Sunday, August 28, 2016

Spicy, decluttering, greenery

Ghost sign on Victoria Street, Albert Park

I made a tasty chicken curry from scratch for dinner tonight. I had most of the spices already (including fenugreek seeds, of all things!) so I thought I might as well make the curry powder rather than buy it. I used a coffee grinder that a friend gave me to make the powder - much quicker and easier than trying to make a fine powder in the mortar and pestle, that's for sure.  I love the smell of all the different spices. I made enough powder to make several more curries.  

I cleaned out my bathroom cabinets and laundry cupboards this afternoon and got rid of quite a lot of stuff. Well, all the half-empty products I no longer use are sitting in a box while I work out where to dispose of them. Although they aren't strictly hazardous chemicals, I don't want to empty them down the sink. Next weekend I plan to do the kitchen, including that one draw full of random crap that everyone has somewhere in their house (the one with duct tape, sparklers, a cigar cutter and widgets with no readily discernible use.) 

We bought some new indoor plants yesterday to replace the ones I bought years ago that eventually gave up and died a while back. We got a spathiphyllum (aka peace lily), a syagrus and a fittonia, which is the prettiest little thing.  A bit of greenery always brightens up the place, doesn't it?

Friday, August 26, 2016


I had an impromptu wander around my neighbourhood this afternoon on my way home from yoga and an osteopath appointment. I spotted a beautiful white magnolia tree on Park Street and stopped to take a photo and it went from there. 

 Winter dining - blankets provided

 Entrecote on Domain Road, South Yarra

 Verandah seat. Millswyn Street, I think

 Lovely row of terrace houses, also Millswyn Street

 Beautiful entranceway

 Spring is springing. Magnolias are blooming all over the place

 Verandah pot

 Wimmera Bakery, an old building on Millswyn 
Street that's now a residence

 Ghost sign - engineer and panel beater - on St Martin Place 

When life gives you lemons

 I LOVE this art deco front window on Millswyn Street

The aforementioned white magnolia, Park Street

Now that's a fence post, also Park Street

I walked about 14,000 steps and then I came home and got into bed - yoga + osteo + 14,000 steps = sore body. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hilarity, spending and saving

A Twitter friend retweeted this video of Steven Jacobs, a morning show weather presenter, being "attacked" by a big chook last night. I watched it at bedtime, which was foolish because I couldn't stop laughing, even when I was just thinking about it. All that laughing made me too overstimulated to sleep. 

I watched it again this morning at work and giggled to myself like a nutter. I can't even explain why I find it so hysterical, but I do. I think it might be the flailing.

I lost a lens from my glasses when I was in Brisbane and I have only just got around to getting it replaced (I have spares obviously). I was pleasantly surprised that it only cost me $60. My health insurance paid about half of the cost, which I wasn't expecting because I'd already claimed for lenses this year.  Pretty happy about that. 

I went also went to Priceline on my lunch break to buy some pressed powder because I had used up every last crumb of what I had, and it was 50 per cent off. Wooh! I also stocked up on one of my skincare essentials and it was 20 per cent off. I'm spaving left, right and centre today (spaving = spending + saving). 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Greyhound love

The rain over the bay yesterday

I have become obsessed with greyhounds. We had a pet greyhound called Bess when I was a kid and I've long wanted to have one of my own one day, but lately I just really, really, really want one. Seeing them in the news more because of the recent ban on greyhound racing in New South Wales hasn't helped. I guess saving a squillion photos of them on Pinterest doesn't help either. Today I found a series of photos of Borys and Walter, a Bengal cat and rescue greyhound, who are best friends. It's so cute it hurts. 

Greyhounds are actually ideal dogs for apartments because they are very lazy, but we aren't allowed to have pets, and I wouldn't go and get one on the sly. One day maybe...

I love these dog portraits, and of course I like the greyhound/galgo ones the most. There's some dog breeds in there I've never heard of - like the Silken Windsprite and the Azawakh. Look how adorably gangly the Azawakh is! 

My week is half over. Yay. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Old signs and cute cottages in Seddon

That one yard in the neighbourhood...

Luke and I went west for brunch today, to the inner western suburb of Seddon, which is tucked between Footscray and Yarraville. We had a nice meal (with friendly service) at a Spanish cafe called Lola and then a wander around the streets...well, actually a drive because the wind was too icy for wandering on foot.

