If You Always Do What You've Always Done...Then You'll Always Get What You Always Got

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Outfit #42 - Matching the Weather

Outfit details:
Pants: Hot Options.  Shirt: Miss Shop (from Jeannie).  Vest: Portmans.  Cardigan: Jeanswest.  Shoes: Pulp.  Earrings: made by me.

These earrings are the green version of the 'world' earrings - I also have them in black and blue (you can see the black earrings here).  This is my token spot of colour for the day, obviously.  

I wish I'd been wearing an extra layer today.  Until lunch I was fine, and then the weather went all wintry and I got cold.  Only a cardigan, just regular stockings, and no scarf. 

Today it rained.  It wasn't heavy rain all day or anything.  In fact, when I left for work it was blue skies, mostly.  I knew there was a good chance this would change, and actually took a few minutes to sort out shoes - I figured (incorrectly) I would be too warm in boots, and they aren't quite tall enough anyway.  Flats had no chance of keeping me dry, but I wore some to and from stations and swapped into these heels at school.  All was going well until I had to leave school, when it was raining more than mist.  D'oh!  By the time I got home I was rather chilly (and soaked) in the below-the-knee vicinity (if you look closely you can pick the colour difference in the lead photo).  As soon as photos were done I was into jeans and slippers.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Outfit #41 - Flattery

Outfit details:
Skirt: Gina Tricot (op shop).  Singlet, both black tops, and jacket (below): Dotti.  Stockings: Target.  Boots: Sandler.  Earrings: Mombasa.  Scarf (below): gift.

So, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?  And I know you're probably thinking, today's outfit is remarkably similar to last Tuesday's... But it's not, I promise!  Different earrings, and different black tops, and different scarf.  Truly.
Yes, same subject matter for stockings/footwear/skirt photo as last week.  

Yesterday afternoon, I had no idea what I might wear today.  Then I went running.  17.6km.  For most of the return, I was hungry.  For even more of the return, my knees were complaining.  Not enough for me to need to walk, but enough for me to be aware of them.  So the thought of wearing heels, or even cute ballet flats, was not a comfort.  In fact, I wanted to wear the outfit closest resembling slippers and pajamas.  No, this is not what I wear to bed.  But it is wonderfully comfy.  And the boots are the only shoes I could consider, especially as the forecast was for rain.  Thankfully, today I was not sore (not any more than after Monday's training session anyway) and I didn't have to be outside when it was raining.
But today I received a delightful text.  Two of the brass teachers at school have a gorgeous child, about 18 months old.  They sent me a photo today of their girl, standing in the middle of books and puzzles, a cute expression on her face, and the caption "How I changed today: Outfit no. 1".  It was mentioned that this was only Outfit no. 1 for today, depending on how many costume changes are necessary for spills and things.  I was thrilled.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Outfit #40 - Peppermint and Cherry

Outfit details:
Skirt and top: Portmans.  Long sleeved top: Dotti.  Shoes: Pulp.  Jacket: Sportsgirl (from Jeannie).  Earrings: made by me.

Last Wednesday I was going to wear this outfit, but with different shoes.  I seem to pair those shoes with this skirt frequently, so today I decided the cherry platform stilettos would do better.  I know I'm biased but I think I made a good choice.

With the change in weather, shorter daylight hours, and knowing I need to replace at least one light globe, I do like taking photos outdoors.  The colours are more easily distinguished - and I just realised today (yeah, I'm a bit slow with some things) that if I just turned the flash off there might be greater success.  Phew.  And it's not that my tripod went wonky (or maybe it is...) but the courtyard is unevenly sloping.  Or maybe my surroundings are turning all Escher-like on me. 

