An account of these times

I wanted to capture these times, in my words, to reread in the future. An online journal I suppose.

Covid-19 has gone from a thing in the news to something that’s pretty gosh darn serious. But also, it doesn’t look like it, yet. People are on the streets. Everywhere I go (care, ice cream shop etc) there are others – these are local businesses so we’re all trying to keep life normal, and their businesses running. Between last week and this Wednesday, wow, Concord Hospital has changed. Last week, I was visiting someone of the ward. Wednesday, I was in emergency (ED). It was pretty empty – Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald has indicated to ‘stay away’. There was a Covid-19 clinic, separate from the emergency department. Walking into the ED, there’s a nurse with hand sanitiser and other things – a check list. They didn’t use the checklist on us on any of our entries. The first entry, we were given a spritz of hand sanitiser. When the nurses changed shifts, there was far less proactively…

I’ll admit, prior to ‘all this’, I only washed my hands with soap in very specific circumstances – I felt self conscious in public bathrooms when others gave me the side eye. Now, I get home from being out, and go straight to the bathroom to wash my hands. (I don’t like a lot of soaps – for their scent, or how they make my hands feel…). I still dislike the high alcohol content sanitiser gel, but, more and more, I’m using it. There was one at my hair dressers!!

I’ve not worked this week. I’ve had a sore throat since the Monday prior. Last week, work was very very slow, so the combination of my sore throat; working with a small team all in one location; and lack of work, I decided to stay home til I felt better. By Wednesday, I didn’t feel better. On the encouragement of my mum and boss, I rang the doctor. They told me to come in. The waiting room was me and one other. All staff were in masks. I did not and do not think I have Covid. BUT… I am surprised about the decisions around testing:

  • Why is testing confined to those who’ve been exposed to a known case or been overseas? I can only assume there’s a lack of tests, and this is a preservation level.
  • It’s entirely unclear when you should seek a test – from my best knowledge, I think it’s a fever over 37.5 C (along with known interaction with someone who may have covid)

The point is, there’s SO MANY chance interactions for cross contamination – and I know that’s why they’re calling for social distancing. But I find it worrying that we don’t have strong social distancing imperatives (as in… I’m meant to be going to work. I can’t work from home). The 3 hours I spent in the ED, not once were chairs or screens wiped down – I mean, you see it more often in McDonald’s on a normal day! There was a touch screen for the lockers to charge your phone in a locker – for example. Sure, every nurse and worker was in a mask. There is, as always, hand sanitiser EVERYWHERE. But I think there’s a lack of behaviour. And I’ll admit, the half hourly hand washes? I don’t see the point when I’m home, alone. Coming home? Sure. Prior to eating? Sure. But half hour of watching Netflix – nope. Behaviour is part of the problem, but some of it doesn’t stand up to my logic.

Also, a wrinkle in all this? A month ago, I started dating someone. Someone who seems to have a similarly high leaning to seeing each other regularly (despite, life!). And we keep seeing each other, near on daily. I’m sure we’re already cross contaminated. But there’s a level of fear that maybe circumstances beyond our control may limit contact – we hope not. But it might be outside our control.

The economic situation was rocky at the start of this – lowest interest rates. OPEC arguments raised production, dropping fuel prices. Now, we see a future where businesses fold, as there’s no customers. Many workers will lose jobs; casuals won’t get work, and all those can’t afford to pay for where they live.

I feel incredibly secure financially, and materially (with respects, to my home circumstances). I don’t feel like I have ‘enough’ food, but I also don’t have a empty pantry. I do have a mainly empty fridge, usually and now. Those things perish. I don’t want to ‘go crazy’ with buying food – I know I’ll ‘go crazy’ overeating anything too easy to eat or yummy!! I also feel like my six months of 2019 not working has taught me how to fill a day without the structure of work. That surprised me as much as those who know me well – as a working dynamo!

There’s a lot of confusion. We can see what other countries are or aren’t doing. Italy is putting everyone into their home, except for work, pharmacy or supermarket visits. It sounds ‘ok’ but it was meant to be for two weeks. It may not be ‘only’ two weeks. The Asian countries are doing better. Is it because they wear and use masks (and aren’t a signal of fear).

