Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas 2013.

It was a busy lead up. Work, cooking, organising.

There was a bit of anxiety that we would not have enough, or things would go wrong. (My thermie pavlova was an epic fail, I ended up buying one - I had been warned that pavs don't do well in the thermie but the warnings went unheeded, think I might use the trusty hand mixer that proved a success last year)

That anxiety sounds a bit silly now it is all over.

It went well, and it was lovely.

Here are some pics.

my dress.

a bit of prep

Ham - KR Castlemaine - very succulent.

my lovely mum with some Thai Visitors

The crew, outside.
dessert. Brandy Creme Anglaise made in Thermie YUMM

And a gratuitous pic of a french bulldog puppy.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

I have been madly tidying, working and doing a spot of shopping.

I have also gotten into the series Breaking Bad...very dark, quite sad, but strangely compelling. Plus I loved chemistry in high school.

Now preps are in full swing for New Years' Eve.

I am off to BrisVegas for a sojourn next weekend.

And you?

How was your Christmas?
What have you planned for NYE?
Have you watched Breaking Bad?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Cookin'. My new years' resolution.

I have been cooking like a demon in my new thermomix.

I have made a fig and ginger panforte to cut up and give as presents for friends and colleagues

I also made my first attempt at bread

I plan on actioning a pavlova for Christmas day.
I have also made lots of delicious breakfast smoothies.

I am feeling suitably "smug cow" - this is my culinary pinnacle, other than the megapav of 2012.


Most years, I make new year resolutions.
Mostly, they are about losing weight or some such.
I had promised myself a nice reward after some arbitrary weight was lost.
One reward was a Diane von Furstenburg dress. Maybe one like this...

And I never made that weight.
And I never got the DvF dress.
And it hung over my head.

It's elusive, that balance between being happy with ourselves, and the quest to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.

It really is a balance. It can't be all about self castigation and deferring pleasure till an arbitrary goal is reached. That will be a set-up for failure, as we all crave gratification.

I must strive, but I must honour myself at the same time, I have realised. More specifically, with regard to my body image, I can work and tighten and get fit but I am coming around to embracing what I was born with.

So my new years' resolution is to continue doing that.

And if I find a DvF dress I like, and I have the cash, I will jolly well buy it.

A few months ago, I caught a look at myself in underwear in the mirror. I thought "I don't know how anyone could find this attractive".

It really was the conscious crystallisation of many years of...well...loathing. That's a strong word but it is probably apt.

I pulled myself up then, thought "that's awful" and "that's enough".

So the other new years' resolution is to recognise and challenge those kind of thoughts.

After all, I see plenty of women who I think "wow, they are gorgeous" - they are only sometimes classically beautiful or a size 8. Usually they are striking, or particularly well turned out, or come across as very confident.

Why can't I make that of myself? Of course I can.

What have you baked lately?
What purchase do you lust after?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Thermomix. Perfect. A prescription for the "Bah Humbugs".

Howdy, all!

I took delivery of my little beastie on Saturday.

Part of the whole shebang is having the Thermie Consultant come to your house and show you how to use the thing. My lady bought some pumpkin and other vegies and we made a pumpkin soup! It was delish!

After my epic work shift on Sunday morning, I decided some therapeutic cooking was in order. I actioned a curry (from scratch), some cumin and lemon infused rice, some cake and a beetroot salad. They were eaten enthusiastically by my Fella and my mum. Part of the cake was even appreciated by my colleagues.

I have subsequently created a spaghetti bolognese and breakfast smoothies. I will be actioning a panforte to slice up and give as presents.
And of course there will be pavlova.

Is it possible to love a machine?

Other than the fevered cooking, it has been busy here in Cilla-ville. Busy like just about everybody else. Decisions to be made. Things to be bought. I am trying not to let all of it get to me too much. Luckily some anxiety regarding changed/bigger roles at work has subsided and I am enjoying the challenges.

Love Offspring? Of course you do.
Love Eddie Perfect? Mais oui.
He was playing at a local pub last night, with a jazz ensemble called The Renovators.
They were playing Jazz versions of popular RnB artists, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Craig David.
Eddie even had some special guests, who stole the show.
It was Eddie's birthday, and he looked like he really enjoyed just playing his music and bantering on stage, it was quite a casual gig.
We enjoyed it.

There has been a little bit in the blogosphere about finding Christmas Stressful.
Some posts even ask advice on how to deal with it.

