Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Check In - September Goals

 That time of the month again. Time to set the monthly goals. 

It's probably not the best day to do goal setting as I'm feeling a bit meh. I'm not sure if it's the wind or the change in seasons, of the never-ending lockdown. but I've been feeling meh. Creating things helps, but it's not good for getting things done at work.

Anyway, this too shall pass. 

And here's how I went last month:

Read four books. 

Done. I finished the following books: 

  • Matt Haig's The Midnight Library
  • Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age
  • Andrew Sean Greer's Less
  • Larissa Behrendt's After Story
  • Sarah Krasnostein's The Trauma Cleaner. 

10,000 steps a day (or an accumulated 310,000 steps over the month)

Nearly. I badly twisted my knee late last month, and what with lockdown and some pretty yucky weather, I missed the goal by about 30,000 steps. But, this is not a bad result over all. Didn't raise a cracker for Breast Cancer research, but I didn't advertise it either. 

Finish the Masons' books

Yeah, nah. Maybe this weekend. Not having a printer doesn't help either. However, my tax is prepared and ready for Thursday when I have a virtual appointment with the Tax Accountants. 

And have a happy birthday. 

I had a lovely quiet birthday, thank you very much. 

And goals for September:

Read four books. 

I really like this goal. It keeps me reading (and listening to audiobooks)

10000 steps a day

I'll put this down again. Now that the weather is getting better and I'm a lot better mentally if I get out for a walk for an hour, consider it a necessity. 

Make a new dish

Heaven knows when we will be let ut of lockdown, but I think making a meal which doesn't come from the microwave might be a good thing. Make something different for a change. Yeah. 

Work on the novel for half an hour a day

Again, needs to be done. I've been doing this off an on, but I want to get a bit more traction. The goal is to have a first draft done by January. 

Watch one of those movies I've been meaning to knock off the bucket list

I have this long list of movies I haven't seen. Movies like The Godfather Trilogy, Heat, In Bruges, Schindler's List (though I have read the book)...  As we're stuck inside, maybe I could knock off one or two of these during September. 

What else am I supposed to do. 

Admittedly, I'm still not feeling it. 

Today's Song:

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map Cards: Flying

Archetype Cards: Gambler

Cards Against Humanity: What don't you want to find in your Mongolian beef?  A pyramid of severed heads. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Year of Wonders

 Geraldine Brooks has written a masterpiece of a book called Year of Wonders. It's always been a favourite of mine. It tells the tale of Anna, a housemaid in 1666 in an English village. One day, a stranger brings in a bolt of cloth to the village, containing fleas which then go bite people and give them the plague. The village is closed off to the rest of the world for a year, incoming goods left at the milestone, the villagers left to manage death, pestilence, suspicion, mental illness and the gamut of other emotions and situations on their own terms. 

It's a brilliant book. 

There are many great things in this book. Geraldine Brooks is an incredible writer at the best of times, and this, her first novel., puts her brilliant research skills togethier with her her writing skills. 

And the novel looks at a pandemic. And a lockdown. Anna's village, to save the rest of the country from the plague, shut themselves off for a full year. 

Some people are good with it. Others not so much. Some thrive, some fail. Some go mad, as the plague makes its way through the town. 

I think I need to delve into it again. It will be the third or fourth time I've read it, but under the cirucmstances, I think it needs another room. Along with Albert Camus' The Plague

There's something comforting about the storming, forming and norming affect of pandemics. 

It's books like this that remind us that this too, shall pass. 

Today's song:

Today's Cards:

Enchanted Map Cards: Making a Choice 
Archetype Card: King
Cards Against Humanity: War! What is it good for? Battlefield amputations.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Stealing: One Direction Asks

I started this late on Saturday night, we are in lockdown and under curfew orders (9 pm-5 am - really, it's not that bad) Iwas doing my ironing and watching Marvel movies, which is what you do on a Saturday night, in Melbourne, in lockdown (which will more than likely be extended for at least another two weeks) You have to make your own fun. 

But the Marvel Movie got the better of me and it is now Sunday morning and I'm doing this between things - like an exercise class, as going for a walk and odd jobs around the house. It is that much fun around here at the moment. 

Questions, as always, provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Are you a Jeopardy fan?  Who do you want to replace Alex Trebeck?

Um, we don't get Jeopardy around here. We used to get an Australian version of it back in the seventies, but it's not been around since then. And sorry, I have no idea who Alex Trebeck is. 

2. What’s your favourite horror film?

I'm not really into horror films, but Shaun of the Dead is pretty good. 

3. Are you a possessive person?

Not really. I'm good at letting things go and letting people live.

4. Who’s your idol?

I don't really have an idol, but there are writers I greatly admire. Carrie Tiffany and Hannah Kent are up there. 

Catherine Hamlin and here work in Africa is incredible. Oh to be able to reach people like that. 

5. List five things you can’t live without.

The pandemic is teaching us we can live without a lot of things. But these are the things without which, live would be very bland:

  • Friends
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Walks on sunny days
  • Gin

6. Where do you feel home?

Pretty much at home. And at Blarney's place. Anywhere you can put your feet up on the sofa is home to me.

I also felt very much at home in London, and Boston and strangely, Toledo, Spain - all places I could live easily away from Adelaide or Melbourne. 

7. What are your three best qualities?

I'm kind. I'm fairly intelligent. And I'm tenacious. 

8. Name three things that make you happy.

  • Being in water
  • Not being at work
  • Being out of lockdown
I have no idea when we will be out of lockdown. 

9. What helps you when you’re feeling down?

Getting away from it all, which is also difficult when you're not allowed 5 kilometres from your front door (another one of our wonderful restrictions). But just going for a long walk normally perks me up. That or playing with the cat or watching a favourite movie on the television helps a lot. Talking to friends also helps. 

10. Which big cities have you been to?

Lots of them. Here's a list:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Auckland (New Zealand)
  • Bangkok
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Singapore
  • Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia)
  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Dublin
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Athens
  • Madrid
  • Amsterdam
  • New York
  • Boston
  • Philadephia
  • Los Angeles
  • Manchester
  • Leeds
I've been ot a lot of smaller cities too, but these are the big ones. 

11. What’s your favourite lovestory? ( Book, film, etc. )

Captain Antonio Corelli and Pelagia in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. That is still my favourite book ever. 

12. Talk about the best concert you ever attended.

Oh, that would be David Byrne at the Bristol Academy in 1993. He was incredible. 45 piece Mariachi band came on with him after the first act. He was off his tree on something at the time, but it didn't matter. And for the last song he did a cover of Sympathy for the Devil. It was incredible. It went on for 20 minutes. Love David Byrne. 

13. What’s one thing you don’t ever want to change?

Cold winters and hot summers and the smell of dogs' paws first thing in the morning. 

14. What scares you?

All of this right wing propaganda and Q-Anon misinformation that goes around the place. Our misguided media have helped an incompetent government really screw up our COVID responce. It's awful and it really does scare the hell out of me. 

15. What are three things you want to do before you die?

In no order, some things I would like to do before I die:

  • Walk the Camino di Santiago de Compostella
  • Write and publish a successful novel
  • Get married (Yes, I know, surprising that one)

Today's Song:

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map Cards: Mountain

Archetype Cards: God

Cards Against Humanity: Why can't I sleep at night? I'm summoning Harold Holt from the sea in a time of great need. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Lack and freedom

 They were out of the strangest things at the supermarket this evening. Okay, I left my weekly food shop a bit late, and due the the curfew, Coles is closing at 8.30 pm - which when you're used to being able to do your shopping even later, it's a bit strange that the shelves felt a bit empty. 

But I was after some very diverse items. And they were out. 

First up. There were no fresh limes available. I like these with my gin and tonics. Not today. No limes. Some wonky lemons, with thick skins. They would have to do . Strangely, I went down the spice aisle and there was no pre-squeezed lime juice. Obviously people are either drinking a truck load of G&Ts or Tequila,. or they are having either Thai or Mexican for dinner. 

So I went on. 

The next item on my shopping list - miso soup. A trick my naturopath put me onto is if you find yourself hungry, drink a cup of miso soup. It kills hunger pangs dead. But Coles was out of Miso Soup - which I find a bit strange. Again, maybe with al this home cooking going on people are making Japanese. Or maybe they've been talking to my naturopath. 

