04 December 2010

greener pastures

It's been so long that I've gone beyond filling in the gaps. So I'll just start with now. Now, we are preparing to visit Uluru. This time next week, we'll be out there for a mini-break. Well, the break is for me. K has an interview for a ranger job. For a range of reasons it makes sense. If When he gets it, he'll move out there, working a ten days on-four days off roster. I'll stay here for the time being, til we see how things pan out. We'll see each other once a fortnight. It will be hard. But good, in many ways. I'm excited by the prospect of getting to discover the place. I have not been there since my first visit as a sixteen (?) year old. And excited to be moving forward with life-plans. K, I think, will enjoy the return to a social workspace, after months of web design from the spare room studio. And it will put us in a position to do something about our renewed case of Tassie Mania.

Indeed, it seems the stars are screaming change. At least two group-lings we know are moving to Melbourne town. (And hey, if they must move, what better place?) Mum is finally getting some traction with the medical world, after a fruitless year. For me, the current work gig is coming to an end, and I can't help but embrace the change. I'll be back to my policy post. And if all goes well in the desert, moving out there.

Anyway, that's probably all I've got for now... we are off on this very wet, blustery eve to hear Joel Salatin talk. Which I just know is going to make the Tassie Mania bug latch on.

12 October 2010

a general malaise

Perhaps not quite the headline you'd expect after the preceding tales of love and seaside holidays. If, in fact, you were expecting anything at all, following an entirely silent September here. Life's been roaring along. But something's amiss. I've not been able to quite put my finger on it til today. Self-diagnosis: a delayed bout of post-holiday blues. Fuelled along by an unusually rainy and grey Spring. I've never seen it rain like this... nor missed the sun so much in Queensland.

As usual, work is the nub of my irk. The return from holidays was not so bad... in fact, work was entirely reasonable for a couple of weeks. In the post-holiday glow, I conceded that I would never be entirely on top of it all. Seven peeps to manage, a shirtload of work and an information environment that makes my multi-tab webtrawling a playground. Nevermind that it is kind of a playground. Anyhoo. So the work is amping up. And I've come to a disturbing realisation. Sheepishly, kind of late in the piece. After most of this year warming this particular roost, I've realised that perhaps I don't really like it so much. I don't want to be responsible for other people any more. I don't want to continuously struggle to stay on top of the ridiculous information flow. I'm sick of churning out god-damn widgets. And I hate having to always be 'on', no matter how crap I feel. There's no checking the news, attending to personal errands or taking time for lunch. Sure, I was happy to give it a whirl, and hang about for a bit while they needed me. But now, on the cusp of potentially yet another extension, I feel very much backed into a corner. Like I've been stealthily groomed for it. Maybe I'm naive. I should have anticipated. It gets worse. Next week I am being the Director (bah!) and have to go to Sydney to represent Queensland at a national thingy. Sheesh. I do not feel the love.

Anyway, it all still hangs. Perhaps I'll get to go back to my policy post. I'm trying to remember why I latched the desk shackles back on, chill out a bit and enjoy all the great stuff outside work. But still. I went to the fabulous Women of Letters last week (my cousin said go, then K's sister invited me: fated?). The premise is that a bunch of talented writerly folk read letters they have penned to their most treasured posession. It was funny, inspiring and revealing, and totally worth it even though it made me feel old. (Especially so when I heard the next day that, after I'd bailed, K's sister who is an editor partied on into the eve with the booky-cool crowd, performing a karaoke duet with Marieke Hardy!) Anyway, moving on. Reflecting on the evening's monologues, I realised... I could write like that! I can write like that! I did write like that, once! What has happened to my writing?! Of course, thus ensued my own monologue, along the lines of 'what am I doing with my life, I'm creatively driven, why am I still chained to this god-boring public service desk? Gah! Double gah!! Holy GAH!!!'.

And that's where I'll end this little rant. It's way past my bedtime. And I'm 'on' first thing tomorrow. Any advice about what to take for a general malaise would be much appreciated.

29 August 2010

winter beach wanderlust

We headed south along the coastal road from Brisbane,
clutching a map and our weary souls. Excited not to have a destination. And to be taking our first holiday together. ♥ We spent nearly three weeks swagging, mostly in national parks. Oh, the beauty. Spectacular! And places I hadn't heard of. Bundjalung, Yuraygir, Crowdy Head, Hat Head and many more. 

