Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis The Season

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, I've had a really rough past couple of weeks and although I'm not shy about talking about the good and the bad, I've been really flat and unmotivated. Thankfully, thankfully, things are on the improve. I'm still under-employed and not actually earning enough to even pay my rent at present (oops), but I'm about to head off for a few days to visit my sisters in Ballarat and I'm making a concerted effort not to think about the stressful stuff for the next few days.

Avoidance I can manage. Easily. In fact I've kind of been avoiding the whole Christmas thing this year. There are few stresses like feeling you have obligations or the desire to do things, and just not having the cash to do it. So I have basically avoided all social events over the past few weeks. If you are a 'real world' friend of mine, consider this an open apology if I didn't show up to something recently.

My sisters clubbed together and bought me a ticket to go and see them for Christmas, so I'm off tomorrow until the evening of the 28th. Now that we have agreed that I'm only buying gifts for my two nephews (even though that sucks because I love buying gifts, and even better wrapping them!) the stress has at least been eased somewhat. So tomorrow's plan is to try and get a bit of Christmas cheer happening.

I hope you all have a great Christmas/Holidays season, and I'll catch you sometime around the 28th!

It's A Sign Of The Times

Martha Stewart "Weddings" magazine covers their first gay wedding. No fanfare, just the same sort of coverage they give to any other wedding.

The two boys have put up their own wedding album here, and there are some really sweet pics. Awww. I need to find me a husband.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sigh





Is it just me, or does a waxed moustache just make any cute boy even cuter?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boozy In The Afternoon

Up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago I was working 2 part-time jobs, for a grand total of 6 days a week. Unfortunately the better paying 4 day a week job ended when the company I was working for finished the big project they were doing with one of the major banks. I've had trouble getting another job to replace that one, so I've been trying to subsist on the 2 days a week I am getting at the yarn store. Not very successfully, it has to be said.

When the project with the bank ended, the subcontracted company I was working for said some lovely things about how well I had done and sent me an invitation to attend the staff Christmas party. So earlier today, a postcard perfect Summer day here in Sydney, I headed out to join them for their Christmas lunch.


The Sydney Opera House from this morning's ferry ride.

The invite said that lunch was at a restaurant called "Sails" at McMahon's Point, on the norther side of the harbour. As it was such a beautiful day I was glad that it seemed that the easiest way to get there was going to be by harbour ferry. So once dolled up for what I assumed would be a fairly posh, yet waterside relaxed, restaurant (in what I hoped was a casual with an edge outfit of 501 jeans, slim fit blue military style shirt and skinny leather tie) I grabbed my camera and set off. With the intention to have an enjoyable afternoon and not think about the stressful stuff.


Wave to all the people doing the Bridge Climb everyone!
[Click to enbiggen it, they are the row of tiny figures along the top of the bridge]


As someone who was primarily working on site in bank branches for the company, I had spoken to many of the staff and management but had not actually ever met them, so it was great to put faces to names and voices. The restaurant was nice, a fairly small affair right on the edge of the water and our table butted right up against the window which we were able to open to let in the breeze off the harbour. The food was pretty good, but it was the rivers of alcohol that were memorable. Lordy. I think I had the equivalent of about 3 glasses of Champagne before the food arrived, and by the time we rolled out of there at 4.30pm I had added plenty of lovely Sauvignon Blanc (and one strong coffee) to the mix.


Luna Park, the restaurant was in the little bay just behind.

I kind of hoped it would be an opportunity to network with the management of the company, and thankfully it was. I've been a bit down about the work and finances situation lately, so to have a nice swish lunch at someone else's expense was a nice respite from that stress, but best of all I got some genuine, heartfelt and effusive praise and gratitude from them for the work I put into the project.

They are keen to get me back, and have some large new projects in the works. On the way to the restaurant I had a very disappointing call from my temp agency telling me that a job I was due to start next week has fallen through, and that they were struggling to get other work in. So the praise and the talk of possible new work starting after the Christmas break gave me a boost I needed. Three separate members of the management team all told me independently that they wanted me for this new project.

So boozed and schmoozed, clutching my Christmas gift of luxury chocolates and free movie passes from the company, I caught the ferry back across the water. Feeling a bit happier and more optimistic.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Obsession Continues

I understand I'm one of a very small number of Mari Wilson obsessives (Hi Thom!) so bear with me. I had to share a couple of clips I hadn't seen before, firstly a film clip to accompany her biggest single release "Just What I Always Wanted", and secondly a live version of the same song from over 20 years later.



I don't remember seeing this at the time, I guess I must have though because this song did quite well in the Aussie charts and would no doubt have been played on the music video shows here. Unless there were several different versions floating around. Most of the clips of Mari that pop up on youtube are live performances at concerts or on variety tv shows.



The audio and video quality are not the best in this 2008 clip, but she's still got it. Gone are the huge band and the numerous back up singers but her voice is still pretty great I think. Sure those really high notes were always a challenge, but wow it's great to see her doing so well with it over 20 years later. She had some health problems for a number of years, and didn't really perform, so it makes me happy to see her performing again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ka-Ching!

I always thought Eric Mabius from "Ugly Betty" was kind of cute, in a shiny pretty sort of way, but then I hadn't seen any of the more recent episodes of the show.



Whoa. Eric Mabius + beard = a new level of hottness.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diary Of A Shut-In

I had a really lazy day yesterday. Pleasant, free of angst or any other such carry on, but inactive.

I'd like to justify the fact that I did nothing at all by saying that I was conserving my precious financial resources/the environment/shoe leather/carbon emissions or something, so it sounds noble but actually I was just LAZY. I surfed the internet, I watched some teev, I even knitted a bit. At one point I ate pizza (although, in my defence I did have a healthy salad and fruit earlier in the day).

The kicker, when I woke up this morning I realised I didn't even shower yesterday. Thus begins the slippery slope people.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Esther Williams, Eat Your Heart Out

Yesterday morning I was kind of futzing around the house, pottering, messing around on the computer and generally being a slacker, when my friend Judy rang and suggested we put the day to good use and go for a drive. So, after collecting me about eleven, we headed up to the Blue Mountains to the lovely little town of Leura, about an hour and a bit drive from Sydney. Yesterday was hot, so the secondary plan was to escape the heat (although, in hindsight I don't think it was any cooler).

