Saturday, December 22, 2007

Singing Toorali Oorali Addity

For we're bound for Botany Bay.

The taxi's booked, we're checked in for our flight, we're almost packed. We're going to Sydney this afternoon.

I'm looking forward to seeing all my family again but I think it's going to be a bit of a busy week. We'll have to make sure we get a bit of down-time in there somewhere.

Santa came early last night to bring The Boy the SS Feathersword, Captain Feathersword from the Wiggles' pirate ship.

Santa is an incredibly perceptive anthropomorphic personification, and so he realised that the SS Feathersword was waaaay too big for The Boy to bring home from Sydney and so he would need to bring it early. Well done, Santa.

I noticed on an ad on tv last night that they're showing Terry Pratchett's Hogfather on free to air tv here. Tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday at 8.30pm in Brissy and Sydney, check your guides elsewhere... Take a look at it if you get a chance, because it's beautifully done, with some big names in it, and it's full of Pterry's trademark humour. I found out this week that Pterry's been diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimers, which is a great shame. Still, as he says in a number of posts on this thing we call the internet, he still aten't dead, and he reckons he has a few more books in him yet. Bring on the dried frog pills, I say.

I'm finished all my must-do Christmas knitting, and I'm half-way through a nice-to-have mystery project. I'm about to go and raid the stash to find something to take to Sydney with me. Even though it will be busy, it will be the sitting around in cars, trains, ferries, and at other people's houses kind of busy - with plenty of good knitting time. I just wish i could knit on the plane.....I think I might smuggle a tapestry needle into my carry-on so that I can sew up the first half of the unfinished mystery project. Surely no-one can protest about a tapestry needle!

On the health front, I think my Crohn's is starting to settle down after three weeks back on the steroids. I'm still getting a little bit of pain and bloating, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was. I'm hoping that it will improve more so that I can drop the dose of the steroids soon. That and I'm kindof sick of the pain and bloating and burping. :)

I hope everyone has a happy Christmas week with whatever they are doing. I hope it's all fun and stress-free and that you get to do a lot (or at least a little)of whatever you're looking forward to for the week.
Merry Christmas and big hugs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Twas the Wednesday before Christmas

As is always the case at this time of year, there's lots going on. I am exhausted and lacking enthusiasm for pretty much anything. It's one of those times when I am reminded of "Doug's Proximity to the Toilet Rule", which states that "The closer you get to something you desperately want, the harder it is to wait". He was a smart man, my husband. That rule not only works for the toilets mentioned in its name, but also for holidays, payrises, and many other things. Its relevence to me personally at this time is that I can't wait for my holiday to Sydney next week. Only three days to go, but my goodness they're stretching out to 4million times their length at the moment.

My Christmas knitting is almost finished. I got the handle finished and felted for the third and last of the Christmas Mystery bags and it's currently tied between my wardrobe and chest of drawers stretching out its kinks before I attach it to said bag tonight. Then there's only Gracie's Christmas stocking to finish (and Anna's stocking to find - somehow I've managed to misplace the thing about three times in the last couple of weeks....I know it's in the house somewhere though, so that's a start). I'm past the heel on Gracie's stocking so there's only a couple of inches of "foot" and the toe to go, then a little bit of weaving in ends. Hopefully it will be finished in time to drop in on Saturday.

I finally bought a wool winder for making my winding of balls of wool easier than it is by hand. I won an ebay auction the other day for $30, and I'm pretty happy about it. I'll be happier when I have it in my hot little hands though. :)

My feet hurt. I went shopping on the weekend with some of the girls from work, out at the DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) at Jindalee. I did pretty well, with a gorgeous black and white cocktail dress for Leisl and Nick's wedding in March, a great new bag for work, so all my stuff can fit in it and The Man can stop complaining about me being the bag lady with 3 bags every day (I know it's excessive, but it's my thing, okay?) and some body scrub I really wanted. But that's not the reason my feet hurt. I also got some really gorgeous Merrill lace up leather shoes, which are supremely comfortable everywhere except at the back of my ankle, where they come up a little bit high and are bruising me so that it hurts there when I walk. I am persevering with them, which I don't know if I should be doing, but I'm being a bit stubborn at the moment and A STUPID PAIR OF SHOES ARE NOT GOING TO BEAT ME!

I had a bit of a funny scare yesterday when my eyes suddently went funny and I had an experience where everything off to the right looked like ripply water. I went to the doctor and it went away while I was waiting... He reckons that there's nothing obviously wrong (ie, no detached retinas, etc) so I just have to see if it happens again.

And in family news, my Nanna is getting a pacemaker today. I think that's taking the idea of a "little heartstarter for Christmas" just a little bit far but the Docs think it's the best course of action to avoid some health problems she's been having. I believe it's all fairly routine now, but I'm thinking of her today.

Just in case I don't post again before Chrissy, I hope you all have a brilliant and joyous festive season wherever and with whoever you are. Peace and Goodwill to all men and women and children and animals and plants and all that stuff.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

In which, surprisingly, Alexia comes good on her word.

I promised another post and some photos. So here goes.

I suddenly realised that the last photo I posted of Tivoli was back in April, when she was less than half finished. I can't remember when I finished her, but it was a while ago.
Anyway, here is a dodgy photo of me wearing her. [edited to add: I mean dodgy only in the sense of the fact that I didn't do my hair and makeup and wear appropriate pants for the photo, not in the sense that The Man took the photo badly ] I love how it fits although I think the Zhivago yarn, while it feels really silky, is probably a little bit flabby for a close-fitting top like this one.
Oh, and I wouldn't normally wear my pants untied, it's just that the bow from the waist tie disturbed the way the bottom of the blouse sat.

