Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Syta's visit...

At the end of November a minor miracle happened here in Melbournetown. My aunty Syta came to stay for a month. This was a dream come true for us, and for her. I would never have imagined that one of mum's brothers or sisters would ever make it down to Australia, despite many plans to do so by so many of them.

Anyway, it finally happened. Although she stayed here for nearly a month, I didn't get to see her a lot because I was working and she and mum did a trip down memory lane to Sydney.

I did however get to all to myself on one Saturday and I took the opportunity to show her around a small part of Melbourne. I planned the following route for us because I wanted her to see a couple of places in Melbourne I knew she wouldn't have gotten to. 


For breakfast we went to Bluetrain for real pizza and a drink (beer and Pinot Grigio).

Syta isn't particularly afraid of heights, so I took her up to the 88th floor of the Eureka building and showed her the layout of Melbourne. Of course, Harlem got to see the top of Melbourne as well - he is also not bothered by heights.

We went out on The Edge. I've done this before so I wasn't worried at all. Syta was a bit iffy about it all, but hey, it's an experience she'll never forget. We weren't able to take photos ourselves while in the box, so we took photos of other people going out on The Edge.

Afterwards, I took her down Degraves, which she loved. I should have taken a photo of the street long cafe, but we were so busy looking at everything that I completely forgot.

Next we visited the iconic Young and Jacksons pub. We start on the bottom floor for some live music, beer, and bourbon and coke.

Harlem made a fun backdrop for the disco lighting...

The we moved up to Chloe's bar to visit Chloe, because, let's face it, you haven't really been to Melbourne if you haven't visited Chloe. Harlem was quite a show stopper with a bunch of patron's wanting a photo of him, and even a photo with him! We also had a nice lady take a photo of us with Chloe, but I'm keeping that one for my private collection.

and beer and bourbon and coke...

Finally, we migrated up to the Cider lounge for some gin and tonic, and Zambuca with coke.  Where we were hit on by a drunk old dude who probably thought we were dried up old singles with nothing better on offer. I sent him on his way toot sweet.

From there we went to Hosier (Hosiers?) Lane to have a look at all the graffiti.

Stan Lee had passed away only a couple days earlier, and someone had been quick of the mark with a dedication.

I got a pick of Syta next to a 'hole in the wall' - though actually it was a side window, probably more for ventilation that a servery, but she got the idea.

I was going to show her The Forum, but there was some concert happening at 8.30pm and goth types were already queued up around the block at 5pm.

So, we went over to Fed Square and I took her into the Bird's Nest - which is probably the only part of the Fed Square design that I appreciate.

Finally, we treated ourselves to our 7th drink of the day at Time Out - a Toblerone Coctail, which consisted of Kahlua, Bailey's, Frangelico, and chocolate - oh my god, so yummy.

I think Syta and fun and saw a different side to Melbourne.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Home office...

Well, I've given in.

After I did the whole decluttering, minimalist thing, I vowed I wouldn't have a home office again - we never seem to have a room we can dedicate to a quiet place to write anyway). You see, the whole minimalist thing is all about just sitting anywhere with your laptop - on the floor, on your minimalist 'mattress on palette' bed, or at your kitchen bench. That works fine if you have good vision, but when you're nearly blind, but resistant to using a screen reader program as I am (I know, I know, I need to get over myself), you really need a desk, and a chair, and speakers, and a mouse, and a lamp, and, and, and...

So, yesterday I bought a desk and a chair for $50 off the Facebook marketplace, and then took Bryn's monitor and speakers off him (he has my iMac, so he's fine), I bought a lamp (not exactly a bargain, but I really liked the look of it, and the warm light turns out to be just right for me).

I had to buy a HDMi displayport-to-mini displayport adaptor, and of course Microsoft made it so that you need a specific Microsoft adaptor for the Surface Pro (which cost more than the chair and desk). Bloody Bill Gates!

I did all of this for you, dear loyal blog reader of mine. I have missed you and I hope you have missed me. I also hope this set up means I'll have more opportunity to blog. I'll end this post here, but I will no doubt do another blog very soon because there is so much I haven't written over the last few months because it's just been too hard with no desk or large monitor.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Family Christmas Dinner...

On Sunday we had our Icelandic Christmas dinner. It was, as you can see, a family affair. I should really tell you who these people are. From the left moving back around the table: my second born, Luey, then my third born, Bryn, then my mum, my step-dad, my brother's fiance, Anya (there's a story coming about them, keep reading), my brother Mike, Dave, then my empty seat, then my eldest's girlfriend, Lizzie, my eldest son, Erik, and my youngest son, Ari.

I was so happy! You see, this is the beginning of a realisation of a long held dream of mine - big family Christmases. It's been years in the making - 19.5 to be specific - and there have been times when I have wondered if it would ever happen, but here we were with new additions to the table.

Now let me tell you about my brother and his fiance Anya. See, she didn't come to dinner as his fiance, when she arrived she was his girlfriend. There I am, basking in the glory of having cooked a meal for 11 people (Dave helped), and he goes and steals all my thunder by proposing to his girlfriend! Nah, I'm not annoyed, I'm very happy for them, it has been a long time coming, and I'd like to think that the bonbons I chose had something to do with it because one of them won a ring, hahaha. Okay, that was completely unplanned, but still.

This year we decided not to do any presents and it was great! The boys didn't mind. Now though I'm a bit worried because they haven't asked for anything, like nothing, like Dave asked Luey to have a think about it and get back to him later in the day, that was two days ago.

Maybe they're sick?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Change, and then change back...

About eight months ago, after about 20 months of wearing headscarves, I decided I needed a change. My hair had grown sufficiently that I was able to get it permed, so that is what I did.

