Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy new year

The New Year is almost upon us! How this last year has flown.

Wishing you all the very best for the coming year, be well and of good cheer, may your creations work as you want them to and may we all learn to tread lightly upon this, our only Earth.

For me? Get Nathan's thesis finished (it is a joint effort cos if I don't keep him on track he wanders anywhere), find some work that meets my needs, spiritual/moral/ethical and monetary wise, and maybe make some more socks to mate up with the socks that well. you'll see when I fix up the pics.... Get my yarn page updated! Sell some yarn so I can afford the rockin sock club this year.

I shall talk to you all in the New Year!

anon :-)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

That was the year that was

G'day all!

No Christmas pics yet - I haven't even taken pics of my prezzies! How remiss of me! We've been busy in the yard after getting 32mm of rain (that's about 1.25 inches and the most we've had in months).

Mrspao did this, so I am too. It is the first part of each blog posting on the first of each month of 2006. Enjoy, and I will have knitting content soon - lotsa knitting happening!

Welcome to 2006. Hope you enjoy the ride! This year we'll have plenty of spinning, knitting and house/garden stuff for you to enjoy and perhaps some tales of travel to a far and distant land, a land of milk and honey, green fields and congested cities.

Guess what I got in the mail today?

Two parcels!

It was ever so sweet of the postie to jam one of them into the letterbox - it didn't really fit in very easily. The other one was sitting on the door mat - a much better place! I am not sure the spider that got squashed in the letterbox would appreciate the postie's efforts, although it may be in some spidery heaven now with many fat and juicy flies flinging themselves on its palps. I know I didn't like the spider legs poking around the edge....

Well my trawl for different increases (without googling for them) didn't work very well apart from one response - thanks for the info, Chris!

Plus I found this nifty reflection of self thing, called a johari window. So if you want to do a johari window on me, pop along to here, and after completing mine then you can set one up for yourself!

Guess what it is today?


Boy did I flash it!

Well it has been a day for reflection, contrasted with mad hurrying.

May isn't the best month for me, being the month when both my parents died, many years apart.

June is upon us! This means I must show off my May projects before I work out what to do for June! (Is June blue? Lolly's site tends to crash my browser so I don't visit often) (which reminds me, Chaotic Chris, your blog is crashing my browser again. V dot annoying.)

I quit my job in June. Lots less money, much more happiness (which reminds me that I must update the shop).

This is just a little commemoration for Margie, who would've been 74 today. Margie ignored the lumps in her breast until it was waaaaay too late.

Freedom is mine! No job! Scariness!

It is August already! How did that happen?

Happy Birthday to one of my sisters, and happy birthday to all the race horses in Australia and NZ. They all got a year older overnight.

We spent a week in Merredin in WA. Good people there.

Or a not so good day - I accidentally posted to the scarf exchange TWICE lol, and now DH has quit his job so we have NO INCOME AT ALL!

DH was persuaded to not quit. I went to Cairns in far north Queensland and gave a talk at a conference.

On Saturday, Chocolate Trudi and I went to the open day at the fibre forum down near Geelong.

I got some temping work. Money is a nice thing to have.

How did it get to be November already? That means only TWO days to MUMBLE! (Sounds like I should be getting false teeth so I can mumble by taking them out...)

I turned a significant age. I had good company in turning a significant age, but they will remain nameless.


I am on fire!

(I made lots of single socks and many pairs of Fetchings)

Back soon with more, maybe even a round up of what I made this year. Only one big project I seem to remember but lots of single socks. Poor single socks.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

Just like the ones I've never known

Merry Christmas all!

Yesterday I thanked all those who made an extra (or any) effort to send rain our way. Well it was one helluva Christmas present! We had nearly an inch of rain overnight (20mm, not 25mm but close) and we are still working on more. The woo-tank (open topped aquaponic tank with 99 bubby eating fish in it is full (I hope there are 99 bubby eating fish in it still - it overflowed last night into the stormwater) and the main tank is at least a third full, which is about as much as we've ever had in it since we installed it in May.