Oh, then there's the ironing water debacle.  Coles used to do this lovely ironing water - water you put in your iron. The scent I really loved was the jasmine and orchid scent. Now they have this Tropical Blossom scent which smells of three day old frangipanis and the worst Bali has to offer. The stuff still shows online, but it is never on the shelves at the local and this pisses me off. I like my ironing to smell nice. Just as I love it that I got all of my washing dried on the line today. It was the perfect drying day today. Sunny and a little breezy. It would be wonderful if these were ironed up with a hint of jasmine and orchid. Oh well. 

At least there was plenty of loo paper. No chicken  - not that I buy chicken from the supermarket any more. The butcher in the shopping centre is far better for anything to do with meat. 

This is the second night I've been out and about after dark, but before the curfew sets in. I also got some takeaway for dinner and filled the car up with petrol. It was nice to be out at night, even if I'm cruising the suburb in my car, listening to my audio book and for those twenty or so minutes, I regale in the normality of doing something normal, even if it is bending the rules. I'm on my own. I'm within five kilometres of the door. I'm not out after curfew. I had a reason to be out (weekly shop) 

This is my little slice of freedom. 

Today's song: 

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map Cards: Movement
Archetype Cards: Knight
What did Vin Diesel eat for dinner? Half a kilo or pure China White heroin. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

The Midnight Library

Tonight's adventure had me driving into town to collect my mail, something which needs to be done once a week. Just being out of the house at the moment is a good thing, even if it is to run an errand, in the near empty city, at seven'o'clock at night.

It's been a pretty fractious week at work, not helped by a couple of shouty meetings nor some uncertainy around what's going down on the project - so a drive, with my audiobook on the stereo, was needed. The perfect pressure release, especially as the city is all but dead, day and night, at the moment. 

Currently, I'm listening to Matt Haig's The Midnight Library, and it's got me completely suckered in. 

It tells the story of Nora, a woman who's crap life has been getting worse and she decides to end it all. Only when she does, instead of fading into nothingness, she finds herself in this mysterious library, where her high school librarian takes her on a wonderous journey where she gets to investigate the roads not travelled in her life - to work through her regrets with the hope she'll find her best life. 

It's a bit of a mix of Sliding Doors and a philosophy manual, in that Nora is a philosophy student with a love of Thoreau and a propensity for depression. (Hmm, remind you of anybody)

Anyway, I've been loving this book. I've only got about 30 minutes left to listen to, and being honest, I'll miss it. It's been thought provoking. Aiding this is Carey Mulligan's excellent naration. 

If I was to go and look at my books of regrets, what would I do over?

Being honest, I'm not one for regrets - they're a waste of good energy. There are very few things I really regret, and in the scheme of things, they appear to be minor, or a victim of circumstance from what seems a better alternative at the time. 

Yet I think of what could have happened. Just as Nora gets to invesigate worlds where she doesn't give up swimming, or quit the band she and her brother were in, or stay with her ex, a very small part of me would like to see what would have happened if I did a few things differently. The big one is always what would have happened if I came back to Australia after my two year visa was up. That's a big one. Or what would have happened if I never met up with the guy I lived with in London. Or stayed in my job instead of moving to a Greek Island. Or got a scholarship to a private school instead of going to the local high school. 

As the book says, we make so many decisions every day. Even the most minor of yes and no choices can make us completely different people. 

Anyway, it's given me something different to think about for the last week - which when you're in lockdown, with no real end in sight, this is not a bad thing. 

Today's song:

 Today's Cards:

The Enchanted Map: Magic Stream

Archetype Cards: Storyteller

Cards Against Humanity: Why am I sticky?  Dark and mysterious forces beyond my control. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

I do not need an air fryer

 Jay and I had our normal post-workout chat. Once Cleo goes off line we tend to do a debrief of the day, and more often than not the subject of the conversation turns to dinner. This was after I got my bag of peas out of the freezer and put them on my knee after overdoing it a bit. 

"I don't know what's for dinner tonight." she told me. 

"Chicken and salad for me."

"I might have to find some thing and put it in the air fryer. Potato cakes."

"I don't have an air fryer," I told her. "Potato cakes?"

"Yes, you can buy them at the posh supermarket. A couple of minutes in the air fryer and they come out just like the ones you get at the fish and chip shop."

"I don't need to know that. And I don't have an air fryer."

"You need an air fryer."

"No, I don't. I'm trying to de-crap my place as it is."

"You need an air fryer," she reiterated.

"No, I don't."

"I'm thinking of buying a bigger one. If I do, you can have my old, little one."

"Thank you, but I don't need an air fryer. I have an oven and pots and pans and a microwave and a Tupperware pressure cooker. Oh, and a sandwich press. I don't need an air fryer."

"Yes, you do."

When Jay gets on a roll, she keeps on it. 

And I don't need to know that you can get potato cakes at the posh supermarket that taste like the potato cakes you get at the chippy. Or that you can wrap Caramilk chocolate in puff pastry and you can have something like a Caramilk Danish. Or heat up chips. Or heaven knows what. 

But I do not need an air fryer. 

Got it?


Despite what all of you tell me. 

Today's Song: 

Enchanted Map Card: Home

Archetype Card: Slave

Cards Against Humanity: What's the next Happy Meal toy?  Robo-Cop.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Acrimony and Acceptance

 Ooh, a storm is threatening

My very life today

If I don't get some shelter

Ooh yeah I'm gonna fade away

Charlie Watts is dead and the world feels a little less cool than it was yesterday. 

I woke to this news, and my first thought was, 'Hell, and Keith Richards is still here.'

You have to remember that The Rollings Stones has been around all of my life, and Charlie has been up the back, the pinnacle of cool, like the slightly older cousin who keeps a lid on things, straight backed, smiling and never missing a beat. Loved him. A superlative drummer who drove The Stones, not that Mick, Keith, Ronnie or Bill would agree. 

But he's gone now. He was 80, the same age my Mum is now. He had been sick. And he died, peacefully, surrounded by his family. 

And good on him I say. 

But it wasn't the greatest start to the day. 

And it went down from there. 

Okay, I got a lot of work done - and a lot of knitting done in very boring meetings.

Then found myself in a shouty meeting. I wasn't doing the shouting, but watching two others go at each other. It wasn't fun. It wasn't really necessary, though I could see the frustration from both ends.

Which didn't help matters - nor did my workload meaning I didn't get out for a walk, nor close down my work computer until after six. 

Mind you, the last twenty minutes was spent talking to somebody who was having an even crapper day. The debrief was welcome. 

But we keep marching on. 

Just like Charlie Watts' beats which drive forth The Rolling Stones. 

Today's Song: 

Today's Cards:

Enchanted Map Cards: Strength

Archetype Cards: Hero/Heroine

Cards Against Humanity: In Australia, Rupert Murdoch is twice as big and twice as deadly. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Change in Style

Chatting with my colleague's wife this morning, we both made comment that this lockdown is has changed the way we look at our styling, said as she pointed out the chemo curls on the back of my colleague's (her husband's) head. Yes, it's got down to chatting with the team's family members. As I live alone, if they are lucky, people will see a shot of Lucifer's bum every now and then. He's good at that. 

I also got to show off my curls. As I've stopped brushing my hair, preferring to comb it out wet in the morning, then letting it air dry, separating the curls out with my fingers and adding a bit of product in for good measure. It looks like I have a spiral perm now - the the ringlets go halfway down my back. When I go for a walk, I shove it all up under a cap. As I haven't been able to get to my hairdresser for well over two months, and heaven knows when that will happen again, I'm ignoring the greys at my temple and hairline. I'm not stupid enough to turn to box dye yet. My hairdresser would kill me. 

And we won't mention the state of my eyebrows and legs. I've trimmed my eyebrows, so they're okay, but I'd kill for a legwax, now a month overdue. Not that anybody seems my legs, nor would anybody notice. It's just nice to keep yourself nice. 

So I look like a hairy hippy at the moment. Nothing can be done for the while. 

But we can online shop - and I can attempt to upgrade my style a little. This has been fun. I'm good at hunting out bargains. 

So there's this cherry dress:

The things you find on Facebook Marketplace. I've been wanting something like this. It's my size and I like this pseudo-50's vibe. At $50 it's was a steal. 

There's been a change in my style. Yes, not going into work means that things have completely slackened off in the work wear department. Jeans and a t-shirt on good days. Getting dressed up for work doesn't happen any more, but surely there are better things to wear. 

