her pants and spank her till her bum turned red and she screamed for mercy. That’s what I’d do Miss.”

“That sounds very exciting Kevin. Thank you.”

“You’re next Roger. You suddenly have the most desirable Judy Somerville in front of you. What would your fantasy be? How would you handle the dear girl? Would you woo her with kind words, or would you have something else in mind. Tell us Roger.”

Big Roger coloured up behind his youthful chin stubble.

“Well, Miss, I’d start by pulling her top off Miss, then I’d bite and suck her tits, then I’d pull out my stiffie and make her suck it Miss.”

The two exchanged looks and grinned. Then Kevin spoke.

“Yes, Miss, we would show her what’s what.”

I eyed the two and noticed that at least one had a slight bulge in his pants.

“Now boys, would you like to hear my fantasy? Are you both ready? Remember, I said you are here to help me.”

Both boys were suddenly more forthcoming. “Yes, Miss, whatever you want Miss.”

“Here we go then. This is my fantasy.”

Two sets of eyes stared at me and I noticed that one lad had a hand moving awkwardly on his trousers.

“My fantasy is that I am really Judy Somerville, and that I am suddenly trapped alone in this room with the two of you.”

As I spoke, I placed a hand on each lads trouser front and let my fingers search for signs of life. There was an audible gasp from Roger, and Kevin wriggled a little.

“Judy Somerville is getting a little excited, sitting beside two of her most enthusiastic admirers, and she notices that things are happening inside their trousers. She reaches out, unzips each of you, and gets out two cocks. Having one in each hand makes Judy very happy, and very horny.”

I was unzipping the lads as I spoke. Kevin cock sprang out of his trousers and I untangled Roger where his cock was caught up in his underpants.

“Oh Miss? Your fantasy is fantastic. What next?”

“Yes, what happens?”

“Judy is very excited. She has a lovely cock in each hand and she moves her hand gently up and down. Judy Somerville is getting more and more excited until she can stand it no longer, and tears off her blouse and brassiere, and exposes her boobs to her admirers.”

I let go of the boys at this point, and remove my top and bra. Then I close my hand around their erections once again. Both lads are red faced, and stare at my breasts. “Now Roger, Judy’s breasts are all yours. Suck them while you can.” I let go of Rogers cock and put a hand behind his head and pulled him to my chest. He immediately opened his mouth and gorged himself on my nipples, moving rapidly from one breast to the next and back again.

Kevin gazed at what was happening. His jaw was slack and his mouth was open. I let go of him and unzipped my skirt, and lifted myself and slipped the skirt down and away. Kevin’s eyes bulged. Then I slid my self down on the sofa a little, and lifted my legs in the air.

“Judy wants Kevin to smack her bottom, while Roger is sucking on her big titties. Please get down on the floor and make Judy happy Kevin.”

Kevin practically fell off the sofa onto the floor. He knelt and stared in awe at my backside and my stockinged legs and my heeled shoes.

“My fantasy Kevin, so do as you are told. Take Judy’s panties off please. Oh, and when you’ve got her panties off Kev, she would love you to kiss her wet pussy.”

I really didn’t need to say or do a lot more.

The boys where fired up. I was suddenly without skirt, pants or bra and two gorgeous young men where feeding on me, like crocs on a herd of Wildebeests crossing a river, and I laid back to fully enjoy it. I was in ‘bad boy’ land and I loved it.

Occasionally I would ask for a little something like ‘Judy wants you to play with her tits Kevin darling’ or ‘Judy wants you to suck her clitoris Roger’.

“You’re doing a fantastic job boys. Please try not to blow your load yet though, because Judy will want you to do something else with your cocks soon.”

I judged that time had arrived.

“Back off a moment boys, Judy wants to turn over.”

I moved down knelt on the floor. The boys held their cocks and watched lustfully.

“Look at her arse and her stockings, she’s so beautiful Kev. I’ve only seen that in porn mags.”

I loved the complement.

“Now boys, Judy would like you to fuck her. Take it in turns. She can suck one of you while the other is in her slippery cunt.”

