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My husband has discovered the delights of World of Warcraft.

I'm only ever going to see him briefly and in passing from now on.

Oh well, it was good while it lasted...! He is watching me write this, and seems to think that this is some kind of joke...

On the plus side, he is getting in plenty of quality time with the cat (who gets squished between lap and keyboard a lot of the time), as he is a captive audience. I think that this means that sometimes the "bad guys" don't end up the the sword in the head as they are supposed to, and instead "Hamcrusher" (Oh. My. God.) hares off in totally the wrong direction as Mysterious Forces (conveniently covered in fur and with pointy ears) interfere with the workings of the keyboard.

On a slightly different note, I had to (I can't believe I'm about to say this) slap a chicken in the head this morning, for attempting to defend the cat food bowl against, you guessed it, the cat. Grrr. The level of out of bounds-ness here is astonishing.

Cats who try to play WoW and chickens who think they are cats - that's what keeps life interesting around here.


Teh hot, it buuuurrrns. 

Stupid 40+ degree days.

"Gift" ideas...

I think Sunbeam and Kambrook (and Breville, to a lesser extent) must have teams on the payroll who brainstorm ideas for the most useless, crappiest small appliances known to humankind so that they can corner the market at christmas. There was a large spread in the latest round of junk mail devoted to "Gift Ideas". Some of them were reasonably useful - personal grooming products like hair dryers and straighteners, but the rest...

Sunbeam have got such gems as the "Slush Magic" slushy machine, "Moooooon Shaker" (give or take a couple of os) milkshake maker, "Avalanche" ice shaver, the "Sprinkles" doughnut maker (oh, for crying out loud), the "Cornelius" popcorn maker (I also know a Cornelius that blows hot air, and I wouldn't pay 45 bucks for him, either), the feckin' chocolate fountain (for which there are no words), and my personal favourite, the "Pattie" cupcake maker. What the...? I am at a complete loss as to how I have managed to make cupcakes on so many occasions before this without this wonder of modern technology. Buy a fucking patty tin, fer chrissakes, and donate the difference (which should be substantial, as "Pattie" is $90) to some starving kids in Africa. Geez.

Kambrook don't seem to have taken the crazy stick and run so far with it, but they do have a "Snacks and Fun" category, which includes another doughnut maker, a cookie press (why does this need to be an appliance?), and a Rotating Stone Pizza Oven. There was also a picture of a hot dog centre, but it doesn't seem to be available - I am desperately disappointed by this.

Breville is not quite as ridiculous either, but still have pancake and omelette makers (surely, surely, a frying pan would do an admirable job here!)

I know that all of these brands also produce many useful, labour saving devices. I am eternally grateful for my food processor and stand mixer, toaster and kettle. I would have thought, though, that consumers living in the rich, industialised nations of the West would have leaned their lesson after the bread maker debacle. Alas, it seems that we are devoted to spending $90 on a dozen cupcakes (and remember, you still have to make the batter!) or $45 for 5 slushies.

Well honestly, do you really think any of these will get used more than twice?

No, me neither.

So tired...

I really don't know why, but it's all I can do to keep my eyes open today. Didn't go to bed too late last night, slept well, was up at a reasonable hour this morning, did some stuff, then had a huge three hour nap, and I'm still really tired. I'm coming to appreciate how precious weekends are again, and yet all I want to do is go back to bed.

Maybe it's the weather.

Attention deficit ... ooh, shiny!

Do you have A.D.D?
see more Funny Graphs


The new job

I was going to post this at the end of last week, but, you know, didn't...

The job so far:

The Good
  • The people there are really nice. I have been made to feel very welcome.
  • It's less than 4kms from home. Gotta love 10 mins to work.
  • It's also really close to a shopping centre, which is handy for groceries and lunches.
  • The little things, like a decent coffee machine in the lunch room, and actual morning and afternoon tea breaks.
The Bad
  • As of Monday afternoon, I still didn't have a computer, which is going to make doing any actual work difficult. I have been doing a fair bit of filing.
  • It's a six month contract, so there's a real chance that there will be no place for me after that.
The Ugly
  • I am as sick as a dog. I had to go home at lunchtime on the first day of my second week, and was off today. Just a cold, but a bit of a doozy.


This is what I was talking about the other night...

Creepy, fake, plastic and very two-dimensional. The world is a bit fucked up when the primping and preening and hair and make-up isn't enough for the child pageant entrants, and they have to get photoshopped to within an inch of their lives.

It's a good thing they've all got different hats on, or I wouldn't be able to tell them apart!

What am I going to do now?

Not so long ago I would never have dreamed that I would utter the following:

"No! Bad chicken!"

Needless to say, they didn't listen. I got up this morning and was walking through the dining/kitchen area, when I realised that the creature at the cat's dish was saying "bock, bock, bock" and not "meow". Yep, the chooks have discovered that they do fit through the cat hole in the back door, and seem to think that since the food people are in the house, they should be as well.

They don't seem to have done too much exploring, and I only had to clean up a couple of chicken poos on the kitchen floor...

I really don't want to have to think of new ways of chicken control.*

*Yes, we could keep them shut in the coop all day, but I think that's a bit mean. I just never expected the chooks would want to come inside.

Come on in, the water's fine

It's going to be hot again tomorrow (Sunday). If you are at a loose end, feel free to come over for a jump in the pool. The water temp is juuuuust right for lounging in for many hours at a time. Bring your Aeroguard and sunscreen, something to drink and something for the barbie. Give me a hoy if you need the address.

Orange - a rant.

What is it with all the orange, fashion designers? Eh? 

Have you not realised that not everyone has the yellow-toned skin that allows them to wear this colour? No?

Wake up to yourselves, morons! Significant numbers of people will not be able to buy clothes this season, because you fuckers have decided that all the clothes need to be orange, goddamn you! I have no desire to look sallow and ill because there is a worldwide special on orange dye. Even the pinks are orange. I don't care if you call it mango, paprika, coral, melon, spice or euphemism - it's still bloody orange.

Oh, and while you're at it; no, I don't think that $80 is a reasonable price for a nylon top with four lines of stitching in it. All of those floaty, deconstructed tops that you are churning out by the truckload* - they look good on angular people. On girls with a healthy appetite they just make the wearer look softer and rounder. How about some nice tailored tops, please? At least that way I feel a little more like I'm getting my money's worth (not, but getting closer). I'm not paying up to a day's wage for something that you've folded in half and cut a hole for the head**.

Fashion - it's completely broken***. The sad thing is that it's getting harder to shop for style, because everything seems to be following the god-awful trends.

* in orange
** and also made in orange
*** and much too orange

Today I ...

  • had a moment of panic where I thought all the chooks had got out. Turns out they had just gone back to bed. Stupid chooks.
  • spent far too long reading blogs and emails.
  • had impromptu and nommy noodles with JD.
  • discovered that Castle Towers shopping centre is MUCH better than Parra Westifield. Much.
  • stayed in the air-con nearly all day. Ahhhh.
  • actually found some tops that I like and that don't make me look like a sallow doughnut. Score! I now do not need to go to work naked. Wins all 'round.
  • had a look in two pet shops at the puppies and the kitties. The kitties in the CT pet shop were awake - so I watched the cutest wittle fwuffy kitties SAVAGING each other. Much nomming on each others tails and ears.
  • wished this stupid hot weather would bugger off. It's not even summer yet!