Some sneaky irreverent t-shirts and hoodies are now found in my drawer. Inparticular, I like the See You Next Tuesday t-shirt, which not everybody gets. I might need to get a blue footed booby shirt too. You gotta love boobies. 

It would be wonderful to dress a bit more like a woman at the moment. While we're in lockdown, is there really any point that wearing anything other than play clothes? 

I'm hoping the cherry dress is the start of something new. 

Today's Song:

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map: Slow and Steady
Archetype Cards: Saboteur
Cards Against Humanity: Coming to Broadway this Season, The Terrorists. The Musical. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Finding the Funeral

 I've just attended a friend's father's funeral over the web. If it were normal times, I'd have gone and sat the back of the auditorium to bid her father goodbye, even though I only met him once on recollection, but to be there for my friend. It was a lovely service under the circumstances, neat and tidy, loving and it gave a good send off to her well-loved Dad. 

This has come at a good time, not the death or the funeral, but it's given me some fodder as I'm struggling with the novel - and it's got me thinking. 

There's a couple of blockers in front of me at the moment - narrative drive, how do I get this going? How to do I get my main character to make that first call to the agency? How does she get her friends to support her through this time.

And then there's the funeral - or the living funeral. Do I have her give herself a living wake, or do I let her friends pick up the pieces? And what sort of funeral does she want to have?

Watching on, online as my friend said goodbye to her father, lots of things went through my head. I know funerals come in all shapes and sizes, and I've been to a few.  Unfortunately, COVID is blocking most people from having the funeral the would have wanted or deserved. I know I've got at least one memorial service which will be held once all this COVID crap is under control. 

As for funerals, there is no one size fits all. There's the religious ones, the not so religious ones, and the more out there ones. They appear to be arranged for the people attending, rather than the person at large, but then again, they often don't reflect the person being sent off. 

I remember at my grandmother's funeral my uncle starting his eulogy with the words, "My mother was a difficult woman." And he was correct. I remember tittering through that ceremony as he highlighted my dear grandmother with a gentle irreverence which I think she would have liked. (Grandma liked it when you pushed up against her - not many people did that - I rather liked taking the piss out of her, then again, I gave her a card for her 90th birthday which read, "There must be somebody older than you." Inside was the picture of a dinosaur and there was a badge which read 'Living Fossil'. The card and the badge had pride of place on her fridge for many, many years.)

The other thing, watching from a distance over the interwebs, I was curious in the way that the funeral was run. My friend used the same funeral directors as my family when we farewelled my niece. They do a good job, but it is very sanitised. This reminded me of the first funeral from the series Six Feet Under, which has informed quite a bit of my thinking around funerals, not that we do viewings or burials that often over here. Things are pretty sanitised and straight-forward here in Australia. 

And it's not like the Hindu cremations I witnessed in Varanasi, India while I was there. That was a visceral, yet liberating experience, watching as the pyres took the body off to another place. It was an experience surreal in its outward serenity. 

And there's the absolutely stunning Viking funeral in the film, What We Did on our Holiday. (I adore this film - watch it if you get a chance).

If anything, I think my main character would love to be sent out like this. No white washing, no dramas, no sanitisation, but a heartfelt send off with those who loved the deceased. 

I like this idea. 

Might just have a way in. 

And I should have a chat to that death doula soon too. 

Today's song:

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map Cards: Sad Embrace: 

Archetype Card: Damsel

Cards Against Humanity: Channel 9 is pleased to present its new variety show, "Hey Hey It's Oompa-Loompas!"

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Sad and Sleepy

 Another weekend in lockdown. Oh joy. I will say that I'm very happy that I've been fully vaccinated, but as the Federal Government has screwed up the vaccine rollout over here, and the Delta variant is doing the rounds, we're going to be locked down for a while. I'm also in isolation, waiting for a COVID test result. I'm highly dubious that I have it, but on waking with a bit of a sore throat it's just what you do here now. Hoping to have the results by morning and I'll be able to get on with life again. It's been nice to just relax at home for the day to be honest. (COVID test came back negative - yay)

Questions, as always, provided by Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. Has anyone ever made fun of your taste in music?

All the time. I have really eclectic music tastes as anybody looking at my songs of the day will testify. Normally those who like the alternative stuff can't work out why I like some of the rock and pop stuff and vice versa. Also the Ed Sheeran / Adele / Celine Dion ? Delta Goodrem fans will berate me for not rating these ultra pop stars at all. 

2. Do you have pop-tarts in your house right now?

Absolutely not. Why would I have them? I don't think I've ever had a pop tart. 

3. Does someone owe you over twenty dollars?

Not at the moment. I'm pretty careful about who I lend money to, and it tends to come back quickly. Reminds me, I have some funds I need to get back to some friends for Art Gallery tickets. 

4. When was the last time you burned any part of your body?

I am an Australian and at least once a year some part of me - normally my nose or shoulders, will get a mild sunburn. It's more out of stupidity and forgetfulness than anything else. 

5. What kind of booze did you last take shots of?

I can't remember ever taking shots. I sip gin and whisky fairly regularly, but that's not shots. I'm too old to be shooting spirits anyway. 

6. If you could see any musician live, front row, who would you choose?

Oh please, please, please could I go back and see David Byrne's American Utopia show again. Or the Pixies - was supposed to see them last year, but Coronavirus killed that concert. David Byrne is AMAZING in concert. As are The Pixies. Other artists I'd love to see live include Damien Rice, David Bowie, Billy Bragg, Jason Mraz, Mumford and Sons ... it's along list. 

7. If I gave you ten dollars, what would you spend it on?

Probably a coffee and a bun or an egg and bacon roll. That's a good use of ten bucks. 

8. Does / did either of your parents serve in the military?

No. Neither if my parents were in the services. My mother was a nurse for many years - that can equate to a war zone. My stepdad was conscripted to go to Vietman and was in the services for a while, but he never left Australia. 

9. Do you like sour candy?

Absolutely. Sour worms are the best. So are sour cherry lollies. And Lemon Sherberts. I also like salty liquorice. An aquired taste. 

10. What do you do to stay awake when you’re tired?

Normally I just push through - and I'm awake 18 hours most days.  I might have a nap to get a bit of energy back, but that is it. 

11.Do you wear your shoes around the house?

Sometimes. Being Winter, I've been in Ugg Boots (sheepskin boots) for the last couple of months, and I do like my slippers, but in summer, I normally go barefoot. 

12. Is there ever a time that you enjoy cold showers?

Yes, when I'm in the tropics or when it's horribly hot, like it gets here now and then. Nothing beats a cold shower when its hot and muggy and you've been out and about in the heat. But that's about the only time I enjoy cold showers. 

13. Are you good at filling silence in awkward situations?

Sometimes. I can talk to anybody, so I'm normally okay at this. Depends on who I'm talking to. 

14. Any TV shows you sit down weekly to watch?

Not at the moment. When new episodes come on, I do like Harrow, Doctor Doctor and Grey's Anatomy. I think we've lost the art of waiting few new episodes. One of our streaming services, Stan, is good for releasing one episode a week, and it gives you something to look forward to. 

15. Are you one to sneak food into movie theaters?

Yes. Sometimes. Drinks especially. Food and drink you buy at the cinema is a rip off. Oh I miss going to see films on the big screen.

Today's Song: 

Today's Cards:

Enchanted Map Card: Balancing Act

Archetype Card:  The Fool

Cards Against Humanity: What is Batman's guilty pleasure?  Still being a virgin. 

Saturday, August 21, 2021


 There will be some good to come from this. It will. 

Woke this mornning with a bit of a sore throat, a heavy head, a slight cough and felt a bit achy. So after mediation and filling in the forms, I took myself over to Collingwood to have a COVID test. My fourth in the last 18 months. I know the drill.  

Personally, I think I have more chance of aquiring smallpox. I've not been to any listed exposure sites. I work from home. I'm good with the mask and the QR codes. Thankfully, I'm fully vaccinated. 

But I've done the right thing again - even if it looks like a wonderful walking day out there and I could be galivanting around with my mask on enjoying the balmy weather and the sunshine. Instead, I'm stuck indoors, waiting for the all clear.  

