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THE GLASS MAN COMMETH

7 October 2003

I had never seen one quite like this before. It's a mini (micro, really) rolled boneless leg of lamb. Cute, I thought. Peggy wasn't sure it would feed two of us, once it cooked down, but I convinced her to buy it anyway.

The Big Deal of the day was picking up food at the local grocery store. (Such an exciting life I am living!) Actually, we expected the glass man to come to replace the glass door on the shower, which broke the week before we left for our trip up north. They first scheduled to be here the day of the football championships, and never showed up. Then they rescheduled for today at 8:30.

Peggy woke me up by yelling "Are you awake yet?" I had a bad night and was awake from 1:30 until after 4:30, so I hadn't had much sleep. But within minutes--less than 5, I'm sure--I was in the car getting the dogs out for their morning walk. We had to be back in time to meet the glass man.

It was just the four of us this morning--Peggy, me and the two dogs. Janne is on early shift, so didn't meet us. We got them run in record time and were home in plenty of time to put out the first load of wash on the line, get some breakfast, and be ready for the glass man.

Who, of course, never showed up.

After an hour, Peggy called her insurance company and got permission to take care of it herself, find her own glass company and bill the insurance. The new place was very accommodating, were not surprised at the unprofessional behavior of the first place, and promised to have someone out here by 3:30. As it was now getting late in the day, that narrowed our options. Besides, we still had washing and ironing to do (yes, I ironed...stop chortling. You know who you are.)

By about 2, Peggy suggested we take a quick run to the shop and pick up bread and something for tea, to add to the leftover take-away Chinese dinner we had from last night.

Peggy shops in a little strip mall at a place called Dewson's. I thought Dewson's was a tiny little local mom and pop store. From the look of it--the tiny size, the cramped aisles, the foods crammed into every nook and cranny--you'd think this is the case.

But we seem to be running into a Dewson's nearly everywhere we go. Peggy says she thinks they may have been taken over by some larger corporation because she sees them popping up more and more.

Each location has its own unique feel. The Dewson's in Mount Barker, where we shopped with Claire and Penny, was huge--easily as large as a small supermarket in the States. But it was cavernous and half of it almost echoed with space that might have been used better for food displays (though in a town that is 3 blocks long at best, why??) A piece of the cavernous half was filled with a display of toys and holiday items (Christmas--already?), but it had more the feel of a garage sale, rather than the flashy displays one might expect.

In contrast, the Dewson's in Margaret River was a neat and tidy little boutique of a supermarket, with freshly made locally produced delicacies (like the package of beef satay we bought for our tea the first night), great looking produce, and a wonderful deli counter.

I love looking through markets of any sort in another country. You always find such interesting things. Like kangaroo bones. And the aforementioned boutique lamb roast. We were standing at the deli counter today and I saw something labeled "pumpkin pie." I pointed to it and said "I'll bet that's not a sweet." And no, it's a "savory," the vegetable use of pumpkin rather than the dessert use of the plant.

I've been surprised to discover that Weight Watchers Australia has a whole line of products that I have never seen in the States. Boxes of cereal, for example, with some unidentifiable bits in it, but which is 97% fat free and loaded with fiber. There are great Weight Watcher cookies and pudding mixes and other things. I don't know if there are Weight Watchers frozen meals--haven't seen those, so perhaps in this country the "make it yourself" option wins out over the "thaw-it-yourself" option!

Peggy also buys soft light butter, which may exist in the States, but which I haven't seen. It looks like, spreads like, and tastes like real butter, but with only 50% the fat. (I'm starting to sound like a commercial.)

We returned from Dewson's in plenty of time to meet the new glass man at 3:30 and I was getting concerned when it was approaching 4:30 and he still hadn't arrived. But he did eventually show up, measured the door, went back to the shop to see if they had glass to fit it, they did, and he is now scheduled to come and fix it at 9 tomorrow. Let's hope.

In the meantime, I hear that tomorrow is the day we discover whether California has "total recall" or not. I groan when I think of returning home to a state governed by The Terminator. That may give me nightmares to keep me awake tonight as well.

(My time here must be growing short--it's the first time I've thought seriously about any political issue since I left.)


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