Saturday, December 26, 2009

Slowly gathering material....

Hello! And Happy Thing Celebration to you all. I hope your festive event has been more fun than stress; more bling than blah; and certainly more food than you ever thought you needed! My day with friends and family yesterday set what I believe to be a purrsonal calorie high. Mind you, temptation was thrown before me in lavish quantities - just the dessert portion of the meal went like this:

1. A very fine brandy and macadamia christmas pudding
2. An equally fine blueberry trifle, and
3. A massively rich chocolate mousse
... served with...
4. Whipped cream
5. Double cream
6. Pouring cream
7. Brandy butter
8. Superior vanilla icecream, and
9. Custard

I'm sure there's a number 10 in there somewhere I've forgotten (even tho my eyes were indeed bigger than my stomach, an amazing feat of re-arranged physiology not to be thought about too carefully...).

I feel very spoilt and cherished by friends, family, gifts, unexpected good wishes, lots of contact from people I haven't kept up with propurrly, and not least of all, the weather. We've had some very hot, windy, dry dusty smoky horrible weather recently. Christmas Eve was everything one could actively hate - hot, dry, the house stuffy from days of heat, and the stove on for hours. Even with the portable cooler I was a hot hot purrson all day. And then, overnight, a cool change blew through, bringing with it steady, delicious, freshening rain. Maybe it spoiled a few picnics and barbecues, but I was delighted. I AM delighted! It's still cool and rainy, and long may it last. There's plenty of summer left to be hot and sweaty.

The gardens look so green, so invigorated, so wonderfully fresh. The mulch looks dark with water and usefully heavy with purpose, keeping roots and soil damp and cool. The day lilies are drooping with water and the roses and just .. fabulous. FABULOUS!

We have a few days before leaving for the coast, to read our christmas books, eat our christmas goodies, arrange our gorgeous new christmas fruity bits, drink our christmas bottles, and enjoy our christmas bling. I'm so delighted with my new resin necklace (thank you, darling M) that I've been wearing it in bed while I read. It's made of different lozenge shapes in reds, oranges and yellows, and is very me. For which read colourful, informal and a bit funky.

The last few days brought to you by sore feet (cooking requires much standing); several hard-used aprons; and a series of favourite purrfumes: Prada, the end of the bottle of Gucci, one evening's worth of Thierry Mugler's 'Angel', and quantities of Jo Malone 'Vintage Gardenia'. I urge you to try the Gardenia; it's delightfully balanced and flowery without being heavy or cloying. It goes very well, for example, with a chocolate mousse and shot of bourbon supper!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

..another pause as the gods do their evil work...

Nobody nose wot my nose nose.

I have been quietly gathering photos, thinking of where old projects might be, and very slowly working on current projects (mostly the shawl for my daughter). However we had a sudden, early hot spell, and then another, which knocked me over flat and made knitting suddenly seem very last season.

I shall leave TnS on pause until the weather and my energy level improves. And while I find out how to post photos. Any hints extremely welcome!

Today and most of November brought to you by Jo Malone, Prada and Gucci. Stronger scents for a fading nose. Lovely.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Checking in..

We've just returned from our travels. TnS collected anecdotes, experiences and some photos of textile projects now belonging to dear ones interstate. Also a commission and a very beautiful project to finish for my dorter in Perth.

There were adventures, sightings, meals, a fairly major set-back, and much time spent with very good people. Watch this space for details soon.

In the meantime, I am somewhat shocked to report that I acquired NO new textiles of any description during this trip. I even failed to pick up my purrfume samples, waiting in Adelaide for me. No time! However all is not lost, in a short but extremely satisfying trip to the Rockingham Shopping Mall (I think that was the one) I bought two perfumes. And in Adelaide my niece and I managed a most satisfactory birthday perfume shopping expedition for her. We blandished the Myers ladies into freebies for both of us!

All in all a very interesting three weeks. See you again soon!.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Temporary outage.

T n S is going on the road for three weeks. To visit fambly in SA, and to tour some of the area north of Perth and walk some wildflower trails.

On my return I will begin the history of a textile wrangler and how I trod the rocky road to quilting in straight lines.

Meantime these divine spring days are brought to you by coral-coloured Californian poppies, swathes of forget-me-nots, and a triumphant return to purrfume. Gucci is my destiny!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So.. a decision is made.

Hi, thanks to all of you who put a vote in. I can see my way a bit more clearly now. What I'm planning is a retrospective of my textile adventures (and those of you who have been recipients, I'm gonna demand photo ops very soon!). I'll put in some blurb about how and why I made things the way I did, and give you some insight into what I'm working on. It won't change the blog to an entirely textile-devoted site however.

I also think that I'll try to return to the original purpose of this blog, which was to post random thoughts and snorts on random happenings, events, ideas and reflections, as they occur to me. I expect it won't be at all political, probably a bit on the silly side, and perhaps more entertaining for the reader.

Meantime I am convalescing my way through lurgy #5 of the season, and the worst of the lot. Honest to goodness flu, with gasric, migraine and the classic 'run over by a bus' elements. Arg. It's ruining my social life and making me feel completely paranoid about ever going out again. Well, unless I don't breathe while I'm out.

I recall advising my daughter that when she went to Thailand, she'd be fine as long as she didn't breathe, touch anything, eat or drink anything, go anywhere or do anything. It seemed quite sensible to me.

She went anyway.

Monday, August 17, 2009


.. mostly that this blog is so internal and, lately, un-newsy, uninformative, uninformed , and kinda .. floating. Purrhaps I should close it down? Call it an interesting experiment in writing about travels and leave it at that?

Lack of inspiration; lack of wellness; no Maccy...

What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Round and round we go..

.. this episode brought to you by a return to the horizontal. Our heroine is struck down, AGAIN, by a lurgy. She takes to paracetamol, books, comfort food and cursing. Another week down the gurgler.

This is the price you pay for breathing. In public, in private, anywhere. It's a damn germ-jungle out there.

Today brought to you by the memory of the spicy Prada scent I love so much, slippery peach slices going down a sore throat, and a longing for winter to be OVEROVEROVEROVEROVEROVEROVER.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Faint but purrsuing...

I got better.

I got some energy.

I spent last week dashing about using it and doing great things with friends and the odd bit of business just to keep the desk tidy.

One of my favourite things was going to Clark Rubber with the Good Wimmin. I was researching outdoor mats (the sort for catching the crud off your shoes before you go inside onto the purrfectly clean and gorgeous yellow tiles...). The dude at Clark Rubber had a sniffle.

Yeah, right. I spent Friday getting sick, and all weekend in bed. Today I was having a bit of a catch-up sleep (for, alas, spending hours in bed doesn't necessarily mean sleeping), while the cleaners did magic inside and Alice the Garden and her helper son did even more miracles outside... when, lo, the phone ringeth. It was the Good Wimmin, invited by me, arrived at THREE THIRTY IN THE AFTERNOON, and finding me still asleep. Ahem.

They were purrsistent enough to knock on several doors, and, failing to rouse me, then ring up. And, once they got me blearily saying '...lo?'... offered to go away again if it was all too hard. What great friends. I don't think they actually made their own coffee, but it was a near thing.

So.. I'm on the 'getting better' trail, again. Maybe one someone will explain the actual purrpose of viruses to me, specifically the USEFUL purrpose. Cos I don't gets it.

Today brought to you by four cakes of the MOST fabulous Strawberry Eucalyptus soap, courtesy of St. Cath of the Stove.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Possible diagnosis of endless respiratory woes for about 6 weeks: chlamydial pneumonia. An 'atypical pneumonia'. I'll say. I have no idea what this really is; the only important thing is that IF it was that, I now have antibodies and so can't get it again. This applies to another few weirdo atypicals that were on the list of suspects. Cor.

Can't be proved definitively cos the timing of blood tests was somehow important and we missed the crucial dates. However my clever doc gave me the right antibiotic in case of something like this, so TA-DA I am finally, finally starting to feel better. I'm still on the 'one day up; one day down (resting)' routine, but my 'up' days are beginning to include such exotic moments of returning normality as doing the washing, dusting a few things, making scones for my Good Wimmin's visit; finishing TWO (simple) scarves; and considering some weeding.

That idea didn't make it past the back door, that air is too cold for my pore old face. But the thought was there.

AND, great great relief, I am beginning to recover my sense of smell. Today three nice things wafted past me: Gucci Flora; the scent of some quinces in a bowl; and the aroma of the scones as they came out of the oven.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

... testing ...

... it's been a difficult time lately.

Just dropping in to add a new item to my 'Have to read' list and see if anyone's been leaving comments. No. But that's ok, not much to comment on.

Most days brought to you by the hope that someone else can enjoy Gucci, Gucci Flora, or the lovely Jo Malone Dark Amber and Ginger Lily. And the fun I had making an almost-Sacher Torte for book group. I piked on the recipe which started "take 9 egg yolks" and just made a rich choclit cake and then added the Sacher details: apricot jam and booze glaze inside the cake; chocolate glaze on the outside. I was going to spell "SACHER" with silver jubes on top but couldn't find them.

Hope you all out there are all still out there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Going away for a while...

I am too blue to write. This blog is internal enough without the added blue tint.

I am surrounded
by words
they test
and tease me;
nets and strings of allusions
line up
to chew
on my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meetings and greetings..

