Category Archives: Musing

bleak enough


Hearty, hot soup is also part of the equation

As the days become greyer and colder, and the overnights crispier and crunchier, thanks to the contributions of Jack Frost, warm, comfy clothing is of paramount importance. Roll out the roll-neck sweater or the close-fitting cowl. Don thermal leggings, thick socks and ugg boots. Reach for the softest, cuddliest undergarments, which probably means long-sleeved woollen tops at the very least, and other natural fibres elsewhere.

As we complain bitterly about the bitter weather, we remind ourselves that the sun is almost on its way back to us. Only a few more days. We can do this. Shivering, hot mug in gloved hands, and standing as close to the heater as we dare, we reassure each other that we’ve got this.

I hope you have, too 😀

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Posted by on June 16, 2020 in Health, Musing


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even the boss does laundry


Pic of recent Friday arvo drink, shared virtually around the team via group chat.

During an official meeting the other day, I was enormously cheered to hear the boss say that any funny noise was coming from her washing machine (because everyone else was on mute, so it had to be hers). Oh, yes, we can all capitalise on a sunny day when we’re working from home, and it’s a sure-fire way to feel productive.

As for other means of feeling productive? Yeah, not so much. Teleconference meetings are OK but haven’t really changed much since I last had a love-hate affair with them. Luckily, most team meetings are small and all the voices familiar; and state meetings are manageable because only a few people need to speak; but when it’s a branch meeting? You say hi, you listen on mute, and you log off at the end. It’s not satisfactory for anyone, but it helps to maintain a feeling of being part of the whole and it does ensure that we’re up to date with the latest directives.

Sometimes, the wires get crossed. Instructions are not always clear, although we have a couple of people in our small team who are excellent at asking questions to clarify anything they don’t understand. That usually clears up a pile of things for most of the rest of us. As for me? Sometimes I don’t know what it is that I don’t know, so I tend to sit in the background on mute, because I am mute, but connected all the same.

Other days, the technology problems are so widespread, frustrating and long-lasting that it’s difficult to be mute but I ensure my bad language doesn’t reach other ears. That’s when I go into the garden and sniff the lemon-scented geranium to restore my equilibrium. I have discovered that I don’t swear nearly as much as I thought I did, but I may well be developing a drinking problem by way of over-compensating for such angelic behaviour 😀

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Posted by on April 23, 2020 in Food, Musing


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a little bit of the past


Part of a past that seems so long ago I might have imagined it. It was real enough.

As I set up my new WFH workspace – call it an office, if you will, though I’ve merely seconded the spare bedroom – I decided that I needed a few of the silly, sentimental things that link me to that life before organisational slash and burn; where, although I was falling-over busy, I knew that the welfare of the people always came first. So, as well as setting out my jug, coffee plunger, office mug and mug rug, I unwrapped the little perpetual calendar that was a gift from my erstwhile boss. You need something to track the days when there’s a sameness about them all.

I suggested to Dr B that we should hang some of our paintings on the presently bare walls, just in case I’m ever called on to participate via some sort of video-link. He thought that was an excellent idea and agreed, when I suggested it, that a particular triptych would fit the bill beautifully. That might be part of tomorrow’s tasks. It will achieve two goals: smarten up the “office” and give the triptych a forever home; which, I might add, it’s been seeking since the artist gifted it to us before YoungB was born.

My computer set-up has been a case of serendipity at many levels, including YoungB’s giving me some old equipment that he’d recently replaced with newer items. I now have a large monitor and a decent chair. Waste not, want not, and no need to worry about whether there’ll be another e-waste collection in the foreseeable future. Everything and everyone taken care of, and we could probably call that a zero-waste exercise.

I’m not yet officially home based, but will do a peak-hour trial next week to ensure it’s all systems go for when we get the green light. My previous attempt at a trial found enough technical hitches in the set-up to mean that I managed about 30 minutes instead of the anticipated two hours. With regard to the official approval, just one level of endorsement remains. This means I will be at the office for most of Monday, and Dr B can’t yet stop worrying about how vulnerable we all are; masks notwithstanding.

May little things from your past also help you to get through today’s uncertainty 🙂

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Posted by on March 28, 2020 in Health, Musing


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yeah, orright


Just about time to crank out the handknitted headgear, too 🙂

All things considered, it’s looking like time to reinstate the winter sheets. You what?! I  know. Sunday was warm to the point of being what some might consider hot – we reached the forecast maximum of 31 degrees – but the nights are cool enough, and YoungB’s cabin doesn’t retain heat as well as the house. He asked for warmer sheets. I’m on his side. The only delay might arise from the need to purchase new bedlinen for his new mattress (a larger, thicker one than its predecessor).

On the weekend, I was looking at wool over at my LYS. Only looking, honest (as well as checking their bedlinen; nothing suitable for YoungB’s bed, alas). Wool is something of which I need no more for years, but I like to check out what’s in vogue this season, even if I don’t purchase anything. I have a large enough stash to keep me going for a while and for the sorts of things I make, stash yarns are usually  more than adequate; unless someone requests something specific that requires yarn that either I don’t have or couldn’t substitute.