And about bloody time too...

I have a job! It's only a six month contract, rather than an ongoing job, but it's a good start. It's also less than 5km away from home. Gotta love that.

Mind you, I am still a bit nervous - it's been more than seven years since I started a new job. It's going to be weird being the new person and having to get used to a whole new bunch of people and systems.

Wish me luck!

Laugh? I almost shat...

If you haven't seen it on the telly, you've got to have a look at the new ad for Baby Love nappies, designed to handle a "poo explosion". You will have to click on the "view our new ad" button.

Ow. Teh laughing, it hurts.
Note to self: yes, a fine dice of onion, carrot and celery does have a name (I knew it!). It's called a mirepoix. I am writing it here so that the next time I forget what's it's called (and start getting twitchy because I hate knowing that there is an answer and not being able to remember what it is) I will be able to come here and find out.

Hopefully I won't forget that it's here...

Green grows my bogling fork! Part... forgot where I'm up to.

Ok, I know I broke my promise of chook pictures in spectacular fashion, sorry. I've been a bit distracted with job interviews and anxiety on account of the same. That, coupled with the laptop moving with the speed of frozen treacle (a defrag fixed that), made me less than inclined to do much posting recently.

But, here are my girls!Now you can see why they are just "the chooks". Except for the chick on the front right - she is a bit of a stand-out. This photo is maybe a couple of weeks old now, they are starting to get their combs and wattles. They might just be real chooks soon. I just need to give the magpie who has been monstering them a boot up the date... cheeky bugger.

The veggie garden is going absolutely great guns:

We are eating quite a lot of spinach (silver beet), much to Rusty's great disappointment, the zucchinis are coming along apace, the beetroots are all going to need to be dug out soon or they will end up the size of footballs. We have also eaten:

nummy snow peas,my very first broccoli (there are now two more itty bitty baby ones on the way), as well as lettuce, radish, tomatoes, pumpkin, rocket, carrots, capsicum and cucumbers! Whew!

I am an auntie!


Little Lawson was born yesterday at about 2pm, weighing 3.3kg. He shares his birthday with his dad. I get to meet him today. I am very excited!

Just in case more people ask...

... the chickens don't have names as this point, and are probably unlikely to get them. This isn't mean, no matter what you might think, it's just a bit pointless. Only one of the chickens shows any difference in appearance to any of the others, the other three look pretty much exactly the same. Really. If they do get named they will quite possibly get lumbered with really horrible names like "Cacciatore" and "Parmigiana". No, we are not very nice people, are we?

They haven't started laying yet, but have overcome their fear of us, to the point that they come a-running, and then follow us around the yard. They are also very good at taking themselves off to bed when it starts getting dark, so we just lock them in the coop. Very helpful. The cats pretty much ignore the chickens completely, and vice-vera. They are kinda cute, except when the little bastards are digging holes in my herb garden...

I will take some photos tomorrow. Promise.
Was just reading through some of my old posts - it really is a good way of looking at your life in retrospect, and seeing how other people react to things that you write about.

Well, it would be, if you posted more than 8 times in a year. I was looking at the list of archives, and last year (2008) I only posted 8 times. I think I have posted more often in a month this year. Shows what being unemployed does for my ability to sit down and share my thoughts and feelings!

The despondency dog

The past few days have seen a big dog sniffing around, looks black, but is actually just dark blue in the sunlight. He wanted to let me know (in the nicest possible way, of course) that despite years of experience, and quite good skills, no-one wanted to give me a job. I have been for a couple of interviews, only to be told that I am overqualified for the position. A couple of agencies that I would have thought would have something on their books are proving to be dead-ends. I sent numerous applications off via Seek on Friday, and got only one response this week, despite this tactic working quite well last week. I still have an interview lined up for this Friday, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Anyhoo, today was shaping up to be a lovely day, so I kicked the DD in the nuts and told him to bugger off. A bit of gardening, a bit of tidying, a bit of washing, a bit of being followed all over the yard by the chickens, and all is right with the world again. In a rather exciting fashion, the veggie patch delivered all the veggies for dinner tonight, and most of my salad for lunch. I am still needing to think of interesting ways to serve silverbeet though - I like it, but R thinks it tastes like sick, so there has been a lot of disguising it with bacon...

I still wish someone would just give me money to stay at home.

Jobs, jobs, jobs...

Starting to feel a little bit better about the whole job search thing.

I had started a couple of weeks back, by checking Seek, and finding two jobs that I thought would work really well for me. One was with a tapware supplier that I had dealt with whilst at Reece, and the other was with one of Reece's bigger customers. I thought I would have a good chance at one or both of these jobs, as I had relevant industry experience, as well as the skills that the job required. Buh-bow. Not only have I not heard back from either, but one of them (the supplier) I had been for an interview and been told "we'll be in touch"... That's just a bit rude, in my opinion. Both of them I have sent follow-up emails to as well. Bah.

So I sent my resume off to a bunch more job ads on Friday, and the responses have been pouring in! I have had two interviews today (one with the workplace and one with an agent) that were both very positive, one tomorrow and one on Thursday. This is good - for a couple of days there I was starting to think that I was going to have some real trouble.

All that remains now is to actually land one of these jobs (which is where this house of cards may come crashing down around my ears). Wish me luck!

Mind you, I would still rather be lazy layabout stay-at-home type...Can't someone pay me for that?
Ok, now I have really seen everything. You can buy a fog machine at Aldi...

Prattfalls and rip-offs

It turns out that you can't trust what you see in the cartoons. I went to the supermarket this afternoon, and as I opened my car door, there happened to be a banana skin convenienntly placed right where I would step on it. Which I, of course, did - completely by accident. What I didn't do was fall onto my arse in a humorous fashion. I feel somehow ripped off.

Speaking of ripped off, how's this for a doozie - We have received permission from the council to cut down the hideous cyprus pine right at the very front of the property (hooray!), and the other pine that is far too close to the house. So, the next step was to get a couple of quotes for having them removed. The first quote we got was a quite reasonable, although still a fair amount of cash at $1300. The second one, on the other hand, was not quite so reasonable. The minute the guy turned up he started to tell Rusty that there were two other trees in the front yard that could be removed without council permission, then started talking about how espensive tip fees are, and that he'd have to go all the way to Windsor to dispose of the cut trees. Claimed that it would be $800 bucks in tip fees, and then quoted $3500, but he would do the other two that weren't part of the original quote for an extra $1800. Ouch, and gee, I REALLY DON'T THINK SO! The minute tradies start justifying their costs you start getting a feel that they're not entirely on the level.

Things that make you go hmmm....

Piss poor advertising

A while ago I saw posters for a new anti-wrinkle cream in Myer. The posters didn't exactly get the expected reaction from me - it was all I could do to not burst out laughing.

This is it...
It's for an "instant Botox" cream called Freeze Frame. Supposedly it "freezes" wrinkles, so that they appear minimised. One article I saw (on tv) claimed that you could see the effects instantly, and another that I read (product reviews found on the interwebs) says that it needs to be used for a month before you get the best results.

What a load of shit. I don't care whether the product works or not, or whether any of the conflicting info out there is right, it's the poster that really gets me. It's not quite as clear in this small pic, but in a headshot poster that is 3 feet high you can see it quite clearly - her "wrinkles" are drawn on, or emphasised with makeup. It's reeeeeaally obvious on the crows feet - they are just drawn on with brown eyebrow pencil.

