31 December 2006


caroline and i at the top of mount bishop.

click here for new pics (of christmas at sandy point) up on flickr.

13 December 2006


create your own visited country map

this is where we've been - we've apparently visited 9% of the world's countries. how about you?

9 December 2006


this one's for you, dad. sorry for not updating more!

CLICK HERE for some pics of us and erin in england. we'll put more up soon. promise!

23 November 2006






8 November 2006



the fake plants are actually real! crazy. here we are at singapore, where the internet is free for a few minutes. our flight has been ok so far... there was listening to led zeppelin and watching 'hustle' (dan), 'solo' and 'the sentinal' (hahah!) (me... of course). and eating of curry for breakfast (me) and the cheddar omlette that looks the same as the scrambled eggs according to the voice on the pa.

seeing erin was lovely - on saturday we went to camden market and ate chocolate coated strawberries, drank various beers, then headed to hampstead for crepes. YUMMO! on saturday night it was dan's party, which was great and busy (and i had a damn cold. crap. now dan has it). more on that another time, perhaps. on sunday we ate pancakes for breakfast and went out to hertfordshire (little berkhampstead) for old times sake... did a lovely rambling walk through fields and woods, and ate chocolate in the company of a pheasant (not a peasant). came home, had pizza, chatted, dan's friends came around to say goodbye. it was so good to see erin again (and all the other chaps, too!).

anyway, timeout on the internet soon, so we'll write more later. looking forward to seeing the melbourne-residing gang again soon!


4 November 2006


so of course i have to do random internet quizzes.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

in other news, ERIN ARRIVES TONIGHT, after what will be an awesome shabbat dinner with adam, orly and tzvi. CHOLLAH! YUMMO!

guy fawkes this weekend. i expect burning and explosions.

2 November 2006


coffee maker: yes?
me: hey. do you guys do soy milk?
cm: yes, we do.
me: can i please have a soy flat white?
cm: what, sorry?
me: could i please have a Soy Flat White?
cm: oh, uh, yes... ... a flat white is sorta like a latte, isn't it?
me: uh. yeah, kinda.
cm: [makes me a caffe latte in a cup]


i still forget to do the two-cheek kiss. i keep smacking my face into other peoples faces when they go for the second one. greedy bastards.


me, dan and michael: [walk into a camden cafe and goggle at the lovely looking cakes]
dan: it's just like melbourne
[we look around and agree that the cafe is very melbourne-like. time passes]
cafe staff member: what can i get you, then?
me: um, can i have a - do you have soy?
csm: yeah, we've got soy
me: can i please have a, um, a soy flat white?
csm: yeah, sure ... ... ah, are you from australia?
me: heh...
csm: [proceeds to make me a delicious flat white]

29 October 2006


the word QUEUE is spelling correctness gone crazy. why not spell it KYOO and get over it? oh... that's beside the point.

we were in a queue the other day. went to a shopping centre to do some shopping. did some shopping. came out of the carpark, and then spent OVER AN HOUR to go almost 360 around the shopping centre and onto the road due to some street closure or another. OVER AN HOUR. authentic english experience.

of course, because we loved it soooo much, we went to the tate modern yesterday and stood in another queue for tickets to the slides. for an hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF, dudes! why? because we are committed to our art. and also, because if we'd gone into town and seen the queue and the slides and just given up without getting tix and going down at least one of them, i would have regretted it.

we had to queue again at the top of the slide, and thought about what the artwork meant. because by itself i was just like slides, meh, but the whole experience of it... queue for hours in a very slow line to get a ticket so you can queue for another half an hour to go down a slide for 10 seconds and end up pretty much where you start... oh, metaphorical. (but what's it meta for?!)

and that's my cue to go.


26 October 2006


Where to start?! This could turn into an epic post, considering my tendency to wax lyrical about the English countryside.

Was fine, although we left Melbourne at 12:30am instead of the scheduled 11pm due to an auxiliary engine failure, which they assured us only affected the aircon when we were on the ground. I suspect they tell us that so we don’t panic. The same thing happened at Hong Kong (our mystery stop-over place) airport, though we were only delayed by about half an hour. The flight was on a QANTAS plane, and we all had our own little screens – movies, TV programmes, CDs on demand. I finally got to watch ‘Kenny’ (though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t in that weird waking-sleep mode somewhere over the Tibetan Plateau). But most importantly, one of the CDs we could listen to (and I did. Repeatedly!) was Led Zeppelin ‘Remasters’. No music should have the right to be so sexy! I am now well reacquainted with those songs, and I have to say. . . ZEPPELIN RULES.

Is mostly well. We’re having a lovely time staying in our ‘other’ home (it’s nice to be back somewhere so familiar), which has a brand spanking new kitchen. Yesterday, Margot had a meeting with an Extremely Important Person from Microsoft, to convince him he simply must write the forward to her book (which is due out in July). Aaron is cooking us delicious things with the new kitchen – the ceiling collapsed on the old one and until we arrived the household had been using a makeshift kitchen in the entrance ‘hall’ (i.e. under the stairs). Eliot still has many shirts, is still at BT but is considering finding something else, continues to watch hard-core amounts of football, martial arts films and snooker, and has a shaved head (EJ, he said he had a mullet before he shaved it! I can’t believe he didn’t let us see it!!!). He is also in the process of buying a house in Mill Hill (north of here). The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 storeys, a bit of a yard, is near a park, and is quite run down. The buying process is confusing over here, but I think it’s fairly certain it will be his to make over soon. Adam and Orly have also bought an apartment in Edgware (next door to Mill Hill). They are in the process of getting it cleaned up a bit, though it was in good condition, and moving in. They’ve been living with Orly’s parents since Tzvi was born, so it will be nice for them to have their own space (though Amanda and Moy seem very happy to have them around!). Tzvi is a baby. As far as babies go, he’s not too scary. He has quite a lot of hair, likes to gnaw on things, and is completely spoilt by everyone. We’ve only seen Harry and Lorna once, but Lorna is recovering from another illness, which knocked her around pretty badly. We’ve also seen aunts and uncles, but only in passing.


DAY 1: Monday 16 October: SOURCE
We caught the train up to Kemble, a little village in the Cotswolds about 2 miles from the source of the river. The whole journey up was extremely pleasant and un-stressful, and I half thought that things could ONLY GET WORSE. Because that’s how travelling often goes! However, when we arrived we were greeted by the sight of a few riders on horseback clip-clopping along the road, over the little stone bridge and out of sight down a country lane. ‘How picture-skew,’ we thought. A few minutes later, on the other side of the village as we walked towards our B&B in Ewen, we were passed by a few more riders. And then some more. And THEN! We looked behind us to see a whole group of riders, lead by a pack of dogs and a man in a bright red jacket. OH YES! A HUNT!!! Of course, hunting for real is illegal, but apparently that doesn’t stop people getting dressed up and riding through the countryside looking spectacular. And because it wasn’t a real hunt I had no qualms being completely and utterly taken in by the vibrant atmosphere of fresh-eyed horses and riders who, to a person, sang out friendly greetings as they passed us by. OH, ENGLAND!

On that first day we dropped off our packs at the B&B Brooklands Farm is a pokey little place that I couldn’t really recommend except as being warm and comparatively cheap) and wandered up the path to the source of the River Thames: a stone at the edge of a paddock saying RIVER THAMES WOZ ERE. On the walk we encountered the first of many stiles (yay!), kissing gates, cows, sheep, woods, fields, end-of-season blackberries (LOVE), and free apples (in baskets by people’s gates, or on trees growing seemingly wild along the way). The river itself was completely dry, and we didn’t actually come to a place where it started flowing and didn’t stop a bit down the way until day 2. We lunched at the Thames Head Inn, walked back through Kemble, did a bit of shopping for snacks, and encountered some Very Friendly Horses on a ‘short cut’ footpath on the way back to Ewen that were very interested in the bags containing said snacks. And the thing is, I don’t mind friendly horses, but you sort of forget how fucking enormous the creatures are until they start gently nudging you with nose and flank, and try to herd you off the path so they can nibble on the contents of your bag!

DAY TWO: Tuesday 27 October: EWEN – LATTON (nr Cricklade)

Our first day of REAL walking, with packs, from one place to another. We tried to break the walk into 10 mile (16 kilometre) days, and this was probably our shortest stretch – a little under 10 miles. We had breakfast and met the house cat – a big grey tabby tom with a white leg, named White Leg – and then set off just before 9am into the misty fields.

Much of the day was spent walking between the lakes of the Cotswolds Water Park around Ashton Keynes. The lakes were attractive (they’re not formed naturally, rather they are filled-up quarries and machine-dug), and we saw many a white swan, and many coots! Ha! That’s what the moorhen-looking birds with white beakyfaces are called. We’d hoped to have an early lunch at Ashton Keynes in a pub called ‘The Red Lion’ (you know the one. . .), but we were too early, so we ended up eating an entire packet of gingersnap biscuits and a whole thermos of tea, sitting on a bench beside a sports ground on the outskirts of the village. Ashton Keynes was very quiet, and very pretty. The Thames is a small stream here, and runs beside the path straight up against the grey and yellow Cotswold stone cottages and buildings. Some of the houses are effectively moated (is that a word, even?) by the Thames and its tributaries.

