Goodies!

A few weeks ago I entered a competition on Instagram run by Notemaker and Dymocks to win a copy of Goodwood, the debut novel of Australian singer-wongwriter Holly Throsby and a new Two-Go Notebook by Moleskine. All I had to do was tell them what new hobby or skill I’d like to learn this spring.

Well that was easy – I’d just started my 30 days of cryptic crosswords challenge, so that’s what I said.

I entered and forgot all about it – and was very excited when Notemaker contacted me to tell me I’d won! I then had to decide what colour notebook I wanted – there are four colours: raspberry/green, light blue/pink, blue/yellow and ash/raspberry. They all looked lovely and I couldn’t decide, so I asked Kramstable to choose for me. He chose the raspberry.

My prizes have arrived!

20161101-prize-1

I haven’t started reading Goodwood yet, but it looks like a novel I’ll really enjoy. Anything described as “a little bit Twin Peaks and a little bit Picnic at Hanging Rock” (Hannah Richell, Australian Women’s Weekly) is going to get me interested. I’m guessing the town of Goodwood, where the story is set, is not the Hobart suburb of Goodwood! It’s next on my reading list and I’ll be sure to do a write-up when I’ve read it.

The little notebook is lovely, and I’m not sure what I’ll use it for yet. I like the normal Moleskine books because they are slightly narrower than an A5 book (21 x 13 cm) and I find them very comfortable to use. The Two-Gos are smaller still, 11.5 x 18 cm, so basically the same width as my Midori Travelers Notebook, and about 4 cm shorter.

20161105-lamy-midori-moleskine

Because it’s the same width as the Midori, it sits nicely on top of it (see ^^^) and has  given me the idea of using this book as a catch-all/journal to carry round with my Midori, which I’m using as a diary next year. (The technicalities of how I’m using my Midori are beyond this post and require a degree of initiation into the Cult of Midori to appreciate.)

The Two-Go has a lovely contrasting colour inside the front and back covers.

20161101-prize-3

And doesn’t the green go nicely with my pretty new Lamy pen? (Yes it does.)

The final interesting feature is that the pages are plain on one side and lined on the other, which means you could (if you were learning to draw, for example) do some drawing practice on one side and take notes on the other. If that was your thing.

20161101-prize-4

The book has 144 pages and two bookmarks, as well as the back pocket that most Moleskine notebooks have. The cover is hard canvas, so it has a lovely textured feel.

Time will tell whether this is the journal solution I’ve been looking for, but I really like the look of this notebook, so all I’ll have to do is get over the fear of the blank page and write in it!

Thank you Dymocks and Notemaker for your very generous prizes. I was thrilled to receive them.

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Counting and running as I go

Counting and running as I go
New Norfolk, Australia

New Norfolk, Australia


In February 1979, our family packed up my father’s baby-spew green Datsun 180B (apparently the actual name of this shade is Datsun Spring Lime. Who knew.) and embarked on the biggest adventure of my life up to that point.

(Thank you Wikipedia for the image of the car.)

Our destination: Adelaide, where my father would be spending the whole year at university, and we were going with him for a two-week holiday before he packed us on the train to Melbourne (from where we’d catch a plane home) and headed off to campus life.

The trip would take us two days, and all I can remember of the planning stage was that my mother kept telling us how hot it was going to be (the 180B had the classic 480 aircon), and we saved up all our spare change so we could buy ice creams on the way. I seem to recall that Golden Gaytimes were quite the thing back then.

We’d booked a self-contained beachside unit across the road from West Beach near Glenelg. For some reason, I still have some of the paperwork and tickets from this trip, and according to the internet, the units are still there – or if it’s not the same ones, they have the same name, Sea Vista.

We travelled over on the Empress of Australia. I don’t remember much about this, or even the drive. We took the inland route rather than the Great Ocean Road, and we stopped overnight on the first day in Mount Gambier. I can remember the stunning Blue Lake we saw while we were there. I can also remember we went via the Coorong on the second day, which was exciting for me because the movie Storm Boy was filmed there, and I wondered if the kid who had been in the movie would be there and if we’d meet him. (Not surprisingly, he wasn’t and we didn’t.)

My memories are fairly hazy of the trip, but I know we went to the zoo and a marine centre, we took the tram, we went in some pedal boats on the River Torrens, we bought lollies at Darrell Lea, and we spent most mornings on the beach. Lil Sis and I befriended a cat, which inspired us (in our father’s absence) to wear our mother down about getting a cat once we were home. I can also remember quite vividly Lil Sis ‘barking’ back at a dog that barked at us, and it being completely bewildered by this.

The reason for this wander down memory lane is that in 2002 Slabs and I thought we’d do a similar trip on our honeymoon, but take the Great Ocean Road, as neither of us had been there. For reasons related to the Ansett collapse it never happened, and we did something completely different. But we always wanted to drive the Great Ocean Road, and after we fulfilled our New Zealand dream last year, we decided this would be the year.

