izmeina: (bigsmilie)
A certain anniversary looms on the horizon and Izzie cannot help but think how very much different things are now but also strangely similar

The memory of an event always seems somewhat stronger around the time of year it occurred and even more so when the days and dates coincide

This makes the Christmas of 2007 and even 2001 much more vivid than last year’s. That was a Sunday and the other two were on Tuesdays and the last two of those three Tuesdays were hotter than hell

After a particularly miserable year in 2001 decided to try wipe the slate clean for 2002. In aid of this noble aim adopted a mantra inspired by the spirals in a rather geekish book entitled “e - the story of a number” and a favourite quote from the recently read first four Potter books. While “There is no good or evil - only power and those too weak to seek it” was by far the most favourite quote, it was not exactly the sort of thing suitable for an idealistic beginning to a brand new untainted year

That honour went to a sentence from “The Chamber of Secrets” “It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities”
In only two days this combination had yielded fruit and the present serpent incarnation suddenly and most unexpectedly came into being. It was a most wondrous and magical time. Things that had seemed impossible had become effortless and a grumpy lump of misery became a bright and bubbly effervescent and very mischievous creature. This was not a one day wonder but lasted a good two years before the magic slowly yielded to mundane reality. Even the Dursleys noticed and suspected the involvement of illicit mind altering substances

While the magic shield retained its power, Izzie felt much happier, had more energy and strangely attracted all sorts of wonderful people and things in both the mundane and virtual worlds. All of this took place with no effort or will at all unlike all those previous exhausting and futile attempts to change

Spent a good while since then trying to understand this strange and mysterious process and lamented how the magic slowly faded into oblivion. But the memory remained and the hope that once again its transformative power could be resurrected.

In search of the Word )

When good intentions and will power don’t work then it’s time to get sneaky and use imagination instead. Visions of a winged feather light serpent flying above and beyond all that heavy soul destroying stuff and leaving it all behind just might work where all those schedules, timetables and nagging inner critics didn’t.

The Mayan feathered serpent didn’t bring the trail of destruction that the doom sayers predicted so an Izzie incarnation shouldn’t do too much harm either. Fluffy angel white wings or a pale shade of silver should go well with those emerald scales.
Only a couple of more days now before it’s finally time to unleash the bright shiny new inner beast

2013 will once again be The Year of the Serpent
izmeina: (Default)
A certain anniversary looms on the horizon and Izzie cannot help but think how very much different things are now but also strangely similar

The memory of an event always seems somewhat stronger around the time of year it occurred and even more so when the days and dates coincide

This makes the Christmas of 2007 and even 2001 much more vivid than last year’s. That was a Sunday and the other two were on Tuesdays and the last two of those three Tuesdays were hotter than hell

After a particularly miserable year in 2001 decided to try wipe the slate clean for 2002. In aid of this noble aim adopted a mantra inspired by the spirals in a rather geekish book entitled “e - the story of a number” and a favourite quote from the recently read first four Potter books. While “There is no good or evil - only power and those too weak to seek it” was by far the most favourite quote, it was not exactly the sort of thing suitable for an idealistic beginning to a brand new untainted year

That honour went to a sentence from “The Chamber of Secrets” “It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities”
In only two days this combination had yielded fruit and the present serpent incarnation suddenly and most unexpectedly came into being. It was a most wondrous and magical time. Things that had seemed impossible had become effortless and a grumpy lump of misery became a bright and bubbly effervescent and very mischievous creature. This was not a one day wonder but lasted a good two years before the magic slowly yielded to mundane reality. Even the Dursleys noticed and suspected the involvement of illicit mind altering substances

While the magic shield retained its power, Izzie felt much happier, had more energy and strangely attracted all sorts of wonderful people and things in both the mundane and virtual worlds. All of this took place with no effort or will at all unlike all those previous exhausting and futile attempts to change

Spent a good while since then trying to understand this strange and mysterious process and lamented how the magic slowly faded into oblivion. But the memory remained and the hope that once again its transformative power could be resurrected.

In search of the Word )

When good intentions and will power don’t work then it’s time to get sneaky and use imagination instead. Visions of a winged feather light serpent flying above and beyond all that heavy soul destroying stuff and leaving it all behind just might work where all those schedules, timetables and nagging inner critics didn’t.

