Saturday, 27 October 2012

don't ask, don't tell

Isn't that a pretty pattern on those neck feathers?
I wonder at how much my life has changed that the days seems so chock full of non bloggable stuff. It's all either too boring, too sad, too gory or too libellous. I'm not feeling super inspired to be frank, I've got low energy, low capacity to use what energy I have and a wild excess of anger, frustration and general crankiness.

For a natural born try and look on the bright side chatterbox and over sharer, its tough times.

Fresh coconut. Yum.
First ever roast pork - complete success!
Resulting in some cooking adventures of the tasty preparation heavy Asian kind and the couldn't be easier contemporary version of a childhood classic that was never in my childhood, or my kitchen for that matter.

I am totally obsessed with ukuleles, and especially the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra. I blame Loobylu. I wish I could go to the classes the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra hold. I'm not sure what this is all about but if you know anything of the ukulele scene in Melbourne, do let me know.

I am loving homeland's second season, loving it. But seriously there are some plot moments so utterly lacking in credibility it has me shouting at the TV. Some newcomer congressman gets invited to watch a black ops assassination live? And after coming over all shaking and sweaty sends a text to a terrorist and no one notices? If the Pentagon really worked like that the US would make lord of the flies look like a progressive civilization.

Once there was a pirate that wanted a crew and some maps and some treasure and he wanted to be a rock star. But he was cool.
Once there was a pirate that wanted a crew and some maps and some 
treasure and he wanted to be a rockstar. But (?) he was cool.  

Wil's writing is really coming on.

The Australian Tax Office has apparently decided to get rid of paper based self lodegment forms next year to 'encourage' electronic lodgement. But they still don't make an electronic lodgement system for Mac users. That's kind of well, fucking stupid. It's kind of silly given how many people use Mac computers and Apple products. WAKE UP.

I've planted raspberries in the garden. We used to have them and I adored having them, despite their invasive straggly space absorbing form because I'm not at all sure there is any other fruit that tastes even half as close to heaven. We ripped out our last lot to make way for the extension four years ago and there's been a raspberry shaped hole in my garden ever since. A proper crop is at least a few years off but we are on our way.

Suzi skies the Pyrenees. As close I'll ever get.Thanks a windmillion ping @aussieellen
Ski teal we drop
Over the taupe ping @aussieellen

The 'it' colour
Nail polish is on high rotation. The upside of no handicraft.

I read (by which I mean I listened to since I'm an audiobook nutso) The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling and really enjoyed it. Like The Slap it's full of the despicable heart of the middle class and, well people in general. Well caught I thought. I'm also very much enjoying Lisey's Story. I really don't know why Stephen King is characterised as a trashy airport novelist. I have found his books uniformly thought provoking, complex, well researched, finely tuned to a sense of place, imaginative and poignantly human. Every time I read a book of his I'm surprised to find it thus. I think I might need to read more of them and get over it. And Mare Winingham (who oldies like me might remember from St Elmo's Fire days) is a kick arse Audiobook narrator.

I'm hopeless at finding new music even though I have an endless thirst. Why is this? I love music and pretty much anything given to me by friends becomes a favourite till I run it into the ground. How do people hook onto new music? What am I missing?

New parents retreat chairs - yes or no?
We finally bought some chairs for our bedroom. We've only been looking for about two years. I think this is the first furniture purchase we've made in about 10 years. We are planning for the day when it might be possible to retreat and have quiet time in our own home. You can see why we haven't been hurrying.

Oh and the girl child has fully recovered after a dreaded tonsil and adenoid ectomy. That's a shit ride and a half but its over now and we will never speak of it again. PS the whole ice cream thing is bullshit (the one bowl of ice cream requested was left to melt) and the girl got mighty sick of being told by everyone how cool it was that she could have as much ice cream and jelly as you want. She was so full of nausea inducing drugs it was a struggle to get so much as an icy pole into her.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Remember this?

That's way back in December 2008 when I picked up a huge load of Shula's destash and found this buried inside. I quite literally gasped in amazement.


I know I've blogged this story before, but just a quick catch up in case you never saw or, understandably, have forgotten in the intervening, ahem, 4 years. I was too frightened to touch it for a good two or three years - I've never picked up someone else's project half way through with pretty much no instruction (just figure it out and a wave of the hands from the far more capable Shula).

Hex blanket

It was actually Jules who got me started on it by chance when she set off for the place where all the wool comes from. I needed rather a lot of the edging colour - an aussie made tapestry weight corriedale - and not having it was a great excuse to not get started. In case the pictures don't make it clear these motifs are crocheted in two strands of the equivalent of lace weight yarn, on a 2.25mm hook. In other words - a heck load of itty bitty stitches. Just edging and joining (which really is just the finishing touch right?) takes about 30 minutes for each hex. And I am a lot faster now that I used to be. I'm not generally one for the longer term type projects and working on this on and off over years has me reflecting on both the value and frustration of this kind of investment. I can only imagine the devastation of getting half way through and falling out of love with it.


Every now and then I pull it out and have a little hex jag and get another couple of dozen done before the scale of the job overwhelms me again and I have to put it away before I have a panic attack. I'm at it again now, since crochet seems to irritate my bung shoulder less than knitting, and I'm loving it all over again. The colours, the scale, the design. I really take my hat off to Shula - I would never have dreamed this up and would never ever have commenced a project at this scale, but it absolutely pays off in the final blanket which is sturdy but fine at the same time. The finished blanket will be a king bed topper, about 2.5kg of happy, woolly love.

I figure it's almost half way - it's 21 hexes long and 10 complete rows wide and I think it will end up 22 rows wide (though it seems every time I count the hexes there are a different number so it might be 21 wide, or 23. Or something totally else). I think once I've completed the 3 partial rows currently in play it can be a work in progress and lap rug at the same time. And if you want a sense of that scale?


And while completion is still a long way off (NO PRESSURE) I am starting to contemplate the border. The prospect of doing the border scares the living daylights out of me I must confess since a single round will take hours and hours - weeks in fact! - but I also need to think about how many rounds (gulp) and what colour - more of the edging colour? Something less dirt attracting? Luckily I won't have to decide for a while but I'd be interested in your ideas and also if anyone has experience doing a border on this kind of stepped hex - tips??