I really enjoy Leura, it's kind of touristy but also a bit chi chi and quaint. The main street through town has a fabulous collection of shops, with a heavy emphasis on upscale wine and food, homewares, and the sort of fabulously engaging (but thoroughly non-essential) shops that always win me over. Moontree candle shop and gallery, Elizabeth Rosa fine stationery and Ikou natural products being three that had me before I'd even stepped over their airconditioned thresholds.

After a lovely lunch at the bakehouse cafe, I window shopped like I could do it competitively for Australia, while Judy plonked down some true cash money and was given goods in return! (I love how that works.) It was a little depressing being in Retail Heaven whilst being skint, but helping someone else spend their money is definitely the next best thing.

Safely back in Sydney, I grabbed my swimming gear and headed over to my friend Mike's house for our new weekly swimming regimen. Mike has a very nice, and generally underused, swimming pool in his apartment complex, and a couple of weeks ago started inviting a small group of us over to swim laps. I'm technically a pretty good swimmer if not a strong one, so the pool is a good size for me (about 20m long we estimated). The plan is to get together once a week for lap swimming, with a goal to increase our personal baselines by at least 2 laps each session.


Synchronised naiads! Hot jazz trumpet! Colour coded handmaidens! This bitch knows how to make an entrance...


Not exactly an intensive training regime, but every little bit helps, and it's nice to do it in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. I love the water and have since I was a little nipper, and it's so nice to slip into the pool after a hot day. My natural inclination has always been to slide straight under the water, ever since I was a kid I just about spent more time swimming along the bottom of the pool than anything. However it's nice to break out the old freestyle, side stroke and backstroke. Certainly more taxing physically!

Of course it's then off to the pub for a meal and some beers, but then every elite swimming squad needs a team building exercise now and then.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The First Lady of Cameroon

I suspect Chantal Biya, first lady of Cameroon, may be a little insane in the membrane.


"Who is the old man with the little white cap?"


"He calls that a Jesus hat? THIS is a Jesus hat!"


"Yes, yes, riveting. Where did the little Jewish man go?"

Suits You, Sir


Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.





Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.





Photo by David Siljper for the NYTimes.





Moschino, F/W '09-'10

5 Good Things About Being An Un(der)employed Slacker After Dropping From 2 Part-time Jobs To 1

  • Only having to put on big boy pants and polished shoes 2 days of the week.
  • Breakfast at 10.30, am or pm
  • Bandwidth maximization! For once that 2am to 12noon "off peak" bonus my isp gives me is getting a workout. When the pennies are tight it's all about value for money, people.
  • Do you even know how much self pleasuring one can do in an 8 hour day? [High five!] Frankly. even I'm shocked.
  • Um, be right back!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Very Nice Selection!







Whenever I see these kinds of vintage pictures, my first reaction is to go along the line and... well... kind of like this:



Wait a minute! YES!!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Big Gay Bush Dance, Devonshire Tea and Angst.

Last weekend I headed down to Canberra for the annual gay Bush Dance. The last time I went to the Bush Dance was 2 years ago, and I had an absolute blast. This year I drove down with my friends David and Robert on Saturday morning, to meet up other friends Colin, John and Derek who had arrived on Friday night.


I loved this Goulburn Evening Penny Post building.

It's around a 3 hour trip from Sydney to Canberra, and David, Robert and I decided to break the journey late morning for a stop over in historic Goulburn. First impressions of Goulburn were just how neat and clean it was (including the public lavs, which after a few hours in the car were most welcome), but also just how dry it seemed. The public gardens were still in pretty good shape, if not a bit wilted in the heat. Goulburn has actually run out of water at times and had to truck water in. Pretty amazing considering it's a fairly large regional centre.


Nom nom.

As it was late morning and travelling is hungry, thirsty work, we stopped off at a cafe for some morning tea. I'm a sucker for a scone with jam and cream, so once I spotted the 'Devonshire Tea' all else faded from view. It was a most pleasant little interlude. At one point I noticed a sign over the station where they had bottles of water for the table and glassware encouraging patrons to only take what they need, as water is a 'precious resource'. Further evidence of Goulburn's situation.


Derek and I. OMG, so handsome. (Derek's not bad either!)

Once we arrived I checked into the hotel with Derek, John and Colin, and David and Robert headed off to stay with friends. The rest of the afternoon was spent on a little shopping spree (2 pairs of new work trousers for $40!, thank you Target sale), some napping and then pre-dance nibbles and beers.

The bush dance was lots of fun, although I had a few low spots during the evening. Don't ask me why, but sometimes I think way too much. One of Derek's friends is wont to make casual cracks about short people, which normally slide right off me as my height has never been an issue that bothers me. Maybe it was that one too many that broke the camel's back, but at one point during the evening I got really annoyed.

Derek and I have been seeing each other for a little while, and although we haven't even discussed what it means and if we consider each other boyfriend material, I guess I'm at that point where the approval of his friends matters to me. Plus I just think it's really rude to make remarks like that in the presence of someone that might take offense, even though it's possible that he doesn't do it to be intentionally hurtfull. Derek and his friends do have a lot of back and forwards banter, so maybe on one level I should read it as a sign of acceptance? Anyway. like I said, way too much of the thinking.

All in all though a good weekend but I came home to find the crushing news that my temp agency isn't likely to have any work for me until the 18th of December at the earliest, and that there are currently no additional shifts available at my 2 day a week job at the yarn store. I love the yarn store job but it pays poorly, so in the lead up to Christmas I'm staring down the barrell of not being able to even make my rent for the next 2-3 weeks. Christmas travel plans have been shelved and I've spoken to my family about basically ignoring Christmas this year. I'll send gifts over for my 2 nephews, but unless something suddenly appears on the work front that will be it.

I'm so mad at myself for landing myself in this situation. I saw the possibility of it looming as my other temp assignment drew to a close, and I knew that being committed 2 days a week at the yarn store would make other temp work hard to find. Frankly I love the job at the yarn store too much to give it up, but it's killing my chances of other on-going temp assignments. The yarn store is opening a new store in my neighbourhood, so there are potential improved job prospects there, but that might just squeak in by year's end rather than in the next week or so.

