Friday, December 2, 2011

Dragon fly and shy magpie

(Click to enlarge)

Check out the intricate pattern on the wings of this insect (which might be a dragon fly?). I spotted it on a fence at Luke's parents' place and thought it must be dead because it didn't react at all to me poking my lens right up to it. It was sitting right next to a spider web, so we thought a spider might have sucked out its innards. But when I came back later, it was gone!

This young magpie was in the yard. When it noticed me with the camera it hid behind foliage. Shy magpie.

Oh, today was my day off work. Wooh.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wet feet, good deed, and I did it

Drowsy duck is undeterred by wet feet.
The tide was unusually high

I did a good deed at work. Even though it was close to home time, I offered to help another secretary finish her bills. I'd finished all of mine and I knew she'd been working solidly since 8.00am and wouldn't be able to leave until she'd finished hers.  She was very appreciative.

Wooh! Last day of NaBloPoMo today. I made it!  It seems fitting that I should finish with a photo of a duck.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It was a plum and a nectarine shorter by the end of the day

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fluttering, beat me to it, day off

I saw a butterfly fluttering by the window of the kitchen on the 44th floor of my building this afternoon.

I picked up my phone to text Luke today and there was a message from him sitting there waiting for my attention.

I have a day off work Friday. Gotta love a four-day week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I can't remember if I've posted a picture of this old sign before. It's on bottom of the Shot Tower at Melbourne Central. I like that they kept it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Button tin, making room

I made a start on a big clean up this afternoon. I do love a declutter, as many of you will know.  I cleared out a fair bit of junk, and I haven't even started on my wardrobe yet. I found about 300 of those tiny snaplock plastic bags with a spare button that you seem to get with every new item of buttonable clothing.

I put all the spare buttons into a biscuit tin, so I'm the way to having a button tin like my mum had when I was a kid. Mum's button tin was an old-fashioned oval chocolate tin with a posh lady on the lid, and it had a lot of fancy buttons in it. I used to love sifting through them and sorting all the matching buttons into piles. Unfortunately, the majority of my buttons are black, which is a bit dull for sifting and sorting, but very handy if I do ever need a button.

I have been decluttering to make some room because I have a new flatmate. A special flatmate. Luke has moved in with me. Yay.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nick of time, Mexican, Bess

Phew, it's not midnight yet! I was lying in bed then suddenly remembered I hadn't posted today.

I had delicious nachos and lemon margaritas at Mexicali Rose in Richmond tonight. Yum (except for the margarita that was very salty and had to be returned).

Luke and saw a greyhound on Swan Street after dinner. I like greyhounds. We had one as a pet when I was a kid. Bess was a lovely, placid dog. Coincidentally, now I think about it, we were walking past a restaurant called Bess when we saw the greyhound. It stopped near the open door of Bess as if it had got a whiff of something good.

It's the weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekend! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Knork, nearly Friday, award winning

I present to you The Knork. The knife and fork in one. Invented by a man desperate to impress women by neatly cutting pizza. I'm not making this up.

Nearly the end of the working week. Phew.

Wagons, one of my favourite bands, has won awards!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New fruit, summer fruit, on the dot

I have eaten dragon fruit. To be honest, it wasn't a taste sensation, but it's nice to try something new.

Speaking of fruit, summer fruit is starting to creep into the fruit deliveries at work. I had a nectarine today.

I got up at 8.00 this morning and arrived at work on the dot of 9.00. My routine is finely tuned...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knorks, parrots and gherkins again

Tuesday night is (The Whole) Kit and Caboodle night and gym night. I chortled out loud on the treadmill while listening to Susy and Jade discussing cutlery. Yes, cutlery. Specifically hybrid cutlery like splades and spork. Why not the knork, Susy pondered, as Jade giggled.  

I saw a pair of parrots foraging on the side of the road as I walked home after the gym.

What's better than gherkins one day and corned beef the next? Corned beef and gherkins together, of course! Tasty.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Remembering, folding, old fashioned food

I'm pretty happy that I've been able to remember to post every day. There's been quite a few nights, including tonight, when I've started to think about going to bed before remembering - "I have to blog!" Phew. Only nine posts to go...

I kind of like folding my laundry.  I'm not one of those weird people who enjoys domestic chores, but there's something about having a wardrobe of neatly folded and hanging clean clothes again that I find satisfying.

I had corned beef for dinner tonight. It's not fancy or fashionable, but I like it, especially with creamy mashed potatoes and curried cabbage.

And now I can go to bed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I knew there must have been a reason I bought that CD. And gherkins.

I went to the movies tonight with an old friend I haven't seen in a while. We saw Crazy Stupid Love with Steve Carell, which was entertaining and quite sweet. There was a really cool song in one scene and I made a mental note to google it when I got home. I googled it - it's by The Dead Weather and it's  on a CD that I own, but never listen to. I might give it another spin.

