Monday, 28 March 2011

Over it

Yes, totally over it now. Things are not so grand in my house. Nothing I'm prepared to go into, but boy, life seems to spiral out of control sometimes.

I think this middle age stuff is not all it's cracked up to be. Lately I have been so tired, stressed, and grumpy. I am feeling very much dissatisfied with my life but lack the ability to change things. I am frustrated with other things I can't change, and this makes me resentful. I know, it's all in the attitude. But having a tolerant attitude and the ability to take it all in your stride is not going to change the things that need changing, and there-in lies the frustration.

So, we plod along, trying to avoid the big issues, until someone takes charge. I am thinking of another trip to the family counsellor we saw last year...

But, aside from that, it's been fairly quiet. Fluffy was invited to a boys night out on Friday. I do think that's great, he doesn't have a "boy" friend/s that he socialises with at all, in fact he really has no life. He works 6 days a week and the 7th is usually spent under the car, or sleeping.

So, Friday he takes himself over the other side of town for a sleepover. He wasn't going to drive home, and didn't want me to drive an hour each way, in the early hours of the morning, to get him. Apparently they watched a few movies and the footy on a 72" LCD screen set up in a home theatre. He wants one now... And, he bagged the couch to crash on. He was home by about ten on Saturday.

Then, after he and I ran some errands on Saturday, while Dobby was supposed to be doing her room and didn't, and took care of a few other bits and pieces, he had another night out. He was invited by one of his recruitment agencies, to the big Crows 20th reunion night at AAMI Stadium. I think he got home (after getting a lift, bless him), about 1.00am. Apprently it was a fantastic night, met some of the past players, and important people at the crows, had a great feed, watched the game from a corporate box, and then back to The Shed for a party after.

As he was getting up for work at six, I lay awake pondering how he was going to get there. I decided I'd drive him. After protesting somewhat I got him into the shower then drove him across town to work, cursing myself because I had not thought to bring my camera. I missed a wonderful opportunity to capture some early morning photos over Port Adelaide. Dammit.

The rest of Sunday for me, until I had to pick him up, was a complete lack of action. I sat on the couch most of the day. And enjoyed it.

The only other thing that happend through the week worth mentioning was my trip to the city on Tuesday night for some night photography. What do you think?

There are people crossing the road here, believe it or not!

Just playing with the lighting with this...

My favourite, this one...

You do know that this is why median strips were invented? Haha. I like this one too.

We've been spending heaps of money and shopping furiously for stuff for the van, but I think it's all there now. I ordered two sets of sheets and two blankets online the other night, but realised that they may not come in before the van does, so we headed to Designer Direct at Harbourtown yesterday and bought two cheap sets of sheets. At least we'll have some. Then, we'll just use those as spares.

Now we just count down till the 20th. Got the Fairmont all ready - electric brakes, CB radio, reverse camera. I think I will get the bonking noise in the front checked, and get them to check why it doesn't always start first go. Sometimes you need to put it in Neutral first, then back to Park. Hmmm.

And Fluffy has gotten the tow hitch all painted up, put in the outlets for the power and camera, and she's set up ready to go.

Counting down now...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Here we go again

Yep, started a new diet this weekend. And wouldn't you know it, when I went to jump on the scales... they're broken. Can't get a new set till next weekend. Never mind.

This week was okay. Busy busy. As always. Clipsal is in town this weekend. For those who don't know (or care) Clipsal is the big V8 Supercar street racing. Starts Thursday and goes till Sunday night. Big performances each evening, such as Rockwizz on Thursday, and Status Quo I think Sunday. And much more in between. On Tuesday, (Monday was a holiday), it took an hour and a quarter to get from Dobby's school to work, and that was without even going on to the post office. I kid you not. This is usually about a 25 minute run, including the post office. Traffic like you have never seen due to Clipsal road closures. Still, once people realised they seemed to take alternate routes and the traffic, although still congested, seemed to be easier for the rest of the week.

