izmeina: (Default)
It’s now 2 weeks into the Plastic Free July challenge which involves avoiding all single use plastics such as water bottles, take away coffee cups, straws and the ubiquitous grey plastic shopping back so freely handed out at the checkouts here in Oz.

It just so happens that I do not have a problem with any of those except on the odd occasion of forgetting to bring a shopping bag. It’s not a proper coffee unless it’s in a cup. For me the point of a coffee is not the buzz nor the quick fix but a chance to sit in a cosy cafe, preferably in the garden with the newspapers or some magazine and watching the world go by.
Same goes for plastic water bottles. I can get the stuff delivered to the tap for $1.50 for 1,000 litres so why would I spend twice that much for 600ml of the stuff sitting on a shelf? Plastic stagnant muck.

But it is everything else that is the problem.

Plastic plastic everywhere )
izmeina: (Default)
In this bit of the world June 30th is the equivalent of Goblin New Year’s Eve. A time to make grand plans for the future, to get finances and savings sorted and all that sort of boring stuff. Due to a very ancient and almost anal habit of keeping a little black book to record every single silver sickle spent, keeping the money monsters under control has never been particularly difficult. I decided to go the whole hog last June and to switch over from using a normal calendar diary to a bright shiny new 2014/2015 Financial Year diary starting on Tuesday 1st July 2014.
Tonight it finally gets laid to rest while the promise of a bright shiny clean slate beckons.

Strange Days )

On the eve of Camp Nano, it is amusing to think that Nanowrimo proved to be the first testing ground for the serpent on the art of creating rituals or habits for getting stuff done. The seemingly impossible task of writing 50,000 words in 30 days was not so daunting when done in itsy bitsy steps, slowly and steadily plodding along every single day.

It’s satisfying to know that it’s been useful training for so many other things even if not a single word from all those years ever sees the light of day.
izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Time Turner)
In this bit of the world June 30th is the equivalent of Goblin New Year’s Eve. A time to make grand plans for the future, to get finances and savings sorted and all that sort of boring stuff. Due to a very ancient and almost anal habit of keeping a little black book to record every single silver sickle spent, keeping the money monsters under control has never been particularly difficult. I decided to go the whole hog last June and to switch over from using a normal calendar diary to a bright shiny new 2014/2015 Financial Year diary starting on Tuesday 1st July 2014.
Tonight it finally gets laid to rest while the promise of a bright shiny clean slate beckons.

Strange Days )

On the eve of Camp Nano, it is amusing to think that Nanowrimo proved to be the first testing ground for the serpent on the art of creating rituals or habits for getting stuff done. The seemingly impossible task of writing 50,000 words in 30 days was not so daunting when done in itsy bitsy steps, slowly and steadily plodding along every single day.

It’s satisfying to know that it’s been useful training for so many other things even if not a single word from all those years ever sees the light of day.
izmeina: (Default)
It looks like the rain is here to stay. I can’t complain. It is winter after all and we need all the rain we can get in this bit of this wide brown land. But it did mean the odds were not in favour of watching a big fat full moon rising.

Bad Moon Rising )

Yesss. I thought that was all ancient history. It must be the full moon. It brings out all those memories of madness.
izmeina: a wicked witch on her broomstick by moonlight (wicked witch)
It looks like the rain is here to stay. I can’t complain. It is winter after all and we need all the rain we can get in this bit of this wide brown land. But it did mean the odds were not in favour of watching a big fat full moon rising.

Bad Moon Rising )

Yesss. I thought that was all ancient history. It must be the full moon. It brings out all those memories of madness.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been slinking about and sniffing in the Garden of MOOC temptations. Once again there are so many tasty tempting fruits hanging from the assorted Trees of Knowledge.

Things have come a long way since the serpent's first visit to the Garden back in September 2012 (Courtesy of the Cat)
In those days Izzie was a serious serpent who did all her homework and assignments and participated in discussion forums and had lots of fun. That's not quite correct. Toadish dramas meant a couple of courses got ditched due to a complete inability to concentrate. But soon it was back to feasting and pigging out on all the online freebies.

Got to thinking that years ago I made do with Open University lectures on television Sunday mornings while living in Dublin. I was not actually doing any courses at the time but just had an insatiable curiosity about all sorts of obscure things. It was like going from plain cabbage soup to caviar. So many delightful delicacies to taste and to try.

