Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All of these (good and) bad habits

Last Monday I decided to get my act together to overcome some of my bad habits, revive some old habits and develop some new ones. Instead of just deciding to get up earlier, exercise more, read more and nap less, and then just muddling my way through, I've gone and got all systematic about it.  

Nothing complicated - I have a list of all the habits and I get a tick for every day that I do what I'm meant do (or don't do what I'm trying not to do).  I know that sounds tedious, but I like seeing the ticks piling up and missing out on a tick does motivate me to do better.

So far I'm doing a good job of getting up earlier (and getting to work early), walking 10,000+ steps a day, rebounding for 15 minutes most days, stretching, reading a book before bed (instead of the internet), flossing and not whining on social media. I'm doing a reasonable job of not napping  - I was doing well until an epic nap on Sunday. 

I'd like to say I feel great, but actually I'm utterly exhausted (and I'm not even waking up earlier!) and my body feels sore and stiff. Mentally though, it feels good to be taking action to get my crap together, and I'm pleased with my progress so far. 

I really do function better with routine. Boring, but true.    

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A hot, but beautiful, day out

Luke and I visited the Blue Lotus Water Garden at Yarra Junction on the weekend. I didn't even know it existed until a few weeks ago when I saw a post about in on Facebook, which seems bizarre to me. I've lived in Melbourne a long time and it's been open for around for 10 years (although I think it's only open to the public during lotus season, which starts late December).

I love visiting the Yarra Valley/Yarra Ranges. It's just so pretty with the blue mountains lining the horizon and the (still) green fields dotted with hay rolls or lined with vineyards. I feel my yearning for a tree change rising every time we're there. (Have I mentioned before that Luke and I have been thinking of moving to the country - or back to the country, in my case - at some stage? No particular place in mind as yet.)

Anyway, the garden is beautiful. The many ponds are brimming with flowers. It was stinking hot, especially in the greenhouses, but that did not deter us. Here are some of my many photos: 

 Our lunch view 

 Giant lily pads

The lilies above are the world's largest water lily, Victoria Amazonica. The lily pads regularly grow to more than 1.2 metres across, with one said to have measured 3 metres in diameter! These ones were big, but probably a bit less than a metre wide.  
 A selection of the many water lilies on show 

 The centre of a lotus 

 Lotus flower again 

 Heart-shaped tree trunk 

 The flower of the silk tree 

 Another lotus flower centre

 A dragonfly that sat still long enough for me to zoom
in for a (relatively) clear photo

 Stripey skies 

Lotus fountain with actual lotus

After the lotus garden we decided to visit the William Ricketts Sanctuary in the Dandenongs. Despite visiting the Dandenongs many times, I've never bothered to visit the sanctuary before. The shady, ferny pathways dotted with sculptures were a welcome respite from the searing heat of earlier in the day.
 My favourite of the statues 

Close up 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

One week down...

Shady...my walk home

My first working week of the year is over! Wooh! OK, so it was only two days...and I didn't have a lot to do...but I feel as if I've worked a full week. I'm still not grumpy though, just exhausted. Now for three days off. I don't have anything planned, except for movies with a friend on Sunday. Oh, and planning my goals for the year ahead. Yes, I'm planning to plan. I need to get some shit sorted this year. 

I forgot to mention in my last post that I achieved my initial no-shopping challenge: to go from 1 June to 31 December 2016 without buying shoes, clothes or accessories. Yep, I did it! Go, me! In the end, it wasn't a particularly challenging challenge, so extending it for a full year (which I decided do a month or so ago) was an obvious next step. I have a few more challenging challenges planned for this year!

The cool breeze coming through my loungeroom window is delightful. Summer has finally arrived, but I won't complain about the heat (especially because today wasn't that hot).  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back to work...and not even grumpy

I'm back at work today so I thought I should use that return to routine to slip back into the blogging saddle again.

Surprisingly, going back to work after about 11 days off did not put me in a bad mood. That's what happens when you like you job and your boss and co-workers, I suppose. I think it also has something to do with the fact Luke and I didn't go on our annual New Year road trip this year so my time off was less exciting, but more relaxing. (We do plan to to hit the road at some stage soonish). Perhaps my unusually upbeat mood is also related to only having to work two days this week. I might pull on the cranky pants next Monday.