I don't think I've shown anyone this photo (below) of Little Petal, from Creative Knitting magazine, can't remember which issue. I made this for a friend's baby girl, and I loved the yarn it was knitted with, which I also can't remember....oh, hang on, a quick look in the overstuffed knitting drawer shows it to be Elle Caress wool/nylon/courtelle blend. Very nice and soft. And I was really pleased with how this turned out. If I made it again I'd be more careful with some of the work around the collar. I redid it about three times as it was, but just as I finished I realised that I'd made a serious misjudgement with some of the picking up stitches. By that time, however, the little petal it was intended for was well and truly born, so I didn't really have time to pull it out and do it again. The Man tried to point out that only a knitter would recognise the mistake but it still eats at me a bit. Oh well, apparenly little Beth loved it (which I think translates to Beth's Mummy and Daddy loved it - how much can a newborn love something that isn't their Mummy or Daddy ?) so I'm happy with that.

I have number two of the Christmas Booga Bags in the washing machine felting as I blog. It seems to be behaving itself and felting nice and evenly, which was actually probably too much to hope for, considering that I was mixing different brands of yarn, including one I'd never used before, and I didn't swatch and felt-test. Obviously the knitting gods are smiling on me today. When I think about it, it was probably the knitting karma (knitma?) I earned by starting to teach The Man's 8 year old neice to knit this morning. She had the good grace and tenacity to stick to it for a good 30 minutes and was starting to slowly get the hang of the knit stitch before she gave up with sore hands, and she insisted on taking her yarn and needles with her. I'm so proud!
Probably because his cousin was doing it (which makes it cool), The Boy firmly stated that he wanted to learn to knit also. I set him up with a pair of blue 6mm needles and a row of stitches, and showed him the knit stitch over and over, and then he took the needles, moved one backwards and forwards against the other and claimed to be knitting. I'm just over the moon that he was interested enough to do that much. He's only 4 - I've got years to indoctrinate him... BWAHAHAHAH HA HA HA. Maybe I should start using the subliminal message audio tapes while he's sleeping.....
Unfortunately, I forgot to get his Dad to get photos of us knitting, so this one of him hard at work at another artistic endeavour will have to suffice.

Oh, and this one of him holding a plastic fish over his nose at a recent birthday party....

And some gratuitous roses, just because they're beautiful.

One happy moment

I'm happy that the reserve bank didn't raise official interest rates this week. Some of the lenders have been raising their rates anyway so I'm hoping that the fact that mine raised them out of synch with the reserve bank a couple of months ago due to "rising costs" means that they will be one of the ones staying put just at this moment.

I've noticed how bare this blog looks at the moment with no photos. So I promise some photos of something later today. All of my recent knitting has been christmas knitting for people I want to maintain the surprise for, so photos of those will need to wait a bit. But I think there are a few things I can show you. Just not now.... Must eat breakfast before stomach initiates mutiny.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lean, mean chocolate-eating machine.

Oh, the significant other reminded me that I forgot to mention this week's other major achievement. Well, it's not actually this week's achievement, rather this half-year's achievement, but since I started personal training and doing a weights session once a week earlier this year, I've reduced my body fat percentage from 26% to 23%. Yay. But it is proof that weight training makes you more dense.

Finally! An accomplishment or two.

The first software release I was totally responsibile for at work was completed this week. I'm proud of it, but it's hard to feel excited as I'm still a little fatigued from the long hours I did last week to get it all developed, and there are other big issues I still need to take care of at work this week. We are quite understaffed at the moment due to a bit too much work and a number of people who have left but have not yet been replaced. There's another great developer leaving at the end of this week, so it's going to get worse, but at least we are coming up to the slow period over Christmas when everyone goes into code freezes. That does of course mean that the next few weeks are going to be hell as every customer wants their work done before the freeze, but it's only for a couple of weeks. I also got a bit of a compliment on my work this week so I'm feeling pretty happy about that.

Plus, I worked out a design for my Christmas cards and so far I've got 11 of them done. Only 20-30 or so to go. !

Oh, and the Christmas gift knitting is going quite well. I'm not happy with the handles on the first of the booga bags, but I did do them on the clover wonder-knitter rather than a 5-stitch i-cord as recommended in the pattern so they're a bit thicker than designed. I will need to work out an appropriate replacement for the bulky knots on the handles, but that should be easy. I might try actually doing the proper i-cord for the second bag..... what? actually following the instructions? How novel! *grin*

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another year gone

Yesterday was the third anniversary of Doug's death. I felt pretty distracted and sad in the last few weeks but yesterday was quite a good day - I lit his candle and thought about him a bit, but I'm feeling a lot happier. It's quite strange to think that three years have already gone and that so much has changed. But nothing can change how much I love him and treasure the time we had together.

Nothing to see here

From the fact that I haven't posted any knitting pictures for aaages, you might think that I haven't been knitting. Well, you'd be wrong. I've been knitting like crazy, I just can't show you any of it. Partly because I forgot to take photos of my boss's baby's cardigan and pants (she loved them by the way, but the timing was so rotten that poor little Cooper would cook in them if he wore them now, in our Brisbane 30+ degree temps. Oh well, I hope the thought counts for something). But mostly because I'm knitting Christmas presents at the moment and the recipients are occasional readers of this blog. What I can say is that the knitting is going really well, the only tricky bits are of the "what colour to use next" variety and I'm really pleased with the results so far.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Frankie says Huh?

