Thursday, December 8, 2011

Inevitability Strikes Again

Some things are inevitable, unavoidable, irresistible (tautology is my middle name, by the way).

First of all, at this time of year, there is the buying and giving of "stuff". Unavoidable.

And inevitably I become frustrated with the volume of plastic-y "stuff" that have a built in obsolescence set to expire and become landfill before the year is out so that they can be replaced with a shiny plastic-y thing-a-ma-bob du jour next Christmas.

And here (unavoidably) I become another in a long history of people worldwide to exclaim, "Why aren't things built like they used to be?"

This was literally brought home to me recently. Astrid had seen a waffle iron in a Christmas brochure that was (inevitably) placed in our letterbox. Shiny. Plastic. Junk. I remembered that mum had a Husqvarna waffle iron and so we've borrowed it for a while to sate Astrid (and, after being reminded of waffles after many years waffle-less, my) waffle cravings.

This beauty must be close to 50 years old! And yet, here it is going strong and turning out beautiful waffles.

Hard to imagine a single appliance that will be given to anyone anywhere this Christmas that can become a family heirloom.

The inevitable angst about presents starts. We try to make good choices. For the children: Lego (this is sanctioned plastic as far as we are concerned...and also heirloom material as the kids actually have Lego passed on from my brother and I in their box), art supplies and books, that sort of thing.

And this year, for the adults, we have decided as an extended family to give donations to charity.

Take that JUNK.

In other inevitable, unavoidable and irresistible news: I have once again missed the first of Advent and have to sneekily, secretly, covertly light the second candle during the week to make it look like I didn't!

I think perhaps that if I did actually remember to light the first candle on the actual first of Advent, we may all disappear in a POOF of unpredictability.

So it's probably better that things remain inevitable, unavoidable and irresistible .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Before and After shots of our rejuvenated "free" deck sofa...

...of course what you can't see is that I pulled out a bazillion rusty staples and replaced the seat webbing and that I sanded and refinished the wood. Also, while the shape is really, really cute, it was a bit of a bugger to sew removable slip covers for. I cut up an old foam mattress for the base and the cushions are also recycled, so it's cleared up random junk as well as made a useful piece of furniture. Now on to the chair...and finishing the deck so I can do a really impressive before and after of that!



So far the cats haven't claimed it as their own but they're lurking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Finished Astrid's cardigan this weekend (pattern linky). It's still a little coolish in the evenings so she may get some wear out of it before it's put away all the long, long months of summer. There is not a hint of "itch factor" with this one as it's made from lovely Patonyle (sock wool). It's also blocked in shampoo, so it's passed Miss Fussy's stringent criteria for acceptable knit wearability.

I've also almost finished restoring the  found sofa. I'll get some pictures of it soon.

We went on a walking tour of some heritage sites around our neighbourhood yesterday. It was a bit like being tourists in your own backyard. It was fun and something we'll be doing more of now that I've made myself an early New Year's Resolution to do more family/community/free and low cost stuff next year.

Yep, all in all, it was quite a productive weekend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Congratulations Australia


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beautiful South

The south coast of our part of Australia is truly beautiful.

 It's for salty eyelashes and never brushing your sea-tangled hair.

It's for exploring secret paths sliced through granite boulders.

And discovering an ancient herd of elephants frozen together forever.

For building sand civilisations and climbing willow trees.

It's for making new friends.

It's for waking every morning to have your breath taken away by an ever changing view that is somehow disconnected from time and ordinary things.

It's for dreaming of another life...(this vineyard is for sale)...sigh.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When the internet is really helpful

I hate folding washing.

It's probably my most hated household task.

It's probably because there's ALWAYS mountains of it.

It's probably because it NEVER ends.

I stumbled on this video today. I'm sure it will wear off but at the moment it's actually fun to fold (T-shirts anyway).

Thank you the Japanese, thank you the internet.

I'm off to Google Origami Undies now!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I've made a cardigan for the Historian!

He has problems with the concept of the "cardigan". He has problems with the concept of hand-knit too. Born, I suspect, out of years of hand-knits from loving relatives that were too short, or wide, or acrylic, or otherwise weird.

I've been able to knit something he'll actually wear in the past but have until now had no success on the cardigan front. He thinks they're fuddy duddy.

Here's the thing.

The Historian didn't think that History was a crusty enough profession for him and so he is now in the thick of a post doctorate degree in Archeology.

Now an Archeological Historian or a Historical Archeologist simply must wear cardigans, don't you agree? . . . preferably with suede elbow patches and corduroy trousers.

