Category Archives: Health

why I might stick to fabric


Our hand-built pots and handmade Christmas decorations: Youngest Aunt’s nicely embellished efforts on the left; my plain ones on the right. I think I’ll end up with good colour depth on my purple stars ๐Ÿ™‚

Youngest Aunt and I recently attended a pottery workshop, which was enormous fun. It was also utterly demoralising to have youngsters throwing pots as if they’d been at it for years while we struggled. In our defence, it was a first for both of us, whereas some of the youngsters had previous experience. And sometimes, one of the advantages of youth is that it is fearless: mistakes don’t matter, because clay is malleable. Youngest Aunt and I were probably trying to get it right first time because, well, we’re aware that life doesn’t always give you second chances. You could say – and there’s no pun intended – that we are more set in our ways. I would also contend that neither of us is totally inflexible.

We hand-built a pot apiece and made some Christmas decorations. We also tried our hand at throwing a pot on the wheel. I appreciate that a greater level of experience would improve the overall artistic experience, but at this stage my reaction is that I’d be better off sticking with fabric. The pots are still at the pottery because, although firing was included in the cost of the workshop, that couldn’t all be done on the same day. We will have our masterpieces in time for them to provide a Christmas giggle. And, you know, for my purple stars to be given a spot on our tree.

May all your decorations have good colour depth, too, whether they’re fabric or clay ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 14, 2019 in Health


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high maintenance?!


I think they’re much higher maintenance!

Recently, I casually mentioned to the Bs that I would need a suitcase for a couple of days away that involved an overnight stay. I didn’t mean a large one, just carry-on size. YoungB demanded to know when I’d suddenly become high maintenance? You what? Me? Yeah, not likely.

In principle they’re right, but I no longer have a backpack that’s large enough. So I ended up taking a small backpack, a shopping bag with my shoes in it, another with my swimming clobber, another with my craftwork – a small bag of crochet, because I thought that might be easier to pick up and put down than any knitting I have on the go – and yet another with food. R-i-g-h-t. That would have all fitted into the suitcase I had in mind, and been a lot easier to carry.

May all your suitcases be ideal for their intended purposes ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on December 11, 2019 in Crochet, Health, Knitting, Travel


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smoky obscurity


Hills obscured by smoke from bushfires

There are no fires too close to the city, but yesterday there was lots of smoke. Morning commutes to the CBD were hazy enough to require extra caution and it was still hazy – as you can see – when I took this view from the window around 10.30.


maybe just another?


Forever trumpeting above the rushing crowds

Teamwork makes the dream work. Sharing is caring. We speak in platitudes to improve our attitudes. Click, drag, drop; do it till YOU drop.

Yeah, nah. It’s just been busy beyond belief and, like most workplaces these days, we have few full-timers. Throw in the occasional day of anyone away on sick leave and you begin to see that the last-thing-on-Friday hysterics are, well, not so much hysterical as the new normal.

But up there on their parapet, the trumpeters are silently celebrating. Let the braying begin ๐Ÿ™‚


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Posted by on November 16, 2019 in Health


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another of those weeks


Spotted out the front of my building, undoubtedly ready for someone to make a quick getaway ๐Ÿ˜€

There have been days lately where I’ve needed to remind myself that I have a 100 per cent success rate with at least one KPI: I have reached the end of every working day without killing anyone! Yep, yet again, everyone has wended their way homeward, though if looks could kill…

We’re all tired and stressed and we are all busy. It’s a time when being a team player is a cardinal virtue and, yes, it’s true that not everyone is. Oh, well.

Big picture check: is the planet still rotating on its axis? Tick.

Well there you go. Nowt to worry about ๐Ÿ˜€

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Posted by on November 8, 2019 in Health, Motorcycling


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yeah, well, it’s like this


If you can see the tree from the office window (I had to go to someone else’s desk, but that’s a legit view), it must be OK to sing Christmas carols. Right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another week or two flown by, with allergies continuing to make life miserable. The temperatures are beginning to climb and remain consistently higher, so a lunchtime walk is a wonderful thing (as long as you’re medicated to the eyeballs to prevent sneezing attacks, of course). The building where I work is “smart”, but what that means in practical terms is constant gloom and a cold office. The only place it’s warm and bright is the bathroom!

