Tag Archives: Victoria Square

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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today’s view of things

Dust! It seeped into our building

Today has certainly been weird, in terms of weather. It was balmy enough this morning – considerably warmer than yesterday morning – but the wind was brisk in every sense of the word. I wore a jacket to work, in the expectation of needing it most of the day; and I did. A colleague elected not to wear a jacket, because she was anticipating that the maximum temperature would be sufficiently warm. It might have been, but it was forecast to be that temperature around mid-afternoon when we’d be inside and beavering away at our workload and therefore unlikely to benefit greatly from the warmth. She toughed it out.

The forecast also included mention of rain but not of dust. The dust, however, was severe enough to close roads, because of poor visibility and potential for vehicular collision, and elicit the issuing of a health warning to anyone with respiratory problems. The rain came along after the dust had almost cleared but didn’t last long.

All the fairy lights on, and dust mostly gone.

I wonder what tomorrow’s weather will bring?

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Posted by on April 13, 2021 in Health


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From where I sit, the crowd looked like ants
Closer to ground level, the crowd gathering. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Occasionally I share photos taken from my workplace, such as today’s top photo. It’s a long way down to the ground, you’d probably agree, and there are people in the office who won’t come near the windows. I have more problems with confined spaces than I do with heights, so I don’t usually think twice about going to the edge of the office to check out what’s going on in Victoria Square.

Today, for example, there was a March4Justice, calling for an end to sexual harassment and gendered violence in workplaces. We could see that it was a large crowd, and we could hear the chanting. Let’s hope the message delivered by these nationwide marches makes a difference.

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Posted by on March 15, 2021 in Musing


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honesty tempered by pragmatism

As lovely as ever, and almost enough to make the journey worthwhile

On Sunday afternoon, when one of the retail folk to whom I was speaking asked if I was pleased to be going back to work the next day, I answered honestly and said, “No.” But I acknowledged aloud that I’m fortunate enough to have a job and correspondingly grateful. YoungB is back on the job-hunting treadmill, although his contract doesn’t finish till the end of March. But you’re foolish to leave looking for the next job until you finish this one, and – sadly – in today’s climate, foolish to complain about the job you’re in, no matter how merited those complaints might be.

During the downtime, my office’s work systems had a major upgrade, one we’d known was coming. Many personalised settings simply went west and now have to be redone. I’ve had to redo mine three times in two days, as well as move to a different desk. The move was utterly unnecessary, but puts me between two other people instead of quietly at the end of a row. Now I feel a bit as if I’m the naughty child being moved to where the teacher can keep a better eye on me. I always did sit close to the front of the class, but only because I couldn’t see well enough to sit any farther back! Nowadays it doesn’t matter where I sit, the computer is the same distance away.

All the same, the view out the window is still very attractive, and it’s hard to complain when you can rest your eyes on that every now and then. I hope you have something similarly restful for your eyes 🙂

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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in Health, Musing


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that didn’t last long

Goodbye, not farewell

There I was back at the office for all of two weeks, and had almost settled back in with my own mugs, teapot and cutlery unpacked and back in action. Yesterday it was home again, home again, jiggety-jig (on the bus, with all of that in a bag, if you don’t mind). Today the announcement came from our Chief Public Health Officer: six days of hard lockdown then a further eight days characterised by significant restrictions, in the hopes that such drastic, early action will prove a “circuit breaker” to a COVID-19 outbreak.

This cluster started on our side of the metropolis and now includes several buildings perhaps a block from my CBD workplace, as well as what reads like half of suburban Adelaide (and is, indeed, a fair chunk of northern and western areas). There are good reasons why that is so, but it’s a little frightening. Several schools had already been closed, and for the next six days all others are to close, too. YoungB is back WFH. As he said, they had lunch at midday in a relatively usual manner, and only half an hour later all bets were off.

The CPHO said that this strain of COVID-19 is breeding “very, very rapidly” and people with no symptoms can spread it. “Time is of the essence,” said the Premier. “We are going hard and we are going early,” he said. By and large, although there has been some ridiculous behaviour with regard to toilet paper, most of us will do the right thing and not protest too loudly: better to deal with six days of staying home in order to stop it in its tracks now than carry on as normal and have to suffer through a much longer-term lockdown.

I don’t personally regard it as suffering, as I think I’ve said before. I am happy to be sheltering safely in place, with my immediate family also safely sheltered. I am aware, as ever, that this comment comes from a position of privilege; but I am truly grateful to be working from home, despite the problematic technology. Any Victorians who have just come out at the other end of their long lockdown will appreciate that it works, but it’s hard mentally and sometimes physically; and it’s hard on the heart. I can’t speak for all Australians, but I know very well that a large number of us dips our lids to all of you as we say, “Thank you, and well done. You and Dan Andrews are our heroes.”

South Australia was doing well, and we who live here were increasingly optimistic that Christmas might include some gatherings with extended families. Schoolies had been cautiously approved. Dates and artists for next year’s Adelaide Festival were about to be finalised. The Bs had signed up for a weekend motorcycle tour. Now, like YoungB’s workplace lunchtimes, all bets are off. It is unlikely that Christmas will be with anyone but immediate family. Schoolies almost certainly won’t happen. The Bs’ motorcycle tour – for all it was merely an overnight stay and home again – won’t take place. If we do the right thing now, perhaps the Festival might still take place. Who knows?

So here I am again, sending out hugs to everyone from the safety of my crowded little home office, with the last of the day’s sunshine fading from the window an arm’s length away.

If you are similarly looking at renewed lockdown or restrictions, I hope you’re able to survive with the least possible hurts.

We can do this.


