project 5: 2013 (teev)

We’ve a rather large collection of assorted video media both physical and digital. Many, many, good, interesting and exciting films and television series – very few of which we have watched.

Really, the non-watching is almost entirely my fault. “Oh that’s too heavy to watch over dinner”, “I’ll just finish up on Computer”. So we mostly subsist on a diet of occasional comfort viewing (things like Grand Designs, Seinfeld and Midsomer Murders) – much to Don’s dismay.

2013 will be about clearing the backlog, stepping away from Computer and sitting quietly on the couch, watching new, sometimes challenging things.

Once a week is a good start, I think.

project 4: 2013 (paint)

Possibly the worst thing about ThePalace(OfLove) is the completely hideous yellow(ish) colour of the walls and trim.

revolting, hideous, ghastly. excellent clock though!

When we recently visited immediate neighbour’s haus, we were dazzled by his lovely white walls and resolved to take action on our own!

After agonising over paint charts from multiple vendors, we’ve bought sample pots of possible contenders (who knew there were so very many whites?), and hope to bust out some test patches over the Xmas break and get on to painting in the new year. Which will be A Very Big Project, because there are many, many walls.

Sure, we could have the professionals in (who would do an infinitely better job), but what is the point of home-ownership if one cannot embark on dodgy home-improvement projects?

project 3: 2013 (da ‘hood)

As may be evident, we’re hoping 2013 will be the year of projects – projects that we can sustain and will shake us from our … sloth? lassitude? complaisance?

Project 3 is exploring the new neighbourhood – on foot!

This was motivated by a quest for take-away and the realisation that we really had no idea of the optimal sources of same. And our delight in the extreme strangeness of our (seen in passing) surrounds:

who wouldn’t want a giant chimney in their front garden?

We’ve been here more than 6 months and there is loads to discover. We just need to drag ourselves away from our respective electronic time-sinks and get out there!

So once a month, we’ll venture out, explore and document.

film 2013: 1 (god bless america)

We’re trying to get on board the Project 2013 train a little early (heck, it can never be too early to bed-down a habit), so Don forced me to pick the movie for us to attend yesterday.

Because I am all about the totes wanker films, I chose God Bless America and it was the best movie I have seen, in like, a good while. Very, very black and very funny though a little heavy-handed in parts (which I think worked in context, but that might be because I agreed with most of the sentiments expressed).

As part of the project we’re going to attempt rating the films we see (though I suspect this might fall by the wayside). Because we are now crazy cat people, we’re instituting a kitty-based rating system.

Carol: 4 kitties

Don: 4 kitties

I must say that I do love a cinema where I can enjoy a nice glass of wine in civilised company!

Don’s choice next fortnight!


Just over a week ago my very elderly (paternal) grandfather died – just 4 months shy of his 100th.

Grandfather had lived on his own up until about 3ish months ago, but was becoming a little forgetful and not quite taking as good care of himself as was desirable and so was compelled to move into a retirement village.

News was that he was initially coping well with the changes but a few weeks ago MaidenAunt advised that he was in decline. Unfortunately I was still very much in the midst of recovering from Ute removal and travelling to visit would have been less than optimal. Also, I was convinced Grandfather would live to … well … forever.

I’d planned to get there as soon as I could wrangle, but alas, he selfishly decided not to live forever.


And so it came to pass that I was obliged to visit BoganHellTown to attend the funeral.

Long time readers will know that I have not visited that ghastly place for over 12 years. They will also know that I am estranged from much of my immediate family and that I have extremely bad associations with same (both town and family).

As one might imagine, my life has been filled with not inconsiderable angst since that phone call. Fortunately the wonderful Joan agreed to accompany me (such a superior daughter!) and then Don, despite my insistence otherwise, announced he’d come to support me. Noooooo … I don’t want you to see these people, this place … Gah!. But, in his husbandly excellence, he could not be deterred.