Christmas is crappily timed, at the end of the year, when everything else also has to be done.
A time to reflect, perhaps on a year that wasn't what you imagined it would be, or was downright awful. Unpleasant feelings are often intensified at this time of year.
Worse, you feel guilty because you are supposed to be joyful and grateful, right? Everyone else is!

Actually no.

We can't control what happened, but we can control the guilt about not feeling the "christmas joy" (which is similar to "motivation", "happiness" and the "tooth fairy")
So no guilt, 'kay?
Take a bit of time to feel your feelings.

I remember Christmas eve, 2011. 2011 was a difficult year. I was sat alone, in my house.
I don't need to tell you how that felt.
What did I do? Got shitfaced on wine, ate a truckload of shortbread and had a good, hard howl, while Sex and the City DVDs blared in the background. The next day, I got up and got on with it.

I thoroughly recommend it.
It's ok.
Do what you need to do.

What kitchen/other gadget do you like?
What is your comfort activity of choice?
Anything else you wish to share?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Finding Festive Joy. #everydaystyle.

Come 'ere, I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Actually it isn't a secret.

Last few years, except for maybe a bit last year, I have found the whole Christmas period a bit....unbearable.

I hated going to the shops
The Christmas songs on the PA system made me cringe
I was glad when it was all over.

I don't think it was Christmas per se, I think it was a function of what was going on in my life at the time. Christmas can intensify feelings of loneliness, guilt, regret, anger, resentment, longing....all the good stuff.

I think my strategy was to just make as best I could out of it....a day to eat myself into a coma.

Now can I say, I am....slightly....enjoying the season...could it be?

I think this enjoyment actually sunk in last weekend. I think I started seeing and feeling some of the beauty of it. Here was something I posted on Facebook that day:

Many things made my heart swell, or brought tears to my eyes today.
Thousands of strong women finishing the Sussan fun run. All smiling at each other, encouraging each other, and showing forebearance at the water stations.
A woman with pain from an injured knee making a strong finish to the half marathon.
A recently widowed young mum bravely making a dash for the finish of the half marathon, her children running along with her in the final metres.
In the city, the almost mournful strains of the Salvos horns playing Christmas carols, wafting across Bourke st mall.
Seeing colleagues at a Christmas party, and seeing how their littlies have grown.
Seeing a dear friend glow in her new love.

It is a wonderful time of the year.
May you find wonder there too.

I got quite a few likes for that one.
Perhaps I was a bit high from the adrenaline of the run? A bit too much wine after? Who knows, but I am getting into it with a little more enthusiasm than what I did in previous years.

You might even hear me singing along to Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" when it plays in Coles. I have never been above public singing acts.

In other news, I have been playing along with StylingYou's challenge on instagram, Everyday Style. I am usually not one to play instagram games too much, but I like this one, as it has given me impetus to make a little more effort to look snazzy of a day. Here are some outfits.

Here is a pic from after the fun run:

Happy preparation for Christmas!

How are you enjoying the lead-up?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Distractions. A recipe.

This week has been a long and hard one. Multiple frustrations. Multiple things to deal with. All managed, but wearing me down a bit. Here is not the forum to discuss them in detail, but suffice to say I am glad this week is finished.

My fella came back. With presents. But I like his presence better. Bless him.

Did I tell you I bought a thermomix? It should be coming sometime next week. I shall be blogging my creations. Let the Christmas baking begin.

Lovenest 1.0 is taking shape nicely. We are looking forward to having Christmas here. In our new 'hood, there is a communal herb garden. Here is a pic:

And never fear, I found a ham. I invested in a KR Castlemaine Ham. The beasty is languishing in my fridge.

I have also made some Veronika Maine purchases, which were both a. an investment and b. therapeutic. That is how I rationalise it.

[I rationalise and get buyers guilt in equal parts.... I just need to let it go.]

That manicure I was yapping about? I went and got it. A shellac mani-pedi. My nails are the colour of strawberry ice-cream.

[I love love love fake strawberry flavour]

After busy weeks, and very little time at home, a lovingly home-cooked meal was in order tonight. I utilised some broccolini and zucchini that were on their way out to make this pasta.

Here was how I cooked it

  • 1 zucchini, finely sliced lengthways (I used a veggie peeler)
  • 1.5 bunches brocollini, ends trimmed, stems cut in half to make shorter
  • Spaghetti, for 2 people
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 chilli, chopped finely
  • Anchovies
  • 2tsp butter
  • 3tsp olive oil
  • handful pine nuts, toasted.
  • zest of one lemon
Put water on to boil in large pot. Add spaghetti
Fry up garlic and chilli in butter and oil. Add anchovies, cook till they dissolve. Add zest. Then add zucchini. Zucchini will go all soft and melty and soak up all the lovely flavours. Add pine nuts,
When spaghetti nearly cooked, add broccolini to pot.
Drain spaghetti/broccolini and add to frying pan. Stir up all together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Nom.

