Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Melissa Averinos wrote me a comment!

Well, that just about takes the cake. My cup runneth over. I am replete.

If all of the fabulousness from yesterday wasn't enough, this morning when I checked my comments section to last night's post, I found a comment from Melissa Averinos herself.

That would be the Melissa Averinos who is the DESIGNER of the Sugar Snap fabric that arrived for me in the mail yesterday (I ordered it in both Cocoa and Plum). The actual designer, the very same one. The woman who designed it. She wrote me a comment. She read my post, and she wrote me a comment.

I think I caught my jaw before it hit the floor, but only just!

I have never thought of the designer as a real person before. Oh, of course I know she's a real person, she lives and breathes after all! But I always pictured it as a rarified kind of air, you know what I mean?

I have always thought of fabric designers as the kind of people who move in different circles waaaaay above my eeny little crafty circumference. They mix with important people. I never imagined them to read tiny little blogs in Melbourne - let alone leave comments on them!

It's like getting a personal phone call from .... I don't know, the Pope or something.

Thank you Melissa Averinos, I am completely bowled over!

I think I need to go and sit in a corner somewhere and breathe deep breaths while I adjust. I'm starting to hyperventilate.

Monday, March 30, 2009

There's something in the air ....

There's something in the air tonight.

I don't know what it is, but it's magical.

First of all, I received an email from an Etsy member in the USA, the Bead Aerie. She saw my Perfect Picnic Roll and has featured it in a Treasury list, and wanted to let me know. Hooray! What an honour!

Then, I discovered a picture of my A Beauty Of A Bathroom Bag on a Norwegian blog. I can't speak Norwegian, but from the gist of the words I gather she was doing a post on babushkas and featuring some of her favourite products with babushkas on them.

So I went to her blog and commented in English to say thanks. I hope she can read me.

Amazing! And I only listed it on Saturday, along with the picnic roll - they've been up around 48 hours. This has never happened to me before.

Then the mailman delivered this striking fabric called Sugar Snap - it's by Melissa Averinos for Free Spirit. And shortly afterwards, so too arrived my first ever real business cards! How exciting!

They're in my flickettysplits name, which is a nickname given to me by my friend the Doctor - she made it up, and then My One True Love suggested I use it as my brandname. I thought it was a good idea too.

Once I got home from work I checked my blog stats and lo and behold, they'd skyrocketed around 530pm. And everyone seemed to be clicking on the link to This Is A Love Letter, which I wrote about the Stitches and Craft Show. Just the link itself, with no referring website, which made me think, how are people finding this? And it was people from everywhere - Tasmanica, and the ACT, and New South Wales, and Perth - people who ordinarily wouldn't know about my blog.

Lo and behold, there came an email from Tinniegirl, who let me know that Living Creatively - the people who organise the Stitches and Craft Show - had featured my post in their latest newsletter! Oh my goodness! It's like being recognised by your favourite celebrity! I'm so very very proud!

I don't have a copy yet but I can't WAIT to see the reference!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And on the seventh day, she rested ....

I had a very well-earned rest from sewing today.

After three markets on three weekends in a row, I'm whacked. I slept in this morning til well past 10 o'clock, and I cannot remember the last time I did that. Podae snuggled up in the crook of my arm, Fatpuss planted himself heavily on my knee (which went numb reasonably quickly under his great bulk), and there we rested until my bladder forced me up.

And when I finally arose, it was time to catch up on some of those chores I've ignored for the past few weeks.

This is what I've achieved on my so-called day of rest:
  1. the shopping is done
  2. the kitchen is tidy
  3. I have put away several hundred pieces of fabric that were previously crowded onto the dining table. This sounds easy, but took a great deal of time to sort by colour, texture, purpose and size
  4. the laundry is washed and folded
  5. I have stretched two pieces of fabric across the frames in the windows of our bedroom cabinets (using delectable embossed saffron silk that My One True Love and I bought in India last year for exactly this purpose, that's how long this job has waited!)
  6. read the weekend papers for the first time in a month
  7. watered the garden before it expires
  8. visited the Lee St Primary School Fete in Carlton, eaten a sausage in bread and purchased a small succulent
  9. seen a quilt in a shop window that wasn't half as nice as mine, yet was three times the price - that's given me some ideas, oh yes it has
  10. washed all the Australiana teatowels I collected in Mildura as well as the New Zealand ones My One True Love brought back for me this week
That's pretty good, isn't it! And now I can start to think about my next sewing project with a clear conscience.

I think it's time I made something for myself now, rather than something for a market. Perhaps a skirt. I have some beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric that I can hear calling my name ....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Love the Thornbury market

OH MY GOODNESS, the Thornbury market totally rocked today!

Yes, there were lots of people coming through, and quite a few of them buying, and that was fantastic. Whoever did the marketing for this event really knew what they were doing.

But more than that, I got to actually meet some of the crafters whom I've only known through their blogs before. It was like walking down the street of a movie set and meeting all of your favourite characters.

Curlypops and Tinniegirl were sharing a spot next to me (I ordered a lovely orange corduroy bag and admired the beautiful orange Happiness apron until a very clever person bought it), and Finki was showing her beautiful jewellery behind me.

Buttons by LouLou was just across the way - I now own some lovely navy blue polka dotted bobbypins that I coveted all day long, and I'm musing about buying a gorgeous chocolate brown brooch with a bird on it .... and Beccasauras stopped by and shared with some great op shop tips, and Hoppo Bumpo introduced me to Bargy, and Lara from Thornberry had her lovely laptop bag on ... and I'm sure I spied Taccolina and Dear Fii there for a moment as well.

And then (drum roll), then I met the High Priestess of Handbags, Nicole Mallalieu. Of You SEW, girl fame. Yes, the very same one! I nearly fainted with excitement. I may have danced a little jig.

This is the Nikki Mallalieu of the wonderful purse kits - and purse feet, people, feet, which cannot be bought anywhere in Melbourne that I know of apart from her shop - and patterns, and marvellous bias-tape-making geegaws; and we had a wonderful conversation. I am SO going to visit her shop at the first opportunity.

Honestly, if I hadn't sold a thing I'd still have been happy to be surrounded by such lovely neighbours whose blogs I read nearly every day. Okay, maybe I'd have been slightly miffed about not selling anything, but let's not worry about that.

It's so lovely to have found a crafty community, especially one which is both so geographically and philosophically close. It really has helped to bring everything to life for me.

Ahhhhhh. Hear that?

I am breathing the contented sigh of the sated admirer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Love Friday ... and working from home

It's fantastically fabulous Friday again! Hip-hip-hooray!

Today I'm working from home, which makes me Love Friday even more than usual.

I'm lucky that my organisation has a very good flexible working program, which essentially means that when you need to work from home, you can.

