do not want

sydney’s incredibly well maintained roads: goulburn st – city

Trying to shake off an incipient cold – feeling rather like the picture above.


Best thing today: codrals

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send snow

yesterday afternoon’s view from the upper balcony

The rather extreme weather today put paid to some of my grand plans and we mostly bunkered down surrounded by fans in the air-conditioned lounge room.

upper balcony @ 3:00pm = 47.8oC – that’s 118oF for the imperialists

Despite the heat Don was All Action, got started early and smoked bacon and pulled pork in harky-the-smoker**. Then he made sausage ragu on the stove-top – thinking that we’d have the air-conditioning on anyway, so the heat of cooking would make little difference to our comfort level. We should be set for meals for a bit.

I actually did complete most of the tasks I set myself for the weekend – save for the embroidering and mending.

Oh, and I only painted two of the four walls of the balcony before running out of paint. We replenished the supply, but by then it was far too hot to continue. I painted between 8am and 11am yesterday, was in the shade and ended up with a sunburned back (maybe should paint wearing more than a sports bra and shorts). Probably not quite the time of year for it, but who knows how long I’ll maintain the motivation?

Oh, and I did not complete those lists – not sure why I’m avoiding them. Nor the blog admin. So maybe not quite *most* of the things.

One of my 60before60 items is to grow my hair and I’ve been having very minimal haircuts for the last few months while it slowly gets longer (currently is at the top of my ears – the starting point was quite short). I’m not entirely sure I’m keen to persist with this, having tons of hair makes the hot weather even more unpleasant!

It’s supposed to be a more (barely) tolerable 33oC tomorrow – seems just a bit too hot for cycling home, but I’ll see whether I’m feeling sufficiently insane to take the chance in the morning.

** the bacon had been curing for over a week and it was today or never – despite the ridiculous heat.


Best thing today: air-conditioning!

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2018 not-resolutions: bessie

Hey, hey – for the 8th year running, it’s time for the family not-resolutions!

Each January I persuade everyone to give me a list of five items they’d like to achieve in the coming year – no pressure to complete them, but a good indication of where everyone’s head is at. And fun to look back on now that we have lots of data.

First up, Bessie with a review of the 2017 items:

1. Reach next savings goal
NOT ACHIEVED – after doing 2 internships, resulting in only working 2 days a week, it was extremely hard to save.

2. Finish my Uni degree
93.75% ACHIEVED – I still have to finish 2 classes during the summer – I will be done on the 25th of January.

3. Plan a big holiday
NOT ACHIEVED – we had planned to go away this time of the year but because I couldn’t save and we didn’t know when Hansel (boyfriend) could get leave, it didn’t happen.

4. Have another successful year with CPAC youth
ACHIEVED – a very successful year with very successful events, also interned at the gallery for one of their major events.

5. Complete a Rubik’s cube
NOT ACHIEVED – the reason I added this was there was Rubik’s cube on my desk at work and I was determined to finish it. Once I moved desks I lost motivation.

And for 2018:

1. Get a “real” job
Now that I have finished my degree I would like to get a job in my field

2. Go overseas in 2019
Carried forward from last year

3. Learn to drive
In June Hansel will get his full license, making it much easier and cheaper for me to learn

4. Move out of home
[my baby!]

5. Get my website up and running
I started working on this last year but after I finish my 2 remaining uni classes I will have much more time to focus on it


Bessie’s previous not-resolutions:

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tonight from the upper balcony

This weekend I would like to:
+ take a tiny run
+ take down the Xmas decorations
+ complete second coat of paint the upper balcony
+ embroider
+ mend (Bessie shorts, our sheet)
+ source a replacement laptop battery
+ stockpile a couple of blog posts
+ complete those lists (60before60, 2018 not-resolutions) I keep procrastinating on
+ do a little blog admin (year of dinners, dramatis personae &etc)
+ edit a couple of photos

That should probably be enough to be going on with.


Best thing today: listening to snatches of this brilliant audiobook

(Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope novels are new to me – and I can’t even begin to describe how much I’m adoring them)

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tonight from the upper balcony

I didn’t cycle to work today and I did do that very, very tiny run this morning, so I was quite pleased that I stuck to the plan and showed restraint.

