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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

 

grumbling grumpily

Have you seen that Grumpy Cat about on the web? (I haven’t linked to any of the pages; but I’m sure you could google it for yourself if you haven’t yet encountered the fabulous feline.) In any case, that was pretty much how I felt yesterday as I battled my trans-seasonal cold and tried not to cough and splutter like a car that’s running on too few cylinders.

I wrote several posts but they all sounded as grumpy and unreasonable as I felt. You don’t need that! I wasn’t sure that I needed it either, to be truthful, so I put myself to bed early. In an effort to restore my usual ebullience, I’m intending to repeat that plan tonight with the addition of fishing out a piece of easy knitting to keep me occupied while I read the electronic news in bed. Do you reckon that will make my grumpy grumbling diminish?

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Health, Knitting, Musing

 

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action photography

Netball action with percentage of rearguard action

Netball action with percentage of rearguard action

I reckon I’ve learnt how to take fairly good rowing photos by now. But netball? That’s a very different proposition. Eldest Niece and Youngest Niece were playing in their local association’s grand finals last weekend, so I made a day trip of it and went to cheer them. Of course I took my camera. I’m not sufficiently good at mathematical calculations to be able to tell you if netballers run faster than rowers row – that would depend on many factors – but I can tell you that their constantly changing direction of activity makes for tricky photographic work. The plane of movement is different. You often don’t see the ball but – again, if you were good with the maths – you could calculate where it is or where it’s been. There’s also the question of where you stand relative to the action.

You might think I have a pornographic penchant for photographing backsides, because that’s something you do quite a lot when you’re photographing rowers (if one crew is facing the right way, another is not, whether they’re actually rowing or merely carrying boats). Netballers are no different, because that’s the sort of game it is. Like hockey or soccer, half of one team is literally positioned in opposition to half of the other team at any one time.You know, I took hundreds of photos and I’m not really happy with any of them but I managed to capture some good action shots of the Nieces. That made it a worthwhile exercise. And the Niece who requested photos with no bums? Not likely! I did, however, try to make most of those belong to opposition players. :)

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Photography, Rowing

 

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please don’t think this is retaliatory

Coffee and cakes

Coffee and cakes

It’s the least I could do, don’t you think, just make sure to get my piece of the culinary action? The Aunts and I did precisely that on Sunday afternoon and it was most enjoyable. Youngest Aunt and I plan to have a second round next Saturday. You know that old saying about cats being away and mice playing? I think that’s probably apt, don’t you?

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Food

 

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but wait, there’s more

Plainly, I should be more careful what I ask for. There’s been a deluge of photos of what I can only describe as food porn: shopfront cabinets of delicious looking Italian sweets, bulging plates of pasta, local dishes – I wrote delicacies but that might not be the best descriptor here – that look like enough to feed an entire football team that are actually only for one and only one of several courses. Yes, in the north one eats more heartily.

And me? Well, I’m enjoying hearing all the news and loving the photos but I’m thoroughly worn out by the hours I’m keeping. Because of the time difference, we’ve found that the best time to chat online is my middle of the night/very early morning. I tell you, when wandering through a local fabric store doesn’t have me salivating and I can’t even raise enough enthusiasm to fondle any of the delicious yarn presently at end-of-season-sale prices, then things are dire.

However, I did have a happy discovery today. I’d lost one of my crocheted cowls. It wasn’t stored in any of the containers under the bed or anywhere in my bit of the wardrobe and I could not think what I’d done with it. Quite by accident, I discovered it today in a bag where DrB had put a lot of things that he’s not quite game to throw out but thinks he probably won’t use again. I have no idea how it came to be there but I promptly rescued it from possible disaster, threw it in the wash and am looking forward to getting a some wear from it these still-cool mornings when you don’t really need a long, thick scarf but you want something more than a small, silky one.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Crochet, Food, Travel

 

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as you do

feedthemanmeat

He said it’s a 1.2 Kg bistecca alla fiorentina. He also said he didn’t eat it all by himself.

I asked YoungB if he’d please post more photos so I’d have something to show Nonna. That was his response. Nonna will love it – she has a good sense of humour – but it wasn’t entirely what I had in mind!

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Food

 

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