Thursday, July 31, 2014

JBPM: the final day

And the clouds moved in

I just realised today is the last day of the month and thus the final day of JayBloPoMo. It's kind of a relief to be honest - it's been hard some day to come up with stuff to write about - but I don't intend to stop now.

The most gleeful thing today: I discovered Sanitarium - the makers of Weetbix - are now making a gluten free and FODMAP-friendly version. I love Weetbix and am thrilled that I can eat them again. My mission this weekend will be to find some. 

I thought I'd lost my favourite work pen, but I found it today near the photocopier. Woo!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taken on my way home

Today's the first day in ages I have walked to and from work. The weather was so mild both morning and evening I had to take my jacket off after about five minutes of walking.  

I looked at of my office window at around 5 o'clock this afternoon and noticed how much lighter it is at that time of day. Spring's only a month away now. Yay! 

I like the silhouette of bare tree branches against the sky, especially if it's cloudy like it was when I walked home tonight. (This obviously isn't what the sky really looked like. I fiddled about with the photo a bit.)  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

JBPM: day 29

I set a new personal best in the bed-to-desk event. I got up at 8.06 and sat down at my desk at 9.02. Fifty-six minutes. It would have been even less than that if I had known I couldn't get off the tram at King Street because of construction work. I had to go a stop further and walk back.  I'll know better tomorrow. 

I went to the gym tonight  - one of the few times I've been this year. I've been very, very slack. I didn't feel completely unfit, which was pleasing. I wore the Billy Idol T shirt I bought at a sale for $5. I was a HUGE Billy Idol fan in the 80s. 

I spotted two Nankeen Night Herons standing like statues on the edge of the river on the way home.  Here is a really bad photo of one of them (my phone camera takes lousy night pictures). 

Luke made yummy crumbed chicken drumsticks for dinner tonight. Juicy inside and a little bit crunchy on the outside. The corn on the cob we had with it was delicious too.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

JBPM: day 28

A seal was spotted frolicking in the Yarra River not far from my house this morning! A seal! Unfortunately I was at work at the time. Dammit.  

Photo by Joe Armao, from The Age

It swam 14 kilometres from Port Phillip Bay and caught and chowed down on a couple of fish before heading back the way it came. I've seen seals in the wild plenty of times, but never in my neighbourhood. 

It was a lovely mild day today so I made the most of it by going for a walk on my lunch break. The sun was so warm I had to unbutton my jacket a little. 

I made it from bed to desk in under an hour today - 58 minutes, to be exact, beating my 59-minute effort last week.  Go, me!  

JBPM: (belated) day 27

This song, Tommy Rockwood by The Little Willies, is reminiscent of Muppet music, don't you think? When I listen to it (which is often lately), I imagine Rowlf playing the piano with his ears flapping about his head. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

JBPM: day 26

I had a gluten free raspberry muffin from the place in the city where I go for my almost daily gluten free muffin fix on week days. I'm so regular that I don't have to ask for what I want. Today's muffin was still warm from the oven. Scrrrr-umptious.  

I got my hair cut and coloured today. Just the usual, but I love that "just left the salon" feeling. I almost didn't get into the salon because the section of street it's on was blocked off by the police and fire brigade. The firemen were cleaning up an oil spill and no one was allowed to pass because it was slippery. I loitered around waiting for 45 minutes and then my hairdresser managed to sneak me in the back way. Phew. I really needed that hair cut. 

We had take-away kebabs for dinner. I put them inside my jacket and zipped it up to keep them warm on the drive home, which made me look pregnant...pregnant with a kebaby.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

JBPM: day 25

Hmmm. I'm struggling to think of something gleeful that happened today. It wasn't a bad day, but I'm so tired I think the highlight will be getting into my comfy, cosy bed.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

JBPM: day 24

I'm a few chapters into Lost & Found and still enjoying it. I can't remember the last time I read a novel - I've mostly read non-fiction for the past few years -  but it's nice to feel the anticipation that comes with being in the midst of a story and wanting to know what happens next.   