On the other hand, death is inevitable, in life. A philosophical part of me wonders if this is a level of over population’s correction? Is this part of a master beings plan? Is this a way to dismantle ‘growth is good’. Or capitalism? Is this a way to challenge all that isn’t working in our world in a horrific way? But also, I find it hard to reconcile the death rate, and how it may impact our world. The percentages sounds small… But statistics are worth a dime when it’s someone you are close to you.

Those are my thoughts for now. I’m sure in 10 minutes I will have further thoughts.

Fortune telling

I’ve never had my fortune told, or my card read, or a serious reading of my palm or face or aura.  It’s not surprising given I’m an engineer.  Telling friends from my studies I was planning to get my fortune told did some with some amusing looks!

However, across my two readings, I came to see how much demand and interest there was in these practices!

A dear friend of mine reads this blog, and has used my bucket list/s to inform her gift giving.  For my birthday in 2017, she intended a year worth of activities – one a month, but alas life got in the road.  When she saw my renewed interest in fortune telling, by way of seeking recommendations or referrals, she promptly arranged me two readings, with a third possible opportunity.

My first reading was upstairs at the Argyle Oracle – a terrace lining a street in the Rocks, which has a great market every weekend – one I love to browse for souvenirs to take when I travel.  The ground level is a store of gem stones and books and tarot cards, and then upstairs there’s a number of rooms where readings a done by a range of people!?  I saw Camilla, who lead with asking my name and birthday, which resulted in some calculations about cycles and such – 6 and 9 featured?!  She also asked me to shuffle to decks of cards. She then took her magnifying glass and intently looked at my palms.  Interesting, she spoke of how two of the prominent lines on the hands are more separate in younger generations and she some how linked this to greater technology?! My take aways from her reading of my palm were: long life, good health, minimal dramas (comparing to others, not that my life will be without them!), that I’ll have three children, two boys and a girl (though it did feel like she started at two, and got slightly muddled around gender or birth order or perhaps even quantity).

From my palm, she dealt a smaller than normal playing card deck, in which certain sectors related to certain aspects of life – the top quadrant to my right was related to work.  There was a king there, and across that top row, a number of red cards.  This lay of cards remained dealt on the table, with the expected velvet table cloth, for the balance of the reading, and to the left, she made space where she dealt and re-dealt the tarot cards.

The tarot deck she used seemed to feature swords pretty heavily, and also what looked like sapling logs?  She dealt these cards in different configuration and quantities.  At one deal, she had three cards, followed by two more rows of three cards, and a few more to the side.  Initially she said the top row was 2017, followed by 2018 and 2019.  When I clarified we were now in 2018, she corrected.  And with that, everything shifted a year – womp womp.  It was with this deal that she spoke to marriage and children, who are coincidently gorgeous.  It does make you wonder if anyone would read and say ‘horribly ugly children’, right?  That being said, I suppose there are negatives that may be seen – health issues perhaps?

She spoke quickly with quite a nervous energy.  I was open to what she said, but I also wasn’t giving away great swaths of my life story either.  She lead with asking if I had any kids. I think she also asked about my work.  There were certainly some parts of the reading that sounded like common advice that anyone would give!

Much later, that same day, my friend had arranged another reading – this time with a male, Paris, who also stares on a TV show.  He came to have a natural gift, despite being a sceptic, she told me.  In reality, our reading was far shorter than anticipated (40 mins not an hour), and so I took some time to talk to him about his work, the critics, what happens if he was to reread/redeal the cards again for the same person right there.  I found the debriefing chat as insightful as my fortune telling!

Paris started by dealing a deck of cards and then fanning them out in front of me, asking me to select a quantity, perhaps 17? I can’t recall.  As I did that, he started writing a page.  At the top of the page was a traced palm, and with that, he asked me to select two areas of focus.  I chose work/career and love/romance of the total of six options.  These selections resulted in him annotating the on two fingers with a love heart and elsewhere, two money symbols.  He held my selected cards as a smaller deck until he’d completed writing the page.  He then dealt the cards and proceeded to transpose the equivalent characters of the Greek gods shown onto the fingers of the traced hands on the paper. (deciphering this at the pub after was a fun activity for me with my two friends!).