So, not the cheeriest of blog posts but I feel like it's best to be honest about what's going on my life right now. I've held off writing about this because I knew it would turn into a downer, but there you have it. Uncertainty and small crises of confidence seem to be the order of the day. Cue a desire to take to bed and pull the covers over my head, but I'm determined not to give in to this natural inclination.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Neasdon Queen of Soul - LIVE!

A couple of years ago I wrote a short post about my 20+ year long obsession with the original Voice of the Beehive herself Mari Wilson. Aside from the campery and retro glamour that she affected in the 80s, I've always loved her genuine warmth and that voice! Her version of "Cry Me A River" still gives me goosebumps.

Earlier today I was cruising youtube, as one does, and I happened across the channel of Julia Fordham, one of Mari's original back-up singers The Marionettes. Julia has posted a half dozen clips of Mari (and her, natch) performing live on various tv shows and in concert. Fabulous! Many of my favourites are on here like "Beware Boyfriend", "The End of the Affair", "Just What I Always Wanted", "One Day is a Lifetime"... etc.

Bows to present... Miss... Mari... Wilson!













With Julia Fordham on backing vocals!

Don't Ever Say Never

So. I'm back!

When I said that I might return I wasn't expecting to come back so quickly, if ever, truly. I suspected I would miss blogging though, but I underestimated just how much I would miss it over these past 2 months.

Aside from missing connecting with you all, from a functional point of view it's hard to suddenly stop doing something you've done pretty much daily for around five and a half years. Cold turkey is a bitch! Almost every day I find myself stumbling on something that I think "oh, I must blog about this... crap!"

So I return, cap in hand, having cried "wolf!" only once.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The End, My Friend

Sadly, I feel the time has come to draw a close to this little old blog of mine.

My biggest problems these days are time and energy. Gone are the heady days of being able to web surf and blog at work, when what my employers lost in productivity my blog gained in amusing or interesting links found, or thoughts and experiences recorded. Now when I get home of an evening I'm tired, especially since I started working 2 part-time jobs, 6 days a week.

The death, or at least (I'm praying) long-term coma, of the lovely laptop I was using and switching back to a desktop pc has also meant that web surfing and blogging have to be done in the cloistered confines of my bedroom. Not being able to web surf while I'm sitting in front of the tv has meant that many nights I'd really rather just watch the tv. In fact I've even been hanging out less on the sites I used to frequent, like Flickr and Ravelry. Definite signs that I'm spending less time on the computer.

What a fantastic experience these past five plus years have been! Nearly 180,000 visits! Many hundreds (thousands?) of comments! In the heyday of this blog I used to hang out in the comments all the time, so much so that at times it was almost like a chat room. Ah, good times. How lively and what energy this blog had then.

I thought about taking a break, but in truth every time I have taken little breaks in the past I have come back with only a short term burst of energy. This blog loses momentum, and readers, each time also. I'd rather not go out with a whimper and of late I've been hearing the sound of faint whimpering. Reading back what I've written just now I'm struck at how much I've used the word 'energy', and I guess that is the key.

Thank you all for the good times. In over 5 years the bad times have been amazingly few, nothing harsher than the occasional and rare rude comment. I know I will miss not having a forum to write in, because I have discovered how much I love the art of writing. Sharing my photos has been another joy, and your encouraging comments have always really touched me. Maybe these will things will draw me back to this blog sometime in the future, but I don't know if they will and so I don't think it wise to make any promises. In the meantime I'll be leaving everything here, feel free to poke around and maybe one day in the future we can meet back here.

Love,
Andrew... the other one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Strangest Of Days

As I mentioned this morning we woke to the End Of Days the surreal orange skies of a huge dust storm this morning. I snapped these pics below within the space of about two hours. The first just after waking, and the last from the 28th floor cafeteria at work about 9am.

Early Morning From My Back Door
The view from my back door about 7am, a vibrant orange sky and
banana palms being whipped around in a gale.


Red Dust
Red dust everywhere on the walk up my street to the train station.
The air was thick and gritty with it.


Is It Day Or Night?
Browny orange twilight and street lights at 8.30am on Newtown train station.

Sunlight
The sun struggling through, 8.30am on Newtown train station.

Brown Out
Somewhere out there is Bennelong Point, the Opera House and the Harbour.
The view from the 28th floor cafeteria at work about 9am.


By late afternoon it had pretty much blown over, the main legacy left behind being drifts of red/orange dust wherever the strong winds hadn't successfully blown the slate clean. A little bit of the red desert come to town.

Under A Bloody Sun

I've been in a habit of waking up earlier than I need to for the past week or so, instead of 7am I've been waking up at 5.50, 6.05... any number of really, really too early times. So when I woke up too early again this morning, I cracked an eye open and saw bright orange light against my window blinds. "Wow, bright sunrise." I thought and rolled over to try and catch some more zzzzzzs.

Except, an hour later the light was still bright orange.



This is how Sydney looks this morning. Early this morning gale force winds drove a huge dust storm of red dust in that has blanketed the city. A 'once in a lifetime event' the morning news shows are calling it. Everything looks surreal, like the city has been blanketed in bright orange fog. I nipped outside briefly to see what was going on, and I could feel the dust in the air in my eyes and the back of my throat.

They are recommending anyone who can should stay indoors but I'm still going to try and get to work, as I don't have any ongoing respiratory issues to be overly concerned about. (Plus, I'm going to grab my camera and see if I can't get some pics of my own.) I am going to set out much earlier than normal as well, I can't imagine that our already fragile public transport system hasn't gone into complete chaos.

Wish me luck.

[Pic via The Sydney Morning Herald.]

