Sunday, 12 August 2018

People Don't Make Sense To Me

We went on a jaunt today, Danny, H and myself. We took ourselves off to a beach we don't normally visit, via an antique shop I'd never been to before. I was lucky enough to score this 1976, mint condition Rupert Bear annual. I loved Rupert when I was a kid. Funnily enough, the names of the previous owners were inside, and surprise, surprise...they used to be my art lecturers at Uni...

Anyway, the beach is stunning, the waves wild, the Norfolk pines majestic...and I remembered that this particular location has one of the worst drug problems in the state. I know there's a lot more to it than the beauty of the environment...but seriously, if this beach and scenery was on my doorstep, the only problem I'd have, would be my addiction to the water and waves.

People seem to think these kind of areas are boring...but for me...they feel like home.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Will No-one Share The Essence Of Elvis With Me?

We were visiting our soon to be 'beachside neighbourhood'  today, and upon viewing the local noticeboard, we happened upon this gem!

Now Daniel and I want to assimilate into the local village and take part in a few activities, and though neither of us are fans of Elvis, we thought this could be a fun jaunt. We both decided it would be a great Saturday arvo, Elvis at the local bowls club.

Sadly, upon checking his work roster, we were soon to learn it wouldn't work for him. Boo hoo! So my lovely man suggested I ask our two friends, I and T. I sent them a message, hoping for a response in the affirmative (well actually definitely only hoping, certainly not expecting) but I was greeted with (what I assumed was a cynical) "mmmm, I don't think so". 

Pooh! What a disappointment...Danny suggests I ask our son, but I'm going to have to couch it in a blanket of bribery I feel.

Will no one share The Essence of Elvis with me?

PS Just checked the website...I think we can see him elsewhere....

Clever Creative Boy!

Just look at these lovely little wooden tealight holders. Golly that boy of mine is so clever. The wood used to make these was once part of a sad little Bunnings throwaway pallet, hewn into the most delicious, smooth and gorgeous candleholders ever. Now that’s a talented chap isn’t it?

It’s all part of the love of recycling in our house, and what a wonderful example they are. I also love how they’re photographed on our old Bunnings palette coffee table too.

Do you make anything wonderful from recyclables?

Friday, 3 August 2018

Old Mother Hubbard

Hmmmm, I'm glad Danny went shopping today. The cupboard is very bare. Our cheap eating has gone out of the window a little recently, mostly my fault. I haven't felt like eating very much over the last month, except for roast, veggies and gravy. So all our chickpea and lentil-based dishes, or alternate, cheap, but easy food dinners have faded into the past.

It's not that we've eaten cordon-bleu or anything, but our usual style of eating has been of no interest to me whatsoever. So, when I looked in the cupboard this morning, I saw a lot of spices, vinegars and not much else.

So, we're back on track. I opened the freezer door and found some lamb offcuts, in the cupboard a tin of coconut milk and a few ends of frozen peas...I sensed a curry was in our immediate future and pulled out our crockpot.

I've got a thing for crockpots. I see them as a cosy, healthy kitchen item. I love putting something in them early in the morning so that the lovely smells permeate the kitchen, even when there's not a whole lot inside them...spices and flavours really come into their own.

So, we've got a lamb curry to look forward to this afternoon...not bad for an empty larder and vacant-looking freezer.

Do you love your crockpot? What's your favourite cook up?

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Sneeze Of Death

So it was about 4 weeks ago and a young client sneezed on me. I remember watching the droplets of liquid fly through the air, toward me, and land.

I also remember thinking at the time, that something would come of this. Along with the TEN (yes, ten!) other coughing humans in the class, I knew something would happen.

And it did.

For the last four weeks, I have been the sickest I have ever been. Asthma issues, bronchitis, vomiting, absolutely no energy and a horrible feeling of depressive annoyance, yes, the germs of revoltingness had worked their magic.

I'm on the other side of it now. And, as a bonus, over the last few weeks I have had a lot of time to think, to evaluate things and to make plans.

Today I enrolled in a writing course with the Australian Writer's Centre. This is the year I will make money from my writing and creative abilities. I won't be pushing anything on the blog, but I will hopefully up my game with my writing and start spreading my wordsmithy little wings.

Of course, my beautiful boy came to my rescue...who wouldn't feel better when presented with these amazing gerberas? Thanks Danny!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

I Never Claimed To Be Picasso

I never claimed to be good at art, but what I do have is intermittent enthusiasm. I like doing things that don't cost a mint in materials and that could possibly be an example for my students to do on their own. Thus I have made a little pact with myself to focus mainly on ideas I can translate to small people. I like thinking of ideas for recycled/repurposed materials and doodling and zentangling is cool too.

Right now I am thinking about painted stones and altered trading card style items. I have also done a little messy painty thing for Danny for his birthday card...don't bother with cards usually, but this is made of stuff I already have.

I'm having fun...and that's what well as spending little to no money! Even better,

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


I'm in the process of getting my art mojo back. I used to create....a lot. Usually out of paint, or recycled bits and bobs. I can see possibility in many things, colours, textures and old cardboard boxes. I packed a lot of my art stuff away when I moved a while back and whilst I often think about being creative, I tend to stick to reading.

