Sunday, September 30, 2007

Out With The Old

I finally got around to purging the books I don't want and getting rid of them yesterday. After sitting around in 5 large bags for the past couple of weeks, I managed to offload about a third of them at a local secondhand bookstore and the rest went to Goodwill. Purged. Gone from my life. And now in their place I have $35 worth of store credit to get myself a couple of books at the store. (It's a good secondhand bookstore, always full of interesting stuff.)

Next, the great wardrobe purge.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The 3 Day Weekend Cometh

It's almost home time. I have some beers in the company of mens who like other mens lined up for this evening. It's hot outside. Tonight may even be the first cargo shorts evening of the new season (assuming I can get my fat ass into them). If there is a sudden flurry of scorched retinas, then you'll know I've bared my legs.

I have some knitting get togethers planned for the weekend, some shopping, some things to do around the house, and a big picnic afternoon on Monday.

And hopefully is it comes to a battle of Lust Versus Sanity, lust will prevail.

[Updated: If Friday night is any indicator, so far I'm happy to report that lust has prevailed.]

Things To Come, That Never Came

If you were a teenage sci-fi nerd like me, and share my interest in architecture, then you might understand why an impressively long and detailed article about architectural representation in science fiction cinema is enough to give me wood. Really.

It's especially interesting to me when the architecture, usually the city, becomes almost like a character in the film. Think of the dystopian cityscape of "Blade Runner", the future sterile utopia of "Logan's Run", the hypercities of films like "Things To Come" (above) or the nightly changing streets of "Dark City". These cityscapes become both symptoms and causes of the state of mind of the characters, as well as being sign posts that tell the audience this is not what you're used to.

[Link via things magazine]

Friday Five

  • I am riding a massive sugar high from a slice of a workmate's birthday Pear & Ricotta Tart (with a brulee crust), and a second helping of French Pudding (a bread & butter pudding made with chocolate brioche). I can say one thing about The Christians, they sure can cater.
  • I'm anticipating a teary sugar crash in a few hours. (Unless I top up and stave off with a serve of the Coconut & Caramel Tart I passed up earlier of course.)
  • I've had a really craptastic week at work this week, and walking to work this morning I actually tried smiling on for size. Just to make sure I kept in practice.
  • I saw a teabag lying in the middle of the street this morning. Which struck me as being a curious thing, I mean it wasn't like there was any garbage lying in the street or anything, just this one used teabag. Maybe someone was jogging with their morning cuppa?
  • Three day weekend this weekend! Yay! So far the plans involve a couple of social get togethers, and a big picnic on Monday. I don't think I'll have to practice my smiling then.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


After more than 3 years of the old dotty template I felt like it was time for a change. Viva la change! I'm not in love with look of things yet, but I'll be stuffing around, tapping things under the hood and sucking air through my teeth like I know what I'm doing over the next day or two, tweaking.


Why am I feeling hungry all of a sudden?

[Inspired by the master.]

Home Inspiration

Tyson suggested I post a few pics of the sort things I was thinking about for my house, to give you guys an idea. Here's a few things to whet your appetites. Some I own, a couple I'd like to buy, and a few others are just to give you an idea of the sort of things I like.

1. Eileen Gray height adjustable side table.
(I'm the lucky owner of one of these. Gray was a member of the Bauhaus movement and this table designed in 1927 is one of her most famous pieces.)

2. Art Deco smoker's table.
(I found this pic on eBay, and it is exactly the same design as the table top of my table. Someone has removed this top off of its pedestal base at some point and converted it into just a mirror. Mine is still in the original condition, including the swing arm ashtray on one side.)

3. Scandi sofa from Freedom Furniture
(Sorry about the tiny, crappy pic but I had to cut this from their online catalogue. The 2.5 seater has a solid 5 button back, and two seat cushions. I've seen it in the store and it has a nice subtle retro look, without being twee or too bulky. Plus at around $900 it's a pretty good price. I'm not sure what colour I'd go for, maybe a sort of neutral natural linen colour that I can put more colourful throw pillows on.)

