we're here now, and life is different

It was so good to arrive. There's something about the noise and squishiness of planes that makes it less exciting than it should be, given that you are flying in the air, and it was a relief to walk onto the tarmac. Grace held my hand and squealed at the noise of the jet (she freaks out about hand dryers in public toilets so no surprise) but I convinced her to turn around and have a look. Inside the terminal she helped Daddy retrieve our bags, heaving her dora the explorer suitcase off the carousel like she'd been doing it all her life. Moments later Cam pulled up and we were on our way. I have no real sense of our location and have just figured out which way is up, or north today. All the roads are very windy and where we are seems unconnected to a major town, which feels strange when you are so city focused. 

The moment of arrival at the house was joyous. I was so happy to see Betty, Ruby and Maeve and to my great relief they are still little. Grown a bit, but it's not as if they've turned into teenagers since they've been away. And it felt right to be with them straight away, like we'd hardly been apart at all. Grace and Ruby were so happy and even gave each other a little cuddle. Some of the things I've thought would be difficult are not. Grace is sleeping in a little beach shelter next to our mattress under a pergola in a very luxurious garage attached to the house. Her mattress is red and her doona cover has pretty flowers on it and Grace loves it. Betty went to quite some effort to make it comfortable for her and it is. 

big pineapple

Other things are not so easy, after the initial delight in seeing everyone, there is a different house and household to get used to. And there are three children under five and by lunch time today they were all cranky. Grace is napping right now and she was only prepared to lie down and rest if I was there too. In fact I have been spending a lot of time helping her do things that she is fine with a home and I've found it wearing. G has been sick, possibly with a variation of what Grace had although I think he's better now. And it's hot. Very hot, when you've come from a Melbourne in which spring has barely sprung. The light seems very bright too, and I find it difficult to be out of the shade in the middle of the day. I have accepted that I will barely acclimatise while I am here. So I'm just going to try and take things slowly. And relax, despite the moments of chaos, because it's a holiday.

Yesterday Betty and I went out with Grace and Ruby. First we stopped at the big pineapple, which for some reason was very high on my to do list and I wasn't disappointed. It's kind of crappy but in a good way. It must be pretty old because I know someone my age that worked there as a teenager. Grace loved it and climbed up and down several times. I couldn't get her to go and meet Betty and Ruby at the growers market (we'd stopped to sit and recompose in the shade after a foot scraping on new shoes without socks incident). Apparently the market was pretty good and we've been eating some sensational mangoes and pineapple. And I learnt that pineapples don't have a season as such and that they take two years to grow. There are some around here and I will have to photograph them because they are strange and beautiful. After the big pineapple we went to the pool, and after some initial difficulties, it was so much fun that we could hardly get the children to leave. Today we've just been hanging out and tomorrow, I think we'll go somewhere. Oh, and I really need to get my act together and take some serious pictures of the children, perhaps when they stop being so cranky. Because they are just all so beautiful.

happy day

So. In less than an hour a lovely friend arrives to take us to the airport. We will be absurdly early for our flight but I like it that way. Maybe we'll drink coffee or indulge in a spot of airport shopping. Small presents, or a trashy magazine, perhaps a bigger backpack for Grace. Or maybe we'll just hang around being early.

Our bags are all packed and everything is ready. The house is as clean as it's going to be. Our house sitter is here and everything has been explained. Yay for holidays!

Will post if convenient and feel so inclined, otherwise it's adieu from me until we get back.  See youse!

making my sandwich

I wanted to title this that's me in the sunshine, that's me in the kitchen, making my sandwich but the words don't fit the tune all that well. Although the song is kind of apt, in that roundabout way that happens sometimes when I see an image or have a feeling and I think of a particular REM song

 That morning, the sun was filling up the kitchen and it was too warm for my dressing gown or socks. I didn't want to be up yet. Not liking the transition from sleep to awake (or vice versa), I almost never do. I rather like sleep and staying up late. Nonetheless that morning, I was taken by the strong shadows and the play of light and although I was (as usual) running late, I felt compelled to take a quick photo. The moment was so fleeting, that the light changed in the time it took to get my camera from the study. And the moment I was in before the moment I captured was lost.

Afterwards I made a ham and tomato sandwich with mustard and lettuce. On Edwards Sourdough, now stocked at Coburg Safeway. Every lunch time at work, I look forward to my sandwich and it never bothers me that I never make anything else. Sometimes I like things to be the same. 

In other news, I was lucky to ring the health centre just as there had been a cancellation and got to see my nice doctor today. Just as well, the red puffy leg, it needs antibiotics. And I could have become really sick from it. Ick. Must have scratched my leg gardening or else it's a weird side effect of this stupid cold. Or just happened. I would like a new body please. This one is falling apart.

Oh, the banality of it all.

what's hot and what's not


  1. We're off to Queensland on Friday to see my sister Betty and Cam and my little nieces. At the moment I just want to cuddle them for a whole week (like they'll let me - I'm feeling so very auntieish), but I'm sure we'll fit in some other activities like ummmm, going to the beach. Or something. I am super, super, super excited about his.
  2. Did I mention I'm on holiday for a week?
  3. And that it involves sun and an airplane trip?
  4. And swimming at the beach with a little girl who loves the water?
  5. We've had a friend arrive from overseas and not only is it lovely to catch up but she can look after our little house while we're away and feed Tony (the cat).
  6. Reading novels on the tram up Sydney road.
  7. Dora the Explorer suitcases with matching handbags (well kind of hot if you're four and a half).

not so hot

  1. Colds that linger and linger and linger with an insane half life, complete with funny ears - am going to be taking full on decongestants before flying.
  2. With the warmer weather my old friend the puffy foot has returned, along with a hot red puffy rash. Is it an insect bite or some sort of infection? Not sure, but it ain't pretty. There are no appointments at the good doctor tomorrow so I may have to see a quack. Sigh.
  3. Big to-do lists with a side serve of anxiety.

