Monday, April 30, 2007

Day 445: Nobody nose the trouble I've seen...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day 444: More gardening, more homework. I think I will have to give up chocolate when I turn 40, it probably needs to be a full time thing, as with any adiction. Still, it seems unthinkable to never again taste Cadbury Dairy Milk! Maybe if everyone sends me some pre-birthday I can get it out of my system!! Otherwise I can see myself wandering thoughtlessly into the 7-11 at Changi Airport and scoffing some down before I even remember my plans. Sounds like a true addict talking doesnt it. I did read that one can conquour chocolate addiction by only eating it when absolutely full. Not sure that it has anything to do with appetite and hunger though.

Day 443: The afternoon sun is such a strong orange at the moment.

Day 442: After 6 hours heavy labour in the garden, 30+degrees.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day 441; A peaceful day so far, have done a lot of study and also more washing. Its strange how relaxing I find hanging out clothes, and how immensely satisfying it is to have everything clean and in the cupboard. I suspect it comes from the years I spent in a flat with a shared laundry. I knew I would hate it before I moved in, but there was no choice in the matter. As it turned out it was worse than I could have imagined. The laundry was an alcove next to the flat of the crazy woman, a drug addled prostitute who was very often beaten up by or beat up her drug addled boyfriend, who she had previously escaped from to a refuge and then invited him round as soon as the refuge found her a flat of her own. How I don't miss the 3am door bell calls of drunk guys she met in the pub and invited round for business purposes pressing the wrong button... ANYWAY! Its kind of scary doing the washing with people yelling and screaming, then hoping against hope there might be space on the clothes line. It happened about once a month that all was quiet in the laundry, the sun was shining and there was space on the line. I would do as many loads as necessary and hope for the best. But those days are long gone, and this glorious weather means the first thing you hang out is almost dry by the time you hang the last item out... then the mother in law scurries out and collects all the clothes and irons them (including socks and underpants!), and refuses to hand anything over until everything has been ironed at professional precision standard. Not such a bad life!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Day 440: We collected the new car today, Yay!! Its a very exciting event and really quite thrilling to have something new (and not to pay a fortune to repair something old!).

Its a strange feeling as this project draws to a close, I am pondering if and how it might evolve into something else. Needless to say as a motivating tool for weight loss its been at best a farce. A few nice portraits throughout but thats about it. Can't say I've learnt anything about myself except that when I don't get around to shaving I look worse than I thought. I have a lot more grey than I'd realised, especially on the face. My head is disproportinately large, although I knew that before. If it was a lot smaller my body with have rather spunky classical proportions but its drawfed by the enormous noggin. Yesterday I heard a saying from the Ukraine: If a man has no common sense by the time he's 20, he'll never have any. If a man has no family by the time he's 30, he'll never have any. If a man has no money by the time he's 40,,, yes, you can work out the horrific end. So please send cash in the next 14 days! Although it does say by the time he's 40, not AT the time he's 40 so maybe those couple of years as a moderately over paid publc servant will save the day when all is said and done!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Day 439: Pink Pyjamas... I would never have imagined myself in pink pyjamas, but there you go.

Day 438: All Touristed out. Really needing to sit and vegetate for a bit, feet up telly on.

Day 437: Out in the woods. where Spring has sprung.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Day 436: A week on the tourist trail at the pace of a 17 year old, which I no longer am! Here I am in Sachsenhausen, one of the old town sections of Frankfurt. It used to be a really great area full of German restaurants and bars for applewine and saurkraut with schnitzel, now its Irish Pubs and Brazilian bars with pizza and doner kebab on the menu. Not on our tourist must see list any longer.

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Day 435: Outside Castle Ronneburg, which is quite beautiful and VERY old (not unlike my own good self!). This is also where we watched the hot air balloons at Easter

Dar 434: In the market place at Seligenstadt, a beautiful town on the river, built around an ancient abbey which has a spectacular walled garden and on Thursday the Brothers bake bread to a medieval recipe and you can line up and buy it straight out of the oven. All future visitors to us should expect the trek to Seligenstadt on a Thursday morning!

Day 433: Me on a Ferris Wheel at the Dippemesse. You can see I don't like heights, although I do love Ferris Wheels as long as they are moving and you arn't hanging wobbling stuck at the top. The Dippemesse is now a fun fair that takes place twice a year in Frankfurt, it has evolved from a crockery and cookware market that dates back to the middle ages, especially featuring the dippeware that originates in the Frankfurt region.