A nice surprise today when things are a bit blue... we went out to lunch so I could 'take the air', and we met two interesting and very charming people who came to sit at the table next to us.

Two young wimmin writers, both with a deep interest in their subjects, and an equally deep satisfaction at describing them to us and getting into a fascinating chat. A very interesting example of the universe providing when least expected. We exchanged a few contact details and now I'm nervous about them reading my blog and thinking 'she didn't sound like THAT when we talked to her'. Oh well. As a well-known spinach-fancier once said: "I yam what I yam."

Today brought to you by a greatly subdued self, an annoying lack of sense of smell, and buckets of Gucci 'Flora' just the same.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cooking therapy

Well, there's art therapy and music therapy and a zillion types of physical therapy.  I also specialise in deck therapy [sit on the deck with a cuppa tea til you feel better].  Last night, after a long (but not arduous) day, I suddenly got the urge for some cooking.  I bought a ton of organic fruit and veg, and good meat from the butcher, on Wednesday.  Didn't want to end up throwing half of it into the compost for lack of action.

M often says of me "hard to start; hard to stop".  This is quite true I think - I can take hours to get moving and thinking, but once started on something I can find stamina to do - and OVERdo - many activities.  I come over all Virgo and attend to all the teeny details and get into micro-cleaning frenzies (do you think anyone cares if the window-ledge behind a huge pot plant ever gets dusted??) ... last night it was a cook-a-thon.

Here's the round-up: 
- bacon bone soup with the end of a jar of lemon and chilli chutney, ditto apricot chutney; carrot, cauli, broccoli, fennel; half a tin of kidney beans; a bottle of passata; plenty of pepper and water to cover.  Later when it had simmered into purrfection I added a good glug of olive oil to soften it.  Wowee!

- two small free-range chickens, split along the backbone and butterflied.  Rubbed with this:  crushed clove, cinnamon, allspice powder and black pepper.  Squished over this:  chopped onion, the tomatoes from a tin, sliced zucchini, sliced aubergine; one huge lemon cut in half.  I squeezed the lemon juice over the chickens, inside and out.  I mixed the juice from the tinned tomatoes with some of the chopped onion, the spices, and a bit of olive oil and rubbed it into the top of the chickens.  Then I sprinkled some chopped black olives over the chickens and put a cover over all of it and baked it for about 2 hours on a medium oven.  I didn't need to take the cover off to brown the chickens cos the tomato/spice mix coloured them beautifully.

- a baking tray of roast veg: potato, pumpkin, onion and carrot.  Just sprinkled with olive oil, black pepper (lots) and a very small pinch of sea salt.  They went in with the chickens to make best use of the oven.

- I boiled two enormous beets, which will go with this: a chocolate/spice-rubbed rump steak.  I will grill this to medium rare, then slice it when cold and serve it on a bed of English spinach, sliced beets, walnuts and a horseradish sauce (mix horseradish and plain yoghurt or sour cream to taste.  Always add some pepper!).  This is my version of a Jamie Oliver dish.

Next I have a dozen quinces to deal with - some baked slowly until they are ruby red.  They go in with water, lemon juice and sugar, and make their own jelly.  This goes into jars.  Some will become jam I think.  And I will make one PURRFECT Tarte Tatin, using half stewed sliced quince and half raw sliced apple.  The quinces colour the apple pink during the cooking process.  It is necessary to eat this with cinnamon-flavoured cream, altho I'll allow you nutmeg if you prefer it.