Sounds like a little holiday might be in order, doesn't it. Not sure if I'm going to post while I'm away yet. Think I'll just see how things go. A most of blogtober effort might have to suffice. But I'm more than OK with that.

See more of what's hot and what's not here.

We've been counting the sleeps and it's time I went and knocked another one over. nite, nite.

memories are made of this

Earlier this month I had a go at taking some pictures of Grace and I together. None came out particularly well, although I like this one. Well, I like some aspects. Our expressions and the accidental, haphazard framing. Other aspects of the photo I'm not so keen on, like the focus on my enlarged pores and how you can see the black line at the top of my crown. Not too keen on the skin tones either. Call me vain. But it's not what I want to remember.

Anyway, I was thinking black and white. I was thinking about the olderator. Then I remembered the Rollippolaroid treatment I had seen somewhere and book marked. I resized the image so that it wouldn't take ages to convert and had a play. The colour one was OK, but I  like the image better in black and white. We still have our smiles but it's softer. More like it really felt. Must remember to keep taking the odd self portrait. Just so I am not visually absent from this record of my life.

And yes, Grace is particularly gorgeous at the moment. Full of four and a halfness and drawings, getting in trouble for not using the drawing mat on the kitchen table, odd little games and creations made with lots of sticky tape, interspersed with it's not fairs and declarations as to who her best friend is. Looks like it might have been me at that particular moment. Yes, I am that lucky sometimes.

obviously writing past my writer's block

Dinner is done. Grace is eating her m'essert (two squares of chocolate). My head slumps onto the table, what am I going to blog about tonight? I moan.
What you ate for dinner, says G. He cooked dinner and it was nice, broad bean pasta, but I'm not sure I could write a whole blog post about it.
Six thirty,says Grace. A bit enigmatic. It's certainly not the time we're eating. Especially given that I came home on the seven o'clock bus. The last bus for the night (note to self - Darebin bus review).
I consider that perhaps I will write about how I like to come home by tram at the moment. In the sunlight. But first I have to tell you two things. One is that I saw someone today who had a cigarette through his ear. Not behind his ear, which is not an uncommon look at my workplace. But through the piercing. Ahum. The second thing is a colleague of mine was telling me about her holidays and how last week she was at her sister's house and the neighbours dog from two doors down, which should have been muzzled but wasn't, leaped over a high fence and mauled her sister's dog to death. The found the dog in the back yard, still warm. This is a backyard young children play in.


I open the real estate section of the local paper and realise that the house next door to where we used to live is on the front cover. Or maybe it is the one two doors up, come to think of it. Now my mind is playing tricks and I'm not sure which one it is. I look at the pictures of inside the house. Very strange to see the inside of a house that you've passed many times but never visited.

Tonight was warm. And I'm still not wearing socks. Perhaps we are finally at the change of the season. Finally.

Now, coming home along Royal Parade. It means catching three trams and a bus instead of a tram, train and bus, and it's slower. But there is something soothing about the long trip up Sydney road. I always get a seat and I can read my book or just stare out the window at the sun filled elm trees coming into leaf. People seem happier and much less dour than on the train. I don't know why that would be the case, but it makes for a pleasant journey.

Love of the Washing maching

By rights this should go in the other place. It's kind of sweet, more subtle than this one.


What is it about love and washing machines? Have I ever told you how much I love youtube?

Yes, I have run out of things to say.

sometimes the only place to look is up

This is going to be quick as I have an appointment with a comfy chair, Keanu Reeves and River Phonenix. G's coming too and there's a possibility we'll get stuck into the port and cooking chocolate somewhere along the way.

Today has been unremarkable except that I have been to Norflands to score a booster seat and Dora the Explorer suitcase on wheels, because I promised she could have one for our fast approaching Queensland trip. We managed to get out of there without buying more than a couple of extra things, although for some reason I relented and let Grace select a Dora the Explorer handbag as well. We never watch Dora on TV but she loooves Dora the Explorer. Indeed apart from the odd viewing on youtube and the occasional video from the library, Graces's knowlege of all things Dora is from merchandising and the cultural soup kids swim in. As long as we don't have to read tedious Dora books too often (from the library - where she gets free reign), I'm kind of OK with it on a limited level. I guess. Maybe I'll regret it later. Eh, who knows? 

The ringing in my ears stopped the moment we left the shopping centre and I had a very brief Nana nap on our return.

Later I popped out with Grace to return a stroller and get some milk for the macaroni cauliflower cheese I was planning to make for dinner and somehow ended up taking four children down the shops to buy a treat. Of course, my child was the one that had the tantrum on the way home and I had to call G for back up.

Oh, and somehow I still managed to make cauliflower macaroni cheese for dinner and not burn the white sauce. It was pretty delicious and I had to stop G from eating the whole lot, because it's tomorrow's lunch as well. Sheesh. I'm going to take that as a compliment.

living with ghosts

As my walking program continues, I'm getting to know my neighbourhood better and better. The less I focus on the fitness aspect and the more I think about where I want to go and what I want to see, the more enjoyable I find it and the less I feel like piking.Today  I decided, on the spur of the moment, to catch the bus up to Coburg, have a look around at the old buildings on the corner of Bell Street and then walk back home through Pentridge Village. My new favourite walk. It has everything I could want, trees and plants, big sky views, history (quite old post colonial history even by Australian standards), derelictia, great plays of light, strange new suburbia, suburbia that has been there for a while and is growing into itself, very new and under construction dwellings. It's also the sort of place where you think you'll get lost or enter a dead end but is actually very pedestrian friendly. This afternoon I discovered a whole new series of vistas and painted walls. The walls are my favourites I think, hinting at stories I can only imagine.

