Monday, December 31, 2007

Ravelry surprises

Just a quick post to say that I received my Ravelry tea cosy swap package from Serenaj:

The tea cosy is so cute!! Did I ever say that red is my favourite colour?? The most surprising in the package was a packet of shortbread from Miss Mauds. I love staying there whenever I used to go to Perth for work! How did she know? Anyway, all the food items have been devoured - well still working through the tea, but there was also some Lindt chocolate and lavender scented hand cream!

Thanks heaps SerenaJ!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Birthdays and Christmas all together

Christmas this year has been a bit of a quiet one, with both the older sister and her husband choosing to have a white Christmas in Idaho. So this year, it was just Lucille and I packing the car and driving down to Goulburn to spend a few days with the Parents.

But prior to that, there was a small gathering to celebrate the fact that I've turned the big three-O.

First there was cake:

then some well wishing:

And a surprise gift from my little sister's good friend Linda - a gift voucher to Tapestry Craft. A quick visit to the city on my day off found me picking through the remains of the sale. I ended up stocking up on extra tips in my Knit Picks Options and a skein of Araucania sock yarn.

On Christmas eve there was another party in which I won the first hand at Mahjong:

Christmas day was spent bumming around the farm and antagonising the dogs (or was that the other way round?). Boxing day (also the day I actually turn three-o), saw me come back to Sydney to make a delivery with my dad. On the drive back, a stop at Pheasants Nest at the petrol station ended up with this strange conversation with this strange man:

HIM: "Hi I'm Dave by the way"
Me: "I'm Lien"
HIM: "So where are you going?"
Me: "Goulburn"
HIM: "So where are you from?"
Me: "Goulburn" (I'm not really, but heck, has anyone seen Wolf Creek??)
HIM: "So you're farmers?"
Me: "My dad is"
HIM: "So what do you guys speak? Cantonese, Cambodian, Vietnamese?"
Me: "Cantonese"
HIM: "So do you guys normally marry your own kind?"
Me: "I'm not married" (LIKE WTF??)

Like what the heck?? Do I have this "DESPERATE and DATELESS" look on my face and why ask me just as I turned 30??? Needless to say, I just turned to my dad and said to him once you're done with the coffee, we're going!!

Anyway, my mother decided she'll take the 27th off and go on a day trip with us. We ended up going to Canberra (where else?) and a quick detour to Bungendore for devonshire tea at the Wood Gallery.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A bit of Christmas crafting

We had grand plans to buy a live tree and decorate it for Christmas - however the environmental side of me was playing tug-of-war with the Christmassy side of me. Anyway, in the end finances won out. A cut tree is about fifty bucks and well, lets just say there is better things to spend a fifty on than something that ends up being deadwood in a couple of weeks.

There are heaps of trees near where my sister lives (one of those leafy areas) and so we managed to pick up a few twigs and spray painted them silver. We had some decorations left over from previous years, so we added them to the tree.

The other thing which we were too cheap to fork out for was a Christmas wreath. In this month's Better Homes and Gardens magazine, they had instructions on making a wreath using Eucalyptus branches and leaves. Here is my version:

It's a bit bare at the moment. I'm looking for some grevilleas to add some colour but haven't seen any around locally (as in on some Council property). Actually, I haven't seen these plants around for quite a while - they used to be everywhere!!

I think this may be it for our Christmas decorating. It's taking things down after Christmas which is the real pain in the ass. Also, I think our neighbour has enough decorations for all of us. They even strung up some fairy lights over the eaves outside my room - very pretty and I can stare at them for hours.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Every vote counts!

Each time there is an election, our family tries to go somewhere interesting to cast our votes. Last time in the State elections, we went to the local correctional facility. This time we just found a place which was having a fete at the same time. Had I known that John Howard was going to be at Ermington West Primary school, we would have made our way down so I could give him dirty looks!!

Saturday night, we had an election party at my friend Jill's. There was heaps of champagne popping as we celebrated Kevin Rudd's victory. No guesses there as to my feelings for John Howard. My excitement grew even further when Bennelong was won by Maxine!

Apparently a senior Liberal advisor blames it on the "fucking Chinese" and the Asian vote for John Howard's loss of Bennelong.

Ummm.. yeah - that's me! I still remember the uproar in 1988 when JH made those anti-immigration comments - I was eleven at the time and my parents listened to a lot of Chinese radio!