The boys were good. They had managed (I suspect with great difficulty) to hold on until the moment when Judy told each of them separately, to empty their balls in her.

We ended the day with me back on the sofa with a stocking round my ankle and a shoe missing, being gently licked and touched, as one of the boys played with my suspenders.

I complimented the lads. “Thank you Kevin, thank you Roger. You have satisfied my fantasy perfectly. And I hope you both enjoyed yourselves.”

“Oh yes Miss, you’re the best. We loved your fantasy, playing Judy, but it was the real you who was really fantastic.”

I thought I noticed that Kevin had a more sensitive look in his eye and his manner had changed.

“Miss Angie?”

“Yes, Roger?”

“I’m in love with you now. Bugger Judy Somerville.”

“Me to,” murmured Kevin.

“Hmm, buggering Miss Judy Somerville? Now that’s a fantasy I will definitely think about.”

The boys exchanged knowing smiles.

“Glad to help in the garage anytime, Miss Angie.”


That is not quite the end of the story. After some time away on holidays I returned to school. I hadn’t been back more than a day when Kevin and Roger met me outside the school gates.

“Hello you too. Not getting into too much trouble I hope?”

They both laughed. Roger started to talk.

“Miss Angie! We wondered if … ?”

“Come on, spit it out.”

“What he wants to say Miss, is that we would be very happy to help you clean up the garage anytime you felt like it.”

I laughed. This seemed vaguely like a proposition.

“Well, boys, I’m not against the idea but I should tell you that last time, my crazy aunt Betty, who I live with was away and so I had the house to myself. Now she is back.”

A downcast look crossed their faces.

“Mind you. Aunty is a randy bitch. She would love to have some young cock around the house.”

Both lads straightened up and smiled.

“Is she as beautiful as you Miss?”

“Probably, but in a different way. It might be just what you young blokes need, a mature woman who knows what to do with what you’ve got in your trousers.”

Kevin and Roger laughed heartily.

“I think Judy Somerville would also enjoy having her aunt there to take care of one of you while Judy handles the other one. Do you think you’re up for a double act lads?”

“God yes, Can we really do that Miss Angie?”

“Leave it with me. I’ll check with auntie. In the meantime, you both have a tentative booking for Saturday afternoon.

“Oh yes, and by the way, I think Judy and her aunt might enjoy a good buggering, so save yourselves. You’ll need all the strength you can muster.”

THE END

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Plenty Should Be Enough Placemats

Plenty Should Be Enough

Our new range of paper tear-off placemats:

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Alpaca Paradise is Here

Alpaca paradise is Here!

A paradise for print on demand Alpaca products.

Fully customisable: Alpaca Alpakka Alpaka Alpaga coffee mug.

This head shot of our favourite Alpaca is found on more than 40 print-on-demand products at our Zazzle.com store – from truckers caps to wrapping paper – t-shirts to luggage tags, and many more things. See the complete range here: https://www.zazzle.com/youbeaut/alpaca

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Guitar Cases

Our new Guitar Cases

Your music is an expression of your personal take on life – shouldn’t your guitar cases be as well? Stand out from the rest and create your own guitar case with a custom face! Get one bag to match your mood, or easily switch your style any time you want with another interchangeable face.This soft case design combines the protection of a thick padded interior with the portability of a gig bag. Made with a sturdy shell, this versatile case is lined with a soft material to gently cradle your guitar.

We are the Harmonisers! In Australia the guitar might also be called an axe. The emu is a very funny flightless bird. There are many folk songs which include references to emus. Old Man Emu is on these. Have fun with this design. It is fully customisable. Change the text (message and type face – font), the image to one of your choice, and also the background colour. Add other text as required.