Remaining in the fridge are three crisp red capsicums, which will have the wonderful fetta/raisin/lemon/parsley stuffing.  A sweet potato which I suspect will just be steamed, and two avocados which are only ever eaten on sandwiches.  I have some excellent blue cheese from the McClaren Vale, which would make a great sandwich combo with the avocado, altho I can also recommend eating it with dates, walnuts and honey on well-buttered sourdough.  Nom.

~~~~~~~~ Later that same day..

The cooking bug is still biting.  This time I fancied dessert.  I never make desserts any more, except for friends.  M is against baking and sweet things in general.  HE doesn't suffer from a sweet tooth, so the bakeries of Canberra profit from mine.  But while we were walking at dusk, I suggested we have one just for a change.  My mind turned to peach cobbler and apple crumble and bread'n'butter pudding.  What I ended up with was a hybrid - a few leftover slices of sourdough bread torn up and mixed with peaches (tinned) and a punnet of strawberries.  A good lot of egg custard mix over the top (fresh eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg and The Secret Ingredient[TM] whisked together).  Lots of fresh grated nutmeg on top.  Into the oven, about 180c, with a lid on the dish and a tray underneath in case it boiled over. It did.  The dish was a mess, dribbles all down the sides, but it tasted juuuuuuust fine.  Sweet and fruity with a pleasantly stodgy undertaste from the soaked, custardy bread.

I also boiled some short-grain rice for a Greek custard.  The recipe calls for the initial boiling in water; then quite a lot of milk is added and it's slowly bubbled down to a thick goo.  The recipe asks for a bit of cornflour mixed with milk to achieve a final thickening, but I don't like the taste of flour, so I just bubbled a little longer until the rice was nearly catching on the pan.  Then in goes sugar, either vanilla essence or the grated rind of a lemon, and a bit more of TS([TM].  Into a bowl and a heavy grating of nutmeg on top.  When it's chilled, I'll cut it into squares and freeze some portions.  The purpose of all this cooking was very much to re-stock the freezers and also to make a big mess all at once.

The mess part I achieved very well.  A full dishwasher last night.  Again today.  But my best achievement was to carefully ladle out portions of the bacon bone soup into those Glad containers and put them in the fridge to chill, awaiting transport to the shed fridge at a warmer, lighter time of day.  I bent to move one of them a bit to make way for a bigger bowl, and the bloody thing dropped out of my hand, the lid fell off, and I had a great big squelch of soup, veg, bacon etc etc ALL OVER the bottom three layers of the fridge and the floor. UNDERNEATH the bloody fridge.  All down the bottles of wine and soda in the door.  All through the veg in the crisper.  Splashed up onto the underneath of the shelf.  BUGGER.  M stood by helplessly while I sloshed handfuls of veg etc into a bag.  Then silently handed me several miles of paper towel; retrieved the mop, and made himself scarce while I swabbed away.  You can't tell me irony isn't a force.  The cleaners are due in two days.  AND I wiped out the fridge last night while it was empty.  Huh.

On balance, however, I am filled with the virtuous glow of successful and useful foodery; making good use of good things; thinking ahead for those days when cooking is NOT going to happen; stacking the freezers with healthy things AND pud; and general practical efficiency.  I can sit down heavily at this point, happy in the knowledge that apart from steaming the odd veg or making a pot of rice or pasta, we're right for a while.  What with M's expurrtise in the takeaway department I feel prepared for whatever Dark Star moments may come my way in the next few weeks.

Today brought to you by Gucci 'Flora', my new and very subtle purrfume.  A present to myself from Adelaide.  It must suit me cos I've garnered lots of positive remarks.  It's subtle, soft, floral without being sweet, and quite sophisticated.  Maybe it helped me not lose my temper as I knelt on the floor trying to sponge muck from underneath the edge of the fridge.  And now for another generous blast of it as I wend my way to the workroom and the waiting half-quarter square triangles waiting for sewing.  No I can't explain what these are.  Try your own purrfume and see!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More farewells...

I upped stumps and ran off to Adelaide last week, for a family funeral. Goodbye Pip, you were a one-off, an amazing woman and someone I found comfort with at a very dire time. I'm sorry your end was so awful, and I'm glad you are now truly at peace. It's impossible to write about death without using cliches I think. That may well be because the cliches are in fact useful and exact and say what needs to be said the right way.

There was a strong 'clan gathering' element at this funeral - brothers, sisters, extended family and many close friends. Family friends. Memories of shared events and situations. The funeral service was elegant, dignified, and not a mawkish moment to be endured. A simple, heartfelt ceremony of a life and a fond farewell. I held my brother's hand all the way through. He is tall and very useful for being a big comforting bloke at moments like these. I'm not sure who was helping who not to cry!

I spent most of the four days I was away with family members, one after another. And EATING. And DRINKING. My god! so many meals... but when clan gathers, it gathers around tables, and patios, and restaurants. I had one very fine dining experience in a top-end restaurant, where I managed not only to tip over my champagne, but break the glass. I wasn't offered a free refill so I gathered I was paying.. the meals were fabulous but sadly we didn't get to try dessert, because this evening meal was on top of a substantial clan gathering lunch. All I've eaten since my return is a little soup, and a little toast. A few cuppa teas and that's it. Even the fancy cheese I brought home from McClaren Vale (Edith's Cheese, from Woodside, a wonderful creamy/sharp goat's cheese) is on hold for a few days. My trip to this winery region was only short, but very successful. My cuz and I tracked down some rose we wanted, and filled up a few boxes with other things while we were at it. Yesterday M was told by his cardiologist that good quality white wine is the best thing to drink if you have a fluttery heart, so just as well I lashed out on the good stuff for him!

This afternoon I ought to be designing and making borders for my Ramallah quilt. I am so brain-dead I'll be lucky if I can find a pencil and use it the right way up. Class tonight might just be ideas-collecting. I hope for a renaissance but don't expect it ...

Today brought to you by Clarins 'Eau Dynamisante' and not much else.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


After my last post I thought I'd be flying away with the sewing machine, happily producing masses of product.


Stuff happens. You know it does. But why does it happen so much? I'm mystified. Where does the time go and all that... what with M continuing on the sick list, a sudden trip away to attend a funeral (later this week), a lot of severe insomnia, going for walks, keeping the home fires burning.. just getting from Point A (vertical, sentient and caffeinated) to any Point B seems so complicated.

How, oh HOW, did I ever manage full-time work, part-time study and single parenting? I must have been organised to the eyeballs, whirling dervishly and enjoying advanced competence. My life now appears to be so much simpler, but the hidden complexities of a retired life are really very time-consuming. I think my sis would say 'you need a bit of STRUCTURE' and she'd be right.

So, in spite of interruptions of many and complex natures, I'm going to think about structure, diaries, programming, appointmentalising, and discipline. This last word fills me with amusement cos I don't have any. But I can THINK about it!

Today brought to you by Gucci, sunshine, and the promise of some crafty time this afternoon while I have my baby fix. Yeah!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Strange; very strange...

Go and buy (lots of) fabric. Pore over it, pat it, fiddle with it, hold it up against self, walls, cats, willing friends, unwilling husbands, the kid walking past on his way home from school.

Eventually, having repeated the above many, many times so as to accumulate a large and unwieldy stash of pristine fabrics.. buy the book. More books. Magazines, flyers, exhibition booklets, online freebies and lots of photos of bits of mosaic and stained glass.

Divert yourself into knitting and crochet for ... several ... years.

Get a grip; install a big bookcase; stuff it full of sorted stash.

Then sign up to a class!

Next thing, you are engaged in cutting up purrfectly good bits of fabric into TINY LITTLE BITS. These scatter all over your worktable, ironing board (aka back-up worktable); bed, floor, clothes and cat. Sort, re-sort, sigh, swear, and sob over them until some semblance of what you intended the pattern to be, manifests itself.

Endure the delay caused by lack of sewing machine foot/needle/thread of correct/lack of ability to remember how to use it cos it's been so long ... thread, re-thread, test bobbin, swear a lot more....

... and!!! ...

produce a bloody marvellous bit of patchwork, all those tiny bits of fabric now neatly (if not necessarily very accurately) sewn up into something that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Spend far too long patting, de-threading, ironing, tweaking and admiring, and hanging the result on all those mentioned in the first sentence. Decide that borders don't scare YOU and pick the width, easily.

Stop it before you go blind, demented and/or sew it back-to-front (a distinct possibility) and be taken out to dinner.

I think this counts as progress! Today brought to you by eau-de-ironed cotton, and ... and ... just you wait for the photo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reviewing, sort of..

Two weeks ago I started a new patchwork class - how to make a Ramallah quilt. Using saturated plain colours, on a black or other dark background. Very interesting, using only a basic log cabin, but swapping colours within the patch, and then cutting the whole thing (a 30cm patch) into four pieces, so that you get four times the possibilities for making different patterns and colour combinations. Interesting. A good reminder that back to basics is a very valuable concept. I know *I* get stuck in the gorjussness of patterned fabrics, and textures, and sheens... and here is a very very simple idea which leads to stunning results!

In other news, it's windy, cold, two of the humans in this household of two are not well, and Wendy has made it quite clear that she purrfurs being an only cat. And, now that she's had a taste of some different types of cat fud, she's also making it clear that mere crunchies are so, like, yesterday. The only thing we have as a weapon to use against this shameless blackmail is the fact that we are still bigger than her. Not much I agree!

I'm also crocheting a circle, in a very restrained pallette of colours. Also a departure for me, who likes strong constrasts. I'm using plum, rose pink, dark blue, mid-blue with pale flecks, dark teal, and a very pale lilac. Two rows each of trebles. It's about a metre across now, and I've used up the plum and original rose pink wool. So when I get to the end of the next 'band' of the colour repeat, I'm going to stop the trebles and begin making chains. A few rows of that in the remaining colours (and, maybe, not a complete circle in each colour, but I'll see what that looks like), some tufts of the colours in mohair (the mid-blue and the rose pink... hmm... blue and pink... maybe NOT. Blue, mid-blue and teal might be better) and it's finished. And yes, dear patient reader(s?), I shall attempt to post a photo. If I can manage that, I'll have a go at putting a fold in, and also posting links.