The Mayan feathered serpent didn’t bring the trail of destruction that the doom sayers predicted so an Izzie incarnation shouldn’t do too much harm either. Fluffy angel white wings or a pale shade of silver should go well with those emerald scales.
Only a couple of more days now before it’s finally time to unleash the bright shiny new inner beast

2013 will once again be The Year of the Serpent
izmeina: (Default)
It is most silly of this serpent to be indulging in nostalgia especially when this very day in 2001 which marked the descent into three weeks of complete misery with a dozen Dementors for company

Today was a veritable picnic in comparison but still jinxed and miserable. At times it seemed the clouds of doom and gloom would depart but such illusions were soon shattered

Had decided to commemorate the occasion by paying a visit to the old lunatic asylum along with the very cute carriage cafe which celebrates its 100th birthday some time this December.

Neither of those things were on the agenda for Wednesday 12th December 2001 which was so disgustingly hot and muggy that even the anniversary celebrations of Marconi’s radio at Wireless Hill could not tempt this miserable muggle out of the house

The point of the visit to the asylum and the cafe was for a feast of squiggling. Not just a bunch of Christmas cards which should really have been all posted by now. It was supposed to be a ritual for banishing the beastly Dementors. It’s worked wonderfully before and maybe it would again.
But once again the misery magnet was working overtime. Around 2pm while sitting on the deck at the carriage cafe it started raining down in buckets. Had picked a spot with an umbrella but using a fountain pen with emerald ink was tempting fate

This also meant abandoning plans to go to the lunatic asylum from 3 to 5pm since the most inspiring places to squiggle are all outside under the shade of the plane trees. So pottered off to the wonderful New Edition book store instead with its cafe and lots of old fashioned tables and proper wooden cafe chairs and trying to avoid getting soaked in the process
It did help having narrowed down the present problems to one central issue. That dark grimoire four of pentacles with the creepy corpse sitting in a chair clutching a book to his chest with his cold dead hands summed up the problem most magnificently

Many moons ago had made numerous attempts to solve the problem of being very easily upset over the silliest smallest things. Would go completely murderous in the old skull but managed to avoid outward displays of such rage except in safe environments such as at home alone. But one day the old luck might run out and all hell would break loose with some possibly nasty consequences
Absolutely nothing worked at all and every attempt to destroy or dampen this rather short fuse just ended in failure. Until one day it happened with absolutely no effort whatsoever

But nature abhors a vacuum and the inner beasts soon found new ways to channel their evil intent. What used to be the odd spare tyre has turned into the Michelin warehouse, what used to be the well stocked pantry is now full of stuff long past its use by date, there’s a veritable menagerie of cute and cuddly creatures lingering around the lair and as for books. We thinks it was Kaasirpent who found the wonderful quote that books breed like rabbits but book shelves breed like elephants (Izzie would have suggested unicorns)

Hubble bubble, toil and trouble )
izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (Haunted house)
It is most silly of this serpent to be indulging in nostalgia especially when this very day in 2001 which marked the descent into three weeks of complete misery with a dozen Dementors for company

Today was a veritable picnic in comparison but still jinxed and miserable. At times it seemed the clouds of doom and gloom would depart but such illusions were soon shattered

Had decided to commemorate the occasion by paying a visit to the old lunatic asylum along with the very cute carriage cafe which celebrates its 100th birthday some time this December.

Neither of those things were on the agenda for Wednesday 12th December 2001 which was so disgustingly hot and muggy that even the anniversary celebrations of Marconi’s radio at Wireless Hill could not tempt this miserable muggle out of the house

The point of the visit to the asylum and the cafe was for a feast of squiggling. Not just a bunch of Christmas cards which should really have been all posted by now. It was supposed to be a ritual for banishing the beastly Dementors. It’s worked wonderfully before and maybe it would again.
But once again the misery magnet was working overtime. Around 2pm while sitting on the deck at the carriage cafe it started raining down in buckets. Had picked a spot with an umbrella but using a fountain pen with emerald ink was tempting fate