What I loved? Being present for dawns and dusks. Open fires and woodsmoke. The chill, clean salt air. Horizons. The endless magnificence of sky. Its shifting constellations. Observing the passage of time by the moon, from new to full. Watching dunes dance with coastal heathland, wetland dance with the beach, playing out a milennia-long negotiation of habitat borders. Wildflowers coming into bloom. Everywhere, the heady scent of Acacia longifolia. Banksias so fulsome, like baby echidnas up trees, bristled snouts pointing skyward.

I positively lusted for the subtlety of colour in the landscape. The windswept coastal daisy, bloom and foliage so pale as though its colour's been blown out of it. Driftwood like dirty snow. Creamy paperbarks and late afternoon ice-pink rockpools. Opalescent shorelines. Midnight blue lakes and barely-purple dune shadows. Amber-rimmed pandanus and casuarina silhouettes. The cool molten twilight sky.

We saw whales - indeed we were close enough, from a headland in Hat Head National Park, to hear one breathe. Saw another crashing its fluke amorously into the water. And met one poor fellow, long dead and washed up on a beach at Lake Arragan. Came face to beak with a coastal emu. And stumbled one night by the campfire directly into the gaze of a tawny frogmouth. Watched pelicans coast. Dolphins surf. Saw a turtle poke its head up for a fleeting minute in our world. And magpies, perhaps the most polite of the sociable birds (and who uncannilly seemed to be named 'Michael' everywhere we went), would join us for breakfasts, sometimes chortling a morningsong.

We slept and rose early, calmed by the never-sleeping surf and the whispering breeze through casuarinas above our heads. Watched meteors slip cross the sky from our swag. Found mystical middens, their powder-white-and-purple shells, mosaic-like amongst water-rippled dunes. Picked up heart-shaped rocks. Saw an eternity of designs in the humble shell. Our quiet insignificance, witness to ancient rhythms.

We didn't venture far from the coast. But mused much upon the ubiquitous concrete abominations to nature, sprawling low brick mansions with kept lawns and sparkling four-wheel drives. Huddled together. Ugly, inward looking, and utterly out of place. In ironic denial of the coastal landscape they intrude upon.

What we relished, simple scenes of oyster farms, dirt tracks and fibro shacks. Our little lunches of sardine sandwiches. Billycan dinners. Unlatching ourselves from clocks and computers. After nearly three weeks, our bones chilled by aberrant north-westerlies, our souls renewed. Toes numbed by dawn and dusk wanderings across cold sand, hearts alive. 

The days went quickly. We got as far south as Hawks Nest, on the northern shores of Port Stephens. We'd love to have gone further, and would have - indeed will, in time! As much as 'we love camping' (our catchcry every time we fumbled with crud in the back of the car), we were happy to return to our cosy little house at the 'Hill. With a renewed appreciation of the present. And a scribbled note to self, which, amongst other things, aims to remind me to take greater care with the work/life divide, including taking holidays more often.

As for photos, well, there are a few. I've been kicking the wheels on a few Wordpress themes, and thinking about a photoblog. But perhaps, given my awesome decision-making prowess, I'll start by upgrading my neglected Flickr account.

One more week of holidays. To dream and do. Til next time. Which won't be so long.

04 August 2010

a love story

Oh, there is so much to catch up on. K quit his job, and I've just started five weeks of humungously overdue holidays. Last week we bought an old Landcruiser (I officially own two cars at the same time - woe, the excess!!), which we've been furiously kitting out - K built us some nifty storage boxes which double as a base for our swag, so we can sleep in the car if it's cold/wet. We've restocked on all the tools and camping gear that went AWOL in the back of Barry. We hit the coastal road south in about ten minutes! But that can all wait. First, I'm going to recount a little love story. Because it's worth sharing... even though the photo-feature is already out there.

Flashback, January 2009. I was house-sitting in the boondocks of Brisvegas. Minding a demanding cat. Had just returned from Gippsland to city life, and to 'work' after my little wanderings and forced spell of introspection. I spent nights cooking tofu, web trawling, and feasting upon the entire Love My Way boxset. During the web trawling, I *fast forwards a little bit* happened upon a guy. Who lived in a bus called Alice. Looked like a bushie. Spoke a desert language. Created amazing landscape photographs. And was migrating from the outback to the coast, just south of Bris-vegas. I emailed him. He emailed back. I emailed him again... and all went quiet.