Waiting to cross the road yesterday, I noticed that the young woman next to me was wearing a "Frankie says Relax" t-shirt. The shirt was black and of a style and quality which clearly identified it as not being an original.
Now, I can imagine a market for a new run of such shirts among die-hards like me who fondly remember dancing to Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the Rock Eisteddford in year 10, whose music taste is mostly floundering somewhere in the 80's and who still have Relax and Two Tribes on their mp3 players. But young women who would be young enough to be the daughters of Frankie fans?
I wonder whether young people will wear t-shirts with anything written on them nowadays, or whether Frankie's having a comeback?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A little bit of catch-up

Oh, and since it's been a month since I last posted, here are a few little messages of catch-up.

1. Uncle George is doing well and is back home from hospital. Grandma and Grandad are having a little bit of trouble moving him between the bed and the wheelchair but they are all managing reasonably well and are lots happier for him being at home.

2. I'm off the 6-MP, with both my Doctors concluding that while it works to fix the Crohn's symptoms, the side effect of my ending up with a drastically hobbled immune system is not worth it. I'm now experiencing the unmitigated joy that is once-weekly blood tests, and have to see the Haematologist again on the 30th.

3. Nicky is pregnant again, and valiantly keeping up the effort to prove herself again worthy of the "Queen of Spew" award given to her by workmates during her first pregnancy.

4. Went to Bryce's book launch on Monday. Had fun, was amazed to find that he remembered me, and read about half the book as soon as I got home. I'm now almost finished the book and it's a good read. I might write a review if I get around to it.....(I'd say "stay posted" at this junction, but considering the fact that I've only managed one blog post a month for the last few months, it's probably more like "don't hold your breath"!)

Why, yes, I'd love to pay you more money.

I got a nice, polite letter from my mortgage provider yesterday, advising that due to "significant increases in capital market costs", they have put my interest rate up by 0.25%. Of course I realise they have costs, but what's next? "Due to a significant increase in the cost of those blue business shirts with white collars that all of our financial staff like to wear..."? "Due to a significant increase in the cost of sending you nice letters to inform you that there's been a significant increase in costs..."?

Coincidentally, today's the first Wednesday of the month - so in a little under an hour, the lovely people at the Reserve Bank will announce their decision on the cash rate for the month of October. Analysts have predicted that it will stay steady and I hope they're right. The wobbly house of cards that is my personal budget doesn't really need another rate increase at the moment. There is expected to be another rate rise before the end of the year though.

And, yes, I know that the economy is going gangbusters. How could it not be, with all the money being pumped in by my mortgage repayments!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hey - I know someone sort-of almost famous!

Last week, when I was reading a brochure for Mary Ryan bookshops, a face in a photo caught my eye. "I know that face".....and I knew the name too. - The brochure was advertising an Author Event for a new book by Bryce Corbett, who was the older brother of one of my good friends, and was a couple of years ahead of me at school. I think he worked for the milkman and delivered our milk at one point.

Anyway, he's written a book about his life in Paris, where he now lives. It's called "A Town Like Paris" and I don't actually know if it's any good because I don't think it's available for sale yet and in any case I will wait for the author event to buy mine. The few reviews I've been able to get hold of online indicate that it's funny and well written, so I recommend you get out and get it when it's available, so that you can support my old friend's brother. If you're in or around Brisbane on the 1st of October, you might want to get along to the event at Mary Ryan's at Milton - give them a call to book.

On the crohn's front, the 6-MP I've been taking is causing more bone marrow toxicity so my immune system is again suppressed more than it should be. I'm having more blood tests (I've had so many now that the nice lady who collects my blood samples knows me by name when I come in the door) and I have to see my Haematologist again. I can't get an appointment with him till the 25th of September so it's all a little up in the air at the moment. He has suggested that he might need to take a bone marrow sample which sounds like not much fun.....but we'll see....

Music recommendation of the day - Canadian Indie Pop band The New Pornographers.... With a name like that I dare you to Google them at work tomorrow!

Oh, and thanks to the lovely and talented Bonne Marie at ChicKnits for the link to this comic. I laughed so hard....(The Man thought I was nuts, so maybe you have to be a knitter...)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Looooong Time no post

Wow, it's been so long since I've been here that I'd forgotten my blogger password. Sorry.

I've been quite busy lately and have been filling in all my spare time with madly attempting to finish a couple of knitting projects - a jumper for my neice (which she will probably grow too big for before it's finished, at this rate) and a cardigan and pants suit for a friend's little boy who's due very soon.

A potted history of the last couple of months.