A colleague of mine commented that since returning to Australia after several years overseas, she's noticed the drop in tax rates and how fantastic that is. Yeah - but has she noticed the lack of funding to Education and Health? That the tax cuts have been to the people in the higher tax brackets?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

People Watch

I do quite a bit of people watching - not weird, stare at them type of people watching, but more observations of strange human behaviour. I think I do this not because I'm really all that interested in the person, but more because I like to know that there are stranger people out there than me.

I've been writing these observations in my diary, so here are a couple to start off with:

Friday 16 November - 8.32 am - train from Parramatta to City.
Male - wearing Prada belt, Bvlgari watch, Gucci bag.
I have 2 questions: Does he think he's decked out enough in designer labels? Why is he catching a train?

Thursday 22 November - 1.35pm - Starbucks - Cnr of Margaret and York St
Male - business attire - reading the Australian Financial Review. Starts laughing out loud. For the life of me, I CANNOT fathom what story in the Fin Review could cause an "out loud" laugh. I'm thinking his share prices went up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Getting back on track

A new year's resolution which I make every year but never seem to keep is "to be more organised". This week, I made a start -and yes, I realise that November is a bit late!! So the assignment is completed and sent through. Hopefully March next year will see me with another mortarboard atop my head, ready for graduation.

I made it to Rubi + Lana's for the SnB and stayed most of the day there. It was great being there and not having to think about the whole host of other things which is currently making me anxious. Needless, to say, nearly a whole day of knitting produced significant progress on "Rusted Root" (still can't understand why the designers called it this!!). No recent photos, but here is one I took a while ago:

I also managed to go for a swim in the afternoon in our pool. I don't think I ever really appreciated the whole "indoor pool" thing, always preferring an outdoor pool with cool refreshing water and the sun shining above. Until, I noticed all the BUGS which also like a dip but cannot swim!!

So, in my quest to get back on track, here is my teapot for the tea cosy swap I joined on Ravelry. This is my "everyday" teapot which is a bit naked. My "save for special guests" teapot already has a beautiful cosy from my One Skein pal, Candy.

So what next? I'm about to cast on for the tea cosy for my pal and catching up with friends which I feel I've neglected for ages. Friday night saw me wobbling out of Cafe Otto in Glebe after sharing half a bottle of wine with a colleague (umm... Asians don't take alcohol very well). Luckily the family came and picked me up to take me home.

Tonight - off to Brighton-le-sands to a lebanese restaurant for more catching up. Next week sees me lunching with an old uni friend I have not seen in years (she hasn't seen me since I've lost all the weight, so I'd be interested to see what she's going to say!!). And then to an election picnic next Saturday (nothing political about it, just happens to fall on election day) and then an election party (yet again, just happens to be on that day) to again remind people I have not fallen off the face of this earth!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Excuses, excuses

That seems to be what I'm constantly racking my brain with lately. Excuses as to why:
  • I have not finished my assignment - only one darn thing to go before I graduate!
  • I have not kept up with my knitting
  • I didn't finish reading the last book for my book club
  • I still haven't posted a picture of my teapot for the tea cosy swap I joined on Ravelry
  • I haven't started knitting the tea cosy for my pal
  • I have not been going to Rubi + Lana's
  • I haven't done a host of other things which I said I would before the end of the year - most of it administrative!

I could blame it on my complete lack of time management skills but I think at the moment, it has a bit to do with a reassessment of my life. This also leads to show my lack of ability to multi-task. It appears that I cannot think about these things and be productive at the same time.

Anyway, I took last Wednesday and Thursday off for a bit of a road trip to Canberra to have a bit of think and clear to my head. Along the way, I stopped by at my parents. Despite my allergies to the dogs, there is something about them that could always brighten up a drab day.

I was glad to see that Goulburn has had a bit of rain and everything looks green again.

And also to see that our supply of tomatoes is going well this year.

Having about 4 hours of driving each way to Canberra and back, I'm still as unsure as ever.

Here is a snippet of a text message conversation with my friend:

HER: I reckon when it comes to the crunch u'll know.
ME: Hopefully, I'm generally quite indecisive. Like ordering at a restaurant. When it comes to the crunch, I order the wrong thing.

Sometimes I really wish there was a magical 8 ball which will help me with these things!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm allergic to dogs!

