Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Moving on - Denyse Schmidt fabric

G'day all!

Yesterday I discovered that the long awaited Denyse Schmidt fabric, Picnics and Fairgrounds, had hit our local Spotlight stores. Spotlight is our version of Joann's.

We don't have the full range of prints that the USA has, but we do have something a little different.

Denyse Schmidt Australian collection

Our own set of 10 colourways. That makes 31 colourways all up, though we only get something like 26 of them, if we can track them down!

Now I know that some peeps will be desperate to get their hands on this fabric. They will want to be, because a set of 10 FQs will cost around USD60, including postage, or 40 pounds sterling. But if you want some, I can get you it, or cut up what I have cos really, it isn't so much me. Just let me know. And of course if you are in Oz and can't get to a Spotlight, I'll be happy to help you out. Plus postage won't be such a killer.

I have to admit that I've been more impressed with Spotlight recently. They changed fabric suppliers. Their quilting fabric is a lot better quality. The homespun is the same price but is better quality. The range of dress fabrics is stuff you would like to make dresses out of. Service is still a bit dodgy but there have been enough staff at my local Spotlight to do the job recently, including helping customers, not just cutting material or taking our money.

The rain dried up quite a bit today. We got something like 90mm or 3.5" of rain in the 36 hours up to 9am this morning, which is a lot for where I come from, though not so much for here! That amount was half the yearly rainfall in San Jose whilst we lived in California. Having never lived in Sydney, the only things I know about the weather are it is warmer in winter, when it rains, it dumps, and summer tends to be sticky with more rainfall than winter has. Sydney is almost subtropical.

Now that I have Helmet in Sydney, I can settle in more. I cannot say how much I enjoy walking around the place, but for some trips a car will make it so much easier (like taking the sewing machine for a service, as I did yesterday, or being out later at night after the last bus has run). Apart from yarn, everything is in a fairly easy walking distance. If I care to walk 4km, I can walk either into the city or to Newtown and get yarn there. Driving is not an option to those places - parking, if you can find it, costs a bomb, and traffic is a nightmare. But I don't need more yarn at present - I have several pullovers-worth with me, yarn for a further two pairs of socks after I finish DH's socks in progress (started them in ?Feb? and they are still not up to the heels. I am doing them two at a time, though. But will they ever end? This is the problem of doing navy blue socks. Dull dull dull!). I don't need more fabric either cos umm, I bought some online recently and Scroatfight has some nice fabrics in and umm, well... at least the sewing machine should be in fine fettle now and ready to take on some dresses and quilt tops and backings and quilting. In between doing important things like earning the money to pay for our hobbies.



Monday, May 30, 2011

Twenty years

Twenty years ago today, Mum died. It was not unexpected. Indeed it was welcome, an end to suffering. There comes a time in the cancer journey where one has to let go.

Twenty years.

Sydney turned on a blinder of a day. Not. A river ran past our flat.

Centrepoint Tower occasionally loomed through the rain.

I rather regret that I never got to really know my Mum. Even though I was 24, I was still the baby. (I still am.) I was not strong, I had to be coddled, I had to be sheltered from life's harsh lessons.

Well Mum dying sure made me grow up in a hurry. I remember when I realised it was inevitable, that only a miracle could prevent it. I raged, I cried in desperation and loss and grief well before she was dead, I was despondent, and finally I came to accept. There is only so much pain and disability you can deal with, and seeing this strong, brave woman barely able to do life's necessities let alone enjoy life was enough for me.


It left me with noone to kick my butt when it needed to be kicked, noone to fix things, noone to hide behind or run to when things got tough. No shopping expeditions with someone else (though I have inherited the happy knack of finding bargains 8-).

I learned to be strong. And I've been learning how to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. (Man, I LOVE strawberry lemonade! So I need life to give me strawberries too ;-)

It has been odd, not having a mother for guidance, pants-kicking and general life experience. I never allowed anyone else to assume the role, not my father, not my sisters, noone, though my mum-in-law is great.

(She would be proud of that baby on her lap - he swam at the Commonwealth Games and is gunning for the Olympics. Her daughter's son!)

I did a PhD for Mum. She wanted me to go as far with my education as I could. She never got the chance, though she was a clever clogs herself (Father was too). I was the brightest in the family, though I have not used my intellect as well as I could - I never really knew what it was to work hard until I got to my PhD. Before then, I worked a bit here and there, and my results show that I cruised too much.