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 Things Found Rolling Around In The Bag I Carry To Work: Ewww, What's THAT? Edition

  • 3 biros from The Big Christian Charity where I used to work. They sit nicely in the hand, write well, and given that they ordered 1,500 of them with the wrong phone number on them, not stolen. I actually had to stay "Stop! I have enough pens at home!".
  • But the packets (2 sizes, 1 each) of Post-Its are definitely stolen a Gift With Toil from some workplace or other.
  • A packet of blood pressure pills with no actual pills in it. Likewise a purse pack (whatever) of aloe vera tissues with no actual aloe vera tissues in it.
  • A $9.95 radio, bought from a novelty/bits of everything shop in Little Vietnam in Bankstown. Amazingly it works ok, and kept me company on the lonely hours I was archiving files in the bowels of more than one bank branch.
  • Old payslips. Old bills. (Paid, I think. Yeah, I'm sure. I'm fairly sure. I mean nothing has been cut off or disconnected yet.) Old fliers for various things. Apparently there was a food fair in March that sounds like it would have been good.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Indulgence

Oh my gah, I'm pooped.
  • Many, many beers on Friday during a Most Excellent night out.
  • Four and a half hours sleep and then up for work on Saturday at the yarn store.
  • A long, torturous train ride home thanks to my Arch Nemesis (aka CityRail) doing PLANNED track maintenance, a fact they like to stress lest you think they were lurching from self induced crisis to self induced crisis.
  • A train ride that ate up most of my potential nap time before going out Saturday night to a very fun event called Underground Underbear (so named for a) the basement venue and b) the large number of hirsute/stocky men in their underwear) where many, many more beers were consumed.
  • Finally to today, waking up waaaay too early after a very late night, catching up with my friend Judy, going to knitting at the pub as per usual and then meeting friends at another pub and having dinner.

Total alcohol consumed today, one light beer. Even I have my limits.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I admit to being a bit of a pedant about apostrophes. Not saying that I get it right myself 100% of the time (I would cop to 99.8% though) but I keep seeing this particular gem cropping up more and more.



"Your" versus "you're". In this instance it's from a clip from the second season of "Project Runway Australia". The tricky old apostrophe of contraction. "Don't". "Can't". "It's". And in the old days, before falling largely out of use, "'phone" or "'bus" even.

Every time I see someone type "your stupid!" on a bulletin board I feel like asking "their stupid what?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This One Is Goes Out To My Friend James O'Brien

James is one of the world's great Swede-o-philes. In fact, as I write this he'll be sitting down to his weekly Swedish lesson. Don't get me wrong, I admire the Swedes. I buy their furniture. I appreciate their massage. I think they do a natty line in pop music.

But there is a line I draw that others cross.



Anyhoo. The brief yet classic "Swedish Chemist" sketch from Alas Smith & Jones. This sketch has been a long running part of the zeitgeist amongst one group of my friends for as long as I care to remember. (Along with other gems such as the Licky Licky Bumsex Song.) Comedy gold, just the mention of "Ball? Or aerosol?" is enough to set us off.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Late Night Drunken Revelations

You wouldn't think that standing around in your underwear, in a leather bar, with your 6th (7th? 8th?) beer in your hand would be the place to start reflecting on your behaviour. Or maybe it's the perfect place? Oddly the behaviour I was reflecting on had nothing to do with standing around in underwear, in a leather bar, with an uncounted beer in my hand. Oh no, that would be too obvious.

I did start thinking about how I'm looking after myself though, physically and mentally. Or not, as the case may be. And not all about me, me, me either but about how my behaviour of late may be hurting, or at least frustrating, the people around me. Time to stop trying to get my emotional needs met in all the wrong places. Time to stop acting like such a tool, and a needy one at that.

And on a physical level, certainly time to eat better and lose some weight! In the past I've always gotten these bursts of energy about getting healthier with the first blast of truly warm weather. (With varying degrees of success I have to say.) Maybe time to make another Spring 'resolution'?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Love, On The 28th Floor

When I'm not working as a yarn enabler at one of my two part-time jobs, I'm working behind the scenes doing a huge file archiving project in a major bank. Earlier this week I was yanked out of the battery hen hell-hole cube farm situated two train rides from home, and relocated to the rarefied corridors of power that is the city Head Office.

Where tea rooms are not some vending machine, a microwave and the ubiquitous Zip Boil instant hot water 'system'. Oh no, funky colours, modernist furniture, mood lighting and floor to ceiling picture windows are the name of the game in the 'Break Out Rooms'. (Seriously, the way that they look like some queen's efforts on Top Design they should be called Come Out Rooms.)

Yesterday was my first day, and I took the advice of one of the guys I'm working with and tootled up to the small cafeteria on the 28th floor to get lunch. I remember thinking how gorgeous the view was, but it was actually this morning when I went to get my coffee that it really hit me. OMG.

Firstly it's a vertigo sufferer's nightmare because the huge picture windows go almost all the way to the ground, but to those of us who aren't bothered by heights (weird, for someone so short?) it offers an amazing view. An entire corner of plate glass windows with a view that sweeps from the Harbour and across Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross. Nearly 180 degrees.

This morning I felt like I fell in love all over again with this city I chose to call home 20 years ago! (In fact next month is my anniversary.) While my passably good coffee was being made, I stood transfixed looking out over the Botanic Gardens and across the top of the arches of the Opera House to the glittering harbour. Today was one of those perfect Spring days Sydney does so well, and as I was watching the morning sun hit the water and a harbour ferry stitch a silver lame line across the water I thought I could burst. Maybe it was just all the glitter.

It was a completely different view of the city than I'm accustomed to. Looking down from Where The Money Is, across rooftops with surprising lap pools and little gardens, watching people amble through the Botanic Gardens or ride a ferry across the water. I wanted to play hookey so bad. Nothing reminds you more of how stunning this city is than getting up, way above the grimy trains and the casual rudeness. The scourges of pretty much all big cities.

Back at ground level I was making my way home tonight, at dusk, through my favourite 'off lead' doggie park and I was still feeling the love. There was a definite Spring vibe in the air, people out with their dogs enjoying the lengthening twilight, kids in tow, small groups of people sitting on the grass chatting and having a drink. Feisty little terriers and bemused large dogs seemed to be everywhere.

You know what, even the train ride home wasn't so bad.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Class, All The Way

Awww, bless. Matthew Mitcham on the Pam Ann show!



"Lachlan likes this one." Oh sweet Jebus, we all like the look of that one, honey.

Monday, September 07, 2009

OMG! You Did WHAT?

I'm not sure if this is scary or fabulous, it kind of walks that edge you know. Courtesy of my friend David, I give you Why The F*** Do You Have A Kid?. I'd like to say that no kids were harmed in the making of this... but I'm not so sure.

It does however seem like the natural follow on from Tacky Weddings though, right?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Birthday Weekend: In Review

Who knew that 45 was the fun one? Seriously. I had an absolute blast this birthday!