Both of my laptops died last week, and one of them is beyond redemption. Well, not the type of redemption *I* can afford. To my amusement, the fixing-it bloke said 'its logic centre is kaput'. Logic centre??? Who knew? But I am very grateful that my new lappie, the darling Airbook, is fixable UNDER WARRANTY. For once, the consumer is ahead! I should be back to hours of 'studying' asap. Meantime I am reduced to using M's desktop, which the fixing-it Macbloke took very hard. He could feel my pain....

This week brought to you by burnt jam, overcooked veggies, several smashed glass things, and a stiff neck. Nearly all of these set-backs were caused or at least directly related to a complete lack of sense of smell, shaky hands (Ventolin roolz!), and bad sleep. I HAVE worn some Obsession, some Prada, and some Gucci. For all I knew, it coulda bin eau de catbox, dead spuds, or lashings of lurgy-lotion :-/

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another day, another lurgy..

I've probably used this title before. Tis the season of viral discontent, just before violets burst forth (or fifth) into a wasted land... well, actually that's a harsh word for my backyard, which is looking quite spiffy these days. I however have resumed the famous Panda-eyes stance. Bugger it!

It's not the oinky flu, just a cold. But it hit fast and hard on Friday night, and I've had no sense of smell and considerable discomfort ever since.

Things which I can't do - which pisses me off mightily:

- smell
- breathe
- lie down without something aching
- see anyone
- enjoy my lattes
- go to see a dear one who's in hospital and in need of a spot of solidarity
- dig the garden, comb the lawn or ajax the roof
- get on a plane to see rellies and have a spend
- enjoy the merest hint of a purrfume
- go to crafty

Thing I can do - which are cold comfort:

- sit
- wear my new purple pjs all day
- drink coffee and remember how it tastes
- knit, crochet, fiddle with fabric and suffer textile delusions of grandeur
- think about my reunion with the young chappy who has stolen my heart
- whinge in print
- play my dopey computer game and get a better score
- spend lots of time with M - actually that's pretty warm comfort so it shouldn't be on this list.

Amazing how a microscopic thingy can cause such havoc with the whole body.

I sent out an SOS for banana cake and my darling mama obliged. It's got about an inch of icing and it's moist and delicious. Well, I *think* it's delicious! Thanks mum. If a cure could be brought about by mere cake, this one would be a contender.

Now, back to the tissue box and a bit of grizzling...

Today brought to you by nothing at all. DAMMIT!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gone and come back..

I went away for 10 days.

I did this:

1. Wrangled four wonderful friends and one wonderful husband. Not at the same time.
2. Cooked an amazing cake, an amazing risotto, and some amazing marmalade. Yes, I DO have a strong ego about cooking, don't I?
3. Slept, and slept, and slept. Lots.
4. Didn't get a horrible chest infection in spite of leaving with a toxic sore throat *boggles*.
5. Did excellent texting with my darling dorter.
6. Enjoyed lots of sea and forest views, and scents, and rain thereon, and wind above. It was grand.
7. Watched a small boy happily eat sand. Nom nom!
8. Learned two new knitting/crochet skills. Yeah!
9. Didn't really miss email, computer games or Facebook. Sacrilege, but true.
10. Dreaded coming home to no Maccy, but did it anyway. Came home to Wendy, who was delightful. Never underestimate the velvety purrfection of a small black whirlwind.
11. Made the house instantly cosy with the first fire of the season.

I did a whole lot of other stuff, like walks, and singing, and fixing furnitures in the old house, and measuring windows, and thinking I should get on with the painting but not do it. And dusting up to parent standard. Except I stopped halfway cos my back hurt. They coped (they came down to take over the house when we left). Hi dad!

Do you notice a major omission from that list?

Go on, look harder....

Yeah!!!! No doctors, chemists, physios, snake oil merchants or allied health care of any type, kind, sort or quantity. WHAT A RELIEF.

Note to self: do this more. And more...

Today brought to you by lingering eau-de-coast. a touch of coffee, and the smell of apple gum burning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easterage, festivalling, and quiet repose..

We've had "overflow guests" - friends who usually stay with a mate came to us, cos the mate's new bathroom is looking very spiffy but has no actual plumbing. Tricky to manage dry showers at the best of times.. our guests spent truly amazing amounts of time (their stamina!!) at the Folk Festival, and in between times ate satisfyingly large quantities of the food I made in a big splurge of cooking on good friday.

We also spent time at the Festival, M more than me. I had no energy thurs/fri/sat morning, thanks to a change-of-weather hed of deth. Honestly, my body is so sensitive I'll have to resort to shorter lists of what isn't a problem, and soon. Weird. The time I spent at the festival was as usual divided about equally amongst music, food and crowd-watching. I'm always amazed at the numbers of middle-aged women who sport the most eccentric and generally rather ugly outfits. I guess it's just that silly-hat-and-mad-stockings kind of vibe which makes it happen. And yes, *I* bought a hat. A rather tame, teal-green crocheted almost-beanie but no pom-pom. I have my limits.

The music I enjoyed the most was a group called Vardos, from Melbourne, which is a trio of gels who play Romanian /Hungarian /Latvian folk on a violin, piano accordion and double-bass. Very good, very clever, and also very funny, because the violinist is a natural clown, and plays up to the music and the crowd quite shamelessly. Fun..

My favourite food was the Spanish potato tortilla, which was served with a pureed salsa of herbs, vinegar and onion. Very, very good. I returned on Monday evening for another serve but sadly they had sold out of every speck of their food. Told you it was good.

Now I am having a quiet couple of days preparing for a colonoscopy on Thursday. Erk. I've never had one before, but have watched (uneasily) as various close friends and rellies have gone through the process. I'm apprehensive but apparently I needn't be. I'm not so sure - it's a very unnatural thing to do, is all I'm saying.

On Friday I hope to go to the coast with the Good Wimmin again, for quite a few days of coastal repose, eating, walking, bonding, textile-age, and probably some well-considered shopping. I think we have enough time to do a day trip if the Wimmin are of a mind to do such a thing. Maybe up to Kiama? Or the blue/black/raspberry farm? We'll see. At least one posh dinner is on the list of must-dos. I'm just looking forward to being near the sea, in the eucalypt forest, and the peacefulness.

We are still mourning our dear Maccy, hearing squiks and seeing shadows. But we are more resigned to his loss now. I go out every day to sprinkle some petals or catnip on his grave, and say hello. Our other cat, Miss Wendy, has taken to sleeping on the bed with us most nights, which we find very comforting. A bed without a cat! Sacrilege. She is no tamer, but during the night can be heard sitting and having a little purr to herself. Nice.

Today, and many days previously, brought to you by the delightful aromas of fresh earth and gardens, thanks to some very good rain over the last 5 days. Even the very dusty plastic cover on the garden table is looking shiny. As for me, I am continuing my love affair with Jo Malone scents. I'm torn, totally torn, between her Amber and Ginger cologne, her Amber and Lavender body cream, and her Vintage Gardenia cream, which is truly, deliciously blissful. Try it soon, lavishly, and see.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Quiet silence...

Still feeling very subdued... there's a biiiig Maccy-shaped hole in the house. Small reminders of his huge purrsonality follow one after the other. Sprinkling petals on his grave helps, a little.

Still receiving messages from around the world, literally, such kind words. Stunned shock from friends who can't see email regularly.

We know he was a very special kind of angel. We like knowing he's still around dispensing good karma and felinitude. His voice can be heard in the distance, asking for fud or expwessing outwage that the doors won't open. And the purring!

I just want him back. I may have to change the photo at the front of this blog, I don't know if I can bear to keep seeing it.

I knew from very early days, that parting from Maccy would be very difficult. The grief and sense of lamentation is so strong ... nothing mere about this puss. I guess it will ease ... somehow I owe it to him to keep him close in my mind, to somehow go on thanking him for 12 years of sublime companionship.

Today ... there is no today. Just a blur of time since last Saturday when we laid him to rest. Great sadness..

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blank and numb..

We miss Maccy.

We can hear him squikking at the door, wanting more food, demanding access to the bed. I heard him quite distinctly earlier this evening, saying 'you call that DINNER??'.

I ate my dinner on a tray on my lap, unmonstered by a large purring black bucket attempting to nick all the best bits for hisself.

All my little prickly-paw spots have healed up.

We scattered some rose petals on his grave this evening. At the moment it is decorated with five pavers with a rather elegant cat design on them. Later we'll put down some cobblestones to hold everything more firmly in place. Meantime he's at one with the petunias, watching the streetscape and waiting for someone to stop and say hello.

Wendy is very quiet, not actually looking for him, but somewhat subdued and behaving remarkably well. This is quite ominous - we've had her for nearly four years and good behaviour and general manageability have not been elements we associate with her character. More like chomping, ambushing, sleeping in norty places (like on M's desk, or up on the dining table), running away when we call her, charging up trees to show off, etc.

This is horrible. I hope we manage acceptance fairly soon. Meantime I am somewhat soothed by the amazing Indian summer we're having, and the pleasures of immersing myself in a rather silly but absorbing new computer game.

Today brought to you by L'Occitane Almond Oil, Jo Malone Nutmeg and Ginger Cologne, and Jo Malone Red Roses body cream. The best and most delicate of my scents. And I still feel like crap.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Au revoir old friend..

Maccy developed breathing problems during Thursday, and an x-ray confirmed he had significant amounts of fluid in his lungs. At 6.30pm we (M, dorter and me) gathered at the vet's and said our farewells. Maccy was very very tired. He allowed me to hold him, oh so gently. He laid his head on his paws, on my arm, and after we kissed and cuddled him, and surrounded him with warm arms, he sighed softly and left us.

Tomorrow a few members of family and close friends are gathering for a small burial ceremony, and a drink to celebrate a remarkable, loving life. If there was ever a role model for peaceful optimism and purrfect, uncritical love, that was Maccy.

Our other puss has big paws to fill. She's begun by ripping the fly screen off my study window, so she can get in and out without having to use that pesky cat door. It's so far away at the other end of the house!

Today brought to you by ... many messages of love and comfort. A HUGE bouquet of lilies from the vet. Two rather fuddled people, pottering around the house finding it hard to think straight. We can hear him squikking, and see him lying on chairs and sitting near his food bowls. I'm just waiting to find him squeaking at the back door, back from an adventure and starving for cuddles and a big dinner. Waiting til I get mine, and coming to sit helpfully on my lap in case I can't finish my chicken.