They've streamlined the check in system at the local testing centre. The meeters and greeters  ask you to fill in the forms. They're not providing you with a new surgical mask now - what ever you're wearing is fine. The check in was easy. Name? Date of Birth? Phone number? Check in number? Was I vaccinated? Which vaccination had I received? What was the date of my last vaccination? Easy stuff. 

I think that last question is going to be one you're going to have front of mind very soon. It's just a feeling. Watch this space. 

Then they hand you a baggie with a couple of swabs and a specimen tube and you go into the shipping container, which has been stripped of most furniture now and the nice health care official prods your tonsils and brain stem with the swab and it's all done. 

I was in and out in 15 minutes. 

And now for the wait - which means I'm stuck at home on a nice day until the results come in. They're normally back within the day. And there is a lot of stuff to do:

  • The mason's annual books
  • Novel writing
  • Knitting
  • Cleaning
  • Doing some weight training (yeah/nah)
  • Catching up on a couple of movies I've wanted to see for a while
  • Talk to the cat.
  • Unfriend/Unfollow antivaxxer social media aquaintences (basically because they give me the shits and I don't need their crap in my life)
Ho hum. As I keep saying, this too shall pass. 

Today's song: 

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map Cards: Spark

Archetype Cards: Rescuer

Cards Against Humanity: How am I maintaining my relationship status? A thermo-nuclear detonation. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Running the Gauntlet

So I ran the gauntlet of the curfew tonight. 

It's not something I've done before, but after dinner and a quick movie round at my 'bubble's' place, complete with birthday cake. A  judgement call was made. If I left by 8.45 I'd be home just after nine seeing the Westgate would be next to empty, and this would have me breaching the curfew by a few minutes. 

If I didn't have this blasted curfew, I'd have stayed later. I was having a good time. And if there wasn't my darling pussycat and an early Zoom call tomorrow, I might have stayed over and continued  to drink Barney's smokey single malt which he does not like at all (too peaty for him, just peaty enough for me) and cuddled Blarney's affectionate cats instead of having to come home to play laser pointer with the King of the planet Passiva Aggressiva. 

The other thing I'm aware of is that I live in an area where there's a bit of a police presence. It comes  with living near Richmond's Golden Rectangle, near the needle exchange and shooting gallery. But on the other hand, I'm a middle aged woman in a mask - basically invisible to all and sundry. Also, it's not like I'm driving around with the stereo blasting with a car load of people. I'm just peacefully coming back from my bubble's place with my audiobook playing on the car stereo, and if asked, I'd lost track of time. Also, it's not like it was midnight - I'll gently push some boundaries, but not that much.  

It's nights like this that you rue the curfew. I don't normally. Being home by nine is rarely an issue. Besides, with everything closed, where are you going to go? It's just when you'd rather stay out that you feel put upon. 

Being a good citizen, I reluctantly left Blarney's place just on ten to nine. 

And then the issues came. The ramp onto the Westgate was closed. Instead of twenty minutes of mostly freeway driving, I had to go the back way through Yarraville and Footscray and across the top of town. Which would take me another ten or so minutes. According to Shirley the GPS, I'd be due home around 9.30. 

The streets are dead. There are a few cars about - pretty much no foot traffic and the odd fast food delivery driver, but that's it. Thankfully the run home was quick and the lights went in my favour. Sure, there's was the dickhead who had his high beam on, shining into my rear view mirror who rode my arse down Dynon Road, and I realy wished I could have blasted him with a compact mirror, but I let it go. I was doing something naughty - you don't bring attention to yourself. 

But I got home, without any problems, at 9.15.  Shirley the GPS didn't take the empty streets into account. A little late, but yeah, it's what happens. 

Am I mad about the curfew? No. If it helps keep people off the street while this bastard of a disease is trying to take over and the bulk of the population aren't fully vaccinated, then no, I don't mind it. Do I like it? Other than it is blissfully quiet about the place, not really. Do I comply with the COVID rules set out? Pretty much. I can't see too much of an issue getting home 15 minutes after curfew. It's not like I've been to a house party or wandered around St Kilda without a mask, bumming cigarettes off strangers while searching for a non-existent open pub. 

But would I rather be out drinking peaty whisky, while watching a movie after a feed of curry, cuddling sooky cats. You betcha. 

Do I ponder my compliance to the rules? I do, but I can see why they're in place. I like to think I would be able to talk my way out of a fine if I was to be questioned - especially being only 15 late. Sure. 

These aren't times to arc up in a big way. And so I'm home, with a sleeping Lucifer on his (my) pillow in the couch, wishing things were different. And hopefully, complying with the rules will help 'normal life' come back. 

But this too, this COVID shite, shall pass. 

Today's Song:

Today's Cards:

The Enchanted Map Cards: Heal the Ouch

Archetype Card: Don Juan

Cards Against Humanity: Instead of coal, Santa now gives the bad children EDIBLE UNDERPANTS. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Day Off Blogging

Nah. Not really, but I'm having a day off work tomorrow, and nobody expects you to work much on your birthday, so I'm having a light on blog post today. 

I've been out already. Went and got a mushroom toastie from the hipster cafe, taking the time to walk around the block in the mean time while they went and sourced the mushrooms from some Norwegian field and stirred the rennet to make the cheese, and as they deftly massaged the sourdough starter. I left a message for the team that said I'd be back sometime before Christmas. 

(I love Hector's Deli, but you don't want to be in a rush)

Nothing says happy birthday like a butter drenched mushroom, provolone and Hectic Sauce sandwich on light rye, toasted to just where I like it. 

All washed down with an almond decaf latte, and we have a birthday. 

I will be drinking elderflower cordial during the day. 

Anyway, now the blog is done, there's a load of washing in the machine. It's sunny and breezy - a good drying day - and this makes me happy. I can get back to work. Deciphering to joys of hardship payment plans. Won't that be fun. I'll get in another walk or two over the day. As a middle aged woman in a mask, invisibility is my super power. In a lockdown, this is a good thing, when used with discretion and care. 

It's my second birthday in lockdown and all is fine. This too shall pass. It might be passing like a kidney stone, but it will pass. 

Today's song: 

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map: Spirit of Place

Archetype Card: Pioneer

Cards Against Humanity: Dropping a chandelier on your enemies and riding the rope up... It's a trap!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The new shirt

 I keep getting asked what I want for my birthday. 

Hmph. I've wanted the same thing for the last 30 odd years and I've given up that that will ever happen, so I'm going for the next best thing. 

So I bought another shirt today for myself. 

My mother put some money in my account today, and I was told I wasn't allowed to buy more gin. Okay, I was joking when I said I was going to buy another bottle (I've just run out of Archie Rose, and there is a bottle of Brogan's Way Heart's a Fire gin I'd like to add to the collection).

But I've been collecting shirts. 

There's the "In my defence, I was left unsupervised" t-shirt. It's my ratbag rallying cry. 

There's another one which reads, "Hell was boring."

And the hoodie which reads, "Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come."

Well, a mate sent through this image tonight, and it just begged to be bought. 

I think this is going to be my mantra for the next year. 

But if Mum asks, I'll be putting the funds towards an Apple Watch. My dear old fitbit has a cracked face, though it is still working. If I put a couple of hundred dollars away over the next few months I can have a gee whizz you beaut upgrade by Christmas.

Well, it's a thought, considering I could put it into travel, but we aint going nowhere for at least a few months the way things are going. 

But we live in hope. 

And I'll wear my new t-shirt with pride. 

Underestimate me. Yeah. That will be fun. 

Just watch this space. 

Today's Song:

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map: Encouragement

Archetype Cards: Femme Fatale

Cards Against Humanity: That's right, I killed...SEAN CONNERY. How, you ask... with AN OVERSIZED LOLLIPOP. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


The money has come back, but the disappointment hasn't gone away. 

We'd planned this a while ago, back when it looked like things were easing up. A night at the art gallery on a Friday Night. A bit of music. Some wine and nibblies. A stroll around the art. A viewing of the French Impressionists exhibition. Okay, it would be dark outside, so there's no chance of checking out the stained glass ceiling in the great hall. The Art Gallery has an eerie feel to it in the evening. We had a corporate party there a few years ago and the space had an eerie feeling - probably not helped by an illuminated pool which was set up in the atrium with floating bowls tinkling against themselves. 

We were supposed to be going next Friday.

Well that aint going to happen.   