This also meant abandoning plans to go to the lunatic asylum from 3 to 5pm since the most inspiring places to squiggle are all outside under the shade of the plane trees. So pottered off to the wonderful New Edition book store instead with its cafe and lots of old fashioned tables and proper wooden cafe chairs and trying to avoid getting soaked in the process
It did help having narrowed down the present problems to one central issue. That dark grimoire four of pentacles with the creepy corpse sitting in a chair clutching a book to his chest with his cold dead hands summed up the problem most magnificently

Many moons ago had made numerous attempts to solve the problem of being very easily upset over the silliest smallest things. Would go completely murderous in the old skull but managed to avoid outward displays of such rage except in safe environments such as at home alone. But one day the old luck might run out and all hell would break loose with some possibly nasty consequences
Absolutely nothing worked at all and every attempt to destroy or dampen this rather short fuse just ended in failure. Until one day it happened with absolutely no effort whatsoever

But nature abhors a vacuum and the inner beasts soon found new ways to channel their evil intent. What used to be the odd spare tyre has turned into the Michelin warehouse, what used to be the well stocked pantry is now full of stuff long past its use by date, there’s a veritable menagerie of cute and cuddly creatures lingering around the lair and as for books. We thinks it was Kaasirpent who found the wonderful quote that books breed like rabbits but book shelves breed like elephants (Izzie would have suggested unicorns)

Hubble bubble, toil and trouble )
izmeina: (Default)
The serpent’s sorting and decluttering schedule has well and truly been derailed by a certain toadish creature who shall remain nameless. Not only has it all come to an abrupt end but the Izzie has regressed to some ridiculously silly and irrational behaviour in the last four weeks or so.

Started off so well this month with all those good intentions not to buy any munchies other than milk and the occasional loaf of bread and certainly no books of any kind unless acquiring book cases or shelves to put them in.

Of course each one of these new books in itself is harmless enough. It is the slowly accumulating collection that is the problem and the increasing tendency to start a story but not to finish it. Already abandoned Stephen King’s “Cell” for something shorter and snappier as the story seems to be taking ages to get moving along. His short stories are definitely much better than most of the novels.

It started ever so innocently last Wednesday with a walk past the gorgeous good old fashioned Elizabeth’s book shop. There was a big stash of bargain basement books most of which were dust covered pulp fiction. One of these included the intriguingly titled “Interview with the Vampire” by one Anne Rice. This story has rather a good reputation and with a price tag of a mere two silver sickles plus a desire to banish the memories of sparkly silliness, it was just too good to resist. A bunch of American atheist vampires are much more interesting than bright and shiny sparkly special snow flakes. A rave review on the inside page from “The Catholic Herald” proved to be temptation beyond endurance.

Angels and Devils )
izmeina: spooky shadowy squid (scary squid)
The serpent’s sorting and decluttering schedule has well and truly been derailed by a certain toadish creature who shall remain nameless. Not only has it all come to an abrupt end but the Izzie has regressed to some ridiculously silly and irrational behaviour in the last four weeks or so.

Started off so well this month with all those good intentions not to buy any munchies other than milk and the occasional loaf of bread and certainly no books of any kind unless acquiring book cases or shelves to put them in.

Of course each one of these new books in itself is harmless enough. It is the slowly accumulating collection that is the problem and the increasing tendency to start a story but not to finish it. Already abandoned Stephen King’s “Cell” for something shorter and snappier as the story seems to be taking ages to get moving along. His short stories are definitely much better than most of the novels.

It started ever so innocently last Wednesday with a walk past the gorgeous good old fashioned Elizabeth’s book shop. There was a big stash of bargain basement books most of which were dust covered pulp fiction. One of these included the intriguingly titled “Interview with the Vampire” by one Anne Rice. This story has rather a good reputation and with a price tag of a mere two silver sickles plus a desire to banish the memories of sparkly silliness, it was just too good to resist. A bunch of American atheist vampires are much more interesting than bright and shiny sparkly special snow flakes. A rave review on the inside page from “The Catholic Herald” proved to be temptation beyond endurance.

Angels and Devils )
izmeina: (Default)
In an attempt to be organized recently bought two bright shiny expanding folders. The bright lime green one is for packets of seeds sorted by month and season and the lurid pink one for bits and bobs, scraps of paper and articles that don’t really fit anywhere else.
But while 18 brown pockets might be all right for seeds, it is not so useful for other stuff. Had already considered clearing out the contents of an old folder and assigning it to this new purpose. But like so many other good intentions this one ended up in the too hard basket. That was until tonight.

