Monday, October 31, 2022

November Challenges

 This evening's challenge is trying to get anything done when there is a needy cat wanting to be played with. After belly rubs and letting him chase after his feather stick for half an hour, then let him do skiddies while chasing the red dot, I've been released. I tried to write this earlier, but his lordship was clawing at my leg. He's being needy, God love him.

Anyway, I'm setting myself a couple of challenges for November. 

Firstly, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. 50,000 words over the month of November. Or around 1700 words a day.

It's time. 

Second challenge is to do the 20 Classes in November challenge at the gym. Attend 20 classes, get put in the draw for a decent prize. Want to give it a try. Again, it's time to go back to this fitness thing and really show what my 54-year-old body can do. It means fitting in the odd CORE and Body Attack class on top of pump. Besides, endorphins make me happy.

And as it's Pump class at 9.15 tomorrow (on a public holiday - how rude) I best be off. 

Today's song:

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Stealing: There are no questions

 It appears that for the first time in about ten years, no Sunday questions have been set. The inimitable Bev at Sunday Stealing ended up in hospital and has had computer issues and because of this, no questions have been set. 

I'm wishing Bev a speedy recovery and the end to her computer woes. 

So, what am I going to write about?


Heading off to a barbeque in a bit and there's a salad I need to make. 

There's also some knitting gear I need to find as I think there is a chance I'll be teaching a six-year-old how to knit at the barbeque. She was keen last time I saw her at a barbeque. 

The washing is on the line. After a week of rain, it's nice to have a good drying day. From tomorrow, the rain comes back. the joys of Spring.

Regardless, there are no questions to answer, so I'm getting a day off. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Movie Review: Bros

Movie number 37 of 2022

Movie: Bros

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

I was in the mood for a film. Something light and funny. Something a bit different. Something accessible. 

I chose Bros for a couple of reasons. Mainly, it was: 

  • Being touted as a romantic comedy
  • And a New York story
  • And my friend Damo wrote an article in The Conversation about it, which piqued my interest. 

So, I went into this knowing it was a romantic comedy, where the two leads were gay men. 

As a romantic comedy, this really works. 

Bobby (Billy Eichner) is a Podcaster who's also trying to get a LGBTQI+ museum up and running. A New York Jew, he's self-aware, a little self-hating and quite okay with his single status, though he's dating - and if he really digs deep, he's not that happy. (A, joy, Grindr...)

Out one night, he meets Aiden (Luke MacFarlane) a hot, seemingly basic lawyer, who's also not into commitment, but oh, hell, he likes Garth Brooks' music.

And then it follows a normal romantic comedy trajectory, where the two initially don't like each other, but then work out they do, only to settle down for a bit, before falling out, and then, realising all of the things they'd done wrong, get back together after a big production number spells out their feelings for each other. 

In other words, this is pretty much a Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry met Sally - but with gay men as the focus. 

And you know, it works wonderfully. 

Yes, there were quite a lot of in jokes about the "alternate lifestyle", but what makes this a good romantic comedy is that you quickly end up caring for Bobby and Aiden. They're nice people. You want them to do well together. 

It was also great to see a movie about gay love where the characters aren't tragically tortured (think Brokeback Mountain or Boys Don't Cry).  This is delightfully light and fluffy. The only torture going on is the self-imposed self-doubt going on in Bobby's mind (Aiden has a bit of it too). 

And like all good rom-coms, it makes New York look pretty, and everybody lives in places they could never afford and it's just a bit of light fantasy. It's just that this one is queer inclusive. 

Unfortunately, few will see this film. It's a solid romantic comedy. As a closet lover of the genre, it ticked a lot of boxes and kept me entertained. 

And Luke Macfarlane is lovely to look at - gay, straight, pastafarian - I don't care. 

Today's song: 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Theatre Review: Cyrano

 The Play: Cyrano

The Theatre: Melbourne Theatre Company - Southbank Theatre

The run: Ends 29 October

Stars: A very solid 4.5

I have been looking forward to this one for two years. Originally, it was supposed to show in the 202 MTC season, but we all know what happened then. Even more unfortunately, Melbourne went into lockdown the day before this play premiered. 

And then, there was this:

It was on the ABC in the middle of lockdown. This soliloquy got me in the gut, and the heart. And yeah, I was sold. (As I found out tonight, this was the final speech of the play). Then we had to move the tickets because I had something on. Then I got COVID. So, we were lucky to be able to change our tickets - and all was right with the world. Jay wasn't as enthusiastic about this, having seen a number of versions of Edmond Rostand's play and never liking it that much. 

I'm glad we made it, because I would be KICKING myself if I missed this. 

What Virginia Gay has done in this has completely reworked Cyrano, giving it a queer, post-modern twist AND a happy ending. It is most wonderful. Traditionally, Cyrano is run through with a sword at the end. This was much nicer. 

For those unaware of Cyrano, here's what the programme says about it:

"Cyrano is the most interesting person in any room – a wordsmith, a charmer, a ruthless fighter. She works twice as hard and runs twice as fast as any of the pretty boys, because she’s deeply ashamed of something about herself. Enter Roxanne: brilliant, beautiful Roxanne – a student of life, with a penchant for poetry and a way with words, just like Cyrano. But Roxanne doesn’t like Cyrano … not like that. She’s only got eyes for Yan: hot, manly Yan; all-brawn-and-no-brains Yan, who is dumbstruck around Roxanne. Probably shy, right? But it’s not Yan writing these perfect love scenes, it’s Cyrano …"

This is a very funny play, filled with breaks in the fourth wall, very minor audience participation, in jokes, jibes and a general mirth which is infectious. 

Virginia Gay is most wonderful as the eloquent, yet bashful Cyrano. Tuuli Narkle a sparkling Roxanne, who calls out the crap better than anybody. Claude Jabbour is solid as Yan, the meatheaded soldier in love with Roxane - the body of a Greek sorry, slash that, Lebanese God, who was most put out when I found out he was just a fat Chris Pratt (see, in jokes). Then there was the Chorus, Holly Austin, Robin Goldsworthy and Milo Hartill, who act as a conscience and a comic relief for the show (not that the play needs comic relief - the play's hilarious).

Sarah Goodes direction is fast paced, soulful and holds just the right amount of pathos to balance out the breakneck comedy. 

What also had me was the audience. Being an MTC subscriber, I'm used to seeing the grey-haired arty set in the auditorium. Cyrano has managed, in its six-week run, to become the hottest ticket in town. The audience was a lot younger - and a lot more diverse - but what would you expect from a play about acceptance and inclusion after a queer reworking. 

Unfortunately, it only has one more day to run - tickets are harder to get than unicorn poo. 

I'm just miffed I didn't see this earlier. If I had, I'm pretty sure I would have picked up another ticket and gone again. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

NaNoWriMo Planning

 NaNoWriMo starts on Monday. 