We still have another two full weeks of this lockdown,there are going to be more cancellations. There is an online Masons meeting tomorrow night, but we can't bring in our new candidates next week. 

My haircut and legwax were cancelled last weekend and the latter has now been rescheduled for two weeks time. Heaven knows when I'll be able to get my eyebrows done again. 

And I won't mention the funerals I've missed, the flights not taken and the weekends away which need to be reorganised. 

Now, it seems, we wait. 

Today's Song: 

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map Card: Compass

Archetype Card: Companion

Cards Against Humanity: But before I kill you Mr Bond, I must show you... SEAN CONNERY

Monday, August 16, 2021


Who knew that a simple post about where you lived when you were at university could be so triggering - though not triggering in that bad way where you want to curl up in the foetal position and sob. More you get reflective and ponder the what was and what is. 

I spent three years at one of the University Colleges in Adelaide during my undergrad years, and in the words of Dickens, these were the best of times and the worst of times. 

College life appealed to my ratbag nature - and I'm the first to admit to this. I will always be a ratbag. I'm always up for a bit of light-hearted trouble, even now (such as visiting the gin distillery every day over the weekend for a hot mulled gin - because it's open)

But it was also one of the hardest, loneliest and most gut-wrenching times of my life. 

See, I've never fitted in. Never have, never will. But where I like to celebrate my introversion and eccentricities now, back in the eighties, it was a much harder thing to do. Throw on top of this alcohol, academia and peer groups and you had a recipe for disaster. Somehow, I struggled through. Thankfully, I made some friends who helped hold me together, friends who are still around me to this day. 

It was a trial by fire - and coming out of it, I know there was a sense of not knowing what was going on. But this was the late eighties. Self-awareness wasn't a big thing back then. 

A lot has been made recently about what goes on at University Colleges, The Red Report flagging the horrors that can go down at these places. I'm thankful that the college I was at wasn't mentioned in the report. I'll also admit that I think the college had a better culture in that it did feel fairly safe, even if you were somebody that didn't fit in. Although it probably did happen, I didn't experience the bullying and ostracism related in the report. It was also the late eighties - it was a more innocent time. There also wasn't social media, thank goodness. 

I've had a number of conversations with friends over the years about college life. Most of us have mixed memories of the place, embracing the friendships we made over the years and putting a lot of it down to experiences, both valuable and invaluable.

I think what makes me most uncomfortable is remembering who I was back then. 

And I don't know if I like what I find. 

Actually, that's a bit harsh. There are some behaviours that I really don't like looking at. Some of it can be put down to peer pressure, boredom or just being completely clueless. 

But there are other times where I look back with fondness, and this is great too. I know when I meet up with some of my friends from the time, we look back with fond memories. I remember having one friend over for Christmas, watching her sit  in the kitchen questioning everything Mum was doing. She was Malaysian. It was her first Australian Christmas. Another Christmas was spent with Geetangeli. A long story short, her Aunt's prayer room has had a huge part on how I view religion and spirituality. I had the opportunity to meet up with her Aunt a few years ago, and I got to thank her personally for the affect she and her family have had on my life. 

But I look back to who I was back then. Absolutely no idea who I was. On the verge of clinical depression. No idea what it was to have friend, make them or keep them. Somebody who hated herself for all sorts of reasons. Somebody who was very unhappy. 

I've chosen to forgive that poor, clueless girl. I know, in therapy, I've was forced to go back and befriend her over the years, spend time with her, get to find out who she was - and then in turn love and appreciate her. 

It's been a long, slow path to finding out who this poor soul was. She deserves forgiveness, as hard as it seems. It's helped her grow into somebody far more compassionate, caring, honest  and open person. 

I still wonder what she would have been like if she could had seen more of this earlier on. 

Today's Song:

Today's Cards:

Enchanted Map Cards: Listening

Archetype Cards: The Rescuer

Cards Against Humanity: When I am Prime Minister, I will create the Ministry of GOD (Topical... hmm)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Summer

 Still in lockdown. Still working on the weekend chorse. Still pondering my next chapter rewrite. 

At least it is a glorious WINTER day here. It's going to reach about 19 degrees (Celcius not Farenheit), and there's a breeze so the washing will dry on the line. After this, I'll set myself out for a walk along the river with a friend, stopping at the local distillery for a hot mulled gin on the way home.

The things we do to keep ourselves amused during lockdown. 

Questions, as always, come from Bev at Sunday Stealing

1. What subjects lead you down a Wikipedia rabbit hole?

Anything do to with the following subjects: 

  • 80's music
  • English cinema
  • The Tudor Court (i.e. Henry VIII and his cronies)
  • World War II
  • And what happened on any given day / year
  • Music and movie trivia.
Wikipedia is a good starting point for research. It's not the be all and end all. 

2. How do you like to spend your birthdays?

Funny, it is my birthday later this week, and as we are still under lockdown conditions and it's falling midweek, I'll be doing nothing. Going to work (in my lounge room) and seeing my trainer after work and if I'm feeling really decadent I might get in fish and chips. 

But I am taking Friday off work. I was hoping to go to the art gallery, but the chance of us being out of lockdown Friday are minimal, so what I might do is have a Marvel movie marathon in my pyjamas, get in takeaway an have a lazy day. This is the second birthday I've had in lockdown. It sorta sucks. We'll see what the health orders say early next week, but I'm not liking the chances. 

3. Something you might take a little too seriously?

 Australian Politics. But it's good to be in the know. 

4.  Describe a time you made a good decision for yourself

 Leaving a job I wasn't overly enthusiastic about and moving to the Greek Islands for a while was a good thing. Going for therapy 15 years ago was a great thing. Taking up running at 40 was also a wonderful thing. 

5. Something you’ve improved/gotten better at

 I'd like to think the quality of my writing is getting better with time and practice - not the blog posts as much, but the fiction writing seems to be flowing better. 

6. What dish would you bring to a summer potluck?

I'm the dessert queen and I do a wicked fresh fruit salad with lots of berries, mangoes, lychees and other tropical and summer fruits. If not, I might do a Nigella Lawson no-churn ice cream. Make your own ice cream without an ice cream maker. It's awesome. 

7. What do you miss about Winter?

Well, it's Winter here at the moment - and I love Winter. Wish it went on longer. 

8. Share a summer memory

As a kid we used to drive down to the beach late in the afternoon, play beach cricket. swim and have dinner on the beach. We'd go home when it was nearly dark. The beach near home is one that you can drive on. You still can. When I go back to Adelaide I will often meet a friend down at that beach for a swim. Love it down there. 

9. Words you misspll or misuse the most

 Effect / Affect. It always trips me up. 

10. Things you love to do, that can only happen in summer

 I love that in summer you can sit outside late into the evening at one of Melbourne's rooftop bars (or in the beer garden) Nothing better than a cool drink on a warm night, just chewing the fat or listening to music. 

11. How would you describe your sense of humor?

 Dry, dark and a little strange. I've got a very English sense of humour, loving the absurd and the silly in equal measure. Things that make me laugh include Monty Python, English comedies, dark comedies (If you've ever seen What We Do in the Shadows you'll understand). New Zealand has produced some of the best comedies over the last fifteen years. 

12. Have you ever quit a job or career?

Yes. A couple of times. Every time I've done it, it has been for the best. Threw in a job to move to the Greek Islands once - though Island life didn't work out for me, the change of scenery was for the best. 

13. What are your favorite features of your cell phone?

I use the torch (flashlight) regularly. And I would be stuck without the camera. Love my iPhone camera. I just like taking photos.

14. What scents always make you hungry?

Mum's cooking - particularly roast lamb. And the Cookie Man cookies - there are concessions around town and they are just marvellous. They remind me of times with my grandparents. 

15. What are you working on right now?

I have a half-knitted hat in front of me - and I'm working on the great Australian dystopian novel  -  and have been for a couple of years, on and off. 

Today's song:

Today's cards:

The Enchanted Map Cards: Follow the Leader

Archetype Cards: Hedonist

Cards Against Humanity: Oi, show us ...OVERCOMPENSATION. (I can use that...) 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Rewrite

 I like having an accountability monitor and this week, I've promised my team that I will have a chapter written by 9 a.m. on Monday, and I've chosen rightly or wrongly, to do a complete rewrite of an early chapter which needs a complete revision. What I have down at the moment isn't cutting it - and it's a crucial chapter where Faith, my protagonist, has to make a phone call which will adjust her whole reality. 