This will be good fuel for the Sussan fun run tomorrow. 10km along the beach on a lovely day.
The only issue is getting up at 5:30am....ergh.

Never let it be said that a busy week at work gets in the way of my extracurricular activities.

What about you?
Any good home cookin'?
Any investment/therapeutic buys?
How was your week?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Shopping spaces, christmas hams, manicures

Hello and happy weekend to you!

I am spending a quiet Friday night in. The fella is at a conference in Auckland. Good bit of time to do some....stuff.

I've been a bit under the weather over the last couple of days - my sinuses are staging a rowdy protest at the wacky weather here in Melbourne, and all the pollen that bursts forth. Hence today was a bit of a go-slow one.

Over the last few days I have been actioning some Christmas things, and thinking a bit about the season. As I have said, we are having a Kris Kringle type arrangement, but I wanted to buy a few bits n bobs for my family.

So off to the shopping centre I went. And you know what? I found it very overwhelming. I tottered around a few shops, just feeling at a loss, and then ended up making a beeline for the body shop, and buying some gifts there. And then getting the hell out.

I used to love shopping, hoofing around shopping centres for hours on end.

Now increasingly I find it difficult. It may sound strange but I feel a bit...inadequate. And don't even get me started on one saleslady who yapped with another customer for 10 minutes about gel nails while I was waiting to be served. Otherwise, I am a bit scared of the salesladies, and their sales pushes. I feel guilty for saying no to their higher pressure sales tactics...

Though some such tactics made me buy a pair of uber flattering boyfriend jeans, very similar to these.

I cannot lie, they are super comfy, and flattering. Win and win.
I am loving Witchery Jeans lately.

I have also had to buy a bit of work-appropriate wear - almost 3 years in PhD and nursing home land has made my armamentarium of power work couture dwindle somewhat. I am doing some more work in another environment.

In fact, on lazy data-entry days, I have been known to come to work wearing tracky daks. (But only my good ones. My outside tracky daks).

I think I like going to funky shopping strips rather than shopping centres, if the weather is good. They have better cafes and it is less claustrophobic. I like little independent stores, and I like to support small businesses. But I do sometimes wish they would put a Witchery, Country Road and Veronika Maine on Brunswick St Fitzroy or High St Northcote....

I quite like Chapel st but parking is a bit of a nightmare, and I risk being poisoned by the ambient levels of fake tan and hair bleach.

The other thing I have been giving a lot of thought to is Christmas ham. Today, on a visit to Woolies, I summonsed the butcher out of his den to interrogate him about the hams on offer. In my paws I had a free range, private schooled, triple smoked behemoth. The independent stores sell even more expensive hams.

He said "you know which one I go for?"
He pointed at the lower end ham and said "it's juicier". He pointed to my fancy schmancy ham, claiming it to be dry.

This is some food (or swine) for thought...

Clearly I need to do some more independent research on the issue.

But I did manage to purchase some cloves. You know, just in case.

In other news, I have allowed my nails to grow - see?

I now need a manicure
I will post photos when I have attended it.

Well now I had better go to bed. I want to go to training in the morning.

Pump some iron etc. Plus I have engagements following this which involve eating.

Now - a few questions

Do you retreat to the comfy world of online shopping?
Which christmas ham do you recommend?
Where do you like to buy your clothes (Ruth if you are reading I already know the answer).
Which Australian clothes brands do you like?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Music Festivals. Compliments. The cbfs.

Hello and happy Monday! Greetings from the wifi I have finally managed to set up!

I had a big bout of multifactorial mondayitis, but managed to shake it off by going to my running group.

Every Monday and Wednesday, at about 4:30, I develop a great case of the cbfs.

There are about 20 things I would rather do than run. Especially on a nice day like this. Most of them involve wine and eating things that are yummy.

And yet, barring injury or foul weather, I go.

I always feel better. It helped my mondayitis.

Oh, and on the topic of running, on the 17th, I ran the 14km city to sea event. I promised a photo. Here 'tis.

 My smile and red face says it all, really.

I have had a few back issues recently, these are longstanding. I have been recommended a physiotherapist who also practices acupuncture. I went to see him today, for the second time. He did some pushypushy, some needling and some cupping.