I often wonder who my Mum was. I got little hints here and there. Christopher Reeve as Superman was a bit of a favourite. Graeme Kennedy (Oz tv show host) was a firm favourite, along with Bing Crosby. I remember Mum being horribly upset when Bing died. She liked tv shows like Mission Impossible, Star Trek, anything SF (wonder where I got the dork genes from?), Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police (Oz cop shows), Columbo and other murder mysteries, later on Blakes 7, Murder She Wrote and Burke's Backyard (Oz gardening show). Old movies, movies from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, especially musicals with a good singalong track, were preferred over "modern rubbish." Many a Saturday night was spent watching Bill Collins present some classic movie.

She was thrifty, being a child of the Depression and WWII, orderly, organised and crafty. Mum was always making stuff. (Wonder where I got that too?) She always hoped for getting some sort of break, winning the lottery, not having to struggle to make ends meet. But we never lacked for birthday and Christmas presents. She had the sort of pride people develop from a lifetime of managing to hold things together on a shoestring. She was not a nurse but she had to nurse both me and her husband - we were both sickly types.


But this still does not tell me who she was. I guess I'll never know. I don't even have many pictures of her - she hated having her photo taken. I've shared a few through this post but they are pretty much all I have and are mostly from group shots.

I have learned some lessons from her experience though. Always always always get regular medical check ups. If you have a run in with a disease, any disease not just cancer, get it checked regularly. No matter how invasive the test, no matter how much it injures your pride, no matter how darned terrified you are of dying like your mum and your aunt did, GO AND GET IT DONE. If you don't get it done and it is something bad, you almost certainly will die. If mum had had regular colonoscopies, she probably would've outlived my father if they hadn't annoyed each other to death. She would've been 81 this year. But she didn't do the tests and it was too late when the second go-round of cancer was found.

I know she would've been horrified with me developing cancer. Her baby! I would've been plied with nourishing soups all the way through. I would've had even more hats to wear. There would have been many gingerfluff sponges to eat (I wish I had inherited the ability to make sponges but mine turn out like the seaside variety only less salty). I would've been driven to all my medical appointments (note that I did get taken by my MiL to the early, critical ones and I always had friends to take me to chemo - much appreciated :-).

I have a lot to thank her for. So this one is for you, Mum!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Did I say busting a gut?

G'day all!

Doh! Had a busy weekend and STILL have not edited photos from last week's costume party.

I always seem to be busy. Poor time management I reckon. I go do things and then feel like a sit down. So I sit in front of the computer and stuff around. Though today I've spun a heap of yarn. I brought my wheel up from Melbourne. But I forgot the spare bobbins! DOH!

I also left the other sewing machine in Melbourne, plus its transformer. Y'know the sort of stuff that you can't really put in a suitcase and bring on up in a plane. But I did bring plenty of fabric 8-) I just have to get the Janome serviced as the bobbin tension seems to have disappeared and it makes an odd squeaking noise sometimes.

Little Helmet ran like a champion on the trip. He was much nicer to drive than the rental car, even though it had all the mod cons, because he doesn't pull viciously to the left. He did slow down on some of the big hills but that is ok cos the drive is now pretty much dual carriageway all the way. Noone got held up cos he slowed down. The road only gets to single lanes through some of the remaining towns still on the highway in New South Wales. They will be by-passed soon enough I guess but for the nonce they are welcome distractions from hammering along at 110kmh. Oh yes, my 20 or 21 year old car sat quite happily between 65-70mph (ok, except up long/steep hills) *and* got less than 6L/100km or roughly 40mpg. Americans would probably know a very similar car as a Geo Metro but here they are Suzuki Swifts/Holden Barinas. Getting over 500km from most of a tank of petrol was pretty darned good I reckon, especially given the last 30km or so/hour and a bit of driving/being a little lost was in Sydney traffic.

Today we found the local Bunnings (Home Depot equivalent, what's the one in the UK?) and bought some storage shelves and some more plastic storage tubs. I want my bookshelf back for books rather than storing linen on it. Plus we are accumulating more and more stuff (new and from home)and I'm still not happy with the cupboard whiffing of mildew even after giving it a coat or two of primer. We worked together to put the shelves together and it was, if not always fun, very rewarding. Then we went out for afternoon tea 8-)

DH looks a bit smug about the new shelving. I'll be making some extra quilts or hangings for them to cover them up and make them pretty. My breast cancer quilt made for me by the chaps over at the Red Barn Co Quilt Along won't always be covering the bottom half of one set of shelves, though the zigzag quilt that was my second ever completed quilt will most likely grace the others for quite some time to come.