I'm somewhat ambivalent about Pentridge Prison being redeveloped as a housing estate. According to the wikipedia entry, the developers of the top, northern half which contains most of the bluestone are trying to sideline the history of the site so that they can make it more marketable as housing. And I get why they would want to do that. Not saying that it's necessarily right, because the less pleasant aspects of our history are just as important as fun things like pools and lovely buildings, but you know, who wants to live in a place that looks like a prison? The old Pentridge doesn't look anything how I imagine a modern prison would look and I suspect would be quite unsuitable as a prison these days. And yet, it doesn't quite work as a housing development site either. I think if I were going to live there, I would prefer to live in either a modern apartment or in one of the suburban houses in the more cosy/daggy southern end. Not in one of the old buildings that have been refurbished. There's not that many of those, but there is a row that although they look quite funky, have a distinct prison like feel. I found myself wondering if the history would seep through the walls. Would you lie in bed at night and feel the ghosts of convicts and felons drifting across your slumber? Or would domesticity and new energy dominate?

On another topic, have you seen 52 suburbs? No? Then pop on over. I love this site. It's a beautiful photo tour through a different Sydney suburb each week. I get very excited when this pops up on my feedreader.

my shrunken head

This morning on the tram, en route to having my head shrunk, I started jotting down some ideas for posts to cover the rest of October. Because, as I'm going on holiday soon, and because I can't bear the idea of not getting to the end of October without posting every day, and because during my holidays I may not have access to a computer or feel like blogging because I'll be at the beach or hanging with my family or otherwise wanting to feel free of blogging type obligation, I'm going to start writing two posts every day. Does that do your head in? Well yeah, it freaks me out a little that I can't let go.

At the shrink's I talked a lot about feeling like I have too much on my plate, feeling that I am way too busy. Wanting more space in my life, more time to do just one thing instead of flipping between competing priorites and projects slotted in amongst everything else. I asked her how high achievers do it and she just shrugged and said that she said she thinks our culture values busyness over many other things and that she doesn't think it's always particularly good for us. We talked about how I have tried to arrange my life so I am not too busy (and really working three days a week is pretty OK) and yet I always seem to be filling my days and nights, ending up feeling pressured and frustrated with myself for not getting everything done. And this is why I fall into colds. Although I guess to be fair, I do work in a very customer contacty job and look after a child that spends two days a week at the germ exchange, otherwise known as a childcare centre.

We also talked quite a bit about blogging and writing, about taking photos and how this process has been quite important to me. The old doctor was always lot easier about saying that this was a good thing for me to be doing. This doctor makes me work a bit harder. I still don't really know why it is so important to me, this writing business. Is it about holding onto something that I once nearly had and that I'm scared to lose before I have the proper amount of time to fully immerse myself in. Will I ever be able to write a book? Could I ever get over the hurdle of thinking that it is too big a project? Would I ever be able to commit? Is blogging enough in itself or am I just biding my time?  Mmm. Well, I guess questions like this come out when you've been out drinking and then sit down at the keyboard. Who knew that vodka and apple juice was so nice? And that might also be the reason why not one of the photos I took tonight turned out. But I rather like this one from ealier in the month. In the future this land will be covered in housing. Hopefully some of it public and low cost housing. Should be happening now, but isn't.


bought to you by the colour pink

I stayed home today, and feel much better for it. After ringing work, I lay around and watched kids telly with Grace for a bit. Have you seen The Umbilical Brothers on ABC kids? Grace cacks herself laughing and I quite enjoyed it too, although it did get a bit wearing. Maybe I was more in a Night Garden sort of mood, Iggle Piggle's bed boat looking mighty tempting. Grace and G left before lunch to go to Nana's and Grace is still there, having been asking to sleep at Nana's again for ages. I ate rice pudding for breakfast with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and slept and read, and played on the computer a bit. Snapped a few photos around the house. Went outside briefly and took some more photos.

Noticed that a geranium I took a cutting of when out walking last year (top) has started flowering. As has the apple, which I was a bit worried about, thinking it might never flower. But it has and despite there not seeming to be many bees in this garden compared to the last one, the golden peach and blood plum are covered in tiny little fruit. Still, am thinking that I definitely need to plant some bee and bird attracting plants.

Anyway my foray into the garden was very brief, it was icy cold today. Even by Melbourne spring standards. I'm glad I stayed home, starting to feel a bit better. Maybe I can kick this bug totally over the next couple of days. That would be nice. Ok, I think the telly calls.


the post with the pears

Still feel sick. With the cold that Grace had. Along with most of the neighborhood and half my customers. At one point today, I thought I was going to fall of my chair at work and after messaging my team leader was ushered into the sick bay for a lie down. I took off my boots, lay under the blanket and put my head on the pillow and listened to the sounds of the taps turning on in the men's staff toilets (thankfully that was all I could hear) and wondered who else had laid their head on this pillow and whether anyone would think to wash my poxy germs off at some point. I drifted into semi sleep while the panadol took effect and my breathing settled. It was very strange to come to half an hour later with the sounds of the back office (there is a staff only  area with the lunch room, toilets, sick bay and a training room) around me. I got up and had lunch and decided to press on. Mostly because the thought of going home at a different time than usual seemed like just far too much effort. And a half day off is a waste of one of my precious days without evidence (we get up to 20 days personal leave a year but only five without evidence).