My lovely boy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Maccy has lymphoma. This is a very treatable cancer in cats. We have the option, if he's well enough from the peritonitis, to try a dose of chemo on Friday and see if it shrinks the cancer and thereby helps him feel better. The vets are quite keen to give it a go, they are confident that it's a good move. But when we visited our boy today, he was a bit brighter but tired very quickly and just wanted to be left alone. This is not behaviour we see in him unless something is very wrong.

We had to discuss all the possible options, talking frankly about quality of life and when it's right to decide to stop the suffering. It's the last thing we can do for our pets, take away any suffering and let them go to sleep. We've had to make this choice twice before, with Amy and then a year later with her daughter, Petunia. It was to some extent easier both those times, because both old girls had fatal conditions with no hope of reprieve. They had both clearly come to the end of their physical capacity to eat or socialise, leaving only lying around waiting for death. It was pretty horrible but also quite clear that letting them go to sleep was right, and right now.

Maccy might not be well enough for chemo; the peritonitis may not clear up enough. He's on pretty heavy meds, and after 3 days hasn't gained much ground. Without chemo he'll certainly die, and soon. The roll of the dice is whether a dose of chemo (which is administered with steroids) will immediately shrink the tumour and therefore make him feel a lot better. Reduce the pain, let his digestive system work properly, give him back his appetite. If it does, we are then on a merry-go-round of weekly or twice-weekly visits to the vet for monitoring and further chemo. This means lots more of the much-hated car trips. He's never been a happy traveller, and I'm loathe to inflict more of that on him. But is it fair to let him go without trying? I don't know.

He's been such an important part of my life, and my family's life, for 12 years. He's a very gorgeous boy, a loving purrsonality who has roamed the neighbourhood making friends for years. When we started having to keep him inside, and take him for walks on his lead, we began to find all the other homes he'd (easily) made his own. Friends who live a few blocks away who welcomed him as their own. The woman who had morning coffee with him on her porch. Several families whose young children loved his visits. Grandpa up the road who missed Maccy coming for afternoon naps. Neighbours over the road whose grandkids would come to the gate and call him out, then take him over and feed him catnip and pat him til he went all soft and purry - and came home with the munchies!

And there were the people he developed a yen for, and where we could reliably find him in the evening when we wanted him to come home - various group households around the place where the residents could be seen rushing to let him out when they heard us calling! Our next-door neighbours, both families who've lived there; the first who allowed him to live inside and out as he pleased, often bonding with Toby (both boys snoozing on the bed together); later our new neighbours who looked forward to morning coffee with Maccy on the deck. For a while when we first started walking Maccy on his lead, he always went in to see if Mr Nexdor was there, and had a little drink from their fishpond.

Now he has every staff member at the vet practice waiting on him - hand-feeding, serial cuddling, constant checks to see that he's comfortable, every encouragement to get better and carry on being, as St Michael the head vet put it, 'the purrfect cat'. I don't know ... over the last few years he's had a number of very nasty illnesses, the worst being three weeks of hell when he suffered major bowel inflammation, and cat flu. We were lucky to save him that time. Maybe the poor old puss has just done his dash. He's dispensed uncritical love and furriness all his life, provided deep pleasure and comfort to so many people. He's soaked up my tears, gobbled up my catering, decorated our home and our garden, tolerated that pesky Little Miss Wendy when she first moved in and tried to run him off the premises. He's purred and purred, and lolled around in ungainly poses, and squikked and prrpd and mrowed his way through life, and made a damn fine job of it. We're all totally in thrall to him. Messages of love and sorrow for him have come literally from all over the world.

Light a candle for Maccy. Or eat a tin of tuna, or munch on a chicken bone. Sit in the sun and watch butterflies. Come and rub your head against my leg or sit pointedly in front of the fridge. Go to sleep on M's chair on the special blanky I crocheted. Hold him close and feel him purr. I can feel it now....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Looks like it's goodbye, old boy..

Darling Maccy had an ultrasound today. The vet found what are almost certainly cancer cells, and peritonitis. The samples have been rushed off to a lab to confirm the diagnosis, but we're not hopeful of it being something benign. When the vet rang us, her voice said it all; she was sombre, quiet and so regretful.

We went to visit our boy, and he was purry, but eyes dilated and very floppity. He refused food, and was happy just to be held - and sobbed over. I couldn't help myself, that little shaved body, all limp .. he'll stay in hospital on a drip, being treated with antibiotics and pain relief until we know what decisions must be made.

I'm not hopeful that we'll bring him home, except to lie him down somewhere in the front yard where he can rest peacefully and enjoy the passing parade of people going to and from the shops, and the resident wattle birds and rosellas arguing overhead.

Today brought to you by much sadness and many tears. I took his blanky in and just seeing him wrapped in it nearly killed me. It hurts very much to be losing our faithful furry companion.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cardie unravelling...

..our poor boy Maccy (seen here in his famous old black cardie pose) is most unwell. He picked up quickly from being irradiated with an iodine isotope (to kill the cancer causing his hyperthyroidism). He was frisky, hungry and oh so purry. Suddenly last Thursday he started going quiet, going off his food, being very sooky. We knew he was unwell but on the advice of St Libby, his personal veterinarian, we kept him in on the weekend and watched him closely. I was tempting him with bits of mush and sips of nice shower-bucket water, and lots and lots of cuddles. And watching him visibly lose weight, and go all scruffy, and want to sleep ON us not near us...

Today off to the vet. He has a high temp, a mass in his abdomen which wasn't clearly identified by an xray this afternoon. He's staying overnight on a drip for antibiotics, and having a pelvic ultrasound tomorrow to try to find out if it's a mangled kidney, a tumour, a mass of unmoving /ahem/ in the lower intestine, or what.

The vet was very worried, so we are too. After the consultation I distracted myself with three big crosswords, but my trip for a general checkup at my gp was a bit of a muddle, cos I coudn't concentrate on people things. Doc helped me by reading out my (extensive) list of meds so I could try to remember what I might need. I was tempted to say 'just give me a script for all of it' but that would be bloody expensive, apart from anything else! Anyway, I'm fine for now. As long as I have the little pink pill twice a day, I'm essentially ok apart from those dang sinuses playing up.

Please cross your paws and plait your whiskers in hope that darling Maccy gets very better very soon. Today brought to you by eau de puss, a lovely furry earthy smell unlike any other.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Me .. Me Sing .. Me Sing Bach!

Next week the combined forces of about 40 throats and some instruments are presenting Bach's St John Passion at two local churches.  I've been croaking my way through rehearsals for a few weeks now, gradually remembering how it goes (I've sung it before, about 15 years ago).  It's amazing how much CAN be remembered after such a long time - Bach's figured writing helps in that many themes are repeated or reprised throughout his works, so if you can get your head into some of the choral style you have won about half the battle.  The rest is merely notes, music, ensemble, style, watching the dear old conductor, staying in tune and remembering when to sit, stand, and be quiet.  Simple!

I haven't sung in a concert since the year before last, mostly because last year was so interrupted by preparing to travel, travelling, and recovering from such.  Then it was christmas, holiday time, and somehow it was 2009.  I think most of last year was fairly forgettable anyway, including some of the travelling bits, not because the countries were in any way disappointing, but because of my degree of unwellness and/or anxiety levels.  I was terribly homesick for a while, and although I do remember where I was and some of the detail of what we were seeing and experiencing, it's fairly cloudy.  So it's good to be involved with a score, a bunch of stroppy musicians, and immersed in plenty of the usual choir bullshit.

Conductors have this thing about 'Watch me! Watch me!' as if they are the centre of the stage.  The orchestra thinks it's their concert and play too loudly.  The basses go out of tune when they go low, and sopranos are prone to blonde moments.  That only leaves the tenor section, traditionally considered to be all gay, and the mighty forces of the altos.  We are a humble lot, happy to sit in our (enormous) numbers, quietly ignoring proceedings and failing to mark our scores.  We crack excellent jokes amongst ourselves and sneer at everyone else's.  We are the tall, brunette women who sing in sexy deep voices (if you can hear us), and you know you'll get a thrill when you see us stomping on stage.  Not a dry seat in the house - that's our aim!

Scratch a chorister and you'll find an anarchist.  We all know best, certainly better than the composer, the accompanist and the conductor.  ESPECIALLY the conductor.  If you can find an abstruse point of musicology to argue over, all the better.  Other welcome interruptions are the inevitable 'what page are we on?'; 'have we ever sung this chorale before?' (this comes up frequently at dress rehearsals); 'I think the composer intended Italian vowels here' (even though it's written in German and usually sung in English), and 'the sopranos are flat'.  We divide ourselves into two loose groups - the try-hards who sit in the front row, fixing their eyes on the conductor (very bad for their ego problem) and Paying Attention.  The rest of us sit further back, many choosing the back row for preference cos they can stand on risers during the concert and see everything.  This also means they can't hear as much of what's going on, and therefore feel restfully free to come in early, late or on the wrong note, at will.  This position is also very popular with bellowers who don't need those poxy bar lines to keep them in thrall to the mere scratchings of the composer's pen.

It's always remarkable to turn up in concert dress for the final performance.  You've been sitting around for weeks with a group of trackie-dakked, unshaven grumps who mutter, bite their pencils and complain about missing dinner again.  Suddenly you are surrounded by a clean, tidy, well-polished group of people all wearing the same clothes and looking rather competent.  One can be forgiven for thinking, briefly, 'where have all the choristers got to?'.  Then you file on stage, rumble down onto the seats, and wait for proceedings to start.  It can be quite a surprise that you have to keep singing, and that for once the conductor isn't furious, agitated, or stopping every 5 seconds to say something urgently like 'no, that's the A.  If you listen to the cellos they play a third above it in the seventh bar before your entry.  Pitch it from there'; or 'I can't understand why you keep getting that wrong.  It's quite simple, the tenors are singing an augmented 5th against the alto's Gminor 7th'.  Oh, right.  