Golly, it's suddenly become late. Time for bed! Sleep tight and


Thursday, May 26, 2011

New glasses

Gday all!

I have new glasses.

They are blue.

They are a little old fashioned, or as I like to say, retro.

It isn't the most flattering pic but will do for one taken by my phone under a fluorescent light :)

Tomorrow I drive the next 560 km to Sydney. I left a little late today but for once it was not a case of "just one more thing."  Nope this time was me checking the tyres and noticing one of the nasty cheap things put on by a previous mechanic seemed to have a ripple in the side wall.

Convenient that not 20m away was a tyre place, eh? And they were not busy and came and looked immediately.

Sidewall was delaminating, or in more simple terms, the layers were coming apart. (He used little words.)

I am so glad that
A) I checked the tyres, and
B) We have the spare cash to cough up $160 for two new tyres on the spot

Otherwise I might have had a blowout on the way.

I'm also glad that they were not terribly busy and had a suitable size tyre or two in stock for my ancient little car.

Ancient little car has not sloped a beat so far :) If he does, that is why I pay for roadside assistance.

That was a very long way to say I like my new glasses :)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Alas my comments

Gday all!

Blogger is being very naughty and may not be letting you comment at the moment. Also after an outage 10 days ago, it may have eaten posts and/or comments (but this should be fixed now).  Blogger peeps know there is an issue and may have already fixed the internal error you  might get when you try to comment.  Sorry if you have been trying to comment and it won't let you.  You can always email me at natiel311 at gmail dot com.

I'll be back in Sydney on Friday and will blog a bit more then about more interesting stuff :) I might even blog along the way if anything interesting happens or I see some good stuff and get phone pictures.

If you are extra lucky, I might ramble a little from work in the morning, but maybe not.

Today's picture is of Johnston's creek/canal in Glebe, run through the comic filer on my phone. The canal looks beautiful at high tide, yes?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


G'day all from occasionally sunny but often soggy Melbourne!

I'm down here for my next checkup and doing a bit of work too.

Checkup was fine, come back in three months :-)

So that is good news, rather happy with that.

I'm not online much at the mo as I left my laptop behind and left the work laptop at work, silly me. I forgot to charge my phone so I am making this a short one.  Enjoy the random picture of Nutmeg.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Can you believe it?

Morning all!

I just went down to the shared laundry to do a load of washing.

Well there was a BAD smell there. Like baby nappies after they start eating solids only worse. (Please don't tell me that baby nappies smell glorious cos honestly, they don't.)

I put the washing on then stuck my head out the laundry door.


The sewer has overflowed.

Gross me out.

So I came back to our flat and rang the strata title people. (Three goes at not typing poople. sigh) They have to deal with all of the shared issues of the property (body corporate or HOA type thing).

They said they will get someone out on MONDAY (it is Friday here) to look at it. I'm like no, there's poo and toilet paper on the ground, and they are saying oh it's only a leak and the person in charge of it is moving offices today. Monday will do!


So DH rang the rental agency, who are going to hassle the strata title people.

When I went back to the laundry to leave a sign on the door, warning of the poo outside, another resident was down there. She also rang the strata title people and managed to get through to someone who can do something. I only talked to the very obstructive receptionist (it was before 9am).

Apparently they are going to send a plumber.

I knew there was a reason why plumbers get paid big bucks.

Alas, I had to hang my washing out near the poo. I hope it doesn't reek after this.

I also had a very instructive talk with the other resident. Her stuff is getting mouldy and mildewy too. She lives a floor above us, so it isn't just us being on the lowest level. (actually we live half a level up, very glad about that cos otherwise it could be the drain in our bathroom that overflowed. I have a constant fear of that as you can hear EVERYONE's water/etc flowing through it.)

back later with normality. I hope.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


G'day all!

I just realised it is days and days, probably a week since I posted anything! My bad!

I was going to post from the phone on Friday arvo but umm apparently Blogger had an unscheduled outage and I could write all I liked but posting would be difficult. And of course then I forgot.

So we spent the weekend in Melbourne. DH had a medical appt and we have heaps to do on the house. BiL and his betrothed are living there, looking after the cats and generally enjoying the extra space and not living with the parents/in sins.

