Saturday, November 29, 2008

Living in interesting times...

We've both been terribly tired lately. Maybe a touch of a virus? Whom nose. But M developed a koff, which turned into pneumonia and he has been hospital overnight, having intravenous antibiotic to quell the bacteria of deth. He's home now, still koffing but feeling better. I, otoh, am still buggered. It seems to be terminal.

This last week has been very exciting as the building of our new pathways around the house has started. We already have a completed bit, a lovely wide arc running from footpath to roadside. It's wide enough at the road end for a car to pull up, and both front and back passengers can step out onto paving (instead of cracked old concrete, mud and weeds which was our previous look). Now the pathways from the side gate and around into the back yard are taking place. At the bottom of the steps down from the deck, Alex has begun laying our stash of old Canberra Red bricks (from when the wall fell down a few years ago), and they look really good. And it's recycling in action!

It's also impressive that each night since this paving was put in place, we've had heavy rain, and not a paver or a crumb of concrete has shifted. Oh, I can't wait for it to be finished!

I should be planting my veggies but today, Monday, I am having a day of utter sloth and rest and heat-packing. I am aching all over for reasons I don't understand, so an actual day off my strange, unfixed retirement life seemed in order. I'm up to my third murder book, my second lot of 2 hours of heat pack, and Maccy has had a lovely day lying on me or squikking at me or sitting in the window doing profiles. He's been flat out catting and has now flaked out on the purple blanky on the chair in the corner, his favourite spot. He lies there looking gorgeous against the Indian sequinned and embroidered cloth, under the pool of light from the turquoise and cream batik lampshade, watched over by a troop of our teddy bears. Every now and then I get a glimpse of a glint, as he manages to just peel open one eye to see if I'm doing anything interesting, like eating bacon or pouring cream into a little porcelain dish. I never am. He seems ever-hopeful.

Tonight I am sending uber-hopeful thoughts of strength and support and love to my darling dorter, who has a challenging day ahead of her tomorrow. HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE LUVLUVLUVLUVLUVLUV I go.

I think I shall finish on a note of Chanel No. 5, as I often do. A dear friend gave me a book called 'PERFUME' last week, which analyses and grades thousands of purrfumes from one star ('awful') to five ('sublime'). I went through the index, which is ordered by stars given, and underlined all the purrfumes I recognise or have. It seems I have eclectic taste! Most of my purrfumes come in at 3 or 4 stars, indicating that (according to the authors) I have some taste. But I have representations in every group. I am extremely puzzled that two of my most favourite, most commented-on-favourably-when-I'm-wearing-it purrfumes only got one star. I guess, like all opinions, they are just that. Natch. I shall go on wearing and enjoying my favourites and collecting compliments. I could perhaps conduct a smellathon of my own, and compile a purrsonal listing. It could be based on random pros and cons, such as 'can smell it through wet concrete and two blocked noses', 'leaves scent on a pillow case for at least 3 days' and 'can't tell I've got it on but other ppl notice'. Heh. My favourite pro would be 'can smell it on Maccy's fur hours after I cuddled him'. I still think Prada rools!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I did after the pill worked..

Sorted many, many things off the top of my work table, so I could sort many, many more things. Felt a great sense of orderliness and sortitude.

Cleaned wax, crud, old spiders and soot off the hearth surrounds, dropped the little glass cat and broke its tail, and made it all look tidy around the fireplace.

Had to wash many, many things sitting underneath the 'striking' vases on the kitchen window-ledge - some pesky pesk has eaten the leaves and shat all over the place. Now the striking geraniums are pristine, as is half the bloody kitchen, and the pests have been spifflicated.

Got some pre-wrapping christmas present sorting done. Decided to give most of it to myself. Not sure how this plan will appeal to my relatives and friends, surely if I just explain carefully???

Thought to myself that one grumpy husband is worth two with a kick up the bum, but failed to test the theory. Made do with a bit of muttering instead.

Now I shall have some bourbon in my hot milk, to be sipped while I get to grrrrips with a nice new murder book.

Today brought to you by Ajax, lots of dust bunnies, and a hand massage with L'Occitane Geranium Oil. Very, very smooth and soothing...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Speechlessness antidotes..

Three cupcakes, two good wimmin and a sunny afternoon.

Maccy purring all over my lap.


Finding the right pair of shoes for the right person today (no, not me!).

Spending time with me ma.

Lying back on the heat pad, feet up, talking to my darling dorter while my darling husband gets fish'n'chips for dinner.

