Friday, April 30, 2010

Every time I think of you

A little bit of music to finish the week. I loved this song, "Bizarre Love Triangle", when it was released first by New Order in the 80s. My friends and I would go to each others' houses with our favourite music clips on VHS tapes (ahem) and inflict our (often vastly different) musical tastes on each other. I played the New Order version of this so often that everyone else eventually refused to watch it.

Yesterday, you-tubing while I did some translations for an article I'm writing, I discovered this beautiful, beautiful, beautiful version of the song by Frente, an Australian band of the 90s who have sort of disappeared now. I loved New Order's dance version in the 80s but this gentle acoustic rendition now speaks to me much more.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dream, Dream, Dream...

Has anyone ever had prophetic dreams? I think I had one last night or, at least, if not prophetic then clearly pretty symbolic. Actually I'm just not sure what to think! And of course you always get to the point of thinking 'Hey, it was just a dream'. My grandmother was psychic and had a number of prophetic dreams in which people who had died came back to her with messages. They even led her to some hidden money once! I am not claiming psychic powers but I would be interested in your opinions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ticklish Dollop

Cartoon from the delightfully daft Harold's Planet

I laugh easily - I always have. But lately I've realised the real importance of seeing the funny side and actually looking for something to laugh at. Because I can also tend to look at the bleak side far too quickly. And so, when life starts to get a bit tricky, it really does help to have a ticklish dollop plopped onto you here and there - even the smallest one. Try it - stay away from as much news as you can and go for a comedy - at least for a while. It really makes a difference.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keeping busy

We had a long weekend this weekend (public holiday on Monday) and it coincided with our first little snap of cold weather. Rain and a brisk wind. So it seemed appropriate to make some soup. I went with a sort of borscht (beetroots, potato, red cabbage) but also added carrots, celery, onion and turnip. And a dollop of sour cream on top. Not too bad at all except I forgot the stockcube!

Also found some time to do some stitching. I bought some vintage embroidery transfers (I would say 1940s) at the op-shop a while ago (only 50 cents for a happily bulging bag) but hadn't got around to ironing one on and having a go at embroidering as yet. While shopping on Saturday, I found Christmas pudding cloth being jobbed out for only $2 for a decent piece of material so I bought two lots and off I went. It surprises me that I enjoy embroidery given that we had a madly mean sewing teacher at school who would take great delight in literally ripping apart work she deemed unworthy (guess who got to know the unpicking tool fairly well). But my grandmother was a very keen embroiderer (as were so many women of her era) and I think some of that rubbed off on me. Besides which there are still heaps of reels of cotton, sewing needles, thimbles and pin cushions about the place here (we live in her old house), so it's not a bad hobby to take up! So I have sewed two little squares, framed them and when the third is up on the wall, I'll take a snap and show you my handiwork.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wisdom of the Cat

I am still a huge fan of cats despite the fact that I still don't own one and this is probably just as well as I sniff and sneeze through yet another bout of sinusitis. So I was delighted to find some cat-related proverbs while Net surfing the other day...

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." (English proverb)

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." (English)

"An old cat will not learn how to dance." (Moroccan)

"I gave an order to a cat, and the cat gave it to its tail." (Chinese)

and finally...

"After dark all cats are leopards." (Native American)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Trust me, I'm the Doctor

Well, we saw the first episode of the new season of Dr Who last night. And what a geek's delight it was. Matt Smith is now the Doctor and as a great fan of David Tennant, I was all prepared not to like him. But he was great, really good. Slid beautifully into the role of the eccentric and quirky Time Lord. Some genuine suspense in last night's episode (you can't beat big, long, snakey things with big teeth for that) and also those lovely Dr Who/time travel moments of "I'll be back in five minutes" - "But that was twelve years ago!" - "But it was only five minutes for me!". Deliciously spooky for the time travel nerds amongst us. Ahem.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back in the day...