I bumped into my friend Bertie on the way home tonight...almost literally. She saw me first and jumped in front of me. I work across the road from her office now and she was on her way to a work dinner. I walked most of the way there with her.  

I had a toasted ciabatta roll with my dinner tonight. It was chewy on the outside and deliciously soft and squishy on the inside. (No, it wasn't gluten free; sometimes I just suffer the consequences.)

It's Fridayeeee tomorrow! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

JBPM: day 23

I've just seen the promo for the return of Masters of Sex on SBS on 31 July. Hooray! I've missed it. It's the first TV drama in years that I have mad the effort to watch every week.
I started reading Brooke Davis' debut novel, Lost and Found, last night after finishing Mark Forsyth's Elements of Eloquence the night before. I only made it through the first chapter of Lost and Found before my eyelids got droopy, but I like it already. I hope I can keep my eyes open long enough tonight to get through another chapter. 

Back to sushi for lunch today, but I have finally found a good sushi place near my new office. It's called Macchiato. Not your usual name for a sushi place.  Yes, they  do coffee. Sushi and coffee.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

JBPM: day 22

The city disappeared today

Today was super foggy. The city was hidden when I left for work and I couldn't see the bay from my office until the afternoon, but most of the metropolitan area remained shrouded in fog all day. In fact, the fog is forecast to linger in some parts of Melbourne until tomorrow afternoon. I like fog. 

For lunch today I had a bowl of the lamb and vegetable soup from Sue Shepherd's new(ish) range of FODMAP friendly products. It was nice to have a hot meal instead of my usual lunch of sushi rolls. I can't eat onion, garlic or gluten so sushi is the easiest quick meal option for me, but it's not the ideal winter repast.  

I made the avocado and lime rice again tonight, but this time I didn't measure anything and it was even better. It's so quick and easy to make too.  

Have a look at these pictures of a gorgeous 144-year-old wisteria tree in Japan. Stunning. 

Here's a song from Norah Jones' other country band, Puss N Boots. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

JBPM: day 21

I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm obsessed with citrus, especially lemon and lime. Eating citrus, drinking citrus and smelling citrus.  I can't get enough. It's so fresh and zesty and zingy. 

My obsession intensified recently when my osteo put a citrus blend in the oil burner in their waiting room and the scent made me feel good (well, better. I rarely feel good physically). I know citrus oils are said to be uplifting and energising, but I assumed that was marketing bunkum. Maybe I was wrong...

Since that day I've been on a quest for smelly stuff for my flat so I can be uplifted and energised in the comfort of my own home, and today I found Glasshouse's diffuser with lemongrass fragrance and it's divine. Fresh, zesty, zingy.  It's only been on my mantelpiece for a brief time so I'm not uplifted and engergised yet me.

I like saying "zesty". And "pudding" or "puddin'" or just "pud". I've been using pudding words more than usual today in reference to last night's cobbler. Pudding is actually one of my favourite words. It's so warm and comforting, and kind of silly too.  

I have been listening to Norah Jones' two country music side projects for the last day or two after an online friend mentioned Norah was in an all-girl country band call Puss n Boots. And while looking up Puss n Boots I found she had another country band called The Little Willies (teehee). I really like both bands. I don't own any of Norah Jones' music though. I love the twangy stuff. 

Here's The Little Willies' cover of Diesel Smoke and Dangerous  Curves

Sunday, July 20, 2014

JBPM: day 20

Dan the nursery cat

He looks stern, but Dan was friendly and enjoyed my pats. His owner at the Glasshaus nursery in Richmond said a lot of people take his photo and post it to Instagram, so maybe he's tired of posing for the snaparazzi. It must be tiresome being a celebrity. 

I think it's funny and a bit odd when people give their pets human names. My family had neighbours once who called their dog, a collie, Kirsty. I wondered if they had a child would they call it Lassie. (They didn't. They had three boys.) 

I cooked three recipes from Pinterest for dinner tonight. Three! New dishes I haven't made before, too -  lime and coconut chicken, avocado and coriander rice, and a mixed berry cobbler. The cobbler wasn't quite right - it didn't rise much, for some reason, and it was a little well done around the edges  - but it was yummy, especially with a generous dollop of whipped cream.  