NaNoWriMo you ask? National Novel Writing Month. 

The aim is to get 50,000 words written in the month of November. Or 1,667 words a day. It's not always about quality, but quantity - and as I'm finding out, to write a novel of around 100,000 words, you probably need to write around a millions words, then cut them down. 

It's time I've got myself back into this novel. I've got a plan to get a first draft out by the time this alleged Writer's Retreat in Paris. In want this to be the pay off. 

So - How do you plan to write 1667 words a day?

So far, after going through a couple of versions of this book,  I've found that I'm not great at writing linear plots.

I'm also not bad at writing short storries. 

So maybe this is a way through. 

I've got my characters. Faith - my protagonist, Laz, the antagonist/love interest, Harry, her best friend and Mo, an old friend with whom she has a difficult relationship. 

I know what has to happen.

It's now getting to the filler. 

So maybe I should assign myself a short story on similar themes each day. 

So, here are 30 things I can write about for this book:

  1. The contents of Faith's fridge.
  2. Finding her way around the neighbourhood
  3. A bit of history with Mo
  4. Faith and her indoor plants
  5. A bad case of buyer's regret
  6. 10 boring things about Faith and her current predicament
  7. Faith's guilty pleasure
  8. Faith on her marriage
  9. Loving Laz
  10. Faith in her 20s
  11. What Faith likes to wear. 
  12. What is Faith saying Yes to when she really should be saying no.
  13. What Faith loves about herself. 
  14. Faith and her current practicalities. 
  15. Faith trying to rehome her cat.
  16. What happens when you put Mo and Laz in the same room. 
  17. Faith and finding a partner
  18. Faith's most favourite part of the world.
  19. What Faith wished she did differently                           
  20. Faith going shopping
  21. What's a day like for Faith when she's working. 
  22. The worst day of Faith's life. 
  23. How Faith and Harry when they were young. 
  24. What Faith does to irritate Mo. 
  25. How Lax, Harry and Mo react to Faith's predicament
  26.  What is Faith's worst fear. 
  27. How is Faith planning this stage of her life. 
  28. Faith and her doula, Debbie.
  29. Things that Faith never thought of before she came in this predicament
  30. What Faith really thinks about life. 
See, how hard can it be?

Today's song:

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Walking in the Rain

 Nothing tests your health more than something impromptu after being ill.

The call came around just after six. Was I doing anything? Nope. Feel like a walk? Why not.

After a full week off exercise, the thought of going for a decent walk felt like a good thing to do. That the COVID didn't get into my lungs, even better. And that the lingering tiredness, though still there, is starting to abate - it was worth giving a walk a go. 

And besides, it was my old boss calling, in town with work. She was up for a walk too. I gave her directions to get out my way. Half an hour later, I collected her from the tram stop, in my possession, two umbrellas, which were needed as it pissed down for much of the walk. But it didn't matter - it was a warmish night - what's a bit of water?

Other that it was great to see my old boss, it was equally wonderful to go for a walk along the soggy Yarra tow path. Very few people were around, due to the time and the weather. 

The river has been up high. I was shocked to see the amount of detritus hanging off the low branches. 

The Walmer Street Jetty, where I've been known to sit and have lunch on a good day, is underwater. With all the rain that's about, it's understandable. The tow path was showing evidence of flooding, although the paths were clear. 

We walked for a good hour, having a great catch up. I haven't seen her since I left my last job. A quick trip to the supermarket, the last short distance home, a quick check on the cat (for my old boss had seen a lot of Lucifer's arse over the years over zoom - she wanted to see his face) and I ran her back to her hotel. 

Two great things about the night - firstly, it was lovely to catch up with an old friend. And secondly, I've bounced back from the worst of that wretched disease. 

Back to the gym tomorrow night. 

Winning all round, really. 

Today's song: 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Bahn Mi Dreaming

 Lunch was a pork bahn mi. Didn't want to cook. Didn't feel like salad. Wanted something that might cut through the cardboard and metal taste which is still in habiting my mouth (thanks COVID). Wanted something cheap and easy and vaguely healthy. 

The other thing which was needed was access to about 20 grams of sugar. Being the day the kombucha tank is bottled, the sweet tea replaced along with the scoby, my sugar reserves were low. I was just that little bit short. 

Joe at the bakery is a good lad. They know me there. I pop in for coffee regularly. 

But I changed my order. I'd go for a roast pork Bahn Mi instead of chicken. And then, I asked in my nicest voice, if I could possibly buy half an espresso cup of sugar - explaining I was cooking something, and I'd come up a little short. Joe, the love gave me the sugar, free of charge. Nice man. 

But the banh mi. Oh, the bahn mi. Sure, this is the bakery which is the newest on the block - it's not the one I normally go to for chicken bahn mi. The rolls, though fresh, aren't quite as crispy.

But the pork!

Oh my goodness. What is it with Chinese roast pork? Those flavours of Chinese Five Spice, Hoi Sin, garlic and who knows what else, all mixed in with pate, butter, a little bit of chilli, along with some cucumber and lightly pickled carrots and a stalk of coriander. 

Utter bliss.

But now I'm thinking, could I make my own? How hard can it be? Looking at the recipe, it looks pretty easy. Hoisin sauce, Chinese Five Spice, garlic, honey. Mix, heat and marinade. I think this might have to be done. 

Life is too short not to have bahn mi in your life. 

Today's song:

Monday, October 24, 2022

Book Review: Love and Virtue

 The Book: Love and Virtue

The Author: Diana Reid

Stars: 4

It's book group tomorrow night, and I've fielding the questions for the night. And here I was with COVID brain thinking that this book group book might have some questions online so I wouldn't have to think. 


So, I'm here to try and work out what I feel about this book, which I finished this evening, just in time, for our monthly meeting. 

So, what it's about. The Ultimo Press website provides the following blurb: 

"Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular – the other uncertain and eager-to-please. But something happens one night in O-week – a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.

Initially bonded by their wit and sharp eye for the colleges’ mix of material wealth and moral poverty, Michaela and Eve soon discover how fragile friendship is, and how capable of betrayal they both are."

The book looks at so much more than this - entitlement, power, wealth, gender politics, consent. It also begs the reader to ask a lot of questions of themselves. What would you do in the same situation? Who owns a story? What makes a friend? And how can you change the establishment?

For me, there were a few elements of the book that were a little triggering, but a lot of this was me seeing a younger version of myself in Michaela being fish out of water - in her case, the kid from out of town at the college on a scholarship. In my case, I was a very young 17-year-old with her first taste of freedom. Also, having lived three years at a university college, I could recognise some of what was going on. Thankfully, the college where I lived was co-ed and had a better environment that those of the colleges in the book. (It was also over 30 years ago and things change).

The depictions of college life, from what I remember, was pretty bang on. I'm unsure whether the author has lived at a college or obtained her material from The Red Zone Report. Thankfully, when I was at college, things weren't as extreme as what was described in the book. Nor was there social media (thank goodness). 