It was necessary to learn restraint and careful selections of morsels from this buffet for eternal students. Also there's no need to fill one's plate to overflowing as repeat refills are not just allowed but actually encouraged. While the golden age of free access could not possibly last forever, more and more educational institutions would be jumping on the bandwagon and the trick would be to concentrate on the courses that are not offered on a regular basis.



The unexpected overseas adventures in December nuked a few of the courses I had planned to do or already started including Coursera's Terrorism and Counterterrorism
This course like many others is now available on a self study basis but I have found that without the commitment and regular deadlines of a class schedule, the chances of actually getting stuff done at one's own pace are remarkably low.

So then I vowed to stay away from online courses, concentrate on squiggling for Camp Nanowrimo in April as well as sorting out the clutter in the Lair. Was doing very well for a while but had neglected to get the serpent email taken off the assorted MOOC mailing lists with their tantalizing subject line "We have new courses for you".

So when tasty morsels with titles like "Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life" arrived in the inbox, they just proved too irresistible. Then another turned up designed specifically to push all my favorite buttons.
A Paradoxical Python

In the meantime, had long ago signed up to retake a programming course that I did not pass last time. More Python Puzzles I got 62% and needed 70% to pass. It has just started and for the last few weeks I have been wondering if it is best to just jump ship or to have a second attempt especially as it has been chopped up into two more manageable bite sized morsels. Now there are no more Statements of Accomplishment but only Verified Certificates (they've got to earn their money somehow) but that's not an issue for a dabbler and dilettante such as Izzie.

The course will be over in time for July's visit to Camp Nanoland.

It's taken just over a month to get cleaning and maintenance of the Lair on autopilot. Except for Monday evening which was spent over at the Dursleys, I've now got a 5 week unbroken run of cleaning and sorting rituals for 3 different days of the week. Such habits are not only brainless but the lack of thinking means that I can get more done in less time and feel a sense of achievement for finally escaping the years of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
Now I guess it's time to adopt a similar strategy for dealing with all the assorted online temptations and online courses.

The other big adventure was today's visit to a gorgeous historical graveyard. Just the perfect place for reading monster stories and dreaming of dark grimoires. Like gazing at the stars in the night sky, wandering amongst head stones and noticing that more than 80% of them are dedicated to folks who departed this mortal coil much younger than you is a very good way to get your life in perspective.
But that is a tale for another day.
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (teapot)
Izzie has been slinking about and sniffing in the Garden of MOOC temptations. Once again there are so many tasty tempting fruits hanging from the assorted Trees of Knowledge.

Things have come a long way since the serpent's first visit to the Garden back in September 2012 (Courtesy of the Cat)
In those days Izzie was a serious serpent who did all her homework and assignments and participated in discussion forums and had lots of fun. That's not quite correct. Toadish dramas meant a couple of courses got ditched due to a complete inability to concentrate. But soon it was back to feasting and pigging out on all the online freebies.

Got to thinking that years ago I made do with Open University lectures on television Sunday mornings while living in Dublin. I was not actually doing any courses at the time but just had an insatiable curiosity about all sorts of obscure things. It was like going from plain cabbage soup to caviar. So many delightful delicacies to taste and to try.

It was necessary to learn restraint and careful selections of morsels from this buffet for eternal students. Also there's no need to fill one's plate to overflowing as repeat refills are not just allowed but actually encouraged. While the golden age of free access could not possibly last forever, more and more educational institutions would be jumping on the bandwagon and the trick would be to concentrate on the courses that are not offered on a regular basis.



The unexpected overseas adventures in December nuked a few of the courses I had planned to do or already started including Coursera's Terrorism and Counterterrorism
This course like many others is now available on a self study basis but I have found that without the commitment and regular deadlines of a class schedule, the chances of actually getting stuff done at one's own pace are remarkably low.

So then I vowed to stay away from online courses, concentrate on squiggling for Camp Nanowrimo in April as well as sorting out the clutter in the Lair. Was doing very well for a while but had neglected to get the serpent email taken off the assorted MOOC mailing lists with their tantalizing subject line "We have new courses for you".

