Why so quiet?

Well partly cause I can’t recall my password for approving comments.

And work – man, work. We’ve had big storms in Sydney, and big effort for me and my team to get things back to ‘normal’. And then there’s life. Life is full and complicated.

Today was not a normal day in Sydney. I just want to make it known that I don’t harbour any hate. Every human is what they chose to be, or become, and it’s on them, not on their alliances or faith or anything else. And everyone makes wrong decisions, whether they be little slip ups or holding people hostages in a cafe. I refuse to buy into the speculation or hysteria.

So for something more mundane, a to do list
– wrap jars with maps as future votive holders for my birthday!
– put away the washing (at least the lingering socks!)

Inside the invite

– make my 30th birthday invites

Handmade envelopes
Outside invites

– write Christmas cards (that should probably be bumped higher, but it’s a mess factor and maps are everywhere…!)
– rinse out the dirty take away coffee cups the BF used
– buy foam core cardboard for a certain Christmas gift plan
– drop off two pairs of shoes to have their soles restitched on
– coordinate to drop off my hand blender to a friend
– hang up recently bought fairy lights in the hallway

I’m still reading your blogs, but that password issue is even ruining my commenting simplicity :s Sorry! Promise I read it all!

Inner Sydney snaps

The other gelato I wanted to have - yes that's a donut on top!
The other gelato I wanted to have – yes that’s a donut on top!
Pavalova gelato mmm
Pavalova gelato mmm
Inner city guerilla art
Inner city guerilla art
Some one's up to no good
Some one’s up to no good

Some of the photos of my weekend – funny what you notice in the inner city!

Dramatism is like consumerism

Yesterday I wrote about how I still feel the twinges of desire to acquire things, but mostly I quash them.  I withstand my desire for the new and shiny things and the promise (lies!) of a perfect life.  I can be an anti consumer, or at the very less a low level consumer

However, one thing I seem to buy hook line and sinker from media is the ‘happy’ myth.  Or more precisely, the soap opera of constantly interesting story lines.

There is no soap opera in going to work every day, and sitting at a desk most of the time getting work done.

Well, there is no soap opera about engineers.  Think about that – doctors, nurses, CSI tech, lawyers, Australiam librarians, politicans – yes to all the above.  Engineers – not so much.  The Australian film “3 Dollars” he’s an engineer who loses his job.  Gloomy.

I seem to wish and want my life to have interest.  To have a good story, at any moment to tell.  That perfect tale to tell when someone asks ‘what’s been happening’ who I saw only a week ago.  Put another way, I seem to want a certain level of drama in my life.  Some complication, some struggle.  Those who know me well enough, are honest enough to tell me, my life IS like a soap opera.  Alas, I think (and hope) that’s perhaps not come across in my blog posts?

But it’s a myth, just like the right clothes will improve your self esteem or the right cupboard will solve your clutter problem.  Both those myths I know the truth about!  But the constant drama, the swings and roundabouts of life, I always want just the right sprinkling.  I do not like to be bored.

That being said, sometimes, I get to the end of the dramatic act, and I think ‘Woowa, why did I want into that scene? Why didn’t I just reject that story line?’

It only just dawned on me the other day when a friend said to me “Life isn’t like a TV show”.  He’s right.  I know advertising isn’t real life. But I need to learn that a scripted life is not real life.  For one, they never show them going to the toliet.  That always used to puzzle me as a child!

Window Shopping again

Tonight, as the BF had a work function, I took myself window shopping.  I wanted to see all that sparkled (but I know is not gold) in the stores, which are currently packed to the gills for Christmas.  There was nothing like this in New Caledonia, and from my travelling in past years, Australia does Christmas on a scale far greater than Europe.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in North America over the ‘holiday season’ so I can’t recall, but I suspect we’re more and more like the Americans.

What’s even more interesting is that I went window shopping, even though I was tired from a long day at work, and I was feeling headachey.  And, I would be the first to admit I try to be a non consumer.

Let’s get over the hard bit first.  I bought two things – a new long sleeved top (on sale), and some paints.  For a planned craft project 😉  So I had long planned to buy the paints.  All in all, I spent less than $40 on ‘stuff’.

But oh my, there were some things I could have splurged on.  A wreath of bells, in a star shape (in Witchery – a clothing store?!).  I could have bought a leather zipped pouch in West Elm (aside: West Elm is new to Australia, and comes along with Pottery Barn and William Sonoma.  And if I didn’t know/assume they were all in the same ‘group’, I can most certainly suspect it from their store layouts, vibe and general scale).

