Me and Italian weightlifting Giulia Imperio at the OWF International Elite Tournament. She is so smol!! A LOT of people came out to watch her compete. She snatched 80kg and clean and jerked 100kg. Was cool to see in real life instead of on Instagram.

Our June #SMAJ was going to a footy event called Dynamic Dees. I could get my picture taken with some of the players (that’s Caleb Windsor, Jake Lever, and Kozzy Pickett) and then they just talked about Melbourne stuff and answered questions. It was fun although some of the people there were like… REALLY into football. And I ordered a cob loaf that ended up being just a plain loaf of bread and that was a bit disappointing. Still have never had a cob loaf with dip.

It was really cold for a couple weeks. It makes me feel like I’m dead. Getting out of bed when it’s 8 degrees in the bedroom is not pleasant.

I started following these energy efficiency ladies on Instagram (@jenlishfixitchicks) and they suggested bubble glazing (sticking bubble wrap on the windows). The bedroom windows don’t look out on to anything so I thought I’d give it a try. I think it’s helped cut down on drafts and condensation on the windows, but it’s still very cold.

Gav and Aura came over to play Wingspan and Gav’s favourite game: Brass Birmingham. Scott and I tried our best, and it was okay playing it with their help, but it was pretty hard to get the hang of.

On King’s Birthday we went to Eat Pierogi Make Love to eat unlimited pierogies. They were fantastic. We were able to order mixed plates, with either vegan sour cream or regular so I got to try everything and minimise the lactose, which was great. I had 18 pierogies and the outside world started to slow down.

Nankeen Night Heron.
Female Flame Robin.
A whoooole lot of ibis (Straw Necked and Australian White).

The last Birdlife Photography outing was a bit closer to home, Dandenong Valley Wetland and Jells Park. We always seem to see lots of birds in the morning, and then not many in the after lunch spot. I spent a lot of time answering questions about Christmas Island.

I had grand plans of knitting a bird blanket, maybe selling patterns for different birds. I designed quite a few little birds using my cross stitch pattern software and this was my first prototype, a pink robin. I used a sort of combined intarsia/fair isle technique. It turned out ok but tbh it’s not that enjoyable to knit with tons of tangled balls of yarn and the whole thing gave me a lot of anxiety. Plus there are so many ends to sew in. I don’t know if I’ll bother making more.

Scott continues to crush it at crochet. He made April this Pusheen. She loved it!

Rosemarie mailed me some Trader Joe’s ube mochi pancake mix for my birthday. Delicious! Especially topped with homemade cookie dough ice cream for an extremely decadent breakfast.

I made a carrot cake to bring to Boronia for Pat and Jemma’s birthday lunch. I didn’t think I like carrot cake, but now I do. Although next time I would leave the pineapple out, or maybe blend it up so it doesn’t have chunks.

Unpictured things:

  • Scott and I did one quick go kart race with my voucher. They have new karts and I actually had to use the brakes this time! I also spun out almost immediately, hahaha. We did the worst in our group but I beat Scott and that’s all that matters. :D Afterwards we dropped by Maz’s house to sit under their kotatsu for a while and chat and eat snacks.
  • Gav organised for a whole bunch of Phoenix people to go out for unlimited Korean BBQ. So much meat. Some of the people there were like PRO kbbqers. We… were not. But it was still very fun. I ate a lot but felt less terrible than after AYCE pierogies.
  • We started getting fruit and veg deliveries of rejected food. It’s been fun so far. It seems like a lot of the produce gets rejected because it’s too small or too large, but is still in perfect condition. We’ve managed to keep up with eating it all except the oranges are starting to pile up. I’ve never eaten many normal oranges. If you have any suggestions other than just cutting them up into wedges, let me know.

Sonika ran a board game fundraiser where they had a gigantic library of games to play at a pub, and they did a massive raffle with tons of great prizes. Our friend Sally got her ticket pulled first and she got a brand new copy of Wyrmspan. We didn’t get picked until quite close to the end but still got a cute looking game called Scribbly Gum, which I just realised we still haven’t actually played. We played Pollen and Potion Explosion with Sally which was lovely, before heading off to the MCG to watch Melbourne v Geelong. We sat right behind the goals and it was a very fun game.

Remember that weekend where everyone in in the whole world saw the aurora? I’d already gone to bed but was getting massive FOMO from everyone’s pictures on Instagram. Good thing Scott is always up for anything including getting bundled up and going for a drive in the middle of the night. It didn’t really look like anything in real life where we were though. I only happened to see on my camera screen that something was changing and took a few pictures that caught that pink smudge before it disappeared again.

We bought a cabinet thing for the kitchen off FB Marketplace which ended up taking up a whole day and tons of gas because of (my) stupid errors. Also the guy thought that Scott was my dad HAHAHAHA. The cabinet is good though.