4. Isamu Noguchi coffee table
(I love this table, however, I have a bit of a hang up/phobia about glass coffee tables - I always picture myself falling through them for some reason. Irrational I know. Having said that, I'd probably deal with it just to have something this lovely in my house.)

5. Colour!
I quite like neutral tones with accents of strong colour; fresh leaf greens, darker reds, warm orange. My living room is painted a neutral colour called 'Leek', which is basically an off-white with a light tint of green, and one end wall is a deep venetian red called 'Seductress' (don't you love it?). I'm thinking of repainting my currently yellowy cream coloured bedroom (yucky) a similiar colour to the 'Leek'. I have an open fireplace in my bedroom that has a beautiful warm timber coloured mantle above it, and I think this smaller wall is just screaming out to be painted a lovely fresh green. The alternative would be a warmer neutral main colour, and maybe a sort of kumquat orange above the fireplace.

6. Bedroom desk chair
(I quite like this new Jakob chair from IKEA, and at $180 it's very reasonable. I know it looks like I like a lot of chrome furntiure so far, but I'd mix it up with warm timbers to make it all look less clinical.)

7. Inspirational homes.
There are lots of these!

I don't want to copy it, but I like the general style of Nicole & Brandon's house from Apartment Therapy Chicago. Clean lines, warm timbers, colour, a mix of modern and traditional, cool artwork. They even have the same IKEA 'Jakob' chair in their home office. Here's a whole bunch of thumbnails and Nicole has blogged about their home renovation on her blog Making It Lovely.

I hope this gives you a general idea Tyson!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shocked By The Power

Amongst all of the other things I like to think about myself, I like to think I'm hard to shock. If not unflappable, well then at least hard to flap. However I was being a total comment whore checking the comments on some of my previous posts, and the following comment from my friend Graeme about our night out on Friday stopped me dead in my tracks...
I was a bit worried about Andrew though - he's so mopey without a boyfriend. He *really, really* needs a boyfriend at the moment.

Which *really, really* surprised me. (BTW - this isn't a criticism of Graeme, just hang in there until I get to the point in my eccentric fashion.)

If you've ever been in a situation where you think you are giving off one sort of vibe, only to find out that people are getting something completely different, you'll know where I'm going with this. I felt pretty good on Friday, tired and a bit back-sore, but having fun being out with the boys. Enjoying myself. So I was kind of surprised and perturbed that Graeme thought I was mopey.

What's interesting to me is if there was a disconnect between how I think I'm acting, and how other people perceive me, you know? That's my point here. I generally feel like I'm a self aware person. Obviously nobody can control how other people perceive them, and everyone filters what they see through their own set of beliefs, assumptions and opinions. But a big disconnect like that is startling.

Or maybe I just think too much. :)

Gimme Shelter

Maybe it's the sap rising quality of Spring, maybe it's a feeling that I need some change on the homefront, but I've become obsessed with the idea of re-doing my house. I've taken to stalking my favourite interior design related websites (Apartment Therapy, Desire To Inspire and Design*Sponge just for starters) flicking through furniture catalogues and dreaming about paint chips.

I'm in a small rental, which puts the brakes on a bit, but I rent from friends and have some leeway to do minor works to the place. For starters I'm thinking of repainting my bedroom. I'm also on a tight budget, partly because I committed myself to the concept of updating my home electronics over the next 3 or 4 months.

For starters it's time to buy a new sofa. My poor old sofa is looking like a disaster these days, the upholstery starting to wear through. I thought about recovering it, but I'm not even that keen on the shape of it anymore. My taste has moved towards more of a streamlined midcentury modern look, and my sofa is more of an oversized roll armed country style.

(The thought of getting the sofa out of my house is daunting, I remember the struggle the removalists had getting that sucker in...)

What I don't want to do is make my house look like an IKEA room set, or too self consciously retro. I already have some nice pieces, a small circular Art Deco smoker's table (with a groovy etched deer design in the mirror top) and an Eileen Gray side table that I love.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure where this ramble is going but if anyone has some suggestions for other inspirational design blogs hit me up in the comments. Too many ideas are never enough!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Visual Noise Or Layers Of Meaning?