I moved into a little house on the 'Hill. I went to work, went to yoga. Kept cooking. Unpacked a little. Relished domesticity, and being still.

Fast forward six months. Not looking, I found him again. And this time he wrote back, many times. I counted eleven thousand words in one week. So I invited myself for a visit! We met on Sunday 12 July 2009, at Tallebudgera. We had a nervous cup of tea in the bus. Then went kayaking on the creek. Further upstream than he'd ever been. (Unknowingly, I almost killed him - we'd left without food...) After emergency first-lunch back in the bus, we wandered into Burleigh for fish and chips on the foreshore. At dusk we had beers on the beach. And at twilight, walked back through the Burleigh headland, where our path was lit by fireflies. Dazzling.

It was a huge day. Driving back to Bris-vegas, my whole being raced. I had some mad inexplicable conviction that I was either going to marry him, or he was going to break my heart. Later that week his brother moved in around the corner from me. Of all the burbs in Brisbane! So we met for the second time, and it was sealed.

So much has happened since then. It has been as difficult, at times, as it has been wonderful. We got over some early speed wobbles. And moved on to the greater challenge: longeivity. I can only think to explain it like this. Imagine a forest of really old trees. They survive because they've put down deep roots. Maybe buttresses too. And they need space from other old trees, for the roots to absorb the goodness from the earth, and for the leaves to draw sunlight and moisture. Now imagine, if two of the trees tried to share the same space. How to refashion their trunks to fit the other? How to each get what they need from the world? Maybe it's not a perfect analogy, but it makes perfect sense to me.

A few weeks ago, we went back to Burleigh to celebrate our first year. (We count the day we met as our anniversary.) Sunrise at Currumbin Rocks (above). Beachside carousing. And fish and chips on the foreshore. Where we made it official. The betrothal, I mean. Can you believe the Relics already knew?! And with that, completing the loop on that mad, knowing conviction.

03 July 2010

the remaining daylight hours

The cold has arrived. And it's mostly dark. Though it's light when I walk to work, before I close myself off from the world for the remaining daylight hours. The managerial gig has been given legs til October. And we've just clocked into what is being billed as The Most Hideous Month of the year. Oh joy. It's official: I have no life. I'm wracked with tiredness. Food-ism is gone. Lunches are coffee, and whatever I have scavenged in the morning (thank goodness for muesli bars and leftovers). I realised last weekend, after a much-needed massage from the musculoskeletal guru, that my back has been a crunchy Rubik's cube of stress for who-knows-how-long. I could barely turn my neck and didn't even realise it until I left with big arse cupping bruises on my nape and a slightly new feeling of movement. Ick. Mostly I don't see, hear or read any news (or any cultural communicado, for that matter), aside from my new fascination for TweetDeck. Which I hook myself up to in the evenings like an information junkie. (I have a theory about that - in a nutshell it's about how my twelve thousand emails a day is changing my brain to need to respond to stuff. Which I get barely the slightest chance to skim over.)

Ho-diddly-hum. I'm aware I'm whinging. But this lifestyle SUCKS. I am so terribly frustrated at the lack of balance. I work my arse off for solid hours daily. Meanwhile my whole body falls apart and I have no time to enjoy life. Weekends are catch up and attempted recuperation.

I realised (as did the mindful observer) that I'm probably approaching burnout. And that it's situation 'dissolve into a molten pool of angst', or take a break. So we've cancelled work for August. All of it! We are thinking of selling my little car, getting a second-hand four-wheel drive and camping the east coast, starting or ending up in Gippsland. We would've liked to go west and central, but thought four weeks might be cutting it fine. And I would be the happiest little camper if all I did is hang out at the beach (probably in my thermals with current weather, but that's completely fine), read, do morning yoga and just walk and potter with camera and pen. Maybe revisit Hat Head National Park, Ben Boyd and others a bit more off the trail. I have whole-body cravings for horizons and shorebreaks and salt air. Which I realised last weekend when we escaped down to Burleigh for half a day, which is where the above was snapped.

So, this week I came home to a present: a swag! Now, to survive the month from hell. I'm afraid I'm not going to want to go back. Again...

19 June 2010

loveapalooza long play

Oh. Finally, time stops. Work work work work work. Stress. My brain is full with it. Flitting on the interwebs grasping inspiration in nanosecond doses. If there is one thing that frustrates me, it's the impossible lack of balance in my life at the moment. The work shenanigan makes me so tired I've got nothing left over, not even for basic proper self maintenance. Nuthin! Well, maybe a little bit of cooksy, but even my kitchen mojo refuses to participate lately. I'm also rapidly developing goldfish memory. I put it down to WAY too much info in my work world at a pace I can barely pretend to keep up with.