However, I would like to know who sent THIS our way?

Did someone get a little wee tad overexcited? Is your god particularly potent?

at 5am I had to get up. It had been hailing on and off for an hour, the cats were hissing and spitting and fighting (presumably because Cheshire was hungry and she beats up Nut when she gets hungry) and well it just plain looked too exciting outside cos from our bedroom window in the dark, with me without my glasses on, it was quite obvious that we had a LOT of hail.

The radar map showed that we were the lucky recipients of a line of storms:

(X marks our place, the orange and red marks the line of storms, and the weather here comes from the southwest, so it moves from the bottom left corner of the map to the top right corner) (image copyright the BoM)

Cheshire eventually found the open back door (open because our toilet is right next to the back door and I had wandered off for a 5am visit) and bolted out it. Normally this means we don't see her until it is breakfast time cos she is finding cats to beat up (though she usually loses). 60 seconds later she was back inside and howling at me, having decided it was just too wet and nasty to stay outside. 5 minutes later she was fighting Nutmeg in the bedroom and waking Nathan up. Cheshire thinks she is playing when she uses the jugular bite, but the Nut disagrees and starts fighting in earnest with lots of hissing and spitting and growling.

There was so much hail outside I had to grab the camera. Hail everywhere. It was like walking on little ball bearings - what fun! The tigerlily housewarming present we got looks a lot less pretty now that it's had a inch of hail build up on its flowers, what remains of them. Be warned most of the photos were taken in the dark by a woman who is shortsighted enough to not be able to read the computer screen without leaning forward (unless she has her glasses on). (That would be me, btw).

This morning when I got up, the mulch had insulated the hail well enough that it is still around in patches. Amazing, eh?

So I wish those of you who should get a White Christmas exactly that. However, whoever is sending the hail to us, we are very grateful for the precipitation, but can you back off a little? Thanks!

I expect to look like this this afternoon - somewhat fat and rather uncomfortable from eating too much christmas lunch. Then there will be Christmas dinner....

Cheshire says you WILL have a MERRY CHRISTMAS or she will visit you and your cats and beat them up, ok? (She really needs a little whip and dominatrix outfit ;-)


A Cool Yule

G'day all!

Thank you all for your concern about the fires and the ongoing dry weather here.

I would like to thank at least one of my readers' gods, maybe more, cos this is what happened on Friday:

and this was heading for us this evening:

Hooray! It is cold. Only 10 degrees C here. That is cold for December. Very cold. It is on average 13 degrees minimum overnight and 25 during the day (and recently we've had a couple of overnight temps that are 20 or so). (For those in the fahrenheit era, that is about 78 during the day and hmm say 55-60 overnight). We usually get about 50-60mm of rain every month, a little more in winter, a little less in summer but rainfall used to be reliable here. Ha!

Here's the weather forecast:
Melbourne Forecast
Issued at 4:05 pm EDT on Sunday 24 December 2006

Warning Summary

Forecast for Sunday evening
Cloudy with showers. Fresh colder southwest wind.

Precis: Showers. Windy.

Forecast for Monday
Mostly cloudy with showers and local hail. Fresh to strong and gusty southwest
to southerly wind .

Precis: Showers, local hail. Windy.
City: Min 8 Max 16
UV Index: 12 [Extreme] decreasing to 9 [Very high] under cloud.

Tuesday A few showers. Min 9 Max 19
Wednesday Shower or two. Min 11 Max 19
Thursday Morning drizzle then fine. Min 12 Max 20

After that it gets fine and warm again.

Many thanks for sending us rain and I hope those of you that want snow for Christmas get it. Our alpine areas (including those threatened by bushfires) are forecast to get snow for Christmas! Imagine that!

