Monday, November 6, 2017

Well, so much for that...

Fellow diner at A Girl Called Jayne last weekend 
(Cafe not named after me)

It's just as well I didn't sign on to do NaBloPoMo officially because I've failed at the second hurdle. How embarrassing.

But I have reasons! I worked until 8.00pm on Thursday and then met some long-time online friends from America for dinner (yay for meeting internet friends in real life! I've been friends with one of them since Myspace was a thing - 10 or 11 years). I didn't get home until almost midnight and went straight to bed. 

Friday (my day off) I went in to work again (despite having a barely functioning brain in my head), came home and went straight to bed. I slept from about 6.00 pm until 5.30 am.

Saturday I went to the osteopath about my back, and poked about in the many op shops on and around Chapel Street*. When I got home I had to lie down to recover.

Sunday I spent most of the day lying down, apart from when I went up the street to get my nails painted all silver and sparkly. Apparently I am known at the salon for liking glitter polish. Everyone else seems to go for far more conservative nudes and pastel pinks. (One time recently though, at a different salon, there was a 60-something woman sitting next to me who was tossing up between two colours, including the silver sparkly one I love, and I enthusiastically urged her to go for that one.)

So basically I failed at posting every day because I was busy lying down or sleeping, and expect the rest of the month (and year) will proceed in this same manner.  

* While I was having my blog slump, I finished my year-long no-shopping challenge (successfully) and started my new challenge: a year of only buying secondhand and handmade clothes (and shoes, though I don't foresee needing to buy any footwear). 

It's harder than not shopping at all because the vast majority of clothes at op shops are at the smaller end of size range. It's also hard trying to find a specific item when you just never know what you'll find, if it will be in your size and in good condition. 

But not knowing what you'll find is also the fun bit. It's like hunting for treasure. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's that time of year again...

It's November and here I am again participating in National Blog Posting Month to get myself out of a blogging slump. I've barely turned my lap top on for the last five months, but now it will be on every day for a month. 

I didn't have a particularly gleeful day. Work was a bit overwhelming and I didn't leave until 7.30 pm, my back hurts, and I'm tired (as usual). I had a nice sandwich for lunch though. Turkey and coleslaw and cheese.

Tomorrow should be better. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Foggy, creamy, trippy

Looking back towards Morell Bridge

It was a fabulous foggy morning this morning. I got up at 7.00am and couldn't see even a hint of the city buildings from my window, and they still hadn't emerged by the time I headed off to work at about 8.00.

The sun didn't start to break through the fog until I got to Alexandra Gardens. 

But there was still fog shrouding parts of the city when I got to work and it hung around for ages. I love fog - it makes for great photos and usually means a sunny day ahead.

Luke made creamy chive mashed spuds again tonight. Yum. 

Luke and I didn't go on our usual road trip back in January, but we are hoping to hit the road for an extended driving holiday in July. I'll say more when our applications for leave are approved.*crosses fingers*

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Awesome nearly 100-year-old Japanese Maple

I had my performance review today at work. I'm "outstanding". Yay. Hopefully outstanding enough to get a pay rise, because my rent is going up soon. (Boo.)

Luke made creamy chive mashed potatoes the other night, just like you get in nice restaurants, with lashings of butter and cream. Delicious. Will eat again.  

I had a lumbar puncture on Friday (not a gleeful event, although it was much less painful than anticipated). I asked the doctor what spinal fluid looks like and she showed me a vial of my own spinal fluid, which is kinda cool. Surprisingly, it looks exactly like water: clear and...watery. I thought it would be more viscous. 

Misty, but still colourful 

Luke and I visited Cloudehill Gardens in the Dandenongs on the weekend and it was lovely, despite the rain that started not long after we arrived. It was awkward trying to juggle an umbrella and keep the rain off my camera lens, but mostly it was quite delightful being in a garden in the rain, listening to the sound of drops pattering onto leaves and seeing the clouds close in around us. 

