Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Australia Day. Go us. :)
Monty Python sums it up nicely, I think. (Quoting from memory so possibly not entirely accurate:)

Australia, Australia, Australia.
Here is the wattle, the symbol of our land.
You can stick it in a bottle, or hold it in your hand. Amen.


Well, the gardeners came back yesterday to tackle the backyard, but had to abandon the project when they disturbed a wasp nest. Oops. I rang the council to see about getting rid of it but they don't come out to private properties any more. The couple of quotes I got from professional pest control companies were all over $100, which we can't afford, so looks like we'll be dealing with it ourselves. The cubs' father has volunteered. Probly just as well. I don't have anything resembling protective clothing, not even boots.

Awww, my cubs are growing up. They started their first lay-by yesterday, with their own money and in their own name. :)

Heh, we've xmas candy canes all over the house at the moment, far more than there were during xmas. Why? They're so cheap right now as shops try to clear their xmas stock!

Hee! Last week's Shakespeare Revisited was Taming of the Shrew! Definitely the best of the series so far! A good, workable adaptation of characters and plot - though this Petruchio wasn't nearly so horrible to Katherine as the original was - and so funny!
He's going to taunt me with a week's worth of clean knickers, then throw them in the pool, isn't he?

<g> Definitely one for the library.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Squeee! I would love to have a tent like this...

I want one!

(Snapped at last weekend's Medieval Festival in Launching Place.)

Some time late last year I mentioned that my neighbours had organised (and paid for) someone to come and tame the front garden for me. I also mentioned that they didn't consult with me first - cos they'd obviously had enough of it being a blight on the street and so decided to take matters into their own hands. Even though I was horribly intimidated I can admit it was a fair cop, honestly, I know I was never going to get 'round to doing anything consistent about it. So anyway, the gardening people were back again today (again without consultation) but I spoke to the woman in charge and - long story short - they'll be here regularly and I'll be paying for the service. Very reasonable rates, too. Once the backyard is under control (and at a suggested $50 that's much easier to stomach then the $200 I was quoted by someone else) it'll be $25 a fortnight for front and back. Manageable, and I won't feel like I have to skulk when I leave the house in order to avoid the neighbour. :)

On my list of 'Things I Need' is a new doona. I've had mine for 20 years, and while it's done sterling service it's getting a bit fragile. Coincidentally one of the shops in the local emporium is having a 25% off bedding this week! I've got a brand new doona on layby - and as all my sheets are getting a bit tatty - a 100% cotton bed sheet set as well. (They were a little bit pricey but I'm awfully fussy about my bedlinen. Poly/cotton is just not acceptable. <g> ) I could start thinking about new pillows, too...
As for my old doona, it won't be going in the bin. Oh no, I'm sure I could do something useful with the remains.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cubs and I have just spent the weekend at Mum's, and it was better than I anticipated. To clarify, I was so cranky on Saturday - because of the gods-awful weather - I was thinking that being forced into close proximity with the cubs and my mother for 3 days would be a nightmare. <g> It wasn't - in fact it was kind of relaxing. Helps that the weather cooled right down, of course.
Didn't do much on Saturday, just a little shopping, but on Sunday we traipsed along to a Medieval Festival at the local archery park. Lots to see, lots to photograph (heh, 134 pics later...) The jousting was fun to watch, and, oooh! Pavilions! Now that's what I call camping in style! Yes, they're bulky and a pain in the arse to transport, but I want one!
Cubs had a ball. They loved looking at the weaponry and armour, were dead impressed with the jousters, and got to fire a crossbow! That was the highlight for them, I think. <g>
We stayed for a few hours then, as promised, I took the cubs swimming afterwards. I only stayed in for an hour - all the earlier walking combined with not-quite-warm water made my feet feel twitchy and pre-crampy - but the cubs kept splashing around for another hour at least. I really like the pool near mum's; it's not stupidly crowded like the ones around here, even on hot weekends, and the staff are not stingy about letting the patrons play with the centre's equipment.