The knitting has continued apace, though I admit it has slowed down a little. My forearms are starting to dob on me and whinge about being overused. I have to knit half of one small Fetching yet, and then knit my FiL a pair cos I am not sure that 30 pictures of trains on a CD is a good enough present. I have found a great yarn for the male fetchings (an italian yarn whose label didn't come home with me) and if you do them on a 5mm needle with the aran weight yarn, they come up a treat and big enough for male hands, especially if you don't do the cable around the top of them and to speed them up even more, just a cast off/cast on hole for the thumbs.

Hmm, time for beddy byes. It is actually Christmas Day here as I finish this up. I've had a lovely evening screeching along to the Christmas carols - I will insist on singing the descants even though I am not really a soprano (then again I do usually hit the notes even if they are not entirely pleasant).

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. May you get as good as you give :-) Celebrate it in the way you prefer best - I'm off to the aunt-in-law for Christmas lunch and then a sister's for Christmas dinner. I'll be positively rolling by the time we get home, but hopefully not like the cats:

Be of good cheer - after all Christmas comes only once a year (so glad of that cos the knitting to deadlines is killing me - why do you think I am up so late? ;-)


Thursday, December 21, 2006


G'day all!

The longest day and shortest night for us. Normally this is the happiest time of year for me - I love the long days. This year...

Ah what an unsettled time it has been. I've been working hard on getting ready for last week's housewarming and then this week's last minute Christmas knitting. The bushfires have continued burning north and east of us - they are a long way away and if they burnt through all the houses they would need to to get to us, it would be a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina - and it has been smokey again. Drives me insane cos I can only walk (cycling will induce an asthma attack cos me and smoke are not good together), and cos too much forest is burning in one hit and destroying too much in the way of life, and let's face it, smoke is something that sets off a very deep response, an instinct of worry worry worry, gosh I would like to panic now...

(I dyed and overdyed this yarn for my middling niece. Yummy aran/worsted weight merino. Squidgy!)

I've done very little spinning recently, but I've knitted up three pairs of Fetchings so far, have another almost done, one half done and one a third done. Plus I have to get Nathan's sock finished for Christmas and at least one more pair of Fetchings for his mum (Fetchings are more forgiving of wrong sizing than a pair of socks, and that is what I had planned to knit her).

(Knitted in Zara - much softer than the aran/10 ply weight ones, for E in England)

I've been knitting up one of the bags from Cat Bordhi's Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. I'll let you see it when it is felted. Any guesses as to which one it is?

(Noro Fetching, maybe for me, maybe a Christmas present)

There were two of these Fetchings when I mailed them off yesterday. Hope there are still two now. In the photo there is only one. Pretty, eh?

(Yummy yarn dyed by me, grown by Andyle)

I *only* have this much of the yarn left (ie probably enough to knit a pair of knee socks on an "average" woman, not that I know any "average" women, and that is a compliment!). If you like it, I will sell it to you. $7.50 per 50g, about 95-100m per 50g. Top quality merino DK. Prettier than the photo looks - there's a bit of mauve in there and all. Yummy!

Hokely dokely, time to go for a stagger. It has been HOT here and smokey and yucky and I am over it. The weather bureau has said that there is likely to be RAIN tomorrow. Rain? What is that? Would it be the thing that lightly sprinkles from the sky and gets my car dirty? The car that in 10 days' time cannot be washed unless at a commercial car wash? The stuff that when it fell (a whole 2.5mm or 1/10th of an inch) got Nutmeg really upset cos there was this STUFF and it was WET and everything was WRONG!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

One year

G'day all!

This date, one year ago, we moved into our (the bank's) house. Yep. Settlement was on the 16th and we were IN! This is our first anniversary of living here. Gosh the year has gone fast, and no, I don't want it back again cos this has been a mongrel of a year.

Our house a year ago.

Our house now.