I've always suspected that I had a canine allergy. When I used to live at home with the four white fluffies, my eyes would water, my nose would get all runny. Now that I've moved out and only go visit my parents every so often, the whole allergy thing would flare up. However, my parents refuse to believe that their precious little white balls of yapping fluff is the cause of my misery. They keep telling me its hay fever.

Anyway, my suspicions were confirmed this weekend when I went to visit Honey:

I went with my friend Rebecca to Canberra to visit our friend Lorraine. A weekend to Canberra is always nice and every trip makes me think that perhaps I can live there. I used to think Canberra was the most boring place and can't understand how it ever became Australia's Capital. It might be an age thing, but I'm starting to feel that a job in the public service and being able to live within five minutes of work is starting to look appealing.

Anyway, what's a trip to Canberra during Spring without a stop at the Floriade?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How to ask for a payrise

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a seminar called "How to ask for a promotion or payrise". It was one which Lucille's company was holding. The main thing I got out of it was not to whine and go on and on about why your boss should give you a payrise. (Incidently, I've tried asking for a payrise in my previous job and I followed all the correct procedures, such as research and provide evidence, etc but at the end of the day, if your boss just doesn't have the money or the inclination, I don't really think there is a point.)

Anyway, the point of this story, is whilst they tell you not to whinge and whine to get what you want, there are times when it does work. My other sister was going to Canada to meet up with her husband who was there for a conference and which sucker got called to service to take her to the airport? Yep, me again. (This happens EVERY year as they seem to take an overseas trip once or twice.) This time, it was stretching the family ties a bit as she had an early flight, we had to leave the house at 4.30am. On the drive to the airport, I whinged and whined about how I had to get up so early and how unfair it was if I was involved in a high speed crash as it wasn't me who was getting any benefit from getting up so early, etc etc(A LOT of people speed during this time of the day - they must think they can get away with it).

Well, I think the early morning just made my sister snap, cause she goes "Fine, I'll get you that thing you wanted!!!"

Cool, so I got it. And here it is:

I've been wanting a yarn winder for ages but just can't justify the cost of what the Australian suppliers were charging for it. I knew they were going to Washington DC and so I looked up yarn shops in the area. I only found Stitch DC and so told them that I wanted one of those from there. They also bought me some baby alpaca (which will probably be made into a scarf) and some handpainted sock wool.

Now, I wonder if I have a bit of a whinge to my boss tomorrow, if I'll get similar results.

Oh and a postcard promoting a new book which is, for once, NOT aimed at the young and hip but at (can I say this?) older generation:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Alpacas not APEC

The whole APEC thing has been getting on my nerves of late. In particular because there were security operations next to my work. I can see the all the police with their sniffer dogs from outside of my window at work (right next to Wharf 8). Even the P&O cruiseship has not made its regular appearance. Sydney has been eerily quiet and it was kind of creepy. I imagine what a police state would have been like. Whilst I generally don't oppose APEC, world leaders can meet, nothing wrong with that. But if locking down a whole city just so some frickin dignataries can wine and dine and be "shown" Sydney, that totally pisses me off. Not to mention the amount of money spent on securing the city. But securing it for whom? The barriers they have put up have made it more of a hazard to get around and if a bomb really was to go off, then surely there would have been more fatalities as people are forced to walk in cramped spaces. But then I guess we're the little people. However, it has given me some small bit of satisfaction to see that it has rained all week here in Sydney. The stupid pollies who think that they must "show off" Sydney as opposed to holding the APEC meeting in Canberra (it is our Country's capital!!) didn't have much to show as the skies opened up.

But anyway, enough with the bitching. Our regular knitting group decided to go visit some Alpacas instead. David organised a visit to Belgrave Park Alpacas in the Blue Mountains. Candy and Mandy (yes, friends with rhyming names!!) came to pick me up for the drive to the mountains. I made a fennel seed cake (based on one which I'd had at Katie's) and brought my knitting along.

The group of knitters!!

How cute!

More cuteness

When the mountain air started to get too much for the average Sydneysider, we made our way to Katoomba for the Blue Mountains Chocolate Company for some "real hot chocolate".

A quick stop at David's to visit his kitty cats (which you may of heard in his podcast) before heading home down the motorway.


Friday, August 24, 2007


After much umming and ahhing over whether or not to join Ravelry (I succumbed to Facebook with much hesitation and good reason too!), I finally got my invite. I'm just Lien! See you all there...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In the news!