(FiL admiring his birthday cake, made by sister in sin and BiL)

We left the place In March with a crap kitchen floor, bare wood in the loo and plastered but unpainted walls in the kitchen.

When we left, it had primed walls in the kitchen, tile underlay in the kitchen, masonite in half the loo and a couple of rolls of vinyl to lay on the floor. It took a surprising amount of time just to get that done (partly because apparently my guidance was needed but I was out and about in the car gathering supplies). And half the kitchen cupboards were in the lounge.

Anyway, it is now looking much more usable, even without us having laid the vinyl. (the kitchen vinyl is fake woodboards, very amusing given we have lovely floorboards underneath, just not enough time to sand them and tung oil them.) I am sure my sister in sin will be pleased when the kitchen cupboards are back in, along with the bench.

Nutmeg was delighted to see me on Saturday, so was Cheshire, and on Sunday? Humph! The Nut was less excited. Humph! You went away! But Cheshire has turned into a big sook after getting totally mauled when he got out a couple of nights. He now likes to stay inside and sleep on the bed or the couch, which was Nutmeg's role. She now goes out!

(Unblocked Brambles hat, just big enough to go on my head.)

I have finished a quilt and a hmm, not quite sure what to call the hat. It is supposed to be a beret but it is a slightly sloppy beanie on my head. It might get a bit larger if I block it. I have managed to get a large dinner plate into it. I have cut out a 50's inspired dress for a party on Saturday night - I have to get a hat, pantyhose (stockings are too hard to deal with) and shoes yet, unless I decide to wear some decidedly un-fifties shoes that I already have. I bought cotton gloves yesterday and have to jazz them up. No lady went out without her gloves on! Oh yeah, I am also contemplating getting a brunette wig, just a cheap party one.

Which brings me to something I realised the other day.

When I look in the mirror, I don't see me. I see some stranger with various of my features. Where did I go? What happened to my hair? What happened to my skin? Where did my eyebrows go? Those can't be my eyelashes, they are half the length they used to be!

Now I know very well what happened but I'm feeling a bit unappreciative of the toll the cancer and its treatment took on me. I used to look younger than my years. Apparently I am vain enough to not like looking every one of my 44 years and then some. I want my magnificent eyebrows and eyelashes back. I am sick of having to use eyebrow pencil and mascara. Of course I am grateful to have any eyebrows to thicken up with a pencil and eyelashes to put mascara on - when I did the look good, feel better course last year I had about three eyelashes to put mascara on, my eyebrows were clearly pencilled on and I looked ridiculous quite frankly.

My straw blonde hair is a thing of the past. It is now a dark ash blonde, still blonde when the light hits it. At least it did grow back. It still has some kink to it, even after I've had the first two or three inches cut off. I sorta miss having long hair. I certainly miss having a fringe, though I am told that the short hair suits me well. I am just tired of looking like a boy! (Well, no boy has the next things I'm going to whine about.)

And then there are the wrinkles. Egads, where did those come from? I must've lost some padding in the nine months without hormones. I've even gone so far as to look at anti-wrinkle creams but nearly every one of them contains parabens/hydroxybenzoates (if you think that your skin cream doesn't have parabens in it but it does have hydroxybenzoates in it, they are the same thing under a different name, like paracetamol/acetaminophen) and fragrance. And I can't smell them to see if I can tolerate them. The parabens I avoid because apparently they are found in high concentrations in breast cancers. Lord knows why.

Of course having whined about my lack of eyebrows and short eyelashes, other hair has merrily sprouted that I could well do without. I think they come with the wrinkles. *sigh*

But when I look down in the mornings, there I am. Ridiculous fluffy boot-slippers in pastel colours and my fave pajama pants, or gamer pants as SiS calls them, the ones I made last year. It is getting pretty chilly in Sydney in the mornings now (though this week is GLORIOUSLY sunny :-).

In some good news, after about two months of wearing a sleeve on my lymphoedematous (made that word up) arm, when I saw the lymphoedema massage specialist on Monday, it was pretty much normal. That is good!

