Just because

A Kangroo at Dawn

There hasn’t been many pictures on the blog lately, and in an effort to show off my sunny personality, as well as my meagre talent with a camera, here is a gratuitous picture of a kangaroo, enjoying an early morning sniff of the ocean air, and a munch on the grass overlooking one of my favourite beaches in the world.

For the World of Warcraft Widows

M-H linked to this on her blog today – and it’s a must read for gamers, and the people that share their lives. I will admit that I play World of Warcraft, but nowhere near as much as most people I know that play it. And I will admit that the game has been blamed for a lack of dishes being washed, and vacuuming being done, and possibly a little bit of marital disharmony.

The writer says that playing a game where 39 other people depend on you is a real priority for those players of Level 60+, as are the demands of real life – but sometimes priorities aren’t always examined in the cold light of day.

In other news, congratulations to Womens Weekly and Womens Day, who agreed to run advertisements about the cruelty of the intensive factory farmed pork industry. And a big boo to Marie Claire, Delicious, and the Good Weekend, who didn’t want to upset the meat industry by running the ads.

I don’t want to come over all feral animal rights activist (I wash, so you can’t really call me feral), but if you’re going to eat it, you might as well know where it comes from. There is a big push towards organics, many of us don’t want to eat genetically modified organisms, there is an increasing awareness of the issues of battery hens – and yet the meat industry is powerful enough to stop an education campaign in some of Australias big glossy magazines.

I don’t like it.

Being a grown up.

Mijal threatened to drag me off to the produce markets at Flemington at 7am this morning. Apparently it wasn’t a threat – and she arrived before 7am, and I was still in the shower. Off to the markets (I can heartily recommend the coffee at the Flower Market Cafe), we got loads of veggies (a green bag FULL of fresh herbs for $5 – very happy bunnies!), and 2 bunches of tulips for $4.

After that my parents picked me up for a swim – swam not quite twice as far as last time, but I’m calling it double because they had the wave machine on for part of my swim, and it was hard work.

Now I’m home, and have started to bake some veggies, make a frittata and I have 2 kilos of swiss brown mushrooms to get creative with.

Hmm… I wonder if I can find a recipe for mushroom pate?

And that thing about being grown up ? Well I’ve decided not to let my brother shit me any more. He won’t change, he won’t bend, and he won’t empathise. That is just the way it is, and I have fuck all control over it. What I can control is my reactions to things, and I can be a grown up and take control of the things I do have a hold on.

And my great aunt Patsy (Patricia) died this morning. She had been sick for a long time, and we had been expecting this news for a few weeks. She lived a full life, was the matriach of a big catholic family (grandchildren and great grandchildren up the wazoo), and a much loved sister to my grandfather George.

The picture above is George and his two sisters, Patsy and Maree (Patsy is in the middle) at our wedding in April 2004. He died less than six months after this picture was taken, two years ago today. Patsy followed him two years later, to the day.

I still miss George every day.

Fait Accompli

Apple have awards for resellers that excel in different areas. This quarter, there are trips to San Francisco on offer for a handful of Australian resellers that sell the most iPods, or Mac Pros, etc. Last quarter, we sold the most AppleCare in our “class”, and the boss was given a trip to Macworld.

But the boss has a pregnant wife, who will be unable to fly, and nearly ready to give birth around the time of the trip. He tried to change the dates, but he couldn’t, and he has decided to give the trip to the service manager.

Which is all well and good, aside from two key issues.

1. I sold the most AppleCare. I encouraged other staff members to sell AppleCare. I speak to many customers every day about the benefits of AppleCare, and I add it to every quote I do, and for every quote that I revise for another staff member. I hassled Apple into giving us training in how to sell AppleCare, and since I started doing all this, our AppleCare “attach rate” has been geting higher and higher. I don’t consider myself to be gods gift to sales, but AppleCare is a product I believe in (I buy it myself on every mac that I own), and I don’t feel that I am being immodest by claiming ownership of that award. I truly belive that we sold the most AppleCare because of ME.

2. The boss made the decision to give the trip to “not me”, acted on the decision, and then called me to let me know his decision. It is irreversible, and I had no say in it.

So I am pissed off. Not pissed off that I didn’t get a trip I never expected to get in the first place, but pissed off that I had everything to do with earning the award, but no say in the distribution of the award.

I have been slowly driving myself nuts working towards getting my brothers business out of difficulty, not because I expected financial rewards, but because I believed in my brother and in his business. I belived in myself enough to think that I could make a difference, that I could help turn things around, and that I could (and should) help my brother.

But now I’m left feeling like I’ve been shat on from a great height. It’s not about some stinking bloody conference, it’s about respect. I earned that damn trip, and I deserved to be told about the decision before it was made, and I deserved to be given a chance to give my side of the story.

Mark and I probably couldn’t have gone anyway – it would have cost us more than we have saved, and the savings are for the house (that looks further away than ever now), but I deserved better than a phone call that started of with, “you’re probably not going to like what I have to say”, and ended with “we can talk about this later, but the decision has been made”.

Kickin’ nupp butt…

So I did the extra 5 repeats of the first chart, and the first two “rest” lines of the Lily of the Valley Chart #1- then put the shawl down for a few days for two reasons.

Firstly, I wasn’t looking forward to finding an odd number of stitches, and having to do maths to make the larger shawl work.

And secondly, my first experience with nupps wasn’t a happy one.

