Friday, October 31, 2008

a short break

there will be a break in transmission for a while over here at The Room, there is some stuff happening at home that i dont want to blog about and cant really pretend everythings ok when its not. i am going away for the weekend and hope to get some knitting done at least, so there will be FOs on the other side i hope.

k xx

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

dedication to the cause

i find it interesting to note that now that i dont HAVE to blog everyday, having opted out of blogtoberfest, i suddenly find time to do so. committment issues, me? surely not...

anyway, i thought you might like to see some more from the birthday that keeps on giving. i went into the city this morning and embarked upon a fruitless search for a new wallet but i am fussy and i. dont. like. anything.

then it was borders, where the fact that there was nothing decent on the craft shelves indicated rosered had already been there. (i half expected to see her name scratched in the wood!). i was very interested to see the new kate grenville novel for sale at only $32 as compared to the $45 i have seen it marked for elsewhere. this annoys me about borders. i dont want to support them but i will, at that price.

then i wandered down to a certain yarn store where i had vouchers to the value of $150 to spend. these vouchers were a combined gift from my lovely flyball friends who are now used to the sight of me knitting in between races. in fact, some of them do it too. its like a mobile stitch n bitch when we do dog things together, very nice!

i was surrounded by a pile of jo sharp packets when in walked the aforementioned rosered, looking radiant today! (no, not a coincidence. we may have planned this little rendevous). anyway, i was looking for the colour that trent wants his cobblestone pullover in, it was the lovely dark browny-grey of Smoke, but there were only two balls of it left, and only two balls of the closest like-colour, Beetle, so we decided on Heath. he already has a brown jumper and didnt want black, and the other greys were too school uniformy, so i think this is a nice compromise:

its a bit shiny because of the camera flash (it being a lovely dull rainy day), and it is a bit warmer than this, if you know what i mean, but i think it will be perfect.

i did have in mind to get some cotton to make another lily, with aspirations to wear in summer (*snort*), but on consultation, i think it is too heavy and the colours were a bit dodgy. it didnt take much arm twisting to settle on this instead:

yes a small mountain of zara, in a lovely rich brown with a touch of purple/red in it. i have it on good authority that zara is a lovely yarn, and although its wool its so light, if i start it soon i will have it for autumn. so thank you to my flyballing friends, two jumpers for (just slightly over) $150. nice.

ms red and i then repaired to somewhere fancy for lunch (apparently it was ok because i just turned 40 and ive never been there so....). it was lovely, i am so going back there for the little cakey afternoon tea thing. anyone?

a quick trip to kinokunya book store yielded nothing, although i did fondle BGK2 and the vogue sock book. this was followed by coffee and a discussion about cambria, which RR definitely thinks need frogging. she's right. it is not doing what its supposed to. it will annoy me if i leave it. ribbit she said. rippit i will. then i caught the bus home (how novel - full of school kids. like, ohmygod) and then walked in the rain the half kilometre or so to my front door.

the reason i give you all this detail is not just to annoy you with pointless information, or to make you jealous (well ok maybe just a little), but because something happened on monday night (my birthday night, no less) that makes all this trekking around town admirable, on my behalf. i dropped a brick on my foot. yes thats right, a brick. i didnt know it was loose in the wall, and my washing basket dislodged it, and it fell smack onto the top of my foot. of course i am going to post a picture, so look away now if you are squeamish.

no nothing broken. feels like it though. i dont care, nothing gets in between me and a good roll in the yarn, (yes i sniffed the zara), not to mention lunch with one of the nicest people i ever met (she is, isnt she?!). its really lovely to be back in sydney and have someone to lunch and yarn shop with. thanks rr :)

k xx

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i know you love red....

QM has already talked about what a great colour red is, and i tend to agree. when i thanked her for my lovely sock box, she commented that she knew i loved red. she may be on to something here. i had to go to the RTA to renew my license yesterday and i put the sock box in my bag just in case there was a queue. this is what i saw:


there was a theme in my birthday present yarn too, all shades of purple and red:

i should expand my repertoire, but really, why? they're so pretty - see:

the problem with this tho is that i am not entirely sure that cambria is working out how she is supposed to.... note to self, dont try and knit late at night when tired. i kept losing track of where i was. i think im going to frog it cos im pretty sure its not right....


k xx

Monday, October 27, 2008

the flip side....

today it is official, i am 40 years old. recently at uni they had a workshop about 'the legacies of 68'. it was supposed to be about how important 1968 was to world events, esp to the labour movement etc. i submitted an abstract about how 68 was important because it was the year i was born and the future of the labour movement existed not in the past, but no one laughed.

