Environmental Concerns

Lots of people have asked whether I am going to use cloth or disposable nappies for Ampersand, and the answer (so far) is that we’re going to try cloth – with a nappy service.

Largely based on a assessment by Choice Magazine, that using a nappy service with cloth nappies is the best environmental choice, due to the economies of scale in laundering the nappies commercially. Apparently, according to this article, you can also get a slight edge over disposables if you wash at home using cooler temperatures and larger loads.

So I’m still thinking cloth nappies (babies in cloth are apparently easier to toilet train), but we will probably seek out 100% biodegradable nappies for outings.

PS. This happened in Granville this morning – actually South Granville, miles away (well, further than I would like to walk anyway) from us. We did look at a few places in South Granville, but then the Merrylands house came up, and we’re thrilled to be here. And not at all threatened by one shooting – especially not after a cabbie was murdered in Epping a few months ago, and just last week a priest was attacked in Marsfield! Granville looks much safer in comparison.


My three day experiment going drug free is a failure.  I was ok for two days, but this morning it came back to bite me in the arse.  I woke early, before Mark’s alarm, and by the time he was ready to leave for work, I was ready to drive him to the station.  All good, until I got home, and barely made it to the bathroom to lose my morning coffee.

I couldn’t keep anything down till about 11am when, still queasy, I ate some salted pretzels (food I thought I was well and truly over – thank goodness I still had some in the house!).  The rest of the day has been spent limping about feeling sorry for myself, and guilty for not getting more done.

I did finally block my major project for the last few months.  If your name is Christine, stop reading now, and please don’t look past the first two pictures.

Imgp0615 2

Here is Custard, having a nap.  He is not dead, honest.  There is something about loppy eared bunnies, when fully relaxed, they tend to look like roadkill.  Extremely cute, but slightly disturbing nonetheless.


Here is the gorgeous cockatoo.  Sometimes known as “Cockalicious”, which if it weren’t so pornographic sounding, might be her permanent moniker.

She has decided that Mark is her “Special Friend”, and was following him around the house on the weekend, rubbing her head against his calves in a rather too affectionate manner.  The bird whisperer has decreed that I should henceforth be the bearer of treats (instead of Mark all the time), so that she shares her affections.  Here she is with her afternoon corn cob.  Just prior to this shot she was holding it in one foot and going nuts, but she is a little camera shy, and dropped the treat.


And here is the big project (iPod included for scale).  It is the first two charts of the Swallowtail Shawl (that has become a bit of a favourite with me), doubled, with a wide moss stitch border.  I did a provisional cast on in the round, and used two “centre” stitches instead of one so that I could knit it on two circs.

The yarn is Patons Jet, a bulky wool/alpaca mix, in a mixture of reds, purples, and a little but of a rusty colour. Pattern modifications are my own, and yes, I do feel a bit clever.

This is to be a blankie for my new neicephew, who is due on the 13th of December, to Mark’s sister Christine, and her husband Matt.  I hope they like it, it was made with much love, and great hopes for a very wanted child.

What would you do?

I’ve joined an online pregnancy forum, one group is women who are due to give birth from the 15th-30th of November, so we are all around the same stage of pregnancy.  The other group I read is mums who live around the Parramatta area – I thought it would be a good idea to get to know some locals, and possibly get some tips on child friendly resources in the area.

I don’t post much, but have been out to dinner with a group from the Ryde area before I moved, and found them to be nice, if not exactly the sort of people I would normally gravitate towards.

Since moving, I haven’t had much time to catch up with the forums, but this morning I logged on for a read.  And I found a post that really disturbed me – a woman complaining about a car crash she was in, apparently caused by “a bloody asian”.

Now, if this happened in conversation, I would quickly, and hopefully with some humour, jump on the offender, pointing out that racism is not OK, and ask them to consider the feelings of someone who might not be around to stick up for themselves.

But this is online, and it isn’t possible to deal with it in the same way I would an offline conversation.  I don’t want to start a flame war, but nor can I stand by and allow this person to think that racism is OK by me.  And by not saying something, I feel like I am complicit in the abuse.