I have my nine month check up next Tuesday, so I'll be back in Melbourne again for two or three days. I had blood drawn on the weekend in preparation. Assuming all goes well, I'll drive little Helmet back up here. Poor little thing will be loaded to the gills with stuff. I have NO idea where I'll put it all. I guess I'll be finding a hardware store this weekend and buying primer so that we can seal the mildew in the unfinished insides of the cupboards. The cupboards are quite large but oh yuck, they smell mildewy. They are hard to clean because they are unsealed particle board, lots of cracks and crevices. I figure if I seal the particle board, it will be easier to keep them clean. (Found a hardware store today and bought horribly expensive primer, hopefully fairly low VOC stuff so I don't die of paint fumes with my head stuck to the wet primer inside the closet.)

(As I write, DH is reading back through some of my old blog posts. "Jeez, I'm a mongrel!" he says to me. "You're a husband. It is your job description," I reply.)

So I had best get cracking on my new dress. I have to sew it all together. Am thinking I will give the overlocker a whirl. After all I spent half an hour rethreading it last night just to stop DH from cranking after one of the looper threads broke. I'll have to draw through white thread but I reckon I am up to the job.


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day Classic

G'day all!

A totally perfect day in Sydney today for the Mother's Day Classic. A little chilly in the morning but sun sun sun. Bliss!

We walked a little over 4km to the start line.
(I have a new haircut and have recoloured my hair pink-ish)

We walked 4km around the course.
Argh, how more iconic can you get, unless you are in front of Uluru instead. My home city, Melbourne, so needs an icon. I guess we have our trams but other places (yes, you, Adelaide!) are starting to muscle in on them.

Finishers are grinners!

We walked a little over 4km home! Over 12km all up or a bit under 8 miles. I prefer kilometres myself - they sound a lot more impressive.

Do you like Nathan's dax? (pants)

He made them himself! Plus he made my sleeves.

It isn't too late to sponsor me! Thanks to those who have sponsored me - I really appreciate it even if I can't email you directly.

I admit to having a rather slack afternoon looking at pics, editing them, not getting them all online and also doing a bit of sewing. I finished a new dress/tunic that is technically a muslin but if I dye it a different colour will be very wearable. I worked more on a quilt gift. We went out for tea to my fave Thai place. After a day of slackness yesterday, doing knitting, a little walking, a little bookshopping, and hair dyeing (pink), and eating out with a workmate of Nathan's, it has been a very pleasant weekend. Hooray!


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Oh blessed fiery ball in the sky

G'day all!

Bliss! 1.5 sunny days and my solar batteries are all charged up again. Hooray!

Last night I discovered that I still can't sleep if the TV is on*. Even if it is upstair's TV that is still on at 3am in the morning (and has been on since about 11pm - they keep odd hours). That is when I found a spare pair of DH's earplugs and BLISS!

Interestingly, I can only find one of the earplugs now. I have NO idea where the other one went. I checked under the bed, under the pillow, by the bed, in the bedside drawers, under the tissue box...

(*When I was a child I was convinced that the best shows were on after my bedtime. Mum would often find me peeking through the folding doors into the loungeroom where she was watching all of these best shows - Graeme Kennedy's "In Melbourne Tonight," "Mission Impossible," "Star Trek," (no original series needed as there was only one then), "The Avengers," all sorts of good shows, all well after my bedtime!)

I've been given a versatile blogger award but I am still getting my list of 15 new (maybe new to me) bloggers together. So I am being slack!

You think I have not been knitting?

I give you


DH in his new hat


(Still can't believe I had never heard of popcorn ceilings before I went to the US and now I can't blasted get away from the things - you would think we are back in San Jose with that roof!)


I thought it would be such a quick hat but the ribbing became a little tedious, maybe a lot tedious... If nifty looking. Top down, my own pattern in Nundle's luscious 8ply (more like a worsted weight but I'm not complaining!) bought at Coffee and a Yarn in Newtown. The colour in the second pic is pretty close to the mark - it is a bright orange, maybe a little redder than the second pic but brighter than the top of the hat pic.

Since it has cooled down here a bit, I started work on my new hat.

Here's the yarn,


and just to give me a treat, some more 1X1 ribbing! Yay! (I really should do ribbing continental as it is much quicker to move the yarn that way, even though my version of picking is rather quick anyway).


If you look beyond the Anzac Bridge in the background you'll see the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I love the foreshore. In two directions it is about 5 minutes' walk away. Yesterday at the end of the day I nipped down there for a bit of knitting and a sit in the sun, for like 15 minutes before it set. It sets amazingly early in Sydney - around 5pm and we are a good six weeks from solstice yet.