Really, if you are going to try to sell me a product with before and after shots, don't insult my intelligence by trying to pull the wool over my eyes with makeup or photoshop. I'm just not that stupid, and advertisers shouldn't assume that anyone else is either.


We grew these on our very own!

Yes, many of them are a level of tiny more closely associated with grapes, but still. It's amazing what happens when you stick some dud spuds in the ground and forget about them for 4 months...

This is my god...

There is a song that I like, that really speaks to me, that I would like to share. Anyone out there who listens to Triple J might have heard of Scroobius Pip & Dan le Sac, as "Thou shalt always kill" got quite a bit of airplay there. The one that really works for me, though, is "Letter from God to Man". The film clip is pretty cute, too. It's certainly not my intention to offend anyone with this, so if you do have very strong religious views that you don't like being challenged, navigate away now...

Here are the lyrics, if you have trouble making them out, or don't want to watch YouTube:

This is a letter, from God to Man, it says:

Hey There, how, how’s it going?
Long time no see.
I know I haven't been around much lately
But…it didn't seem like you wanted me to be
The last time I sent down a message you nailed it to the cross
So I figured I'd just leave you to it, let you be your own boss

But I've been keeping an eye on you, I have, and it's amazing how you've grown.
With your technological advances and the problems you’ve overthrown,
And all the beautiful art you’ve created with such grace and such finesse,
But I admit there are a few things I'm afraid have impressed me less.

So I'm writing to apologize for all the horrors committed in my name,
Although that was never what I intended, I feel I should take my share of the blame.
All the good I tried to do was corrupted when all the religion got into full swing,
What I thought were quite clear messages were taken to unusual extremes.
My teachings taken out of context to meet the agendas of others,
Interpretations taken to many different ways and hidden meanings discovered

Religion became a tool, for the weak to control the strong
With all these new morals and ethics, survival of the fittest was gone
No longer could the biggest man simply take whatever he needed
'Cause damnation was the price if certain rules were not heeded

Some of the deeds committed in my name just made me wonder were I went wrong.
Back at the start when I created this, the foundation seemed so strong.
See all the elements were already here, long before I began, I just kind of put it all together
I didn't really think out a long-term plan.

I made the sun an appropriate distance and laid the stars across the sky
So you could navigate the globe or simply watch the sun rise
I covered the earth with plants and fruits,
Some for sustenance and some for beauty
I made the sun shine and the clouds rain so their maintenance wasn’t your duty
I tried to give each creature its own attributes without making them enveloped
I gave you all you all your own space to grow and in your own way space to develop

I didn't know such development would cause rifts and jealousy
Cause you to war against each other and leave marks on this planet indelibly
You see, I wasn’t really the creator, I was just the curator of nature
I want to get something straight with homosexuals right now: I don’t hate ya
I was a simple being that happened to be the first to wield such powers
I just laid the ground, it was You that built the towers

It was You that invented bombs, and the fear that comes with them
And it was You that invented money, and the corrupt economic systems
You invented terms like just-war and terms like friendly fire
And it was You that didn't know when to stop digging deeper, when to stop building higher
It was You that exhausted the resources I carefully laid out on this earth,
And it was You that even saw these problems coming but accredited them little worth
It was You that used my teachings for your own personal gain
And it was You that committed such tragedies, even though they were in my name

So I apologize for any mistakes I made, and when my words misconstrued
But this apology's to mother nature, cause I created YOU

Quote of the week... nah, make that decade

"An iPhone is like a penis - fun to play with when you're on your own, but it's rude to pull it out at the dinner table."

Tom Gleeson - Good News Week, Channel Ten, Monday 28th Sept, 2009.
It's all different!

For some reason my beloved Firefox has crashed on my laptop, and even uninstalling and reinstalling it hasn't fixed the problem. I have been doing a bunch of my web surfing on the Mac as of late, so as not to expose myself to the ickyness (and very low level of internet safety) that is IE, but all of the camera software is on the laptop, so to upload pics... blah, blah, blah, you get the drift.

One thing I have noticed is how different the blog looks on different browsers. The mac doesn't seem to recognise the colours that I have chosen for hyperlinks, and puts the little search bar floating into the text. IE, on the other hand, has been chopping off the post titles.

What's to bet that on beloved Firefox, none of these stupid issues would happen? If anyone has any idea why it won't run on my machine, please let me know!

Punching Rusty

When I said a few days ago that I would feel better if I punched Rusty for a bit, this isn't exactly what I meant...
The Rusty I have been punching looks more like this one, with the preparedness and stuff:
And the me that's doing the punching is all girded of fist, and guarding her chin:

All this training appears to be doing nothing other than making me really stiff and sore all the time, but maybe time will tell, and I will get fit and strong and skinny...

The slow death of sound quality.

Buy CDs where you can. Really, unless there is no other option, don't buy albums online as mp3s.

Why? Good question.

I was over at my dad's the other day, and we were talking about music and the amazingness of technology that allows us to store a thousand songs on a device not much bigger than a credit card. There is, of course, a trade off, my dad tells me, and he generally knows these things. The technology behind sound has been pretty much his life's work. 

The main problem is file size. A track taken from a CD is fairly substantial. To transfer that file to mp3, it is compressed considerably. Anyone who thinks that there is no loss of sound quality is deluding themselves. That extra information has got to go somewhere... A zipped document is compressed by taking out the white bits; something in the program remembers where they should be and puts them back when you unzip the file. There aren't any "white bits" in music, so when a music file is compressed, the program takes out what it considers to be extraneous material - most of it is not obvious to the casual observer, but it is there for a reason. That reason is something called soundstage. I can see your WTF expression from here, so let me explain:

If you have ever listened to a really good stereo recording, on a good stereo, through good headphones, you can "hear" where the instruments are around you. You can close your eyes and think "the drums are behind me, the bassist is off to the left and slightly in front, the lead guitarist is to the right, and the singer is straight ahead". I remember this happened to me for the first time when I was 12, and I was so astounded by it that I've never forgotten. This all goes away in mp3s - if you listen for directionality, all you will be able to work out is 'inside your head'. There is still stereo, so you get a bit of left and right action, but the rest of it gets lost in the ether. 

Don't despair, it doesn't mean that you are never going to enjoy listening to your iPod again! When dad told me about this, I thought "oh yeah, you're right!", but I hadn't realised it until he told me. I did an experiment, listening to the same couple of songs from a cd on a cd player, and then via Media Player (which is the same as listening to them through iTunes or similar). The difference is definitely there, but you do need to do a comparison to really hear it.

So why bother? If the difference is not that great, why worry about it? Trouble is, the vast majority of people are never going to know that the music they are listening to is slightly inferior in quality - they are listening to the song, not the minute nuances in the music (and considering some of the crap that the kids consider to be "music" these days... Kanye West and pals, I'm looking at you guys here), so they are never going to know. But, if everyone buys music online, then eventually that will be the only way to buy music, and then the opportunity to buy good quality sound will be gone for good. The saddest part about this is that, for the most part, no-one will even know.

Of course the other thing about cds - if your hard drive crashes, you still have all your music, you just have to go through the rather tedious process of uploading it again.

Mp3s are great - I have bought many of them, but if I want more than a single song by a particular artist, I will always buy the cd. Music makes life better, why should we try to make music worse?

Day of the triffids

Or at least that's what it felt like.