Friday night I met Mikey (TLE) & Evan, David, Brad and Christopher for cocktails and dinner at the Japanese fusion restaurant Uchi Lounge. Two of my favourite things are lychees and alcohol, so I had to start the night with a nomsworthy Lychee-tini. Lychee sake, gin, a splash of lychee syrup and one of the luscious pearlescent fruits to garnish. Yum.

We settled on a banquet, and the food (and wine!) just seemed to keep coming in an endless stream of delights. The eggplant with a sweet/savoury miso and parmesan dressing sounds like it shouldn't be, but it was heaven! Miso! And Parmesan! Crazy talk.

Numerous courses and four bottles of wine later, we poured/rolled ourselves out the door into the night. Being that well fed, with little distended round bellies all, the only logical thing seemed to be to make our way to the Flinders Hotel for the Harbour City Bears night. Some of my no stamina soft cock friends fellow diners decided to call it a night, but the rest of use headed off to the Teddy Bears Drink-nic.

You're in for a big surprise, at least that's the hope we always hold for it.

It was one of those busy but sociable nights that stick in your memory. New people met, old friends bumped into, good times had. Completely sleep deprived but happy, I had breakfast the next morning with David and a new friend Deen. Coffee, a plate of hang-over cure greasiness, sunglasses, sunshine and good company. Perhaps a little too much coffee, as any possibility of an afternoon nanna nap fled in the face of an over-caffeinated buzz. It was ok though as I had a quiet night in on Saturday, and a fairly lazy Sunday also. Nice.

So, one of the good ones, and big thanks to the boys for such a great night.

Lost In Redfern

I know posting this pic right after the previous entry's 'pot belly' find makes me seem weight obsessed, but truthfully could this have been a more serendipitous mash up of posters?



Ha! If anyone locates my old 28" waistline in the Redfern area, please contact me asap. Sweet babby Jebus, for that I'd even consider a reward...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

45 Revolutions Per Minute

I'm posting this early, well late on Thursday night actually, but early in terms of the fact that it isn't my actual birthday until tomorrow so one could say that this is early. Premature. Preemptive. I'm heading out pretty much straight after work tomorrow night for lashings of sake and a little bit of Japanese food, so I'm striking while the iron is hot and blogging while I have the chance.

So anyhoo, happy birthday to me! Yay! 45 today (tomorrow)! Because sometimes, if you are walking around with your eyes open, the Universe rewards you I happened across this sign the other day and thought it apropos for this occasion.


Oh, lordy. I am certainly both of these things.

Birthday eve finds me a little introspective this year. It's been a trying year on one hand, but actually kind of fab in other regards. Ups and downs of unemployment and financial stress, new friendships and relationship, feeling fat and frumpy, and then feeling empowered and attractive. Please remain seated until the ride has come to a complete standstill, and keep all extremities inside the car. Yikes, it has indeed been a rollercoaster ride... and I'm barely tall enough to even ride one.

Birthday eve finds things on the upswing though. I'm getting 5 days of work a week at present, and even though the wages aren't much chop I am really enjoying the 2 of those days spent at the yarn store. I've been socialising like a dervish lately, and have made some new friendships that I've grown to treasure. It looks like two of my close friends will be returning from parts foreign (Melbourne and Brisbane), which I am so happy about. I've even come to a form of body acceptance that is relatively new for me, and I have my 'bear' community friends to thank for that.

That one's kind of a biggie. It doesn't mean that I don't plan on losing the kilos I gained in the past couple of years, for health reasons for starters, but it does mean that I can feel fairly comfortable with the shape I am in now.

However, I do really wish I had computer access during the workdays these days, because one thing that has suffered this year is this poor blog and my reading of other friends' blogs. Most nights when I get home, particularly days when I'm at the yarn store, I'm just too darn tired and uninspired to write or do much surfing. (Naturally, porn is the exception.)

So, thanks for sticking around and reading. Thanks for those who've been here for years now, and those who are new. I understand I was thoroughly remiss in not posting my address for parcels to be sent, so please don't feel guilty about the no gift issue. Let's just avoid the embarrassment and discomfort that showering me with gifts would cause, and move on. Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the knowledge that I have a long memory for some things.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

5 Things About Tuesday, 1st Of September: Cube Farms & Meerkats Edition

  • I spent my second day gastarbeit-ing in what feels like the world's biggest cube farm. Imagine a giant, cavernous aircraft hanger sized space, plonk in a serious of free standing 'facility hubs' (2 toilets, 1 kitchenette, 2 meeting rooms, 1 vending machine), hang some peppy inspirational signage like "Innovation Happens Here!" (gag) and fill with thousands of workstations. Noisy and impersonal were 2 thoughts that sprung to mind, and every now and then I would see clusters of people standing around in the 'corridors' or perched in between workstations, and realised they were having team meetings. Ugh, whoever thought this was the workplace of the future?
  • Although the partitions were only low so there was no need to meerkat anybody, it was also maze-like. Kind of like being in Canberra, you can see where you need to get to... you just can't find the way to it.
  • Tragedy struck, I got on the train (for a fairly long pair of train rides) without a book to read. This error in judgement never happens! Thankfully I dug around in the bottom of my bag and lo, there was a half finished, somewhat vintage sudoko. Distraction crisis averted.
  • First day of Spring! Which also coincides with Birthday Week, a week I am curiously low key about this year. Meh.
  • Of course, I say that now. Just wait until I'm all me, me, me, me, me bitches on Friday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

September Is The January In Fashion!

Late yesterday afternoon I saw the documentary "The September Issue". OMG, I loved it. I came out of it absolutely loving Vogue's creative director, stylist and photo guru Grace Coddington, but I also came out of it having a new respect and admiration for Anna Wintour. Yes she is that "The Devil Wears Prada" character to some extent, but she also comes across as whip smart, fearless, somewhat wounded (when she speaks about her family in particular) and a little bit wicked and cheeky at times.



One thing that really stands out is how much work and effort goes into producing the magazine. A fact she speaks about in the Sundance film festival interview below:



Maybe fashion is facile and frivolous much of the time, but you have to admire the work that goes into creating beautiful things; the clothes, the photos (gorgeous!) and the magazine. These are people at the top of their game that are working damn hard to stay there in a constantly shifting landscape. Highly recommended.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kish Me You Fool!

In the past couple of years soap operas worldwide have discovered The Gays and The Lesbitarians. Out, happy, conflicted, closeted, the whole gamut. Naturally the course of gay and lesbian love stories are convoluted and tortuous. Let's face it, without it there would be no 'opera' in Soap Opera right?