While it is not a resolution (or even a not-resolution) I’m trying to take a more sensible, measured approach to my undertakings and not throw myself at everything like I have something to prove. I feel like this could possibly result in more positive outcomes and less injury, less stress and less comparison to others (where I inevitably come out unfavourably).

What this means in practice is that I won’t ride in every day (I’ll aim for 3 days), I’ll take my time with increasing the running distance and I won’t measure myself (my pace, my distance). I definitely think quitting the garmin and the sports-tracker was one of the better things I did for my mental health in 2017 – my use was definitely venturing into obsessive territory!

So – calm the hell down and take things at a relaxed pace – actually that could probably be a resolution.


(For the next little bit I’m going to try adding something positive and cheerful from the day to the end of my posts – we’ll see how that goes!)

Best thing today: lunch date with Don

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saddle: back in it

I decided to cycle in to SML for the first day back yesterday, mostly because I’m really feeling the lack of exercise!

I knew it had been a while since I’d been on the bike but was astonished when I calculated that it was around 8 weeks! I guess this is what happens when you aren’t consciously making things a priority – life just passes you by (cue angst).

But forced myself out and did it (with the help of a coin toss)! And I did it again today!

I won’t say it wasn’t challenging, because it totally was. I wasn’t entirely back to square one, but I’ve lost a bit of fitness and hills were quite a lot harder than they were. Fortunately I’ve retained confidence and lack-of-wobbliness (which would likely have vanished if I’d left it much longer).

I’m quite knackered from all this effort (and sore in loads of places) so am declaring a rest day tomorrow – I’ll take a very gentle 1km run|walk instead. Yes, you read that 1km correctly – I really am taking baby steps to get back to regular running.

Then I need to carve out some time to add regular yoga into the mix.

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oh you’d better believe that’s a puzzlin’

For the third year in a row we completed a map of the world puzzle over the Christmas break.

It’s a surprisingly meditative activity and there’s something wonderful (though slightly challenging) about putting so much effort into something so very ephemeral. A good reminder that I don’t need to be All Productive All The Time.

Progress shots:

day two

day three

Apparently I didn’t think day four worthy of documenting?

day five

day six

day seven: fin

I’m sure Don completed more area than me, but I added significant value in areas of arctic, antarctic sea and sky.

The completed puzzle will now sit on the coffee table for an undetermined amount of time, afterwhich it will be returned to the box.

We’re now recovering from puzzler’s back, puzzler’s knee and puzzler’s lung (from the tiny fragments of blue puzzle dust in the box).

Notes for next time:
Put the longer legs back on the coffee table – having it so low is murder on the, well, on just about every part of the body!
Don’t sit on the floor without a pillow or blanket – that sisal rug is a killer.


2016 puzzle | 2015 puzzle

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but little tolerance for nonsense

I’m building up quite a nice collection of photos of the anarchist posters pasted around the ‘hood.


Back to SML tomorrow after a spectacularly relaxing break (seriously one of my fave times of year). When I tried to think of what I had on tomorrow, my brain wouldn’t let me.

I must try to maintain this level of chill for as long as possible and remain calm and cheerful in the face of hysteria.

Part of this will involve getting back on the cycle-to-work train and ensuring I’m well fed (though not too well fed!) and rested. And that I get out at lunch. And maybe I need a mantra (serenity now!) or to do loving kindness meditations loudly at my colleagues (I wish for YOU to be happy!).

We’ll see how it goes.

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last hurrah

One of my 60before60 challenges is to give up chocolate for a year.

After quitting alcohol 412 (!) days ago, chocolate quickly became my stress-reduction substitute. And much like alcohol I can’t just limit myself to a small amount, I must eat All The Chocolate.

So I’m challenging myself to give it a rest and to reduce stress through things like exercise and meditation (and possibly cake of the non-chocolate variety).

I scoffed my last block tonight:

yes, i really did eat all of that

I don’t ordinarily go for 1 January to do this sort of thing (I think you have more success when you pick a random day), but let’s do this!

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and some relaxing

A mere two days until I’m back at SML for Hell Month.

It’s been a pretty great break – a very good mix of sloth, un-achieving and lazing about.

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