How weird was the weather this morning? I got up early to sort out a dispute between the kitties, and discovered the whole sky a vivid orange. Really creepy - feels like being on Mars.

Now, of course, everything is covered in red dust. Yech.

Word of the day

According to Rusty is "fucking thingy big shit".

This is some kind of soccer trophy, or so I am led to believe.

No, don't ask me - I really don't know either...

Home again!

Loving the home action. Or non-action, as it probably should be called.

Had a really lovely weekend Down South. Started with catching the train to the airport on Friday morning (I do think that $16 is a bit of overkill to get off at the airport station, but it's better than getting a cab), and even getting a seat! Easy flight to Melbourne, and flying with Qantas (the wings stayed on, which is good) we actually got coffee and a snack. Bus into Spencer St Station (I know it's called Southern Cross, but that is such a boring, overly Australiana kinda name) and then walk 2 blocks to our hotel. 

We stayed at the Intercontinental, which was really lovely - and thanks to Wotif for reasonable rates. I do like a flash hotel every now and then - the crisp bed linen, the quality haircare products in the bathroom, the really good shower, and sniggering at the mini-bar price list, and wondering who would be stupid enough to pay $9 for a can of Red Bull. Yes, I am easily amused. We were going to be catching the train to Ballarat the next day, so being conveniently located to the station worked really well. We wandered about the city a bit, went to the Queen Vic markets, found the stall/s that sell the really pretty paper toile cards and bought a bunch, found the jammy doughnut cart and bought a bunch, went back to the hotel for a sleep. I wandered back to the station to buy train tickets and find a timetable, and "accidentally" found my way into DFO. Needless to say, DFO in Melbourne is about eleventy-billion times better than the one in Sydney. This one had a Sportscraft branch, which is my favourite, and I bought a silk dress for $99 instead of $269, which made me very happy, and provides me with a job-hunting outfit, for when I start looking (which will have to be soon, I'm afraid).

Rather than spend a mortgage payment on dinner at the hotel, we went in search of the little alley ways that have some lovely food and fabulous atmosphere. We made a good choice - the food was delicious, the waiters were bouncing with enthusiasm and joie de vie, without being overly familiar, and a little jazz combo set up a little way down, so we had an evening with all the good things that I wanted from a night in a different city with my husband. It rocked.

The rain to Ballarat was on-time, clean, quiet and cheap, in comparison to hiring a car. I really need to make better use of public transport - it's just a bit dire in Sydney. The lovely JD picked us up from the station, and we tootled off to the motel, which was also lovely. The food at the adjoining pub was... edible, but I wouldn't say much better than that.

After some mad roast-chicken wrangling experiences, we got to the park where the wedding of the delightful H & A was being held. The ceremony was beautiful, the rain held off, and all involved looked radiantly happy. It was great to have a chance to catch up with friends from all over, even if it was very briefly in some cases.

Sunday morning was going to see a trip to Sovereign Hill, the gold mining park, but we discovered from the helpful chap at the hotel reception that it was nearly $40 to get in, and 4 hours really was needed to get the most out of the trip. We baulked at the price a bit, and then consulted a map of the city and surrounds, which told us about "Australia's Unique Attraction", the unequalled cheeziness of Kryal Castle. So we went there, instead. It was unsurpassed in its cheese factor, but the layout and design of the castle part itself was not so bad. JD and I amused ourselves by making plans for how we could make it "heaps better". We poked around for nearly 2 hours, feeling somewhat superior in both knowledge and taste, and then it was time to hit the road.

The trip home was event free, although a bit boring once it got dark, thus removing the view. We hit our place at about 11.30, and considering we left Ballarat at about 12.30, and stopped 3 times on the way, we made pretty good time. The kitties were still alive, and didn't seem too put out that we had left them all alone, more of my veggies are sprouting (who out there likes silverbeet? I'm going to have lots soon) and we got to sleep in our own bed again.

All in all, an ace-tops weekend.


Feeling very flat today. I really don't know why. I have no energy, no motivation, no desire to do anything but sit and stare at the TV.

That's when you know things are really grim.

Erg. Probably need to do some exercise, but don't want to do that, either. I hope this goes away soon, I hate feeling like this. I'm designed for cheerfulness, not grumpiness, and I want to be cheerful and energetic, goddammit!

Maybe if I punch Rusty for a bit...


Wanna go to England!

It seems that right now is a very good time to go to England. The GBP will currently cost $1.92AUD.

Oh My God!

I can never remember it being less than $2 before (I'm sure that it has, I just can't remember it).

Wanna go now!

Woo hoo!

Finally got a new template to work! Hooray! No more stinky, boring Blogger templates for me!


That's all. Nothing to see here.

Farmer Joe and the wankers

More as a remider to myself than anything else:

Yesterday I planted seeds for radishes, zucchini, carrotses, and peas, both sugar snap and regular. Now just need to wait 6-10 weeks to reap the fruits (or vegetables) of my labour.

As for the wankers... I had dropped R off at Homebush for his farewell thingy and huge piss-up, and then continued on to Rhodes. I wandered around aimlessly for a bit, and then left. On the way out of the carpark, I was stuck behind a couple of youfs in a phully sic, electric blue WRX with spoiler and enormous exhaust outlet. Or so I thought. As I got a bit closer, I realised that what the youfs were alctually driving was a Kia, just made to look like a WRX. Oh dear. Really, if you can't afford to drive a phully sic car with the phat subwoofers, don't try to make your poxy Korean el-cheapo look like one. It will just make you look like an idiot. Young people of today, eh?
It really is a different world.

Thanks heaps to everyone who commented on the different world post from a few days ago, and to the gels that I've chatted with about this. It has given me a very different perspective on The Way Things Are.

Logically, I know that everyone's upbringing is a little bit different, and that everyone's life experiences are not the same. I think that maybe in my emotional side, that knowledge gets a bit lost, and I can be a bit surprised when I realise that other people weren't brought up with the same love and care that I was.

It's a good thing to have your perceptions shaken up a bit, if they are a bit skewed, and I'm glad* that I have gained some new knowledge of the world outside my own head.

Thanks again guys.

*Well, kinda. Finding out that the world is just a little bit more horrible than you already knew is not exactly glad tidings...

Green grows my bogling fork! Part II

I don't think it quite got up to the 28 degrees that the BoM was promising for Parramatta today, but I am wearing a singlet top as we speak, so it's still quite pleasantly warm.

I have had a very productive day. I have spent a portion of the last few days preparing the garden beds - shifting soil, digging up weeds, digging in fertiliser, etc - and today I got to put things in them! Things that got planted:
  • tomatoes - 3 different kinds
  • lettuces
  • snow peas
  • beetroots
  • silverbeet (Rusty reckons he's going to try to poison them when I'm not looking)
  • broccoli
  • rhubarb
  • rasberry cane
  • gooseberry bush
  • two apple trees (granny smith and pink lady. You have to have at least 2 for cross pollination)
  • thyme - lemon and regular
  • oregano
I've got a bunch of seeds to plant in the next couple of days too.

I finally went to the little nursery on the corner of Great Western and Cumberland highways, opposite the F1 hotel. I always thought it was a bit small and pointless, so never managed to go. I am really glad that I finally gave it a shot. They are a bit small, but have the most amazing range of fruit trees/bushes and herbs that I have ever seen! Lots of really olde-worlde and European herbs that I have never seen at commercial nurseries - lovage, tansy, feverfew, rue, mustard greens, curry plant, fuzzy thyme, pyrethrum, and a whole lot more that I can't remember. Really cool stuff. They also have rasperries, gooseberries (that were only $12, hence me buying some to give them a go), blueberries, red and blackcurrants, and miniature peaches and pears. Not regular dwarfing, but miniature - tiny, tiny peach trees. So cute.