So when tasty morsels with titles like "Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life" arrived in the inbox, they just proved too irresistible. Then another turned up designed specifically to push all my favorite buttons.
A Paradoxical Python

In the meantime, had long ago signed up to retake a programming course that I did not pass last time. More Python Puzzles I got 62% and needed 70% to pass. It has just started and for the last few weeks I have been wondering if it is best to just jump ship or to have a second attempt especially as it has been chopped up into two more manageable bite sized morsels. Now there are no more Statements of Accomplishment but only Verified Certificates (they've got to earn their money somehow) but that's not an issue for a dabbler and dilettante such as Izzie.

The course will be over in time for July's visit to Camp Nanoland.

It's taken just over a month to get cleaning and maintenance of the Lair on autopilot. Except for Monday evening which was spent over at the Dursleys, I've now got a 5 week unbroken run of cleaning and sorting rituals for 3 different days of the week. Such habits are not only brainless but the lack of thinking means that I can get more done in less time and feel a sense of achievement for finally escaping the years of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
Now I guess it's time to adopt a similar strategy for dealing with all the assorted online temptations and online courses.

The other big adventure was today's visit to a gorgeous historical graveyard. Just the perfect place for reading monster stories and dreaming of dark grimoires. Like gazing at the stars in the night sky, wandering amongst head stones and noticing that more than 80% of them are dedicated to folks who departed this mortal coil much younger than you is a very good way to get your life in perspective.
But that is a tale for another day.
izmeina: (Default)
The serpent’s record in seeking out new knowledge has been abysmal of late. I ended up abandoning a fascinating course about terrorism and counterterrorism due to that detour to Amsterdam in December. I figured I learned my lesson and should stay away from online courses until the old grey cells were back in working order.

They seemed to have turned to total mush during that overseas adventure from the very first days. Balancing the books at the end of a day’s spending proved far too taxing for this old grey serpent brain as did adding up the scores for our regular games of Scrabble. It was like the numbers kept slipping through a sieve. I just could not hold them in my head.
Such a contrast from the games at the day centre where I would keep a running total of the score and be in agreement with the official calculator version more than 90% of the time.

I had decided to start with baby steps with the online courses and chose a computer programming course based on Scratch which is designed for kindergarten kids as well as another on Crypto more for nostalgia sake than anything.
It seems most courses these days are big on video lectures. I must say I prefer good old fashioned slides since they don’t nuke my meagre 4gb monthly ration and they are so much quicker to get through.
Downloading a video is a bit like buying a book. When you get in from a library the 3 week deadline increases the likelihood of actually reading it. Buying gives the sense of having all the time in the world.
So it did not take long to rapidly fall behind. No point in downloading a whole pile of videos if you don’t get around to actually watching them.

Too many tasty temptations )
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (jolly swagman)
The serpent’s record in seeking out new knowledge has been abysmal of late. I ended up abandoning a fascinating course about terrorism and counterterrorism due to that detour to Amsterdam in December. I figured I learned my lesson and should stay away from online courses until the old grey cells were back in working order.

They seemed to have turned to total mush during that overseas adventure from the very first days. Balancing the books at the end of a day’s spending proved far too taxing for this old grey serpent brain as did adding up the scores for our regular games of Scrabble. It was like the numbers kept slipping through a sieve. I just could not hold them in my head.
Such a contrast from the games at the day centre where I would keep a running total of the score and be in agreement with the official calculator version more than 90% of the time.

I had decided to start with baby steps with the online courses and chose a computer programming course based on Scratch which is designed for kindergarten kids as well as another on Crypto more for nostalgia sake than anything.
It seems most courses these days are big on video lectures. I must say I prefer good old fashioned slides since they don’t nuke my meagre 4gb monthly ration and they are so much quicker to get through.
Downloading a video is a bit like buying a book. When you get in from a library the 3 week deadline increases the likelihood of actually reading it. Buying gives the sense of having all the time in the world.
So it did not take long to rapidly fall behind. No point in downloading a whole pile of videos if you don’t get around to actually watching them.