He is quite gentle, very zen like. I am a liker of a good firm massage, if it doesn't have me whimpering it is not working.

But we shall see how it goes. The back gave me no curry in training today.

Over the weekend, the fella and I decamped to Queenscliff for the music festival.

Geelong (like Melbourne) was doing its spring thing - a bit of rain, a bit of bitey sun. Not great for a music fest. Weather was better last year.

I have to confess I find it hard to "attach" to bands or singers.... I may only like one song of theirs. Hence when I am feeling tired and chilly and my feet are sore, I would prefer to decamp to the comfort of the bed rather than stay out till 11pm to catch the act. I missed some of the bigger acts. I am ok with this.

The bands I loved were Saskwatch

And the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. Hard to find a good video. If they are playing in your area, you should see them. They will have you dancing and laughing in equal measure.

I also got a few surprises in the way of Jeff Lang (guitar virtuoso), the Transvaal Diamond Syndicate (dirty heavy grungy blues), and the Brow Horn Orchestra (big band meets rap meets reggae and everything in between).

They also had great food trucks there - I had yummy tacos, poboys, the best chai masala outside of india, dosa masala...I ate all the things.

The people watching was interesting.... overexcited schoolies, old rockers, young families and hipsters... all together.

Note to the ladies - putting black opaque stockings underneath summer dresses/ short denim shorts does not a good outfit maketh.... IMHO.....Just sayin'.

Note to schoolies - don't smoke joints in the concert tents. I will smack you on the bum, or shake my finger (don't even get me started)

Anywho.... I had a lovely weekend with the fella. He is gallavanting all over the place to conferences for the next 10 or so days.
I shall miss him.

To change a topic.

There have been a few instances recently where I have been paid a compliment.
Today, a former colleague who I had a brief catch up with sent me an email, saying "you look beautiful".

What did I do?

I brushed it off.
I thought "surely you blow smoke up my bottom".

I do that often.

Yet I will take to heart a criticism. Either an internal or external (or imagined) criticism. Take it on board.

Perhaps it might be a relatively easy thing to learn to accept compliments?
I have just been reading this post from Nikki at Styling you.
Some food for thought there.

Good night. Or good day. Depending on what time you read this.

How do you graciously (or not) take a compliment?
What music do you like?
Any aches or pains at present? Carte blanche to whinge here.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Moving. 'Scuses. Christmas.

Gah, it has been a while.

I have 'scuses.

These are:
1. I've moved
2. I have no wifi at home
3. Work has been busy. Rewarding but busy.

They are good 'scuses, I think.

So I have now *officially* been in our new place a week. The move went ok, apart from the breakage of a single bowl. Pfft. Won't miss that bowl, there are other, better bowls.

And so commences the long and arduous process (with the emphasis on Long) of unpacking.

In packing up, I was fairly ruthless with chucking stuff out, so hopefully it won't be too painful.

However our mattress is still on the floor. It will be a while till the bed is up as the fella has to go away to a couple of conferences. He says he quite likes being down low. Good think I am laid back about these things!

Moving might be considered also a good excuse for flopping my butt down on the couch and having takeaway and copious amounts of wine.

I did not scuse myself from healthy eating and exercise.

The night I moved across, I went to my training as usual. And followed it up with a home cooked dinner.

On Sunday, I ran the 14km City to Sea event. Here is me at the finish line.

(Blogger does not seem to want to do it now, will put it up later....)

Anywho, I ran it. I have had some back pain which I am getting seen to. This body is a temple. During the week and some weekends, anyways.....

I have a trainer who is very nice but kicks me up the butt tells me firmly what I need to do. I have been trying as much as possible to do as she says. She seems to know what she is talking about. And I don't think many people know what they are talking about so that says something.

We are moving inexorably towards Christmas. In the past, for many and varied reasons, I have found Christmas a very challenging time of the year, and was very bah humbug.

Things are very different this year. More so this year than last year. Things are better.

My sister, who usually does the "don't buy me anything because I can't afford to buy you anything" thing about this time of the year, has arranged a Kris Kringle.

This decreases the financial burden on her and allows her to participate. The thing is that I would like to buy for all my family and don't know what the etiquette is about that.
Although on reflection stuff is less important than the togetherness.

The only issue is that I was allocated getting her boyfriend a present. Like a significant one.

I don't want to get her boyfriend a significant present. I would be happy just to get him a bottle of merlot as a token thing.

This is because

a. He likes merlot
b. I haven't met him that many times and don't know him that well
c. I confess I don't particularly like what I have seen of him (my mum refers to him as "whathisface"). Also see a above. He clearly cannot be trusted.