Without the waterfront, I would be sunk (hahahaha, no pun intended). A little one bedroom flat with no patio is not my cup of tea, but it is survivable because not far away is this beauty.


Bizarre thing of the day. I walked to the local stationers to get some office supplies. I walked along various lanes (must do a Victorian on the move post of the laneways) to get there, then tried some different roads on the way back and ended up on a road I walk every couple of days. There was a 14 or 15yo blonde girl harrassing an African (Sudanese or Somali or Eritrean) looking boy of a similar age. She was trying to extort money out of him. He was telling her he didn't have any to give her (he had an Australian accent/vocab so he wasn't a recent refugee). His friend was standing up with him, her friend was looking a bit nervous and hanging back like she didn't want to be there. I went into the chemist (pharmacy) to see if they had some stuff I wanted. As I was looking at various skin lotions, I heard a commotion outside. It sounded like the girl had ramped up her attack. It sounded like she was a one girl brawling machine. I decided that I was REALLY interested in the skin lotions. I admit I didn't want to go anywhere near the outside of the shop. By the time I had found something that met most of my requirements, the noise had pretty much settled down.

When I went out there, a couple of coppers (at least one female) were manhandling the blonde girl into the back of a paddy wagon. She had a screaming kicking fighting meltdown in there. "I don't wanna be in here!" and must've been hurting herself she was thumping the thing that hard. About 10-15 coppers are there, a van of them has just pulled up, the copper standing by the paddy wagon is looking rather alarmed by the girl's ferocity, and the friend is still looking horribly embarrassed and being asked by a copper, "Is she usually like this?" A woman down the road is being asked questions by a constable who looks not much older than the girl.

I have never seen anyone have a meltdown like it (and I've seen some doozies and probably chucked a couple myself). She was totally out of control. I dunno if she was on drugs or coming off drugs or what. It was like a toddler wanting wanting wanting, only a 14 or 15 year old can do it much better. I'm rather glad she wasn't a bloke. I sorta wonder what will become of her and I really hope her friend decides that she is better off finding someone else to hang out with whilst the blonde girl is sorting her head out.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011


G'day all!

I've been walking a lot recently. I walked more than 7km on Saturday and Sunday and about 5km yesterday, and only 3.4km today. Today was a work day. Oh, but we will go for a walk soon and it will be about 2.5km or maybe more.

I have decided I am in training for the Mother's Day Classic. I think Australia follows the US date for Mother's Day (second Sunday in May) (yes?). The MDC is a fundraiser for breast cancer research. As you very probably know, breast cancer is a subject very close to my heart (ok, it was the right boob but that is still pretty close). Plus my MiL was treated 10 years ago and my aunt died of breast cancer 20.5 years ago. Treatment for BC, or most cancers for that matter, tends to be a crap shoot - they blast the thing with whatever shotgun treatments they have (chemo, radiotherapy) and hope for the best. There are specific treatments for hormone responsive BC but they follow or are concurrent with the shotgun approach. Some chemo agents are better than others for different types of cancer but they still don't really know which ones work best on what cancer markers. (Cancer markers are like red hair, tongue rolling, attached ear lobes etc, but obviously cancers don't often have hair or tongues or ears as such, and red hair and tongue rolling and ears are not things that need to be treated.) This is why heaps of research is being performed on cancers, and why I enrolled in a study to see what happened to the cancer markers in my body as I underwent chemo.

People can walk or run 4 or 8km. I walked it three or four years in a row before moving to the US. Last year I was too sick to do the walk - walking 1km was becoming beyond me, let alone 4km. And running? Fuhgeddaboudit.

This year I'll be walking in Sydney's Domain but there are events all over Australia. It isn't too late to register - you can even register on the day! Or if you so choose, you can sponsor me :-D (though I don't expect anyone to and those overseas? No tax benefit for you, just warm fuzzies)

I am going to be sporting the most amazing hair for the event, and for some time afterwards too :-) After that I think I'll eventually get my hair coloured back to something more natural and let it grow out a little, though I do rather think I am rocking the pixie cut at the moment. I never would have cut it this short though, so I guess it is a good thing coming out of the BC journey.

I shall not whine or complain about how dull Sydney's weather is at present, I shall just note that the sun was not seen at all today, not much yesterday and some on Sunday. I shall also point out that the average sun hours per day for April and May for Sydney is 5. I wish I had five sunny hours each day! I bought a 150W spotlight and a timer today so that we wake up in the morning - it's been so dull that our body clocks have no idea what time of day it is. I've had to run the lights all day - our flat faces southeast and gets no direct sunlight unless it is clear when the sun rises. And it hasn't been clear in days. (It rained this morning around sunrise I think cos I remember it being vaguely light and rain falling.)