You can make your own headlines here.

Current love: lace knitting!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the block

A few things which are blocking!! Firstly, the "Feminine Puff Sleeved Cardigan" by Stefanie Japel in her book Fitted Knits.

I'm quite pleased with it as it turned out quite neat (as in, no bad lumpy sewing). This was quite an easy to knit top as it was knit from the top down. I should have made it a bit longer but I'll do that next time as I wouldn't mind making it in a different colour.

And another thing which I whipped up pretty quickly, is "Branching Out" from Knitty. I made the lace scarf for my older sister whose birthday is coming up. Both items are blocking at the moment.

However, a wet and windy Sunday means that these will take a bit longer to dry.

I still have quite a few unfinished projects but I don't really feel like picking them up again. We're moving house next week and I have to organise for a removalist, start packing, etc. I think this would be a good time for me to go through my WIPs and rip, rip, rip!!

On to another thing, we went to visit my grandmother today. She had been in hospital for about 3 weeks because of an infection in her foot. We went to the hospital but was told that she had been discharged yesterday. So much for communication between our families!! Anyway, my grandmother has dementia and has trouble remembering things. When we went to my aunt's house (whom she lives with), out of me and my sisters, she remembers me!! It's really sad to see someone you know slowly losing their memory and I'm just glad that for the time being, she is living with my aunt who takes care of her.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A few off the needles

Lien, my namesake asked to see the completed Candle Flame Shawl. Here is a picture of it (modelled by my sister Lucille):

I completed this a while ago and as you can see in the last picture, I've still got to weave in the ends. I'm going to pack this up and send it to a friend of mine who is currently living in England. Seeing as it's going into Winter over there, she'll probably have more use for it than me.

Another finished object to show off is the scarf I made for Raymond. This was also finished around the same time but seeing as he's been soooooo busy at work, I got Lucille to model it as well:

The third FO I have to show is this ear flap hat. The pattern is in the Paton's Jet and Inca pattern book (same book as the ill-fated cardigan):

Wow, three finished objects in the one post!!

On to another thing, as some of you may be aware, there was (I think its now over) this rather nasty to-ing and fro-ing about intellectual property, and the copying of styles on the knitternet (regular knit bloggers and readers know all the ins and outs of what is going on). I have to say that I followed it all for a while with the sick fascination, similar to that of watching a car crash. But till now have not commented nor blogged about it in case I get flamed (although, how I'm not sure). But mostly because I thought it was all a bit childish and don't they say that imitation is the best form of flattery? However, I think I've changed my mind about that (umm... what's new?). I actually think its creepy and has anyone watched Single White Female? (Incidently, I loved this movie.) I acknowledge that I, myself decide on my next project based on what someone else has already made, I try to at least acknowledge who I got the idea from (thanks Pamela for the Candle Flame Shawl) and I'm sure with Ravelry, there is going to be more of the same but please, at least rotate who you are stalking taking inspiration from!! So that's my two cents worth.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lunchtime Knitting

A friend of mine invited me to go running with her during our lunch break. There are two reasons why I hesitate to take up her offer. The main one being I loathe to have to get changed, get all sweaty and then return to work as there is only around 2 showers for the whole building at my work. (Although my friend did offer to let me use the showers at her work - but she works for a competing firm, and that somehow seems unfaithful.) The other reason is that I have taken to knitting during my lunch. I previously used to browse the shops but seeing as I work in the boring part of town, I've already visited each shop several times over.

So it has been my quest to find a nice coffee shop to sit and knit. You would think that there would be a lot to choose from, but I'm looking for one which is quiet - rather difficult during rush hour lunch, and that has a little private spot for me to sit and be left alone. The closest I have found is Espresso on Sussex Lane. It's a cute little cafe wedged between all these terraces right smack bang in the middle of the CBD. Their set up isn't ideal because it doesn't feel private. But it's close enough to walk to so that I can still get a bit of knitting in.

My standard drink of choice, Skim Milk Latte. I used to think that life was too short for skim milk, but Weight Watchers has brain washed me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feminine Puff Sleeved Cardigan

I have finished a couple of things recently on the knitting front. Most notably, the candle-flame shawl. I won't bother posting a picture of it as it looks like the original WIP picture but larger. I also made a shawl pin for it using some beads and a kilt pin. Sydney is seriously lacking places which sell shawl pins!! I also finished Raymond's scarf - which by the way, is still in my possession. After exclaiming how desperately he needed a scarf for winter, when I finished it, he keeps forgetting to take it with him!

