Good manners

This US election cycle has been depressing. One of the more depressing things is the constant refrain from one side that they are sick of “political correctness”.  That’s some upset privilege talking. Political correctness needs to be rephrased as what it is- modern good manners.

Oh, member of a group (an identifiable group) you would prefer we don’t use a pejorative name for that group! That’s reasonable and good manners. 

Oh, we would like active consent before engaging in sex and sex-related activities! That is simply good manners.  

Both genders should receive equal opportunities and there shouldn’t be any bias.  I don’t what to call it but good manners.

So now when I hear people say that they don’t believe in political correctness and they want to be un-PC, I am going to mentally replace that with manners and rudeness. ” I don’t believe in political correctness ” becomes I don’t believe in good manners” and I am un-PC” becomes ” I am rude”.  It doesn’t sound so good then does it, but that is what they mean! 

Distracted and distractions

Oh, it has been a while.  I have spent the last few months being quite distracted.  I know I have posted during that time, but distracted none the less.  And I have been looking for things to distract me from a reasonably unhappy state. And there have been many.

We played Pokemon Go

So many people at night in South Brisbane! And so many Pokemon (not pictured)

I drank decadent hot chocolate


And we went to an exhibition of clothes from the Miss Fisher murder mysteries tv show.  I like the books and the show.  On the day we went they were having a garden party event as well


We walked along the river

We also went to the Ekka- the royal national exhibition, which is essentially the state fair.

For the first time they used the old Queensland museum, which was an original exhibition building

We also went to Greazefest and looked at old cars

We went to Melbourne to see a degas exhibition 

We enjoyed coffee and cake, wine and o thee food


We made an epic mountain cake

We went to Comic Con- no pictures because it wasn’t great!

I went to a Cindy Sherman exhibition

We watched fireworks

This weekend I went to a craft show and volunteered at Fort Lytton for one day of Brisbane open house

So a lot of busy time. I need a vacation!

On track?

Not sure what happened, but I haven’t blogged for a while. I have been doing something with my time. If you follow me on Instagram (all 2 people who fit in that crossover) you may have noticed this.

At the beginning of September I started tracking my making of projects. Not anything huge, I just am making an effort to spend at least 10 minutes everyday making something, being creative.  Mostly this has been a crochet blanket, but it has also meant the Black Forest trifle, a rag rug and an assortment of paper projects from a magazine. I have been taking pictures and tagging them as #10minutes of making. Which, strangely, was not already taken.  

I seem to be building a good habit, except that I didn’t yesterday.  But I thought that I probably wouldn’t- we went to dinner at a friend’s in the evening and in order to build up his strength G spent most of the day sleeping- he has been sick and is still lacking stamina.  

It is very helpful to track this, and to try to create the ongoing habit.


I made a Black Forest trifle for a 70s themed lunch.  I decided on that after perusing various 70s recipes and realising that I don’t like  a lot of food from that era, and don’t know how to make a lot of it.  But a trifle based on a cake popular then- can do.  There are a lot of recipes on the Internet, but not a lot of consistency. 

 So I made it up.  I bought a lot of the elements pre made, because it was easier, but they could be made.

I started with a chocolate Swiss roll, from the supermarket.  I think a chocolate sponge would also work, but there were no plain sponges at the supermarket.  One recipe I saw suggested brownies.  The cake was cur into slices, and covered with some cherry jam.

I then put some bottled morello cherries, some of the syrup from the cherries and some cherry liquor in a saucepan with a little bit of sugar and boiled it, to try and make a thicker cherry section. It didn’t thicken, but it boiled away a lot of the alcohol.  Next time I might try kirsch (we used heering cherry liquor).

I then put the cherries on top of the cake

For the custard I wanted chocolate custard, but didn’t want to make it from scratch. So we bought ready made custard, the nice local farm brand!  I put that on the stove on a low heat, and while it was heating I melted some dark chocolate (a large bar so probably 180-200 grams) and then whisked it into the custard. It was a little bitter, but the rest of the trifle was so sweet, it worked and by the next day didn’t taste as bitter.