I suspect the answer is "both".

I took these pics last weekend, while wandering the back lanes of Newtown. I think tagging is a particularly noxious form of visual noise, especially in the disrespectful way that taggers delight in defacing otherwise pristine objects. A ruined sculpture in a park near me is a perfect example.

However, tags and other forms of grafitti obviously have a language of their own. Meanings, varying from "I was here" to "Fuck you" probably. Layered like this they become almost runic, archane, indeciferable almost but still with meaning to those in the know.

Ugly to my eyes, but I guess I'm only one beholder.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Weekend Most Excellent

I know the title of this post kind of says it all really. It kind of shows my hand before the cards have even been fully dealt. Don't tell, show right?

The weekend kicked off with a Friday night out with James and Graeme, trawling (trolling?) the hots spots of Oxford Street - The Midnight Shift downstairs, The Oxford, Palms. I hadn't been out on Oxford Street for ages, and it was fun for a change. Palms was the most fun, and I even managed to get my dance on. I've still got moves.

Saturday morning involved a haircut and a bijou hangover. We love Haircut Day! This Haircut Day involved blonde streaks, and while I quite like the end result it's not as good as I have had in the past. A bit too subtle, just a general lightening rather than the sunkissed surfer boy I was hoping for. Whatevs. I don't hate it, and I've had a few compliments this morning so it can't be all bad. The EGO must have it's way.

Post haircut I met up with Mikey (the lovely ex), his new boyfriend Evan (who is absolutely adorable) and a friend of Evan's (the handsome Paul) for brunch. Afterwards, in the early afternoon, Mikey, Evan and I headed over to The Bank Hotel to laze around on their luxe banquettes, sip a few wines and watch Fashion TV on the big screen.

You have to try real hard to get that much gay in one sentence.

Sunday I had a sleep in, futzed around at home doing laundry and such, and then headed to pub knitting at The Courthouse Hotel. The weather was glorious, once you were out of the cool wind, and I even got a little sunburnt. (Still not quite sunkissed surfer boy, but you can try right?) Then home in the late afternoon to finish getting the weekend's chores out of the way, and watch the trainwreck that is this year's Australian Idol. (No link, they're not deserving.)

So, as I stated a weekend Most Excellent. You?

Just Buy Me A Beige Cardigan

Some slippers. A hot water bottle.

Because apparently I'm an old person. I have sciatica, according to my doctor. That's like an old person thing, right? Like listening to talkback radio and eating caramels. Like greeting cards with pastel roses on them and "where did I put my glasses?".

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Lust List: "So You Think You Can Dance" Edition

Note: We're only in the 2nd week of the competition here, and it's already over and done in the US, so please avoid spoilering the winner in the comments! Thanks.

Dance schmance, the important competition is the who's hot/who's not one, right? OK, actually I do watch it for the dance, but a little bit of pretty never goes astray.

Here are my own idiosincratic rankings.

9th Place: Cedric

Too under the radar for me. Several episodes in and I was all "Cedric? Oh, him."

8th Place: Hok

Hok's ranking is primarily for Crimes Against Hairdressing.

7th Place: Jesus (Not that one, a different one.)

Nice looking guy, and also a great dancer, but suffers a bit from Cedric Syndrome in my opinion. I just haven't really noticed him that much yet.

6th Place: Jimmy

Sweet, quite cute, but doesn't really stand out in the crowd.

5th Place: Dominic

A pocket rocket with a slight Leguizamo-esque air about him. Great ass, as evidenced by the 'disco' routine trousers. Once he dropped the BBoy 'tude and posturing he was much more sweet and likeable.

4th Place: Ricky

Ricky has a slamming bod and is a really great dancer, but I dunno, he has a weird intense energy about him that I find a bit off putting.

3rd Place: Neil

Cute, boy next door. Has a twin brother.

2nd Place: Danny

(First, shoot the photographer - this is a crappy pic to be used as the official pic. It makes him look half asleep.)