I'm pleased to say that he has finally embraced the idea of hand-knits and cardigans but I can see with his new profession that I'll have to be careful not to steer him down a wrong path...

Mick Aston from the Time Team

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nothing is sexier than a good brain

Thinking a lot about evolutionary biologists lately (more on that later). In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, a mind altering talk from one of our world's sharpest minds; and an evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins. Who is married to Princess Astra/Romana from Dr Who by the way (remember her?).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Neighbourly Lessons in Gratitude

I love where I live.

I met an inspiring woman the other day. She's in her eighties and lives a few streets away. We got talking about the neighbourhood and old houses and she invited me into see hers. As soon as I stepped past the threshold I knew I was in the home of a remarkable person.

Every neat-as-a-pin, yet comfortable, room was sparingly furnished with elegant teak pieces that looked as though they had been newly purchased last week . . . in 1955 and on every wall hung enormous, beautiful painted canvases, mostly portraits with pleasant personalities that seemed to reach out of the surface asking you to get to know them better. I lingered at a handsome smiling young man that absolutely shone with yellow tones from mustard to marigold.

"My long ago paramour, he stayed in France," she sighed.

"Are you the artist?" I asked,  impressed.

"Yes, most are mine. Oh, I wanted to see how it was done," she said as she noticed me studying a really convincing copy of the Mona Lisa that hung in her sitting room.

She told me that she has traveled and lived in many places around the world but that this is where she has put down her roots. She has lived in the house for 55 years, her children grew there, her grandchildren love to visit and she has two studios out the back where she takes small groups for painting lessons. She said that when her friends come to stay from overseas that they are blown away at how close she lives to the city and yet what a relaxed and idyllic life she has.

"It's paradise here," she said smiling at me.

I came away changed from that meeting.

I had been feeling rather antsy, flighty, foot-itchy lately. Some friends have recently relocated to London (making me really envious, it sounds so exciting) and Dette is about to set off on her incredible European escapade.

Blah, I thought. Boring, I thought. We should pick up and go somewhere. Relocate. Have an adventure. I even made a mental (googled) list of places that I thought would suit me: Victoria, Canada; Aarhus, Demark; Gotland, Sweden; Somewhere nice that I haven't narrowed down yet in New Zealand?...hmmm.

But I do actually love where we live.

I love our lifestyle. I love that we have roots and family here. I love the community. The people, who will share life lessons and readily invite strangers into their homes! The skinny musicians loping along with guitars slung across their backs - just like generations of hip kids before them. Elderly Italian and Greek families with bursting vegetable patches, illegally planted but ignored by the authorities, on their front council verge. The pink and grey galahs nesting in street trees and the magpies hopping about in their brilliant white and black below them.

I love the mild winters and the spectacular spring and autumn days (we don't have to talk about summer). I adore our house that we are making so comfortable and beautiful and the memories that my children are creating here daily.

I love the open blue sky that we enjoy (3200 hours a year).

I love that we're walking distance to friends, the best park in town, foreign restaurants, art galleries and cool little wine bars playing original music. I love that we can holiday nearby in really pristine wilderness, deserted beaches with the softest, whitest sand and world-class wine regions

Perhaps I'll just content myself with fantasy international holiday plans. That way I can come back to "paradise".

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Love Letter to my Dearest Friend on the Occasion of her Birthday

Dear Dette,

Thirty years ago we found each other at high school and I am forever grateful that we did.

We were together through the teenage angst incredibly important dramas of our late adolescence. We created our own styles together, sewing and knitting clothes (urg, remember the black polkadot jodpur things I made? And our anti-fashion stance of mixing colours that we thought shouldn't go together...only to find pink and yellow were the "new black" of 1982 and the competitions to see who could be clothed for the least money - curse those undies, they always bumped up the total cost).

We felt passionately about so many, many things and causes and talked endlessly about our hearts and who was trampling all over them or who we wished would trample on them a little bit...staying up all night giggling insanely, eating "magic" french onion dip in my bedroom window.

Since then we've both had relationships and break ups, joy and sorrow but your friendship has remained a strong constant in my life, like a pair of warm and loving arms always there to catch and comfort. I am continually inspired by your courage, strength, kindness and creativity . You really do make me a better person.

When we were 17, we imagined the sort of old ladies we would one day become. We vowed to be as naughty as we could possibly be and exasperate everyone with our tricksy ways while we wreak havoc in our super-fast shiny red sports-cars. I'm looking forward to that in another 30 years.