My boyfriend has been allocated to my brother's girlfriend.

I don't know. Think I just have to deal with the discomfort and roll with the plan. And make different arrangements next year.

But I have embraced the festive period to committing to glaze a ham. A good ham. I've never done that before.
I am looking forward to the ham, perhaps more than anything else.

My fella has embraced the festive period by ordering 2 cases of assorted wines for the day.
That'll sort out me and him, wonder what others will be drinking :P

Anyway this weekend we are off to the Queenscliff Music Festival.

I am looking forward to it! The place we are staying has a nice pool, and I have performed depilatory procedures in readiness.

So have your festive preparations commenced?
And do you have to do anything / spend time with anyone you are not comfortable with?

Monday, 11 November 2013


WARNING: This post contains lamb on a spit, which I find pretty damn impressive (not to mention mouthwatering) but some people mightn't like it.

APOLOGIES: some of the comments from the last post ended up in my spam queue, hopefully I've now rectified the situation.


I call this procrastiblogging - I have a shitload of stuff to do, but I would rather be doing this. Plenty of time to be working hard.

I have just gotten back from Christchurch, New Zealand. It was a flying visit for my Fella's parents 50th Wedding anniversary.

I had done the whole "meeting the family" thing before so that was no biggie.

The bigger deal was trying to fit it all in among moving preparations etc. But not to worry, we can only do what we can do.

So we got into ChCh at about 0200 on Friday morning. The flights etc were uneventful, made that way by some nice wine taken in the lounge (my fella has Qantas club membership). Flights are best taken a little bit drunk. But not too drunk.

The next day was a sleep in, touching base with the family, helping them with last minute shopping, and some wandering around. As everyone knows ChCh was affected badly by an earthquake in 2011 ( and a less destructive one in 2010). Things are slowly but surely being rebuilt. It is still worth a visit if you are going to NZ.

Here are some photos.
The Cathedral

The Fella, Surveying the Damage

I remember this from my visit 10 years ago - it survived unscathed.

Condemned buildings and Chain Link everywhere, but some pretty on the chain link
That night we went to our favourite ChCh haunt, DuxDine - if you are in ChCh you should go there.

Here is a rose from their garden

Saturday was the big 'do - the family, plus the golden couple's 40 closest friends, mostly over the age of 70.

We assumed that these people wouldn't eat much - they did.
We assumed that they wouldn't get into the wine too much - they hit it hard.

I busied myself collecting plates and keeping on top of the mess. Tidying (most unlike me) kept me out of the wine trough and kept me from having to talk to a whole bunch of people I didn't know. The family was very grateful. Win, win and win.

The main food item was lamb on a spit. Here is the beastie (you have been warned)


My fella carving the delicious beast

And here is my fella's mums wedding dress.  Teeny tiny waist.

On Sunday there was a family get together in Hurunui, up in the Waipara region about 90 minutes outside ChCh. More food (mostly Pavlova) was eaten. Pictures are not shown to protect the privacy of the other folks.

We then went down to the river- the Fella's nieces and nephew had a frolic in there, and an all-out mud flinging brawl ensued, with my Fella's brother in law starting it. It was hilarious. The 5 year old neice showed impressive guerrilla tactics.

Monday was a catch up with the fam and then home, via the plane. And the frequent flyer lounge, where much soothing and restorative wine/gin and tonics were drunk.

I am spent.

But this week will be busy.

Speaking of family gatherings, I am thinking of making a baked leg of ham for Xmas - have never done it before. My sister's boyfriend doesn't eat pork. Oh well, we don't like him very much and he will have to make do with other less festive meats.

And how are youse?

Have Xmas preps started in your neck of the woods?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Moving. Removing. Repurposing.

(Warning - long talk about old fridges!)
Well it's been a long time!

I am currently in the process of packing up all my stuff and moving it across to the house that I will be sharing with the fella. He moved in there on Monday, and I am "officially" moving in next Thurs, but given that we are going away to Christchurch tomorrow for a few days, I have been working away at it for the last week or so.

For me, this time, is not just the packing of stuff in boxes and moving said boxes.

I have to streamline.

I have to declutter.

I have to say goodbye to some things.
Moving from a marital home, into a shared home then a little flat, I had a lot of marital home stuff that has stayed with me. Plus a lot of other things I bought.

Buying stuff on impulse, or to soothe ourselves when we are down, or even with the best of intentions, and never using it....we've all done that. A lot of the things sitting in my spare room have been forgotten. Going through them and sorting them out...well, it's a bit confronting isn't it?

