Sunday, February 27, 2011

In a land far, far away.

I love where I live. Sure it gets bloody hot, mother nature is currently trying to kill everyone in Australia and we have a ranga as our PM yet I still have a kind of fierce love for my country.

However, there are times that I wish I lived anywhere else.

Because anywhere else would be closer to everyone else than where I am now.

Ten years ago I would never have dreamt that I would become such close friends with people who live on the other side of the world. I would never have imagined that I would visit far away places to meet almost complete strangers, people who I only knew from chatting on MoH and could well have been hoaxes themselves (as I almost believed when Boo was an hour late meeting me at the airport! Oh how we laugh about that now!). Ten years ago I had few female friends let alone close friends.

But a lot can change in ten years and so it has. And that leads me to where I am today, looking back through photos taken from various holidays, reminiscing about the good times (most of them), wincing at the bad (Will's disappearing act) and being a rather sad, miserable wretch.

I miss my friends dammit!

I miss hanging out with them, how easy it is to laugh with them, the fact that we have the same sense of humour.
I miss the quiet times and the times we rushed around like headless chickens because we were running late for the bus.
I miss Edinburgh itself, the city that stole my heart with it's history (over fifty years old!), majestic buildings, creepy graveyards, culture and flair.
I miss arguing with Boo over things I wouldn't eat or even try.
I miss Zeph's cheeky grin and the funny faces he pulled.
I miss the way that Christian so effortlessly became mates with my friends.
I miss showing them around Perth and watching them fall as much in love with my tiny city as I am.
I miss our girly outings, dressing up, wearing the biggest boots and shoes we had and teeming them with lacy gloves and black lipstick.

I speak to Mouse most days via msn. I rarely see Boo online so we have regular phone calls (weekly when we can but rarely less than once a fortnight).
But it's just not the same! I want to be able to call them up and say 'Let's hang out tonight' or meet up with them for coffee (or tea!). Talking on the phone whilst browsing 80' is not the same as shopping together. Watching videos of Zeph impersonating a pirate is no where near as wonderful as seeing him do it in person. Writing *hugs* isn't even the shadow of a real hug.

Gah! It's just so frustrating sometimes. The world is so small now but at the same time, it's bigger than it ever was.

In roughly 18 months Boo and Matt will be coming to visit again. Rarely have I wished time to fly by so fast...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby lawn and fish!

But not exactly in that order...

Fish first! I love our wall mounted aquarium, it's different and pretty and a talking point. Getting photos is kind of difficult however but these are a couple we managed to get.

I took this photo about two weeks ago. The bubble is still there!

This is Skeletor, our Glass Catfish. He's just insanely awesome.

Christian captured this photo of Coolio, our Kuhli Loach. Isn't he adorable?

Our Glowlight Tetras are amazingly difficult to capture on camera. Christian and I both tried a heap of times and this one of mine was the best picture we got.

So, onto our new lawn! I never really took a 'before' photo which annoys me now. How I wish I had! This is the closest I have and it's a 'half way through' photo. You can kind of see where the huge pile of dirt had been (it's mostly smoothed down now) but it was towards the back of the fence.

So I smoothed down all the dirt, as best I could, raked through some soil improver and water crystals and put down some seed and made a wish! It's not exactly the best time of the year to plant lawn because it's just so hot but I've been watering it twice a day and voila! Baby lawn! This was about a week after I planted it.

And now after about two and a half weeks. The area under the tree is growing much better because it's in shade for most of the day so retains moisture but the rest is slowly starting to come along.
I'm not sure if you saw the creepers along the fence in the first picture? Well Christian has pulled them all out and we'll plant some Jasmine or other nice smelling creeper at some time in the future.

For Christmas my mother in law got us a dwarf peach tree which I potted (the front pot) and I've always wanted a dwarf lemon tree so I got myself one last week. It's been too hot to re-pot it but tonight it had cooled down quite a lot so I popped it in it's new pot. The lemon is the pot next to the fence.