We’re doing the trip in July rather than the September school holidays because it’s winter, so we’re hoping it will be less busy because everyone will be in Queensland to escape the cold. (Right?) We’ll have a couple of days in Bacchus Marsh first with Slabs’ family before we set off. This will include a trip to Sovereign Hill, where I vaguely remember going as part of a school trip to Victoria in primary school. (I’m yet to figure out how this happened, because I don’t know anyone before or since who has had a primary school trip to the mainland, and it seems now that school trips, at least in primary school, are pretty much things of the past. Ahhh, Camp Clayton, Port Sorell, you are the stuff dreams are made of.)

Post Great Ocean Road, we’ll go through some of the places we passed through when I was a child, so it will be interesting to see if I remember any of them. I doubt it, and expect they will have changed a lot. I have vivid memories of the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, but suspect this is because I have one of those old off-centre square photos from the old camera (with the 126 film cartridge) I took with me, rather than an actual memory of the lake.

Today’s packing day. I’m giving my trusty Midori a break and trying out a different travel journal for this trip. That’s the one on the blog title. It’s by Mark’s, and must be the first journal I’ve ever bought that has instructions on how to use it (in Japanese). Kramstable will also be keeping a travel journal, and making a video of our trip. He’s decided not to do a travel blog this trip, so it’s all up to me.

12 of 12 October 2015 (the Zoe edition)

If you got lost a while back, we’ve just returned from a two-week holiday in New Zealand. You can check out our adventures over at my TravelPod blog http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/sleepydwarf/2/tpod.html

Zoe and five of the other teddies came with us, and they had a great time too. Yesterday Kramstable (aka Juniordwarf) told me that Zoe would be spending the whole week with me.

So today’s 12 of 12 is “Things Zoe did today”.

1 of 12 – Zoe on the bus with me and Kramstable.

1 of 12 - Zoe on the bus

1 of 12 – Zoe on the bus

2 of 12 – After two weeks away I had no coffee either at home or at work. This required urgent rectification.

2 of 12 - Coffee

2 of 12 – Coffee

3 of 12 – We also needed some cash.

3 of 12 - Cash

3 of 12 – Cash

4 of 12 – Kramstable said that I’d do half the typing I needed to do today and Zoe would do the other half.

4 of 12 - Typing

4 of 12 – Typing

5 of 12 – Last time I took Zoe in to work and she watched the building site, she (a) got photographed looking out the window by someone on the street outside and (b) got left behind overnight. Kramstable was very insistent that she not get left at work again.

5 of 12 - Watching

5 of 12 – Watching

6 of 12 – My driver licence expires tomorrow. When we were organising the rental car in Christchurch, the guy asked me if I knew when it expired. Yes haha. I thought I’d better do something about that today.

6 of 12 - Service Tasmania

6 of 12 – Service Tasmania

7 of 12 – We picked up some sourdough bread from Pigeon Whole in Argyle Street. This is the Best Bread Ever.

7 of 12 - Bread

7 of 12 – Bread

8 of 12 – Zoe tried on some shoes at Faulls. (I didn’t.) They were a bit big.

8 of 12 - Shoes

8 of 12 – Shoes

9 of 12 – We looked at some notebooks at Fullers. We didn’t buy any. (Somewhere along the line she lost one of her hair ties.)

9 of 12 - Notebooks

9 of 12 – Notebooks

10 of 12 – Zoe did some photocopying and scanning for me.

10 of 12 - Photocopying

10 of 12 – Photocopying

11 of 12 – I had a couple of computer problems. Our system conveniently got upgraded while I was away and not everything worked, so Zoe called the IT Helpdesk for me.

11 of 12 - Phoning the helpdesk

11 of 12 – Phoning the helpdesk

12 of 12 – Zoe and I were very careful to stay hydrated all day.

12 of 12 - Hydration is very important

12 of 12 – Hydration is very important

Less than a week to go (not that I’m counting)

Less than a week to go (not that I’m counting)
New Norfolk, Australia

New Norfolk, Australia


It’s a weird feeling, knowing that at this time last year I was somewhere over the South China Sea on the way to London (via the long walk to nowhere at Dubai airport). I still haven’t sorted through the 4500 or so photos from that 2-week trip (not all mine!) or decided where to put all my tacky souvenirs. I really must get onto that.

Juniordwarf still tells me how much he missed me.

Not to worry! This time he’s coming.

Slabs and I have been planning our New Zealand trip for about 15 years, and have almost done it twice, but each time something’s come up and we’ve spent the money on crazy things like moving to Tasmania.