His dealing of these cards resulted in a strong segment of blue Gods around the centre, definitely Neptune and Uranus.  There were some strong female Gods (godesses?) too, like Dianna, Pan, Venus and Medusa.  His reading seemed to focus on the coming year, and really saw strong components of work and travel, which echoed things Camilla has said.  Overall, he quietly dismissed romance and love, explaining that the personalities of the cards I dealt weren’t aligned with welcoming love at this time.  Whilst I did have Venus, she seemed to be crowded out by some more… domineering godesses!  I’d be the first to acknowledge this would align somewhat to my personality, and particularly lately with dating.  He did consider that I could have a very segregated work and romantic life as a way of making it work, but I can’t see this duplicity working for me.  So it would seem the year ahead is about career, more so than love.

Neither reading seemed to touch on health at all – other than the more platitude like concepts like Camilla suggesting meditating more, and asking if I did yoga.  Paris wrote of balance and setting boundaries, as well as mind and body.  Neither are particularly firm grounds but neither are bad advice – I mean who doesn’t need more balance?

Eight week challenge

With many thanks to a new friend who has worked tirelessly to align the old blog content and integrated my two ‘new’ posts, and now it all look and feels the same, back and front.  Here’s a photo of my lovely French friends who helped make this happen, Antoine and Chloe

Chloe, Antoine & me

Today, I want to share a disturbing number of photos of food, that I’ve taken during the first five weeks in my eight week F45 health challenge.  Yep, yet again, I’m focusing on reducing my weight.  But not just the number. I dream of being able to do unassisted pull ups.  And having defined abs. But the route to this path is to get back to 74kg which I achieved in September 2017.

Up and down

Day 1. Meal 1. Green smoothie. Surprisingly tasty! Seriously, the banana and rice malt syrup elevated the green stuff

The gym I go to, you can order all lunches and dinners to be prepared ($150 for 10 meals as a woman), and you pick up from the gym twice weekly.  That means you only have to handle breakfasts and two snacks per day.  Of course there’s an app and website, with the meal plan.  And you can search all the recipes, should you want to substitute.

Marinated chicken with salsa

Prepped meals come in plastic chinese food containers.  Which, does not really align to my zero waste ways.  So I am washing up every one of them, and reusing them in so many different ways, including on the weeks I prepare my week’s meals, rather than buying them.

Breakfast (I forgot the spinach)

I’ll admit, generally speaking the recipes and meals have been great.  I have also created a few new strong opinions on food.  I do NOT abide by half a meal being parsley.  I understand that baby spinach and lettuce get boring, but there’s no way parsley is an alternative!

Salmon and beans, The garlic bread was a treat as I was away for a weekend with my water polo friends

What i missed out on – ravioli with burnt butter an sage sauce. Even parmesan

The first two weeks are ‘keto’ or no sugar, dairy or carbs like rice or pasta.

Snack – carrot sticks with almond butter

Not all breakfasts are green though:

Berry smoothie

The BEST homemade b’fast – kale, onion, halloumi and boiled eggs

Here’s some of my cooking attempts.  There can be a whole heap of vegie cutting, so I usually get a whole heap done on weekends, so I can come home from work and make life easier for me.

Asian chicken in lettuce cups, which I think I’d call San Chow Bow (but spelling.. no idea)

Spice rubbed steak with sweet potato mash and beans. I started to innovate and add the red cabbage as it was in the fridge and gotta be good for me

Salmon with beans. And ‘use it up’ cucumber.

And the results?


So far so good!  At the start, middle and end of the challenge I have detailed weigh in.  The scales works out the body fat percentage and muscle mass.  It can even work out the circumference of your arms and legs and trunk!  I’ve seen improvements in all these measurements, though I did lose a little muscle mass 🙁  I also note that a similar scan from October 2017 were a little better.  Back then, I was doing F45 but no following their diet.  I did often eat small or no dinner as I was feeling queasy after a hard work out.  I’m not sure that’s an optimal long term strategy!

Oh and I asked for some photos whilst I was doing assisted (by oversized rubber bands) chin ups, and I can see muscle definition!!

Can you see those arms working?

I continue to work out at least 4 times, ideally 5 times a week, and follow the meal plan almost religiously.  I allow myself one treat meal per week.  And tomorrow it’s brunch and I CANNOT wait!

April Summary


Quite unexpectedly, I attended a concert in April.  A fantastic young artist, Vera Blue, was sold out, but the night of her concert, I got an email for last minute tickets for $35! I did not hesitate and bought two tickets and invited a friend from work (who’d coincidently been at the last concert I went to – Urthboy).

