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.