In the first draft, I had her one the phone in the early evening, making the appointment, going through an administrivial all relaying information which the reader needs to know in a not-so-great way, so I've been walking around trying to think of different ways to approach the chapter. 

I've also set my procrastination list, and have marked off a few things on that:

So far I've:

  • Walked 13000 steps - went for a walk with Jay
  • Set the agenda for the Property Association
  • Had a sneaky traveller mulled gin
  • Had a chat with George from the gym
  • Made dinner
  • Got the stuff ready to do the Mason's books
And generally procrastinated over a heap of things. 

I hate rewriting, but it has to be done. It's just finding the hook for the chapter, and some narrative drive. It's what you do when you get stuck on a situation - what does my protagonist need to do? What is she trying to escape? Why is she avoiding what she is about to do? What are her feelings about what she's doing? How does this make her act? What are the consequences of her avoiding what has to be done. Getting the narrative drive on this crucial scene is hard

Then there's the setting. I originally has it set in her flat overlooking the city. Do I keep this or set it somewhere else - mind you, it's a phone call which needs to be made around office hours. But where does this get set?The work tea room? On a park bench? In the car? On public transport? You want to make the scene remotely interesting, and you can always use the sensory aspects of the location to bring forward or hone in on the story. 

Then there's the prompts. The Sacred Pool card talks about reflections - I think I can use that. The archetype of the Advocate, I can see a point to that too - a my character has to advocate for her own life.

Then there's the Cards Against Humanity prompt. Alternative medicine - I can work that in, sure. Finding curative powers in something - sure, that might be useful. But perfunctory foreplay... hmmm... I'm not sure how I can use that. I mean, she has a deadbeat ex-husband and a long-standing lover. What would underwhelming foreplay have to do with this situation? What would the feisty Faith feel about all of this - I can see her putting up with an useless lover. 

Then there's the song of the day. Marlena on the Wall has been running thorugh my head for most of the day. Why is this so? Can the themes of the song be used in this scene. 

Anyway, that's what I'm procrastinating about. I'm still not sure about this writer lark, particularly when you're writing fiction

I do find that mulling things over like this might help the writing process tomorrow. We will see. 

(It will also help if the cat decides not to be an arsehold and sit on my keyboard like he did this morning. He really is a little prick at times. )

Today's song: 

 Today's Cards:   

The Enchanted Map Cards: The Sacred Pool

Archetype Cards: The Advocate

Cards Against Humanity:  Alternative medicine is now embracbng the curative powers of...Perfunctory foreplay. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Sausages and Onions

 I'm trawling through my childhood memories, remembering the things my mother used to feed me as a child - and I remembered one of my favourites, another seventies classic: Sausages and Onions. 

We had this at least once a week when I was a kid. 

Red meat was always a big thing in our house. My grandfather was a butcher, so meat was always plentiful - not so much chicken, and rarely pork - but lamb, beef and sausages were standard. I remember as a young child sitting on the bench watching him make sausages - cigarette hanging from his bottom lip, forcing the sausage mix into the casings. It's probably the reason why I've never been squeamish. I get very nostalgic when I walk into a traditional butcher shop or the meat section of the markets. Something about the blood and sawdust smell, I think. 

I always loved sausages and onions, which is really just sausages in onion gravy, which is always served up with mashed potatoes and some veggies. 

The sausages, normally grandpa's ones, which were excellent, were lightly cooked in the big electric frying pan. One or two onions were sliced and added to the mix. Then it was topped off with gravy. Of course, being the seventies, this was made with water and Gravox, with some tomato sauce and Worcestershire Sauce added to the mix for good measure. This was cooked off until the gravy had thickened. 

Now, to get such a meal, you need to go to an accommodating pub, where you'll pay over $20 for some wanky artisan sausages in jus. Not gravy. Jus. 

I just looked up the recipe on Taste.com. It was a convoluted recipe. It calls for red wine and beef stock and flour for the gravy. I do think that there is something to be said for the Gravox and tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Simple. Yummy. Easy to make.

Of course, if I was to make these now, I'd make sure that the onions were cooked through properly and not just wilted. And I'd put an extra dash of Worcestershire in, just for good measure, because Worcestershire sauce makes everything taste better. 

It would be great to make this again. It's a pity it's not a dish that stands up well to single serves. 

Today's song: 

Today's Cards:

The Enchanted Map: Goblins

Archetype Card: Mediator

Cards Against Humanity: What gives me uncontrollable gas? A balanced breakfast. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

I need Spencer

It's been two weeks since I jacked my knee, tripping on the stairs at the gym and landing badly. 

Two weeks on, it's still not a fun propostion. Yes, the leg is weight-bearing and mobile, but it's still aching. I'm waking with a sore leg.

Yes, I'm keeping it strapped. Yes, I'm taking ibuprufen to take away the ache. Yes, I'm trying to keep quiet and not use it too much. Yes, I'm using the bang-bang machine on the surrounding muscles. Yes, I'm applying reiki and massaging my own leg. Although I've put myself down for this 10000 steps a day challenge, I've worked out that rest really is best. The ache this morning was enough to make me take a "flat" day. I haven't been out the front door today, and though I had a training session in the lounge room this evening, Cleo is good at keeping my knee straight - no squats and lunges, lots of deadlifts and kettlebell swings. And thankfully, the leg is feeling okay now. More bang bang machine, more liniment, more massage before bed. Hopefully I wont wake up with an aching leg tomorrow.

But if we weren't in lockdown, I'd be going to see Spencer. Spencer's my injury bloke. A myotherapist. He's the one I go to when I get injured. He sticks pins in me and hooks me up to the tens machine. He rubs and prods and generally makes me scream - but he gets my muscles back on track. 

And we're in lockdown and my bodywork place is closed and I just want to see Spencer. 

Think is, he lives down the road. He has a dog. Part of me thinks I should go hang out at the dog park to see if he'd treat me there. 

Because I'm a bit sick of this - the sore leg, lockdown, the though that it's my birthday next week and we'll still be in lockdown...

I think I'm nearly over it. 

(and the day at home with limited walking means the leg is feels better)

Today's Song: 

Today's card:

Enchanted Map Cards: The Gentle Gardener

Archeteype Card: The Guide

Cards Against Humanity:  WAITING TIL MARRIAGE is a slipper slope that leads to KAMIKAZE PILOTS. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Things they could have asked on the census

Last night was census night, and thankfully, unlike the last census, it appears the Bureau of Statistics has worked out how to do performance testing. 

Unfortunately, the badly defunded Bureau of Statistics also appears to have next to no forsight and have squandered the opportunity the census provides to give us the most vanilla version it could think of. There's no thinking outside the box for this government.

I completed the whole thing in about ten minutes. It felt incredibly lightweight. Once the rigmarole of setting up the account was done, it came down to answering some pretty easy questions. 

  • Name, address, date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Salary
  • Employment status
  • Had I done any unpaid work around the house over the last week or so?
  • Was I a carer?
  • Did I have a disability?
  • What language did I speak at home?
  • Did I identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?
  • Where were my parents born?
Standard stuff. 

But there was a lot of things that either got up my nose, felt like a missed opportunity or felt misguided in it's white privileged shitfuckery. 

First point - are you a male or female. Part of me thinks this doesn't matter, just as I think courtesy titles don't matter. I can't remember if they asked for my courtesy title - but I'm a MS - not a Mrs, not a Miss. Part of me wants to do a PhD so I can be a Doctor and just be done with it. But the male/female thing felt kack-handed when you had to go hunting for the non-binary option. Why not just put the non-binary option out there instead of having to go hunt for it. 

Of, then there's the marital status questions: 

They asked what is your marital status:

Umm... again, I revolt when asked my marital status for a a number of reasons. Yes, I'm single, never married, but what does this have to do with the price of eggs? And what about those who are in loving, committed relationships who live together? Why aren't they counted? I don't get why they need this question. Marriage is an antiquated system where women are bartered as chattel. I don't get why if they want to see what we are doing in the bedroom they could accomodate for other types of relationships. Shacked up. It's complicated. Screwing around. Tinder Trashbag. Mummy issues...

It would have been good to have a question about adult children living at home. Sure, the household questions will show you who is living in a household, but will they say why? No questions about whether you live near your family either. 