Tall, lean, slightly camp sounding Danny is built like a racehorse, all long limbs and finely sculpted torso. Beautiful to watch. (Interesting factoid: he's the adopted brother of last year's little cutie Travis.)

1st Place: [TIE] Kameron & Pasha

Ah, Kameron. Sexy, lovely dancer, seems to (sadly) really like the ladies. Has the kind of moves that make me think dirty, pervy things.

Pasha. This is actually not a very flattering photo, because he looks much sexier on the show. Handsome, lovely soft Russian accent, great dancer and a bit of a goofball. Once he busted out of the Russian Ballroom Dancer mode he suddenly got much, much sexier.

Sadly, Not For Your Ears Only

My office mate, The Loudest Person In The Building has the radio on her desk set to a soft rock/oldies station. Currently it's playing "For Your Eyes Only", the overwrought Bond movie theme by Sheena Easton.

Only for yooooooooouuuuuuu!

Good old Sheena. How she found the time? What with being Queen Of The Jungle and all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pamela Dale

I'm totally entranced by the work of artist Pamela Dale, since I saw a profile of her and her work on last weekend's Sunday Arts show. I love her large scale works done solely in blue; hommages to draftsmanship, humour, blue & white porcelain and the natural world. Gorgeous. And some have cheeky Lemurs in them. What's not to love when there are cheeky Lemurs?

French Pheasant, 2003

Call Of The Wild, 2003

I fell in love with her collage works; assemblages of maps, champagne labels, shopping bags, chocolate wrappers and more, all sewn together with red thread into gorgeous representations of clothing and shoes. Sadly I couldn't find any decent pics of them, even on Pamela's own website, but here is a tiny promo pic of her alongside one of these works:

The baroque shoes made from the labels & foil wrappers from champagne bottles and French chocolate wrappers were particularly lush. Apparently she spends a some of her time at parties salvaging discarded champagne bottles. Recycling of the most fabulous kind.

A Kick Up The Jacksie

A smack around the chops. A swift boot to the arse. A ticket to Get Over It City, express.

All the above are what I feel like I need. I've been so tired, sore, lethargic and lacking in motivation for much of this week. Blah de blah. I blame my back and the tail end of my cold for a good chunk of that, but the rest? Eh. You know when you look at yourself in the mirror and think "C'mon now lil' soldier, enough is enough".

I'm off to see the doc about my back tomorrow, worst case scenario is another prolapsed disk. I had one about 6 years ago, that took 6 months of physiotherapy to fix. Some, but not all, of the symptoms are the same - so I'm crossing everything I can, you know? If you feel like doing that too, then it would be mucho appreciado.

I also kind of became indirectly linked to the retrenchment of 3 part-time employees. The new role I'm taking up here at work is part of a restructure that sees the disappearance of 3 part-time admin positions. I'm not saying I'm responsible, but I am working right alongside these 3 people and by being here I've allowed them to make the changes they've wanted to for a while. Yes, the mood is a bit tense.

So, it's been a tough week. I don't know about you guys, but it's kind of easy to focus on the negatives during a week like this. You know? What starts out as being tired, sore and stressed at work ends up being why am I still single?, I feel fat, my living arrangement needs an overhaul, Australian Idol is really, really shit this year...

So. My plan for the rest of the week is to get my back seen to, have a haircut and some blonde highlights on Saturday, maybe go and see Hairspray (or some other piece of puff) and buy that ticket to Get Over It City. One way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Christmas Gift Idea?

Inspired design, a lung shaped ashtray. Brilliant!

I can think of a few people I should buy this for.


They called her "Esther, The Crazy Cat Lady".

Until one day the cats suddenly all... left, and Esther had the last laugh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Occupational Hazard

I just had a phone call with an elderly client of our service here at work, during which she launched into way too much detail about washing her nether regions, as she put it 'when required'.

a) No matter how hard I pretend, I don't think she was referring to the Dutch, b) ewww and c) let's hope the 'requirement' = 'daily'.