I also finished a cardigan from a Patons pattern book. But I'm too miserable about it to post its picture. Whilst my knitting skills are not too bad, my sewing skills are atrocious and now the poor thing looks like a lumpy piece of carpet. When I'm feeling more up to it, I will either rip it out or try to block the hell out of it to try to hide the flaws.

Sally whose birthday we recently celebrated, kindly lent me "Fitted Knits" by Stefanie Japel. I LOVE this book!! Most of the patterns are knit in the round (no sewing!!) and look like something I would actually wear. So in order to recover from my disappointment with the Patons cardigan, I cast on for the Feminine Puff Sleeved Cardigan.

I'm using Pacifica from Bendigo Woollen Mills which I picked up last time Ray and I went to Melbourne. I think this is discontinued.

SP 10 goodies

I received my SP 10 package in the mail a few days ago and only had time to post about it now. My SP 10 Pal is Kathy from Canada.

My favourite? The handmade fingerless gloves. I've made these for other people but never got around to making a pair for myself!! Thanks Kathy!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Finally, we're moving!!

Remember when I talked about house-hunting every frickin' Saturday? Well, it's finally over. Lucille and her boyfriend bought a townhouse!! No need to mention how excited I am as I can finally move back into our previous living arrangements (Lucille and I rented an apartment together for about 2 years). Only difference is that, I no longer have to contend with nasty real estate agents and just pay rent to Lucille!! Yay - I'd take Lucille on any day (I AM older!!) than dealing with an RE.

Here are a few piccies.

Stairs to the bedroom upstairs and weird mezzanine level.

The kitchen - don't mind the mess, we were trying to clean it before we move in.

French doors out to the so-called court yard.

Lounge room, taken from the mezzanine

View from the lounge - Lucille was trying to do a silly dance!

Look who else recently moved into a new place!!

Sally talks about homeownership and why young people are so obsessed. My obsession comes from the fact that I HATE REAL ESTATE AGENTS. They are in the same categories of used car salespeople. One of my insecurities in life is not having a place to live. I can deal with most situations but when a real estate agent calls me or I receive a letter in the mail threatening my safety of "home", I am completely in a mess. Lucille, as the youngest in the family has always relied on me (or more like fob off onto me) to deal with most things such as makng sure the electricity is connected, making doctor's appointments, etc etc. But my lack of being able to deal with RE's has once prompted her to say to me "Look, I'll deal with it"!! That tells you something.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!!

Last night I went with a friend who is visiting from Hong Kong (who also happens to be an extreme Opera fan and knitter), to go see Opera Australia's production of The Barber of Seville. Even if you aren't all that into operas, if you watched a lot of Bugs Bunny cartoons, you would recognise a lot of the music by Rossini.

The set design was quirky as was some of the costuming. However, I thought this fit with the comedic aspect of the opera very well. It would have been better if that idiotic couple sitting in front of us, came up for air and stopped pashing long enough for me to enjoy what I had paid for.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sydney Craft Fair

On Sunday, Celia and I went to the craft fair which was held in Darling Harbour. Celia offered to drive and I offered free parking (one of the perks of working where I do, is free weekend parking in the city). There were a few more knitting vendors at this fair than the Stitches and Craft fair which I went to earlier this year (luckily I got free tickets to that one, since it was sooooo not worth it).

I was really tempted by Ecoyarns and Prestige Yarns. Although I'm not really on a yarn diet, I have decided not to buy single balls (how many true single skein projects are out there - really??) and I didn't really want to be extravagant and buy 10 balls of everything!! I did end up picking these little beauties up though:

After, we had lunch at Wagamamas which was not too bad. Sometimes, this place is a bit of a hit or miss.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The candle burns bright green

With the boring scarf knitting, I felt like making something "pretty". I saw on Pamela's blog, her candle flame shawl and was quite inspired to start my own. I can't believe how quickly it has knitted up. I just made this with Cleckheaton Country 8 ply. I wasn't brave enough to make it in a 2 ply yarn.

Okay, I'm seriously going to try to finish some projects before starting new ones - after this one of course!!

Marge - the rains are here!!

