The flooring got done! You’ll see a bit here, but I think I’ll save the actual pictures for its own post.
Breakfast of champions: Chiko roll (like a giant Australian spring roll) that Scott chucked in his parents air fryer for me before I got up, tropical juice with creatine, magensium and Telfast. Lol.
This is just like the cottage photo album… mom often took pictures while Rosemarie or I were actually doing work so it looks like we did everything.
We managed to get the baseboards painted in one weekend and then we were finally able to put our furniture and stuff back to normal. Felt great.
Snooping on the auction next door. It ended up getting passed in but it’s sold now and we have neighbours again.
We hosted Mothers Day brunch at our house. Terrible picture but it was a feast. Especially because we incorrectly thought Brett’s family was coming, so we had tons of extra food. We made cinnamon buns, bacon, a hashbrown egg casserole thing, and fruit.
Then MEP and Paul arrived! They stayed with us off and on in between various side trips to Sydney, Great Ocean Road, and the Rotary conference.
I took a day off work and we went to the new spa on the Mornington Peninsula, and then had Red Gum BBQ for lunch. A pretty good way to spend a wintery Melbourne day.
We went to Philip Island one weekend, which I will make into its own post as well.
Met up with some more distant family for a meal at China Red. I think everyone enjoyed the Melbourne dumpling experience. We got to order on a touch screen!
Of course we played games. We taught them Wingspan, Azul, and Agricola. I had been weary to teach people Agricola for a while but actually it was totally fine and they picked it up quickly.
Post-pickleball tourist stop at the Brighton Beach Boxes. We were not dressed properly. I think a group photo exists, but I do not have it.
I think they had a nice time however I don’t think they liked the temperature of our house, haha.
Finished a pair of Halfsies socks. They work up pretty quickly! However they’re not super comfortable tbh. Inside socks, I guess.
I poisoned myself with a soy milk bubble tea. I think I can add soy milk to the list of things that give me hayfever mouth and face symptoms (along with raw apples, carrots, stone fruits.)
We used to have this big crack in our living room ceiling, and the whole ceiling was sagging down quite a bit. Apparently the drywall was too old and damaged to push back up any more so Scott arranged for some plasterers to come and replace the whole ceiling in the living room area right before Easter. The plan was to buckle down and get tons of painting done over the long weekend after the ceiling was fixed up.
Unfortunately once they pulled the old plaster down they found that the ceiling joists were all coming apart. Some of them were only held on by the last centimeter of nail. Terrifying.
So the plasterers left and we had to find someone to help us push our ceiling back together whilst living in an extremely drafty, dirty, scary house. Thankfully Serge, our bathroom builder, was free on Easter Monday and thankfully the beams were able to bend back into the right place. Finally the plasterers came back and finished the job the following week.
After that whole ceiling debacle it felt like we spent every single spare moment of the rest of the month catching up on painting. I did a lot of the prep and cutting in, Scott did all of the rolling, including the living room ceiling, which took I think 4 coats all together and nearly killed him.
It was not the best time.. but we were trying to finish before the flooring people were booked to come.
Grey hair or paint? Who can tell?
The trim was the worst part. Hopefully it doesn’t all peel off.
We managed to get everything done in time. Well we still have to do the bedrooms. But all the main areas are done.
Still managed to fit in lots of knitting time. So many WIP pictures… but no pictures of the finished pieces. Will work on that.
Takeaway momo meal from Momo Shop in Hughesdale. Everything was delicious!!! We had four different types of momos (brisket, pork, chicken, and mushroom) and a really tasty side salad (sprouts and fermented greens). Would totally order this again.
Finally it was time for the flooring people to come. We moved all the furniture into the garage and bedrooms, and then headed out to Boronia for a few nights at Hotel Jorna.
Still keeping up with the usual stuff like knitting club, pickleball, trivia.
We went out for a friends birthday dinner at B’Churrasco, one of those Brazillian restaurants with unlimited meat. It was overwhelming, fun, and pretty delicious. I definitely had enough protein that night.
Met up with old work friends for dinner and comedy. We saw Wil Anderson. He talks very fast! We got good value out of our tickets, haha.
I started going to the local knitting club at the library on Wednesdays. Wednesdays are my day off and the house was full of builders so I was trying to find ways to kill time outside the house. Knitting club is great. I’m not even the youngest one! There is a mix of ages and everyone is extremely nice. It’s also cool to talk to people that are extremely local and know all the stuff that is going on in the neighbourhood.