anyway, here i am, 40. people asked me over the weekend how i felt about it, and the answer is not really that bad actually. in fact, i feel kind of good. like im 40, you dont mess with me anymore. like seriously an adult. i mentioned before there seemed a bit of confidence that came with it, as though now its just not worth entertaining fools. i dont feel particularly grown up though, unfortunately. i wonder if i ever will! to be honest turning 30 was worse. life was a lot harder then, and it seemed a bigger jump from 29 to 30. there isnt really that much difference between 39 and 40 when you think about it.

and it is of course helped by the fact that i am still recovering from what turned out to be a fantastic weekend. there was a lot of running around and cleaning and organising to get ready for the party, which was also meant to be a housewarming for our new place as well. i have however, neglected to take good pictures - eg, i took pictures of my empty pastry cases but not filled in ones!
they had prosciutto, bocconcini, tomato and basil; cream cheese dill and smoked salmon, and the wanton wrappers (cooked in muffin tins in the oven) were full of a crab and celeriac remoulade (they were a little popular). i also made this ricotto mix (add anchovies, atichokes, parsley and chilli) stuff into strips of roasted capscium and thread onto a skewer with a pesto stuffed olive on the end! plus there was nigellas roqumole, modified to taste, a spit roast, home made rocky road (not by me) and a chocolate truffle cake to end all chocolate truffle cakes. there were party lights in the trees, a lot of knitting and knitting talk, a few tipsy people, and an argument about the meaning of 'bring your own' (some people dont quite get this concept). it was a lot of fun, and apparently it went well tho it is hard to tell when you are too busy to even taste most of your own canapes! i had lots of helping hands in the kitchen though thank you ladies xx

i do have a picture of the morning after:

and i have pictures of sean cooking a bbq breakfast to die for, but will not incriminate him without his permission!

and of course, i cant talk about the party without talking about the presents. i really was a very lucky girl - here is a group shot:

there are beautiful vases, an obscene amount of my favourite french skin care products (they are already in the bathroom sorry!), a heap of chocolate, and a rather large pile of gift vouchers from a certain city yarn store (i am going in on wednesday. be afraid, be very afraid). people were very generous and thoughtful. and none more so than helen, jane and george. i am pretty sure i cried when i rippped off the red celophane and saw this:

there is lornas laces, koigu, trekking, jade sapphire cashmere, regia silk and a small mountain of the most beautiful malabrigo! i couldnt believe it - so thoughtful and so generous. i have never handled any these yarns before, and the colours are perfect and i spent most of the rest of the weekend carrying the basket around and checking out patterns on ravelty! i will post pix of them seperately in my ravelry stash a bit later.

but wait, theres more! look at this and tell me what you see!

yes, thats right, a swift and ball winder courtesy of trent (who has decided he is going to go with the jo sharp in smoke rather than brick for the cobblestone). he was going to give it to me today (which is the official bday) but said i could have it if i found it. i needed a coathanger to get it down from the top shelf of the first wardrobe i looked in! i played with it last night, and wound up my jitterbug in vatican pie and also the yarn cakes baby alpacky so i can start the long lacey summer which i cast on last night:

but what is that little red thing i see there?! oh! look at that! its a sock box from michelle! i even think its the first one, and i cant believe how lucky i am! it has alreay been put to work, and i love it.
am i not the luckiest 40 year old in the world?!

k xx

Friday, October 24, 2008

the last post...

...of my thirties. well i think so anyway. today i am off to the shops to buy all the goodies for munchies for the party - without wanting to spoil anything lets just say ingredients are things like wanton wrappers, crab meat, sashimi tuna, proscuitto, smoked salmon and blue cheese. i am a bit nervous about making fancy canape type things but i went so far as to buy an actual cookbook, and have had a few tips, so i think i should be right. then i must return to clean house properly, and finish making up guest bedrooms, and trent will be setting up gazebos and scooping leaves out of the pool etc. it has been pouring rain the last two days and everything is pretty damp and wind blown, but today has dawned sunny and clear. i take this as a good sign.

in knitterly business, bells and george and donna blogged about their favourite knit things and even tho i am a blogtoberfest loser, this is a nice moment to pause and reflect. i dont have to reflect too far - while i am quite proud of the jumpers that i have made trent along the way, the favourite thing of mine is the shetland shawl version number two. i like it so much i have taken to using it as household decoration:

this is going to necessitate a wash and reblock, but now that i know how to block lace properly i am not so worried about that.

i am being a bit quiet on the southernsummerofsocks front because i am making secret christmas present socks, and i cant blog them. i like how they are coming along tho. and because life doesnt feel right unless i am making socks for trent, i cast on these last night:

gentlemans sock with lozenge pattern (from knitting vintage socks - i think i want to make everything in this book), in heirloom easy care. he wears his knit socks so often they really need to be machine washable. he also needs many more pairs.

with three pairs of socks on the needles, things were feeling a little unbalanced. i cant start my lace just yet because i need to wind up the skeins of alpaky and i am hoping the fact that someone rang me the other day saying 'where is tapestry craft and what is that swiffer thing you want?' means the birthday may bring something to help in this department.

