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24 November 2010 @ 09:20 am
Am home!  
The problem, the really enormous and hard to get past problem, with Australia is that it is just too far from everything and everyone.

I have long travel diary posts coming, with photos, now that I am back on the Macbook (it is the size of a house after the teeny netbook!) and can type with fewer disastrously bad typos. I was going to be religious about getting things up in a timely fashion, but was thwarted by the need to write some stories for work, write for Glompfest so teas_me  could know that her marvellousness is appreciated, and actually travel about the place having adventures that could be written up into amusing anecdotes as I went. 

Tragically, I ran out of London time so spectacularly that I wasn't able to catch up with melusinahp  or see if vashtan  was up for a beverage, and despite passing through Wilts twice, could not stop to track down the estimable wemyss , though I am about to embark on some very interesting reading thanks to same and I did wave out the window in an all-encompassing Queen Mother Approved fashion (which may explain the two bottles of gin I found myself impelled to buy at the duty free). oddishly , feralcheryl  and quatrefoil ,  I have postcards for all of you, but failed to actually write down your new addresses because I am an idiot. Several postcards were sent to people – who, I have no idea, and yes, I did carry most of them across half of Europe and post them at the airport, need you even ask?

I caught up with some of my very fave people, and met the wonderful thisgirl-is  and theodoraleft  -- more of which in the travel diary posts coming, but I am constantly amazed at the loveliness of people on my flist.

And now to sleep erratically for a few days to make up for the flight home and the whopping great sleep debt I managed to build up while I was away!

Quick question: to monster someone, as in 'I liked the fact that Dudley could see the good in Harry, but he did monster him appallingly in the first few books' – is that an Australianism? I have no idea where I picked it up – at this point my English is as deranged as my Italian, though with more vocabulary.

As a side note, do you have any idea how hard it is to explain an Australian customs form to a non-English-speaking Romanian using only Italian and mime? Are you carrying any meat or meat products, indeed! 

Finally, thank you so much to everyone who has been posting the Dan Radcliffe clip today, it made me laugh so much! Here it is at the lovely rubytuesday5681 's.

I ... I really miss England. For all that I am looking out on a sunshine-filled patch of green garden here with cats bathing in the pools of light. I really miss it. 
Vashtanvashtan on November 23rd, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Hah, you pass through here all the time. :) Next time?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
Next time! And it's not all the time -- though I have nearly enough points for a free trip ...
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: dilbert-not-a-ghost_inbetween_ on November 23rd, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Never heard "to monster" before (and I once even resided in your country).

Would have thought pretending to chew on ones own arm would adequately describe meat products ... erm, maybe I'm wrong. *g*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
I have a terrible feeling it could be a Brammersism, as I seem to recall telling people it must be British -- but then, I am so jumbled with all my Englishes from living in too many different places, travelling to more and editing in most of the main ones, that I am wholly unreliable on the topic.

And I fear I would have just conveyed the impression that in addition to sharks, spiders and drop bears, Australia is populated by friendly zombies.
being_herebeing_here on November 23rd, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Alas that I missed you again! I would travel the length of the country to buy you booze you know ;p
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
I want to meet you, too!

I had all these brilliant 'Right, will announce presence in X and suggest Y activity and see who shows up!' plans, which would have been fine if I had not committed myself to six days of catching up with old friends and then decided on two days in Bath, with only ten days in England ... I missed going to see HP, too! But I did see the Duchess of Cornwall ;-)
being_herebeing_here on November 23rd, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Heh. I love Bath and would totally have met you there dressed as a Georgette Heyer-esque character ;p

The Duchess of Cornwall you say? Humm...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Good old horsey-face. She turned on the Christmas lights in Bath and gave an hilarious plug for the Highgrove shop at the same time. I found myself overcome with giggles at the fact that she and the Prince of Wales are enormously successful niche business owners -- nation of shopkeepers indeed! (And then I bought two bars of Highgrove soap and really wanted one of the treacle tarts from Waitrose but was too full of cream teas. They make good stuff!)

You would have fitted right in as we did the rounds of the Costume Museum and environs! I think I will need to Bath again next visit and we can organise a bigger bash there.
alisannealisanne on November 23rd, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Welcome home! :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The cats were going to snub me but then they recalled that I have longer fingernails than Mr B, and it is shedding season.
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on November 24th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
bwahhahahahaa, that SO sounds like cats!

Welcome home from me too.

Next time, move your tiny ass also to Berlin ;-)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 25th, 2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
I hope to! We have definite plans for a long time in France next year or the year after and it will be not very hard to add a Berlin side trip in -- I can sell it on the basis of all those museums I want to visit!
prone to mischief: *flails*treacle_tartlet on November 23rd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)

Of course, one great advantage of living in Australia is that YOU ARE CLOSE TO MEEEEE! \o/

Random Welcome Home Anecdote: Following Chicken II, daughter of the late lamented, is henceforth to be known as Chip-stealing Chicken With Overdeveloped Sense Of Entitlement (or Get Away You Thieving Bastard for short), having strolled up and stolen a hot chip out of Small Girl's bowl as we sat under the oak tree eating dinner yesterday.