Bills and things )
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Roz)
In an attempt to be organized recently bought two bright shiny expanding folders. The bright lime green one is for packets of seeds sorted by month and season and the lurid pink one for bits and bobs, scraps of paper and articles that don’t really fit anywhere else.
But while 18 brown pockets might be all right for seeds, it is not so useful for other stuff. Had already considered clearing out the contents of an old folder and assigning it to this new purpose. But like so many other good intentions this one ended up in the too hard basket. That was until tonight.

Bills and things )
izmeina: (Default)
After last Friday decided that having the occasional ‘Do Nothing Day” would be a good idea. It’s less about being a lazy serpent and more about not rushing around like a headless chook and taking time to smell the roses

Due to signing up for a freebie this evening at the council library, decided to not potter off to the city but to do some gardening and slink about in the coffee shops reading the papers, a chapter or two of “Carrie” and God Forbid - even attending to a certain long overdue letter that has been put on the long finger of procrastination for nearly two months now

The original plan was to go by bus to the library and then walk to the usual cafe. But it turned out to be a stuffy grey sort of day and not nice weather for walking. Figured it would make more sense just to go to shops down the road which also had cafes and a post office and then get a bus at the last minute to be at the library by 6pm to attend the free presentation with the intriguing title “Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget”

So leaving the Lair just after 1pm would leave plenty of time for lurking and sniffing about and no excuse not to get some serious squiggling done.

Not sure if it was the quiet and peaceful day of reflection, plotting and planning last Friday but been in a chirpy cheerful and optimistic mood since then. They occur so seldom lately that it is a good idea to make the most of it. So Tuesday evening found Izzie sorting out the kitchen cupboards, tidying, tossing and doing all sorts of domesticated things.

Decided to strike while the iron was hot and in less than five minutes had written a letter that had been the subject of nearly two months of procrastination. Wrote two versions, one with and one without the date. Had always been meaning to get around to the infernal thing but invariably only ever thought about it in the middle of night or at work or some place where action was not possible. But last night got out some writing paper and a quarterly statement with the relevant details and put them in the 12th April page of the little black diary. Took less than five minutes to complete. Such a pointless waste of energy procrastinating for all that time.

Returned to the Lair just before 8pm and heard that they would be broadcasting the final episode of a recent radio play of Hamlet at 9pm. So figured it might be a good idea to leave the lurking online until later and to spend the time fussing about in the kitchen cupboards while tuned to the murder, madness and mayhem.

This silly seemingly simple rule of “Toss ten things” daily is slowly paying off. It is small enough not to awaken the inner Smaug who loves collecting and hoarding bright shiny things but big enough to keep the flame of good intentions flickering and to slowly develop good habits.
The first of these habits was to keep new stuff from lingering and lurking while slowly tackling the big fat dusty backlog. All junk mail gets dumped the same day it arrives now instead of ending up in the ever increasing ‘get around to looking at it later’ pile

So often in the past the grand binges of decluttering would end in a sudden crash and abandonment of the project for what seemed like centuries. But a recent reframing of the issue from getting rid of stuff to making room for bright shiny new possibilities has helped enormously. Got the inspiration from a book called “It’s All Too Much” which most suitably was obtained from a public library.

Not sure how long the present state of irrational exuberance will last for but will be making the most of it until the inevitable crash. Or maybe simply the decision to change has itself been the source of all this new found energy and other seriously strange coincidences.

Tonight’s interesting talk seemed to provide yet another piece to this strange puzzle. Strange how the teacher magically appears whenever the serpent is ready to learn

Will be doing something completely strange and unexpected tomorrow to celebrate Black Friday. Will report on the results some time tomorrow evening. It should be most interesting indeed
izmeina: curly green leaf spiral (koru)
After last Friday decided that having the occasional ‘Do Nothing Day” would be a good idea. It’s less about being a lazy serpent and more about not rushing around like a headless chook and taking time to smell the roses

Due to signing up for a freebie this evening at the council library, decided to not potter off to the city but to do some gardening and slink about in the coffee shops reading the papers, a chapter or two of “Carrie” and God Forbid - even attending to a certain long overdue letter that has been put on the long finger of procrastination for nearly two months now

The original plan was to go by bus to the library and then walk to the usual cafe. But it turned out to be a stuffy grey sort of day and not nice weather for walking. Figured it would make more sense just to go to shops down the road which also had cafes and a post office and then get a bus at the last minute to be at the library by 6pm to attend the free presentation with the intriguing title “Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget”

So leaving the Lair just after 1pm would leave plenty of time for lurking and sniffing about and no excuse not to get some serious squiggling done.