They're all at it! Germany has my faves Christian & Olli, as well as Deniz & Roman. In fact Christian & Olli's "Verbotan Liebe" soap opera is brimming with poofs, dykes and those questioning. You can't move for someone kissing someone else of the same gender. Hurrah! Catalonia, Spain, The Netherlands... even the good ole U S of A, it's an international festival of The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name! Youtube is brimming with gay men and their followers who post clips of the couples, their names 'Brangelina-ised' to monikers like Chrolli (or Ollian), DeRo or Nuke.



Now on the US soap "One Life To Live" we have "Kish", Oliver Fish and Kyle Lewis. As it turns out closeted policeman Oliver and out bad-boy Kyle were lovers in college. A relationship that Oliver tries to forget and Kyle is still very much living. Conflict! I have to say, despite all the soap opera craziness the relationship aspect has been well written, and the actors are giving their scenes their all.

Kish has rapidly become a love quadrangle. Kyle has been rejected and has taken up with Nick. Oliver is dating a beard his girlfriend Layla, and of course really wants to be with Kyle. Likewise Kyle really wants to be with Oliver. Drama ensues. What is very interesting is the high percentage of out gay actors playing these roles. As the rather lovely slab of beef in a uniform Oliver, Scott Evans is an out gay actor, as is Broadway fave Nick Rodriguez who plays Nick. Brett Claywell is straight, but as evidenced in this interview on After Elton is a very cool guy, and he really brings a believability to Kyle.

Youtubers final81 and bombayhighway have been recapping the love story/dramady in clips if you want to catch up on the story so far. Now, someone call Officer Fish... because I've been a very, very bad boy!

[Updated: Oh, duh. It wasn't until I just read this interview with the boys in Out that I realised cutie pie Scott Evans is mega hottie Chris Evans's real-life gay brother. The family resemblance (ie: hotness) is certainly there. Apparently their mother is even getting in on the act soon and playing Officer Fish's mother on the show!]

Early Summer

I'm getting to play hooky from work today! I'm still working the 2 part-time jobs (yarn pusher and office temp), but the office temp job has dried up this week and will be back on next week. I picked up a bit of extra work in the yarn store earlier in the week, so as a trade off things aren't too bad.

The biggest upside is that today is absolutely gorgeous! God Bless global warming, because we are having a CO2 based early summer at the end of winter that has to be felt to be amazed at. Glorious! So far this morning I've had a sleep in, breakfast and coffee in the sun, and then this afternoon I'm having coffee with a friend and seeing a movie with another, before going to The Flinders Hotel tonight for beers with the bears. Seriously, if it suddenly turns to the depths of winter again there will be misery of epic proportions because I am already in Summer Mode!

All I have to do is shake off the winter fat... and pasty white legs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guerrillas In The Midst

"Guerrilla knitting" (aka "knit tagging" or "urban knitting") and crochet has been around for a while now, but locally seems to have been back in the public eye again just recently. A guerrilla knitter was 'tagging' the columns in the ABC foyer during the ABC702 Knit-In that I wrote about recently, and on a very local level bits of guerrilla knitting have been cropping up around my 'hood of Newtown.


A new example in Camperdown Rest Park, Newtown.

The other day when I was at work in the yarn store, I sold some Australian made 'self-striping' sock wool to a woman who was heading off to the US to meet some other knitters and get her guerrilla knit on.

Tagging with a spray can or paint marker I can't support, but this kind of non damaging tagging I love. Like many things that spring up in the alt craft community, the origins are shady and various claim have been made about who had the idea first. It seems likely though that the best candidate for inventing the idea is the Knitta crew, who have been knit tagging since 2005.

Whomever it was, the idea certainly took root fast and knitted 'tags' started cropping up all over. Some international examples are the Swedes Masquerade, Knit Sea and Niclas & Jonny of KnittUps, and Chicago's The Micro-fiber Militia. Another website, The Knitted Landscape, has many great examples contributed from all over the world.

My favourites are examples where a specific and unlikely object has been wrapped, transforming it into something different. For style, colour and the sheer joy it gives me, my all time favourite piece of guerilla knitting is this maritime piece from Sweden by Masquerade. So gorgeous and unexpected.

Another tagged tree in Camperdown Rest Park, Newtown.

I find guerrilla knitting as being somewhere between graffiti style tagging, street art, murals and even performance art. The act of wrapping an object in something soft, handmade and colourful makes us look at the object differently. It's part joke, part leaving a mark to say "I was here", part civil disobedience, part advertisement for just how cool craft can be, and partly a gift of fun to the community. It's certainly non harming, and quite charming in my eyes. There is a great post on Deputy Dog which calls it the "world's most inoffensive graffiti".

Similarly, some artists have used ephemeral and community based knitting projects to great effect. Josie Schimke created the beautiful A Tree Undone at Burning Man in 2007. A 9 foot tall artificial tree was clad in hundreds of knitted leaves contributed by individual knitters, with the specific instructions that the knitting not be properly bound off. The wind, and Burning Man attendees, where then invited to unravel the leaves throughout the course of the festival. Josie has posted albums of in progress photos and one of the tree in situ. Fabulous!

If any of my local Sydney peeps see anymore guerrilla knitting about I'd love to know. Just email me the location to andrewmr(at)ihug(dot)com(dot)au!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Currently Loving

a) Lisa Reagan's track "Al'infini (Project Runway Re-Mix)". So called because her track "Al'infini" was remixed and used as the music for Wendy Pepper's runway show in the finale of the first season of the U.S. "Project Runway" tv show. [You can listen to an mp3 here.]

b) Cowboys!


c) And Indians!


d) Dill pickles. (Unrelated to the above.)

e) Glam rock!



f) Elizabeth Knox's new novel The Angel's Cut, the very enjoyable sequel to The Vintner's Luck. Even though the novel has a cool, sometimes almost detached, emotional tone much of the time I think the format of the novel escapes some of the issues I felt with the first book (the abbreviated chapter format, where each chapter was a one day visit on the same annual anniversary). Plus what's not to love about gay angels, the Roaring 20's, airplane stuntmen and the early golden days of cinema?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