I've eaten nearly a whole jar of gherkins this weekend. I've just got a thing for them right now (no, I'm not with child). They go very well with cream cheese, ham and lots of cracked pepper. Yum.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bubba, bar, rainy

My friend Paul brought his 3-month-old daughter Eliza for a visit today. She's cute and smiley. I think she thought my hair was funny because she smiled at the top of my head quite a bit. It was weird, but nice seeing Paul - a big guy - with a wee bubba in his arms.

I found Jupiter Bars at the supermarket a few weeks ago. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I hadn't seen the caramel, peanut and rice crisp bars anywhere since high school.  I had one today. Yum.  

It rained most of the day today. I kinda liked it.

Friday, November 18, 2011


After the storm this evening

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I saw this duck family on my way home from work. Other people stopped to take pictures as well. Who can resist a gaggle of ducklings?

I think I need to consider changing the name of my blog to Duckful.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A small gift

Taken on the way home from the gym tonight

A while ago one of the people I work for expressed a desire for a Pacer pencil (one of those mechanical jobbies), but she had to go without because they aren't a standard stationery item and the stationery nazis don't like requests for non-standard items.

Yesterday when I was shopping for the charity drive I saw a Pacer pencil and decided to buy it for her. She's been under a lot of pressure at work, so I thought it would put a smile on her face. And it did. She was thrilled, and that made me happy. It's the small things...

And it was a two pack, so now we have matching Pacers. Wooh.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inadvertently early, charity, found objects

More storms to come?

I inadvertently worked the early shift today. I know, it's hard to fathom how I could unintentionally get up early. I was woken by Luke's alarm and sleepy morning cuddles and didn't go back to sleep. I thought I might as well get out of bed and head to work - and most importantly - leave work early. Which is what I did.  Wooh.

After work I bought some items to donate to a charity drive at work. We're collecting goods for the charity Angels for the Forgotten, which helps kids in crisis. I spent quite a bit more than I intended, but I feel good about it.

I lost my purple Uniball pen ages ago and today at work I found one. Yay. I also found a stash of rubber bands which are now on my rubber band ball.

I did have lamb for dinner last night. It was very tasty.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Briefly rich, round, lamb

Wooh! Payday. I've waited a whole month for this! I felt rich for a few minutes (especially as I got paid for some overtime) but then I paid my rent and bills. Although it's a little disheartening seeing all that money come in and go out so quickly, it is very convenient when your rent falls due on pay day. There's not too much to worry about until the next payday rolls around.

I've deposited odd amounts of money into my savings and credit card accounts so that the balances are round numbers. I like it when they're round numbers.

I'm having lamb for dinner. Yum. My favourite. (At least I hope I am...Luke did the shopping and is on his way home now.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Let sleeping ducks lie

Or sit. This pair must have had a taxing morning.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

BBQ, sign, song

I had a lovely barbecue lunch with Luke's family today. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was even a yummy gluten-free chocolate dessert.

I saw a fantastic old Robur Tea sign on the side of a building on Nepean Highway as we drove to lunch, but we couldn't stop. Another time...

I like this song.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11, swinging about

It's Friday! It's also 11/11/11. I was too distracted with work to notice 11.11am, so I will have to make sure I'm awake for 11.11pm.

I walked home along Southbank tonight and there were three women in long dresses swinging about in the air on long bendy sticks. I think the performance was part of the opening celebrations for the revamped Southgate precinct.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I had so many coins in my wallet today that I didn't have to break a note to buy my lunch or afternoon snack, which came to a total of $13.

And that's it for today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


More stormy weather today, but this time during waking hours. It was looking very dark and ominous when I headed for home, but I took a punt on being able to get there before the wild weather hit. I was walking in light rain for the last five minutes (very refreshing!), but I got in the door before the storm hit. Not that it was particularly wild anyway. It's stll raining now and there's a nice cool breeze coming through my window.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stormy, fluffy, fast

Melbourne was woken by a thunderstorm early this morning (except for Luke who slumbered through it). There were two huge claps of thunder and heavy rain. I drifted back to sleep listening to the downpour. There's more stormy weather ahead.

Another benefit of going back to the gym is that I've been walking home along the river, via Federation Square. As much as I enjoy working close to home, I do miss walking through the city on my way home every night.

On my way home tonight I saw lots of these fluffy dandelion things on the river bank. It was quite an effort to resist taking a photo of each one. It was too much of an effort to bend my gym-weary body down for a macro shot, so I zoomed in as far as my zoom would zoom.

When I was down on the bank taking a photo of that, I saw this:

I had to bend down to take this photo.  Isn't mushroom season over?