I might have mentioned before that we're a bit snobby (which I should be ashamed of, being a working class bogan from the bush, but I can't help it). We've never lived in the western suburbs and we've never want to live in the western suburbs because....well, it's the western suburbs. 

But let me tell you, Seddon is delightful. DE-lightful. We were utterly charmed by its streets of beautifully renovated little cottages with bullnose verandahs edged with intricate iron lacework. We drove along,  looking from side to side, exclaiming, "Oooh, that one's nice!" "Look at those windows!" "Oh, they're all so cute!" "IT'S ALL SO PRITTEEEEEE!" (Those last two were me.) I even liked the few the unrenovated ones because I like urban decay too.  (I didn't take many photos because I wasn't on foot.) 

We liked Seddon so much that when we got home we looked online at places to rent in the area, but sadly there were very few in our price range. Boo. (Not that we're looking to move now, but we'll have to sooner or later because the flats in out building are being progressively renovated and then rented at much higher prices.)

There was also some stellar ghost signage in Seddon and surrounds.  

 ETA peanut butter...makes you glad you're hungry 

The ETA sign has been retouched (regrettably, in my opinion), but the others haven't, probably because time has revealed two signs on top of each other  ('Grocer' up the top and 'TJ Cawthorn' underneath), which I'm guessing would be a trickier restoration job.  

 Drink Cinzano

I was pretty chuffed when I saw the Yarra Coffee Palace sign above. I got Luke to pull over and then I was thrilled to see this on the side of the same building: 

Temple Bar Tobacco...Mild & Mellow

Monday, August 15, 2016

Unbroken, pop, freebie

Cute kid at the footy on Saturday

I dropped a melting moment (aka yoyo) biscuit on the ground today and it didn't break! I couldn't believe it because they can be a bit crumbly, but when I picked up the brown paper bag and looked inside, it was still perfectly intact, just a tiny bit flat on one edge. I should buy a lotto ticket. 

I've been eating toasted pumpkin seeds as a snack lately. I love the taste and I also like toasting them because when they get really hot they go 'pop' and swell up a tiny bit. 

I found a Myki card at my tram stop yesterday and it had a day's travel left on it. I should probably hand it in to the nearby train station. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Spring is imminent, and a day out

Bright sunshine, blooming lavender

It gladdens my heart to see signs of spring appearing. Magnolias are in bloom, shrubs are budding and I saw a bee the other day. Today I was out and about with sunshine on my bare arms. It was delightful.   

Luke and I were treated to a day out at the football at the MCG yesterday courtesy of his work. It included lunch and afternoon tea in the Premiership Club, a tour down to the boundary of the hallowed turf during the team warm up and tickets to the game. 

 Luke and me boundary riding

 Me relaxing on the interchange bench

My team, North Melbourne, played and lost to the reigning premiers, Hawthorn, but it was still a fun day out. Free food and booze is always appreciated and I haven't been to the footy in years.

The stadium was only half full, but that still means we were sitting in a crowd of 50,000 people. It's a pretty amazing atmosphere, even when your team is losing. 

Football selfie with freshly coloured quiff

Yes, I know I haven't finished blogging about my Queensland holiday yet. I've been busy spending time with Luke upon his return from overseas and being too tired for blogging. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Luke's nearly home!

Recycling bin face

Luke has landed back in Melbourne from his trip to England and Ireland! He'll be home soon! I can't wait! 

I bought a mini trampoline (aka rebounder) a few months ago, but the first time I tried it, I felt sick within 10 seconds, which was disappointing, but not surprising because I've had mild balance/vertigo issues over the past five years. The rebounder sat unused until last week when I got back on it and took it easier than last time. My feet barely left the mat. And yay! I was fine! I bounced on it - gently - for 10 minutes. And I was fine! (If you're wondering why I bought a rebounder, it's because bouncing is good for you and it's fun.)

Rebounding is part of my new exercise program - 10-20 minutes bouncing a day, 10,000+ steps a day, one pilates class and one yoga class each week and a bunch of stretching and resistance stuff (at home - I'm ditching the gym altogether).   