It threatened to rain once or twice, and it did drizzle lightly for about 10 minutes in the afternoon – it was quite nice drizzle, very fine, sort of ethereal. But it got on my glasses. How annoying. How do you glasses-wearing people deal with rain? My ankle started hurting really badly during the day, and I thought it might have been a strain. I thought doing my boot up tightly would help support it. HOW STUPID WAS I? I limped through the afternoon as Dan and I approached the hysteria that comes from exhaustion! We giggled like loonies through North Meadow (one of the finest remaining examples of ancient meadowland, according to our book and the information board), creating fabulous tales of rescue by white horses, or cowboys, or shiny black cars, or the air force. The walk became a trudge, then a stagger, and we eventually collapsed at ‘Red Lion Inn’ (you know the one) in Cricklade.

We called Jemma of ‘Doll’s House’, where we were staying, for directions, and started walking out (about a mile out of town). Just as it started raining seriously, a car pulled up beside us – it was Jemma come to give us a lift. How sweet! Dan sat in the back seat with and enormously friendly Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer cross named Harvey, who proceeded to lick Dan’s face to bits. The B&B was lovely – very cosy and welcoming, and Jemma did all she could to help us out: plied us with maps, pots of tea (in Mad Hatter’s tea party crockery), food and friendly advice. Most of the cushions, quilts, curtains etc were handmade by Jemma (some were exquisite, others were. . . interesting). We ate a gigantic dinner, and fell into bed at about 8pm.

(I should begin the ‘You don’t sound Australian’ tally, as it was pretty much the response I got every time I told people I was from Melbourne. Today’s count: 2)


This was our longest day – approximately 13 miles, or 19 kilometres. After another enormous meal we said goodbye to Jemma and slipped into the mist along the footpath to Cricklade, passing by the fields and cottages and high across the overpass. Once in Cricklade we tried to check out St Samson’s, the towers of which can be seen from miles around, but Wednesday at 10am happens to be the only time other than Sundays when it’s being used. We didn’t have a lot of luck with God and Jesus on this trip! Instead, we sat down for a pot of earl grey in a little café (I will never be used to smoking in cafes, though we did manage to remain smoke free at the back of the place).

Then off we set, along possibly the poorest-maintained bit of the Thames Path we encountered. The actual rights of way tended to be knee-deep in nettles, or completely churned up by cows, or a delicious combination of the two – mud, shit and nettle stew! All over our boots and trews. Luckily this section lasted for less than an hour, and soon we were following the Thames Path temporary route through a windbreak/orchard (where more apples were consumed – we felt a little like Merry and Pippin, and hoped they would start falling from the sky and bumping our heads. Or that Aragorn would appear. . .), along a quiet back road and into Castle Eaton. We dined on mushroom and stilton soup at the pub – ‘The Red Lion’ (you know?) – looked at another closed church, and limped on. By the time afternoon tea was to be had, my ankle was uber-painful, and we had to sit down on the verge in Upper Inglesham, eating M&Ms like they were going out of fashion (yes, we bought provisions, and then we hunted a wendigo and used M&Ms instead of breadcrumbs). After our break we walked the least pedestrian-friendly section along an A road before turning off down a small lane to see St John the Baptist’s Church – an AMAZING little slice of centuries past. It’s barely been altered since the 16th century, and contains sections built in the 13th to 15th centuries and bells from the 18th. And it was full of German-speaking restoration workers, climbing ladders and peering closely at crumbling wall-paintings, pointing at architectural sketches and talking in long lists of numbers. From there it was a short stroll into Cricklade, during which we spotted our first boats on the river, the entrance of the now-defunct Thames and Severn Canal, and chatted to a man with a passion for lighthouses who had just spent a few days in the Shetlands and lived in Camberwell.

We met three other walkers on this stretch – all going in the opposite direction. A guy from Seattle, who had started at the barrier and was almost complete, and two English men who were doing the whole thing, barrier to source, in 2-3 day stretches. These last two had two cars with them – in the morning drove both cars to their finishing spot, left car one there, drove back to their accommodation in car two, did the day’s walk, drove back in car one. No big packs. Lots of exhaust fumes.

We stayed at Cambrai Lodge, and had Chinese take-away for tea. Or is it dinner? Or supper? It was good. We were full and exhausted.

(You don’t sound Australian tally: 1)


Honestly, that morning I did not want to get up. Put on the pack and it felt SO HEAVY. Despite having slept quite well, I still felt drained, and my legs didn’t want to GO. At breakfast we chatted to the two hikers from the day before, laughed at the coincidence, and gleaned tales of hiking trails around the world from them. It wasn’t until later that we realised we were younger than all the walkers we met – probably by at least 15-20 years. We are such dorks!

It had rained quite heavily overnight, but we set out in bright sunshine and almost completely clear blue skies. It was quite windy, though, which made it difficult to walk a straight line! Our first pause was at St John’s Lock – the uppermost lock on the river – where we posed foolishly on the lock and took photographs of Old Father Thames. A statue, not a real person. We then continued along the meandering river to Kelmscot[t], where William Morris used the manor as a summer house. The manor was closed, but we did see a cow with her newborn calf. She was eating the afterbirth. We went to the Plough Inn and had a pot of tea instead.

We stopped at Radcot for lunch at a pub called. . . ‘The Swan’. Radcot Bridge is the oldest bridge on the Thames, and it’s very pretty and bridge-like and old. I heard something jump into the water and saw a line of bubbles going across the river. I maintain it was Ratty, and that Toad and Mole were around somewhere. . . In the afternoon we stopped at Rushey Weir and Lock (the weir is an old fashioned paddle and rymer weir), then trudged the last short section to The Trout at Tadpole Bridge (the only thing at Tadpole Bridge, really!), where our booking had apparently not gone through, but luckily they had room for us, and where they are closed from 3pm-6pm, but luckily there was someone around to check us in. The room had a bath. Oh, the joy of it all! We both had long soakings.

Then we had the most expensive meal of the trip, which included a whole sole with lemon for Dan, and finished with a platter of LOCAL FARMHOUSE CHEESES OF FANTASTICALITY!!! Exmoor blue with Jersey milk, a creamy ash-rolled goats’ cheese, a single Gloucester soft cheddary thing, and two gorgeous runny cheeses. Two of them were made with unpasteurised milk. HEAVEN (and it would want to be, considering the room and the dinner ended up costing £130. That’s over $300AUS!). We were so full!

(You don’t sound Australian tally: 2)


Again, it rained heavily overnight, but as we had our breakfast the sky cleared completely, and on very full stomachs we set out into the glorious shiny morning. After I’d had another bath to make the extortionate room tariff worth it. The luxury seemed to have worked, though, because we both felt much more fresh and raring to go. The pack seemed to be a kilo or two lighter, and my ankle hardly hurt at all. The day was gorgeous – sunshine glinting off the night’s rain as it clung to leaves and spiderwebs, shining through the riverside stands of silver birch. It was quite wet and slippery underfoot, but we were generally in very good moods. We stopped at Shifford Weir on a little footbridge overlooking the lock and weir on one side, and an idyllic landscape of green pastures, blue skies, cows and sheep on the other. Not for the first time I thought we must have walked into an advertisement for butter or milk.

Also along the Thames from Lechlade, we encountered small concrete ‘pillboxes’ (you can see a picture here) built during WWII as part of England’s ‘Stopline Red’, the never-used “last desperate bid to keep invaders from the Midlands” (according to our book). They are quite incongruous, and most of them still look pretty solid – testament to their construction, I guess. Dan and I considered for a while that there might actually be only two or three of them, and that they kept moving to make it seem like there was a whole line along the river. Ah, mid-afternoon hysteria.

We had lunch at ‘Rose Revived’ at Newbridge (called new because it was built less than 50 years after the bridge at Radcot in the 13th century). And it was SO GOOD. I had a wrap with goats cheese, red ‘pepper’ and onion, and salad – YUM. We got a serve of chips, too, which were delicious – perfect blend of crunchy outside and soft inside and really thick and hot, and it’s about time I stopped drooling over them, hey? Because, after all, they’re just chips. We sat outside, next to the swollen river (the other pub at Newbridge had a very flooded carpark), and met a cute, black enormously fluffy-tailed cat.

In the afternoon we met another walker going in the opposite direction, who told us we were the first ‘serious’ hikers he’d seen since before Abingdon (downstream of Oxford). We were recognised as SERIOUS WALKERS! VINDICATED! At Northmoor Lock and Weir (another paddle and rymer weir), we finally got to see a lock in action. It took a while, but it was a nice rest stop, and the lockkeeper was CUTE. For those who remember the ferryman from Lismore, Scotland, last year, this lockkeeper and that ferryman should run away and have a water-based relationship of cuteness. The river by now was very full, and the rush of water over the weir was extraordinarily powerful. It was here we saw our first dated flood-markers on the side of the lock. And one on the lockhouse itself from the 1880s (I think)!