Speaking of food, I had the blueberry pancakes with lemon curd and creme fraiche at Moth to a Flame for brunch again today. SO good. It was accompanied by the perfect hot chocolate too.  

Luke is watching funny videos on YouTube and roaring with laughter. I have been laughing at him laughing. He has one laugh that goes "HAAA-HAAAH!" that I find particularly amusing. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

JBPM: day 19

Luke and I got quite a few chuckles from this map of "vaguely rude" place names of the world. Imagine telling people you come from Shitterton or Anus or Vagina or C**t (that's in Sweden. It's not at all vague in its rudeness.). Oh, how we laughed, like the middlescents we are.   

I took a few photos on my walk home this afternoon. I never get tired of these views. 

Corner Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue

The city from the Caroline Street landing on the river bank

And from the Hoddle Street bridge

JBPM: day 18

Whoopsie. Forgot my Friday post and now it's Saturday afternoon and I can't remember what happened yesterday.  

Here, have a furry calf:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JBPM: day 17

I really love having my back scratched. Luke just gave my shoulders and upper back a good scratching and it was amazing. I reckon I could have my back scratched for an hour the way most people have massages. 

It was a cold day today and it started to rain at lunch time. Bad timing, rain. My boss came back into the office and declared that it felt like 5 degrees out there and we should avoid going out if we could. I hadn't had lunch and I was hungry so I had to go out. I dithered in my warm office for a little longer then got up to get my jacket. And the rain had stopped and the sun was out again! Good timing, me.  

As I walked back to work with my sushi a pair of women came out of a restaurant on to the rain-slicked path. One looked up at the clear, blue sky and exclaimed, "Where did that rain come from?" Her friend said, "It's Melbourne, Chris."  (Melbourne is commonly said to experience four seasons in one day.)

I went to the pantry for the peanut butter when I got home after work and was disappointed that it was gone. Luke must have finished off the jar, I thought. Before closing the door, I moved the sugar to a higher shelf and there was the PB, hiding behind it! Yay! (I wonder if Luke put the sugar there in an effort to save the last of the PB for himself? Ha!)  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

JBPM: day16

I've had a migraine for two days, but several glasses of sparkling wine and natter with the girls after work helped to get rid of it. Good riddance!

We're still having a rather chilly winter round these parts, but today the sun was warm on my back  as I strolled along William Street at lunch time.

Several people complimented me on my dress today (another recent bargain purchase), although we couldn't agree whether it was blue or green. I and the tag say green, everyone else says blue.

Oh! I nearly forgot! My friend Gillian shared this adorably amusing animated video on Facebook today. The bit with the plungers is my favourite, particularly where the pig marches off with the plungers stuck on it, and its head held high.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

JBPM: day 15

I saw a Nankeen Night Heron  fishing from one of the jetties along the river on my way home tonight. I always walk as close as I can to the water's edge to increase my bird-spotting chances. 

We watched a David Attenborough's Life of Mammals on TV tonight. I'd never heard of this funny little creature, the sengi or elephant shrew, before. Look at their noses! Look at them run! The most remarkable thing is that the baby is nearly fully grown in just a week.

I had heard of the pangolin, which also featured in the same episode (about insect eaters), but I cannot get over what a bizarre creature it is. And look at it run, pootling along on its hind legs.  The world is a strange and amazing place. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

JBPM: day 14

We have replaced our doona (duvet/quilt) with blankets because it was too warm. Sleeping in a too-toasty bed isn't conducive to good sleep and can have negative health impacts.  The temperature is just about right now with one wool and one cotton blanket, but it's too soon to say it's making a difference (particularly if I'm less fatigued). The blankets aren't as snuggly as a doona, but they do stay well tucked in compared to a doona with a top sheet, and I like that.  It feels secure and comforting. When I asked Luke if he was tucked in too tightly, he said no, he likes that feeling.  I think another bonus will be less huffiness with each other over doona-hogging. 

The Oxford Dictionaries word of the day is 'middlescent' - middle-aged but still maintaining youthful interests and activities.  That's me! I usually describe myself as a 'kidult' or 'adultescent', but middlescent seems more fitting these days. 