Oh, in keeping with previous statement... my news, almost forgot! I got my job, the policy gig I've been doing for past year. Permanent tenure as principal advisor in the policy realm. A relief not to have to go back to the previous work-life, and validation in policy world. Not that I'll be doing that job for a while. Looks like I'll be extended where I am in manager-dom til Sept. Once Estimates over, I can plan hols - woo!

Anyway, irks aside. Good things; K's sister's wedding last weekend, Loveapalooza, (Q's bday eve). The honeymoon came before the vows. The bride wore Akira, we did photos at New Farm Park, followed by the main act (the vows, on stage) and reception (the carousing) at The Zoo, Brissie's most respected live music venue. Oh yeah...

Here's some shots of the peripherals - for the main game, go to the links above...

empty stage...

the groom, best guy and photo-dude wait...
 stalking with camer-am-era....

some of the Lusks...

dancefloor moment #one

dancefloor moment #two, with ms k

dancefloor moment #three @ the party end of Loveapalooza

Yes. Naturally the shots of me with choclate mud cake in my mouth, and whooping it up on the dancefloor with K's mum (with my rocknroll face on) are on the cutting room floor... :p

29 May 2010

the devoted bureaucratica

A last dash to press publish on something here in May. Time is slippery and work all consuming, to my utter dismay. All my energy at the moment is devoted to desk [cringe]. And despite the solid manic hours at desk, I have done the thing I loathe most - brought work home.

The past couple of weeks have been quite the little stress-fest. I was thrown out of my depth, delegated to attend a workshop with Commonwealth peeps which required considerable push back from the states (ie, me on behalf of Qld). Eek. I don't love that stuff at all. The policy gig I was doing for nearly a year (until elevation to the current temp desk) also became permanently vacant, so equal parts energy-angst were devoted to making a pitch for it. Outcome unknown, but I think I did okay. It's a level up from my substantive foothold, so would significantly help future escape schemes. Which, have I mentioned I am coveting after a solid year and a half of administrivia/bureaucratica. Oh rosy leave balance, light in my tunnel.

So while my brain went to custard, housecleaning and cooking went to hay. General attention to things going on in the world dropped to nil (not through lack of interest). Never mind things like creative pursuits (luckily I had a couple of foodie posts up my sleeve). But hail the silver lining: K's talent for a killer Chinese chicken stir fry revealed... and deft handling of me in meltdown mode. And while I must remain under my rock, he is my preferred news feed, with wonderful op-ed pieces over the dinner table (when not fawning over new man-crush Alan Davies)... hehe!

But thank goodliness, I think I'm emerging from this little twister. Looking forward to K's sister's wedding in a couple of weeks. And while both our current work arrangements make holiday-planning complicated, we have eyes on a getaway soon-ish. Oh delight.

30 April 2010

Vale Barry... (hello Noosa)

Hmm. Where to start? Life has been chaotic, in good ways, and not so good. K has had a trifecta of crap luck... starting with him sitting on (and cracking) the screen on his phone, escalating to his camera dying while we were (luckily at the tail end of) a (paid) photogig at Wivenhoe a couple of weeks ago. Fast forward a week from then... the Friday before the Anzac long weekend, his car (and some might say, four-wheeled companion), 'Barry', was stolen. Barry was all packed for a weekend of beach camping at Straddie, with the kayak on top. And a lifetime's accumulation of tools and other man-stuff in the back (there's no garage at the 'Hill), and sentimental bits like dot paintings from the desert. Vale Barry...

We were sooo in need of a break so I ended up splurging on an apartment at Marcus Beach, a stone's skip south of Noosa. And I mean literally 'at' the beach... a barefoot stroll through the sand and heath to the shoreline... 

We had barbecues, seafood, wine, swam in the ocean, walked on the beach and through the national park to the headland... rounds of morning coffees with multiple weekend papers... and a spa bath with bubbles and more wine! There were even once-in-a-guitar and every-other-harmonica appearances! We even arrived in brand new little flashy hire car courtesy K's insurance... it was all rather extravagant and we felt like different versions of us!