July - I turned 33, The Man went to Perisher for a week with a friend, and with Lalla looking after The Boy for the weekend I took the opportunity for a whirlwind trip to Sydney for two days. I took Mum to the theatre to see Company (loved it), had dinner with the family in J & D's new flat, which isn't actually so new but I hadn't seen it, visited Uncle George in hospital, visited Grandma and Grandad and drove Mum and Dad down to Dad's hangar, where he took the Chipmunk, which he'd just sold, for a final flight, involving me in the back seat feeling uncomfortable during the extremely tame aerobatic maneuver he managed to do before I sheepishly asked him not to do any more. (For those who know about such things, I couldn't handle a wingover.....I'm such a wuss)

August - We planned and packed and headed off for our trip to ski in Queenstown in NZ (12th-19th August). We had a great time and despite some difficulties and a little bit of a tantrum one morning, I did manage to improve my skiing over the week. I keep meaning to write a great long report, but I haven't got to it yet, which means I probably never will. (My road to hell is well and truly paved up to about knee deep by now with all my good intentions!). Anyway, if you want to see some footage from the first part of our trip, including me skiing slowly in a state of great concentration, here it is.

Things have been up and down with Uncle George - they moved him out of the high dependency ward into Rehab, then he got pneumonia, but Dad told me today that yesterday he was the best Dad has seen him since he went into hospital. He is cheerful and eating well, which is really great news.

I've been in my new job for nearly 14 weeks now. Gee time flies! I had my first performance review last week and it was quite good. I'm soooooo glad I left my old job. I've got an appointment to have afternoon tea with a couple of the people from my old team on Friday. I miss them, but not the job. I'm so much happier now with my work, and it's amazing what a difference that makes to your general well-being.

My personal training sessions are going well - at least I'm increasing the amount of weight I work out with (up to 7kg in each hand for squats and lunges) and there seem to be some muscles making an appearance! Who knew! I'm getting more and more convinced that all personal trainers are closet sadists, though, because my pt pushes me until it really hurts on the end of each set.....but that's nothing to how much it hurts the next day! Thank goodness I'm starting to see some benefits in my strength and body size (jeans are getting a little loose) because it's not easy to go back for that pain every week!

We just popped outside and checked out the start of the lunar eclipse. I thought the moon would be below the hill across the road for most of the start of the eclipse but it's well and truly above the hill. Not much to see yet, and it's a little cloudy so not as easy to see as it could be, but we'll keep looking!

Happy Birthday to Sharon, Uncle Peter, Grandma, Aunty Pam, Uncle George and Jill, who have all registered one number higher since I last posted.!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Up until this evening, Uncle George had been doing really well. They drained the fluid from his lungs last week and he had improved a bit almost immediately. He had slowly got better little by little each day, and was sitting in his wheelchair. But we got bad news today that he has got a bad infection. I don't know anymore but it doesn't sound good.

And, in what now seems to be incredibly trivial news, I found out this evening that the new Doctor Who companion for the 4th season will be Catherine Tate, reprising her "The Runaway Bride" character of Donna. I guess I can understand the idea behind it, going from a companion the Doctor fell in love with (Rose) to a companion who fell in love with the Doctor and he just liked her (Martha) to a companion who is so blinking annoying that I can't imagine anyone being prepared to stay in a room with her.......(good thing the TARDIS is really really big inside). I'm just really disappointed - I actually found her character annoying enough that it might just turn me off watching the show - and this is a show that I am obsessed with, and have a withdrawal-like reaction to the end of a series...... The Man reckons that I'll watch it anyway, and I have to admit he's probably right, but I don't have to like Donna, do I? I won't do it, I won't! (pardon me while I pout, suck my thumb and find my blankie...)

Oh, and I see the Gastroenterologist tomorrow morning. He now does earlier appointments so I'm able to have an 8am appointment and get to work earlier (up until recently the earliest appointment was 9am, which usually meant it was after 10 before I got to work).....

Friday, June 29, 2007

Let's hope next week is better.....

It's not been such a good week. My Monday blood test showed that my neutrophils were still only 0.6, so my haematologist asked me to have more blood collected yesterday. The results today show that the neutrophils are up to 0.8 (not brilliant, but we'll take any improvement we can get at the moment). My haemoglobin is still low, so I'll be going in for a blood transfusion next Saturday. I know that it's all incredibly routine and everything, but I'm a little apprehensive. I said to Mum this evening "they should keep the blood for the people who need it". She said "If the doctor is recommending this, you're the people who need it!" She also said that it's for this reason that she donates blood - to help people who are unwell. I wish I could just request a couple of units of her donations....

But even worse than that, my wonderful, special Uncle George had an operation earlier this week that didn't go according to plan and now he's in hospital, very sick and possibly at risk of dying soon. I feel so bloody far away from my Sydney family right now. I looked up flights for this weekend but they're very expensive. At the moment I'm waiting for news as it comes to hand, and hoping, hoping, hoping that he'll be okay.

Uncle George last October at Jill's wedding. (I know the corners are missing but for some reason this photo was taken on an angle so I had to rotate it and crop but it was still missing bits.....)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Helmets, babies, water restrictions, birthdays and bone marrow tocixity

All of these things are a part of my life at the moment.

The Man and I decided to buy helmets to protect our little headsies and brainsies when we ski. I selected a size small, which seemed right in the shop but when we got them home and tried them on with goggles, it was too big so I had to go back and get an extra small. Good things come in small packages, like my tiny head, obviously. We got a helmet for The Boy a little while ago, so we will all have lovely protected heads for our upcoming ski trip to the land of the long run (hopefully).

Our good friends A and M had a little girl last weekend. I am madly trying to finish a gorgeous little rose-pink jacket that I've been knitting for a fault that I've been procrastinating and working on other things, but there's only one sleeve to sew in and the buttons to sew on, and to give it a good wash and block and it will be done. Photos when it's finished, I promise.