Day 432: Me in the baroque splendour of Schloss Phillipsrue, here in Hanau.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Day 431: Needless to say my plan to go to the gym at 7am didn't come to fruition, even though I was awake from 5.30. Oh well, now I have a couple of hours to cook, clean, study, exercise, vanquish my demons, all before Air France lands at 4.50pm! I do look pretty though!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Day 430: Sometimes this blogger programme has a mind of its own, eg pulishing the photo upside down no matter how it's positioned in real life. Oh well, I wasn't hanging upside down in the roof window and you get what you pay for, in this case it comes for free so beggers can't be choosers (although you can be a begger but you don't have to look it). Tried something else now which makes the above even more nonsensical. Well that's what you get when its suddenly 15 degrees hotter than a few days before!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day 429: A reasonably painful day of contemplation and reflection, realising that the things I miss about Sydney - relationships, intimacies, connections - for the most part no long exist or do so in very altered ways, to be honest 'diminished' is the word that comes to mind. If one thinks of 40 as a mid-point of life, I wonder what I have yet to achieve and experience. I wonder if the most significant events have already taken place... I wonder what will happen to us when we're old, who will do for us what we do for our elders?
If I take a coaching approach and decide that my goal for the day was to avoid the gym, gorge on chocolate, indulge in pointless wallowing, then I can give myself 100% and theoretically provide an experience of success upone which to model my future endeavours. Yay!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Day 428.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Day 427: Not a lot to say really, have been very distracted while trying to do my homework, scoffing down the last remaining scraps of Easter chocolate and generally pretending to be good. By the way, this green t shirt is my jimmy jam shirt, I don't wear the same clothes every day. I just sometimes don't get properly dressed until... quite late.

Day 426.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Day 425: ONE month till the big four oh! Hmmmm. Think I'll go and eat worms.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Day 424: By now I don't even care if there is a chocolate in the wrapper or not!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Day 423: Easter Sunday. Had a nice family day with a return of warm cloudless sunny weather (perfect for bike rides and picnics, or in reality naps and chocolate eating). Here I am with the "diet" version of our Easter stash, although to be fair this is less than half of what we got last year and a large proportion of the basket is painted hard boiled eggs. Still, a few KGs of chocolate on offer none the less. Back on the strict programme tomorrow, I need to be back on track with the 1kg loss each week if I am to achieve my birthday goal (which suprisingly enough is no longer a washboard stomach....).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Day 422: To be truthful, more acurately day 421 and 23/24ths but lets not nitpick at this late stoige. Here I am with kaleidescope eyes, watching a rather surreal event of 10 hot air balloons lighting their fires in time with various pieces of music. There is a balloon competition on in the nearby village of Ronnenburg this weekend and the step son of my cousin in law (and the court of King Caractacus) is one of the pilots. The balloons had to stay grounded and the sway and bob like huge jelly fish until its their turn to light the fire again and they seem to fill out and stand to attention. Quite fascinating. Also discovered there is a sport for people who have radio controlled hot air balloons, they are about 4m high and the fire is controlled by remote control. Someone has to hold on to it all with a rope so I'm still not clear on the exact point of it, but it looks pretty enough in the dark!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Day 421: Good news, I still lost half a KG this week despite subsisting on easter eggs and buns. Which reminds me I had intended to call yesterday's posting "check out my hot buns", so laugh now intead. ho ho ho... wait a minute, that's Christmas not Easter. Anyway, perfect weather here today which will make watching the hot air balloon race this evening very pleasant indeed.
There is a very cool blog called Sydney Daily Photo ( ) which is well worth a look, I think Sally the author works somewhere very near my old office in Centenial Plaza and often posts photos of my old haunts in the inner east and inner west. Todays post of a Darrell Lea chocolate shop is a great one, there is something magical about their baby mini easter eggs, which re-appear at Christmas as Christmas baubles. Nothing like sitting down to the very old historical or biblical movie on Good Friday afternoon with a packet of DL mini eggs, saving the Red Tulip egg for Sunday of course. Maybe my chocolate obsession will never end, I just have to counteract it rather than conquer it. I wonder if I should try to write a book about it and use it to my advantage!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Day 420: Yes, the hot cross buns were a success! Should have trusted myself with the white crosses on top, but pre-cooking they looked so terrible I left half without whereas cooked they were just as they should be. Oh well! If there are any left for tomorrow it will be nice to have them on Good Friday.
I am on a bit of a backwards slide diet wise, mostly due to stress eating. Its difficult to put into practise the knowledge that one 'should' find alternate ways of dealing with stress when one is in the middle of a stress attack! My father has decided he needs to go into a nursing home, which is another of these fine theoretical ideas but faced with the reality of course every factor involved is much more complicated. Because of his illness he is really incapable of any positive or optimistic though, so while its difficult to comprehend the scope of his thoughts at the moment I can only imagine its a dark place for him.
Anyway, will try to combat stress and eating with some time at the gym.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Day 419: Well here I am again. I found out today that I passed my last German exam with a good grade, although am yet to get the official results. I'm very excited about it really, I've never gone into an exam before with such a sense of how much I didn't know, and with so little certainty about what was needed or expected to get good marks. Anyway, yay me!