Good to have you back, darling!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 23rd, 2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
You and about 20 other people are my sole consolation! Well, that and Sydney winters, which are the nicest winters on earth.

YAY evil Following Chicken II! If you are going to have such a pastorally perfect evening meal, it needs to come with a few difficulties ;-)

I know that you and SG have postcards coming, she also has an Anne of Cleves Christmas decoration from Hampton Court that will be posted shortly, as if you are going to be a Princess, you should always be one who keeps the house!
quatrefoilquatrefoil on November 24th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
Yep, the verb to monster is 'chiefly Aust.', and will be in the forthcoming edition of the Australian National Dictionary. (I popped into the Australian National Dictionary Centre at lunchtime to check with my former colleagues.)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 24th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! I had no idea where I had picked it up, though I was convinced it was a broad usage somewhere!

I have a Nigerian Queen Victoria postcard for you, but no idea where to send it, can you PM me?
Darry Willis: Typhoonnursedarry on November 24th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
You completely missed me, as well :( I'm crammed in between Oxon, Wilts and Berks - about 45 minutes from London.

Maybe next time. Glad you're back safe and sound, though!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 25th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I had SUCH great plans for catching up with fandom peeps, but aside from a few who I know IRL and the Bath folk, I was swamped by the small number of RL friends who knew I was in town and those ten days disappeared in a puff of smoke! Next time! I have to be up in Oxford for a few days next visit on pain of pain, so we could catch up there!
Darry Willis: Cylons 2012nursedarry on November 25th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
LOL! There's a very strong chance I won't be here by then! You know the military :) But I'm not leaving the country - I'll find you somewhere!
E McGeemelusinahp on November 24th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
Sorry to have missed you, lovely. It wouldn't have worked out anyway with my Boy ill. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time, though. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 25th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Hectic and mad! I waved in your general direction as I ran about. BTW, have you seen the Dodi and Diana memorial at the rear entrance to Harrods? It is my new favourite thing!

mama_pyjamamama_pyjama on November 24th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
[feels envy of Sidney winter] Hard frost in Cambridge this morning and everything is grey and drear. Swap? I will wave as you pass through next visit.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 25th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
Sydney is on the verge of summer, when it will suddenly be 35-42 degrees C for days on end and your eyebrows begin to crisp, so I will happily swap!

Sydney winters, I will grant you, are one of the nicest seasons in the world, but take place at the same time as Sussex summers, which are also one of the nicest seasons in the world, so I spend my life torn between which life would be better in those months. Mr B and the cats tilt the balance in favour of here.

I will try to have more time in more places and do some actual visiting next visit -- this was all flying catch-ups with friends, save in Bath, where I accidentally made two friends I want to see again and again, so really I've just added to the problem ;-)
masquerade: el smiletrue_masquerade on November 24th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
Welcome home!

I use "monstered", so it's not just a Brammerism ;-)... but I am Australian, and so I can't tell you if it's an Australianism :-S I would normally use it in a sporting context though - like one team monstered the other one :-)
uminohikariuminohikari on November 24th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
According to dictionary.com, when monster is used as a verb, it means:
5. informal (Austral), (NZ) to criticize (a person or group) severely
6. (Austral), (NZ) sport to use intimidating tactics against (an opponent)
creme_bun on November 24th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I look forward to reading all about your traveling adventures as I am no longer able to have any more myself. I have to live vicariously though my flist.

Sadly, I'll never be able to 'cross the pond', as it were. However, at night before I sleep, I think of England. :)
sorrel_forbessorrel_forbes on November 26th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
Welcome back and thank you for sharing your travel adventures.

Questions of language and usage never fail to interest me, so I was fascinated to pursue the matter of “monstering”, which is not something I’d heard of before. (Apparently so interested as to write a prohibitively long comment: sorry about that!)

The OED does not mention the word as a verb at all. The Macquarie (Australian) offers: “to rebuke or attack ... esp. in politics”, but doesn’t note the usage as being peculiar to Australia. Wiktionary and dictionary.com (US American) give definitions closer to your example, and note usage as being chiefly Australian, or from Australia/New Zealand respectively.

Because I’d never heard the word used in this sense, I thought it might have been an Eastern States phenomenon, but an informal survey at a family dinner last night suggested otherwise: people from Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Australia had heard of the word, but only Baby Boomers – nobody older was present, and nobody younger had heard of the term. One relative said that she associated the word with journalism, possibly The Age (Melbourne broadsheet), but younger readers of the paper were not familiar with it. Interestingly, the illustrative quote supplied in Wiktionary comes from the Herald Sun (Melbourne tabloid), and is quite recent (2009). Have you heard younger people using the term?