Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No internet! Rain!

Anyone would think that the world was ending. Our Internet connection at home has gone 'wrong' so there is a painfully slow connection, which prevents almost all but the most basic stuff from downloading.
The children are bereft. They are in mourning for their online lives. J and I are also suffering, but are trying to put on a brave face and pretend that it doesn't matter. Afterall, we lived without the 'net for years, didn't we?

J called our ISP yesterday, and apparently it isn't their fault, but a fault with our phone line. Telstra will contact us within 3 business days (yes, 3 days!) to arrange a time to come and look at it.
This means that it could be some time before we have functional Internet access at home. Dire times indeed. I feel quite hopelessly depressed about this, which in itself makes me feel worried.
How can I be so dependent?
Are you utterly dependent on the Internet?
How would you cope?

I'm thinking about moving in to my office for the duration.
(Just kidding.... sort of)

Added to this, it has been raining heavily for what seems like days. 
I realise that no internet and lots of rain are not really cause for whining, but I do need to whine just a little.

Anyway. Due to the rain and vaguely autumnal temperatures, I’ve been wearing jeans instead of my usual skirt uniform.

Navy J Crew sweater, Red Leon & Harper jeans, Repetto shoes. Grey Everlane shirt, new Rag & Bone jeans and new* Ferragamo shoes.
Note my hair got rained on, so my sleek, straight and shiny ‘do from the hair salon is now back to its usual wavy chaos. Never Mind.

*Ferragamo shoes that I got from the Op Shop (Thrift store, charity shop for non-Aussies). They were brand new so I snapped them up. They are a touch ‘old lady’, but I love the gold heels so I really don’t care.

Finally, I’m suffering a skirt conundrum. I like all of these, but am not sure which to get. 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

11 random things, etc

It's been another week of chaos and feeling as if I'm about to fall off the hamster wheel of life!

This week, D, my youngest child, turned 9.
He is a fan of Minecraft, so this was his cake. This will have no meaning at all to you if you don't mix with children under the age of about 17 - and I envy anyone who is blissfully ignorant of the Minecraft phenomenon.

Unfortunately, the day after D's birthday, both he and M came down with a vile gastric bug.
Not fun at all.
It wiped them both out for 2 days, and now my mother appears to have come down with the same thing.
Fingers crossed it doesn't get anyone else.

beautiful cupcakes, also decorated with a Minecraft theme.

I managed to get my hair cut. I haven't been to a hair salon since last November, so it was a bit ratty and unkempt.
Now it's smooth and almost long!
Don't be fooled by the smooth, shinyness. It'll back to its usual messy frizz once the hair salon magic has worn off. I can't dry or style my hair myself so it only looks like this if I outsource it!!

Anyway, the lovely Fred, from the blog the Whining diner and well-fed Fred has tagged me to post 11 random facts about myself.

I'm not sure if I can think of that many interesting things, but here goes:
  1. I am a very, very light sleeper and have to sleep with earplugs and an eye mask. Even with these, I still wake up at the slightest noise or light.
  2. I have hyper mobile joints and can put my legs behind my head. This doesn't really help me in any way at all, but comes in handy in yoga.
  3. The only talent I had at school was the ability to pick up languages very quickly. Sadly this has waned as I get older. I can still speak passable French, Russian and Japanese, but it's getting harder to learn new ones.
  4. I have a very fast metabolism and have to eat every 3 hours or so or I get very cross and shaky. I'd be useless in a famine.
  5. I've lived in 9 different countries, and would probably still be roaming the world if I hadn't had children. My gut reaction to any stress in my life is usually to run away, so moving countries was a way of getting away from any problems. 
  6. I came to Australia to recover from the Kobe Earthquake in 1995. I never planned to stay, but ended up moving back here permanently in 1999. If it hadn't been for that earthquake I don't think I'd have ever come here, so it just goes to show what amazing opportunities can come from traumatic experiences.
  7. I hate dairy products
  8. I love dark chocolate
  9. Like Fred, I had a stalker. I was in my 3rd year at university, and a French man who was staying near my parents whom I had chatted to for about 20 minutes a year previously started writing me obsessive letters (in the days before the internet and email!) He got my address from my parents by posing as my ex-boyfriend who was also French. I ignored the letters, which got more crazy, with threats of moving to the UK to be with me. One day, on my way back from a lecture, my house-mate met me on my way home and told me that there was a crazy French man with a knife who was threatening the neighbour. The police were called and he was arrested. Scary stuff, and made me rather suspicious of casual conversations with strangers for a while.
  10. I had a rather wild decade in my twenties and didn't sleep much, but managed to hold down a teaching job.
  11. I rather like spiders.
I'd pass this on to other bloggers, but I think that almost everyone that I read and visit has already been tagged! But, if you haven't been tagged, I pass this to Ina of Ina in Wonderland, Jody from About Last Weekend, Chinwags and Tittle-tattles, and Cilla from Cilosophy

Finally, a picture of the Boden skirt back from the tailor's. It's about 3cm shorter, which I think is an improvement.

