Sydney house prices, particularly inner west house prices, are kind of nuts and have been for some time. There’s quite a bit of speculation that we’re in an extended bubble and quite a bit of alternative speculation that this is the new normal.

Evidence of the bonkers prices is a nearby recently sold 4 bedroom, 1 bathroom house which according to the listing is desperately in need of a complete overhaul (truth in real estate – novel!). This desperately-in-need-of-complete-overhaul-house sold for AUD 1,538,000. To give you some comparison this translates to GBP 891,606, USD 1,175,026, EUR 1,036,935. I don’t know how this compares to house prices where you live, but Yikes!

That intro is a round-about way of capturing the photos from the listing because I think they are (for serious) incredibly beautiful in that abandoned, urban decayed sort of way. Mad props to the (uncredited) Raine & Horne photographer!

This is what $1.5m gets you around here:

I’m pretty curious to see what becomes of it (unfortunately I suspect demolition and conversion to apartments).

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stuff in the … car park

my dad likes your car

Our neighbour car at Don’s-work-car-spot is a fancy 80s Italian rally car, which is in rather desperate need of a bath.

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not to shabby


HolyGoodness! I completed almost all of my weekend ActionItems. I’m actually quite stunned because I thought I was nowhere close – particularly after spending several hours each morning lazing about with the fam, watching athletics.

I was particularly pleased that I dragged out and rethreaded the overlocker(!) to hem Joe/Frank’s work pants. Well, I used it to finish the edge, I still hand-stitched the hem in the usual fashion. Baby steps.

I only failed to Action three items – editing photos, taking more photos (though I did take a couple)  and sorting the hardware boxes. 

Instead of those things we began a ruthless sort/declutter of the garage. This will take some time, but was very satisfying. 

And we packed away the winter coats! Obviously this will trigger some sort of lengthy Antarctic blast and we’ll be forced to drag them out again.

While in the garage I also unpacked my summer dresses, so I can pack them for Japan! 

I am very excited for this holiday!

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i am unaware of this perfume of which you speak

I have possibly already mentioned that I’m back to not drinking alcohol for the next little bit (again) because we’ve had a big couple of months dining out and whatnot and probably will have a big couple of weeks in Japan. Also, my mental health (and desire for productivity) prefers it when I don’t drink. And my clothes are becoming a smidge tight too, so there’s that.

I attended a function on early Wednesday evening at SML to celebrate the retirement of a beloved senior colleague – the kind with Board members, waiters and canapes. Do you think I could get a water or a drink that was not alcoholic? Well, I could get water if I went to the kitchen a grabbed it myself.

I think it is only when you (well, me) aren’t drinking that you (me) become aware of how alcohol is pretty much everywhere and how much there is an expectation that you’ll (I’ll) drink.

I’m very into reading about women and alcohol right now. Much of this excellent  post/essay/story/rant** on medium very much resonated with me. You should read it! I’ll wait.

Fave quote: Newly sober women have a lot of wonderful qualities, but lack of judginess not one of them. I can’t even begin to describe how hilarious and delightful I find wine being referred to as ethanol.

And who knew there was such a thing as cinnimon churros flavoured smirnoff? Surely this is some sort of end of civilisation trigger?


** whatever the kids are calling writing stuff on the InformationSuperhighway.p theses days.

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interesting challenges

I decided to go with the unravel and re-do the four stitches of the cable option on the bad scarf.


Two (or three, it was all a bit of a blur) hours later I had cables! 

But they were not at all to my liking and looked rather more messy than they do in the photo. And I suspect I got the spacing slightly wrong, because they didn’t quite line up with the other three cables. So I did what any Type-A perfectionist-sort would do and unravelled, unravelled and unravelled some more.

Oh well, I am in no rush to complete this and I would have bothered me a great deal leaving as was (see aforesaid perfectionist). It was good to know that I could (sort of) do this kind of repair,


ActionItems for this weekend:
+ run x2 >3km
+ tidy the very messy palace
+ cook beef stew, parsley dumplings
+ make some sort of cake / dessert thing
+ edit some photos
+ take more photos (practice with lenses)
+ hem Joe/Frank’s work pants (that have been sitting around for about 3 months)
+ buy white gloss paint (Joan is painting the interior doors for us! hurrah!)
+ ironing
+ replenish kitty litter stores
+ ruthlessly sort hardware boxes
+ sit quietly and think
+ plant something (this will score me bonus points for the SML wellness challenge)

I suspect what I won’t be doing is picking up that knitting!