Happy Birthday.

Love Anki

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Some Music for You

One of Australia's most brilliant bands, The Drones, performing Kev Carmody's "River of Tears".

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here he comes again

I'm prejudiced.



Mauve has never done anything to me and yet I can't even stand the sound of his name. Mauve. Yuck.

It's a truly visceral affect he has on me. I hide my prejudice. When the Wisterias are in bloom, I naturally ooh and aah with everyone else but inside I'm shuddering...Mauve. Too much Mauve. Yuck.

As with any prejudice, I see him everywhere, I distrust him and am uneasy when he's around. He seems to sneak into so many colours and try to ingratiate himself. The silvery, mother-of-pearly colour that I yearned for in the dining room has him lurking in the darkened corners. And now he's threatening to show up again in the pale grey colour that we have chosen for woodwork at the front of our house.

Dulux Lunette

. . . not to mention the colour we've chosen for the walls.

Dulux Bilby

The Historian keeps saying, "Look, if you're going to stare at the colour long enough, you're going to see it. Relax, and get that look of disgust off your face, it's grey . . . . . . . . . .with a hint of purple".

But I know that wily character Mauve, he lulls you into a false sense of security with his purple-ness or his pink-ness but he's still Mauve under it all.

Maybe I need to accept him. Embrace him. Plant a Wisteria and name the house "Mauve Manor".

Pssst...I've changed the main colour...that should foil Mr Mauve...

Dulux Raku

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cute and Cuddly Boys, Cute and Cuddly

So. Hello again. I've been neglecting you, poor little blog. I have excuses, I guess.

We've been busy. We've had nasty colds, birthdays and school holidays. We've had outings (Zoo, Museum, Art Gallery) and In-ings (cocooned in our new library because it's quite cold and we are unprepared for that) and creating an awful mess again as we scrape, sand, fill and paint the front of the house (with associated paint choice dramas again).

And we have a new member added to our family.

Meet NASA (as in National Aeronautics and Space Administration, named (naturally) by science-mad Linus).

We lost the youngest of our geriatric cats (Scat) a few months ago. As much as you are prepared for the loss of elderly pets, it still hurts an awful lot when they go. We didn't want to "replace" him as we still have two ancient cats and the idea of upsetting their sunset years with an interloper seemed a bit cruel.

But, then Linus has been positively aching for a cat that would be friendly to him (yeah, old cats won't put up with the attentions of 8 year olds very well). So we made the decision to adopt a rescue kitten. He was found in the middle of a busy road at only a couple of weeks old by a kind soul who took him to the local vet. He has settled in amazingly well. Really, amazingly well. The old folks 'round here could care less that he's on the scene and he's taken to sleeping on Linus's bed which makes him and us all kinds of happy!

Watching a new baby come to terms with the world is so much fun...smelling things for the first time, feeling and chewing and generally attacking everything that moves (including knitting wool, sigh).
But man, you got to be careful of those Koi in the pond. They look really scary! Actually, be really careful of the pond in general so that you don't fall head first into it with your jeans and shoes on as it's not a nice experience, ask me how I know.

I've also managed to finish a couple of knitting projects (while fending off NASA). One is Linus's cardigan.
Which he absolutely insists on wearing with the hood up. I tried to tell him that it's "cooler" to wear it down, but what do I know.
Erratum: Astrid informs me she is a rabbit in this photo. Well, of couse she is. None of those at the zoo either.
Oh, these are pictures of Astrid being a deer at the zoo.Because, there ain't no deer at the Perth Zoo (plenty of kangaroos, koalas, zebras, giraffes and an inordinate number of gibbons) but much to Astrid's chagrin, no deer. Luckily she can act so that other visitors to the zoo didn't have to miss out entirely.
Better watch out for that hooded creature though...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Children being childish

Early July means lots of important birthdays. First there's mine, then there's Linus's and then mum's all in a 9 day period. My amazing, sensitive and funny youngest son turned 8 (the ages of mum and I aren't relevant here, or maybe they's all about me getting crotchety...again).

It's incredible how quickly the years go, isn't it?

Linus fools us a little with his way. His brain gears are always ticking over and sometimes we have to stop and remind ourselves that he's just a little kid.