I have had an "if I haven't used it in a year I am not likely to so give it to charity" rule. Ditto keeping stuff that is a bit tight "I will fit into it soon". (That last one is very confronting).

Yet with a bit of thought, I have been able to repurpose some things. Those silver frames that were given as a wedding present and stayed in boxes? Lovely for the free photos that also sat in boxes.

I want our new home to have lots of photos in it. Photos in frames make a house a home.

Part of my inner resistance to clearing out stuff I don't use is the old "what if I fall on hard times and need it again" thing.

It's also sad to let some things go because they are the last bittersweet reminders of a past life.

In the dissolution of my marriage, I got custody of the fridge and washing machine. They sat in storage while I was sharing house but got used when I moved in by myself.

They are 10 years old, my fella has newer and better and more efficient models, so they go into the new house.

I've struggled to decide what to do with them. Part of that is the memory of my ex husband and I buying them with our very first paycheck. It sounds silly but it is really hard to let go of them. It is really hard to sell 10 year old fridges and top loading washing machines. So I have decided to give them to charity. A struggling single mum might benefit. That will make me happy.

I am determined to bring a strong sense of myself into this new home (and, more broadly, the relationship). Some of my paintings, and other stuff, will have pride of place.

This moving thing - it's a process. A process of saying goodbye, compromising, letting others in. Perhaps acutely experiencing a little of that fear that comes with taking big steps in a relationship.

But it's the right time, and the right thing, and we are moving into a lovely place, and I am looking forward to it.

So I say bye bye fridge (mustn't forget to keep London Marathon Magnet)

Bye bye rattly but reliable top loader

And bye bye stinky and worn sneakers I ran the London Marathon in.

And HELLO  neat and organised Walk-in Pantry

And every last oil and sauce one could ever need

Hello to barbies (barbecues, not the doll) in the back courtyard.
Hello to many years of lots of nice experiences and memories.
A life lived well and consciously.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Movin' (15.5 km race report.)

How are we all today?

Happy Monday!

I was walking to my car near my fella's place this morning. I saw this flower, which was very pretty. Anyone know what type it is?

There were other pretty flowers in that front yard, too. On the fence there was a note, saying "Please don't pick my flowers. Let's all enjoy them".


I am a bit stiff today. It was because I did a 15.5 km fun run yesterday. I decided to do this distance rather than the 10 (it is part of the Spring into Shape series) as "long run" training for the city to sea run in a few weeks.

I had stayed up past midnight the night before, on account of going out for a girlfriend's birthday (more on that later). Hence there was little time in the morning to get organised. I was a bit scatty, and despite taking these pics on my iphone:

Fed Sq, Eureka Building.

Yarra, showing off.

I thought I had left the phone in the car (I had actually left it at the registration desk, which I did not realise until I finished the run....not one of my brighter moments)

With all the kerfuffle with the phone, and not having any music to keep me company, I really had to work hard to focus. Soon, I did. It is nice running along the Yarra. I got into a good pace that I thought I could maintain, and I felt strong. I even started to feel a bit....invincible. One of the lady-front runners told me to keep it up, I was doing a good job.

The first 10km (2 laps) were fairly comfy, it is a distance I am used to. After the second lap there was a girl I saw who was similarly paced to me, so we ran together. It was nice to have some company. I think we kept each other motivated and on-pace. At the 500 metres to go mark, she grabbed my hand and picked up the pace. We crossed the line together and got a cheer from some folks around the finishing chute, as well as a shout-out from the race announcer.

I did my usual post-finishing thing (wander around slightly bent over looking bewildered and catching my breath). I saw my coach, who had been manning our run club marquee, and a couple of the ladies I run with. I took that opportunity to have a breather.


Anyone who runs distances knows how tight certain muscles get, and the utility of a good firm massage. If it doesn't make you groan it is not firm enough. My ladies and I helped each other out in this respect, with a nice firm elbow point into buttocks, like so...


Naturally, I reciprocated. We are very supportive of each other.

There was a yoga session held, which we partook of. It was really nice to do, out in the gardens.

I went home, had some food, and a nap. Then, in keeping with my aim to be more tidy (thanks, by the way, for the support on the last post!) I did some tidying. A big run and a cleaning session! Super virtuous!

It is a good thing I do running, because the weekend was full of yummy treats.

Friday Night we went to San Telmo. I felt a bit crook in the belly and we had to abort the mission.