Not sure if it was the quiet and peaceful day of reflection, plotting and planning last Friday but been in a chirpy cheerful and optimistic mood since then. They occur so seldom lately that it is a good idea to make the most of it. So Tuesday evening found Izzie sorting out the kitchen cupboards, tidying, tossing and doing all sorts of domesticated things.

Decided to strike while the iron was hot and in less than five minutes had written a letter that had been the subject of nearly two months of procrastination. Wrote two versions, one with and one without the date. Had always been meaning to get around to the infernal thing but invariably only ever thought about it in the middle of night or at work or some place where action was not possible. But last night got out some writing paper and a quarterly statement with the relevant details and put them in the 12th April page of the little black diary. Took less than five minutes to complete. Such a pointless waste of energy procrastinating for all that time.

Returned to the Lair just before 8pm and heard that they would be broadcasting the final episode of a recent radio play of Hamlet at 9pm. So figured it might be a good idea to leave the lurking online until later and to spend the time fussing about in the kitchen cupboards while tuned to the murder, madness and mayhem.

This silly seemingly simple rule of “Toss ten things” daily is slowly paying off. It is small enough not to awaken the inner Smaug who loves collecting and hoarding bright shiny things but big enough to keep the flame of good intentions flickering and to slowly develop good habits.
The first of these habits was to keep new stuff from lingering and lurking while slowly tackling the big fat dusty backlog. All junk mail gets dumped the same day it arrives now instead of ending up in the ever increasing ‘get around to looking at it later’ pile

So often in the past the grand binges of decluttering would end in a sudden crash and abandonment of the project for what seemed like centuries. But a recent reframing of the issue from getting rid of stuff to making room for bright shiny new possibilities has helped enormously. Got the inspiration from a book called “It’s All Too Much” which most suitably was obtained from a public library.

Not sure how long the present state of irrational exuberance will last for but will be making the most of it until the inevitable crash. Or maybe simply the decision to change has itself been the source of all this new found energy and other seriously strange coincidences.

Tonight’s interesting talk seemed to provide yet another piece to this strange puzzle. Strange how the teacher magically appears whenever the serpent is ready to learn

Will be doing something completely strange and unexpected tomorrow to celebrate Black Friday. Will report on the results some time tomorrow evening. It should be most interesting indeed
izmeina: (Default)
The sneaky serpent attempt to start at Year Zero from Thursday March is working reasonably well. Did get to spend the unofficial New Year’s Eve party at Cottesloe Beach lurking amongst all the gorgeous sculptures by the sea.

Was supposed to return to the Lair and do the ritual of diluting the week old ginger beer starter and bottling the end result. Ended up slinking and squiggling in Cyberia instead. It is not every day that you can get to post on 29th February.
The first day of the ‘new year’ got up much later than intended and did not catch the bus to the city until 2.30pm. Burqa girl from work was on the bus. She was surprised that the serpent recognized her hidden under all those layers of black. She did look some 20 years older but there was something about the way she moved that the Izzie knew it was her. We went for a coffee and the serpent got to hear all sorts of juicy and disgusting gossip. Yet another nail in the coffin of the goblins and another motive to not get mad but to get even. But that is a tale for another day

Just because a person is quiet and unassuming as well as not being particularly fluent in English does not mean that they are stupid. It so so brings back memories of the serpent’s D’land days.

Everyone should spend at least one year of their life at the bottom of the pecking order and preferably in a foreign country. It can be painful but is a way of learning certain facts about human nature that cannot be learned any other way

Then took a peek at the museum and the strange show “Home Sweet Home” which was a sort of DIY downtown Dursleyville where you ‘buy’ a card board fold out house or shop, decorate it and then join in the local community events. Such a pity to have discovered it on the second last day.

