experiments in gardening: part 858493932

Back at the end of January I bought a knob of ginger to make spicy ginger soda. And it sat unloved on the bench for a couple of weeks because I was immediately distracted by delicious lemonade.

I was debating chucking it in the freezer (which is a really most excellent way to store ginger), I noticed a wee green shoot, and rather than freeze, I decided to observe in the name of Science!

Now a month after purchase, we have:

betty the woven goanna’s tail to the left of the shot, not a strange grey, furry growth

Quite amazing!

I blame the heat and humidity for the rapid growth. According to the InformationSuperhighway it can be planted and harvested in a year or two. Harvesting is unlikely, but I’m intrigued to see what happens. Hopefully this does not go the way of the last experiment

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changing life stages

Today I finally sorted the box of family silver which has been sitting up here in the way of everything for about a month!

I took inventory and pix of it all and then washed and polished with a soft cloth. There are two main patterns, one from 1913 and one from 1964. I’ve added the 6 place settings 1964 to the cutlery chest for regular use, but we need more proper flatware storage before we bust out the other one – which has more bits.

We’ll be using this set. Mom had wrapped them in cling-wrap (this is apparently not good). But who knew there was coloured cling-wrap?! Truly, America has everything!

Such are our modern, philistine-y ways, that we have absolutely no idea what some of the pieces are supposed to be used for:

tiny fork tridents + knife-ish things (the fork on right is for scale – you’ll be reassured that I know what a fork is)

There are a bunch of random serving pieces too – these are mostly silver plate. I do look forward to adding some much needed fanciness to the daily dining experience.


Otherwise this weekend was exceedingly unproductive, but quite excellent.

The ducks played an intra-club match on at henson park on Friday evening so we walked down to watch. It was a gorgeous evening, so afterward we walked further to Marrickville and grabbed some vietnamese for dinner.

don shows off his vintage ’05 members hat

On Saturday morning walked down through the park to breakfast to Pig and Pastry

It had turned into a really lovely day, so after we’d dropped off some donations to the Salvation Army and picked up a couple of things from essential ingredient, we decided to wander back down to the park and take in some local cricket.

We have vowed: 1. to get out in the neighbourhood more frequently and 2. that I need more days in my life where I get out and do nothing.

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2015 projects progress: february

March tomorrow and the end of summer – *sob* – I’m not too fond of the heat, but I love the light.

I’m not sure why, but February was a pretty tough month for me mentally. Maybe because I was back at work after the long holiday, but I never really felt like I was actually present and everything seems a bit of a blur. I hope this doesn’t carry over into March.

On that cheerful note, on with the monthly project accounting.

TL;DR version – of 12 projects: achieved = 4 achieved; 6 partially achieved; 2 not achieved. To be honest a better than expected outcome.

  1. war on sloth
    – running at least 3x per week / daily exercise – core + glutes (even 5 minutes is better than nothing).
    PARTIALLY ACHIEVED: Getting better in the daily exercise toward the end of the month with the introduction of the micro circuit. Running has been happening, but I can’t seem to push beyond the 3-4km mark which is a little frustrating.

  2. war on graffiti
    – never let the graffiti on the front of ThePalace(OfLove) remain unpainted for more than 24 hours. Always photograph, always report.

  3. war on duopolies
    – minimise shopping at Coles / Woolies and their associated companies.
    – support small, independent businesses

  4. war on clutter
    – get rid of everything we don’t need or want or things we have been holding on to for stupid reasons
    ACHIEVED: Carted off another half-dozen bags to the Salvation Army this morning, including a shopping bag full of cables for long gone tech. I really don’t think we needed two FireWire to apple 30pin cables – or actually even one!

  5. war on chub
    – continue with amazingly successful 5:2 diet
    – no booze (except for holidays)
    PARTIALLY ACHIEVED: Shared a bottle of wine after our dreadful meeting with the financial planner (really need to write about that), also had one glass today at the pub while watching the end of the Aus v NZ cricket, otherwise all good.
    5:2 continues successfully – much easier since I gave up the second coffee and replaced it with eating.

  6. war on unnecessary spending
    – don’t buy anything that is not absolutely essential – none of this fudging with the definition of essential.
    – take lunch to work at least 4 days per week
    NOT ACHIEVED: Stuff has been bought. Lunch has not not been taken.

  7. war on the uncreative (apologies for the lame project title, alternative suggestions welcome!)
    – make one thing per month
    – blog at least every second day
    – take at least one photo every day
    PARTIALLY ACHIEVED: No making of anything.
    Blogging on average of every two days.
    Photography has been happening.

  8. war on blandness
    – read good books | watch good films and television (at least once a week)
    – eat good new things (two per month?)
    – listen to one improving podcast per week
    – avoid reading the increasingly dreadfulsmh.com.au
    (VERY) PARTIALLY ACHIEVED: No cooking new things. I have REALLY lost my cooking mojo
    Yes, I have listened to podcasts, but not one per week (recommendations welcomed).
    Yes, no smh for two whole months! Still glorious!
    Yes, films + tv – after we finally sorted ourselves with netflix toward the end of the month
    Books, no! I read Stuffocation: Living More With Less which seems to have put me off reading for a while.

  9. war on the shoddy / shonky in ThePalace(OfLove)
    – have the leaks fixed
    – finish the last bits of the paintering
    – get quotes for balcony sliding door | shutters | conservatory
    PARTIALLY ACHIEVED: Leak penetration testing was somewhat inconclusive. More investigation needs to be done.
    Painting scheduled for April. Quotes on hold scheduled for May.

  10. war on our genX slackerness
    – get our finances in order
    – get our estate planning in order
    NOT ACHIEVED: Financial planner experience was dreadful. I’m hoping to start working on the estate planning tomorrow.