I finished so early today I could take photos after work, outside.  Score.  And I still went for a really long run.  I'm about to enter the Gold Coast half marathon...  Meanwhile, I haven't worn these earrings in years.  Possibly due to the origins of the beads, but I think I can be over that now.  Once I'd worked out the peppermint top with cherry red shoes I was looking for earrings that might fit that theme.  I know these don't really fit that, but I like the green quality.  Maybe they will come back into circulation after all.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Silverbeet Quiche and Cinnamon Hearts

For my most recent organic fruit and vegetable delivery, I opted to include silverbeet.  I don't think I've ever done this before.  Looking for recipes, all I could really find was one for cannelloni.  Tempting - and it almost happened, but I felt it required a few more people consuming it to be justified.  Substituting silverbeet with spinach, though, and I thought a quiche would work well.  By the time I was actually about to cook though, I was having to work with what I had in my fridge and freezer.  Ooh, and on Saturday I walked past a pie-type thing with green stuff and roast sweet potato.  So, the following recipe is a mishmash of a quiche Lorraine recipe and my own substitutions.
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a fluted 3cm deep, 23cm (base), loose-base flan pan. Steam about 1/4 bunch silverbeet, drain (squeeze out as much water as possible) and roughly chop.
  2. Line base and sides of flan with 2 sheets thawed shortcrust pastry (really only a bit more than 1 sheet is needed). Trim excess. (Here I would prick the base with a fork).  Line pastry with baking paper. Half-fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans. Bake a further 10 minutes or until golden.
  3. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 chopped onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cool. Sprinkle over pastry, along with about 1/2 cup roasted sweet potato and silverbeet. Top with 1 cup grated tasty cheese.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk (originally 300mL cream, 1/2 cup milk - I didn't have cream, and this was far too much liquid, so next time I'll use this amount), and a teaspoon plain flour in a jug (and salt and pepper if desired). Pour over vegetables. Place onto tray. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve.

    So, being a conscientious recipe-follower, I thawed 2 sheets of shortcrust pastry.  And I used only just more than one.  Not wanting to throw out food (I'm of Scottish ancestry, can you tell?), I looked for some more recipes.  These cinnamon hearts were perfect!  Quick, easy, no blind-baking required, hardly any ingredients... The original recipe is here or this is my version:
Preheat oven to 180C.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper.  Use cookie cutters to cut hearts (and stars and whatever else you want) from 1 or 2 sheets of just-thawed shortcrust pastry.  Brush with eggwhite, dust with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Sunday Morning Black Star Breakfast

This morning, I was not on duty at church (two weeks in a row!).  In fact, I had nothing scheduled for today at all, and was very nearly about to book plane tickets for a day trip.  That will have to wait, as I had a chance for some auntie time this afternoon.  Big smiles.  Anyway, with nothing on til the afternoon, a Black Star breakfast was in order.  I have heard great things about these.  I was not disappointed.

I am not great at going out for breakfast.  When I wake up, I like to be eating within about 15 minutes.  Very occasionally, I will have a cup of tea in bed and then have breakfast, but the thought of being awake for an hour before eating - it's not usually successful.  This morning I had a coffee and then away we went.

Not wanting to dither over choices, I opted for the same as what my brother was having - poached eggs and bacon on ciabatta bread.  It was a good choice, and the Black Star breakfast lived up to its reputation.

As a bonus, we were #1.  (Meaning, our table 'number' was a billiard ball with #1 on it).  Not such a bonus was the conversation next to us.  Being a Sunday morning I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but there was a very Gen Y group at the adjacent tables.  It was like listening to the boring, geeky and opinionated conversations at a party (obviously I haven't had great party experiences).  Their opinions on talking to girls, who was the best James Bond (?!?!), how wonderful Kevin Costner is for not only starring in, but directing Dances with Wolves as well.  My goodness. 

If you haven't yet discovered Black Star, go to Thomas St in West End.  Stat.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Movie #15 - Micmacs

Last week, my parents (and their dog) were staying.  On Tuesday evening, they suggested we watch the movie Micmacs.  It is incredibly rare for me to watch a movie on a school night - in fact, I think this might be the only occasion.  Thankfully, we started relatively early and it is not drastically long.

I was reminded of the movie that started all this year's movie viewing, Amelie.  This is hardly surprising for several reasons.  It's made by the same man.  They're both set in Paris.  The music is worth a listen (and so French!).  In French with subtitles, yet language is not a huge deal in either.  Eccentrics.  People doing good.  The Metro.  Ordinary people going about their normal lives (however ordinary or eccentric that might be) and making a difference in other lives.  The lighting and camera work are clearly from the same brain.  Plus, some of the actors are in both.

