Friday, 12 January 2007

Day 12 - Lesson No. 3 - Don't send all you Christmas cards ...

Small actions have unexpected effects - the butterfly wings flapping here and the tree falling there thingie. This year I didn't finish getting all my Christmas cards done (and still haven't - this bloggy blog takes all my time). It is always the cards that I want to send a letter with, that get left to last - and this year anyone who lives overseas, or at a distance in Australia, missed out. But today I had coffee with a friend Ms S. from Brisbane that I haven't seen for ?eight years - she was in Sydney for a niece's engagement party and rang me. Despite being flat out with family things, she made time to meet - her reasoning being that as she didn't get a card this year, and for various reasons doesn't send them herself, it was about time she made some contact. I should add that it always Ms S. who rings me from time to time, usually as I'm rushing out the door, and despite my intention to ring back later, the evil senior moment bug deletes the intention from my memory bank. So I think she was being a bit hard on herself. We had a great catch-up of family news and probably, for the first time ever, we didn't mention any of the people we knew from when we worked together! That's a hallelujah moment, as we used to reminisce about the mean and evil, nasty ones that made our lives difficult - I guess we've moved on - at last.

It's been a social few days - yesterday I had lunch with Janette, of Knitting-on-the-Avenue, and two other knitting friends. They put me to shame with the knitting that kept emerging from their bags - it was like a magician's black hat x three - how did they do it? the bags weren't that big! - there was great discussion of fibres and patterns, their modifications to patterns and was Debbie Bliss or Kim Hargreaves the better pattern writer amongst many other topics (Janette's patterns got a big thumbs up from Ms P. - I'm ashamed to say that I have had Janette's book for quite some time and still haven't knitted the jumpers on my list). When I go out and meet with friends I realise I should do it more often - it is so stimulating and ..... stimulating! I think I had too much stimulation, as when I stopped on the way home to get some moisturiser, I got carried away and bought a BRIGHT RED lipstick! You see my lips coming about 10 seconds before the rest of me. It wasn't that bright in the shop - I'm sure they swapped the packets around (yeah, right). The woman who served me at the beauty counter was probably not much younger than me - she had the fairest, most flawless, unwrinkled skin I have ever seen on an older woman - I've been thinking/wondering about it, ever since, and today the word BOTOX suddenly jumped into my mind. I think she might have - I'll have to go back and have another look with my, now, cynical eye.

I have started knitting a baby jacket for Sue at Cherryhills - it's an Anny Blatt pattern knitted in Bambini - it's a beautiful yarn to use - soft and elastic - it's making my fingers itch to do a cardigan for the 10 year old little flea - the pattern I have in mind is in "Pipsqueaks" - one of the best knitting books I have - I've knitted so much from it and have wanted to do this cardi for some time, but have felt obliged to keep knitting up the stash and none of the yarns in the stash appeal. Guess I'll just have to let my inner knitter free and pay another visit to Cherryhills!

It has been 40deg Celsius today, and 38 yesterday. We can't water again until Sunday so the poor old tree ferns and bird's nest ferns are looking very dehydrated, but it has suddenly started to thunder and look like rain - so I'm off to get the washing in.

Happy knitting.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Day 9 - Lesson 1: NEVER have liquid near your computer ... Lesson 2: And if you must, only drink wine (or gin)

How well I remember scolding my grandbaby fleas for wanting to eat over the keyboard of the computer (I'd never do that, of course), and woe betide them if they even THOUGHT about taking a drink near it .... it's a bit like the old "when all else fails read the instructions" ... she who ignores her own advice very clumsily spilt a glass of water (yes, water - I must have had shaky hands from the alcohol withdrawal symptoms) over the keyboard of the computer last night. Surprisingly it didn't explode in a shower of sparks, nor was I electrocuted (oh! you already guessed).

Lesson 1: NEVER have liquid near your computer - self-explanatory.
Lesson 2: And if you must, ONLY drink wine (or gin) - I'd never be that clumsy with alcohol.

So I have spent all day today trying to fix the problem. Fortunately I had a keyboard and mouse from the old computer, but the damage had been done when I tried to use the still slightly wet one this morning. Somehow I managed to delete the password from the email account's memory and for some reason the wretched thing kept wanting it! so I couldn't access my email. From which point I proceeded to undertake a journey that even Tolkien would have admired . I made a call to Brendan at Applecare who, after some time, referred me to Microsoft - where I spoke to Bakvin who referred me to Bigpond - where I spoke to Ari who said he couldn't help with Macs - he only did PCs - and referred me to Krunal in another section, who insisted that the telephone account number I gave him was WRONG (despite our bills reaching us at that account for forty years or so) - and referred me to James in accounts who quickly fixed me up with a new password - which didn't work. So - another call to Bigpond - to Ben, this time, who said I didn't need the Mac Section (duh!) and had that naughty James told me that the new password was in CAPS (NO - or else I was so excited to think that the problem was solved that I didn't take it in ). So many, many hours, phone calls, sittings and listenings to "hold music", dial-ups and downs later, I can access my email.

