March 6   Our trip to Melb

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I’m so behind at the moment that I thought I had written some posts about our trip to Melbourne last month. A quick check of my archive tells me that I only composed them in my head.

We went over for my cousin’s engagement party – I’m so happy to be sharing this journey with her, we shall both get married within two months of each other. She had her party first and we went for a long weekend to share her celebration and for a bit of a rest. We had a really great time. C says it was a holiday for ADD people but I think even though we were basically doing things all the time, spending three hours in a bar on Chapel St is hardly taxing!

We stayed on Swanston St which turned out to be a bad idea because they were ripping up the tram lines right in that section for only 48 hours, the only 48 hours we were there. But aside from that, and the trams not running down that street, we were in the perfect location. After a dismal breakfast in the hotel, we spent a lot of the rest of our time in and out of the alleyways finding all kinds of scrumptious things and shopping surprises.

We also hung out a bit at Federation Square and found some awesome yarn bombing out side of the Starbucks right there!

I was really impress by a few overtly environmentally friendly initiatives and actions that I saw about the city. The first was this bike one – you can hire a bike, ride it about and then leave it at another station – and there are stations all about the CBD. I thought this was really really cool.

I also noted giant signs talking about the water restrictions. Though we have similar restrictions in Perth, they aren’t actually really talked about, like this:

And, just cause it amuses, Batman Av:

During one of the first shopping outings, we found Tansy’s new book Reign of Beasts in Dymocks on Collins St. And bought a copy! C of course had finished it by the time we arrived back in Perth. I am proud to say that I finished Power and Majesty on the trip.

I scored a new pair of shoes from somebody who forgot to mention I needed to wear (and thus bring) closed shoes to the taping of The Project. C had seen a live taping of the show last time he was in Melbourne and was keen to go along again. It was raining a lot that evening and we headed down to the Channel 10 offices. We were early and needed to by shoes and after that we took shelter in a lovely bar and drank cocktails and ate Mars Bar cheesecake. We headed back to the offices at the appointed time and it was all very TV-ish which was a lot of fun. They gave us lots of lollies, I guess to hype us up and we were taught to clap to sound like we were more people, and to shout and laugh as well. We were hustled into the show and sat and watched the episode go live to air. It was a bit nervewracking knowing you HAD to laugh at the jokes but it was all very interesting and new.

Afterwards we headed back to the Cabinet Bar for some drinks and a bite to eat. And watched a couple on a blind date.

On the Monday, before we headed home, we wandered down to Southbank, contemplated seeing a movie, and then had a lovely secluded lunch on this balcony overlooking the water instead. The food was divine.

I dragged C down to the restaurant that sits under one of the pylons to a bridge across the river there:

And then we headed back to try what, we were told by Narrelle Harris, was The Most pretentious coffee in all of Melbourme. We drank a lot of coffee (I mostly drank decaf apart from this one) but apparently this was the most snobbish. We’re engineers and interested in mechanics. I though, am also a coffee snob.

We drank our coffee over a very long and enjoyable conversation with Narrelle, who met up with us there. It was really lovely to catch up with her and of course there were lots of stories and laughter. Interestingly, this coffee, which they describe as being more like a tea than a coffee, was unbelievably gentle on my stomach, when normally a black espresso would not have been so.

And I promised on Facebook a picture of the puppy when we got home – he is normally white, but shown here to be dusty from the red dust at the farm he hung out on whilst we were away.





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We’re looking after my parents’ dog, Morrie, at the moment. He’s quite old, not interested in making new friends, yet despite this, unbelievably patient with the puppy who does not take no for an answer. It took a good few days for Morrie to settle in. He kept looking like he thought Sasha had cooties. But yesterday, for some reason, he seemed to really settle in. He started patrolling the perimeter and sitting guard at the front door, in turns. This mesmerised Sasha who went from constantly antagonising Morrie to sitting in choice viewing spots and watching Morrie get hot under the collar. Now they are both tiring each other out and napping and not annoying us, more importantly.

Anyway, I just noticed that Morrie puts himself to bed and then doesn’t get up for anything. Puppies on the other hand, are always up for any old caper and will happily wake up and wander down the other end of the house with you, no matter the hour. On noticing this, I remarked to C: We should get another puppy when Sasha starts to get old.

C: I’m planning on doing that with you, too.

Me: *unimpressed look*

C: Yeah, isn’t the old one supposed to train the new one?

Me: You really want *me* training your next wife?

C: maybe I’ll pay someone.

So now I am sitting in bed, nursing a very painful spicy food incident and contemplating my holiday that was, as the prospect of hours to returning to the day job tomorrow approaches. Holidays are no way long enough and I really really wish I didn’t have to go to work yet. I only have 8 days left in this job to go. I of course got nowhere near what I had hoped to get done done. And I’m getting more and more scared about the longer commute that I have signed up for with my new job. I’m consoling myself on the first with the fact that the holidays have kickstarted my getting round to a bunch of things which I can continue to work on, in shorter spurts, as of tomorrow.