so i told that someone last night that i needed to start a new garment and i wanted to make him another jumper. i had shown him the cobblestone pattern when it first came out but he ummed and ahhed, i pulled it out again last night and he was like 'oh yes thats nice, make that' so i go get shade cards and he immediately chooses jo sharp dk in brick (the fifth colour in that shade card). you dont want to think about that? no he doesnt:

i am very happy about this, it is legally sanctioned stash enhancement, and a new big project. im a happy camper today. see how easy it is to make me happy honey?

see you on the flip side...

k xx

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


in case you hadnt heard, i turn 40 soon. this means i was born in 1968. (and what a year it was). my point tho, is that i cant help being a slacker, im a gen x-er... stupid and contagious, as someone once put it. this is not my only excuse for busting the blogtoberfest bubble so badly, and i apologise profusely to my diligent blogtober-mates, but i cant commit, so im out. just in case you hadnt noticed.

apart from all that other stuff going on in the last post, (thank you for your kind thoughts, things are being sorted! and the good news is the stack wasnt our fault so there is no insurance excess to pay. for once), there is just too much to do this week!

yesterday was my last teaching day at that uni, and i wont be teaching there again, which really is cause for a major celebration (i may be a slacker but gen y are something else!). i also spent an hour and a half with the dean of nursing talking about our little research project, which we now have some big wigs in nursing in the UK wanting to work with us on, and for which i now have to write two abstracts for a conference in cardiff in march. we have decided to do one short paper, and also to run a larger workshop on the problems facing the development of adequate nurse educators (this is the basic gist of the project, why a lot of nurses dont want to become researches or teachers), so there is still some work to do on that. i dont know how i will fit that in if i get the museum job, which i really want, but i wont complain about having too many work choices!

and i am trying to work from home as much as possible this week because there is a big party to organise and a big house to clean for said party, and i have a plumber coming today and a bathroom guy coming later this week, and a mattress to pick up and a fridge being delivered and the pool guy coming, and i have been asked to write a review of an article being considered for an international journal and then suddenly there is no time for anything else! there is a lot to be said for student life where all you do and think about is centred around one thing, not trying to juggle all sorts of odd shaped balls at once!

anyway, here is a pic of the 'blocked' clappy,

i started to pin it like i would lace but soon discovered this wasnt going to work, it being far longer than any surface i could pin it too and its not going to stay flat anyway. so i tried a bit of steam ironing but that did nothing and frustrated, i hung it over a coat hanger while i emailed bells about what i should do. i was going to follow her advice and stretch it out on towels but when i came back to it next morning, it had kind of blocked itself in the hanging, so i will stick with this for now. it is lovely and soft, it is in fibreworks alpaca/kid mohair/merino blend, they say its 8 ply but its not, i used 5mm knitpicks circs, and i nearly stuffed it up in one place by not doing the proper stabilising ktbl stitches, but hey, it wouldnt be a kylie project if it didnt have a drama attached!

the rest of the weekend we spent at the cemetary place handing over vast sums of money in exchange for bob's ashes and then choosing a memorial site, we are going to keep the ashes at his old house for a while though, not inter him, and then maybe he will come live here eventually as this was where he most wanted to be in the world. the memorial site for the plaque is lovely tho, and it was a nice thing to do, we managed to laugh about him as well which was good. it is still weird that he is not here, i cant quite get used to that fact, because in some ways its as though he is, and staying in close contact with his family has helped with that.

sunday we went down to wollongong for a flyball comp, our last one of the year, and it was stinking hot, and the phoenix ran their fastest time ever, 17.752 seconds, which isnt quite the australian record (that would be 17.33 seconds) but makes us the fastest team in the country at the moment. well, the dogs are anyway. we got beaten by our arch nemesis team because of a few handler errors on our part, but had a great day anyway.

and thats me all caught up. i am sorry for bailing on blogtoberfest but it was silly of me to think i could do it with everything going on at the moment.

hopefully i get some time today to catch up on what everyone else is doing!

Friday, October 17, 2008


i have to start this post by admitting i am not feeling very Zen right now. tinkingbell reminded me that magic happens, and she made me laugh out loud because i really am one of those people who would go rip those stickers off peoples cars if i could and wants to smash a radio everytime it plays 'dont worry be happy'. in other words, i am not much of a pollyanna.

and i am really pissed right now - i dont understand why some employers think it is ok to go into receivership and not to pay their employees their wages and superannuation - why does the government let it happen? do i get away with not paying my taxes because things are a bit tight right now? no i dont. so you know, im pissed. its theft, plain and simple, and its really put a lot of strain on us right now when we could really do without it.

