Friday, April 10, 2009

An Easter epic

The things I have to tell you! I'm three days into my extended Easter break and it's been great so far. Better get yourself a cuppa...


I had a crack at making Anzac biscuits (cookies, for you Yanks). They are supposedly simple enough for kids to bake, so clearly I have less culinary aptitude than a child. While the consistency and texture were fine when made with gluten-free flour, they're too salty. They can't make up their mind if they are sweet or savoury (swavoury?). I followed the recipe I printed from the net too, dagnammit. It's the recipe's fault then.

I should have gone straight to my trusty Cookery the Australian Way because its recipe has no salt (only baking soda, while the recipe I used had both). The only reason I didn't go straight to CAW is because the interwebs led me to believe traditional Anzacs contain coconut (which is forbidden on my allergy elimination diet) and I assumed that the CAW recipe would be old-school. As it happens, it has not a skerrick of coconut. The interwebs lie! Books rule!

I have also decided to make some chocolately treats for my family for Easter so I have a pantry stocked with condensed milk, cocoa, chocolate sprinkles, peanut butter, milk and white choc bits and itty-bitty patty pans (hey, that's fun to say). Easy-peasy stuff though, nothing quite as advanced as biscuits. Going to do that tomorrow.

Wednesday night I went with a group of friends to see English comic Stephen K Amos and it was excellent. I barely stopped laughing - or at least smiling hugely - right from the start when he did a dance routine to Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). He is a master at crowd interaction and there was plenty of it. He seemed to really enjoy himself - the crowd even had him cracking up (especially a woman from Scotland who could imitate one of those honking bicycle horns).


Five days after my drought-breaking and paralysis-inducing gym visit, I was finally able to go back there. My quads packed it in after about two lunges and I nearly fell over (phew, no one around!), but everything else was fine. Had Billy Idol's To Be a Lover on repeat and I was running and trickling sweat. I kinda like it when I get sweaty at the gym. Is that gross? I don't like the perspiration per se, just what it represents.

On top of my gym work-out, I also walked 10kms. I have become a little obsessed with my pedometer and how far I'm walking. One week recently I walked 50 kms!

Thursday afternoon I nipped into the Blood Bank and deposited some of my blood so I felt all community-spirited. I'm sensing a pattern here, but is it gross that I am quite fascinated by the sight of my own blood? Not when it spurts out in an uncontrolled, oh-my-god-I-think-I-severed-a-digit way, but in situations like having blood taken...or blood noses even (although that can be uncontrolled - I spent a night in hospital as a kid with cotton wool stuffed up my nose). I always watch when I have blood taken. Not only is blood such a purdy colour...that stuff is what keeps me alive! That's what's inside of me! Anyway...this blog is called Gleeful, not Gross. Sorry.

Thursday night I went to see my current fave band, Melbourne country-rock* group Wagons, perform songs from their soon-to-be-released album at the East Brunswick Club. It was ace. I love those guys (obviously since I have blogged about them about eight times now).

Good Friday

I had a sleep in this morning and then walked into the city to continue my self-guided Walking Melbourne tour. I've now visited and photographed 107 of the 235 buildings and landmarks. It's taking for-bloody-ever^! But I like it.

My wanderings today took in several of my favourite buildings - the gloriously Gothic Olderfleet Building (below) and Melbourne Safe Deposit Building, and 333 Collins Street, which contains the magnificent domed bank vault I have blogged about before. (It was closed today though.)

I was gobsmacked at the things I had never noticed before - for example, the building at 247-249 Collins Street, Newspaper House (once home to The Herald), has a huge glass mosaic on the first floor facade featuring almost nuddy men below the Shakespearean quote I'll put a girdle around the world. According to the Walking Melbourne guide, the figures and objects in the mural represent communication and transport. How could I have never noticed something so stupendous? (Well, as the photo shows, it doesn't really jump out at you. Stupid tree).

Just over the road...I have also never noticed the three stone figures (see one below) playing musical instruments on the arched entrance to what I now know is called Lyric House. It was built in the 1930s to house a piano retailer.

And also one the same block is the Centreway Building and Arcade. I'm very familiar with these, as I walk through them nearly every day to get to work. But I didn't know that somewhere on the rear wall of the arcade this message appears-
weliveinasocietythatplacesaninordinateemphasisonconsumergoodsandservices! (Man it's hard to type without automatically hitting the space bar). This was added during a 1987 refurbishment. I didn't see it today because I was too lazy to backtrack, but next time I pass through, I'll stop to have a look.

I'm a mum to word-triplets

I am now the proud...owner?...parent?...propagator?...of three words from the Save the Words website. I adopted one by accident though. I meant to adopt "lambition" (the act of licking or lapping) and "quibbleism" (the act of beating about the bush), but I inadvertently adopted "psalloid" (shaped like a harp) by careless clicking. Clearly they need more stringent adoption procedures. I will never love "psalloid" as much as its siblings.

I don't think I will get "lambition" on a T-shirt afterall... I chose my words because they seemed to be among the few available for adoption that would be able to be used in every day conversation (which is the point of adopting it - using it, so we don't lose it). While I liked the word panchymagogue, for example, I can't imagine I having much cause to refer to a medicine that purges bodily fluids.

While looking around the Save the Words site, I learned that there is a 20 volume set of the Oxford English Dictionary available to buy. I want it..too bad it costs $1,500 (not to mention that I don't have the shelf space).


I'm having brunch with a friend in Collingwood and am going to have a poke about the second-hand bookstores and other shops on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

* Frontman Henry Wagons says if he had to pick a genre to be pigeon-holed into, it would be "Fat Elvis".

^ There is a word for that - sticking a word in the middle of another one. It's called tmesis. Gosh, you are learning lots of words today.


victoria said...

awesome post - you rock!

so much to learn over here @ Gleeful :)


victoria said...

p.s. i do a mean honking horn impersonation meself :)

Anonymous said...

You can get the OED on CD.

Julian said...

"itty-bitty patty pans" *L* I like that. :) I was also reminded of "...she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini" as I was typing this. ;) Less culinary aptitude than a child? No no: it's sort of like child-proof containers, you see. Kids can make them, but adults don't stand a chance. ;)

There's nothing really gross about liking getting sweaty while you're exercising, I say (that or I'm just justifying my own aberrant behaviour). I like the warm glow I get from exercising, as well as the healthy feeling. Sweating is sort of a re-inforcement of it all, I think: it's proof that I've been exercising and really achieving something.

Liking the sight of your own blood? I don't think that's gross, no, although for me it's just a "well, there you go", whenever I've cut myself. This is probably a good thing, given the number of times I've done it in my life! I don't really have a problem looking at blood coming out of me when I'm donating, either. The only thing I don't want to see is them sticking the needle in! (Apologies to any squeamish people out there: I'll stop now! :) )

You know, I think I'm really going to have to grab myself a copy of "Walking Melbourne" and start my own little adventure. This of course means that I'm going to have to overcome my natural inclination to say "I can see all of this any time; it's -overseas- travel that interests me at the moment!".

Speaking of travel, I'm taking my parents out into the country somewhere for lunch, so I'd better get going! (I am sooo looking forward to getting out of the city for the day.)

Jayne said...

"...words...don't come easy to me..." :P
Love the photos of the hidden gems :)
I'm assuming you read White Hat or get the witty, hilarious weekly White Hat newsletter?

Jen said...

I just noticed the nuddy men mural the other day when I saw someone taking a photo of it - who knows, perhaps it was you! Funny how we can walk past things so many times and never even see them.