winter of our discontent

Well not that I’m discontented in any way, but it IS winter. OMG is it winter. I went up the road this afternoon and the wind was BITTER. I would have been even colder, except I was wearing my awesome green boiled wool jacket. (I don’t know what that means; I just like to say “boiled wool”. I don’t think any of my other clothes have been boiled, but I couldn’t swear to it. I mean, I haven’t boiled them MYSELF.)

I am trying to take more photos again – you know, now that the light is failing and it is bitterly cold. Timing is everything people! And I DO NOT HAS IT. Well, it is YOU who have to suffer through poorly-lit photos, so stop encouraging me. Jeez.

Here is Mr. T at the Anzac day football match (no, not THAT football match, the other one). They were handing out free ponchos at the gate. Ah, but we’re undercover! we crowed. First row of the covered stands… clearly we will not need your poncho! Well, no, not if the rain played fair. Instead, it swirled around and hit us from the BACK. The first five rows of undercover seating were all sporting their ponchos double-quick. Did I mention winter? Welcome! We have been expecting you!

And… awwwww! Here is my poor brave dog, sporting the latest in canine fashion. Yes it is purple. Light purple. With paw prints on it. Mr T was devastated when he bought him home from the vet. “It isn’t even BLUE! Or black!” he whimpered. To the dog: “Quick, act more manly! Roll over and show your gigantic testicles!” I wish this sort of sentence was a one-off in our household, but sadly EVERYONE shows me their gigantic testicles. I’m sort of inured to them at this point.

lemon shortbread

I return! Thanks for your kind wishes; they are much appreciated. I told my family about the engagement rather offhandedly, thinking it was such an obvious step that nobody would be surprised – turns out everyone is WILDLY EXCITED and treating it like a huge event. Thinking about it, it’s probably because everyone thought we would never get around to it at all. And they would not be wrong. But here we are, and there are millions of bookmarks on my computer for things that I never even knew existed a month ago. Actually I’m quite glad people are excited as we’re having the wedding in New Zealand, which means that others need to do all my running around for me. Apparently they’re enjoying doing it, so it’s win-win. As for the planning. let’s get it all down here. Skip to the next part for dogs if that’s your preference.

  • Date: Narrowed to two (09/09 and 10/10; it’s a family tradition for me and yes 09/09/09 is a Wednesday. Your point?)
  • Venue: One of the many beachside restaurants of Auckland. Mr T’s only request is to have the ceremony on a beach in bare feet, which is fine by me. I don’t want or need a huge dedicated reception venue as the guest list is just…
  • Guest List: Approx 50, plus about 8 children (I wanted smaller but am not fretting about it)
  • Broidesmaid: My sister
  • Best Man: Mr T’s oldest school friend, for whom he was best man a few years ago
  • Dress: Liking a tea length, Audrey Hepburn style in my head. However I am yet to try one on; will no doubt find out I look nothing like AH and weep overwrought tears… “BUT OI’M THE BROIDE!”
  • Hair: Scrunched up into a bun thing with a flower. An old family friend will do my hair and makeup, such as it is. Tick.
  • Flowers: Either my aunt or someone’s 92-year old grandmother will do the flowers. Low on my priority list so this suits me fine. Please don’t ask any more details on the grandmother as I’m hazy myself.
  • Ring: Looking tomorrow, but I am notoriously fussy and can’t find anything I like. Almost all diamond solitaires do nothing for me, which leaves me with much less to choose from.

OK that’s as far as I’ve got. You may all open your eyes now and look at this photo of My Dog:

Can you see? It’s not very clear in the photo, unfortunately, but his left leg (on the right of the photo) is about twice the size of his right (on the left). The vet said it’s either a ligament thing, or a sprain, or a fracture, or, you know, bone cancer. Ah. Good. Here, have $500 to have a closer look with x-rays. They didn’t knock him out for the x-rays (my good placid dog) and have ruled out cancer (big relief) and any fracture, but we still don’t know what it is. Hey, haven’t I just HAD a really sick dog? I’m pretty sure I don’t need another one, thanks. So far our treatment strategy consists of grabbing his head, pulling his face really close and saying firmly, “DON’T HAVE CANCER.” It seems to be working.


Well I just got back from my Easter break, which was in Gippsland. You pronounce that with the g like ‘gills’, not with the g like ‘gypsy’. I don’t know whether that’s a long G or a short G, but I do know I called it Gyppsland when I first got to Melbourne and was mocked mercilessly. I mean, it’s not like I’m not mocked mercilessly still, but it’s less for pronunciation these days and more for plain old stupidity.

Anyway, there was horrendous rain and thunder when I was driving in: there was lightning all around me and it was suddenly very dark and it was like I was driving into a horror movie. Mr. T had a martial arts camp all Easter so it was only me going away – SUCK IT, I said joyfully as I accelerated away. Or so I thought until I realised there was nobody but me to drive towards the Eye of Mordor. Bugger. Once I got there it rained for a solid three hours and then the weather was beautiful for the rest of the entire long weekend. Ah yes, where was I? SUCK IT, that’s right. We spent a lot of time down by the lake…

… just sitting around doing nothing. This is my ideal holiday, except I FORGOT MY BOOK and had to talk to people instead. The hell. However there was much Easter chocolate which went a long way to restore my spirits. I bit the head of multiple Lindt bunnies and JE NE REGRETTE REIN. I keep their little red bells like trophies. Nom nom nom trophies.