Having my feet massaged while I lay cuddled under a doona and was allowed to cry for a bit.

Laughing at the 5-minute chocolate cake photo in The Canberra Cook's blog.

Purrfume. Always. Even tho Shirley is boasting about new Jo Malone Amber and Fabuloso cologne, I am content with my Gucci, my Chanel No. 5 Elixir (not Huille, sorry) Sensual, and my bevy of bottles. Little pink pills, well-timed, are pretty good too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What to say when I am speechless?

Why do mornings ALWAYS suck?

How come I'm a mum but I can't fix everything, not even with a purple Mickey Mouse bandaid?

Which purrfume can do the most magic? Try all of them, just in case, or asphyxiate in the attempt?

When will the shit turn to rainbows?

Where will the rainbows be and can I have a ticket?

What does all this mean? - nah, scrap that, just have a coffee.

Today brought to you by a bloody big fat headache, a wonderful afternoon with my best friend, and a short but soothing chat to a darling dorter. Oh, and a very norty interlude at Addicted to Fabric, which cost more than I can afford. Well, YOU try walking past the words 'SILK ON SALE' and maintaining a normal heartbeat... I might, now I've had a whinge, try Chanel No. 5 Huile Sensual, because it's never failed me before.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have been informed that my blog is not being updated frequently enough. Oops! I've been letting mere life get in the way... I'm very distracted by worries over my darling dorter's health, but frequent phone calls are keeping my maternal urges more or less under control. She's very patient with me! I keep thinking that as I'm the mother, I should be doing the supportive nurturing, but apparently it works both ways. She's a darling girl.

We've been enjoying the beginning of a major paving/landscaping project around the house - Mr Brown has been very busy with other jobs, but has finally found the time to start our much-anticipated 'circles' design. We have a rectangular house on a long rectangular block, with a very square back yard and a very right-angle L-shaped front yard. Our plan is to introduce as many curves, arches and circles/half-circles as possible, to soften the look and make the garden more organic - if that's not a contradiction in terms. We have some pathways already in place, curved and looping around the L-shape. Now we are adding a wide, curving path from street to front door, replacing a narrow line of old concrete. Mr Brown himself said it would be much better Feng Shui! And I found, at Amber Tiles, a wonderful 'mat' of pale grey cobblestones, arranged in a mosaic circle, within a square. We'll cut the circles out and put one between the front gate and the steps to the front door (only a few metres, so a circle should help offset the fact that there isn't enough room to make a curving pathway without making it stupidly too winding for anyone to follow); the other circle will go in the centre of a much larger paved circle in the back yard, which will be the only flat area there. No lawn! Just paving, pathways and garden beds. And trees, and roses, and ginormous artichokes, and masses of seaside daisy...

We'll end up with two distinct areas - a cottage garden with fruit and veggies mixed in, at the back of the house; and a much drier native garden in the front. This garden includes a copse of fruit trees in the sunniest corner, and a whole wall of climbing roses outside those windows - they are quite close to the road so we're using thorny plantings against the house to discourage burgulers. Eventually the beds will be filled with native ground covers and probably some more herbs - I like using rosemary, thyme and perhaps even some curly kale to fill in little flat spots. I want all the garden to be rich with scents, for those days when I can smell things!

Earlier in the year my father drilled into the mortar above the cup-of-tea seat, to hang a wrought-iron mandala - yes, another circle. This will eventually be the centrepiece of a wall covered in ficus. I feel it should also include two more smaller decorative pieces. The hunt is on for things I 'feel' are right there.. a small trickling water feature will have pride of place next to the seat, so a happy person can sit there under the gum and the mandala/s, listening to the soothing trickle of water and drinking tea, whilst watching a bad cat run up the gum tree and try to catch a currawong. What more could you ask for suburban bliss?

Next post I'll rave on about the nature strip plantings and my plan to begin attacking my patchwork pile of possibilities. It's all about blocks of colour you know.

Today brought to you by analgesia, coffee, and a long cuddle with Maccy. I can't smell anything today. I guess this doesn't stop me from spraying a big squirt of something on, does it? Hm.... I think ... I feel like....Prada, cos it's spicy and warm and that is a good thing to smell AND to feel!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Adelaide: the story

I spent a lot of time with friends and relatives. All of them so delighted to meet my darling dorter, who has never been to Adelaide before. One aunt who was even slightly teary! And darling dorter had a good time meeting people, playing with the kids, having excellent champagnes and wines and of course lovely tucker... on Saturday was a picnic for the extended family, to celebrate a visit from my brother's daughter, who lives in Germany. She was the life of the party, with her sparky smile and her glowing auburn hair. My DD a close second with her voluptuously-red lipstick, her black hair flowing down to her hips, and a fabulous 50s dress with a cowl collar framing her sweet face. Okay, so I'm biased about how beautiful they both are. But they are!

