Tag Archives: back to the office

the big guns spoke

Only a couple of special design features 🙂

With COVID-19 numbers dropping nationwide, the order came from On High: “Back to the office with you!” Happily for my continuing sanity and overall family wellbeing, I won’t be. The previously agreed timetable will remain in force for a few more weeks. We may renegotiate the last few days.

YoungB started a new job today. It’s city based and one where the end-of-trip facilities are so good that they feature in the orientation video. That means he’ll be back on his treadley once the first week is over. He’s looking forward to that with great enthusiasm.

In preparation for the forthcoming silly season, YoungB has also been participating in another lot of Latin-American dance classes. Whether from work or from the class, he reckons he’ll be home again before it’s too depressing outside. The evenings are lighter and the mornings are certainly light enough to see where you’re walking. Not warm, mind you! But less dangerous simply because of the improved visibility.

And I have – finally – finished and delivered the little knitted baby beanie I’ve been slugging away at since what feels like forever. It was one of those things where I’d knit a bit, then I’d knit a bit more, and although it should have been growing, it really didn’t seem to be making much progress at all. YoungB kindly reminded me that the longer I took to make it, the better chance there was that it would no longer fit the intended recipient. Fair point!

As you can see from the photo, the beanie is a simple mistake-rib design. The colour is probably brighter IRL, but difficult to photograph well. Bendigo Woollen Mills Baby Meadow 4-ply, 100% Fine Australian Merino Wool in shade Golden Sands. I used 3.25mm (UK 10 / US 3) and 2.75mm (UK 12 / US 2) Aero knitting needles that I have had for many years.

I’m now having a bit of a rest. I hope you are, too 🙂

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Posted by on September 5, 2022 in Health, Knitting


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reno(vation) update

Time I updated my view of the view

Yesterday, I worked in the CBD. Of course it was a chance for me to check the progress of the renovations on the old GPO. As you can see, the knocking-down stage appears to have finished. The large crane at the left of the photo is concreted in place and being used for construction. There’s a sad irony in comparing the amount of new concrete used to ensure machinery is safe and secure with the enormous amounts of it that were removed from the demolished part of the building.

Of course, in Australia we simply say “reno”, but if you don’t understand that it’s a shorthand version of “renovation”, you might want to pronounce it more like Reno, the city. That would be quite wrong.

In blanket news, I have about six squares left to enclose in row 20 before I get to turning that Very Exciting Corner. I’m off to wield my hook. Hope you’re able to wield yours, too 😀

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Posted by on April 12, 2022 in Crochet, Musing


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slow and not yet very exciting

Working back to enclose row 20 of 20. Yesss!

I’ve had a longer break than anticipated from the temperature blanket. For what seemed like ages, I had three more squares ready to add to row 20 and a fourth that only needed its tails tidied before it, too, could be incorporated into the last row. Slow, for sure, but progress. Then there were a few more middles and a few more tails tidied. Then came the magic moment when I sent a message to YoungB to say, “I’ve just made square 380.” It and a few of it mates weren’t added, or even ready to add. But they were made.

Last of the squares with all tails tidied and in order of appearance.

By now, I’ve tidied all the tails – isn’t that a glad sight! – added those row 20 squares and am working back on the enclosing round. This time, when I get to the bottom corner, I’ll have a Very Big Happening: I’ll actually go around the corner, not turn back and add another row. It’s enough to make me want to sit and crochet all night, but I am back at the office tomorrow. So, yeah. No all-night crochet fest for me. There’s a long weekend coming. That might be the perfect time to take it easy AND manage to get a good run at doing the last enclosing all the way back to the beginning of the blanket.

Given the number of health-related interruptions this blanket has had, I’m reconsidering the notion of a time-consuming envelope border and looking for something a good bit simpler. As long as there’s a border that ties to the colours used in the body of the blanket, that will be enough. I have lots of yarn and a plan that involves simple DC stripes or perhaps moss stitch.

May your plans, whatever they involve, be as simple or complex as you want.

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Posted by on April 10, 2022 in Crochet, Health


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back on the bus, lucky me

Output from bus trips and dedicated evenings

The building where I work has a corporate overlord and a staff member who is their community manager. She’s in charge of much that’s serious as well as more lighthearted things such as promotional events, sponsorship and raffles. So, if you’re signed up to the building’s business portal and actually make the effort to engage with the site, sometimes you win prizes. Often those prizes are vouchers for coffee or food. Last week, I received a message to say I’d won a voucher for a meal at one of my favourite in-building eateries. Well! That was me taken care of at lunchtime on Friday.

As the voucher was generous enough to buy two meals, I suggested Dr B might like to come and join me. He did. It was truly delightful to have our lunch together in a sunshiny corner, protected from the worst of the wind. We ventured out into the wilds so we could have coffee somewhere else. He went home, I went back to the office and, before I knew it, it was time to pack up the laptop and leave.