As it happened, I had made quite a big and stupid mistake at work this morning. Probably because my brain was not working and there was a bit of a queue. I booked someone a new claim appointment they didn't need instead of just restoring their payment. The annoying thing was that a) I'd rung another area to to check what to do and had been given incomplete advice and b) not used an interpreter when I should have. I'm slapping myself about that because I'm always saying that we need to be more mindful of using interpreters. So, I spent a good part of the afternoon, in between other tasks (including making sure I have no outstanding work for tomorrow), fixing the mistake. And surprisingly when I rang the customer, with an interpreter this time, to let her know that said mistake had been fixed and to apologise, she was amazingly gracious about it. Which kind of made my day. Later at home when we debriefed over dinner, G pointed out that falling off a hobby horse can be a long, hard fall. Indeed. I shall try better next time.

Anyway, iIf I still feel craptastic tomorrow, I'll stay home and read novels. And sleep. Which is what I should be doing now, but I'm finding this blogging everyday thing strangely addictive. I know I'm running out of things to say and that feels really, really good. Kind of like being purged. I do have a few things up my sleeve, some more unfinished posts and then I think I'll sit down and come up with a list of things to write about. Any suggestions?  Maybe I could copy some of Suse's.


sleepy sort of gardening related post

I think I should just go to bed tonight. Really. I've been playing through the clips on my 35 concerts post and could just get sucked into youtube land. My chest hurts and I'm sure it's going to be another fun filled, action packed day at work tomorrow. If it wasn't blogtober, I would probably be slacking off, but in a way I'm glad I'm not. If that makes sense, which it probably doesn't.

Here are some pictures from the weekend. My grotty gardening tools taken at a very high iso setting after forgetting to reset the camera after night shots. And a grumpy Grace eating her lunch as a picnic because somehow we all got out of synch on Saturday and she was hungry and I really wanted to get my berry plants in.

Look how green the grass is! I wish I'd taken some pictures of the actual garden too because I think we're starting to get somewhere. It's not the total blank slate it was a year ago. Planted a blueberry bush which apparently will produce 10 kilos of blueberries when mature. Assuming of course that I can get it to grow. Also planted a marionberry bush and a boysenberry bush. Fingers crossed.

I also have to admit that I slacked on my walking program a bit. Saturdays effort was really lame, I went with Grace and we didn't go far. Neither of us really had it in us. And yesterday,I just couldn't drag my arse out of the house. But today, well today I walked the half hour from the tram in about 20 minutes and it was good. I feel back in the swing of it. More or less. Now off to bed.


some sunday afternoon calm

After much general procrastinating, looking at the plants I planted yesterday, faffing on the computer, wasting time eating, mooching around and hocking up charming gobs of snot from my chest (sorry TMI?), I finally dragged out my sewing machine and other bits and bobs. As usual I started on the boring, but necessary, sewing first.  Work pants. Very simple wide legged pants in a grey striped stretch suiting from Cleggs. I was going to make proper pants with a waist band and a fly etc but really I needed these fast and it's not as if I'm a tuckerer innerer. As it happened they've taken me about a month to make. Sigh. I think they've turned out OK. Perhaps a little baggier than I'd like at the back. I really need to draft or use a new pattern, I think. The one I work from now seems to have details lost in the mists of time. It's unpredictable. Or maybe it's me.  Grace hassled me to make something with her and I got out a cat toy printed on some patchwork cotton and she cut the cats out, but lost interest in the stuffing part.  Next up was a quick sundress for Grace out of some fabric mum bought her from spotlight. Not my choice but I think she'll like it. She was quite interested in sewing it up and stood in front of me and helped feed the material through the machine. Then had a go with the pedal, that was a bit of a thrill for both of us really. Have to do it again soon.

 I was also going to put some more elastic in some pants I made at craft camp. I'd more or less written these pants off as too icky for words but since there have been a few days of too warm to wear boots and skirt to work, I've revisited them as a wardrobe item and I guess they're OK. But they're made in a cotton stretch fabric that loses elasticity through the day and the elastic back should perhaps be extended all the way around. But eh, didn't get around to it. It's not like they actually fall off. Anyway, at some point Grace and G disappeared off visiting and I was left with my piles of crap and the hum of the machine as I listened to the radio. Sunday afternoon is really my favourite time of all to sew. Perhaps because there's a radio show on RRR that I really like, playing mostly electronic and soundscape sort of music.Today there was a fabulous work about The Dismissal and some beautiful sounds. I used to sew on Sunday afternoons alot and I kind of miss it. Today I felt quite content and happy as I watched the big clouds and the few big drops of rain.  Contemplated my liberty lawn shirt to try and re-fashion. Mended a pair of little pony underpants, not that she doesn't have sixty gazillion pairs of other underpants she could wear... Also tried a refashion of a t-shirt but I'm not sure the neck worked and Grace wouldn't try it on so I could see. Definitely need more Sunday sewing sessions.


35 concerts

A meme I started writing back in August, from Kim. At the time there were a hundred and fifty other things I should be have been doing on the computer before my head hit the desk. I'm finishing it off tonight because it's time I started cleaning up some of my posts in draft and because honestly, I need a break from writing about the minutia of my life. No matter how fascinating it is to others (sarcastic, moi, oh never). Oh, and because G went to see Megadeth  last night. He assures me it was good but thank God, I missed that one. Anyway this is in rough time sequence and I've decided to take a rather soft line on what actually constitutes a concert. It's also possible that some of this is my imagined history, rather than what actually happened. Some of it was a very long time ago.

