Tag Archives: Little Old Man

I’M ALIVE! and incidentally, so is the man next door

Haven’t had internet in forever because Telstra are like pigeons. Useless and makes me want to vomit.

So the other day, when I’m all stressy and gross because of my lack of internet and the fights I’m having with Telstra and racking up an astronomical phone bill, I hear what can only be the sound of a smoke alarm battery dying.

We’ve all heard it. That infernal ‘beep’ every 30 seconds that wiggles inside your head and makes you want to stick your head in an oven.

I knew it definitely wasn’t mine because I had taken the battery out when I first moved in which is probably illegal but then isn’t suicide in some cases? So this beeping was Definitely not in my house. But because I live in a stupid unit, I can hear stupid everything from my stupid neighbours. And yes, they are all stupid. And all seem to have about 100 children each.

So I spend the next 20 minutes trying to find the source of the beeping by standing outside each unit one by one, listening, and looking really dodgy.  I finally track it down to the little old man two units down who hated on my scones.

So I knock on his door and say in my best Neighbour Voice, (it’s very mature and kinda perky) ‘hi there! Sorry to bother you, but I think your smoke alarm is running out of battery! I can hear the beeping!’

Little Scone Hating Man flatly refuses to believe it’s his alarm. Even though as I’m being all perky and neirbourly I can actaully see the infernal thing flashing and beeping away on the ceiling above his head. He refuses to believe this because he is deaf and he can’t hear it.

Him: Well now, I don’t think it’s mine. I can’t hear anything.

Me: I’m fairly certain it is yours. I can see it flashing. Oh, yes, and it just beeped again.

Him: No, didn’t hear it.

Me: Lucky you!

Him: I don’t think you would be able to hear it from your house, if I can’t hear it from mine.

Me: I think you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I can hear it. Every 30 seconds. In fact, in about 7 seconds I’m going to hear it again.


Then he tells me that even if it is his, there’s nothing he can do about it until Thursday when his daughter comes to visit because he is much too Old and Frail to go hunting after beeping noises.

So that’s how I ended up on a chair with a broom whacking at the damn thing trying to bring it down. After I while, I did. It fell off the ceiling and bounced on the floor, bouncing the battery out of it. Little Old Scone Hating Man stares accusingly up at me.


And THEN, he picks up the battery and tries to jam it back in.

And he manages to do this in such a way, I can’t get the battery out again without banging it against my knee and swearing while Scone Hater looks at me disapprovingly and starts talking about his hearing aid battery and how batteries are delicate and you shouldn’t ‘bang them about’.

But eventually, mission accomplished. Until I tell my mother this story and she gets all, ‘what if there is a fire now? and the little old man dies?’ So I explained to her it wouldn’t have made a particle of difference because clearly he wouldn’t have heard the alarm go off anyway. And it’s past Thursday now so I am telling myself the daughter arrived and re-batterised the damn thing. And I’ve just discovered I didn’t invent the word ‘re-batterised’ because when I wrote it just now, no red squiggly line came to tell me it wasn’t a real word. But it does when I just write ‘batterised.’ WHO KNEW?

Scones and Little Old Men

Today I made scones. That’s right, HOMEMADE SCONES. This is funny because I burn pasta and when I tried to boil water once, I forgot to put water in the saucepan and then burned a hole through the saucepan and thus rendered said saucepan completely useless for any future water boiling activities.

I remember Mum was mad. It was once a good quality saucepan.

Anyway, so I thought I would make scones, which I’m pretty sure is heavily influenced by all my The Famous Five reading, but because I’m in a new house and everything I don’t have a mixing bowl. So I went to visit the little old man next door and asked to borrow a mixing bowl which involved me climbing up on chairs to get it because he is very, very old and can’t do that himself anymore. And he asked what I was making and I said scones and then I said when I brought the mixing bowl back I would also bring some scones for him if they turned out okay which was by no means a guarantee.

So I have my mixing bowl and I make scones and I have to use a tiny, tiny expresso mug to cut out the shapes of the scones from the pastry because if I don’t have a mixing bowl I certainly don’t have a cookie cutter but for some reason there are tiny, tiny expresso mugs in my house. Which were somewhat effective but the handle kept snagging the pastry when I twisted it into the pastry to get my scone shape.

I make my scones. They turn out, I think, pretty amazingly well.

Now being the good girl scout I am, I wash the mixing bowl, and put a little bit of paper towel in it, put in three of what I think are the best scones, and then I realise that the little old man probably doesn’t have jam and cream just lying around in case someone brings him scones so I put in a little dish of cream and a little dish of jam in the bowl too.

So feeling all virtuous I go next door and I knock and I present the little old man with his washed bowl with scones and dishes of jam and cream thinking WOW, this is effort, this is what people do in movies when someone moves in, they give them things to welcome them except I’m doing the welcoming which is a bit weird but whatever, cos he’s very old and I’m doing a good deed.

The little old man looks at my scones. He picks one up. He says, ‘Well, that one looks a bit funny doesn’t it?’ and promptly drops it back in the bowl. Then he says, ‘I can see at least one of them looks like what a scone is supposed to, thanks for bringing the bowl back.’

Then he shuts the door.

I don’t think I will ever see my little jam and cream dishes again.

Despite the little old man, the scones (no matter what they looked like) were very, very nice and if anyone wants to make scones it is super easy. So easy, I remember the recipe off by heart and I’m going to write it here:


3 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup of sugar

5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cups of butter

1 egg

1 cup of milk


Preheat and oven to 200C or 400F (I can’t do the little degrees symbol on this thing).

Grease a baking tray.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix that up. Then put the butter in. It’s easier to cut up the butter in tiny pieces because that way not only does it fit in a measuring cup, but it’s easier to mix in.

Mix all that up for awhile. It won’t look like it’s mixing, especially the butter, but don’t panic.

Put the egg and milk in another little bowl and whisk that up a bit. Then gradually add bits of the egg and milk mixture into the mixing bowl where all the flour and stuff is. DO THIS GRADUALLY. Knead it with your hands as you go. YOU ALWAYS NEED LESS EGG AND MILK MIXTURE THEN YOU THINK YOU DO.

Sprinkle some flour on a chopping board, and then put what should now be a somewhat pastry on it. Knead it up. If it’s too moist, add more flour on the chopping board, and if it’s too dry, sprinkle some of the egg and milk mixture and knead it up some more.

This is about when all the butter gets mixed in.

When you think it’s ready, as in, it looks like a pastry from a cooking show, roll it out until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, which I didn’t, I find a bottle of sweet chilli sauce (unopened) does the job pretty nicely.

So it’s all rolled out and now you can go crazy with your cookie cutter (tiny, tiny expresso mugs, etc) and then space your little rounds on the baking tray.

Cook that up for about 15 minutes or until ‘lightly golden brown’.

Serve with cream and jam and etc.


Recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Scones/Detail.aspx

Picture from: www.theage.com.au/…/ 09/11/1157826845949.html