Trainwreck – the cake

At work today we are having a cake decorating contest – here’s my less than fabulous (and really quite expensive) entry – “Trainwreck”.

I was joking to Dr K. on the bus this morning that my employer is trying to expose other marketable skills in our workforce.  Still, it turns out that cake decorating will not be my golden ticket out of librarianship (perhaps that is for the best.)




The airport read dilemma

I’ve been visiting Canberra for the Libraries Australia Advisory Committee meeting yesterday and am looking forward to attending the Libraries Australia forum today. Follow the hashtag #laf2014 for today’s event.


On Wednesday when I arrived at the airport with a cosy buffer of an hour to spare I did my usual prowl of the bookstore looking for something to keep me occupied on the journey* in addition to my knitting and queued podcasts.

I purchased: W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton. An excellent book – I was hooked and finished the book last night after an amazing meal at Rubicon restaurant (recommended!)

Now I’ve finished it – what to do with it? I don’t really want to take it home (even to pass it on to a friend and honestly, my close friends are public librarians, so if they wanted to read it, they already will have).

Is bookcrossing still a thing? Yes, apparently judging by their website – but it looks like to leave a book I need to join – I’ll leave that to a morning when I have more time.

The subversive part of me wants to do this …


What do you do when its time to discard your airport reads?

*Yes, I have the kindle app on my phone and iPad – airport reads are an old habit I can’t shake.

Sunday morning blissed out again.

I was up early again this morning – it’s become somewhat a habit to get up, read my favourite websites, have a cup of tea and water the garden all whilst waiting for Dr K to get up.  On weekday mornings, I also pack my lunch and squeeze in an early breakfast before saddling up at 6:30 for my ride into the city to work.

This morning I had one of those perfect moments in time – it was a beautiful cool morning and I was listening to Elvis Costello (specifically, Pump it up – had to get up and dance around my study); stroking Felix, my senior cat and attempting to knit on my fugly shawl (really, it is ugly) between enforced cuddling of the cat and the endorphins pumping through my system from the tea and delight at the music.  Pure joy really.

Just to include a photo – here’s Felix and Dr K during another one of those moments of bliss.


Dr K and Felix playing Elder sign last Sunday night.


Approaching 40

I got this book from my in-laws for Christmas – The Novel Cure – from abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 books to cure what ails you by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin.  It’s a lovely book to dip into now and then.  This morning I got up early before my household slept on (our household is temporarily enlarged by my father staying with us whilst he is visiting from Adelaide).  These mornings when I alone am awake, I tend to walk through our house to my study/craft room and sit with my tea and a book or magazine (the wifi doesn’t reach my study – before you ask about my ipad).

The Novel Cure

The Novel Cure

Today I picked up The Novel Cure again.  I read “cures” for being married (try Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin) and the desire to jump ship (read Rabbit, Run by John Updike) and also a list of books for Thirty-somethings.  There are now 62 days till I turn 40.  Do I try to burn through the 10 books on the list – or, do I just give up and move onto the list for forty-somethings? This question is largely rhetorical – I just ask it to amuse myself and maybe you, the reader.  Ten books in 62 days is rather pushing it for me – and the descriptions of Rabbit, Run and Enchanted April made them sound like something I like to read too.

Here are the ten best novels for thirty-somethings as recommended by The Novel Cure:

  • London Fields / Martin Amis
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Anne Bronte+
  • Middlesex / Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Sun also rises  / Ernest Hemingway
  • The Best of Everything / Rona Jaffe
  • Of Human Bondage / W Somerset Maugham
  • The Rector’s daughter / F. M . Mayor
  • The Jungle / Upton Sinclair
  • Miss McKenzie / Anthony Trollope
  • All the King’s Men / Robert Penn Warren

+Of course there is a book by one of those cursed Bronte Sisters (I still haven’t read any Bronte).

Morning walk

I got up early and went for a 6 km walk. Ta-dah!!

For the first few kilometres Dr K joined me but he split off towards the homestead when we got briefly close by.  I continued on…

I was just looping around one of the Lakes near our place and saw this:
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It came as somewhat a surprise as we just don’t express our emotions like this in Maylands.  I had to read it twice to get the meaning.

Then further on, I saw this cute bike bunting on the bridge.

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Sweet! I carried on round the lakes and rounding a final bend I saw:

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All was revealed! Preparations for a wedding – I’ve never seen one in our neighbourhood before (other than at Tranby House, which “does” Weddings).
I don’t envy the wedding party in this heat (Perth is predicted to get temps of 44c today). Good luck to all the people getting married today.

2014: a year of celebration and discipline

I enjoy reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project blog and in this recent post she talks about choosing a word or phase as a theme for the year (the comments on this post are also very interesting). I thought about it briefly yesterday afternoon and decided my two themes for 2014 are: Discipline and Celebration (sounds a bit sadomasochistic?)

I chose Celebration because I have a few things to celebrate this year: I’m turning 40 in March, Dr K and I will be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary in May and I will be eligible for long service leave in May (which means I will have completed 7 years with the State Library).

Discipline was selected because I need to impose some – mainly in the finance and health areas of my life.

I had a minor health scare during my short Christmas break from work.  I had a cold* and the major symptom of this cold was a very sore throat with my neck glands extremely swollen (aside from all the headaches, coughing and mucus fun, delightful!)  Finally after a week of putting up with this cold I saw a Dr on Monday who gave me an antibiotic to fight off the sore throat. One thing this about this little incident, I have sleep apnea and the cold symptoms were making sleeping was very difficult and I often awoke gasping for air in a quite violent manner, frightening Dr K (who of course only confided his fears after I saw the doctor – I hadn’t really noticed it till just before I saw the doctor, being too miserable with everything else going on – see delightful comment above).

The need for some discipline for health: the sleep apnea symptoms are reduced for me if I am carrying less weight. I do have evidence – I lost 25kg two years ago and we saw the symptoms decrease to virtually none (sadly I have gained back 15kg of those lost). Time to get back on track – nothing like a health incident to get your heart in the right place!

Financial discipline – I want to celebrate with a few meals in expensive restaurants and take a long holiday in June/July, this will require ramping up the savings plan.

January goals:

  • Return to tracking food intake (weight watchers works for me) and six half hour walks per week. (Theme: Discipline)
  • Plan a budget that can be stuck to (especially for the knitting habit!) (Theme: Discipline)
  • Pick dates in March for family birthday celebrations. (Theme: Celebration)


* I did say it was minor – that said it has hang around for more than a week and I hate being sick (actually who does? Silly statement really).

A random silly conversation…

The scene: a sleepy librarian picks up her mobile phone and finds that a friend has already sent her a text – it’s 7:30 am and she needs that first cup of tea to wake up…

Cathy to Dr K: “I just got a text from Sandy, she says she’d like to borrow the sewing machine. She’s burned hers out and she wants to finish a quilt for her son.  Yes not a problem. You’ll be home all day, hon?”

Dr K: “Yes, you’ll need to get it out for me so I can find it when she calls by…”

Cathy: “Thanks, I hate to say it but I hope she breaks mine too, so I have an excuse to buy a new one.  It’s like the car, it works but it’s missing some things I want these days …”

Dr K: “Like iphone connectivity …”

Cathy: “A sewing machine with iphone connectivity???  [long pause]  Oh, you mean the car!!!”

It’s been an odd couple of weeks.  I’ve been a bit run down with a cold.  I think my brain has melted too!