The lyrebirds seemed to like the rain too - we saw four of them! I'd only seen four in total in my whole life until then. They look funny when they run and I never noticed before they have big feet.

Lyrebird not hanging around for photos

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Magnificent Macedon and its many mushrooms

The Avenue of Honour

Luke and I visited Macedon - the township and the mountain - yesterday in search of autumn colour. Macedon's Avenue of Honour, a stretch of road lined by pin oaks, is renowned for its autumn display, but we were probably a week or so too late to see it in its full glory. A lot of leaves were already on the ground.  

But once I spotted the fungii, I didn't care about the trees and their leaves. There were some growing beside the road...

...but in a paddock beside the road there was a veritable wonderland of fungii growing, including quite a few amanita mushrooms - the red ones with the white spots - which are like something from a fairy tale.

We also visited one of the open gardens in the area, Tieve Tara, which is very pretty. 

 Autumn carpet

 Tiny snail 




 Leaf carpet

There were mushrooms there, too

Then we drove up to the top of Mt Macedon to see the memorial cross. There were amanita mushrooms growing under the pine trees there, but you've probably seen enough fungii in this post already.

 The cross (with flowers from Anzac Day)

View from the lookout

It was a fun day out, but the fungii were the highlight for me. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

More Fawkner Park fungi

I walked through Fawkner Park today on the way to the Alfred Hospital (more tests...) and I kept my eyes open for fungi. I was not disappointed - and these are only some of the fungi I saw.

I passed by a lot of beautiful deep red fallen autumn leaves on my way too, but I didn't have time to stop and take photos of them. I will be taking lots of photos of autumn leaves tomorrow though (and probably bringing quite a few home with me for flat lays) because Luke and I are going to Macedon, which is known for its autumn display. Have I mentioned I love autumn? 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thunder and rainbows and faux Mondays

A little rainbow this afternoon

Cold weather has finally arrived in Melbourne. I'm not thrilled about the cold, but I was a little thrilled by the thunder clap that greeted me when I left for work this morning (thrilled and a tiny bit scared). I quickly decided to take the bus to the tram stop (which was probably a good idea anyway because my ankle was sore from too much walking yesterday). 

I was also thrilled by this rainbow and another bigger one that appeared not long after.  

I kept thinking today was Monday because of the public holiday yesterday, but it's not! Wooh! Tomorrow is the last day of my working week already. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More mushrooms

I went to take my hired crutches back to the pharmacy at the Alfred Hospital this afternoon, but it was closed. It wasn't a wasted outing though because I found a heap of fungi growing across the road under the trees along the edge of Fawkner Park (it doesn't take much to make me happy).  

 Pixie umbrella

 I spotted this one growing beside the Yarra on 
my way home 

Golden hour

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy discoveries

I sprained my ankle on Friday - more than a twist, but not serious enough to need medical attention - and the most annoying thing about it is that I can't walk to work this week. I can walk almost normally again now (albeit with some pain), but I should do the sensible thing and let it rest. Boo.

So it was with some irritation that I set out for the tram stop this morning, but then when I was passing Gosch's Paddock I spotted a big patch of mushrooms growing in the grass and then I wasn't annoyed anymore. I took a photo then kept walking and I saw more mushrooms! And then more! There were A LOT of mushrooms. I love autumn.

I made another happy discovery at lunch time. I went in to the newsagent near work to get my daily Pepsi Max and Freddo Frog fix and I don't know why, but I checked to see if they stocked Flow magazine. I was sure they wouldn't because it's a run-of-the-mill, not-too-cool-for-school newsagent, not at all hipsterish like Mag Nation, where I got the last one.  But they had it! I was stunned. And then I was doubly stunned because it was fully HALF THE PRICE I paid at Mag Nation! Wow. 