The bus rides lately have been extraordinarily bumpy, so my commuter crochet hasn’t been all I might hope. However, I’ve made a few production line centres when I could, and added middle rounds once home. I had a little pile of six or seven two-round squares waiting for me on Friday night. I finished adding them and made one more centre before finishing for the night. I’ve added a few more squares today, slotted in around helping Dr B with an online application.

So that’s been my fill of luck for the week: a delicious, free meal and enough time to sit and crochet without being overwhelmed by domestica. Have you also had a lucky week?

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Posted by on February 5, 2022 in Crochet, Musing


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hunting gremlins in the harness

Demolition progress, sans gremlins I think

The simplest things are often the most mystifying. What the Bs were up to on Saturday wasn’t earth-shatteringly difficult or blokes-only motorcyclist business, although I loved YoungB’s description of it. They were fault-finding a longstanding ignition problem on one of the motorbikes. While they were doing that, I was working back along the enclosing of row 15 of the temperature blanket. They found their fault, to whoops of joy, and I finished the enclosing PLUS made the first square of row 16. While finishing those ends, I also finished ends on two centres I’d made during my cityward commute on Friday.

Yes, I had a day at the office last Friday, in my role as First Aid Officer! We have to ensure cover if there’s anyone physically at the CBD site and the roster reached me. The office was practically empty and, therefore, weirdly quiet. I’m back again next Friday in the same capacity, but otherwise continuing to WFH. The real benefit of the commute, however, was that it enabled me to produce another couple of centres for the ever-lengthening temperature blanket.

Oh, and being right there in the CBD with that high-rise-view gave me a chance to check the demolition progress. Impressive!

I hope your views are all equally impressive 🙂

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Posted by on January 31, 2022 in Crochet, Motorcycling


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son of plant-killer?

Irrepressible as ever and incorrigibly growing anywhere

Here were are, almost at the end of August again. Life continues to be a mix of good news and bad. I’ll be back at the office tomorrow, with my moon boot. I anticipate that’s going to be tiring but considerably less painful than being without it. Wearing the moon boot will be situation normal for another couple of weeks.

YoungB is about to have a week’s holiday. He’s leaving a job where he worked for only a few months. Despite the prospect of permanency offered by that employer, he’s moving to another contract position that’s more customer-facing, as today’s jargon has it. I (and others of my generation) might say he’ll have face-to-face interaction with the people he’ll be recruiting to clinical trials. Either way, it is more the sort of work that plays to his good looks and charm, aka emotional intelligence. Ahem. He is also well qualified and with sufficient experience in the field, or he wouldn’t have been their top candidate. It will be challenging but more personally rewarding than the largely administrative position he’s just finished.

As a tribute to the strangeness of the world in which we live, and acknowledging that the company he’s leaving is one where teams and clients are all around the world, his farewell card was, in fact, a digitally-signed e-card. There was also a genuine, living, ficus plant, which he’s brought home and promised to do his best not to kill.

We have to hope it will be as hardy and irrepressible as the violets that pop up every year in the wilderness that’s our back garden.

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Posted by on August 29, 2021 in Health, Musing


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Smoke in the morning, this rain later in the day

It has taken me a couple of weeks, and one of them was short, but I think I’m now half-reconciled to being back at the office. Of course the view is wonderful, no matter the weather. All the same, I find myself strangely resentful of people who work part-time, which is irrational and uncalled for. But there you are, it’s how I feel. As I said before we went into lockdown, the departmental Higher Ups are not greatly enthused about WFH as an ongoing practice, but we are trying to slot in the odd request while there is still any flexibility to capitalise on. My GP is supportive of the plan.

In other news, I’m working slowly on the 15 neutral squares for my temperature blanket. I think I have a plan for the colours, but it looks to me as if I could achieve a better transition with one or two extra colours. At the same time, I’m trying hard not to order more yarn. Decisions, decisions. During my morning commute, I’m able to make a two-round square but I have run out of steam by the time I’m on my way home again at the end of the day. This means that I’m not making much progress, but I have a few squares completed.

May you, too, have a few of your square equivalents completed, whether you’re WFH or commuting to and fro 🙂

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Posted by on January 30, 2021 in Crochet


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unexpected plot twist

It’s not the beach, but it will do

It looks as if we won’t be back WFH for very long, either, because untruths have skewed underlying reasoning for the complete lockdown. Kudos to the scientists and contact tracers who doggedly stuck at their jobs and helped get to the bottom of it all. We’re grateful.