OK so not the best photo… But the sound was AMAZING

I caught up with great friends for a MeatFest on GoodFriday for lunch, as well as an after work meal of dumplings – where we debated the quantity of dumplings we could consume in a sitting!  I also had a few wine filled meals with some close friends who we’d spent the past three years out of contact.  It’s great to be back in contact, and things just gel so easily.  I also ate out in a new area and despite it being known for Italian, we had French.

I also took twin six year olds to the Lego Movie, but promptly had a nap between some great one liners…  I also had an evening babysitting, where they wouldn’t go to sleep :s

Cheeky movie buddy


The dating has continued! I could even say it’s been a good month – kept me very busy too!  I had a first date on weekend night, at a bar that you’d walk by and miss in an alley in Darlinghurst.  I actually recall going there many years ago – inside it’s all themes like an American Saloon, complete with snacks of peanuts to crack and eat – a great activity for first date nerves (which… I don’t really get, but he might have!).  The other first date was a weeknight at a small bar I’d been to before (also) for a 40th celebration.  They were comedically ill equipped for my cocktail order – having run out of key ingredients with the long weekend!  Sometimes, wine’s just easier.

Not romantically, I met a good friend prior to Easter Sunday church.  We usually catch up like this quite regularly – he drinks a coffee and stay lithe and I eat and drink, and in this case, the mean was equally ‘wow’ worthy.

Yummy! And looks that way as well


The new management has been in for two weeks – though one week’s been between Easter and Anzac Day (the day Australian’s have off to remember fallen soldiers).  It’s also school holidays – so it means so much is on hold awaiting people to return from leave.  In the short 4 day week, my new boss was in my office one day, and half of that was spent on site meeting and inspecting the safety of teams, including mine.  My former boss is still ‘on the books’ but has taken leave.  What will become of him is still uncertain.  My mentor is also still on the books.  All a little… perplexing.

Hipster cafe or what? I know Lucinda – out for BREAKFAST!


I continued to aim for two classes per week of Barre Tone, in addition to a one off yoga class at Humming Puppy.  Other than that, I tend to walk to and from church Sunday, as well as for additional services and my monthly Parish Council meetings.  I also walk to Barre Tone which is a comparable distance as to church.  It’s better than nothing, but all month I’ve been considering if it’s enough in comparison to my rather lazy and somewhat unhealthy eating.  One possible date and I have been chatting, and considering joining F45.  They are INTENSE 45 minutes sessions, and they really tone people, but I am anxious about what week I want to write off as being in utter pain for the muscle pain!

Easter sunday flowers (I did them)


I spent a small fortune on AirBnBs and hostel deposits, as well as a week of day trips in Iceland!  As far as material possessions, I tried on four pairs of hiking pants.  I really wanted to buy Patagonia gear, but they didn’t have the size/colours I wanted and I’m not a huge fan of mail order when i’m not sure on size.  I went to another store that sells multiple brands and tried on two pairs, and settled for the comfier pair – elasticised back waist and inner light fleece lining!  They were $200 (!!) so I paid the $10 to join the ‘club’ and get 10% off!  At the same time, I got another ‘goo tube’ – I thought I needed one, but since getting home, I’m not entirely sure I do.


I have had three books on the go for a while, but none are capturing me.  Those are

  • Hot Milk – this was recommended on another blog, but it’s just not that interesting. I did finish it, but… not sure why
  • Queen of the South – translated from Spanish, there’s still a LOT of Spanish and it makes it disjointed for me.  I can see how it’s a TV show, but it’s not a story that is compelling me to keep reading. I returned it having read about 150 pages.
  • Working with Difficult People
  • Presence by Amy Cuddy – recommended by Save Spend Splurge
  • Last night in Montreal by Emily St John Mandel

I really need some good easy readers I think… I’m really not enjoying or reading much at the moment.

Humming Puppy Yoga

So a very dear friend and blog reader gave me a great birthday gift – she named it an Advent calendar and the concept is to do different ‘bucket list experiences’ each month together.  We started with my birthday dinner at Momofuku, and then things slowed down!  Of course, I have things I want to see and do that didn’t feature on her 12 months of birthday fun Advent calendar, and I got busy in March doing all sorts of fun things.