But what did I think about this book? 

I think the questions that came for me was were why Michaela and Eve were friends. I found the latter deeply unpleasant - an entitled wanker if you ask me. 

Also, who owns a story? And what rights do you have with that story?

And of course, there are the murky lines of consent - and those questions of what would you do in the same situation?

Yes, I'm being obtuse here as there's a lot to unpack here and I don't want to give too much of the story away. I did a bit of eye rolling at Michaela and some of her decisions, but then again, at 18, who doesn't make some bad choices?

There were not that many likeable characters in the book either. Eve gave me the shits, and a lot of the St Thomas's boys melded into a lump of entitled shit heads who were going to end up as investment bankers. 

But would I recommend this book? Yes. Some have called Diana Reid an Australian Sally Rooney. She's definitely on the mark with her themes of friendship, consent and storytelling. In some ways, this book comes as a bit of a warning as to what can happen when elite institutions remain unchallenged.

The writing is also very good. 

It's worth a look. 

Thankfully, I've found some questions for tomorrow after a bit more digging. They're not quite the questions I'd been asking, but they will have to do.  

Today's song:

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Dare to Tell

I'm coming out the other side of COVID, thank goodness - that's about all I've talked about for the last few days and I'm over it. Thankfully, the RAT tests are now reading negative and I'm officially out of quarantine on Tuesday (though I did make it through the McDonald's drive through for a coffee a bit earlier). It is what it is. The things you pick up on knitting camp...

Today's questions have come from Kwizgiver as Bev from Sunday Stealing has a computer which is still out of action. 

What type of day are you having? 

Fair to middling. It's the first day since Thursday where I have put real clothes on, not just pyjamas. I'm even wearing a bra. Joys of COVID. 

Was there anyone who "made your day"?

Not yet. The girl at the McDonalds drive through window might have made my day if they had decaf (it seems McDonalds no longer stocks decaf coffee - my only reason to go there) I'm having a chat with Geetangeli in a bit, and I have an online writing workshop online a bit later. They might make my rather boring day a lot brighter. 

Are you liking how you look today? 

I'm not really. I have on an old t-shirt dress - but I feel washed out. This is Day 5 of COVID - it's to be expected that everything feels a bit meh. You don't have to get dressed up to binge watch The Great British Bake-Off. 

Have you ever eaten a bug? 

Yes, but not intentionally. 

Are you vegetarian? 

No. I do try and eat a lot of vegetarian food. I've taken on Meat-Free Monday as a thing in my life. But I'm too fold of ethically sourced meat. And I like eggs, and cheese. I could never be a vegan. 

When was your last paycheck? 

Last Wednesday. Thankfully, I get paid weekly. 

How many pets do you have? 

I am owned by one large, stroppy black cat named Lucifer. I am his slave. I sprinkle him with love. He gives me side eye. Everybody should know what it is to be owned by a cat. You don't own a cat. The cat owns you. It's something you learn to live with. 

What kind of toothpaste do you use? 

Whatever is on special at the supermarket - Normally Colgate Whitening. 

Are you closer to being rich or poor? 

It depends on how you define rich and poor. I'm really in the middle. I'm not poor. I'm not rich. I'm okay - and that feels good. I'm rich in some areas of my life, poor in others. 

What was the last gift someone gave you? 

Well, somebody on knitting camp gave me COVID - that was nice of them... I was also gifted a really lovely hat made on knitting camp by one of the knitters. Oh, and Jay bought round some ice cream and lemonade the other day - all in sympathy for the COVID. That was very nice of her. 

Do you appreciate that person? 

I don't appreciate the person who gave me COVID, but we have no idea who that person was, so that is a moot point. I do appreciate Jay and Ros, the person who gave me the hat. 

Did you talk to anyone you didn't like today? 

No, not as yet. Can't see why this is a question. 

Do you like picnics? 

Not really. Sitting on the ground, eating, then there's the sunburn, the ants, the children. Too much effort for too little reward. 

What book are you currently reading? 

I'm nearly finished two books. 

On audiobook I'm nearly done with Maggie O'Farrell's This Must Be The Place - and it is freaking AWESOME. She's incredible. 

On paper, I'm reading Diana Reid's Love and Virtue, which is great, but triggering in places. I was in a university college - I've seen a lot of this in some scenarios. Great book too. 

What song did you last listen to? 

Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place. Followed on from reading the book. Love Talking Heads. 

How many tabs are open on your computer? 

Seven. Too many. Should close a few. 

Are you a very stressed out person?

Generally, no - but like everybody, I have my moments. (See today's song - see what I've done :) )

Today's song: 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Small Things from Captivity

 You have to find your jollies where you can when you're stuck inside. 

Saying that, I took my rubbish down to the bins earlier - that was fun. Stella dropped off some RAT tests, so there's a bit of human contact - she also caught the dreaded spicy flu at knitting camp so it's not like I'm going to give it to her. 

I'm struggling to find something to photograph for my black and white photo of the day. Today it was a collection of my knitting implements. It's got down to that. Life is that dull. 

Thankfully, my appetite is returning. I had crumpets and honey for breakfast - I'm craving those simple childhood foods - beans on toast, eggs - those sorts of things. 

I can't eat crumpets without thinking of a Dutch friend of mine who always referred to crumpets and "grumpets". I call them grumpets in my head, with a smile, as they are under the griller. 

My daily French lessons are going well. If I'm going to manifest this trip to Europe next year I'll need to keep up the French lessons. 

And thankfully, I've just done a RAT test on myself - it's come back clear - but I don't know if I've got the energy to do anything about this. I'm going to play the game and stay quiet for a few more days. RATs aren't overly reliable. But it's something. 

And the cat is being extra cuddly. 

At least I'm on the mend. And The Great British Bake-Off is keeping me company. 

It's the little things. 

Today's song: 

Friday, October 21, 2022

What they don't tell you about COVID

 So, this COVID thing is an all-body experience.

I'd been told about the exhaustion - which is evident. For this, I was prepared. 

I'd known about the loss of taste and smell. Everything tastes like a mix of cardboard and metal. It's dreadful, but after four days, that seems to be getting a bit better, thank goodness. 

Of course, there are the sore throats, headaches and muscle aches. I missed the headaches, and the other two have been minor.

There's the cough - which mine is not bad at all. My lungs feel pretty clear. 

What's got me is how this has affected my guts. 

Not wanting to eat is one thing - and why would you want to, when all food feels like you're eating a cardboard box?

It's the constant, up-there-with-bowel-prep runs which caught me off guard. Most of the last 36 hours has been spent on the loo. Thankfully, there was some Imodium in the back of the bathroom cabinet, but has only just started to slow things down. You don't dare fart off of the loo. That would be a recipe for disaster. 

It is, quite literally, shit. 

But it's day two of the anti-viral medication - and that seems to have helped. 