We arrived at Bablock Hythe, at the Ferryman Inn (which I can only recommend as a convenient stop-over) where our room overlooked the river, and the vegetarian menu included macaroni cheese. FOR SEVEN POUNDS!!! The food, when it arrived (I eventually got curry) was not as bad as it could have been, thank goodness. We slept soundly.

DAY SIX: Saturday 21 October: BABLOCK HYTHE – OXFORD

Foolishly, we hadn’t asked what time breakfast was, so when we found ourselves locked into the building at 8am, we were a little concerned. Eventually we found a way out, Dan scouted around and found our table – unfortunately on the other side of some very locked doors and windows. We considered doing a runner, and I was almost ready to go when Dan finally found someone who told us that breakfast was at 8:30. this man then proceeded to spout such gems as, “I’d like to live in Australia because you make people be Australian and speak English if they want to live there,” and “Your Muslim women mustn’t wear the veil.” On the other hand he didn’t really like Stirwin or Neighbours, so at least we had some common ground.

It rained again overnight, but was once again fairly fine as we set out past the trailer-park (or ‘chalet estate’) and into the sheep paddocks surrounding. And soon we encountered the only major obstacle of our whole walk. See, there was a field, and we had to walk to the other side of it. However, between us and the other side of the field seemed to be running a healthy little stream – a couple of metres wide and about a foot deep in places. After some insane laughter, we decided to get all MacGyver on yo asses and build a suspension bridge with nothing but some willow branches, dental floss and chewing gum. However, what ended up happening was us throwing down some branches over the stream/lake in an attempt to not get in over our ankles, starting off across the water, realising it wasn’t going to work, and wading the rest of the way with great snorts of laughter. Testament to my excellent Raichle Scout boots, though my shins were freezing cold and wet, my feet remained warm and no more than a teensy bit damp. Yay waterproofing!

From Northmoor, the path of the river is basically a big loop to Abingdon (it’s something like 10 miles as the crow flies, and three times that if you walk the river), so today was about walking around the top of that loop and back into Oxford. We passed many cows and swans and pheasants and horses and sheep and mud (LOTS of mud), and geese, crows and seagulls, and noticed that the river was VERY FULL. We noticed some weekend cyclists and joggers, all looking like they might be Oxford students, or dons or something, and giggled. We had a most excellent lunch at the most excellent and popular inn at Godstow – ‘The Trout Inn’. DELICIOUS. I had a pear and goats cheese tart (I’m seeing a theme here with the goat) and a glass of Australian shiraz, Dan had an average dish called Chicken , and we finished off with mouth-wateringly good apple crumble. Let me tell you, I did NOT want to leave! (And it had nothing to do with all the cute Oxford students discussing philosophy and whether it’s posher to pronounce ‘scones’ with a short or long O. I want some for my house. They can wear blazers and cravats and lounge around dusting and reading Voltaire. Then they can row me to work.)

However, leave we did. Looked at Godstow Abbey as we passed by (you should read up about Rosamund and the king. Eeenteresting), then strolled down to Oxsfors, watching the ‘dreaming spires’ appear on the horizon over the bright green meadows, the blue sky and river full almost to capacity. We saw many silly skinny dogs with curly tails frolicking by the water, and many cyclists, and much early-autumnal leaf rustling. Once in Oxford, we still had over a mile to walk to our guesthouse. I was exhausted and sullen, and my feet HURT DAMMIT from walking on concrete, but Gail and Peter at Homelea Guesthouse were super-friendly, the tea fresh and hot, and the room most excellent. We chatted away, learning that they had only taken over the place 6 weeks ago, and talking about walks in Oxfordshire. They let us know about the open-top bus and walking tours, told us which bus to take into town, magically produced information on a café we’d overheard people talking about in Godstow. . . superb. This was probably the best all-over place we stayed – friendly and generous and professional. Lovely.

(You don’t sound Australian tally: 3)

DAY SEVEN: Sunday 22 October: OXFORD

We didn’t have enough time in Oxford, and we had to cart our bags around for the whole day, and it drizzled throughout the morning and started raining seriously in the afternoon, so we didn’t get to see as much as we’d have liked. What we did do, though, was go on a two-hour walking tour of central Oxford, including a few quick visits into some colleges, etc. Our tour guide had lived in Oxford for over 40 years, tutoring at a couple of colleges (at one time next door to Tolkien – a grumpy old man, to whom one should never mention LOTR or The Hobbit), and she was totally in love with the city. She claims it is one of the three most beautiful cities in the (very Eurocentric) world, and her attempts to convince the group were, well, convincing! We got to see the inspiration for Tumnus, for bits of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and filming locations for Hogwarts. Yay!

We went for lunch at a nice little café (mmm, falafel roll) with an upstairs, where we ate, read delicious. magazine, got a pot of tea and some muffins, sprawled on the couches, giggled at the boy reading Foucault, and the other boys discussing linguistics and vagaries of Italian language, and the other boy with his black mac using the café’s wireless. It sort of felt like home, like I could get used to it. I somehow doubt they do film/trans studies at any of the colleges, though.

(You don’t sound Australian tally: 2)

(TOTAL TALLY: 10 . . . in 7 days)

So, the walk was excellent, and I highly recommend it to everyone – it’s easy, well marked and flat, and there are enough places to stay and eat along the road. If I did it again, and had enough time and money, I would stay two nights in Lechlade (gives you more time to look around the cute little shops, and to rest your feet), and longer than we did in Oxford (there is still so much we’d like to see there, and we’ll surely go back one day). We were VERY lucky, weather-wise, thanks to this being “the longest, hottest summer EVER” (according to the TV), but I think early-summer and early-autumn would be usually be good for doing it. We’d hoped for a bit more autumnal orange leafiness, but what we lacked in that was made up for with the blue skies and lack of day-time rain.


And that’s about all I can be bothered typing up. We’ll fill you in on other stuff later on! Hope you’re all well!

23 October 2006


let's just say, after walking approximately 50 miles in five days, we WOULD NOT WALK FIVE HUNDRED MILES AND WE WOULD NOT WALK FIVE HUNDRED MORE!!!

updates to come, possibly in our tomorrow, as it is getting late here, food must be eaten, and beds slept in.

15 October 2006


just a quick note to say HI, WE'RE HERE! (or there, if you will).

plane trip was fine, but long. will post more later.

9 October 2006


before we leave:

* return all library books, document which ones i need to re-borrow when we get home
* sort out all the plants, water and feed, write up note and PLANT WATERING SCHEDULE for jc (thanks for looking after the plants, lovely!)
* try to pack the big pack again with all the things i forgot to add last time
* clean out backpack, and sort out what we can/can't take on plane as hand luggage
* empty camera of photos, charge batteries etc.
* write up walk itinerary, directions to all B&Bs, etc.
* sort out last minue paperwork (i wish there was NO LAST MINUTE PAPERWORK but that's what comes from being lazy)
* defrost the fridge. this has been on my list of things to do for, like, a month. going to go turn it off now!
* see people. possibly for dinner on wednesday night, somewhere on lygon or sinneyroad. or elsewhere. must organise.
* get haircut
* buy a new journal
* see esther w on tues, go to show on tues night, chiro on wednesday, friend's seminar on thursday arvo
* other stuff
* misc
* etc


3 October 2006


Your Birthdate: June 4

You have an extraordinary character - moral, responsible, and disciplined.
Your sincerely and honesty shine through in almost every situation.
Driven and focused, you rarely let your emotions get the better of you.
You're level headed and rational. People count on your to look at things objectively.

Your strength: Your unwavering loyalty and ethics

Your weakness: Your rock solid stubbornness

Your power color: Navy blue

Your power symbol: Shield

Your power month: April

Your Birthdate: November 3

You are more than a big ball of energy - you are a big ball of hyper.
You are always on the go, but you don't have a type a personality.
Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.
Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

I think, somewhere along the line, someone mixed up and gave us the wrong birthdays. But havng a lightning bolt as a power symbol is very Harry Potter, so that's pretty cool. Having navy blue as a power colour stinks.

28 September 2006



dan found a thread about strange band names. guess who's mentioned?


