Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Second win, second wind, new leaf

Stopped by Hosier Lane on the way home 

I solved the Target puzzle again! Twice in a week. I've been making myself persevere beyond the "very good" word count and this time I reached the word limit without really noticing (the word was "sentenced"). Still no confetti shower. 

One of my pot plants got a bit droopy because I forgot to water it. Until it wilted, there was a long thin flower thing pointing towards the ceiling, but lack of water had it pointing to the floor. It was still drooping long after I watered it and I thought it was doomed, but when I got up this morning it was pointing up again! Yay! I saved it!

One of our other indoor plants  - a palm of some description - has sprouted its first new leaf since we bought it a few months ago.  I was worried it was failing to thrive. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Six months down, foreign words, 10 days to go

In my street

I reached the six-month mark of my shopping ban last week, but I didn't realise it until yesterday. I guess that's a sign that not shopping for shoes and clothes is my new normal (and also a further sign that this year has whizzed by at warp speed). I think I mentioned previously that I've decided to extend my shopping ban for a year, so I'm just past the half-way point now.

I like this list of German words we need in English. I've heard (and blogged about) some before (backpfeifengesicht, zugzwang, drachenfutter, kummerspeck), but treppenwitz  - literally 'staircase joke', meaning a witty comeback thought of too late - caught my eye because I know of the French word for this - esprit d'escalier (staircase wit). A lecturer at uni used this expression, and for some reason it has stuck with me all these years. (It's more than 20 years since I finished uni. HOW CAN THAT BE?!)

Buzzfeed apparently has a thing for mining the gems of other languages. It has published a collection of Japanese,  Scottish, Italian and Nordic words (and probably others) it thinks English should steal. I love these lists. 

I also like this list of made up (but etymologically meaningful) words from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which describe emotions that English doesn't already have words for. I particularly relate to 'enouement', the bittersweetness of arriving in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self. Sometimes I feel this way when I look back on my childhood, when my parents were still together and my dad was still alive. 

I have 10 working days until I'm on holidays. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016



I did it! I found every single word for the first time ever on the Target puzzle I have on my phone (as opposed to the similar, but different, one I play on the computer, which I've only solved once). Usually I give up - or get bored - after I reach 'very good', except for one time when I got every word bar one (which was "oohs"), but this time I kept going and got them all! I was hoping for a small confetti shower, but all that happened was "COMPLETE!" popped up and then disappeared.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Round and round the garden

I wandered across the road to the Botanic Gardens this afternoon for vitamin D and photo taking. It's my first visit in months, partly because of our non-existent spring, but the sunshine today was splendid (my attention to re-applying sunscreen isn't so splendid...)

I saw a paddling* of teeny tiny ducklings, plenty of busy bees, a couple of caterpillars and some butterflies and moths. Also lots and lots of flowers. 

Strange bud 

One of only two poppies left in the herb garden 

Bananas in the glasshouse 

Tiny pond in the centre of a bromeliad


Munch, munch, munch  

The living and the dead


Coming in to land




*That's one of the collective nouns for ducks on water.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No more NaBloPoMo

Well, my NaBloPoMo efforts didn't even end with a whimper, let alone a bang. I only published 19 posts, but I'm too too bothered. 

Today is the first day of summer and, as if on cue, the cicadas have just started singing (or whatever you call that noise they make).  It looks as if we've finally - thankfully - left the winter weather behind. Spring? What spring?! I saw on the weather report last night that it was Victoria's coldest spring for years (I forget how many. Eight maybe?).

I'm so glad it's my weekend now. I've been busier this week than I have for a month or so and I'm clearly not used to hard work because I'm very weary. I'm very much looking forward to putting my head to pillow and keeping it there until well into tomorrow morning.  

I had to do some maths today. It's end of month billing and most calculations are done automatically by the software, but I needed to use my brains for one particular bill because the tax-inclusive total had to add up to the same amount of money we had in trust. I worked out the pre-tax amount on my calculator then typed the figure into the computer and BAM! It all added up perfectly! Go, me! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

NaBloPoMo: day 28

I can't wear my earphones in my left ear at the moment because my piercing is tender. The left ear bud must have known it was going to be out of a job because it stopped working a few days ago. 

I walked half way home after work and the tram arrived just as I got to the tram stop. Perfect timing.

I have only 15 working days left for the year. I'm flying up to mum's for Christmas on 24 December and coming back on the 30th to spend New Year's Eve with Luke before returning to work on 4 January. We'll do our annual road trip later in January or February when he can take leave. We want to go back to the Blue Mountains since it was cold and wet with almost zero visibility when we passed through in January.  


Sunday, November 27, 2016

NaBloPoMo: day 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27

How has it been five days since I last posted? I've had a friend visiting for a couple of days so I haven't been online as much, but five days?! I'm not doing a very good job of NaBloPoMo, am I? 

Here's some stuff that's happened. 


I had dinner with my friends Lauren and Bertie at the Munich Brauhaus on Wednesday night. Yes, the German restaurant was my idea. Predictably, I had cheese kranskies, potato salad and sauerkraut. And a pretzel. Yum. The company was good too. Lauren had some wonderful news to share - she's finally leaving the firm where we all met years ago. Hurrah!

I got a new piece of jewellery. Many migraine sufferers say this piercing (known as a daith piercing) cured or relieved their migraines, so my friend Deliea (also a chronic migraineur) and I decided to give it a crack. There's no science to back it up and other migraineurs say it made no difference, but we thought we'd find out for ourselves. I'll leave the ring in regardless, because I like it.  

I have a back up plan to ease my migraines anyway. You know how I spent a day in hospital having a test done last week? Well, I had a cerebral angiogram so my doctors could get a better look at a mass in my noggin that was discovered because my neurologist wanted to check if I had any clots in my sinuses after I mentioned that I'd had a DVT. The mass is an abnormal tangle of veins (arteriovenous malformation) and it could be the cause of some of my migraines. I'll be having it treated in the next few weeks (probably in a similar process to the angiogram - i.e. a catheter inserted into the femoral artery). After suffering migraines since my teens, this development seems almost too good to be true!

Cheese avalanche

After the piercing (which hurt, but but not for long), Deliea and I had burgers at Parlour Diner - the place I had that super oozy cheesy burger a few weeks ago. I had the same burger and it was just as good. (That's a rather unappetising looking gluten-free bun, but it's surprisingly sturdy and held everything together well.)