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i’ve had a lot of practice**

I decided to combine my last weekend ActionItems with my SML wellness challenge and knit two pattern repeats (of 8 rows each) every day for a week. I’ve been bringing the scarf along with me to work each day and have been knitting one repeat (which takes 20-30 minutes depending on who interrupts me) in the SML kitchen during lunch. It has been quite peaceful and relaxing to listen to a podcast and knit away.

I’ve had some surprising reactions to this, mostly huge shock that I am a knitter, but also shock that I’m knitting something that looks really impressively complicated. Because of this public display of ability I have spent a bit of time with Clarissfer, who is a beginning knitter, explaining how cables and lace works and how to read a pattern. I’m a little surprised at how much I enjoy the explaining part.

This evening I was delighting in how much the scarf has grown with just those few days attention – it’s now at 59cm (23.23 inches)!

very poorly lit photo and not an adequate representation of the colour

You know where this is headed, right?

Of course, I found an error. I had crossed the far left cable to the front when it should have been to the back. ACK! It is really obvious too, though the camera doesn’t pick it up so well.

more adequate representation of colour

This error is 41cm (16.14 inches) in, this means I have to either unravel those 4 cable stitches for 18cm (7 inches) and try to reproduce the cable (that’s a pretty advanced kind of repair) or unravel the entire thing back 18cm (7 inches), which would take another 4 days to re-knit.

I’ll sleep on that one!

The joys of crafts!


** my response to Clarissfer when she asked how I could fix a mistake in her knitting so easily.

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canberra by iphone: part two

On Friday evening we walked the 30ish minutes to dinner at mezzalira. As noted, walking is not really a thing in Canberra, but it really should be. It is a very walkable city – well apart from the lack of pedestrian crossings.

After an excellent meal and probably way too much excellent wine, we strolled back to the hotel because it was a really spectacular evening – and we like to walk. 

bustling night scene


On Saturday morning, at Don’s behest, we visited Parliament House (first time for both of us). On the way there we took about 80 billion photos which I have yet to edit.

Once at Parliament House we basically had to strip down to get through security, but once inside we could wander about pretty freely. I very much enjoyed the artworks and the interiors were a trip – very much of their time (late 1980s) when too much pastel marble was barely enough.

I’m not a gin drinker, but this is possibly the best parliamentary souvenir I’ve ever seen:

Afterward, after another Big Walk, we lunched at akiba – as recommended by Bobs and anyresemblance – which was very good indeed. I bought fleecy-lined opaque tights/stockings which are quite possibly the best things ever. Then it was back to the hotel, where we mooched about, read books and watched football in the bar. Which to my mind is a pretty brillant Saturday afternoon activity.

Had that all-too-brief Real Life catch up with anyresemblance, where I did not get to chat about half the things I intended to, who then incredibly generously drove us to dinner at Ottoman Cuisine (as recommended by Joan). I’m going on the assumption that they were having a bad night. The food was fine, but it was very busy and the service was pretty distracted/indifferent (didn’t get water, didn’t get one of our dishes, had to wait 20 min for our table).

And more walking back to the hotel. Holy!Goodness! I love running about taking photos under cover of darkness.


On the way out we stopped by Red Hill lookout, another recommendation by anyresemblance (she knows all the things). Very spectacular expansive views – where I took another 60 billion photos and we saw a mob of kangaroos! Exciting! Much better to see than the squished ones on the side of the road on the way home.

I let Don drive home on the motorway (because it is straight and I was unlikely to feel ill and I’d had my driving turn) and we detoured home via Berrima, as suggested by anyresemblance (who [whom?] I should employ as my personal travel advisor) and grabbed a pretty decent pub lunch.

i’m getting a collection of these

We had a great break. It was Ace! to get away and we really must do it more often – we don’t have to automatically choose Melbourne as our default mini-break destination.

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