Too many tasty temptations )

The Lair

Apr. 3rd, 2015 10:10 pm
izmeina: (Default)
It was exactly 17 years ago that a certain serpent came into legal possession of the location known as the Lair.
Friday 3rd April 1998 was a good Friday for Izzie but Easter was actually a week later. It turned out to be a very wise decision despite all the chaos and craziness at the time. A year or so later the mob on the hill in Canberra made some sneaky goblin friendly reforms concerning capital gains which triggered a crazy housing bubble. There’s been the odd pop here and there but even the gloom and doom of 2008 did not knock much stuffing out of the over inflated market.
The days of a burger flipper or pot scrubber buying a roof over her head without too much drama are now long gone. The Great Australian Dream of owning one’s own home has become pretty much unattainable for most folks under forty unless they are prepared to sign up for 30 years of debt slavery.

Weeds and Seeds )
izmeina: (Default)
Not been lurking or posting much in journal land lately. There’s been plenty of distractions both online and in the mundane muggle world. Whether that is following the antics of our new Fearless Leader as he flies off to Jakarta or listening to a certain ex prime minister offering him some invaluable advice, there’s plenty to amuse this ancient serpent

It’s been a wild and wet September weatherwise. It’s a full time job these days to stop the nasturtiums strangling every other living thing in the Lair. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the soil to dry out once the months of endless rainless sunny days begin.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost October. It will be Christmas before we know it. The year is almost over and there’s so so little to show for it other than a few more grey hairs and spare tyres. Still stuck in a rut on the inspiration front. There’s tons of books to read and things to do but no mojo whatsoever. Still trying to find some bright shiny goal that gets the old eyes twinkling. It’s not like there isn’t already a list of them but there’s none that are particularly inspiring.

Finally got around to googling the Guardian's "3 Little Pigs" advert. First seen it on the ABC's show about advertising and spin more than a year ago. Been meaning to watch it again ever since.
It's amazing how many make overs those old stories get and they still sound good.

izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (Haunted house)
Not been lurking or posting much in journal land lately. There’s been plenty of distractions both online and in the mundane muggle world. Whether that is following the antics of our new Fearless Leader as he flies off to Jakarta or listening to a certain ex prime minister offering him some invaluable advice, there’s plenty to amuse this ancient serpent

It’s been a wild and wet September weatherwise. It’s a full time job these days to stop the nasturtiums strangling every other living thing in the Lair. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the soil to dry out once the months of endless rainless sunny days begin.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost October. It will be Christmas before we know it. The year is almost over and there’s so so little to show for it other than a few more grey hairs and spare tyres. Still stuck in a rut on the inspiration front. There’s tons of books to read and things to do but no mojo whatsoever. Still trying to find some bright shiny goal that gets the old eyes twinkling. It’s not like there isn’t already a list of them but there’s none that are particularly inspiring.

Finally got around to googling the Guardian's "3 Little Pigs" advert. First seen it on the ABC's show about advertising and spin more than a year ago. Been meaning to watch it again ever since.
It's amazing how many make overs those old stories get and they still sound good.

izmeina: (Noodles uber alles)
Izzie’s been a busy but flustered serpent of late. The stinking sizzling weather is gone and there’s even been lots of rain lately. But in spite of all this good stuff just cannot snap out of this present state of doomy gloomy awfulizing. Been so many dramas with the ant man, dodgy taps and the roof repairs that just seem to be dragging on and on and now we will soon be in the middle of the rainy season. All this shit should have been finished on their first visit in early February

So much gossip and so little squiggled. Been taking a peek in the old Pensieve from many moons ago and could not help but think that way back in 2003 and 2004 with two jobs and three subjects at uni and no computer or internet in the Lair, managed to squiggle far more stuff in Livejournal land than now with all the time in the world and a Big Mac with its very own Portkey to the magical world of Cyberia

Had so much fun back in 2005 putting bets on the new owner of the ‘Fisherman’s Shoes’ Almost as a joke and sign of utter evilness was hoping that a certain Joseph Ratzinger would get the top job. It’s up there with Barack Obama or Henry Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace Prize

This time had the old forked tongue crossed for George Pell for Pope and Tony Abbott for the Lodge (there’s a federal election in Oz this September. It’s already been nicknamed the Yom Kippur election due to the impeccable timing)