25 September 2006


well, at least 2 seasons, and it was within 3 hours, so that leaves plenty of time in the day for the other seasons to have a go.

when we left for our sunday walk, the sky was blue with a few grey clouds, and the same wind that's been giving people hayfever and colds and ear infections all week. but it wasn't cold at all, so we shouldered our packs and began the walk up to coburg lake reserve (it's about 2.5-3 km up the merri creek from ours). the walk up was nice, we sat down and had a cup of tea from the thermos and some tim tams. because, dammit, we walk in style! there was a wedding party across the water, and a bunch of angry moorhens, who progressed from squawking at each other to pecking each other as they swam past to waging full-on battle, fighting with their legs and claws. a nearby swan occasionally looked at them, then at us, and went back to gliding over the lake as if to say well, at least someone has some dignity around here.

we then got our packs back on and decided to head another 15-20 minutes up the creek, then turn back, have lunch on the other side of the lake and head home. we got about 5 minutes into this plan when the rainwind picked up - you know the one that slices through the warm smells of grass and suburb, brings the scent of stormclouds and sky whipping around you... and big splotty drops began to fall. and WE WERE PREPARED! we hid under an (entirely useless for shelter) eucalypt, donned our jackets, and broke out our waterproof bag-covers. dorks!

we decided to head home and have lunch when we got back... and started discussing how good it is that we finally got to walk in the rain, becuase we're pretty sure we'll have at least one wet day when we're hiking in england. and it was kind of nice to be all snug and dry inside my waterproofs (even my shoes are waterproof!) while the rain fell all around. the wedding party had disappeared by the time we waked past again (and that is why i will never get married!), and after about ten minutes of rain it started to hail!!! and that was good, too. very nice experience. we were proud of ourselves for having all our dorky supplies with us!

so, home, lunch... and then i felt the cold that was lurking around bust out with a vengeance! i sat on the couch for most of the afternoon feeling sicker and sicker. what an odd experience! usually i feel a little crap before i go to bed then wake up sick as a dog. or i go to bed fine and wake up ill. but i've never had the experience of falling ill (or the symptoms starting to show) in the early afternoon and feeling ratshit by 6pm. but anyway, i think it's just a cold, so i've taken some cold and flu tablets, dan has made me many a cup of lemon and honey drink, i ate lots of garlic, drank lots of water, and sucked on a throat lozenge. if i'm feeling worse tomorrow i'll go to the doctor, because i do not want an ear infection.

and here i was, just the other day, thinking how great it was that i hadn't been sick all winter!

22 September 2006


three weeks minus one day:

we bought some travel insurance online, and have started making up a vague itinerary. you know, things to look at each day of the walk. it was quite odd yesterday to think: three weeks! it's less time til we go than it is we'll be spending over there. crazy! since i loe lists and organisation, i'll soon write up a list of stuff for a practice-pack.

speaking of packs, has anyone had their bags plastic wrapped in the airport? because i'm thinking well have to do that, given our packs are so strappy and catch-on-able. so yeah, i wonder how much it will cost, or where the thing is in melbourne airport/heathrow.

still yet to book a place in oxford, but will get onto that tonight. also, book train tix both ways.

need to organise with erin what days to see her in glasgow and book tickets for that.

must go for more walks.

and then there's all the other things to do in everyday life. need to do them. and get a mail-holding thing. and organise someone to water our plants. and stuff.

yay! three weeks!

14 September 2006


we leave in a month! w00t!

still need to get travel insurance, and need to find another place to stay in kemble because the place we booked is going on holidays or something, and need to get train tix there and back, and need to book accommodation in oxford, and need to plan a trip to see erin in glasgow, and STUFF! also write an itinerary, and do some more walking with our packs.

did some the other day - 1 hr to brunch, 1 hr back - and it was good. out packs totally rock. as do my shoes.

what else? i'm giving a presentation next wednesday at uni. not sure what i'm talking on, yet. trans road movies. possibly transamerica. possibly breakfast on pluto. anyway, it'll be good.

mum and dad are coming down next week for an appointment at peter mac regarding familial cancer. pretty much expecting to be told we'll all get breast cancer before we're 60. but i've always known that deep inside anyway. shit happens, hey? all the more reason to do as much stuff as we can as soon as possible!!!

our loungeroom is a mess because i've fallen face first into a new fandom (supernatural! yay! dean winchester is my idol. and sam winchester is also my idol. and their car is my idol, too!) and haven't had time between watching the entire season 1 (twice?), and keeping up with all the fanfic, and trying to do uni stuff, to actually clean the house. blah.

gotta go and eat now, because I'M STARVING!!!

28 August 2006


we are always so busy. dan works monday to friday, i work friday and saturday. so our day together is sunday, which is often when other people want to meet up. i have about one meeting per week afer hours. i don't have time to cook yummy things. we don't have time to do shopping. but apart from that it's all good!

yesterday a get together was cancelled, and i decided not to go to a meeting that would have been really good to go to. instead, we cleaned the house up, had brunch at ceres, went to sydney road where i got some new clothes (bonds top and jumper, good for walking), dan had a snooze (we went to a housewarming on saturday night), and i made a delicious dish with a french name that is essentially scalloped potatoes with mushrooms. mmm, nutmeg and fresh organic cream! the day off was good for my sanity.

today i did a bit of work on a presentation i'm giving in a few weeks about recent 'trans' films - i was writing about TransAmerica. then went into carlton and met julia and esther for lunch (mmm, big harvest salads!) and coffee (in the place that no longer has the ORIGINAL mouth of truth), then went to the nova ($5 films! yay!) and watched Breakfast on Pluto, which is also a 'trans' film. good stuff.

now i'm eating toast with yum hummous on it. and dan made me a cup of tea. so that's our lives at the moment!!! looking forward to our holiday - only about 6 weeks away. must get some travel insurance soon.

19 August 2006


venice is nice, and all, but it was already so much like a theme park. and while i agree that it is too over crowded, and something must be done to prevent or repair the damage done by the pleasure seeking hordes, wasn't venice expensive enough before? end of rant.

18 August 2006


British Deputy PM John Prescott shocks the world by telling the truth! What is the world coming to?

15 August 2006

TEA PARTAY!!!!!!!!!!!


"tea in the parlour makes the ladies holler"

i'm so happy!

14 August 2006


we went to the australian specialist cheesemakers association cheese show yesterday (sunday) with esther j. oh, the cheese! oh the gorging upon said cheese! oh the tasting of wine! oh, the gluttony!

perhaps my favourite of all the cheese i tasted was the king island dairy "discovery ash blue", a deliciously soft and creamy medium strength blue... my mouth waters... also up there was red hill's "merricks mist", a wonderful, gooey organic "normandy style" mouthful of goodness. oh, and woodside cheese wrights' "edith", billed as "a special goat milk cheese... the cheese is ashed and develops almost blue flavours as it matures"... oh, bliss!

ashed cheese seems to be the flavour of the month (although how much flavour the ash actually imparts varies from cheese to cheese). the washed rinds, i thought, were a mixed bunch, with the milawa washed rinds tasting absolutely gorgeous, and the hunter valley "smear ripened" (?) cheese also right up there, yet others possibly needing to mature a little more. it was brought home to me how in love i am with goat cheese of most descriptions, but i was a little put out by the buffalo cheeses by shaw river - the smoked buffalino was nice, but the others... i think it might be an aqcuired taste (and i am all up for acquiring it). there weren't many exceptionally strong cheeses, though the jindi top paddock wine washed rind ("washed with a special blend of red wine and spices") was delicious. i'd never heard of heidi farm before, but their gruyere was grand - nutty and smoky - as was their tilsit. binnorie dairy's labna or yoghurt balls were devine. tarrago river's triple cream was a suprisingly acidic and gooey cheese, quite salty but very light on the tongue. oh, gosh. shall i go on?

let's just say that for breakfast today i ate fresh cucumber and capsicum, and drank herbal tea.


and, over a year from the taking of photos in dorset, we have put some up on the web - thanks to our LOVELY NEW COMPUTER!!! they're in the secon album, under "dorset".

11 August 2006


more acurately, giving fantasy fiction the name it has. i'm reading cecilia dart-thornton's bitterbynde trilogy. i bought all three at book affair, so i am compelled to read the lot. and they are TERRIBLE. the writing is overwrought, the plots so... non-existent, the characters empty. every time i open a fantasy novel i HOPE that it's going to be good, because there's so much shit out there. but with this series it was not to be. yes, there are some interesting things going on - especially with the protagonist who, though free of personality, is the vehicle for some interesting exploration of identity. there are many things i am willing to forgive - i am used to reading bad fantasy. and yet... i ask myself why i am reading them (now onto the 3rd book, and they're getting slightly better). i think it's because they are so bad i can't look away. it's abject. it's like driving slowly past a car crash. i quote:

Birds uttered uneasy, sporadic sounds from the trees and the duck-pond far below. Their quacks and trills increased in porportion to the strength of the iron glow in the east, whose warm facade was smudged by the cloud floatlets as a smith's ruddy countenance is smirched by soot and ash. Above, the profound blue drained from the sky and the stars dissolved. ("The Ill-Made Mute", p36)

And when two characters first meet a third:

They emerged into the open and approached. The stranger did not move from his position. He smiled up at them, a dark smile that struck Imrhien like the note of a great bell. A dazzle ran straight through her like a silver needle [...] Lean and angular was his face, the features chiseled, high-boned. Beneath straight eyebrows his dark eyes seemed to burn with a cold fire, piercing. His jaw was strong and clean-shaven, although brushed with rough shadow. The hair, glossy black as a raven's wing, was swept carelessly back from his brow, the front locks pulled loosely back and knotted together behind his head and falling, bound, nearly to the waist. Unfastened - she imagined - it would be a cloud of soft darkness, a cascade of shadow. ("The Ill-Made Mute", p300 & 301)

he had in fact, wandered into this world from a mills & boon romance.


on the up-side, surely if this can get published, i can get published.