It was also my birthday on Friday – Good Friday, naturally – and I got lots of good presents and also engaged. Also by this photo, freakishly tall:

No, not really that tall, but yes really engaged. It has been discussed for a while and so it begins. I can’t promise I won’t talk about wedding planning here but if I start to become obsessed with, I don’t know, table linens or boutonnieres or something, I want one of you stalkers to turn up at my house and slap me hard. Especially since I don’t know what a boutonniere is, really, but I have an uncomfortable feeling I’m about to find out. The plan at present is a really small wedding, in September, in New Zealand. Once I started drafting a guest list I realised Really Small might have to move up to Quite Small or perhaps Medium Small, but the rule still stand that we both must know every person there. And possibly dance the boutonniere, but I’ll get back to you on that once I learn all the steps.

And yes, Mr. T did propose and I did drive off for three days not two hours afterwards, telling him to SUCK IT as I went. Might as well start how we fully intend to go on, don’t you think?


OK, so we’ve established that the audience here is 80% more likely than the general population to be unlacing themselves as they head to the toilet. MY PEOPLE. I am, you are, we are Australian. Or perhaps not, but I am at least using their toilets.

You’ll be pleased to know that I charged my camera battery. The charger was in the metal bin which all the chargers are kept in, the same bin I had looked in four times, the same bin that Mr. T looked in ONCE and in which he found the charger almost immediately. I am finding it hard to live that one down. I mean, I grabbed it off him and told him to shut it and whipped him with the power cord; but it didn’t make me feel any better because I AM THE FINDER and HE IS THE BAD LOOKER WHO CAN’T FIND and the natural order of things has been reversed. I’m sure it will all go back to normal next time he wants, like, the sellotape (in the hall cupboard) or his passport (in the safe) or a piece of licorice (down the side of the couch). I just have to bide my time.

OK where was I? Photos! The weather has been nice here lately (although not this week; daylight savings has finished and it’s been raining. OH HAI AUTUMN.)

OK, this is the most common form of jellyfish on my beach. It’s like a transparent cylinder, and often curls into a comma-type shape, although it’s often stick straight as well. It’s about the same size and shape as one of those joke water-balloon things that slip through your hands in an endless loop (what are those things called?) I have only ever seen these washed up on the sand, not in the water.

This is the second most common jellyfish. Or, I guess, the rarest, since I’ve only ever seen two types of jellyfish here. Much bigger and much prettier. I always regret not bringing a stick with me so I can poke these ones back into the water. Their heads (bodies? ectoplasm?) reminds me of a hot cross bun, with the pale cross inside. BRAINS! JELLYFISH BRAINS!


I work in a really small office, and most of the others are guys. This means I mostly have the women’s bathroom to myself. It’s a nice bathroom too, with marble walls and floors and those fancy sinks that sit above the bench. Anyway, I realised today I might be a LITTLE too comfy with my private bathroom. Inasmuch as I’m pretty much treating it as I do my bathroom at home. Today I didn’t even bother shutting the cubicle door. Likelihood of someone walking in? Close to zero. Although we have a new receptionist starting this week, and she’s a girl, so I may have to stop unbuttoning my pants as I walk towards the facilities. Spoilsport.

Luckily for you there are no photos of the bathroom, but only because I can’t find my camera battery charger. Annoying. I couldn’t even take a photo of the cling-film wrapped cars outside my work on April Fools’ Day. And in fact they were still there today, leading me to believe that under the cling-wrap may be a copious collection of parking tickets. The parking inspectors are like raptors where I work – constantly circling then swooping in to pounce on anyone who has been there for exactly 7 seconds past the allotted hour. The pickings are rich, too; office buildings plus shopping strip plus residential houses with no off-street parking equals DELICIOUS PARKING CARRION. I feel like I should work roadkill in here somewhere too, but I can’t think how. It will come to me.

Along the briny beach:

Black House, Stephen King / Peter Straub. Or I will read it, anyway, over Easter.

The thudding sound of the cats walking around the dark house and knocking things off surfaces. Also the sound of me grinding my teeth at the above.

David Letterman.

Chicken scallopine. Scallopini? Also much Easter chocolate.

My birthday falling on Good Friday. Go on, have the day off. And eat some chocolate. Isn’t it all about me?

The state of the Australian dollar – which needs to get stronger so I can buy things off Etsy again.


My god, it has been one of THOSE weeks and it is only Tuesday. Isn’t it? I think it’s still Tuesday. It’s like the space-time continuum has stretched endlessly. One point this morning at work I thought, “It’s only 10.30am on Tuesday? How can this BE?” It felt like one million years had passed and that I could feel every one of those years. Oh and I forgot – also last night this laptop went to do its online backup, froze, and gave me the Blue Screen of Death. OH YES I LOVE THIS. But unbeknownst to me, Mr. T has somehow fixed that this afternoon. I am down some sort of Emotional Roller Coaster-slash-Rabbit Hole. You know how some people create drama in their personal lives for the fun of it? OH MY GOD THAT WOULD KILL ME DEAD. I’m not designed for tension. I am designed, I think, to be some sort of genteel English upper-class person, on a lounger with a G&T on a lush green lawn out the back of a country house. I wonder why this life, which I am clearly so suited for, has not materialised around me yet? Hmmm.

Hey, do you have a giant glass canister of snack-sized Kit Kats on your kitchen counter? No, me neither, anymore. They did not last NEARLY as long as you might think.