  1. Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music bowl. As a child.
  2. The Reels at a school dance at a neighbouring boys school in form five, when they were very, very new to Melbourne and my date pogo danced the whole time. Not at all wonderful.
  3. INXS before they became famous at the San Remo ballroom. They were playing for my college (ie where I slept at uni first year) and it was revolting on all levels. I hated them from then on. Passionately.
  4. The Dead Kennedys at The Seaview Ballroom. Do-re-mi with Deborah Conway were support (the clip below is that song and features a great view of a two door Valiant and some old - as in 80s- Melbourne Sydney scenery) and it was awesome in a sweaty-punk-I'm young-and-I'm cool sort of way. And I got down in the mosh pit and stood on the beer shelf on the wall. And I had a very cool short, short red haircut and an old fifties golf jacket that used to be my grandfathers.
  5. Many up and coming bands at the Seaview ballroom and the Prince of Wales on Thursday night when it was free. Pseudo Echo are one that I remember becoming famous later. Mostly it was about walking between the two pubs, posing, getting pissed and meeting boys and finding a lift home. We were nineteen.
  6. New Order at The Venue. Up down turn around ... please don't let me hit the ground, so you've got blue eyes... need I say more. I'm listening to this on youtube as I write, it goes on and on, but the sound is pretty authentic without being totally crap.... how I loved New Order.
  7. The Violent Femmes at Inflation (already mentioned on this blog somewhere else). I went back the second night and danced on stage at the end with a girlfriend. We were noticed by some singer from a cool melbourne band who talked to me later. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
  8. Jonathon Richman at a venue I remember nothing about except that it was seated, but like a pub and you couldn't smoke because he wouldn't perform in a smoky environment. I found this kind of shocking in the eighties when you could smoke on trams and at work, everywhere really. But anyway, it was a fantastic concert. It was around the time of the LP that had that summer feeling on it. I wish I still had that record but it got nicked by my sisters housemate. Long story.
  9. Hunters and Collectors at Melbourne Uni. During the Human Frailty phase. Fantastic.
  10. The Reels again at Melbourne Uni. When they did that k-tel album and the other one with Quasimodo's dream. Totally wonderful.
  11. Eurythmics and Simple Minds at some big arena. Simple Minds I didn't like but the Eurthymics were totally worth it. My first big stadium event.
  12. Culture Club at the same big stadium. I really, really wanted to go to this (even though it was very, very, very uncool in my set) but I couldn't afford it so me and this gay guy who was a friend of a friend at uni, and who was the only other person I knew that liked culture club, hung out outside listening and trying to figure out how to sneak in. So it sort of counts, I guess.
  13. Joan Baez at the concert hall with an old boyfriend. Sometime in the eighties. I was really looking forward to it but it was a bit of a bummer, she only performed for about 20 minutes, because she had a cold.
  14. Michelle Shocked at Dallas Brooks Hall. Along with the entire lesbian population of Melbourne and a few stunned blokes. Beautiful.
  15. Chris Wilson at the Club playing Dylan covers. Blew my mind.
  16. The Models at The Club in Collingwood.
  17. Shriekback at The Club at Collingwood. The eighties were turning into the nineties.
  18. The Cruel Sea at the first height of their aceness upstairs at some place in Prahran. We weren't able to get tickets but my friend Joey Bird told the most outrageous porky about having bought tickets with her credit card and they let us in for free. Guilty pleasure.
  19. Lucinda Williams at the Central Club with a shy and dorky guy I did kind of fancy at the time and I wasn't sure whether it was a date or not because we were friends. Lucinda was excellent.
  20. Weddings Parties Anything at the Central Club Hotel (G was living there at the time and also went to the Lucinda Williams concert but I didn't know him then). I wasn't part of the Weddos scene, but I went with friends that were and it was a hoot.
  21. REM at Sidney Myer Music Bowl before we started the cafe. So, early nineties. How I wish I'd been to see them again when they came out just before Grace was born, but it was about on my due date. As it was, would have been fine. I still love REM. Always have, always will. I hope they are still releasing music when we are old.
  22. The Mavis's at The Punter's in Brunswick street. It was summer and might well have been the very first time I met G. Not sure, but possibly. Probably about 96. This clip is from after that, in their moment of fame. We sort of knew some of them from the cafe and they were very nice. As well as being pretty hot.
  23. Ron Sexmith at The Corner. Beautiful.
  24. Lou Reed at the athenuem. Awful. With G and he wasn't feeling well, so he didn't enjoy it either. Very disappointing because I expected to love it but he didn't give out a good vibe.
  25. Burning Spear and Toots and the Maytals at the Palais. G talked me into this one and it was great. I loved Burning Spear and it opened up a whole new genre of music to me. How I'd never got into reggae before is kind of amazing, given the stoner dudes I hung with at various times.
  26. Ron Mark Eitzel and some smoky place in Brunswick street. Just after I gave up smoking. G took pity on me and we left early.
  27. Bob Dylan at the big stadium. Twice. The first time Paul Kelly was supporting and I thought he sounded really awesome until Bob came on and was a whole new level of awesome. It was amazing seeing all the generations of concert goers there. I suspect Bob Dylan may not be the nicest person in real life but to hear him in concert is genius.
  28. The Saints at The Cornish Arms in Brunswick. A trip down memory lane and I thought I saw someone I used to know in the audience, you know the girlfriend of an old boyfriend who is probably still with him. She most certainly did not see me.
  29. Richard Thompson at the Concert Hall. Very good. And he did a Britteny Spears song - oops I did it again, which kind of impressed me from one so erudite.
  30. Morrissey and The Anyones at Livid in Melbourne. 2003. I felt far too old for this and despite knowing one of the Anyones and having loved The Smiths way back when, this was one of those events that I just kind of dragged myself around.
  31. Beck at the Palais. I felt way too old amongst all the pretty young things but it was very clever and entertaining and I was having a big Beck moment back then.This is one of my favourite Beck songs (and there is a fridge humping a stove in the clip), although I love his folkier stuff too.
  32. Brian Wilson at the Concert Hall doing Pet Sounds. G made me go and it was superb.
  33. Neil Young at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The Greendale concert. (this is a beautiful link with a map and music) Another G made me go too. It drizzled and we sat under a tarp until it stopped. Kind of romantic. I listened to Greendale and other Neil Young in the car non stop for about a year after that. The start of a total Neil phase.
  34. The Mooks, Enola Fall and the Nonchalants in Tasmania while Grace was in utero, G was worried about the effect on her development hearing the Nonchalance, they were so bad and loud. But the rest of the night was pretty good.
  35. The Handsome Family at Ceres (with Grace in utero again) and again at The East Brunswick when it was so hot that I sweated from my eyeballs. Wouldn't have missed them for quids.
  36. And how could I forget? Wilco at the Palais with Julie. That was a truly rocking night and a memory to be treasured.
  37. I'm sure we've been to see more music since Grace was born, but you know I just can't remember.


