Monday, 26 May 2014

Sinus sadness...

Readers, I am crook.

I had a cold, then I got sinusitis. I have been laid a bit low all weekend. I have been getting a few bouts this year.

Luckily though, I have a friend/colleague on facey who is an allergist, who I messaged and she got back to me with some advice. Perk of the job.

While laid low, I have taken the opportunity to binge-watch House of Cards. Glass half full. That Underwood couple just keep getting more Diabolical!

Hope it gets better soon - I have a busy week upcoming...

I have to get a lot of stuff ready before I jet off for a couple of weeks - London, Valencia, Istanbul.

Have to get the work things in order and handed over.

I have a conference on Wednesday and Thursday, at which I am speaking...I am feeling a bit stressed about it.

What if I get heckled ? What if people don't come to my talk? Gah!
(Though on saying/typing things out loud, that sounds a bit ridiculous.) Though I know the chair of the session well, and will give prior instructions on how to deal with a particular person who Might be there... forewarned is forearmed etc.

Then on Friday - madly tying up loose ends, packing, and making my way off at an ungodly hour on Saturday morning. I am really looking forward to it.

We have to leave the woofy in a boarding Kennel. I hope she is ok. She is still a bit timid around most other Hoomins.

Apologies for the Lacklustre check in, I will hopefully more than make up for it on and after my travels. Check me out on Instagram, I should have a good feed happening there!

Thankyou for your feedback re the word verification - I won't go there. Hopefully the spam will wind up in the spam filter rather than in my email inbox soon. And Welcome to the new commenters! I appreciate your lovely comments x

Now, I will turn the discussion over to you.

Any recommendations for London? Valencia? Istanbul? I think I'd like to go to a Hammam.
Any annoying (but non life-threatening) health issues? Debrief here!
What's your favourite telly show at the moment? Do you watch House of Cards?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A buy-up, and a cull.


What is it about a major financial outlay (like a house) that makes one want to throw caution to the wind and buy clothes?

Or is that just me?

So I have been buying a few bits of couture lately... my excuse is that I am going away soon, and I am starting another job soon, so I need some couture to go with it.

Fine feathers maketh the bird, my crazy aunty used to say.

Here are some of the things I bought recently.

I hate buying suits - they look all wrong on me - the sleeves are too long, some bits too baggy, some bits too tight. I also hate being boxed in, in rigid fabrics. The above jacket from review is a stretchy fabric with thickness between a ponte and a jersey. It looks great open. I am wearing this with a black dress for my talk. Smashing. And comfy.

 I freaking love Witchery jeans. I get my size, I try them on, they fit, and mostly I am happy with the way they look. They sit nicely on my hips and I am not dragging them up every 10 seconds.

I love this shirt - it is plain but looks really good on with a pair of skinny ponte pants, which I also procured from Witchery. It is one of their ovarian cancer research fund shirts, so it's a win-win.

And now, for a pop of colour. This is a good going away dress. I see lots of balmy walks in the European summer evenings...this frock is from Sunny Girl (via the Birdsnest website).

Nowadays, when shopping, I go less for bargains (ok I luff a bargain as much as the next person) and much more for what makes me feel and look good. It is important that I feel flattered in my gear.

My recent shopping purchases (there were more) bought about a big wardrobe cull. I have chucked some things out that were a bit long in the tooth, bagged some things up for charity, and put aside some better things to sell. They are nice clothes, but don't look the best on me. I will be more picky in future.

Ok so I really really should stop shopping now...I figure if I have some nice duds with me overseas I will be less tempted to go theory...

So, what is your approach to clothes shopping?
Do you have a go-to brand?
How would you recommend selling some gear/ handbags?

Also, I am thinking of putting back the word verification on my comments - the spam comments are about to drive me mad. Any thoughts?
Any brands you go

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Budget Blues.

I'm a bit heart-sick today.

Everybody is talking about the budget.

Me, I will be fine. I am a high income earning medical researcher. I may be a beneficiary of the paid parental leave thing. I don't have kids in school. None of the raised taxes will be anything more crippling than an annoyance and a "golly, that's expensive". I do watch the ABC though...

I am fine because, as the daughter of a struggling single mum, I had the opportunity to go to university, to go and get a good vocational degree where the graduate employment rates were near 100%. I got youth allowance, which was enough to pay the rent on my dilapidated inner-city accommodation. It was bugger-all but it was enough.

Things have become a lot harder since then.

The government implores everybody to do the work, the heavy lifting, to get the budget back in the black.

I think it is grossly unfair to ask the poorest and most vulnerable to do as much, or more heavy lifting, than a big business.

I think it is beyond cruel that under-30's will be made to go without any income for 6 months if they can't get a job. People will lose the roof over their heads. There will be homelessness and despair. How do you expect people to recover from that?