This year everything has fallen into place and it’s time to finally take the trip. Juniordwarf is old enough that we’re ready to take him on a longer holiday, we have the money and we got the time off work. We started booking things back in November last year, so it seems like it’s taken forever to get to this point.

In a way it’s felt like this trip has been a lot easier to organise than the UK trip. Maybe because I went through all the (almost) first time overseas angst last year, or maybe because we aren’t going halfway across the world this time.

I know what travel money options work for me, I know that my travel handbag was a good choice, and I’ve pre-purchased a NZ sim card for my phone, so I don’t have to worry about any of those things – all things that took a lot of time to work through last year.

We booked everything ourselves (or rather Slabs did. I just sat back and watched), which meant mucking about with travel agents, and we’re renting a car, so there’s none of the fun I had last year working through train timetables and route maps to get us to where we need to be. We don’t need such precision planning this time!

So it’s been a lot easier and taken a lot less time to get the trip organised.

I’ve made a lot of lists (the planner freak is happy), set up my travel journal (I’ll be taking my trusty Midori Travelers Notebook with me again), and have been checking the weather in some of the places we’re going (*adds more winter clothes to packing list*).

It’s getting a bit exciting!

12 of 12 May 2015

Better late than never . . .

Today was forecast to be a day of wild weather, with severe weather warnings left right and centre.

I was home today, which meant I had to make sure the fire stayed alight, that the buckets were under the right place in the laundry to catch the drips and that the chickens didn’t get eaten by feral cats. Actually I don’t think the feral cats were out today. They’re all in cavity between the dining room floor and my study ceiling. At least that’s what it sounds like. That or an actual person is in there. Maybe an escapee cannibal convict. Just my luck.

1 of 12 – I imagine that 59 k/h gust of wind is what woke me up at stupid o’clock, after a night it took me hours to actually get to sleep.

Wind gust. Thanks.

Wind gust. Thanks.

2 of 12 – All the warnings.

20150512-02 Current weather3 of 12 – The main street reflected in Flywheel’s window. I wish they were open on Tuesdays!

20150512-03 Flywheel4 of 12 – This is the former Woolworths supermarket. Something is going on in here. I’ve heard rumours, but I don’t know.

20150512-04 Old Woolies5 of 12 – It was replaced by this.

20150512-05 New Woolies6 of 12 – The old timber yard and dry cleaner and café have been demolished to make way for a hardware store, garden centre and 52 car car park.

20150512-06B Timber Yard7 of 12 – The other side. A big puddle and some diggers.

20150512-07A Timber Yard8 of 12 – You know how you go into second-hand and antique shops and you see stuff you used to have in your house when you were a kid? I present this example.

20150512-08 Antique Shop9 of 12 – This was The Spud Hut for a couple of months, with local veggies. It’s been closed since Anzac Day when their front window was smashed, and they’ve decided not to re-open their retail outlet.

20150512-09 Closed10 of 12 – The old site of Banjo’s, the lolly shop and Sintonic, which burnt down in 2012 and has sat unused since. They are now making it into a small park until the owners decide what to do with it. The work started last week and it’s meant to be open by the end of the month.

20150512-10 Lees Corner11 of 12 – I’m trialling a new notebook setup before I commit to buying another Midori-style book.

20150512-11 Notebook12 of 12 – I bought this very funky purple screw-on desk lamp a couple of weeks ago so that I can see what I’m doing when I’m cultbooking.

20150512-12 Desk Light

Week in review: 9-15 February 2015

This week’s goals:

  1. 16,000 steps per day – 7/7 days
  2. [Private goal] – 0/7 days
  3. Go to bed before 11.30pm – 1/7 days (close on 3 other nights)

Monday was a public holiday, so no work and no school. Hooray! Juniordwarf and I made a start on cleaning up his bedroom. Not hooray!

Under an 8 year old’s bed. A place no one should ever have to go.

At least I finally managed to get him to start thinking about things he didn’t want or need any more, and start getting rid of some things. This is progress.

I’ve not done this ‘bed before 11.30’ thing very well. I did go to bed before, well let’s say midnight on Monday, but my body decided to compensate for that by waking me up at 4 am on Tuesday. How considerate of it.

On Wednesday I got my 5th strawberry off my plants. $10 for 6 plants, 5 strawberries = $2 per strawberry. Gourmet gardening!

I also learned a valuable lesson. Juniordwarf has a cheap writing pad that was sitting on the dining table. I was sitting at the table after dinner and picked up a pen and started doodling on his writing pad. He saw it a bit later and asked why I’d done that.

I said that I’d just wanted to scribble a bit.

He looked very upset with me and said, ‘But that’s my paper and you didn’t ask permission.’

My first instinct was to think that it was only a cheap writing pad, and why would I need his permission, since I probably gave it to him in the first place. But I somehow managed to think before I spoke, and it occurred to me that he was right. It was his writing pad and I hadn’t asked if I could write on it. I knew I’d be really annoyed if it was one of my notebooks and he’d scribbled in it – so why would his notepad mean any less to him than my notebook means to me?