Ideas. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Ideas. Funny old things, ideas.

I've started and trashed a whole bunch of blog entries this morning. You know, some days the muse whispers and other days... ..::crickets::.. ...well, she keeps her own counsel.

Some apropos stencil art from the back streets of Newtown.

Most of the ideas I've had today revolve around a) not working, b) not being single and/or frustrated, c) not being tired, d) not having the tail end of this cold anymore and e) not having my current back pain issue (I'm seeing the doc about it on Friday, earliest appointment I could get). I know, exciting. I also had a brief and promptly banished idea about crushing someone's head between two very large objects, but I choose not to dwell on that one.

Yah, one of those sorts of days so far.

Monday, September 17, 2007

We Got The Beat

Let's round out today's blog offerings, my little celebration of feeling much better and happy, and well, Spring-y, with some tunes. Another installment of my walk down memory lane.

First up, "Obsession" by Animotion. This is one of those songs that I quite liked at the time (early 80s), but has sort of grown on me over the years. Blame nostaglia I guess. Snippets of this are being used on an ad on our tv screens at the moment, which made me think about hunting it down and sharing it. (Oh, and it makes a guest appearance in the gay rom-com "Adam & Steve", as part of a dance sequence with the Dazzle Dancers. )

Secondly, and still trapped firmly in the 80s from the early '90s, "Cruise Control" by New Zealand band The Headless Chickens. I used to love this song! "I've got my tv turned to Channel You", indeed.


Nicky Epstein

(Is it just me or does Nicky's name make you want to have a Babs moment? "Nicky Epstein, Nicky Epstein!" Just me? Okely dokely then.)

One of the fringe benefits of being off sick on Friday was that I was able to make it into Tapestry Craft in the afternoon to meet knitting writer and designer extraordinaire Nicky Epstein and get a couple of her books signed. The event was organised by my buddy Kris, and was lots of fun. Nicky is very well known in knitting circles and it was kind of nice to discover that she was a warm, friendly person who was both generous with her time and quite modest about her success. In fact she and her husband Howard had no idea just how well known and highly regarded she is in this country!

Nicky demonstrated some techniques, passed around samples, chatted about her books, told some amusing anecdotes and spent quite a bit of time talking to everyone, signing their books and even dishing out little pressies. I bought a couple of books, one for myself and a gift for my friend Judy, and Nicky was so excited to see a genuine Male Knitter that she even gave me a bit of a cuddle. Nice! All in all a really fun afternoon, and even a glass of champagne to boot.

Kris has put up a page about the day on the Tapestry Craft website, and scroll down and you'll see a pic of me (in the purple polo shirt, chewing my bottom lip for some reason) with Nicky getting my books signed. Thanks for organising a fun event Kris!

Now It Really Feels Like Spring

Oh man I love this time of year. Once the Jasmine is in full bloom and the blossoms are all out, well, then it really starts to feel like Spring.

Deep Shade

I spent as much of the past weekend as possible out of doors, soaking up the Spring sun and letting it banish the rest of my cold. Sunday was absolutely perfect, brunch with Mikey (the lovely ex) and his equally lovely new boyfriend Evan, then a few beers in the afternoon. Sadly nobody showed up for knitting at the pub later that afternoon, but I had a magazine with me and I kind of enjoyed sitting there for a while just enjoying the warm breeze.


I didn't do a lot on Saturday because I was still feeling full of cold, so I spent most of it hanging around the house or sitting out in my courtyard, although in the mid afternoon I did venture out and go to the Sydney Sity Klickers knitting group at a cafe just down the street. A nice social way to spend a few hours in the afternoon.

The only drawback to this time of year is, as much as I love it, it does seem to herald the end of the Magnolias that bloom in late Winter here. Still, it's a small price to pay.

Magic Carpet

Friday, September 14, 2007

On The Mend

Noon is as good a time as any to finally rouse oneself from bed, yes? After calling in sick today I spent the rest of the morning dozing, reading my book and flicking through the latest Vogue Knitting magazine in bed. (Ok, not everyone's idea of a good time, but I'm sure there's a bunch of you can relate.) Huh, twenty years ago I would have been buying Honcho or Inches magazines with the glee I now buy knitting magazines, it's a crazy world we live in.