Have I told you about the The Emotionary - a site with made up words for real feelings? Some are quite clever. I like 'feignderstand' - to pretend you have finally heard what someone said after asking them to repeat themselves more than three times.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

JBPM: day 13

 Brunch - crumpets with maple butter, creme fraiche
 and caramelised walnuts. Yum. 

 Old paint shop sign on Bay Street, Brighton

The city from Brighton

Yachts on the bay

Saturday, July 12, 2014

JBPM: day 12

While I was waiting at a bus stop this morning I looked up to see a small dog staring intently at me from an open car window. Even when I met its gaze, its stare didn't waver. It was funny, but slightly unsettling. The lights changed and the car took off so we'll never know how long the dog would have stared at me. 

How many times have I walked along Bridge Road in Richmond over the past 10 years? Many, many times. But I've never noticed this splendid old mirrored sign with gold lettering before. It says 'Famous Reynella Wines'. Yes, that's my reflection. And a bonus Golden Gaytime ad. 

Luke's parents gave me a bunch of lilies for my birthday. The first bloom opened on Friday and now the sweet aroma has perfumed our flat . I love that smell.   

Friday, July 11, 2014

JBPM: day 11

Today was Brigid's last day in our team. She gave us all homemade vanilla fudge as a parting gift. Mine came with a very sweet note attached saying I was the best desk buddy a girl could hope for. Aaaw. I gave her a tiny cactus with a little tuft of red on top just like me. 

The woman at the Myer florist who sold me the cactus said she liked my hair. As I was walking back through the store a perfume spruiker dressed as a cop (complete with baton) told me I had "cool hair", but I pricked my finger on the cactus at the exact moment he said it, and I was past him before I could acknowledge the compliment. 

Luke played me a couple of songs he thought I would like from The Decemberists' last studio album. I did like them. This is Rox in the Box from The King is Dead

Thursday, July 10, 2014

JBPM: day 10

Back to work today. Our team always has cake (or some other sweet treat) to celebrate birthdays. This year Brigid made me a pavlova loaded with berries and other delicious fruit. (I told you she's lovely, didn't I?) The pavlova looked so amazingly good that I didn't believe she made it. It was yummy and there was a little bit left over for me to bring home. I've eaten my half and now I'm waiting for Luke to get home while I resist the urge to eat his bit. 

I must saw how touched I am by people commenting they are happy I'm blogging again.  Thank you. That makes me happy. 

Friday tomorrow already! I wish I could have every Wednesday off. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

JBPM: day 9

Happy birthday to me! I've had a lovely, relaxing day. It began very, very early with a birthday kiss from Luke before he left for work and then I went back to sleep for a few hours. 

I stayed snuggled in bed for an hour reading before getting up. I took myself up to Swan Street for brunch. I'd put quite a bit of thought into where to go to eat - the blueberry pancakes with Greek yogurt and orange syrup as Hellas Cakes? The semolina pancakes with rose jam, yogurt and pistachios at Demitri's Feast? Or the blueberry buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd, creme fraiche and citrus sugar at Moth to a Flame? Hmmmm...decisions, decisions... Eventually I settled on Moth to a Flame because I've only had their pancakes once (a while ago), and they also do a top notch hot chocolate. 

Fortunately the buttermilk pancakes were still on the Moth menu and they were still yummy. So tangy. I love citrus. 

Then I got my nails done (purple) and headed for home because it was so cold. Colder than forecast even.  We've been having a cold winter after a very mild autumn, which is giving me the opportunity to wear my doona parka (but mostly whine about the cold). The last couple of winters haven't been cold enough to wear the parka. It was raining a  tiny bit as I walked home so I pulled up the furry hood, rather than bother with my umbrella.

Tis me! I'm 42! 

I spent the rest of the afternoon lying under a quilt on the couch eating Lindt chocolates and re-watching Bored to Death. I love that show, especially Ted Danson's character, George. Don't be a milquetoast!  