hurray! barbeque in the park season has begun

On the way home from childcare, we popped in at a neighbours to see if they were going to barbeque at the park tonight. Several little impish heads popped over the fence from the new deck and Grace was swept into kidworld. Another neighbour said he would go if others went, which given the chill in the wind was my thought too. Our night confirmed, I went home to prepare some food and let G know. It was lovely seeing our neighbours and meeting new friends. Catching up on gossip. Confirming that the self-raising flour from the co-op is indeed plain flour and that I'm not the only person who's had some cake disasters. Talking about the vegie co-op. It's good but strange sometimes, and it's reassuring to talk to others who've been vegie co-opping for longer. G came down for a while and then went of to the Megadeth/Slayer concert. That was one I passed up, not even the prospect of a big night out would have got me to that one. I am so boring, I know.

After the park went back to Mel and Andy's and lounged around there. I love their back area, sort of like an outside lounge at a groovy cafe, with added northern suburban charm. It was so very good to see Mim again who is back from overseas and I met Sherrin, another fellow blogger - also doing blogtoberfest- waves hello! She's lovely like heaps of bloggers I meet and she knows my sister too. Small world eh? Keep meeting bloggers everywhere these days, or maybe I'm just less self conscious about it. Grace disappeared inside to the world of dress ups and reappeared an hour or so as a very cold mermaid wanting me to get her dressed. And then wanted to go home. Just I could have stayed for another hour. Anyway, I don't think I've got much more to say tonight. I'm tired and have had beer which slid down quite nicely thank you and is combining with the purple pill to make me feel very relaxed.


ps, you can see the same night through another pair of eyes and another lens over at starashan. How cool is that?

I go out walking

So far I've only missed one day of my walking this month. And that was Monday which I'm going to forgive because I just don't see how it could have been squished in, and anyway, I did walk down to the pizza place on the corner where we had the meeting and back again so it was about half a walk. Today I didn't stress about it and predictably, because I was tired and coldy and was home with Grace for a good part of the day and then we all went out to run some messages together, the chance just didn't come up. Indeed I felt pretty good that I manged to get the house sort of tidied, the washing put away and drag Grace away from ABC kids. Oh, and clean out the fridge and make left over vegie pie for dinner. Then after dinner, once Grace was in bed, I put on my backpack (for the camera), a hat and scarf and went for a walk. Just like that. Easy.

I love it that I can go any time. That I don't need any special equipment or funny clothes. And there is always something to see. Walking at night by myself probably rules out walking by the creek. Although I do wonder how much more dangerous it really is... parts of the bushland down there are pretty isolated during the daytime too. Anyway, I like to swing my arms and I don't really think, I just let things float and notice things. Like the telly is on in the front room of the house I just passed, ooh and there's a pile of clean bricks with a sign saying free, please take or how some people seem to go to bed really early. I see teenagers hanging round in cars swearing and playing boom boom music. Other people out waking their dogs. Lights shining through the trees. And then I get home and it's all warm and nice and I feel good that I went for my walk again.

what's hot and what's not

  • Realising, as I caught the tram past Royal Park this evening, that we might have green grass and new leaves on the elm trees this spring. Like at the same time. This makes me very, very happy. Totally mega hot.
  • G saying I'll clean up Grace's vomit**, and just put her clothes in the bath for me and I'll deal with them later and seeing him with the mop. Need I say more?
  • Something changed for me at work yesterday when I decided I could say something about an issue I've been conflicted about for a while now. It felt right, and a whole lot of heaviness fell away.
  • Wednesday is the end of my not at home working week and I'll be sleeping an extra hour tomorrow!! Then hanging out with Grace.
  • Walking home through Pentridge village tonight. Thought I was lost, but followed someone walking a dog. Can't wait to go back with my good camera.
  • Friday night is the beginning of barbeque in the park season. That is very hot.
  • G finding a clean and pressed pair of work trousers in the hard rubbish and after washing them (just to be sure) declaring them the best and most comfortable work pants he's had for ages. Love that frugality.
  • Gettting my tax return. Phew. Hoping to get my family tax reconciliation and childcare rebate amount soon. Before we go to Queensland would be good. Crosses fingers.  
  • Going to Queensland to visit sister Betty and uncie Mo and Ruby and Maeve. Will go swimming in the sea and eat prawns for dinner too. May even get to catch up with Sooz. Looking forward to it all immensely
  • Blogging every day. Wonder what I'll have to say, but it creates this sense of space in my blogging. As in I'm not all clogged up with terribly pressing issues I feel I need to write about.
  • Looking forward to visiting some other blogtobersts. 
Not so Hot
  • **The vomit. Obviously. I thought Grace had recovered. She is much better but clearly there's a way to go.
  • I seem have caught Grace's lurgy. Along with half of Melbourne, judging by my customers today.
  • My keyboard is cactus. Often instead of generating letters, it generates keyboard actions in undesired and unplanned ways. Annoying. Hopefully it is just a battery, not a new keyboard, but I suspect some muggins has spilled something on it. Typing is painfully slow and tedious (but committed).
  • The last lot of self raising flour from the co-op is either plain flour/bread flour or I have totally last my ability as a baker. The cakes have been flat and soggy. Strangely G really likes them, better than the proper cakes, which I think would be hot if it wasn't so weird.
  • Money feels tighter than usual due to bottom surgery and paying for trip to Queensland later this month. 
  • I think need to go to the dentist again.
  • Forgot to pay my visa and got a late fee. Hate that.
Meme from Loobylu and meet me at mikes. What's hot (or not) in your world?