I'd love to hear random facts about you, if you're willing to share!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Funeral, new computer, orange

A quick post. Busy busy times.
Briefly, our 84 year-old neighbour, who lived alone next door, died. We knew something was wrong as she hadn't emptied her mailbox.
We called the police, but they were very loathe to break in. Eventually, my stubborness prevailed and they broke in and found that she had died in her sleep approx 36 hours previously.
Her clothes were all laid out, ready for Church first thing the next morning.

We are sad, but realise that this is a good way to go.
The funeral was yesterday - we all went and it was the children's first time in a Church. They were pretty amazed by the Eucharist etc.... M was worried about cannabalism with all the mentions of 'the body of Christ'. That's what happens when you bring your children up without religion, I guess!!

In other news, work got me a new laptop:

it is shiny and new - it might make blogging easier too, as I haven't had a proper computer at home for a while. My old Mac at home is ancient and not happy with modern life.

At the weekend we had planned to go swimming and do lots of walks, but the weather went mad, with huge storms and super heavy rain, so our beach walk was curtailed and we had to make do with a shop walk instead.
I’ve been eyeing up this ALC dress, but really wanted to try it in black.

One of the shops on our shop walk had it in orange, so I tried it:

You can see M taking my pic for me. It was a lovely, bright shade, but not what I need right now, although it was a close call! Practicality prevailed and I walked away.
I have a black cashmere sweater on hold in another shop, so that needs my $$ more than an orange frock.

The Boden skirt will be back from the tailor today if I remember to pick it up. I've forgotten 3 days in a row, so fingers crossed.
Tomorrow, D, my youngest child is turning 9!!
I can't quite believe that my baby is that old.....

How are you?
What did you get up to this past weekend?
Any impractical purchases?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New clothes!

It being my birthday and all, I did a tiny bit of self-gifting.
Exhibit A:

Leopard print skirt by Baum & Pferdgarten, who are a Danish company. It's a bit mid-life crisis, but I love it anyway. I'm wearing it here with a J Crew cardigan (just for a change).

Next up, new jeans and Boden skirt

On my winter wardrobe wishlist was a new pair of jeans. I wanted them to be not too skinny, but not too baggy or flared. I found my perfect pair in a shop in Sydney, but they only had a very faded and destroyed wash available. After a quick sleuth on the web, I found the same style but in a darker wash on Matches, so snapped them up.
Very fortuitously, Matches had sent me an $80 voucher for my birthday (so kind!), so they ended up being not too $$. They're Rag & Bone Dre boyfriend jeans and I think they're going to be a good addition to my admittedly ample jean collection.
What's your favourite jeans brand? Any experience with Rag & Bone?

The Boden skirt was a bit of an experiment.

I've never ordered from Boden before, but again, had a 20% off voucher, so took the plunge. 
The skirt is cotton, with a cotton lining (hurrah!!! Dani would be very happy!) and an A-line shape. I like the print and the fabric, but there is something just a bit mumsy about the cut on me....
What do you think? I'm going to keep it, but am thinking of getting it tailored or taken up just a smidge.

I'd welcome your thoughts on what to do with it.
Mumsy or not?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Birthday, self-gifting and gluttony

It's the end of a very bacchanalian few days. It was my birthday last Thursday, so the past 4 days have included a lot of cake, good food and fine wines.

Birthday cake made by my wonderful mother. D ate a very large amount of it, as did I. In fact, I've been eating it for breakfast most days.

Dinner at Osteria Russo & Russo on Thursday night. J and I went to our regular pilates class before dinner, so felt less guilty about the 6 courses we devoured.
I wore my new birthday present from J and the kids. It's s sweater with sparkles and stripes by Leon & Harper:

On Friday we had a bit of a break from gluttony, but on Saturday night, a group of us went out for dinner at Vini, a great little Italian place. I wore my Hervé Léger dress, and ole J Crew cardie, Mulberry pumps and Acne clutch.

My girlfriend A showed me how to do a posh bun arrangement. It is achieved by using and old sock as a bun-plumping device. I'm sure the whole world knew about this trick apart from me, but anyway, now I'm in the know, and have a plump bun 'do!

Dinner was fantastic. We booked the whole back room and gorged ourselves. Fine wines were also imbibed in fairly generous quantities.

Two of the boys taking some time out from eating:

Waiting for more food:

Altogether a fantastic birthday weekend. Lots of lovely friends, family, food and conversation.
Lovely gifts, too.

I may also have indulged in a little self-gifting.
Pics to follow soon.

Hope you had a lovely weekend with lots of good food and booze too!