Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Friday: Early Knock-off

At Hayden's work, the official Friday afternoon knock-off time is 2pm. It's always been 2pm. That sounds pretty good, doesn't it?  But I don't know why, maybe he's just inefficient, but in all the time he's worked there Hayden has only managed to come home early on three Friday afternoons.  That would be the last three Friday afternoons.
Just recently his workload has become more manageable, so we have instigated the most delightful Friday afternoon practice:  no, not beers on the balcony (wait, why not beers on the balcony??) but an extremely delicious and civilised coffee together to kick off the weekend.

I can't wait.

Three Cheers

Three cheers for Hayden, who fixed our washing machine single-handedly last night.  I was not looking forward to any of the alternatives:
  • paying someone $80 to come and take a look at it, then paying $25 for each fifteen minutes they subsequently ummed and ahhhed.
  • trying to lift the thing into the back of our car to take it to be repaired, or
  • attending Thursday Night Shopping tonight to look for a replacement
Living without a washing machine was not one of our options.  After only three days it was becoming uncomfortable, and a little bit smelly.  I would not like to continue that way.

Thank you once again, wonderful husband.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Love Friday: Clean and Fresh

Today I am preparing for the oncoming summer:  I have cleaned out our fridge, removing all these mystery bottles and jars of things out of date.  Sadly included are some delicious beers, including our favourite, Little Creatures Bright Ale.  So sad to see it go.    However, I've made stacks of space in there for summer fruits, summer salads and of course bread.  In summer in Townsville, it just doesn't last if you leave it on the kitchen bench.
I've also been to my first aqua-aerobics class.  It's my third summer returning. I don't know if I'll be quite so dedicated this year - last year I went every chance I got after I bought that wedding dress off the rack that fitted me so perfectly.  Make a note: aqua-aerobics is the exercise to do when you want to stay exactly the same size and shape.  After class I always feel wonderful; my skin warm and refreshed from the sun and the water, my muscles aching pleasantly like they do when they've been used.

Thanks so much BigCat for hosting Love Fridays.


PS:  After I cleaned out the fridge, I cleaned out the pantry.  I found a couple of items in it that were out of date in October 2005.  That was before we came to Townsville!  We transported things all the way from Melbourne that were already out of date.  And then we stored them in our kitchen for three years. Hm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Warm Up

It's really warming up here.  Every October it's like someone turns on a massive oven with its door open facing Townsville.  During October and November you can feel this oven heating up daily, and by January-February we're really being roasted.

I have been staying cool indoors during the day, sewing.  Not more patchwork, and not clothes (don't get excited Katherine), but I've been making cushion covers and a few little crafty things that are likely to turn up in some peoples' Christmas stockings.  Family, you have been warned.

Lily is my constant companion when sewing.  She likes to rest on any fabric I've laid out for cutting and she loves to investigate the sewing machine - especially when it's going.  But best of all she loves to pull out pins.  She gets as many pin-heads as she can in each mouthful, pulls them out with a jerk of her pretty head, and scatters them all over the floor.  I don't mind so much when they come out of the pin-cushion, but when she pulls them out of the fabric I've carefully pinned up for sewing ... well it does try my patience.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Power Cut

We had a lovely Sunday.  It was just perfect, really.  We woke up early and got out of the house; we drove to the markets out at Willows.  I've never had such a nice time there - usually it is late in the day by the time we finally make it, but it was so worth going early before the day warmed up.  We were there for some fresh fruit and vegetables (specifically bananas and potatoes) but we also looked at some of the local handicrafts.  We even picked up a fridge magnet made out of a beer bottle top with a tiny picture of an Australian landscape painted on the inside.  Strange impulse purchase perhaps ... but it was only $5 and the guy was chuffed to make a sale.

When we got home, we made smoothies from the bananas and played a long game of scrabble.  We don't impose a time limit, we just have music or telly playing softly in the background so that when it's not your turn there's always something to do.  After about an hour and a half our scores were tied at 316.  Hayden got all his letters down first, but I had cornered most of the triple word scores, so that's how we came out even.  We went down to our local coffee place to celebrate the game, and stayed there sipping drinks and reading the papers until the owner kicked us out.  He wanted to get home to watch the football.

Back at home, Hayden tinkered with his bicycles while I prepared the potatoes and put them in the oven.  When they were ready, we spent about two hours covering the kitchen with flour and gluggy mess while we made a huge batch of gnocci - some for our dinner, and some to freeze for later.  

After dinner, the power went out.  We don't know why, but it was black all over our neighbourhood.

It was such a relaxing end to a perfectly relaxing day.  There was sudden silence - no hum from next door's aircon or the pool filter just outside our bedroom window.  No overheard TV or other peoples' music.  Just us, sitting in candlelight with a pack of playing cards, relaxing and talking in the gloom.  Showering and teethbrushing by candlelight reminded me of camping, and I was just lying in bed, feeling so peaceful and for once I loved not reading myself into sleepiness - it came all by itself.

I just wanted to remember it.

100 to do list

Something Marny said recently got me thinking about those Myers Briggs personality types again.  You know, the ones where they classify your personality by giving you four letters:  I or E; S or N; F or T; P or J. 
Do you know what type you are? If you're an N you probably know exactly what I'm talking about, but if you're an S you probably can't see the point in this nonsense.  I'm one of those types with a J at the end, which means that I'm into making lists.

I have been working on this 100 things to do before I die list for ages now (eh ... years in fact.  That's why some items have already been crossed off) but I'm still only up to number 33. 

But I do find that every crossed-off list item generates ideas for more new things to do.  And though I know you're meant to introduce false panic into this exercise by imagining that you've been given only months to live, I prefer to assume that I've got a bit of time ahead of me.  I suppose mine's more like 100 things to do if I live.

1.  Travel outside of Australia 
2. Contribute to a published book.  It doesn't matter in what capacity - writer, editor, helper, contributor
3.  Work on a remote site 
4.  Work as a writer
5.  Raise at least one child
6.  Design a large garden and watch it grow
7.  Write a childrens' book - either a story or non-fiction
8.  Get back into music one way or another
9.  Help out in the community in a creative capacity
10. Live in a country in which English is not the first language
11. Grow a large crop of something - fruit in an orchard?  a commercial quantity of herbs? - to harvest and sell
12.  Own a house and 'customise' it a bit
13.  Study garden design or landscape design
14.  Design a garden for someone else - one that I think is beautiful and they're really happy with too
15.  Learn another language to the point where I can have a conversation
16.  Sew some curtains specifically for the place where we're living - especially if it is another rented property
17.  Set foot on Africa
18.  Do something about my fascination with middle-eastern tiles
19.  Get more of my creative thoughts out of my head and into the world
20. Set foot in the US
21.  Write a novel
22.  Publish a novel
23.  Get our photos off the computer and onto our walls, into books and albums, onto archive storage.
24.  Work somewhere where English isn't the first language
25.  Visit India
26.  Visit Morocco
27.  Make a picture book out of fabric - make one for children, and then think about making one for grown-ups?
28.  Make a set of cut-out felt animals, and a felt storyboard for them to cling to
29.  Make a home movie
30.  Drive from Townsville to Brisbane with Hayden
31.  Make myself a mousepad that works
32.  Go on safari in Africa
33.  Poetry.  Write some poetry.

I have already started on number 28.  I made a cut-out giraffe from brown felt, and it lead me to add numbers 17, 32 and 27 to the list.  You see how this works?

Let me know if you do up a list of your own; I'd love to hear what you imagine for your future.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Love Friday

Got migraine today.  Not loving it.