I've barely left the couch - and that's okay. 

For the first time, I did my grocery shopping online. That's coming sometime tomorrow afternoon, not that I feel like eating any of it. 

And yeah, I seem to be coming out the other side of this now. 

That half of the rest of knitting camp have caught this makes me feel a little bit of camaraderie. Thankfully, all are doing okay as well. 

Looking forward to when I don't have to talk about COVID - but as I've been nowhere, or done nothing, I don't have anything else to write about. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Cat is looking after me

 Actually, Lucifer wants his bed back.

He's been checking up on me. (He's a lovely boy)

I've barely left bed or the couch. It's not the cough. It's not the headache. It's not the all over aches and pains. It's not the slightly queasy stomach or bout of the runs. 

It's the abject exhaustion that COVID supplies. 

It's fucked. 

The antivirals were started today. Here's hoping they sort this out. 

In the meantime, I'm going back to bed, wrangling the bed back from the big black critter with the big eyes - who is being a gem. My friends are being wonderful with offers of help too. And I thank them for it. 

Today's song: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Sod this for a game of soldiers

I have COVID. 

Fuck it. 

Okay, the good things: 

  • I'm not majorly unwell. If these were pre-COVID times, I'd be going into work.
  • Everything I was doing for the next week has been postponed or cancelled. 
  • The MTC moved our Friday theatre tickets out until next Friday.
  • I did a big shop yesterday. 
  • I don't want to eat, so keeping to the diet is easy.
  • I've got a doctor's appointment for tomorrow lunchtime. 
  • Friends are being marvelous with offers of stuff. 
On the not so good side of things:
  • Everything tastes like a mix of cardboard and metal
  • I'm low on energy.
  • Concentrating is a bit hard.
  • And I'm bloody grumpy. I've been grumpy for a few days. 
The thing is, we don't have to isolate any more. But I'm going to keep to myself until this is clear. There's a newborn baby next door and my downstairs neighbour is immuno-compromised. If I do end up going outside, I'll be wearing a mask. 

Hopefully I don't get too much crooker.

Stella, who was on the knitting camp also has it, so I think I know where it came from. 

I think the doctor will be putting me on antivirals. We'll see. I was told that if I get it to call her. I've done that.

All will be well. 

And for the moment, I'm going to watch Derry Girls from bed. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


 My last meeting finished at 3.30 p.m.

Working from home, you can take breaks. I went and lay down with the cat just after this, because a five-minute lie down with the cat is a nice thing to do. 

I woke at 5.45...

I don't sleep during the day unless I'm poorly. 

I've got no energy. 

My mouth feels like the bottom of a cockies cage. 

And I think I'm getting sick. 

It's not COVID - I've done a rat test (because there's the occasional cough - but it's not often)

I've taken some panadol and a antihistamine to cover the bases. 

And I'm going to bed. 

Hoping I feel normal tomorrow. I've got a bit of work to make up. And I haven't been sick for three years. I don't want to be sick. 

Today's song:

Monday, October 17, 2022

Pandora dreams of Paris

 Pandora rêve de Paris. (Pandora dreams of Paris).

Elle a dit qu’elle n'y reviendrait jamais sans partenaire. (She said she would never return there without a partner). 

Mais, elle adore Paris. (But she loves Paris) Elle adore la Paris dans automne. (She adoress Paris in Autumn). Elle aime les feuilles sur le sentier (She loves the leaves on the footpath). Elle adore les couleurs de la ville, La Seine, le Metro, et les petits cafés avec les chaises en osier (She loves the little cafes with the wicker chairs). 

Elle veut revenir. (She wants to return). 

I've been to Paris twice.

Once in 1993, when I spent about a week there after leaving London for the first time. I remember roaming the streets with a Quebecoise girl whose English was as bad as my French. But we got on well, having met at the hostel at which we were both staying, and it was good to have somebody to roam the streets with. 

The second time I was in Paris was in around 2001. I went with an old friend. He'd lived there before and found it all terribly boring. After the second day I said I'd go a wandering and I'd meet up with him for dinner. We did things at a different pace. 

And I swore then and there that I would never return to Paris unless I was there for work or going with a partner. 

But something else has been floated - the possibility of going over as a part of a group - a writer's retreat (read possible tax deductions) Five days in Paris, five days somewhere in the country - possibly Provence. I also have a friend in Brittany, up near Mont St Michel, which I have always wanted to visit. I've also got friends down near the Swiss border. I'm sure they might like a quick visit - maybe. 

Anyway, I've been mulling this over since the idea of a writer's retreat in France was floated. I've been wanting to get back to Europe for a month or so - it's well overdue. Just the thought of having a base where there are some people to have dinner with at the end of the day - to see bits of the city I've missed on my two short visits (of which there is bucket loads). The thought of meandering around the Left Bank, or visiting Oscar Wilde at Le Pere Lachaise, or...

The Today Show was running a competition - flights and accommodation and spending money for a week in Paris. 

I duly entered it. You never know - have to be in it to win it and all that. And in the meantime, I'll keep up with my daily online French lesson thanks to Duolingo. 

In the meantime, I might see how I can make this writer's retreat happen. It's good to have a goal. 

Today's song:

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Notes from Knitting Camp

 Some quick take aways from my weekend away. 

1. People who like fiddling with yarn are pretty excellent people. 

2. Hanging out with friends of friends seems to be a good thing too. I went to knitting camp knowing the organiser (the amazing Absolute Purler) and my friend Stell. Also on the camp was Absolute Purler's Mum, Roz - who's just marvellous, Stell's Mum, Lizzie, Purler's mate, Celia - with whom I was sharing a room, and a couple of women from the Hand Knitter's Guild of Victoria. All were stellar people. Very easy company. 

3. My weekend was spent mostly sewing up the jumper I've been working on for three months. (I bought the yarn in Bendigo on 17 July - three months later, I have a jumper. 

4. Sinking the neckline and sewing up the jumper has to be the worst part of making a jumper. 

5. I went to knitting camp with four balls of wool. I came back with this stash. 

6. Do not ask how much I spent on yarn this weekend. In my defense, half of the yarn came from the yarn swap table. I have enough yarn to make cat blankets for Blarney's cats. I also bought the wool for a new jumper I want to make. The lovely deep blue balls are mohair - I will find something to do with those. 

7. Life is always a lot nice when somebody feeds you. Ash, our caterer, was as amazing as always. 

8. Going to bed at 2 a.m., at my age, is not recommended. 

9. I have found THE BEST PASTY in Victoria. The Harcourt General Store has probably the best pasties I have tasted outside of South Australia. I'm in awe. They are almost of a South Australian standard. Baked fresh on the premises to a Cornish recipe. I'll be back (the General Store is only open 9-3 most days - be warned. 

