Sunday, March 23, 2008

Running short

I feel like I've had so much time off!! First Christmas, then the extra two weeks, the few days between jobs and now a long long weekend! I feel like I've hardly worked at all! But this has been a pretty productive weekend. Firstly, two days in Goulburn with the parents and siblings and some friends. Apart from the showing the friends around town, we also explored some new territory. My mother goes to English classes at the local TAFE (she has been trying to "better" her English for years on and off) and has met a lot of friends there. Some of whom were originally from Thailand. One particular friend volunteers at the Sunnataram Forest Monastery which is in Bundanoon in the Southern Highlands. I'm not particularly religious but my mother is and she has wanted to go back for a while, so we took her and she packed the car full of vegies from the farm to donate to the monastery. It was absolutely beautiful out there. The monastery is set on 100 acres and the day we went, it was all misty and very spiritual. I liked how the people there were extremely welcoming. I found out that you can actually stay there for a few days for meditation, etc at no cost! This is so unlike a lot of Chinese Buddhist temples where I feel as if it's all about making money. When we arrived, they provided us with this fantastic Thai vegetarian lunch. One of our friends who were visiting with us is vegetarian, so she was happy.

We also went to visit the Goulburn Brewery which was having a market day. This place was another surprise find - so quaint! They still brew their own beer to sell on premises.

What my parents failed to tell me before I left Sydney on Saturday morning was how cold it had become in Goulburn. Considering I was still wearing a sleeveless top to work on Thursday, I didn't expect it to get so cold in the country (and being only 2 hours out of Sydney - how could the weather pattern be so different??). Luckily I brought my knitting along (but even that didn't keep me warm):

It's the lace ribbon scarf from the latest Knitty. I'm using the two skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight which my brother in law bought for me on their trip to Washington DC last year. In the picture, that is already one skein. The problem? It's going to be too short and so it's certainly not going to look like the one in Knitty and will not go around my neck several times. Oh well... I'm hoping that when I block it, I can squeeze an extra 10cm out of it.

At work, I've been feeling very productive. In my last post I said that I haven't worked so continuous in so long!! Well my knitting has been the same. Here are some FO's (okay - one of them is an old one but I finally sewed in the ends and blocked it so it can be worn!!). So here I present - the fruits of my recent labour:

Rusted Root by Zephyr Style in Cotton Fleece.

Lace panel

I finished Rusted Root quite a while ago but I keep losing my wool needle and never got around to sewing in the ends. I finally bought another set and ta-da - completed!

Completed - Jaywalkers

I recently went to the French Film festival with a couple of friends and I was frantically trying to finish Verity so that I can wear it and look the part. Unfortunately I'm really not that fast a knitter and couldn't finish this in one night. But I did manage to complete it over three days (including train and lunch time knitting). When I finished it, I realised that I actually look really bad in hats and now that I've cut my hair quite short, it looks even worse so I asked Lucille to model it for me.

Verity by Ysolda in some Bendigo Woolen Mills yarn (not sure what it is as there were no ball bands)

It still needs a button. I'll need to visit the one in The Rocks to pick a nice vintage-y one.

Seems like quite a busy weekend? But wait there's more. I also went to the Easter show with Katie and did our usual rounds of the Knitting competition, saw the dogs, alpacas, and mohair goats. Because I still felt like I had more energy to burn, I also went and did the Bay run (although we just walked it) this afternoon in the hope that the one hour walk will burn off all the chocolate and hot cross buns I've been stuffing myself with all weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Settling in

I haven't been to the Rubi and Lana knitting group for a while. Apparently at the last meeting, everyone asked Elaine how her new job was. There was a bit of an identity mix-up. But that can be understandable as even I have trouble identifying Asians.

So how is my new job going? I have one word for it - intense. I don't think I've worked so continuously for a long time. But I actually enjoy it. The research is the type I like to do - very specific requests. I have to say I'm not such a fan of vague research requests. An example of this is "Can you find me some information on the thingumy jig thing industry? A client of ours is interested in moving into this market". Ummmm.. it would be okay if the industry was the size of Rio Tinto, but trying to find information on something which perhaps two people in the world have an interest in? Very difficult, if not impossible. To top it off, for some bizarre reason, people who ask for these sorts of things can't take no for an answer. "But there must be something out there!!"

I think I've finally found my way around the office and more specifically to the office. Whilst the building I work in is quite a well known one in Sydney, the first couple of days, I was still getting lost trying to find it.

In my old job, to while away the lunch hour, I would spend time at a nearby cafe (and when extremely desperate for quiet - Starbucks) and knit. I've been trying to find a similar place where people won't stare (they do anyway) and it's away from the mad rush of lunch hour. So to my surprise (although you would think that growing up in Sydney - I'd know) I found out how close my new office is to the Botanical Gardens. What an absolute oasis in the city!! Armed with my skim latte and my Jaywalkers, I spent today's lunch hour in the rose garden. I'm happy now.

Second Jaywalker in progress

A sneak peak of the Harbour Bridge from the Botanical Gardens

Whilst getting back into the swing of things, I have started to increase my running again. Since moving into the new place with this killer hill, I have been rather slack with the running program. My walks to the train station every morning and most evenings (4km each way taking me about half an hour), has been giving me excuses not to go running. Seeing as I feel a bit more settled into the new job (another excuse again), I have started to increase the intensity of my runs (as in I've moved beyond week 3 of the Couch to 5K program). Tonight I did session 3 of week 5 (one long 20 minute run). Although I had previously completed the program, re-doing it again has been a bit of a killer. I don't actually have any goals in mind except to finish the program again although a few people I know are planning on doing the Sydney to Surf. I don't have such aspirations. I might enter and just walk it but who am I kidding? I have never been the athletic type and I don't really plan to start now!!