All in all, a very productive day. Now, just have to maintain this level of productive...

I can haz sleeps nao?

Wanna new frock NOW!

So, I need a new middle class summer frock. We have Yule coming up, and then 12th night. I have a good dress length of black linen, and, despite a complete lack of evidence to support it, I think I will trim it in pink. Black and pink is a very popular German combination, just not in the way I am planning on using it. I'm not going to bother justifying it too much - black frocks trimmed with contrast are documentatble, pink and black together are documentable, and I want to make this frock in these colours, so I am choosing to make an intuitave leap (even if it's quite possibly very wrong). So there!

It is very tempting to use the tried and true bodice shape, with the deep U shaped front neckine, but I think that I should expand my repertoir a little and do this one as a square neck. I really like the neckline on this painting:I might have to adjust the shoulders just a little bit - these are a bit too "right on the point of the shoulder" for me, and would end up giving me the rabid shits.

As it will be a summer frock, I will do some fidgeting with the sleeves, too. I will make them two-part, so that in very hot weather I can take off the forearms part of the sleeve and make myself a bit cooler. Speaking of which, yes, the dress will be made of black linen. This is not really a period choice of fabric - linen, yes; black linen, not so much; black linen as shell fabric, again with the not so much. However... I do not live in 16thC Germany, I live in 21stC Australia. Really, I have to make choices that are not going to cause me to die.

I am thinking that to tart the sleeves up a little, I might put some fake slashies on them. Puff and slash is a decorative element that could be used quite differently, depending on the effect sought, and the style of frock it was going on. So, some slashing is integral with the sleeve, and will show the hemd (chemise) sleeve underneath:
Whereas others a quite clearly false, and would be sewn down onto a supporting underlayer of straight, fitted sleeve:
So, my design choices are mostly made, now all that remains is for me to actually make the damn thing. Do you think if I just pile all the fabric together in a big heap I will come back in the morning and it will have magically turned into a dress? Or is it more likely to have magically turned into a cat bed... Hmmm, tough call.

Is it a whole different world?

Ok. I like to read Attack Laurel's blog - she is witty and intelligent, and sometimes writes interesting posts, and, of course, does some fabulous embroidery and costuming.

Sometimes what she writes about, and other blogs she links to, make me... confused?...uncomfortable? I'm not sure exactly, but it does make me wonder if I live in a totally different world to some other people.

I'm talking about rape, and the blogs out there that talk about this subject often. In some cases, almost exclusively, it seems. One such blog post talks about certain behavioural patterns that women are taught, and expected by society to follow. These include not raising your voice, not appearing to be emotional or distraught, not setting personal boundaries and dramatically enforcing them, not using your physical strength to enforce your personal boundaries, and others of a similar nature. This is the bit that I don't get. My life has taught me that many of these things are not only acceptable but expected. I have never been ostracised for being forceful to a man who's attention was unwanted. I have never had intercourse, whether social or sexual, with a man I couldn't stand, simply because I was too worried about what people would say if I turned him down. I was once told that I had "a head like a bull terrier" by a man that I turned down - I was extremely rude to him, on very little provocation - and no-one told me that I was being harsh or unfair. I have generally found that telling someone that I'm sorry, but I'm really not interested, is usually sufficient to stop further attention. I have never found myself screaming GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME to someone at the bus stop, simply for striking up a conversation that I wasn't interested in. Generally speaking, I will use this approach as a last resort, rather than a first one. I'm not surprised that a woman using the screaming approach will be labled as a crazy bitch, and that no-one will come to her aid. I'm pretty sure that quite a lot of people will come to the aid of a woman who has made her disinterest known in a polite and forceful manner, and yet is still experiencing harrassment.

What this has made me wonder is whether I live in a world completely removed from the one lived in by the women in these blogs. Was my upbringing so different that the thought of not expressing myself is completely alien? Are most of the men I have ever met been odd in that they generally will back down after a polite refusal? Do I have a lot of weird friends who are also quite good at not being doormats? Or is it simply that Australian culture is so completely different to American, and that gender caste just doesn't seem to be that much of an issue here?

I'm not trying to say that women shouldn't use forcefullness or even violence to defend themselves should they see fit. I am pretty uncomfortable with women being given the advice that they should react in this manner immediately. Politeness is king. Not only will your point be made without injuring the pride of your potential harrasser, (and therefore not leaving yourself open to abusive retaliation) but you are far more likely to be taken seriously. There is little to no reason to resort to rudeness or hysteria straight up - but absolutely every reason to resort to them in the face of continued unwanted attention.

I will never argue with a woman's right to campaign against sexual violence, particularly if she has been a victim of that violence - I may question her methods, but never her motives. No woman ever deserves to be raped. Ever. I think that women should take an active role in preventing violence against themselves. Always remain in the company of trusted friends when out on the town, moderate your intake of alcohol (I do feel a bit like the pot calling the kettle black here, but even at my drunkest, I could always articulate what I did or didn't want) and don't dress like a slapper. Now, in case this sentiment were to be read by more that the 3 people who visit this blog, I would like to defend this statement. I'm sure that there are many out there who will cry "A woman should be able to wear whatever she wants! Wearing a miniskirt should not be an invitation to rape!" and they would be quite correct. Neither should my leaving my front door unlocked be an invitation to be robbed. But if I robbed, and told you that I had left the front door unlocked, you would think "well, what did you expect?", wouldn't you? Human beings have been doing unspeakable things to each other for time out of mind. They probably always will. Protecting yourself by not putting yourself in harm's way only makes sense, surely.

I hope that the blogs that talk about rape provide help and comfort to those who have been hurt, and open the eyes and minds of their readers.

A woman I once knew who was pack raped when in her teens once told me that she once had an unusual opportunity to face one of her attackers. She actually bumped into him in her home town, and had a coffee with him. He apologised profusely for what he had done to her, and she said that his remorse was quite genuine. He told her that he had changed his life around, got out of the gang, and was now married with a little one on the way. She told him that she forgave him, that she wished him and his family well, and that she fervently hoped that the baby would be a girl. "I hope you worry every day of your life, that what happened to me might happen to her" she told him. Revenge indeed.
I looked out the back door this arvo, at around about 5.30ish. It was dusk, and the sun had dipped below the horizon. The sky was streaked with pink. Not some woosy, pale watercolour pink, but bright, almost fushia, pink. Seriously - it was almost day-glo. I had to stop for a minute and just take it in. Beautiful.

Then, on my way to St Peters to go to the Rowany meeting, the moon was an enormous yellow disk in the sky, slightly shrouded by mist. Enormous. You could actually see some of the shading from the craters and whatnot on it. And this whlist I was driving on the M4 at 90kms, so pretty obvious. Amazing.

Nature - you rock.


I had noticed when I went to see Butterfly Effect with JD last weekend, that The Specials were going to be playing at the Enmore Theatre on the 27th and 28th July. I kinda hummed and haaed, cos I wasn't sure whether I really wanted to go. I looked it up this morning, and both shows are sold out.

Sold out!