It's exhausting doing all that sitting and waiting.

I have tried to load photos from the old computer, but it won't work either, so I'm thinking of changing to another blog place, but I'll tell all you assembled thousands - who hang on my every word - where it is, when I do.

I've just been looking at a genealogy DNA analysis site ( - thinking very hard about it - I don't know enough about DNA to make an assessment of whether the claims they make are reasonable, or just a money spinner for the company. When Grandpa Flea did his family history he discovered, much to everyone's surprise, that the ancestor with aboriginal heritage had actually come to Australia from Mauritius, and was listed on the ship's manifest as a "black serving girl". It was before the time of indentured Indian labour, so we assume she came to Mauritius as a slave, or as the child of slaves, from Madagascar or the East coast of Africa (Mauritius had no indigenous population). But Grandpa Flea's father maintained that she was Indian. Would DNA analysis solve the mystery?

On my side of the family, my brother has long held the view that we have some Chinese ancestry - my mother was not impressed when I asked her about it - "it would be on your father's side!" she cried and no further discussion was allowed. Would DNA analysis solve the mystery? I often suspect that Mum knew about the convict ancestry on her side as she was very unwilling to help me when I started to look into our origins - to say that she was angry wouldn't have been too harsh. It turned out that her grandmother was the child of convicts - but by the time I had discovered this, Mum had died . These days we all regard having a convict as a badge of honour, and love to find we have some exotic racial mix in our backgrounds, but in Mum's day a convict ancestor would have been a source of great shame and having a non-white ancestor just wasn't allowed.

So much for knitting - I'm off to search the internet to see if I can hold dual citizenship - my brother is convinced that because we also have German ancestry we can apply for a German passport! Yippee! I wouldn't be an "alien" when I visit old mother England if I had an EU passport!

Happy knitting.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Day 8 - I'm laughing

Roxie always makes me laugh! - even when I feel blah - less blah than yesterday. We did see kangaroos on a golf course recently (as we were driving by, not chasing a funny little ball with dimples around) but we have none in our neighbouhood; we do have flying foxes in the neighbour's huge mulberry tree when it's fruiting and they crap all over the car and the washing when I leave it on the line overnight; yesterday when I was watering the same neighbour's plants (NOT the said muberry tree) I saw an enormous fat blue tongue lizard - I swear it was 2 feet long - maybe more - maybe as big as that fish that got away - I didn't know they grew that big. We haven't seen them around for years (as the neighbourhood has become more populated and there have been more cats around). We do currently have a possum living between the ceiling of the bathroom and the floor of the bedroom above - although I swear it moves into the wall cavity some days. We hear it scratching itself. I think it has a baby. The other night we had two mothers with babies on their backs prowling around the house (outside, thank you). And yesterday I had a noisy miner (bird) wander into the house off the deck, crap on the dining room chair then proceed to get agitated because it couldn't fly through the glass windows. Eventually I was able to shepherd it out. But the really big wildlife news of the neighbouhood is that two echidnas have been spotted wandering around - once in my yard (while my neighbour was watering MY garden - damn); once at that neighbour's and once by other neighbours - I'm the only person who hasn't seen them. We have lived here for forty years and this is the first time that they have been seen - maybe it suggests that the termites are increasing - most houses have had some problems with them. We also have rainbow lorikeets, sulphur crested cockatoos, eastern rosellas, crimson rosellas, very occasional black cockatoos and today I saw five gang-gangs (another type of cockatoo - very pretty with grey tipped black feathers and some brilliant red markings) do a fly by in formation while I was having my breakfast on the deck. We usually only see gang gangs when there is a drought - which there is at present and has been for a long time.

It's past my lunch time - I shall leave you in suspense about Baby Flea and her Dada.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Day 7 - Little Flea

Yesterday we babysat the littlest Flea (4) while her Mama and Dadda had a very upmarket lunch to celebrate Dadda's birthday - ?52. I can never remember ages - not even my own children's. (That apostrophe nearly got me). They arrived home with a computer - a PC, so once they have it up and running I might be able to post photos from there. Apparently OSX is a known "issue" to Blogspot. In the meantime I'll try on our old computer which has an earlier operating system but in all respects is a very sick girl.

I have now finished 3 more baby jumpers for Africa and started a fourth, but will have to give some time to Eloise before I can indulge myself with the little projects in the Knitting Calendar.

The weather in Sydney is crazy at present - yesterday it was blistering hot and the forecast was for more of the same today, but it is overcast and very mild. Usually our summers have days of hot weather followed by a cool change for a few days then hot again. This year we have been having very hot and very cold (relatively of course) - we've even had several nights where it was cold enough to put a heater on!

This is a blah entry - I have been feeling very blah with nothing to say for a few days now , so am signing off to do some blah housework - it might perk me up a bit. Or maybe I should indulge myself by starting a new knitting project. Do stop by again - I'm not always like this!.

Happy knitting.
PS - Lucia - I love your blog