Honestly though, my non consumer brain yells loudly.  It says things like “where will you store those wire stars and baubles when Christmas is over” and “those towels won’t stay looking that fresh” and “where would you put another throw rug, you have three?”.  I think start to think: “Will I ‘grow up’ and forever be telling myself not to get just one more throw? Is life just a cycle of acquire and purge?”.  And then I get a little depressed.  I start to wonder if I should be an interior designer/window dresser, so then at least I wouldn’t be consuming it all!

Anyhow, there’s my stream of consciousness.  What do the voices in your head tell you when you’re shopping?

First kiss

When I was a teenager, and hormonal, I wrote endlessly about love and all the involved permutations.  But I knew I was young and hormonal and who wants to read the same gaff every teen goes on about?  Now I’m in that perfect spot – neither youthful hormones, nor at the sunset of youth (relatively), nor pregnant lady hormones. I feel like I can write about the heady memories of first kisses without a bias 😉

There is nothing more intoxicating than the anticipation of your very very first kiss.  There’s nothing to compare it to.  From those more experienced at school, the most graphic example Sally gave was ‘it’s like licking a plate’.  I think the visual was captivating enough, irrespective of it’s relevance to the actual act.

When I FINALLY (or so it would seem) had my first kiss at 16, it was at a school dance.  I remember the sore hips from a night of swaying back and forth on the same spot.  I was delighted to be told that ‘it looked like the movies’ when Fran reminisced about my first kiss.  Cause if it looked right to an outsider, I mustn’t be doing anything too wrong, right?

source: www.deviantart.com
source: www.deviantart.com

Alas, this kiss was unexpected, a function of luck.  The best kisses are the ones you’ve imagined in every possible combination in your head.  Every moment, in freeze frame motion.  And that started LONG before I was actually first kissed.  I remember spending my first year in high school speculating ways I could ‘run into’ the neighbour up the street.  It couldn’t have been more frustrating to NEVER have him on my train home – how could us two commuters never find our paths met?  (Mostly cause he went to school for an hour less a day, and my school was twice as far away!)  Nonetheless, almost every day I spent 50c on a roll of lifesavers, so should I see him, I’d have something to offer.  A way to nonchalantly strike up conversation.

After my first kiss, but whilst still in high school, I developed a crush.  With it, I created this alternative reality, this happily ever after.  It all pivoted on that first kiss.  When the time finally came to steal a kiss, it was lack luster.  he smelt… like he’s clothes hadn’t dried properly.  There’s nothing I detest more than that musty smell.  It failed to live up to the hype in my head.  (Interestingly, I was told many years after this that I was ‘the one that got away’.  Since then, he’s happily married, so I think all’s well on that front!)

At university, it took about at least a year to get over the awkwardness that comes from eight years in a girls boarding school and into an environment of 95% guys.  I spent a long time expecting someone to rib me for talking to guys, that I might have an ulterior motive, that I was ‘in lurve’.  I also slowly got out of thinking every interaction needed to be working towards ‘a boyfriend’.  Let’s face it, in boarding school you had to maximise you chances, which were so few and far between.

source: www.imgion.com
source: www.imgion.com

Let it be known that I’ve had more crushes than hot dinners, so it will come as no surprise that this thrill of imagining the first kiss is a well worn path in my sub conscious. I remember developing a firm interest in a friend in one particular class.  I think it’s the only time that the reality far exceeded my imaginings!  All the mystery he’d developed seemed to continue despite our first kiss.  I can only assume I wasn’t as skillful (?) as that ship sailed.  Our romance dissolved and we continued to study together with no malice.  Well not much 😉

First kisses.  There’s so many unknowns.  It’s often the gateway to physical touch.  Will it be breathless and heady?  Will it fall flat to all the hype in your head?  Will it come when you least expect it and leave you floored?  To me, there’s so much mystery in a kiss.  A mystery in why humankind do this – and why we found this ritual so intoxicating.  As my little brother mistook it as a child ‘why are they biting each others’ lips?’.  Well, that’s a very good question… One I just can’t quite answer!

Where do you read?

So for a long time, I’ve wondered about all my readers, many who are ‘reading down the house’.

Where do you read?


Do you have a special chair and a light that you curl up under?

Do you read whilst you eat – at a certain meal, or most sole meals?

Do you read before falling asleep?

Do you read whenever the option presents itself, like waiting rooms and in transit?

Thank to source
Thanks to source

I’m a regular bed time reader, finishing TV viewing strictly by 8.30pm, then tidying up to a vary degree.  Then I settle into read until I’m tucked in (yes, coupledom mimics my childhood and it’s lovely).  I read on the train from time to time.  My current books aren’t engaging, so they’ve not made it into my handbag of late, but a good book will!  I find it hard to ‘read’ when I have down time – to sit on the sofa and just read.  I always think all you avid readers must do that? Do you?

I’d love to know!