Today, Monday, the cubs went swimming again while Nana was at her exercise class. I stayed out and kept an eye on them while I did some sewing, listened to music. After that we drove to a friend of Mum's to check out her furniture. She's moving from a smallish house to a miniscule unit and has to downsize: I've been given first pick of the loot. <g> I've earmarked a desk, table and benches, kitchen unit and bookshelves - all in varnished pine, my favourite. Mine, all mine, for free! Now I just have to organise transport. (Niki? In case you read this before I ring you... Do you still have the trailer? Oh, and thank you for the bread. :)

Normally, well recently, coming 'home' was always a bit of a downer. Perhaps it's the prospect of being able to clear some of the clutter soon, but for a change I was quite cheerful walking into the house this afternoon. Let's see if I can keep the positivity going long enough to get my teeth into cleaning and clearing the crap...

Had an interesting dream while I was at Mum's. Joules came to visit! Which was fabulous as it was the first time we'd actually met but I'd forgot she was coming. So not only did she have to find my place by public transport instead of me picking her up from the airport, the house was completely unready (read: filthy) for visitors, plus I had to find somewhere comfortable for her to sleep! I was embarrassed, knowing I was letting myself down as a good host, and under the circumstances her bad temper was entirely reasonable. :)
(And the house itself was odd: a pastiche of the past 3 places I've lived with added bits from a couple of other houses I've visited in dreams. An awkward, uncomfortable place, but - I knew - with so much potential to be warmly quirky and welcoming, if I just put in a little effort.)
Strangely enough, this dream has the same feel about it as the other 'travelling' dreams I'd had recently, only this time it was someone travelling to me. But, there was the same debilitating sense of unpreparedness. I'm sure my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

[Edit: The Blogger spellcheck threw up coasters for jousters; Ares for arse (thinking of Xena, that's spot-on); travesty for traipsed; and pica for pics. Hee.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Bleurgh. It's been hot and humid for a few days now. Don't like it at all; sweating when you're expending no energy whatsoever is unnatural. <grump> We've had some rain at least - which is good, it's desperately needed - but it only cooled things down a bit while increasing the humidity a lot.
Well, according the Bureau there's only one more day of ickyness before we get a break. <sigh> I'm really not wishing for Winter to get a move on - don't want to wish away half the year before it's even really started!

Speaking of which... Egad, the cubs go back to school in just over a week! Not fair! I've only just got into the swing of being on holiday!
My babies are going into Year 6... which means High School next year... which means - ah, crap - I'd better get cracking on sorting out some of the little niggling questions I've been managing to ignore for the past few years, like, where are we going to live? (Cos that'll determine which High School they go to.) And, I need to take their father and my mother into consideration as well. Ideally (for various reasons) we'd like we need to be close to both of them... <head->desk> Too hard. Right now, a cool, dark cave - with internet connection, 'puter and full bathing facilities - is sounding reeaaally nice.

(Right, can I find something to not whinge about? Let's see...)
While lying sleepless the other night (not a breath of wind to relieve the stifling heat.. oops, I wasn't going to whinge, was I? Hah!) I managed to firm and expand the basic plot for my next story - oh yes, I'm writing another book; set in the Dystopia Universe. What happened to the first book, you might ask? Well, you can ask, but I'll probly be skittish and evasive.
Dammit, got distracted again. Yes, started another book. Woohoo! I'll finish the Snupin one day, an' all.

Cubs and I spent the day at Soulsis' yesterday! Was hot (<growls warningly at self>) but fun. We left the boys playing video games for a wee space of time while Soulsis, girlie and I trawled some op-shops and a second-hand place for furniture. Didn't find any furniture but got loads of other good stuff. :)
Andandand I've now got a biiiig plush Hello Kitty courtesy of Soulsis! Thank you!

And I found this, too, in an op-shop a couple of days ago!
Still Life with Pineapple Teacosy

Neat, eh? It came with an appallingly cheerful yellow teapot. (Not pictured, cos the cosy didn't really fit it properly, so I used one of my other teapots to model. Tra la la.)

