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Monthly Archives: June 2022

more dirt

More mounds of dirt and lots more concrete

Being at the office is sometimes a drag and often exhausting, but the view from the window is a nice bonus. I don’t know what’s going to keep the troops occupied once the building is finished. The view to the square will be blocked. There will be no WH&S whoopsies to chuckle about.

Ladders, gents. It’s all about ladders.

May all your ladders be properly supported and your bollards, witches hats and hazard bunting be appropriate and appropriately placed. Can’t have you falling over something you didn’t see ๐Ÿ™‚

 
 

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not that dirt between your toes

They keep pushing the dirt around

ETA 24 June 2022: I’ve only today realised that the tags didn’t work; so this is not really a new post, just a little update. Sorry about that!

Recently, our office provided a course that allowed us to refresh our mental health first aid qualifications. I’m often humbled by quite how personal some of the shared information is, because you’re putting your trust in other people’s good faith. Some might argue that the nature of public service positions means we’re already vetted and considered capable of maintaining confidence. Yeah, that too. But we don’t spill those sorts of beans most of the rest of the time.

The facilitator had a few good ideas for managing our own wellbeing in these still remarkably strange not-quite-post-COVID times. One piece of advice was to reconnect with bare earth and grass, something where you can really wriggle your toes. Pavers don’t count. Ideally, if you can manage it, make it a barefoot walk on the beach. Great idea!

However, given the time of year, my reconnecting with nature is more likely to be going out and hugging my lemon-scented geranium. I do it most days, and the perfume lingers for hours.

And when you need to get up from your desk at work, there’s a well-trodden path to the window from which we can watch the construction. There’d be no joy in wriggling your toes in that dirt. Once the new building is finished and we can put our toes over the threshold of what’s being marketed as a fancy shopping precinct, it will be a good trick to remember just how much concrete and dirt they took away, and how much concrete and dirt they brought back, and how we lined up with our noses and toeses against the window to watch it all. No grass involved.

 

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mature. or maybe not

Not that he wouldn’t, but that the bike couldn’t ๐Ÿ˜‰

YoungB recently admitted to being partly at fault in a near-miss when he was coming home on his motorbike. This surely can’t be the same man who once said, when commended for NOT doing a mono at the traffic lights, not that he wouldn’t do that. Oh, no. He instantly replied that you couldn’t do a mono with the learner-legal bike he was riding because it didn’t have enough torque. Not that he wouldn’t do it. Dear me, no. Most improperly, I laughed.

So, on that recent occasion, I looked carefully at this adult admitting to his own poor behaviour and less than sound judgment. I suddenly understood my Dad once commenting, “You’re nearer 30 than 20 now.” O-kay. I’d come home from night duty and was simply enjoying a morning cuppa with him before I turned in. I could imagine him thinking how it wasn’t so long ago that I was a tiny baby – as indeed I was – and now here I was, this responsible, grown woman with a house, a car, and a couple of cats. Quite the credibility gap. I laughed at that, too.

Happens to most of us. We do it. We grow up. But I still laugh at things I shouldn’t ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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employment-go-round again

I’ll miss watching the progress – and the view ๐Ÿ™‚

YoungB’s contract is at an an end, so he’s on the job-hunt. Again. The thing about our recent elections – both state and federal – is that the change of government (at both levels) means that there are opportunities aplenty in different fields, some of which he might find appealing. He’s had his resume professionally tarted up – I beg your pardon; updated – and it’s impressive.

Me? I’ve officially notified the Powers That Be the date on which I’ll be retiring later this year. Leadership at work seems surprised. I don’t know why! My age is no secret. I’ve clearly been suffering work-related aggravations to existing health problems ever since I started there. I’ve made absolutely no secret of my intentions. Why is it suddenly unexpected, and something they hadn’t foreseen? You know that emoji where you smack yourself? Yeah. That seemed about the right response; but I didn’t.

Someone who appreciates why retirement is a good idea asked me what I’m going to do – apart from all the obvious things like crochet and knit, of course – and I said I might cook. She thought that was a wonderful idea. So did I. I like cooking. I would have to shoo Dr B out of the kitchen – it is his domain, after all – but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me elbowing into his space if it means he has more time to do other things. I would bake, too. It would be gratifying to go back to making bread. That was one of my great pleasures that simply disappeared.

Dodgy back and leg notwithstanding, some routine exercise will also feature large. It’s most likely to be continuing the hydro-pool exercise classes that I presently attend. They’re generally kind in terms of both parts of the physique and, because it’s a therapy pool, the water is always wondrously warm. I would be free to join a book club. Or a gardening club. Or a photography group. Or all of the above!

I could once again suss out options for joining local choirs. This time, when they all respond with some version of, “We rehearse and perform during the day, during the week,” thus putting such delights entirely out of full-time worker contention, it wouldn’t matter. I’d have that availability.

I might by then have reached the top of the waiting list for eye surgery, and, postoperatively, be able to see better than ever – really ever, as I’ve been wearing specs pretty much all my life – and then I might be able to reinvigorate my sewing and make some inroads on all those projects that are presently too difficult. Oh, boy. And people wonder if I’ll have enough to do. Smack-yourself emoji again, I think.