So I apologised and I really meant it. He accepted that and asked that I not to this again. Then he went and got another sheet of paper from somewhere and put it on top of the pad to replace the sheet I’d used. Then we both moved on.

An important lesson

An important lesson

Speaking of stationery, my favourite stationery store Notemaker tweeted this link about ‘Why grown women really fetish stunning stationery’. The author says that the Midori Travelers Notebook ‘ has space for 3 inserts from a range of handy and practical refills and accessories’. I suggested that with only 3 inserts, she hadn’t tried very hard. Mine has 7 inserts, including 4 books. Yes, you really can fit that many in. It looks like this:
Cult of Midori

Cult of Midori

On Wednesday we got 3 eggs – both of the new chickens are now laying. After their initial reluctance to roost at night, they’re now roosting with the other chooks, but haven’t worked out that the nesting box is the place to lay the eggs. They’ve been laying underneath the perches. This requires something of a contortionist effort both to get the eggs and to put the perches, which they invariably knock off, back into place.
Little eggs

Little eggs

Thursday was 12 of 12, so you know about that already.

On Friday I went to the first scrapbooking class for the year. We usually have a break over December and January and go back when school goes back. I finished one page from 2013. In 3 hours. Yeah I’m good at this (ha). I also started to design a layout for a taste test I did in 2013 of 2 different varieties of Two Metre Tall Forester Ale. Because occasionally I do a page that doesn’t feature Juniordwarf.

Scrapbook layout plan

Scrapbook layout plan

Then it was the weekend. We had some friends come to visit, and Juniordwarf had a great time with another kid in the house.

Next week’s goals:
1.  17,000 steps per day
2.  [Private goal]
3.  Go to bed before midnight (baby steps!)

 

12 of 12 November 2014

12 of 12 November 2014

I missed the last couple of months of 12 of 12, but I’m back now. I have the September photos, I just haven’t done anything with them. As for October, I completely forgot. I also forgot to do 13 of 13 amd 14 of 14, so I gave up.

12 November was a Wednesday and I went to work. It was one of those days where nothing unusal happened. So this is it.

1 of 12 – I dyed my hair red a month ago so I could attend the radio station trivia night as Molly Ringwald. It was supposed to last 8 washes. I didn’t read the bit that said on blonde hair it might take longer to wash out and/or stain your hair.

20141112-01 Hair is still red edit

2 of 12 – Today is Stingie’s first birthday. He’s a teddy Juniordwarf got from one of the pub teddy machines. He’s Danielle’s last baby before she died. Stingie isn’t here to celebrate his birthday as he’s away in Oz with Juniordwarf.

20141112-02 Stingie's birthday edit3 of 12 – My sourdough starter survived 3 weeks of neglect. Just. I need to use it to make something. Probably bread.

20141112-03 Sourdough starter edit4 of 12 – Juniordwarf has started having showers in the morning, and today he wanted to use the hairdryer.

20141112-04B Hairdryer edit5 of 12 – Work is progressing on the Parliament Square site and activity has increased over the past few weeks.

20141112-05 Ground Level edit6 of 12 – This is the new Brooke Street Pier that was floated up the river into position on Sunday. I would have loved to have seen that.

20141112-06B Brooke Street Pier edit7 of 12 – Someone at work looked at this and asked if it was a joke. It’s not a joke. If you’re familiar with David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” program it will make sense to you. I’ve put parts of the system in place at work and am gradually refining it so it works for me. Once I have it up and running at work it will be time to fix up the half-arsed attempt I’ve made at home.

20141112-07 Getting things done edit8 of 12 – The ongoing dispute between the government and the public sector unions over job cuts and wage freezes. This isn’t the place to write about it, but it is not primarily about wages. It’s about the way the government chose to go about this.

20141112-08 Strike edit9 of 12 – This is an old swimming pool complex in Hobart, which has been derelict for many years. It is apparently now going to be redeveloped.

20141112-09A Aquatic House edit10 of 12 – Juniordwarf and I went out for coffee after school.

20141112-10 Coffee at Pop edit11 of 12 – I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The challenge is to write a 50,000 words novel in the month of November. This equate to 1,667 words a day. I tried it once before, I think it was in 2001, where I got to about 20,000 words and had to stop because I was getting RSI. I’ve struggled the past few days because I have no idea where the novel is going.

20141112-11 NaNoWriMo edit12 of 12 – I’ve started carrying round one of these Rhodia No. 13 notepads with my Midori Travelers Notebook to act as a ‘scratch pad’ to write down things as they occur to me during the day so I can rip them off and put them where I need them, rather than have to rip pages out of my notebook.

20141112-12 Rhodia edit