in the pink

There have to be more flattering angles but the Pink's the Thing

There have to be more flattering angles but the Pink’s the Thing

Today was a work day and I had to head out the door at about the same hour as usual although my destination was in an entirely different direction from usual. I wasn’t in my usual office attire, either: I was wearing as much pink – my team’s colour – as I could find (the cardigan was a late addition because the aircon was ridiculously cold). You might ask why such weirdness? Today we had a whole-of-organisation day where we played silly Corporate Games, discovered who amongst us were the truly competitive and generally laughed a lot. It’s been a tough year for many not-for-profit organisations and ours has been no exception, so this lightheartedness was an attempt at amelioration. I think it worked splendidly.

As well as discovering the cut-throat competitors, there were a few surprises, including a couple from the Pink Team. Two of our number proved to have a steady hand and excellent hand-eye coordination so that their combined score ensured we came second in the nut-piling competition. And I trounced the opposition with my rubber-band-flicking skills. In the government office where I worked way back in my youth, we held ferocious competitions at morning teatimes doing that very thing (no need to start on the psychoanalysis; we could have told you even then why we were doing it). I admit modestly that I got pretty good at it. I haven’t had such fun in years and I’ve got my boss running scared :)

Tomorrow, of course, it’s back to work but we’ve had a thoroughly good time away from the office. At this time of year in particular, wouldn’t you reckon that’s one of the best ways of staying in the pink ;-)

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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Food, Musing


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adding things to roses

One day it’s only halfway through November, the next we’re nearly a third of the way through the Advent calendar. I put the tree up last weekend and it will do. I hung our rosy wreath on the outside door this year but decided that it needed something else. So I knitted a little Father Christmas using the pattern found here – eclectic – and hung him in the middle. It sort of works. Dr B says, and I agree, that he needs to be in a different plane but no matter. He’s there.

But any crafty stuff of real helpfulness? No, that hasn’t happened. I managed to break a needle on my sewing machine yesterday afternoon when I was doing a rescue job on Dr B’s favourite jeans. I couldn’t even muster the energy to swear about it! There’s a big part of the problem right there: exhaustion. It happens every year but we’ve had a busier than usual year this time and I congratulate myself daily for just putting one foot in front of another in order to get things done.

Do you have that experience, too? There are days I think the Clauses have it easy: a whole year to dedicate to nothing but Christmas! On the other hand, I truly don’t want my life taken over by dedicating it to preparation for one single day. You miss out on too many other things if you do that. On the other, other hand, it would make this time of year less difficult and perhaps less busy (if you’re anything like me, you find you have something extra-curricular happening nearly every day for most of December) so that we could actually enjoy ourselves more. There’s no simple answer, I know.

However your year has been progressing and whether or not your are now looking at the sewing machine with one eye and the clock with the other, all the best for the last few hundred metres of the race.

PS: I know it’s my blog and I can do what I like with it, but I apologise sincerely for the lack of photos and for links that are just URLs. I’m still without a computer and to say I’m typing this with fingers crossed doesn’t come close to describing how disempowering it is to return to using old, unreliable technology. Still, it gives me more time to add things to my roses, so it can’t be all bad. Right? :)

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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


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seasonal stuff

I don’t mean THAT season, or at least, not really, although nature’s colour schemes might lead you to think otherwise.

I just mean the season of flowers and crazy weather and this being the sort of thing I see on my way home through the park (an example of nature’s colour scheme echoing the human overlay, you might think).

Red-flowering gum

Red-flowering gum

I mean, too, how fantastic it was that yesterday we could be sitting outside eating gelati at 8.30 pm and it would be warmish and, whats more, STILL DAYLIGHT! Heck, it’s felt like that’s been a long time coming this year.

I spent the evening in town with Youngest Aunt and Uncle, helping the former to celebrate her birthday and we had a wonderful time. I didn’t even mind having to wait for the bus. And wait a bit longer. And then wait some more because, obviously, the bus that was meant to come wasn’t coming and when one did it was already close to capacity and half the cabin lights weren’t working and it was a fairly quiet and oddly eerie trip home.

But, you know that other season? Some of those who really celebrate it already have their houses lit up like, well, Seasonal Trees, so if it was dark on the bus, it was by then light in a different way outside. And it felt quite appropriate and seasonal.

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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Food



typical cuisine / cucina tipica

During Dr B and YoungB’s jaunt about Italy on their round of rellie-visiting, they posted lots of photos of food, much of it regional specialties. In fact, it became so much a part of the journey that I complained if their daily posting didn’t include at least some food porn. Now that Dr B is back, he’s continued the theme somewhat with a few postings on a recent interstate trip: typical fish and chips (at a seaside town) and typical local wine with local half-lobster (at another seaside town). So I thought I should get into the action, too. Yesterday Dr B brought me breakfast in bed. It doesn’t happen often, but he decided that I was tired (he was right) and needed a treat. What was on offer? Why, what else but cucina tipica?