Luke took me out for dinner to a French restaurant just across the road from where I had brunch...oh, that was after we locked ourselves out of our flat and Luke broke in the back window, which required him to lean out over a three-storey drop to the concrete below. My hero! 

Anyway, dinner. I had roasted partridge for main - the first time I've eaten it - and  Luke had salmon. For dessert I had rhubarb souffle with white chocolate custard. The waiter bought the souffle to our table, poked a hole in the top of it and poured the custard into the hole. The souffle rose up on the tide of custard until it was floating a few centimetres higher than the ramekin it was served in.  A bit of performance art and perfect winter comfort food. 

We were going to the movies, but we didn't have enough time after dinner. No matter. We'll go on the weekend. 

All in all, a delightful day. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

JBPM: day 8

A friend at work shared some happy news with me today and it made me happy too. Brigid, the graduate lawyer in my team, was keen to do her next rotation in the Intellectual Property (IP) group, but HR was adamant it wasn't possible. She was quite glum about it - and a few other things going on in her personal life - but yesterday she was notified SHE'S GOING TO IP AFTER ALL! 

It means she will be moving back over to our Bourke Street office from Monday and I won't see her as much. I'll miss her. She's so lovely. All the grads who've rotated through my team have been lovely actually.  

I somehow managed to go from bed-to-desk in just over an hour this morning. I missed it by only six minutes. I'm not quite sure how I managed it.  I don't think I missed any parts of my morning routine and I walked most of the way (I caught the tram the last four blocks because it was there). 

I saw a Nankeen Night Heron on my walk home tonight. (Today's one of the few days this year I've walked both to and from work. I've been slacking off.)

Tis my birthday eve! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

JBPM: day 7

Tonight while sitting on the couch mucking about with my phone I saw mentions of Tesla in my Twitter and Facebook feeds, and then I became aware the word was also emanating from the TV. Not a word that meets your eyes and ears every day and here were three mentions almost simultaneously in three separate media, one referencing the inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, and two in relation to the electric car maker named after him.  Freaky. 

I wore a new red skirt to work today - a skirt I'd admired in store months ago, but didn't buy and then got for an absolute bargain at a clearance sale a couple of weeks ago. *fist pump*

One more day of work until my birthday holiday. It's going to be a cold, damp day and I'm tempted to spend the day at home re-watching Bored to Death. If not, I think I will take myself out for brunch, a massage and a manicure. 

Wooh! A week of blog posts! Go, me!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

JayBloPoMo: Day 6

I have finally started reading The Elements of Eloquence, the third book by Mark Forsyth (aka the Inky Fool). It's been sitting on my bedside table for more than six months, waiting patiently. I've been reading Alexandra Horowitz's On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes for most of this year; even though it's interesting, it was taking me ages to get through it because I wasn't reading it every day - or even every week.  

Then a week or two ago I watched the episode of Australian Story about young Victorian Brooke Davis, whose debut novel has caused a huge stir in the literary world. She wrote Lost and Found seven years after the sudden death of her mother to help her answer the question: How do you live knowing that anyone you love can die at any moment?  Sounds morbid, I know, but it's a question that's exercised my mind over the past few years too. 

The book isn't morbid. It's been described as heartwarming, quirky, and a "fantasy fable that asks big existential questions with a very light touch". 

While I was at it, I also bought Burial Rites by another Australian, Hannah Kent. Like Lost and Found, Burial Rites was Hannah's debut novel, written as part of a university writing course, and threw the literary world into a tizzy. I decided to buy it because it's set in Iceland (a recent fixation of mine) and a friend highly recommended it. 

I'm keen to start reading them, but I made myself finish On Looking first and I knew I couldn't keep neglecting The Elements of Eloquence any longer. I wouldn't have expected to laugh out loud at a book about the figures of rhetoric, but I have several times so far. (The chapters are brief which makes it perfect for bedtime reading when you're tired!)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

JayBloPoMo: day 5

Oops. Forget to post yesterday. I'm blaming my medication. Really. For the past few months I've become increasingly worried that I was in the throes of early onset dementia because my memory has noticeably deteriorated. Trouble finding the right word in conversation was the main 'symptom', but there were other examples - forgetting the last digit of the debit card PIN I've had for more than 15 years, forgetting entire (albeit brief) conversations and trouble remembering names. 

