Friday, September 29, 2006

Random things

- I went to a Medecins Sans Frontiers information session the other night, and one of the speakers had just come back from southern Sudan. Recently, Sudan has begun exporting oil (you can read more about it here), and are sending a lot of bulldozers out to build roads and set up infrastructure for the wells. The speaker told us that the bulldozers will just doze right through anything in the way - villages, houses etc and she even witnessed, to her horror, small children being crushed by the machinery because they didn't manage to get out of the way in time. I feel sick just thinking about it.

- On a much ligher note, I've started a regular thing of taking Grumbles out for a hot chocolate on a Friday. It's something I'd like to continue until she leaves home (ha, if she lets me!) - a bit of mum/daughter catch up time. I have romantic visions of picking her up from school in a few years time, and us happily gossiping away over steaming hot choccies, and then trundling off to meet the Galumph on his way home from work.

- I've also spent this week making myself a pair of pants, woo hoo! I'm using this pattern, and my goodness me it's coming up a treat! Hopefully I'll get it finished today, and some pics taken on the weekend. I'm particularly enamoured with the green polka dot lining I've done on the yoke. We all need some polka dots in our life, even if they are hidden away.

- I have absolutely no plans whatsoever to watch the Grand Final, and that's the way I like it! Glory in September indeed. Instead I think we'll take a stroll down Lygon St if the weather is nice and indulge in an icecream.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What did I do on the weekend?

Oh, I had fun! We went down to my mother-in-law-ship's place, down on the coast, and took not one but two walks that ended in us scampering for shelter away from the rain. At one stage it even hailed - what a riot! And I'm wearing my new woollen wrap top (made using this pattern here), which is another reason for my 'grin-like-an-idiot' cheesy.

Did I mention the wind? No? Well, it was windy. Super windy. Fantastic to blow all the cobwebs away. Good times. And very pink cheeks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A moving target is hard to shoot

Man, that kid can move. And move. And move some more. But I did my best. I present to you all Jeans featuring Grumbles.

Project specs:

Pattern - My own
Fabric - Stretch denim for jeans, red dot cotton (same as top) for pocket linings)
Description - Loose jeans style pants, with front and back yokes, front jeans style pockets (lined), back pockets, contrast top stitching and elastic waist.

I deliberately made the pants rather long, as I wanted her to get a couple of years wear out of them. The pattern is so easy - so far I've made two pairs of jeans plus three pairs of cords, all with elasticised waists so she can pull them on easily for herself (coughtoilettrainingcough).

Best of all, I'm pretty sure Grumbles likes them. She happily spends many a minute each day stuffing picked flowers into all four pockets, so I'm glad I included them (I dare say the people who grew the flowers aren't so pleased, but I can't stop her, I've tried!)


Ahoy there, me hearties! Don't forget that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrrrr!

Monday, September 18, 2006

What do you do with a kid who won't sleep?

Oh dear. I promised pics of the jeans, didn't I? I did try and get some photos over the weekend, but the whole 'smear the peanut butter all over my funky new jeans' look that Grumbles was sporting just didn't cut it, so you'll have to wait until they've been washed and Miss G decides to play ball. However, I do have a photo of the Tweeeedy jacket I'm knitting her - check it out!

Cute, huh? It's from the Phildar Tricotez Calin Automne/Hiver 2002 book. So far I've done the back, the right sleeve and half of the left sleeve. It seems to be going well, but I'm positive I've made a mistake in the translation somewhere, and me being me, I won't pick it up until I'm trying to sew the darn thing together. Oh well. I mean, I could go over it all now and save myself the trouble, but I'm lazy. I'll just sail right on in and curse my ineptitude later.

Not much else to report. We had a busy weekend, and as a result Grumbles is overtired, and won't sleep. She's currently bouncing in her cot, bellowing out her versions of Wiggles songs. Get some sleep, wouldya kid? We've got things to do today!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The mouse in the house

Ah yes, I know it's Wednesday, but I'm going to tell you about our little adventure on the weekend, as the last few days have yielded very little blog-worthy material.

So: Friday afternoon my dear friend K and I were emailing away, and she asked when we wanted to go and visit her mum's farm in country Victoria. No dates in the next few weeks suited, so on the spur of the moment I said "Hey, let's go tomorrow!" "Agreed!" she typed.