It's good when someone has a tantrum.  As a chorister one is required to keep a straight face, which can be very challenging.  But when the conductor or the accompanist (or, if you're lucky, a soloist suddenly exposed to the rabble and sounding somewhat unsure of their notes) start swearing in F major, thumping the piano, or shouting about how the concert is only next week and there's no more time for note-bashing, and why doesn't anyone ever practise at home; well you just feel that the elements are aligned in their natural order and you can sit back and be berated, patronised or belittled with a happy heart.   There's nothing quite like a few well-turned insults to finish the evening off on a (sorry) high note.

I do love choirs.  I like the thrill of singing in the concerts, when everyone's concentrating and the music is transformed from thumps and squeaks into something ethereal.  And the post-concert parties are pretty good fun.  Everyone feels they've worked up a mighty thirst, so the pressure must be released!  Then the party songs start and the usual pub patrons start edging for the door.  Magic.

Today brought to you by Bach, quite a lot of Jo Malone 'Amber and Wild Ginger', and the amazing but true fact that I rowed one whole kilometre at the gym this morning, and didn't die.  A-MA-zing.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I am not a happy camper.

This makes it harder to write, unless you care for more comparative lists of my attempts to first vent and then attempt counting blessings.

This week? - I'm only putting blessings in, cos I'm sick of feeling whingy.


There's been a LOT of culture - saw 'The Reader' on Saturday, a most compelling and somewhat upsetting film. Saw Teddy Tahu Rhodes and David Hobson perform on Tuesday night, a very most wonderful concert. Quite the thing for making all of us wiggle a little in out seats! Bought the CD, got it signed by both of them, very fabbo. Tonight went to see a satirical performance of '39 Steps'. Very clever, lots of slapstick, very funny. Noisy. We will all be speaking in fake-o German, British, RRRRussian and Scorts accents for weeks.

In between, M took me to Manuka to help me get over a fit of the blues. He achieved this most adeptly by first plonking me in Ironbark, a cafe which specialises in Aussie tucker (and very good coffee); and joining in a visit to Paperchain bookshop before AND after the meal. I gots lovely bookies. I shall list them in a minute. He didn't hold back either. It was good. Easy, shameless spending. We rounded out the day by stopping at the Electric Shadows Bookshop where I found several dvds and a really wonderful card which shows a woman breaking through a barrier labelled 'Self-Doubt'. It says



I've had the deep pleasure of walking back and forth on my new circle path. I've noticed the carnations are STILL flowering, and that I can now enjoy their scent.

I spent a most wonderful two hours with Ness, who inspired (ordered, bossed and bullied) me into digging out bits of upholstery fabric to make two big boofy cushions. AND she fed me home-made bread with good cheese. She is A Goodie.

Today lunch with sis involved the bacon-iest BLT yet, and a gentle garden-viewing (of my place). She's an excellent gardener, and has helped me sort out a lot of garden puzzles with her wisdom and encouragement. She was very impressed with my quince crop - ONE purrfect fruit! Then St Beth arrived for a 'crafty', wherein she sat on the new couch, admiring Maccy as he slept, snored, rolled, squikked and wuffled next to her. She knitted very neat white baby things while I excavated every box, bag, drawer, pile, drawer and bundle of textiles in the room. We threw things onto the floor for inspiration. We stroked silks and unrolled braids and bindings and rattled little tubes of glass beads. We averted our gaze as I 'accidentally' dropped an unwanted knit square firmly in the bin. I enjoyed removing lots of little bits of dead daddy-long-leg legs. Wendy slept on the mat outside the deck door, keeping close to marmy as she does. I felt a mixture of embarressment at the amount of stuff I have, and some energy about how to get started again. We ate dates and apricots and it was GOOD.

Now my M says "if we sleep now we'll get 9 hours before we have to wake up" and that is another thing to be pleased about. So I shall stop packing my fukken pill containers, hunting for scripts to get re-filled, heat up the milk I want to put my bourbon into, and find a cat to squish me into one corner of the bed.

Tomorrow, you know, I might just go nuts. It could be MUCH easier. Today brought to you by fairly large amounts of Jo Malone "Parma Violet" Linen Spray, and also her "Dark Amber and Wild Ginger" Cologne. Both of them luscious. Next? I needs a dorter. Dorter???? I'm-a comin!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Week.

Is Over.

It wasn't very good as weeks go. Here are some comparisons:

- the virus sucks. Like one of those horrid alien things which stick over your face and then hatch thru your guts. IckkkK.
- I missed gym once, swimming once, lunch twice, and was generally of great disorder.
- I wasn't very good at being A Prop And A Stay for my M's week of deth, either.
- two of the iceberg roses are definitely dead.
- I fail to understand the higher purpose of couch grass.
- I still cannot taste or smell ANYTHING. And believe me, I have been tested. Bakeries, cat food, lovely hot Vietnamese food, and gorgeous bright yellow omelettes made from happy eggs. All cardboard.


- it wasn't too hot, and now it's cool at night so you can snuggle with the doona and the velvet pillows.
- Maccy not only survived his radiation therapy, but is home looking as uselessly furry and squikky as ever.
- the deck has been totally repaired, replaced, nailed and lovingly buffed into purrfection, and wowee! we can walk on it safely.
- St Alex the deck-building, paving and path-making person is friendly, hard-working, honest, particular and decent. This is a very welcome and soothing antidote to the cowboy assholes who have worked on our house in the past, necessitating St Alex!
- my garden is deeply, wildly satisfying. Many grand plans have come to naught, but yesterday I discovered I am to be a mother again - I have a baby self-seeded lemon tree. Apparently most unusual.
- I thought I tasted one of our tomatoes. A hint of greater tastes to come when the old nose settles down.
- rehearsing Bach makes up for quite a lot of other things, including the daily grrrind of having faith in the little pink pills even when experience (lately) shows the plan is flawed.

I have many bottles of purrfume waiting for me. Mrs Wendy-puss has enjoyed being an only cat this last week, and has favoured me with her delicate presence lying all over my left leg at night. Many people around me are just plain marvellous. I know that fear can be conquered. Preferably with a steady hand on the Chanel!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

If one sense aint workin...

.. use another. We're off to have a look at the new Portrait Gallery. Feasting for the eyes seeing as the other sort is still tasteless. Nuthin. Nada. Not a single zippo of a shred of flavour. I could be eating (very healthy, well-prepared) cardboard.

So, today brought to you by goddess-only-knows what, cos *I* can't smell it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh woes is me

.. I has a virus. An achey-bone, older than Methuselah virus. Ow.

Yeah, and total white-out in the sense-of-smell department. Hmf.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


... that's 'Dark Amber and Ginger Lily'. Sounds even fabulouser!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Long time ago...

.. in a little town called... hang on, that was in December. And now it's, oh gosh, it's practically the end of February and here I am still mulling over the difficulties of making a commitment to even one New Year's rez. Even half a one... dammit, maybe like Cath (hi) I'll just declare that the new year hasn't started yet, not til I'm ready. She only delayed hers by one month; hell, watch me top that!

I've been to the coast and back, and missed the heat in Canberra. Then just a few days here, and we jumped on planes to go to Adelaide for my next visit to the uberdoc. Adelaide had the Most Amazing Heatwave recently, and I was fervently hoping it would be over and nice and cool for me. I got a happy compromise - the first few days were pleasant, only late 20s, but by Tuesday this week it was heating up again. Wednesday was hot enough that at 6pm we sought shade for an evening picnic at the beach. We used the aircon in the motel and the hire car lavishly, and I field-tested a number of iced coffees. The best one was made with cold espresso, ice cubes and milk shaken together, then poured into a chilled glass and topped with genuine coffee gelato and just a little cream. It was FABULOUS. Cool, slightly sweet, and the gelato meant the drink had that icecream feel without any extra richness. I loved it. But the other, more usual iced coffees were all pretty good. I don't really like icecream, but a scoop of vanilla diluted by espresso and milk isn't exactly a problem.

The news from the uberdoc is that my poor old sinuses are 'odoematous' and I need lots of topical steroid to help fix that. You don't want to know how I'm going to achieve this. All I'm prepared to say is to quote some of the paperwork accompanying the meds: 'adopt the Mecca position'; 'remain kneeling for at least 10 minutes'; and 'lie down immediately afterwards' ... preferably 'on retiring for the day'. This means, loosely, that I have to go to bed after I 'do' my nose every evening. M is delighted cos it means I can't go on faffing around after I 'do' the 'doing'. I can fix that. I'll just delay the 'doing' til I've finished faffing.

A good consequence, afaic, would be the return of my sense of smell and taste, which are both quite compromised atm. Can't smell my new gorjussness from the Jo Malone shop on King William Road (Hyde Park darling, only rich useless types shop there). Can't taste the iced coffees properly, or the ro-zay, or the fennel-smoked black pig charcuterie. Couldn't tell if I needed extra showers. Also didn't realise for several hours that the large and expensive bottle of cold-pressed extra virgin McLaren Vale boutique gourmet oil that I knocked onto the concrete floor of a wine cellar-tasting room, was lemon myrtle flavoured. Later in the day I was wondering what the lemon smell was and where it was coming from (I was in a non-lemon-laden car at the time) and eventually realised it was my oil-soaked right canvas shoe. I washed it and washed it, and when dry it was still oily. Now the inner fabric sole has come away. But the colours on the canvas are notably brighter than the left shoe, so I expect I'll have to mix up a cup of good olive oil, seep a packet of dried lemon myrtle in it, and then pour it over the shoe somewhere. Purrhaps I'll do it on the bit of front path which is about to be dug up and removed forever. It could be a sort of farewell anointing of the path for all the years of good use it's had and given as a means of getting to our front door without having to negotiate mud, crud and cats.

I enjoyed spending time with quite large bits of my family - I do appreciate Gerald Durrell's incisive titling of one of his 'remembered youth' books - the 'Other Animals' concept applies most aptly! There are inter-brotherly grouches, partner-pickling, view of the offspring from afar ruminations, and some feedback about and to me, about and to me. All very entertaining and mostly not a worry. My fave three things were: dinner with bro #3 and his sweetie. They're on a diet. He cheats. She scolds which makes him smile a lot. Heh. Next? - dinner with bro #2 and his family. Sitting on their new couches after dinner fixing the world while youngest dorter made a play for a late night while falling asleep on my feet. And finally: speaking to my mother about a problem and hearing her response - "I'm gonna come over there and beat them up. How DARE they say that to my favourite dorter???'. She's only GOT one. Bro #3 complained that it's not fair and he wants to be a favourite dorter too. Oh sigh...!