Presently, we are told that the number of COVID-19 infections will continue to increase, largely in a cohort already quarantined or known contacts of the original cluster. I suppose it is true that an increase in any unrelated population, or an unexpectedly large increase, might see this all up for grabs again, but life is suddenly more hopeful.

It has, however, been a discombobulating day. I freely admit that I am reluctant to return to the office next week if there’s any likelihood that we’ll have to turn around and come home again. It’s too disruptive. As the situation unfolded early this week, we understood the need for caution and swift action and fell in line with orders. South Australians are generally a fairly obedient lot. But hearing that it was unnecessary was at best disappointing.

Deprived of his motorcycle outing, YoungB took to the back lawn with his beach towel and budgie smugglers. This meant that his annual leave day wasn’t entirely wasted, but he was definitely grumpy.

Our grumpy disappointment pales into insignificance by comparison with what businessfolk and anyone otherwise adversely affected by lockdown must be feeling at the moment. There are many angry comments in the newsfeeds. Few direct their anger at the system that means it’s necessary to have more than one job to survive, but that seems to me at least as much a culprit.

I hope you’re doing OK with your lockdown.

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Posted by on November 20, 2020 in Health


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day of decision

Bright colour to cheer the grey days

Most of the world awaits the 3 November election outcome of a foreign power with bated breath. At least, that’s how it seems.

Here? My return to the office has been officially confirmed for 2 November. The fallout from that is of far more immediate concern in this little corner of the globe. By way of practising with noise and crowds and stress, we do the occasional jaunt into the CBD for small gatherings. I acknowledge that we are extremely fortunate to be able to have those. If push came to shove, I’d rather stroll in my garden and pull out a few weeds!

As with many things in life, options are limited in spite of generalisations that might be made about there always being a choice. Over-simplification is rarely a helpful thing. Life is complex. I suppose if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that simple things hold greater value than we often allocate to them but that they are underpinned by complex systems. As a public servant, I’m part of a large underpinning system that helps a lot of people.

However, I am making a concerted effort to get back to things other than paid work. I’m crocheting a rug for a friend’s granddaughter, who arrived a little earlier than scheduled. In spite of our relaxing restrictions, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to deliver that. So you might not be surprised to hear that, although I’m using the wondrously rapid which-way filet pattern, I’ve come to a grinding halt. The 8-ply cotton yarn is from my favourite supplier, in a soft peach tone. I’m using a 4mm hook. It looks lovely.

By way of immediate needs, YoungB has needed a few rescue jobs: hole-patching on his long-sleeved cycling jersey and short bib-knicks after a recent fall (already done by hand and the clobber back in action); adjusting shoulder straps on another pair of bib-knicks so that they don’t sag quite so much (in the waiting pile); and taking up hems on his suit pants, which are now too long because he’s slimmed down. Fine. I can do that (they’re in progress but well on the way to completion).

I can also make a little scarf for him to wear with the suit for a Very Important forthcoming function, and I will. On Saturday, he and I shopped for fabric so he could choose the colour. It’s not going to be a particularly fancy scarf, but as he’ll be one of the MCs for the evening, he wants to make an extra effort. I’m happy to oblige. Somewhat surprisingly, Dr B approved of both our fabric and colour choices.

The test now will be whether I can pull off the actual sewing. I’ve found some suitable thread. It’s all straight seams, and the difficulty level of the fabrics involved isn’t high. But it’s a while since I did any sewing. We’ll see.

Whatever you’re doing with your time, may it include the satisfaction of small accomplishments to counterbalance global upheaval 🙂

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Posted by on October 19, 2020 in Crochet, Cycling, Health, Musing, Sewing


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one simply forgets

I’ll be able to see the tree this year 🙂

Recently, I worked a few days at the office. The office has not moved but my team has moved within it. Our new location is nearer a window, so the perpetual gloom of which I’ve often complained is no longer a factor. It will take me a little while to learn the rhythm of that location, and to re-learn the rhythm of dealing with buses and people. I’ve been home for such a long time that, genuinely or wilfully, I had forgotten.

I had forgotten how noisy and smelly the main roads are during rush hour. I had forgotten how bumpy the bus ride can be. I had forgotten the homeless, trying to keep warm on these bitter mornings. And I had almost forgotten what fun it is to have YoungB as a travelling companion. He’s almost as full of cheer and silliness as he was in his younger years. We can still have a good giggle together, which helps make the journey more bearable.

The daylight hours have lengthened, as is to be expected at this time of year. I have turned over the last block of months on my perpetual calendar. This is the last third of the year, meaning that Christmas is looming. And you know what will be going up in Victoria Square before you can say Christmas? It will be The Tree. And now that we’ve moved, I have a prime view.

I hope your WFH and/or returns to the office have been better than expected, no matter your general level of forgetfulness 🙂

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Posted by on September 19, 2020 in Health, Musing


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