Our technical writer at work is on tenterhooks because his partner is 5 days overdue with their first baby, another little girl. Aaargh.....I'm running out of time to knit booties.....

We are well into level 5 water restrictions and some recent rain hasn't been enough to really affect the dam levels at all. We are all being encouraged to use 140 litres or less of water per day per person, with full dishwasher and washing machine loads and 4 minute showers. To assist with this, the government recently had a massive mailout of 4 minute shower timers. I'd already bought a timer, so we had one in the shower already, but we put the new one in the shower and it fell off the wall and broke after less than one day. Damn. I was looking forward to being allowed to have 8 minute showers. *ha ha* Now it's back to attempting to get finished in 4 minutes. (I try, I really do, but it's hard to get the water to the right temperature and wash your body and shampoo and condition your hair and comb the conditioner through and wash your face and rinse off in 4 minutes....oh well, gotta keep trying.)

It's birthday time here at the moment - My niece's 2nd birthday tomorrow, The Boy and his best friend at the beginning of July, our friend Nicky is turning 40 in the middle of the month, and my birthday is later on in July. The Man and I are finally managing to get out for the long-awaited dinner at Gambaro's seafood restaurant in a couple of weeks and we're going to stay the night at the Sofitel in town. The Boy's Grandma is coming down to take care of him for the night. I can't wait...I haven't had prawns in sooooooooo long, not to mention oysters, crabs, moreton bay bugs......

And in health-related news, the Puri-Nethol (6-mercaptopurine/6-MP) I was taking for my crohn's disease has started to make me sick. It had started to be toxic to my bone marrow, my haemoglobin had got down to 71 (should be 115 plus) and my neutrophils were 0.5 (should be 2+). So I'm tired, pale, have a tendency to nearly black out when I get up too quickly and have lowered resistance to infection. I'm off the drugs for the next week and a half and having blood tests once a week, so I'll have to see how it all goes. The gastroenterologist thinks that I will recover on my own without treatment so fingers crossed. I should have some idea tomorrow when I call to get the results of today's blood test.

Anyway, I hope you're all well, you didn't wash away in NSW's recent storms and that your winter isn't too chilly. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I love long weekends

I love that it's Sunday night and I don't have to go to work tomorrow. Love the new job, but love Mondays off too!

We went shopping today to get new long-sleeved shirts for The Boy, and we went to the movies and saw Shrek the Third as well. I realise it's been getting some less than favourable reviews but I kinda liked it. It wasn't fall-off-your-chair funny, but The Man and I both giggled in parts. The Boy was pretty good and only occasionally made his own commentary ("Why do these ads have to go so long?", "He's a nasty man, he's a nasty man!").

And in work-related news, my new company got sold on Friday to an American company. No idea yet what they're going to do with everything, but I've got to hope that my bosses, knowing they were selling the company, wouldn't have recruited me if they knew it was unlikely I'd have a future longer than two weeks! The Man keeps telling me that I've just got to go with the flow, and I'm trying, but it's a little difficult to go from a not-so-great job to being unemployed to finding a great job and then having this new uncertainty. Oh well. We'll know more on Tuesday when the new bosses come in to meet us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's 10:20pm and I'm about to go to bed.....

I'm enjoying my new job. I haven't been there two weeks yet and haven't really done much yet, but everyone is really nice and I like the atmosphere. I'm madly cramming Java training into this little old brain of mine so I can actually be useful at some stage.....Some of it is coming back but some of it is taking some really hard thinking.....hopefully it will all start to click once I actually start doing some coding for real. Fingers crossed.

On the knitting front I've almost finished Tivoli. Only about 11 rows to go.....I might get it done this weekend, just in time for the weather to turn cool enough so I can't wear's that for timing? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So long, Dr Phil


So I won't be staying at home watching bad daytime television anymore.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Talking to myself and feeling old....

It's Monday and it's raining. Well, it was raining this morning and it's still overcast.

I'm entering my 6th week of unemployment, starting to think that the whole quitting business was the wrong idea....of course, had I stayed I would have gone bonkers, and may have ended up being forced out, but at least they would have paid me for a while longer.

People keep asking if I have enjoyed my "break". It has been nice not having to do much except sweep the floor, do the occasional load of washing and look for a new job. But those of you who know me well will be aware that I'm not usually an unrelentingly positive person, especially when it comes to my own abilities. And the Suncorp job knocked me around. Being unemployed has actually been fairly depressing.

So I've got to hope that it's nearly over. I got called back for a second interview last Thursdsay, and I think it went really well. The recruitment agency called on Friday to ask for a list of referees so they can do a reference check. I heard from one of my referees today that she had been contacted, and asked to reply by today if possible. My fingers are crossed, because at this stage, I think good references = new job. I hate this part where I have no control over it. All I can do is hope that it all comes out positive.

I will be going for a walk this afternoon. There are two parcels waiting for me at the post office. I think it's the knitting wool and cotton I bought on eBay. All I've got to do now is get that job to pay for it!

I hope the Mamas and Papas are wrong.

"Monday, Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way....."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Good Morning, Lexy!

I got a call from the recuitment agent yesterday (a new, better one, not the long walk and blister-inducing agent of the 17th of April)- could I attend an interview today at 11.30am? (Silly question!)

When I cuddled The Boy and said goodbye this morning, I said to him "Are you going to say Good Luck to me for my special meeting this morning?" He turned to me and said "Good boy, Lexy!". "Don't you mean Good Luck?" I asked. "Good Morning, Lexy!" he answered. So when The Man kissed me goodbye, he said "Good Morning!"