And right now I have a speech to work on for one of my senior executives, so the peace and quiet at home is a wonderful thing. And the great big pile of cushions you see here? I'm resting on them with my laptop right now. Ahhhhh.....

I'm a child of the open-plan office, having worked in them for most of my professional life.

There were a couple of blissful, luxurious stints there where I was able to temporarily have an office, with a lovely door that I could close when necessary, but those were the exception rather than the rule.

So I can work open-plan pretty well, as I've had fifteen-odd years of practice. I tune out the white noise and focus on what I'm doing.

What I can't tune out though, is the interruptions. My day is full of interruptions from people stopping by to say hello, ask a question, find a fact, or just chat about life, the universe and everything. That's not conducive to speechwriting. To write effectively, I need a long stretch of time that I can settle into it.

But home, now THAT is conducive. All I have to do is write, play the occasional game of fetch with the Grimth and his battered old mouse toy (he loves to fetch), and answer emails and telephone calls. If I like, I can do the washing. But I don't have to.

And I often find that when I work from home I end up getting more done than I would in the office, because I don't lost time to interruptions and distractions. I generally log onto the computer much earlier, around 730am, and get a whack of stuff done even before breakfast. Which is exactly what I did today.

I'm feeling very virtuous now, so as it's morning tea time, I think I will take a break and sew a pencil case for the market tomorrow. I've earnt it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tumbling through the Looking-Glass

I love Alice in Wonderland. I loved it as a child, and I still love it now.

I love Lewis Carroll's language. I love the Cheshire Cat, and the Red Queen. I love the magical idea that little bottles of elixir and little pieces of cake can grow or shrink you. I love the caterpillar.

I love the Dormouse. I love the maze. I love the contrary-wise twins Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. When I was younger I got to act Tweedle-Dee in a stage play my lunchtime theatre group did, of Through The Looking Glass. (And I love the quaint old term "looking-glass". So much nicer than the pedestrian "mirror".)

I think the thing I loved the most then, and still love to this day, is the belief that there are parallel worlds beside us, and that the reality we experience every day is only one way of looking at the world.

I had one of those momentary epiphanies at work today.

I've been struggling recently at work. Mainly on the inside, but it's revealed itself externally in various ways. There's been a lot of change and some of it's been good, and some of it less good. But I've reached a kind of homeostasis now - the angst and frustration of it is more or less constant and has more or less stabilised. It's something I can deal with.

And I had this realisation today, that mostly, the pain is self-inflicted. What is it the Buddhists say? Ego is the root of all suffering?

I have come to the realisation that I can release myself from the internal angst if I can just relinquish my grasp on my ego. All I have to do is understand, and truly accept, that I am not as important as I think I am. Or should be.

That's it. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But it's easier said than done, that's for sure.

It's such a trap to measure your own worth through other people's eyes. I've carefully calculated my value based on other people's view of me, oh yes. I've weighed their compliments and their criticism, and I've run the ruler over my own sense of self, and I've usually come up wanting.

I've felt I wanted more. That I deserved more, dammit. The chance to do more, to be more involved, the opportunity to do better. Responsibility and authority, I've wanted that. I've wanted to earn my colleagues' respect and be valued by my superiors. If only I was given the chance. Like a flame inside a bell jar, I sputter without the oxygen of praise.

Something in me needs a constant flow of achievement. Goals reached, strategies developed, targets surpassed. Mountains climbed, each one higher than the last. Without it, I shrink and wither, and my confidence falters.

And so I've finally realised that what I need to do now, to ride this wave of change, is give that away.

Just.... let it go.

Because in ceasing the struggle with myself and my perceived value, I hope to also lose the sense of injustice. If I am the one who is generating that sense, through my thoughts and my over-analysis of others' consideration of me, then that's something I can change.

Because in the scheme of things, I really am unimportant. And I have the ability to accept that, and put it aside. Change my perspective.

Digging deep inside the rabbit hole, I want to find another world.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weighty concerns

Ugh .... eating healthily really just means planning in advance, doesn't it?

It doesn't mean skipping breakfast, jamming in lunch half an hour early because you're starving, and then accidentally consuming a mini chocolate cannoli, a custard-creme puff at 3.30, and then accepting the free raspberry muffin at close to 5pm.

No, it does not.

I could learn a thing or two from Fatpuss I think, who spent the first week of his new diet refusing to eat at all, and the second week of his diet snuffling up every diet chompie he could find because he finally realised that nothing else was going to come back on the menu.

Fathead has a weigh-in on Thursday at the vet, too, where she's going to look him up and down and stand him on the scales and tut-tut about his tummy. Granted, it's a slightly smaller tummy than it was, but it could still warrant its own postcode in some small countries.

In fact, I think MY tummy could rival it, after all the rubbish I've eaten today. Lucky I'm wearing an empire line dress that's lovely and voluminous ... at least I can't feel my waistband straining!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A beauty of a bathroom bag

Oh, who was I trying to kid. Of COURSE I ended up sewing yesterday. It was inevitable, wasn't it? Of COURSE it was.

After the fence festival of ugliness was only very slightly improved by a very slightly less ugly wire trellis with a poor limp passionfruit trailing weakly off it in an effort to disguise the Ugly - and that took the better part of too many hours to count - I could hardly stay away from the sewing machine, could I?

It's how I decompress, after all.

And so I made this. It's a cute little bathroom bag made from vinyl-covered Kokka babushka fabric in an apple-y lime green. I especially like the little mushrooms (look closely, she instructed, look closely).

I've got the same fabric in sugar-pink, so Im going to make a few in the same material.

This one here is a prototype; I was going to put it on the stall for the Thornbury market, but it's a little bit wonky around the base seam, so I gave it to the Amateur Actress instead. She doesn't mind my dodgy offcästs, in fact she said quite happily "It's good living here!"

I'll know the tricks of the pattern better for the next one (I hadn't tried this one before).

But my goodness, the market is coming up in five days time and I've hardly any stock left after two markets already in two weekends. What on earth am I doing here on the computer, blogging?

Must sew!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Even the garden won't save me

There'll be no sewing today. I haven't the temperament for it.

Yesterday's market went well enough, given that it was both bloody hot and violently windy .... not the most conducive of environments for an outdoor market, you might say. Toof was the first thing to sell, and then the mint and pink flannelette cat, then a tiny red polka-dotted bird. A few doorstops, a tissue pack, some lavender sachets.

My new tote though, One Car Off The Road, (made from more delicious Echino fabric) sold as well, and I only finished it moments before the market. A small four-year old dressed in a bright red t-shirt that said "Fire engines to the Rescue" decided he wanted it for his library bag, and refused to budge, in that stubborn way of four-year olds.