and i am really pissed at some people right now. i am a good friend really. it takes a while for me to open up but when i do, i am pretty much 100%. but i am a scorpio...if you hurt me, i might forgive once, but not twice. and there are some people who have tested my patience sorely this year. one of the benefits of turning 40 appears to be a feeling that life is too short to deal with that sort of shit. i am not an emotional prostitute. so, enough already.

that said, there is a lot of magic around at the moment. a party to plan and some good strong people who make me laugh. and look, i finished clappy!

i have been so busy finishing off my nursing research project today that i havent got around to blocking it yet, but it really is lovely. i made it narrower than the pattern but did more straight rows, so it is very long, longer than i am tall (but then, i am only 5 foot), but its a lovely light weight scarf and will come up great with blocking. i like how sophisticated and modern looking a pattern it is, interesting without being busy, clever without being hard.

also, i did frog the floating blossom socks, sorry tink, but have started something else that is much better suited to the yarn.

this is the start of the cuff and about as much as you are going to see as they are a christmas present.

and check this out for magic, a very big fog on the hawkesbury the other morning came rolling in and surrounded the house completely:

magic indeed.

k xx

Thursday, October 16, 2008


my bad. i completely forgot. its knittings fault, i am really close to finishing clappy and i just kind of got lost in it last night and remembered blogtoberfest only as i was brushing my teeth before bed, and i felt a moment of panic and then the quiet calm of resignation. i did have a bit of a post planned about 'pilgrimage', it was going to be about the phenomena that is facebook, and how i have managed to get myself on there despite my insistence that i never would, and how i am not entirely sure i like it, and how where it asks for your religion i put 'chocolate', which would mean my annual pilgrimage to mecca (ie lindt cafe, martin place) is overdue.

but on my way here this morning i was thinking that i should just opt out. it is not entirely accidental that i should forget, i have a whole lot going on at the moment, and i have found the challange of blogging everyday difficult and confronting. i want my blog to be an honest reflection of where i am at, in life and in knitting, and there is stuff happening that i cant or shouldnt blog about.

in the big picture things are great. life has taken a turn for the better, and i love being back in sydney and we have a new family life i cherish, and there are exciting work prospects on the horizon, and i am healthy and loved.

in the little picture, there is lots of STUFF! for one, i am about to turn 40. only 11 more sleeps. i am not your usual 40 year old. i do not own multiple investment properties, or have 2.5 kids, or a stable corporate career, or any of the other things that are meant to be signposts of a successful grown up life. i am happy about that, i dont aspire to any of those things, i dont think they mean success at all. but i am aware that if certain things hadnt happened in my past, i would in fact be a lot more stable than i am, and at this time and with everything that has happened this year, i cant helping thinking about those things and feeling a lot of anger and resentment still.

then there is all the other stuff, the stuff about moving and being in transition, and not knowing what the future holds job wise, and the stuff about how leaving my old uni has become a bit like leaving a cult where i can see the dysfunction from a distance clearly and the people i have left behind dont speak to me anymore (weird, that one), and the stuff about crap going on within the dog club and other friendships changing, and the stuff about struggling with motivation to get into a regular exercise routine.

there is also stuff about it being 6 months since bob died and we finally got the ashes, and some of the half brothers are being arses and contesting the will and all the CRAP around that (there are some really nasty pieces of work in this world, let me tell you), and then in the last week trent left his old job and took a new contract but was owed money from his old place, and instead of getting the money he got a letter that they had gone into voluntary adminstration and he was now on a list of creditors!! and then this morning, we get rear-ended by a tailgater on the way to work. while we were having an argument, no less.

so i dont know how to keep a blog that doesnt touch on those things, and if i am to write every day, it must touch on those things, because there is little knitting to report - clappy is nearly finished and i am embarking on a several christmas surprise knitting projects that i cant blog about.

you can see my dilemma, no?

k xx

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

its only tuesday...edited

i wrote a very pathetic post last night that no one will bother reading, and then this morning i saw georges' day in the life post and thought, thats what i should have done. so there being no rules in blogtoberfest about editing a days post, here goes.

day 14 - october 14 - a day in the life.

5am: woke up to the irritating sound of one those annoying koel birds and the crash of the garbage truck. trent gets up, makes coffee. i snooze on and off till after 6.

6.30am: rush into shower, quick blowdry of hair (really these shiny silver streaks are getting a bit out of control), pack bag etc.

7am: give dogs pigs ear treats! get into car. trent is driving today as he has moved workplaces to the city, so its not too much of a detour to drop him there and then i proceed to my work.

7.40am: take control of car, wind through back streets of chinatown, up harris st, onto cleveland st (funny how the cross city tunnell hasnt really improved things here) onto anzac pde, turn into high st, then botany st, then in gate 11 and the botany st carpark.

7.55am: rush to bathroom. why is it morning coffee goes through me like that?

8am: buy tall skim latte (a freebie today because i have filled in my coffee card) from the charming boys at the coffee cart, they even stir in my fake sugar for me. nice. go into building, walk up three flights of stairs.