Otherwise known as scrambled eggs on incinerated bread!

Otherwise known as scrambled eggs on incinerated bread!


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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Food, Travel


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positively something or other

Monday mornings are usually fairly hard work, I admit. You’d think the weekend would have provided R and R and it generally provides at least a modicum of both of those. Sometimes the weekend has been busy yet there seems remarkably little to show for any of the busyness. So there I was on the bus one recent Monday morning, trying to cheer myself into a frame of mind that wouldn’t have me shedding tears if my computer looked at me sideways. I admired the last of the bottlebrush blossoms and all the greenness of the Botanic Gardens, admired the contrast between the architecture of the Wine Center and its neighbouring buildings and delighted in the splash of colour provided by a bougainvillea overhanging the top balcony of the Botanic Hotel.

I still wasn’t too sure about the sideways glances and how I might react to them, but I’d talked myself into a more cheerful frame of mind by the time I reached the office. And that’s where the truly positive bit happened: I was able to provide lots of helpful advice to a workmate whose son is a beginning rower. In a very strange twist of fate, there are three other rowing mums at work. Much as rowing is often seen as the domain of private schools, our kids all attended or, in her case, are attending, state schools. What’s more, we cover all three such institutions (and not to brag, it’s fitting that YoungB’s school has two representatives since it’s the one with the longest-running program). So that’s positively amazing all on its own.

Equally positively amazing is that we are now into November and Father Christmas is today making his annual journey to the Magic Cave where he’ll ensconce himself till Christmas Eve. In Bologna, YoungB is doing mid-semester exams whereas here the Wayville Showgrounds are hosting end-of-year deciders for his home university.

I must apologise for providing a sparse post with neither photos nor links, but we are presently computerless and this is being typed on a very old and correspondingly unreliable iPad. Fnigres corsesd that this works at all! And avagooday wherever you are, because that would be positively something, wouldn’t it?

Edited to add: I have no idea why that date is 20 October. I posted this on Saturday, 8 November 2014, the day of the Christmas Pageant. Perhaps my ancient iPad is so stuck in the past it couldn’t make the leap!!

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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Musing, Rowing


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jollity all round

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you get to bring the balloons home with you!

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to bring the balloons home with you!

I like this warmer weather we’re having. When I left the house yesterday evening on my way to a party, I merely pulled a light jacket over my dress (coincidentally, a purple dress that almost matched the evening’s balloons). No 57 layers. No extra scarves. No scarves at all, in fact. It might not yet be summer but we’re definitely heading in that direction and I cannot be grateful enough.

“Party?” you ask, refusing to be distracted by flippant references to garb, seasonal or otherwise. Yes, there was a 70th birthday in the family, which seemed like a good excuse to celebrate; so celebrate we did, with loved ones from far and near. I am not the official family photographer but, because I have a habit of taking lots of photos at every family occasion I attend, it often feels that way. I was happy to have my good camera working well last night. We even managed to get a group photo that included most of the attendees (one of our very young guests had gone home with her parents but her even younger cousin was still just about awake).

The party was held in what was at one time the dining room of the Cumberland Arms Hotel. The cousin celebrating her birthday spent some years of her childhood there with an aunt and uncle, who was then the licensee. Its locale has meant it was never one of the city’s more salubrious pubs and nowadays its clientele is often described by our younger fry as “feral”. When YoungB was playing chess for his high school, we sometimes had a meal there prior to the matches, or at least a bowl of wedges; and very nice they were, too. Early in the evening, it’s as unobjectionable as anywhere else and its proximity to my then work and the chess venue made it the obvious choice for us (you know, I could walk there after work, it didn’t have funny opening hours, nor was it likely to shut while we were trying to have a bite to eat like some of the cafes in the area).

So, as you’ll gather, there were several levels of family connection that worked well to make us all have an enjoyable evening, though the Birthday Girl was the one with the most uproarious tales and it’s undoubtedly right that that should have been the case. Middle and Youngest Niece didn’t join us for dinner but came in to say hello later on. Feral or not, they were there with friends and enjoying themselves on a Saturday evening, prior to moving on to another favoured night spot. Makes sense to me. But I got to keep one lot of balloons, so I reckon I had the best time of all. :)


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keeping the cheer going

 Odd enough to be cheerful

Odd enough to be cheerful

Some weeks are just less easy than others and some of those less-easy weeks are like that for everyone within cooee. It must be the phase of the moon or something. Today my workplace cheered things up by getting into the swing of Odd Socks Day. Our CEO wore the most wonderfully odd socks which were photographed at our celebratory morning tea, along with everyone else’s. The “guess how many jellybeans in this jar” competition is still running – our numbers are lower on Fridays and we thought everyone should have a chance to win – so it’s my thinking that we ought to be able to keep wearing odd socks for the same amount of time. Or do you think that would be just too odd?

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Musing


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