I think he liked the colour and the cars more than the ecological statement the tote makes .... but never mind. As long as he likes it, that's the main thing. Perhaps the message will seep in subliminally over time.

But I don't feel like sewing or being creative today. I just want to be stodgy and quiet.

I had (I just typed "hate"accidentally and had to delete it, that probably says enough about my state of mind) ... that is, I had a night of bad dreams last night, bad dreams about just about everything. And so today I've woken up in a mood.

Even going out into the garden didn't help a great deal, and usually it can pick up my spirits in a moment.

Today, stepping onto the path, I breathed in the delicate perfume of the white roses. They spill like seafoam over the top of my picket fence, and at the moment the scent is rising off them in the warm sun.

Ordinarily I'm not fond of the Iceberg virus that infects so many inner-city gardens. I'm more a Tequila Sunrise kind of rose lover - vivid orange petals with bright yellow hearts to them. Or Adof, warm deep apricot. Or Lagerfeld, a cool and delicate mauve, similar to Blue Moon but ever so slightly more regal.

But these Icebergs were here when we moved in, and I haven't the heart to rip them out. They're slowly being overshadowed by the giant grasping robinias though, which started out as moptops and get bigger every year, despite me taking to them every spring with a hacksaw and giant snippers. One day they'll swallow the roses altogether, and they'll stop frothing along the top of the fence.

Having watered the gardenias, I thought briefly of taking some box hedge cuttings. The plants have had a burst of growth after the week of misty rain we had here in Melbourne, and they've grown long arms that wave over the brickwork. If I catch them at the right time I can pot them up, and hey presto, extra new box plants, for free.

But there are other things to do in the backyard today ahead of taking cuttings. There's ugly wire trellising to put up against the ugly south-facing wooden fence. It's a festival of ugliness out there right now, but once the trellising is in place, I can start training the passionfruit vines along it.

And hopefully in a few seasons time all the ugly will be gone, and instead there'll be fresh warm passionfruit to crack open in summer instead.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ode to Friday

I love my Fridays, warm and sweet
I love them when I'm in the street
I love them when I'm snug at home
I love them when I'm out to roam

I burst with joy at Friday's dawn
Its rays of sun upon the lawn
Make me shout and sing with glee
Goodbye work-week, soon I'm free!

Just one more day strapped in my seat
And then there will be something neat
The stale and rancid office air
Will be left behind, and I don't care

Fridays make me happy, see
Coz at the end I will be free
To prance and sing and celebrate
So hurry Friday, don't be late!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Creative Space

Ah, it's that time of the week again ..... time for My Creative Space, courtesy of Kootoyoo.

My space is chockablock right now, with all of the lovely goodies I picked up at the fabulous Stitches and Craft show last Saturday. In the middle you can see a copy of Mixtape - I'm a subscriber now! - and on the left are two lovely Melly and Me patterns.

I'm going to use the pink and white patterned fabric behind Mixtape to make the flamingo I think. He has wonderful knobbly knees that are just crying out to be made up.

There's also three metres of new fabric from Anna Maria Horner, which is going to become a 1950's style dress with a scoop neck, seamed waist, and full circle skirt. It's going to be eye-poppingly bright in this teal and orange print, but that's the way I like it.

I love this guilty secret here, posted by someone on the Craft Secrets wall. This woman has stolen my identity! I'm constantly having to sneak new crafty supplies into the house so that My One True Love doesn't see.

I know I shouldn't feel guilty, as I have a specific budget and (usually) stick to it .... but the volume of it, people, the volume.

My fabric stash is so big that I fully expect to come home one day and find that it's eaten the cats and made a bid for independence out the front door. Watch out, rampant stash on the loose! I can see the six o'clock news headlines now. I'd have to shame-facedly admit that yes, I allowed the stash to get to this size. I knew it was wrong. I knew someday it would come back to haunt me. And I'd have to make a tearful apology to the Australian public, vowing to enter some kind of Fabrics Anonymous 12-step program.

I added to the stash considerably at the Stitches and Craft Show. Look at the expression of amazement on that Babushka's face there when she saw what I had done.

On the right hand side of the top photo you can see a darling Japanese print by Kokka, with pictures of a cute black cat doing cute things. All the text is in German, so it reads Die Schwarzen cat, etc. It's very cute.

And there are some delightfully bright ribbons - I've already used some of the orange one on Toof, in the post below this one.

See the yellow tape measure? It's NOT a tape measure - it's a ribbon! I absolutely loved this one, so I bought ten metres of it because I've never seen it before and not sure I'll ever see it again.
My stash philosophy, you may have guessed, relies heavily on quantity. If you like something, buy enough of it so that you don't get Fabric Regret, where you nearly have enough to make something lovely .... but not quite. It's happened to me often enough that I've started taking preventative measures.

I try to live a life without regrets, you see. And that is precisely the reason I need to convert our attic into an Amazing Stash Storage facility.

Onwards and upwards, o great stash of mine!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Easter egg-spectations

Hello. My name is Toof.

I am a Humpty Dumpty gone slightly wrong.

My creator wanted to make a Humpty for Easter, seeing as how he is an egg and everything. She thought it would be a neat idea for her upcoming markets at Northcote (this Saturday 21 March) and then Thornbury (next Saturday 28 March).

But something went awry in the crafting of me. I turned out more like a tooth than an egg, I think. I'm a bit of a square. Next time she needs to make my head curve in a bit more.

Perhaps a little person will like me anyway. I'm made out of cuddly herringbone wool, and I'm stuffed very sturdily. I'm very good to hold onto.

And I have a nice pocket in purple polka dots at the front of me. That's for putting a chocolate egg into. If you give me one of your Easter eggs I promise to keep it nice and safe for you.

Or if you wanted, you could put your lost tooth in there and then the Tooth Fairy would know where to collect it from. That's a good idea, isn't it?

So maybe a little person will like me anyway, even though I'm only a tooth and not a real Humpty.

And here is my friend the rabbit. He's also for Easter. That makes him an Easter bunny!

He is reading the Australian Financial Review - he must be very clever. One side of him is made from lovely Jennifer Paganelli fabric in ice-blue and chocolate. And the other side is Moda Birds, I think.

And his big floppy ears are wonderful! I wish I had ears. But a tooth with ears would look funny. Mind you, I've got arms and legs though. So maybe ears wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

I like everything about this rabbit except his eyes. I'm not sure about his eyes. Mine are big and wide and friendly. But I think his black and white eyes make him look a bit scared. Like a rabbit in the headlights. Oh look, I made a joke!

Okay, I agree it was weak. But you have to remember that wit is not my strong point. I'm just a little toof after all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fatpuss on strike!

The Fatpuss is very doleful today. He does not like the diet food. Or the new regime that accompanies it.