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Winter garden

Winter garden
“Never seen the winter barometer this high at this time of the year, “says my ninety-something year old neighbor, Bill. He is not alone in his observations. The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a warmer (and dryer) than normal winter this year. So let us take advantage of this situation and throw ourselves into our garden planning.
Fruit trees are something worth your attention. Now would be a good time to plant them. And if you plead lack of space, let me urge you to consider replacing older trees and ornamental shrubs with new food bearing trees. I have just planted a nectarine (Prunus persica Goldmine), a white-fleshed fruit and self-pollinating variety. I also planted a dwarf Tahitian Lime (Citrus latifolia). The label reads ‘heavy bearing, medium sized fruit, juicy and seedless. I’ve never taken dwarf varieties of fruit trees very seriously but now, with less space, I have surrendered. Time will tell.
Two well established and prolific fruiting Cumquat trees are without a doubt the most successful food producing trees (think marmalade) on the property, and they take up very little space.
Figs are another welcome addition to a food garden. I recently took out a large Preston Prolific – a green fig – and replaced it with a Black Genoa. Time will tell whether or not this was the right move.
If I had more garden space I would also plant a yellow cling peach. These are such a versatile and undervalued fruit and I love them. Apricots also do well here. You will often come across trees in old established gardens with smaller fruit and extraordinary flavor. The apricot should be on the top five food trees list along with almonds and apples. We see well-laden orange trees around the district and the occasional grapefruit. I confess to not having tried either and, having reminded myself of this fact, will now go out and seek this citrus experience.
Before leaving our fruity friends, let us not forget the Nellie Kelly grafted black passion fruit that should adorn every backyard fence. Easy to grow and disease free. And what would a Pavlova be like without passion fruit!
And I shouldn’t forget the rhubarb. A moist spot in dappled sunlight with well-manured soil is an ideal spot for this ever-popular desert ingredient.

Easy to grow vegetables

With so much recent talk about food waste, it is worth considering planting a few vegetables even if you don’t see yourself as a gardener. You don’t need a green thumb for the basic essentials of healthy eating, namely a green vegetable. Seedlings are sometimes a better option than seeds if for no other reason than you get the satisfaction of watching their progress from day one. Plant the obvious things that should be a regular item on your plate. Silver beet – sometimes called Swiss chard – is available in the plain green variety or as the more decorative ‘rainbow’ with bright colored stalks. Plant plenty and anywhere where there is a space. The ‘rainbow’ colored variety is a popular pot plant on a veranda. A bunch of silver beet can be a great little token gift to take to a friend or neighbor when calling in.
I’ve taken to making vegetable soups lately and I like to add a green vegetable. Often I will buy a bag of spinach but being able to collect something from your garden feels so much better. With this in mind I have planted Kale for the first time. While I’m not a fan of the cooked vegetable as such, it is ideal for adding to soups. It is hardy and robust and for that reason I’m including it on the ‘easy veg’ list.
Broad beans are not every ones favourite – I don’t know why. They are fun to grow and provide a vegetable that can be eaten as young pods before maturity or as beans when fully grown. Depending on the variety, the plants can often grow bigger than expected and then fall over. One suggestion is that once the first pods are looking close to being fully formed, pinch out the tops of the plant. This will stop it growing too high. Runner beans climbing up a fence or dwarf beans in their own bed or scattered through the flowerbeds are very worthwhile.
If you have an open space like a lawn area or unused driveway or path and there is a sunny garden spot adjoining, consider growing pumpkins. Once established, the plants will spread over the adjacent land and you will be amazed at how many and how big your pumpkin crop will be. You can store them in a dry shed or spare room or give them away to friends. Note: A friend told me that their pu-mpkin plants had been nibbled at the ends of the runners by deer that venture out of the Muckleford Forest and into Maldon gardens so if you live on the edge of town, you might get a surprise in the pumpkin patch.
A salad crop list is most often headed by that impossible to avoid vegetable – or fruit – the tomato. I hasten to add that this is not a winter garden vegetable and I wouldn’t dare suggest growing hints for fear of retribution from the hundreds of home growers, each with their special tried and true growing formula. But growing a half a dozen plants, either in the garden or in pots can be fun. Plant in late spring and never before Cup Day – or so they say.
One of the most simple green salad vegetables to grow at most times of the year is Rocket. You can literally throw the seed on dug soil and rake lightly. Bingo! Salad greens.
Finally, if you want information about growing your own food, check the shelves at your local library. I find this more informative and interesting than searching online, at least, to begin with. Once you’ve started gardening then online can be a lot of fun.

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