It was an incredible contrast to the ultra crazy blur of life in the new work gig, with its never-more lunch breaks, days that resemble Tetris on 11-speed, drowning in emails, deadlines, inordinate Commonwealth requests (oops probably not supposed to say that) and the revolving door to my desk (I don't have an actual door - I'm still a pleb cog in the machine). I feel very much the parody of the ineffectual middle manager but am optimistic things will get better (though my brain has clearly turned to mush this week after three goes at posting this baby)... ho hum...

Anyway, despite the gripes, there have been equal amounts of goodliness. Here's some snaps from recent celebrations, and meanderings at Wivenhoe to prove it!

15 April 2010

once in a lifetime

Several lifetimes ago (actual time, about six weeks), I ordered a new laptop. Dell charged me for said laptop immediately upon receiving my order. Then made me dig through their website to find my order details, which upon kindly revealing to me (the one whose credit card got hit up lifetimes in advance of receiving anything for the privilege... grrrrr!), didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Which wasn’t much. When I tried to phone, they kept me on hold for insane amounts of time and finally, after a few tries, I got some joy (I use this word loosely), a month into my wait, from an Indian lass who told me there was a parts shortage. Her niceness saved her from hearing about several kinds of shortages I was experiencing.

In the intervening lifetime I've been limping along painfully with my crusty, old, fickle malfunctioning Dell. Double grrr to the power of grrrrrr! It would have done me a favour if it had just carked it outright. But nooo. It lulled me into thinking it was halfway operable. And me, like a moth to the flame, limped along while it drove me halfway round the bend.

Anyway, this week it f-i-n-a-l-l-y arrived. My new Dell - hereafter referred to as ‘Kit’ because he is a slimline glossy black number and though he doesn’t talk to me with synched blinking red LED lights, he has ... facial recognition technology!

[chorus of angels appears while marching girls in top hats and stilettoes parade under a spotlit shower of glittery tickertape and a booming voice announces the beginning of... a new world order]

Well. Perhaps not quite. But a very big leap back into the land of things that just work. Oh the joy!

And. Since I'm told the relics now must tune into the blog to find out what’s going on in my life...  a work update. Nearly three weeks ago I finished doing the latest acting stint and went back to the policy desk. I barely warmed the seat before being offered the opportunity to return to the acting post, which I did this week. The one with the team (and a stuffed dog called Poochie, who in my absence, has been elevated to bona fide team member status with his own capability and achivement plan - woof), in a foreign land where numbers and data rule. 

Thankfully they have words there too.

Oh, and on the weekend we went out to Wivenhoe (Brisbane's now very full catchment) for a photo shoot at a property with big rolling paddocks and eyefuls of water... photos to come. I wonder if Kit can install his own Photoshop?

02 April 2010

introducing... one small kitchen

After several months of dreaming, plotting and building (and endless tweaking), I finally felt brave enough this week to send my new little web project out into the world. Introducing... one small kitchen. Yes, it's a food blog. Yes, another food blog. I know. And, more to the point, another blog, when I can't even manage to post regularly to this one.

Friends have been suggesting for ages that I do something more with my photography. Over Christmas K suggested I start my own food blog. I was a bit hesitant at first. Does the world really need more food porn? Probably not. But you know what? That shouldn't stop me from following my passions. Besides, I think I can breathe my own style into it. At the very least it will be a record of the things I like to cook, and of my own journey exploring food. Maybe others will take something from it - and if not, that's okay, because I'm doing this for me. But I've been quite chuffed and astounded with the enthusiastic response in the first day and a bit. (Well on my way to having more Facebook fans than friends!) Thank you to everyone who has left a lovely comment, passed it on, or just stopped by. It's nice to know it's resonating with people!

But the biggest thanks goes to K who kicked me in the butt and gave (and continues to give) a humungous amount of time, web-nerdery and design nous behind the scenes (not to mention endless patience and calm when I have wanted to chuck my ailing computer out the window) to make this happen. (He is also a web-nerd for hire.)

Anyway, if you haven't checked it out yet, please do! I'll be posting a follow-up to the sourdough Easter buns with a slightly tweaked recipe.

Happy Easter! x

14 March 2010


You know how things can lay dormant for ages and then all spark at once? The past couple of weeks have been a case in point, particularly in the hardware realm. My laptop went kaput (again... because I maxed out its hard drive again). Then my external hard drive clapped out (a stupid lightweight mobile one - grrr! Never again!). Luckily I have most of my photos on disc, though I've been too afraid to check them for fear they have somehow lost their contents (this seemed to happen a bit when I've tried to play them on my jury-rigged-for-far-too-long computer). So in the past week, to the exuberant joy and relief of the in-house helpdesk, I've replaced both laptop and hard drive. The new laptop should arrive this week. Maybe I'm living in some sort of naive utopia, but I'm hoping this will be the end of the line for the techno problems which have been sapping my living spirit for some months.