This morning he sniffed at the new diet chompie, inhaled one, coughed, spat it out again, and snorted at me in disgust.

He alternated between hopefulness (as I walked towards the Former Home of Fat Chompies) and despair (as I walked past).

In the end, as I continued to ignore his pleading, he resorted to flirting with me in an effort to make me give in.

He jumped onto the bed. He turned round in a circle, arching his back. He waggled his tail and blinked a long, slow blink at me.

He activated the subsonic purr, grumbling deep inside his throat as he batted his eyelids. He even rolled onto his side (no easy task given the amount of stomach he has to heft over in the process) and stuck a leg into the air, elongating his neck in an invitation to pat him.

Pat me, he crooned silently. Pat me, and succumb to my glorious voluptuousness. And then feed me Fat Chompies.

I gave in - to the pats, that is, and we had a lovely little affection exchange. That is, I patted him and ignored the subtext, and he endured me patting him in an effort to reinforce it.

I'm sure that by the time I get home this evening he will have conscripted Podae and Grimth, forced them to write large signs with ideological slogans, and will have them picketing the doorway in protest.

If I make it inside without a dead mouse being thrown at me, I'll be mightily surprised.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fat Puss Slim

Well, the verdict is in. Cat Weightwatchers says something must be done about the Fatpuss. We've got to make the Fat Puss Slim.

Here is a photo of him expressing his feelings about the news.

We went back to the vet to check his paw again - only this time I had to take the Grimth for a vaccination booster as well.

Driving there, a trip that takes all of 15 minutes, they at least made the effort to harmonise their catastrophic (cat-astrophic! ha! ha!) yowling beautifully, it was like fingernails down a blackboard, except Right. Inside. My. Head. Strangely though, when Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata came onto the radio, they both quietened down considerably. I must remember that in future.

Once at the vet, they both squeezed themselves into the smallest spaces possible before the examinations. Here is Grimth in the smallest space possible.

A number of conclusions were reached following their examinations.

1. The Fathead's paw is improving, but we have to keep him inside for a week. This also means we have to keep Podae and Grimth mostly inside as well, because we can't have two pusses running around outside without the third, and we can't keep the catflap closed because then Podder and the Grimth would be stuck outside, and that would be both torturous to Fatticus as well as mean to the other two. And that means My One True Love and I have a real task on our hands to keep them inside together, not letting them squeeze out the front door as we leave for the day, not letting them open the bathroom window with their little paws, no, just sitting on the sofa looking longingly at the outdoors. Result: three deeply irritated pussins.

2. Grimth is adorably cute. See Exhibit A, above. Ignore the slightly resentful expression on his face. This is due to the FIV and FE vaccination jabs, which went fine. He weighs 5.6 kilos and shouldn't be allowed to gain any more weight.

3. (And this is the worst part). Fatpuss is overweight - okay, no surprise there. It's his name for a reason. He weighs 7.05 kilos. Which is less than his top-heavy record of nearly 8 kilos over a year ago, but not nearly good enough. Apparently he should be more at the 5.5 kilo range, which means more the weight that Grimth is. So he's been put a special diet and isn't allowed to eat any other food. Nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Not a single Fat Chompie treat is allowed to pass his lips. No chicken livers on a Saturday morning. No kangaroo mince. No tinned wet food. Nothing. Nothing but the new special high-fibre, low calorie food.

This might sound simple enough, but consider that there are three cats inside the house (all currently wandering around in bewilderment at not being allowed outside.) We can't leave chompies out during the day. And it means feeding them separately for the FOUR MONTHS it's going to take to get Fatpuss to lose 1.5 kilos, if he shifts the weight at the recommended retail amount of 70 grams a week. Cripes.

Podder is going to be disturbed. He's such a light eater that he takes two mouthfuls of wet food and pushes the plate away - Oh, I'm so full, I couldn't eat another bite. Then he spends the rest of the day grazing on dry chompies - he loves chompies, any kind, it doesn't matter which brand or flavour. If he could live solely on chompies he would. Fish chompies, chicken chompies, iron filing chompies, he'd eat them.

And Grimth, well, he just likes to hoover up whatever he can find. I swear if we could plug him in he'd be the most efficient vacuum cleaner ever. He's like those pool cleaners that just work their way methodically across the bottom, sucking everything up.

And Fatpuss lives for his Fat Chompie treats! We use them to reinforce his positive behaviour, and they're specially designed to help pusses keep their teeth clean. (The good news from the vet is that Fathead has excellent teeth.)

So this morning we tried to feed them separately, with the Fathead in the laundry. Podae took a bite of wet food and went away, Grimth steadily ate the rest of it up, Fatpuss had a mouthful of the new chompie and stopped, I walked away from the closed laundry door for a minute, and when I returned Podae had pushed it open and was busily eating all the Fathead's chompies while the Fathead moaned about the cat flap being closed.

Gah. I know it's for a good reason. We want the Fatpuss to live a long and healthy life, free from diabetes and arthritis and all the other weight-related afflictions that can strike a portly puss. And once he loses weight he'll have more energy and be more active, and probably happier as a result.

It's not going be easy, but we've really got to try and make the Fat Puss Slim.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is a love letter

Dear Stitches and Craft Show,

We hadn't met before today. Not officially, that is.

Oh, I'd eyed you up and down from afar, that's for sure. I'd drunk in your smooth and glossy brochure, running my fingertips over its cool skin and shivering with the thought of what was inside. Once I even sidled up close to you and breathed in your inky scent, though you never noticed me of course.

You were a beacon of light captured inside four high walls. A shining star hovering at the horizon of my mind. And I've heard your siren song, oh yes I have. I've been a clandestine admirer, longing to make your acquaintance.

Today I took a deep breath, screwed up my courage, and took my chance on you.

It was your deep, wide aisles that finally seduced me, you see. Your rich lusciousness, set in the jewel of my heart. The promise of your tantalising wares made me catch my breath with anticipation, and I bit my lip as I approached, nearly wincing with the deliciousness of it all.

Stitches and Craft Show
, you did not disappoint me. Today the rest of the world disappeared before us. You were mine, and mine alone, and I adored you.

I revelled in your colours, your textures, your kits and buttons. I wanted to gather your madeira threads into piles and roll in them, and bathe in pools of your ribbons. Your miles of trim cried out to be strung from the ceiling like lacy, glittering chandeliers.

I spun from stall to stall, nearly blinded and aching with desire for your fabrics. My chest tightened with every step, every stall, and I held myself back until the last moment, until finally, your beauteous craft labs wrapped themselves around me, and I rocked myself in delirium at their bosom.

