28 August 2008

burning issues

The cat is fine. Except that she's not.

However it's nothing to do with the episode of the flying ember that smouldered for a minute or two until we worked out where the smell was coming from (she didn't even wake up). My family are cursed with animals that catch alight, as a few Boxing Days ago we were gathered around my parents' table outdoors, enjoying a[nother] meal of cold ham and turkey when I kept noticing an annoying odour of singed ... something. Suddenly someone said (as you do) Oh my god the dog's on fire! The daft animal had sat too close to the citronella candle that we'd lit in a futile attempt to keep the rampaging mosquitos away, and had set herself alight.

Again with the not even noticing. (She was fixated on the plate of the youngest person present).

Anyway, the cat is not really fine because she's nearly twenty, and is becoming unwell. The other night she was all wobbly and her legs gave out from under her. Other things are going on too and I know that I have to take her on that one way trip to the vet very very soon. It's hard though. At 20, she predates the children by almost a decade, and it will be sad not having her around. Son #2 in particular is getting teary already.

Mr Soup decided it was my turn to take an elderly sick animal to receive the green dream, as he did it last time (our 13 year old three legged Burmese cat). I'm a softie though. I'm highly likely to come home with the twenty year old cat still in her basket and a couple of thousand dollars worth of veterinary medication to keep her going for another few weeks. I reckon I paid for our last vet's new BMW with our Burmese's various surgical procedures, plus a skiing holiday or three.

To continue the gloom ...

... remember these lovely socks, pride of my knitting needles?


I don't know why I took a photo of my feet resting on a cushion. Please pardon me.

And remember how I sometimes dry the washing in winter? (Hint, like this[scroll down]).


It led to this.

scorched socks

I uttered many many bad words.


We seem to be in the midst of the Great Lice Fest of Winter 2008. Mr Soup is the only one who's escaped thus far. (Clearly he does not hug his children enough).

My current audio book morphed into pure crap soft porn soap.

On a glass half full note, I'm itching to make something truly glorious like this.

Two babies arrived last week while another will turn up today.

And I just finished The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B by Sandra Gulland with the delicious knowledge that parts II and III of the trilogy await me.

The wattle is everywhere too, so there's that I s'pose.


23 August 2008

Handle with Care.

This is my current knitting.

Tumbleweeds wip

It's a green vest. Interesting pattern, and it's made from my hand dyed yarn, but oh it's slow going (that wretched twisted stitch).


This is my current handbag knitting.


They're washcloths. Or dishcloths. Whatever.

This is what it looks like around here in the morning these days.

late winter morning, 7.30am

That was Thursday morning I believe. The mist was moving so fast and the light changing so rapidly that every time I looked up from my porridge it was different again. More over at Flickr.

It's been an interesting week here.

Work has been, by turns, challenging, stressful, upsetting and bizarre. It involved frustration and tears over a repeat performance of that from a couple of weeks ago and culminated in a personal apology and the biggest exercise in spin I've seen in a long time (cynical much?) and my boss and I having to go out once more for coffee and more op shopping to strengthen our frayed nerves. This latest opshopping foray resulted in a bunch of wooden knitting needles for me, hooray! (I told you I have the best boss). I think I'd better stop talking about work now, right? (Have I given away too much on the blog over the years? Have you all worked out where I work? And so should I be deleting these wee episodes? I don't want to be dooced ... aw, no one real reads this, right?)

The boy's play went splendidly. He almost got away with skipping the kiss scene, but as he turned away the director/prompt made loud smooching noises and he had to turn back, reluctantly. Olivia, the kissee, grabbed his hat to shield them and they did the deed. He emerged a tad bashful.

Actually the loveliest bit was the scene just after when he meets his long lost 'near identical' girl twin, who has been masquerading as a boy. Now, my boy is as pale as a ghost, with blue eyes and blonde curls, while his 'twin sister' was played by an exquisitely beautiful young Japanese girl so it added a comical touch as they pretended to see themselves standing in each other's place (Do I stand before me? I never had a brother ...) Viola removed her hat, swung her [long, straight, black] hair free from her cap and the rest of the cast pretended to gasp at how alike they were! (One face, one voice, one habit and two persons, etc). My boy reached forward, gently and ever so tenderly peeled off his sister's moustache, and they embraced. Mine eyes got a bit moist.

Tomorrow he performs in a violin concert and the other three males of my household will play in various soccer matches.

And in breaking news, the cat caught on fire earlier this afternoon.

Which adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "Please put the cat out."

