Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Yay for Branch Team Leader Chairman Katherine! and Lyle!

Well, after rehearsing a speech for when I got told I hadn't got the job - turns out I did get the job. So that is a great big hurrah! and thank goodness! A big thanks for all those who sent me good tips and good thoughts. So now I feel like I've got a proper job in the library, one where I can settle in and get things done. Needless to say, I'm a little scared. But tonight I am on holiday, the library folk putting in an extra big effort to get things looking spick and span. Our fridge is full of food, I've had a bath and treated myself to a face mask (thanks Chairman Soo!) and hope to finish watching an Errol Flynn movie. Holidays are good.

I did get one present early, something so charming that I just have to share.

These are cricket carrying cases from the fantastic cricket and flower market in Shanghai. I was there a few years ago and - strangely - didn't buy anything. Luckily a friend was in the city on business and managed to find the time, only finding the market once we had txted him directions from Google Maps. Yay modern technology! The cases have all sorts of secret sliding bits so that you can hide or display your treasured beastie. The compartments are pretty small so I imagine them holding some of the exquisite little crickets I saw at the market, all new leaf green and elegant.
In Chinese art the cricket symbolizes summer, courage, and a fighting spirit.

I read on someone's blog that their mother had something called a cricket box. It seems that the Chinese kept crickets in a small box, with holes, as a warning devise. If someone entered the room at night the crickets would stop chirping and warn the occupant. Why are there no crickets in Melbourne? When I was growing up in Perth there were crickets and grasshoppers everywhere. Instead, our garden is simply screeching with cicadas - also beautiful, but perhaps not so melodious!

Do have a lovely holiday all of you! Take care and have good times with your family.

Monday, December 14, 2009

And while I'm at it...

Mariah Carey singing Christmas carols in the supermarket - isn't life hard enough?

In the dog house

What I'd rather be doing... war plant workers dance the jitterbug after an 8 hr shift. Actually, they look really, really tired.

I'm applying for a job at the mo. Essentially, the job I'm already doing - which somehow makes it harder. Part of the prob is that I've only every really done two or three job interviews. The rest of the prob is that I'm a nervous ninny. I've been told by them as know that I 'donkeyed home' in the last interview. Now I can't say I know exactly what that means but if I have to be a donkey to get this job so be it. I've also been told that I'd have to be practically comatose to stuff up the interview. Again, good. But last time I applied for this job I worried and fretted until I made myself sick (and made Mr C sick of the very mention of the words 'job' and 'application'). So really, it is PROVEN that worrying works for me. Do I worry again? Do I have to worry in order to stand a chance? Or can I sit around watching anime and updating my blog? Am I starting to worry that I'm not worrying enough? Trust me, I'm worried.

The other big worry is that old Jack cat is going freakin insane. He's gone all fuzzy in the head. For starters, he's completely addicted to bed. To the extent that he frets if he can't get under the covers. He pops out for meals, if you drag him out. Then tears back into the bedroom again. The other thing, and believe me it's a biggie, is that one minute it's all 'oh he wants to sit on my lap!' and the next it's 'oh my god he's pissing on me!' This is causing a distinct lack of harmony in the household. Apart from the ick factor, I mean, what the hell is he thinking in his little furry brain?? As for the other cats I do wonder what we were thinking. George is a darling but he doesn't shut up and Lyle is, well, who knows about Ly-lo. Lyle = enigma. I've never met such a super cool cat. Anyway, these two do this really funny for two minutes stunt fighting that gets really really annoying really really quickly - especially when SOMEONE TRYING TO WRITE SOMETHING.

So instead of going to see a big band as planned, I'm busy washing cat piss clothes, while two cats sound like they're killing each other and Mr C is engaged in the great 2009 bathroom renovation so I haven't had a shower at home for the last few days (and the end is not in sight) and I'm trying to write about all the good things I've done and all I can think about is the time I went to the State Library with the Co-ordinator team (ie. my bosses) and wore my shirt back to front for the entire day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Carry on...

As the Queen said, keep calm and carry on. Turns out that the lumps in Jack's belly are an important part of Jack - which does make me wonder a bit about feline anatomy. Seems that because he's lost weight his insides are now closer to his outsides. Hurrah! Hurrah! NOT CANCER!! All he needs is fattening up so he's now on a special protein diet - just like a weight lifter! The vet took a look at his bald bits and suggested he'd been in a fight (unlikely) and said we should wait to see if the fur grows back. Jack came to visit the library after the vet and seemed very sprightly on his pins. He said hello to the folks, drank the library cat's milk and went for a stroll over the boss's desk. Then straight back to bed where he still is several hours later. So all is well in catland. Thank you for kind thoughts. And we got ourselves a ps3 to replace the xbox so peace once again reigns at the House de la Chairman.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Spent the day in gym clothes then ran out of time to get to the gym. Couldn't be bothered to do my hair. No lippy. Our xbox died and I haven't started my Christmas shopping.

