Monday, June 28, 2010

The Weather

So the difference between happiness and unhappiness is the ability to afford thermal leggings and a quality overcoat. Also being able to afford housing that comes complete with efficient heater, and enough dollars to be able to afford putting the heater on whenever it is cold outside.

So I can say, unreservedly that despite the fact that the weather in Canberra is often the coldest I have experienced*, I really, really love the weather here. It is glorious with the sunshine and the frost and the sunrises of oven-element red. And inside it is roasty toasty and also glorious, although generally quite a bit stuffier.

*Possibly not strictly true, but I have very limited memories of living in Ballarat, and I voluntarily chose to go and lie in the snow (what I belive coordinated people like to call skiing) so I am not including those experiences.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Yartz

So we've had a very Canberra sort of day today, starting out with the Fyshwick markets buying comestibles and digestibles. Including, accidentally, two bags of corn chips which probably tells you a bit too much about our attitude to food this week. There may have been mainstream pizza and mini-magnums in the house last night, but not for very long. Although I suppose our stomachs were still in the house, what with it being too cold for ease of digestion outside yestereve.

And if I'm being brutally honest we started the day all piled into the big bed reading, except for the bit where I bullied the poor husband into getting up and making the coffee, even though I had earlier offered to make him breakfast in bed.

So post-lunch (which might have involved cold pizza rather than your more whole-grain, fruit and vegetable option more usual in a post-Fyshwick world) we decided to pop on down to the National Gallery to check out the Yart. They had some. We didn't go and see the Hans Heysen exhibition because some part deep inside of me baulked at viewing a room utterly full of gum trees. Un-orstrayan, I know. So we looked at fantastic pictures of Indian princes and princesses instead, and enjoyed the Pop Art. One of us did not enjoy the Minimalist room - 'too much not-enough' he said. He is going to write a book of art criticism with this as the title, he tells us. He still is not fan of Yves Klein either.

And thence to Canty's, where you will find a pile of Phryne Fishers near the front door, but only if you are quick, I should imagine, since Mr Canty says they are a license to print money. Coming through, I also have the next required A.S. Byatt and a book on women's lives in Richmond in the early 20th century, which is just what I wanted. I also want a 1930s recipe and household book, but it is Not Yet Time, I think. Or I can always go down the National Library and look at one without having to own it.

This may have been the most self-indulgent weekend ever - because I finished all my assignments. I had Friday off work and went shopping on my own with no whining and bought shoes with no whining and also bought opaque tights and footlets and other useful items with no whining and was so grateful that I bought a Bionicle for the person who is frequently responsible for whining on other shopping trips. I hasten to add that I often also whine when shopping, thus setting a very, very bad example.

Oh, and the Noodle informs that he will no longer be known as the Noodle, but prefers to be known by his own nom de blog, Eddie Nedwards.

A message to the meeja about writing about the PM

Via Helen at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony, a thorough and sensible message about how not to talk about the PM.

Gosh, if I go on like this I'll turn into a proper, linky blogger, not a self-indulgent waffler. Action fans save us!

Friday, June 25, 2010

All the news

Lolcats (plus squirrel and fox) tell the story of the spill.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Went to bed last night with someone counting the numbers and by morning tea time we had a new PM.

A person is not quite sure what to think yet. A person is nonplussed about the new Deputy PM. A person is nonplussed about Lindsay Tanner's decision to resign at the next election.

A person is quite plussed about the first woman PM, though.

A person may have had tears during Kevin Rudd's speech. It was not nice watching Therese Rein cry.

I do hope that the Best Department Evah retains its minister. I don't think I can cope with too much change all at once.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Well, I would blog something insightful and exquisitely drafted*, but I'm off to fold up some washing and stack the dishwasher. Oh well, maybe another time.

Thanks for the comfort reading picks. I have been basking in the glow of such like-minded readers and will visit Book Depository soon to fill some gaps.

*actually, that's a bald faced lie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Comfort Reading

I have been re-re-reading Diana Wynne Jones books in between blowing my nose, working and writing my administrative law essay. You can see why comfort reading is needed.

But I also feel like some novelty. So, what comfort reading do you all look to in times of stress? *Disclosure* I fully intend to steal your ideas and leach comfort from your books.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wild women at the National Archives

Well, an exhibition about women at Long Bay gaol between 1915 and 1930, anyway.

I love the Archives. When I finish all the other things I'm doing, I want to go and do some research about Melbourne in the late 1930s - fashion, the kinds of work young women were doing and how much they were paid, education for girls, train fares and that kind of thing.