More nostalgia today. I had completely forgotten The Jam and The Style Council despite the fact that I was a huge fan especially of the latter (I had all of their...ahem....cassettes). But doing some You Tube trawling yesterday, I stumbled across these and was struck by how good they still are. Not retro fun, not 'oh, isn't it amusing what we listened to way back then!' but really good. And yes - bit of controversy here - I reckon groups like The Jam and The Style Council were some of the last groups to really have a social conscience and to be social commentators (it's the Paul Weller influence, I guess). Do you agree? Which popular music groups today do you think have a genuine opinion on the state of the world?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grange Hill

Did anyone else watch Grange Hill in the 80s? I was a huge fan and I was watching it when I was at secondary school so I really connected with it. Remember when school was the biggest thing in your life? How hard it all seemed...and then you grow up and get some real problems! I hadn't thought of GH for years but for some reason You Tube-d it today and remembered how good it was. Aaaah, the 80s. Aaaah, I'm getting old. Now I've just ordered Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD. The Internets and me are a bad, bad thing :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


The days have gradually been getting cooler and the nights closing in sooner here. Over the weekend, our record of every day being over 20 degrees celsius since December 8th was broken yesterday with a very chilly 18. Don't scoff! The wind was truly very brisk, it actually rained (not just drizzle) and when you are used to a mild 23 or 24, it was cold. And so, jumpers and thick socks are emerging from the cupboards to washed and freshened up after months in moth balls and blankets and rugs are being aired. My sinuses start to twitch uncomfortably as soon as the weather gets cooler but I am nonetheless a fan of autumn and even of winter. I guess this is possible when we don't have quite the extreme temperatures of the North. It's good to see old favourites like the rug above, to close the curtains cosily against the dark world at night and to have a good excuse to stay indoors to knit or read. What's the weather like in your part of the world at the moment?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Glimpses of the week

Image from
Being of the self-employed variety, I am quite sure some people wonder what it is I do all day. "Working from home would be great!" they say, "You could do whatever you want!". And therein lies the rub. You can do whatever you want. But you would be surprised how important it becomes to feel you are doing something.

So what do I do? Well, this morning began with my newly-started pilates workout at the physiotherapy clinic. For the inveterate non-exerciser (hmmm...strange that my back gave out, isn't it?), doing a regular workout is kind of confronting. Hey, even writing 'workout' is confronting. But, in truth, it's not too bad. And, astonishingly, the move above is a move I actually do. I know. It's called 'the Scooter'. I don't look quite as controlled and svelte when I do it as this woman does, but I do do the Scooter nonetheless. This morning I got a mind-bendingly bad pain in my knee while scootering. I asked the physio about it and he said, "It'll be fine - probably". And at the moment, it does feel fine. Probably. Does anyone else do pilates?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A nice time was had by all

We had a very enjoyable Easter break and I hope you had the same. Finally managed to get some work done in the garden after the battering it took in a massive storm some weeks ago and finally tie-dyed a t-shirt which I've been meaning to do for about a year (or at least that's how long the dye had been in the drawer!). And it came up really quite well (at least, the bathroom is not now purple and I have just dared to buy some more dye). Isn't it satisfying to do things that have been simmering away on your mental list?

We also baked - me a pretty good batch of rock buns (even if I say so myself - at least, the cake tin is now empty so they can't have been too bad!) and my DH a really lovely macaroni meatloaf (starting to move into winter comfort food). I framed a collection of old photos of my father to give to him. We had a nice day trip on Sunday to visit my husband's family and yesterday we did a little shopping, a little lunching and a little wandering around the art gallery (and found some Pre-Raphaelites!) Oh, and ate lots and lots and lots of chocolate :)

Only one problem - my supremo-watch-out-paparazzi-here-I-come camera continues to befuddle me and although I took some snaps on my mobile, it now tells me that 'the front camera is not working'. Oh well. Words will just have to paint enough of a picture of my very nice break!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy days to you

Image from Google Images
Whether you are celebrating Easter or Ostara (or another holy day), I think the message is the same - hope and renewal. Warm wishes and peace to you.
We are looking forward to some baking, some pottering in the garden and some all round relaxing. I have nearly mastered my scarily-super-duper new camera so hopefully I will have some pictures of the break to share with you next week!