8.10-10.30am. get to my office, turn on computer, wade through pile of emails that have built up since last thursday. this is the problem with only working 2 days, there really is a lot to do when you get in there! have a rather heated email chat with one of our members in the US who wants to know why he is being sent a reminder to renew by next feb when he only joined "your god-damned organisation" in august (and i quote. i find it hard to believe any deity cares enough about our little society to damn it, but anyway) and i try to explain membership procedures etc, and tell him he doesnt have to be so rude. he apologises, i explain what a good deal he is getting given the fact that the aussie dollar was worth 70 US cents yesterday, and we agree that we have not strained US-Australian relations too badly. but sheesh, some people are amazing!

10.30. start processing membership renewals (i have had 3 complaints and 30 renewals, so some people dont have a problem), only to find that i have no idea how to use the little gizmo my tech support has added to my database over the weekend. ring said tech support. breathe deeply. we get through that ok without a major argument. continue processing memberships.

12.30 stop for lunch. i managed to remember to give trent a left over stir fry for his lunch but forgot about myself, so i go downstairs to the southern wok and buy 'two choices, steam rice'. sambal vegetables, beef in black bean. coke zero. eat at my desk, reading the sydney morning herald online. decide the world is indeed going to hell in a handbasket.

1.30pm shuffling papers when my boss walks in. i give him a pile of contributors copyright agreements (we publish a little journal) for him to sign and then we talk about what i need to do while he is away for 2 months and i basically run the shop. there are some interesting things coming up, including the premiers history awards on oct 27, i dont know if i want to go tho, it being birthday day and all.

3.00pm, take an early mark, because i have to get home in time for the lawn mower man who is coming to look at the ride on which stopped suddenly in mid-mow on sunday.

3.10pm get really annoyed at the petrol station because its supposed to be cheap tuesday but it isnt, and there is only one petrol pump working, and now i am late.

3.20pm nearly run over renegade student pedestrians crossing anzac pde against the lights. fookin' stoodents, as noel gallagher put it so aptly once.

3.50pm arrive at my local shops, run in and buy bread, cereal and margarine, rush home, get out of car just as lawn mower man arrives. i dont even have time to pee or say hi to the dogs, because he is busy explaining the under-engine pulley system to me and how this belt has come loose and you really have to watch out for sticks. um, der. but anyway, he fixes it so im happy.

4.30pm let dogs out for run, go back inside, forget to close gate. turn on oven, defrost chook for dinner.

5.15pm peel veges, put in oven. go downstairs to hang towels out on line to discover two dogs missing. ask possum where they are, she looks across the paddock. sure enough jem has seen me and comes running, huge grin on his face, followed closely by his mortal enemy (but now his bestest buddy), kostya, the adopted dog, who is also grinning like he just saw something totally cool. they get close and i cringe. they have rolled in something. something vile. evil beyond words. they think they are the cleverest pair of dogs ever to put paws on this earth.

5.30-5.45pm wash dogs.

5.45-6.30pm iron some clothes.

6.30 dinner is ready and trent arrives home (we are storing a car here for someone, so he had to go pick it from her on his way home). he tells me to come outside, says that our someone has been clearing out her pantry and wonders whether we want some stuff. there are four milk crates and two cardboard boxes full of grocery items, unopened, including breakfast cereals, microwave popcorns, canned soup, jars of plum sauce (??), tin vegies, and an alarming amount of canned beans and lentils. we eat dinner first (roast chook and vegies) before packing it away.

8.15-10pm. finally repair to the couch. trent does some ironing, the phone rings, first australians start. i start the decrease rows on clappy - i am not sure if i have enough for another set of straight rows so decide not to risk it. i discover a potential problem with clappy - some dropped stitches have ravelled across ways in two places ( i must not have done the ktbl stitches there properly). i pout a bit, but i think it will be ok. during this time i also write a very pathetic blog post, which only bells has commented on, and i have now edited away).

10 something. get ready for bed, get into bed, watch rush, go to sleep.


Monday, October 13, 2008

friends, romans, countrymen...*

you know where im going with that of course, and its all i can think of whenever i think of todays word for blogtoberfest, ie, LEND.

but you dont need to lend me your ears, or your umbrellas, but i did want to take this chance to talk about how much lending has become a part of my knitting experience.

someone once said you keep what you have by giving it away and i think this is really the case when it comes to knitting. i have become a much better knitter because of the willingness of others to lend me their expertise, from ms spider with her sock lessons in civic starbucks (i hope she is proud of her protege who is now seriously addicted and can knit a sock sans pattern), to the pattern designers i will never meet in places likes and ravelry, who sweat for hours working out their clever designs and let us download them for free.