Saturday I felt better. The fella and I had a big wander around Smith and Brunswick Streets. We worked up an appetite. We had some down south food in the form of Louisiana style sandwiches, at Po'boys.

Dinner was in celebration of a good girlfriend's birthday, at Hell of the North (named after a sector of the Tour de France). We had the Feed Me menu. There was a bit much food (better than too little I suppose). The food was good, but the service was a bit meh, and the waiters were a bit familiar rather than polite. I am a bit picky, being a Melburnian.

Le Charcuterie.

Too much good food!
Still, #firstworldproblems and #YOLO, right?

Cohabitation with the fella is imminent. A massive declutter and pack is now unavoidable. Before I move, in a couple of weeks, the fella and I are off to Christchurch for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary!
And, on Wednesday,  I am getting my coif done.

And how about you? Any exciting plans on the agenda?
Have a good week!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Confessions of a Domestic God(l)ess.

Hello happy campers.

I take stock of my talents.

  • I can tell a filthy joke without so much as blushing, and swear with enough conviction to make a sailor cringe.
  • I can suture a wound and the sight of blood does not worry me too much.
  • I have run a marathon, and can run 10km without too much worries.
  • I can cook a nice dinner. Furthermore I can look at what I have in the cupboard and make up tasty dishes from what is in there. I am creative like that.
  • I have worked many night shifts and can talk coherently afterwards on the ward round.
  • I can speak authoritatively to a large audience (in fact I enjoy it)
  • I can pick a nice bottle of wine for a dinner party, and am often called on to pick wine when out.
  • I am not too afraid to say what I think, and have learned to do so in a tactful manner
  • I am bloody brilliant at parallel parking - I often say that if I had a dad, he'd be very proud of this fact
  • I give good cuddles and am a good friend, daughter and sister.
What I am really shit at is housework.

My fella is really good at housework. In a past life, he was a butcher, and learned to clean things to a fine shine.

I don't have a dishwasher in my current place. My dishes have suffered for it with little bits of missed crud on them. I recently learned my fella often re did them.

I can't fold a sheet to save myself. Even my towel folding is crookedy and try as I might I can't get 'em straight.

There is clutter, lots of it. I have difficulty keeping things tidy. There is lots of dust. It is better for my nose if I leave it settled rather than upset it with a duster.

Don't even start me on my closet.

And though I like a garden as much as anybody else, and like looking at flowers, any proposition of me actually doing any gardening will be met with a glazed over expression.

I think it's genetic. My mum, being a single mother, didn't have a lot of time to clean, bless her. My nanna, a brilliant cook, was slightly less brilliant at cleaning. It's in the mitochondria.

Don't get me wrong, I do hygeine fine, my shower isn't mouldy, and I run by the general rule of no vermin.

I suspect when I move in with my fella, he would like me to be a bit more tidy. I will try, really I will.
But when he asked me what the best bit of the new house was, I said "the dishwasher". And I have insisted on getting a cleaner for the heavy tasks. It's good for the economy, getting a cleaner. I am pretty selfless like that.

At the end of the day, I don't get too worried by my lack of household talent. I invited a neighbour and her new bubba in for a cuppa, stating "If you don't mind my mess.....ahhh sod it, just come in for a cuppa, place is a bit messy". Warmth is much more important than tidiness.

Having said that, I am all about self-improvement, and I want to do my share of keeping things tidy.

Any tips for me? Do you know of any cleaning/organising blogs?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Auntie Flo.

Hallo lovelies.

I am talking TTOM today. (That Time of Month).

I generally don't suffer too severely. Perhaps a bit "speak to the hand, the face don't wanna know" in the lead up, maybe a little bit of crampy action.

But I crave carbs like a mofo.

More specifically, cake.

Last night, the Fella was showing me pics from facebook including lots of cute baby animals, with a few cakes interspersed. I moaned every time a cake came on the iPad screen. I asked him if he was trying to kill me.

Yes, I was a bit petulant last night. Not only because of the carb craving but there was only crap on telly. The only thing that I could tolerate was Dancing with the Stars, and that was very borderline. And then they kicked Tony Barber off. Tony Barber, the gameshow king who reminds me of a nice uncle I have. A true gentleman.

Bastards.(I actually yelled out something a bit more coarse)

Then I moaned some more that I wanted chocolate.

My fella, who has been a little under the weather himself, said "I don't have any chocolate but there are licorice allsorts in my bag."

I wailed "Why didn't you tell me????!!!" And proceeded to nom.

Today, the cake craving has abated. Somewhat.

So tell me:

What food do you crave? That time? Other times?