I'm too tired to write about day 3 of my holiday tonight (partly because  of all the exercise I've done this week) and I can't concentrate because LUKE IS GONNA BE HOME SOON!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Bus stop cat, nap, Brisbane - day 2

Remember this fluffy ginger cat I patted on the way home a few weeks ago? Today I walked past its house again and it was sitting at the bus stop - actually sitting on the seat beside a woman who was waiting for the bus. She said it's not her cat, but it often sits at the bus stop and its even tried to get on the bus a few times! Funny kitty. 

I did a yoga class this morning. I wasn't sure how I'd go because my abs were sore from previous exercise efforts, and I felt weary after walking most of the way to the class (30 minute walk). But I did well - it was challenging, but not too hard - and I liked it. I'll go back (even though it means I don't get a Friday sleep in).

I walked all the way home from yoga which meant I had done 11,200 steps by about 12.30. I was rather sore and worn out. I couldn't resist a nap, and it was awesome. I cannot adequately describe how much I love my bed. 

Back to my holiday! On my second day in Brisbane, I met Gillian. It was weird because it was a little like meeting someone new, but mostly like catching up with someone you know. It felt normal, but also surreal to finally be in the same place after 10 years of being friends.

We went to Old Government House for the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition. I don't watch the show, but I've see enough to know the clothes are stunning - as indeed they were. Gillian and I were 'oohing' and 'aahing' all over the place. 


We weren't allowed to touch the costumes, but it was SO hard not to. I'm very tactile - I love to feel fabrics, and these fabrics were all so beautiful - silky, filmy and floaty, ornately beaded and sequined, and even a bit of faux furriness. Many costumes were displayed with sample fabrics - I could have run the silky, chiffony fabrics through my fingers all day. 

 A swimsuit from an Ethel Mermanesque scene

The descriptions of how the costumes were made were fascinating. Some are vintage and some new, and some are a mix - for example, new fabrics with vintage lace trims.   Some things were dyed and manipulated in other ways. There was also a mix of original and new jewellery and accessories. They were sourced from all over - some donated, some from the head costume designer's own collection, some from vintage stores. 

Some costumes turned out not to be suitable - like the a gauzy nightwear-style jacket that was to be worn by Miss Fisher in a scene with a tarantula, but the spider, being rather hairy, got caught in the fabric. I bet Essie Davis enjoyed having to get changed and do that scene again.


The exhibition included a mock up of designer Marion Boyce's workroom, which had work benches covered in all sorts of bits n bobs - beads and lace and fabrics, but still we couldn't touch! There was a video showing Marion at work - she didn't even use patterns; she just cut up a piece of fabric freehand and bam! A gorgeous dress!  (You can get a better look at the Miss Fisher costumes and Marion's other work here.)

I left the exhibition wishing I could be a costume designer (alas my sewing skills extend to hems and buttons). 

After the exhibition, Gillian and I strolled through the Botanic Gardens, which are right on the edge of the CBD.  

 Lizard, hanging out on the steps, eating bugs

 African Sausage Tree (really!)

 Pretty pink tree (a tabebuia, I learnt via google)

Big old tree

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mysteriously lighthearted and Brisbane - day 1

I went back to work today and it was wet and miserable, but I was mysteriously lighthearted. It was probably partly because my boss is on holidays for two weeks. That's always good for the spirits (even though he's a great boss and I know how lucky I am). 

I went back to pilates tonight after a couple of weeks off. It was good to be back - my body needed it. The instructor is always so cheerful, which makes me cheerful too (obviously I'm not one of those people who's annoyed by the perpetually cheery). 

Oh, my holiday!  This is what Melbourne looked like on the day I left: 

 From the top deck, front row of the Skybus

And this is what Brisbane looked like when I arrived. It was about 28 degrees! I felt like I'd flown to a whole other country, not just interstate! There were people in bikinis and boardies all over the place (including in my face as I ate lunch at a cafe).

Streets Beach, Southbank

I spent the afternoon and early evening wandering into the city and back again via the Brisbane River. I love how the CBD is perched right on the river and there are boats moored practically at the doorstep of city office towers. 

From the Wheel of Brisbane (London Eye imitation)

 Eagle Street Pier

 Cute cottage near where I  stayed

To be continued...