Lucky it was only Monopoly money as the silly bugger blew his chances by claiming that the Papal resignation was setting a bad precedent and was ‘just not cricket’
So we end up with some outsider who bears an uncanny resemblance to one Alberto Luciano. If it is more than skin deep he will definitely not last long in that job. Only got a proper peek at the papers today but it was the big story all yesterday.
The minute I heard he was going to take the name Francis was very impressed. Francis of Assisi must be the nearest thing that Christianity has to a Buddha.
Was ever so amused how the only local journalist who saw any significance in this was one Walid Ali - a card carrying Muslim! Turns out that he had thought of a second Francis. Had forgotten about the Xavier fellow. Must go googling Francis Xavier. Always getting him mixed up with Ignatius Loyola.
Here’s hoping that he will resurrect liberation theology and all the left wing stuff that his predecessors wanted dead, buried and cremated.
Bring it back from the dead. Zombie theology is just what the world needs right now. Maybe he will even restore Anthony De Mello to the pantheon of saints where he belongs. His predecessor said such awful things about him and that was how Ratzi first appeared on the Izzie radar

Anthony de Mello was the Peter Cundall of Catholicism

Not that it should matter to this agnostic serpent. The Roman Church has become rather known for all the wrong sort of stuff lately - the stuffy bureaucratic old boys club that considers looking after its own much more important than doing the right thing and the whole obsession with sex, suffering and virgin mothers. But one thing that they do brilliantly is smells and bells. Religion without rituals is just missing a certain something.

And of course it was these lovely folks who brought us the Inquisition which reminds this serpent of a recent request for questions from an online friend

An Inquisition Meme

Izzie doesn’t do many of these lately. There’s way too many other distractions. But now and again a nosy Inquisitor comes along with ways and means of persuading serpents to respond. It was even tempting to answer some of the questions she gave to her other victims

The Dinner party is always an interesting and revealing hypothetical

Serpent Snippets )
izmeina: (Noodles uber alles)
Izzie’s been a busy but flustered serpent of late. The stinking sizzling weather is gone and there’s even been lots of rain lately. But in spite of all this good stuff just cannot snap out of this present state of doomy gloomy awfulizing. Been so many dramas with the ant man, dodgy taps and the roof repairs that just seem to be dragging on and on and now we will soon be in the middle of the rainy season. All this shit should have been finished on their first visit in early February

So much gossip and so little squiggled. Been taking a peek in the old Pensieve from many moons ago and could not help but think that way back in 2003 and 2004 with two jobs and three subjects at uni and no computer or internet in the Lair, managed to squiggle far more stuff in Livejournal land than now with all the time in the world and a Big Mac with its very own Portkey to the magical world of Cyberia

Had so much fun back in 2005 putting bets on the new owner of the ‘Fisherman’s Shoes’ Almost as a joke and sign of utter evilness was hoping that a certain Joseph Ratzinger would get the top job. It’s up there with Barack Obama or Henry Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace Prize

This time had the old forked tongue crossed for George Pell for Pope and Tony Abbott for the Lodge (there’s a federal election in Oz this September. It’s already been nicknamed the Yom Kippur election due to the impeccable timing)

Lucky it was only Monopoly money as the silly bugger blew his chances by claiming that the Papal resignation was setting a bad precedent and was ‘just not cricket’
So we end up with some outsider who bears an uncanny resemblance to one Alberto Luciano. If it is more than skin deep he will definitely not last long in that job. Only got a proper peek at the papers today but it was the big story all yesterday.
The minute I heard he was going to take the name Francis was very impressed. Francis of Assisi must be the nearest thing that Christianity has to a Buddha.
Was ever so amused how the only local journalist who saw any significance in this was one Walid Ali - a card carrying Muslim! Turns out that he had thought of a second Francis. Had forgotten about the Xavier fellow. Must go googling Francis Xavier. Always getting him mixed up with Ignatius Loyola.
Here’s hoping that he will resurrect liberation theology and all the left wing stuff that his predecessors wanted dead, buried and cremated.
Bring it back from the dead. Zombie theology is just what the world needs right now. Maybe he will even restore Anthony De Mello to the pantheon of saints where he belongs. His predecessor said such awful things about him and that was how Ratzi first appeared on the Izzie radar

Anthony de Mello was the Peter Cundall of Catholicism

Not that it should matter to this agnostic serpent. The Roman Church has become rather known for all the wrong sort of stuff lately - the stuffy bureaucratic old boys club that considers looking after its own much more important than doing the right thing and the whole obsession with sex, suffering and virgin mothers. But one thing that they do brilliantly is smells and bells. Religion without rituals is just missing a certain something.

