but it does try hard

And just like that the annual lemon harvest is upon us!

This year our mangy lemon tree (I hesitate to actually call it a tree, so pitiful is it) served up a massive two lemons, down from the all time record of three in 2017.

They may not be plentiful, but they are very good lemons.

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ailments update

Before we went on holiday I visited the podiatrist because I was concerned about current and future ankle pain. Despite wearing what I thought were suitable shoes on the last trips, ankle issues put me out of action for a little bit.

The result of this last visit was a recommendation for new shoes, some rehab exercises and more taping. I did buy the new shoes, but the enthusiasm for the taping soon waned and you know what I am like with rehab. Spoiler alert: I’m quite terrible.

lasted roughly a week – why yes, I do have quite fat knees

I am delighted to report that this time despite many (many!) long walks while away I did not suffer the merest twinge of ankle pain. So it’s stable footwear within very tight parameters all the way for me now. Slightly frustrating as it’s not like I was wearing impossibly high heels, or any heels, and I thought I was being sensible with ballet flats with arch supports – alas no. Luckily there are many very nice sneakers out there and I intend to buy all of them. Also luckily SML has gone casual, so I do not look too ridiculous.

second pair of many in my future

Interestingly, despite wearing the exact same shoes as when I was away, I’m starting to feel an occasional ache. Psychological? TheUniverse telling me I should be on perpetual holiday? Sadly I think is maybe that I’m wearing bare feet^^ in the house and I’m in the house a lot more than I was while away. Shoes in the house sounds horrible to me, I love bare feet! Maybe I just need to get out and about more?


^^ can you wear bare feet?

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into the swing

We’ve been back from holidays for three weeks now, which is amazing to me. It’s very trite and cliched, but it feels like just yesterday we were running about in Tokyo.

I keep meaning to write a bunch of holiday observations (and pre-holiday observations), but there’s so many bits it becomes a little overwhelming and I do nothing. Yet another illustration of perfect being the enemy of the good/done. I have no idea how I managed to post every day for such a long while!

Here’s a bunch of random bullet points about current events to get me back into the groove.

+ I don’t think ThePalace(OfLove) is particularly cluttered or our wardrobes that extensive, but post-holiday we managed to gather 5 large garbage bags of clothes for donation. And a couple of boxes of miscellany. We delivered these to the charity shop yesterday and I expect there will be another bunch after Joan leaves for sunnier climes.


+ In the spirit of minimising, we had a good hard look at some of our other *stuff* and are selling one of our DSLRs on ebay. Yes, we did indeed have almost-identical cameras. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We didn’t take either on the recent trip to Japan because they take up So Much Space in baggage and are crazy-heavy to lug about. And we got by quite well with point-and-shoots (I borrowed Joan’s) and our phones. One hour to go on the auction – lets hope for a last minute bidding frenzy.


+ It’s been raining quite a lot over the past couple of days. And it’s that rain which falls in those odd May/June directions and causes everyone’s houses to leak. When heading out yesterday to do the groceries (ugh) we found a few neighbours exchanging rain experiences in the communal driveway. It appears the waterproofing we all did this time last year was successful across the board, so yay all of us! We saved a bundle by doing this ourselves. Next up – front facades, which unfortunately does require professionals.


+ We racked up six years in ThePalace(OfLove) in mid-May. This is astounding, surely we just moved in? It’s interesting what changes and improvements we thought were absolutely essential 6 years ago which we’re now “meh, we can live with that”.

Biggest and best things we’ve done: changing the down-lights in the living space from halogen to LEDs, separating the light and extractor fan switches in the bathrooms (they were on one switch – so dumb), new oven once the old one died (so very good), painting the walls and doors white, removing most of the revolting vertical blinds, having taps installed out front and on the lower balcony.

Things we thought we absolutely needed to do but didn’t: replace the entire kitchen, renovate the bathrooms, replace the stair handrails and balustrades, refinish or replace the hardwood floors. Clearly I was reading way too many design and renovation blogs – everything is perfectly functional and not entirely hideous.

I’m quite glad we didn’t spend the eye-watering amount of money it would have taken to action these things.

Things we really do need to do but have been putting off: replace broken air-conditioners, replace bedroom carpets (honestly, these are beyond gross), plaster Bessie’s ceiling, have the front facade waterproofed, fill loads of cracks, finish painting over leak stains.


+ Can it really be five days (!) until Joan departs? FIVE! She’s been back living with us for two years now and it will be incredibly weird without her in the house. This morning we’re aggressively culling clothing and shoes and other belongings to fit in her one large suitcase. I’m really rather envious of her – there’s definitely something appealing about chucking it all in to head overseas and start a new life!

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One of the positives about keeping a blog for (yikes!) over 14 years, is that it is quite easy to see what you were up to at particular points in time.

For example, when searching last year’s entries to see if I there is some sort of seasonal pattern to being grumpy and slightly miserable**, I found that I had almost the exact same shoulder pain that I have developed in recent days. And also that we were climbing the giant scaffolding to waterproof the back of ThePalace(OfLove) and it rained a lot (adding some spice to the waterproofing mix) – we’re not climbing the wall, but it has rained a lot and the waterproofing looks to have been successful.

Of course I’ve kinda-sorta ruined the historic record by very sporadic blogging this year, need to attend to that!


** there doesn’t appear to be a seasonal pattern, I’m just grumpy and slightly miserable.

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We’ve been back from holiday for two weeks now (almost to the minute) and I’m finding it somewhat more difficult that usual to settle back into the routine.

The holiday was, of course, absolutely wonderful. We tend not to return to holiday destinations (she says, as though she’s an accomplished world traveller!), but having visited Japan not-so-long-ago, we really enjoyed the familiarity – for example, we already knew how to top-up a suica card, catch a train, use a ramen machine, the basic social niceties &etc. I think the prior knowledge and a level of comfort enabled us to go a little deeper and learn a little more – it’s incredibly different and there’s so much to learn and discover!