  11. war on the career (see genX slackerness)
    – ramp up the professionalism in dress, grooming and manner.
    – just knuckle down and do this advanced manageressing course. FIVE times a week.
    – take this “I am expecting big things from you in the next six months” seriously and action accordingly.
    PARTIALLY ACHIEVED!: The dress and the grooming and the manner all good. No response yet re being locked out of manageressing course materials – will follow up on Monday.

  12. war on poor self-esteem
    – just stop entirely reading the social media accounts of those who make me feel inadequate (of course, this is not you dear reader)
    ACHIEVED!: This continues to be a Very Good Thing and in no way contributed to my meh-ness in Feb

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no 29th either

spotted on the way to SML, this balloon has impressive straying power and has been rolling about on this ledge for at least four days

So I managed the 3km run after work yesterday and I’m keeping up with the mini circuit – all good! Everything else I had planned has pretty much fallen by the wayside. I need to revisit the after work plan on the weekend and try to make it a touch more realistic.

In other things-I-should-be-doing-news, I finally sucked it up and tried to log into my manageressing course materials during the week and was locked out with an “access expired” message. What is TheUniverse trying to tell me?

Just how out of sorts I have been was really hammered home today. I have a desk calendar which shows 3 months at a time, so was blithely trucking along under the assumption that I had a 30th and 31st this month to cover off the things I needed to do. It was with some horror this morning that I realised it is February. This is not good.

March looks to be a horror month and unfortunately I will need to don the expediter hat and make sure people deliver what they’ve committed to – in several big, complex, cross-functional, processes. While I do kind of enjoy this, I would much rather everything worked seamlessly and I did not have to intervene, but hey, that’s why I get the moderately-sized bucks.

I’ll need to make sure I am back on my game to make it through – this means exercise and eating properly! And resting and not putting pressure on myself! All the things!

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less calories than a coffee

excellent fast day lunch + only $6.50!

This planning to do things after I get home is really not panning out as I’d hoped. How people actually manage to accomplish anything in the evenings other than minimal hauswerk is simply baffling to me. After a hard day at SML I’m kind of exhausted and just want to sit about – which is not very satisfying. I might have to rethink my approach.

I cast around desperately for something to photograph that was not a kitty or buns and came up with a half lemon:

Clearly creativity is also somewhat wanting.

But I’m definitely down for the micro circuit before bed per last evening: 50 sit-ups, 40 squats, 2×30 plank. I don’t sleep badly as a rule, but my sleep was marvellous last night. I think I can keep the circuit up for a week and then increase the reps and maybe add some other activities.

I’m hoping to get out for a 3km run at some point tomorrow.

Rock and Roll.

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every day for a week

Sat down for the first time this evening at 9:30pm! Yikes!

Unfortunately, despite my good intentions, the only post-work, non-householdly task I managed to accomplish was taking photos of Bessie’s easter buns:

Hey, they’re not photos of kitties!

I <3 the new camera. I imagine things will improve after I get onto reading the manual.

I'm about to embark on 50 sit-ups, 40 squats and 2×30 second planks – baby steps – then I will fall into an exhausted heap.

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when too many kitty photos are barely enough

I didn’t get much opportunity to act on my running plans during the week, but yesterday I did my usual 3km route and chopped 10 seconds off my previous time. This was pretty pleasing – particularly as that was not my intention!

This morning I did 4km and what a difference to last weekend’s 4km run – this one was much slower and left me really exhausted.

Three hours, some toast and coffee later and I was still pretty weak. As usual the pace was not much faster than walking! I really hope this is reduced levels of fitness and not that I am getting Joe/Frank’s cold!

I have been attempting some daily core and glutes work, but this could be much more organised than it is and to be honest, I’ve been kind of phoning it in.

Mentally, I’ve been feeling a bit meh over the past few days and it has been really hard to drag myself away from spending hours mindless scrolling on the InformationSuperhighway. There have been no fun projects, no “proper” reading, no complicated cooking, not a good deal of anything.

Don has been working insane hours this week so has not been available to entertain me, but I put this down mostly to the lack of cardio. 10,000 steps per day really doesn’t appear to cut it for me in terms of cheerfulness and positive mental health. I clearly need to sweat – a lot.

It was really only writing it down that I realised what I had been feeling – I must remember that I need to be really vigilant about my moods.

One of today’s action items is to put together an exercise and activity plan for next week. I’m much better at crossing things off a list than trying to remember to do them without a prompt.


Yesterday afternoon we celebrated Joe/Frank’s (21st!!!) birthday a couple of days early with a (very) late lunch at Jamie’s Italian. Excellent value for the six of us1 and the quality of ingredients was, as always, pretty amazing. A very good time was had by all.

I particularly appreciated the diverse non-alcoholic options and enjoyed a really lovely nice strawberry + elderflower cordial with sparkling water. I know we are a nation of very, very, very big drinkers, but I really wish more restaurants/bars/pubs offered something other than the usual ridiculously sugary soft-drinks/sodas or plain water.

1 Ajax being now included in family functions.


I’ve mentioned before that at SML they are dead keen on gift cards as gifts. Our Xmas gift this year was a $50 gift card to … Coles/Myer. Yes, the very same companies I have vowed to avoid.

ARGH! Such a dilemma!

Luckily, Vincenzo happened to mention in passing that one of our colleagues had bought a jbhifi gift card with his Coles/Myer gift card and I thought that this was just about the most genius thing that I had ever heard of!

I did this yesterday which meant that SML put the $50 toward the new camera. Score!

As part of my activities list for this week, I will make a concerted effort to photograph something other than cats!

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