catchmyfancy: (eeexcellent)
My brother-in-law Steve is one of those Men of Few Words. Also, something of a Rough Diamond.

He always needs to have something to DO. I have always thought of him as a modern incarnation of one of those men from the turn of the century who could turn their hand to pretty much anything. He and my sister are about to put an extension on their little house up in Bemboka, and thank goodness, because I looked around their perfect house and garden when I visited the family at Christmas (Steve is at home and working part-time, my sister works full-time) and said to my sister: "now that Beatrice is at school, this is a man who needs a project before he ends up adding a mezzanine level with spa to the chook run or something."

He recently took up restoring old mantel clocks. And after I was web-browsing with him one time and said "oh this one is pretty" or "that one is kind of cute" he paid attention and has just now delivered my Christmas present!

It goes bingley-bong every quarter-hour but I can turn that off at night.
bingely bongely )
catchmyfancy: (escher)
Action today:

1. LMusA
  • the lovely Anna found me the sheet music for From Rosy Bowers (Purcell).  Have printed it out and found a recording I like.

4. Geoffrey Parsons award:  
  • Tom has settled on Schlagende Herzen (Strauss) and Von ewiger Liebe (Brahms) for our two audition pieces. 
  • I went and found the soprano version of the Brahms (but the recording I love most is by a mezzo, Anne Sofie van Otter, go figure); gave it to Tom before he went away for a week (and also loaned him my shiny new Gerald Moore book, he better not lose it in the wilds of Hamilton that's all I can say; or use it to fend off the young lasses - and possibly young lads - of said township, who will no doubt think their eisteddfod accompanist surpassing fair and overly talented and thus eminently pursuable - poor Tom!); and broke the back of it tonight so I can start digging into it in my lesson tomorrow.
  • is it weird to say I'm terribly excited by the Brahms?  Not just because it's a glorious, difficult piece; but because FINALLY I have a piece that trips me up on every.single.thing I think is missing/wrong/undeveloped in my singing, the things that keep me a talented amateur instead of letting me advance to be a professional contender.  It's an excellent diagnostic tool as well as being a masterwork.
5. Stash wars: found the yellow gingham for Josie's apron, and also the interfacing for tracing the pattern onto.

6. Stuff wars: cleared out my cupboard and the one in the front room of all the plastic hangers I have ever bought, methinks.  Have made a date with Melinda to drive her home on Wednesday, which means I can deposit all the hangers into the charity bin in the church next door to her house.

8. Make the better decision:
  • had breakfast this morning, and chose fresh-squeezed vegie juice and a chicken-and-dark-leaves-in-mountain-bread roll for lunch. 
  • Had dinner at Mary and Melinda's house and got chickpea and chorizo and tomato something plus salad and more flatbread. 
  • Went and bought vegies and fruit and general Stuff tonight - spent $47, but I have everything I need for the rest of the week foodwise. 
  • DID NOT GO TO GYM, but then was not breathing overly well for most of the day, so: swings and roundabouts. 
  • Got 16 minutes before bed! (outside limit of midnight).
catchmyfancy: (escher)
A week or so ago I was meandering through old entries trying to find a recipe I posted a couple of years ago. 

Which is like going to look up just one small thing in the encyclopedia and coming to about two hours later sitting on the floor surrounded by open volumes.  I guess the internets equivalent is getting sucked into the TV Tropes vortex.  (Click on link at your own time-management peril).

I ended up reading the first six months of entries wherein I came to grips with physical training (and my vocal injury), and I realised a couple of things:
(a) I really suck at tag management and will now have to go back and re-tag everything
(b) posting little and often and using the blog as, ooh I don't know, an online diary or something really actually worked.  I liked being able to type the words "just back from the gym", so I tended to BE just back from the gym.

I've been updating on Facecrack, but that just dissolves into....somewhere and nowhere.  You can't go back a couple of months easily, never mind a couple of years.

These days I have multiple projects on, so instead of just one multifaceted project (like [personal profile] etfb 's Project Apple - and hey - that one worked!) I bring you THE LIST (dun dun duuuuun!)

Here they all are:

1. LMusA practical singing exam - 40 minute recital with bonus viva voce from the examiners -  Deadline: mid-Sept

2. Musicianship 6th grade (basically the written component of (1): aka just cos you can sing pretty doesn't mean you're allowed to be all iggerant and not know a relative minor should one bite you on the arse)(and believe me, in the past they have)  Deadline: mid-August

3.  Lyrebird music society recital: 5th September at 2.30pm DO come and bring all your friends 80 minute recital (or two 40-minute halves - if ever I was losing my junior journeyman status and heading towards senior in the bizarre ricocheting journey that is my musical career where I'm either an earlier-spent-force-regathered or a very late bloomer - pick one -  and looking ahead to the dim, daunting peaks of mastery, September will be the month to KNOW.)