I love Clipsal. Hate the traffic disruptions, because I work in the next street over from the track itself, but the whole atmosphere is great. Real party atmosphere. We can hear the cars from work, and when the big airforce planes fly over we can hear them too. And the Roulette Stunt Planes. Can't see anything though, but the boss did tell me Friday (thanks a lot) that if I wanted I could walk down the laneway beside the building, to see the big screen they have erected at the other end. At least I will know for next year, hey!

Photography course on Tuesday got me all fired up to try night photography next week, plus our "light" session this weekend. Dobby and I decided to try some of the things the tutor was suggesting - adjusting shutter speed etc to create effects, and this is what we came up with. Neat, hey?

These were actually taken just on dark too, which makes it more impressive I think.

At guitar on Wednesday Dobby found out the spare set of strings she was given with her guitar last year are no good. Apparently you are supposed to take them out and stretch them now and then. Who would have thought? Anyway, the tutor couldn't repair her strings, so now we have to buy her a new set. Marion Shopping Centre used to have a music store. Not any more. Now I am not sure where to go to get some. You'd have thought the tutor could have done it and just charged us for the string, hey. But no. Always put pressure on stressed parents. Sigh.

Anyway, Friday night I had an offer of dinner with a friend and Lo! I actually went by myself. It was lovely. We went to Cafe Primo on Anzac Highway, and the queue was backed up out the door. It took us 20 minutes just to give our order. After us it actually got busier too. The people in front of us had to order special dietry foods and it took ages just for them.

Anyway, after getting a nice seat (next to a noisy baby with a hard toy to bang on the table) we sat down. Our meal was lovely, and we chatted until almost 9.00. How time flies!

Saturday I had an early start. I had to be in the city by 6.30am. It's still dark then! But it was well worth it. Mind you, it took awhile to get started. My first few shots would have been lovely if I had a tripod, but sadly I didn't and they all came out blurry.

Eventually when the sun broke through I could set my shutter speed a bit faster and got some lovely photos. Not perfect, but what do you think?

We took our time, wandering along the river bank. It was quite peaceful at that time of day, though there were plenty of early morning constitutionals making the most of the lovely weather.

Eventually we found ourselves back at the Rotunda in Elder Park, and after a few exercises with the tutor, we made our way to the cafe for a cuppa.

One exercise required us to find something we wouldn't normally photograph. I found these:

My teacher told me I had a good eye. Always reassuring, yes?

I think I left about 10.00am.

Then it was a quick trip home to relieve myself, wait for the kid to clean up her stuff and get ready, then off to Marion for school shoes. Fluffy did two loads of washing for me and cleaned up around the place. Then he played all day installing the reverse camera in the Falcon. It now has electric brakes, CB radio and reverse camera. Excellent!

As part of a school assignment, Dobby has to cook us a 3 course meal. Herself. With little guidance from me. How do you think that went? By Saturday lunch she hadn't even decided what to make.

Eventually before we set off for school shoes, she decided on an entree of prawn cocktail, and a main of her dad's favourite, meatloaf. No worries, I had most of the ingredients for that.

We got home and late in the afternoon I got her organised. Oh boy. That child is the most stubborn, pig headed student you could ever hope to teach. I wasn't allowed to do it for her, and every time I opened my mouth it caused a shouting match.

Anyway, we ended up with a very passable prawn cocktail:

Meatloaf with salad and hasselback potatoes:

Sara Lee Chocolate Pudding with home made custard:

I did the first load of dishes (out of necessity). Dobby had to do the rest. Do you think she liked that job? Haha. Never mind, it was a great meal.

Between main and dessert I stepped outside, and saw this:

Quite disappointed, though, as when I tried to do it again the clouds just zipped away, and the camera wouldn't cooperate with the settings I wanted. I gave up...

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I have the usual washing to do. Vacuum the lounge and I might just dig out the steam mop... on second thought, it's behind some stuff in the office so I think I'll just run the regular mop over the floor. Hopefully I can have a bit of a quiet one... see how we go, shall we?

Monday, 14 March 2011

What a weekend!

Hi Folks.