I've been quiet this week cos we had a hmm-hmm load of work to do around the house before our housewarming yesterday (I figured that it was in the first year of us moving in, so it is All Good as the banana-benders say), plus I am knitting Christmas presents. We got most of the house looking somewhere between OK to good. People love our in-wall bookshelves (alas, alack, I can't get good photos cos the hall is only a metre wide and that is not enough for the camera to show more than two shelves and a bit of "fancy" plasterwork). Thank you to everyone who came - I hope you had a good time cos I enjoyed it :-)

Do I have pictures of knitting for you today? Umm, no. I have been knitting more Fetchings - I am currently on number 5.8. I realised that knitting Fetchings for me (the 0.8 Fetching) didn't help me knit the ones for my sister, so I broke open the dyed, ready to sell stash and started using some of my best yarn. Pics later, like another day when it isn't dark. LOL

(Cheshire on the back fence, for once being graceful though she looks a lot porkier than she really is)

I went to a knitting sit in at a magazine shop in the city on Thursday night. Yarn set it up. It was fun and anyone who bought the mag on the night got a pressie. We found more people who are not on the SnB list there! Plus to top off a great night it actually *rained* on me on the way home! The cats were most distressed - it has rained so little in the last two months that they can't remember what it is. Nutmeg in fact fluffed her tail up like a dunny brush as she examined the wetness of the ground.

(Nutmeg looking very porky indeed, after I've spent a lot of time trying to get weight off her, and asking if I wanna make anything of it)

Today we went up to Glenburn, which is about hmm, 60km north of where we live. You would think that it would only take maybe an hour, but it took an hour to clear the city. Once out of the city it gets fun cos you have to wind along the edge of a valley and then up the side of a mountain (ok, a very small mountain called Mount Slide) to a pass and the road is all wiggly and pretty and really great fun to drive along unless you get stuck behind a B-double (a prime mover with two trailers on the back). We went to Glenburn, which is pastoral and also drought afflicted, to get some native fish for Nathan to stick in his woo-tank (a 5000L fish pond made out of plywood with suitable iron reinforcing). Two of the photos in this blog post are from the trip.

I am feeling rather fussed. We have, I kid you not, about 1000 plants in pots. The idea was that they would go in the ground during last autumn and this spring, only the rains never came. We have had 4.5mm of rain so far this month against an average of 59mm. Melbourne tends to get about 60mm of rain a month from historical records (what SF movie featured historical records?) over the entire year, but these last six months we've averaged no more than half of that. Now we are about to go onto stage three restrictions, the toughest we've had in 20 years. I understand that people in the country have been on stage four restrictions for some time - no water used outside the house (except presumably greywater) - but we Melburnians supposedly have a 5 or 10 year water supply. Only problem is that we have had a drought that has now lasted for pretty much 10 years, with the year being the worst on record. We are using greywater in the garden. We are going to get as many plants into the ground before restrictions go up on January 1 cos the plants in the ground are looking better than the ones in pots. But it is all a hassle and sad too. We are going to lose a lot of plants that we've taken years to collect.

On a different note, Nathan has been using a bag of pebbles (affectionately called "the scrotum" for its interesting ahem shape) on a string as a counterbalance for the garage side-door. Alas it fell off the other day... but was beautifully modelled by the man himself :-)

Time for a walk then a few days of work. Blah, but it helps pay the bills!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ooh, a parcel!

G'day all!

Many moons ago I participated in a lace swap. My lovely swap partner, Dorothy (sorry, must provide a link but I have 10 minutes to blog in and am tired tired tired), had some woes with her local post office. They were not very helpful at all.

Well the other day, lookie what showed up!

Mmmm..... Lotsa goodies! DH has been enjoying the snackie doodles - chippies and various chocolates (the latter not in picture) whilst I have laceweight misti alpaca, some red nail polish, a lotus blossom pattern (Yay! I like that one!), wild rice and Clover needles - mm, bamboo circs :-)

Thank you so much, Dorothy! I will enjoy it greatly. Once Christmas is over and done with I can start playing.