We love visiting Japan so much that I’m sure it is somewhere we will return to again and again.

We bought so many things we were forced to buy two extra suitcases (two!) – admittedly one was a carry-on, but still, two! Mostly this was clothes and shoes (I’m absolutely crazy about the Japanese aesthetic), so culling is underway in both of our wardrobes. I’m already regretting not buying more sneakers.

And of course as is usual after a long(ish) holiday – we’re full of determination to change up our living spaces to make them more like our holiday ones – clean, simple, cosy, uncluttered; and to do more with our lives than just work and work and work.

How long this lasts is yet to be seen!


I think this is the first Sunday in months and months that will be relatively “normal”. Though I’m not entirely certain what normal means anymore – I suspect mostly housework. At least we sucked it up and did grocery shopping yesterday afternoon, so we’re not having to spend the morning at the supermarket. I have quite a mountain of ironing to catch up on – so best find a suitable audiobook.

Well perhaps not entirely normal as Joan leaves for 2 years in the UK in less than two weeks! I’m quite certain those two weeks will be a whirlwind of activity.

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I can’t even remember when we actually planned it, but our holiday to Japan (yes, we’re going back) has been locked in for mid-May to mid-June for a good while now.

A few weeks ago I was suffering through a fairly ordinary half-day workshop and during a lull messaged Don with “I’m ready to go on holiday”, he responded with a “Me too!!!”. He sent another message a couple of hours later with a “How soon do you reckon you could go on holiday if we were to move it up?”. Me: “wut?”

Don’s work had just scored a huge project which he’s critical to. A huge project which was scheduled at the same time we were away (and immovable). Could we move our holiday? They’d pay any cancellation fees and and upgrade our flights to business class.

Oh okay – if you insist.

We now leave on the 27th – less than two weeks away!

Turns out it is now inconvenient for me work-wise, but hey, SML will definitely cope!

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wide brown land


We’ve had a long stretch of unseasonably high temperatures (30oC in April – what?!), and over the weekend low humidity and incredibly high winds. There were hazard reduction burns on Friday which blanketed the city in smoke and then a (now under control) bushfire on Saturday – so we have a house full of smoke (smells like a campfire is next to my desk) and dust, and all manner of niggling little ailments – dry eyes, itchy skin, respiratory issues and such.

Thankfully there’s a 60% chance of rain tomorrow, which hopefully we will most of this settle, because what with the sleeplessness and the ankle thing, I’ve enough ailments already thank-you-very-much! And I’d really like to be in relatively good health for the unexpectedly early holiday we’re taking in two weeks – more on that in another post.

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old lady ailments – second in a series

Urgh! What on earth are these sudden onset sleep issues?

Zero problems getting to sleep, but waking every couple of hours – and being exceedingly wakeful.

And what I assume are hot flushes – and the equivalent of whatever ravenous is for thirsty and consequently drinking about a litre of water over the course of the night.

Quite unpleasant.

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old lady ailments – first in a series

I’ve been experiencing a bunch of ankle issues yet again which appear to be triggered by walking rather than running. I suspected this a while back, but this has been confirmed by process of elimination (ie. my running is virtually non-existent).

A couple of weeks ago I bought a pair of pretty slick nikes** with the intention of taking them on holiday for general walking about. I wore them for a day and my right leg was pretty well screwed afterward – requiring lots of cool packs and elevation.

Nothing for it but to head off to the podiatrist.

Diagnosis is that I have very wobbly and unstable ankles (and a touch of arthritis – what!?!?) and I’m under instruction to replace most of my footwear (including the sweet nikes) with more stable options. I never ever wear heels and always go for sensible sensible shoes, but obviously not quite sensible enough.

Fortunately no need for orthotics! I can buy at least 3 pairs of sensible shoes for the cost of those!

** if the link breaks, they’re duel racers.

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distractions aplenty

After swearing off it entirely seven months ago, and after a quite heavy de-clutter of the accounts I was following, I’ve recently been occasionally glancing at instagram here and there using the web-browser.

One of the first things I did when going back was to buy a second print from the amazing kate mulheron, my first being of the wonderful Sirius – which had been sitting in a drawer for almost a year (oops).

We carted both prints off to the framer a couple of weeks ago and hung them this weekend. As is the way with these things, the framing cost as much as the prints, but the framer did a bang-up job and they look spectacular – much better than my poor photograph conveys.

And I succumbed to re-installing instagram on my phone to post the results.

So maybe I’m back?

But if I am back I’ll definitely keep the majority of my viewing through the browser only. This has the benefit of larger images (for my old lady eyes! I really need to start wearing glasses to look at my phone!) – and no adverts. And I’ll use the app only for posting.

We’ll see how long this lasts before I’m sucked back down into the abyss.


Buying that second print was one of the reasons I was avoiding instagram – because going there made me want to buy All The Things. But with the amount of stuff I’ve been acquiring lately, it seems like I’ll buy all the things irrespective of instagram.

And unfortunately I’m still very heavily influenced by stuff I see online. For example, a couple of months ago I had a desk chair shipped from Germany! I mean it is really very cool and I needed a chair and it’s entirely made from post consumer waste – but what?! Around the same time as the chair I bought a wonderful book of patterns, thinking I’d go all handmade wardrobe – this would change everything! When after some time I had done nothing with it, I had a good hard talk to myself and sold it, untouched, on ebay – at a loss, but the buyer seemed delighted. And just last week I really seriously considered buying an egg spoon. An egg spoon. I really can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

Honestly I don’t know what comes over me. Clearly I’m have some void I’m trying to fill.

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