You're no cheap hussy, Stitches and Craft Show. Your exhibitors scale the heights of talent and accomplishment. I met your bloggers and smiled in their welcoming embrace. Your fat quarters, your quilt kits, your multitudinous handbag handles, your softies to end all softies. Your warm and wonderful bundles of yarn, your cashmere hanks and delicate beaded embroidery - I loved them all.

Oh Stitches and Craft Show, be mine for ever!

You see, you've ruined me now, Stitches and Craft Show. I cannot compare you to any other. Here at the pinnacle, all other craft shows will pale beside your brilliance. They should hang their heads in shame.

But you, stitchiest of stitchy Stitches and Craft Shows, stand tall and hold your head high. Alone in your superior excellence, you have eclipsed them.

And I have gone gladly into your light.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Love Fridays .... and the book nook

It's cosy. It's dim. It's quiet.

It's Mountaingirl's new book nook.

I aspire to levels of neatness like this. My Love Friday post last week was all about restoring order and symmetry to my life, if you remember.

And then I flew to Sydney for Mountaingirl's housewarming, and the minute I walked through the door I fell in love with the book nook.

Who wouldn't love this spot? It's tidy and organised, it's beautifully presented, and so so inviting .... don't you just want to fall onto that lovely soft daybed, snuggle under the Laura Ashley chenille throw, and drift off into daydreams?

This is the kind of order and symmetry I was talking about.

So this week I still Love Fridays - because Friday today means Saturday tomorrow, and Saturday means going to the Stitches and Craft Show with my good friend The Headmistress, yay - but this week my Friday post is more about what I'm Hooked On.

And I'm so totally hooked on Mountaingirl's new home.

I've known Mountaingirl since we were 14 or 15 - so we share some significant history together. In fact, her brother The Guitar Hero was my first proper boyfriend. And while that relationship didn't last (though we're still friends to this day), my friendship with Mountaingirl has blossomed more beautifully over that time than I could have imagined.

Mountaingirl has a talent for interior design, though she won't hear a word from me about it. No, she says, it's just the way I like things. And I say Yes, my dear, and that's what makes it so special!

Look at these spices here to the left. Those are little spice packs from Ikea, and they sit flat against the inside wall of her pantry door on a magnetic strip, so that she can immediately see what she's got, and how much, and what needs refilling. What a fantastic idea!!

(I am restraining the urge though, as we speak, to practice some metaphorical spoon-bending by reaching into the picture and straightening them slightly, neurotic symmetry-straightener that I am).

I would never have thought of this. My spice rack is far more unkempt.

But Mountaingirl's kitchen is exemplary. Open any kitchen design magazine and hers would look like it belonged there. She has matching pink canisters on the shelf along the wall, and her cream KitchenAid beautifully coordinates with them, and all of her often-used pans and colanders and things hang from a nifty wrought-iron rack that she's installed from the ceiling above the bench. It's beautiful, and I wish I had her knack.

And the book nook - back to the book nook, the jewel of the entire picture. Look closely. It's painted grey. Not a cold gunmetal grey, but a warm, dark-dove grey.

Who'd have thought of painting a room GREY? Only Mountaingirl. And the effect is astonishing, it makes the space warm and calm and inviting. The daybed is a pale sage green, and the chenille throw is a pale taupe. And see that cushion with the pom-pom edging? I made that, and my mother chose the fabric at Christmastime. All of the colours just work together beautifully, like something out of a magazine.

She's balanced the dark cosiness with white Expedit bookshelves from Ikea, which brighten the walls. And all the books are arranged by topic - and this is the best bit - by size. All the quartos together. All the small paperbacks together. All the Jodi Picoult together. All the Marian Keyes together (though the Sister Of My Heart swooped on the latest release to borrow it, before I could elbow her out of the way and lunge for it myself. Damnation.)

I love this room. It makes me feel serene, and calm, and self-possessed. Like a more beautiful version of my usual self. And while I don't have the talent she does for putting together a perfectly constructed "look", I also arrange my books too, by genre first, then size and colour. So Mountaingirl's approach really appeals to me.

And I suppose that's part of the reason - a very small but nevertheless significant part - of why we're such good friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poor old Fatpuss

Oh dear - the Fatpuss has done himself a mischief!

Don't worry, this picture here does not show him dead on the polished wooden floor, in fact he's actually upside down in happiness following a large meal and subsequent pat, a couple of months ago. But I had you going, didn't I?

I knew something was wrong the minute I walked through the front door last night. I was pleased at arriving home early because I wanted to do some sewing ahead of the Shirt and Skirt Market coming up on Sunday - but then when I saw him I knew those plans were out the window.

First of all, I heard a thump. When he poked his head out through the doorway of the Amateur Actress' room, I realised it was the sound of him jumping off the bed. Now, this is unusual. Fathead is not usually asleep at this time of day, he is usually waiting outside for one of us to return home, so that he can loudly demand food.

Then it was obvious what was wrong. He emerged from the room and limped heavily down the corridor towards the Place of Fat Chompies (his favourite treat) - which is normal, as he usually gets one when we get home. The limping however, not normal. Not normal at all.

He wouldn't put any weight on his left front paw, though when I palpated it gently he didn't seem to object, or to have any particular place that was sore. I thought it might just be pins and needles but after ten minutes he was still limping. And he didn't want any dinner, which is Front Page News. If he had a bottom lip, he'd have been sticking it out in misery.

On closer examination I found a bump on his head with all the fur and skin missing, and his front and back claws were all shredded, as if he'd scrambled to grab onto something in a hurry. So off to the vet we went.

My god, the trip there was the worst part. When Fatpuss saw the cat cage he limped away from it as fast as his fat little legs would carry him, because he hates the cage. He knows it means going in the car, which he abhors, and in turn it signifies going to the vet, which is even worse - about the most horrific thing that Fatpuss could ever imagine, except for dieting.

After tut-tutting about his weight (yes, we know...) the vet examined him. Fatpuss suffered the indignity, fuming silently, and then slunk off the table and under the chair. She diagnosed either a minor run-in with a car - hence the shredded claws - or a fight with another cat a few days earlier which could have formed the beginnings of an abcess under his elbow. It's hard to tell, I suppose, when your patient can't talk.

So the Fathead got a pain relief injection, a penicillin shot, a course of antibiotics, and another appointment for tonight. If he's not better, she said, we'll need to x-ray that fat little arm of his. (Okay, that's not exactly what she said, but I could tell she was thinking it).

And then - the mortification - she booked him in for Cat Weightwatchers! Fatpuss was absolutely flabbergasted. And he's got a lot of flabber to be gasted about, let me tell you. He stared at me, open-mouthed in shock.

This contradicts all of the Fathead's weight management philosophies. He strongly believes that weight management is not about how much you weigh, it's about how your clothes fit. And his collar fits just fine, after all, so therefore what weight could possible need managing? He shot me a wounded look and turned his back to me. I said Fatpuss, what can I do? It was the vet!