Friday included a visit to Fremantle and a two hour peak at those pretty sculptures at sunset. But the place was infested with squealing beasties
Will be back there again this Friday with a friend. Got to thinking that 2012 has been a serious overload of cultural activities. So there is no excuse for lack of inspiration
But now all the festivals are over, attention has returned to the Lair. Once again any serious planting of seeds has been put on hold thanks to the week of sizzling weather. But at least the sweet potato vine are enjoying the weather

Using the excuse of the ‘new year’ to stick to the ‘toss ten things a day’ plan. The Izzie needs to trick the inner clutter bug by going slowly and sneakily. Had been making serious progress way back in 2009 when suddenly hitting a ‘land mine’ a sort of muggle unplottable charm that makes every attempt at even considering chucking and tossing induce a serious state of distraction and tiredness.

Was doing a good job of clearing off the dining room table tonight when there was a sudden loud bang. The kitchen ceiling was covered with brown sap and a shrivelled plastic bottle lay on its side and a whole bunch of other objects were knocked over by the force. Ended up with three boxes of seriously soaked matches.
Got the other two bottles out of the house pretty quickly and managed to open the lids to release some of the pressure. Ventured to taste one of them and it is sort of muddy with no sweetness at all. Very gingery and beery but not sharp and bitey like the samples tasted at the Hulbert Street sustainability festival where we first seen this dark art demonstrated and got the recipe as well as a bottle of starter.

Maybe it would help to measure the ingredients properly next time. Also a large factor was not adding any lemon juice. This apparently adds the bite as well as slowing down the fermentation process.
But it was a fun chemistry experiment while it lasted. The next starter will be ready to be mixed on Thursday and this time with the lemon juice.
Dumped several of Petunia’s old microwave cook books that she had offloaded onto the Izzie. Vernon is a hoarder. She used to be too but has gotten it under control. One of her tricks was to give Izzie stuff that she no longer wanted

Did get manage to get rid of a stack of her patchwork and craft magazines tonight. Realized that it is the patterns and not the quilts that interest the Izzie. So off into the black bag they went, but did not have the heart to dump a magazine full of recipes for Christmas biscuits bought at a newsagent from the Izzie’s last day in Vienna in the 2006 Grand European Tour or two Apple magazines bought in Emden (the town where the fairy godmother presently resides)
This slushy sentimentality and attachment to the past and the objects that represent it is sad and silly. But knowing this tendency exists is the first step on the path to detachment
With a bit of luck, the toss ten things daily ritual will become an ingrained habit. Of course the whole point of this trick is just to get started. It is much less daunting than the thought of sorting out a whole room at once.

This room is full of tourist brochures and maps of Vienna, Berlin and Prague from way back in the 1990s along with lots of other smaller towns. Will just have to bite the bullet and toss the lot.
izmeina: (Crazy)
The sneaky serpent attempt to start at Year Zero from Thursday March is working reasonably well. Did get to spend the unofficial New Year’s Eve party at Cottesloe Beach lurking amongst all the gorgeous sculptures by the sea.

Was supposed to return to the Lair and do the ritual of diluting the week old ginger beer starter and bottling the end result. Ended up slinking and squiggling in Cyberia instead. It is not every day that you can get to post on 29th February.
The first day of the ‘new year’ got up much later than intended and did not catch the bus to the city until 2.30pm. Burqa girl from work was on the bus. She was surprised that the serpent recognized her hidden under all those layers of black. She did look some 20 years older but there was something about the way she moved that the Izzie knew it was her. We went for a coffee and the serpent got to hear all sorts of juicy and disgusting gossip. Yet another nail in the coffin of the goblins and another motive to not get mad but to get even. But that is a tale for another day

Just because a person is quiet and unassuming as well as not being particularly fluent in English does not mean that they are stupid. It so so brings back memories of the serpent’s D’land days.

Everyone should spend at least one year of their life at the bottom of the pecking order and preferably in a foreign country. It can be painful but is a way of learning certain facts about human nature that cannot be learned any other way

Then took a peek at the museum and the strange show “Home Sweet Home” which was a sort of DIY downtown Dursleyville where you ‘buy’ a card board fold out house or shop, decorate it and then join in the local community events. Such a pity to have discovered it on the second last day.