And of course it was these lovely folks who brought us the Inquisition which reminds this serpent of a recent request for questions from an online friend

An Inquisition Meme

Izzie doesn’t do many of these lately. There’s way too many other distractions. But now and again a nosy Inquisitor comes along with ways and means of persuading serpents to respond. It was even tempting to answer some of the questions she gave to her other victims

The Dinner party is always an interesting and revealing hypothetical

Serpent Snippets )
izmeina: (Default)
The first two weeks of the bright shiny new year are over. The weather has been seriously sucky from even before the year started with only four decent days for doing useful stuff rather than just moping about and melting

Finally slinked outside to plant the bags of seeds that have been sitting for weeks patiently waiting. There’s supposed to be rain on the way.
The latest stash was a mix of buckwheat, alfalfa, mustard and fenugreek. Its sole purpose is to grow quickly in order to cover the soil and protect it from the big yellow microwave in the sky
So much of the ground has been nuked due to the recent weeks of sizzling sunshine. Aside from the sweet potatoes which are the only weeds that thrive in this weather, so much other stuff is looking seriously sad and shriveled.

The only consolation is that the well established weeds such as the grape vine, fig and woolly bush trees are now big enough to be able to look after themselves and to provide much needed shade and nibblies for the visiting birds.

13 bits of trivia )
izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Time Turner)
The first two weeks of the bright shiny new year are over. The weather has been seriously sucky from even before the year started with only four decent days for doing useful stuff rather than just moping about and melting

Finally slinked outside to plant the bags of seeds that have been sitting for weeks patiently waiting. There’s supposed to be rain on the way.
The latest stash was a mix of buckwheat, alfalfa, mustard and fenugreek. Its sole purpose is to grow quickly in order to cover the soil and protect it from the big yellow microwave in the sky
So much of the ground has been nuked due to the recent weeks of sizzling sunshine. Aside from the sweet potatoes which are the only weeds that thrive in this weather, so much other stuff is looking seriously sad and shriveled.

The only consolation is that the well established weeds such as the grape vine, fig and woolly bush trees are now big enough to be able to look after themselves and to provide much needed shade and nibblies for the visiting birds.

13 bits of trivia )
izmeina: (Default)
Here's hoping that the first day of the new year is not an omen for the rest of them. Hot and sticky with both the sunrise and sunset hiding behind clouds is a strange start

This last week has proved beyond all possible doubt that you don't need a tornado, cyclone, hurricane or floods for the weather to make life hell.
Just a big fat week of forties where the night time temperature never goes below 25 pretty much does the trick
Izzie is lucky in presently not needing to get up to go to the day job but endless days of sleeplessness does very detrimental things to one's mood
It really is time for Izzie to invent her own version of the Dementors - hot and clammy horrors that cook your insides rather than freeze them, sizzle your brain, and make you believe you will never ever have a good night's sleep again. Even too much sunshine can be despair inducing in its own peculiar way

So it is such a relief that it is finally raining. Problem is that the brick and tile oven that is the Lair has heated up so much in the last week than even with the windows and doors open and fans on (Izzie has no airconditioning) it is not cooling down quite as quickly as we would like

Spent most of the day over at Petunia's place and she is also completely over it. Resorted to putting up a tent as it is much cooler outside than in the house. They do have aircon but Vernon insists on turning it off all the time.

