can’t credit the drugs

neighbourhood camelia

The two days in bed was exactly what was required and I was much improved afterward.

I was unusually sensible and continued to take it relatively easy for the next week. There was much rest, reading and doing not-a-lot. Well doing not-a-lot physically – there has been very much Thinking, Reflection and Assessment/Reassessment. I’ll bore you with those insights at another time!

Recovery was astoundingly speedy given how unwell I was. I have subsequently been cheerful and positive in a way I’ve not been for a very, very long while. For many consecutive days! It’s surprising and wonderful.

Whether happiness is due to recovery, all that thinking or that I’ve had minimal contact with Bobs over the last two weeks has not been determined.

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i blame public transport

I’ve been bedridden for the last two days with an absolute killer cold.

Fortunately some sort of truce was called to comfort me.

You know how it goes – you rarely get sick and bask in your superior health while your somewhat less-healthy colleagues fall one by one.

On Friday I could feel *something* coming on, but I persuaded myself that I could overcome it through sheer force of will – and confining myself to low key activities. This kinda-sorta worked until Monday when I spent most of the day sneezing and working my way through a box of tissues.

But yesterday. Ugh! Woke up feeling like my whole head was being squeezed in a vise, accompanied by all sorts of bodily aches and pains.

Today was only slightly better – so I made the executive decision to take another sick day and lazed about in bed enjoying my new flanelette sheets. I was previously scathing of flanelette sheets, but they’re actually kind of brilliant**. Perhaps I’d only even had super-cheap shedding ones before?

I can’t even remember the last time I had two sick days in a row, but gosh it was nice – despite the unwellness.


** Another of those occasions where Don and Joan were right

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previously, in podcast listening …

And that’s what inspired me to do what I’m doing now with [redacted]. Helping masterful and daring men rewrite their own male narrative.


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june: fin

I celebrated the first day of July by walking to the Botanic Gardens at lunch – it’s less than ten minutes from the Project Sulfur office.

so pleasant

I plan to go later in the week and spend some time sitting watching the eels

hey there!

Why have I not done this before?


And to wrap up June!

+ Complete Japanese CD 8
YES!! In enjoyed this very much – who would have ever thought I could keep at it?

While I’m less than stellar with tenses and markers, I’ve come a pretty long way. I’m delighted that I can say a few basic sentences! Though to give it some perspective – if I overhear a conversation in Japanese I estimate I recognise maybe one word in a hundred.

I’m now onto the first CD of Intermediate/Advanced which will probably take me to the end of the year. Then I’ll work out what the next steps are.

+ Endless embroidery – complete year 12 | acquire frame
YES! I’m not entirely delighted with the top right corner – but pleased I’m keeping at it.

At a stitch per day since our first date it’s a very interesting visual reminder that we’ve had a LOT of days together.

+ Knitting – 10 rows per week
NO! I’ve never encountered such an un-intuitive pattern, it’s been hard going!

To give an example:
Row 1 (RS): P2, work in Seed st to next marker, slip marker (sm), work Row 1 of Right Twist pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Plait Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Right Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Right Diamond Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Right Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Honeycomb Panel, sm, work Row 1 of Left Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Left Diamond Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Left Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Plait Cable pattern, sm, work Row 1 of Left Twist pattern, sm, work in Seed st to last 2 sts, p2.

Where the patterns are listed separately – not in order of appearance, or in alphabetical order. I estimate it took me almost 45 minutes to knit that first row.

I’ve now done some messing about with the pattern so it makes slightly more sense, intention is for an average of 1 row per day in July.

+ Blog – 3x per week
NOT REALLY! Some weeks yes, some no.

+ Start recording personal spending (for a year)
KIND OF! I mean, I started on 27 June and I only have one lot of purchases recorded, but I suspect the secret might be recording every day, even when I don’t buy anything. And having the book open on my desk as a reminder.

+ Exercise – run (yes!) 2x | ride 2x per week
STARTED! ABANDONED! I don’t know – it all seems like so much effort.

+ No non-fruit dessert during the week
ABSOLUTELY NOT! This was a disaster. It’s almost as though I was compelled to do the opposite.

+ Start the list of books I’ve read this year | stretch goal = last year
STARTED 2019! I have a scribbled list constructed from kindle purchases, audible purchases, borrowings from two libraries – will construct a post in July.


i live in a very pretty city!

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soft core july?

Because Joe/Frank was out and about extremely early and very kindly took care of feeding the kitties (thanks Joe/Frank!), we slept until 7:30 this morning.

This was delightful and amazing!

It was a beautiful morning and because I really want to stop spending so much of my time indoors, I suggested an early low-key stroll down the greenway to Iron Cove.

petersham park

turn-around point

It was very lovely.

I definitely needed a reminder that getting out doesn’t have to mean a run or a ride or anything remotely challenging – a nice walk is perfectly acceptable.