5 Things About Wednesday, 19th August: Fabric And Other Forms Of Strain Edition

  • Instead of my usual 'walk up to the train station and catch the train into the city' routine, this morning I decided to take a bus instead. Adventure! Oh, and I say A BUS rather than THE BUS because that would imply the bus I wanted actually arrived.
  • During lunch I sat next to a young Chinese couple. They ate McDonalds and I ate Chinese. I guess the grass is always greener?
  • My last customer of the day was a very pretty young woman who could not stop sniffing. I'm not talking the occasional sniff here, I'm talking relentless, I'm-sorry-I'm-trying-to-concentrate-on-selling-you-this-knitting-yarn-and-needles-but-frankly-I'm-imagining-smacking-you-too-much-to-really-pay-attention sniffing. Just as she was leaving, she pulled out a tissue and blew her nose. Gee, thanks.
  • Shortly after arriving home I split the zip on my trousers. a) good timing! and b) seriously, could I be any more hung?
  • Sadly, yes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tango: The Dance Of Love (That Dare Not Speak It's Name)


Augusto Balizano y Miguel Moyano from Buenos Aires.


"The Cellblock Tango" (from "Chicago"), The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles


The very sensual Lalo & Luis in Tokyo.


More of the amazing Lalo & Luis.


From the film "Tango". Black Vs white. Good Vs evil. Top Vs bottom, probably.

Singular Proof That I Once Thought A Guy With A Mullet Was Hot

But in my defence a) I was only 22 at the time and b) I never bought it that it was the girls he was interested in, especially when at the end of the clip he like totally podium dances and everything.



Wa Wa Nee "Stimulation", 1986

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back On The Intertubes

Thanks to the kindness of James O'Brien I have kissed goodbye to the tribulations of internet cafes, with their dirty keyboards, sniffling patrons and interesting browser caches. (Seriously, next time you use an internet cafe check the browser history. Fascinating.) James had an old Linux based pc which was surplus to requirements, so while I'm waiting to get the laptop fixed I'm able to be back on the air.

Now all I have to do is regain the blog readership I had back when I was posting regularly and not whining about a) losing my job or b) having a dead computer...

Multiculturism In Action

At the moment I'm working in a suburb of Sydney called Campsie. (At job #1, that is. The yarn store is still located in the city, where it's always been.) I don't know if my fellow Sydneysiders know Campsie, I certainly didn't until I started working there on a temp assignment this week. A half hour on the train from my 'hood and truly it is like another world. It has an amazing eclectic mix of migrants, the sort of place where you can hear Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, various African tongues, Tongan... well, almost anything. (And lots of English of course.)

There is a really bustling, vibrant atmosphere about the place that I'm digging. Like all areas that have large migrant populations the shopping is kind of wild, lots of grocers, butchers and fishmongers, the latter two specialising in things with their heads still attached (it would seem). Not catering to the sqeamishness of your average Woolworths customer. More like a "Survivor" food challenge.

So, the one thing I have been unable to find, is a decent coffee place. Zip. Nada. On a shopping street, in Sydney! (For those playing along overseas, Sydney - like all major Australian cities - has a very strong coffee culture. Thanks mostly to a long history of Italian immigration. Any shopping street is likely to have at least a few small coffee shops where really good, thick, rich coffees abound.)

On day one I missed the one caffeination opportunity I've been able to find entirely, a little outlet of the chain DCM (Donuts, Coffee, Muffins) right next to the train station. I walked the entire length of the shopping strip looking for a coffee. I passed beverages of all other kinds (with or without tapioca pearls and grass jelly), bargain shops, kebab places, and a whole dead eyed parade of grinning things with their heads still on, but none of the bean. No Arabica. No macchiato, affogato, or even cappuccino. Where are the Italians when you need them?

Thankfully since then I have discovered my enablers at DCM, otherwise it would not be pretty.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yellow, Red, Black Or White...

...add a little bit of moonlight!



1976. We were 12 and already knew we weren't particularly interested in those pretty girls, girls, girls. Some realisations come early and easily. Probably years earlier when I showed Jamie mine, and he showed me his. (With a bit of coaxing.) What we did have an interest in though was the mid 70s obsession with retro. Biba clothes. Manhattan Transfer. Art Deco. And the oom-pah ragtime sound of Sailor's "Girls, Girls, Girls".

I mentioned this song to a friend over dinner last night. Someone who I have a newfound respect for when it comes to all things obscure and vintage. (Someone who 'gets' Sparks, just for starters.) His response? "I've got their albums. On vinyl, of course."

Le sigh. I love my friends.

Roughing It

Aside from my involvement with the knit in for Wrap With Love, a few other things have collided recently to make me think a lot more about the plight of the homeless.

A month (or so) ago I was watching a kind of naff, but still tearjerky, show called "Random Acts Of Kindness" on our local tv. I hadn't watched the show before, but I knew the way it went down. I've watched Oprah, Backyard Blitz et al. I knew the drill, people who work tirelessly for others/have special needs/have suffered a tragedy are given things/money/a new backyard to thank them/perk them up/put them back on the road to recovery. Yes I sound cynical, but in truth I'm kind of a sucker for these sorts of things and I always end up in floods of tears. Even when it's only a new outdoor entertaining area/bbq/poolside Indonesian style cabana/beds of ubiquitous cordylines.

So I was watching "Random Acts Of Kindness" when they did a segment with a woman called Sarah Garnett. One night, while Sarah was helping out by serving meals to the homeless, she spotted a homeless man reading a paperback novel under a streetlamp. She started to bring him other books to read, and from that was sown the idea of the Bejamin Andrew Footpath Library. By 2003 the library was born, bringing a weekly collection of books to the street for homeless people to read. Hopefully they return them, but they're not under any obligation to.

The show did lots for her and her volunteer organisation, gave them storage space, petrol vouchers, a new minivan, a computer, etc. Obviously lots more than she expected, and frankly all sensible things that would make the organisation thrive and her life easier. But it was the idea that blew me away. Books for the homeless.

What must it be like to spend days and nights on the streets? Largely invisible to everyone, with few people to talk to and little opportunity for social contact and just some escape? Like Sarah I agree that books can be affirming, entertaining, life changing things and why not bring a little of this to someone who is on the streets? Aside from food, shelter and fatigue, boredom and isolation are apparently some of the hardest things for the homeless.