Yesterday we took the plunge and booked the flight to Sydney, the intensity of all the emotions really sent me into a spin (not a good day for the gym / chocolate balance all in all). I love the thought of being in Australia, but its painful imagining being away from home which is certainly here now. I have a childish sense of glee at being on 3 continents within a 28 hour time period, but feel nauseous at the thought of flying again. And on it goes. In any case, its an obligation that must be fullfilled and off I go. Have to try not to overdose on chocolated this time and hopefully there will be more flexibility with timing and I will get a day or so in Sydney to see people properly. I still cringe in horrified shame when I remember my dear friend KH struggling off to the train with baby, pram, AND my hand luggage that was too heavy to take with me without paying hundreds of dollars. And of course ES zipping up the coast to visit despite the arthritic joints and baby in tow. Not to mention BFDL, out at the airport at 6am and willing to do it again!
Yes, it will be nice to see people in a relaxed and happy way, at the non jetlag end of the trip too!

Oh, and I got some painting done too, so rather pleased with that achievement. The rough skeleton of the fourth and last piece in the Verticality series is in the background of today's photo. Yesterday's is quite nice too, or so I think! There was an amazing sunset where the sun was like a cut out bronze ball, and for a short time it was visible in reflection on the artwork in the kitchen. I was struggling to get both it and me in the same shot, and then of course all too quickly it was gone. Anyway, there is something a bit Wuthering Heights about Day 418 and this was possibly the one moment I wasn't eating comfort food and or biting my lip!

PS, the spell checker no longer works, so apologies in anticipation!

Day 418.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Day 417: So its my 'dedicated painting day" and by 11.30 I have not painted anything, although I have unpacked the canvas, looked at it, photographed it, drawn some new charcoal lines on it, looked on the internet, written some emails, phoned my Mum. Seems we have found a reasonable flight deal for August although the flights seem very popular so probably its going to be another 30 hours in the cattle wagon.
I tried to find the April Fools articles in the SMH yesterday, first I thought all the carry on about Ian Thorpe was an April Fool, but it has gone on too long. Probably the article about how the Pyramids were built from the inside out was one though. The best one ever was that the new waitressess at Yum Cha restaurants in Chinatown would need to hang "L" plates on their trolley for a probationary period. I recall being absolutely outraged at this attack on dignity and then thinking "well, maybe it makes sense". My boss at the time couldn't have been more delighted by my reaction if he'd thought the whole thing up himself.

TIme to Paint! "I'm frightened by the devil, and I'm drawn to those ones who aint afraid"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Day 416: Well my prediction was wrong and I didn't wait until today to remember to post my blog photos. Didn't lose any weight this week, but dropped a cm which is much more important. Looks like I will be zipping back to AUS in July, so must stay on track until then, for vanity if nothing else!
We reached one of the years saddest, or maybe simply poignant moments this weekend. After Spring bursts in and the dead twigs start to fill with green buds, the tulips bloom, the birds sing, all is fresh... then comes the moment when the first flowers droop and die, the ground under the magnolia tree is a carpet of burnished withered petals. Time keeps moving, one can't sit back in complacency, we have to keep taking it all in and enjoying the brevity of each moment.
How I crave to be witty and popular this morning but alas not, I must stop mumbling here and do the washing up.

Day 415.