OK here is a bunch of knitting that I finished:

Petricor sweater. I really like stranded colourwork! It keeps things interesting, plus it forced me to learn how to knit continental style, which I actually like better now. There are some tension issues… oh well.

Giant Musselburgh hat for Scott. Turned out pretty good. I think I’m over variegated yarn though. It never works out the way I think it will.

The pompom I ordered off aliexpress arrived so I was finally able to finish the vaguely Melbourne Demons hat I started ages ago. Fluffy!

Scott made these. Bluey and Bingo, just like me and Rosemarie. :)

Unpictured Stuff:

  • Nothing too exciting… went to the movies (The Fall Guy… action… not my thing), Mothers Day lunch, trivia…
  • I brought half of Phoenix to pickleball and then we went out for hotpot afterwards. A great evening other than I fell over and twisted my ankle medium bad.
  • May #SMAJ was something different… Scott got us a wooden model perpetual motion ball run thingy to put together. Which resulted in moderate bickering and then me doing most of it by myself. It is pretty cool though.
  • I went to Christmas Island! Obv this is going to require its own posts.

Feels like ancient history at this point but here we go…

Jen had a birthday party in Bis’s common room where we all got to make our own books! She brought tons of supplies and helped us put them together. Very cool activity. We also played games and had a baked potato bar, and tried all sorts of crazy Kit Kats.

Ben & Jerry’s free cone day. Only had to wait 2 minutes in line too. I quite like their vegan cookie dough ice cream.

Jess told us about this art exhibit called DISH at Boroondara Town Hall. It was pretty neat! Scott appreciated the crochet stuff now that he knows how it’s done. There was a bunch of ceramic foods as well. We liked the banh mi the most.

Rally + Crafternoon combo day.

(This is what I was working on.) A gigantic beanie. It’s extremely warm because the band is like 4 layers of 8-ply wool. Scott has been using it inside the house. :P

I was a bit apprehensive about our April #SMAJ because it was in the exact same place that we’d gone for a previous SMAJ that was a bit meh. But this one was better. You basically just watched a BBC documentary about animals from all around the world on all the screens all over the place. Then we did the photobooth and got burgers for dinner.

Michael and Gina had us over for a delicious noodle dinner and to play Inis, Michael’s new favourite game. I found it a bit confusing, but we mostly got it by the end. Gina won twice. :D

Big Salad, and doughnuts from an appreciative patient. Balance.

Unpictured Stuff:

  • I competed in the Victorian Masters Championships. My first actual Masters competition. I didn’t have the best snatch day (45x/46/49x) and STILL couldn’t get a 60kg clean and jerk (56/59/61x) but at least I did 59kg which is technically a comp PB. I dunno. Weightlifting is annoying sometimes. Anyway I still got a silver medal (there were only two people in my category). Pretty much everyone there got a medal. I don’t have plans to compete again until the end of the year.
  • We went to a different brand of trivia one night with a couple of Scott’s friends, and even though there were approx 50 teams there, we won!
  • We started playing pickleball twice a week. There’s a new session that started up on Thursday nights that is all levels so we’ve brought tons of friends to come try. It’s been fun.

Jemma invited us to go to the roller rink with her family. It was the first time I’ve been on rollerblades since I was about 12 years old I think. It was fun! I didn’t fall at all. Myles was so funny on his rollerskates… he is very brave, but doesn’t glide much. Instead he sort of runs, quite fast, in a perpetual state of Almost Falling Down. He did fall down about 9000 times but he just gets right back up and keeps going. He was a sweaty little boy.

Another Birdlife photography outing. This time we went to three different spots in Altona, and Scott came too! It was a good photography day for once. We saw lots of birds, including quite a few new birds, and the lighting conditions were great so I actually got some good pictures. A pleasant day overall.

Black-shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite and some mouse guts.
Golden-headed Cisticola
Little Pied Cormorant

We also saw a big Tiger Snake. Snek.

Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG. We won. Fun game. I love getting cheap General Admission tickets and sitting up close around the goals.

We went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Luzia. I really enjoyed it!!! It was just a lot of fun. My favourite part was the contortionist. That guy is so flexible!!!!!!!

We didn’t go anywhere for Easter but it was still an excellent weekend. Cirque du Soleil, many many games of Everdell, a family lunch with all of the nephews, Jen’s birthday gathering. And no traffic!

I finally stopped playing Stardew Valley and got back to work on my Petricor sweater. I just had to finish the second sleeve, so I bundled it up into a ball to make it easier to turn all the time.