as a writer, this is the most generous act for me, to lend your intellectual property. i am not good at it. i noticed a sign at uni today for a seminar being presented by one of my former, um, colleagues. the ideas he is going to present seem rather familiar. a little bit too familiar, if you know what i mean. a part of me wants to go knock on his door and throw a little tanty (esp given he gave me grief about those ideas) but another part of me just shrugs and thinks, well i knew they were good!

so thank you to all the knitters out there who lend me their ears everytime i have a problem, or the pattern reading fairy strikes, or i run out of inspiration, and to all the knitters who share their creativity for our benefit, and to all the knitters who have given up their day jobs to create the websites to facilitate our addictions :)

oh, i got an interview for 'that museum job', by the way (its not till november 10 so dont hold your breath). and i had one student out of 30 who had watched first australians. it was great. go watch it. go. now.

k xx

ps. as i type this, i am watching people on 4 corners talk about predatory LENDing in the US mortgage market, which im sure i could find a way to incorporate into todays post, but i will refrain. im sure we've all had more than we can take on The Global Financial Crisis, which our PM has recently likened to an on going act of terrorism. chickens come home to roost more like....

* Julius Caesar Act 3, Sc II.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a day in the wild

welcome to day 12 of blogtoberfest. nothing as poetic as yesterdays effort im afraid, but we have a button!

it was a beautiful sunny day here but i didnt get a chance to take any more photos of adventure boy on his mower again (yes its that big. 5 acres big and those mowers take a bit of getting used to!). and then just when you get used to it, it stops going forward. there was some belt thing that fell off, and we were in the middle of fixing it when the strangers-into-family arrived.

this also meant that i didnt get a chance to take a photo of the goanna that appeared in the long grass left around the fence line. it sat in the sun for a while and then disappeared. yesterday we fished a small lizard out of the pool. a week ago a duck flew in and swam around in the pool for a while. the spiders are out in force. everyday there are cockatoos and lorrikeets hanging off the bottlebrush trees. and then there are the pests - the bush rats and the rabbits. its a jungle out there!

so the rest of the afternoon was spent with the kids in the pool, and then chasing rabbits, and then cooking dinner together, and then the washing and wiping up, and now we are exhausted, waiting for the first australians to start.

briefly on the knitting front, i am joining bells in her long lacy summer, apart from my usual lace socks to which i am so utterly addicted, i have some special yarn set aside for a particular project that i will blog about when i start it. in other news, i have frogged the floating blossom socks, the design is too pretty to be lost in a busy yarn, but i had a brainwave about what else that yarn should be and it is perfect, i cant believe i didnt think of it before, but i am saying no more as they are going to be a gift, and i have already nearly spoilt the surprise.

tomorrow i am back to wollongong for my second last day of teaching. i did get all my marking done finally, but i cant wait for this semester to be over and to not have to have anything much to do with Gen Y for another summer. maybe even not ever again. some of them are lovely. some of them are really frickin' painful.

whats the bet when i ask them tomorrow in their first year australian history class that ZERO percent of them watched the first australians?

k xx

Saturday, October 11, 2008

word of the year

transform – verb (used with object) change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose. change in condition, nature, or character; convert. change into another substance; transmute.

a student into a doctor
an adult into an orphan
a possum into yarn
yarn into a cardigan

two dogs into three
one sock into two
singles into couples
and back again

friends into aquaintances
avatars into friends
strangers into family
the beach into the bush

thirty into forty
a computer geek into adventure boy
a paddock into lawn


Friday, October 10, 2008

none here either....

a couple of days ago bells lamented that her inspiration for blogtoberfest had all dried up and i think mine has as well. perhaps it was all that deconstructing yesterday, but my brain is pretty shrivelled today. i hurt my neck swimming this morning (just had to push it that little bit too hard) and its stiff and sore and computerising is not helpful.

knitting probably isnt either, but i dont care, i am on to skein two of clapotis and am very happy with how its going and how long its going to be and i want to finish it soon. i have socks to be going on with and the summer lace project to start and i really do need to start a garment in summer so its ready for winter for once. i would like to make another lily because i learnt a lot from the last one and there are some things i would change, but also trent is due a jumper this year.

and there are christmas presents to be thinking of as well. already. where does the year ago? where do the decades go, even? another 17 days and my thirties are gone. only 15 sleeps till the party tho. catering is booked. accomodations arranged - ideas for easy finger foods that can be prepared earlier and served cold are welcome. george?

on that absolutely thrilling note, i am back to clapotis and a bourne repeat. i think i will steal some of janes suggestions to bells for more interesting posts over the weekend.

or else i can opt out of blogtoberfest and go for 'blogging without obligations' instead....

k xx

Thursday, October 09, 2008

deconstructing wall-e

i have been having some interesting discussions at home lately about the importance of sub-text - how does one know how and when to read between the lines etc - and have been castigated for all my p0-mo deconstructing mumbo jumbo. i get into trouble for this quite often, like when i lived in a share house and we all went to see that bridget fonda version of nikita (or la femme nikita), a perfectly good french film rendered unwatchable as 'the assasin' by hollywood, and on the walk home i bemoaned long and loud the anti-feminist sub-text, which did not make me popular with my blokey action loving house mates. sigh.