More to me than a job

Since the 18th August, so almost a month, in the new role, I’ve been grappling with the added commute.  Today, the boss asked me how I felt about the roll etc.

I am steadfastly unmoving in my rejection of a permanent role with a 2 hours commute per day. 10 hours a week!

My close colleague cannot understand it.

But I must be more than my job.  I must have time to do SES.  I need time to do errands.  To get a script for the GP and then fill that script – other than on my one day off a month (cause you never need it then).  I need to be able to volunteer my time to church or the coop or whatever next piques my interest and fancy.  I need to be awake enough to commit to seeing my family weekly, ideally.  Certainly not monthly! I need to feel like I could go to a movie or a meal on a weeknight, and not be wrecked for the next day and the week that follows.

Jo at All the Blue Day hit the nail on the head about who I am, when I read this phrase in her post today:

extreme busyness (joining the committee of every group we ever belong to, and becoming indispensable)

That can be me.  And in some regards, it can be a bad thing, but it’s part of the whole of who I am and what I do.  I don’t just want to be a worker.  I don’t just want to do good when I’m paid, and otherwise form a permanent imprint in the sofa! And the longer I’m away from home with work, the more I yearn to solely rest and work on the butt print!

The question is – at what level of pay will I be swayed?  The close colleague asked on the train ‘for half the pay, would you take a job closer to home’ – I clarified, half of my now wage (more than ‘usual’) or half of my base wage?

But I’d already done the sums.  I mean, that’s why I love to read personal finance blogs.

With a mortgage (and tenants) I’d need a $50k job to cover my costs.  If I was to sell my property (and not factor in drawing on savings, or the money earnt in that sale), I’d need $70k. So in answer, yes, I’d take a pay cut, and still be able to live in this lovely apartment, have some walking around money ($120 per week) and cover my essentials.  I even factored in $40 for public transport, which is about what it costs now.  I wouldn’t take international holidays without some pain, and I wouldn’t be buying things willy nilly.  But I could do it.

The question remains, at what price does a role exist that meets my criteria – namely, a reasonable commute from home?  Only time will tell.  But I am able, and willing, to put the money back on the table to get what I need.

It was a good week!

I’m delighted to report – what an awesome week.  Well, there were less than awesome bits, but I’d rather reflect on the great! (thanks to Tiff at Raising Lemons)

Today, two lines on a work graph intercepted.  In 12 days, we’ve done radical things and seen a rapid drop in a statistic we were getting hounded on.  And it’s all thanks to me, and an incredible team!

When I take the slow train, I'm treated to views like this!
When I take the slow train, I’m treated to views like this!

I’m running out of work to give them – I used to release a week’s worth to up to 12 crews – one crew got work issued for today, and will need more again next weekend, having finished it all already! They usually get new data on Wednesdays!!

I’ve started calling meetings – and people come.  And they listen.  This still sorta shocks me, cause I rebel against meetings.  I’m not rude, and I do attend, but I often go willing I didn’t ‘have’ to!!

Today’s meeting, there were actions completed by the end of the day! At this was a post lunch meeting!

Is anyone over my !!s yet?  Hold on, there is likely to be more.

The BF went away overnight (the night he’d usually be teaching and home late).  So I went and saw ‘Wasted’ a movie about trash by Jeremy Irons.  It was run by a local council and free to attend.  They fed us (with compostable plates). AND! They gave away keep cups.  They let me customise with the ones lined up, and I got one all tricked out in blue and green, and in use this morning:

Early for my express train so I treated myself to a delicious coffee.
Early for my express train so I treated myself to a delicious coffee.

And this talk’s location, there’s a direct bus from it to my home.  Who knew.  And I caught the last service of the night home.  Talk about well timed!

Tonight, I’m on the sofa til the airport pick up, indulging in my crack cocaine – garlic bread.  It is DELICIOUS.  So is this couch.  There might even be something sugary up next.  Ok, so health’s not a focus right now, but that’s a ok!

What went well in  your week?  What did you succeed at?



Getting stuff done!

In contrast to my last post, I pleased to report how I’ve knotched things up a gear in my personal life!