20 August 2008

as they say on Facebook, Suse is

: : wishing she hadn't feigned sleep in the hope that the mister would get up to the dog, as she knows full well who will actually clean up the vomit come morning

: : thankful that he did it on the brick floors this time

: : figuring that rustic has its benefits

: : ignoring the dog

: : feeling pleased that on her one day off she has thus far played WordTwist, emailed, read blogs, blogged at her readers, knitted, hung one load of (vomity) cloths and towels out and put another in the machine, blocked some socks and put a batch of quince muffins in the oven

: : tired when she looks at her list of things still to accomplish today

: : looking forward to watching a bunch of 14 year olds perform a Shakespearian play tonight, complete with her son kissing a girl at the end (behind a hat, apparently, so they don't have to touch because that would just be tooo embarrassing Mum)

: : eating crumpets with plum jam for lunch

: : listening to the Brandenburg Concertos

: : wondering if she's likely to ever blog in full sentences again

late winter

17 August 2008

post-it notes in my brain

: : shoot that fecking Tawny Frogmouth (ooo [pause 3 seconds] ooo etc etc from 4.00 am to 11.00 am nonstop)

: : wrist still sore but cast on for new knitting project anyway

: : children playing table tennis all weekend long (net strung over dining table, cheap bats from K mart) excellent

: : made a sensational [tasting, not looking] lemon cake for afternoon tea. Totally suck at icing ... abandon idea of icing any cakes ever again

: : also made bread (success), quince muffins (iced with remainder of lemon icing)(success), and tomorrow night's dinner (chicken and asparagus/cauliflower casserole in the slow cooker)(hopefully will be success)

: : alstromeria in vase by front door, check


: : something digging up citrus trees at night. possums? wallabies? rabbits? bloody hell if it's not the dog it's the wildlife

: : patched Son #1's jeans. now he won't wear them

: : all the blogland babies are starting to arrive. one down, three to go (two are silent, perhaps already underway?)

: : just found out Kate Atkinson speaking at Melbourne Writer's Festival next weekend (or weekend after? check) now have to go. must book

: : Helen Garner speaking (free!) at work next month on new book (which have read, feel smug). must book

: : borrowed Twelfth Night for Son #1 to watch - the not terribly good Helena Bonham Carter version but presence of HBC makes Mr Soup happy and rediscovery that Richard E. Grant is in it makes me happy. Who does he play? Can't remember. Sir Andrew? Watch and report back. That bloke who played Gandhi is Feste (memory freeze, can't remember name of actor, someone in comments will advise if can't be bothered to Google)

: : Cat on a Hot Tin Roof getting excellent notices. Must book.

: : sigh ...

: : excellent score at op shop on Friday night after work: damask table cloth, stack of books, 4mm very old plastic knitting needles in fetching shade of apple green with white knobs, set of four wooden sock needles (3 x 2.75mm and 1 mysteriously at 3mm, beggars can't be choosers), and a long piece of white cotton, about 3m long and a metre wide, with a crocheted lace edge along one long side and cross stitched red flowers - what to make? gather it around the top with some elastic and make a summer skirt? make a kind of curtain valance out of it? no. skirt wins. photograph and make blog banner from it too

op shop linens

: : bit obsessed with making blog banners. new cherry banner up, bored with strawberries already

: : 100g of pure wool 8ply, dyed with Kool Aid. Rather vibrant! understatement. $20 if anyone cares to purchase

candy shop

: : owing to a series of misunderstandings between the mister and I that you really don't want to know about, we now have enough bacon in our fridge and freezer to sink a small battle ship. Or at least a schooner. need best bacon recipes!

: : mulling over blog giveaway. shamefully aware that have had three blogiversaries and not once given away a celebratory gift. what to give? skein of yarn? acorn bookmark? strawberry bookmark? red hat? await advice. (and bacon recipes)

IMG_5519knitted acorn bookmarkknitted strawberry bookmarkRobin's Egg Blue [red] Hat

16 August 2008

yarn for sale


This pure wool yarn is absolutely scrumptious and that's the only word I can think of to describe it. It's even darker and more luscious than it appears in that photo, and I have a 150g (5 oz) skein of it for sale, for $25 plus postage.

It's been kettle dyed by mine own good self with lashings of love and tender care.

It's a bulky weight, approximately 12 ply. Like Lopi yarn?

For sale now! Let me know in the comments if you're interested ...

15 August 2008

the tmi meme

because it's Friday night and I've seen this meme four times today ...

Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: dirty blonde/grey
--Dyed or Natural: "highlighted"
--Curly or Straight: Mostly straight but with enough kink to be really really annoying
Right- or Left-handed: Right
Tan or Pale: um ... pale I think
Jeans or Khakis: No thank you
Country, Rap, or Rock: Rock (is that the extent of the choices? Haven't you people heard of blues, jazz, Carole King or classical?)
Heritage: English and Welsh
Shoes you're wearing today: brown Italian leather boots from the op shop (score!)
Your weakness(es): Yarn, linen, op shopping, Alan Rickman, blogging, staying up later than is good for me
Your perfect pizza: Margherita
Favorite color: Duck egg blue
Favorite place: Quite fond of Venice
Goal you'd like to achieve: Finishing my degree with the rest of my life intact
Your most overused phrase(s): Have a happy day!/Did you have a happy day?
Your thoughts first waking up: What will the view be today when I open the curtains? (see below)
Your best physical feature(s): My finely turned ankles. (ha. I don't know. My hands? Although they're looking old these days.)
Your bedtime: Should be 10.30pm. Rarely adhered to.
Your most missed memory: My PopPop
Pepsi or Coke: Coke, about once a year
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonalds. Once a year. Wait! Do we even HAVE Burger King in Australia?  Is Hungry Jacks actually Burger King? Please advise.
Single or group dates: Both
Adidas or Nike: Nope
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Iced tea is just plain wrong and I have no idea what Nestea is.
Chocolate or vanilla: vanilla
Cappuccino or coffee: Nope

Smoke: Nope
Cuss: Yes
Have a boyfriend/girlfriend: No, I'm married, sweetheart
Take a shower: Most days
Have a crush(es):  Alan Rickman. Oh and John Hannah.  Cate Blanchett. Sean Kelly.
Think you've been in love: Yes
Want to get married: Done thank you
Believe in yourself: Yes
Believe in God: No
Believe in your government: Believe in them? Well, they exist. They're doing ok so far ... ticked off a few things
Get motion sickness: Oh god yes
Think you're attractive: some days I can look in the mirror and think yeah I'll do
Think you're a health freak: No
Get along with your parents: Yep
Like thunderstorms: I like the rain and lightning, but the wind makes me nervous (gum trees falling on the house etc)

Drunk alcohol
: Yes
Gone on a date: No
Gone to the mall: No
Been on stage: No
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: God no, I've never eaten an Oreo, they look hideous
Eaten sushi: Yes (on Tuesday)
Been dumped: No
Gone skating: No
Gone skinny dipping:  It's WINTER, people.
Stolen anything: Nope
(clearly a slow month 'round here)

Played a game that required removal of clothing
: I don't believe so ...
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: "Extremely"? Once. Lesson learnt.
Been caught "doing something": Yes.  Twice, ok?
Been called a tease:   Um, not to my knowledge
Gotten beaten up: Heavens no
Age you hope to be married: From now on 
Number of children you'd like: Three (a fourth would've been nice but oh, who am I kidding, I'm over it)
Describe your dream wedding: The one without the drunken uncle.
What do you want to be when you grow up: Old. And continent.

Best eye color?
: I'm not that shallow.
Best hair color?:  I'm really not that shallow.
Short or long hair: Look ... oh okay.  Short I suppose if I really think about it. But some men look sensational with long hair so it depends.
Height: See above re shallowness.
Best first date location: A not too swank restaurant, with truly fabulous food and excellent (ie. flattering) lighting.
Best first kiss location: Atop a mountain in the crisp night air, stars sparkling and the snow crunching underfoot.

Number of people I could trust with my life:
Number of CD's: No idea but lots. Also lots of cassettes and old records.
Number of piercings: Two (one in each ear)
Number of tattoos: None
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Twice I think. Once because (newsflash!) I was overseas, and once because (hold the presses!) I had just returned from overseas.
Number of scars on my body:  Two (one of which holds sentimental memories)

August morning

13 August 2008

the random wednesday

• one wonders why sporting commentators still refer to the girls' swimming but the men's basketball

• where are the boys and women then huh? Lost in the 1950s?

• septic tanks need pumping out every three years. It takes about an hour and is very smelly but thankfully is over by 9.45am

• a manic moment wherein one creates seven new banners for one's blog, results in too little sleep and an urge to upload a new banner every day for a week but on reflection the strawberry one will suffice for a few weeks

• when the head honcho of the institution takes exception to something you write (which you have to write because it happened and thus must be recorded because duh THAT'S YOUR JOB) and throws a tantrum everyone takes pity on you and someone takes you out for coffee every day thus far since it happened

• the best kind of boss is one who not only takes you and jobshare bloke out for coffee but suggests it would be fun to stop at the nearby op shop afterward where she buys a trinket for her daughter, jobshare bloke buys a 1940s show tunes record for 35c and you score a large bag of crocheted granny squares for $5

• who wants to see the contents of the bag of granny sqaures then?