This duck was swimming at such a cracking pace, I think it was racing the rowers, who were out training on the river. I had to shoot quickly.

It was nice to come home to my couch and leftovers for dinner.

Check out the winners of the 2011 Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards. Stunning. The photo that won the adult classic view - runner up is my favourite.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Splice, shady, sleepy

It was warmer than expected when I left work tonight. The weather has been quite summery - perfect for a pine-lime Splice on the walk home.

I decided to walk on the south side of the river because it's shadier than my usual route on the north bank. There was a very nice cool breeze blowing.

This morning I woke up an hour before my alarm. Ah, a weekday sleep in!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Look, up in the sky!

I walked into the city along the river this morning to go to the gym (again!). It was overcast and trying to rain, but warm. I looked up and noticed the clouds were strange - swirly, swoopy and blobby.

 Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird...Well, yes, it does look like a dove.

I think I see a dragon...

There was even a patch of mammatus-like clouds.

The weather conditions were very similar to the time Luke and I saw mammatus on Sandringham Beach.  The clouds were all for show this time too.  Virtually no rain fell.

It was nice to get home after the gym and take my sneakers off. Aaaah. The only thing better would have been if I'd had cool grass underfoot instead of my rug.

I'm having a glass of punch - tonic, orange and lime juice and passionfruit pulp. Very refreshing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dandenongs, Silvan Dam, old signs

Luke and I went for drive up to the Dandenongs this afternoon. I don't know that it was much cooler up there than in the city, but the green, ferny shadiness made it seem cooler. There was a lovely breeze up at the top of Mount Dandenong too (as well as a posse of Buddhist monks with what looked like very expensive cameras). 

We then took a drive on an unsealed, winding and mostly deserted road through the forest of tall eucalypts and tree ferns. Luke thought it would bring us out at Silvan Dam. And it did! Go, Luke.

We wondered about the grassy grounds (and saw a man with the most ridiculous comb-over in the universe). There's a disused overflow area (or something) at the bottom of the dam wall which was full of murky water, but it had tiny little fish swimming in it (well spotted by Luke). There was some odd old machinery.

Then we took a stroll along a shady bush trail. There was a little creek and a fungus.

We stopped in Belgrave on our way home for snacks (very tasty sushi at Sushi Express) and slushies, which were just what we needed after being out and about on such a warm day.

Earlier today...
Last weekend in the car with Luke I spotted a fantastic old sign on the side of a building on Commercial Road in Prahran. Despite visiting that area regularly, I had never seen it before because I usually walk on the same side of the street, which is covered by verandahs. I went to check it out on my way to the osteopath this morning.

Looks like an ad for the old laundry whitener Reckitt's Blue

Further along on my walk, I was waiting at the lights on High Street and I looked up and saw what appeared to be old paint on the side of a building behind the Lucky Coq. I wandered up for a better view and - sure enough! Another Maples Pianos signs. It looks like it says Maples Furniture and Pianos. Maples sure left their mark on the inner eastern suburbs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tax, pizza, Friday

My tax return is about to hit my bank account. It's the largest I have ever received. Unfortunately I won't be able to spend it on anything fun as it will all go towards paying an interest bill, but it's a great relief to have it.

I had a gluten free pizza at Pizza Piazza on Chapel Street tonight. It's a luxury to be able to choose from so many dishes on a restaurant menu. Luke and I strolled up and down Chapel Street after dinner. It's such a great people watching place.

Wooh! it's Friday! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Early Friday, shower, cereal

It's Friday tomorrow, but thanks to the public holiday on Tuesday, it doesn't feel like we're nearly at the end of the week. I'm glad we are.

I had a shower when I got home from work. It's amazing how much better you feel after a shower.

Lowan Whole Foods Cocoa Bombs...not the most nutritious breakfast cereal going, but tasty and gluten free. Yum.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This is hard....

Hmm....*scratches head*....There are 37 working days left until my Christmas holidays. I'm going to visit Mum near Port Macquarie in NSW for a week before Luke and I head to Tasmania for a week. I'm counting down the days, though I realise a daily countdown isn't going to cut the NaBloPoMo mustard.

Hopefully tomorrow is a more gleeful day. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo begins

Lots of pretty flowers in the grey garden
 and I photograph the weed.

I'm very pleased with myself for remembering that today is 1 November - the first day of National Blog Posting Month. It would have been rather embarrassing to not even make it past day one. 

It was a public holiday in Melbourne today for that horse race/fashion parade/boozefest known as the Melbourne Cup. Yay for a day off work (especially since I had a rotten day yesterday). Luke had to work in the afternoon, but it was lovely to be able to spend the morning together. We went for breakfast and a stroll in the Botanic Gardens, which are in full spring bloom.