I didn't think they were that popular here even when they were popular! Most of my current peer group would say "huh? who?", and it's generally not until "Message to you Rudy" is mentioned that people these days even have a glimmer of recognition.

Of course now that I cant' go, I really, really want to...


Walking, walking, walking

I've been really good the last couple of weeks, and have been walking. No, not just around the shops, thank you very much! The past few days have been just glorious, almost springlike, and it's been perfect for walking. So I have. Where I am is actually a lovely place to walk. As it's deepest, darkest suburbia, it's quiet, a little off the beaten track. Most of the houses in the area are modest, single story weatherboard or brick cottages. For the most part, they are quite well maintained, and the gardens are generally neat and pleasant. I think a fair number of the local population are retirees, but then there are quiet a lot of people with young kids, too. The land is gently undulating (I know that sounds really wanky, but I can't think of a more apt description), so there are gentle hills to get one's heart rate up a little, without me needing to feel like an ambulance might be in my immediate future. Some spots have quite a good view to the east, and there are even places where you can see the city. Really!

I've been really enjoying my walks, which is good, as it means that I'm more likely to keep it up. I'd like to drop a little bit of weight, and get fitter and healthier. The more I walk, the more energy I have, which is great. My walks have been around 4kms or so, or a bit under an hour. Winter tends to bring out the hibernater (say that in a Terminator voice for best effect) in me, and really, nothing gets done. There's only one problem with all this walking - my feet. Or more to the point, my son-of-a-motherless goat, monkey-loving, gods-forsaked SHOES!

I have two pairs of sneakers, and both of them give me blisters. Admittedly, they are not worn very often - I don't wear them unless I'm doing exercise of some sort - but I've had them for a while now, and surely they are supposed to be comfortable from the get-go anyway! So now I have to fortify my feet with large numbers of band-aids before setting out.

Oh well. Better than sitting at home on my arse pecking away at the computer... oh.

Ding dong the bells are going to chime!

So, ten years to the day that Rusty and I got married, we finally had our wedding day. It kinda rocked.

It was a fairly low key affair, as far as weddings go, which is good, because it kept the stress levels pretty low. Despite a bit of last minute (read: the morning of the wedding day) sewing on hems, it all went pretty smoothly. My decision to make as much stuff as I did was a bit ambitious, as it turns out, because I didn't even get started on the hat. I did manage the dress, my coat, Rusty's waistcoat, the cake, the bridal bouquets, and the placecards all in reasonably good time though. At the risk of sounding overly chuffed with myself, they all turned out really, really well. I received some fabulous compliments - some from complete strangers - on the cake and the dress. It's a good thing for the bride to feel pretty and clever on her wedding day, isn't it?

The day went pretty smoothly, despite my getting a bit cranky with the hairdresser. If you make an 11am appointment to get your hair done, you shouldn't have to wait until 11.30 before the first roller goes in your hair, should you? My hair turned out pretty well, although it looked a bit odd with jeans and a t shirt. JD was with me, getting her hair set into a tres cute cap of curls. She wasn't very happy with it, but she looked gorgeous - despite pulling an all nighter to get her bridesmaid dress finished. She is Teh Roxor.

After the grand hair experience, we came home to grab our stuff and off the the hotel! Thank goodness for hotels with big mirrors everywhere - it made getting ready soooooo much easier. It was a funny thing - I had been thinking that the hair looked a bit odd, and I wasn't sure that I was entirely happy with it. As I put on my makeup, though, it started to come together. Then I put on the dress... All of a sudden I was 1940s! JD looked fab in her maroon (so your colour, matey!) and Rusty looked like the Godfather.

Then we went downstairs to our car. Oh boy! We had a 1947 Jaguar Mk 4 in gunmetal gray. This one, in fact:Photo nicked from the Silver Cloud Cars website, from whence the car came.

So pretty. And really nifty watching all the heads turn to watch this gorgeous car go past! And full of folks in 40s dress, too! We met the photographer at the venue, and then went traipsing all over the shop to have a bunch of photos taken, before the sun went down. I'm looking forward to seeing the result, and I will post some photos when we get them.

Just at sunset, and before the ceremony was due to start, we went for a cruise around the park in our car. Figured that this was a good plan, as the car was horrendously expensive. We saw Nathan Rees taking a walk, and completely failed to run him over. Sorry folks, but we just weren't prepared to pay to get the dents out of the Jag.

The ceremony was lovely. Elly preformed her duties as a flower girl well, despite Rana's concerns that she would totally lose it (although there was a moment where she was about to forge ahead in a rather gung-ho fashion). Rusty's mate Phil read a poem for us, and Rana, who I have known for nearly 17 years (as Rana said, since primary school. Yeah, good one, I'll go with that!) said some words about us and our relationship. It was really touching, and disturbingly accurate (!) and everyone was very touched. Rusty and I said our bits, despite both of us suffering from stage fright and forgetfullness. We both got a bit choked up, and managed to choke a bunch of other people up too. It's nice to know that we touched the hearts of our friends and family. Mr H was awesome as our MC - it was really nice to have someone kinda taking charge a bit, who knew exactly what to say to make things happen.

Dinner and drinks happened, as they are wont to do, and the service seemed to be really good - nobody was wanting a drink for too long, food came and plates went in good time* - and it was reeeeeeaally nice to sit down and take the weight off my high heels.

We kept our speeches short and sweet, Dad got a golden opportunity to poke fun at me in a public forum (must have been loving that) and I made people (including myself) cry with my toast to my mum, for the 20th anniversary of her death. We had our traditional bridal waltz, and Rusty's two left feet came into the fore here. Then some people joined in, and we got a bit more comfortable getting some ballroom jive and spinning around madly.

The cake was a great success. It looked great (sorry, but no false vanity here) and apparently was very yummy. So, I was happy, as everyone liked my cake, and they were happy, as they got yummy cake. Win-win situation! Hooray!

I would have liked for there to be more dancing, but everyone seemed to be having a really nice time regardless, so I'm happy. All in all, the day was a great success. Needless to say, there are a couple of little things I could have been happier with, but they were pretty petty, so I really don't have any cause for complaint.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted. I think someone nicked our taxi (and I will find you, whoever you are!) and we had to get them to call us another. I was as pleased as it's possible to be to get back to the room, and take off my shoes (and my corset, oh bliss!), wash my face an pull all of the pins out of my hair, and climb into bed.

You know what happened next? It took me about three hours to get to sleep. Why is that always the way?

And how did we spend our Saturday and Sunday? We have watched about 18 hours worth of Buffy. I think I've spent about 25 minutes in total off the couch. It's been the best honeymoon ever. I promise to post photos when we get them too!

*The next morning at breakfast, Dr Mark was telling a story of a wedding he went to recently where the drinks were flowing, but the food took hours to come out. By the time it did, everyone was trashed, and all the couples were having huge barneys. I think the service we got was worlds away from this, for which I am extremely thankful!

Awesome day

Ok, I've been a bit crap with the blog updating lately. Been pretty busy with the sewing. That will teach me to have a wedding...