Right. Is it bedtime yet? More importantly - will I sleep?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cubs went to a birthday party today, their first for the year. <g> It was hosted at the same 'indoor recreation centre' as the last one, so they had a ball playing laser tag and cruising in the go-karts again.
Party ended at 2.30 but we didn't leave there until gone 6! We hung around to watch the Robowars finals. Was more entertaining than I would've given it credit but half my enjoyment came from observing the engineering/mechanics geeks interact [the funky rainbow faux fur shorts were a winner in my eyes]. It was all very friendly, too, with good sportsmanship shown by everyone - winners and loser. There were some spectacular clashes. In one, a 'bot with a vertical blade was flipped and ended up gouging a big hole in the floor. That was exciting. Another 'bot used a CO2 fueled ram/flipper - some of its victims went a metre into the air. :) The sheet steel and polycarb enclosure took a fair amount of damage during the afternoon, too, not to mention the carnage inflicted on a defenceless vacuum cleaner (and old printer) in the 'demonstration' bouts. Heh, needless to say the cubs are terribly enthusiastic about it all now.

KittenKong is once again a happy cat. The cubs and I finished house-sitting yesterday and now I'm back home to pay full attention to her needs - as is only right and proper.
As a thank-you, Niki gave me a jar of delicious rhubarb chutney and a slab of the best smelling peppermint soap I've ever had the pleasure to snuffle! And as a thank-you for keeping an eye on an eBay auction for him, Richard gave me a beautifully tacky lobster fridge magnet. <g> Its feelers are on springs! They wobble!
It was good to get some time away from home, just the cubs and I. Gave me a chance to get some perspective on my current domestic arrangements...

Our ABC is currently showing a series of reworks of some Shakespeare plays. Last week was Macbeth, and while it was fabulously brooding and angsty, I'm not entirely convinced that setting it in the cut-throat world of top-class restaurants really worked all that well. It was a great adaptation but it seemed to be labouring in parts. Though having the 3 witches as garbage men was inspired! James MacAvoy was particularly good in the lead, and no wonder he was familiar - it wasn't just the incidental (numerous) UK telly productions I've seen him in, he was Mr Tumnus!
This week's offering was Much Ado About Nothing. This version was updated to a TV studio, and it seemed to have a more natural flow than Macbeth. A very good cast, which unfortunately, didn't do much to relieve my ambivalence about the story. This isn't one of my favourite Shakespeare's; much as I love the Benedick/Beatrice thread I always want to smack Hero & Claude (especially Claude) over the back of the head! Gods above he's so infuriatingly gullible!
Didn't catch what next week's production is, but I know Midsummer Nights Dream is on the list somewhere. :)

(Oh, and the cubs have decided they want nicknames. The S cub is now Rocket and the M cub, Badger. Yerrss.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Le Frog: We leave immediately!
[strides off screen]
Henchfrog #1: What about supper?
Le Frog: [strides back on screen] We leave in five hours!

<rolling around laughing> That's a quote from Flushed Away - which the cubs and I went to see yesterday. It's been a long time since I've laughed so much during a movie. Oh, the frogs! Oh, the slugs! Oh, Ian McKellan the villain! <giggling>
It's an Aardman production - in conjunction with Dreamworks - and is peculiarly British. Which means toilet humour. Which is probly why it's not doing as well as it should, especially in comparison to the 'technically good but a trifle mechanical' Happy Feet.
Definitely one for the DVD list, even if we don't see it again at least once more at the cinema.

January! Calendars are on special! 75% off in one particular place. I treated myself to a 'manga art' (one I would've bought at full price but couldn't afford); a Van Gogh (with bonus fridge magnets!) and a very pretty Australian Birds diary. Oh, and the cubs got a calendar of Australian trams. All for $16. Bargain!

I saw on the news last night there's going to be another inquiry into Princess Di's preference for well-built poles er, tragic accident. Between my hearing and the noise the cubs were making I was sure I heard that the chief-person-in-charge-of-it-all's name was Lady Elizabeth Bucket Slops. <snerk> I was almost disappointed to find out her name was in fact Butler-Sloss...