But I found a great tip on the Swallowtail Shawl Knitalong. I have finally found the joy of shared experience while working on the same project. Apparently you can slip the first two wraps, purl the last three together, then pass the slipped wraps over. It’s MUCH easier than trying to purl all five together at once, and it seems to look exactly the same. Also, I am knitting this on addi turbos, that are notorious for their blunt tips.

So, thanks very much for the tip, and if you’re considering a project with nupps, don’t be discouraged, there is an easier way – and you’ll still get that spectacular look.

Nothing like a dinner party…

…. to make you feel loved. It’s been ages since Mark and I have entertained, and tonight we had some friends over for dinner. Nothing fancy (except Mijal’s amazing dessert), just a cleani(ish) house, good friends, a relaxed atmosphere, and I feel fine.

I spent this morning being waxed, plucked and manicured, got to Rubi + Lana’s for the S’nB about 5 minutes before they closed, and then spent all afternoon shopping/cleaning/cooking, but it was all worth it.

I’m now tucked up in bed with a 10kg kitten at my feet, and life seems a whole lot better than it did last week.

A day

Today I stayed in bed till after Oprah. Yes, I watch Oprah. I love her. I’d probably make a tit of myself just like the middle aged, middle class tubbies in her audience. It’s comforting really, that I can be so contrary in most of my opinions, and yet go crazy about Oprah like most of middle America.

It was a pretty ordinary show today, despite having Salma Hayek and Forrest Whittaker on. But still, it felt good.

Then I got up and went to Medicare to get some money back for the last couple of counselling sessions, and then to Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre. They have HUGE pool, with bits for laps, bits for kids, and a sort of figure 8 whirlpool thingy. I bravely wandered in on my lonesome, stripped off and exposed my lardy bits to some toddlers, and climbed in to use some muscles that haven’t been used in about 2 years.
I was feeling the burn during the first lap, but still went on to do five laps. I could have done more, but I didn’t want to over do it and not be able to go back. (That’s five laps of the figure eight thingy – no idea how long each lap is, but long).

I bought a few ties for Mark from Tarocash (two crappy ones, and a purple paisley one) to replace some of his collection that are overdue for retirement.

And then off to ikea for a few bits to complete my dodgy photographic kit. A proper studio lighting kit can set you back many thousands of dollars, but thanks to a post I found on a photographic website, and my adorable husband, I now have the beginnings of a decent kit, for less than $200. Two worklights from a hardware shop (a single and a double on a stand), a shower curtain, and a car sunshade with one white side, and one shiny reflective side. A couple of daylight bulbs for the lamps round out the basic kit. Add some gaffer tape, a few bulldog clips, and some wooden pegs, and you may not look like a profesional, but you should be able to get some professional looking shots.

Now that I have been outed as the photographer of the shots on Jussi‘s new site, I’d like to publicly thank her for being so wonderfully supportive of my learning process. I’ve been photographing plants and animals for a while now, and I’ve even been happy with a few wedding shots I’ve taken, but babies are a whole new experience. I don’t yet feel that I’ve taken any good shots yet. Some are OK, and I hope they show Jussi’s wonderful knitwear well, and that the shots have some emotional pull on potential customers. I feel confident that I’ll be able to get better and better, but the patience and generous praise from Justine and the parents have been very encouraging.

Maybe photography is something that I can earn a few dollars from eventually. And if not, at least it’s something I can gain pleasure from.

Tomorrow, more pictures (sans babies).

A mental health day


Apparently, it’s called grief. A feeling of helplessness, sorrow, pain, and loss. I am not depressed and in need of medication, I am grieving.

Makes a lot of sense. Now if only I can pass through the guilt stage and get into anger and depression….. Acceptance and hope will be right around the corner.

(1) Shock or Disbelief that the loss has occured. (2) Denial is the stage in which the person refuses to accept the loss has occured. (3) In the Bargaining stage, the person attempts to reconcile the loss by making deals with other people, sometimes also with Diety. (4) Guilt is marked by statements of “if only I had done/been . . . “. (5) Anger is a natural stage everyone must pass. Anger may be directed toward the loss, the person lost, or even Diety. (6) Depression is a stage that comes and goes throughout the grief process. Resignation at the end of the depression indicates that the truth of the loss has been accepted and the person is ready to move on. (7) Acceptance and Hope means that you understand your life will never be the same but it will go on with meaning and hope.

An Unveiling


Lee is a few months old now, and it was before she was born that the Courthouse knitters decided to knit her a blanket. Some idiot (me) thought that 10cm squares would share the workload the most fairly. But of course, I have never done that much seaming in my life, let alone seaming randomly sized swatches, in extremely random gauges, fibres, and construction. There is knitting, modular knitting, crochet, and tricot. There is cotton, polyester, wool, acrylic, eyelash (though the knitters referred to those squares as pubes..), there is baby yarn, there is handspun (my first), there is mystery yarn from Argentina, and even a square that looks like scrambled egg.

So it is only thanks to Mijal, Emma and Christophe that this project was finally completed. I crocheted a border (sounds impressive, but it was a LOT easier than all that seaming and weaving in ends), and blocked it, and we finally were able to present it to Chris and Karen this afternoon. It was still damp, but hey, all the ends were woven in (thanks Kellie).
It’s roughly 70cmx80cm, and there will never be another one like it.


And this is the gorgeous Lee, modelling an umbillical cord hat I knit for her before we knew that she was going to be a female type person. Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton. Lovely stuff, but sadly discontinued (I think).

Tomorow will see another unveiling. Stay tuned!