i’d like to avoid repeating this for a while

I really don’t much care for advising anyone that we’ve restructured them out of the organisation. Alas this was my primary task today. The victim of the discussion was the equivalent of my 2IC and PA, and my daily coffee buddy for almost two years.

Fortunately he took the news pretty well – though didn’t see it coming. Also fortunately, he’ll have absolutely no issues finding a new (higher-paying) gig quite quickly.

I’m glad that is behind me – such an unpleasant and stressful task which weighs heavily on everyone.

While walking to grab the car from Don this afternoon I was forced from the sidewalk onto a flower-lined path:

Unexpected and really very nice.

(ZOMG – I wrote sidewalk rather than footpath – my americanisation continues, or rather americanization?)


Good thing today: unexpected floral borders

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tiny delights*

Hearts on coffee

This one from the grounds – celebratory brunch just after the all clear from the breast screen callback earlier this month.


* possibly first in an intermittent series


And oops – completely forgot I was trying to do this … Good thing today: delighted in reading the clever guts diet – who knew innards were so extremely interesting?

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and more sitting quietly

taiwanese pineapple kitty cake (gift from joan)

All up pretty decent on the actions list for today.

As yesterday, I don’t know why I’m avoiding coming up with not-resolutions | annual projects – usually I adore this activity! It’s only just occurred to me that my current mental state is really less than ideal – so there’s that. I know the cure for this is cardio (or indeed any exercise that is not walking**) – must get on that from tomorrow. And more self care – possibly along the lines of not beating myself up when I can’t write a damn list.

One of the most successful actions was the not thinking about SML – there’s quite a bit going on there, so good to have it out of my head for a bit.


** I generally walk a couple of kms a day – doesn’t do much at all on the mood elevation front.

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there should be more of this

fight against capitalism | for a world without money or masters

I’m not entirely sure where the weekend has gone (mostly tidying/pottering and a couple of small projects), but thankfully I have one more day before I return to SML!

Things I will absolutely do tomorrow:
+ write up the February 2017 food list. I’m aiming for one month a day, much less daunting than trying to do the whole year at once (or two years – given that I haven’t posted 2016 either)
+ decide on photo enlargements for our “office” and organise printing
+ clean worm farm – sadly all worms didn’t make it even half-way through summer, so I’m disassembling and returning to the faux compost bin
+ write up my 2018 not-resolutions / projects (normally I love doing this – no idea why I’m avoiding)
+ sit quietly and embroider
+ avoid thinking of that axe I must wield this week


For the longest time I’ve been writing my daily post (except for the really lengthy ones) on the ipad in bed. In an effort to try to not shove a giant blue light in my face before sleep, I’ve returned to my desk. I must say this feels super-weird, but definitely has more of the old school blogging feel about it.

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reading 2018: january


In late December I downloaded a whole bunch (maybe 20-25?) of sample chapters. I’ve changed my book selection approach a little and am just picking random books in the middle of a series rather than at the start – mostly because some can take a while to hit their stride, and really some of my favourites have been the ones not started at #1. We’ll see how that goes.

One thing that has definitely been reinforced is to not base purchases solely on 4.5-5 star amazon reviews! So much that is, well it’s probably an exaggeration to say unspeakably awful, but shall we say close to it?

On with the books:

Sara Rosett: Murder on Location Boxed Set Books 1-3
This is quite possibly the most niche themed murders I’ve ever read – Jane Austen movie/documentary location scout. This was the first of my samples and the sample was so long that it pretty much gave me the entire first book. This was a quite clever strategy as I bought it to see what happened (even though I wasn’t terribly invested).
Trust me when I say you don’t want to read these – they’re not horrible, but just kind of ham-fisted and “meh”.


Ann Cleeves: Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope #6)
Switched to the book because the audiobook narrator (see below) was just dreadful (reviews were correct on that score).
I adore Vera – but these are definitely books to be listened to.


Beau Donelly,‎ Nick Toscano: The Woman Who Fooled The World: Belle Gibson’s cancer con, and the darkness at the heart of the wellness industry
This is very good. You should read it. Really.


Rangan Chatterjee: The 4 Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life
I don’t know where I first saw this, but you know that I’m helpless in the face of self-improvement books.
I quite liked this and it is full of eminently sensible and achievable advice – like get your face out of devices 90 minutes before bed, spend 20 minutes outside, do daily glutes exercises, eat vegatables. Though I really can’t understand the need for soulful photos of Dr Chatterjee every couple of pages which don’t really add anything to anything.
Worth a look.


Faith Martin: The Work of a Narrow Mind
Dropped in at #6 in a series. Thought the characters played into pretty much every stereotype going and were quite poorly drawn.
This cost $1.39. I should know better. And I really need to stop paying any attention to 5 star reviews.