Just getting out the door is the thing!


I was intending to get all hard core with my July goals – the highlights were complete bans on snacking and spending.

I was all ready to go, but in a late flash of sanity was all “yeah, nah – this is really mental”. At the rate I’m going I’ll be rocking a totally ascetic lifestyle by the end of the year – confined to a bare cold room and wearing a shapeless, poorly-woven, scratchy linen shift. What is it with me and all this deprivation?**

Let’s go a little more gently in July, shall we?

+ get out in nature minimum 3x per week
Don’s out for hours in nature at least one day per week (golf), I rarely leave the house save for SML and groceries. I suspect it would be infinitely better for my mental health if this were not so.

+ endless embroidery: complete year 13 | frame it!
Technically, year 13 is not complete until 21 September. The current plan is the once complete, I’ll remove it from the frame on the anniversary and add the prior year. Working out how to frame it while retaining it’s crumpled embroideriness will be another challenge!

+ knit one row of jumper per day
The pattern is written in a quite diabolical manner – as such will be extremely slow going.

+ sit for 2-5 minutes each day and write Japanese notes
In romaji, I’m not ready for the real stuff! Writing goes entirely against the Michel Thomas method – but does make it a little more sticky.

+ one night per week without internet
Okay, this might be a little extreme.


** To be fair, Don has been asking this for months, if not years. I have NFI (no idea), but probably worth exploring huh?

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2019 intentions: epic mid-point

It’s no secret that I love to give myself challenges. Yearly challenges! Monthly challenges! Decadely challenges! All The Challenges!

As someone with perfectionist tendencies and who is prone to really-very-very toxic negative self-talk, I’m amazed that I’m at the point where I’m pretty relaxed about what get done. I’m generally satisfied if I complete half of my intentions.

This is quite the staggering breakthrough! Would that I could apply this healthy thinking to other areas of my life.

We’re almost halfway through the year (how?!), so I figure it’s a good time to check in with those 2019 intentions?

+ Facial 1x per month
YES! This is not an inexpensive undertaking and I don’t know if I will stretch it beyond the year, but I very much enjoy taking time just for me while having goop and weird lights and jade rollers applied to my face in a darkened room for an hour each month.

Obviously I’m an old lady who lives in a harsh, sun-drenched climate, so my wrinkles and lines are well established and not going anywhere. But I think there’s a visible difference to my skin, this is also likely helped by a recently established somewhat disciplined skin care routine.

+ Wear nice sleepwear
NO! Despite this list being stuck on my noticeboard in my line of sight, I completely forgot this was a *thing* until earlier this week.

Three days in and I don’t know that I feel anymore like a fancy lady than I did when I was rocking the grody singlets.

+ Use my keep cup
YES! I have not used a disposable cup all year! I don’t always have the keep cup on me, so have combined this with sitting down in cafes (very civilised).

That’s ~120 disposable cups saved! Small in the grand scheme of the world, but likely better than if I did nothing at all. I very much like this quote on that topic:

You may worry so much about getting everything perfect that you feel too paralyzed to ever start. We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly zero waste chef – how to cope with environmental guilt (excellent post – go read – I’ll wait).

+ Don’t cross my legs when sitting
MOSTLY! I’ve tilted up the front of my work chair, so crossing my legs is almost impossible without contortion. Possibly not the most ideal thing for my overall posture, but I’m not longer experiencing leg/ankle issues – outside wearing certain shoes, which is another post entirely.

+ No daily digital news
YES! While I might still be less than calm and centred, I can’t even begin to imagine what I’d be like reading doom, gloom, catastrophe and misery at every turn. I’m still somewhat conflicted by this as it seems slightly irresponsible, but can recommend as an approach. Even for just a little while. Go on – why not try a week? or even a day? You really will feel better for it.

+ No snacking post-dinner. Fruit only after work.
OH MY NO! This really needs a reset – a total reset. The last month has been particularly appalling – there’s so much going on at SML and I come home and eat and eat and eat. And then I eat some more. Thank TheUniverse that I don’t drink alcohol anymore, else I’d be perpetually smashed.

I’ve attempted to ban myself from certain foods (chocolate), unfortunately I just replace it with something else – ice-cream! cookies! shortbread! I need a non-destructive replacement soothing behaviour – or even better, work out the cause and deal with it.

+ Limit personal spending. Stop shopping for sport.
While I’d like to say yes to this, I really cannot with any conscience. I mean, it is not as if I am spending anywhere near beyond my means, but I’m not entirely certain that I really need everything I’m buying.

roller thingy from diaso – did I really need this in my life?

I spend quite a bit of time in shops when I take a lunch break. Honestly, I’d be better just going for a walk (perhaps a July challenge).