I am flat chat at present. It is killing me. My boss wants me to start cold calling places to see if they need gas. I am not a salesperson. I detest call centres that cold call. He wants me to do it cos he doesn't want to do it. He's the salesman. I have a house to clean from end to end. Oh, yeah, there is tidying as well. And making Christmas presents. And a research proposal to write up. And a husband having hissy fits about his thesis. I had a hissy fit back tonight, well more a crying jag. This is after I threw the new camera on the ground by accident cos I had hooked my finger in the wrist strap as I handed the camera to Nathan (camera is scratched but still works), managed to knock the gravy pot on the stove in such a way as to burn two fingers and get gravy on my *back* and do various other clutzy things.

The weather is horrid currently - more smoke. Half of Victoria, my state, is on fire it seems. So is some of the holiday beach areas of Tasmania. There is a huge swatch to the northeast of Melbourne that is burning. It could burn all the way to the edge of the state cos it is quite rugged country with few roads and fewer people. The smoke blows straight down to us at present. I really hope the Alps don't burn again. They burned two years ago and there is no way the plants have had a chance to recover - alpine plants get so little time to grow each year. One of our favourite places to stay (until they closed it in summer) has burnt down on Mount Buffalo. That is very sad, but maybe it will be rebuilt and be better (I have to say the mattresses on the beds were older than Nathan).

I have ~discovered~ these (like 99% of the blogging community it seems):

They are driving me nuts. I have knitted four of them since Sunday, except two are not finished, one because I like it so much that I am going to frog it and knit it a bit bigger (ie with one more repeat). The one I like is the second picture. The yarn looked so ugly when I dyed it cos it was there to sop up the excess dye and now? Love it! The mitts are of course Fetchings. They are quick and simple and my sister is getting some instead of the wrap. Tonight I knitted 2/3 of one in about 1.5 hours. I have the feeling I will just pump out a few Fetchings for various females of my acquaintance, and in a bigger gauge yarn, some manly fetchings too.

One last thing - never showed this on the blog, must do so now. I tried a new emailer but it played up so I don't know if Darrow ever got my email of thanks - what a great birthday present!

Never fear, Darrow - you will get what is coming to you ;-)


Saturday, December 09, 2006

so hot

It's so hot the chocolate is melting. Inside. In the house we are trying to keep cool. I'll have to put it in the fridge... 39 outside, mid 30s inside and likely to get hotter unless the sea breeze kicks in. Hurry up sea breeze, or cool change, due some time this afternoon!

Time to lie in front of the fan with a wet flannel.


Horrid, and the shame of it all

G'day all!

Or maybe not. Horrid weather we have at the moment - hot, stinking hot, and smoky. Hate smoke. Makes it hard to breathe. Many large bushfires are burning to the northeast of Melbourne - none threaten the city but they are threatening small towns. No lives lost at this stage that I know of but that could change in the blink of an eye. Plenty of small lives will have been lost - poor critters of all sizes.

I am fussed. Usually, these sorts of fires do not hit the southern part of Australia until late January/start Feb, mainly cos the hot weather has dried the bush out to a crisp by then. This year? It is already crispy dry and ready to burn.

So what do I do when I am fussed? (and have a housewarming in a week?)

I start tidying the fibre room. I organise my fleeces and record details of them. I move a bookcase from the study to the fibre room and use it to store fleece. I realise I have an AWFUL lot of fleece.

(That is not all of it cos there are another three large bags in the bottom of the bookcase and the boxes on the steel shelves to to the ceiling, so there are at least two boxes that are out of sight. Plus there are two large plastic boxes of tops and stuff)

I look at the rest of the fibre room and wonder how on earth I will ever tidy it up....

See the shame that is the room where stuff just gets shoved when people are coming around?

Next I have to fix the loungeroom up cos the fibre has been spreading out of there into it.

I did have an interesting insight into the reasons why I am messy. Believe it or not, I like to categorise things and have a place for them. I can spend hours sorting through a bag of multicoloured beads, sorting them into different colours and types. It pleases the pedant in me immensely. However, some things are not easily categorised, or fit into two or more categories, or there is only one of them. Hence I end up with boxes and bags that contain Stuff that I just don't know what to do with. I want to keep it but it doesn't fall into any particular category. Plus I like to have future projects hanging around, and past projects (often incomplete) lurk as well, reminding me that they need to be finished.