He'd have given me the silent treatment all the way home, except of course we were in the cage, in the car, and so that meant he howled like I was slowly cutting him into a thousand little pieces, all the way home. It's amazing how long a car journey can take when the passenger is being loudly and brutally murdered in the most sadistic of fashions.

Deposited on his blanket in the sitting room, Fatpuss mournfully went off to sleep.

This morning he's still ginger on his paw, but he ate a healthy breakfast, so I have hopes he is improving. Of course, he has to die again twice tonight - once on the way to the vet, and once on the way home from there - so we'll see how he holds up through that.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy ....

Well looky here! Look at this! This button to the left!

This is my first ever blog award. It comes from Andrea at A Cat of Impossible Colour, over in New Zealand. There's Andrea over on the blogroll to your right.

I am so proud. It came to her via Mervat, who has a fashion blog.

Mervat writes: "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Mervat and Andrea, consider your cleverly written text incorporated into the body of my award.

Andrea passed this award on to me and and one of her friends, Ally, because both of our blogs make her smile daily.

I know I should be modest about this, but I am really very happy and it's hard to contain the excitement. My blog makes someone smile! I'm so excited! Ah, little blog, you're only young - 10 weeks old - and already you're making your mark on people. Just don't bite, little blog, don't bite.

In return, I'm passing this award on to Curlypops, who I latched onto right from the start and who graciously keeps answering all of my blog-related questions, not to mention very kindly letting me know where I could have my new Flickettysplits labels made up. Yay!

And to Tinniegirl, because I love surprises and hers are delightful - plus she is the instigator of my favourite meme, Love Fridays (and I looooove Fridays, so she definitely gets the gong).

And to Kootoyoo for her My Creative Space meme, which is slowly convincing me that I really need to start tidying up more often ....

Share and share alike. Please keep reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Here's my new creation.

I made him yesterday, in between the loads of washing and hanging out and gardening and general tidying up.

I'm not quite sure what he is. He's meant to be a giraffe - he came from a pattern my mum sent me, and the pattern was most clearly marked "giraffe".

But like daughters everywhere, I failed to read the instructions when I was putting him together.

And distracted by the domestic drudgery, I also forgot to put on his mane. And his horns. Oh, and his tail as well. Whoops.

So now he looks like he's part kangaroo, part Loch Ness monster. I'm sure I could adapt him to be either, if I needed to.

He's partly made (the orange, red and yellow flowery side) from a vintage sheet I paid $2 for in Merbein, during that Mildura weekend a short time ago. Vintage sheet! Queen-sized! Two dollars! I love the country.

His other side, here, is made from a Tina Givens print called Cloe's Imagination. This print is way too bright for clothes, but perfect for stuffed animals. Much more expensive than the sheet, though.

He has two buttons for eyes, and lovely polka-dotted ears in yellow and peach.

Most importantly, he is the first stuffed animal I've ever made that actually stands up by itself.

I think I'm going to call him Stretch.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A long and lovely weekend

Despite having lived in Melbourne off and on for ... (counts on fingers) nearly eight years, I still can't get the hang of having the Labour Day long weekend in March. In New South Wales, where I grew up, we have Labour Day in October.

So it always comes as something of a surprise when Labour Day rocks up in March and I find myself a bit flat-footed as I scramble for things to do.

This time around, I flew to Sydney for Mountaingirl's housewarming - her place is amazing, this woman has lived here for about 10 weeks now and it already looks like a house out of a magazine. Gah. The skill! The dedication! I've lived in our place with My One True Love for nearly three years and we are still unpacking boxes.

Mountaingirl has a real knack for making a house a home. Before I give away too many details I'm going to stop myself, as I plan to do a special post on Friday in honour of her talent, so be sure to check back then ... let me assure you, you really want to see the book nook.

The other highlight of the trip was catching up with the Sister Of My Heart, and her offspring, (and my godson) the Miniature Genius. He's a very serious and sober child most of the time, but this is a kid who isn't two yet, but who can count to ten, read his name - and the word Bunnings - and pick letters out of the alphabet. He's a smart cookie.

My primary job as godmother is to work on his vocabulary. This weekend we learnt travel-related words - plane (on a plane, off a plane, plane in sky), airport (go airport, home) - oh, and peekaboo, which he pronounces "keeky-boo". It's adorably cute.

On returning to Melbourne less than 24 hours later, I fell victim to some kind of fever on the way back from the airport (off-a-plane), and instead of driving myself home, accidentally drove myself to my favourite plant nursery and spent a vast amount of money on assorted plants, compost and soil instead. Ooopsadaisy.

It's because I've been looking at the bed in the back garden, the one along the fence, for some time now. It's got three silver birches in it, but it's too narrow to do any real layering underneath, and I've been stumped for what to do. And of course the thing about being stumped is that it puts me into paralysis, and I never do anything as a consequence, except gaze in despair at the bed hoping for some magical wand to make it a garden instead of a frustration.

I think my subsconscious brain took over and directed me to the nursery, where instead of wandering about aimlessly as I usually do, I sought out a giant pile of drought-tolerant plants with the determined aim to just plant the damn things in the damn bed and fill up the damn spaces I hate so much.

FIVE BACKBREAKING HOURS LATER, I stood back and took in the view from the verandah. Not a space to be seen. Instead, masses of dark-leaved purple sedum nestled in amongst violet heliotrope bushes and red verbena ground cover. Indigo salvias butting up against unnamed bushes (no label on the pot) crowned with spires of blue flowers. A couple of ballerina roses, not true roses at all, their long red flower spikes topped with dainty pink butterflies. Snowgrass planted along the front of the bed, it'll mass up and create a kind of edging effect. And here and there, a dwarf goblin daisy that will flower in red and orange.

Ahhhh. Much better.

And then today of course I sewed madly, as I have a market each weekend for the next three weekends. All thoughts of the garden forgotten. Photos yet to come.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quaking in our boots

Okay, that's a weak pun, I know it. Actually we weren't even wearing boots at all.

But how amazing that it's true! When it happened last night I thought that's what it felt like, and just now I heard it confirmed on the radio news.

Last night around 9pm the Amateur Actress and I were out leading wildly exciting lives as one should on a Friday evening, oh,um ... I mean, we were at home watching a dvd (me) and surfing the interweb (her) ... when something really shook us up.

It didn't last long, just a few seconds - maybe 10 or 15 - but we both felt it and stopped what we were doing and looked at each other. All the pussins sat up and stared.

T: What was that?
AA: Um ... I've no idea. What was that?
T: It felt like the house was shaking.
AA: Was it something jumping onto the verandah?
T: It sounded like that, didn't it? But what on earth could it have been?
AA: (pause, while thinking) ..... a really big possum?

