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.
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.
PBs: Snatch 47kg –> 48kg in comp, and 49kg in training. CJ 58kg –> 58kg, but I did 60kg one time in training. Back squat 73×1, Front squat 58×2, Deadlift 80×1, OHP (in Sotts position lol) 34×1.
I didn’t improve much on paper in weightlifting this year. But I think I still did improve. I think I’m due for some bigger PBs in 2023.
Also I didn’t have any major problems with injuries so that is something to be very grateful for.
New board games: Viticulture, Concordia, Wingspan Asia, Mahjong, Kingdomino, Azul Summer Pavilion. We played 31 different board games with 29 different people!! We played A LOT of games in 2022 compared to other years due to spending so much time with Rosemarie.
Books (in rough order of favourite to worst):
Pachkino by Min Jin Lee – A book about multiple generations of a Korean family living in Japan. Enjoyed.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – A kind of sad good book about a family going through a terrible life in USA in the 1930s. Why are people so awful.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – A somewhat depressing book about the oppression of women in Afghanistan.
Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Kind of cute. Some clever funny writing.
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner – Made me sad and hungry.
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – A clever nurse working during a pandemic. Emma’s books are always very readable.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – Who wouldn’t like a book about fierce lady librarians.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – Good, about two sisters who go totally different ways.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – This is written by someone I used to be in an Livejournal community with! Reminded me a lot of what happened with the music teacher at my high school.
The Push by Ashley Audrain – Didn’t really like that the book was written in 2nd person, but overall a very thrilling story about a psychopath child.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A bit lighter, made me want to go surfing in California
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – Weird to read a book that has covid in it. Some nice Canadian descriptions.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker – Very pro-sleep, even naps. I skimmed through a bunch of chapters because I already knew the stuff from my BSc Neuroscience days.
In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead – I thought it was a pretty stupid book. Kind of immature. Written in annoying alternating chapters.
Serious Eats Kimbap – So fun! You’ll have to go to an Asian shop to get some of the ingredients though.
Favourite bird pics:
2021 Final Thoughts: This year is finishing off pretty nice… the weather is great, we got to have a normal Christmas, and it’s summer fun times all the time. The government has completely changed their stance on covid and now we’re just letting it rip? We’ll see how this goes. I’m just hoping it lasts because we have a few big things planned in 2022 and I REALLY hope they don’t get cancelled.
Nothing got cancelled!
Last years goals: I dunno. Not get covid? (Nope, Scott and I got covid separately, in May and August. Thankfully very mild, and we didn’t have to miss anything important.)
2023 goals: Use my good camera more. Become more athletic. Eat more protein. More knitting. Start volunteering in migrant services.
2022 Final Thoughts: We are so lucky to be able to do all the things we got to do in 2022. I am very grateful for my friends and family, they really enrich our lives. I will be very happy if the next year continues on like last year.
OK well in October I took plenty of pictures! Long post ahead!
We have been playing lots of pickleball again. I even got an upgraded paddle! We have been playing with the Bayside Pickleball Club and have been improving every week.
Another one of Scott’s (belated) #SMAJ activities was dinner at Serai in the city. It’s a fancy Filipino restaurant with a lot of stuff cooked over wood fire. It was all lovely if you didn’t think about the price. We had coral trout, broccolini, calamari, and hashbrowns with peanut sauce. The highlight for me was the dairy free dessert called Taho. It is made with soy ice cream, brown sugar syrup and tapioca pearls. The girl told us to stir it all up. Delicious!
Our friends Jen and Robert ran a private pottery workshop for a small group of friends. It was epic. We started with making some pinch pots, then did a bit of wheel throwing, and then did some large pieces where we painted coloured clay onto newspaper and then transferred it onto the slabs of clay which we layed over big molds. We got to pick what glaze we would like them to put on each piece and they are going to finish them all up for us. I can’t wait to see the results! It was a lovely afternoon.
We stopped in Box Hill on the way home for dinner. We randomly picked this Uyghur restaurant called Dolan On Silk Road because it seemed to be quite busy, and it turned out to be great! We ordered this massive lamb and bread platter which had a nice flavour and lots of vegetables and sauce. Fun to try a new cuisine. Everything the people around us were eating looked great too.
My work did a Medical Imaging Bake Off and it was pretty much the best day ever. I made a lemon blueberry yogurt cake that was decent but not prize-worthy. It was so moistly that the icing sugar I sprinkled on top got absorbed almost immediately.
I tried nearly everything. Even though we took tiny slivers of each thing it still put everyone into a sugar coma.
I went birdwatching with a bunch of oldies in Corinella. It was a weekday outing so I think the age group was extra skewed towards… retired. I didn’t get any good pictures but we did see lots of birds. The highlight for me was the Crested Shriketit, as I had never see one before and they’re pretty cool looking. It was nice to get out on a particularly lovely day.