(Nathan has just been playing a recording of someone dealing with their internet provider. This bloke has an unlimited plan in the USA and went to Canada on a trip. He was quoted 0.002 cents per kilobyte download for anything he slurped down whilst in Canada. He downloaded 35,700-odd kb. 35,700 X 0.002c = 71.4 cents. He got a bill for $71. Why? Cos the internet provider can't tell the difference between 0.002 CENTS and 0.002 DOLLARS. None of the customer service people he talked to could understand the difference. The supervisor said they are the same when they are written on paper. Well yes, except for the fact one cent is worth 0.01 dollars. I hope you, my dear readers, understand it - you are knitters after all and it would be the difference between knitting a sweater for yourself or one for a whale.)

Here the most recently completed sock.

I haven't put the buttons on yet. It is another STR club sock called Rock and Weave in the Fairgrounds colourway. I did mine toe up and attached the cuff by knitting it on. The pattern knits the cuff then picks up stitches from the cuff. It was a quick sock again - STR is a really nice yarn that just calls you to knit it.

Plus I knitted my nephew a hat.

I have umm 5 nephews but only one is getting a Christmas present cos it is his parents' marriage that has gone down the gurgler. He swam in the Australian championships this last week and came fourth in his pet event. He is roughly two seconds off qualifying for the event for the world championships. I am totally gobsmacked that any relative of mine is that close to being world class in anything. The hat is knitted top down - I cast on four stitches in my favourite way to cast on a sock toe, then I increased into every stitch for one round, knitted a round, increased into every stitch again, then set up the ribbing. The hat is finished now except for the tying in of the ends. I think I will redo the cast off edge though cos it looks too loose.

I have started twice on my sister's wrap and twice on my niece's Fetching. The yarn I spun is a bit too heavy weight for the fetching so I will see what the new yarn, which is about the right weight, does.

Thanks for the condolences about Edna. I don't feel much grief at all. I have to say I am sad that I never got to know her but she was extremely prickly when I was a child and she scared the living daylights out of me. She had a temper on her and I was a wussy thing. My sister, who is 11 years older than me, was also scared of her. As a small example of how I could annoy Edna, apparently she used to water down the jelly (so much so it wouldn't set) and not thicken the custard enough. I can guarantee I would not eat it so that would've annoyed her. Wasting "good" food! LOL

OK, time to go see what is happening in the dyepot. I don't like the look of the yarn I chose for the wrap so I am dyeing up some sock wool in (hopefully) more harmonious colours.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lerv is...

G'day all!

Lerv is finding out that your new camera can do panoramic shots....

Excuse me whilst I indulge myself in this post.

(The "caterpillar hills" between Bass and Kilcunda on the way to Phillip Island and Wonthaggi. These usually look dead dry and bare from January onwards, but this year they've just been dead dry and bare.)

This has been an interesting week. My last remaining aunt died on Monday night. Just like her brother, my father, her time had well and truly come. Yesterday we formally sent her to her god. Hope she finds him/her/it as nice as she expected....

Anyway, this meant I had to drive down to Wonthaggi yesterday. It also meant that I only worked three days. Gosh working three days is GOOD! I took the camera with me cos I fully intended on doing a little side trip and getting some beauty shots. That is when I found out about the panorama mode :-)

(My family has lived in the Wonthaggi region for over 100 years. My ?great? grandfather was one of the early settlers in the district and the family farm is located about 10km out of town. You know your family name is known in a town when you get a road named after you :-) Admittedly it is a dead end road but better than none!)

Some reflections on the week so far.

My boss not being at work is GOOD! I get more done and enjoy it more. Possibly cos he isn't downloading stuff off the server all day long and making it so that it takes a one page word doc 4 minutes and 55 seconds to save and/or load.

Three days of work is really excellent. I get time to do stuff. And get sunburnt like today, when I put sunscreen on my face only to find that oh dear, the sunscreen is umm, well not working... oops. Or I am horribly allergic to it cos I am lobster-like in the face and it feels sorta delicate.