Not a lot to share with you this week, so far as weeks go. It's been rather boring. Work was, well, work. Busy busy until I can get on top. The accountant finally got my computer system back on line so I could clean some of the backlong. That took a couple days. Still got a few bits and pieces to do. Waiting for other people is what's holding me up. Don't you hate that? I sure do.

Boss was away all week so it was very quiet. I wonder what makes it so nice, when you are used to being social, to find yourself totally alone in the office. When I do that I often don't even put the radio on. I work hard all day, in the silence, and feel quite fulfilled after.

Anyway, with guitar being the only out of hours thing to happen this week, lets move on to the weekend. Oh, as for photography, we used live models this time. I don't like some of the photos, but one or maybe two came out okay. What do you think? It was considerably harder than it looked, to get the right lighting, and because my battery was flat I wasn't quite as focused as I should have been. I could only put it on charge for a few minutes, then take it off and take some pics, then put it back on. All night...

The good thing is, we learned how to do this without a flash. Next week we are in the classroom, then the week after we are out in the field. And this coming Saturday I have to be in the city by 6.30am. Fun!

Also this week saw the huge earthquake in Japan, followed by that terrible tsunami. What a shock.

This is just a sample of the total helplessness of the place. I mean, how are they going to restack all of these shipping containers? Where do you begin?

The Japanese people are used to earthquakes, and every one is taught the drills from early childhood. But nothing could have prepared them for the wave that followed. Total devastation. The pictures astound me. My heart goes out to them all. It does bring up the talk of "end of the world", what with all the natural disasters occurring all around the planet. Me? I think it's possible. But I don't want to dwell on it. I know when it does happen, I'll be okay. Just keep living life for now and see what happens, yes? Haha.

So, anyway, now that we are between vans, we could not go to the latest rally. It was at Wallaroo and sounded like a lot of fun. Dobby really wanted to go so another family offered to take her with them. She is great mates with their daughters so we agreed.

She cleaned her room (mostly) and I wrote a note to advise the school she wouldn't be there Friday. See, the family live on the north side of Adelaide so we wouldn't be able to get her there in a timely manner for them to leave Friday night. So we were to drop her Thursday.

On Thursday, the mum sent me a message to say their eldest daughter was sick and could Dobby come up friday. I let her know it wouldn't be till late, they were okay with that. As the school already had notice I figured she could stay home and finish packing anyway. She also has an assignment she could work on.

Then, at about 7.00 Thursday evening, the mum phones and says "Did we want to still bring Dobby up that evening?" So it was a mad dash to get her packed and ready, then drive the 45 minutes the other side of town. These people are lovely, fun, crazy people so we knew she was going to have a good time. She loves them like crazy too.

We left her there and got home at 11.3o...

Work the next day, and I had to put the car in for a service. Fluffy collected me on the way home and dropped me off to pick up the car. Then it was home for a relaxing evening. It was so quiet...

Saturday we had to go back to the people we sold the van to and do a couple of little jobs. When he got there Fluffy realised that the drill he had was not the right one for the bit he needed. Oh dear. Luckily the fellow across the road had one that worked a treat. Then he realised he needed another part so off we went to the caravan place. Got the necessary part, then to Bunnings.

He had been given a gift voucher so he looked for something to spend it on. I found him a great multi tool kit thing in a plastic case, for $30. It has lots of srewdriver ends, allan keys, tape measure, pliers, all sorts of things. He decided he could keep it in the boot of the car. Always handy.

While I was looking around I saw some lovely begonias I was going to buy for the kitchen window sill. Also some herbs to start another herb garden. We also checked out storage solutions for the van.

After going back to the van to try to finish the job, unsuccessfully because he can't get his hand into the space to tighten the tap fitting properly so we have to go back yet again..., we made a trip to Cunninghams Warehouse. There we bought the cutlery for the van and a few other bits and bobs. I also found a tiny little tray of 3 pots just the right size for a window sill herb garden!

As Fluffy still had $20 left on his voucher, he gave it to me to go get some herbs and some tent pegs for him.

