Thursday, January 29, 2009

We're melting!

The effects of extreme weather are dominating the lives of most Victorians this week ...

... a week of temperatures in the 40s, only 'cooling down' to temperatures in the 30s next week. We've had less than one millimetre of rainfall this year with about as much rain as this little dot . reaching the bottom of a rain-gauge.

This was the temperature in Melbourne at around 10:30 last night (= 97°F) ... ugh!

- the inevitable summer fires are burning,

train tracks buckling,

and animals are definitely feeling the heat.

Some lucky kids live near the beach,

and others have swimming pools in which to find refuge.

I've filled a little paddle pool for Gus in the back garden, and I took him swimming at a local waterhole yesterday. Looking forward to a breath of cooler air some time soon!

(images from The Age Online)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So sweet!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moi, Nojoud, 10 ans, divorcée

This morning the French news program on SBS broadcast a follow-up report about a particularly brave Yemeni girl ... I remember being intrigued by the story last year - it's terribly sad but also very inspiring.

One of my greatest wishes is for children around the world to be able to just be kids, feeling happy and safe and learning through play.

(a book about Nojoud is available here; images from NYT and LAT)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day / Invasion Day?

Happy Australia Day everyone!

Does this day give you mixed feelings? I'm all for having a national day on which people can celebrate all the good things about their country and its people. However, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that it might be time to consider changing the date of our national day's celebrations.

At present, Australia Day is celebrated on January 26th, commemorating the day on which the first fleet of European settlers alighted on Australian shores. For our indigenous population, this date marks the beginning of the end for an ancient culture.

Perhaps we could celebrate Australia's beauty, history and achievements on another day?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday night

On Friday evening I played the corporate wife, as we were invited to drinks at Godfrey's boss' house (a totally executive-designer-decorated 19th-century mansion). 'Power handshakes' did the rounds along with delicious canapes prepared by a team of chefs and catering staff in the kitchen. We felt like Samantha and Darren going to Larry Tate's house on Bewitched, only the Tate's events were somewhat more low-key.

One of G's colleagues asked me what I do, and when I replied that I'm soon to start teaching Environmental Science at Melbourne University, she looked at me blankly and said, "....... Huh. Well ..... how are you going to make any money doing that?!"

..... it was a rather weird evening.

We had arrived in Brighton a little early so we went for a walk along the beach. Summer has returned in full force, with temperatures in the high-30s and 40s predicted for all of this coming week too. ugh!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Armchair traveller

Oh my, did I swoon when I found this luggage label collection!
(via Grain Edit)

I'll post some more on the flip side soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Omedetoo yo!

I want to write a post especially for my dear friends Liz and Matt, so this one's for you two crazy cats ...I'm sure this year is going to be the best ever!

Meanwhile, I've been trying to find a present for you - I've managed to narrow down my shortlist to 11 very special items so far .... (all found at the Museum of Kitschy Stitches):

Are you as excited as I am?
See you soon xxx

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Welcome to this historic, brand new day!

I can't help but feel hopeful.

Midnight ponderings

My brain is going tickedy-tick tonight so I'm trying to distract myself in blogland at 1 o'clock in the morning.

OK - here's something sweet....

A couple of weeks ago I sent this bunny out into the world for the Toy Society:

She's made from very thick, soft felt (converted woollen jumpers/sweaters) and vintage tablecloth fabric.

This week I got an email from her new family, assuring me that she's very well loved and settled in at her new home. Her new little friend Charlie is an absolute cutie - check him out here.

It's fun imagining all my toys in their new homes! I've made several more variations of my rabbit and carrot set recently - will post pictures soon. G thinks I should start selling them (?!).

oh. it's nearly 1:30 now - better go to bed. Good night all (and happy inauguration day, America!).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday cycling

Yesterday was sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky, so we took Gus out in the pup-mobile for a day of cycling.

Our public parklands have suddenly become very dry and the green grass that I enjoyed just a few weeks ago seems to be disappearing daily. We found a small green patch under the elms in Princes Park to have lunch before going on to Royal Park.

Chinese New Year is celebrated in Carlton/Parkville every year with a festival of Chinese food, music and kite flying at Royal Park. It was difficult to catch the beauty of the kites with my little point-and-shoot camera in such bright light, but I'm sure you can imagine the scene ....

After a lovely afternoon tea in our friends' garden, we finished off the day with a simple pasta dish and fresh berries for dessert. Mmmmm!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tremble ...

I have a job interview today.

I wonder why I feel so very nervous?

(image from here)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spreading the Kiva love

I've blogged about Kiva before, but today I found this video, and I'd like to share it with as many people as possible.

The great thing about Kiva is that you can make a real difference in someone's life with a very small loan. The money doesn't just disappear into a black hole of bureaucracy - it is carefully managed and repaid over time, becoming available for reinvestment in a new loan (or for withdrawal if you would like the money back).

Anyway, please take a peep at the video:

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan from Kieran Ball on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1957 - 'Your Telephone of Tomorrow'

From Modern Mechanix:

"Usually old articles of the form 'Your x of tomorrow', be it house, car, phone, city, plane, etc., are full of ideas that are wildly off the mark or just plain ridiculous. This article about the future of phones is remarkable because virtually everything in it has come true. Worldwide direct touchtone dialling, transistorized switching, audio/video data compression, voice recognition and rampant miniaturisation. All true. Not to mention that a tiny, touchtone, color videophone you can watch TV on is a pretty accurate description of my Motorola RAZR.

I also love the idea that everyone will get a phone number at birth and keep it for the rest of their life. If you call someone and they don’t pick up, you’ll know they’re dead. Or perhaps just sleeping."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Summer daze

I've been loving the mild weather that's characterised this summer. It's still summery but not as hot as usual, and much more comfortable. Although our water tanks are empty (fingers crossed for rain soon!) and parks and gardens are getting dusty, there is still some green grass to be seen in some places - unheard of in January for the last decade or so. We also haven't had those typical weeks of sleepless nights or long spells where the daytime temperatures hover around 40° for days on end ....

On Saturday we took Gus to the Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy and just lazed under the trees. A group of arty types had set up mikes and a sound system, guitars and drums under the elm trees, providing an impromptu (and free!) concert of smooth summer grooves, while others played tippety cricket or lounged on picnic blankets nearby. Gus played with his ball and snuffled in the green grass.

Today we lunched at CERES and I bought some seedlings to replenish the rather bedraggled pots in my garden. I love the CERES nursery - it has a growing collection of very friendly chickens who enthusiastically rush to greet customers or casually show off in their dust baths as we peruse the plants for sale.

After dinner we heard the tinkling tune of an icecream truck so we ran barefoot down the street to catch it and finished off a gloriously sunny evening with mixed gelati. Yum!

All in all, we had a lovely weekend.

I hope you did too. What did you get up to?

(melted truck image from here)

... also ...

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