I finished Nathan's lurid, fuzzy, bouncy and very warm orange hat last night. Alas, grey weather and sleeping in (to 9:45am! on a workday! on *any* day!) meant there was no opportunity for modelled shots. I immediately cast on for my own hat, a beret. I think I'll knit one of these. I need a hat - it is getting quite cold here, well cold as far as Oz and Sydney goes.

In some of my walking yesterday, I ventured to Scroatfight at Birkenhead Point. Note - this shop, though only fairly new, is pretty scroaty indeed. It already looks scruffy and service is pretty poor - I don't blame the staff who get overwhelmed with their duties, more the management model. (I got the impression that the boss was out trying to help customers but the boss was a bloke who had NO idea of what his store actually stocks.) The new stores at Auburn and Rock-something are much better - bigger, huge actually, with more stock and the possibility of service. If you are lucky, though the cutting queue at one of them was about 10 people long.

Anyway, they had some really cheap velour curtains on clearance. In a colour that I really like. I hummed and harred about them (hemmed and hawed if you are American) as they are polyester and I am trying to only get stuff that rots (within reason) and grabbed two. They really brighten up our loungeroom :-) And they really are the same colour, it's just the lighting that makes them look different to each other.

I also saw some really awesome red-nippered crabs running around the rocks at Birkenhead Point. Alas I only had my phone with me so the pics could've been better. Trust me, the nippers were really red.

Wish me luck, we might possibly get a little bit of sun tomorrow or Thursday. I'm not used to getting so little sun. I don't think this is typical weather for here, I hope it isn't but I don't really know. Surely it doesn't stay yucky forever?


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Six years

G'day all!

How time does fly.

Six years ago today, a poor old bloke started his last mayday. He didn't see it out. I miss the person he had been but I don't miss the poor old codger who died - my father had long moved on.

Today Nathan made me a lightweight lymphedema sleeve, rather handily too as my proper one didn't dry after I washed it last night. He finished a pair of running shorts. I did a little shopping, we went for a rather long walk (OK, it only turned out to be 5.8km or 3.6 miles) and generally managed to pass the time of day without doing a whole lot.

Soon I will have a new quilt to show off. I took pics this morning but they are very blue and a bit hard to adjust the colour of. I have nearly finished Nathan's new orange cap - I am on the cast off. Then I can start mine cos some days, well nights, it gets a little chilly here.

Did I gloat about my new little bag? It is a little ripper, seen here with the yarn for Nathan's hat and four Sally Wise books (cost $15, mega-savings as each book by itself costs $18-25 usually).


It is technically a bag for baby bottles. I have no baby stuff, not having a baby, and the pockets on the outside are very handy for stuff that needs to be accessed regularly and it is just big enough to take the necessities and the current knitting WIP. It was $15. There was a bigger bag for the same price but it was gold and yucky pink brocade and the zipper was busted (not that that is an issue as I don't use the zipper on my bag anyway). I am much happier with turquoise-blue and black brocade.

Maybe I should pull my finger out and finish Nathan's hat so I have a knitting FO to show you! You would think I was doing no knitting at all. I've had to slow down due to the lymphedema, or more correctly the sleeve I have to wear as it doesn't allow me to bend my elbow easily. I can bend my arm but if it stays bent, it starts really hurting after 15 minutes or so. There's a thickened band across the top of the crease of my elbow, where it is most painful. It affects everything that I have to bend my arm for. I am learning to type with my arms not so bent but knitting and sewing have to be close as I can't see them otherwise, stupid ageing presbyopic myopic eyeballs, bifocals here I come.... I often take the sleeve off so I can knit. That is bad but not crafting would drive me crazy and that would be worse!

Speaking of lymphedema, I discovered some fantastic sleeves and gloves at Lymphedivas. One of the issues with the sleeve is that it is very dull and boring. It is brown and made out of a tough, cellular knit with lots of elastane to keep it compressing. Dullsville. Well take a look at these babies. I am going to ring my lymphedema clinic and see if they would be suitable for my needs cos holy dooley I want some of them, even if DH does make me a couple of standby sleeves.

Time for beddy byes in preparation for a new working week.