4. Geoffrey Parsons award: 28th June in Ajuloide.  Me and Tom throwing down in the city of churches.

5. Stash wars: who will win - the fabric stash or me?  In this challenge I attempt to ignore the screams of the fabric as I cut into it and actually turn it INTO something and get it out the door, or in use around the house. Deadline: end of 2010, it's gone, it's made, or it's earmarked.

6. Stuff wars (a slightly snappier title than "jesus mary joseph and ethel merman, I am drowning in STUFF and it must go before I turn into someone who has to clear a path into the rooms they want to use...").  Deadline: right bloody NOW.

7. Garden: needs to be looked after better.  Deadline: so it's pretty in the Spring.

8. Gym, fitness, sleeping, eating - I'm giving this one no deadline, but I'll go with: make the better decision.  Every time.  It helps to have perspective: one of my singing teacher's other students came for her lesson and we were chatting about staying well and looking after yourself and all I could hear was whine-whine-whinge (yeah, she's young and fairly ridiculous, just like looking in the retrospectoscope for me) and when she said "I'll try", I have to admit I lost my temper a little and my parting line was: "as Yoda says: Do.  or Do Not.  There is no 'Try'."  It is a fabulous exit line.  But as I dodged trams across Royal Parade, I had to admit: good advice for me too.  I either make the right decision (going to bed at 11pm not 2am; going to the gym instead of sitting hunched at my desk; cooking real food instead of eating whatever) or I don't.  And no whining about the consequences.  (not the warmest and fluffiest of places to be sitting, but at least it's honest).

And that should keep me going for a while, I reckon...
catchmyfancy: (unstable)

For Sale
Originally uploaded by Catch My Fancy
So next door (the other half of our 1923 duplex) is yet again up for sale.

Meyer and Tania (who were there when we moved in) bought it for a vaguely-expensive song and set about renovating it themselves. They did a lovely job and in the process claimed it forever in my family's collective mentality. I rang up the parental units the other day and said "Hey, Meyer's house is up for sale by auction!".

The current owners are a Lovely Young Yuppielike Lawyerly Couple, Rebecca and (I think) Simon, but they moved up to Sydney so as to realise their Lovely Young Yuppielike Lawyerly Couple Lifestyle Dream and they never as such raised a huge blip on the mental radar; and I guess now they're staying in Sydney and playing paper-rock-scissors to see which one of them sells the kidney for the dollars they'll need along with the money they get for Meyer's house in order to buy up there.

The auction is in three weeks. And there is a sign with a VERY BRIGHT LIGHT out the front. If I stand in my front room (that's the window on the right of the photo) at night with the lights off I can READ a book: let the alien abductions begin as clearly they have already landed.

On the up side: as the tenants they had in the house have moved out and taken their two cars each, I can now park outside my house no matter what time I get back home.

On the down side: the new neighbours will have to be the sort of people who can afford a renovated three bedroom house in Thornbury. That means people with either:
(a) large amounts of dosh (no offence to peeps with dosh, but on the whole, would you want to be stuck in a lift with them?) OR
(b) no sense (borrowing over and above what they can afford or 105% finance or other scary-scary financial stuff) OR
(c) the sort who would drag their parental units into this

and I'm not sure I'd be giving any of them more than the odd tight-lipped smile.

On the up side again though, I may have inadvertently instituted a screening process called Yes, I Would Be Your New Neighbour. I came tearing out of my house yesterday morning at 10am, late as per usual for my chiropractic appointment, barrelled around to the driver's side of Big Blue and as I put the key in the lock looked up and noticed people STARING at me.

Yup, they were there for the Open for Inspection. It was amusing to watch how they clocked I'd come out of the house sharing their prospective party wall, and then watch them assess me like I was some damned property value marker. We all froze in place for about ten seconds.

I'm trying to imagine how they saw me. Remember, they'd just come out of a Pretty Pretty Renovated House with polished floorboards and Reproduction fittings and a Modern Kitchen and a Claw-footed Bath and An Outdoor Area for Entertaining.

And then they see a harried woman in trakky dax (clean - thank you!) get into an Ancient Car, and I was not imagining the little moues of distaste on every single one of their faces. You can say what you like about Big Blue...but he's very REAL and solid and he does not at all jibe with a $450K house in Thornbury.