Recently, the perm has started to fade. The roots are flat because they grown out about 10cm since the perm, but the perm itself is becoming more like a wave than a curl. I've been debating getting another perm, but then I find myself drawn back to wearing headscarves.

Of course, this year I've done a lot of decluttering and among the things I decluttered were my scarves and shapers. Since it's my birthday in another 2.5 weeks, I have bought myself a birthday present (which I was going to have to do anyway). Soon, I'll be receiving a new shaper in a different style from what I had before, and a couple of new scarves.

I'm itching to get back into wrapping. A lot of my co-workers have said they miss my scarves, which is encouraging. Others have never seen me in a headscarf. Will be interesting to see how they react.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Plans for 2019...

I've spent the day planning for 2019. I've been working in my current position for 18 months and I'm starting to think about where I might go next. I have some idea of what I want to build skills in but wanting is not the same as getting, right?

So, finding a new job is one of the plans I have for next year.

The other two things have come to the forefront because of my NDIS plan. By some sort of mistake I was given a plan where I only managed one small part. I applied to self manage and after six months I've finally got the freedom to choose who provides the services I have listed in my plan.

So, I'm employed a cleaner and I'm now claiming for our gardeners. I already had begun working with the person trainer, but I was reading my plan yesterday and realised to my horror that I haven't used a cent out of a couple of the categories on my plan.

As they say, 'Use it, or lose it.'

One category is capacity building in relation to my writing - which is a skill I aspire to hone. So, I've decided to employ a writing mentor. I want to work on the book I started a couple of years ago, but have completely set aside since starting work.

The other thing I'm going to do is get myself to a physio. One of the things I think is underlying the relentless migraines I've been experiencing for a few years now. I have found a physio clinic in my suburb which I think might work for me. I've never been to a physio, so I'm a little nervous, but if I can get some relief, I'll be over the moon.

I only have until the end of March to use as much of the remaining funds. I'm not how close I'll come but I am going to have a good go at it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Teenagers and the failing parent...

There seems to be a trend going on in this household, the trend of, 'You did this, so you're a terrible mother!'

One kid remembers me throwing glasses at him. I'm serious, he thinks I threw glass glasses at him. Let me make sure I'm completely clear (no pun intended), I have never, nor would I ever, throw glass at my children.

Still he is adamant I did, and I'll be honest, there is no defense against a child's memory. What do you say? I didn't? I tried that and was told that well, he remembers me doing it. The next boy says he remembers me shirt fronting him, and that he hit my arm and I've never touched him since. Dave heard this one and immediately recognised a story from his own childhood. The next boy had me locking him in a laundry - I did once put him in a laundry after he dropped a glass on the kitchen floor, smashing it into pieces, I put him in the laundry so he wouldn't walk on the glass while I cleared it up. There wasn't a lock on the door - when is there ever a lock on a laundry door? The fourth child remembers me smashing his iPad and throwing it in the bin. I did throw his iPad in the bin, and it was smashed, but he did that himself months earlier.

Dear Lord.

Ari isn't a teenager yet, but the other three are, and I cannot do anything right.

Today, when I conveyed my annoyance - i.e. I told him I did not appreciate being manipulated by him and his girlfriend to have her stay over the other night when I had specifically said she wasn't staying over because he had a VET exam the next day, Luey expressed his annoyance i.e. he changed his story about six times in the span of a sentence.* It seems when he asks me and I say he can he have a friend stay, he always gets into trouble afterwards. I pointed out that every single time he's asked me if a friend could crash the night I've said yes - and he hasn't gotten into trouble afterwards. In the first eight days we lived here he had four friends stay over, this last stunt made five.

At the moment I'm getting the silent treatment - which will last until he needs money for something.

Anyway, he said he asks me stuff and I give him a vague yes because I'm not taking any notice and then he gets into trouble afterwards. Then he says I'm never around. There you go. I started working a ago, before then I studied about 25 hours a week out of the house for three years. So let's see, for the first 13 years of his life I was around 24/7, then part time during work hours, until I started working full time last year. Dave has also been around full time since almost 10 years ago. Our kids have had no shortage of parental contact. Never around, uhuh?

I'm not sure it is possible to a good parent - well, certainly my kids don't think so. Don't let anyone fool you. Toddlers are not the hardest age. Toddlers think you're the world. Teenagers think you're the end of their world as they'd like it to be.

I was horrified when Erik moved out. I felt ashamed. Since then, I've heard multiple stories of friends of my kids, or kids they know off who just take off to live at a mates house or to couch surf. I've heard of teenagers having the locks to their family home changed after they repeatedly took off. I've heard of teens coming home after skipping town for a weekend with their mates, and being shown the door. This seems to be happening all the time. Can so many parents be so crap, or are kids spoiled? Is this new, or is it something people just don't talk about?

Is it a lost cause to try and be a good parent in your child's eye?

*I may be exaggerating slightly here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This blog had a near death experience...

It was about two months ago when I came to the blog to look for something (this blog is an archive of photos for me), and found my blog was gone. In its place was a link to something a little less savoury. I was pretty shocked. It turned out that my yearly registration payment had not been successful because I changed banks earlier this year and simply forgot I had this automatic payment going on the blog. I had had notices but I get those every year just in case my payment isn't automated, which of course I thought it was.

Getting the blog back in my own possession and securing it for the next five years was not inexpensive, but hey, this is something of an ongoing project for me. I haven't been active lately, partly because I get started on a blog post and just don't get as far as posting them.

So, there you go, after 12.5 years, this blog was almost lost to the binary void. I'll post this little story and then come back with some usual programming. Thanks for the long suffering of you who continue to check in.

Syta's visit...