Before my entire world-on-computer unravelled I had decided to treat myself to, and ordered a new lens for my camera. Yesterday I picked it up. It's the second lens I've ever owned and I love it. It's a fixed focal length with a really large aperture and gives wonderfully dreamy shots. Kind of what the world looks like to early morning eyes when you're still waking up! Though I'm not usually eyeballing an empty Green and Black's chocolate wrapper (above) before breakfast. Anyway. I love it. And can't wait to play with it more.

All the helpdesk has to complain about now is my mobile phone from 1983...

04 March 2010

i made it

Last month I made it to inner circle of recipients who receive a 'pinch and a punch' text message from K's Mum. (I think I also scored points for being the only sibling or partner of sibling to reply... but I digress.) This month, her phone was broken. So the first of the month kind of passed without me really realising it... or its significance. It took me until this morning, on the walk to work, to realise that I'd made it to my goal. 'The' goal. The one that I returned to Brisbane for... long service leave! My leave balance now stands at 64 days... or about three months leave on full pay, or six months on half pay. 

Wooooo! I made it!

Now we just have to work out how to use it! Of course there's no shortage of ideas... road trips through Central Australia and Western Australia, reconaissance to Tassie and central coast New South Wales... and a further school of thought (that I'd rather not hear), that says 'save it'. Still, plenty of time to decide... and it's a rather happy decision to be charged with, kind of like the 'how I'd spend a windfall' daydream.

15 February 2010

greenmount... and other stuff

Just back from a beachy weekend at Greenmount, which (if your Gold Coast geography is as negligible as mine), is basically the most southern part of the 'Goldie' before the NSW border. We'd stopped there months ago and had beers on the beach at dusk, the tide crashing about our ankles. It's retro beach chic is still somewhat intact (think vanilla brick low-rise apartment blocks with big sandy lawns).

It was our first chance in ages for saltwater swimming, curtailed somewhat on Saturday by bluebottles. Which meant ... cue the kayak! Our first paddle in many moons, up the Tweed. Woohoo! We also spent some time catching up with some of K's friends. And despite some previous bah-humbug sentiment in this camp about the origins/intent of 14 Feb, had a lovely Sunday at the beach, trawled through a vintage market, and relaxed with beers and fish and chips on the foreshore at Burleigh on dusk (a replay of our first ever dinner - aww!)

Anyway, the sun and salty breeze was much needed tonic. We have been missing its presence. I've been going hard to get the new web project sorted, because it's actually live and scoring hits from Google. Which is great, but also kind of not, since it's incomplete... and probably doesn't make a lot of sense under its current (temporary) domain. And really, I should be keeping this to myself so you don't go and Google it! But it's kind of exciting! 

Oh. And stuff happening on the job front. Today was day one in a new job... only a short-term backfilling gig. But in an area I know nothing about, and leading a team... eek! But also nice to have something new to get into.

07 February 2010

a complete day

Life has been speeding along. Nothing new there. A year since the bushfires, and there are downpours here and floods in New South Wales. Work is plenty busy, and there's news on that front just round the corner. I've also been idling away sunny days at the keyboard trying (seemingly fruitlessly) to bend and shape a couple of web projects into being. Lamenting the feeling of another weekend slipping through my fingers, I wondered if maybe I would feel like I'd achieved more if I could finish the sentence, 'a day would not be complete without...'. So. In an effort to check that I'm spending my time where it matters, a day would not be complete without...

cuddles and aimless lovely time with K
yoga, or at least a very quick stretch
a solid walk
making a little bit of art, whether through photography, words, craft-ivity or meddling in the dirt
reading, be it the papers, policy stuff for work, a cookbook or ... lo and behold, that long neglected beast, the book!
and of course, food dreaming, cooking and eating yummy food - accomplished this morning via pancakes with figs, yoghurt and honey... yum!

Feel free to join in...