10. I learned how to use a swift on the weekend - it helps you ball up your yarn. Very helpful. Quite meditative. 

 A swift and a winder

11. The best way to get your cat to bestow love on you is to leave them with a friend for the weekend. Lucifer was VERY happy to see me. He's even happier to be home. It was his choice to sit in the cupboard for the weekend (but he was eating a drinking and pooing in the correct spot, so all is well.

In all, it was a most excellent weekend, and I would happily do this all again sometime in the future. If you'd like some information about future crafting weekends a way, drop me a line and I'll put you into contact with the appropriate people. 

That I've walked away with a few more friends - even better. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Sunday Stealing: A Bug Sandwich

 I'm still at knitting camp. Because of this, I'm doing the Sunday Stealing questions on Saturday night as I sew up my jumper (jersey / pullover / guernsey) because I've finished the knitting bit. 

Questions have come from Sunday Stealing - Bev's computer is still out of commission, but Kwizgiver is helping out. 

1. You are walking down the road and you look down. There is a bug. Do you step on it? 

No. I'm not into killing things without a reason. If it's a huntsman spider, that is a different matter and I would find a flame thrower. 

2. What is one fantasy that you want to come true more than any other? 

Clive Owen, in the bath, on a cold night. That will do. Thank you very much. 

3. Someone knocks on your door. Do you look out the window to see who it is before you open it? Do you open it regardless of who it is? 

I live in an apartment, and I can't see who is at the door. If they are unexpected, I do look out the peephole. I am a woman who lives alone - it's a safety thing. 

4. Have you ever eaten Play-Doh?

As a young child, yes. 

5. What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon as a child?

I was a Wacky Races and Hong Kong Fooey kid. Still love Muttley. As I got older, I used to love X-Men and 

6. Are you a people watcher? 

Absolutely. It's some of the best sport out there. 

7. I have a bowl of fruit. There are apples, oranges & pears. You help yourself to one. Which one do you choose? 

I'm not really a fruit eater - I'd go an apple at a push - a nice crisp Granny Smith. 

8. What is your biggest pet peeve in the blogging world? 

The occasional weirdo. And people who whine a lot. 

9. What was the last really funny movie you watched?

At the cinema? Two come to mind. The first one was Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Stunning film and very funny in places. Also, and Australian film - How to Please a Woman was very, very funny - and on point. I really enjoyed that. Snickered all the way through it. 

10. What word do you use far too often? 




One of those. 

11. How long do you spend in the shower? 

In the morning, 5- 10 minutes, depending on if I'm washing my hair. In the evening - 2-4 minutes, but that is because I'm rinsing off the day. 

12. What is something that you've never done that you secretly are dying to do?

I'd love to travel around South America. I really want to do that, but it looks like hard work. I'd also like to go back to India - that's something I never thought I was say. 

13. Your favorite flavor of soup is….? 

Roasted pumpkin soup - but I love the sound of Mulligatawny Soup. Haven't had it since I left England - but it is wonderful. 

14. You are sitting on a bench in the park and a bug walks in front of your feet…

As long as it's a little bug, I'd have no problem with it. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

What happens on Knitting Camp

Stays on knitting camp.

And the first rule of knitting camp is you don't talk about knitting camp. 

The second rule of knitting camp is that if you're on knitting camp, you have to knit - or crochet, or some sort of handicraft. 

I’m stitching up my jumper in readiness for sinking the neckline and finishing this large project – finally. Surrounding me is a mob of teachers – well that’s what it feels like – but this is a good thing.

Everybody appears to be lovely.

We’ve been fed – my favourite caterer, Ash, is here. We had Chicken and Chorizo paella for dinner. I made brownies this morning – that was our dessert.

And it is most wonderful to be sitting around with a different group of people with a cup of tea and a brownie having a chat.

But what happens on Knitting Camp, stays on knitting camp.

More tomorrow. I'm sewing up seams. Must get back to it. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The unshiftable earworm

 I have no idea how this ear worm got in my head, but it won't go away. 

I've tried singing the following to get the song out of my head.

There's the old faithful: 

Then there's the most annoying song of the 90's.

And the other most annoying song of the 90s:

I've even tried singing something I heard at the supermarket this morning, which I love, and thought if I ever get married, this will be my wedding song: 

So, what is this unshifting ear worm? It's awful. 

I give you, from the movie, Madagascar II.

Thankfully, Modern English seems to have shifted it now - but I don't dare open that file. It will never go away. 

Circus, afro, circus, afro, polka dot, polka dot, afro...

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Lipstick Chat

 Sometimes, you just have to talk lipstick. 

After working at a company where 90% of the staff were men, and most of the other ten percent were women, many of whom were engineers who didn't want to talk about lipstick. It was hard to talk to the blokes about girlie things. 

Like shopping. Or handbags. 

I'd bring my lunchtime shopping to the blokes to show the guys and their eyes would glaze over. No interest. It's not like working with women where you get to coo over things like lipstick and nail polish and shopping and all things girlie.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes you find a bloke who you talk about these things, but it's rare.

Anyway, yesterday, in a slow moment, I had a search around my work bag - and to my surprise, I found SIX RED LIPSTICKS. Six!!  Most were well loved as well. 

Thankfully I was in with female colleagues who I could appreciate this.

See, for me, lipsticks have a bit of a story.

There's my absolute favourite - the Marc Jacobs Miss Scarlet (Front right). It's nearly worn down to the hilt. I bought it in Sydney years ago and it goes on creamy and stays on. And unfortunately, if I want to replace this, I'll have to go overseas to Europe or America or bribe a friend to bring me another one back - it's not stocked in Australia anymore. 

Then there's two NARS Fire Down Below - which I've been wearing for years. One's unused (Front left) and one which has been worn a bit (Back right) (there is a third one of these which is pretty much worn down to the nub floating around my bathroom). It's the perfect brown-red. Being NARS, it stays on too. 

There's the Clinique Icon Pop (Centre back) which goes on creamy and stays on well. Bought one day in Melbourne when I was going out and I found I'd left my lippy at home. 

(Is it strange that I can remember these things?)

There's a MAC stick in the colour, D is for Danger (Front centre). This was purchased once again when I was in town and heading off to a friend's book launch. This one is a bit different in that it's more plummy than my normal brown-red shade. It's also very matte - it was sold to me by a very camp, overly made-up shop assistant who said it looked good, I believed him. It's now in my work bag. It stays on well, which is always a bonus. 

And last but not least is the only cheapy lipstick - the Chi Chi Corporate Femme (Back left). It's colour is amazing - I've never found better in a supermarket lippy - and it's another firm favourite. 

It's strange, but red lippy makes me happy. 

Bugger what the blokes say. 

Today's song:

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Knitting Camp Prep

 I know what kid's feel like as they are about to go off to camp. 

On Friday, I'm heading off to a weekend crafting retreat - which I've nicknamed Knitting Camp. A couple of my colleagues are quite envious about this. We talk about craft quite a bit. One of the colleagues has her own crafting blog, but that's more about quilting. But they're excited for me. 