I might start reading it tomorrow - it's a public holiday here tomorrow for Anzac Day, which makes it the third short working week in a row (wooh!). Last week was only two days long for me because I had Tuesday off as well for mum's visit, which is a subject for another (belated) post.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Anniversary day tripping

Jindi views

Luke and I celebrated our six-year anniversary on Saturday with a day trip to West Gippsland. Flowers? Romantic dinners? Pffft. We went to the Rare and Unusual Plant Fair in the tiny picturesque town of Jindivick

We parked in front of a house with a large shady garden, and a couple of greyhounds came out to eye at us warily, much to my disappointment. I love greyhounds and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to love me instantly in return.  They could not be won over with friendly words and kissy sounds.  

Like the city slickers we are, we forgot to bring cash with us for the market. Jindivick is too small for an ATM so we travelled the windy road to Neerim South to get some cash. We had a bite to eat while there and bought a couple of yo-yo biscuits for later. They were probably the best yo-yo biscuits I've had, apart from those made by my Nanna and Mum.    

Back in Jindi (as the locals call it) at the market I bought a couple of succulents and another plant, the name of which I've forgotten (it might be an elephant ear philodendron). My indoor garden is getting quite extensive now. I think Luke and I should move house just so we can have an outside garden too. 

After the market, we visited the cricket ground, which has one of the best views - if not the best view - of any cricket ground in Victoria.  

From the crease

On the ground

We then took a stroll through Nangara Reserve (a reclaimed quarry) where I found a really long gum leaf. It's about 25cm long! (The tiny pine cone is from the Botanic Gardens.)

We headed back home to Melbourne through the Bunyip State Park, which brought us out near Gembrook in the Dandenongs. We caught a glimpse of Puffing Billy steaming through the trees on his way to the terminal in Gembrook. 

April is a big month of anniversaries for me. Tomorrow it will be five years since I started my job. There will be morning tea and (I hope) a bunch of flowers. 

Not rare or unusual, but certainly pretty

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flowers and bees and a mantis

I cut through the south end of the Botanic Gardens on my way to catch a tram on St Kilda Road this morning. As soon as I set foot inside the gate near Guilfoyle's Volcano I was greeted with a riot of beautiful cactus flowers.  


A bee photobombed some of my flower pics, which always pleases me. I asked a bee-keeping friend about the blobs of pollen on the bee's leg and she told me bees collect pollen in "pollen baskets", which delights me. Baskets! They are also called "corbicula", which also delights me because I love words that end in "icula(r)", like funicular...and other words I can't think of right now. 

I visited the gardens three times today. I cut through again on my way home just after lunch and then I had a more leisurely wander around on my way back from the city. 

This fuzzy ferny bud was conveniently located in a shaft of sunlight in an otherwise shady spot. I didn't notice the little insect on it until I uploaded it to Instagram. 

I visited the Ian Potter Children's Garden on my longer wander because I haven't been in there in years.  There's some ace stuff in there, including fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and flowering gums that are just starting to burst into bloom. I think I was the only person in there without a child in tow, but my inner child enjoyed it.

This bee was so intent on filling its pollen baskets that it was oblivious to my camera hovering right over it. 

 Pretty flower

Anyone know what flower this is? 

I unintentionally made a praying mantis very cross. I was taking photos of some shrivelled berries and I was so focused on them that I didn't realise I'd invaded the personal space of Mr(s) Mantis. It gave me a little scare until I realised what it was (or what it was not).

Do you mind? I'm trying to pray here. 

Just before I left the gardens a Nankeen Night Heron landed nearby and sat there...and sat there...and sat there...I was hoping to see it catching its dinner, but maybe it couldn't see anything because of the weed cover, so it just sat there like a little birdy hunchback. I was still happy to see it. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Morning sights

When I got up this morning I went to check my little window sill garden in the loungeroom to see if anything needed a drink and something caught my eye...

So close! It sank quite low and I thought it was going to land in Gosch's Paddock across the river, but then it rose up over the city. Such a captivating sight. 

Then sSomething else caught my eye...

The chain of hearts plant I bought Friday has sprouted a flower! A strange little flower, but a flower all the same.