The other thing I saw on tv was a woman called Jean Madden who brought in her Street Swag to compete on the "New Inventors" show. She didn't win, but she did win the people's choice award and according to a radio interview I heard with her today, she's the only Australian who has been invited this year to take her invention to a prestigious international design competition.

In her dealings with the Brisbane homeless she discovered that fatigue was a big issue for those roughing it on the streets. Many of the homeless have managed to suss out obtaining food, but shelter and rest are much harder. She had the idea to take the great Aussie swag (a portable bedroll and shelter in one) and refine the design so that a homeless person could have a portable shelter during the evening, and a discrete bag to carry belongings in during the day. (Including a book, perhaps?)

She designed a few prototypes, designing them to be simple and cost effective to make, and gave them to some homeless folk she knew, using their feedback to improve them. Making them a camouflage colour so they are hard to spot in greenery at night, and reducing the thickness of the mattress to make more room for possessions, for instance. She has now distributed thousands of them to homeless in many parts of Australia, and has them made by prisoners in jail who in turn receive credit towards a textiles manufacturing certificate.

Again, what an amazing idea. Both ideas aimed at improving the wellbeing of people on the streets. Food and shelter are the obvious fundamental things one thinks of, but boredom and fatigue would have enormous impacts on the mental and physical health of the homeless. Simple ideas making big quality of life changes. I take my hat off to these amazing women.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Knitter #328, Media Whore

Early (OMG, early) on Friday morning I headed into the ABC radio and tv headquarters in Ultimo for the ABC702 Knit In. The knit in is an annual event which first began in 2002, and is a focal point for the charity Wrap With Love. 28 25cm x 25cm knitted or crocheted squares are sewn together to form single bed sized blanket 'wraps', which are given to people who would otherwise not have something warm to wrap themselves in. In Wrap With Love's own words "Cold humanity is our concern, humans caring about other humans."


I arrived shortly after 7am, just after the doors opened, and was already the 328th knitter through the doors. I had to leave about 8.20am to head off to work but by then there was something like 600+ people there. Later in the morning they set a world record for the largest number of people knitting simultaneously for 15 minutes at just under 600 people, and estimates of total attendees were at well over 970 (which was the number where the door volunteers stopped counting). In addition to the knitters there was a large group of people sitting sewing or crocheting together completed squares that had been turned in, to make finished wraps.


Some completed wraps on display.

Late yesterday afternoon I went to the monthly underwear party at my local leather bar, and as it turned out one of the guys there was at the Knit In crocheting squares together. Small world, eh?

Highlight of the morning was being asked up on stage and interviewed for the ABC702 morning radio show.


Angela Caterns and myself, grinning like a fool. Photo by James O'Brien.

James has very kindly put up an mp3 of the interview here. Listen for the bits where the male interviewer, Adam Spencer, exhibits a total lack of gaydar by asking me about a) rugby league and b) meeting chicks. Cue nervous laugh from me.

On the ABC website there is a gallery of pics from the event (which curiously I don't appear in) and a video of the news story that appeared on the ABC evening news (likewise, without me, and frankly these oversights needs to be dealt with). Later in the day I even had some knitters come into the yarn store I work in 2 days a week and mention they had heard the interview.

A fun morning, and a lovely way to share the enjoyment of your craft while doing something meaningful for others.

Fashion Photography, Helpfully Explained


Such a total bitch, OMG I HATE her.


Overnight rates negotiable.


My stupid family are making me go to Sizzler, just because it's my dumb sister's birthday. OMG I HATE them.


Former World Youth Day 'Jesus' tries gay for pay at www.brokestraightboys.com

Monday, August 03, 2009

Little. Yellow. Sticky.



[If the title of this post sounds familiar, it's because it's a shout out to the fabulous (sadly now infrequently updated) blog Little. Yellow. Different. One of the first bloggers, or on-line journallers, I ever read... back in the day. ]

Imitiation, The Sincerest Form Of Flattery Or Not?

I would say, not.

I had my own little experience with plagiarism when a Belgian craft company ripped off one of my knitting photos from Flickr to use in their product catalogue. Something I never would have spotted if an eagle eyed Flickr viewer hadn't spotted the picture, thought it looked familiar, tracked it down to my profile, and even scanned a copy of the brochure and then sent it to me as proof. I've got to tell you, I didn't feel flattered, I felt really pissed off.

When I used to be involved in historical re-enactment I wrote a series of articles for our local group's 'zine about hat making and garment construction, only to find out through a reader that another group was photocopying them right out of the 'zine, cutting and then pasting them into their own 'zine, without ever having had the courtesy to ask. I would have sent them originals to use if they had only asked, instead I got bent out of shape and told them to stop.

There must be many, many instances where creative people have their images and ideas ripped off. However, ripping them off for advertising or products just increases the likelihood that someone, somewhere along the line is going to spot it. So I find the blatant plagiarism documented on this blog post and this website astounding. Thankfully there are plenty of someones out there doing the spotting.

Buns On Parade



There's some junk in those trunks, honey.

[Photo via Shorpy. As always, give it a loving little click to enbiggen.]

Sunday, August 02, 2009

FTW!

Until I get the home laptop fixed I'll probably only be updating about once a week. Not enough frankly, but I'm also working 2 jobs and 6 days a week at the moment, so time is an issue.

It sucks to start a blog post with an apology for absence, but hopefully the lack of a home computer issue will be fixed shortly and I can go back to having regular nightly internet access.

So, that aside, I've had a pretty cool week. How about you? Last night I had a friend's 40th birthday party, where the biggest gift of all was the news that she and her family are coming back to Sydney to live. Yay! I worked 2 days at the yarn store, which was tiring but enjoyable. I had a lovely dinner with a friend, and am about to go off and have brunch with another. Mid week I got a bit down, but that was just the tiredness of working 6 days a week and a couple of late nights back to back.

All up a week full of win, as the young people would say.

I have a two day weekend of sorts this weekend, which I'm happy about. Monday is a bank holiday and I'm temping in the banking industry 4 days a week at present, so no other option than to take a day off on Monday. Frankly, missing a day's pay is a bit sucky but I'll be glad to have the day off. I might even take myself off to the movies to see the new Harry Potter film, as an empty cinema in the middle of the day is a whole other kind of win. No yucky popcorn smells (see #36), just for starters...