BoganHellTown is amazingly, impossibly gorgeous, but like all amazingly, impossibly gorgeous things is utter evil at its core. Upon arrival we relaxed, drank wine, swam in the pool, Don worked (yucky crunch time for many projects) and we generally enjoyed our excellently appointed apartment and admired the amazing, impossible gorgeousness and I pretended we we situated in some other amazingly, impossibly gorgeous locale.

MaidenAunt phoned late that evening (I should have called her, but I was Avoidant) and I was perplexed by her insistence that I contact BabySister and visit her haus pre-funeral. BabySister, when I called the next day (again, Avoidant), was likewise insistent. In my incredible angstness, I failed to see The Signs.

And so it was with immense horror that we arrived at BabySister’s to discover my Mother (who is Dead To Me and has been for some time), ex-daughter-in-law of Grandfather.


I am not sure what MaidenAunt and BabySister thought would happen, but I am pretty sure what did eventuate was not what they had planned. There was a brief greeting and a much forced cheek kiss, then I and my coterie escaped to BabySister’s fabulous deck and admired the incomprehensibly spectacular views (do wish we’d taken pix) and BabySister debriefed re: the horror which is MiddleSister.

Then … funeral.

Really, I think 1.5 hours for a funeral service is a little excessive. There were some really very, very touching moments, but I could have done without the 7 incredibly lengthy Victorian hymns.

My take homes?

It was immensely gratifying to discover that I look at least ten years younger than my (younger) sisters. Also that I have by far the most excellent, attractive, accomplished children. There is a good deal to be said for escaping that idyllic, horrific environment as soon as one is able.

It was also gratifying to see how very, very far I have come through extremely hard graft and desperation and all-round motivation. My life is astoundingly good and I am extremely fortunate, but it was shocking to realise that it could be because of me and not some magical pixie godfairy and alignment of stars.

And now, well, I never, ever need go back to BoganHellTown.

And once I have recovered from the journey and that realisation actually hits, it will be GLORIOUS.

project 2: 2013 (foodz)

There could not be an attempt at any sort of annual project(s) without reference to foodz.

The plan is to try one new recipe a week in 2013 and (possibly) completely bore you with the results. In actuality we will probably stick to the Project but I will totes Fail at the documenting.

This project was prompted by the recent busting out of pineapple upside-down cake and grilled lamb salad with mint | feta | peas. Both had been on my pinboard for a good while, as have many other quite possibly fabulous recipes.

The cake, while quite tasty, was not improved by being cooled in the fridge (it was late, I was Tired) and the salad was most excellent, but we’ll halve the feta on the next go ’round.

We, in ThePalace(Of Love) do miss the daily food blogging as a handy record of our cooking experiences, but it is such a difficult practice to sustain (especially while there is so much mindless, brain-deadening, InformationSuperHighway scrolling to be had).

Truly, my mantra for 2013 should be perfect = enemy of good.

Moar stuff, less agonising about the perfect square photograph.

project 1: 2013 (film)

Don absolutely loves films and seeing them in the cinema, while I am somewhat ambivalent (love them! loathe them! no in-between!) and I am conflicted about the cinema experience: adore small theatres / would rather cut out my eyes than sit in a multiplex.

This has resulted in us vary rarely going to the movies. This makes some of us Very Sad.

The Sadness compelled us to compile a list of the movies we have ventured out to watch in the 6 years of our relationship, which has been affixed to our refrigerator.

  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Black Dahlia
  • The Departed
  • Transformers
  • Casino Royale
  • The September Issue
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Catfish
  • Arbitrage
All of which (sans two) were all quite excellent. I will leave the sans as an exercise for the reader.

Today, at Don’s request, we had a movie date and saw skyfall – which I completely and utterly LOATHED (don’t even get me started).

But, despite the loathing, it made me realise that we’re now 10 or 30 minutes walk from two excellent independent cinemas. And we should take advantage of this.

