Thursday Thoughts #6

From the back page of our Sunday Mail:  this bit of trivia. 
I didn't copy the entire article, I've left out names and addresses.

"This August 2014, has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays, a phenomenon that occurs only once every 823 years. 

Apparently the Chinese call it a "pocketful of money". 

A CWA newsletter helpfully points out this is the only time we'll witness the phenomenon in our lives."

Do we all remember that game we played as kids where we added up the letters of our names and reduced them to a single digit? 
The resulting number was supposed to be your lucky number.

If your lucky number is 5, you might be feeling particularly lucky right now.
My number?  heh-heh...5
Lucky me!


I had an odd smell going through my fridge recently and tracked it down to the two potatoes I had in the crisper. 
They weren't going soft, they weren't even old. But they did have a "going bad" smell. 
So I tossed them out. 
But the fridge still smelled bad, so I washed the crisper with hot soapy water.
Did I stop there? 
Heck no! 
I emptied the entire fridge including the fridge door shelves and washed it all with hot soapy water, rinsed and dried, then started putting everything back in. 
But first I had to wipe each jar and bottle. 
Can't put grubby things into a nice clean fridge now, can I? 
Here's the thing: they weren't grubby. 
I always clean things after I've used them. 
Wipe off a sauce drip; clean around the screw top part of the jam jar, stuff like that. 
So now my fridge is super clean. And I have new potatoes in there.
But I still didn't stop.
I cleared the benchtops and washed them down, I even moved the microwave and cleaned under it.
Then I took those filter things off the range hood and washed them too.
My kitchen is squeaky clean.
Just don't look at the floor.


On A Current Affair last week, over two nights, there was a story on how plumbers are ripping off the general public. companies, owned by a parent company, were named and practices exposed. 
Apparently, according to a whistle blower, these plumbers are trained to tell people their "simple" complaint is not simple at all and the plumber cannot simply unblock a drain (or whatever).
No No No. It is a much more complex problem which necessitates digging up the pipes and replacing them. At a huge cost.
Various plumbers were shown telling people that this is what needs to be done, assorted "fleeced" customers were shown telling how much they'd paid for work the plumber had insisted must be done.

They had actually been told, "if the customer insists it is just a blocked drain and please fix it" the plumber is to walk away from the job. 

On night two, an independent plumber deliberately blocked a drain with masses of toilet paper, which normally would be easily cleared by simply snaking through or otherwise blowing through the blockage to flush it away. 

(I know from personal experience that large amounts of toilet paper will flow through just by flushing the toilet, as long as there isn't any other blockage)

Anyway...the shonky plumbing companies were called in, separately of course, and all of them didn't inspect the drain with whatever they are supposed to use to look down there, didn't even flush the toilet to see if it was clear, but quoted huge amounts of cash because the pipes are cracked or broken or some other problem exists necessitating digging up, removing and replacing the whole length of sewer pipes for that home. 

Another problem was exposed where a pensioner was charged a lot of money for unnecessary work done when all that was needed was a $15 fitting replaced on something.

So here's the warning: get more than one quote and if all of them say the pipes need replacing, get more quotes. Find a plumber who will just fix a blocked drain. If that doesn't fix the problem, that plumber might be willing to explore further and find the real cause. 
Of course if your pipes do need replacing, well, that's what you'll have to do. But get proof.


I want to live here:>>

for a few months every year

just to kick back and recharge the batteries.

who's with me?

Guadeloupe. A small island in the Caribbean.


  1. The plumber story made me wince in rueful recognition. Sadly it was a collapsed sewer pipe - but the expense and the damage were huge.
    And I hope your luck continues today. And every day.

  2. I enjoyed your post. Good advice about plumbers. I had no idea about the 5 days this month.

  3. My calendar shows 5 Fridays and 5 Saturdays this coming January 2015, also May 2015 and October 2015, then probably not for another 865 years.

    I would like to spend a few months on that cove as well!

  4. Elephant's Child; well, at least you had good reason to be digging up the pipes. Isn't it awful how plumbers count on people not knowing? They seemed to be focusing on older persons.

    John M; welcome to drifting. It's always a good idea to get several quotes but people tend to get panicky and forget when their toilets are overflowing or pipes not draining.

    joeh; another lucky month for we "5s".

  5. Good luck to you with your number 5.

  6. Sadly, plumbers aren't the only trades that rip off the public. But they do seem to be right up there with the worst. Scurrilous.
    Yes, always get numerous quotes - better off in the long run.

    A good clean up is so cathartic. I've found bicarb soda works wonders for getting smells out of the fridge.

    I used to work on a potato farm many years ago, and found never to store potatoes in the fridge. Apparently, the environment of the fridge converts potato starch to sugar.
    Potatoes stored in a cool, dark place - like the pantry (and if possible in a paper bag), won’t have that problem.
    I keep mine in a hessian potato sack on a low shelf in the cupboard - they never sprout in there.
    But, if yours keep well in the fridge, then, horses for courses :)

    That island looks delightful - that water! Would love to visit the lighthouse.

    As you are a lucky number 5, maybe get a Lotto ticket in August. That island dream might come true :)

  7. I can well believe this story about plumbers. Or electricians. Or car repair guys. You have to know your company and get recommendations from others. Usually if someone recommends it, it isn't as bad.


  8. Delores; I've had a reasonably lucky life so far, minor problems, a few hiccups along the road, but nothing major going wrong.

    Vicki; smells never stay long in my fridge, I clean it out too often. I keep potatoes in there because there just isn't anywhere else.
    A lotto ticket you say? Hmmmm.

    Happy Elf Christine; I know people who know people in the trades, so I'm usually okay, but now that I'm living in public housing I don't have to worry. If anything goes wrong I just call maintenance.

  9. Hi River.... I love 'your' island. It would be great to go there.
    My hubby always uses local tradespeople and hasn't had any problems so far.
    I like to clean out my fridge often, too.
    Give Angel a cuddle from me...
    Hugs and Blessings...
    Barb xx

  10. Barbara Neubeck; I'd have to visit Guadeloupe in their winter, I probably couldn't stand the summer in the Caribbean.

  11. That five certain days in a month is always appearing on Facbook and it happens all the time but in different months.
    We cleaned out the door of our fridge last week but were unable to get the little shelves loose and yet our cleaning lass says they come out of her fridge. Makes it a lot harder to clean them properly when you can't get them out.
    That business about shonky plumbers I think happens all over. There are some ruthless types out there especially when they prey on the oldies.
    Love those pictures, the colours are amazing.


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