I then chopped up some milk chocolate and scattered it on the custard with some more cherries. If you do this, warn people before they eat that there are chocolate chunks in there, otherwise they think it is a cherry stone.

I put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning I whipped some cream and covered it with grated milk chocolate.

It was delicious- this may be a go to Christmas dessert now.  Very chocolatey.  

Bits and pieces

A mixed bag of things.

  • I was really sick last Thursday and Friday.  My boss told me to go home on Thursday.   I don’t get sick that often, so it was hard.  I cancelled our Saturday activities, but then woke up feeling good on Saturday.
  • The fun run on Sunday? Was really good.  The course was completely changed this year, and as a result, was a lot more fun and easier for me to complete. So it was pretty good, despite the lack of preparation and the illness.
  • The cake did not get eaten. “Couldn’t be bothered”. So it went in the rubbish.  :-( 
  • Work is going through some changes, the larger company needs to tighten its belt. While this is good in some ways, it is stressful, and some of the more entitled managers/areas are having issues.
  • I am going to try to make a Black Forest trifle for a thing on Saturday. So basically a trifle made with Black Forest cake components. Going to be interesting.
  • Parliament reconvenes tomorrow. This means that my work will get more interesting. 

Not that much interesting happening, this is probably a good thing.

Microblog Monday – crafty thoughts

I went to the craft fair this weekend.  G came along as well, but was too tired to last long. So I was by myself for a while.  I went to two presentations that made me think.  The first was a show about repurposing and mending to create vintage looks.  It was about how people didn’t used to have a lot of clothes, and there were tricks to stretch the use and update looks.  An interesting meditation on how wasteful fast fashion is.

The second was a class on “boro boro” stitching.  This is a Japanese concept, basically sewing together scraps of cloth with running stich to create padded and quilted clothing out of remnants of cloth. Another way to reuse old things.  It was a rural technique that went dcidely out of fashion as modern clothes became available and there isn’t much left.  There was a small exhibit of boro boro pieces at the show, and I took a class to make some coasters in that style.  Yes I am aware of the irony there, that someone has cut up scraps deliberately,  but it is a useful technique for using the little fabric scraps that accrue.

And this has made me think about my crafting in general.  In the last few years I have been trying to make things that are at least somewhat functional- turning stitched pieces into pincushions, or coasters etc.  I still have a lot of kits to make cross stitched pictures, but I would like to think about alternative uses.

The other thing I did this weekend was finish off a Mollie makes cover kit.  It was a tiny weaving kit.  It was interesting to complete, but I can’t help feeling it is a bit useless.

I have nowhere to hang it, I don’t actually like wall hangings much and well why? I can kind of understand having these sorts of kits around so the idea of weaving is not lost (because at some point civilisation is going to need to know this) but I am not going to be weaving anything useful any time soon.

And so much of crafting seems to be of this type- a useful technique used in a way that seems incredibly wasteful and indulgent.

Hmm, not so micro!

Insert swear word here

Dear government agency,

When I complained last year about the decision to no longer offer opening hours outside 8:30-4:30 weekdays ( the time many taxpayers such as myself are working) you told me that this was because your digital was superior.  It’s not.  It can’t cope with the complex claims I used to take in to the office. I don’t care about the simple claims, those are easy.


And after a conversation about this with the feedback hotline, it’s because your phone app (only available to those in the population with smartphones)does. Nowhere on the website is this indicated. Possibly because your Comms people are smart enough to know this is not a good indicator of how you view your clientele- either they are free enough during the week to go in in person (not adequately employed) or they have enough money to have a smart phone.

Still a cranky customer.