On Sunday I got up early (he went to work) and did some housework (ironing, washing, changing the litter tray, usual stuff), then as soon as 11.00 came around I hit the shops. First stop was Cunninghams again for a second planter set (at $2.50, why not!), then down to Bunnings for the plants. BUT forgot the voucher. Never mind. I got his tent pegs, then off to find gloves, got a cheap pair of those, now out to the garden section.

I had seen a sign for 6 pack for $6.95 but couldn't find any of them. So I went around and found the little seedling boxes. I bought 6 types, but there were several plants in each box so I knew I had too many. I'd figure something out.

Then, just as I was on my way out, on a bottom shelf over the other side, I found for $7.40, a tray with 6 herb plants in it, all different.

There was an Italian Parsley, regular parsley, oregano, dill, coriander and thyme. All set. I would have swapped one of the parsleys for garlic chives if I could. I may still go back and get one of those and put it outside yet. We'll see.

Anyway, off to the checkout, comes to $21. Pity I didn't have that voucher hey.

Back home and I had just enough time to drop it on the counter then off to have lunch with my friend Marg. She is such a sprightly lovely lady. I wish I could be like her at her age.

We went to Fasta Pasta again, I bought lunch and she bought dessert to take back to her place for coffee. Yummo!

Then, about 3.00 I headed home and made these...

I hope that's a good spot for them - plenty of light! I know I will have to wait a while before I can use them, but it's very exciting to have herbs again. I used to have a lovely thyme bush but it died out a few years ago.

So, then Fluffy came home, we fixed (well he fixed, I supervised and handed him screws), Dobby's bed. She has been sleeping in the lounge for a couple of weeks. It was coming loose around the screws, but she hadn't cleaned her room so Fluffy could get in there and fix it. As a result it broke.

So she cleaned her room last weekend but Fluffy was away. Anyway, it's funally done. She has some more cleaning to do in there but I think she'll be happy to be back in her room.

Then we went out to dinner. I don't know if any of you are aware of a website called It's a great little site that has offers and discounts on a lot of things every day. I have already bought myself a voucher for a pedicure (including false toenails! What the!), a microdermabrasion, and some freebies, for only $89. Valued at over $300.

Anyway, the dinner last night was a dinner for two, two courses, two glasses of wine, and two cups of coffee after, valued at about $84, cost of $33.

It was at the Arkaba Hotel. Upmarket place now, not too far from where I work. Dinner was lovely. We both had crumbed prawns for entree, and Fluffy had chicken parmi and I had "coconut crusted baramundi" but I have to say I think they totally forgot the coconut crusty stuff. Not a sign of anything crusty. Nice fish though. I had steamed vege with mine. That means I had a tiny florret of brocolli, a miniature piece of corn on the cob, and a slice of carrot. All too cold to eat. So I didn't.

But the chips (the tiny little serve on the side, which for someone like me was just right) were very crunchy and quite tasty.

Fluffy had one of the glasses of wine, and we didn't worry about the coffee after. Lovely evening.

Early night last night. Today is a public holiday in Adelaide. Adelaide Cup Day. Nice. Dobby comes home sometime probably after lunch. She has had a wicked weekend - crabbing, swimming, playing games, going on a car rally. She really needed this break away from us as much as we needed it away from her. I am looking forward to hearing all about it tonight.

Not sure what Fluffy and I are going to do this morning. No shops open. Probably just the rest of the housework that didn't get done yesterday.

Well, that's my week. Hope I didn't bore you too much. See you next time!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


So I had a couple days off work sick this week. Monday was atrocious, but I had to go in because the boss wasn't there and I had to pay the end of month bills. When he came in after lunch, he made sure I did only what was necessary then went home, which I got to do about 3.30pm. Nice!

Tuesday I had the day off work. Aaah it was so nice to be able to sit on my fat backside and do nothing. I was not expected to do housework (but I did do a little anyway), I didn't have to go anywhere except take Dobby to school (she caught the bus home), and as Fluffy wasn't feeling great, I didn't have to cook anything extravagant for dinner. I did make scones though, which we had for afternoon tea. Dobby and I had some Birds Eye fish fillets and oven fries.