Posted by on November 18, 2020 in Health


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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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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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not only at night

Image may contain: christmas tree, night and outdoor

This year’s tree, lighting up the chilly November night.

I toyed with the idea of partying in town, but decided it was far too cold! The tree was lit without my being there. And I can check it out for myself at lunchtime on Monday, although I don’t suppose it will be lit then; or, if it is, that I’ll be able to admire its beauty in quite the same way.

For now, it’s off to more domestica. May your day be full of light and colour, too 🙂

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Posted by on November 17, 2019 in Musing


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FO and a sort of plan for next year

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations, whatever form they took.

An FO? Yes, just one: the White Caps Cowl, which I was knitting till almost 9 o’clock on Boxing Day morning (luckily for me, it wasn’t needed until lunchtime; but, yes, it was somewhat necessarily, therefore, gifted unblocked). Sewing? A few lavender bags. Other knitting? None. Surviving the end-of-year busy-ness was sufficient achievement. And, as I’ve yet to send cards, I’m not too sure if we have survived. I’m going to call them New Year cards, though. But, you know, we made it through a festival of feasts and visits by friends and family, a birthday, a wedding anniversary, exam results, exploding champagne, a concert or two and lots of everyday stuff that included inordinate amounts of time dedicated to fitness pursuits (no, not me; that was everyone else while I was playing laundry lady).

What can I say about the White Caps Cowl? I adapted it slightly in terms of number of repeats. I think it’s probably a make that would knit to a nicer finish in its recommended yarn but I’m quite taken by the weight of the Patons Sorrento, the hint of glamour it provides with the slightly shimmering aspect of its mixed fibre and the smooth contrast of the Cleckheaton Bamboo. As far as knitting went, the bamboo was much easier on the hands and I was able to make reasonable progress. The variable thickness of the Sorrento slowed me down quite a lot. It hasn’t put me off by any means, as I’ve stocked up my cupboard with enough yarn to make a couple more of the White Caps Cowls throughout the year (it really is good on-the-bus knitting and I love the look of it). I might not use a faux seam with another make; it doesn’t really ring my bells. The photo was taken hurriedly with my phone, prior to wrapping; excuse background (bedcover) and less than ideal lighting.

Flat cowl

Not exciting but looks better in action

One of our visiting friends has put in a couple of knitting requests and I’ll be happy to oblige her with a Villawool Inca L574 hat in a colour scheme to her liking (that will be a reasonably fast knit, even at my pace). I’ve yet to decide on the yarn for that (the Villawool Inca being no longer available) but am fairly sure I could manage it from stash, which you’d have to consider a win. Hardly surprisingly, the really thick winter yarns are somewhat thin on the shelves at this time of year. There will also be a three-colour linen stitch scarf though I have absolutely no intention of making it as long as its predecessor. I understand about long scarves and cold climes, truly I do; but there is a point beyond which the extra length simply gets in the way. I bought yarn for that yesterday at Spotlight. I would like to make one for myself but will wait and see how other things pan out before I make that a firm promise/plan.

I started something akin to a prayer shawl – perhaps a care shawl – for a colleague who has had a rotten year by anyone’s standards. I won’t finish it quickly (the needle size is just on the edge of my comfort zone and I struggle to find a rhythm even with the very easy pattern) but it might be ready for her April birthday. In any case, she’s not expecting it so in some respects I have as much leeway as I need on that one.

The yarn bombing coordinator rang the other day to ask for more contributions: red hearts and lots of roses, not necessarily red, for another yarn bombing project, the previous one in Victoria Square having been hailed as such a success. I’ve already crocheted up a few test roses which will be perfectly acceptable contributions and am looking around for a heart pattern that looks sufficiently heart-like and sufficiently large. I think this one fits the bill. I know where the drop-off point is and I have my dark glasses at the ready so I can ensure my hearts and flowers are there before the due date. You might not be surprised to hear that Dr B and YoungB have somewhat taken this yarn bombing idea and run with it, referring to secret language, pack leaders and cell members as if it were an underground movement. I humour them. At least they’re not objecting!

In sewing news, I’ve repaired YoungB’s Draggins (kevlar-reinforced motorcycling jeans) again, having previously taken up the hem by the amount he requested. Anyone who knows about jeans will understand that much use had seen them sag to a point where the hems were in shreds. This time I cut off the original and new hems and turned them up twice. They might look a shade short were he to wear them with loafers but as that’s unlikely – his motorcycling gear has been carefully chosen to enable him to wear it all day, boots included (though I’d accept that leathers in winter are for on the bike and not much else) – then we reckon that this time they won’t catch on his boots nor drag on the ground. That’s not the sort of drag the brand intends although I’ll be very happy if it’s the only sort this pair of jeans ever encounters.

I still haven’t managed to make a new top for myself or tinkered with my rescued skirt and stripey trousers to create the jacket I’d half-imagined could be made from them, using Portia’s kimono-tee pattern as inspiration (it’s a winner; I’ve already used it to make five tops of varying degrees of respectability). They will happen at some point, I suppose. However, I have received my Pattern Pyramid winnings from Meg and will undoubtedly have something to show you from that; but not just yet. So if you’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement, take this as advance warning. I’m still rather run off my feet and although – o frabjous day! – I have managed to clear the sewing table (nearly, anyway), I have a couple of other urgent tasks that simply have to be done before I can allow myself to be frivolous.

All in all, I think 2013 is going to be just like 2012: full of good intentions, lots of things made that I didn’t really intend to make, other people’s things coming ahead of mine on a regular basis and anything made for myself done terribly last-minute and not terribly well! I do hope that you have a better year in terms of your crafty endeavours, whatever form they take. Cheers, everyone, and happy new year.


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