I get headaches if I don't each some GF/DF chocolate every day. Dang. I must be addicted to caffeine or another of the chocolate chemicals.

Don't decide to knit your sister a wrap and then put beads onto EACH of three strands then read that you have to do a long tail cast on and discover that the yarn you so carefully wound together on the ball winder is so twisted around itself that pushing the beads along is almost impossible. After three hours of work, I have managed to cast on 100 stitches. Ta-da! No beads on the wrap. We'll see how it goes now. Maybe I'll crochet something on the ends, or something since I am not a good crocheter.

(Pictures from the coastal drive between Wonthaggi and Inverloch. I think the lower level of mudstone, the stuff that isn't rocky looking at the bottom of the cliffs is fossil bearing, either that or the stuff underneath it that makes the rock platforms. Three socks manage to feature along the way. Socks were meant to be stars of the show but they can't outdo the scenery! I love this little drive - it is only 10 minutes from end to end but oh the views! :-)

Is this not a delicious view? It invites you to go down the stairs and walk on this marvellous beach. Some lucky person has done just that - they are a little dot in the distance. I wish I could go and walk on that beach nearly every day (when the rain is coming in sideways and it is about minus 5, I think I'll stay home, thanks).

My cousins are interested in who I am. They also nearly die of shock when I say I am 40. They remember me as a little wussy child. I remember G, who is the son of the cousin we don't talk about (family skeleton/black sheep, and when we say black sheep, we mean dude who has been involved in reallllly bad stuff, but it is ok cos he was adopted so it isn't genetic ;-), when he was 3 or 4 (I was 7 or 8), and he is now mid thirties and a Kool Doood. I come away from family gatherings with a sense of belonging. It is very odd.

Finally the bridge at Kilcunda, certainly one of the most photographed in the area. Imagine what the train ride must've been like as it traversed the sand dunes and then leapt across the (not impressively raging) creek, with Bass Strait to the south.


Monday, December 04, 2006


Cos I have to get them off my computer and somewhere where I can find them again (isn't your bookmark list about 5000 long, even though you have a gazillion folders and have "tidied" them and can't find the ones you want when you want?)

Likely Christmas present for my separated sister - a drop stitch wrap, with a pair of Fetching for her daughter. Note the rest of the family will be lucky to get anything but I figure it would be nice if the ones who *need* to be thought of get stuff. Hmm, I had better find some yarn and knit her son up a hat - he can wear it in Canberra in winter cos they get snow there. I have to finish dyeing the yarn for the wrap, dry and spin the dyed tops for the fetching and find some boyish yarn for the hat. OK, so it is summer and hot - winter will come again in due course. I have two weeks to get it all done in - it has to get there by post most likely.

Gluten-free recipes. Yum!

A new version of the periodic table.

Health benefits of mangoes

(I like getting stuff from even if it is weeks behind other sites...)

This clockwork mechanism is way cool (and was way cool and wet for some time!).
(see what I mean about liking this website?)

How about some distributed energy generation?
(oh, no not again!)

More stuff on CO2.

Richard Dawkins is not very happy with the concept of God in any of his/her/its incarnations, especially as a Creator.

DH's blog.


Summertime, and the living...

G'day all!

What a lovely night! The moon has risen through the mauve twilit sky (maybe it is even a bit of gloaming!), the cicadas are shrilling madly (who needs the gentle drone and shrill skirl of the bagpipes when you can have cicadas doing the same thing only even louder!) and we have some sorbet to eat :-) Mmm, sorbet.

Yesterday we went to a friend's birthday outing at a cafe in Camberwell. I suggested that we take our bikes on the train to Murrumbeena and ride the rest of the way. Public transport only costs $2.50 for a daily pass in Melbourne on Sundays and it is very very popular. The trains fill up to the brim for all the world like a stopping all stations train in peak hour or a tin or sardines, only without the fishy smell, mostly (doesn't help that they run every 20 minutes and are half trains - three carriages not six).