I've been genuinely scared about it. There are nearly 25,000 people in Australia under 65 - including in their 30s and 40s - with younger onset dementia, so it's not as crazy as it  might sound. I am going to be 42 in a few days...  

But some quick googling revealed verbal memory problems, especially difficulty finding words, are a side effect of the migraine prevention medication I've been taking for about six months (Topamax for anyone who wants to know). Talk about a huge relief! I'm not demented! 

I saw my GP on Friday and I've started weaning myself off the drug. Hopefully it doesn't take long for my memory to come back.  I like being able to think of the right word when I need it. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

JayBloPoMo: day 4

 A sunny but chilly start to Friday, although I had warmed warmed
 up enough on the walk to work by this point to take off my scarf 
and undo the top few buttons of my jacket

Panda power! A power point at the bottom of my building. 
The photo is bad because I was running late and didn't want to
 kneel down to take it.

I wore my shiny new shoes to work. They're pewter rather than 
silver. Maybe I've taken a B&W photo by mistake? (I can't remember 
if the carpet in my office is bluish or greyish.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

JayBloPoMo: Day 3

I've been listening to Jack White's second solo album, Lazaretto, for the past few weeks. I don't LOVE it, but it's growing on me more and more. I'm loving the song Alone in My Home  though. The album version is piano heavy, but I also like this string quartet live rendition. 

(Is the woman's ukulele smaller than usual?)

I got a modest payrise. Modest like a flannel nightgown. I wasn't expecting a flimsy negligee, but I was hoping for something that showed off a bit of leg. I've been working hard. So this isn't particularly gleeful to be honest...more a case of trying to turn my disappointment into gratitude. I could have missed out on a payrise altogether. 

Peanut butter on toast. Yum. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

JayBloPoMo: day 2

I found half a gluten-free sandwich in the kitchen at work this afternoon.  I know! Who doesn't get excited about a left-over sandwich? It was surplus catering, not just someone's uneaten lunch. There's often food left over from partners' meetings and the like, but this is the first time there has been gluten-free sandwiches in the offing. I'd already had lunch, but I helped myself to it anyway.  It wasn't disappointingly bland, but that didn't completely cancel out the small thrill of finding it.

A guy from the finance department at work came to collect a big cheque from me (no, not one of those novelty giant cheques). He and I have swapped offices - he's in my old building and vice versa - and we spent some time discussing the pros and cons of both workplaces. Sheepishly he opined that the toilet paper is better quality in his old office - my new office.  I  can't say I've noticed.

I had a good night's sleep and a very productive day at work. That doesn't happen every night/day. 

I will post some photos here at some point. Baby steps. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

JayBloPoMo: day 1

I've decided to change the name of my daily blog posting efforts for July from PerbloPoMo to JayBloPoMo. It just sounds better. Still silly, but better. Now, on with the glee! 

I mentioned yesterday that my firm has moved offices. That happened a couple of weeks ago. I didn't want to leave my sunny corner location, but my new spot is pretty good too. We're on the 38th floor and we have a great view out over the bay on one side, and towards the hills in the east on the other. If Eureka Tower wasn't where it is, I'd almost be able to see the roof of my flat. 

The new office is a few more blocks from home.  It takes me 40 minutes to walk it in the mornings (when I walk it; lately I've been oversleeping and catching PT), but tonight I walked home along the river instead of through the city and I did it in 35 minutes. I reckon I'll struggle to shave much more time off. 

It was lighter when I left work tonight. Surely the longer days can't be noticeable yet? We're only a couple of weeks past the shortest day. Or have I just not been paying attention? I have actually been leaving on time most days since we moved offices because my workload has been much more manageable. Wooh. I'm enjoying that. It almost feels like a novelty. 

I cooked celeriac on Sunday for the first time. I think it was the first time I've eaten it too. I smashed it to go Cumberland sausages and really liked it. I'm not one of those people who loves their vegies, but my celeriac smash was a hearty winter warmer. Next up I'm going to make soup with it.