If only I'd paid more attention to my grandma when I had the chance, eh.

Heh, she'd be horrified at being associated in any way with the women up there in the first sentence. Sorry, Grandma.


What is the blog etiquette when a blogger stops posting for a long time, and you don't know the person except as a commenter on their blog, but frankly you're a bit worried that things are not good and would like to express concern and so on? Presumably if the person wanted the blog readers to know what was happening they would blog. But you wouldn't want people to be thinking that other people aren't thinking of them, would you?

Public service II

We had a planning day. Which is also very public servanty.

One of my colleagues wanted to know if it was appropriate to telephone people on a particular topic. One of my other colleagues commented that as public servants we are expected to actually sometimes talk to the public.

As a person who worked in retail for many years, this was not so much what I wanted to hear.

Still, I'd rather actually be 'the public' than a stakeholder. I would rather be the vampire hunter than just the person who holds the sticks.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Public service

A person has learned all kinds of brilliant things by being in the public service. All kinds of wonderful opportunities have been offered and taken advantage of. Interesting people have presented themselves, talking about all kinds of fascinating stuff. With the exception of the odd meeting and jaw-dropping moments of astonishment, the past few years have been pretty darned good.

But, a person really, really knows that they are a public servant when have just sent in an application for their own job. Although, I do love that what I am doing at the moment is called 'acting up'.

To think, I used to get in such trouble for that very thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Books, for once

The Noodle has been reading with a lot of energy recently, despite his almost-equal passion for creating animation using PowerPoint. Having only ever seen PowerPoint used to destroy creativity, I am most impressed by the grade 3/4 children of the Very Good Primary School. I would feel slightly happier if the animations did not mostly end in decapitation, but there it is, I am not an 8 or 9 year old boy and I never was.

The books of the moment are:

Nips XI by Ruth Starke
The Fall of Fergal by Philip Ardagh
My Story: Fords and Flying Machines by Patricia Bernard and last but most
The Wizard of Rondo books by Emily Rodda.

Quite fabulously, the Noodle has finally taken to the school library, and has become bit more proactive about choosing books for himself, rather than seeing his role as rejecting books proposed by his parents and occasionally deigning to accept one. For someone who loves books, he has a strangely bitter relationship with actually choosing them for himself. However, now that he not infrequently likes quite different books to the ones I do, he has finally stumped off into book-choosing land all by himself. Hurrah.

He has been so excited by the Rondo series. I think Emily Rodda is fabulous at writing for the middle-primary readers. She gets just right the levels of excitement (but not too scary) and interesting and weird (but not too unfamiliar) that they seem to respond to. The Noodle is still not one for reading books that really, really scare him or weird him out. I don't think he'll be up for Philip Pullman for a bit yet. Also, Philip Pullman's books tends to be a bit too serious, even the funny ones tend to be making a Statement (said in large and sonorous tones) and nor does he write about sport.

The Noodle likes absurdism, puns, books about cricket, fantasy and time-travel. There are many books that do one or two of those things, but I have yet to find the complete package. The things he does not like are description, psychological development and description. He is not a fan of slow-moving reflections on the meaning of life.

The kid has also developed a bit of a fascination with the body (not only scatological), so is expanding his non-fiction interests in that direction. This follows other fascinations with the Tudors, archaeology, physics and food. He generally quite enjoys history of many kinds, especially if it has cricket in it.

I am reading reports by the Administrative Review Council, high court judgements and selection criteria. I should have a book called 'How to avoid procrastinating'.


The husband accidentally made lentil and onion tea for dinner instead of dhal. And I just told the Noodle that I had to bite the barrel.

The Noodle seems quite normal, but how long can it last in this environment?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things you think about when you don't have a book on the bus

Grey hairs are not all the same. Some are silver and coarse. Some are soft and really grey. Others are wheat coloured.

Most women dye their hair and hardly any men do (on my bus).

The public service is full of people who want to answer questions and help people, but presumably not in the Defence Signals Directorate or ASIS.

What's for dinner?

Sheryl Crowe. Did she ever actually have some fun until the sun came up over Santa Monica Boulevarde?

Quite a lot of people I went to uni with have published books (most recently Ben Law). It was a creative writing degree, so it makes sense. I wonder why some people have stopped writing and other people never stop writing.

Four days a week sounds like a great idea. I like the idea of being able to describe myself as 0.8.

I wonder if playing with my hat would be interesting for a minute or two? Not really.

Look, that's the house with all the downlights, not far now.

Why does that guy get off a stop earlier than me when his house is right across the road from our house.

'Thanks, bye'.