We went out for Malaysian food to celebrate Scott finally getting a job. The restaurant was a bit strange but the food was great. We also had pickles and Hainanese chicken and rice. Funny story though, Scott ended up accepting a second job and quitting the first one after six days of work. Awkward but a good result. He is now fully employed and seems to be enjoying the new role. Scotty Two Jobby is now Scotty One Jobby.

Unpictured things:

  • I competed in the VWA Open #1 at Phoenix. I did kind of meh. I snatched 50kg, which is pretty good I guess, but then I only clean and jerked 56kg, which was disappointing. I’ve clean and jerked 60kg in the gym a couple times but have yet to pull it off in a competition. I was feeling strong and ready but didn’t execute. I was so frustrated afterwards.
  • Bis had everyone over on a really hot day to play games. I asked what time he wanted us to come over and he said 10:00AM!!! We played a game of Welcome To (it really is a good game for slightly larger groups, thank you Lesley for the recommendation) and then they were going to play a new game called Approaching Dawn: The Witching Hour, that could only have 6 players so Jen and I elected to just lie on the couches instead. I think we made the right choice because the game sounded painful. It took so long we had to leave after that. Even though I barely played any games and Scott got stuck playing a very long not-really-that-fun game it was still a good day because we could blast the AC in the common room as much as we wanted and I didn’t have to do chores.
  • Our March #SMAJ was a throwing lesson with instructor Scott. Because I don’t know how to throw properly. He did a good job, he had all sorts of drills written down. I didn’t know how to place my feet properly or anything. The next day I was quite sore through the side of my ribs haha. I guess I don’t do very many twisty exercises.

So late. Oops.

January 2024

Scott’s school friend Jono came to visit and they got the whole gang back together. This picture makes me laugh because Scott looks so short.

Jono’s daughter really like the budgie that Scott crocheted for her.

Our January #SMAJ was going out for dinner and watching a drone show put on by the Aquarium in the city. I don’t know how well you can see it in the picture but they made different shapes like penguins and sharks and stuff that moved up and down the Yarra. It was kinda neat, although short.

And then (vegan) ice cream on the way home. I like Piccolina vegan pistachio ice cream because it’s actually a bit creamy, rather than most of the other dairy free options around here which are just fruity sorbets.

For the Australia Day long weekend I went to the Phoenix BBQ and then headed straight from there to meet my friends in Phillip Island where we just played games and ate food for the entire weekend. It was extremely chill and nice.

Still going to trivia about once a month. We had a really good run where we kept winning and didn’t have to pay for our dinners for quite a while. The venue is very cold though haha. Can’t believe Scott wouldn’t give me his sweatshirt.

Unpictured things:

  • This year was a Small Christmas, but Jess and family came to visit in early January so we did the whole Christmas again with them. Actually it might have been bigger than actual Christmas. I enjoyed making friendship bracelets with Ava. I did not enjoy having to go to work the next day.

February 2024

I organised this Big Day where I got to eat a delicious Cubano sandwich for lunch, then go to a crafternoon with my friends all afternoon. Then Scott came and met me and we shared a vegan banh mi pizza, then went to pickleball, and then got vegan ice cream on the way home. FUN!!

More Palestine rallying with Pitty and Rob. I enjoyed this poster.

We were lucky to be invited to Doreen’s house for Lunar New Year. It was SO DELICIOUS. We did that tossing salad thing for luck (the higher you toss the better!) and her husband and friends made an amazing spread. My favourite was a Singaporean dish they called Carrot Cake which is like taking the turnip cakes from dimsum and stir frying them with eggs and sauce, making it even more delicious. There was also pork belly, wings, noodles, bao, desserts, and a million other tasty things. I am so spoiled.

I went on a Birdlife photography outing to The Basin. We didn’t see that many birds but the Nankeen Night Heron was a new one for me.

We went to Kathy and Mischa’s to have dinner and play games. It was the first time we’ve seen their house that they’ve been building. It’s really nice! They made delicious homemade ravioli for dinner and we played two games: Portrayal, a game that someone has to describe a picture really fast and everyone else has to draw it, and Welcome To. Kathy was a pro urban planner.

February #SMAJ was going out for peking duck on a very very hot day. Was tasty. I made Scott reenact this gif which made me cry-laugh.

I went to the button shop and a 90-year old salesman helped me pick these buttons for my cardigan. It took a long time. He kept rejecting all the ones I pulled out and he moved verrrrrrrrry slowly. However, in the end, I think we made a nice decision.

Unpictured things:

  • We played pickleball at like 4 new locations. Every location has its pros and cons. Location, parking, temperature, scary ceiling fans, confusing floor markings, weird people, etc. Luckily pickleball is really growing here and new venues are popping up all the time, including one extremely close to our house.
  • Scott did about 15 interviews for different jobs. Things really picked up a lot once the holidays were over.