I've just added to this list, maybe I'll add some more as I think of them.

unicorns don't like daylight savings

It's true, they don't. And not only because daylight savings fades the curtains. They have issues getting dinner on the table at 6.30 because beer o'clock seems to last for longer and then the unicorn children don't go to bed at a reasonable time. Mummy unicorns especially dislike having to go to bed at what seems like an absurdly early hour before they've got all their very important stuff done and then having to get up even earlier. Unicorns tend to think saving daylight is a totally stupid idea.  

Image from Nut and Bee via here that I found here, after going here from here.  Yeah, some nights I go clickety click and just look at the pretty pictures.

Brrr. It's cold. Not spring like at all. Or perhaps it is. When I walked home from the station tonight, it was fine, then it rained, then it cleared up and the sun came out. There was a rainbow that kept getting bigger and then it threatened to rain again. Oh, and there was thunder and at one point an antarctic breeze. And that was all on a walk just long enough to count as an October daily walk.



Today was one of those tired, blurry days. Went to bed too late, got up too early. Woke in the middle of the night when Grace was coughing and needed to be held, dosed with medicine and have her back rubbed to stop her throwing it up. Poor mite. She's nearly better though and it was beautiful to see her still soundly asleep when I arose at the ungodly hour of 5.30am real time. Saw a hot air balloon floating on the sunrise out the kitchen window, it was beautiful but I'd rather have been asleep.

At work I struggled. Felt sluggish, lacking in coherence. Worried about Grace. Started a new task which I didn't mind, but found myself irritated by my colleagues, just for being themselves. Not a good sign. Pushed myself through the day thinking I would get to leave on time, especially as I wasn't going to be taking forms at the last moment, or so I thought. Usually I work really hard from about 4.00pm so that I can leave more or less on time. Or at least early enough to be on the 6.30 bus at the other end of my commute. At 5.15pm I was the only bunny left with a big queue in front of me. And although the team leader and office manager were in there helping, I knew I wasn't going to make my bus. I felt so tired and out of control that I cried a little as I did my work. And cried again for a few moments in the manager's office. There was no way I was going to get home in time for dinner and some family time before going to the meeting I'd said I'd go to every month now. As it was the manager and team leader took pity on me and gave me a cab voucher and I was driven home along the freeway in the backseat of a grotty cab driven by a lovely young cab driver. Quite relaxing. And I felt like I'd earned it and made it home in time for dinner. Didn't fit my walk in though, not unless you count the five minutes there and back to the meeting. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.


good tired

I'm tired. Good tired. Muscles aching from working in the garden and four days in a row of walking. Today G and I went down to the park and salvaged a big tree branch that had broken in the wind. G used his hand saw to liberate a long silvery grey gum log from it's smaller branches. Together we carried it home. It will edge the front garden alongside the path I'm planning. Then I went back and dragged home all the smaller branches with leaves on them. These have been chopped up with the big and small secateurs into a nice leafy mulch. It crackles when you step on it and smells eucalypty. My favourite sort of mulch. 

One of my neighbours is working in her garden a lot at the moment too and she said my mulch looked very pretty. She has an awesome pile of woodchips and said she tried to convince the guy with the truck and shredder to go and pick up the fallen branches in the park but he said they didn't do that. I'm probably stealing, but it had been there for over a week and the branches were much to big for the kids to make cubby houses out of. My neighbour and I talked about our court and some of the goings on. She even finds the boom boom boys at the end of the court with their wheelies and hotted up cars amusing. I do too, except if Grace or the other kids are out on the footpath. And then there's the checkerboard house which can see faintly above. Classic really.

That's all I've got tonight. Braindead. Thinking social media for tomorrow night. Work tomorrow. Daylight savings. All out of whack. Better go to bed. Yikes. Goodnight.


my october to do list

I was going to spend tonight writing up some drafts to use later in the week and working on something for the high school group as G is at a party. However the party is over the back fence and I can hear the questionable music and constant buzz of party. The invitation did invite guests to truck on down, bottle up and prepare for a very large night.  So maybe I'll bore/scintillate you with a list. October is starting to look like it might have a very large to do list attached. As if blogging everyday isn't enough (alongside parenting, family life, going to work, shopping, cleaning and all the other bits that make up my life).

    1. First up I'm going to revise my goal of walking three or four days a week to walking everyday for the month of October. Then I'll review. So far I've done three days in a row and I know me, if I start letting myself off the hook I'll slide into inertia again. And it's nice at the end of a hard core parenting day* to say to G, I haven't had my walk yet, I'm off now. Even if it is only half an hour. He's been saying I should do this for ages and now I am. Yay me. And he is being fully supportive.
    2. Write a social media strategy for the High School for Coburg campaign. I've been thinking about this for the last couple of months and really, it's just putting some thoughts to paper and outlining some potential goals and discussion points to take to a meeting on Monday night. Why this so hard to do? Obviously, if I were to ever go back to study, I would be doing all my essays at the absolute last minute. (G's home now, and the party seems to have settled down a bit.... That's a coincidence. Surely.)
    3. Plant all the plant in pots that should be in the ground. Make a path to our front door. Weed the back patch. Acquire and plant more plants in the front. We've had enough rain to make this feasible, don't know when that will happen again.... Blog what I'm doing in the garden.
    4. Finish all my mending and unfinished sewing. Some big projects and quite a few little alterations that you know would expand my wardrobe a bit... And Graces. Blog my sewing adventures. Craft and sewing never seems to get much of a look in here. Obviously competing priorities everywhere
    5. Finally download skype and attach the speakeryphone thingamajig that's been sitting on my desk for four weeks now.
    6. Download my camera and upload to Flickr every day. (Uh, no, the party hasn't settled down)
    7. Complete or discard all my draft posts.