The light ruins what is a lush waiting area

One thing she’d earmarked us doing was Humming Puppy Yoga – funny name right? It’s a yoga studio that has a resonant frequency going at all times, as well as being constantly at 27 C.  Warm, but just right.  This weekend, I went along to try it.

Sneaky snap – bit blurry sorry

I selected the class based on timing – 2.30pm would work well around church (as it was a long Palm Sunday service).  The class at that time was called Mellow Yoga which sounded like just what I’d feel like on a Sunday afternoon!

I almost need instagram for this!

This place is next level on chic, hipster, boutique exercise.  It’s like first class style.  The waiting area and bathrooms were stunning.  I’d settle just to ‘wait’ for someone and never do a class and die happy!  They are upstairs from a tea store, so there’s two teas to sip, or coconut water or filtered water.  Luxury right?

A photo of their flyer

The studio is the third or top level of the building. The room was wonderfully dark for the session with only muted lighting and a lit candle.  The session was an hour long, and it was blissfully relaxed and over before you knew it.  My friend S said it was an expensive place for a nap, but cheap for therapy – and it really is a hybrid of the two!!

Yellow is so happy

Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete visit without dropping in on the tea lounge.  Again, jaw droppingly gorgeous in style.  We had Ginger lattes and some fancy snacks (you know, all goey and power foods but nothing like conventional food!)

The counter top is also broken tile – wonder how cleaning goes?

I’m coming back til I’ve had every mocktail!

Every inch is stylish!

I’m not sure if I’ll do expensive yoga again, but I want more of those drinks!!

Barre Body

I’ve recently been updating my bucket list and movign things into my complete bucket list post too, and realised, I’ve done some things I’ve wanted, and taken photos and never mentioned it on my blog – that’s like it never happening right?

One is Barre BOdy.  A great friend got me a single pass in the new year, must have been early 2016.  I went once and then got hooked, and off and on have been doing in ever since – I now have a subscription (which for me is COMMITMENT, I don’t even have a phone plan)

The studio in Surry Hills

I love that my mind has to focuc entirely on the small but hard movements.  It’s mindfulness without being bored stiff :p  And it certainly helps that the studies are GORGEOUS!

City studio

CIty’s change room

And a sofa too, in the city studio!

I even have to pre book classes – talk about planning and commitment to exercising.  I sometimes cancel, but mostly, I talk myself into going with a ‘you can walk out half way and you’ll be better off then doing nothing’ – and of course, I’ve never walked out either!

It truly is a pleasure – and I window shop work out gear worn by my class mates too – which sounds a whole heap creepier than it should!


Weight loss update

Let’s start by saying – I’m envious of Dar’s fitness post today. Driving home, I thought ‘if she can do it (and she’s in a place with all that snow, and she is older than me) then what’s my excuse?’.  So I set up my laptop, and still channeling Dar – I put on her fave instructor Jillian Michaels.  I heard Jillian speak on the radio the other day, as she’s in Australia – what a champion.  Of course, I had no idea about her personal life and her new reality show…  So one 30 day shred session down!

Otherwise, I’ve done two Barre Body classes, and I weighed in today at 76.6kg, though I have been down to 76.0kg within the past week.  Honestly, my eating hasn’t been well regulated with a birthday at the end of January.  And with a big storm mid January, I threw my ‘no ice creams’ plan out the window.  Stress is definitely a ‘reason’ I give myself to eat rubbish! Shame on me!

I’m incredibly torn – I have something coming up before the end of the month that’ll blow my healthy plans out of the window – just wait, I will tell you, once the surprised are aware 😉  Oh and it’s not a baby, as much as I’d love it to be 🙂

So for this week’s menu, we went easy.  The butcher in our shopping centre has some ‘ready made’ meats and I feel more comfortable about these than the ones we often buy marked down in grocery duopoly.  Here’s what I got:

  • Chicken involtini
  • Pork noisette
  • Satay chicken skewers
  • Lamb kofta skewers

The BF’s pretty impressed by the meat haul. All up, it was around $50 and then I spent $40 at the grocery store, which brings us on par with most weekly grocery shops.  For vegies, I bought one ready made coleslaw mix and vegies to make a vegie lasagne.  I figure the lasagne is enough as a meal for me for lunches, and a ‘side’ for our evening meals.  All in all, it’s a pretty easy menu, so that’s a start!