So, it's all about getting ready for Friday. I'm sneaking out from work a bit early, dropping the cat at Blarney's on the way out to the retreat which is being held near Bendigo. 

In the meantime, I've got a list of things to do - like the eight-year-on the way to camp. 

  • There's a bag to pack. 
  • I'll take my yoga mat to iron out some of the grumblies while I'm sitting on my bum all weekend. 
  • Earplugs need to be bought as I'm sharing a room with a couple of others. 
  • Brownies to make - as I said I would bring some treaties. 
  • And some gin and tonic - nobody said I couldn't bring my own gin and tonic. 
  • I have to pack my crafting bag - making sure I've got:
    • The right knitting needles
    • Extra yarn
    • Other knitting accouterments like stitch holders and markers. 
    • Scissors
    • Patterns
Oh, and travel laptop so I can go and do a bit of writing at some stage. I also want to try to make it to meditation online on Saturday morning, mainly because we're doing my path and it's a good thing to do. 

And I'll have somebody feeding me - all of the food, with the exception of the high tea, are being served in bowls so we can keep working on our projects. This is most excellent. I don't have to cook for myself. 

Mostly, I will be endeavouring to finish the jumper I'm working on. With any luck, somebody might be there to help me sink the neck in this thing, as I've never worked a raglan sleeve and I'm not sure about doing the neck. But we live and learn. 

Reading this back to myself, it appears that I am just a big, middle-aged nerd. 

Such is life. It's going to be fabulous. 

Today's song: 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Movie Review: The Quiet Girl

 Movie Number 36 of 2022

The Film: The Quiet Girl

The Cinema: The Sun Theatre, Yarraville

Stars: 5

The Quiet Girl is possibly the best film I've seen this year. And yes, this is a big call. 

Blarney and I went to a lunchtime session this afternoon and both of us fell in love with the understated Irish gem.

Based on Claire Keegan's novella, Foster (Keegan is also in the running for this year's Booker Prize) it tells the story of Cait, the younger daughter of a large, dysfunctional family, who is sent to stay with distant relatives over the summer to give her long suffering, pregnant mother a break. When she gets to her relatives, she's looked after by Sean and Eileen Kinsella, older farming folk, who treat Cait with a quiet, steady love and respect. At first, Sean is reticent to have the child stay, but as time goes by, he's won over. Eileen give's Cait her first taste of a settled life. 

Set in the early 80's, The Quiet Girl provides a snapshot into life outside of a family in tatters. For a family with a house where there are no secrets, a secret is uncovered. As Cait begins to blossom, you slowly realise there are going to be no winners at the end of the film. 

Catherine Clinch is incredible as young Cait. She steals every scene with her quiet presences. Carrie Crowley and Andrew Bennett are equally as good as Eileen and Sean, her initially reluctant foster parents. Bennett is particularly good as the taciturn grump with a heart of gold. Blarney said that her reminded her of her own father, who never said much, by you knew from his actions that he loved you entirely. Michael Patric is also great as Cait's real, absent and rather useless father. 

Colm Bairéad's script and direction are superb. Most of this film is in Gaelic with subtitles, which takes nothing away from the film. The cinematography is subtle and beautiful. The sets show Ireland in the 80s with truth. Both Blarney and I commented that we knew the kitchens in which much of the film was set (I also could relate to the milking of the cows and feeding of calves - I was doing the same as Cait at the same age). 

The film is also shown in a box view rather than full screen, which gives it a slightly claustrophobic feel. 

Not surprisingly, this film has been put forward as Ireland's pick for the 2023 Academy Awards in the Best International Film category. 

It deserves every accolade it can find. 

If you have Irish friends, recommend it to them. If you get a chance and are near an art house cinema, search this one out. 

And if you go, take tissues. I cried buckets at the end. 

Today's Song:

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday Stealing: From the meme vault

 Another Saturday night at home - may as well get my Sunday Stealings in early and have an early night. It was an early morning on Saturday morning as I went and did the ParkRun, which is great but it leaves you a bit knackered. 

Anyway, here we go. Questions have been fielded by Bev at Sunday Stealing, who is probably very grateful to have her computer working again. 

What period of history is your favorite to read about?

I'm a lover of Tudor History i.e. Henry VIII, Mary, Elizabeth I and the two World Wars. I just find those eras fascinating. 

What is your favorite genre of fiction?

I tend to read literary fiction. I'll read a bit of crime and chick lit every so often, and my guilty pleasure is romance in the Bridgerton ilk, but don't tell anybody about that. I try and get through a couple of the Booker shortlist each year. 

Do you choose a book by its cover?

Not really. I'll choose my books by the author and the genre, but rarely by the cover. The cover might make me pick it up and have a look at the blurb at the back, but I'm not a sucker for a pretty cover. 

Where do you do most of your reading?

I read in a couple of ways. Physical books are read in my reading chair or curled up on my bed snuggled up to the cat. I also listen to audiobooks, and I always have one or two on the go. 

My reading chair

Without looking, guess how many books are in your TBR pile. Now, look. Were you right?

I'd say there's about 100 books to be read around the house - but in the immediate pile, there's about 20. And yes, I'm right. 

How many movies are on your TBW list?

Far too many of those as well. There are hundreds of movies I'd love to see. Love a good movie. 

What's your favorite genre of movie?

I'm an art house and drama sort of movie goer, but I also love Marvel and rom coms and straight comedies. I'll watch pretty much anything other than horror and bad comedy. 

Do you still go to see movies in the theater?

I see around a movie a week in the cinema - it's still the best way to see films. I went to the movies yesterday. 

You have $10,000 and no strings or obligations for one full day. Where do you go and what do you do?

There are a few things I would and could do. These include:

  • Pay my car off
  • Book a couple of holidays - I could get to Europe on that and do a few weeks over there on ten grand. 
  • If I was in another life I'd probably buy a couple of Golden Retriever puppies.
  • Or get myself a whole new wardrobe. 
I'm very good at spending money. 

How many songs are on your favorite playlist?

I have no idea - around 100 on one I play a lot of the time. 

What method do you use to listen to music (Spotify, iTunes, Pandora...)?

iTunes is my music player of choice - just for pure convenience. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Movie Review: Amsterdam

 Movie Number 35 of 2022

Film: Amsterdam

Theatre: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 4

Reading the review if this film I was a bit concerned if I'd like this or not. The reviews were saying things along the line of "stellar cast but far too over the top," and "Too convoluted for its own good." 

Despite this, I went along, choosing this over the also maligned Don't Worry Darling

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this. It's quirky. It's glorious to look at. I like both of these things

So, the plot, which is, as other reviews will tell you, rather twisty plot. In a nutshell, in the 1930s, three friends witness a murder, are framed for it, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.