And because I like to set myself up to not achieve everything I’m aiming to, I threw in some targets from the 60before60 list:

#48 Move the blog to self-hosted wordpress
YES! Small learning curve, but much improved experience. There are still some things I need to get a handle on (the wildly unattractive blockquote format is a good example!) and I’d like to migrate all the photos from the old host (which is a HUGE undertaking) – but glad I finally pulled the trigger after dithering for years.

#27 Kill my gmail account(s)
Partially. Ditched most accounts. Deleted almost 85,000 emails from my primary gmail account. Unfortunately that email address is my appleid and it is an exceptionally non-trivial exercise to change this – but I am determined it will be gone by year end.

#13 Read no self-help books for a year
YAY! Lasted almost six months, paused for end of procrastination, another blip when I re-read Caroline Webb: how to have a good day. I probably didn’t need that second one – these books really all do become a blur.

If I was to delve deep into my psyche, I’d say I was looking for something – actually this quest for something probably explains a lot of what I do in life.

#47 Record all personal spending for a year
NO! I tell myself this is because I haven’t found the format to make this easy – I’m probably ever-so-slightly lying.

I gave starting another shot on Thursday: eight tiny ceramic buddhas for my team, essential oil rollers, vintage levis for me, non-vintage levis for Joe/Frank (hmmmm – how many of those things did I *need*?).

a little reminder to stay chillaxed – it’s a stressful time

We’ll see if this method sticks – if not I think I’ll abandon the endeavour entirely.

#41 Be more present (precisely how to do this is yet to be determined)
OH MY NO! I think I am possibly more scatty than ever. I’m generally thinking about 800 other things rather than what is in front of me.

#51 [something] yoga
If [something] is attend sporadically, avoid and then pretty much abandon yoga, then I was all over it!

Obviously I’ve got some sort of blocker happening here too.


All up – fairly decent progress!

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in recent binge reading

+ just good shit.
Exactly what it says on the tin! Many (many) fabulous links.
When you’ve exhausted that, there’s loads more goodness at her previous blog
by way of: The Nod: How to Show Up


+ hei astrid.
Utterly delightful! Sadly now defunct, but there’s 10+ years of archives to get lost in.
by way of: I briefly tried out feedly when theoldreader was having issues updating feeds. Came up on the “similar blogs” (or whatever it’s called) sidebar when I was reading the wonderful hula seventy.

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y tho

From my with-morning-coffee RSS reading:

Fast Company: This is the most poetic way to block your phone’s distracting notifications
By Katharine Schwab

After staring at a screen all day, the last thing I want to do is look at my phone. But inevitably, the texts and notifications roll in, and it’s easy to get sucked into more screen time.

Something we can all relate to I’m sure. But what can we possibly do about this scourge of modern day life?

Clearly the answer is … bury your phone in a bowl of sand.

Of course it is.

Now, the U.K.-based design studio Cohda has designed a small, bowl-size zen garden for your home—but instead of raking sand to help still your mind, you’re supposed to bury your phone underneath grains of conductive microspheres, which stop all electromagnetic signals from getting out. It’s like putting your phone on airplane mode by covering it up with sand.

Or you know, you could actually put it in airplane mode, or turn off notifications.

Or perhaps, daringly, you could turn the phone off.

Sadly there is no price given for the bowl of sand, but I have signed up for the mailing list.

I will report back. Or more likely much time will pass and I will wonder why I’m receiving mail about bowls of sand.

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next stop: lavender

back lane. oldphone.

If I ever needed evidence that poor quality sleep has an adverse effect on my well-being, the last few nights of tossing and turning and the resultant dreadful mental state have removed pretty much all doubt.

Wait? How could I sleep badly in the Glorious New Bed?

The cause isn’t immediately evident, but from tonight I’m re-establishing rules to not look at the phone in bed and cutting back on the before-bed comfort eating**.


** I should cut back on ALL the comfort eating, but that’s a challenge for another time.

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coffee is more than sufficient

We’re not super-tight with our neighbours, but we’ll often exchange idle gossip and bitching in the common driveway with a core group from five other Palaces.

We don’t have a huge amount in common (apart from the fact that our houses are all feeling the interesting results of the shonky developer, our mutual loathing of another neighbour and our collective dismay of people misusing the visitor parking spots) but they’re all quite nice people.

Don however, does have something in common with one of them – they’re both the same age and are mad-keen regular golfers (at different clubs) and so as driveway chat turned to golf, they decided they’d play the very occasional round together. Saturday morning was the second time they’d played.

On the journey to the course, by way of idle chit-chat, Golf-neighbour asked Don how he’d spent his (early) morning.

Don: It was great! I watched a little golf, cooked myself some eggs.

Golf-neighbour: Doesn’t carolbaby cook your breakfast?

Don: Ah, no.

When Don was relating this to me I assumed Golf-neighbour was doing that kind of tedious attempted jovial “lulz-wife-in-the-kitchen-making-breakfast-amirite?” thing.

Alas, not the case.

One less thing in common then.

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