Jillian - a side lunge is weird, but Lulu's got your back (via)
Jillian – a side lunge is weird, but Lulu’s got your back (via)

So with exercise – it’s one thing I struggle to pay for as I struggle to commit!  I’m good with playing water polo – but not training.  I could get a weekly or more membership to trampoline exercise ($15 per class or $19 for a weekly sign up for 8 weeks or $135 for 10 classes).  Barre Body is $25 for a casual class or $220 for 10 classes over six months, or $35 per week for two classes or $50 for unlimited number of classes.  Does anyone see how I could find this + my commitment issues = confusing!  And neither of these are particularly attractive when it’s super rainy outside either!

So, I’m not going backwards, but I’m not steaming forwards very quickly.  I do look good in my new work out top though!

Weight loss plan

**So I drafted this a few days ago, and didn’t go live.  I’ll explore why at the end**

The biggest 2016 goal I want to achieve is to get under 70kg and stay that way! In the past twelve months, I’ve been down to 74kg, and in years prior, I’ve dipped under 70kg – so it’s a realistic goal.

It’s not realistic that it will just ‘happen’. I need to set milestones and rewards. And plan for weaknesses.

So for rewards

@ 77kg – a new pair of cropped tights
@ 75kg – a massage
@ 73kg – a new work out tank or bra
@ 71kg – a bunch of flowers

Love strappy backs (with no back rolls) Via
Love strappy backs (with no back rolls)

The BF suggested also having a week of things to check off, and a mini reward (like a sweet treat), so here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Always take the stairs at home
2. Three ‘walks around the park’
3. Three strength sessions
4. Fast two days in the week (less than 600 calories) <- this one is big on the deprivation thing
5. Two take away coffees per week. Why? It’s calories I have come to routinely consume. But making it a rewarding treat will make it special.

Risky behaviour
I’m prone to a post lunch ice cream. I’m not suddenly going to quash that habit, so I need a healthier substitution. In the past, I’ve succeeded with a coffee (milky but no sugar) or a herbal tea. I think a piece of fruit can also work. And a mint (for those lunches that leave a strong taste).

After dinner: a solitary square of Lindt mint chocolate. Only 50 cals. And I can stop at one.

After work snack attack: I’m good at reaching for the cashews, and whilst not low in calories, they are healthy in many ways. I think part and parcel with snacking is knowing what is for dinner, and getting an early start on it. If I eat a carrot, it’s far better than some other sweet treats, even if I go over some conservative calorie limit!

Out and about snacks: I find nothing more demoralising than the cases full of sugary cakes and snacks when at a cafe, or walking around a shopping centre. I’m not sure what strategy to employ here – sometime some nuts and fruit won’t cut it. Maybe a smoothie or juice will be a sweet enough hit?

I did this stretch via
I did this stretch

Why am I doing this?
I’d like to feel comfortable in my clothes – rather than cut into by them!

I want toned arms so I’m not self conscious in tank tops and similar.

Look better in candid photographs of my whole body!

Eat in a way where I can be more balanced – the occasional treat rather than a daily reward for making it through half of the work day!

So if I HAD post this when I’d written it, this is what I’d have done ‘off plan’:
– no stairs taking
– no walk Monday after work cause it was raining (but I did plan one complete with a destination/errand)
– no fasting – but pretty healthy meal plan put together, shopped for, and three dishes prepared (7 meals worth)

I did book and go to a Barre Body class on Sunday morning before church, so not all was lost. And I’ve been so hungry but eating healthily.

Thoughts?  What would you do differently?

Cold, snow cold…

Last Friday I felt the niggles of a sore throat, so wisely spent Saturday sleeping.  And a lot of Sunday.  I worked Monday and Tuesday, whilst the man about the house took an unprecedented two days off in a row.  Unlike me, he actually is awake, and upright on his sick days.  My Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday this week have seen me mostly horizontal.  I slept through Wednesday’s except for the two clean! Seriously, save for an hour or two, I went from my ‘night’ sleep til 5.30pm!?  So you can imagine my frustration that on Friday, I’m STILL sick.  Pesky colds I tell you!

One ‘sick’ evening, I spent the better part of the night pinning the lovely AirBnB’s in Paris.  That was fun! They certainly know what small living is – how can they be such a culinary culture with such tiny kitchens though?