31 July 2006


over the hill and far away
the mother duck said, quack quack quack quack
but only two little ducks came back

i thought this song was the saddest song EVAH, when i was a kid... with one exception:

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
Go to sleepy little baby,
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses.
Blacks and bays, dapples and greys,
Go to six-a white horses,
Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
Go to sleepy little baby...

for no particular reason, this lullaby made me cry EVERY TIME I HEARD IT!!! but i still liked hearing it. we'd sing "when you wake, you shall have..." though on the net the line is "when you wake, you'll have cake..." and where i hear "go to six-a" the lyric is "coach and six-a". excuse me while i kiss this guy.

there is another verse i never knew until i googled it just then:

Way down yonder, down in the meadow,
There's a poor wee little lamby.
The bees and the butterflies pickin' at its eyes,
The poor wee thing cried for her mammy.

NO WONDER I CRIED!!! what an eeevil nursery rhyme!

however... i was just going to say something like: why is they all be overseas? erin and michelle and julia and rachel and ross. all overseas.

but enough of this whining (is that the correct spelling?). dan and i will be in ingerland in october for 3-4 weeks, and we have started looking/booking accommodation for our walk along the thames. we decided long ago that we wanted it to be a bit special, and we wantedt o stay in B&Bs so we didn't have to carry tent and/or sleeping bags. and also, there aren't many other options in the area. and we love B&Bs. so it will be expensive accommodation, but we will be doing lots of free stuff during the day, so it will be LOVELY!

night one: kemble
night two: cricklade
night three: lechlade
night four: tadpole bridge
night five: northmoor
night six: oxford (haven't chosen a place yet)

we will arrive in london on the friday, and train over to kemble on the monday, do a bit of a walk - up to the thames head (source) and have a poke around the area, and generally enjoy being relaxed. we'll leave oxford and go back t london on the sunday. we also have a day-long walk (approk 10mi) planned for one of london's green belts - hopefully we can convince some of dan's family to come along.

ok, off to do some actual work, and a load of washing (got to wash our new quilt cover before putting it on our new doona and sleeping under it and on top of our new sheet on our new bed! so much new stuff!).

19 July 2006


this has to be my website of the day

send an email to your future self!

it's actually a strange thing to do - it sent me into a fit of melancholy and made me realise just how chaotic life is. i chose to send to january 2009, when i should be almost finished with my PhD...

17 July 2006


You are cordially invited to join us in our new home
From 2pm on Sunday 23rd July
For an afternoon tea of various consumable treats (all vegetarian: vegans and coeliacs also catered for)

There will be socialising and merrymaking throughout the afternoon and into the early evening
Please feel free to bring yourselves, your partner/friend, your drink of choice (tea, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages provided), and a happy disposition!

For more information (address, dress code, and secret password) email, text and/or give us a call.


In very recent news (two updates on our thrilling lives in one day!) Julia just called us from the train station in Firenze (wanker!Florence), where she was waiting to board a train to a place without the euro – Slovenia! It was great to hear from her, and we are envious-o-rama of her time being a WOOFer in Tuscany!


yesterday dan and i had our 4 year anniversary. it was spent drinking tea and having a leisurely stroll along the merri creek, in cool cloudy weather. walked to the fairfield boathouse with my parents, and ate scones with jam and cream. mmm. and then went to my grandparents' place for my aunt's 50th birthday (dad's side). played music with cousins, ate delicious food (oh, lovely, lovely cheese!), and chatted with family. in the evening we went to the cinema to see pirates of the carribean: dead man's chest with the parents, esther j and her housemates etc. yay for that!

one year ago, we celebrated our... ummm... three year anniversary (!) driving to wales via whitehorse, reading harry potter 6, eating delicious breakfasts at the b&b, walking the brecon beacons in the hot and sunshiney weather... wonder what next year will bring?!

11 July 2006


so. over the last week, i have lost TWO BEANIES.

careless? yes. annoyed? yes.

one of them i have had for over 2 years - the blue stripey one with ear covers. hardcore. from an outdoors shop. went all the way around europe with me, through heat and cold, wind and rain, across many a border. only to be left on the tram last thursday.

the other was new. yes, new! i bought it from target, on special. grey and wool, with a peak. just like i've always wanted. left on tram this morning.

yeah, i know. i should pay more attention to where i put my belongings. my bad.

but what really pisses me off is that, in both instances, there were people sitting next to/opposite me, and not one person either noticed or told me i'd dropped it or left it behind. not one. i don't get it. if someone drops something, i always run after them and hand it back - a wallet, a scarf, their pants, their boyfriend, doesn't matter: i'm after them!

i guess i should get off my lazy bum and call yarra trams and see if either of them have been handed in. but if they weren't turned in, i would be even more pissed off with fellow tram-users. and if they were, well, i'd have to go and pick them up or something, which is far more boring than actually buying another one.

maybe someone on scroungey centrelink payments picked them up and now has a warm head. in that case, good. but really, all you people on the tram - I HOPE YOU DROP SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT ONE DAY AND NOBODY TELLS YOU! actually, i don't. i hope you leave something behind today, and I pick it up and give it to you, and you recognise me as the person who you didn't think was worth the effort of saying, "oh, you dropped this," or "excuse me, is this yours". and i hope you feel guilty! FOREVER!!!

10 July 2006


no, really.

i had a dream that i was derrida, and that i/we was part of some spy/gambling network. my/our job was to get agents out of trouble, which they seemed to get into fairly frequently. it so happened that my/our good pal, wittgenstein was in deep waters - i think he stole a horse, or paid off a trainer or jockey for something - and was being pursued by some black-clad louts. as wittgenstein and i/we were (hush-hush) ex/lovers, the job of getting him out of danger was fraught not only with logistical, but emotional obstacles. luckily, we found a room (like the room of requirement) in the creative arts building (something like a mixture of levels 1 and 3, also with heavy velvet drapes and a 4 poster bed...)

i love dreams!

i LOVE wittgenstein!!!

4 July 2006


i'm just amused that there are so many options... i thought there were only geeks, jocks and smokers. must be from a small town, huh?

You scored as Drama nerd.

Drama nerd








Ghetto gangsta








What's Your High School Stereotype?
created with QuizFarm.com

29 June 2006


so, look at THESE!

i may be currently obsessed. HOW CUTE ARE THEY?

in other news, otters are also cute, and there was a frost ont he grass and the fence today. i hope my plants are ok.

28 June 2006


We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.

Just come from rallying against the IR laws. Fun. Big! People gathered at parliament and at both ends of Swanston (Esther J and I hooked up with the teachers at Feddo) and marched to the corner of Bourke and Swanston, making a giant Eureka flag. Songs were sung, chants were chanted, and we all said the Eureka Oath, fists in the air. (Kim Beasley and Steve Bracks were there buying votes too...)


At the end of our street, there is a tree with pointy red and gold leaves (now mostly fallen) and prickly seedpods. Yesterday and today the tree was also adorned with galahs! Yay for their pinkness! And their uncoordinated attmpts at holding onto the seedpods!


Last night Dan and I had our first of (most probably, and hopefully) many Indian take-away nights. We were all out of red wine, however (ALARM!)... Luckily, in this time of dire need, a CAN OF WINE (yes, you heard) - bequeathed by Erin and Julia when they were Erin-and-Julia - made an appearance. At first we were afraid, we were petrified... but the thought of dining sans wine was too hard to bear and so we cracked it open. It was suprisingly nice. Thanks guys!

15 June 2006


so, at 2:30 on tuesday we got the call...

... saying that settlement couldn't go through.

because we gave them TOO MUCH MONEY. that's right. too much.

so i was pretty annoyed. because we'd done EVERYTHING right, but someone somewhere hadn't calculated the first homeowners grant into/out of the amount we owed. so we'd given them $10k too much, and they wouldn't give us the keys.

then our lawyer did a lot of phone-calling around to the vendor's conveyancer etc, and eventually they came up with the idea of getting us to sign a contract saying that we could only have the keys to the house that day if (among other things) we used the property only for residential purposes. so, there went our plan for an opium den, brothel etc. never mind. another day.

so we signed things and faxed them (the grumpy post office man was even nice to us! whacko!) and taxied to the estate agent for the keys. picture this: us on one side of the desk, agent on the other side of the desk, keys in envelope on top of desk... we considered doing the proverbial runner with the envelope, but decided we should try to make it all legal. eventually, at 5:10, the agent gets the call from the vendor's lawyer saying it's all good.


actually, surprisingly, nothing!

we went to the apartment (OUR apartment) did the rounds with candles and incense, opened and closed the cupboards, laughed at the heater (it is attached to the wall, and the cord is about 15cm too short to plug into the power point!), peeled an enormous sheet of wallpaper off the wall (whoops!)... erin, rachel and esther came over for pizza and cheese and wine (thanks ej!) and champagne (thanks erin!). managed to spill champagne on the carpet, and IT DOESN'T MATTER because the carpet is OURS!

dan and i slept over on the floor on tuesday night. cold, uncomfortable, etc. but an adventure!

yesterday may and sara-jane helped us move a heap of boxes (thanks guys!), drink tea, eat huge luncheons at sugardough on lygon st, etc. we all went for a constitutional walk along the creek (so close!), and at about 2:50 we got the call...