Burt Berendson (Christian Bale) is a doctor, who spends his days looking after World War One veterans as the medical board threaten to strike him off is called to do a clandestine autopsy on a General by his old army buddy, Harold Woodman (John David Washington). The General's daughter, Irma (Taylor Swift) thinks something is going on, but before anything can happen, she's taken out in rather dramatic fashion. And this is the jumping off point for a strange journey back to the trenches, and then Amsterdam, where they meet Valerie (Margot Robbie), a strange nurse with artistic urges. 

And looking at this small plot breakdown, I can see why many think this is a hot mess. 

But that's what I loved about this. 

The writer and director, David O Russell is somebody I've always found a bit hit and miss. Silver Linings Playbook, The Hustler and The Fighter were excellent. Joy was awful. 

The think is, I really enjoyed this. It's visually stunning, disturbing in many ways as Berendson's patients are mostly veterans who have been mutilated by the war. Some of this leads to the gallows humour seen throughout the film.

The cast of thousands is also great - Rami Malik as a shady rich businessman, Chris Rock as Harold's best mate, Milton. Robert De Nero as a General known to the trio who's probably going to get them out of trouble. Mike Myers and Michael Shannon as two undercover agents who you don't know whether to trust. And Zoe Soldana as an autopsy nurse who becomes involved in all of this.

Thinking about this, it's all a hot mess, but a very good, rather funny, slightly thought-provoking film about friendship, and love, and family and doing the right thing. 

I'll put a see this at your own risk caveat on this review. Parts of this are a bit confronting - the images of the mutilated soldiers and the autopsy scenes are not going to be everybody's cup of tea - and it does deserve the MA+ rating. 

Yet I found this a really entertaining, rather thought-provoking film, which had its seed from an obscure event in America's history. It's too hard to describe this in a review. 

As I said, see this at your own risk. I loved it, you may not. 

Today's song: 

Friday, October 7, 2022

Massage Night

 Mostly naked, face down, head in a hole, covered by warm towels and getting pummeled. 

It's the best way to spend a Friday evening.

I've reinstated getting a massage every 4-6 weeks in my life. After training as a massage therapist in London many years ago, I know about the benefits of having a regular massage. Being a bit of an exercise junky, it's even more important. Fascial release, stretching, ironing out the sore bits. Massage is restorative. It's good for the soul. 

Strangely, I took up massage all those years ago as a possible out from my dire desk job all those years ago. I still have a desk job. I haven't given a massage in ages although my massage table is still sitting in the spare room. I've done the odd reflexology session and ear candling session on it. 

I miss it. 

And if I'm being really honest, I get a massage because it's positive touch, which is a good thing. Healthy positive touch is a great thing - which is part of what massage is about. (It's also why I now own a cat - somebody to heap love onto - even if I have always sworn I was never going to give my love to a cat - they're raging psychopaths). 

So, I'm just a big puddle at the moment. After the massage I bought myself some dinner, sat on the couch and felt lovely. 

It's a great way to end the week. 

Today's song: 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Leg Day

 Today was leg day. Leg day? Leg day is the day a lot of men skip. 

The first round was set as such: 

Three rounds of:

12 x 30 kg dead lifts

15 x 80 kg leg presses (increasing by 20 kgs each round)

20 x 10 kg kettlebell front squats

20 x walking lunges

15 x 50 kg leg extensions. 

4 x 16 kg x 2 kettlebell farmers walk.

The second round was:

12 x 40 kg squats

15 x Hamstring curls on the Swiss ball for the added pain factor. 

12 x 2 x 30 kg wood chops. 

45 minutes of leg torture. 

Oh, and a rowing sprint at the end of it all. 

Needless to say, I'm buggered. 

This is also the reason my bum feels like it's made out of concrete.

I'm going to stretch now.

Today's song:

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Cancel Culture

 Somebody pointed out this morning on breakfast television that when you're being interviewed, it's illegal to ask about somebody's religion - just as you can't ask about a person's family situation, sexuality and all sorts of other things. Of course, for the latter when interviewing, you'll make it very clear if there are travel requirements for the role or other things which make a candidate aware of what is required of them. 

Another thing about working in large companies over many years is that most make adjustments for their team members with some religious observances. Large companies will often have prayer rooms - if not, many a meeting room has been sequestered for daily prayers. I remember one colleague having his kilim rolled up under his desk and occasionally you'd find him praying behind the photo copier. I've had friends take longer lunches on Fridays or skip out early on a Friday night so they can make the sunset curfew and the Friday seder.

Another great thing about larger companies is that they seem to make a big deal about all sorts of religious festivals. Eid, Ramadan, Passover, Diwali... you name it, there will be a morning tea for it. And it's a really cool thing to do. 

Another good thing about working for large companies is that they actively promote inclusion and diversity. 

It's been interesting, on the other hand, to watch the goings on at the Essendon Football Club. Andrew Thorburn, the former CEO of one of Australia's biggest banks took the job on at Essendon, only to resign the following day after social media blew up after finding that he was on the board of a conservative Christian Church.

Watching all of this from afar, I've wondered about a few things. 

I've pondered why the headhunter wouldn't have brought up the ultra-conservative views of the Church on which Thorburn is a member of the board. It's a matter of public record. 

But I also get how the AFL seems to have presented a "them or us" decision to him as well - and Thorburn chose his faith over football. And that appears to have been his decision. Or, as this is a matter of public record, why did Essendon not see this as a big deal. Would it have been a problem if he was a garden variety Catholic or Anglican? I'd say not. 

Talking about it at the gym tonight, we all agreed that the fact the CEO of one of the largest AFL clubs being a part of a conservative church which actively shuns homosexuality and abortion is a terrible look. That the AFL has struggled with diversity and inclusion for many, I can see why having a CEO with any associations to such a church being a bad idea. 

But people are entitled to their personal faith as well. It's something you can't take away from people. It's been pointed out that he may have a case to legally 

Thorburn has stated that he has not seen this sort of belief in this church. It doesn't mean that others that think or preach that way. 

I really don't know what to think about it all. There are too many sides to the story. 

It's just a pity it's all go so ugly. Looking at all sides, can anybody find a sane way forward?

Today's song:

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Who is Lizzo? WHAT?

 Talking to a colleague today, we got onto the subject of flutes. 

My colleague said he played one. 

Strangely, so did I, once upon a time when God was a boy. 

So, we did a "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" thing. 

My colleague, who's a part time musician, brought out a "flute" which is played in the Middle East. It has a reed not unlike that of an oboe. 

Me, from the back of my cupboard, I dragged out my flute. It's been sitting out of sight for years. I've owned it since I was 12.

I like talking music with my colleague. That I could remember that the oboe has a double reed, and the hole was known as an aperture was a testament to the retention of useless facts in my brain. 

That I can still play a tune on my flute - even stranger. I went through a set of scales this afternoon - it seems that your fingers remember the position of F# when you're playing a D Major scale without thinking. 