As I was feeling yuck I didn't go to my camera class. I believe we were looking at lenses anyway, and Fluffy said I should take a make up class, but I think I'll just arrive early next week and ask him what we went through, and if he could recommend a good zoom lens for me.

Wednesday I had the day off too (at the boss's insistence) and as Dobby woke up feeling poorly, I kept her home too. I took her up to the doctor because she has had this cold for a week but seemed to be getting worse. As the day progressed it was obvious she probably just needed a day home resting.

We had a couple of things to do after the doctor's appointment, after which we were really buggered. Home for lunch and a rest. It was such a nice day outside I decided to take the camera out and have a play. This is what I came up with.

This plant is inside on my kitchen window sill. Very hard to take a photo of it, with the lit window behind it. Took about 8 attempts.

Strangely enough, "shade"

takes a better photo than

"incandescent light"...

Finally got a reasonable shot after changing almost every setting.

This one was somewhat over exposed, but not too bad.

Action shot - took lots of these, this is just an example...

Close up nature shot. Not bad..

Back to work on Thursday. Still got the snots, but I couldn't justify another day off. As it turned out, it's just as well. Boss had to go back to Sydney Friday morning.

Work is a real bitch at the moment. Imagine two days off creating so much hassle! I am behind in almost everything, plus I have a couple of extra chores thrown in which need attention urgently. I even sent home files to work on. Not sure if I will though.

Friday was just plain flat strap. But, Fluffy had to go away for the weekend so Friday evening Dobby and I treated ourselves to Chinese takeaway and settled in to watch Inkheart. Not a bad movie really.

She is supposed to be cleaning her room. Her bed is cracked from being loose, but Fluffy couldn't get in there to fix it so it got very bad and split the wood. Now she has to clean up so we can get the bed out. She's been sleeping in the lounge all week.

The property adjoining ours has a carport at the back, which backs onto our side fence. Since before Christmas they have been telling our landlord that they are going to replace that portion of fence (people run into it, gravel works its way under it, and the fence is on quite a lean). So that's all go now. But, because of the dog, they didn't do it last week. No one told us anyway or we could have put him on a lead or made alternate arrangements for him. Stupid people.

On a rather sad note, South Australia buried a young soldier, killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. I found this lovely article on is funeral, on the Adelaide Now website. Warning, tissues required. With Anzac day approaching, it makes you stop to think.

Saturday was a lovely relaxing day. With Fluffy away it's just Dobby and I. The fence bloke was supposed to turn up at 8 but didn't get here until 9.30. He got to work and Dobby did her room. I ducked out to do grocery shopping but that was it. I spent some time Saturday morning doing some work I bought home, but that only took an hour or so.

Saturday night we made home made pizzas with tortilla bases. They were soooo nice!

Sunday we slept in a little. Roger makes sure I don't sleep in past 7. He likes to come wake me up the little grot.

We had planned to have morning tea with my neighbour Marg, but Dobby got a request to go to her friend's house in the morning instead of afternoon. No worries. I thought I might take Marg to lunch. But she phoned to say she was sick. So I took Dobby up to Coromandel Valley, and then drove the hour out to North Haven and had lunch with Fluffy instead.

That was lovely, an hour of just sitting enjoying the day. Dog liked it too, he got to see his dad. Then on the drive back home I was so tired it was very hard to keep my eyes open. Once home I sorted Dobby's clothes out for her, and drove back up to Coromandel Valley to pick her up. She has been sick with a cold as well, feeling poorly, so it shouldn't have been a real surprise when she only ate one pancake at her pancake day celebrations with her friend. She would normally have about six!

Anyway, cleaned up then headed off to bed. This morning (Monday) poor Dobby is so tired. I think I might get the antibiotic script filled. She shouldn't still be complaining of chest constriction and be so tired. If they don't work it's back to the doc. She's going away this weekend so I hope she's better before that!