The next morning was a flurry of activity. We raced around and packed our things (do you know how much stuff you need to carry with you when you have a toddler? A LOT), then zoomed into the city so I could get my haircut (this is not something I usually do just for country weekends away, I'll have you know, this was booked in weeks ago), then we picked her up and away we drove.

Two hours later we arrived at the farm. It was lovely. Paddocks dotted with sheep and horses as far as the eye could see, and that big blue sky all above us. We had a quick lunch, then pushed up our sleeves and dug out all the weeds from the vegie patch.

Four long hoe-wielding hours later we were done. The pile of weeds dug out was so large that we could have made a bonfire out of it. I only wish I'd taken a before and after photo, nagdamnit. After savouring a glass of red whilst watching the sun set and admiring our handywork, we headed inside, had a gorgeous meal of kangaroo steaks on couscous, then settled in front of the fire before heading to bed.

Now, you'd think after all that digging I'd be guaranteed a good night's sleep, right? "Wrong!" squeaked the usual inhabitants of the house. I was just drifting off to sleep when I felt something sharp attacking my wrist bone. I absentmindedly kneed the Galumph in the back, and said "Stop doing that thing with your fingernails, wouldya?" In a sleepy voice he replied "Whaddareya talkin about? My hands are down here". A moments silence followed, before we jumped out of bed yelping "EWWWWWW - MOUSE!"

Now, normally I'm not too fussed about mice. I grew up in an old farmhouse in the country, so I'm down with the little rodents. Mice are mice, right? But when it's dark, you're in a strange room, and you've just discovered that one has been sampling YOU for dinner, it's slightly unnerving. We flashed the torch around, and moved the bed back from the wall. This might have been a mistake, as the carpet was, well, carpeted with mouse droppings. Of course, all this activity disturbed Grumbles, who tossed and turned and wouldn't go back to sleep. After a couple of hours we ended up dragging her into bed with us. In morning, as I made up her port-a-cot, the worse discovery came - mouse poo in there everywhere! AND stuck to the back of her pjs! No wonder the poor tiger was a bit upset.

The moral of the story is... actually, there is no moral. Cats are good? Mice are bad? They're certainly gross! And if you hog the hoe for four hours without giving anybody else a go, then you'll end up with a nice case of hoe-arm.

Friday, September 08, 2006


So much going on, so little to report. Here's a stab at it, anyway:

- Since the weather has decided to become rainy and miserably grey again, Grumbles and I have been indulging in some paint therapy to banish the rain clouds away. Must be working as the weather forecast for next week is fine, fine, fine!

- I've been devouring books whilst the Galumph busies himself with conferences calls almost every evening of the week. The latest is Monash: The Outsider Who Won The War by Roland Perry (isn't that the best name? Roooooooland Peeeeerrrrry!). Fascinating stuff, even though military history isn't usually my cup of tea.

- I've been sewing jeans for Grumbles. Really must get my behind into gear and post a picture. Maybe whilst I'm at it I could post pics of the three pairs of cords I made her, too.

- I've also been knitting a super cute tweedy jacket for her. Isn't my logic superb - wait until summer is upon us, and then embark upon a winter garment. Ahem. (Actually, it's taken me so long because I had to translate the pattern from French, and just kept putting it off. Remarkably, when I finally sat down to do it, it wasn't that hard after all, as is always the way)

- I've been eating really, really well this week. Salads with dinner every night, and heaps of greens. I must admit, I feel great. Bright eyed and bushy tailed and all that.

- Finally received the latest Phildar Pitchoun knitting magazine in the mail, and my giddy aunt it's a ripper! And do you know the best bit - IT NOW COMES WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION! (runs around loungeroom, skidding on the crayons that litter the floor whilst waving arms in the air)

Right, off to sew back pockets onto Grumble's new pair of jeans.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Father's Day

Father's day was...

- Cheesy scrambled eggs for breakfast, with a pot of tea (so civilised!)

- Lots of lying on the bed whilst Grumbles had her sleep, reading interesting new books

- A family bbq that afternoon in Brighton, huddled under a canopy, hoping that it wouldn't rain

- Champagne that evening whilst watching Pretty Woman (gee that film seems so innocent now! I mean, I know she's a prostitute and all, but still, innocent compared to the bump-n-grind that features in the average video clip these days)

Happy Father's Day, Galumph! I'll watch soppy movies from the early nineties with you anytime.