... saying IT'S OURS!!!

it felt different after that!

the agents gave us a hamper with wine and chocolates. free stuff! we should buy a house more often!

yay! house! ours!

13 June 2006


so here it is. the big day has arrived - settlement goes through at 2.30 this afternoon, we get our keys and take possesion of our NEW HOME!!! we shall be spending our first night there tonight, camping it up in sleeping bags. yay!

as you can imagine, there is lots to do and we are sort of running around like headless chooks. so this is the end of this post.

8 June 2006


settlement is in FIVE DAYS! woohoo!!!

we are wondering if anyone would like to spend a part of wednesday or thursday next week driving boxes from one place to another... i know, i know, a pretty fun sounding day!!! we can go out for lunch or dinner to make up for it!

(seriously, if you can, please text, call or email!)

5 June 2006


This weekend, we became uncles! Orly and Adam have given us a nephew - nice work, guys! We shall duly play our appointed roles as the hip and cool uncles who live in Australia.

So, as of Saturday morning (Australian time - Sunday night UK time) we am an Uncle!
My parents are GRANDPARENTS!
My baby brother is a FATHER!!!
Aaaargh! What is the world coming to?

So congratulations and mazel tovs to Orly and Adam on the birth of their first born.

1 June 2006


we gots hiking packs from kathmandu. yay summit club with 25% off full price packs!

mine can is the conquest rucksack v2. it is red. that makes me go fast.

dan's is a slightly older version, and 5 or 10L bigger (mine's 40L) and less than half price. the two for $350, which i think is good, since we got pretty much exactly what we wanted!

also looked at expensive hiking boots. mmm, leather.

28 May 2006


it's me berfdai!

come along to crooners (43-49 lygon st brunswick) this saturday 5th june at about 8:30-9pm. have a drink and a chat! we'll probably be there until 11pm-ish - and who knows, we might end up at cafe romantica later in the evening!!! (oh, the joy!)

* drinks are fairly average price (not cheap, but ok as far as i remember).

* light snacks are available (i recommend the eggplant chips!), though i'm not sure if they have vegan- or coeliac-friendly food.

* they have a 70s and 80s night on saturday, so i'm hoping for a mullet or two, and perhaps some stirrup-pant action!

* toilets are segregated (M and F only/exclusive)

please don't be offended if you didn't receive a text or an email. i've tried to contact everyone, but some emails have bounced, and i don't have everyone's phone number/s...

cheers, mateys!

24 May 2006


our flights to and from the uk later this year have been booked! we leave melb on october 12th, and london on november 7th. in our time there we will catch up with dan's fam and friends (there is overlap!), and do a wonderful walk - probably this walk along the thames path. we will probably do 5 days for walking, from the source to oxford. we will hopefully go all out, and stay in b&bs at kemble (night before), cricklade, lechlade, ummm, tadpole bridge (i think), and northmoor... maybe in oxford, but maybe hostels, as we could be broke by then.

we were also planning on visiting erin and julia in scotland, but sadly erin-and-julia (or julia-and-erin) is no more. we aren't sure if michelle and/or charlie will be there...? at any rate, this gives us more time for exploring other things, maybe even doing a second walk?

still haven't booked birthday things, but please get in contact with me - we'll probably go to crooners on lygon st (where we had our going away drinks last year), because it's easy. and yum yum yum eggplant chips.

14 May 2006



Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

is this because i answered: "What annoys you the most?"
with: "Stupid people"???

(what? if you worked in customer service, you would answer the same...)

13 May 2006


call out to all youse wot will be in melbs on 3rd june (saturday)

keep the evening free for my birthday party! no plans more solid than that - there'll probably be some sort of consumption of food followed by consumption of liquid.

1 May 2006


heya, i can't find your email and don't have a phone, so i'm posting this in the blog! go here for a bit o' stuff on museums. don't know how relevent it is to you.

30 April 2006


six weeks until settlement!

we are beginning to start to contemplate the task of moving. also the possibility of having house warming parties. also whether we want to give the place a "lick of paint" before we move in. also, giving notice to our landlord. also, sending out change of address notes (though that won't happen for a while... as i said: "beginning to start to...")

melbourne is getting colder. we got the heater out and are using it almost every day, because we are wimps!

16 April 2006


While that last post covers some of what we were up to 7 months ago, this post will detail some of our exploits from this month. To be more precise, from Sunday the 9th of April, between the hours of 8am and 5pm (approximately), when we headed out to the Dandenong Ranges and went for a little stroll through the forest.

We left home in the morning, but ran into trouble almost immediately - our tram (and most trams into the city) weren't running to their destinations because there was some sort of charity run (Run For The Kids) sweating its way through the city. We started walking earlier than intended.

After facing the reality of the Melbourne trains' Sunday timetable, we were well and truly ready for a nice bit of fresh countryside. From Belgrave station, we followed a roadside path to what surely must be a contender for the world's least useful tourist information offices ("They don't let us have any maps here...") - although, to be fair, they do sell roasted chestnuts. Anyway, despite the best efforts of the tourist information man, we found the start of our path. After a couple of kms of walking through dense forest of immensely tall trees, we came across a picnic area, where we stopped for a bit and ate an apple each, whilst being watched and circled by a large squawk of cockatoos (well then, YOU tell me what the collective noun is for cockatoos).

After this, we headed up a path that lead away from the road, and climbed and weaved, steadily higher and higher, through very green and peaceful bush land for another few kms. We came out of the trees, onto a quiet country lane, past country houses and a guesthouse, and a cute cast iron bench to which Rachel took a particular fancy. We followed this road for a while, then came across another picnic area, and decided that it was time for lunch. It was drizzling by now, and the only space in the area that was covered was the information board, so we sat on the ground underneath it, munching away happily as passers by gave us odd looks.

We then continued on our way, beginning our descent back towards the starting point, down an increasingly muddy path. We took a brief detour down some perilously slippery steps to take a peek at Sherbrooke Falls, then continued along the path, which brought us out to a point almost directly opposite where we had started our walk. Back in Belgrave, we stopped of at the surprisingly good Queen of Tarts cafe, before shivering our way home for a nice hot cup of lemon and honey drink.

Pics may or may not be forthcoming.

Today (Easter Sunday, and our 3 years 9 months anniversary), we went for another walk, this time shorter and more local. We trammed up Sydney Road to Pentridge Prison, then walked from Coburg Lakes down along the Merri Creek to our newly purchased home, then back over to Sydney Road, where we had a nice lunch of bread and dips at Alasya, and Rachel went bargain hunting at VMart (no, that's not a typo).

Days off are great.

12 April 2006


Image hosting by Photobucket

6 months late, but nonetheless, we present more PICTURES FROM SCOTLAND! Go on, have a butcher's - you know you want to...

In this update, there are pictures from Orkney, Skye, and Lismore, as well as a few randoms here and there, and some pictures of a bridge that was in the Harry Potter films. Click on Photo Album Number 2 to experience the joy of pix.

4 April 2006


someone has to pull this out, every now and then. just so we can say WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO? personally, i like the good re-writings of these ditties, because they really can point out the awful truth of the matter. yes, they're sexist. yes, they're racist. yes, they pick on people with disabilities.

georgie porgie, puddin' an' pie
kissed the girls and made them cry
when the boys came out to play
georgie porgie kissed them too, in the name of fairness

was georgie a girl or a boy? trans? gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual?

3 April 2006


this morning we slept in. this is always a nice thing to do on a monday morning! even nicer was the fact that the sleep in was til 8am new time, so 9am old time. and i went to bed early last night. i am feeling well rested.

dan's wallet got stolen last week, which was annoying. by "stolen" i guess it's more "left behind and picked up by someone who didn't return it"... so he's been calling banks and medicare and vicroads and all that stuff to arrange new cards. we are yet to find out if metlink will give him a replacement metcard (monthly)... knowing how stingy they are, though, i doubt it.

autumn/winter has made itself known in melbourne, with temperatures NEAR FREEZING (by which i mean a top temperature of less than 15 degrees). our next door neighbour, from sri lanka, asked me if she would need to buy 2 heaters for her flat... which made me think of getting our heaters out, which made me realise that for the coldest bit of winter (july), we will be in our NEW HOUSE! grand.

28 March 2006


hey, cool. a step further than the tasmanian deal... not a 'registration' but a scheme which "will essentially create domestic relationships." (how it creates a "domestic relationship" is, as yet, unclear).

i like this article from the age ( http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/03/28/1143441116253.html ) because it also points out that: "This is an acceptance of other relationships for same-sex couples and indeed for those opposite sex couples who don't wish or don't choose to pursue a marriage under the Marriage Act."

and yet... and yet... if it's gonna be there in all but name, what the fuck is the point of dividing it up? i mean, REALLY! ... unless we make "marraige" a thing that people can only get through a religious institution. it's religious morons (and not all religious people fall into this category) who have a problem with it; it's them who think that allowing two people who love each other and are committed to each other get married is wrong, just because the two people happen to have the same BITS; it's them who think allowing such a union is an 'attack on marriage'... so maybe we should have civil unions for EVERYONE, and marriage only for religious people who choose it - or even have RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE and CIVIL MARRIAGE - then we'd solve the 'problem' (and the problem here is not same-sex couples or intersex people or trans people)...

anyway, enough ranting for today.