But, I feel like my creative juices are beginning to flow again. I feel like lots of ideas are coming through my brain and I am raring to go. One thing I am going to have a play with, is creating Frankentoys...using lots of sad, old and crappy toys from the tip to make a mish-mash of weirdness. I don't like spending much money on anything, so I like to stick to found/recycled/given/tip items...

I will post anything I make or create. My work is NOT sophisticated, even slightly.  But, if I enjoy it, I don't even care.

The only issue is what do I do with it once it is made, it's definitely a minimalist's dilemma.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Three Bags And Counting

 Following on from my post yesterday, I trotted off to see if there was anything I could release. At this stage, I have filled three plastic supermarket bags. It's hardly the multiple black bin bags of yesteryear, but then again, my wardrobe is not the mammoth clothing superstore of BHS proportions either. At present I have been rotating four pairs of jean/jegging type pants and they have tipped over the cusp. So, it was time to release them. The jeans I do still have don't fit me, so I will be in dresses for work until I fit back into them. What I won't be doing is buying 'interim' pants! I don't really like wearing dresses for work as they're not really practical, so I am hoping this will keep me continually focused so I can invite the new smaller/older jeans back into my life.

I've also spotted some kitchenware that can go too. We don't, or haven't bought any hygiene products for about a year now, other than toothpaste. I buy in bulk, so we are using this down, in order to have less to shift. We are not hoarders of anything, but it is still fun to use things up and create space. I gave away an ornament on Friday and I am still sure I can find other things.

In other news, H and I went walking and I found some lovely oak leaves and mushrooms that I thought were worth photographing. I love the mystical quality of nature, especially oak and mushroom. There's something so ancient about them and it takes me back to a feeling of pagan/forest stories. There's nothing ancient about our suburb, but nature quietly makes a presence felt and connects us, no matter where we might be.

Ok, time to go do a bit of a tidy (should take about five minutes then). It's a lovely day and I have a Swedish horror book to devour.

See you!

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Decluttering The Decluttered

Our house is a very minimalist sort of place. When we finally move to our new house, it won't take much. One trip in a hired, small truck. And that's because of our beds and fridge. But I am on the lookout for prior 'still-to-get-rid-of' items. I don't want to take anything that has no purpose or reason to be in our lives. Why lug it around if it's surplus to requirements?

In contrast, we have made a pledge to not buy anything new before we move. I noticed that the moment we knew a move was imminent, I was slowly, in the back of my mind, wondering, if there were anything new we would need at the new place.

I know we will need a few new things when we move, but as yet, I don't know exactly what. The garden is much larger, the vegetable garden well established and much outdoor living type things that may need to be addressed. But as yet, neither of us know exactly what is required.

So we're buying nothing, until a real need appears.

So in the interim, i'll be rehousing a few things and adding nothing to the current items in our house.

The easier it is to move things, the less stress there'll be.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tightwad And Proud

I feel the need to be even tighter with my money at the moment. I haven't been spending or being wasteful with my money, but feel I need to batten down the hatches even more.

Not sure why, not sure how...but I am thinking of ways to be even more frugal.

Being frugal isn't really something I think of terribly much anymore, since I do really only spend money on the things that are necessary. I don't worry about running out of money a day or two before payday, because the money that I save and spend each fortnight doesn't deviate much. I know what goes out, what comes in and what should be there for food, petrol and so on.

I did recently buy some new clothes. Just practical things like a rain coat for myself and our son, a hoody and some work shirts, nothing unuseable, and nothing OTT in price. This felt almost delicious. It has been so long since I have had any new clothes and my attachment to fashion is less than zero. I thought for a few days before I bought the new items, and really honed it down to what we needed. I then found the money in an account that I put $25 a fortnight in and that paid for the items. I wish I had been this sensible twenty years ago, but not to worry, it's fun to be in better control now.

Have you been frugal yourself? Or are you so frugal you don't need to think about it just is the way it is?

Sunday, 24 June 2018

"But you've Got To Have Some Fun Franny!"

H and I do a lot of walking. We live in a nice peaceful suburb, which has plenty of safe walking paths, with quite a bit of nature (for a suburb). I aim for at least 11 000 steps a day, though mostly more. I use my ipod as a step counter, it seems pretty accurate and it does all kinds of things like graph your steps from the day you begun using the app. It tells you when you've walked as far as Europe, different countries, rivers etc, when you're most active and so on and so on. I like statistics...well ones that mean something to me, anyway.

Basically, if I can walk, read, have a coffee, mess about a bit in the garden and learn something interesting, I am set. Don't need anything more than that.

So the other day, we were talking retirement in a group situation. A friend of mine was making a comment about how well I can save, how making so-called sacrifices now, was paying off for me in the long run. I replied with my usual "Oh you know, it doesn't cost much to entertain me, walking, coffee, reading...that's me, happy!". Another person in the group answered, incredulous...

" Yes, but you have to have some fun Franny!"

And that I guess is the crux of this post, she's still scrabbling about working in her mid-sixties, and i'll be retired significantly more quickly. When there's a late 4 or early 5 at the beginning of my age.

I'm not belittling this person, she does exactly what is right for her. But what is right for her, is not right for me. And the presumption that what I do, doesn't constitute fun, is where the difference is. My fun costs pennies, hers costs thousands...(big posh car, overseas holidays...) and that's fine. But one does not "win" over the other, one simply allows different choices at different times. And one of the choices also allows me to walk my neighbourhood, take cool pictures and then post them, doctored, on our blog!