A cup of tea and some wholegrain toast with imported French apricot jam, and the world looks much nicer. I actually feel quite a bit better today, even though my head feels a bit stuffier, probably because the low grade fever and sore throat has gone.

Anyhoo, sick talk blah blah.

The other benefit of being sick today is that I don't have to invent some bogus excuse to cut out of work early. So that I can hie along to the book signing organised by Kris (aka web-goddess) at her work, the yarn and needlecraft store Tapestry Craft this afternoon. Knit guru Nicky Epstein will be in the house!

That's a good enough reason to get out of bed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

So I cut out of work early today because I was feeling craptastic, feverish and such, and it looks like the seriously sensible thing to do is to give up on attending the Amateur Unisex Strip Contest grand finale tonight too. I know, BOO! Seriously BOO.

So, consolation time. Some of my favourite things are warm weather, cute boys, vintage photos, vintage photos of cute boys, vintage photos of cute boys enjoying warm weather....

Anyway, you get the idea.

Let's start in grand style shall we? YOWSER.

I'm not sure whether I want to climb on top or slide under the bottom. Same old story.

Seafood buffet, and here I am with an empty plate and a fork in my hand.

Doesn't this picture makes you feel like an old, pervy, chicken hawk?

I'm not sure the names of the guys on each end, but the others are (L to R) Lucky Pierre, Lucky Pierre, Lucky Pierre, Lucky Pierre, Lucky Pierre, Lucky Pierre...

I think it's a rudder, or maybe a floatation device?...


There is something not quite right about having a terrible, streaming head-cold when it's beautiful Spring/Summer weather outside, you know? I did sit outside in my courtyard a bit in the late afternoon yesterday, but mostly I stayed in bed with a jumbo sized box of tissues and a rambling 1234 page science fiction novel. It could have been a blizzard outside for all I knew. It certainly would have made having a cold feel a little more apropos somehow.

Anyhoo, I'm back in the office today, but I'm not sure how long I'm going to last before that bed calls again. Just thought I'd pop in, spread some germs, and then go again. Nice, right? Giving.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Be Civic Minded, And Do Your Bit For The Environment

A. Remember, if you see trash in the street, pick it up!

B. Save water and have some jolly japes, shower with 'the gang'!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Not All Pretty Sailors And Ugly Rooms, You Know

Bleh. Nobody likes to read great big long tirades of whinge (ok, maybe I shouldn't speak for all of you, some of the more emo of you might love tirades of whinge, but me eh, not so much) so I'm just gonna give you the PowerPoint slide bullet-pointed version of my Crappy Tuesday:
  • I think I'm getting a cold, I have the scratchy throat and stuffy sinuses that seem to indicate same.
  • Poor Britney. I can't stop worrying about her.
  • I've injured my back recently, and the referred pain I started to feel down my right leg is getting past the point where I can assure myself it will Magically Go Away. Magically Go Away is normally my favourite remedy.
  • The shitty 'helping out' job I've been doing 3 days a week in another department was supposed to be over already, but now it looks like the woman who's spot I've been babysitting is not likely to return to work. I may get stuck doing it until the department restructure is finished and I can take up my new job. NOT HAPPY. Not the least because I have to sit next to the Loudest Person In The Building for those 3 days.
  • I've only just discovered that John Krasinski is in fact a cutie pie, and I kind of feel like such a lagger, you know?

What Every Home Needs

If you're a fireman. Or a stripper. Or one of those 'fireman' strippers!

From "Home Planning and Design", 1973. More delicious retro decorating zaniness in the Flickr photoset Your Swingin' Pad by Miss Retro Modern. It gets kind of scary.

[Link via things magazine.]

Monday, September 10, 2007


Urgh, Monday mornings after a long weekend are just that much harder, you know?