Last night Kim found a lump in old Jack cat's belly. We've booked him in to the vet tomorrow but goodness knows how we'll pay for it. Worrying but luckily he's as happy as larry these days. He spends all his time sleeping under the bed clothes where he gets frightfully hot and squishy. He's quite chirpy when he comes out and he usually goes out for a bit of a stroll at night (which makes me a bit anxious). He's still eating which is good but is a little cavalier in his attitude to the litter tray. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

In the middle of all this I'm trying to update my resume. It's a little hard to talk about yourself in glowing terms when you feel like curling up in bed and having a good cry. Oh not much of a trooper am I?

Friday, December 4, 2009

What I want for Christmas...

Well this week has been a shocker. To all those unmedicated folks down St Kilda way - thanks for dropping by the library, it's been great seeing you. My little old Jack cat seems to be getting a bit furry brained. He's the one with FIV and over the last few days he's been going bald (strangely, the rest of his fur is absolutely lovely and silky smooth), forgetting where he lives and taking up to an hour to decide if he wants to sit on the bed (this last bit is actually darned annoying and it's hard to remain patient with him). He seems happy enough, just old.

So, to turn to thoughts of a finer life, here are some of the things I'm dreaming of this Christmas. Actually this is going to be a shamelessly materialistic post because I'm a bit tired and emotional and pretty grumpy that I have to work tomorrow.

Freddie's of Pinewood dungarees. I don't care what anyone else says about them, I think she looks cute as a button in these overalls. Sadly, old Freddie has let me down somewhat in the delivery of items department so it may be a while before I give them another go.

Now this one is never going to happen but I do like to dream of the day I can look as great as the naughty Bernie Dexter. Cherries = yum!

Must have a thing for retro denim at the moment! I have a pair of these trousers in a soft grey fabric - I just happen to be between sizes and my first pair were GIGANTOR so I had to get a smaller size. Now I'm waiting on whittling my waist a little before I can wear them. I try them on every week and I'm getting there! It's my one goal in life...

I want a snood. I really really want one. Because I am lazy and I like the idea of just shoving my hair in one of these. This number's made by a little old lady in England whose grandma showed her the pattern during the war.

The de Havilland blouse based on a pattern from the late 30s - a wonderful era for shirts. I love shirts so much more than t-shirts. Except that you have to iron them. Though it's probably no secret that I don't iron ANYTHING.

You know what else I want? Shortbread. Masses and masses of lovely shortbread. I used to think that I liked really cheap and nasty shortbread. Indeed, I've been known to down a whole packet of a night (Coles sell some for $1.90 a box!) That was until I had some shortbread made for me. O my!

Down Portland way

Well I've been back for over a week so a few quick words about my holidays.

The Western Districts is a pretty green part of the country. And it's green BECAUSE IT RAINS ALL THE TIME!! Which suited me just fine - the thunderstorms were really quite lovely. I spent most of my time reading about WWII espionage and watching old films. And eating. One of the first thing you notice once you're out past Geelong is that the people are all terrifyingly overweight. And I'm really not surprised because there's some great fish and chips to be had along the coast! Mum also did a proper roast lamb dinner, which is something we simply don't do at home and just the sort of thing you can rely on your mum for. And yes, there were pumpkin scones to be had too.

Not too many photos because I developed some wierdy rash (all that pure rain water!) and got a bit lazy with the hair but here I am with the little horses.

The main thrill of the holiday was the wildlife action. I've really only seen one koala in the wild, on a long and tedious drive across the country from Perth to Sydney way back in my youth. There are apparently heaps of koalas out mum's way but they've so far been maddeningly elusive. I've heard rumours of them but the usually only show their furry faces by sauntering casually up the drive 30 seconds after I've driven off. Until this holiday! It was a koala spotting safari! Apart from not having really seen them before, I had no idea that they made a noise. And what a noise they make - like a cross between an angry pig and a giant bullfrog. It's astonishing that they can rouse themselves to make such a racket - to call them laid back is an understatement. Documentary evidence is thin on the ground but here's an action shot of one of the little devils scooting along from one tree to another.

The coach and train ride took years off my life but I was saved from mental breakdown a) because the coach goes through Koroit, which is Devondale dairy country and the cows really do look like this:
b) I had a new Agatha Christie that I hadn't read for years and I'd forgotten who'd dunnit. There really isn't anything more appropriate for train travel than Agatha.

I got home to find the house in the midst of home renovation hell. Things are looking lovely now so I shall draw a veil over the few dust filled days we endured. All I can say is that Mr C is an incredibly thorough and painstaking home handyman (my contributions being limited to making cups of coffee and encouraging noises) and that the woodwork in our bathroom is now looking lovely, clean and mould free! Sadly, the bright woodwork is now contrasting poorly with the mouldy grouting. Enter home renovation project number 2...