But, you know, we do remember he is a little kid and it's important to us that he and Astrid are "allowed" to be little kids.  'Cause, wow, the world really seems to want them to grow up really quickly and become dutiful little consumers (I guess). Why are we in such a hurry to rush them through the wonderful years of childhood? Drinking their baby chinos in cafes, wearing their little high heels and bras, watching Southpark (I mean, have these parents ever watched Southpark, or do they think it's animated, so it must be for kids?)...

We're constantly telling our children, "Oh, we don't do that in our family". Perhaps we're really weird for wanting to preserve their childhood for what seems to us a reasonable amount of time. Fortunately for us the majority of parenting that they come into contact with is in line with our own. But the wider community is a different thing. Things might be easier if we wore aluminium foil hats and mapped star charts from the freckles on our forearms. Then it would be obvious that we're, you know, different.

Just before his birthday Linus was invited to a school-friend's birthday that was held at one of those in the dark laser shooting thingos. Well, I was conflicted. I mean, I think he's too young at 8 to get into faux bloodsport games. I'm not sure if there is an appropriate age for it but I didn't want him to miss out and become a social pariah at school. I told myself that it was just "chasey" in the semi-dark.

We got there and the music and lights and things designed to get your adrenlin pumping made me want to scoop him up and run away...he was shaking, actually shaking...we had already gone in and since I'd left my aluminium foil hat at home and so looked like a "normal" mum,  I hugged him and left him. 

I spent 2 hours (well 1.25 hours, I got back early) in a knot worrying about him because my mothering alarm bells were ting-a-linging.

He was fine, albeit a little testosterone charged for the rest of the day. But my position still stands, too young.

Then I got into a bit of a "to-do" with my brother at my birthday dinner about, "Kids today". It's the argument that goes like this:

Him: "Kids today aren't like they were when we were young, they are far more grown up."

Me: "Bullshit."

Him: "Oh you don't know, you can't contribute. You don't have a 14 year old daughter...yet. When you do, you'll know."

Me: "Bullshit."

Kids aren't different, they're exactly as they have always been. Society is different. It's like that frog in the slow boiling saucepan story. He doesn't jump out and save himself because the water is just getting warmer and warmer, till it's too late.

You see, we do protect our children, we do set boundaries and milestones for them to wait for when they're older. We don't let them watch commercial TV and get assailed with screaming ads telling they must buy, eat, watch. We don't over-schedule them with all sorts of activities, we let them play and make up their own games. We will surround them with an environment that lets them be silly and crazy and free and innocent for as long as childhood should be. Anyone who wants to join us, I can send you a pattern for a really spiffy alfoil hat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Indoctrinating the offspring

Three generations of the family went to a community rally to say YES to a price on carbon and action on climate change. It was part of simultaneous events held in all capital cities in the country.

Mum and Dad came up from south of Perth by public transport and we walked through our beautiful Hyde park on the way to the Perth Cultural Centre. Thanks to some rain last week the lakes are looking a little less sad at the moment but the week before the ducks were waddling through the water instead of swimming. We need well above average rainfall this winter or our dams (and duck lakes) will be empty by the end of next summer. We will not get even close to average on current trends and so water restrictions are going to be more severe than ever before and we'll be drinking recycled water.

This is why we protested.

Linus with his head full of deep thoughts and concerns for the environment was contemplative and pleased that we were all there.

Astrid was pleased to get her face painted.

But then, last year she was incredibly enthusiastic when we went to this rally.

As it turned out she had misheard the chant of:

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now" 

She thought it was:

 "What do we want?Christmas! When do we want it? Now!"

A social conscience takes time to evolve.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I don't understand

There are many, many things that I don't understand in the world.

Last Monday our premier investigative news program Four Corners exposed the unspeakable horrors inflicted on live Australian cattle sent to Indonesian abattoirs.

I didn't watch it. Just reading about it before the show was plenty disturbing enough for me.

I have for a long time been opposed to the live export of cattle, sheep and camels. Stories of incredibly tortuous journeys for terrified animals, only to be dispatched in an incredibly inhumane manner make me very angry.

OK, so I'm a vegetarian that's a personal choice but I doubt there would be many meat eaters who would want their food to be terrified and tortured and die an agonising death before they eat it. And I know that cattle farmers are by and large furious that their livestock has been treated this way.

So the finger pointing has commenced. How did this happen? There are guidelines and inspections, methodologies and payments. Which department is responsible? Who knew what and did nothing?

Australia has temporarily halted shipments to the abattoirs that were the subject of the investigation. Indonesia has responded by saying that while there are laws protecting animals, there is no penalty for transgression and so no reason to adhere to them.