I think the interview went quite well, and hopefully I should hear something soon. They indicated that they do second interviews for everyone they employ, so hopefully there will be a second interview soon.

Song of the day is the Silhouette's 1957 classic "Get a job"

Sha na na na - sha na na na na
Sha na na na - sha na na na na
Sha na na na - sha na na na na
Sha na na na - sha na na na na
Dip dip dip dip dip dip dip dip
Mum mum mum mum mum mum
Get a job
Sha na na na - sha na na na na

Happy Birthday, Dougie.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Oh, how I wish it would rain down.....

Okay, so I've been listening to Phil Collins today. It's been overcast and cloudy and threatening to rain for a couple of days and we had a couple of drops earlier, but nothing more.

I did frog (rip out/pull apart, for the non-knitters) that blue top. This is what it looks like now.

I'm making progress on my Picovoli. (I decided to leave off the picot edging, so I guess it's technically a Tivoli). Here's where I'm up to:

It looked pretty good when I tried it on, but it's not long enough to cover my bra yet so I'll take photos of me wearing it when it's a little longer!

And just because I can, here's a gratuitous shot of The Boy taking his plastic table apart this morning when we got home from his swimming lessons.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To rip or not to rip....

I've been working on this top for about two years. It's the Fitted Rib Top from Amanda Griffiths' One Thousand Sweaters, and it's in Cleckheaton Click Clack Cotton - in a gorgeous blue-grey that I've had in the cupboard for years since buying 10 balls for $20 at Wisteria Crafts (Miranda Fair) when the yarn was discontinued.

I've been getting near the end of the back in the last couple of days and it's started to feel really weird. You can't see the back in the picture in the book so I guess I hadn't really thought about it, but it gets quite narrow and would go right up to the neck in line with the shoulders....

This morning I tacked the sides together and tried it on and..... while it's not really awful, neither is it particularly attractive. I imagined it as soft and clingy and slinky and sexy, but it looks a bit saggy and too long and not that sexy at all. And it would definitely show my bra at the sides under the armpits, so it wouldn't be appropriate to wear to work, which would make it almost useless. It also didn't seem to have much structure to it - the fabric felt flabby, and I'm told cotton sags even more after it's been washed. It would seem that 2x2 rib is not the best stitch for this yarn, perhaps.

So I'm definitely going to pull it all out and see if I can re-use the yarn for something else, perhaps it will be better in stocking stitch... I have a cute little pattern for a wraparound dress for a baby girl....... But I think I will start instead on my Picovoli by Grumperina with the beautiful Paton's Zhivago I bought on Tuesday. Either that or the beautiful Ballet Camisole.

OMG. Don't tell The Man, but I think I need more yarn.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Alexia's thought for the day

Is that you shouldn't take a long walk around Brisbane in high heeled shoes.

I had an interview with a recruitment agent this morning. I don't think it went all that well, and I didn't feel all that good when I came out so I started walking. I walked along the river from Customs House round to QUT and then up through the city. By that point my feet were really really sore, so I ended up going to Big W and buying comfy shoes and socks for the trip home (which involved a bus trip and a 1km walk). I now have a blister the size of a 5c piece on the ball of my right foot and a slightly smaller one on my left foot. Ouch.

One good thing about my enforced "holiday" is that I'm getting lots of knitting done. I've finished another baby cardigan and I'm working on a baby jacket, a singlet top for me, and a pair of booties. I bought yarn today for another blouse for me which I nearly started this afternoon, but I really should try and finish some of the things I've started......I guess.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Get a haircut and get a real job...

Well, I don't actually need the haircut, and indeed, probably can't really afford it at the moment, but I do need the job. I am now officially unemployed.

I finished up at Suncorp on Friday - got as much work finished and neatly handed over as I could, had a farewell drink, gave everyone a hug and went home. Nuff said, really.

Today I had my first driving lesson with the lovely, patient Ali. While I've driven before (a long time ago), it was my first go at driving a manual car, and I'm very proud of the fact that I didn't stall or bunny hop, and only had a few minor mishaps. I did drive verrrry slowly, which probably annoyed a few people in the back streets near where I live, but I got through the lesson quite well, I think. I have another lesson booked for Monday week, which was the first time Ali had in his diary.

Now all I have to do is find a new job so that I can pay for my driving lessons.....Oh, and the ski boots I'm buying next week!

Monday, April 2, 2007

there's a first time for everything.

Yes - I actually finished a knitting project! More than one even. I hear you scoff, but it's true. Really. I promise.

We did a big tidy up of the garage on Saturday and I transferred all of my knitting yarn and bits and pieces into some plastic crates to store on the shelves rather than in a pile of boxes in the bedroom. In the process I collected a big box of unfinished projects and resolved to finish at least a few of them. By the end of Sunday I'd finished three jumpers, two hats and a teddy bear. Okay, so two of the jumpers only needed buttons, but they were unfinished then and they are finished now so I'll count them. The other jumper was The Boy's Wee Willy Winky jumper, on which I finally worked out how to do the collar. Yay.