  • I went to SES on Tuesday despite horrible weather, thankfully we were indoors and playing with power tools.  My first time with a plane saw, grinder and nail gun.  FUN!
On the inside, I'm a tradie!
On the inside, I’m a tradie!
  • Thursday night, I ventured out in the drizzle to the new UTS building on Broadway, which happens to house the faculty I studied in.  Here’s a view from inside:
I don't see (modern) Hogwarts, but my FB friends did
I don’t see (modern) Hogwarts, but my FB friends did
  • A church ‘youth dinner’ on Friday night – there was just one guest, but many RSVPs so at least I know it’s in peoples minds
  • Saturday was brunch with a friend from my school years, and then walked her around our neighbourhood.  It’s such a pleasure to see my home and locale from someone else’s point of view.  She loved the diversity of new and innovative buildings as well as the older terraces.  The short walk from the city, and the views of it.  And lovely big trees as well
  • A couple of water polo friends cane around for dinner on Saturday, I attempted a pot luck but that’s not really an Aussie thing.  We had a huge pile of roast veggies (thanks Em), a pile of nachoes, and a self saucing chocolate pudding, plus lots of chatter as three from four of us had been overseas recently! (that ticks my goal of entertaining at home more too)
  • Made it to church this morning – people asked about my ‘holiday’ (I think they mean the past two weeks when I’ve chosen to sleep in perhaps?)  Anyhow, I garnered two more contacts for the youth dinners, and resolved some catering dramas which I’d been remiss in doing in the past few weeks due to work.  All’s well that ends well cause
  • The tea/coffee issues at church meant I went to the local Asian IGA, and optimised my trip by buying 6 varieties of dumplings from their freezer section.  The ultimate in tasty quick food for the nights where the BF and I have different schedules
  • I came home to hang out a load of washing, iron some work shirts whilst watching Project Runway, and then made a curtain to block the light a little better for the BF who gets up closer to 9am (!!) on weekdays! (!!)


Sadly the remnant wasn't long enough, but I see a future 'frill' hem... I did love the colour though, and it was thick enough to do the trick
Sadly the remnant wasn’t long enough, but I see a future ‘frill’ hem… I did love the colour though, and it was thick enough to do the trick
  • I was frustrated that one of my op shop shirt’s French cuffs didn’t have enough button holes to stop the cuffs from flapping.  I was thinking I might get a ‘mender’ at the dry cleaners’ to do it.  Then I googled the machine I have, worked out which foot to use (helpfully stored behind the machine) and gave it a whirl.  Here’s the result:
Sarah style buttonhole - I didn't have any thread other than black or white.  But thankfully my cufflink works perfectly
Sarah style buttonhole – I didn’t have any thread other than black or white. But thankfully my cufflink works perfectly
Not the tidiest job, but free~!!!
Not the tidiest job, but free~!!!

And I forgot to mention (and I think I will try to draft a quick post) but…

  • I finished reading the bible – one of my 12 in 2 goals!!  I happened to read the last of it on the train from work to the airport to meet my brother, so it was a momentous day!

Now for the work week ahead… I have to remember to pat myself on the back more.  Remember that if I was asked ‘have you done everything you can to make it work’ I could honestly answer yes.  The results aren’t solely up to me.

How was your weekend?  Did you get a run on things you’ve otherwise been avoiding? (Yes, it would seem, I had been ‘avoiding’ socialisation if I’m perfectly honest!)

Yay! Friday!

Twice in three weeks, I’ve had the chance to take Friday off (one was sick leave, today is my one day off a month, which I’ve wholeheartedly earnt with extra hours worked!)

I plan to get the ‘pink slip’ for my scooter sorted, so that I can get it third party insured and registered.  It blows me away that once a year a 4 year old scooter needs inspection.  I suppose that’s why NSW (the state I live in) has so many new vehicles in comparison to states of Australia with less rigorous inspection periods. Consume, consume, consume!!

Oh, but it’s raining. Like most days in the past fortnight.  I’m not sure I’ve shared with bloggers my utter dislike of rain.  If I was God for a day, I’d make it always rain from midnight to 5am.  We could all plan around it!

Then this afternoon, I plan to meet my mother, a teacher who always gets a half day Friday thanks to it being the start of the Sabbath at her Muslim school, and she’ll escort me to my suburban tax accountant to do this year’s tax.  Last year, I found a local accountant, and the service was woeful.  Given my finances continue to get more complicated, being a landlord, earning more etc, I think sticking to a former accountant who seemed knowledgeable, helpful and did face to face tax, is a better bet.  Yes, I used to DIY my taxes, but now I just get everything prepped and meet the accountant.  There’s so much tax law I don’t understand, and given it changes annually, it’s good to have someone to nut it through with.

And should there be idle time around both of these, I shall read… thanks to whomever recently read and reviewed ‘The Girl you Left Behind’ I already love it, and love that it’s a weighty tome of WWI and France! Already got in a chapter or three before getting out of bed to take the BF to work. (Such a great GF right? To ensure he gets to work dry?  Not half as sweet as he was, to come at 10pm to my parents house (a good 30mins from our home) to pick me up last night, after having a reunion dinner.  The youngest of my two brothers returned from South America yesterday afternoon, after 9 months away!  Should you want to know about his navel gazing in the last month or two, here’s his blog: Not Finding Myself).

What’s involved with your day ahead?