Also, there was no questions about if you identify as LGBTQI+. This was the biggest wasted opportunity of the census, but when the Minister in charge of the census is a conservative religious nutbag, what else is going to happen? Many of my LGBTQI+ friends are VERY frustrated by this. Sure, as a cis-gender straight woman this doesn't impact me - but it affects many of my wonderful friends. When you're potentially not gathering information on more than ten percent of the community, that sucks. I complained about this in the census's comments section.  

Another friend was frustrated by the disability questions, saying that unless you were caring for somebody severely disabled, there was no way to be counted.

Somebody else mentioned that the health questions were too scant. 

Another said there should have been something about pet ownership, other than the fact that the Federal Government doesn't give a crap about how may pets we own. 

It just felt like a wasted opportunity to discover more about the nation than just the bare bones. 

But then again, when has this Federal Government gone above and beyond for anybody who isn't a millionaire?

Surely I can't be the only one thinking these things. 

Today's Song: 

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map: Protecting Treasure

Archetype Card: Monk/Nun

Cards Against Humanity: In the new Disney Original Movie, Hannah Montana struggles with    A DECENT FUCKING INTERNET CONNECTION for the first time. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Choose Life

It's been 25 years. How can that be? 

Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh's novel, was turned into an iconic movie, premiered 25 years ago.


I have a copy of Trainspotting kicking around here. I remember reading it on a train on a day trip to Brighton when I got to that awful toilet scene - The worst toilet in Scotland. It's bad enough on the screen - in the book, it's even more horrific. I felt pretty rank for the rest of the trip after reading that. I also remember it took a bit to get into the book's thick Scottish accent. I remember thinking of a Scottish friend, and read the book in my head in her voice. 

I'll always have a soft spot for Trainspotting - both the book and the movie. The escapades of Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and poor Tommy were as daring as they were relatable in a strange kind of way. Of course, you loved to hate Begbie, and curse Diane for, well, being Diane. 

Then there's the soundtrack from the film. Born Slippy was a bit of an anthem of it's day (Shout it, lager, lager, lager, larger...). There's songs by Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Blur, Pulp, New Order and Blondie. 

And there's the absolute hopelessness of being in your twenties and thinking you're bulletproof. 

Thankfully, heroin has never been a part of my life, but at the time this came out, I was doing a little clubbing. Not much, but enough to see what was out there. Enough to know that party drugs weren't really for me. 

Trainspotting caught the zeitgeist of the 90's. Part hedonism, party Post-Thatcher, pre-Blair Britain. It has the greyness of a time on the bring of huge change. The Spice Girls were about to appear, bringing with them the chutzpah of a new era to come.

This was the underworld of a country on the brink of hugh change. 

It contained the humour of the ordinary man. 

It was shocking, and funny and eye opening all at once. 

And I can't beleive it was 25 years ago when this all came out, and I was a part of it.

Today's song: 

Today's Cards:

The Enchanted Map Deck:  Protecting Treasure
Archetype Card: Detective
Cards Against Humanity: Here is the church, here is the steeple. Open the doors and there is...A sick burnout. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

11 p.m. Randomness

When you wake at 11 p.m. after a long day, where you've worked and exercised and read and you fall asleep with your foot curled up next to a sleepting cat, and you realise you haven't done your blog post and you realise you rather be back in bed  with your food curled around the sleeping cat. That's me now. 

And then you realise you have nothing to say. That's me too. 

This is called dedication. Getting up, taking your nice warm foot from the cat's back. Dedication I tell you.

So here is a list of things that went right today:

  1. I've nearly finished knitting another beret. Once finished, this one will be sent to my colleague in Yarraville via the post. Heaven knows when we'll be in an office again. My team members are currently being knitted hats during boring meetings. I'm knitting a hat at the rate of one a week. 
  2. Spring is in the air. Not that I want Spring to be in the air, but it was nice to be walking after work in the twilight without the extra layer. 
  3. The happiest place in the world is the local dog park at twilight. The dogs are SOOOOOO happy. I'll go back and watch them again soon.  
  4. I woke to a cat cuddle this morning. He is very sweet. He comes, sits on my shoulder, snuggles up and purrs for about five minutes. It's only taken him 18 months, but this is now a regular occurence. 
  5. Barnaby Joyce is in lockdown in Armidale for a week. At least he's not drunk in parliament. 
  6. I managed to get the auditing task I needed to finish out of the way at work. . 
  7. After two years, the pinky nail on my left hand has nearly grown back after being decimated by fungus. Nail-Tek antifungus drops are the best. 
  8. I've made my 10000 steps today. I've nearly caught up on the steps I owe for Thursday and Friday. Strapping my knee has made this possible. So has Voltaren gel and ice packs. Walking challenges and a bung knee don't mix that well, but we're getting there
  9. I bought myself a Disney subscription for my birthday so I can finally see Hamilton. So far, I've been catching up on Grey's Anatomy. Go figure. 
  10. And that will do for the day. 
I'll go back to my bed now and curl my foot back around the cat. 

Today's song: 

Today's Cards: 

Enchanted Map Card: Metamorphosis
Archetype Card: The Hermit
Cards Against Humanity: What helps Barack Obama unwind?  Concentual sex. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sunday Stealing: From J. Durward

 Another weekend in lockdown. Very thankful for my bubble buddy who let me cook for her last night, and watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with her. And I went for a walk with walk with Jay, as we're not allowed further than five kilometres (three miles) from the front door at the moment. We also found the local gin distillery selling cups of mulled gin from the front doorstep. Certainly perked up the walk home. 

Questions, as away, supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1.  What is the nearest book to you?  Your Kindle does not count.

I have a large, very full book case behind me. The first book I looked at was George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo. Phenomenal book. 

I could have looked at a couple of hundred other titles, but that's the one I looked at first. 

2.  When was the last time you took a "me" vacation

Oh, that was a while ago. India at the end of 2018 wasn't really a 'me' vacation as I was there for a wedding, and yeah, it's India - not the easiest of travelling - and Hong Kong for the few days after was in the middle of some angry protests. 

So the last 'me' holida I had was my birthday in 2018 - I went to Bali with some friends for my 50th birthday. 

3.  How many telephone numbers do you have?

Two. My mobile (cell) and I do have a landline, but its not connected. I don't use it. 

4.  If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately?

I'd bring back the technical high schools. We used to have them where kids who weren't academic could learn trades. It was a good way to get everybody a fair deal and set the less academic kids up well with life skills. It doesn't happen as much now. 

5.  What's your favorite Olympic event?

I used to love the gymnastics and the diving. Oh, and the dressage - how they make horses do that stuff is beyond me. 

6.  Do you watch the Olympics?

Umm, it's been years since I watched the Olympics - and this time round is no different. A lot of this is because the telecast here is all on digital and getting into these stations is hard on my telly. I also don't like how the current telecast on terrestrial television chops and changes and the commentators are really annoying. 

7.  Who is your favorite sports team player?

I'm really not into sports, but I don't mind Eddie Betts, who used to play for the Crows. He was great. Little, wiry and tenatious. (The Adelaide Crows are my Australian Rules Football team). 

8.  If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why?

Mars - and only because David Bowie's Life on Mars was released 50 years ago and it is still amazing. See the song of the day. If David Bowie was singing about it, it can't be bad. 

9.  When was the last time you sat in a church?

Oh dear? I say that if I walked into a church the place would fall down around me. It's been a number of years. I do remember visiting my cousin in Sydney. Her husband was the minister at St Laurences, a church near Central Station in Sydney where they perform Anglican High Mass. Adrian was leading Mass. I snuck in the back and sat down. I got the nod and the smirk. If it wasn't then, then it was my Uncle's funeral in Canberra which was around that time. 

Strangely, I contacted Adrian this week. He's currently the locum dean at St Peters Cathedral in Adelaide. I asked him if he would give me a tour next time I was in town. I want to visit their Black Madonna. 

I miss living in England. I love their old churches. For somebody who is not a Christian, indeed, I'm not religious at all, you'd find me in a lot of churches. I love the history of these places. 

10.  Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you?

Not really. It is a bit of a challenge writing every day. And I know I write crap. 

11. Have you ever gone to a party and snooped in the medicine cabinet?

Yes, but only because I was in need of an asprin/paracetamol/bandaid/mouthwash. But I'm more likely to be found in front of the party-giver's book shelves or judging them for their drinks trolley. 