25 March 2006


DAN'S HOME! i went to collect him from the airport, and there he was! yay! i wish i always got a dan at the airport! he has some very cool pix of south africa, so eventually we'll have to put some up on photobucket (when we get around to doing the scotland ones, which will probably be when i get a new computer).

in other news, i waited for 40 minutes for a bus last night. FORTY MINUTES!!! well, to be exact, it was forty two minutes. and this was around 7-8pm on a friday night. this is why melbourne's public transport must die. i'm going to get esther j's kitten, toby, onto it!

last sunday i went for a hike with my aunt caroline (did i already write about this?) at wilson's prom. it was 23kms all up - 3 hrs from mt oberon carpark to waterloo bay (where the sand was white and round, and the sea was brilliant blue-turquoise), 1 hr for luncheon, and 3 hours back. wow. i can do it!!!

sorry i haven't updated for a while, but we'll try to get back on track! we did get some important letters from various house-related people (bank, bank's lawyers, our solicitor...) and the day drifts inevitably nearer!

14 March 2006


dan is away in sth africa. STILL!!! i miss him very much. he says he has been having a good time, though. they started with a 4 day walk along the coast (i think), which included such horrible things as boat rides, champagne breakfasts and wine tastings. the other day they went to a cave... it had stalactites and stalagmites. yesterday they went for a walk in a forest. so they have been very outdoorsy and energetic. dan was also impressed by the tailless cat (not a manx) and its ability to catch voles. VOLES! heheh!... dan will be home in EIGHT DAYS. looking forward to seeing him again.

esther j got a kitten!!!!! it is very cute and small. he is a tabby with white paws, and she called him toby. i think this is short for tobias, and i believe he will grow up to be a librarian. he may also smoke a pipe. who knows?

i got IDed on sunday when i was in footscray buying some juicy alcohol with esther-my-sister!!! hilarious! i haven't been IDed for ages. i'll put this time down on record in case it never happens again.

the research is going ok, but not a whole heap to report. i've collated a large number of articles, and now i feel confident in starting to say some things about them. i am not yet foucault, though i thught reading the book "using foucault's methods" would transform me. never mind. he's dead anyway.

28 February 2006


this morning i woke up beside my beautiful, snuggly dan. it was great! when we opened the curtains, we were greeted by gorgeous clear skies and steamed-up windows (not for the reason you're thinking, either)... upon opening the windows we discovered the crystal chill of autumn air. autumn has come a day early.

this weather is quite a change from sydney - hot and humid one day, warm and humid the next, humid and raining the day after. and why was i in sydney? you may well ask! i went up for work: we had a stall at the gift and homewares trade show in olympic park (i.e. where people go to sell to businesses). it was our first fair, and the stall looked amazing - so amazing that we won the best new exhibitor award (all credit going to people other than me - i had nothing to do with it, i only stood around looking pretty and selling tea!). i also had a little bit of spare time on sunday night, so i visited sarah and philip (dad's sister and her husband), where i was fed delicious foods and enjoyed the company of non-selling-obsessed people for a few hours... the fair was a fantastic experience, but REALLY INTENSE.

also, i stayed at the ibis hotel in olympic park (O.P. IS SCARY), where the air-conditioner only goes down to 18 degrees, and turns off if you open the window. there was a photo of two half naked men above my bed. they were grappling on the floor. "wrestling" i believe it's called. much bulging of muscles and closing of eyes in... "concentration."

i love flying. leaving sydney last night, the plane climbed into some low cloud, and the low-lying sun lit up the fluff with oranges and pinks. i wouldn't have been surprised if a couple of little cupids had appeared beside my window. it was like falling through a painting. when we banked around and sunk towards tullamarine, the sun was huge and orange on the horizon. it disappeared in our final descent, and by the time i left the airport in the taxi, there was little more than a smidgin of yellow-green to the west...

and now i'm home for a few days, before gallivanting off to east gippsland with esther j for a concert we're playing...

i'll have to get as much snuggling with dan as i can before he leaves for sth africa on sunday.

24 February 2006



(entry behind chemist via wood st)

this SATURDAY 25th february.

our friends are MOVING OUT (going overseas indefinitely) and MUST SELL all this stuff!


so make your way over there during the day on saturday and check it out. there is SO MUCH STUFF... so much GOOD stuff, most importantly!

22 February 2006


so many things are happening.

erin and julia leave for the world in a couple of weeks.

esther j is moving for ascot vale (or is it travancore?) on the weekend.

theresa and nathan have recently welcomed their baby to this life.

sara-jane and i are both back at uni doing masters degrees.

esther o'r-dg (!!!) is settling into her teaching job.

may is soon going to spain with her dad to walk a pilgrimage trail.

rachel b is planning her trip to the USA, or is she planning fame and glory? or both?

i am going to sydney for work on the weekend.

esther j and i are going to east gippsland to play music for people the weekend after.

on that weekend, dan is also leaving for south africa - his cousin is getting married, and he will be away for about 2 1/2 weeks (*pouts*)

there will come a day when i will have space to think. BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

13 February 2006



dan and rachel are in the process of buying an apartment in thornbury, right near the merri creek and the lygon st tram!

DETAILS: 2 bedrooms, gas heating and cooking, a bath with shower, laundry facilities in bathroom, decent sized lounge with balcony, off street parking, security entrance... it is tenanted until june. our settlement is on 11th june, and we will move in shortly after!

we have a building inspection at 5pm today (my uncle leigh is doing us a great favour), and will then go to the real estate agent's office and give him ALL OUR MONEY as a deposit!!! and also, quite probably, our souls.

for pics, check out dan's site (link on right) and click on the link called "HOME"...


5 February 2006


Here I am, blogging it up again. You can probably tell that I’m typing offline in a word document, because capital letters are making appearances at the starts of sentences. And ‘sentences’ is spelled correctly. Not spelt. No, no, no.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to work, which was OK apart from a couple of FERAL children. I worked with Julie (the owner) and Anita. Anita has only just started working at the Tea Party, and also works at Kathmandu. I hope that means good advice on packs and walking gear… and maybe a discount?! We got 4 new teas in on Friday – Turkish Honey Rooibos (3.5 stars in my out-of-5 subjective judgement), Blood Orange (flavoured black tea, 3 stars), Strawberry Sencha (decaf green tea, 4 stars), and Springtime (herbal with liquorice, mint, lemongrass, ginger and lemon peel, 4.5 stars). I have discovered the BEST eggplant dip in the market, at the shop diagonally opposite the place where we get our wraps and boreks. So I have eaten a lot of eggplant dip, which, teamed with their WONDERFUL felafel balls, makes a very, very, VERY yummy lunch.

While I was feasting on dip, Dan was out and about, paying rent and looking at apartments. Well, one apartment. It was in Flemington, and was quite nice, if a little "nice" in tones of beige. Fully renovated, with some rather bizarre nooks and spaces. It is a block of 6, and 3 are for sale – makes me wonder. It is right near the racecourse, so plenty of fun in spring…

After work, we met Esther J and Rachel B at Ripe, on St Georges Rd, and had a drink before heading to the Moroccan Soup Bar. YES! After years of trying, Dan and I finally made it. The food was absolutely delicious: favourites being the chickpea bake (it had yoghurt and paprika and parsley and pita bread (yep!) and some sort of delicious-making-stuff in it to make it delicious) and the tomatoey rice with eggplant. Also didn’t mind the sweets. Or the dips. In fact, it was all great! We had a banquet for $16.50 each, and left very satisfied. YUM. YUM. YUM!

Today Dan worked, and I met Paulina (who works with me at the Tea Party) to go for a walk. We met at the corner of Glenlyon Rd and Lygon St, walked over to the Merri Creek, and along the bike trail to Lake Reserve in Coburg (I figure it’s about 9 or 10 km from my door). The walk was very lovely, though a bit over-populated with Sunday strollers/cyclists/joggers/dog-walkers in some places. We saw a bike race at the Brunswick Velodrome – a first for us both! – and landed at Lake Reserve in the middle of a Greek festival, with dancing, music and food. We ate our picnic lunch while watching the dancers, then wandered up the hill to lay in the sun/shade and read (Paulina: Voltaire, Rachel: textbook on semiotics). Took the tram back down Sydney Rd, where we parted ways, and I had a fossick in Savers. (Let’s just say that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS. But it was only $1.99, and I got a 20% discount, so it was very worthwhile. If I ever find a use for it, I’ll be sure to inform you!)

Next week, Dan has Tuesday and Wednesday off, so we’re going to visit a couple of apartments in Coburg for a squiz. Hope everyone is well and enjoying whatever weather you’re having (ours is lovely). Cheerio.

2 February 2006


we didn't get that apartment... i've taken the link down, so it won't taunt me!

what i DID buy today is a marvellous t-shirt: "ladies sewing circle and terrorist society." it is very cool! and, as the heading tells me, cheaper than an apartment.

now, onto more househunting and dissertation research...