The start has me thinking on the randomness of life.  The father is killed by a landmine - not totally random, it was his job to find and remove the threat, but still not from any real cause of his own.  The main character is shot in the head by a gun dropping.  None of us is an island, no matter how isolated we may feel, or how selfishly we live.  Everything we do (or do not do) is part of the bigger picture of life.  But it is in the operating theatre that one of the greatest lines of the movie is heard.  The surgeon is debating whether or not to remove the bullet - if he does, there's a good chance Bazil (played by Dany Boon) will 'be a vegetable', but if the bullet is not removed he could die at any time.  The nurse says, "Better to live and risk sudden death than live with no idea you're alive."  After commenting that she should be a philosopher, a coin is flipped - they choose not to operate.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had the freedom to live and risk sudden death?  Not to be afraid of what others might think.  Not be worried about failing at something, or having someone be better than us. 

Bazil is then adopted by a group of eccentrics.  They are scavengers, salvaging scrap metal and odd objects, then fixing them up.  This odd family is a group of salvage themselves, every one of them slightly odd by 'normal' standards.  Yet they have such a sense of Together, a family of misfits that appreciate each others' qualities.  And when Bazil has a goal, to bring down the company that killed his dad and the company that produced the bullet that shot him, they're all in it together.  United we stand and all.  This is essentially, then, a revenge movie.  Well, standing up for yourself - like a French male Erin Brokovich...kinda...ordinary folk against large corporations, that's what I'm thinking.  And the revenge is so good.  So clever, and incredibly satisfying. 

Other notes about this movie:  the wordplay is wonderful.  Very clever language, and I wish I knew more French to know if it really works just as well in English as it does in French (the gays/gaze misunderstanding for example).  Another favourite line highlights my position on the French language.  I know a bit of French, but it's never been a comfortable language for me (incidentally, having recently started learning Spanish, I find a lot of phrases come to me in French - I'm not sure why).  One of the dads asks his son if he knows who Rimbaud is.  "You need to work out" replies the son.  The dad stares at him for a few seconds, them replies "Not Rambo.  Rimbaud".  And, French being what it is, these two names sound exactly the same...

I really really enjoy the music, especially the use of Mozart's clarinet concerto slow movement for one of the arms dealers - compared to the rest of the music it comes across as boring and staid.  There is much variety in this soundtrack, some of it sounding quite classical with its combination of piano and violin, other parts sounding quite industrial to match the salvage activities.

Lip-syncing.  We see Bazil lip-syncing near the beginning (a little odd seeing him lip-sync in French to a movie that's originally in English but has been dubbed in French).  But lip-syncing is one of his Things.  Even in one of the negotiations, he is doing this.  My biggest laugh comes though when he is in a Metro station.  He takes up a position on the other side of a pillar from a woman singing, and mimes along to her.  Gold.

Scavenger art.  Yes, the group of scavengers pulls together to help Bazil stand up to the arms dealers.  But one of them is really an artist.  With bits of scraps, random found objects and things that no longer 'work', he creates something beautiful.  There is a toy mouse (with pegs for feet) near the beginning, and his skills in remote control are valued in the mission, but the last creation we see is my favourite - a blouse and skirt on a hanger, twirling this way and that, it suggests a woman dancing - it is so simple but so beautiful.  Another metaphor of course - even someone we might see as on the scrapheap will have something beautiful about them, have a quality about them just waiting to be noticed, used and appreciated, we just need to have eyes to see it.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Outfit #39 - Three Minutes

Outfit details:
Dress: Luka.  Stockings: Target.  Shoes: Hot Options.  Earrings: Oxfam.  Jacket: Dotti.  Scarf: gift from Judy.