I have to leave shortly to spend three hours in a meeting, which with travel time is going to swallow up more than half of the day. (Just for fun, while I'm there I think I'll imagine I'm in an episode of "The Office".) So I probably won't be around much today, or at least not until late in the day. Have fun.

[Updated: Ok, I'm back. It wasn't too bad as meetings go, even the opening prayer was, well, rather secular in tone. Oh, didn't I tell you? Our organisation opens every meeting with a prayer. On that point, DO NOT get me started, k? Thankfully I wasn't asked to provide it, even though they did ask if anyone had a special one they would like to contribute...


But a more salient point, who holds a meeting until nearly 2pm and doesn't provide lunch? Rude.]

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hello Sailor

Ok, the demi-highbrow bookishness of the last few entries requires an antidote. Heaven forefend that any new readers get the wrong impression that this blog has hidden depths, right?

So yes, I am obsessive about reading and books. I'm also partial to a vintage a sailor or two. Go figure! (You'll go mad looking for a link, there isn't one.)

Strum me like a ukelele sailor, that's an order!
Getting lei'd with these two would be fun, don't you think?

Oh hello. Caution, trouble below decks!

[Speaking of vintage, happy birthday Thombeau!]

The Cull

It's a public holiday here today, but a grey, rainy and slightly dreary one. So I decided this morning to throw on some old clothes and have a big clean, tidy up and most importantly... a cull. I decided to start with the absolute hardest thing I find to get rid of - books.

Over the years I have acquired lots of books, and something like 95% or more of them I would never get rid of. But you know how there are those few? Those poorly judged gifts? The nice cover wrapped around a thoroughly disappointing interior? Well, those books have got to go. Once I start stacking books on top of others in the shelves it's time to either cull or buy more bookshelves, and frankly I'm out of space for more bookshelves (I have 7 already).

So far I've filled a couple of shopping bags, and then it's off to the secondhand bookstore and/or Goodwill in the morning. These books will not be coming home again! Syonara!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


[Phew, first real chance to stop and take a breath today. Imagine a day when you have extensive month-end financials to prepare and your printer, computer, brain and enthusiasm all refuse to co-operate. Also, you get called into a meeting that runs for 2 hours. On the upside it's a public holiday tomorrow! Yay, thank you POTUS and the Asia Pacific Leaders! Anyhoo...]

I love old and secondhand books. Love, love, love. I especially love it when there is a name and date, or some sort of identifying comments in a book, but best of all I love an inscription! Turns out I'm not the only one.

I have quite a few old books. Whenever I pick up my wonderful old 1920s 2 volume set of Mallory's "Le Morte D'Arthur" I like to think of Percy, the previous owner, and wonder if he enjoyed it as much as I did. Or wonder if Mabel made many things from the "Anchor Book of Needlework" she first cracked open in 1959. (At least a doily, I'm thinking.)

I have a few close friends that I can rely on to buy me interesting books, come birthdays or Christmas time. And if they haven't already, they usually get handed a pen and instructed to write something in the flyleaf. Not just for me to read, but long after I'm gone maybe someone else will read it and know that I had funny, sweet and kind friends? I hope so.

[Link via things magazine.]

Sweetie, Bring Mommie One Of Her Pills

I'm sitting at my desk. Really, that is the best they should expect from me for at least the next few hours. I wouldn't exactly describe this as a hangover, but it bears some resemblance.

Mikey (the lovely ex) and I had Birthday Dinner #2 last night at "Foveaux" in Surry Hills, which was recently voted Best New Restaurant in Sydney apparently. Chic, small, cozy and delicious. (The restaurant, not me. I'm not that cozy.) The food was stunning, the company superb of course, the service friendly and attentive without being obtrusive. Although, after Mikey mentioned to our waiter that he recognised him from somewhere, our waiter became very friendly and kept touching him on the arm and shoulder any opportunity he got.

He knows who the Daddy is.

