Way back when we visited Italy, I grabbed a very cheap, black synthetic jumper at one of those ubiquitous street-side-market-stall-vendors. It was a simple, baggy, vee-necked design with a large cable in front. Totally synthetic and branded “made in china”, it has seen countless wearings by me and now Bessie (truly that girly is the recipient of several wardrobes worth of clothing cast-offs from Joan and I).

Recently I noticed that the pauvre €5 jumper was looking much the worse for wear, so I was forced to take a crochet hook and glass of wine to it and pick up the many (many) unravelled stitches. I felt rather like the super-excellent tomofholland in my mending endeavours.

I felt the repairs could only eke out the life for so long, so thought it might be a Fine Idea to craft a replacement and began the search (and search) for patterns. The best one I found was in this book and I duly acquired it on Abebooks.

When it arrived I was comforted to discover that desired jumper looked as expected, lo:

But otherwise the book was full of really rather confronting (unkind people might refer to them as perfectly hideous) garments made from various combinations of rather confronting synthetic yarn. And indeed, though it does not look it, desired jumper was made from a combination of yarn, twisted together.

Nonetheless, I acquired some Giant cheapo bamboo needles and a variety of inexpensive, synthetic yarns for testing and have added swatching to the Action Items List for the weekend.

Ceiling BabyKitty approves.

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who knew that spring onions/scallions flowered?

I think, apart from the chilis and rosemary, that these are the best things I have grown. Possibly better as I cannot believe kitchen cast-offs can be so amazingly productive. At the current rate, we will never have to buy spring onions/scallions again.


We’ve been on a bit of a Palace(OfLove) cleaning frenzy this weekend, including taking the steam-mop to the rug downstairs (favourite pooping spot of NewKitty) and our bedroom carpet (fave wee-ing spot of BabyKitty).

NewKitty has the most ghastly innards you could conceive of, so we’re staging an intervention with lovingly prepared chicken broth and specially formulated, hideously expensive, food for kitties with ghastly innards.

Truly these adorable beasts will send us to the PauvrePalace.

I always remember this when I am tempted by a third … or a puppy.


Don and I went for an unheard of date on Friday evening. Heather and I were catching up for celebratory drinks and Don and I kicked on for dinner.

We wandered about Newtown for an age and ended up and Spencer Guthrie. Perfect! Really interesting combinations and flavours (blood pudding, chocolate + pear – heavenly!). Highly recommended.

We agreed that we need to get out more.


Heather and I were out celebrating his super-secret new job. Super-secret because it has not been announced, pending other announcements post-ops-review, which are also secret. Bits-crossed for reckoning.

After Ajax moved sideways from the job of death, I’d suggested that Heather should approach Hecate about combining the roles (with a sizeable increase in salary, natch). When Hecate tried to fob the job of death off to me, I asked whether she had considered Heather and she said he wasn’t quite ready. It was only when H’Aggie independently came to the same conclusion and lobbied Dr12 that the wheels were set in motion.

You can see why I loved H’Aggie – it’s like she was in my brain. Except for those ugly 3D charts – they would never be in my brain <shudder>.


At celebratory drinks, as you do, Heather and I were talking of SML things and noted we’ve both recently come to the realisation that we are really rather over-paid for what we do (indeed, he will be even more overpaid soon).

Heather has been there 11 months less than me and we’re both looking down the barrel of having rather a lot more paid time off available to us. It’s one of those should we stay and just milk it as long as we are able? decisions.

Don is all on board with the stay-and-milk-it strategy. If only I could stop obsessing about various unpleasant and frustrating aspects, and focus on the lovely, lovely potential holidays, the opportunities, the cash and the flexibility, I would be sweet.

Indeed, it would be better for my overall mental health if I could obsess a little less and chillax a little more … about everything

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can i be you?

So we’ve had a highly-paid (is there any other type) consultant, pal of Dr12, in at SML for a couple of months now to do an operations review. We’ll call her H’Aggie.

Eye-rolly as I am about consultants, I adored H’Aggie – probably because she agreed with everything I had been on about for ages and the approaches I had adopted, but which Hecate (and TheProfessor) had put a stop to via KingLear. H’Aggie very quickly worked out who was who in the zoo and easily identified all the areas of weakness.

Heather, Vincenzo and I were constantly delighted by her consultant talk: “let me just wash this over you”. And it was just so nice to have some positive energy around.

And such a high-achieving-go-getter! She has the consultancy, an additional very successful side business, is glamorous, well-dressed, completely together, lovely … all the things.

And then we discovered she has small children. Eeek! How do people pull this having-it-all off?

As with all things, no one is perfect, we discovered a weakness – her documents and charts are FULL OF UGLY (so, so, so hideous). Perhaps I should offer myself up as a document wrangler to the consultancy.

In good news, her mysterious and secret recommendations are going to the Board at the end of the month, so lets hope there is a reckoning.

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There is a constant battle for control of my laptop keyboard, so I busted out gertie, the elderly macbook, in the hopes that it may divert attention.

So far working a treat (though NewKitty always jumps off to pose for the camera).

In other technology news, my $99 phone (huawei ascend Y-300) was refusing to bring up the keyboard to type text messages. I cleverly resolved this by deleting every text message stored on there – all better!

I adore having a cheapo phone, really stops me spending all of my life on the InformationSuperHighway and I really rather like being less in thrall to the evil apple cult (though of course I have an evil cult phone for SML purposes | and photography – cheap phone takes wretched photographs) and only $30 a month. Really, I could probably go down to $20.