The reason that live animals are sent to Indonesia is so that they can be assured a Halal slaughter. As I understand, Halal killing is much like Kosher killing. The animal must be alive (that is, you cannot eat carrion), the executioner must recite a prayer before slitting the throat and the body must not be touched until after exsanguination. Treating an animal the way that has been exposed here before death would result in the meat being Haraam or forbidden.

Clearly all the checks and balances, forms and departments of doing this and that have failed. If these barbaric atrocities are going on in the11 abattoirs that were filmed by Four Corners, then what comfort can we have that the same thing isn't going on all over the world at the final destinations for our livestock? 

Since animal rights guidelines in the countries are not going to change practices, I think more Muslims worldwide need to come out and publicly condemn this horror as being Haraam (some in Australia have already said this). If the meat is deemed unclean by clerics, just watch how quickly humane practices are introduced.

Unless that happens, we should not send any live animals overseas.

Please sign the petition at Get Up! HERE

ps. sorry for the still of the poor wretched creature in the video at the link. Watch the video if you aren't convinced and have a stronger constitution than I do. Or, if you're like me put your hand over the left-hand side of your screen!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Small girl friendships can be "complicated".

Astrid's BEST friend (I'm going to call her Lucy) is, according to Astrid, a "frenemy". Last year, which was forever ago, they were not friends. Astrid said she was bossy and mean and sang rude songs about snot and farts. Don't get me wrong, Astrid is quite partial to songs about snot and farts, but these particular songs were not to her liking.

This year they are "in LOVE". Last week Astrid received a note, "I love you because you're pretty and have shiny hair"...five year old girls are very superficial.

But it appears there is a decidedly uncomfortable dimension to this friendship, a Single White Female component.

Lucy insists that Astrid play only with her at all times. She must even eat her lunch bite for bite with her, wear her hair the same and woe betide any child who talks to Astrid. Astrid is not a shrinking violet and so when Lucy tries to enforce these rules, a loud disagreement ensues.

Astrid and Lucy are not the only fraught relationship in her class (it's just the girls though, boys are far less complex) and so their teacher is trying to shake things up by forcibly separating the pairs. Time will tell whether this direct action works or backfires...

If I'm to be completely honest, all of this suits me perfectly as it absolves me of any suspicion of social engineering. I was feeling a little squeamish about my meddling in the friendship. "Why don't we have Alice or Amy or Wendy over to play instead of Lucy", I'd say . You see, while Lucy is fine (despite the Jennifer Jason Leigh-ness) her dad kind of gives me the creeps. You know, when the hairs stand up at the back of your neck but you're not really sure why? He is disheveled, sadly not in a Tim Roth/Robert Downey Jr sort of way, but in a park-bench-trench-coat-what's underneath kind of way and he told me my shoes were "pretty" last time I saw him.....creepy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So, I went jeans shopping...yes, thanks for your sympathy, I've almost gotten over the experience.

The sheer volume of choices that you have to make completely does your head in: skinny bogan legs, wide flower-child legs, low/mid/armpit rise waist, curve, length, colour, weird little faux crease marks etc etc. AND that's even before you go through the soul destroying fitting room experience, where the lights are 2000 Watt and artfully designed to make your pudgy bits look like enormous globs of congealed pure white porridge. Just how that's supposed to sell jeans is beyond me.

I'm not really a big fan of jeans (not solely because of the buying and trying). I appreciate their usefulness but they are so conformist and I have an annoyingly ingrained tendency to try to be "different". It's been with me for as long as I remember.

I hate being part of a crowd.

When everyone around me was getting tatts, wearing and dying their hair black, I wore turquoise and bleached my hair white...and, thankfully, I was dithering on the design of my prospective tattoo for so long, that they became mainstream and I decided it was more alternative to not have one. 

It's probably why I don't Facebook, dislike the latest, big label Avett Brothers' album and I have never seen E.T.!

I know how stupid it is, but it's ingrained, like I said. It's me.

Tara recently mentioned "mum (mom) jeans" and while I now understand, thanks to some helpful advice, what they are (highpants), the mums that I come into daily contact with at Linus and Astrid's school do not wear them. These mums are size 10 and below and get about in a uniform of designer jeans and pony tails.

Due to lack of time and the issues with hairdressers I've discussed before, I currently sport a bloody ponytail, a new pair of jeans......I feel like I'm becoming a new millennium version of a Stepford wife.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate - a Really Guilty Pleasure

It's so hard to do the right thing all the time isn't it? Sometimes it's ignorance and sometimes it's selective remembering but when confronted with the truth of something that is really wrong, we try to do the right thing.