24 January 2010

paper & wood bits and bobs

Have been wanting for a while now to post some photos of recent domestic~crafty activity ... including my wonderful new kitchen shelves (a Christmas gift from K) which go a long way to solving the problems of an impossibly small pantry, and the ex science-lab drawers that QUT (fortuitously for our craft room) piffed out. Late last year I saw some floor-to-ceiling driftwood hanging things in Biome which inspired a small driftwood, paua-shell and stone mobile which now adorns our front door. And then there's the world's most ridiculously-labour-intensive paper crane mobile, which I made as a xmas gift (but ended up giving to myself, given the time frittered away making it) ...

19 January 2010

acquisitions, realignments, removals

Last weekend I had an epiphany. I returned to see Kaja, the musculoskeletal therapist who I had a small win with last year. She massaged, she cupped. And realigned my hips. Oh the glory! I am a new woman. All this time and effort to rid myself of ongoing back irks has been largely in vain because my right hip was completely out of whack. I have known for a long time that my back problems stem from this hip alignment thing. But I cannot believe I have waited ten years to learn that half my pelvis could be quite easily manipulated back to its correct position. Meanwhile I've been hobbling around for half a year with this bloody thing. No more. Cupping? Holistic therapies? I believe. Sign me up. Now.

Cracking the back thing has been like a floodgate. The last 24 hours have been action stations. Yesterday I spied more covetable chuck-out items at the university I walk through to work (the one demolishing their science block, pool and gym). So off we trundled last night on another furniture heist. We scored a low coffee table for the deck, a gutsy all-weather storage box with handles, a cute little display case and a bizarre water-level monitor from 1975 (puchased in 1975 for $1221.57; salvaged from a skip thirty-five years later, gratis).

Also last night, the Greeks across the road tipped us off that the council had been round that day measuring up the bus, which has been parked across the road (innocuously, til now, beside a retaining wall). We’ve had a good run. She’s been there since November. And her Northern Territory rego has just lapsed. Council bills heavy vehicle owners $500 for the privilege. So. After our late-night furniture heist, we had a late-night tactical planning session, and today, got up way too early to relocate the (unregistered, mechanically tenuous but adorable) bus.

She is now snugly re-housed out in the burbs somewhere next to a paddock with goats. If anyone knows anyone with a bit of land they’d like to pimp, within say a 200km radius of downtown brisvegas, please get in contact.

Oh. Life is full. We are also ankle-deep in what could become a very large and cumbersome (but potentially very profitable) book disposal operation. And I am plotting some fun webby stuff too. More on all that soon. And photos of acquisitions and recent crafty concoctions. But now, to bed.

08 January 2010



Just back from a bush Christmas at Binginwarri, which is usually very breezy and contained. This year it became a nest for visiting cousins, kidlings, uncles and friends, and some lovely, overdue catch-ups were had. It was also the first meeting of K and the relics. And K and half the family. Naturally he got the big thumbs up, especially from the older-female-contingent (I'm not sure they’ve seen a bloke wash and fold laundry in… well, I’m stopping right about there).

We made a few easy trips beyond the bush block… a lazy lunch of fish and chips at Port Albert with Cousin B and her bloke M, where we watched their Small Z plop around in the shallows. We also made a much-delayed inaugural trip to the Celia Rosser Gallery in Fish Creek, where Mum scored a very collectable banksia print for her birthday, K scored a personal hello from The Celia, and I scored a $5 teapot from the Fish Creek Op Shop which was having a sale. A visit to our WWOOFer friends up in the Strezleckis provided mucho inspiration for our land/house building dream.

New years was a scorcher… the extended tribe milled about the barbecue before some wild weather from the west rolled in and provided a stellar full moon light-and-cloud formation. Back on the verandah, the bubbles flowed, the sparklers spitzed and the party-poppers provided instant rainbow moustaches for those who’d outdone themselves on the fizz (ahem).

My long-lost brother and his partner also made a visit late in the piece. In fact, the family stuff ran so long that we ran out of time for a sail on Westernport and a quick-stop in Melbourne… so we’ll be scouting for cheap flights soon to remedy that.

It sounds kind of busy, but there was still time to slow down and enjoy late afternoon walks along the Hedley Range in the syrupy sun with butterfly escort and curious cows. Frogs provided a pobble-bonk soundrack for the evenings. We picked paths over goannas, echidnas... and dreaded tiger snakes. And picked alpine strawberries at the front door, wild forest mushrooms on the bush block, and wild plums down the road... mmm! Inspiration for the new year.

Wishing everyone a wonderous 2010 with much love, health and merriment. x