One of my coworkers moved to England so we had a good bye dinner for her at Pizza Religion. It was good. Funny, no one wanted to try my vegan cheese pizza…
Scott and I went up to Bendigo for a day to go to the Lost Trades Fair with some Discord friends. The fair was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!!!! I don’t think we even saw everything. There was blacksmithing, wagon wheel making, wood turning, rocking chair making, weaving, watch making, lots more… all sorts of stuff. It was pretty cool. We didn’t end up buying anything from there, although I was tempted by a forged metal bottle opener.
We did buy stuff from Bendigo Woolen Mills though!! Scott got wool to make his crochet cardigan, which he is nearly finished now, and I got wool to match the speckly orange-red wool I bought during lockdown to make a knitted cardigan some day.
The bathroom and laundry renos wrapped up. We had to spend a few nights in Boronia while they re-did the toilet, and had some minor dramas with a faulty laundry mixer tap. The painter came. And then done! I’ll post some before and after shots in a separate post.
Scott had a blood donation appointment in the city with free parking during Moomba, and I had just seen a targeted Instagram ad that said there was dairy-free soft serve vendor so I hopped in the car and went with him. I power-walked and people-dodged and got a cup of mango soft serve. It was nice! Especially for dairy-free!
Finished the infuriating socks. 1. They are too small once I stand up. I didn’t realise how much bigger your feet get when you stand up. 2. The colour changes!! I don’t mind the line on the right foot, because that’s just how the pattern works when you knit around the heel and then rejoin to the ankle part. But the left foot line is just because the yarn decided to suddenly change colour with no gradient!! WHY!!! All the other colour changes are nice and gradual. So it really annoys me that there is another harsh line at a different spot, and why did the entire foot part end up being boring grey. Argh.
If anyone is approximately size 7-7.5 womens.. you can have these.
I helped out at a special weightlifting comp. Not sure why I am grinning so much in this picture, maybe because Michael forgot what my name is during introductions and I was extremely uncomfortable.
My job was Loaders Assistant. Or World’s Laziest Loader. Basically George was extremely stressed out about being able to load fast enough (they were trying to make it a fast-paced competition) and wanted me to use the app and tell them what plates they were going to have to put on next and double check that they were doing everything right. I think I was helpful.
It was cool to see some high quality international lifting from up close. I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone lift over 200kg in real life before. And the Samoan team did a fun screamy shouty war dance thingy that was awesome! So many abs!!
Bis had us over for wood-fire pizza and relaxed games. I made myself a mostly cheeseless pizza (I did put a bit of parmesan) and got taught how to cook it myself. Yum!! My second one was a bit more burnt. We played a bit of Project L, a simple puzzle-y type game.
Couple more tasty meals. Swedish meatballs and quick pickle cucumber. And miso glazed roasted eggplant, with soba and smashed cucumber from Recipe Tin Eats cookbook.
Pickleball pretty much every Sunday. I am improving!!
Holiday planning with MEP and Paul. They are coming in May. Love having visitors!!
We got our car back, with a fresh new radiator and bumper.
We picked out flooring for the house. Next we paint, then get the floors done. Then done!
The main event in February was the start of our renovations. I thought it was very interesting to see the guts of our house. Note the complete lack of insulation!
We were pretty lucky to only have a few hiccups. The biggest one was that after they laid the new tile in the toilet I realised I hated it. To me it looked dirty and water stained… except it wasn’t. After a lot of anguish we decided to make them rip it up and switch it for a different tile. Thankfully they had only tiled that small section, the tile store took the ugly tile back (minus a %), the designer helped me pick a better one, and Serge didn’t end up charging us anything extra. They did end up accidentally breaking the new toilet while taking it back up because it had been so well silicon’d to the floor, so I had to buy another base… but ah well. I am muuuuuch happier with the new tile and am definitely glad we decided to switch it.
We had some success in the garden this summer. Lots of roma tomatoes, with less butt-rot than previous years. We also got a lot more Chinese eggplants than before, however they were quite small. Lebanese cucumber grew pretty well, and salad greens were all fine too. We did not have much success with zucchini this year and we don’t know why.
February #SMAJ was dinner at Parcs, a restaurant that ferments lots of stuff and makes their food out of scraps. It was pretty nice.
I went out for Filipino food with some Discord friends and was suuuper excited to order taho after having such delicious taho at Serai last year. However I should have not gone in with such high expectations because this one wasn’t nearly as good. Sigh. The fancy one made the tofu into a soft serve consistency which had great temperature contrast with the hot tapioca pearls. The cheaper (probably more typical!) one just had blobs of plain silken tofu and the whole thing was warm and kind of bland.
Recipe Tin Eats quick ramen from her cookbook, with marinated eggs. Was kinda proud of this meal!
Sock progress. These socks ended up making me quite angry. Will post the finished project later.