anyway, there is no such danger in the deconstruction of wall-e, mostly because the sub-text is not entirely sub. its a kids movie for a start, so you want the message to be kind of loud and clear, which it is - ie, clean up your rubbish and get off your arse. a perfectly legitimate message for a kids movie, actually i wish more kids movies had messages of this kind rather than the be a princess or a brat kind.

there was a sub-text tho, aimed at adults, and those who know the back room dealings between pixar and disney, evidenced by the fact that when wall-e starts up he makes a sound like a mac. this had me and only one other adult in the cinema laugh out loud while the kids looked at us like we were retarded. of course, wall-e is the reliable, break-proof, sturdy robot, while the white shiny ones developed by the company BNL (buynlarge - get it?) are either defective, soulless or mutinous, while BNL has branded itself on everything. so the sub-text is about capitalism and the commodification and disposability of modern life, the emptiness at the heart of consumption, the insidiousness of branding. it is possible that the CEO of BNL, the only non-animated character, could be said to look like a certain microsoft philathropist, but im sure the resemblance is purely co-incidental. that sub text is writ large in the closing titles, which the kids i was with didnt get, but show the re-evolution of the human species as it returns to earth through the changes in artistic styles, starting back in the stone age and becoming animated again. really very clever (altho of course there is a potential sub-subtext here of 'will we just make the same mistakes all over again' but that would be mean spirited of me).

but the real message was about love and loyalty, and sticking by your friends, no matter what, even when they shut down on you, or have some other 'directive' (wall-e in joke).

it was a really great movie, not just a good animation, (the graphics are beyond anything ive ever seen, the light and detail are amazing) but a really good plot and character driven, emotion laden, movie with a message, and you should go see it.

and no, i am not a mac user by nature, tho i love my nano. the irony of wall-e being yellow and dirty and not cute like an Eva-Ipod was not lost on me mr jobs.

k xx

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

wall-e wednesday

i am blogging early today because i am going out soon and will be tired when i get back.

one of the legacies left us by trent's dad is his adopted family, and today i am taking three young people to the mall and the movies. we are going to see wall-e. i am excited about it, it is supposed to be great.

we may also stop and have something sweet from here.

so three sugared-up young people. in a shopping mall. during school holidays. egads!

meanwhile i am nearly half finished clappy. yes yes i know im slow. i thought it would not be long enough but i am getting good yardage from this fibreworks alpaca merino blend that feels like silk, and it gets longer everytime i do a row of drop stitches.

i only want a light scarf, so i think once its blocked it will be sufficient.

i have not resolved the sock dilemma re solid v variegated. i have been given interesting but conflicting advice. i am going to put it aside till clappy's done and worry about it then.

have a good one
k xx

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

hysterical wars

it was another ordinary day at the australian hysterical association, as some people i know have taken to calling it. it seems to fit, oddly, historians being a bit passionate at times. they like to dig out the knives every so often and stick them into the back of 'some old queen or other' (oooh look, smiths lyrics in the BODY of the post!)

fighting continues in the history wars, with our best and brightest being appointed to the prime ministers curriculum board, bringing out the usual charges of pinky leftie commies under the bed, again. like really people, didnt we do that one already? its all so last century...

meanwhile, 40 years since it was first named, the great australian silence continues. i am looking forward to seeing what rachel has to say about it.

but otherwise, as someone clever once said, nothing interesting happened today.


Monday, October 06, 2008

the morning after...

this blogtoberfest thing makes me feel like i no sooner blogged than i have to blog again! who will have time to keep up?! what will i say tomorrow when i am doing nothing interesting but going to work?!

anyway, today is a long weekend, which some people think is appropriate given the result of the football game last night. let us speak no more of that.

it has been raining all weekend in lovely heavy showers followed by constant drizzle, last night we went outside before bed to find the house encircled in a true scotch mist. all this wet is making everything so green, its the type of green that hurts your eyes:

it is also the type of wet that has me inside on a holiday doing this:

i believe this will be penultimate lot of marking ever, if i am lucky. (i have applied for another 2 day a week job doing some research for a museum but i dont want to jinx it so am not going to talk about it anymore...). regardless of how that turns out, i am determined to not get sucked into the trap of academic jobs, which are all about teaching and not about research these days, and i didnt spend 10 years at uni to become a glorified babysitter.

meanwhile, i have a knitting question. i have restarted my tinkingbell socks with the cherry tree hill yarn on 2.5mm needles because the pattern wasnt working on the 3mms and such fine yarn. thing is, i am not entirely sure it will work with this yarn, it being variegated. the pattern is not standing out like it would in a solid colour, but even so, there is something about this i quite like:

the colours are darker than this in real light and it has a lovely aztec feel to it. but im not sure. what do you think? should the floating blossom socks only be done in solid yarns, or is this worth pursuing?