Meanwhile, however, there’s a certain amount of excitement and tension around YoungB’s potential new job. There are choices in fields where he has qualifications and expertise, and there are choices in fields that would suit his outgoing personality. There are jobs with crossover. He’s already sent inquiries and job applications. It’s going to be an interesting few months, watching how everything turns out, but he is likely to have some much-needed downtime before starting in any new position, whatever the field.

During that downtime, I anticipate the mealtime conversation will centre on matters mechanical. I’ll be knitting in my room, if you’re looking for me ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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two significant days

Knitting in public, while enjoying a gin based cocktail

Today has been World Wide Knit in Public Day. Coincidentally this year, today has also been World Gin Day. Two of my favourite things, all rolled into one. Who could ask for more? And who could resist the opportunity to celebrate?

Accordingly, YoungB and I took ourselves off to the local to sample some of their specialist gins, while I sat and knitted on the baby beanie. It’s not a brilliant photo, but it’s me knitting in public on a day allocated to that very pursuit. And that is a slightly sour sloe gin cocktail (gin from Dasher and Fisher, a Tasmanian distillery hitherto unknown to both of us).

There. Done my bit for the world today ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2022 in Health, Knitting

 

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not quite that mistaken

It looked all right on that side ๐Ÿ˜€

I was carefully working on the baby beanie, counting as carefully as I could. It looked okay until I turned it over. Then I saw that, wouldn’t you know it, the mistake rib had more than its proper quota of mistakes. They were well distributed right across the row. It took me a while to repair and I admit to swearing quite profusely over how sticky some of the stitches were. That’s mostly because I’m using small needles. Otherwise, the BWM 4 ply baby yarn is delightful and a treat to use.

I took it to work today, thinking I might do a row or two at lunchtime, but that didn’t happen. Nor did I do any on the homeward bus trip, which was surprisingly crowded. Perhaps it’s a good thing, because I might have made more unintentional mistakes while trying to dodge elbows.

I hope your yarny mistakes are retrievable mishaps and not irretrievable disasters ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2022 in Knitting

 

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not enough fingers

Beautiful colour: BWM Baby Meadow in colour Golden Sands

Dear Mum, here we are again, around the time of what would have been your birthday; and it’s one that uses significantly more fingers than I have. Being June and officially winter, you won’t be surprised to hear that we’re enduring appropriately wintry weather. Yesterday, I dragged out my beanie, my fingerless mitts, and my rowing scarf – of sleeted upon at Ballarat fame – and I was still cold.

YoungB was wearing the grey beanie I made him, and a pair of gloves that I gave him; although I didn’t make them. He still uses his badly repaired (but functional) fingerless mitts for computer work. He said he’d raided his little box of “things to keep you warm”, and a surprising number of them were from me. He doesn’t do quite so many early mornings nowadays, but it’s still a good idea to have a beanie you can grab whenever you need it. It cheers me to see that “no questions asked, this is the best choice on a cold day” attitude. I’m sure you’d understand.

When I was working on the border of the temperature blanket, he said how much he liked the purple colour. I would happily make something for him using that yarn, but there are quite a few other things on my present list, and only so many hours in the day. A purple object might have to wait.

I’ve started knitting a beanie for the latest baby in the family, your first great grandson. He’s a big little boy, and YoungB reminded me to be sure I’m making a bigger size than I think I should be. I am. I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills Baby Meadow, a 4 ply 100% Australian fine merino wool, and it is beautifully soft. The pattern is a 1×1 rib for the first part, then 2×2 in what I learnt as broken rib, but modern stitch dictionaries tell me is mistake rib. Broken rib is different. Well, there you go. Neither is difficult, although you’d undoubtedly agree that both require attention to establish. It’s easy to get it wrong, and then a nightmare to retrieve.

I’m trying to avoid obvious “special design features”, meaning that I’ve already had to do a bit of tinking. Perhaps it’s that usual old complaint: I rarely get a chance to simply sit and knit, my eyes are getting older and my visual acuity lessening, and I will insist on knitting late at night. This colour is at least easy to see.

On the subject of getting old, and things not working as well as they once did, I’m distressed to find that knitting makes my fingers quite sore. A few years ago, I changed to soft-handled crochet hooks. Mine aren’t the really expensive brand, but they are kind to my fingers. Knitting needles by their nature are less “soft-touch” although it may be worth my while to have another try with bamboo needles. I didn’t like them the last time I tried; but if they help, then I’m prepared to learn to like them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m presently using Aero metal knitting needles that I’ve had for adunnamany years. They do the job and, because I’ve looked after them, they’re (mostly) still straight and don’t have any rough sections to snag the stitches; all definite pluses. However, they sometimes make my index fingers stiff and sore, particularly needles at the tinier end of sizing. When I’m ribbing with UK size 12 / 2.75mm needles, I often find myself stretching and flexing my fingers, the way you used to. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I can’t sit and knit for hours. You see? There’s an upside to everything.

As the cold, wet weather is continuing with some dedication, tonight will be a good one to stoke up the fire and keep knitting, however many fingers it takes, and however many times I need to stretch them. There’s a baby who needs a beanie so that he’s warm, too; and I don’t need any fingers to calculate his age ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2022 in Knitting

 

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