We finally got to have our car fixed after The Wombat Incident. The timing was terrible. We had to stay in an Airbnb for a few days because at one point we had no toilet, no car, and no train.
Thankfully I have a great coworker who ended up lending us his car that he wasn’t using so we could get around a bit again.
We’re not having great success negotiating our new EBA at work so we’ve had a few strikes. It was kind of fun getting people to honk their horns in support although I’m not really sure it accomplished anything.
Jess came to Melbourne for her 40th birthday. She had a ladies dinner out in the hills that was nice.. I shoulda got more dressed up.
Still training. Still trying to help with Phoenix… with the committee and helping out with competitions.
And it’s almost March… oops… life has been hectic lately.
As is now becoming tradition, we went to Walkerville for a night to hang out with the Marcus families. It was really lovely this year, the weather was amazing and the beach was in much nicer condition than last year. We always like spending some time with Bird Boy.
Happy New Year! There were some fireworks at the beach. I was hoping to try photographing the Aurora Australis, since we were pointing South and it had been going bonkers the couple nights before that, but unfortunately not that night. Aurora hunting is super tricky… it’s pretty random when it can happen and you don’t get any notice. Plus you need no clouds, darkness, be awake, and in the right spot with a Southern view.
Possibly our most pleasant “Polar Bear” Dip ever. The old limestone kiln at Walkerville South Beach makes it feel like you’re in Tulum or something! It was lovely.
Our Christmas presents to most of the nieces and nephews was a Splatball outing this year. I think everyone had a good time except April.. she found in a bit scary. We all got very sweaty and messy.
Our January #SMAJ activity was going to the Rone exhibit at Flinders Street Station. So apparently all the rooms above the train station had been sitting empty for ages. Rone decided to fix them up into a big immersive art exhibit. It was interesting.. lots of little bits of old things to look at. I think it would be a fun place to bring your grandma or something.
I went to Phillip Island for a weekend with a big group of friends. One of their families has an Airbnb that we got to use, for free! It was a really fun weekend, we played games, went to farmers market, went to the beach, cooked and ate all sorts of fun food, knitted, hung out. I had a really nice time.
Again I was keeping an eye on the aurora forecast, as we were pointing South, but it wasn’t active. Also the milky way is not as good in Australia in the summer so that was about the best picture that I got, just off the deck. I’ll try to be more organised this winter with the moon cycle.
The big thing that’s happening at the moment, and a big part of the reason why this blog post is so late, is that our renovations have started! There are some Before shots which we’ll use for comparison later. We’re getting the whole bathroom, toilet, and laundry room done, and a minor adjustment in the kitchen. Very exciting!
My delivery man, Pat. (Scott’s dad.) He helped me pick up a big load of stuff from the bathroom supply store to save us some money on delivery fees. Thanks Pat!!
We stored all the stuff in the corners of our living room. Box life.
Carpooling to Florim and Lora’s wedding. It was a very unique wedding experience for us. There were over 500 people there, the majority being Albanian. There was a live band of electric clarinet and singing that was VERY VERY VERY loud. There was A LOT of slow snail line dancing in the middle of the room. Very fancy and tight dresses. Lots of great food. Lots of money being given to the couple. Twas a bit intense. Eventually we just had to leave and the whole way back we just sat in the car in silence, with ringing ears. Fun but I wish I had earplugs and I wish I had worn something FANCY.
I found pickled turnip at Coles in Dandenong and we’ve been eating a ton of shawarma this summer. Another thing I miss from home that I can now recreate here. :)
Lactose-free rugelach using plant butter and lactose-free cream cheese. Turned out nice!
Many extremely sweaty training sessions. It’s been hot, and I’ve been doing a higher volume strength training block that has been making me sweat buckets. I hope it pays off.
I hurt my back at one point doing a very routine exercise and got horrible sciatica pain for a couple weeks. That was awful, I’ve never had nerve pain before. But I recovered from it more quickly than expected thankfully. I’m completely back to normal now. I hope it doesn’t happen again.
My committee member obligations have really ramped up this year. We’re trying to get more members to save the club from impending financial disaster We’ve got actual meetings and I’m in charge of fixing up the website at the moment.
Still knitting as much as possible. I love knitting. Somewhat unusual for me.. I am working on two projects at the same time. I’m still working on my second sweater, and now a pair of socks too. I’ve finished one sock and now past the heel on the second. Unfortunately they are too small for me! I have learned a lot.
As usual Scott is very busy with all of his sports. He’s been playing a lot of lawn bowls, hockey, running, garage gymming, and pickleball.
I asked Sophie to come out for dinner with me because Scott was being too healthy. We had laksa and a nice catch up.