Ok, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain – it is COLD out.  How cold you ask?  There’s snow.  In Australia.  In places one wouldn’t really think it’d snow.  See some photos from a friend, but the link is the BEST:

Thanks to Sally Reddy's photography
Thanks to Sally Reddy’s photography

The bulk of the snow photos are in the Blue Mountains, where my uncle lives.  My mum typically visits him on school holidays, but left it til ‘snow day’ to try, and of course our roads aren’t made for this, so they closed the highway.  Mum stayed home instead 🙁

I’ve enjoyed some great TV lately, thanks to the BF being involved with a certain TV company’s streaming service.  I’ve enjoyed UnREAL a behind the scenes of a (fake) dating show.  Seriously warped, but enjoyable.  The Fall with the chilling Gillian Anderson from The X Files as a cop in Northern Ireland.

UnREAL via
UnREAL via

I’ve also signed up to Facebook groups in a big way.  I started about 6 months ago with the Facebook group associated with The Non Consumer Advocate.  It is such a chatty and supportive group, I decided to find more groups just this past week, and signed up to an Australian group for the 5:2 fasting I’m attempting (though the shedding of KGs is slow).  I’ve also joined Simple Savers, which I know some of my Aussie readers are already knowledgeable about.

Otherwise, life’s ticking along swimmingly.  I bought my annual amount of shares, which the BF noted hasn’t increased with the six years I’ve been buying once annually.  My salary on the other hand has.  It’s ok, I’m not entirely comfortable with shares and buying/investing, so I like to keep the amount to a quantity I’d be happy to lose (which is in the ballpark of the amount I’d pay for a flight to my favourite international destinations).  It helps me resolve the possibility of ‘losing it all’ though it’s unlikely.

What’s news with you?

This and that

So long time no post, I know.

Here’s all the scattered thoughts in a post!

  • I get one day off a month.  Last month, I did my annual ‘scale and clean’ at the dentist.  But this month, I got my first ever filling 🙁  And I’m still sore now, about 6hrs later, but no longer numb.

"Practical" heels
“Practical” heels

  • I made a ‘buy nothing new‘ pact with my mother post our US trip, for a year.  I did buy a $5 dress in Thailand, but chalked that up to the BF buying it 😉  Mum then bought a pink coat online.  Today I bought shoes from Camper, reduced from $270 to $189, for a style that’s unheard of for going on sale (it’s a staple, which is changing)


  • I’m reading and watching a lot of non fiction at the moment.  The documentaries seem to all gravitate around sex workers, I’m not sure why.  But I’m seeing all sides – from the law enforcement and people trafficking, to those that chose the life, to the youth involved.  As to reading, I’m reading about the Fast Diet.  With the dentist, I figured today was a good day to try it.  You eat 500 calories for two days in a week, and normal the rest of the time.  It’s ok, but not exactly easy on a day off, but we’ll see.

Pretty right? via
Pretty right?

  • My mother’s having a milestone birthday in August, and is planning to make it as awesome as mine was.  Our inspiration picture came from BetterAfter.  So for that, I have scowered many a store for black and white striped card.  Zazzle will make them online for 20 guests for $90 which is a little re-dic.  In the end, the local Kmart had something in the theme colours I can work with.  As for the table cloth?  Thanks Ikea Sofia fabric.  And the 8km walk I attached to the outing.  Yep, if I have a ‘plan’ of where I am walking to, and I really want to go there, then I can walk and walk.  Got me a blister tho!


  • Money.  I set part of my mortgage as variable, and part as fixed. The idea was to set the variable part to an amount I might be able to pay off during the ‘term’ of the fixed part, which was 3 years.  18 months in, I hit that target (on Wednesday).  I’m mighty impressed with myself!  So next up is some $$ to the shares, like I try to do annually, and then maybe the ‘trip of a lifetime’ plan – at least my idea if 6 weeks in Europe next summer, with a week in each of the following: Russia, Croatia, Iceland, France, Romania, Bosnia.


  • I’ve been on a mending frenzy.  Gosh I love mending.  I added gold buttons to a navy blazer, replacing the rubbering black ones that got stuck on the desk when I was typing.  I also sewed a different clasp on press stud pants to stop the awkward ‘pop open’.  Darned some socks.  Seriously though, there’s nothing I like more.  I reckon I should letterbox the neighbours, just for my own entertainment in front of the TV!

There we have it – a scattered collection of life from LivetoList.  How’s things with you?