After bewailing in December that I had way too many credits, I really ramped up the audiobook listening in January. Mostly because they’re excellent accompaniments to housework, embroidery and balcony painting (and walking to work, and sitting about). I find that listening to a book really makes me slow down and absorb – I have an unpleasant tendency to race through written books. I also took the approach I did with reading – and just jumped into the middle.

Ann Cleeves: Murder in Paradise (Palmer-Jones #3)
Didn’t care for this very much and so returned it for refund. I’m surprised that I went on to listen to more Ann Cleeves (below) – but the audible reviews (not so misleading as amazon ones!) persuaded me, as did an interview with the author who admitted her earlier work was not the best.


Ann Cleeves: Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope #3)

Ann Cleeves: Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope #4)

Ann Cleeves: The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope #5)

I really, really adored these – Vera is curmudgeonly, bossy, irascible, heart-of-gold – you know the type. I loved these so much that I could get past #2 on my reading-hates list: inconsistencies between books in a series (but hang-on, you had X, did Y, said Z, in the last book – now it’s A,B,C?).

I moved onto #6 and couldn’t get beyond the 3rd Chapter and moved to the book because the narrator was SO TERRIBLE. Unfortunately the narrator is the same for #8 and #9, so I think I’m stuck here.


Frances Brody: Death of an Avid Reader

Frances Brody: Murder in the Afternoon

Set post-WW1, pleasant enough in that Maisie Dobbs way – but so choc-full of anachronisms that I could not continue any longer (but it wasn’t called that then, but that wasn’t invented yet, but you wouldn’t use that terminology). Infuriating – yes, I’m super-fun at parties.


Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham #1-3

Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham #4-6

Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham #7-9

Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham #10-12

Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham #13-15

I don’t know how Cherringham passed me by! These were novellas released monthly – set in cutesy Cotswold village. Neil Dungeon’s American accent is hilariously appalling – but these are well, completely charming and totally cosy (and quite inexpensive).

And there’s enough here to keep me going for a good while longer!

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Don and I were grabbing some shallots|spring onions|sybies yesterday after work when we passed the pet store and saw 3 beautiful rescue kitties in the window.

Naturally we went inside for a closer look – they were just under a year old, all black and white – two lively short haired females and more sedate male medium hair who looked just like NewKitty.

newkitty up in my business

We watched their delightful antics for a while and contemplated adding another kitty to ThePalace(OfLove), but Don pointed out that it would be a shame to separate them, so we’d really need all three. So then we contemplated getting three more kitties. I mean, the house is probably big enough for five cats …

And we pondered and pondered (they were just totes adorbs!) all last night.

And then this morning at 6am I was woken by an apparently starving BabyKitty rather viciously attacking my feet – with her teeth.

foot biter

Yeah, we probably don’t need more cats right now.

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pledge no allegiance to your terrorist settler regime | resist revive decolonise

I really do adore my growing collection of anarchist posters.

I snapped this in early January and wasn’t particularly saving it for this occasion, but it is quite appropriate as it’s Australia Day tomorrow. Or if you’re one of our indigenous brothers and sisters, Invasion Day. There’s a growing movement toward changing the national day to a date a little less steeped in, well, dispossession of land, oppression, genocide – and this is no bad thing.

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perhaps if you didn’t suck quite so hard?

sunset from the upper balcony – yesterday

Public holiday on Friday, so I’m taking Monday off and giving myself an extra long weekend.

I’m gearing up for one of those Very Difficult managerial conversations next week, which I fear will not be received entirely well. I definitely need to ensure all is prepared tomorrow so I don’t brood for the duration of my four day break – the brooding mostly involving castigating myself for not being a better manageress and that it has come to this.

Other plans involve rest, balcony painting, audiobooks, two tiny runs, maybe a bit of embroidery, maybe a walk, a bit of blogging, maybe even MY 2018 not-resolutions (I still can’t quite believe that January is almost over).

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completely preposterous blog post titles seen on the information superhighway (9th in a series)

This Natural Toothpaste Comes In Charcoal And Coconut Flavors.

Mmmmmmm … charcoal flavour.

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flexing the willpower muscles

It’s 21 days since I gave up chocolate and I keep encountering temptations like this all over the place.

This one was taunting me while I was waiting in the checkout queue at the fruit and veg shop. As an aside, now that I think of it, both the fruit & veg shops (which have different owners) I frequent have giant Ritter displays, I wonder what that’s about.

So far I’m not missing chocolate too much though there have been a couple of times when I’ve been a little stressed when I could have happily gobbled up a family sized Cadbury block. The physical response to seeing blocks of chocolate is still there, but I’m happily ignoring it and embracing the challenge.

345 days until the year is over. I suspect this will go the way of alcohol – one of those things my life is infinitely better without!

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