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Yesterday after my trip to the physio we were out and about a little, dropping off:

  • two large boxes of our old light fittings to the bower
  • batteries and smoke alarms to the council’s very well organised chemical and e-waste drop off;
  • a couple of boxes of donations and my Giant red faux crocodile suitcase (I’m now much more about the minimal travel, but I still love a lurid suitcase) to the Salvation Army;
  • wrong-sized led globes to ikea and took a look at shoe cabinets for the entry – they were all horribly cheap and nasty, so we resolved our issues by rearranging our existing cupboards (*rolls eyes* at self – folly avoided!).

As is the way with ikea, we did not avoid returning with essential things, larger fruit bowl, allegedly air-tight glass jars, a roll of butcher’s paper and a tray and paper napkins in an entirely unintentional sydney ducks theme

cheer cheer

I received some superb Hong Kong advice from this most excellent person. I’m looking forward to doing all the things! Some people have such a talent for this sort of thing, but Don and I are definitely not among them (the agonies of the “what to do in Sydney” conversations with visitors), neither is RightHandHarridan, who despite growing up in HK and visiting regularly, was singularly unhelpful with tips/advice.

In injury news, I can’t say that I am entirely jazzed by this whole enforced nothing.

Yesterday afternoon I alleviated some of the boredom by making cuban black bean soup from women’s weekly: the weekend cook, is very yummy and great for the freezer, though I had to have Don lift the giant casserole dish from the cupboard to the stove top for me.

Then I drank some very excellent riesling and spoke to Joan about Hong Kong and our plan to take Joe/Frank to Europe in the spring. So far we’re thinking Spain, I’d love to go to Rome again, but she has kind of sold us on Iceland as the second destination. She has a well-paid, but soul-destroying job at an enormous law firm and travel and travel-planning is how she manages to remain (moderately) sane. She and Ajax are going to Cambodia in October and they’re trying to decide where to go for Xmas.

Because I could not get out and run this morning, after feeding the wee starved, demanding beasties, I slothed about in bed until 10am drinking coffee and tooling about on the InformationSuperHighway. It was very nice.

In exciting developments, this weekend was the first in forever that we have not been to a supermarket. I’d very much like to extend this record! Otherwise – blergh.

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17 through 24 (50before50)

Vacation: acquired.

Flights & accommodation organised: we’re going on holiday – aieeeeee!!!!


I’m inching (or centimetre-ing) closer to the 50 for the 50before50 list:

  1. visit Vietnam and Cambodia
  2. run in a half-marathon
  3. participate two runs (of any distance) that are not in Sydney
  4. stay (well) under 70kg (154lbs) for the next 1,254 days
  5. gtfo of SML (or resign myself to seeing out my days there and shut the hell up about the horror)
  6. 100 proper push-ups in a row (currently I can do about 5, okay probably 3)
  7. sign up for a pilates class(es)
  8. make a patchwork quilt
  9. make a garment for myself and wear it (pyjama pants don’t count)
  10. visit Japan
  11. build a wee model boat (still so bitter that my parents would not allow me to buy a kit)
  12. go skiing
  13. complete the painting of ThePalace(OfLove)
  14. see a decent production of Macbeth
  15. construct something with electricity – building a computer doesn’t count
  16. learn to complete a cryptic crossword

and to add

  1. visit Hong Kong
  2. do the splits (9cm to go)
  3. do a back arch, like this:

    from: here

  4. get decent & pleasing portrait of self (no, no, not of the lingerie variety, is that still a thing?)
  5. make wine + limocello (or other alcoholic thing)
  6. take Joe/Frank to Europe
  7. make will / estate planning
  8. reduce frequency of sports injuries
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do you want the skin-coloured tape or the sporty blue tape?

I fought my way through the very dense fog to the FatController this morning (definitely a morning to stay in bed!).

After running about and up and down stairs to warm up, it was 50 burpees for which I scored 2 free weeks gym membership (there’s a gym challenge on at the moment). Ace! When I saw the challenge posted on the wall on Thursday, I was like “yeah, no”. I’ve not done burpees since high school and I was surprised to find that I could actually do any.

When I started to use the ab wheel thingy as part of the next circuit, something went owwwwwwwww in my lower right abdomen and I writhed about on the floor in pain. It felt like I imagined a hernia would feel. I’ve had twinges before when doing ab work, but nothing like this!

FC thought hip-flexor, but stretching it out didn’t help much. I was keen to keep going, so we tried a different exercise, but there was much more owwwwwwwww and he insisted I stop and get myself to a physio – stat.

Sweetheart that he is, he offered to drive me home, but home is less than 10 minutes from the gym and walking wasn’t too painful. When I got home I (well, Don) managed to find a local physio who didn’t appear to have received his qualifications via cereal packet (unlike the last one) and who could fit me in today.

Physio was really, really great! He thought hip-flexor or abdominal muscle strain and with lots of testing eliminated the hip-flexor.

I have weak, weak abs (which comes as no surprise), plus having them chopped during my two ute operations has probably done me no favours. Physio also thought the weak abs were the likely cause of my previous knee issues.

So I am taped and am on rest and anti-inflammatories and ice-ing. It hurts to cough and laugh and get up from lying down.

I’m back to Physio on Monday evening to review and if not significantly better, it is off to SuperHappyFunGP for a referral for a scan to assess if I have a tear or a hole (ewww) in the muscle.

Honestly, the fun never stops around here.

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