It absolutely defies logic that we are limiting benefits and cutting jobs at the same time. In a world which demands high throughput and good results, we are forcing those about to retire into work until they are 70.

It is sorely ironic that 20 billion is being put into medical research, when it is being made more difficult for the poorest of us to see a doctor to benefit from the wonderful advances in medicine.

We don't need school chaplains. We need properly paid teachers and workable class sizes. What exactly are they playing at? Clowns.

It is alarming that most of the commentary on the budget in the Herald Sun was made by Andrew Bolt. Unfortunately, he influences votes. I wonder whether his readership will be affected, and whether that will cause any dissonance when they read his vitriol.

I want my taxes to go to the poor and vulnerable. I believe in universal health care and access to good and appropriate education for all.

If a society is unequal, we all suffer, one way or the other. There are many countries which demonstrate this.

I am sad for this country. I did not vote for these people. That is all I can say. I hope things change, for the better.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Big things. Backing myself.

There's a lot happening around here at the moment...

The House! How lucky we were...... we have already started considering what we will do, renovations wise.

Work! I am taking new directions in that... it will be different, hopefully enjoyable.

I am trying to crank up my PhD work.

Baby plans have moved forward. All the "pre-baby" health things are being thought of and actioned.

It's exciting..and yet, it makes me anxious. Full of "but what if (insert thing here) happens"

I worry about whether I have the skills to take my job in this direction, even though there is no reason why not.

I am extremely sensitive to new mums talking about their crying babies. About how "it is the hardest job in the world". So sensitive that I have unfollowed a few people on facebook.

Thank God for the Mums I follow on these blogs - they are an excellent counterpoint and are so positive.

What if I don't know what to do? What if I don't like it? What if I fall to pieces? Get depressed? I have already made an anxious call to my mum confirming that she will be there to give instructions when I don't know what to do. It's not something you can practice for.

The underlying theme here is that I worry that I won't be good enough.

I worry that I won't be good enough, without any evidence that that is true.

By the by, I caught up with a friend whose marriage is on it's last legs. I went to Uni with him. We did the uni thing, graduated together, got married at similar times. Some of our colleagues had kids. Now they are having number 2 and 3. Now the first lot of marriages are breaking up....all different stages of life.

I told him without batting an eyelid that, whatever happens, he will be alright. There will be a time when he is happy. I told him that with absolute confidence, based on my own experience of that happening.

I need to learn to have a bit of faith. That anticipating the worst doesn't insulate me against bad things happening, but will definitely erode my confidence. I am somebody for whom the anticipation is almost always worse than the actuality.

I am having to learn to back myself, to have confidence in the fact that I can deal with things, and make the best of things. I've done it many times before, and I can do it again. Fear, like guilt, is a wasteful emotion much of the time.

Thankyou for reading that ramble. x

Friday, 2 May 2014


For the last 3 or so Saturday mornings, the fella and I have been out and about looking at houses.

We each had a list of things we wanted which mainly overlapped - renovated or in need of only cosmetic renos in first instance, the desired suburb, proximity to nice things like cafes, pubs, parks. We also had a hard upper price limit, based on conservative estimates of our income, allowing for me having to take some leave from work (all going well).

Ideally there would be scope for value-adding. 

We saw a few places and engaged in heated debate about some of them. There was one that the fella liked but I was not yet taken with. I gave it a bit of thought, and thought the scope for value adding was excellent. I came around, especially after an inspiring first trip to Ikea.

There were a couple of places up for auction today. The first one was that place that was under such debate.

I had never bid at an auction before. I was nervous. We were nervous.

There was one other bidder. We ended up having the highest bid, which was within the estimated sale range, but it was passed in.

We went in for a discussion with the agents. They said that the vendors just wanted to sell today, and were happy with the reserve price. The agents slipped out. While they slipped out, a potential buyer turned up. They had missed the auction. They said "I think it will go for about $xxxx".

The wait was very tense. They came back with a price, which we were very happy with. We had expected to pay more. We shook hands on it.

We signed the paperwork. My hands were shaking. I felt dazed, but in a good way.

We met the vendor. It was her departed mum's house, and she lived across the road. I quickly noted that she had tears in her eyes. I said "It's an emotional day". She told me a bit about her mum, who lived in the house alone until just before she passed. We had a bit of a chinwag, and found out that she works in the same health service as I, and we know some common people!

The vendor, her hubby and her niece told us about the street. Told us the neighbours were nice and friendly.

We showed the vendor and the agent photos of our dog, pleased that she would have a good sized backyard to run about in. The vendor had 2 dogs. We arranged future cuppa and doggy play dates.

I have always felt that if something occurs easily, and feels right, it is meant to be. I am glad that we will be living in the house, not knocking it down, and in some way honouring the memory of the woman who lived in it, who raised a family there. There was a happy story in that place, and we are excited to carry it on.