And finally, this paper wasp nest was outside my lounge room window several weeks back. When I used to garden I received several stings from these little buggers and I know they bloody hurt. But I couldn't see a way of getting rid of them without antagonising them. Eventually though they moved on and they took their nest with them! It's entirely gone now. Weird huh?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why I'm looking forward to winter*

* Perth winter, not crazy freezing northern hemisphere winter...

So it was bloody hot today. Got to 39.6C officially but the temp gauge in Osborne Park that Christian drives past every day said it was 43C. Either way, it was awful. Throw into that mix the chance of a thunderstorm and you have some lovely humidity as well.
Perth is full of hot, sticky, sweaty and grumpy people and I am one of them. Bring on winter!!!

It's not just about the temperature though. I love winter for more then just the cooler temperatures and lower risk of bush fires (even though we live smack bang in the middle of suburbia, we are still threatened by bush fires like this one yesterday that flared up again today. To put it into perspective the intersection they talk about in the alert is 600m away from my house). I love winter because I have so many awesome things that I can only use/wear during the cooler months.

This is the hat that Crafty made for me. I have promised for over a year now to take a photo for her but I kept on forgetting. Please excuse the perspiration on my face, it was hot when I modeled it! lol

And to go with the hat are the prettiest gloves ever!

Knee high socks are a must in winter. I also have several pairs of tights and stockings but they don't cooperate with the camera...

My Diego hoodie complete with bat wings and ears. You can see a photo that Boo took of me wearing the hoodie here.

I cannot wait until it is cold enough to wear my new Snoopy scarf!

For Christmas, Christian got me these felt beanies from an awesome shop in Melbourne when he was there for work. I keep on stealing his Kangol beanie so I can understand why he got me my own bunny ears.

For Christmas I got a Madness Hamsters Heat Bear from my best friend. However, customs confiscated the wheat bag from inside because it might have contained some odd European parasite so we had to make our own wheat bags up...

And finally, on an unrelated note, I promised a photo of my froggie biscuits so here it is for those of you who missed it on FB. I'm not the most patient icer in the world so they're not very neat but they were yummy all the same :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An unexpected trip to the zoo

Yesterday I had gone round to my visit my best friend and after watching the new episode of Big Bang Theory, we found we didn't really have much to do. I was being a bit of a grumble bum because I'd had a headache for two days straight and probably wasn't being the best of company and I soon found myself bundled into the car and on my way to a 'mystery location'.

The mystery was soon solved when we pulled up into the zoo car park and I became much less grumbly. I love the zoo! Christian and I used to have a zoo membership and we'd go all the time but life has become so busy lately that we haven't been for quite a while.

It was already about half past two in the afternoon so the crowds had mainly dispersed which was good but of course, being mid afternoon on a warm day, a lot of the animals were having a siesta. We passed enclosure after enclosure where all we could see was a distant lump of fur in a tree top (sun bears), a streak of orange against the far fence (tigers) or absolutely nothing at all (wombats, lions, cheetahs and otters).

Some of the enclosures were being refitted so we couldn't see anything (the crocodile Simmo was having his glass replaced and was supposed to be in his outdoor home...he wasn't so we trod carefully until we were faaaaaaaar away) and the dingo enclosure was empty after the death of their last dingo, Durka. I always love visiting the dingo so I was very sad when I learned he had died :(

There were however a few animals who were being very voyeuristic. The Little Penguins are always good for a laugh, however stinky they may be. The elephants were demonstrating how strong they are by carrying around big tree trunks. The orangutans were being very orangutany and usually I'm not a fan but they had babies and were being very cute. The Meerkats are adorable as always and were doing very cute Meerkat things. The rhinos started to get into a fight, there was some stamping and a few horn butts but they settled down eventually.
The most surprising of the day though was one of the hyenas. Usually you hardly see the hyenas as they're always bloody asleep. But one hyena was having a bath in the pond by one of the viewing windows. He was jumping around, splashing, scratching, looking very cute and then he would go bounding off, run all the way around the enclosure (which is pretty big) and then eventually he would come running back and jump into the pond with a huge splash. It made my day :)

