Sunday, March 29, 2015

A quiet weekend

It's been a quiet but excellent weekend - nothing much going on which is fine by me! I spent all of yesterday in the sewing room or reading, with small breaks for lunch and laundry. Nowhere to go and nothing to do ... perfect. I've finished quilting the kaleidoscope quilt and now I'm stitching down the binding. Or at least I'm trying to stitch down the binding, but there's a fluffy problem.

And I thought it was just cats that went straight for quilts and sat on them. This morning we went for a walk now it's cooling down a bit and baseball has finished for the year. We started with a nice flat suburban walk, up and down Gininderra Creek. About an hour and a half, and it felt surprisingly rural for a path in town. The dog came too (and is now exhausted, it doesn't take much when your legs are only five inches long. She is currently lying on my feet and snoring).

My husband did his usual Sunday morning run to the fruit and veg markets. I like the radishes, these oblong ones are quite spicy. Summer fruit is over but the apples are lovely. Oh no, I'm talking about seasonal fruit. It has been a quiet couple of days...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Workout complete"

No, sadly, not a real workout - they are never complete, but just drag on and on - it seems every time you finish exercising it's time to start exercising again. I am not a natural exerciser. But that is what I called my solid scrappy around the world quilt, which I have finished. I didn't give it a border but just went straight to a plain blue binding.

I was going to do an allover pattern but thought that was a bit boring, so ended up doing medallion style borders of quilting. It's probably not very clear, but there is a flower kind of thing in the middle, then borders of different motifs. Some feathers of course, and other meandery wobbly things. It is meant to give it a kind of medallion look - I did each border in different colour threads as well - but I don't know how obvious it is. It might be clearer if you look at the middle.

And this is the back - on the left is the last of the fabrics I bought in American Samoa in 2010! I thought I had used them all up but there was this excellently cheerful bordered print lurking at the bottom of a tub. It's a large queen size, but probably not quite king, so I will take it down the beach. And add it to the pile.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Exercise and drugs

I have started taking my exercise down by the lake - mostly because it's flat, but also because it's pretty. There is green grass (the only place in Canberra there is! we haven't had decent rain in six weeks, so if you want green you need somewhere artificially watered) and open spaces and not many people.

I've had a slightly depressing week - I went and saw the oncologist for a regular check up and I am perfectly healthy and fine - but there have been some new studies out and he wants to change the preventative drugs I am on. I am all in favour of new studies (and happy the doctor keeps up with them) but I had reached an accommodation with the old drugs ... these could be better, or could be worse, I just have to find out. Sigh. And it means back in the chemo ward once a month for an injection, which again is fine, they are lovely there ... but despite everyone's best efforts it's not exactly the most cheerful place in the world.

And to top it off the studies show that it's best to keep on the drugs and keep seeing the doctors for ten years, rather than five. So just when I thought I was nearly shot of the whole damn enterprise it looks like I'm not. I hadn't realised until he said it how much I was looking forward to being rid of it all! But I'm not going to argue with a study that says it's better for keeping people like me alive. It's just made me a bit gloomy, which is why here is a shot of flowers.

This is the remains of the rose garden in the Parliamentary triangle, it is just about past its best but some flowers are still hanging on. This isn't a very good photo, it is actually quite colourful still.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Around and around

I'm going round and round on the quilting on the kaleidoscope quilt - quite literally because I am doing it in circles. If you do it small on quilts as a filler it's pebbling, but mine are anywhere from two to four inches across, so more like stones. Or small rocks.

It's quite fun to do and with so many fabrics it doesn't seem to matter if they're not exactly smooth, or round, or if they're joined up in a funny way. You can see the imperfections quite clearly on the back (hello ... mint green dust ruffle!!!).

I am slowly getting my computer back to normal but I cannot for the life of me remember my Skype password and it doesn't want to send me a reminder (it says it has sent a password reset to my email, but it never shows up). I might have to set up a whole new identity, which would be a pain. Other than that, it was the last game of baseball at the weekend for number one son. They didn't make the finals - they started off quite well but lost their mojo after Christmas and didn't quite seem to be able to get the focus together. Never mind, a number of them will play again this grade next year rather than going up to under 16s so it will be a chance to get their eye in again. Maybe.