On our morning bus trip, YoungB and I have observed that the official Christmas decorations are beginning to appear on buildings in the city centre. The trumpeters are up on the heritage-listed Adelaide Arcade balcony. Above a newer development, silver trees grace the portico. A group of Santas is making itself at home above the Cross. As if that’s not enough, the Christmas Pageant takes place on Saturday and the Christmas tree is up in the Square, ready to be lit.

All in all, we agreed it’s reached the time of year when you can whistle Christmas carols at work without fear of annoying too many people. Or at least, a time when you can defend your choice of music. I pointed out to YoungB that, if you have a reasonable repertoire of little-known or even practically unknown Christmas carols you can whistle them pretty much year-round without anyone being any the wiser. To be fair, I have yet to be called on my efforts. Thanks to years as a church organist and a good memory for words I do have such a repertoire, which includes some carols for which I cannot find any online references. I mention in passing that I know a different melody from the one illustrated at the link, which is the one you’ll hear most frequently in a number of online versions).

Christmas is shaping up to be a less grumpy season that has hitherto been the case, which is undoubtedly as simple as all of us being too exhausted to muster sufficient energy to evince grumpiness. Last weekend we attended an All Souls’ Day Mass at the cemetery where the Nonni are buried, talked Dr B into addressing a longstanding sartorial lacuna, helped a friend celebrate becoming a senior, and made the trip into town for another author talk, to mark the launch of Garth Nix’s latest YA fantasy title. Naturally, YoungB and I lined up to get our copy signed.

Earlier this week we marked death anniversaries and a birthday that “would have been”, and that’s about how it will be for the rest of the year. Birthdays and busy-ness. But, you know, able to be made bearable by no-longer-so-surreptitious whistling of cheery melodies. YoungB has brushed up on his singing and dusted off this irreverent version of Frosty the Snowman.

May all your melodies be similarly cheerful, no matter their origin ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on November 7, 2019 in Health


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oh, I think that was another week

1986-06-13 Aalholm Automobile Museum, Denmark - 2

There was no Bugatti, so I thought I’d share this one, an exhibit at the Aalholm Automobile Museum in Denmark. Photo with my Dad in 1986. There’s a better photo at the link, which discusses the sale of the museum’s collection.

My work has been mind-numbingly busy, in a mind-numbing way. Allergies are still wreaking havoc all round. Whatever last week was about, I played bocce at lunchtime on Friday and made it to Saturday. Today we attended an Italian motor show. Dr B showed off his motorbike, and YoungB showed off his car. Both were much admired by fellow aficionados.

As well as lots of Alfas, Abarths and Fiats, of varying ages, shapes and sizes, there were low-slung Lamborghinis (although I’m not sure they actually come in anything but low slung, to be fair), muscular Maseratis and an astonishing number of fabulous Ferraris, including this one, which was truly amazing. My other favourite was what the organisers described as a Fiat 500 on steroids! It was gorgeous and I would certainly like one of those under the Christmas tree this year, thank you, Santa. Surprisingly, there was only one other motorbike, and one all-but obligatory scooter.

There was excellent pizza, there were cakes and gelati, and a raffle. YoungB won a prize! I think the bucket of cleaning gear will provide much long-term usefulness although it’s certainly less exciting than the prize he missed out on by one ticket, namely being able to drive one of the exhibited new Alfas for a weekend, courtesy one of the main sponsors ๐Ÿ™‚

All up, it was a lovely day. We’re all exhausted and a bit sunburnt, but will undoubtedly be back at the grindstone again tomorrow.

May your Sunday have been as enjoyable as ours, whether or not it involved a car show of any sort ๐Ÿ™‚


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