• wordtwist score is 140; 5th amongst my 'friends'

• monthly broadband used up and it's not even halfway through the month

• are those pains carpal tunnel?

• above three dot points connected much?

• reading Sarah Dunant's The Birth of the Venus love love love edit: finished!

• knitting a green vest why why why?

• stupid dog at next door's compost bin again

• cat terrified of septic tank truck

• sick of clotheshorses decorating the family room. Ready for spring and the clothesline please

• thank heavens the Australians didn't march out in yellow blazers with koalas on the back. Quite liked the blue sucked ice block look but too laconic and we're-aussies-see-how-laid-back-we-are. At least no drizabones and stockmens hats. The French and the Yanks looked good. Canadians' turn to look like they'd vomited on each others' trousers.

• trousers a word not often used these days.

• trews, even less

• rather fond of old fashioned apparel words: bonnet, petticoat, tippet, stockings, trews, bloomers, plus-fours, garter, etc. edit: pinny and breeches too
(segue into)
• Son #1 is playing Sebastian in Twelfth Night and his best friend will be wearing the yellow cross gartered stockings

• bread machine just pinged, washing machine beeped; ah the tyranny of modern domesticity. See you next week.

collection of granny squares from the op shop yesterday

Note to self: polish those boots

11 August 2008

in which we discuss the burning questions

RW asked (quite politely) with what kind of shoes I would wear my new socks.


I wear them with my slippers,

with felt [fake] Birkies

my mary janes,

with black mary janes

and my boots.

with boots

Which need polishing.

I would have showed you my entire shoe collection but I had a chocolate cake in the oven on the brink of burndom, and I think I've used up enough of my Flickr bandwidth allowance for the month with pictures of my feet. RW, I hope this answers your question.

Tomorrow we shall tackle ... the ethics of countries who have mandatory detention for incoming refugees, or the death penalty for criminals, denouncing other countries for their human rights records. And I shall polish my boots.

edit: one should still protest. but one might also wish to protest against the death penalty as it still exists in several countries around the world. and one notes that mandatory detention for refugees ceased to be a policy in Australia as of last week about bloody time.

10 August 2008

Apparently, I'm Lizzie.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

One doesn't usually bother with these quizzy things but one ought to make an exception for Jane Austen, oughtn't one?

9 August 2008



They're finished at last. the Hedera socks, from Knitty, blogged previously here.


I love them. The lace is stretchy and, well, lacy, but warm and pretty at the same time.


If I were to knit the pattern again (and I might do, in a solid coloured yarn next time) I'd make the heel flap a couple of rows shorter as it's a tad long for my foot, and I'd do a few pattern repeats on the leg to make them longer; two things that other people have commented on Ravelry, so I'm not alone in that thinking.


These have been my Handbag Project for ages now. You know, the small portable knitting project that fits into your bag so you can knit it at odd moments of the day, in your lunch hour, at bookgroup, waiting at the school gate, etc. And although I have plenty (!) of other knitting on the needles right now, I'm feeling the urge to cast on for a new pair of socks just to fill that empty space in the corner of my handbag.

Vital Statistics
Pattern: Hedera, from Knitty
Needles: 2.25mm DPNS
Yarn: undyed 'Elizabeth' sock yarn from Live2Knit, hand dyed by me.

8 August 2008

hep cat

Friday Mog Blogging.

hep cat

Meggie chills out with Son #1's iPod.

6 August 2008

the search for the perfect red hat

Tried this one.

Robin's Egg Blue [red] HatRobin's Egg Blue [red] HatRobin's Egg Blue [red] HatRobin's Egg Blue [red] Hat

Nope. Not for me.

It's a beautiful pattern, and the Malabrigo yarn is like knitting with butter, it's so delicious and creamy. Not to mention warm. But it's not flattering on me for some reason.

And so, onward ...

to the beret.

Woolly Wormhead Rollin' Beret in red Malabrigo

I had just enough of the yarn (a swap from the lovely Jen) left.

Woolly Wormhead Rollin' Beret in red Malabrigo

Very pleased with this one. It keeps my ears warm even on freezing cold Sunday Soccer mornings (only four weekends to go until we get our lives back cricket season starts).