Category Archives: random nonsense (you’ll like these)

these will make you smile

Caught in the spin cycle … front loaders vs top loaders … discuss

So our 11 year old washing machine has carked it.

It’s been on the cards for a while. In fact, you might have heard it. In California. Every time it hit the spin cycle it sounded like a jumbo jet taking off and the whole house vibrated.

old washing machine

Farewell old friend. You served us well.

After visiting two local white goods stores on Tuesday and leaving more confused than when I walked in – this stuff truly does my head in – I put a little post up on Facebook.

“Front load washing machines vs top loaders. Any recommendations?
2 hours for a front load cycle! I’m so confused.

My favourite response came immediately. As she often does.

“As long as they have a longggg spin cycle….”

I’ll have what she’s having.

Dammit, make it two!

But what really astounded me and everyone else was the lengthy conversation that ensued.

It turns out that everyone has an opinion about washing machines. Days later the responses are still coming in.

As I write, the vote stands at 10 for top loaders and 22 for the front loaders.

I’ve been a top loading girl all my life.

But on Thursday I took a deep breath and converted to Frontloadism.

On Saturday the boys reverently carted the old beast out the back door – now destined for the recyclers – and an hour later we took possession of a new Asko front loader.

And I’ve been in a Frontload frenzy ever since. Praise those Swedish white gods goods! Everything the Frontloadists said was true. The clothes are cleaner. They are whiter. It is gentler. It is definitely more power and water friendly. And two days later I’m a freakin’ Frontload evangelist!

Asko washing machine

The maiden voyage

So, why an Asko? Well, if you find yourself facing the same dilemma here’s what won me over. All the little issues that the Frontloadists raised as possible hassles, Asko addresses. You can stop the machine mid cycle, it does have a delayed start function, a 45 minute quick wash and it is simple to use. The sales woman, a Frontloadist from way back, bought an Asko a couple of months ago because, unlike many other models, it doesn’t have a rubber bellow on the inside which is where the mould issue that some of the crew talked about can begin. It’s all stainless steel on the inside. And yes, that does make it more expensive, but I figure that if it lasts for the 20 years that all the Asko kids were braying about, then we’ll more than make up for that extra initial outlay with power savings, water savings and less resources being used for a replacement in 10 years. That’s the theory anyway.

The one thing I can’t wrap my head around is how can they be more power efficient when the heavier washes can take 1.5 to 2.5 hours? If someone can explain that to me I’d be interested to know.

oo, oo, I can here a spin cycle calling – she says with a frisson of excitement.

Dates for the next meeting of the Bathurst Frontloadist Chapter will be posted shortly. Toploadists welcome. No sects here. Well not on Mondays anyway 😉

asko washing machine

Inaugural meeting of the Bathurst Frontloadist Chapter


5 tips for social media success

After two years of investigative research and intensive time wasting I think I’ve nailed the five key elements you need to have in your social media toolkit to do well. Enjoy!

1. Get a cat.
At the risk of committing social media suicide and potentially disenfranchising a number of readers who I know lovvvve their moggies, I’m going to come clean and announce that I don’t like cats. I can tolerate cats with some serious attitude, but the rest of them I can’t stand, especially the ones who invade our garden and eat little native birds. Psssssssssssssssss!!!.  But… if you want to be a social media star and you don’t like cats you must cast aside your aversions and invest in a cat. People go off their nuts about cats on social media. Don’t ask me why.

2. Get a puppy.
If you can’t handle cats, a puppy is your next best bet. People will fall over themselves to oooo and ahhhh over new puppies. But this one comes with a proviso. Puppies turn into dogs so your social media shelf life with a puppy is limited. So if I was heading down the canine route I’d focus on the toys, and frankly the more interbred the better – I’m thinking Schnitzeldoodles, Multipoos and Shityous.  Shityous are particularly popular. Truly you can’t go wrong. I remember years ago when I was working at the uni and Steve came up to visit, he brought our new little puppy with him. I wondered why he kept visiting throughout the week, with puppy in tow. Why? Because on a college campus full of bright young things, nothing, noth-ing has pulling power like a puppy. You may laugh. I have to live with it.

3. Adorable little children.
Refer to Point 2. But ….you do get more mileage out of adorable little children than you do with puppies but as Aunt Patty of The Simpsons put it so beautifully in her raspy, cigarette smoking voice:  “The older they get, the cuter they ain’t.”
Important note: With reference to Point 2, the interbreeding thing … it doesn’t work with kids.

4. Move to Italy or pretend you live there.
Social media is mad about anything Italian. It simply does not matter what photo you take in Italy, people will LIKE and SHARE the madonna out of it.