We both went tentatively out the back door and looked around, but couldn't see anything. All the possums were chittering noisily though, like they'd been disturbed. And the thing, whatever it was, sounded REALLY heavy.

As two women at home on our own, I don't hesitate to say that we were slightly concerned about the potential options (super-sized possum on the rampage, giant hailstones falling from a clear sky, dead body pushed out of plane, aliens a la the movie Signs, possible home invader, that sort of thing).

The Amateur Actress even went out the front to check, but there was nothing to be seen.

It didn't happen again, so I only thought briefly about it when I went to bed.

And then I woke up and found out it was an earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale! An earthquake! Centred in Gippsland! And we felt it here in little old Northcote! How amazing.

It's my first one ever. I'm very proud.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Love Fridays .... and stripy cushions

As I slowly floated towards consciousness this morning, I think my first fully formed thought was: thank god it's Friday.

I love Fridays - who doesn't? - and so today I'm playing Love Fridays courtesy of Tinniegirl, as well as Hooked On, from Julia in the US. And these cushions fit in with both memes very well.

Why, you might ask?

Well, it's been a long and stressful week at work, with a new boss to adjust to, and no end of associated discoveries and revelations, each one bigger and more astonishing than the last. I'm mulling some of them over, thinking about how they affect me, but I've not made any decisions yet or really considered their impact.

But they've upended the usual sense of peace and calm I like to create around me and operate in. The sands are shifting under my feet.

I take such a sense of pleasure from symmetry in my life, you see. These two cushions here, for example. I've named them Tea In The Afternoon, and they're made from deliciously touchable coffee-coloured velvet, overlaid with individually sewn ribbons in grosgrain, braid, and satin. As you can see, the shades are all milky and chocolatey and coffee-ey. Mmm, yum. And the colour combination is soothing on its own.

Each cushion is trimmed with a different set of ribbons, but the pattern of ribbons on each cushion is symmetrical, fanning out from a single central wide black grosgrain strip. Arranging each design and sewing the ribbons on really gives me a feeling of happiness, because I can see everything in its spot, where it should be. It makes me feel calm, and serene. Like everything' organised, and perfectly placed.

I try to bring a sense of that calm into my general life as well. I have a (reasonably) neat desk at work, though it's piled high with crafty business cards and receipts and materials in amongst the papers and folders and documents. Yes it's true, I even have fabric at my Proper Work. Tragic, I know.

And at home I'd be as neat as a freakishly neat and slightly neurotic pin, if only I could convince My One True Love that he should join me in the quest for order. He is more of the "relaxed" living style, you could say. But me, even when I'm in a hotel for a single night, I unpack and lay things out neatly and hang things up and put everything into lovely, pleasing straight lines.

Life at work isn't straight at the moment. It's full of twisty-turny bends, and dead ends, and blind corners, and metaphorical assassins lurking behind doors, and it feels slightly unbalanced.

So when I get home in the evenings I'm enjoying creating straight lines and perfect symmetry, even if it's just in the tiny space contained by a cushion.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A fashion rant and rave

Good god, do you know what I hate????

I hate those stupid ridiculous lists that fashion people write in stupid fashion pages about the "must haves" every woman must have in order to ride the fashion wave/ride the luxury boom/ride out the recession in style!!!

They are so utterly useless in their advice, because of course the items listed never suit everybody, and usually cater to the whims of the moment, so regardless of whether you look good in a leopard-print bikini teamed with chunky tribal jewellery, apparently those are the items you "must have" in order to remain fashionable. God forbid you should fall out of fashion.

There is one of these columns on the Sydney Morning Herald website today, written by the style maven (ha!) Samantha Brett, who in another life writes a terrible sex and relationships column. [Editor's note: this is my own personal opinion and I understand that other people may not agree with me about Samantha Brett and her complete lack of style or writing talent, and that is okay. It is their right, just as it is my right to sound off about my own opinion.]

The article has a list of the Top 10 things you need to protect yourself from the effects of the recession.

Some of these things I agree with. Ballet flats, for example. I am a fan of ballet flats. Lots of them. In different colours. With little heels, or bows on the instep. Yes, ballet flats and I are friends.

But others are just completely wrong.

Number One on the list for example (and I quote): "Gladiator Heels - Whether you're tall, short, heading to the office or heading out after dark, a pair of killer gladiator heels are in order. Heidi Klum and Gwyneth Paltrow are expertly teaming them up with little black frocks and heavy eyeliner with Aussie gals are going ga-ga over Wittner's "vixen" heels, while Zu Shoes, Nine West and Shoe Box Shoes are doing great versions too. If you're able to get your hands on brands like Sergio Rossi, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga or Givenchy gladiators, you wont be disappointed. "

I'm sorry, but that is just a poor excuse for an advertisement, for all the shops that currently find themselves with massive leftover stocks of gladiator heels at the end of the season. And what does she mean, "whether you're tall or short"? Gwyneth and Heidi might be loving them, but I'm afraid we are not all blessed with pins like Gwyneth and Heidi, and if we were, we probably wouldn't be reading your style column, Samanatha Brett. NO WAY on god's green earth would I put gladiator heels on and make myself appear even *shorter* in the leg than I already am. And so uncomfortable! How can you support the blatant contradiction of having this recommendation sitting snugly along the recommendation for ballet flats?!?!

Jeez, and then she goes on to recommend lots of chunky gold jewellery - who are we, Elizabeth Taylor? Chavs? Ali G? How about jewellery that expresses who you are, something that demonstrates your individual tastes and styles, instead of a flat-footed one-size fits all approach? Nope. I'm sorry, no, couldn't possibly. It has to be gold jewellery. Riiiiiiiiight.

Need I go on? To mention the gold-rimmed aviators? and the Designer Watch? Oh yes, a designer watch, despite the fact that this is meant to be a column about surviving the recession. Surviving it by Spending Lots Of Money Needlessly, perhaps then.

Good heavens, what an utter load of tripe.

I can't continue. I need to lie down. Someone pour me a drink.

My creative space

Today I'm playing My Creative Space courtesy of Kootoyoo - hop on over to her blog and check out what other people's creative spaces look like too. Her space is always so much tidier than mine!

As you can see in the photo though, my creative space is also often occupied by a cat of some kind (insert resigned sigh here).

On this occasion it's Grimth, our third puss and second British Shorthair. That is, he's the same brand as Fatpuss, but a different colour - Grimth is technically known as a lilac, but he actually looks like a deep cream or very pale chocolate. It's because he's the product of a chocolate shorthair crossed with a blue shorthair, it produces a very interesting colour. And he's got stripes, too, though they're very faint.