Other good Adelaide things were the funny little car we hired - a Renault Megane. You use a sort of credit card thingie instead of a key, to open/shut things, and turn on/off the engine. A bit tricky til you get used to it. And it's another small black thing to easily lose amongst books and papers. How do I know that??? And driving in a very very right-angled city. All NSEW easily identified, not to mention being able to SEE where you are - between the hills and the sea, duh.

The regional gourmet/specialty shopping of edibles and drinkables. We sent home two boxes of wine, and collected another of other things like oil (yes, see above for why we guiltily bought so much of this!), vinegars, chutneys and sauces. We had an excellent picnic of cheeses, dried meats, amazing dried fruit (pears par-dried with vanilla beans, YUM). A soft cheese, very sheepy, wrapped in prosciutto - we ate it cold but this can be put in a hot oven for 7 minutes to crisp the meat and soften the cheese. I imagine it would be damn luscious spread on some springy bread. Barossa grapes all over the shops, and small dark figs. Really excellent tomatoes even from supermarkets. And plenty of splendid plonk. I found a great bottle for bro #2 - he has a frog 'theme' (no I can't explain why, any more than I can explain why *I* have a watermelon theme) - 'Arrogant Frog' Merlot named 'Ribet Red'. Heheheheheheh...

I almost had a swim twice, but both times refrained because it was SO hot that the amount of Factor 30 needed was just too hard. I survived discovering (on the day) that the appt. with the uberdoc was indeed for 11.30 on the 18th - of MARCH. A booking mix-up which we didn't identify cos of course February has a Wednesday 18th as well. But no drama, we got in anyway. They wouldn't turn us away once we said, lip a'tremble, but but we came over from Canberra. Ahem. Not sure I can blame myself entirely for this one, but I do wonder..

Little cat here in the window says 'let me outoutoutOUT!!!l' there is buffaloes to biff and heffalumps to hunt and sweet night air to whisk my whiskers'. Natch. She can swish her tail all she likes, cats are IN at night and that's that. Oh god, now she's attempting to claw down the fly screen. I shall depart.

... leaving a trail, I hope, of Jo Malone 'Dark Amber and Ginger'. Sounds like dessert! Try it and see. Do you find yourself reaching for a spoon and some cream to schloop it all over your chest? Then maybe it's not for you.. unless you start wearing chocolate t-shirts, anyway.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Press HEAT button off, please.

Nine days at the coast, except for one day it was a mere 28 degrees. Watching the rest of east/south Australia, I dare not mention the evening humidity which made my hair run with sweat, dare I. No.

The Good Wimmin joined me on Thursday for 4 days of shared food, bubbles, venturing, swimming, reading, chat and deep appreciation of the surroundings. Major shopping took place at Mogo, where shirts were found for all of us. I topped up with some 'anti-stress' incense - as always this recipe is lavender and rose geranium. Very nice tho.

On Saturday, swimming in the shallow lagoon, I saw two stingrays! One large black ray, about a metre across; and a baby ray only about a foot wide, still a pale sandy colour. I've never seen them before. This year there are no small fat green starfish in the rockpools, or crabs, that I can see. The beach is pebblier than ever, but that I think is a good thing as it prevents too many ppl from driving in to spend the day. I am selfish. I want to keep this place as unpopular as possible!

It's good to be home with my pusscats, my purrfume collection, my M and proper phone reception. We have only a few days before leaving for Adelaide for a week, so I can visit the uberdoc again, and spend some time with fambly. We're hoping to stay somewhere on or near the beach, but accommodation is proving tricky to pin down. It must have aircon, aircon, a queen bed and aircon. How hard could it be??

Today brought to you by eau de Mr Sheen (used by the cleaners on the kitchen cupboards); a cool breeze, and a suspicion that my sense of smell has gorn again. Sigh....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gee we've had a long run of hot weather. And yeah, I know it's been 10 degrees hotter in other places, like Adelaide and Melbum... doesn't make it any easier here tho. We have lovely dusty smoke haze over the city from the Budawangs fires (south coast); nasty warm winds and a lot of gum tree branch-drop. Not to mention foot-expansion, face-melting, clothes-too-damn-hotting, and general yerk. A lot of ppl say it's not worth getting aircon in the house here, for the '4 days it's hot each summer', but by my count we're up to about 16 days now, that makes 1/24 of a year. That sounds MUCH longer!

We are seriously considering evaporative cooling thru the house. Other people I know here use it to great, fresh effect. Even in the humid days we had two weeks ago, Cath's (hi) evap cooling was still far more pleasant than outside. Not to mention being wonderfully soothing for hardass sinuses which never stop complaining about something; anything...

So ... we're abandoning this vale of sweat and tears and taking ourselfs down to the coast for a week. M will return in 4 days, but I have a whole, blissful nearly 9 days. I expect this time I'll actually go for a swim. Unfortunately I can't convince M we have room in the car for the portable cooler - I mean, all we'd have to leave behind is clothes, linen, food and supplies. Meh.

Today brought to you by a very very good and happy lunch with the Good Wimmin (now all three of us are non-workplace-enabled); a splat cat; several items crossed off the list; and a determination to try to do what the counsellor says, and ... just ... STOP. No purrfume, it's not worth it in the heat. But I will give a special mention to the delicious aroma of the eucalypt forest in the Fog/Sculpture Garden at the NGA. Very Very Delicious. They could have charged a gold coin donation for ppl to walk in and out of the fog, today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's still hot. Now it's humid as well. We've had cracking great storms the last two nights, dumping great rain on the gardens, washing the birdsh off the car, and getting quite carried away making a huge hole in a new garden bed. Triffic. No watering by hand or bucket for several days. But sheesh, the humidity. The ultimate waah happened when I visited a friend (hi there Plummet-mummy!) who has evaporative aircon in her house. Kind of cooler, but sticky. The only downfall of evap aircon as far as I can tell. It was fine when we were blobbed on the couches, sucking back g + t and admiring the cats. But move and the great curtain of sweatiness descends... it's kind of uncool to have drips coming off your chin. And icky.

I cooked my ass off last week, entertaining house guests. There were amazing feats of ovening, grilling, salading, opening of bottles and eating; oh my, the eating! I'm glad I did it cos now we are happily making our way through some very good corned beef and some interesting salads. I amaze myself with what I can do if I don't think about it too much. The carrot salad was particularly good - grate carrot, apple and ginger. Mix with a bit of shredded coconut, a small slosh of balsamic vinegar, and the juice of a small ruby grapefruit. Nom.

But this is not really a recipe site, unless you count recipes for abstractions such as disaster, achieving serenity, the care and comforting of the furry feline, and how to garden without bending. Sometimes I alarm myself with the level of abstraction, but mostly I have part of one foot approximately in the same hemisphere as the ground....

I went shopping yesterday after Medicare paid me a nice lump sum. They were very generous, almost enough to make me forget the size of the bills I had to pay to get such a large return. I took me to the purrfume area of DJs, BAD ME. Of course I bought something. But but it were a bargain!!!! Three pocket sprays of 'Covet' for the price of one I tell you. On the strength of that I felt I could afford the sale price of small bottles of 'Angel', so now I have two. This is merely cautious pantry management principles being put to work on another kind of cupboard collection, ie as soon as one is close to running out, replace it. And gosh I could be left with an empty bottle at any time! I must be vigilant I tell you.

We won't discuss WHICH bottle, or point out that I have dozens, will we??

Today brought to you by M's birthday celebrations, hurray for him! And yum to the Thai dinner and pink champers. And yay for the birthday party tomorrow, there will be cake I tell you. I was going to be very organised and start tonight, but meh. I'm still hot, and the cooler in the bedroom is calling to me. I have a new edition of my fave magazine, several borrowed books to get thru (thanks to Shadow's-daddy and his joint collection!), one of M's xmas present books to attack, and at least 30 crosswords lined up for my delectation. You just don't know you're alive until you've delectated a crossword, trust me.

Today also brought to you by easy weeding after the rain; the pleasure of spending nearly a whole day in my silk nightie setting a new sloth record; Maccy looking equally pleased with hisself for excaping, and pissed-off for being founded and putted back inside; a serious drenching of 'Covet' for wearing out to dinner; and a strange sense of optimism.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It worked!

I am Officially Amazed. For once my 'make it rain' antics made it rain! We were sitting in a Szechuan restaurant (yeah, chillie on a hot muggy night, weird I know) and suddenly a huge flash of lightning, then a crack of thunder and it was pouring. Then there was another loud bang, and we saw a substantial bit of ceiling descending on two hapless customers. Oooooops.... the sudden flush of rain had caused a leak in only seconds which was enough to bust a ceiling panel. Those two grrrls didn't look very happy. The restaurant owners just stoically swept up the mess and put a bucket under the leak. The perils of working in the food industry!

It IS somewhat cooler. We are lucky that the breeze is going the right way to waft into our bedroom. Let's hope it means a comfier night, and no asthma. I've been koff koff wheeze all night for several days now, what a damn pest.

This evening brought to you by Ma Po Tofu, a decent squirt of 'Angel', and lovely cool feeties.

Noxious weather too.

Hot, hot wind, blistering sun, fading garden, failing ppls, house getting lovely n warm if you like sweating like a bloody sweater all the time. I've had wet hair for days.

We used the portable aircon thingy in the lounge for a few nights, blowy but cool. Last night we even lugged it into the bedroom to cool it down before bedtime.

Now it's muggy, blowy and trying very hard to be a huge thunderstorm. To encourage this, I've washed windscreens, left some washing out, and watered the pots. The only thing left in my armoury of how to make it rain is to have all the nappies in the house on the line. But as none of us use nappies and in fact I don't have any left (well, it HAS been about 20 years since they were required)... that's tricky.

Today brought to you by a cool shower at 2am, the hope of a g and t later on, and two floppy, sacked out cats. Bloop.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Noxious weeds.

I decided to look them up, so I wouldn't spend the whole night wondering if I know less than I thought. If you want to check, go to 'Weeds Australia- Noxious Weeds List'.

I am delighted to report that apart from the plants I listed, I have also eradicated or refused to accept these plants for my garden:

- periwinkle
- radiata pine/cypress pine
- St John's wort
- broad-leaf and Chinese privet
- asparagus fern
- willow
- Chinese elm
- pampas grass
- false acacia

However I am alarmed to skim through the list and see that some plants I have, or have planned, appear on the list. I'll need to investigate plants such as cape daisy, golden rain tree, flax (some ok, some not); and see if I'm still legal! I know I can't add blackberries, for example, to my fence of thorns.