5. Anything turquoise.
Living in the country, I’m a total sucker for this one. Any coastal fringed shots with glistening, clear, turquoise water gets my holiday juices flowing and everyone else’s apparently.

… so there you have it, five gems that will set you on your way to becoming a social media legend.


Which kind of brings me to my real point.

Because I don’t have a cat, a puppy, adorable little children (with respect Madz and Darce), and I don’t live in Italy or near the coast, I’m going to be spending less time on social media and more time having a life and putting my efforts here.

So… if you find your way here, or if you come already and would like to know when a new post is up.




(That last one’s meant to look garish.)

You can do that in one of two ways.

1. Simply enter your email address in the envelope on the top of the column to the right, press submit and that means you’ll receive an email from me each time I do a new post. Which for newbies, on a good week might be 2 times per week, in a slow period might be once every 10 days. Bottom line is you won’t be inundated. And you can always unsubscribe if I start to Shityou.


2. You can hit the RSS  icon (Really Simple Syndication) (it’s the third icon, the one that looks a bit like radio waves – under the envelope in the top of the right hand column) which will send a notification to your Feed Reader. What’s a Feed Reader? Well it’s like a centralised hub of all the things you subscribe to online. I personally prefer to get emails but I’m sure some of you might be able to enlighten us about Feed Readers, how to set them up, and which ones you prefer. I know Feedly is a popular one.


On another little tangent my 22 year old niece Libby is studying Journalism and International Studies and she’s spending this year in Mexico doing Spanish. She has started a blog called Nacho Libby,  and it’s really lovely. She’s “exploring the colourful culture of Mexico one stag leap at a time”. Watch this girl. She’ll do good things.

Behind the scenes, we’ve had lots of beautiful rain of late so Bathurst is looking a bit like Ireland at the moment. We’ve been picking pomegranates all week and they’re so pretty I don’t want to juice them. Steve and I did some video and sound training with my old cameraman mate Brendan Cooper from Cooper Films during the week and we had a ball so we’re looking forward to doing more little vids around the traps. Very exciting actually. We’ve bought some proper radio mics (that’s tech talk) and it’ll mean we can start getting a lot more playful with it all.

Have a lovely week and I hope those tips are helpful.

Let me know if you think I’ve missed any.

And don’t forget to subscribe! And if you’re already subscribed then please SHARE the Shityou out of it 🙂

lots of love

Marg x


If Tom Cruise wants to rock climb my body …

… he’d better get in quick.

I’ll tell you why in a sec but back in the day, those heady Top Gun days of bomber jackets, bad profile shots, sunsets and motor bikes, I have to admit that I was a big Tom Cruise fan.

Tom Cruise Top Gun

This was before he gave up rock climbing and took up the far more dangerous sport of couch jumping.

Poor Tom.

Anyway I was standing in the shower this morning and I noticed that one of the world’s great rock climbing challenges, the Hogan Overhang, is in danger of disappearing forever.

It hasn’t disappeared yet and it’s not likely to happen overnight but the signs are there Tom. Having said that, you don’t have to strap on your crampons just yet, I’m just giving you the heads up, the bicycling is starting to take effect.

Anyway I just thought I’d brief you on what you’re potentially facing … and for this I have referred to the M Numeric scale of grade for rock climbers. No doubt you’re familiar with it.

The mission, should you choose to accept it, goes something like this…

The first stage…

M1-3: Easy.  Fairly low angle, usually no tools required.

The second stage…

M4: Slabby to vertical with some technical dry tooling.

This might also involve a bit of M5 work:  Some sustained vertical dry tooling.

The third stage …

Now this is where it gets tricky Tom but after re-watching the opening sequence of Mission Impossible 2 I’m confident you’ll be up to the challenge. It begins with a stretch of M8: Some nearly horizontal overhangs requiring very powerful and technical dry tooling; bouldery and/or long cruxes. Then it ramps up to an M10: At least 10 metres of horizontal rock or 30 metres of overhanging dry tooling with powerful moves and no rests. Good mental attitude and solid technique necessary.

But…there are also some points that might require a bit of M12-M14 work: bouldery, dynamic moves and tenuous technical holds. This is the Hogan Overhang at its worst.

Get through that and you can expect a bit of M9’ing: Continuously vertical or slightly overhanging with marginal or technical hold, or a juggy roof of 2 to 3 body lengths.

The home straight …

If you’ve made it this far you’re through the worst. Now you can take in the view and really start to enjoy yourself. There’s a bit of M6 work: Vertical to overhanging with difficult dry tooling followed by an M5 to bring it on home which you’ll recognise as sustained vertical dry tooling.

This blog post self destructs in 5 seconds.

Probably a good thing 😉

Have a great week guys. I’ll try and get some photos happening again soon. Just had too much on.


Photo of Tom from here.


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