Wee Willy Winky Jumper

A stripy jumper
Oh, and I applied for a job today. It sounds like a good job on paper but when I spoke to the recruitment agent this morning it turns out that there's already someone in the role, so I don't know what that means for other applicants. Oh well, if all it is, is a way to boost my confidence and get my head thinking about a new job, then that's a good thing!
What I'm listening to today: Republica - Ready to Go (You may know it as the Holden Astra Commercial music); Sarah McLachlan's "Ordinary Miracle" from the movie Charlotte's Web (really really gorgeous song - listen out for it!)

Friday, March 30, 2007


It's been a funny old week really - some days I felt really good, and others, like today.... well, let's just say that it just reminded me why I need to get out of my job. Only two weeks to go now, and there's two public holidays in the middle so it's only 8 more days! I guess that means I'm not that far off from being officially out of work, which is scary, but I've made my bed now so there's no point complaining. At least I'll get paid out for about 8 days leave so I'll effectively get paid for a week and a half

Tonight The Boy and I sorted socks and I taught him how to work out if two socks match - we started with "they just do" and worked our way through to "they're the same colour, they're the same length, they have the same letters on them". I'm so proud of him.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Be afraid, be very afraid

But only if you are likely to be driving in Brisbane any time soon. I got my learner's permit today so I will be out there driving in the near future.

In other great news today, I saw my gastroenterologist today and we think my Crohn's disease is enough under control at the moment that I can wean completely off the steroids now. Yay.

In bad news, I seem to have misplaced my keys.....I hope I find them soon.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Take this job and shovel it.......

I resigned from my job on Wednesday. I don't have anywhere to go yet but my resume is finally finished apart from a proof read from some people I trust and a slight rearrangement in the order of some statements, and I'm hoping to send it off to at least one recruitment agency today.

Anyway, I'm about to go off to work and then we're heading up to Witta (near Maleny) for a quiet weekend away. The Boy is with his Grandparents in Caloundra for the weekend.

Happy birthday for yesterday, Bec. These gerberas are for you.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

This is the way we clean the house

Thought you all might like this shot I took this morning of The Boy helping us clean the house.
Isn't he just the cutest little devil?
As for me, I'm okay but a bit tired. It's been a big week. We had our scheduled quarterly release of software enhancements last night and I was working from 8am to 10pm with only a short break for lunch. Makes for a long day and an exhausted Lexy. We ended up with a few hassles which we dealt with, and finished about an hour later than scheduled, but everything was okay in the end. I logged on this morning and there did not seem to have been any problems, and I'm oncall this week so if there was anything major I would have heard about it.
I'm still having hassles writing my resume. I've been working on it and have given myself a deadline of this weekend to finish it, but it's still not a lot of fun. I know that I won't get away from my stressful ^%&*^%$^^!! of a job until I finish the resume, but somehow that doesn't make it any easier.
Oh, and I didn't actually really enjoy the play on Tuesday. It was quite a cleverly put together play, well acted on the whole and with an amazing set, but a one of the actors annoyed me and I found the ending to be unsatisfying.....I think I was in the mood for a happy ending, which doesn't mean the play was bad (it wasn't), just that it wasn't what I wanted..... The other thing that struck me was that I'm no doubt terribly biased, but I think that Sutherland Theatre Company could have done just as well, (with the obvious exception of the venue and the set, which is just a venue-availability and materials thing.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A night at the theatre

I haven't been to the theatre in ages - the last time was to Dirty Dancing more than a year ago, and while I had a good time, I wasn't really impressed with the show, so it doesn't count. In fact, I can't remember the last professional production I went to. So I bought myself a ticket to Queensland Theatre Company's"Private Fears in Public Places" at QPAC next Tuesday night. I'm really looking forward to it.

Workwise, the big thing at the moment is the March software release next Friday. With a week and a half to go, we should be all boxes ticked, all ducks in a row, all ready to go. But we're not. Things keep breaking, people keep failing to deliver on their responsibilites, things keep going wrong. We keep fixing them, but we're rapidly running out of time. I'll have to let you know how it all goes after the fact because I can't tell at the moment. It could quite concievably go either way.

I hope you are all having a good week and that whatever you are doing is going better than our software release. :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We've got to get out of this place.....

Turned out I hadn't gotten rid of that nasty chest cold and it came back to bite me on Monday morning. The boss sent me home, and I ended up having to stay at home on Tuesday as well. I hate being sick at all, but if I have to stay home then I'd prefer that it knocked me out so I slept all day. This cold wasn't like that - in fact I couldn't sleep during the day no matter how much I tried, but I got breathless and exhausted when I sat up for too long. I ended up spending all day on the lounge going slowly round the twist with boredom. I knitted a bit and watched some bad tv, but there's only so much Dr Phil a girl can handle.

I did quite a lot of thinking, too. A lot of you will know that my job has been an issue for a while. The role was never what I was expecting when I took it on, and it's changed since then, so that now there's not much about the responsibilities that I enjoy, and it's a really really high pressure role with more and more being heaped on me every day. I've ended up with too much on the plate to do a good job, which has added to my stress, which has made things worse and I've just got myself into a nasty hole. I've tried really hard, but not made much of an improvement, and now I'm scared of going to work because I don't know what I'm going to get wrong next. I'm pretty sure the stress is contributing to making me sick physically as well as mentally. So it's time to get out, I think.

I told the boss of my intention to find a new job on Wednesday and immediately felt a whole lot better. I went out afterwards and had the first meal I'd been able to eat in days. I still have to find that new job but for the first time in ages it feels like there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

So all I've got to do now is finish working on the resume, have a good hard think about what sort of job I'd really like, get the resume off to recruitment agents, look at Suncorp for an alternate role and go out and get that job.