Actually, reading this post back, I reflect that I might get a bit....feral....

Here is a picture of some cake. You are welcome.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Musings on Melbourne Mara 10k (Plus some old-skool hip hop)

"My body is a temple. The Mayan Ruins. That's a temple." - My fella. Yesterday.

One thing I have learned to appreciate recently is that consistency is Key.

Not willpower. Not motivation. Routine and Consistency.

Good things rarely come to fruition by a massive and one-off action, but by multiple small, routine actions, a few steps forward, sometimes a few steps back. Mistakes. Some fine tuning in the approach. A longstanding fan of rapid gratification, in the past few years, I have learned the valuable lesson of patience.

Recently I have made a few changes to my lifestyle, prompted by some increasing muffin-top in my jeans. Sulking and bemoaning only acted to make me feel worse about myself.

I ramped up my exercise, taking up a weights session in addition to the running training. I have been keeping my more decadent food choices to the weekends, where I try not to go too berserk.

I have made these changes many times in the past, and they have worked. My difference now is in the approach; I realise that this sort of stuff is what most (apart from the genetically blessed) have to consistently do to remain healthy. We have become very enchanted by the quick fix. Our concept of the intensity and length of effort required to be our best physical selves has become skewed. Many people (myself included sometimes) believe that everyone else has it easier than what they themselves do, and they have to work a whole lot harder and it's just not worth trying.

I've also drunk a big fat mug of "no good comes from comparing yourself to others" and a big glass of "focus on what you've achieved" and a beaker of "learn from your mistakes, don't berate yourself too much for them". Plus coffee. And wine (but mostly only on the weekends).

I am starting to see and appreciate some results! Muscles are popping out! It has helped my mood no end.

Anywho, getting to the point, the Melbourne Marathon was on yesterday. This is the biggest event on the Melbourne Fun Run calendar. They had a Marathon (42.2km), Half-Marathon (21.1km), 10km, 5.7km and a 3km walk. I entered the 10km event, as my goal for this year was to run a stronger 10km.

After a glorious day on Saturday, the forecast for Sunday was diabolical, with wind, hail and rain on the radar. When I pitched up at the 'G very early on Sunday, it was partly cloudy, cool and still. Perfect running conditions, really.

By some stroke of luck, I found a loo with no queue. Lolled around, did some stretching. Lolled around a bit more. Then I noticed that no other 10k'ers were around and I thought "bugger, I've missed the start".

So I got my warmup by sprinting across the bridge in a panic. Luckily the slow wave had not set off yet...phew.

I have given up wearing GPS watches or iPods. I prefer to soak up the atmosphere of a race, and I don't like to worry about what exact clock pace I am running, I like to go by feel and old school watch. Unfortunately when everyone else is wearing earphones the sense of camaraderie is diminished (and the risk of a 5 person pileup increased). I love seeing runners from the Achilles running club, they are usually blind people running accompanied by a couple of volunteers- I always give them a cheer.

I turned out the first 5km at a dead-even pace. After the first five km, I decided to try and step up the slightly, the so-called negative split. A negative split is a sign of a good run.

At about 5.5km, there was a small cheer squad - perhaps the Lululemon girls? They were waving signs like "Too Legit to Quit" and "Your badASSness is showing". This got me smiling and right in the zone to pick it up.

I just kept on, slightly uncomfortable, with head down, working away. A bit of pain up the Barak Bridge, relaxing with the downhill. The last 1.5km or so was a drag. Flat, boring and with a bastard hairpin.

It was a relief to run into the 'G. I picked it up, and overtook a few folks. I crossed the finish line with arms aloft. I was proud of that run.

It was not my best ever time, but it was consistent and a small but steady improvement compared with recent runs. Strong to the end and with a spirited finish. Head down, bum up and not showy-offy. Something to work off. That's the kind of thing I like to do.

After the race, I sat around and watched some of the Africans win the Marathon and Half-Marathon....their running is beautiful to watch. I saw Lisa Weightman run a personal best time, and win the ladies' marathon. I saw a lady collapse near the finish of the half-marathon, struggle to get up, and have some fellow competitors go back and collect her and carry her across the finish line (that got the spectators on their feet).

After, I walked from the MCG into the city, seeing folks toward the end of their Marathon, while having fond memories of mine. I saw some people in not-flash shape, but others were smiling and gliding along.

And then it started pissing down and I went home.

Now, I would like to remind you of some fine early '90s hip hop -

2 Legit 2 Quit....gosh, I forgot how catchy MC Hammer is.... I should totally put this on an iPod for running music...