Monday, January 08, 2007

You can keep your Xmas/New Year sales, it's the Back to School sales I look forward to.
Sure, I don't need that 3 kilos of stationary but, damn, it satisfies some deep-seated, primal urge. :)

(Nicked from Rakina)

Hee... I like daisies...

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You are just a sweet person. When a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, you are happy to offer yours with a box of tissues as well. Once in awhile, you wish you could be a little more dramatic but then sensibility sets back in and you know that you are perfect the way you are."

As I mentioned, I'm house-sitting for Niki. Niki has a lot of really interesting books lying around. Just read 'The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt' by Matt Beaumont. 'twas about the trials and tribulations of shooting a mega-expensive ad with big-name stars, and it's one of the funniest things I've read for a long time. Neat format, too: The story progesses through snippets from individuals rather than a continuous narrative. Of course, this means we're seeing events from several different - often conflicting - points of view. There's miscommunications, and frantic leaps to conclusions - hilarity ensues.
The only people we don't hear from are the two protagonists, which is intriguing cos you're never quite sure what's going on in their heads. It leaves several key factors in the comic-drama open to interpretation...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Excitement, adventure... I can be doing without any of that, thanks.
Long story short: the cubs and I are housesitting for Niki (yay! Air-conditioning!) but when we got back this afternoon from feeding my cat and shopping, I couldn't find the key! Eeek! Fortunately we found it in the first place we looked - the supermarket, where it must've been turfed out of my bag as I was rummaging around for my purse. Phew.
(<shifty> Uh, Niki? Best p'raps if you overlook this bit, eh...?)

The Snupin Lurve Secret Santa has been finalised and the authors have been revealed!
Here's my contribution - Iron Snupin written for Electromoon. It's a bit of a laugh, a crossover 'tween HP and The Iron Chef. I got a fair few happy comments about it, too, which was pleasing.
[A warning though: if slash (m/m) smut isn't your bag, baby, this may not be the best thing for you to read <g>]
Big huggles to Joules for the beta and Britlish. Thanks!
(Here's the master list for this year's exchange. There were some excellent fics posted. I spent probly more time there reading than I should've. Hee, gotta love that Snupin.)

And, thank you, onna! Your parcel arrived quicker than you anticipated. <g> The potholders will clash with everything, they'll be perfect!

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's too hot to sleep so I'm skulking about online, in front of the fan...

So, 2007, eh? I'm a bit ambivalent about it, to be honest. I've written a list of things to start/finish/get/do etc. I'll check it at the end of the year and probably laugh. Though, I do solemnly resolve not to let this coming year go to waste as well. Cos let's face it, I did a lot of farting around last year.

Just spent a couple of uncomfortable days up at Mum's. Uncomfortable cos of the heat, and sleeping on the sofa.
Had an odd dream last night. I was trying to get myself ready to fly to China but was coming up against all sorts of delays. Not being able to find things I needed, or get online to sort my finances before I left. And - this made me giggle - the promised police escort to get me to the airport on time almost fell through but I was offered the services of another policeman. But, at the last I couldn't go anyway cos I'd forgot to renew my passport. D'oh.
Actually, I think I was also going to China in the last dream like this I had recently. (Gah, grammar. Sorry...) What could my subconscious be trying to tell me? That though I would really really like to do something exotic and outside my comfort zone I have to be better prepared? Or just not try getting to China cos it's just not going to happen...

Went to see Happy Feet with the cubs, their father, Soulsis et al.
What a shnookums of a movie, I enjoyed it. Can't fault the animation but the 'messages' couldn't have been less subtle if they'd been applied with a brick! I didn't get into it as much as I expected but it was still money well spent. (The Latino penguins were the best! <g> )

Mum and I took the cubs to Hedgend Maze in Healesville. That was loads of fun, though it was really too hot, and one of the cubs was having problems with claustrophobia by the end. :)
We didn't attempt the mini-golf, or the frisbee-golf - maybe next time. It's not cheap to visit but the entrance price includes access to everything.
(There's a few pics up at my Flickr page, too.)

... Tch. Drifting. Am I tired enough to sleep? Time to find out...