I'm just sorry I didn't get any photos but as it was a surprise trip I didn't think I'd have any need of my camera. I did however go to the gift shop afterward; a place I normally avoid since I spend too much money there. I ended up leaving with a zoo calendar, a froggie cookie cutter and a spiderweb necklace. I plan to make froggie cookies soon so I shall get photos and post them here :)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A productive afternoon

I had one of those eye opening moments today about my house. You know the type. Each week you tidy the house, do the floors, clean the bathroom, get the laundry done. The house if tidy and you think nothing more of it. Then all of a sudden, you actually *look* at your house and go 'My God! It's filthy!'. Yeah, one of those moments.
It happened when I was doing the dishes this afternoon and I looked out the kitchen window and realised I could hardly see out of the window. We've been in this house for three years and we've never washed the windows! How bad is that??? The amount of dust and grime on them, inside and out, was disgraceful. And then I started looking around the house and started seeing other things. Not just the accumulated dirt, but half completed or never started jobs, things that needed fixing, those sorts of things.
And so I made a list. I figured if I wrote down what I thought needed doing, then maybe it would poke at my memory every now and then and I would actually get around to completing these tasks (or nagging Christian to do the ones I can't do).

Clean the windows.
Wash the curtains.
Put up curtain rod and hang curtain in laundry.
Buy rod and curtain and hang in study.
Mow and edge the lawn.
Put in simple retic system for back lawn.
De-cobweb outside of house.
Clean off top of fridge.
Clean out kitchen cupboards.
Clean out bathroom cupboards.
Pot dwarf lemon tree.
Put up brush fencing along retaining wall.

Quite the list eh? And I didn't even include clearing out all the junk in time for our next curb side collection and de-skanking my yard. I've already started on the yard. Last week I dug out all the old, dead grass from out the back, smoothed down all the dirt and have put down some lawn seed (which probably won't take since it's the wrong time of year to plant but I was feeling optimistic). Our yard has just become really run down over time; to be honest, it was never really up to scratch in the first place. The backyard at least was pretty much a blank canvas when we bought the house off Dad and apart from my pots and a demented attempt at re-doing the lawn (major fail!) we haven't really done much except accumulate crap and grow weeds. I know my neighbourhood is Dodgeville but I'm sick of blending in with the trailer park trash who surround me (uncharitable I know but somewhat justified). Anyway, I'm hoping that our bulk collection will be soon so we can throw away all the junk that's built up round the place so I can start getting the yard organised.

Sorry, I digressed quite a bit there...I was talking about my list! So anyway, I wrote the list and then decided, you know what? It may be half past two on a Sunday afternoon but it's not too late to get started.
Christian also inspired me because he decided to change the washers in all the taps around the house since they hadn't been done in a while. So I started with washing the curtains from the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and the curtain that's destined for the laundry. Then I washed the kitchen window and the laundry sliding doors. The outside of the house got de-cobwebbed and I also put WD40 on all the interior doorknobs so they would stop squeaking. I made a trip to Bunnings to get a part for the spare curtain rod we have here and while I was there I bought a pot for my lemon tree and a new peg bag for the washing line. I got back only to discover I had bought the wrong part for the rod. And so I went all the was back to Bunnings, only to find they didn't have the part we needed so I had to buy a whole new curtain rod. When I got home I discovered it was an inch too long to fit in the laundry...we can put that rod up in the study but I have to buy curtains for in there first. I almost cried.

So by this time it was getting late and so I gave up on my list for now. But considering I started so late in the arvo, I thought I'd accomplished quite a lot off it. I'm just hoping that I can get everything on it done since that would make me feel a lot better.