True to my saying that there's always something new to see in the gardens, we found a new, narrow path that I'd never walked before. It did only lead us to a platform overlooking the Gardens' green waste facility but you don't see a pile of mulch that big every day.

After Luke left for work, I had a nap. I've never been much of a day sleeper, but lately I find even just lying down and closing my eyes gives me a little boost (on non-work days, of course. Sadly).

It's (The Whole) Kit and Caboodle day on Three D Radio and I'm enjoying listening to the whole show from my couch for a change, instead of trying to listen in on the radio app on my phone at work with my very unreliable internet connection. I won't miss a second!  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo, feeling better, zombies

I'm participating in National Blog Posting Month again for the third year running. I've been a slack blogger lately, so I thought I'd give myself a kickstart with NaBloPoMo. Prepare for the daily bombardment of glee from Tuesday.

I had a nice sleep in this morning and stayed in bed for a while listening to the rain. Then I got up and went to the gym. Go, me! I've been back at the gym for about three weeks and it's amazing how much better I feel - more energetic, less sluggish and far less stiff and sore in the back and joints.  And that's just from two 45 minute sessions a week of stretching, core work and weights. Nothing overly strenuous at all.

The Zombie Walk lurched through the city this afternoon. There were thousands of them.

As a result, this guy at the ATM didn't really raise any eyebrows. He might have been doing the walk of shame after a Halloween party.

Polly has resorted to begging by the road side for crackers

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Duck, duck, pterodactyl

Camera shy duck turns his back on me

Indecisive duck ponders a swim in the rain-swollen river

Tree roots shaped like a pterodactyl or a very ugly bird

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New duck, racing, more signs

There's a new duck in town! I spotted this big duck hanging out with a pair of little wood ducks on the Yarra when I walked into the city today.

I went to the gym, the first time I've worked out on Sunday in ages. Quite pleased with myself. If I can just keep it up...

After the gym and lunch,  I walked to Lygon Street to see the last leg of the Herald-Sun Tour bike race. Luke couldn't go, so I went for him. I never paid much attention to professional cycling until I started seeing Luke, but I found it quite exciting when the stream of cyclists zoomed past me. I took many photos.

I spotted some more old signs in Carlton:

 Trades Hall driveway

Entrance to the old underground public toilets
on Faraday Street

Rathdowne Street. Can't quite make out what the old sign says...

Better [something] better gifts?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Peninsula, peloton, Portsea

Why, yes, that is the peloton.

Luke and I went for a drive down the Mornington Peninsula today, mostly to see a little of the Herald-Sun tour cycle race. And we did see a little - they whizzed past in a flash of lycra at Dromana and were gone in seconds. First there was a break-away group of about four cyclists vying for the lead, then one lonely guy riding on his own, and then the mass of the peloton. (Yes, I'm pretending I use the word peloton all the time).

We didn't drive all that way just for a few seconds of cycling action though. We had lunch in the sunshine at Mornington beforehand, and afterwards we drove down to Portsea and strolled along the pier.

Oh no! The big ferry's gonna crash into the little ferry!

We had an icecream at Sorrento on the way back. My cup of three flavours was eNORmous, but I got through it all. Luke had a sensational lime gelato.

I got photos of some ace old signs:



I made Luke turn around and go back so I could take a photo of the second one, which was a bit annoying because it was hard to find a break in the traffic. He's good to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Icy treat, Bippolo Seed, evil babies

Federation Square baby

I made granita on Sunday for the first time (it's an Italian Slurpee-style dessert). I made blood orange and lemon flavour, mostly to attempt to recreate the dessert I had at an Italian restaurant late last year which was so delicious I still occasionally think about it. Mine was very tasty - sweet, tangy and tart - and I'm not just saying that myself. Luke also said it was delicious. (He's very effusive and generous with his appreciation of my culinary efforts, which is nice.)

My copy of the new Dr Seuss book, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories arrived yesterday. It was sitting on my desk when one of the people I work for approached. She asked me who it was for, and I said (a little bashfully) that it was the new addition to my collection. She said, "Oh, cool. I like you even more now." Haha.

The swans mights not have lost their eg after all. Luke and I passed one of the same pair sitting on a new nest on the south bank of the river when we walked into the city on Sunday. But I can't imagine how they could have rescued their egg and moved it to a new nest, and I'm not confident the new nest is above the tide line either. I won't count the eggs until they hatch....

Luke and I checked out the Angels-Demons Parade, which is a collection of giant adorably evil black baby sculptures along Swanston Street as part of the Melbourne Festival. They're simultaneously cute with their chubby hands and feet, and threatening, with their bat wings, spiky tails and the little horns on their heads. I liked them - I enjoy the juxtaposition of opposites.

Town Hall baby