We're Atheists. I don't know why that word seems so aggressive but it does. I sometimes say we're Humanists as it sounds less confrontational. The point is, we don't believe in God (or any god). We also don't think you need a religious ideology in order to be ethical. It's perfectly fine with us if you do, we're not going to light flaming torches, go crusading and bop you over the head till you join the fold! See, completely non-threatening fluffy Atheists here.

It's Easter and, as with Christmas, there are issues to contend with when you have small enquiring minds who ask probing questions. We're not about to let them miss out on the fun parts of both occasions. We're Atheists not Sadists. Fortunately for us the Christians co-opted other earlier celebrations to do with Spring and the Winter Solstice so we can tell them, "Some people believe...and others believe..." and still find a reason to have the Easter Bunny visit and eat chocolate that doesn't feel too hypocritical. Although our stance is made more tricky by being in the Southern Hemisphere and so the whole new life, spring celebration thing is a hard sell.

We focus on the being with family, enjoying life and each other, and eating chocolate angle.

Well, that was till the child slave labour thing! So, I'm off to Oxfam to buy fair trade chocolate and I'll be filling these adorable old school cardboard eggs with something that hopefully hasn't abused the rights and body of a child somewhere in the world.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zen and the LOL

I was going to post about my outrage that the OED has accepted LOL and OMG into its latest revision. But then I realised I actually don't really care enough to be outraged. Although I prefer LOL as an acronym for Little Old Lady and I doubt that when people write ROFLMAO, that they actually are, or we'd have funny shaped jeans everywhere.

I will remain a conscientious objector and, apart from the above occurrences, I will continue not to use either. People can transmogrify nouns into verbs (gift, access) or stick superfluous prefixes on words (irregardless) and I still don't care. I will not be ruffled. I have newly honed reserves of patience toward people who aren't me.

Oh, but please don't use commas as new Zen outlook doesn't allow for that trangression.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

So much despair and tragedy. Some good news is always nice.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bring Out Your Dead

Many years ago we did a road trip through western parts of the US. As we were approaching Las Vegas I was reading to the Historian the entry in the Lonely Planet book. It said that even the most jaded person can't help but feel lucky as they crest the final hill and see the twinkling lights of Vegas laid out before them. It was true. We felt "lucky" but we're not insane gamblers or wealthy by any means and not about to blow money. 

Vegas was hilarious to us, everything was funny. So glittery and gaudy and "ping-ping whoop" over the top. The lights! the carpets!! We laughed a lot and after two days of playing the 5c slots and living on free popcorn, $1 frozen margaritas and all you can eat seafood buffets at 5pm with the flocks of old age pensioners (the Historian went back for 5ths of dessert and we had to sit in the car like boa constrictors digesting a very large animal afterwards),  we came out completely even but with a fantastic adventure to show for it. We may not have won the jackpot but we were very "lucky" indeed.

We've recently had a council bulk rubbish collection here, A.K.A "Bring out your Dead". Bring our your Dead gives me that same feeling. An irrational "lucky" feeling that I'm going to hit the jackpot and find the perfect antique oak hall table that I'm looking for discarded on the neighbour's front verge. Sadly, it doesn't usually live up to it's promise. Hordes of "professional" rubbish fossickers patrol the streets and anything remotely "good" is snapped up very quickly. It's a true demonstration of the idiom, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" as even the hideous burnt orange glass and gold 70's style chandelier we removed from our dining room was grabbed by the neighbour across the road while still in my hand as I was putting it out on our pile of rubble - yoik! The council no doubt banks on this helpful recycling as by the time they come to collect the stuff there is a mere fraction of it left.

Because I find it slightly (well, very) unseemly to be blatantly cruising up and down the roads of our neighbourhood with a trailer and picking through mounds of detritus in broad daylight. I have to wait till the cover of night and grab whatever I have just happened upon in my normal movements. Still, I feel that lucky feeling against such high odds that the perfect thing will be right there for me and this year I did manage to find a fantastic sofa and chair at different locations. They obviously weren't considered "good" by the professionals and were still there when we hurriedly crammed them in the back of our car while no-one was watching.

They need work but they have so much potential and they're destined to be our new "lounging area" on our deck. We can see ourselves snuggled up on them reading books this to finish a few billion other jobs before I can get stuck in to restoring them. 

Gustav doesn't think we should bother, they're perfect as is!