Funniest thing I've seen in ages was the head toss one Very Gay Prospective Buyer gave to another as they got into their Shiny Red Expensive Car which so clearly said "Well, OBVIOUSLY we cannot live next door to....THAT."

Right back atcha, mate. Right back ATCHA.
catchmyfancy: (Default)
Got a House of Doom? 

Worried that your continuing inability to be disgusted into action means that A Current Affair is going to feature you on one of those "tenants from hell" segments which is then (gak!) picked up as the "What we have learned from Skanky 'current affairs' shows" clip to be parodied by the Chaser?

When all else fails, ask a friend to come and stay over.  This works.  Because you cannot just pile things into a room and then squeeze the door closed.  This person will be using the kitchen, the bathroom...the SPARE ROOM.  Eeeep.

It took about six hours of dedicated cleaning, washing and dish-washing and - gak! x 2 - vacuuming (I've said it before, I'll say it again, if a man promised to sweep, vacuum and/or mop the floors in this house once a week, I would marry him in an instant, even if he was a Liberal voter), but the place was looking reasonably pristine when Imelda walked in the door last night.  I wasn't - but I had the light of fervour burning in my eyes, and my strength was of the strength of ten because my heart was pure.  And possibly slightly squiffy on bleach fumes.

Anyway, a hairbrush, a quick change of clothes and liberally-applied makeup fixed that.  Then: onwards to the Westgarth cinema (the Valhalla that was - which means I always have to walk into the big cinema loudly exclaiming "I remember when all this was skanky, and if you stepped on something crunchy, if it was just a jaffa rolled down the aisle you counted yourself lucky!" and hopefully annoy some of the other patrons who have 800K+ mortgages and drink wheatgrass shots.

We saw Sex and the City.  Yes, well.  Mostly I just went for the frocks and the shoes and the hot men, which was just as well, because someone took the Sass out of that gaggle of girlies.  Only Kim Cattrell continued to fly the flag for Self-Determination.  The rest of them appeared to have had their brains removed.  But the frocks and the shoes and the bags and the men were all pretty good.  And even just really pretty.  There was even (*gasp*) a penis.  A  nice one too.  I would have loved to been a fly on the wall for THAT casting call.   Nah - forget that - I wanted to be the person RUNNING that casting call.  Then I could do my Madeleine Kahn as Empress Nympho in History of the World Part One impersonation.  Oh please??  I could totally work that gold lame outfit.

After all that, Imelda and I came back and did munchies and red wine till 3am.  And I woke up this morning and my house was still clean. 

I'm currently sitting at my dining table looking through the back windows at my wet, wintry garden (and no, that isn't a metaphor), the breakfast dishes are done, the catchup load of clothes has just hit the spin cycle, ABC-FM is on the radio (Mozart is on ferfuxake) and a cup of lemongrass and ginger tea, and Elley just rang me up to invite me over.  All is right(ish) with the world.  (Well actually it isn't because Margaret Throsby just had an environmentalist on who said the polar bears were on the endangered list because the polar ice is breaking up but now there is just Mozart who is dead and therefore has no opinion about polar bears).
catchmyfancy: (Default)

1. My sister and her family are moving to Bega.

Since her smug, manipulative email announcement yesterday, we are Not Speaking because I am Peeved at her and the brother-in-law for how they've done this.  

There's hurt feelings and people driving off in vintage 1957 Snits.....and there's a million other things I could say - so I won't!

Those of you equipped with the faciltiy for logic: this is an Oke thing - just don't go there.  It will only hurt your brain in the end.

2. Am getting addicted to Torchwood.  

It's Dr Who only all angsty and grown up and having sex - a lot of sex, in a variety of genders and orientations ("my last snog?  Hmm. Does it have to be human or does alien count?") and combinations - in Cardiff.  Apparently the Welsh are mad for aliens and the shagging thereof.  TV critics either love it, or hate it, or are "puzzled".  Or all three.  The show could have done with a decent script editor in more than one clunky-creaky episode, or a director with better pace.  But like the little girl with the little curl, when it's good, it's very very good.  Still finding its identity, which of course is never a problem that plagued the writers for the new Dr Who serieses.

3. Am celebrating Australia Day in traditional manner - I am going to sleep in and really not give a fat rat's arse.  

This weekend I have to re-hang all my pictures now that Dad has painted the living room and kitchen.  This will eventually do my head in and I won't have the time to cope with national identity issues.


catchmyfancy: (Default)

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