I thought the birdwatching was going to finish at 12pm like it said on the website so I didn’t bring a packed lunch. Ohhhh I was so jealous of everyone’s delicious looking sandwiches when they stopped for a picnic lunch before continuing on to site number two and three!! Instead I bailed after site two and got Maccas on the way home. This is what a burger looks like if you ask for +2 pickles. Pickle overload!!
I did a quick volunteer session on the computer at the tiny girls session of Victorian Senior Championships. Always inspiring. It rained a lot.
Speaking of rain. Snails absolutely decimated our garden. We pretty much had to start everything again after snails ate all of our seedlings (two coriander, four cucumber, three eggplant…) The snails ate $15 of marigold flowers in one night.
After that we ordered the green garden box tent and these plastic cones which have been helping. Mesh food covers also help. And every night after dark we go out and stomp snails. In one week we killed NINE HUNDRED SNAILS. Our backyard isn’t even that big!!! They were literally everywhere, all over the sides of the garden boxes, the ground, the side of the house, the fence. It’s like the grossest Easter egg hunt ever. If you want to see a disgusting picture of mass amounts of gross snails, click here.
We are possibly winning though, because this week there have only been a few every night. We’re hoping the constant rain has ended and we’ll be able to uncover stuff soon, because we also need to let the bees in for pollination.
Gardening is hard. I can’t believe the first year we basically just chucked everything in and did almost no maintenance and everything grew very well.
I got quite a bit of hair cut off. It’s a bit crazy. But I re-remembered that it actually only takes like 2 minutes to blow dry my hair when it’s this short so I’ve got it semi under control again.
Doreen have me a couple snapper which I attempted to filet with my fish knife from last Christmas. I think i did ok considering they were quite small! I also learned how to gut the fish this time too.
I went to watch Scott play hockey before going to a Diwali Halloween party. Diwaloween.
I tried candy corn for the first time and I thought it was fine? I don’t get the hate. The party had a lot of delicious food.
Rosemarie mailed me some clothing and some cascatelli!!! She is the best! We had it with a sausage pasta and it really did have great forkability, sauceability and toothsinkability! If I lived in USA I would use it as my go-to pasta for sure.
True love is Scott making me a tiny container of gravy to go with my lunch tourtiere when he hates the stuff.
Korean gochujang bbq short ribs. They took 4 hours in the oven!! Worth it, this was delicious. Can’t link the recipe because it’s from Nagi’s new cookbook.
I finished my sweater!!! It’s super warm and cozy. I just finished blocking it so I’ll take better pictures next time I’m home during the day. The forecast for this week is 25-29°C… so might not get much use out of it any time soon.
Unpictured stuff! This is the post that never ends!
I risked doing three different activities on an on call day: an online CPD seminar mostly about brain PET, afternoon weightlifting training, and post-training pizza with weightlifting pals. Thankfully I didn’t get called in and got to do everything!
That same day Scott went down to Tarwin for his cousin’s wife’s birthday bash. I enjoyed my alone-y evening.
The lunar schedule aligned with a weekend with no hockey so I booked us a weekend away in the country to attempt to do some astrophotography.
We went out for dinner at Fergusson Winery in the Yarra Valley on the way out. Good thing I made a reservation! Haha. I told Scott I reserved the whole restaurant for a truly romantic experience.
We had cured kingfish and beef carpaccio, Angus beef and confit duck. Everything was lovely except for the potato with the steak, very paste-y.
The Airbnb had a wood-fired hot tub. Like Kyla’s hot tub! They had it warm for us when we got there, so we stoked the fire and sat in it until we got too cold. We could see a bit of the milky way but by the time we got out of the hot tub it had clouded over.
The cabin was on a little farm overlooking a valley. Very scenic.
It was a cold weekend. We spent a lot of time on the deck with the heat lamp blasting, reading and knitting and crocheting. Very cozy.
I also spent the entire second day trying to heat the hot tub up again. It took FOREVER.
The lamb was only one day old!!!
Scott doing a dramatic horse rescue. The horse had hooked himself on to the fence and we knew the owner was going away that day! Scott used my advice of saying “easy” a lot (I learned that from Heartland), and managed to set him free. Good job Scott.
Trespassing (not really) to look at birds. My friend helped me identify a new to me bird: Grey Shrikethrush.
How is this comfortable for either participant?
Kind of a nice picture until you realise that they’re standing in a horse poo and their beaks are covered in poo from them digging around in it for snacks. Yum!
I don’t have any astro pics to show you. The second night was even cloudier than the first. A lot of things have to come together at the same time to be able to shoot the milky way. Especially when really don’t like staying up very late. I probably won’t have another chance until next winter, but I’ve resolved to plan a bit more ahead next year.