So I’ve posted a response, pointing out that I believe the comment is racist, but also hoping that it wasn’t meant that way, and leaving an opening for an apology.  It doesn’t feel right that I should be so conciliatory to someone who believes in racial superiority, but I’m also not comfortable attacking someone over an offhand comment that might have been ill conceived and thoughtless.  Still racist, but without evil intent.

Well, I suppose I’ll wait and see who gets attacked – the racist, or the *political correctness police.

*Because we all know that political correctness is evil, right?


Daisy moved in last night, so now the whole family has moved in. The chickens moved in the day before, and Liza escaped into the storm-water drain behind the house. If you weren’t me, and were watching me, and you aren’t upset by gratuitous profanity, you might have found the following hour very amusing.

If you are me, and are concerned for the welfare of your errant chickens, to the detriment of your lower back and without regard for your changing shape and shifting centre of gravity, you would have had a pretty horrible time. But the girls are fine (and now have their wings clipped to prevent further escapades), and the passenger is also fine. I am buggered, and am taking a rest day today – despite the mountains of shit that needs putting away. I had the first decent lie in for a week, put on a few loads of washing, am watching Oprah, and have made the internets work.

So now that I have taken the time to stop and breathe a bit, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who was there to help out last weekend, and since – and this weekend too!

Candy tackled the kitchen with her signature style and humour. Mandy brought cake (Mandy, you are developing a reputation!). Leefe and Ginevra brought their very cute baby, as did Adam and Sarah. Mum and Dad were amazing, Ted orchestrated the construction of an all new Palais du Chicken (with Mark and Richard), Jane drove the van which meant that we could actually spend sunday night in our new home. And Sally, Oliver, and little Benjamin did great work at the new house while the deconstruction of Denistone was tackled.

As well as all the practical help, the overwhelming feeling was of gratitude that I have so many people in my life who care about me enough to be there when I really needed the help. It made me feel very loved, and I realise how lucky I am to have such good friends and family. And I am very grateful – for the chance that our parents gave us to build a home for our new family, and for all the practical and emotional support of all you guys. I feel like there is a huge amount of work to be done, but we’ll get there.

I’ve had a plumber install the dishwasher, fix a tap and move the laundry tub so we could fit our huge washing machine into the laundry – and he also fixed the bathroom door as an added bonus! The old house has been cleaned, the lawns have been mowed, and I am currently washing the curtains which will be replaced tonight. Tomorrow I have to be at the old house to let the carpet cleaners in, then I can return the keys to the real estate agent, AND BE RID OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS FOR EVER. As long as there is no hassles getting our bond back of course….

Fishpond.com Voucher

Thanks to Donna for giving me a heads up about the Remo General store free t-shirt offer, I just got a fab t-shirt (in extra large, passenger carrying size) that says “us=them”. Thought it might be good to wear on election day 😉

Here is an offer that won’t help me, but might help someone else –

Subject: Free $10 Book Voucher

I’ve been using a new online shop called Fishpond.com.au and have already placed an order. You can shop from over 1.2 million books, CDs and DVDs and they have free shipping on orders over $50.
The website is easy to use and I’ve found their delivery times and service are excellent.

Here is a free voucher from me to give you $10 off your first order.


(Just enter that code at checkout)

I hope you try it and have fun,


P.S. The code expires this Friday so don’t miss out!

I’m at home (Merrylands) trying to make some order in the kitchen and bathroom. I have discovered the source of the urine smell, but don’t quite have the capacity to deal with that just yet. Adam should be around shortly to install the TV, so we should be able to watch Torchwood tonight.

If you have a minute, pop over to Sarah’s blog and wish my nephew Alex a happy half birthday – he’s 6 months old today!

PS. “Ampersand” is the Sydney Morning Herald’s Target word for today.

We bought a house!


And apparently, this is where it all happened.  I arrived at 1:50pm, to find this empty room, looking somewhat like a scene from the movie “Brazil”. 

The credit union person showed up, the vendors solicitors person showed up, we swapped some paperwork, and now we are the proud owners of a 40 year commitment.

And I thought having a baby was a big deal – they only hang around for 20 years…

PS.  Thanks Sally for the promo 🙂  And yes, owning a home was always a goal of mine, far more so than having a baby!