Anyway, enough about the pussin. I'm actually here to talk about what's under him!

You can see a collection of printed fabrics underneath his growing bulk. These are a bunch of tea-towels I picked up in Mildura on the weekend. I'm going to make them into something ... I'm just not quite sure what yet.

But I think there's definitely an opportunity to capitalise on the Australiana kitsch embodied by these souvenir tea towels. What do you think ... tote bags? Cushion covers? Laptop cases? Skirts?

I particularly like the ones that have flowers and birds on them, though I also got a few with native animals - kangaroos, koalas, echidnas and wombats - as there's always a desire for that kind of stuff overseas. I think I like the bright, vibrant colours as well; they're so attention-grabbing, and they just scream SOUVENIR!!!!!!

Whatever I end up making, it's going to go in my new Etsy shop (which is currently under construction) - watch this space ......

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Come to the Thornbury market

Right, people. Time for some shameless advertising.

See this picture at the very top of that right'hand column? The one titled "Come To The Market"? The one advertising the Thornbury craft market? That one right there? See it?

I want you to come to the market! Support your local community. Feed a local artist. Come and finger my wares. That is, I mean, you know, pick up my pretty little things and admire them. And then hopefully buy them too!

At this market I'm going to be all stocked up with soft toys - Hoots, and Ellyfumps, and Pussycats, and I'll have some new things as well. I think a fish. And perhaps a giraffe. Maybe a dinosaur as well - we'll see how much time I can snaffle for sewing between now and then. I'm really going to have to take in my machine for a service soon before it expires with a last exhausted gasp.

Or if you don't want one of my things - crazy, I know, but possible, in an alternate universe type of situation - maybe you'll like one of Curlypops' things. She does lovely bags and other goodies.

Or perhaps one of Tinnigirl's things? She does lovely tins with surprises inside - nice ones, not nasty. And gorgeous recycled album covers filled with papery goodness on the inside. Sometimes there's nothing nicer than a little surprise, is there?

So come to the market. Support your local community! Feed a local artist!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A cinematic blooper

I tell you, 100km per hour winds are the sworn enemy of the full-skirted dress.

I have a beautiful dress on today. It's a shirtwaist style, with a pointed collar, pin-puffed bracelet sleeves, button-down placket all the way to the hem, and a gathered skirt. The fabric is lilac and brown, and it's patterned with an intricate Turkish-style print of flowers, medallions, curlicues and diamonds. Picture a henna-ed hand, and you'd be pretty close.

So I'm there in the stream of people flooding towards the train station when all of a sudden there's a massive gust of wind that pushes my hair into my eyes and momentarily stops me in my tracks, before unexpectedly swirling around and behind me, causing me to have a Marilyn Monroe moment, except in this case I'm not smouldering with a laughing pout and heavy eyes, I'm frantically grabbing bunches of my dress in my hands to try and hold the damn thing down in an effort to stop the entire throng of commuters from being blinded by the sudden sight of my erm, voluptuous white derriere.

AND I have only got normal knickers on, nothing super-sexy that would somehow make an unexpected arse-flash somehow better (though only very, very marginally, I hasten to add).

Good god, I could have died.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The story of Mogwai

Across the road, there lives a little grey and white cat. His name is Mogwai.

I worry about Mogwai. He had a bad disagreement with a car a while back, and it was over 48 hours before a neighbour found him delirious and mangled in their front yard, and they recoiled from the fat white maggots feeding on the torn wounds near his hip.

The vets set his leg back into place but incompetent charlatans that they were, bandaged it too tightly, and too straight. His post-operative care was ...insufficient, shall we say, though no fault of the vet's this time.

It was weeks before the bandage came off, and by the time it did, Mogwai had lost the use of his leg. It healed poorly, and in the wrong position. He hesitated to put any weight on it, mewling in pain every time he tried to stand.

Mogwai was always a timid puss to begin with, but before the accident he had definite spunk and verve. He was curious, and he'd play with Podae and the Fatpuss out on the street.

But once he re-emerged from his caged confines, blinking in the light and frightened of the way the wind felt on his fur, he shied away at the faintest noise. The sound of a car approaching sent him into a reeling panic, perhaps as he remembered the agony he writhed inside for those two days before being discovered.

It's good to see the Mogger out on the street again, though he's tiny and can't stand well, and looks malnourished. Whenever I see him I try to feed him something, just to help him gain some weight. He's about the size of a 14-week old kitten, while his brother Greed is sleek and starting to fill out properly. I have the feeling Mog will always be the puny kid with a sunken chest, though it wasn't always going to be like that.

I stroke him, running my fingers along his narrow ribcage, feeling the bones flex and tremble under my fingertips.

He's famished. He starves and craves and whimpers for nourishment - of both food and love. I want someone to cherish him, to pamper him with kisses and a cosy bed, to worry when the twilight is falling and call him inside, to feel the shudder of concern about his health, to know the anguished cramp of utter adoration, to cradle him against their chest and help him feel safe again.

An error in the code

Wow, something has gone very wrong with that last post .... what on earth has happened to the formatting?!

Sorry about that. I'll see if I can fix it up. Maybe I have too many photos in there?

Drying for a drink

Ah, the joys of a country weekend!

Here is a photo of My One True Love and I standing on the docks of Mildura Wharf, looking out across the wide expanse of water.

It’s rather disturbing that for such a dry and arid region, Mildura produces so many fruit and vegetable crops. There are acres and acres of citrus and grapes; some of them drying on long wooden racks to become raisins. Don’t they look wonderful?

And of course we had to visit Orange World, which was just as touristy as the name would imply. Something about that nose disturbs me. Gorgeous fresh orange juice though, mm.
As well as our visit to the antique shops and Wentworth Gaol, we also saw the confluence of the Lachlan and Murray Rivers, and we visited the dried-up bowl of Lake Mungo, made famous for the remains of Mungo Woman and Mungo Man found there thirty-odd years ago, and which proved the existence of Aborigines on the shores of the once verdant lake, over 30,000 years ago.

Lake Mungo dried up around 15,000 years in the past, and now the area supports only has saltbush and the odd scrappy tree.
In some parts it looks like the desert, with enormous sand dunes riding up on the hills, and eroding lunettes poking through, where you can see ancient Aboriginal middens, and petrified charcoal from fires, and the skeletons of fish and wombats protruding through the dirt.
We also saw lots of kangaroos, and a baby sand goanna, and dozens of iridescent blue/green parrots.

But it’s the whole place that is dry, not just the lake bed, which was once 27 feet deep.

Lake Eildon, the usual lake that feeds Mildura, hasn’t any water in it either. The rivers are green, and not in a good way.

How long can we keep draining them to support agriculture, when it seems that we shouldn’t be trying to farm in these areas?