1 February 2006


Soooo... we are putting in an offer for an apartment in Northcote. Tomorrow. Eek.

You can have a look at it: on the right hand side of this page, there is a link called "Will We Own This Soon?"... Click on it, and be transported into the future home of us. Maybe.

Wish us luck.

26 January 2006


a reasonable amount of fun was had on tuesday when dan and i were joined by erin, may and katherine on our escapade up the moonee ponds creek. we were blessed with one of those mid-20s, sunny-but-not-too-hot days, with a cooling breeze. the creek was still there, and was only slightly fuller than it had been on christmas day (the last time dan and i made our way to five mile creek reserve).

we stayed pretty much on schedule, making it to cross keys reserve at 12:25 and deciding that it wasn't that attractive... so we retraced our steps to five mile creek reserve (that's my name for the nice patch of green anyway!) and spread out our picnicing blankets and stuffed our faces. on the way back we kept up a steady, brisk pace, and were back home by about 2:20 - ahead of schedule.

items of note: half a shopping trolley filled with boulders; a couple of eels in the creek; ducks and ducklings; a strange man standing on the bridge at cross keys reserve; a very cute yound dog/old puppy that we stopped to pat; the aboriginal heritage art at CKR; erin's pumpkin and coriander muffins; jumping or paddling through the creek on the way home; grilling may about her new walking shoes and her planned walk across spain; sharing travel stories with katherine, who went to europe around the same time as we did...

thanks guys for coming! i hope you enjoyed it. we will keep you all informed as to when the next walk will be - hopefully on a sunday, when more people will be able to join us.


it makes me proud to be australian: a dilapidated white holden just drove past, sporting a large australian flag, and hooting loudly. really, guys, do i care?

happy australia/aboriginal survival/invasion day, all.

22 January 2006


(c) Williams 2006

i'm stealing moments to think of
a boy i never knew
his arms outstretched against the summer skies
dirt knees and an old bike
and a nearly there smile

between the sleeping and the waking
a second when i see his eyes
like sepia or faded colour polaroids
a world stretched out before him
in an album of nearly there times

times when no one can fault him
they don't know what it's like
to be the boy on the nearly there bike
to be the boy with the nearly there life

breaking pictures into pieces
and pieces into sand
the dig for gold goes deeper
into the river bank
the river bed

collating histories for you
- and then she said
- remember when
- you laughed the afternoon away
- the time we had to leave the nectarines unbottled
they melted back into the ground
nearly there, nearly there

and no one can fault you
when they don't know what it's like
to be the boy with the nearly there
to be the boy
nearly there

wrapping all of your collectibles
in cotton wool and tears
your arms stretched thin against the summer skies
small hands and an old bike
and nearly there eyes

17 January 2006


welcome to the brunswick city walkers' society newsletter #1.

heheh, almost had you fooled that i was joking, didn't i?

yesterday dan and i went for a lovely walk. we left the house at 9:30am, greeting the fresh sunny morning with a spring in our step and a mission to find a hat for dan. the hat was found at kmart, barkly square, soon after. we then perambulated along the brunswick streets of barkly, ewing, brunswick (rd) and lygon in the direction of what is now called the capital city trail - the bike/foot path running alongside park st in the line of the old railway. we then proceeded along said trail over nicholson st and st georges rd to rushall station. there we met the merri creek (not the first time we have exchanged pleasantries) crossing and recrossing the water on low wooden footbridges before reaching heidelberg rd. this section was most beautiful - dappled sunlight and the refreshing song of water bubbling over smooth stones. so lovely it was that we have decided we want to move to northcote (or westgarth if we can afford it!) and spend our spare time beside the creek. we emerged from the valley at heidelberg rd, and crossed the bridge (the second of many interesting bridges on our walk!), making our way to yarra bend rd, through the park of the same name, then down past nmit (formerly the fairfield hospital) and to the yarra river and fairfield boathouse. at this fine establishment we partook in devonshire tea (lovely scones, let down by that HORRIBLE squirty-can cream and the presence of - yes, gentle reader! - a teabag!!!). after resting for a time, watching the kayakers fall in the water, and willing the small children to do the same, we retraced our steps towards the merri creek and the capital city trail, heading south onto map 2D. we eventually passed beneath the eastern freeway, stood at the intersection of merri creek and the yarra river, crossed to the western bank, and spent a little while at dights falls - taking our own refreshments and watching a tiger snake trapped in the well of the mill (i never thought i would feel sad for a tiger snake. but who to tell? the council would probably just kill it... but would that be more humane than leaving it to die slowly in its watery cage?). pressing on, we passed through the collingwood childrens farm, which is actually in abbotsford, and (as far as we could see) farms only three small children. there were, on the up side, many cows and goats and sheep and horses and ponies and chooks. still on the capital city trail, we crossed the yarra and climbed up to the ridge in studley park, affording us a fantastic view towards the city and down across richmond towards toorak. soon afterwards, we recrossed the river (yet another bridge!) and arrived on map 2H. from there it was a simple matter of following the path to bridge road, where we emerged at rydges (we are classy).

then we went to visit my grandparents in east kew, and took a taxi home, collapsing into bed at 9:30pm, 12 hours after we left.


second item: in case we have somehow missed you out, we will be hosting a walk up the moonee ponds creek next tuesday, 24th january. arrive at our house at 10:30am for fun and good times. we will have a picnic lunch at cross keys reserve (byo everything, free bbq if you're interested). info as follows:


Approximately 9km return; 2 1/2 to 3hrs.

Very easy; Sealed path.

10:30 Meet at ours.
11:00 Start.
11:30ish Evans St Reserve – water fountain.
12:10ish Five Mile Creek Reserve – free electric BBQ.
12:20ish Cross Keys Reserve – toilet.
1:30ish Start return journey.
2:45ish Back to ours – afternoon tea provided.


Water bottle/s (at least 500mL, preferably 1L)
Comfortable walking shoes (sneakers)
Weather-suitable clothes
Waterproof coat (even if rain is not forecast)
Hat and sunscreen (even if it’s cold)
Lunch and a snack (remember to bring cutlery if you need it)

Beanie and scarf; sunglasses
Insect repellent and bite lotion (we’re not going to the jungle, but there might be mozzies)
Bandaids and disinfectant (just in case)
Book, game, journal, iPod (bring one for me, too!) etc.


in other news, the magpies are warbling at the west brunswick breezes, and my tea is cold.

13 January 2006




Johnson & Williams




you gotst boots
gotst pirate boots from ebay
and i wants them
wants them on my feets
and if you don't want to give them to me
i'm gonna have to make you walk the plank
make you walk the plank!
and the fact that i don't have a ship won't hold me back!!!

i'm going to build myself a galleon
i have a diagram in my book of ships
i'll steal all the wooden fences in my street
and cut down the trees in the park to make a keel
cut down the trees
cut down the trees

and i'll get joe from down the road
who knows a bloke who built a table once
i'll commission them to nail the boards together
into a ship
into a ship
my pirate ship!

and i'll call her the devastator
we'll sail the seven seas
and bring your pirate boots to me!

just outside my window
there are some likely looking telephone poles
in the middle of the night
i'll resource the for my mainmast
for my mainmast
my mainmast

then from my neighbours' washing lines
i'll retrieve a quantity of sheets
even floral ones, but not the fitte ones,
and i'll sew myself some mainsails
and some topsails
and lateen sails
and foresails (sometimes called jibs)
and gaff sails
and all the sails int he world for my ship
for my ship
my pirate ship

and they'll call her the devastator
we'll sail the seven seas
and bring your pirate boots to me!!!

we'll sail
into the bay
on the devastator
say see ya later
to your life
and your boots
you leave me no choice
it's what i have to do
take them off now
and your frock coat, too
and your feathered hat
we won't use that as shark food
i'm sorry
it's come to this
those sharks
look hungry
don't they?

11 January 2006


so, leaving aside my issues with "orange drink" and other slightly misleading labels, and the use of added sugar in juices... WHAT IS THE DEAL with almost all orange juices containing FLAVOUR?!? a typical (sugar-free) ingredients label might read:

orange juice (freshly squeezed and/or reconstituted)
vitamin c

now, i can let them off on the added vitamin c - i mean people EXPECT orange juice to contain a lot of it, so the company is probably required to have a controlled amout in their juice - but, really... flavour? orange flavour?

IT'S ORANGE JUICE! IT'S FUCKING ORANGE FLAVOURED ALREADY! (albatross! allllbatross! it's fucking seabird flavour!) why? what is it about these oranges that mean they don't taste enough like orange and need orange flavouring to make them taste orangey? IT MAKES ME MAD!

anyway - this reminds me of a time i got a banana muttin on special from safeway, and it didn't taste like banana at all. it tasted like banana lollies. sure enough, it had lots of banana flavour in it. yuck. we are breeding a society in which people think orange flavouring tastes more like oranges than oranges do; banana flavouring tastes more like bananas than bananas do... a society of simulacra, if you will.