Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm baaa-aaaack. Yet again.

OK, it's the first day of May - MAY, I TELL YOU! - and it's high time I got off my butt and wrote a damn blog post. You might wonder why I didn't just throw in the blogging towel since I've been doing such a lousy job of it for quite some time now. I did consider it, but decided instead to do the exact opposite: post every day, like I intended when I started writing Gleeful all those years ago. But I'm not just going to do it for a month this time. I'm gonna do it for-EVAAAH. Yup. 

So here goes. 

I've been having a pretty good year so far. My highlights reel includes a splendid Christmas/New Year road trip with Luke up to Mum's place. We stayed with Mum for about 10 days, eating lots of pavlova and tripping about the nearby rainforests, beaches and national parks, then drove home via the Tamworth, the Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Orange and Wagga.  I'll post some photos some time (or check out em out at Frisky_Librarian on Instagram).

We've ventured out of Melbourne quite a bit - day trips to the little town of Birregurra and the Great Ocean Road, the Yarra Ranges and Dandenongs, as well as an overnight stay at Mt Beauty in the gorgeous Victorian high country last weekend for the Bright Autumn Festival. The high country is now my favourite part of Victoria.  

Another highlight is a significant (and ongoing) improvement in my health. I've been seeing a functional medicine doctor (like a cross between a GP and a naturopath) who put me on a program to heal my gut through diet modification and supplementation. It's costing me a small fortune, but it's the ONLY thing that's made any real difference. (I try not to think of all the money I've spent over the years on allergists, dieticians and gastroenterologists who charged me hundreds of dollars a go for basically nothing). Progress is fairly slow, but I'm finally making actual progress. Hurrah! (I've also lost about 7kg while still eating bacon, cheese and sausages. Suh-weet!)

Another really good bit about this year is that I have dropped back to working four days a week. Woohoo! I've been having Fridays off for about 6 weeks now and I love it. So far I've mainly used the extra day for running errands and attending appointments...and afternoon naps. Three days feels like a decent weekend and I'm more positive about work on the four days I'm there.  Of course I'm earning less, but I've made up for most of my lost income just by bringing my lunch and snacks from home (which I had to do anyway because of my modified diet).

That's not bad for the year to date, is it? I'm pretty happy with my lot. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas countdown

McKillop Lane in the city

Threeeeee working days until the holidaaaaaays! It's been pretty crazy at work in the lead up to Christmas, so my time off will be well-earned. I'm pretty happy I won't be there on the last day for the worst of the insanity. 

I had a very pleasant picnic in the Treasury Gardens with my gal pals last night. Tasty treats, bubbles and lovely company on a nice balmy evening.  I walked home afterwards. 

Taken from the footbridge across the train tracks near the MCG

Monday, December 14, 2015

A spontaneous Sunday adventure

Great Ocean Road from Teddy's Lookout, Lorne

Luke and I made an impromptu visit to Lorne on the spectacular Great Ocean Road yesterday. We had lunch in a little town west of Geelong called Birregurra just for a day out somewhere different, but rather than head back home on the highway, Luke suggested we head south to Lorne since it wasn't that far away. It's hard to say no to zooming along the GOR. 

With our bellies full of lamb snags (Luke) and beef burger (me) supplied by farms in the Birregurra region, we set off. The trip took us from farmland, through the forested Otways National Park to the coast.

Fabulous old petrol bowser at Deans Marsh 

A ghost sign on the building behind the bowser

While in Lorne we took in the view from Teddy's Lookout and visited the lush spendour of Erskine Falls - my first time there. It's not the mightiest waterfall we've visited, but the setting is beautiful. Cool, green and cavernous. 

 Erskine Falls near Lorne

Kookaburra sits in the old gumtree

We dropped into the secondhand bookshop in Birregurra (naturally) and while we were there, the owner dropped a bookstand on the floor near my feet. I picked it up for her and she said that meant I would get a surprise. Apparently that was a thing when she grew up - if someone drops something and you pick it up for them, a surprise will come your way. Country karma, I suppose. My surprise is due on Wednesday. I assume it's going to be a nice surprise. 

It might have come early actually. I thought the interest I pay annually in November for an investment thingo hadn't been debited from my account, but today I realised it had; it was just much smaller than usual. This means nearly all of my tax return can go towards other, more tangible things, like saving for holidays next year.  Yay. Oh, OK; I did buy some shoes too.    

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Agitated string, early Christmas, Friday

As I got into the lift after work I had my iPod in my hand and was going through the annoying ritual of untangling the earphones. There were two others in the lift and they were both untangling their earphones too.

Why are earphones so prone to tangling? I googled it and of course science has investigated, and provided its findings in a paper titled Spontaneous knotting of an agitated string. Agitated string! Maybe you have more patience than I, but I think I get more agitated than string. 

There were two parcels in the mail for me today. It was like Christmas came early. 

Friday tomorrow.  Only EIGHT working days left for the year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hanging out, sunrise, succulent

Hanging around

I've been trying to book a spot in the Wednesday night anti-gravity class at the gym since I joined, but it's one of the most popular classes and I kept missing out. I checked online last night and there was a place  - only one - available, so I nabbed it. Yay!  

I went to the class tonight and it was fun swinging about in a hammock, which, we were assured, can take a load of up to 500kg. Still, it was a little scary hanging upside down and letting go for the first time...and the second time...and the third time, but I managed not to fall out. At the end of class we pulled the hammocks around us and laid in the dimness like a room full of pupae awaiting metamorphosis. Quite relaxing. 

I also managed to book the last spot in next week's class. *fist pump*

I woke up very early this morning - boo! - but I saw the sun rising when I went to the loo - for as long as it took to take a photo anyway. 

Luke cooked a delicious, succulent steak for dinner tonight. Just what I needed after a gym session (I also did half an hour of cardio).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Feline, Foddie's, strolling

I met a cat coming home

I forgot to mention our meal at the Foddie's on Saturday night! It was their opening night and we waited a while for our meals, but they were worth the wait. I had the pulled beef burger, with one of the best gluten-free buns I've ever eaten, and Luke had the lamb fatoush salad, which he enjoyed.  

I had picked out their dessert tapas for my second course, but I couldn't fit it in.  As a thank you for coming to their opening night and to apologise for the wait on our meals, they sent us off with some gluten-free, lactose-free chocolate brownies. Yum. 

I walked nearly all the way from work to my pilates class in Windsor, which took a smidge over an hour. I walked along St Kilda Road for most of the way. It's quite a pleasant stroll, despite the multiple lanes of traffic. It accounted for about half of my daily total of 14,000 steps.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday drive, llama guards, dream glee

The jacarandas are flowering in Melbourne

Luke and I went for a drive northwest of Melbourne today. We stopped at Hurstbridge for lunch and continued on to Kinglake, then back home via Yarra Glen, Christmas Hills and Warrandyte. The drive between Hurstbridge and St Andrews is quite lovely - it's a narrow winding road through hills covered in native bush.   

I saw a mother and baby emu in a paddock near Yarra Glen. I've never seen emus that close to Melbourne before. We also saw a trio of large alpacas on the bank of a dam. Could they have been llamas? Do we have llamas? Yes, we do, Google says. Guard llamas! They are used to protect sheep and goats from predators.  Llama guards! I think they were llamas.  

I had a dream Saturday night that I saw many frogs - green ones and brown ones and black ones. I was in a laundry looking down a drainpipe and saw them hopping about on wet rocks in the dank, dimness below the house. My dream self thought, "Oooh! Frogs! I need to write about this on Gleeful!" 

Twelve working days until my holidays.