Friday included a visit to Fremantle and a two hour peak at those pretty sculptures at sunset. But the place was infested with squealing beasties
Will be back there again this Friday with a friend. Got to thinking that 2012 has been a serious overload of cultural activities. So there is no excuse for lack of inspiration
But now all the festivals are over, attention has returned to the Lair. Once again any serious planting of seeds has been put on hold thanks to the week of sizzling weather. But at least the sweet potato vine are enjoying the weather

Using the excuse of the ‘new year’ to stick to the ‘toss ten things a day’ plan. The Izzie needs to trick the inner clutter bug by going slowly and sneakily. Had been making serious progress way back in 2009 when suddenly hitting a ‘land mine’ a sort of muggle unplottable charm that makes every attempt at even considering chucking and tossing induce a serious state of distraction and tiredness.

Was doing a good job of clearing off the dining room table tonight when there was a sudden loud bang. The kitchen ceiling was covered with brown sap and a shrivelled plastic bottle lay on its side and a whole bunch of other objects were knocked over by the force. Ended up with three boxes of seriously soaked matches.
Got the other two bottles out of the house pretty quickly and managed to open the lids to release some of the pressure. Ventured to taste one of them and it is sort of muddy with no sweetness at all. Very gingery and beery but not sharp and bitey like the samples tasted at the Hulbert Street sustainability festival where we first seen this dark art demonstrated and got the recipe as well as a bottle of starter.

Maybe it would help to measure the ingredients properly next time. Also a large factor was not adding any lemon juice. This apparently adds the bite as well as slowing down the fermentation process.
But it was a fun chemistry experiment while it lasted. The next starter will be ready to be mixed on Thursday and this time with the lemon juice.
Dumped several of Petunia’s old microwave cook books that she had offloaded onto the Izzie. Vernon is a hoarder. She used to be too but has gotten it under control. One of her tricks was to give Izzie stuff that she no longer wanted

Did get manage to get rid of a stack of her patchwork and craft magazines tonight. Realized that it is the patterns and not the quilts that interest the Izzie. So off into the black bag they went, but did not have the heart to dump a magazine full of recipes for Christmas biscuits bought at a newsagent from the Izzie’s last day in Vienna in the 2006 Grand European Tour or two Apple magazines bought in Emden (the town where the fairy godmother presently resides)
This slushy sentimentality and attachment to the past and the objects that represent it is sad and silly. But knowing this tendency exists is the first step on the path to detachment
With a bit of luck, the toss ten things daily ritual will become an ingrained habit. Of course the whole point of this trick is just to get started. It is much less daunting than the thought of sorting out a whole room at once.

This room is full of tourist brochures and maps of Vienna, Berlin and Prague from way back in the 1990s along with lots of other smaller towns. Will just have to bite the bullet and toss the lot.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been one seriously lazy serpent.
Since Thursday the weather has been seriously gorgeous. Warm and breezy but still crisp and crunchy. Nothing at all like the appalling icky stickiness of previous days where the air was so thick with humidity you could almost feel yourself being crushed by it

On Thursday the main item on the agenda was a meeting at 6.30pm for a discussion group just joined on the topic of Wikileaks
Figured that we should go to that suburb a bit earlier than 5pm like last time when all the interesting shops and cafes were closed
Of special interest is a book shop with the intriguing title "Love and Hate" which specializes in romance, crime and thrillers. But that turned out to be still closed due to an extended Christmas holiday
The other was the Pottery gallery and cafe. Used to visit that place years ago for the annual Teapot show in the pottery gallery. The cafe was not there at the time
It is a beautiful old building with a tin pressed roof, stained glass windows and doors and is made of rusty old red brick.
Sat out in the garden down the back. You have to wake down the side of the old building to get to it and it seemed uncannily like the old haunt "Village Cafe" with the plane trees against the wall
This had citrus trees and lots of pots of various varieties of basil, thyme, oregano and mint
The fragrance was just gorgeous
Spent a good two and a half hours there. Would have been longer but they close at 4pm

It was the perfect place for peeking at the Paulina deck - the one opened on New Years' even but not looked at.
Had also brought along the Victorian Romantic deck. This cafe will definitely be a nano inspiration lurking ground

The rest of the shopping strip was not so inspiring. Bottle shops and Boganville sorts of stores aplenty.