I forgot that you have to climb up out of a valley. Oops. It was a really nice ride, just a bit up and down. Mostly up. LOL One hill just kept going up and up and up - about a km long but we got there and whilst I was puffed, I was ok. Legs had lots of go left in them - just as well cos Camberwell is in a dip in the hills and you have to ride up out of it again. We chatted and caught up with some people we haven't seen in ages - an exhousemate of mine is looking *really* good - he's lost about 20 kilos I reckon. The ride home was better cos we went through a lot of back streets rather than along the railway trail and there were many many really cute houses to look at. I would've taken photos but that would mean stopping and getting the camera out about a thousand times - I need some sort of rig for the camera so that I can attach it to the handlebars.

When I looked along the road to the city, I saw that monstrous tower that seems to be visible from *everywhere* around Melbourne.

Oddly, we met the same bike riders on the train on the way back as on the way there. Funny, eh?

Now I've been knitting on a test knit project for Chocolate Trudi. The pattern is fine so far but I am not really loving the yarn. Y'see after knitting with STR in light and medium weight, the yarn I have feels so flat and uncushy. It feels dainty and delicate, more like laceweight than sock yarn. DANG YOU BLUE MOON FIBER ARTS! *waves fist* You have ruined me for other sock yarn! (Except maybe koigu PPPM but I would not know cos I don't have any.)

If you feel brave, I have a really bad picture of my poor fingie - it still isn't healed up three weeks later! I have to keep it wrapped up cos if I leave it unwrapped then it starts unhealing... I am going to keep the micropore tape factory open all by myself at this rate.

Time to go eat sorbet. Ohh, I must keep taking pics of the flowers for you poor things in northerly northern climes. I bet it will be nicer for you when the snow really hits rather than the grey on and off stuff. Alas some places only stay grey.


Friday, December 01, 2006

New toy

G'day all!

I have a new baby! It is very small and sleek. I could've gone smaller but at a price, so this small is small enough.

Here is its box:

And there it is in its box:

(I think the box has to be that big to take the CD and the manuals. It doesn't need to be anywhere near that big for the camera...)

And here is the new toy!

New toy is great! It is not a top end camera by any means but it takes much better pics than the old camera, and not just because it is lacking this:

(that is the lens of the old camera - no wonder I couldn't get pics without blurs in them)

I got it from Hardly Normal (they call themselves Harvey Norman) and they matched Kmart's price. Kmart was sold out after putting them on special - they only get three in, boo hiss. I got the camera and 512mb card for less than $200! Some people will say it is only 4 megapixels but I am using it for web pictures and a 1 megapixel camera will do for that...

Here is the last pic of the garden on the old camera:

(pale blue cornflowers and an Austin rose, English Garden)

and now some on the new camera. I am quite impressed by its super macro mode so you are getting a heap of pics in that mode :-)

Most of the flowers are shown a bit bigger than lifesize in the small shots on my screen, and somewhat larger than life in the click for better pic shots. I love the spider pic - the full size one is amazing but you only get the teensy and smallish ones - space and downloads, y'know. It is some sort of St Andrew's Cross spider and obviously female with a big fat belly full of eggs or spiderlings. So pretty! I hope we get lots more of them next year - they are much better than the leaf curling spiders.

Now if I can get some decent pics of my yarn, will people buy it? Only one way to find out!!

PS - know of any good ways to stop DH being a nong? I was talking to him and he suddenly decided to call someone and talk to them instead. I was happily editing pics for the blog and he suddenly decided that he has to get me to come outside to look at something - come and look at this! and bouncing about it - and it turns out there was nothing to look at but a vision for our back yard - nothing concrete (not yet anyway, lol). I thought there was something to see - a cat stuck in a tree but nope just DH recycling *my* ideas back at me.... He expects 100% of my attention and then delivers about 5% of his attention. He must feel starved for attention but ignoring me is not the best way to foster more attention...
PPS Hope you guys in the northern hemisphere like the flower pics. Just for you!