What are you doing over October?

*Grace has a nasty cold/flu with conjunctivitis and needs eye drops that sting. Tonight she coughed so much she vomited and then spewed the cough medicine all over the kitchen floor. She's listless and then has a little spurt of energy and wants very badly to see her little friends. Poor love. She really is being a trooper but it's been hard. Hopefully we are nearly past the worst of it.


more than potatoes and cabbages

Yesterday was vegie box day. I've mentioned before that we've joined a local organic vegetable co-op. And it's a beautiful thing. Every Thursday we get a box of fresh fruit and vegetables and most weeks it's a s simple as popping over to a neighbours house to pick it up. Sometimes it's a quick in and out, other times we linger and chat or sticky at what other people have done with their house (endlessly fascinating around here because we all start with a variation of a similar house with similar issues). But it's a focal point of each Thursday. As is a dinner dish from the big fridge clean out. Yesterday I made leftover vegie flan - leeks, spring onions, mushroom, zucchini, carrot and silver beet with some egg and cheese in a crispy wholemeal pastry - yum.

 Some weeks Thursdays are more involved. Like the week I did another member's pick up from Ceres because someone else had done mine while I was in hospital and I thought a trip to Ceres would be fun. Actually it was, except for the bit where I couldn't turn the car around outside the loading point without fear of smashing into a glass cabinet and there was all this mud and a whole lot of high school students were mocking me. And although the teacher did give me a push, I smelt burnt rubber or clutch. And the bit where Grace wouldn't use the Ceres toilet because they're a bit funny and then when she ran away and hid in the community garden. Every other bit - the vegies, the coffee, hanging out with Emily and Helke, that was all fun. Even the calls on my mobile from someone ready to pick up were kind of fun because Emily had to answer my phone while I was driving and it was highly comical.... And then the mega sort with 4 adults in our tiny kitchen, that was kind of crazy. But good.

This week was the week I'd swapped with Zoe but she suggested as I'd done an extra one already that we share it and she did the collection from Ceres, which is just as well because I don't think Grace would have been up for it. We both sorted, which is a job I rather like. Then I did the meet and greet when people came to collect their boxes. Super easy. Except that the boxes were really heavy. We got a credit for some slimy limp mouldy beans. Very expensive slimy limp mouldy beans. So this week we got; lovely little apples, navel oranges, fairly ripe bananas (I see some baking tomorrow), divine fat asparagus, beetroot, carrots, nicola potatoes, a whole green cabbage, coriander, chillies, mung bean sprouts (better than I thought they'd be), lettuce, avocados and silver beet. There was so much, I gave a good size bag of stuff to my mum this morning and there is still pleanty left for us. This bountiful basket would cost a fortune if we bought it retail, but through the co-op it is very good value. I'm amazed at how smoothly everything seems to run. Sometimes there are little flurries of emails about this and that but it just works. We eat much better because of it too.

I used to think that I would mind not choosing what we got each week, but strangely I don't. It takes the pressure off and my cooking is the better for it. I do a small shop after we get the vegie box to feel in the gaps (like mushrooms and onions this week) and to make things from the box. Our food bills have started to go down too. Not as much as I'd like yet, but a bit. And some weeks I can avoid the supermarket altogether which is lovely.

In other news, I went for a walk again today. Two days! Yay me.  


bring on october, I say

This morning as I set off up the hill and round the corner for a brisk morning walk I thought, thank goodness that bloody September is gone. Because this year it really has been a pretty shit month. On top of the end of winter blahs and my usual issues with September, I've been missing having my sister around and then there has been my bottom. So you know, I've felt a bit low. And I've tried not to sink into it too much, but by the end of last week, after a night in which I drunk just a little too much lambrusco, I had to admit that yes, maybe I have been feeling a tad depressed. Once I admitted it, and realised that there are some things that I really need to deal with, my mood started lifting. One thing I've decided is that I need more exercise. Walking will do fine and I'm aiming for three or four good sessions a week.

This morning after breakfast I headed down the creek and instead of taking the big path I headed along the smaller dirt track that goes along the other creek. Everything is so green and lush at the moment and the creek is burbling along.There were lots of hills, some puffing and many interesting things to see. Any excuse to get the camera out. 

I got home in just under an hour, all invigorated. Ready for a busy Thursday at home. Grace is sick and forlorn with a nasty cold (including conjunctivitis, poor love) and just wanted to lie around watching telly with the occasional cuddle. We had several lots of visitors, including nana who stayed for lunch. There was cleaning out the fridge, re-doing the flowers, pruning next door's yellow rose bush (so I can enjoy the most beautiful roses all summer - they said I could), organising a doctor appointment for Grace, making a cake (new recipe which failed - urgh) and some pastry so that I could make pie with the leftover vegies from last week.Finally there was a vegie box sort and even though I didn't have to go to Ceres for the pickup, it was pretty full on. Due to a credit for some slimy beans last week, it was an insane amount of vegies too - I don't know how we are going to get through them all!  Phew.

And I had decided during my morning walk that I might try and do blogtoberfest, and had ideas for posts running through my head all day. Sadly they are all now forgotten. So do you think posting everyday would be fun? Maybe I could learn to be brief. Do I detect laughter over there in the corner? Oh well. Whatever. I think I might give it a go.


Actually, I'm starting to feel pretty good about October. See you tomorrow.