Monday, December 31, 2007

Firstly, happy new year to everybody! Reading your blogs over the last year has been wonderful, I feel like I've been included in so many lives by doing so, and I hope we all continue to influence each other (for the good, mainly) for at least another year.

Now...We had torrential rain in the few days before Christmas, with hailstones as big as half-bricks and flash-floods just about everywhere. Fortunately we have a drain in the driveway area, but even with that cleared we still had a couple of inches of water on the concrete for a while. That was fun! (I had to walk home from the train station in that rain, a good 15 minute exposure!)

This was our Christmas lunch. Lovely and simple - black pepper salmon, and baked wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. It is, perhaps, not quite traditional... but that's a good reason to do it, don't you think? If something's been done the same way for hundreds of years, it's about time for a change!

And this was Boxing Day lunch at Aidan's cousin's house. Kim is fixated on feeding people, there is always far too much food, but it is always extraordinarily nice and tremendous fun to go there. They're wonderful people, they're really adopted me into their family and I just love them to bits. It is probably quite nasty to say that I wish my own family were more like them, but it's a little bit true!

I'll do another post soon-ish about the days following Christmas... the resort, the new computer, the shopping trip... this will do for now :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

All the news that's new and approved! Actually just a very quick update. Aidan has been home for a good little while now, and I've gotten used to tripping over his boots again. Christmas was, happily, spent at home with no guests. My parents were unable to come down for a visit due to my mother's unfortunate back injury, however she's recovering now and they should be down next weekend. Boxing Day was spent at a family/friend/gathering place thingie, that was a lot of fun. We then spent a very lovely night at a golf club/resort courtesy of Aidan's parents as a Christmas gift. We now have a nice big powerful new computer, too. Don't ask me specs, I haven't paid much attention to the world of IT for a good few years now so it no longer makes sense to me! It's stinking hot and I'm sweating like a pig - however a few days before Christmas we had thunderstorms and torrential rain. Typical Melbourne. Anyway, now we're going to do something. I want to make a few cocktails (since I finally got a Boston Cocktail Shaker for Christmas) and get squiffy, but we'll see about that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pictures relating to the below post, in no particular order...

The lovely Princess Theatre, which I'm sure I've been to but I don't remember what for.

A photo of Aidan taking a photo of a beach near our house - well, 3km down the road.

Looking back at the city from along the Yarra.

Flinders St Station (the sprawling orange thing), with Grollo's tower, well, towering to the left.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things I Will Miss About Melbourne
(in no particular order)

1. The, I don't know, 20 or so theatres in or near the city centre. Melbourne is the place for theatre, musical and otherwise!
2. The goths at Flinders St Station, particularly on a Friday night. Their presence is such a fact of life, it is hard to imagine the city without them! Same goes for all the other subcultures, they give layers and depth to the city.
3. Flinders St Station itself. Somebody once told me a magnificent story which I'm quite sure isn't true... she said that an architect was designing a train station for Melbourne and a palace for India at the same time. She said the plans got mixed up, and our train station ended up beautifully ornate while the Indian palace looked an awful lot like a train station!
4. History! Sure, we've only been here a couple of hundred years... but we have our share of ghosts and murders and other grizzly stuff. I've been in the old Cobb & Co coach depot a few times (now a carpark), it is meant to be one of the most haunted sites in the area... it does feel sort of creepy, but I've never seen anything.
5. The bands that visit Melbourne. Nobody goes to Canberra! Well, hardly anybody.
6. Beaches. I don't go to beaches very often, but the fact is that Melbourne is a lovely bayside city while Canberra is inland. I'll miss knowing the beach is there.
7. Grollo's cigarette lighter/penis extension/tower. Sure, it's awful. It completely dominates the Melbourne skyline. But I know it, and my friends know what I mean when I refer to the cigarette lighter.
8. The Yarra River. Specifically, being able to say this ditty: If I were a bird, I'd like to be a sparra - so I could sit on the Westgate Bridge and help to fill the Yarra! But I also like watching the rowers on the river... I suppose Lake Burly Griffin has people rowing on it too, but it's not the same!
9. The relative lack of spiders. I recall Canberra as being unbearably spidery. I hate and fear spiders above all else. (Having said that, I just had to kill a nasty big one in the kitchen, yuck!)
10. The simple and happy familiarity that comes from living in one city for several years. I'm comfortable here! That's not to say that change is a bad thing, necessarily, but I do like knowing where I am and how to get where I'm going.

I think ten things is enough. At some point in the future I'll try to come up with ten things I can look forward to about moving!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I am listening to music from Les Miserables. It's been a good long while since I have done so, and I'd forgotten its effect on me. I have shivers running down my spine, and I dearly wish I had the vocal range to sing every part. I sometimes wonder if I could/should attempt to sing for a career, but I fear my talent falls far short of requirements. How I would love to, though! Imagine being poor wretched Eponine - loving so desperately one who never sees her until too late, finding understanding and compassion only in her dying moments. In truth I would love to have a man's voice. Not for me the wussy women roles, I would be Val Jean or Javert! Or in Jesus Christ Superstar, I would be Jesus! Not for the vanity of being the central role... but because these roles have the most powerful songs, the most beautiful music, and the most moving stories. Imagine singing "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" to a full house... poor poor Marius, bereft of his beloved friends, the only survivor of the ill-fated revolution. It is my strongest desire, to have a voice worthy of these songs... I say perhaps I just need more training and practice... but how and when and where, and how to afford training? How to afford to dedicate myself to music in this real world of bills and rent? It is a pipe dream. I know that. But such a very nice one...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

All else has been overshadowed by the news that one of my favourite authors of all time is ill. Terry Pratchett, creator of the Discworld, has a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's. I find it fascinating and a little scary how one can feel a closeness and affinity with somebody one has never met - like authors. For me a good book is like heaven, and Pratchett has provided so very many good books.