Then there was a visit to a very beautiful old pub that has now been converted to a cafe which was the location for the evening's meeting

Turned out that all of this newness in the wake of a week of draining weather must have been too much for the serpent senses.
The following days was even more gorgeous but had well and truly crashed
Ended up spending the day lurking around the Lair pottering in the garden and sorting out stuff

Doing quite well on the decluttering and tidying front. Decided that it is better to do one thing a day no matter how small to keep up the momentum rather than feasting and fasting which always ends up with less feasting and more fasting and then getting nothing done at all

Tossed out all the groceries receipts from the serpent purse thinking that if we were too busy to sort them out and put the totals in the little black scrooge book then it would be no more likely we would find time this year. And what did it matter anyway? So out they went. The purse feels so much leaner and meaner with lots more space for bright shiny notes now

Out want all of last year's atm receipts too since there is no reason to keep once they have been verified against the quarterly bank statements

The big one is the piles of unsorted books, old newspapers and the odd deck of cards or two. Started on that yesterday as we needed to have something to show for wasting a whole day
Did also get started on nano plotting and planning by doing the first two Wriye world building exercises but that's a story for another day

Only hoping that being so zonked on a Friday is not a sign of some evil bug lurking and ready to unleash itself
izmeina: (Crazy)
Izzie has been one seriously lazy serpent.
Since Thursday the weather has been seriously gorgeous. Warm and breezy but still crisp and crunchy. Nothing at all like the appalling icky stickiness of previous days where the air was so thick with humidity you could almost feel yourself being crushed by it

On Thursday the main item on the agenda was a meeting at 6.30pm for a discussion group just joined on the topic of Wikileaks
Figured that we should go to that suburb a bit earlier than 5pm like last time when all the interesting shops and cafes were closed
Of special interest is a book shop with the intriguing title "Love and Hate" which specializes in romance, crime and thrillers. But that turned out to be still closed due to an extended Christmas holiday
The other was the Pottery gallery and cafe. Used to visit that place years ago for the annual Teapot show in the pottery gallery. The cafe was not there at the time
It is a beautiful old building with a tin pressed roof, stained glass windows and doors and is made of rusty old red brick.
Sat out in the garden down the back. You have to wake down the side of the old building to get to it and it seemed uncannily like the old haunt "Village Cafe" with the plane trees against the wall
This had citrus trees and lots of pots of various varieties of basil, thyme, oregano and mint
The fragrance was just gorgeous
Spent a good two and a half hours there. Would have been longer but they close at 4pm

It was the perfect place for peeking at the Paulina deck - the one opened on New Years' even but not looked at.
Had also brought along the Victorian Romantic deck. This cafe will definitely be a nano inspiration lurking ground

The rest of the shopping strip was not so inspiring. Bottle shops and Boganville sorts of stores aplenty.

Then there was a visit to a very beautiful old pub that has now been converted to a cafe which was the location for the evening's meeting

Turned out that all of this newness in the wake of a week of draining weather must have been too much for the serpent senses.
The following days was even more gorgeous but had well and truly crashed
Ended up spending the day lurking around the Lair pottering in the garden and sorting out stuff

Doing quite well on the decluttering and tidying front. Decided that it is better to do one thing a day no matter how small to keep up the momentum rather than feasting and fasting which always ends up with less feasting and more fasting and then getting nothing done at all

Tossed out all the groceries receipts from the serpent purse thinking that if we were too busy to sort them out and put the totals in the little black scrooge book then it would be no more likely we would find time this year. And what did it matter anyway? So out they went. The purse feels so much leaner and meaner with lots more space for bright shiny notes now

Out want all of last year's atm receipts too since there is no reason to keep once they have been verified against the quarterly bank statements

The big one is the piles of unsorted books, old newspapers and the odd deck of cards or two. Started on that yesterday as we needed to have something to show for wasting a whole day
Did also get started on nano plotting and planning by doing the first two Wriye world building exercises but that's a story for another day

Only hoping that being so zonked on a Friday is not a sign of some evil bug lurking and ready to unleash itself

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