Either that or win Powerball. Hmmmmm. Now there's a thought..... :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What time is it now, Daddy?

We had a good day today. We had a quiet morning, but I found a box downstairs that had a few UFO's (unfinished objects) in it and did some work on a few pieces. The Boy's jumper is still in the naughty corner but I got the shoulders and half a sleeve attached on a teal wrap cardigan I started about two years ago, and finished the front and knitted half a sleeve for a lavender baby jumper that I started goodness knows when. Both balls of yarn in the bag with it have lost their ball bands so apart from being 8 ply acrylic, I don't even know what the yarn is. It's a pretty colour though. It will be good to finish it as I will have a girl's baby jumper packed away with the boy's one I've already done so I will be prepared for any eventuality. Well, any which doesn't involve more than one baby of the same sex!

This afternoon we went to visit The Boy's best friend and his parents for a BBQ. We were due to be there at 3.30pm and he was asking all day - Can we go yet? (not yet, sweetie, not for another 5 hours) What time is it now? (about 20 minutes after you last asked...)

We had a great time. The Boy's friend has a gorgeous baby brother, who is only a few months old, and did I say he's gorgeous? I love how relaxing it is to just sit on the deck and talk to good friends and watch the kids "hunt for sharks" in the backyard. Then we had a great meal and a Heaven Raspberry and White Chocolate ice-cream for dessert. What more could you want from a Summer's evening?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cough cough, splutter

After sleeping nearly all day on Monday, I felt okay to go to work on Tuesday. I was still a little tired but I got through the day. Wednesday I woke up with a really sore throat but I still went to work. During the day I got really tired and tight in the chest, and by the afternoon I was also light headed and having trouble getting up the stairs at The Boy's daycare.

The Man insisted on me visiting the doctor, who declared that I had a chest infection and prescribed me a day off work and the biggest antibiotics I've ever seen.

I rested all day on Thursday and went back to work yesterday. This morning my chest is still tight and the cold has also moved up into my throat and sinuses so I'm coughing, my face, nose and ears are hurting and I can't taste anything. I'm trying to take it easy today - we're going to see The Man's Mum and Dad this afternoon, but that just involves me sitting in a car for an hour or so each way and sitting on the couch when I get there.
I've been knitting a bit too. I still haven't finished The Boy's jumper (I'm nearly there but the shawl collar wasn't behaving so it's in the naughty corner for a while) but I felt a need to knit yesterday at lunchtime so I went into town and got some yarn and needles and started a baby jumper. I'll post photos when I get around to taking some. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Poor little sick girl

I didn't go to work today. I just felt bleaugh so I stayed at home and spent most of the time asleep.

I didn't get any work done on The Boy's jumper so it looks like it's going to go over the one year mark.

There were nasty storms in Esk and Kilcoy today, but we just got some rumbly thunder and rain. Not lots and lots, but enough to wet the ground and make it a little spongy. I hope we get some more over the next few days so that the grass will start to grow back and not look so dried out and yucky.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Aaah. Gotta love the weekend

My sister, her husband and the most gorgeous little girl in the universe visited yesterday and stayed overnight. We had lunch, chatted, made chocolate brownies, played around in the spa, had takeaway Thai for dinner and watched a movie. Very relaxing. Except maybe for Dax, although he doesn't actually look too fussed here....

"No, sweetie, Dax is not a horsey!"

They're up from Sydney for a week, partly to visit us, but mostly to go to the Cleveland Auto Spectacular. Unfortunately they got all the way out to Cleveland this morning to find that they had resurfaced the field the car show was meant to be held on, and the show had to be postponed until April. In the end they decided to go to the Motor Show instead, and got there just after we'd left! :(

We'd spent a couple of hours at the Motor show, looking at all the shiny brand new cars. I had a good look at what's available in the small runaround 4/5 door hatch or small sedan market to find a car I would like once I have my drivers licence. (I'll get my L's in the next two weeks, G,  I promise!). Out of everything in that space, I liked the Honda Jazz the best - cute, comfy, good space, good headroom, while a lot of the other cars made me almost bang my head on the ceiling when I moved (and I'm only 172cm tall!).

Overall, the standouts were:

Best car for me: Honda Jazz
Best Looking car: Mazerati Gransport
Cars we really liked but can't afford: Alfa Spider, Nissan 350Z, Mazda MX-5
Most ridiculously overpriced item: $11.50 for a pie, chips and a drink!

On the knitting front, I've almost finished The Boy's Wee Willy Winky jumper, which I originally intended for him to be able to wear on our ski trip last August. I've just realised that since I started the jumper on my first day of interviews for my current job, I've got one more day to finish it in exactly 1 year. Wow.

I've got the jumper body all sewn up and I'm working on getting the collar all sewn in. I'm struggling with getting the collar sewn in neatly and wish I'd listened to the little voice which said "you should really be using short rows" when I was doing all the stepped cast-offs, but I can't be bothered going back now. I'll know better next time I do something like this!

Friday, February 9, 2007

My first post at the end of a long week...

Welcome to my blog.
I expect to use this as a way to update friends and family on what's going on, as I'm notoriously bad at emailing.....(sorry guys).
I'm hoping that putting some updates out here now and then will give you more info than you got previously, but then again I may turn out to be a notoriously bad blogger. :)