I'm on annual leave at the moment. Half of it was to be with my father when he went into Royal Prince Alfred hospital for day surgery to get this massive pterygium removed. Needless to say, this was an excellent time to get some knitting done. But I needed something which required no thinking as I was constantly called to help translate. So what could be more boring than a scarf? I promised that I'd make one for Raymond ages ago and had bought some Moda Vera Brilliant to make this. But I've been putting it off due to the mind-numbing-ness of knitting a scarf. I added some cables to make it a little bit more interesting.

I drove my dad back home because I knew that he didn't want to stay in Sydney for his recovery. There was a bit of flooding in low-land parts of Goulburn. Luckily, my parent's property is up on a slope, but the road into their property is prone to flooding.

The road into my parent's property.

It's not a lake - it's actually the neighbour's property. Luckily there were no sheep about that day.

Knitting and how I cope with the D

Ginger_nut whom I met once at a Rubi and Lana SnB gives an honest account of depression and how knitting played a part in helping her get through it. You can read about it here. Whilst I personally have not experienced depression first hand, I do have a few people who is very close to me who suffers from it and to be there when they are down is something which is difficult for everyone involved. For someone who is sitting on the sidelines, sometimes I don't know if just being there is enough or what I should say to make things better. But at least I know.

Marathon blogging

A series of mini posts to come...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't know babies

The wet and windy Sydney weather prevented me from going to World Wide Knit in Public Day, but then it also prevented me from going camping at Wombeyan Caves. So instead I ended up going to one open house and spent the rest of Saturday pottering about and watching Kenny on DVD. There were sure a few home truths in that one movie!!

I also spent the rest of the long weekend at my parents and we stopped by in Berrima for tea and scones. I haven't stopped by Berrima for quite a while, normally choosing to drive straight through to Goulburn. There appears to be a sudden sprout of touristy shops selling alpaca wool items. There were some yarn, but now that I am a keen follower of Bendigo Woollen Mills where I know I can get cheap alapaca yarn, paying over $10 for a 50 gram ball seems a bit excessive.

My knitting has been a bit left behind as I tried to finish all my assignments for uni (which is finally over - yay!!), and so I had some major catching up to do. I have suddenly found myself surrounded by babies or soon to appear babies. I have big plans to knit for every one of these babies. But my time management skills are pretty poor and apparently, babies wait for no-one to make their appearance.

I bought this baby pattern book:

purely because the babies are too cute.

I actually made the little top on the cover in a newborn size. The sizing looks too small. I know that newborns are pretty darn little, but heck, the cardigan is tiny. Anyway, I'm making a few more items from this book. I have problems with reading the patterns though. I don't know if its a Just me kind of problem, or they are just badly written.

On to other non-knitting news, I am officially 2kg off my goal weight. The bad news is, the Weight Watchers meeting I've been religiously attending is amalgamating with the earlier one which means I won't be able to make it as it's too early for me. Which is kind of sad because I really like the people who attend the meeting I go to. I think it's kind of become a bit of a social thing for me.

One last thing, so we all know that the Internet makes this a smaller world. But to find two Liens that knit? Check out my namesake here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Letter from the Prime Minister

It is an unfortunate fact but I currently live in the electorate of Bennelong. Yep - Johnnie's seat. So to my amusement, after the "shaking hands with old ladies and kissing babies" episode in Eastwood a few weeks ago (which I unfortnately missed), I received in the post a letter from our Prime Minister himself.

So I couldn't help myself but reply!!

Dear Mr Howard,
Regrettably, I will have to decline your invitation to the Chinese community event which you are hosting on Thursday 7 June at the Epping club.
Due to the fact that I am in full time employment, the 3.30 for 4.00 pm start time is most unsuitable as it will mean time off work. If I were to take time off work, the unfortunate situation with Work Choices means that I could face dismissal. However, I am sure that you may already be aware of this fact when selecting the time for your function.

You will also be glad to note, that had I been able to attend, I would not require the services of an interpreter thanks to the great public school education which I had received under the Labor Government.