Things I like about traveling

  • On an airplane, once it has taken off, looking down at the land.
  • On an airplane, just sitting in my chair and chilling out, it’s a chance to just relax
  • Travelling by train
  • The chance to walk around a neighbourhood, looking at the supermarket and the daily living things. Seeing how universal some things are, and how many meetings other universal needs can differ.  Last year in the USA we had the opportunity to do this in New York and Chicago (a point for air BnB) and also in Northampton. This year we did the same in Tokyo, and to some degree in Kyoto and Osaka. Supermarkets in other countries are always different in surprising ways.
  • Spending time in a cafe, reading a book
  • Sharing something new with my husband
  • Being able to show whoever I am travelling with (usually my husband) something I liked/thought was good
  • Trying new food
  • Going to art museums
  • Going to history museums/social history museums
  • Going to outdoor building museums
  • Walking outside, especially in environments that don’t exist in Australia!
  • Shopping for crafty stuff
  • Food/drink I can’t get at home
  • Onsens
  • Riding on trains, looking at the city
  • Participating in local events
  • Watching baseball
  • Disney!
  • Overseas home stores/electronics shops. Furniture and white goods vary by country.
  • Planning the trip
  • Unplanned moments of serendipity
  • Getting to the airport early enough to have a coffee and relax, starting the trip in a mellow frame of mind
  • Leaving home
  • Coming home

Things I don’t like about traveling

  • Going through security and passport control at the airport
  • Checking in for the flight
  • Waiting for luggage to arrive
  • Wearing the same clothes I wore on the plane
  • Take off and landing
  • Airplane bathrooms
  • Tourist/backpacker bars
  • Trying to catch specific train links
  • Travelling by bus.
  • Travelling a long time on overcrowded trains (20 minutes max)
  • Bad food where there is no other option
  • Going over the weight limit 
  • More than a limited period of time in Akihabara/electronic stores.  I don’t have a specific known time limit, but I know it isn’t as long as my husband’s. 
  • Places with no public seating (looking at you Japan)
  • Not eating lunch/breakfast on time.  This means cranky.
  • Booking hotels on the phone. 
  • Almost missing a flight through no fault of your own but because traffic/trains/buses broke down
  • Running through an airport
  • Lost luggage
  • Long and slow check-in queues

I would like to add pictures for these…

Cafe, new food (ice cream in those macaroons), time with my husband
Cafe, new food (ice cream in those macaroons), time with my husband
Fireworks in Japan
Fireworks in Japan
River festival in rocky
River festival in rocky
New food in a cafe in Ueno
New food in a cafe in Ueno
Asakusa Temple forecourt
Asakusa Temple forecourt
The street crowds watching fireworks in Tokyo.
The street crowds watching fireworks in Tokyo.
At the handmade festival
At the handmade festival
Art museum in Hakone
Art museum in Hakone
More Hakone art
More Hakone art

Microblog Monday…

I have these thoughts, but when I sit to write my blog posts they are gone.

So random statuses.

I went back to work mid-last week. Very tiring the first few days, but movement helped.  I did discover walking around the block at work was too far for me.

G has been sick since I was in the hospital- a double whammy of pneumonia and the flu.  Plus a newly discovered allergy to dust mites.  So it’s been interesting- I can’t do much and he can’t do much either.

Lots and lots of sleeping happening.

I did watch the first half of friends the first season.  Was the original actress playing Ross’s ex-wife replaced?  I think I see the appeal now- young single adults in the city- in a way I didn’t quite get my first years of Uni.

I also finished a small cross stitch project and worked on one of my rag rugs.

Things I wish I had done before my surgery

Some thoughts

1. Taken a belly selfie.  One of the side effects is some swelling/ bloating.  I can’t tell what is last few years weight gain and what is surgery puffery.  Plus I could have done a whole series of belly selfies on FB!

2. Done a temporary tattoo of a dashed line and a little pair of scissors on my lower belly.  There’s a business opportunity there.

3. Dyed my map of tassie* a spectacular colour, or cut it in an amusing shape.  Given the number of people who saw it over the days at the hospital, it would have been entertaining.

Anything else I should have done?

* Australian slang for the patch of hair found in one’s nether regions.  I am trying to thwart certain search terms.