My time with family was more complicated, with various challenges and woes in the families needing discussion. Families are indeed complex beasts. This being a public document, I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that these problems arise from people who love each other trying very hard to deal with complex and delicate emotional issues about their dear ones. I came home feeling rather shocked by the amount of unhappiness and worry I'd seen... but also glad that in some cases I'd been able to help a bit, perhaps, by listening and trying to understand. Even my DD is going through a challenging period of self-questioning and feeling very unsettled. My main hope for all of them/us is that the huge amounts of love and caring will overtake the unhappiness and life will look rosier for everyone very soon.

Somehow in all of this my visit to the uberdoc, the main purpose of my visit, seemed very trivial! But it is wonderful to have such good news from him, that my sinuses are healing and being healthy and looking like they might now start being 'normal' for longer periods. It's been a worry to me that I've had to take a lot of courses of oral steroids this year - I don't really want to end up with osteoporosis all through my body. Enough with limitations I say. I have a dodgy nose, a dodgy back, and a general lack of fitness which slows me down too much. I can work around the dodgy back more easily than the nose stuff, but I am too young to fall into a wheelchair of sloth and turpitude just yet. Most days...

And now it is more than a week since I got home, and somehow time is on high-warp speed towards the dreaded Festive Event, and although I have done lots of things I feel late for everything. But underneath this is a constant, happy little voice going 'wow, my sinuses are ok!'. That's a DAMN fine feeling.

The last five days brought to you, in this order: Trussardi 'Inside', lots and lots of Chopard's 'Wish' (cos my darling dorter needs extra wishes right now), Gucci 'Gucci', Chanel No.5 'Huile Sensual', and for a Tiki party last night, Christian Dior's 'Diorissimo', cos it is a classic 50s scent. For the record, the rest of my outfit was beehive hair , turquoise eyeshadow (shudder), a very VERY loud Hawaiian shirt and capri pants. I nearly wore kitten heels but at the last minute I defaulted to thongs and a very daggy old straw hat. Everyone else looked far more elegant, especially the real women in 50s shirwaist dresses and heels. What do I mean by a real woman? Well, a real one. Not a skinny, spray-tanned bottle blonde with Botox for a face. Curves, undulations and no bones at all. REAL!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday inertia

I'm reading weekend magazines and listening to the iPod and looking at a flat cat snoring on me feet. There are a million things I "could" do, but .. nup. My dad is ok after a minor op yesterday, it rained propurrly last night so I don't have to water, and later on there will be roast veggies. Counting blessings is important!

Soon I will be rested enough to write 'Adelaide: The Story'. Patience, children.

Today brought to you by Prada, the body lotion. Spicy, intense and warm. Almost like christmas pudding but without the raisiny grit. Gorjuss.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Adelaide: the facts

I spent a very busy week with rellos and friends. I walked on the beach, ate and drank far too much, and patted a lot of excellent cats. The visit to the uber-doc was successful in that he pronounced my sinuses 'as good as they've ever been', and has suggested a change in meds which will be easier, in the long term, for me to manage. This change also means I won't be afflicted by the long-term side effects of taking oral steroids all the time. I was delighted with this news, even though he also wants me to see him more frequently for a while, so I must save up some more air fares for mid-February, the hottest time in the old home city.

The shopping was pretty good - a mixture of serious retail therapy (Jo Malone skin and home products, very top range!), and the wonders of Nadia's House of Serendipity in Glenelg, which is a very good second-hand clothing store. Not an op-shop! It was my great pleasure to take my darling dorter there and watch her rummaging happily amongst the goodies and trying things on. I found a screamingly loud Hawaiian shirt for an upcoming Tiki party... it was a good lot of loot we came away with.

I am totally exhausted now, what with a wave of phone calls on the last day, about a complex situation in one of the family trees. I am totally thankfully glad to be home with my catties and no plans to fulfill until I feel like turning the world back on.

Yesterday brought to you by Jo Malone Parma Violet room spray, a heavenly beautifully balanced scent which brings a garden of posies into your boudoir.