Interesting reading. There's a lot of area-specific plants, many weeds which I suspect I couldn't identify easily. And some are deadly poison in one state but not noted anywhere else. Very interesting and confusing!

Do YOU have a innoxuous garden??

Sunday, January 11, 2009

View from the weekend..

Bumpy. Undulating? Definitely not smooth, anyway.

A friend had a bad fall and broke his hip; instant mayhem for the family. I hope he'll heal fast, completely and with added wisdom. Nasty events always have this potential!

My darling M has been very down today, after spending yesterday being wonderfully energetic and keeping ME going. He woke in the night saying he was feeling his age. Poor man. We decided that this meant today was an Official Sunday, thereby throwing all expectations to the winds and letting ourselves blob around, eat funny things at funny times, indulge each other, and play with the cats. The highlight of the day was watching a dvd of Claudio Abbado conducting the Berlin Phil in a lavishly gorgeous theatre in Sorrento. A wonderful purrformance of Dvorak's 'New World Symphony', with some rather pretentious doco-style ramblings about supposed influences on his composition. But the purrformance was masterful, and very well filmed. We enjoyed it very much, as we quietly removed a few more bits of fur-lump from Maccy, snorted our evening drinks down with posh chocolate, and tried very hard to get Wendy to come in from a storm. She turned up well after it was over, looking very pleased with herself. And very wet!

We've reconstructed my workroom as a spare bedroom (ie put a bed in there again), and M is now sacked out, safely tucked in away from my nocturnal/insomniac interruptions. I'm happily up the other end of the house (there's a lot to be said for long, rectangular houses), playing the Corrs, typing, arranging my 'art' teatowels on the bed (I can feel some hanging up coming on tomorrow), contemplating the Ikea delivery next weekend, thinking of sofa-hunting tomorrow, and considering the effect of a cheese sandwich before sleepytime. Trouble is, I want a cheese sandwich with LOTS of butter, and I'm sure my doc would shudder and point to my latest cholesterol level results. Dang.

I haven't made much of a start on this year yet, except to throw out the prescriptions from 2007 which are definitively out of date. I'm not trying for a resolution, cos I aint got any. Even moderate attempts at willpower are largely a failure. Going with the flow is easier, except I don't flow much, I'm more of a stasis girl. Oh well. There are some fun projects I could start on, easily completed, which would be satisfying. Like putting a hanging pocket on a sequinned and embroidered cloth, to hang behind our bed. Finishing putting polar fleece along the edge of our bedspread so the fringe doesn't tickle our noses. Sewing ditto to mum's HYOOG knitted blanky which is going to Germany to adorn the bed of my eldest niece. This one will have to be handsewn, and with temperatures aiming for 37 later this week, I'm not looking forward to having it in my lap! I might have to do a deal with the ironing board.. it can take the bulk and the weight, while I fiddle with the edge. We'll see. It might be one of those things which is massively attractive to the attentions of a cat. A cat which might think it's great fun to 'help'.

.... I should get my wobbly ass back to gym. And off to the pool for wading, which, dear readers, is THE exercise invented to fix your tight lower back. Goes like this: hop into the medium pool at Dickson, the one which is only 1.5m at the deepest end, is under shade-cloth, and is big enough to stride around. Stride around. Do this until you feel like a coffee. Go and get one - they're rather good at the cafe there - and resume striding around with your coffee in one hand. Fabbo. You can do all this without getting your hair wet, your self sunburnt, or endangering your caffeine level. Close to purrfect as a form of exercise don't you think?

Alice the Garden came today (delayed from last Tuesday when it was too hot). She does miracles every time. Today she put in the three large iceberg roses I was given before christmas. I've been keeping them alive in plastic bags... I hope they'll all thrive. We're happily planting prickly things all along part of our front fence, because late last year someone walking along there broke off most of my fruit tree saplings. Much grief, especially for the persimmon tree which was leaping towards the sun and looking very happy. Now it's only 2 feet tall. A nice thick row of high and rambling roses; boysenberries, raspberries, spiky grevilleas and anything else I can think of to add to the deterrent mix; a year or so of growing, and my trees will be quite safe. AND I hope all this will outgrow the bloody vinca, which is big fat nuisance all along the fence-line. As bad as ivy.

Alice's visits always leave me with lots of things to do in her wake. I can't dig the holes or cart the heavy bags of stuff around. But I'm a gun Seasol-er; I can plant wee things into the softer soil; and I can plan, oh how I can plan! I have many natives to go in, and my sis busy growing more from seed, the clever thing. When all my hakeas finally fall over, I'll have Canberra grown and hardened replacements all strong and healthy. Nice. I'll also have a very eclectic garden full of cape daisies and mint bush and boobialla and blue fescue and lavender and agapanthus and pigface and geraniums and seaside daisy... I think there's only one environmental weed in that list! I'll check... I've spent 10 years removing masses of the top ten enviro-weeds which were all rampant in this old garden. The huge piles of privet, honeysuckle, ivy, cotoneaster, vinca, wandering jew, ... well that's 6 out of 10. I know I had ten but it's too late to look up details. Trust me!

And now I see it is tomorrow and that cheese sammo is looking better and better. I guess I could go easy on the butter and add a bit of mustard... I will certainly be adding purrfume to the nocturnal mix. I have some Mugler 'Angel' which needs opening. The one I've been using in the last week is 'Lily Angel', a difference I didn't note until I saw bottles on display in a very dangerous shop in Manuka... a shop full of shiny things and discounted purrfume and beads and makeup and and and.. what with being under the influence of pancakes, being very relaxed, and knowing what was in my bank account, I had no chance did I?

Please send bone-knitting, garden-growing, headache-dispelling and sense-of-smell-in-full-opurrational-order vibes. They will all go to good homes. Send some dorter-patting too while you're at it, pats are always useful on dorters. Especially darling ones like mine.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My cattie..

.. is feeling better!! Add thyroid meds, and he's himself within half a day. Amazing. All he's done since we started meds is sleep, and be happy. Every now and then we see a black shadow stomping up to the kitchen for fud supplies; then he returns via a nice drink from the bucket in the shower to his preferred sleeping place - the carpet on my study floor. He lies against the door, paws all over the place, and sleeeeeeeeeps. Gorjuss.

That Other Cat is busy hunting buffaloes, committing atrocities under mrs nexdor's deck, and climbing trees to catch (or shoot) the breeze. Her other plan is to mulch the kitchen floor for me, so she engages in lavish dust-baths, rolling and rubbing herself in so that she turns brown, and then comes in and flosses it all onto the floor. She gets bonus points if I'm wearing my black daks, so she can rub the top layer off on them. What a life. Her other activity is sleeping on the dining table on my summer hat.

Cats are WEIRD. But oh so independent and norty and delightful.



kinda like me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Maccy: the update.

Saint LIbby the vet says all his symptoms (agitation, extensive vocalising, weight loss, poor grooming) can be attributed to hyperthyroidism. We were investigating this in early December, but he was unwell in other ways so the treatment had to be delayed. Now he has nice thyroid tablets to take for a few weeks. Then we'll re-check his blood test to make sure other things are working properly, and then !!!! he may well be a very good candidate for radio-isotope treatment. This means a week in an isolation ward while he metabolises the bit which makes Geiger counters go berko. Heh. This treament cures 95% of cats permanently from thyroid disfunction. I find it kind of amusing to consider having a radio-active cat! He's had so many other dramatic things wrong with him, I'm sure this will just add an eery green glow to his 8th or 9th life.

As for the rest of me, I am slowly climbing out of my 'return-to-home' slump. I spent a couple of hours in the garden last night, clipping, pulling a few succulent weeds, tying things up again, watering and plotting. The plotting is the most abstract and the widest ranging activity. I'm delighted to see that almost nothing has suffered during our absence. I think several storms of rain did their bit to keep things looking very good. Mysteriously the four pumpkin plants have disappeared, but I suspect they were put in a place that Wendy considered to be sacred digging territory, so I'm NOT going to investigate! The artichokes have positively creaked upwards, the roses are getting ready to bloom again, all the veggie seedlings are about 8 times bigger, and the weeds in the 'cleared' areas are looking especially lush.

I enjoyed having enough heat in the day to deal with umpteen loads of sheets, towels and every knicker in the house. Hmm, sun-dried knickers, there might be something in that... I like having my dvd collection, and my proper cushion on the chair, not to mention the lovely purple velvet pillows on the bed. So sofffttt....

Resolution? I haven't had the heart to make any, but today a little thought kind of trickled through the layers of early morning fug, caffeine absorption and bleariness - maybe I could try a bit harder. That's it. I'm not going to spoil a good idea by confusing it with details, expectations or deadlines. We'll see.

Today brought to you by a very shiny laundry (after I had to completely take down, re-organise/prune/clean/de-tangle and tie up properly George and Georgette, the monsteras). Also a very shiny cat (Wendy, fopping all over the euphorbias), and a ruffled but patient Maccy. Also a few blasts of Angel, which I think I am going to be addicted to for a bit. Tomorrow is jam-making, sewing (with the aircon on for sure), and a proper dinner. Of..... proper food, proper cooking, and such. Watch this space!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cautious re-entry...

So... 2009.

We returned from our coast holiday this evening. Somehow getting home was not entirely joyous, even tho we had to push the car all the way cos it was so full of xmas purrchases and gifts! Our dear Maccy has been incompletely cared-for, and has lost weight and condition. He's been found outside a lot, so I suspect he's suffering food allergies again. Poor kitty. Little Miss Wendy however is looking shiny and sleek and VERY pleased to have the staff back. I was even granted a chin rub.

We enjoyed bringing in our new toy, a kitchen trolley - a rather spiffy beechwood trolley with removable cheese board, tray and drawer, includes bottle and glass holders, brakes on the coasters n all.

I am concentrating on optimism. I have read and read and read, and slept and slept, and cooked some lovely food, and rested and failed to engage in any projects except for the most personal and gratifying. I have talked to my darling dorter a lot. Not enough but a lot. I have successfully avoided quite a bit of the festive event, and enjoyed the rest. I have been expurrtly and thoroughly spoiled by my darling M, and the list of goodies is too long for me to print without embarrassment. A good season, then.

It's fun catching up with email, f***book, random spams and so on. Nearly three weeks off the webs! It may be the cure you know. The world has managed purrfectly well without me.

Tomorrow being another day, and all that. Today brought to you by Mugler's 'Angel'. Spicy, strong and encouraging. Always a good mix!