It apparently only reached 32 celsius today as opposed to yesterday's sizzling 42 but both days felt pretty much the same - like being stuck in some sauna from hell

Looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning to find everything all cool and fresh and to potter around the lair to see lots of lush green growing things rather than the shrivelled up miserable weeds of the last week

So here's wishing that the weather gods do not inflict such wickedness on anyone one else this year
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (The Fool)
Here's hoping that the first day of the new year is not an omen for the rest of them. Hot and sticky with both the sunrise and sunset hiding behind clouds is a strange start

This last week has proved beyond all possible doubt that you don't need a tornado, cyclone, hurricane or floods for the weather to make life hell.
Just a big fat week of forties where the night time temperature never goes below 25 pretty much does the trick
Izzie is lucky in presently not needing to get up to go to the day job but endless days of sleeplessness does very detrimental things to one's mood
It really is time for Izzie to invent her own version of the Dementors - hot and clammy horrors that cook your insides rather than freeze them, sizzle your brain, and make you believe you will never ever have a good night's sleep again. Even too much sunshine can be despair inducing in its own peculiar way

So it is such a relief that it is finally raining. Problem is that the brick and tile oven that is the Lair has heated up so much in the last week than even with the windows and doors open and fans on (Izzie has no airconditioning) it is not cooling down quite as quickly as we would like

Spent most of the day over at Petunia's place and she is also completely over it. Resorted to putting up a tent as it is much cooler outside than in the house. They do have aircon but Vernon insists on turning it off all the time.

It apparently only reached 32 celsius today as opposed to yesterday's sizzling 42 but both days felt pretty much the same - like being stuck in some sauna from hell

Looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning to find everything all cool and fresh and to potter around the lair to see lots of lush green growing things rather than the shrivelled up miserable weeds of the last week

So here's wishing that the weather gods do not inflict such wickedness on anyone one else this year
izmeina: (Default)
Yesterday was a most magical and pretty productive day. The weather forecast predicted a rather cold morning which would mean a crisp and crunchy day with sunshine. This seemed most unlikely indeed after yesterday’s drizzly misery. But it turned out to be true.

Was supposed to have got some sort of tree seedling on hand to plant on this most auspicious day. Something grand and gorgeous like a Moreton bay fig tree (if only) or sensible like a pecan or guava. Decided to stick to nuts when it comes to pecans and macadamias. Much much cheaper
In the end had to make do with a baby curry tree (Murraya koenigii) One of four bought at a gardeners meeting last Monday. At two silver sickles each can afford to get a couple of back ups.
Also planted some silverbeet and spinach seeds in jiffy pots filled with piggie poo. Everything is so lush and green at the moment and the poor old sage died from drowning due to all the rain
The original intention to catch the bus at 11.45 got rather side tracked by the desire to linger around the Lair and soak up the sunshine while peeking at all the plants. It was the Izzie’s favorite weather. A bit cold and sunshine with the most delicate light. No fear of getting nuked like at the height of summer.

Felt very creative and inspired but determined to resist the temptations of acquiring any new books when there are so many other projects to attend to.

The bus arrived in Fremantle a good 15 minutes later than usual thanks to a pathetic bunch of snails invading every second bus stop and all armed with $50 notes or 5 cent coins. Well not quite all but it certainly seemed that way. Amazing how many sluggish fuddy duddies sit for ages at bus stops but do not bother getting out the money for their fares until actually boarding the bus.
Gave the usual Juicy Beetroot a miss and headed off to the west end to a certain cheap and cheerful training restaurant where you can have a mains and a glass of red for around $10-12. After that was a visit to the very cute railway carriage cafe on the Esplanade. Unlike the other esplanade in downtown Dursleyville this one still has lots of gorgeous old trees. No chainsaw massacres here.

Such an inspirational place, it was the perfect location to devote to more plotting and planning for Camp Nanowrimo in August as well as getting started on lots of lists for the bright shiny new Pensieve. Saved reading the newspapers for later as this site is too special for wasting with such mundane matters

It also had the advantage of being only a short walk to the beach and the sunset. Was thinking on Wednesday that a sunset picnic for the shortest day was going to be most unlikely as it would be all drizzly and miserable. There were other cafes to visit if that had turned out to be the case.
There were a handful of souls at the beach and all of them looked like tourists. It was way too cold for the locals to be lurking aside from the fact that most of the place has been turned into a construction site.