This outfit was originally planned as 'Four in a Row' - having just returned to having 3 school days a week, this was a week with 4 appearances.  The quartet I take had their first performance at the junior school assembly this morning (they played wonderfully).  The quartet missed their rehearsal last week due to NAPLAN (school policy of no rehearsals before school for students doing those tests) and this week they were a little shaky.  We agreed that a run-through this morning would be beneficial, normal 7:30 start.  For a 7:30 start, I try to leave by 6:25 so I can get coffee on the way and still be at school by 7:20.  So, aiming to leave at 6:25, I actually woke up at 6:28.  AGH!

However, thanks to my new morning routine, I was out the door at 6:33.  I'm quite proud of this.  I even brushed my hair.  All my clothes were hanging in dressing order, I grabbed the earrings still on a bedside table and a protein bar from the pantry, and I even remembered my make-up bag from yesterday's school bag.  Thankfully I was using the same handbag from last night's rehearsal and it was all packed and ready to go.  Force of habit had me taking my sunglasses, and my umbrella was already packed.  Thank goodness - having not opened any curtains, stepping outside I found a very bleak and rainy day.  No sunglasses actually required, but the umbrella got a workout.

I missed out on coffee.  I had a proper breakfast when I got home at about 10:30, and was obviously not in the mood for photos.  I can't wait for the chance for a proper sleep...maybe Sunday?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Outfit #38 - The Swapped Skirt

Outfit details:
Skirt: Sinerji (swap).  Singlet: Dotti.  Tshirt: Ambra organic cotton.  Shoes: Hot Options.  Earrings: Mombasa.

When asked what was my favourite item of recycled clothing earlier this year, this skirt was it.  I love it.  Nearly every time I wear it, there is a positive comment from someone - the embroidery on the front is so peaceful.  I scored it at a swap day - because I was considered a tall person (win!!).  It is quite loose and comfy.  And as its label claims it's sustainable and ethical I get warm fuzzies whenever I even look at it.  Considering the number of wearings last year I was shocked that I waited until now to wear it to school this year. 

Last Wednesday a student asked for a photo of my earrings.  The same student was admiring this skirt and then saw the owl earrings - and asked for a photo of these earrings too.  I don't think there was a particular reason this time, just that she likes that they are owls.  Yet another 10-yr-old told me they were, like, almost like 3D...sooo cool...

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Outfit #37 - Go Queensland!

Outfit details:
Skirt: Portmans.  Singlet: Ice.  White top: Ambra bamboo.  Red top: Grab denim (from Jeannie).  Jacket: Sportsgirl (also from Jeannie).  Shoes: Pulp.  Earrings: from Kuranda Markets.

On Monday, I was trying to work out outfits for this week.  Lacking any real inspiration, I decided to wear an outfit I've worn several times a year since I started at this school 5 years ago.  (Can you see why I'm aiming for a different outfit every school day this year?!).  However, last night I realised that outfit would be a mistake today.  Today is the first State of Origin game of the year.  I'm a Queenslander.  Blue (featuring prominently in the original outfit for today) is the colour of New South Wales.  Last night, then, I had a quick look in the wardrobe, and found some red options.  I included a red singlet just in case it warmed up so much that I needed to ditch the outer layer (unnecessarily), and wore the appropriately maroon jacket.  I wouldn't normally have paired red with maroon but it seems to have come out all right.

This skirt intrigues me.  I think of it as my blue skirt, but it usually comes up grey when paired with anything else blue, or red, or white.  Maybe it's really grey after all.

I eventually worked out that the shoes don't need extra holes in the straps.  They need new elastics holding the buckles in place.  I felt so smart when I realised this (it's the little things, you know).  The earrings had me thinking of holidays all day.  Only 4 more weeks...  I've been dreaming of cold, mountainous, foggy places.  I wonder what will pan out.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Outfit #36 - Trivia

Outfit details:
Skirt: Gina Tricot (op shop).  Top: Dotti.  Stockings: who knows?! Boots: Sandler.  Jumper: Jeanswest.  Black jacket: Dotti.  Denim jacket: Hot Options (from Jeannie).  Earrings: from Jeannie.

So many photos today!  This is the leaving-in-the-morning look.  The weather was not that cold, so no scarf.

It was still coolish by the time I had a moment to take earring and stocking photos, though.  I really like these earrings - after all, they combine the winning colours of red and silver - but they don't often find themselves in my outfits.  Interesting.

Stockings.  Pretty cool.  Comments galore - from 10-yr-old girls, other teachers, brother.  And they were just the thing to bring this outfit from screaming "It's Winter so I'm Dressing in Dark Colours!!!" to "Tartan Stockings - I hear red is now considered a neutral - discuss".

Why 'Trivia'?  Tonight was a trivia night... I was a bit excited, as you can see.  This was the outfit for most of the day.  This was not the expression for most of the day - 3 students didn't show, I'd forgotten the music for the next concert, I tried to do some reports.  Ugh.  So in between reports, I googled a couple of things I suspected might be included in tonight's trivia.  The Olympics, Eurovision...

Some trivia - the 1912 Olympics were held in Stockholm, Sweden.  1514 people died in the sinking of the Titanic.  Eurovision is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan, this year (kicking off in a matter of hours) - and is open to all members of the European Broadcasting Commission (that wasn't part of tonight, but it was one of the facts I discovered today).  This is one of my Thinking poses:

And I just realised I'm wearing the wrong colour tomorrow.  Oh dear.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Not Cooking

It's probably no secret that I like cooking.  A lot.  I don't, however, eat all I cook.  Some of it I take to school, some is eaten by family and friends... and some is stockpiled in the freezer.  On Monday mornings I go to the supermarket after Trainer Dan (this morning I very nearly cried) and stock up on things for lunches, milk, any other things I might need.  This weekend, I was thinking ahead for what I should buy - should I do a casserole, any soup.... and then I figured, whatever I do will need to have its leftovers frozen.  And I have very few available containers because they're all in the freezer, holding leftovers.  I did a tally - 1 x mince, 1 x risotto, 2 x spicy fish soup and 2 x amazing chicken casseroles.  Plus the soup I made with the last sweet potatoes, pumpkin and celery left in the vegetable drawer.  So this week, I'm eating my way through my freezer. 

So far, so good.  In fact, really good.  I feel I have so much more time available tonight because dinner involved reheating, not choosing and chopping and cooking.  I even did my ironing and will make some cards shortly.  And, with the way this week is looking (a trivia night, rehearsals and a concert plus all the practice that I need to do), this extra time will be much appreciated.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Matins, Raw Brownies, and the Balcony

I can't really claim Matins as a New Thing, even though this was my first experience (that I can remember, anyway).  This morning, the 9:30 eucharist was replaced with Matins in celebration and commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.  I was not required for anything so it was nice to be 'unrobed' as one friend put it.  Music was fabulous, of course.

The first real New Thing of the day was making raw brownies with my new food processor.  Which is not technically a food processor... chopper and stick thingy.  I was probably a little impatient with the chopping of the base (I had a time limit after all), so there are slightly bigger chunks of nuts than I would like.  Next time.  And I started eating a bit too soon, possibly, as the first row was very crumbly and had to be eaten from a bowl.  With a spoon.  The next row behaved beautifully though (and no, I wasn't eating all these by myself!). 

Whenever my parents visit, things change.  After some unintended (and some intended) changes to my courtyard area, I was tempted to visit a nursery yesterday and buy up big on plants.  I didn't.  I figured some preparation might go a long way.  Especially as I seem to have lost my green thumb status in the last couple of years.  So my balcony went from looking like this:
to this:
Ok, it probably doesn't look that impressive.  But I've ditched the plants given to me by an ex, the vines that were really really dead, and the leftover bits of ... I don't even know what to call it... stuff from the disintegrated tv stand that I threw out last week.  The plants that are left are still living, but need a bit of encouragement in the potting mix and fertilizer departments.  The bonus is that my room looks calmer now.  Next I need to get a bucket and wash the balcony, and ditch the lantern thing - any takers?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Food Processor

Today, I added a new member to my Breville kitchen family.  I promise I don't set out to buy Breville, but when I was unpacking the newbie, I realised it fits right in. 

I have never owned a food processor - I've managed with a blender and electric beaters without any problems, although sometimes the consistency is not as amazing as intended.  And, as I am not a fan of cleaning the blender, often I just avoid using it and leave soups unblended.  I know some readers are probably recoiling in horror at this point, so I'll move on.

One friend makes really yummy protein balls - all food processor.  The night of Cluedo, Jeannie made raw brownies - also food processor.  I have been wanting them ever since.  So today (no gig!), I bought a food processor.

Shopping for a food processor has always been daunting.  I knew you could buy super duper expensive ones that do everything except actually baking and serving.  I'm not that rich.  However, I wasn't keen on buying a cheap one that would break down in a matter of months.  Today, I looked in Kmart at the super cheap $15 version - tempting as a starter, and to see if I would really use it much - and also the $39 option.  I figured though that I would be racking up Myer One points at Myer, so I checked out their range.  I dismissed everything with 3 figures in the price, and had a few options left.  Still um-ing and ah-ing about what would be best, I then saw this (Breville) variety, and knew this was it. 
It hasn't had a test-drive just yet.  Like a conscientious consumer, I've washed the washable bits and they're still drying.  I was delighted with the environmentally friendly, egg carton-style packaging.  Now I'm just hoping that it does what I want it to do, inspires me to use it in many ways and recipes, and is not too hard to clean...

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Running Shoes

It became apparent recently that I needed new running shoes.  I'm not sure this has ever become apparent to me before - I'm one of those conscientious people who know that every 500km or so you should replace your running shoes, so I replace my running shoes every 500km or so.  This is the first time my shoes have really told me it's time to move on.  The most recent pair have been Brooks, but the 3 before that were all Asics, the same model and size.  I thought I might branch out and order a pair online.  After a rather painful end to Sunday's run, on Monday I went online.  I thought I was all set, when I realised the online store dealt in UK sizes whereas my shoe displayed the US size.  Hm.  I knew the shoebox would most likely include the relevant sizes, but did I still have it?  Probably not...

Monday night was a short (10km) painful run.  Tuesday I tried my last pair of shoes, hoping I hadn't worn through them, and it was the most painful 13km of my life (so far).  I couldn't even run the last 2 km, tried to run for a 100m here and there but it just wasn't happening.  Today, I went to a real store.

A few people had recommended I try the Nike Airs.  That sounds simple, but there are many different varieties.  I tried on 3 pairs - one actually hurt the inside of my ankle, but the other 2 were both contenders.  As I do mostly road running for long distances, the salesman really strongly recommended the option with more cushioning.  It was closer in feel to the Asics too.  And they have the option of the running chip, so I can track my distance/speed/calories - as seen on my favourite crime shows (you never know when it will come in handy).  More to the point, check out the colour scheme!  The fluoro pink will surely make me run faster, and the trademark tick is in my favourite colour.  I can't wait to run tomorrow!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Outfit #35 - Earthy

Outfit details:
Pants: Hot Options.  Top: Ambra bamboo.  Shoes: Pulp.  Earrings: ?  Dog: Gracie.

On Tuesday I wore pants that were a size larger than what I wanted (when I bought them).  Last week, I bought these pants - back to my normal size and they were even a bit big.  Big smiles here :)

I couldn't get Gracie to go anywhere to be either in a photo or not.  I promise, she does have a head.  She has really been into face-licking recently.  One poor student was trying to unpack but her ears kept getting licked.  Not as much focus has been evident in lessons this week...

Today I achieved a first: only one earring photo required, and only one shoe photo.  Maybe I'm learning.  These earrings are not the greatest for playing - they're just a bit long.  They're also really heavy.  They used to be my cleaning earrings - as you may know, cleaning is not my thing, and sometimes I just need a bit of extra encouragement (like cool earrings) to make me do it.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Outfit #34 - Purple

Outfit details:
Dress: Spicysugar (from Jeannie).  Top: Ambra.  Stockings: Target.  Shoes: Hot Options.  Earrings: David Jones (I think).  Dog: Gracie.  She's mum and dad's dog (they're staying this week), and as they had just left, she was looking longingly from the top of the stairs, waiting for their return.  As soon as more students arrived though, she was busy licking faces and lying on her back for tummy rubs.

I didn't have grade 3s today (due to NAPLAN being on at the same time as their strings lessons), so this super short skirt was not overly impractical.  That said, when combined with the stockings, I felt my legs were being stared at all day. 

The 10-yr-old who thinks I have 5 husbands listened really quietly while I recorded her piece (rhythm...rhythm...rhythm...), then said "So, when you send me the recording, could I ask, could you send me a photo of your earrings as well?  We're doing nature shapes in art and I want to draw your earrings.  They're so pretty".  Then the next child also said how pretty my earrings were, then said she loved my stockings (incidentally, she had her best lesson in ages today).

Last week I worked out this outfit - but I didn't have the right shoes.  Well, I had wonderful shoes but I'm not going to wear them to school.  On Friday, I went shopping and found these shoes and stockings.  At first I loved these shoes, but having looked at them in my room all weekend, I'm not so sure.  I haven't bought thick-heeled shoes for a really long time, and these heels lost their appeal somewhat.  They don't necessarily make them more comfortable, and I'm not convinced they're retro-cool enough.  On the plus side, they do fit really well, and they are tall.  I love being tall.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Outfit #33 - Fat Pants

Outfit details:
Pants: Hot Options.  White top: Ambra (bamboo).  Red knit: Grab denim (from Jeannie).  Shoes: Pulp.  Earrings: gift from Jeannie.

This was the intended outfit for today.  When I left the house this morning though, it was 7C.  For me, this is cold, so I actually looked like this for most of the morning:

Jumper: Jeanswest.  Scarf: gift from mum (llama wool, love it).  Cap: Portmans.  I even pulled on my gloves to get to the station.  Well, the first time...

My mum and dad are staying right now.  This has its perks, but it also means my things are rearranged.  I thought I'd preempted any viola brain accidents by putting my violin against the wall next to where my bag for school lives.  Still, I got to the platform and realised my violin was not attached to my back.  I had a moment of 'do I really need it...?' but decided, what with my breaks today and the need to practice the music for the next concert, it would probably be better to have it than not.  So by the time I'd gone back home and then to the station again, I'd removed the gloves, cap and scarf.

The jumper was still on as I took earring photos after morning tea.  I find these earrings hard to photograph - this was taken after a few moments of being still so they would stop moving, but they are not all facing the same way so you can't really get the effect.  These shoes are really near the end - for starters, they're loud.  Plus they're starting to come apart - maybe I just need a glue gun.

So, fat pants.  These were bought at a time when I wasn't really into running, shall we say.  It's a size bigger than what I wanted to be, which is not all bad if you occasionally have a fat day.  Today was not a fat day, but this is the first outing for them after summer.  They were over another pair on a hanger, so had fewer "I've been folded over a hanger" creases than the pair I was going to wear.  Still could have done with an iron, though.  However, I was really glad I was wearing tops of sufficient length, and I felt occasionally like I was wearing clown pants.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Slippers

This week is one of those that might be wonderful for me.  But it might be one of those that forces me into the foetal position until it's over.  One of the things I find comforting in this time of year is slippers.  I have really warm, knitted slippers that are like extra warm cocoons for my feet.  I have furry Bonds sock-like things - they make me look like a wild animal with cute buttons on the side, and grip things on the pink underside.  These are really good for cool weather, and are fine even over socks - but there's no coverage on the top of my feet or around my ankles.  For winter, I have a pair of warm boot-like slippers.  For the last ...many... years, I have worn Ugg boots (the cheap versions, not the real versions).  The other day, buying a replacement pair, I very nearly bought the normal sort, albeit in a different colour.  But, as it was nearly Mother's Day, slippers were all on special.  Apparently, they're No. 3 on the list of things to give your mum on mother's day.  So this pair of "Hoodie's for your Feet" was the same price as the cheap uggies.  Sold!

Tonight, I left on my run in my usual outfit of 3/4 pants and a cotton singlet.  This was maybe not quite enough.  When I got back it was 14C, and my forearms and hands were still quite cold.  A warm shower helped, getting out the chicken casserole from a hot oven also helped, but the new slippers...they made me feel all warm again.  I think these are a good choice.  They are much warmer than the old warm slipper variety, and much prettier too - who can go past pink and grey and white love hearts?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Kerbside Collection

Those who know me (and maybe some others who are a bit cluey about these things) may know I'm a bit of a hoarder.  Actually, thinking about that label, I object.  (Oh haha.. sorry for that).  I really do like a clean, uncluttered environment.  I'm just not good at throwing out stuff.  So my garage has a lot of stuff in it.  My attic has a lot of stuff in it.  My room... well, you get the idea.  My mum, however, is not a hoarder.  Every time we moved house when I was growing up, stuff would 'get lost in the move'.  (This is, I've discovered, a standard line for clergy families).  So, the state of my garage is a bit of a horror for her.  Whenever she's here and there's junk on the footpaths she'll get all excited.  "The council's doing a pickup!  You should clean out your garage!"  And, being a passive sort of person, I'd do absolutely nothing. 
On Friday though, I found a note from the council: kerbside collection this coming week for items left out this weekend.  I'm in that sort of 'doing stuff' mood.  My parents are coming to stay this week (is it that I can see the future?  will my mum really mention the kerbside collection again?).  I've also been getting rid of things given to me by people I no longer want to have hanging around.  Unfortunately the item I had pegged for collection from that particular person is on the x list from the council as it has glass... But there were several items in my garage that have been gathering dust for some time, unused by me, never actually owned by me in some cases, and I decided now was the time.  On the To Go list: vacuum cleaner (still works, power cord doesn't actually come out very far though, not great sucking power); old computer (never mine); a whole heap of cords; old dud of a modem; tv stand from when we were kids (so it's more than 20 years old...); and an old printer.

In the neighbouring few streets, there are several sofas and lounge suites.  It's like they're having a Sofa and Lounge Suite Big Day Out.  You can just see the next lot of sofas (and extras) in this photo.  Due to restrictions in size, there are a few items remaining in my garage - I'll call someone like Vinnies or the Red Cross soon.  I felt a little weird taking my unwanted items outside - I'm not surprised people do this during the dark hours.  Now, I know that some people do kerbside crawls - ooh that sounds wrong - looking for usable items.  As I was leaving for my run, there were 2 guys walking up the street and I heard one of them talking vacuum cleaners.  When I returned from my run, my pile was somewhat smaller.  I smiled.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Not a Subtle Bag

This was another Saturday where I barely had a half hour to myself.  I used my half hour to sit on the courtyard steps, drinking coffee and enjoying the sunshine and the plants.  However, once I'd finished teaching I had 15 minutes to get changed and get to the Botanic Gardens for a gig, then to the cathedral for the final rehearsal then performance of Handel's Theodora.  I decided to use my bright floral bag.  It is not subtle, it is not black, but it does hold a lot of stuff.  I'm pretty sure nearly everything would have fit into my bright green handbag, but not the music as well.

After last week, when I'd done the "I'll buy something to eat on the way" thing which resulted in really bad food choices, I decided to pack dinner (including a fork) and a snack for today.  Plus an extra snack for just in case.  I was really good and actually ate the snack with post-gig coffee instead of indulging in fruit toast.  Also in this bag I packed a long-sleeved top, my black velvet jacket, and a black scarf.  The Theodora music (slightly bigger than A4) was the reason for the large bag so in it went.  My normal handbag things also made it in - water bottle, purse, phone, gocard, earphones, lip balm, and lip gloss.  I think that was about it. 

Although I like being able to fit music in this bag, I can't actually get anything out of it without using 2 hands.  And today I did feel seasonally mismatched.  I may have mentioned before the problem of having my brother take photos.  This was the least weird of the cast-offs.  You can still tell I'm laughing, but I'm not blurry which is a plus.  Also, I think in this one he'd actually told me he was about to take the photo, unlike several others.  Candid shots (at least for me) are usually very strange shots.

It was a beautiful day for a wedding - clear blue skies, a bit of warmth.  Gorgeous.  I snapped this last picture as we were leaving the gardens.  I missed out on a photo of a reptile swimming after the ducks which was disappointing, but Theodora awaited.