12.Do you watch reality TV?

In a very limited way, yes. I do watch Married at First Sight, and I don't mind The Block and Masterchef, but that is about it. 

13.  How many people can you call who have known you since you were in school?

Other than my family? One or two people. There are a lot of people I still talk to from university, but school, not so much. 

14. Who, when, and where was your first kiss?

Ergh, this questions. Let me se, it was Simon, my first boyfriend. I was sixteen. It happened in front of the fire in the lounge room. Australian Crawl's Reckless was playing . That's enough information. 

15. You just got thrown out of your country.  Where do you want to become a citizen?

If I had my way I'd already have a British passport, but I'd be very happy to immigrate to New Zealand or Canada. New Zealand is a more compassionate Australia and Canada just looks amazing. 

Today's song: 


Today's Cards:

The Enchanted Map:  Wishing Well

Archetype Cards: The Miser/Midas

Cards Against Humanity: What's a girl's best friend? Completely unwarranted confidence.  

Saturday, August 7, 2021

The Hemingway Chair

Have you ever irrationally wanted something, even though you know it's not practical, and it will be a pain in the arse to arrange to get it and really it isn't something you need. 

Well, I call this the Hemingway Chair. 

My friend, Millie, has this chair, and I have coveted it since I saw it. Part armchair, part chaise, it's the perfect reading chair. 

For me, it was love at first sight. 

I made the comment at the time, some eight or nine years ago, that if she ever wanted to get rid of this chair, ask me, I'd probably take it off her. 

The message came through last night. Did I want her Hemingway Chair? 

Yes!!!! It has a broken leg, but broken legs can be fixed. I'd also have to find a way to get it from her place in the Middle Eastern suburbs, down a few flights of stairs, to my place in the Inner City, and up two flights of stairs. 

Then I have to find a place to put it. It's an opportunity to clean up the spare room. At the moment, the spare room is the place where shoes go to die and clothes  go there to dry. I could set up a proper home office... I could make it a writing studio, with the perfect reading chair. I could do lots of things. 

And there is the matter of getting the leg fixed. 

And to find somebody to collect the chair and bring it here and up two flights of stairs.

And there's the matter of sorting out the spare room. 

But I want it. Because in my little dreams, I have always wanted a reading chair like this, and I love Millie for offering this to me. 

So if anybody knows of a removalist who might have capacity for a quick job, and a handyman who can fix furniture, please let me know. It won't be until after lockdown has ended. But there it is. 

I'm hating my current impracticality, but there are times you just have to say yes, and I have covetted this piece of furniture for years. 

I've never felt like this about a chair. It's stupid, but sometimes you have to say yes. 

Today's Song: 

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map: Coming Apart

Archetype Card: Beggar

Cards Against Humanity: The said we were crazy. They said we couldnt put...EMOTIONS... inside of... A BALL BY BALL COMMENTARY FROM RICHIE BENAUD... They were wrong. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Cheese Savouries

The glory that is Facebook reminded me of another seventies food craze which has gone from out vernacular. The humble cheese savory, also know as savoury toast in Tasmania. 

On reposting the link to a video of the said wonderfood being made, there was a lot of traffic on my account. "Oh yes!", "They're the best." and "I'd forgotten about them. Those and a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup on a cold winter's night are the absolute bomb."

My sister says she still makes them regularly. 

My mother said she took some to a pot luck a few month ago. (I gave my mother my secret to put luck events - take fairy bread - it goes down a treat for all ages - for my not Australian readers, think cake sprinkles (100s & 1000s) on very fresh white bread and butter. )

Me, I just tend to put a bit of Worcestershire Sauce on my cheese on toast rather than make up a batch of this wonder stuff - joys of living alone, you find ways to cut corners. 

The other biff that came out of this was where the bacon goes. It appears the Tasmanians mix in the baconm finely diced, with the cheese mix, while me, being South Australian, place the bacon in a strip on the top. Swings and roundabouts. As a child, the best thing about these was pulling off the bacon and eating the toast second. And I liked them a bit crisper, not soggy, 

I called Mum tonight to get her recipe for cheese savouries (or savoury toast, if you come from Tasmania), which, in my mind, are a highlight of my childhood - along with crumbed chops, roast lamb and spaghetti bolognese made out of mince, an onion and a tin of Campbell's tomato soup. In my family, they only ever have white bread (says she who has half a loaf of multigrain gluten free bread in the freezer). I think of white bread and I always think of my family. My choice of bread, which is not white bread, makes me a bit of an outcast. 

Now we just have to get out of lockdown so I can have people over to make them. 

Here's Mum's recipe, with notes. 

Cheese Savouries (South Australian style)

1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese (bog standard tasty cheedar works well, vintage is good too)

30 grams of melted butter

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce (I say 2 tablespoons, even a bit more)

1 egg, well beaten

A pinch or two of Cayenne pepper. 

Bacon - streaky works well for this. 

White bread, preferably fairly fresh. 

Butter to butter the bread. 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. 
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. (If you're Tasmanian you'd mix in the diced bacon at this stage, but I'm not Tasmanian, just a Tasmanian who can swim)
  3. Butter 6-10 slices of fresh white bread. 
  4. Spread the mixture on the buttered bread in a thick paste. 
  5. As a South Australian, we cut the bread into soldiers and lay a strip of bacon on top. 
  6. Bake the cheese savouries for about 15 minutes or until they go brown. 
Best enjoyed in front of the fire on a Sunday night with a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup, and a cat to pat and a mug of steaming hot Milo, after you've had a bath and while Countdown is on the telly.

Today's song: 

Today's Cards: 

The Enchanted Map: Stuck in the Mud

Archetype Card: Angel

Cards Against Humanity: Crikey! I've nver seen....WHITE PEOPLE.. like ths before. Let's get a bit closer. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

See you next Tuesday

 It could be ten, but then again, I can't remember half an hour since a quarter to four.

Throw on your clothes, the second side of Surfer Rosa, and you leave me with my jaw on the floor.

I feel a bit like the guys on the treadmill. We don't seem to be going very far at the moment as we go into Lockdown 6.0. If this was a movie we'd have the tagline, "Yes, we're over it, but at least we're not Sydney. "

I love that the OK Go song mentions my most favourite album ever, Surfer Rosa by The Pixies. The second side of the album has songs like Where is my Mind and Vamos. 

Just when you think that you're in control,

just when you think that you've got a hold,

just when you get on a roll,

here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again.

Oh, here it goes again.

I should have known,

should have known,

should have known again,

but here it goes again.

Oh, here it goes again.

Yes, OK Go have it right. Here we go again. 

So I'm home. I was home at 8.05 pm, after going for a session with Cleo and stopping in a the shops to collect a knee brace as it's time to bind this up to try get the bugger really better. It hurts if I walk for too long, and I can't have this. 

Am I surprised we've gone back to lockdown? 


Do I think they're doing the right thing?

As most of the population isn't vaccinated and if you get this bastard disease, there's a one in 200 chance of dying if you're not vaccinated. Yeah, I'd rather people not die. Thankfully, I'm fully vaccinated. 

And I have a job I can do from home.

And a cat to keep me company. 

And a bubble buddy to visit over the weekend. 

And a personal trainer who has loaned me a kettle bell so we can work out online next week. 

And a there's a  novel to write....'

And the opportunity to go to a workshop last weekend. 

It is what it is. 

And my goals for this lockdown. Lockdown 6.0, as it is good to get these out the way. 

Wear my new t-shirt to work and have the camera on in a meeting and see if anybody notices. It reads "See you next Tuesday". It's even better than my "Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come" hoodie. Extra points if I get caught knitting during a meeting. Sneaky knitting is a good thing. Reminds me, I need to get a 4.5 circular needle to start the next project. 

Drink two litres of water a day. 

Watch a movie with my bubble buddy. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or Whiplash could be goers. 

Do the August Furious Fiction challenge (and not leave it to pen on Sunday night)

Finish the masons books. 

Get my tax documentations ready for Mr H&R Block. 

And listen to Surfer Rosa again. It's a very fine album. 

It's good to have some goals.


Lyrics: OK Go, Here it goes again. 

Today's song: 

Enchanted Map Cards: Peaks of Joy

Archetype Card: The Liberator

Cards Against Humanity: I have 99 problems, but   NEW AGE MUSIC... aint one of them.