Today I shirked my sewing responsibility and went over to my gran's. As she lives in Avalon, it was a reasonable hike (by the time I got home again I had spent enough time in the car to have driven to Canberra. As Rusty so succinctly put it, but then I would be in Canberra. Yes, I know the grammar of that sentence bites). We had a really lovely day together. The weather, apart from being freezing, was gorgeous. We sat outside in the sun and drank coffee and ate croissants and chatted. Then we walked down to the beach - Avalon is a fabulous place for walking - and sat on the rocks and watched the surfers. The surf looked perfect, and there were a whole bunch of die-hards out there in their steamer suits. We were so envious of them! It would be awsome to surf, but I think that you have to be pretty fearless. I tried once, many years ago, and almost drowned. Never again. Oh well, it was fun to watch them.

We sat in gran's garden again for lunch, and fed the crusts of our sarnies to the magpies and the lorikeets. A bit naughty, but kinda cute too.

We chatted all day about all sorts of things. I love my gran - she's ace tops, mate.

All in all, it was a fabulous day.



I have a length of black linen that I want to make a summer weight day-dress (tourney frock) from. What I would really like to trim it with is pink - not bubblegum, but a nice dusky rose. I have looked at many, many pictures, and the only colours that black frocks were trimmed with in 16thC Germany were white, gold,Hello, you look familiar...


(wait for it)

more black.

Aaargh! Why don't you people have some imagination!

So, what do you reckon? Should I be true to form and trim my frock in gold, or should I "accidentally" make it the way I want it, and just shout "Oooh look, an elephant!" any time someone asks me about my colour choice?

The first person to offer to alleviate my problem by taking the linen off my hands, or tell me I should do a stinky eye-tye, will get a boxed ear for their trouble. So there.

:Continue sulk:

Girly German coat

One of the next things on my list of SCA clothing that I want to make is a schaube, or German coat. A coat is so much more useful as a keep-warm garment than a cloak or mantle - your arms are free and not weighed down by metres of fabric, and coats don't slip off your shoulders and try to choke you to death. I have been wearing one that BT made for her ex, that didn't fit him, and now I feel that it is time that I made my own.

The first hurdle was to find sufficient pictorial documentation of chicks wearing coats. More to the point, of chicks wearing coats that I liked, and weren't huge, shapeless sacks. Needless to say, although it seems that men wore coats all the time, women... not so much. The piccies are out there, one just has to look a bit harder.

Here are a few examples:
There are two in this one - I like the collar on the green one, but the sleeve treatment on the grey one.

Oooh, big pink coat.
This is St Helen, so the ermine is out. This is a seriously gorgeous coat, though.

The images above all came from REAL, which is a fabulous resource, although very damaging to your spare time. To find these images I did a search on Kleidung (clothing), and then narrowed the field to Schaube, between 1500 and 1530. It still gave me hundreds of pictures to look at (most of them with men with coats on), but all of them included someone wearing a schaube. The site also rather handily notates who is in the painting, what they are wearing, what colour it is, and any objects of interest that are also able to be searched. The only kicker is that it's all in German. It's amazing how much you can figure out on your own, though, and for the rest there's Babelfish...
This is one from Bildindex that Baggy Trousers found for me. The chick standing behind the little model church has a very cute coat on.

This one - "Portrait of a Woman aged Fifty-Seven" by Hans Muelich, 1539, is going to be the source for my colour choice. Some time back I found some faux cashmere (this is what it was called) at Spotlight. It was on special, so I bought some. It's a wool blend, mixed with poly or acrylic, and is a napped fabric, with a soft, velvet like feel, hence the faux cashmere moniker.

Many (read: most) of the schaubes, whether for men or for women, were fur lined. As I have no desire to die from heat exhaustion, I will not be lining my schaube in fur of any description. This last pic, with it's silk lining, seemed to be the best option. Not very exciting, colour-wise, but I do like the textural differences, with the velvet ribbon trim to set things off.

Taken in bright sunlight so that the differences can be seen at all. The whole thing is going to need to be interlined and probably make use of a bunch on the really expensive iron-on interfacing as well. None of it is really coat weight. Still, it will look pretty spanky when it's done (I hope)

I will keep you posted!

Things I saw on my walk today

  • The odd juxtaposition of houses that you often see around here - one house that is impeccably kept with very neat garden, cheek-by-jowl with the scruffiest of scruffy houses where the paint is peeling and the garden is an overgown jungle.
  • The Bogan Princess, complete with earings that dangled to her shoulders, pushing a pram and studiously avoiding my eye so she wouldn't be forced to smile at a stranger.
  • The old man getting out of his car to open his garage door, the young woman taking her toddler out in the stroller, the Italian woman with the market flower garden, all of whom responded to my smile with one of their own.
  • The furry brown catterpiller trundling his busy way across the footpath.
  • The Noisy Miner in the tree barely an arms length away.
  • The knobbly brown seeds left after a bottlebrush has lost the flowery bits.
My eyes took many little photograhs along the way, all the colours and shapes. I actually really quite like living in the 'burbs, especially a well established one, with houses of many kinds, and lots of greenery. I just wish my friends weren't all a 30 minute drive away...

I am trying to use this time that I have on my hands to establish some good habits - daily walking, doing stuff in the garden, good cooking and eating practices.

Today's walk was a backwards version of the same walk that I did on Tuesday, but took me about 10 minutes less to complete. I walked it faster and felt better when I got home. At this rate I will be running the whole way by the end of the week! (yeah, right)

A Conundrum

Well, technically it's not, because I already know the answer. You must admit, however, that it is a great word...

Imagine this scene:

A person goes to a shop with the intention of making a purchase. This person discovers that a very high quality variety of the product that they were wishing to purchase is on sale, therefore allowing them to purchase this high quality item rather than a lower quality one at the same price. This makes the person very happy, and causes them to exclaim "Excellent! I shall take two!" The person takes note of the little red price tag on the display item, which we shall call Price A. The person takes their intended purchases to the counter.

Once at the counter, as the sales assistant is peeling off the bar code stickers, the person makes note that one of the stickers displays Price A, and the other displays a price a little higher than Price A, which we will refer to as Price B. The person doesn't let this bother her, as she is quite well aware that trade practices allow that the product must be sold at the displayed price (I'm sure there are extenuating circumstances here, but I would imagine that they are generally for extreme cases).

So, imagine this person's surprise when the total cost issued to her is twice that of Price B! Remember, one of the items was barcoded at Price A, which was also the price on the display item. Technically, the shop assistant could have been in the right had she rung up one product at Price A and one at Price B, as this was the price shown on the items themselves. Then she could have been gently reminded that the goods must be charged at the display price (and isn't there something inherently wrong with charging different prices for identical items?). No, she deliberately chose to scan both products on the Price B barcode, therefore charging more that the ticketed price for one of the items, which the author hesitates to suggest is ILLEGAL, YOU STUPID WITCH!

When this was pointed out (far more politely that strictly necessary, by the way) one of the items (count it, just one) was reluctantly recharged at Price A as shown on it's bar code. Okay, so now the situation has wandered back from the precipice of illegal transaction, but still not right. There's still that pesky display price (Price A) and the fact that one can't charge different prices for identical products in the same transaction. It wasn't until the display item, with it's little red sticker with Price A on it, was fetched and shown to the World's Stupidest Shop Assistant, that she relented (with much grumbling about how people should check these things, and how she was going to get into trouble - LIKE I CARE! - and boy, how much trouble do you think you are going to be in if I write a letter of complaint about your very nearly unlawful transaction?) and chaged both products at the displayed ticket price, and to the purchaser's, by now very small, satisfaction.

All this happened at David Jones. At the Royal Doulton counter. You'd think they'd know better.

