Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last day, first day

Today is my last day of work for three weeks. Hurrah! Tomorrow I'm catching a plane to Port Macquarie to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve with my mother, whom I haven't seen since last Christmas. I'm looking forward to it.

At the start of the year, my mum moved from Port Macquarie (a bustling city of about 70,000 on the mid-north coast of New South Wales) to a little town inland called Wauchope. I've been there before briefly a couple of times, but I'm looking forward to exploring it properly and taking some photos.

We're also planning to spend some time up in the nearby mountains. It's such picturesque country up there - so green and lush all year round, which is a  welcome change after the drought and dry grass down south.  (Click here for some pictures...goodness me, looking at those photos makes my camera finger itch!)

Of course I'm also looking forward to putting my feet up, reading some books and enjoying some maternal spoiling. Oh, and NOT  BEING AT WORK!

I'm not sure when I will have a chance to blog again - partly due to being away and partly due to more laptop problems (*shakes fist at 'puter*) - so I will wish you all a gleeful Christmas now. May your festive season be bursting with the simple pleasures that make this time of year special.

Finally, thank you all for reading and commenting and sharing your glee with me throughout the year. Looking forward to more of the same in 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sundae Sunday

My driver's licence might tell you I'm 37, but on the inside I'm nine years old. Check out my new lip gloss...

It smells like chocolate pudding. Mmmmm.  I did manage not to buy one in every flavour (there was also vanilla, butterscotch and strawberry shortcake). I also resisted the hair gel with glitter in it, although I did think "Oooh! Cool!" when I saw it on the shelf...

Vampire coincidence

Yes, I'm still going on the Angel box set. Last night I discovered this neat little circle of vampirey connectedness:

* Angel is a vampire;
* The theme to the show is performed by a band called Darling Violetta;
* The name Darling Violetta comes from the greeting Bela Lugosi used in letters to his mistress Violetta; and 
* Bela Lugosi starred in the first authorised film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula!

(PS Yay for Google and Wikipedia. I loves the interwebs!)

I wonder if this is why Darling Violetta was chosen from a number of contenders to perform the theme or if it was just a coincidence? I prefer to think it's the latter.

The theme for the show is infact a nice piece of music. I've always loved the cello in it. It gives me goosebumps. I've been listening to it all morning on repeat. You'd think after having heard it so much in the past few weeks I'd be tired of it, but no. Here 'tis: 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Strange, but cool

I visited the arid gardens in the Botanic Gardens on my way home. Succulents and cacti are kinda weird, but interesting and great subjects for photos. Very sculptural and textured.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy happy joy joy

Happy happy joy joy #1

There was a letter in the mail box from my real estate agent when I got home tonight. The sight of it made my heart pound. You see, my lease expires in less than two months and I've been preparing myself to get a notice to vacate so the new owners can redevelop the building.

Fortunately before I opened it I twigged that a notice to vacate would have been sent by registered post so the poundy heart stopped. I opened it and -YAYS! They're putting new carpet in the stairwell in January!

No, I'm not especially thrilled about new carpet - the expenditure on new floor coverings means they won't be redeveloping any time soon and I get to stay! Hurrah! *happy dance*

My flatmate (who's now back from her trip) told me last night she's going to look for a place of her own when the lease is up. If we had to vacate, I would have done the same, but I love living here so much that I'd prefer to stay and get a new flatmate.

This is such a relief. I've lived here for five years - hard to believe it's now the longest I've lived anywhere since I left home in 1992 - and for probably three of those five years I've been living with the possibility of vacating so the owners can redevelop.

Of course there is always the possibility they will still redevelop in the future, but you'd think after spending money to carpet three flights of stairs, they won't be doing it for at least a couple of years. It's not like the existing carpet is a safety hazard or horrendously worn out.

Hopefully when the time comes to find a new flatmate it will be as effortless as it was last time, and the new flattie will be as good as Anna.

Happy happy joy joy #2

I have got a whole three weeks off work, starting on Christmas Eve. I'm SO hanging out for it. I haven't had a full week off work all year (mostly because I've been trying to save my annual leave). Not that I've been working hard or anything. I'm not burnt out...just sort of drained by the boredom. 

My office closes on 24 December and re-opens on January 11 so everyone has to take that time off, but I'm taking a couple of extra days.

I'm going to visit my mother in New South Wales for about 10 days over the Christmas-New Year period and then the rest of the time I will be having a staycation in Melbourne, which, as many of you might recall, I love to do. I get almost as excited by that as the prospect of having a proper holiday.  

I'm already compiling a list of things to do with my time off...

Champagne and Reefer

Can't recall if I've posted this video already, but I love the song so much I'm gonna do it again. This is from the Rolling Stones concert doco Shine a Light - the Stones featuring special guest Buddy Guy.

Love the blues. Love Buddy Guy's enormous voice and his guitar work. Love the harmonica. It gives me goosebumps.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Paddling and sunset

As I was walking home tonight I saw two young guys paddling downstream on surfboards. Standing up, with paddle in hand. Oh-kaaaay then.

The sunset tonight

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear reader

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a reader who said he had signed up to sponsor a child through the Smith Family's Learning for Life program after reading my blog about it.

If you are reading this now, I haven't been ignoring you! I've somehow managed to delete your email without trace. I'm hoping you are reading this, because I wanted to tell you how pleased I am that you decided to help give a kid a brighter future. Yay for you.

It also feels pretty good knowing I played a part in it too.

(Feel free to email me privately again if you'd prefer not to make a public comment. )

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today I...

...spent the warm, sunny afternoon in the Botanic Gardens.

...wasn't the only person alone, reading.

...took my shoes off and felt the grass on my feet. I saw the prickle before I stepped on it. the paper properly.

...found the nine-letter word in the Target puzzle. Electrode.

...finished reading my book, the first one I've finished in ages.

...watched the fairies darting about in the sunshine.

...spotted an eel in the murky water. It saw me and hid under the algae/slime. There's a drawing of an eel in the book I just finished.

...saw a cygnet. Fluffy.

...admired the jacaranda.

...took photos....

The William Tell Rest House (with eel habitat in foreground)

Water lilies

Some kind of thistle

Everlasting daisies (the petals feel like paper)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Moon watching, leaf watching

The past three nights as I have been lying on my couch watching (you guessed it) Angel, the moon has appeared in the corner of my loungeroom window, big and yellow and full, and slowly arced its way across the night sky. I've been watching the man in the moon almost as much as my TV screen, and he's been looking back at me.

Last night the moon drifted in and out of light cloud. It was a little spooky, but awesome, and also quite a fitting backdrop (OK, sidedrop) to my DVD viewing since Angel is a creature of the night and the show has taken a darker, more dramatic turn in series two.

I like that I can lie on my couch and gaze at the moon. It's one of the many things I love about where I live.


The leaf on my deiffenbachia is all but unfurled now. Yay. And what's more, another tiny shoot has appeared (just in front of the stem). Double yay. I definitely haven't killed it. Phew.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, whaddya know?

Still no computer at home. Angel marathon ensues.

You may recall that Angel doesn't dance, but hel-lo! David Boreanaz does, and with his shirt off too. *wolf whistles*

Thank you, YouTube.