Oh, and Unlikely Event #987: while I was standing outside the restaurant waiting for Mikey, in dark shirt, dark pants and long overcoat, a group of 4 Young Things stopped and asked me if they could go right in. Yup, they mistook me for a bouncer/door bitch! If I'd been quicker I would have refused them entry on account of Cheap Shoes, but as it was I blurted something like "Sure! I don't work here!!". Maybe not my best work.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sock Blockers

Fellow knitters in the house, give me your opinion. Homemade sock blockers made from coat hangers. It looks to me like these could work ok, what do you think?

[Link via Whip Up]

The Neasdon Queen Of Soul

Here is a clip from one of my '80s obsessions, the voice of the beehive, the Nymphet of the Nail Varnish, the Neasdon Queen of Soul herself, Miss Mari Wilson:

"Just What I Always Wanted" by Mari Wilson & The Wilsations on "Top of the Pops", 1983 (I think).

Hey kids, those coloured spinning things at the start of the clip, they're what we old folks refer to as records. Neat huh?

This is the song that kicked off my obsession with Mari, and ecapsulates the early Mari beautifully. The camp, the fun, the nostalgic homage to an era, the joy of pop in a pure form. Mari deserves a much longer entry here but I'm a little pushed for time, so for now have a listen and I hope it whets your appetites. Enjoy!

Celebrate Good Times (C'mon)

Oh man, I had a hoot of a time last night. My friend Judy asked me out for dinner to celebrate my birthday, and we collected her friend Elizabeth along the way to make it a trio. Judy and Elizabeth have been friends for many years, and it was the first time I had met her.

The three of us got along like a house on fire, and they kept me entertained with outrageous stories and anecdotes over dinner (for example, ever wondered what it is like to go on a blind date with a man with no hands?). And you know what? These sorts of stories are just that much funnier when the story teller has a posh English accent. I don't know why, but it's true. A couple of bottles of wine, lots of laughs and some yummy Thai food, and it made for a great night.

Tonight I'm having birthday celebrations dinner Part 2 with Mikey (the lovely ex). 43 ain't so bad after all.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


There are times when keeping a blog, or I guess a journal of any sort, can be usefull. I don't really have a great memory so this almost daily record of thoughts, events and ephemera can be a perfect aid de memoir.

Birthdays always make me introspective. I woke up in a pretty negative mood this morning. All Waah! Woe! Woe, I say! I'm old! Thinking about the past year, and feeling like it was a year where I really didn't achieve much at all. A year of marking time.

But here's the thing. I just had a quick cruise back through a few months of my archives from last year and had to smile. I was reminded of all the fun of the past 12 months, the successes, all the good times that seem to have been briefly forgotten this morning.

As it turns out I've provided myself with a pretty good antidote here. And a part of that, a big part of it, are the comments many of you leave. The funny, the encouraging, the sometimes deliciously crazy and a couple of times even a bit flirty! There's no party without guests, let's face it.

And you're cheaper than therapy. :)

Forty Three Today

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Holy shit.

Ok, that's better.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A City Divided

Wilkommen zu Berlin meine Dammen und Herren!

(Except with one major difference, when I was in Berlin in the late '80s at least you were allowed to take photos of The Wall.)

5 kms of chain link fencing has been erected in Sydney to block off entire sections of the city into 'no go zones'. Sydneysiders are being discouraged from entering the city at all this week. Retailers, restaurants, bars and all sorts of businesses stand to lose thousands in lost takings. People living and working in the area have to show ID and justify their reasons for entering. Other areas around the city are designated 'stop & search' zones, where you may be stopped and have yourself and your belongings searched. Iconic Bondi Beach will be closed for a day.

On the upside, many of us (myself included) get to have a public holiday on Friday as further encouragement to avoid the city and the public transport system.

Welcome to Sydney George W. and APEC leaders!


2 birthday celebrations, 1 for Karinne and 1 for Dawn. 2 sessions of knitting with friends, 1 at a cafe and 1 at the pub. 1 shopping expedition. 1 family member catch-up. Numerous beers.

Mix in some fine Spring weather that's more like Summer, and that's how you make a fun weekend!

(OK, getting laid as well would have made it a great weekend, but you can't have averything, right?)