Mishka will miss going to baseball ... people and grass and birds and other dogs and the occasional being turned upside down and given a full tummy rub. She has no dignity at all that dog.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Never take your computer to the Mac1 at the ANU

I haven't posted for a week, but honestly, it's not my fault ... it's those idiots at the computer shop. You know how I said I needed to upgrade the operating system, and that I could do it myself, but it seemed a bit high risk, so I'd take it into the shop and they could do it, so at least then I wouldn't accidentally delete everything? Well guess what, I took it in and they ACCIDENTALLY DELETED EVERYTHING.

So all my photos and documents are gone, but that's not too bad because I manually transfer everything really important onto the iMac, and that's backed up automatically. And my email is all web based, so I still have  that. It's just those endless little bits of software (Skype, the photo book stuff, the Citrix I use for work, the e-reader software) and of course Microsoft Office (amazingly, I still have the CD, so that was reasonably easy to re-install) that I now have to spend hours putting back on. And all my saved passwords are gone, my browsing history is gone, the several hundred photos of quilts that I'd saved just to look at are gone, my Sims are all dead, my music is gone and the hundreds of pirated movies I got off a friend in Kiribati are gone...

The shop (Mac 1 at the ANU, if you ever feel like getting your computer fixed in Canberra, go somewhere else) were a little bit apologetic but mostly defensive, which I always think is a bad move in a case like this. Your only real hope is complete grovelling; I don't care how many hours you spent trying to recover it, or how this never happens, or that there was probably something wrong with their hard drive.

And really, really, really don't try and charge me any money. I read the disclaimer before I signed it, and I know that means I probably can't sue you for damaging my property, but there is no way in god's green earth that I am going to pay you for wrecking my laptop and causing me six to eight hours of unnecessary work re-establishing everything. Honestly, I was so gobsmacked when he asked me to pay that I just said "I don't think so!" and walked out of the shop (I already had my laptop in my bag, I thought our interaction was over). If I'd been prepared I would have given them a good blasting about Australian consumer protections and major defects in services ... which would have been much more fun (for me) but they caught me on the hop. They have all my contacts so if they want to chase me up they can, and then I can take them to fair trading and (hopefully!) small claims court (I have my doubts about that disclaimer and I reckon I could probably get a bit out of them).

The main problem? I have lost the last three steps of Roll Roll Cotton Boll. I didn't quite finish it and before Bonnie took the instructions down for her book I carefully saved them, because I am going to finish it one day, honestly...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This and that

Here is what I bordered the kaleidoscope with - plain and then orange. Or more of a dark apricot.

Last night number two son and I went to the noodle markets down by the lake - part of the Enlighten festival where they light up the public buildings in Canberra .... artistically. Number one was at baseball practice, so given his dislike of any food with flavour, we thought it was a good time to go. The noodle markets were a new idea and could have worked, but the queues were ridiculous and they put up temporary fences to pen everyone into a small space.

I don't understand why they do this - it was a beautiful evening and we were surrounded by acres of green space and trees - but they crammed everyone in and it was horrible. There were tables for about a twentieth of the people there, so we sat on the grass and tried to look like we were having fun. It was free, so there's no reason to have the walls. I could only be bothered queuing for one thing and it was ordinary, but apparently there was some fabulous food there, if you were prepared to spend half an hour in line for it. I really dislike crowds so we hightailed it out of there quickly and went and sat by the lake and enjoyed the view.

This is a bunch of little sailboats that light up after dark - it is an interactive installation I believe although I didn't get the details. They looked way cool bobbing up and down in the little waves. Soothing...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I made 81 of those kaleidoscope blocks in the end (I got bored at 70, but thought I would make a square quilt, so struggled through another 11) and sewed them together. There was no real plan for the colours, but I tried to use ones that were light and warm, to make a cheerful quilt, and it seems to have worked.

I won't do much for the border, maybe a light plain one, then a dark plain one. The blocks finish at 6" so it will probably be only about 60" square when I finish, maybe a bit more. Enough for a single bed I think. And that was pretty much the weekend, it wasn't very exciting. I didn't go to work yesterday after giving myself an upset tummy with poor food hygiene practices (raw chicken! apparently it's not good for you) but fortunately it was just me sneaking food before it was cooked so only poisoned myself. Moron.

This is Gary. Not the child, the lizard. One of the TV channels is showing Harry Potter on endless repeat and for the ad they have that bit where Hagrid says "You're a wizard, Harry!". So all lizards are greeted with "You're a lizard, Gary!" and called Gary for the duration (i.e. until whenever I notice and make them take it outside. I don't like tiny things scampering around the house at the edge of my vision. The boys and the cat are well past the scampering age, and the dog mostly prances).