  • I got started on sorting out and clearing out the two spare rooms which have some of the last, and worst, of my unpacking. You know, all the stuff that you don’t know what it is or what’s with it so you don’t unpack it cause you’d have to sort it out.
  • I also sorted and tossed yet more of the postgrad stuff.
  • I homed a few more of my pictures on various walls.
  • I started some low effort gardening (mostly setting the habit of watering things)
  • I watched about 50 hours of The Vampire Diaries. Ahem
  • Also watched bits of Homeland, Psych, Primeval, The New Girl, Whitney, The Big Bang Theory, Private Practice
  • Sorted out my quilting – did about half of my xmas presents (the rest still to go), discovered I had one quilt top finished and located backing and wadding for the finishing of the project (that’s as far as that got), almost finished the third quarter of the monochrome quilt, made up almost 50 of the charm hexagons for my charm quilt (and discovered I have many many triangles precut for this project).
  • Read several books
  • Bought a ipad
  • Started my 2012 Last Short Story Reading
  • Participated in the Mega Boxing Day Podcast
  • Worked on three different Twelve Planets collections
  • Worked on a couple of unannounced TPP projects
  • Found a couple of comics that I’m dabbling in
  • Opened and started processing TPP’s novel manuscript submissions call

Ok, after that list, I guess I did ok with my holiday. I felt really like I had nothing left to give to the year and spent a lot just “pottering about the house” which is one of my favourite things to do when I’m on downtime. So I have to be happy with that. Even though a lot of things didn’t get progressed as far as I’d like.

But I did get a bit of insight into how I operate – know thine enemy – in terms of procrastination. I figure if I can figure out why I don’t do things I really want to, maybe I can figure out a way around my own obstacles. Or something. Don’t read that too closely, it’ll give you a headache. I often figure up tricks to get myself to do things I don’t want to. And whilst, the making myself do things I don’t want to do is more a thing of the past, making myself do things I want to do is kinda new and still shiny. Anyway, what I discovered is I often abandon or avoid things when they require going to find something out, or figuring out how to do something, or if left fallow too long, not knowing where I was up to or what I was doing.

So the whole sorting out my craft cupboard involved grouping like with like ie all parts of each project in one place and then taking stock to see where each was up to. And that alone was enough to get my enthusiasm back for about 6 projects at once. Often just identifying what the next step is (something C is often saying to me) was enough to help me move forward. It meant that instead of starting a bunch of new projects which had been my plan, I ended up happily working on older ones. I took this and applied it to other things, like sorting out scary packing boxes of doom, and emails that were waiting for answers, and TPP projects I’d stalled on, and found great success. It seems so simple but I think I need the reminder – when looking at something I’m avoiding, think up what just the next step is. Maybe that should be my thing for this year.

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January 2   2012 – it begins

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Things have been quiet here because I’ve found myself doing exactly what I had planned to do this break – watch TV and sew. This is both time consuming and I’m finding myself zoning out with not much of importance to think on and to write about. I’d thought that I would have this break to work on new and exciting projects but what I’m really enjoying is picking up long ago started ones and working on them. It both feels good to work towards finally finishing things but also I’m enjoying the process without having to be creative. I’d wanted to take this time to be creative but really, I’m burnt out, it was a tough, big year and being creative takes inspiration and energy which right now I’m low on. And the clearing the decks on projects makes way for being creative later.

I finally pulled out most of my craft to tidy my craft cupboard and take stock of the projects within. I have most of the quilting projects now itemised with an idea of where I’m up to with each ie the reason why I’d abandoned them cause the next thing was too hard. I still have my knitting and cross stitch to go but it feels good to get my head around what’s left and to also just sort it all and collate the projects which were a little jumbled and spread out due to my move. It’s sort of appealing to the tidying up frame of mind that I’m in right now.

We’re slowly tidying and culling and pulling our home together. I’ve been hanging pictures and throwing out more junk and settling further in. I also started work on the backyard garden. It’s a very very small start – a couple of fruit trees which I have potted and have on the patio for now. And a few more herbs to go with the tomato plants I planted earlier. I’m sort of aiming to green up the patio first as I get my head around a much bigger plan for the backyard. I’d planned on doing the backyard as my 2012 project but that was before planning a wedding jumped the queue. That being the case though, I can’t leave the barren wasteland as it is for the next year either. So … something will have to be done.

I’ve been thinking about new years resolutions and whether I should have any. I think though, in truth, that stuff, the ones you actually pull off, happen organically because they are the things you genuinely want to change or work on or towards and the rest is the list of things that you think you want or ought to be but are not. And I gave that stuff up last year – the whole wanting to be something that I’m not or like something or someone that I don’t. So writing a list of things that I wish I wanted to do or be … well, that’s not me anymore.

And at the same time, there are things that I genuinely want to do better and I’m already working on those – keeping my email at zero inbox, not there yet but working on it. Being a better friend to those closest to me – again, working on that. And this year’s goals for Twelfth Planet Press. Last year we achieved Sales Goal B – Goal A was perhaps a little overambitious given the current state of the world and publishing so I’m happy to have achieved Goal B, especially since it was benchmarked to the Worldcon year of 2010. 2012’s goals are bigger still, I guess. And will require you know, the usual, to work harder and smarter and savvier and all that. It’s not a list of goals, I guess, if it doesn’t require ratcheting it up another notch or two. Dream big, otherwise why bother dreaming at all, yeah?

Wishing you a happy new year and hoping your resolutions stick and your year is everything you hope it will be.

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