Although, I may need help interpreting the Australian Values which you appear to strongly advocate, as the “strong family values” of the Chinese community might somehow be different. But seeing as how I won’t be able to make it, perhaps we can hold off this discussion till next time. Maybe after the next election?
Yours sincerely,

L.N. Vong

Yes, I did fax it in and I'm sure one of his lackeys read it, scrunched it up and threw it out. My manager actually said that she'll give me the time off work to tell him personally!! How cool is she?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thanks for the inspiration

This weekend, some knitterly (and new to knitting) friends went to Canberra for the Spinners and Weavers Guild's exhibition "Warped and Twisted". A detour through Bundanoon whilst looking for a bit of tea and scones (or elevensies? for the Brits) found us in the midst of Brigadoon. Whilst the rain fell steadily and available car spaces rapidily declined, we thought it best to leave Bundanoon for another visit. We're not quite sure what Brigadoon was all about as we saw a lot of people and not very much action. As one of the knitterly friends (CC) said, "I see no kilts nor hear any bagpipes". So instead we made our way to Collector to visit Lynwood cafe, perhaps the only place worthy of a mention from the "oh so trendy" foodie set of Sydney this side of the Great Dividing Range.

I can now recommend the Pork terrine, Country pate and the bangers and mash. All served with their famous chutney and relishes which you can purchase to take home. Just ensure that you do eat it and not leave it at the back of the cupboard. It would be an expensive bit of mould otherwise.

Onwards to Canberra, we made the necessary "wrong way, go back" tour to the CSIRO main office. However, Warped and Twisted was actually at the Discovery Centre part of the CSIRO which of course is also where Telstra Tower extends from.

I have in my posession, numerous old copies of Mon Tricot, the crochet and knitting magazine of the days prior to Interweave Knits and the modern Vogue Knitting. Needless to say, the weaving projects in Mon Tricot were these ghastly looking rag rug type concoctions. So I never really understood why people like weaving so much. In particular, when it appears that the most they can get out of the craft is a scarf or a rug. The exhibition has really opened my eyes (okay, I won't go as far as to say, endless opportunities) to all the alternatives and creativeness of weaving.

There were also some knitted garments, some beautiful pieces and some rather boring pieces which looked like they were knitted from a 1980s Women's Weekly freebie pattern of the week.

They also had a shop downstairs which I was quite keen to check out but was rather disappointed with. There were garments for sale which were actually quite nice. But for someone with the attidude of "I can make that myself", I would have liked to see more handspun wool for sale, or raw materials. The wool that were there were rather uninspiring and looked like it had been put together by someone wanting to get rid of their odds and ends.

Whilst not totally inspired by this exhibition, the whole trip itself was really fun. Which I guess, brings me to the title of this post. You know how sometimes, there are times when you meet someone and you think, wow, we are so alike? Well I've actually been fortunate enough to meet two such people so far. First is Katie and the other being CC. Both people I met through work. Katie, when I was working for a software company and CC when I was working for a publishing company. I guess the common ground between all three of us is that we all like handicrafts and we all not only like to try new things but is not afraid to do so. But sometimes, I believe that the similarities stretch further than than this. Sometimes, in conversation with either Katie or CC, I'm constantly saying "me too, me too" whenever we talk about what we would do or how we feel about certain things. For example, CC was talking about flitting from one hobby to another and how I would think, that is so ME!

However, in my everyday life, I am a person who finds inspiration in "one line". What do I mean by this? Here are some examples:

1. This blog. I started this blog a few years ago just to store my random ramblings. However, Katie and I caught the same plane back from Melbourne once and she was telling me about her knitting blog. Now this has turned into a random rambling/knitting blog.

2. A uni friend Jenny once said to me "You don't need to eat everything off your plate". I thought, you're right! I instantly shed about 5 kg.

3. I saw another uni friend - Jill - once at a party after not seeing her for a while. She looked particularly good. I asked her what she was doing. Apparently swimming! So every second day, I went swimming. Instant 5kg loss.

4. I joined Weight Watchers after reading Julie talking about it on her blog. I've lost just under 8kg and am loving my meetings.

5. My friend Helen said that she goes running at night time around Marrickville as her exercise routine. Now I've just completed the Couch to 5K running program which I have been doing at around 9pm.

It might sound like I've lost a lot of weight going by all that inspiration and motivation. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. The problem I found, is staying power. I can only do one thing for a certain amount of time, and then I lose interest or maybe motivation. I'm not sure. But with people like CC and Katie out there, I'm sure it won't be long before my mind is occupied with something else.

So although I do possess my own mind and can think of some new ideas, I thought it would be a good opportunity to acknowledge all those people who may or may not have consciously passed on a "one liner" to me.

So who inspires you?