I remember when Douglas Adams passed away due to a sudden heart attack. I cried, and carried a towel around for a day (you'd have to be a fan to get that).

I can only hope, firstly, that Pratchett and his family are coping with the news, and secondly (selfishly) that he has a few good books left in him yet.
Every year, RMIT puts on a "kid's play" at around this time of year. As my very good friend Andrew has been heavily involved in the theatrical scene at RMIT for several years, we went along to the gala night last night - an adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Witches"!!!

It was tremendous fun! There weren't actually that many children in attendance, for a kid's play, but I'm sure the adults enjoyed it just as much - I know I did!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yes, I saw Spamalot with Andrew last night! It was sooooo funny! Loved it. I won't say too much in case I give anything away. But if you get a chance and you haven't already seen it - see it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The speedometer on my scooter is broken. So I can't ride her until I get it fixed, but I can't get it fixed without riding her somewhere. It's a conundrum, and anyway I haven't got around to calling this guy I need to call about it yet.

In other, much more exciting news: I'm seeing Spamalot tomorrow night with Andrew! Yay! More on that afterwards.

Recent musings: Half the people I consider good friends are people I've never met. Most of them are probably reading this now. You oughta know who you are. I've never been too good at socialising, making small talk, all that guff. I'm getting a bit better, but sometimes I wonder if I want to. It stands to reason that the more people I know, the more disagreeable people I'll know. I don't feel that I'm really missing out on anything. I think that I've made up for quantity with quality. My friends are the best I could imagine having, even though there's not too many of them. I'm including both bloggers and normal people (?!) in this summation. I've been very lucky in coming to know some wonderful people. I think I can safely say that if you're reading this, you're likely to be one of them - unless, of course, you've just wandered in and I've never heard of you before! So if you're one of them, and you certainly should know if you are, thank you for being who you are.

I'm really tired and need to get to bed. I would have continued the above theme, but my mind just crashed- it was like an error message saying "No more thinking permitted until after sleep". Night night.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Well, what a weekend. As well as Aidan being home, we also had his two young cousins over all in weekend - in turns, the young 'un from Friday night, then swapsies for the big 'un on Saturday night. We took them shopping for their Christmas presents, and both of them were surprisingly easily pleased. We also had Andrew over on Saturday night, which was fun. Everybody's left and I've cleaned up, and now I'm all alone and tired. Anyway, here's a couple of pics of the cousins.

My big strong husband lifting Katie with ease! He can do that with me too.

Steven looking rather apprehensive about being photographed! He's wearing the t-shirt we got him for Christmas, it's some band shirt but I forget the name of the band.

Aidan and Andrew doing what they always do, playing chess. Andrew's not a cousin, by the way. He's a mate who has managed not to be put off by me in the 10 years since I've known him. Impressive!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thank you all for your kind comments below. I feel a bit better about the whole thing now.

Now for some good news: Aidan is coming home for the weekend! He should be here in about... six hours. Yay!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I have just received news of a very distressing nature. My dog, Ebony, pictured above, is to be put down in the next few days. She has been a faithful and much-loved pet (and friend) of my family for over twelve years. She is going deaf and blind, she has arthritis, and she has a tumor of some sort on her side. I will miss her very much, even though I haven't lived with her for a few years now. It must be harder for my parents, who are still used to her being there in the house every day. But it is better for her to be put down than to continue living in pain and confusion. Apparently she spent most of today lying still and whining. That's no kind of life for a dog, or for anybody. She has had a good life; she's been as much a part of our family as I am. She has her personality, her quirks, as do we all, and we all love her. I've already bought her a Christmas present... perhaps I could lay it on her grave? I'm sure she'd appreciate it more than flowers, since it's edible and she is a Labrador after all. So anyway... this is my farewell to a creature who has sometimes seemed more human than humans. Goodbye, Ebony, may you go to Doggy Heaven and eat all the compost your heart desires.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My bedroom smells like petrol. There is a reason for this, and it is embarrassing, but I'm going to blog it anyway.

I rode my scooter to work today. Upon arriving back at home this afternoon, I realised her tank was very nearly empty. So what with one thing and another, it was just easier to walk down to the petrol station with a jerry can, fill that up, then come home and fill the scooter up from the can. However this plan had two major flaws:

Flaw #1 - being still rather new to this "having a vehicle" thingie, I am not yet up to speed on exactly how to use a petrol pump. Fortunately the young chappie at the petrol station was very helpful in that respect, so not too much damage there. (But I will try to do it on my own next time!)
Flaw #2 - the spout of the jerry can didn't quite work properly. Uh-oh. I'm glad I got a little too much petrol, because if I'd gotten just as much as I needed it wouldn't have been enough!

So I got fuel on my shoes, which then soaked into my socks, and then I came inside and into the bedroom where I took off my shoes and socks... and now my bedroom smells like petrol.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I've just woken up and it is already not my day. The earache I had last night has not gone away, although it has abated slightly. And the ants have gotten into my cereal. What will I do for breakfast?! I wonder if I'll have time to grab something on the way to work. Maybe if I wasn't wasting time blogging, I'd have time for breakfast!