But I haven't played since high school. Yes, I was that girl with the flute case... like many other adolescent girls of the day who carted around a flute (or clarinet) case to school. At least they were portable - if not a little nerdy. 

Then again, the flute has always been a nerdy instrument. It was the instrument your Nana listen to on the car radio with her James Galway tapes. 

But now we have a new flute hero. 


I mentioned this to my colleague, and he promptly asked, "Who is Lizzo?" (Surely, my colleague being under the age of forty must have hear of Lizzo). 


So, I told him about Lizzo. A feminist, body positive American R&B/Rapper/soul/funk recording artist, who also happens to play the flute very well. (She's classically trained) She was all over the news this week for playing a 200-year-old flute crystal in the Library of Congress - whilst twerking - her trademark. 

Lizzo is giving the flute some street cred. 

I say good on her.

But of course, there are a lot of very fragile, entitled, middle aged, white, conservative commentators who are losing their rag over this - for how dare a confident black woman trounce on something of such historical value.... How dare she, indeed. (Wankers).

For me, it was just a testament to muscle memory. And after a few scale runs I dug out my silver cloth and gave the flute a rub down, before putting it away, back in the cupboard again. Part of me says sell the bloody thing on. The other part of me says keep it, because you never know when you might go back and get lessons and learn how to play it again. 

Part of me knows it's just a memory from my childhood that I don't mind thinking about. 

Monday, October 3, 2022

Meat Free Monday

 I'm giving the concept of Meat Free Monday a go. 

Meat Free Monday? It's quite simple - you just don't at meat on a Monday. 

Is it difficult?

Absolutely not. 

Red meat and I are only casual acquaintances.  I like beef and lamb, but I don't feel the compulsion to cook them very often. I'm more a fish and chicken person. 

I'm also trying to get more vegetables into my diet - never a bad thing. 

The thing is, it's an easy thing to do. As I'm having a vegetarian Monday, it's easy. Cheese and eggs are good. Staying away from fish on Mondays, though I do like fish. 

Today saw me stir frying some tofu which I'd sitting at the back of the fridge. Dredged in a bit or corn flower and shallow fried with some garlic, ginger and a spot of sesame oil, then adding Firecracker Sauce - it was yummy - though the cornflour could have been lessened so the sauce didn't thicken so much. With some rice and salad, it was great. 

Snacks are easy - Miso soup is my go-to snack. 

And an early dinner of a salad with a hard-boiled egg with more salad. 


It's not a hard thing to do. I think going vegan would be harder. 

I'll see how this goes. Try again next week. The good thing about working from home is cooking lunch is de rigeur. 

I'll be hunting out a few more veggie recipes I reckon. 

Today's song: 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sunday Stealing: Fall Meme

 Okay, this is going to be a bit fun. I live in Australia. We're going into Spring. 

We also call Fall, Autumn. Ah well. I'll just have to have a think about this. 

Thanks to Bev and Kwizgiver (who is filling in for Bev while her computer is on the fritz) at Sunday Stealing for the questions. 

1. Fave fall Holiday: 

The best this about Autumn is Easter. Four full days off. Never a bad thing. (Remember, Autumn starts around mid-March around here. 

2. Best thing about fall walks:

Kicking the fallen leaves and looking at the trees as the leaves turn. 

3. Favorite fall chore: 

There is no such thing as a favourite chore, but I do get my winter doona (duvet, quilt) out of storage. 

4. Least favorite fall chore: 

See above. 

5. Best change in the home: 

I like you don't have to use the air conditioning as much in Autumn. Love that. Cheaper to keep the house. 

6. Best tree in the fall: 

I like the ash trees. They look great. We have some lovely ash trees here in Melbourne. Needless to say, they are not indigenous. 

7. Fall ritual: 

I don't have any rituals in autumn - with climate change, it's a bit like an extension of summer anyway. 

8. Most frustrating thing about fall: 

The footy traffic. The Football starts around the first week of March. I live quite near the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which is where all the big games are played. The traffic down Swan Street, an arterial road nearly, is normally awful. 

9. Favorite fall decorations: 

Why would you decorate your place for autumn? It doesn't make sense. 

10. Favorite clothing: 

I like autumn because I can start wearing boots again. Summer is far too hot to wear boots - and I've got a heap of boots which I love wearing. 

11. Traditional fall candy: 

Lollies are lollies throughout the year. I don't eat anything different in autumn, unless you count Easter Eggs at Easter. 

12. Favorite sound: 

I love the sound of rain - and it seems to rain a bit more in autumn. 

13. When does fall begin for you?

Autumn officially begins around the middle of March here, but I think Easter is normally when you know it's Autumn. That and the clocks go back to normal and daylight savings finally ends. Strangely, daylight savings started today here in Melbourne. 

14. What is your favorite aspect of fall? 

The cooler weather after the hot summer. I much prefer cooler weather. 

15. What is your favorite fall memories?

Strangely, it's probably going to places where the leaves change colour. Britain was great for that - and I've been to Boston in Autumn - it's stunning. 

16. What do you like to drink in the fall?  

I like that you can have more warm drinks in Autumn - but I can't name one. In Britain I'd change my beer order from lager to ale - the latter you drink around room temperature. 

17. What's your favorite fall food?  

I like that food gets a bit more substantial in autumn - less salad, more braises. 

18. What color is fall?

Russet, orange and yellow. Like the leaves. 

19. What does fall smell like? 

Falling leaves and body sweat from football crowds on the train/tram. 

20. If you could go anywhere in the fall, where would you go?

I'd love to go back to New England in October/November. I just remember how astoundingly beautiful it was. 

Today's song: 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Movie Review: See How They Run

 Movie Number 34 of 2022

Movie: See How They Run

Cinema: Hoyts Victoria Gardens

Stars: 3 (For the moment)

I'm still thinking about why I'm reviewing See How They Run, mainly because I kept falling asleep through it. 

 On paper, it's looks like a great cast. Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell lead a cast of English stalwarts like Ruth Wilson, Harris Dickinson, Adrien Brodey, David Oyelowo and Sian Clifford among others. And it's based on an Agatha Christie play which goes a bit wrong. It's wonderfully set, the costumes are great, it should be a great film. 

Yet through the first half, I was continually asked to stop snoring. 

Looking back on this, part of me wants to watch this again to see if I'm fooling myself into not liking this. It felt like it was all over the place. 

I also got the feeling that both Ronan and Rockwell were sleepwalking their way through their roles as the washed out, alcoholic detective and the over-enthusiastic police constable. 

But then again, it was laugh out loud funny in bits. Not that I can remember any of the jokes. 

So, for the moment, I can't recommend this, or not recommend it - because it really hasn't left an impact on me at all. Which is strange, because I normally remember films pretty well. In my defense, I was pretty tired last night, and I thought I was coming down with something. 

So, yeah, here is a film which might be okay, but I cannot say just yet, as it really has left no impact. 

Today's song: