Monday, October 25, 2010

Journal Of A Two Day Traveler

Day One:

It’s 6am. And I’m awake. It’s unholy, unhealthy, and all of those other “un” words. And it’s not even that I’m only just getting to bed – that sort of thing is much better for your reputation. But apparently an early start is what’s necessary for this trip, so with reluctance I emerge from my cocoon of unconsciousness.

Fast forward a few hours, and we’ve stopped at the lovely little town of Evandale for a cuppa. Evandale is so twee it’s almost painful. Flat-fronted old stone houses, gorgeous gardens, and honest-to-God lampposts. I felt like I should have been swapping my brightly coloured tights and torn denim skirt for petticoats and a bonnet. However, sadly, the coffee shop cum corner shop that we visited for our caffeine hit was a little bit historical too. My request for a mocha was met with confusion, reluctance, and disapproval. Actually, I lied about the disapproval, but the other stuff is true. “Isn’t that the one with…. ummm…… chocolate?” Then Susie had to go and blow this ladies mind by ordering a half-strength mugaccino, extra-hot.


Back on the road, we arrived at The Hobart Show at midday. Out first port of call there was the dog arena, to meet up with some family members of Susie’s that had flown down specifically to show their giant schnauzer. If you haven’t seen a giant schnauzer, they’re cute, have eyebrows, and are freaking massive.


I’ve come to the conclusion that dog shows are all quite a… *searching for a suitable non-offensive word, and failing*… wank. All of the handlers get kitted up in their glad rags, the dogs have been washed, blow-dried, hair sprayed, clipped, brushed, and basically groomed to within an inch of their lives, and then they all go out and prance around in a ring. This giant schnauzer in particular had brought along more toiletries than I had. Then again, I wasn’t being judged on my coat, teeth or stance. It’s all very unnatural. I DID manage to get a giggle a few times though. Those times were pretty much the moments when the dogs remembered that hey, I’m a dog. They would look elsewhere, or try to deviate from the nominated prancing path. Risking the ire of the dog handlers, I laughed quite a bit.


Anyway, the rest of the show was all very usual show stuff. Rides that made me feel a bit queasy just to watch (yes, I’m soft), enough junk food to clog the arteries of a small country, spruikers yelling at people to come play games that they’ll be sure to win, and a Rastafarian stall. Yes, that’s right – Rasta culture is living large in Hobart. I’d never realised before, but will be sure to add Bob Marley to my playlist.


The rest of the day was taken up by Susie catching up with the family, talk of how the giant schnauzer was robbed of first prize by another dog, lovely wood-fired pizza for dinner, and more family gossip.

11pm. I’ve forgotten my toothbrush. I’m now regretting ordering garlic pizza…

Day Two:

It’s 6am. And I’m awake. It’s unholy, unhealthy… you get the picture. Especially when one of the first things said in the morning is, “I still can’t believe that other dog won… that’s what happens when you use local judges…”

We hit the road bright and early, and made our way to Salamanca Markets. I love Salamanca Markets. Hobart is just such a nice city, with all of their historic buildings and whatnot, and the markets have such a nice atmosphere, with a good mixture of stalls, and buskers around most corners. Not surprisingly, I managed to drop a bit of money on some goodies there. But I was quite proud of myself for my restraint – I could have dropped all of my money on a LOT of goodies. We were a bit rushed though due to parking meters and time constraints, so we only saw about two-thirds of the market. Not enough, in my opinion, but we’re hoping to get back before Christmas to get a bit of present shopping done (that’s one present for THEM, and one present for ME, and one present for THEM, and one present…).


We ended the afternoon catching up with my Nanna, and uncle. It was all very nice, and Nanna Vera had even made lunch for us – a casserole, with bread rolls.

Sarah: “Oh, I’ll just have a bread roll – I’m actually a vegetarian.”
Nanna Vera: “Well that’s ok – the casserole only has fish in it.”
Sarah: “I don’t eat fish.”
Nanna Vera: “Oh well, it’s not REAL fish. It’s only salmon.”
Sarah: “Ummmm…”

And so I sat perched on the couch with my partially frozen bread roll, and a smile plastered on my face. We left shortly after lunch, and started winding our way back to the north coast. You know, that place we call home.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Goodbye, Old Friend

Well. What an eventful week. That I didn’t *ahem* get a chance to blog during. The lack of blogging has absolutely nothing to do with laziness…

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the removal of one of my piercings. It’s all very sad. I had a dermal piercing on my sternum that I’d had for over 2 years, and over the past few weeks it has been making itself known and growing out. I finally reached the difficult decision during the week to have it removed. I hate having piercings taken out – it feels like the death of a friend (albeit slightly less dramatic). One of those friends that are really cool to be around, occasionally irritate the hell out of you, but are always there – whether they’re hidden or not. And now I’m in mourning for my friend. Have I taken this analogy too far? Perhaps.


And what an adventure it ended up being to have it removed. After about 5 phone calls I found out that they don’t even DO dermal piercings in Burnie (which panicked me a bit… where am I going to go for my next piercing???), so I had to go to the doctor, wait there for half an hour, then be referred to the skin clinic. Where I waited for about an hour, and was then put through a few minutes of quite intense pain. But it’s ok – I’m tough. No, really. I am.

My Friday consisted of breaking into a building with bolt cutters, restraining an angry cat, and being a barmaid. All while doing volunteer work for the RSPCA. While I was using the bolt cutters I had to cut through a padlock, which is actually not the easiest feat. Considering that they’re made so that that can’t happen. But anyway, once my muscular, strongwoman-esque task was finished, I was standing there in my grey sweater with the hood up, rain drizzling down, and I got the Rocky theme song stuck in my head. I may have also jumped around with my arms above my head.


And today we went out to Table Cape to check out the tulip farm there. I am, admittedly, not much of a gardening person, although I do have the enviable skill of killing plants with just a glance. Even without an avid horticultural interest, it was still pretty rad. Lots of tulips (funnily enough).



Recreational outings aside, I have managed to also get some crafting done during the week. I’ve done a layout on the photos of Michelle and I twirling, because we’re just so damned cute. Stop laughing – you know it’s true. I’ve used the lovely The Girls Paperie “Paper Girl” range. I just looooove the paper with the cabbage flowers on it. I’ve also used a cute Jodie Butler flower that I picked up a while ago – she makes the best floral goodies.


The second layout is of my brother and I on a carousel when we were just youngin’s. I’ve used the Fancy Pants “Road Show” range. And another Jodie Butler flower. The book page is from a Golden Book. I was sure that while I was ripping the page from the Golden Book I was going to be struck down by lightning – it’s one of the cardinal sins isn’t it? The blue circle behind the title is actually a coaster that I bought at an op-shop a few months ago. I knew it’d come in handy sometime.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sarah’s Guide To Card-Writing (or Why Grandmas Are Rad)


Yesterday I made a card for my Grandma. Her sister passed away last week, and I wanted to send a little something to say that she’s in my thoughts. Grandmas are rad people. They are an absolute fount of wisdom and compassion that can often be overlooked. My Grandma was the one person that I could really relate to after I’d had hip surgery – we discussed our various aches and pains, and how much fun cortisone injections can be. But you don’t need surgery to have a conversation topic with your Grandma – strangely enough, they’ve probably been through a lot of what you’ve already been through. They have a myriad of experiences, a different view of life, and if you’re lucky, some kick-ass recipes. I don’t speak to my Grandma much, but she’s one stable part of my life that I really appreciate; always ready with a cuppa and a sweet biscuit from the canister on the top shelf in the kitchen. Regardless of who she is – Grandma, Nan, Gran – she’s a pretty cool chick. Hey, maybe you have one too.

So, card made, then there’s the issue of writing in it. I never know what to write in cards, let alone a commiseration card. If I’ve made the card, surely that’s enough effort?? Do I have to WRITE in it as well? Thankfully, I found a lovely quote by Emily Dickinson to put in Grandma’s card.

“Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.”

But normally… I have no idea what I’m doing.

Dear Person, (Are they really dear to me? I mean, they’re more of an acquaintance.)

To Person, (Does that sound too impersonal?)

Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary/Merry Christmas/Congratulations.

I hope you have a radtacular/awesome/nice/lovely/fantastic/gnarly day.

Regards, (Does that make me sound like a prat?)

From, (God, could I be any more clichéd?)

Best wishes, (Do I really wish them the best? I’m more ambivalent about the whole thing.)

Love, (I mean, you’re cool and all, but I’m not sure I feel that way about you yet.)



That chick you’ve met once who felt obliged to make you a card.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stitched Up

This past weekend was the much anticipated Stitch ‘N’ Bitch weekend away at Port Sorrell. Lots of stitching, a modicum of bitching, and otherwise just general fun and frivolity (plus good food). Sadly, a couple of us were a little under the weather with various illnesses. Even sadder still, Michelle got stuck in the same cabin as two of us sickly people. It was like a poorly managed version of quarantine, and they accidently let a healthy person slip in.


Needless to say, in between coughing and spluttering, I didn’t actually accomplish as much as I’d intended. On Friday night Michelle and I started making a skirt from a tutorial that she’d gotten online. Titled as the “Super Easy Party Skirt”, with an estimated completion time of two hours, we were putting the finishing touches on our party skirts after approximately 7 hours of work. However, I must say that the reason mine took so long is because I’m a bit of a dodgy seamstress. Surely guesstimation is good enough for things of this nature? Apparently not. While I was swearing and fighting with my sewing machine, Michelle added pockets to hers.


Michelle: “But I’ve already twirled…”
Sarah: “Twirl with me!!”

There were all manner of crafts being undertaken by the gathered women – clothes making, toy making, quilting, scrapbooking, knitting, painting, embroidery, etc. One of the ladies had gone out to a garage sale on Saturday morning, and came back with a finch in a cage. It seems that somebody thought that a garage sale was an excellent opportunity to rid themselves of the family pet for $10. Anyway, Fleur was brought to our camp, and then the new owner made a lovely little cover for the cage. It was all terribly cute, and there were lots of “Awwwwwww”s echoing around the hall. Fleur seemed to like it too.


I’ve also started working on the Kasia skirt from the Burdastyle website. It honestly has about 12 pattern pieces, and the whole thing makes my poor little brain hurt. However, I’ve decided that if it doesn’t work out as planned, I’m going to make it into a super cute apron. I’m actually hoping that it does end up as an apron - I could be an inferior imitation of a competent housewife. Cooking skills sold separately.



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