As I walked to the tram stop this morning part of me thought it was actually nice to get back into a routine. It feels boring to say it - oh god, I'm not freewheeling and spontaneous! - but it's true. Being back at work at least forces me to get out of bed at a decent hour, leave the house and stay awake all day! I eat at regular times and I plan ahead for my snacks and lunches on workdays.

My break

I had a lovely six days with my mum. The sun shone, there was pavlova and gin n tonics, and we had a nice mix of relaxing and getting out and about.

We spent Christmas day with a group of mum's friends. It was the first time I'd met them and they were great fun. The afternoon featured games and singing. Pam, who hosted the lunch, has the cutest dog ever, Pippa. 

During the night times, Mum and I played three games of Scrabble and three games of cards (rummy, to be precise), but I only managed to win one of each, and then only just (I won the Scrabble game by two points!). I love Scrabble but I only ever play it with mum. Luke won't play with me because he thinks he's no good at it. 

Flowering eucalyptus in mum's garden

 We had scones at the quaint Tea and 
Treasures in Port Macquarie

On my final full day we drove up to the Wild Bull picnic ground in the Cobrabald State Forest, which was a picturesque (but bumpy) drive through farmland and forest. It was a hot day, so we cooled off in the swimming hole. It was fantastic. I swam right across the (not very wide river) and didn't let my mind wander to what might be in the depths where I couldn't see the bottom.

 Swimming hole selfie

 Down river (Wilson River)

 River views

 More river views

 On the way home

 Country road

 Country mail boxes

 Golden hour on the Hastings River at Wauchope

 Over mum's back fence

I ended having longer with mum than planned because we arrived at the airport for my flight home after check in had closed. Whoops. I managed to get a seat on a flight three hours later at no extra cost. We went killed the time by having breakfast beside the harbor. We sat on the balcony and I was thrilled with all the fish in the water below.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Hopeful, holidays, super short

The old Safe Deposit Building on Queen Street

I'm still alive, in case you were wondering! It's been about 10 days since I had the vein abnormality in my head fixed. The procedure went well, although my recovery was a little rough and I'm still experiencing some pain from it. But! I don't think I've had a "normal" migraine since. It's early days, but I'm hopeful. 

I finished work for the year yesterday (although I popped in for an hour today to finish something). It hasn't really sunk in yet that I'm on holidays. No doubt it will when I board a flight up to Mum's tomorrow afternoon. I'll be there until next Friday. 

I had my haircut shorter today than it's ever been before (apart from the top, which is still relatively long). The back and sides were clipper cut all over and I can't stop patting it - with the grain and against.  It feels so nice. I love the way it looks too. (I haven't taken a photo of it.)

I probably won't blog while I'm away, but I will be posting photos to Instagram as Frisky_Librarian. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Weird word, Winter Wipeout, summer breeze

Park Street, South Yarra. I love this place. 
(I think I've posted a pic before) 

I had some blood taken this afternoon and when I got home I mentioned to Luke that I'd recently learned a person whose job is to draw blood is called a phlebotomist. I'd seen someone on Facebook the other day who was a phlebotomist and I looked it up. 

Then when I was cooking dinner Luke called me into the loungeroom to tell me one of the contestants on Winter Wipeout was a phlebotomist. How freakish?!

Related: Winter Wipeout is back on! I thought it was on old series, but apparently it's new. Either way, I'll still watch - I can't get enough of seeing people getting whacked in the face or bouncing off big red balls. (Don't tell anyone I'm watching a silly game show instead of 7.30.)

It was a hot day today, but there's now a lovely cool breeze blowing in the window opposite where I'm sitting on the couch. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Tiny yoyo biscuit (part of dessert at my work party) 

I won a door prize at my work Christmas party on Friday. Of all the 100+ people there, my name came out first! I scored a $150 voucher for one of George Calombaris' restaurants. I don't watch Masterchef, but I like Greek food. Food in general, really. Especially free food.  

I have only six or seven working days left in 2016! It's hard to believe it will be over so soon. It would be eight days, but I'm going into hospital on Wednesday to have my abnormal brain veiny thing treated and I'll be off work Thursday as well to recover (I might go in Friday if I'm able). Hopefully I will only be in hospital one night, for obvious reasons, but also because the food is abominable. Not just bad. Abominable. On the upside, more reading time for me! Oh, and possibly fewer migraines. 

We had cheese kranskies for dinner. SO cheesy. Yum.