So, I’ve bought Donaldo a year’s membership to both cinemas (cheap tix!) and we’ve agreed that we should attend two films a month – no matter how potentially ghastly.

At the very least should be bondly!

this time for sure

A little over four weeks since surgery and I am feeling a good deal more human!

I still tire very easily and, as with the previous surgery, I feel that it will probably be well into the new year before I am bounding about with unbridled energy.

In rather exciting news, I have lost 5kg by sheer indolence and snacks, and, even more excitingly, I can now fit into garments I’ve not been able to wear for a year (and when I say not wear, I mean not be able to get pants above my knees).

This weightloss is rather gratifying because it supports my argument that the damn mirena was making me fat. Hopefully actual exercise (when the eventual bounding occurs) will continue the un-fattening. I am very much longing to run and get my yoga on again.


Visited Serge on Friday and he gave me the all clear (“yes, all signs indicate you had an infection”). This means that unfortunately tomorrow sees me back at the SaltMinesLimited.

Le sigh.

All this time off and general unwellness leads, of course, to introspection. Why am I spending so much time / life / energy at SML? What is the point of involving myself in the endless gossip / intrigue / machinations? What am I doing with my life? Shouldn’t I be working to live? &etc, rinse, repeat.

And so, Gosh-darn-it, I am going to try to claw some of my life back.

There is no need to spend 10-11 hours in the office each day. I have minions, if there is work to be done, I need to delegate more (especially to Vern-Percy, terribly-highly-paid, smh-reader-extraordinaire). Also, there are kitties that cannot be patted and played with and loved if I am selling my soul to The Man. And craft, and projects and blogging and friends – whatever happened to those while I was in thrall to TheMan?

I vow to leave before 5pm every day for the remainder of the year and I will only check werk phone once when I arrive home.

Yes, yes, I know that you have heard it all before. We will see how long it lasts.

growing family

I’ve taken my mission to become a crazy cat lady to the next level.

Yes, we’ve acquired an additional kitty!

Kitty(NotHerRealName) has been a fabulous companion while I have been recovering, though of course not allowing me to pat her (as I have said before, she is the Joan of kitties – gorgeous, aloof and everything on her own terms).

Kitty(NotHerRealName): Oh yes! she’s the loveliest kitty! she’s the best kitty!

We thought she’d be lonely when I returned to SML so we were searching for a companion for Kitty(NotHerRealName) of a similar age. We’d always planned on two kitties and felt like we were finally in the kitty-owning groove.

Our first port of call the weekend before last was the excellent The Cat Protection Society who, while having many, many wonderful kitties, did not have one we thought would be a good fit.

I then searched on Gumtree and found a rescue group who had an older kitten we really rather liked the look of. I exchanged a couple of emails with the group co-ordinator expressing my interest, she then sent me a FIVE page application form, which I duly completed and waited to hear from her regarding the necessary property inspection (all this before we could even meet the kitty) … and waited … and waited … and waited … and waited for any sort of response / acknowledgement.

We were passing the Cat Protection Society again on Saturday and all impromtu-like decided to visit, whereupon we found …


At 2.5 NewKitty is a little older than we had planned, but we could not resist her! She is so affectionate and friendly and loves pats and brushing and belly-rubs. So, you might say, the antithesis of Kitty(NHRN), but of course not so crazy-aborable (yet). She had a very stupid name, so we’ve re-named her after that other inner west suburb with the excellent music venue of the same name (and the diminutives of each are quite nicely matchy).

She’s currently living in the laundry and the two katze have yet to meet. We are taking this Very slowly. Because she is so friendly and chilled, we’d assumed that NewKitty would be completely at ease in ThePalace(OfLove), but she completely freaked out at the space and stairs and the noise of the passing traffic, so we’re Very slowly acclimating her to the rest of the house. I hope she’ll be freely roaming in a month or so.

Yay for kitties!