Even the radio programs for the evening turned out to be all strange and spooky. There was a wickedly wonderful play by Angela Carter called Vampirella. Must definitely look in to the rest of her stuff since this was so delightfully snarky and funny. Izzie just adores wicked twists on old fashioned fairy tales and this one took the piss out of a whole bunch of them.
“What sharp teeth you have. Countess” asks an ever so innocent Englishman abroad

There have been a few deaths in Radioland in the last week or so. Last Friday it was Alan Saunders and this week Gita Sereny. In her honour “Late Night Live” replayed some of her old stories from back in 1998. One was about Albert Speer - the Nazi architect of doom and the other about Mary Bell - a girl who had killed two little kids way back in 1968 when she herself was only 11. It turns out that the News of the Screws was involved in the witch hunt playing both sides as usual. They had been up to the usual moral indignation, chequebook journalism and phone tapping as led to their recent demise and not a moment too soon.

This was just one of the creepiest stories ever and even without the replay had remembered it more than a decade later.

So it was a most spooky and memorable day and here’s hoping some useful story seeds got planted
izmeina: (haunted house)
Yesterday was a most magical and pretty productive day. The weather forecast predicted a rather cold morning which would mean a crisp and crunchy day with sunshine. This seemed most unlikely indeed after yesterday’s drizzly misery. But it turned out to be true.

Was supposed to have got some sort of tree seedling on hand to plant on this most auspicious day. Something grand and gorgeous like a Moreton bay fig tree (if only) or sensible like a pecan or guava. Decided to stick to nuts when it comes to pecans and macadamias. Much much cheaper
In the end had to make do with a baby curry tree (Murraya koenigii) One of four bought at a gardeners meeting last Monday. At two silver sickles each can afford to get a couple of back ups.
Also planted some silverbeet and spinach seeds in jiffy pots filled with piggie poo. Everything is so lush and green at the moment and the poor old sage died from drowning due to all the rain
The original intention to catch the bus at 11.45 got rather side tracked by the desire to linger around the Lair and soak up the sunshine while peeking at all the plants. It was the Izzie’s favorite weather. A bit cold and sunshine with the most delicate light. No fear of getting nuked like at the height of summer.

Felt very creative and inspired but determined to resist the temptations of acquiring any new books when there are so many other projects to attend to.

The bus arrived in Fremantle a good 15 minutes later than usual thanks to a pathetic bunch of snails invading every second bus stop and all armed with $50 notes or 5 cent coins. Well not quite all but it certainly seemed that way. Amazing how many sluggish fuddy duddies sit for ages at bus stops but do not bother getting out the money for their fares until actually boarding the bus.
Gave the usual Juicy Beetroot a miss and headed off to the west end to a certain cheap and cheerful training restaurant where you can have a mains and a glass of red for around $10-12. After that was a visit to the very cute railway carriage cafe on the Esplanade. Unlike the other esplanade in downtown Dursleyville this one still has lots of gorgeous old trees. No chainsaw massacres here.

Such an inspirational place, it was the perfect location to devote to more plotting and planning for Camp Nanowrimo in August as well as getting started on lots of lists for the bright shiny new Pensieve. Saved reading the newspapers for later as this site is too special for wasting with such mundane matters

It also had the advantage of being only a short walk to the beach and the sunset. Was thinking on Wednesday that a sunset picnic for the shortest day was going to be most unlikely as it would be all drizzly and miserable. There were other cafes to visit if that had turned out to be the case.
There were a handful of souls at the beach and all of them looked like tourists. It was way too cold for the locals to be lurking aside from the fact that most of the place has been turned into a construction site.

Even the radio programs for the evening turned out to be all strange and spooky. There was a wickedly wonderful play by Angela Carter called Vampirella. Must definitely look in to the rest of her stuff since this was so delightfully snarky and funny. Izzie just adores wicked twists on old fashioned fairy tales and this one took the piss out of a whole bunch of them.
“What sharp teeth you have. Countess” asks an ever so innocent Englishman abroad

There have been a few deaths in Radioland in the last week or so. Last Friday it was Alan Saunders and this week Gita Sereny. In her honour “Late Night Live” replayed some of her old stories from back in 1998. One was about Albert Speer - the Nazi architect of doom and the other about Mary Bell - a girl who had killed two little kids way back in 1968 when she herself was only 11. It turns out that the News of the Screws was involved in the witch hunt playing both sides as usual. They had been up to the usual moral indignation, chequebook journalism and phone tapping as led to their recent demise and not a moment too soon.

This was just one of the creepiest stories ever and even without the replay had remembered it more than a decade later.

So it was a most spooky and memorable day and here’s hoping some useful story seeds got planted

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