Next time I'm going to Peter's of Kensington.

Wow. No,

Festival has been and gone. I got the tent* finished in time to be used - needs a bit of tweaking done to it - the roof decoration still needs to be painted, and the walls need to be re-brained (I got the angles all wrong, so instead of being taut they were a bit on the saggy side), but it was workable. I even managed to get together enough stuff to have a display in the Laurel Prize Tourney this year, which turned out to be a handy thing...

On Sunday I was invited to join the Order of the Laurel. If anyone chances across this blog who is not intimate with the workings of the SCA, this is the highest level award in the Society for learning - arts, crafts, singing, gardening, research, music, cooking, etc. It's a pretty big deal. I'm still in shock. In my case this award is for my work in embroidery and costume. Neither was quite there on their own, but together made up a body of work worthy of elevation, or so I am told. It still feels a bit unreal, and really was totally unexpected. I'm pretty blown away that a bunch of intensely clever people, who's work is of a really high standard, have deemed me worthy to be their peer. The ceremony formalising my elevation took place in the Royal Court on Sunday evening.

So there you go. I went to Festival thinking nothing of note was likely to happen, that there would be hanging out at the tavern and the wine bar, carousing, maybe some shopping or taking in a class or two (I didn't manage any, which I think is a first for me), and I come home a Laurel and a Peer of the realm. Wow.

*Which spent much of it's creation being known as "that fucking tent", mostly because it took me 4 years to build it. Not because it was hard, mind you, just incredibly tedious, so I'd keep putting it aside for 9 month periods...

Doin' stuff

Today has been a day of accomplishment! So far today (and to think, it's only 20 to 2, there's still heaps of doin' stuff time left!) I have managed the following:

Went to the RTA and did my knowledge test (100%, she says, huffing on her nails and buffing them against her shirt) and got my motorbike learner's permit. Hooray! and also Eep!

Took the car to the lovely and very helpful chaps at Fastfit Bullbars and Towbars in Auburn and had a very reasonably priced towbar fitted to my car.

Walked to Auburn station and caught the train to Parramatta.

Called my dad to wish him a happy birthday.

Did some wandering about, had sushi train (mmm salmon sashimi) and a devonshire tea (nto so flash - the scones had sugar in then, the cream had sugar in it, the jam was 98% sugar with a little red food colouring in it - so the whole thing was too sweet. The tea was nice though.)

Caught the train back to Auburn. Had one of those pleasant train trips where people actually talk to each other. Was wished a nice afternoon by a pleasant chap, I complimented a lady of her dress, which was very pretty, and she and her friend (who are both African of some sort) had the most beautiful little brown babies.

Got caught in the rain. Needless to say, the precipitation had been very light, a mere sprinkle, until I was caught out in the open, the furthest distance from shelter. Then it pissed down.

Picked up the car, complete with shiny new tow bar.

Came home, peeled off the wet jeans.

Made a blog entry.

If I manage more useful stuff today I will update in the evening. So much stuff to do!

Guerilla gardening

Was watching the teev this evening, and channel 10's Guerilla Gardeners came on. My interest was piqued, because they were doing the little quadrangle in Newtown across the road from the Bank Hotel. This one:It ended up with a purple gazebo on the little octagon thingy, and new turf, and plants and stuff. Looked pretty funky. Unfortunately, there isn't a pic of the result.

What really got me though, was that I walked passed this area last Tuesday, and it wasn't there then. So not only the garden happened really quickly, but the post production of the show.



OK, so I just missed it. I have been reliably informed that it was done ages ago and all got ripped out for being dead and/or unsafe. I did say it seemed a bit weird...

The great unwashed

Or at least the great unemployed.

That's right, I got retrenched today. Not hugely worried - there's plenty that I can do that will keep me from starving, and I got a reasonable payout. Still, came as a bit of a surprise. So, after nearly seven years with Reece, I am now at a loose end. Kinda looking forward to having a little bit of time to myself, and then throwing myself into the challenge of getting a new job.

Should be interesting. At the very least, maybe I'll have more time to keep my blog up to date!


Yes, this did come completely out of left field, and right in the middle of me being busy, busy, busy. It's not a huge shock, though, we've been told for a while that the business isn't making any money... I am a little surprised at some, ok one, of their choices. If it was my business, I probably would have kept the person with the most experience and best knowledge of the systems (me) over the person who has been with the company for less than a year and knows waaaaaaaaaaay less about everything Reece-wise. Oh, and I know how to do her job. But still, I've been wanting to leave for a while, and now I have the opportunity to do so with the golden handshake attached. Bad time to be looking for a job, but there's always temping.

All in all, I'm pretty happy at the present time. So it's all good!

I am an island, I am an isthmus...

Last Saturday, I went to a lovely BBQ at the abode of Baggy Trousers and JD. Whilst there, the charming Harry regaled us with many tales (and many rice crackers at high velocity) and some delightful clips from Youtube (where else?). For a good laugh, check out Fuck the Shit and Jizz In My Pants. Don't do it if you should be working, as the bad language (from your 'puter) and the gales of laughter (from you) will be a dead giveaway that you are not, in fact, working...

During the tall tales session, I was reminded of an act I remember seeing on Hey Hey It's Saturday, many, many years ago. Raymond J Batholomeuz, and his delightful poem, Days by the ocean. I couldn't remember the details on the night, just a few words from the poem. Watching Rockwiz tonight though, reminded me quite suddenly. You see, Brian from Rockwiz is, in fact, Raymond J Batholomeuz...

So here it is.

Flat tyre

Husbands are so useful!

For the past few days I've had a large screw stuck in one of my tyres. It took me a couple of days to find it - I always seemed to have parked with the screw on the botton where it couldn't be seen - and then I'd keep forgetting to try taking it out when I was at home.

Rusty changed the tyre for me this morning. I am perfectly capable, except for the loosening of the wheel nuts part. When R is struggling with it (and he is so big and stwong), I know that there is no chance that I would be able to undo the little buggers on my own. So, now the car looks funny, with 3 mags and one spare. But, it's a good thing that I didn't manage to get the screw out before - as soon as we pried it loose, all the air came rushing out! I wasn't sure before that whether it was a screw or a bolt, and therefore, whether it had actually punctured the tyre. Yes, is the operative word here...

So, my husband has been infinitely useful, and I no longer have the insanity making tick, tick, tick of the screw hitting the tarmac every time I drive the car. Hooray!

Hot and icky

Ugh, hot today. I am so much a cold weather person - this heat and humidity sucks the life out of me.

Which is why I spent the first day of 2009 lying on my bed with the air-conditioner on, reading teenage vampire romance (hey, it's not my fault. I got the second book of the Twilight trilolgy as my Chrissy Pissy pressie last year (no, the year before, now) and I picked it up as something to read whilst I ate breakfast, then had to keep going. It only took me today to read. Great literature it ain't)

New year was spent at a friend's house, hanging out, watching the fireworks on the teev, drinking champagne and margaritas. It was really nice. I'm really hoping that tomorrow will be cooler. I actually want to get stuff done, and I struggle with that concept when the weather is above 25 degrees. I know, I know. Cold weather any day.

Tomorrow will bring the installation of a salt water chlorinator for the pool, which should pay dividends in the amount of time needed to be spent on pool maintenance (which is currently way too much). After that we'll see.

Oh, and if you are wanting to know if I made any NY resolutions... are you kidding me?!?