Further progress on squares for baby blankets? Yeah, no, not so much. YoungB and I had a night-time outing on Saturday, after what had been a busy working week for both of us. We caught up with Youngest Aunt and Uncle for a meal together at a nearby pub before heading off for what was actually the second part of Youngest Aunt’s birthday present:  a night-time walking tour of West Terrace Cemetery, with theatrical re-tellings of some of the more hair-raising tales. Adelaide is renowned for bizarre murders, so the selected stories didn’t disappoint..

The tours do run outside of Fringe and Festival times, but for us it was a Fringe gig. It was also a cemetery none of us had ever before visited, as we have no forbears buried there and YoungB – who did his high-schooling practically next door – didn’t visit it as part of any cultural excursion. It’s large, and would repay a visit during daylight hours, one of these days. My godfather is buried there with his family, so I could take a bunch of flowers for him to make it worthwhile.

I hope your weekend was more productive than mine, but I’m claiming cultural education as my reason. Could you really disagree with that? 🙂


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as clear as it gets


Almost back to normal, before the next round of parties 🙂

My expectation is that the spaces won’t remain spaces for very long but that they’ll soon disappear under the next lot of merry-makers.

And, if I am still in my present employment, I’ll be playing bocce there soon. As rough as you might think that surface will be – you’re right! – I can assure you it will be a vast improvement on last season’s surface.

May all your surfaces be suitably smooth 🙂


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Posted by on February 1, 2020 in Musing, Uncategorized


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between the madness


The tents are still there, and they’ll soon be replaced by others in readiness for Festival and Fringe frolics

TDU is over, so Victoria Square is beginning to resume something closer to its normal appearance. Soon, however, Fringe and Festival madness will see it disappear again.

Great view from the window, though. Almost makes it worthwhile going to work!

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Posted by on January 30, 2020 in Musing


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Christmas Down Under


YoungB helped with the decorating this year. I loved how he was able to leansout and casually pop the star in its position 🙂

We had a thoroughly enjoyable, if exhausting, Christmas Day: coffee and panettone for a late, leisurely breakfast; opening presents; a long Christmas lunch to which everyone contributed varying amounts of effort; and then – well, I just collapsed in a heap and YoungB took himself off to the beach! Dr B and Eldest Aunt watched TV. In the evening, we sang, then sat around and took turns to read aloud the first few stories from Italo Calvino’s Marcovaldo. All in all, a lovely way to spend time.

However and whatever you celebrate, I hope you’ve been able to spend time meaningful time with loved ones.


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if that’s what it takes


Coffee will keep you going!

In the large office where I work, folk occasionally decide they just can’t be bothered coming to work. While I genuinely appreciate the necessity for mental health days, which is how I’d describe that sort of leave, and I would like to have that luxury, I doubt if such an attitude is in my DNA. More importantly, it’s the sort of behaviour that would swiftly relegate us to the poorhouse.

So there’s one distinct downside to the present day gig economy: while being told at every turn to look after our mental health, increasing numbers of us are in precarious employment, which means that many of us frequently turn up to work when perhaps we shouldn’t. And sometimes, it simply means that too few of us carry far too much workload because, well, the work still has to meet deadlines. Yeah, right.

You will, I am sure, appreciate why I described a recent whole-of-staff wellbeing day as a deeply cynical exercise. The best wellbeing gesture might be to give everyone the day off on full pay, or to make all those contract positions permanent: you know, to treat your staff as if you really valued them and wanted to look after them. It won’t happen, I know. And people voted for this government!

In any case, I turned over the calendar this morning. It’s now December; officially silly season. Our family is already so overwhelmed by conflicting engagements that we’ve decided we may have to send Dr B to represent us at one cultural event, because YoungB and I will be at other – separate – events. Having a lifestyle takes a lot of effort. Right?!

As to getting in the spirit more broadly, well… Is there a tree? Yeah, nah. Advent calendar? Yeah, nah, and that’s been the case since the new, larger TV was installed, because it’s so low that there’s now nowhere to hang the calendar. Door wreath? Uuh, that would also be a no.

Will those things happen? Some of them might. It’s a pity the Advent calendar no longer works, because that was something easy and instantly festive. I will drag out the door wreath and tree, and slowly prepare some festive bits and pieces. Eldest Aunt is the one most likely to grizzle about their absence, and she will once again join us for Christmas. You can see why that calls for more effort than I might usually make: whinging adults are enough to sour anyone’s seasonal cheer!

But there’s always coffee to keep things in perspective. Photo is a macchiato – just one of several, I admit – downed during a long catch-up with cousins in town yesterday. We had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, reminiscing and forward-planning at about the same rate as food and coffees went down.

May your days be filled with similarly good beverages 🙂

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Posted by on December 1, 2019 in Musing


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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.


nah, too close


Well, um, yeah. Does that count?!

As anticipated, the tree looks fairly dull by daylight. The decorations on the Town Hall are less than stellar. People keep telling me that Christmas is single-digit-weeks away.

Today was what I would describe as a nice summer day. Several of my colleagues described it as too hot. You can’t please everyone. Tomorrow, a large part of our state is facing catastrophic fire conditions. Whatever I think of the temperature, I’m still too much a country kid to be complacent about bushfire danger.

So, if you happen to be in one of the affected areas, may you be well prepared and not have to put your evacuation plans into action.

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Posted by on November 19, 2019 in Musing


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