Sunday, October 05, 2008

mixed emotions

we are home early from another day avoiding the rain and chasing sheep. if me and my possum worked sheep everyday i think we'd be pretty good at it, she is a natural of course but her stupid handler often gets in the way. like today, i felt like my brain was as thick as the mud i was wading through. partly this is because we stuffed up on the daylight saving switch thing, thinking that our mobile phones would make the change automatically. wrong. so we got up at 6 instead of 5 and had to shower and leave, no coffee. in the haste to leave we forgot to take our mobile coffee pot. it was at least 9am (or is that 8am?) before i got some caffeine. this set me back all day!

and now we are waiting for the kickoff in the rugby league grand final, in which trents team is playing. his team is the manly sea eagles. they are possibly the most hated team in the league, but considering he was born in manly hospital, he gets to go for them. now we are living deep in manly territory. houses and shopping centres and bridges and people have been walking around all this week draped in manly colours, maroon and white. i cant tell you how uncomfortable this makes me. i was born and bred on the southern beaches, my dad played for the rabbits and i grew up in cronulla. cronulla are my usual team (tho they are so useless i gave up on them years ago). the thing is, cronullas mortal enemy is manly. everytime we have been in a grandfinal, it was against manly, and we have been always denied. hatred of manly, if you live in cronulla, is a way of life. so it makes me queasy to be around so much maroon and white.

my problem tho is two fold. the other team today is melbourne. why would i want a melbourne team to win? i wouldnt. and i want trent to be happy. but i cant go for manly. i just cant. so there is no joy for me in rugby league today, either way. but its 2 or 3 hours where i get to sit and knit uninterrupted, so thats what i'll be doing.

the problem there is i dont know whether to do socks or clapotis....


k xx

Saturday, October 04, 2008

and again....

today it rained. we got wet.

instead of staying out of the rain like smart people, we left home at 6am to go sit in a wet and muddy paddock to have our dogs chase some sheep around.

here are the sheep:

as i mentioned yesterday, these are descendants of the orignal merinos bought to australia by the marine-turned-criminal-turned-farmer john macarthur and his wife elizabeth. they are kept at belgenny farm, the macarthurs first sheep farm, as a piece of living history. behind them is the original belgenny cottage, part of it dating back to 1810.

while i have my own rather contrary opinions about the legacy of white agricultural ventures in colonial australia, if it werent for the macarthurs and these sheep, i wouldnt be knitting, so i will keep the self-righteous hypocrsiy to a minimum.

as you can see, the dogs worked hard.

we are going back tomorrow for more, and considering i am about to lose an hours sleep with the advent of daylight saving, thats all folks.

k xx

Friday, October 03, 2008

the bleeding obvious...

it was hot today.

i went for a swim:

this was after we got back from a long drive to mittagong to pick up some beds from a friends place. they will come in handy for a certain Event being planned for later this month.

this weekend we are off to herding school at camden to run around a paddock with a dog and some crazy sheep descended from the original macarthur merinos and so inbred they dont know how to act like sheep. should be fun anyway.

so long as its not so hot.

k xx

Thursday, October 02, 2008


everyone else is doing it so i think i will too. it makes sense because october 2008 is the month of my 40th birthday. 25 days to go of my thirties.

my hair is going grey.

k xx

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

if youre happy and you know it clap your hands....

well the smiths didnt write any songs with the word 'clap' in the title, and that was the only one i could think of so...

but i am happy, and i am clapping - see:

i so love how this is turning out, but i absolutely will not have enough yarn to make it as long as i would like, so looks like a little spending spree at fibreworks is in order....

not right now tho. i think we spent enough today at a certain little swedish variety outlet....

trent quit his job yesterday because he got a new one starting next week. so we went shopping. he has also been playing with his pool. like, twice a day:

at least i can say i do have a cabana boy!

on the tinkingbell sock front, i had to frog them because the cherry tree hill yarn wasnt working on the 3mm needles, so i went back to 2.5s. it is a variegated yarn which is usually a killer for lacey patterns but this one is working, in an odd kind of way. will show more when its further advanced. i might even post it over on the SSS blog, which i am very pleased that bells and rosered have decided to get going again this summer. i will try not to put so much pressure on myself this time tho!

speaking of pressure, i got an email yesterday from that place where i teach a bit, telling me i had been nominated for a teaching award. get this tho, you have to then APPLY yourself, so you have to put together a portfolio of your teaching experience and explain why you should get the award you just got nominated for. does that seem like a seinfeld moment to anyone? i am SO not going to bother, just on principle. stupid unis. what do they know about anything?!

k xx