Mums Garden – Part 2

Almost immediately after posting what shall now be known as the first instalment of Mums Garden, I received a flow of emails with more photos. (Mum is a very faithful reader of my blog – Hi Mum!!!! love you!)

So I can show you some of the wildlife, and not so wild life that we enjoyed.

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Mum is particularly fond of birds. I am not so fond. Yesterday I was just minding my own business, reading a book on our front porch (the last book of the Grisha series by Leigh Burdugo so it was particularly tense) and there’s an unidentified noise coming from the roof. I look up and I see two eyes and a beak peering down at me. Fortunately it flew off to chase some smaller prey but it made me jump out of my skin.
I’m jumpy around birds, which makes these next three photos a little odd to be on my blog.
I’ll put them after a break for all of you who are also jumpy around birds.
Continue reading Mums Garden – Part 2

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SOTW – Lily of Laguna

It’s Australian sportsball time again!!!!

Which means all my non-Australian twitter followers get really confused and probably ignore me while I swear profusely and talk about things like marks, free kicks & holding the ball, use hashtags like #weareportadelaide and #shutupBT, and overuse exclamation points, with the end result being something like “Woooo! Cmon Westy!!!! What a goal!!!!! #weareportadelaide #4inaquarter”.

So my Teal, Black & White team (Port Adelaide) won their first game on Saturday (WOOOOOO!!!!!) against Carlton denying them the chance to sing their club song.

Naturally I’ve been singing it instead. But not the Carlton version, the Bing Crosby version which fortunately is the less racially offensive version.

For those who are utterly confused about why a group of grown men in short shorts are singing shouting Bing Crosby, please see this post from last year about a group of grown men in short shorts singing Ziegfeld Follies

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What’s American for Retic?

The internet is a marvellous thing.

Not only do I now get cupcake pouches and knitted sonic screwdrivers in the mail. (Which absolutely totally made my day!!!! Macstabby – you’re my GURRRL and totes awesomesauce!!!)
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But I’ve realised that even though American and Australia are both “english” speaking countries, we don’t always speak the same language. And this is without going all ocker / straya (aka redneck / bogan).

Reticulation.
We have a reticulation issue at the moment which we’re trying to fix. This means we have a problem with our sprinkler system. You know the thing that waters the garden automatically.
Not quite the google definition of “a pattern or arrangement of interlacing lines resembling a net.”

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Thongs
Thongs are footwear. Rubber things to put on your feet to protect them from the scorching earth. Not underwear. I don’t know how you would wear flip flops as underwear. Go home America – you’re drunk.

Fizzy-drink
This one confused the hell out of me when I was younger and read Baby-Sitters Club books like they were the only books ever written.
What the hell is soda-pop?
In our house it was fizzy-drink or cool-drink. Presumably because adults could drink it whenever they wanted which was pretty cool.
(I’ve been reliably informed that it’s soda or pop. But Pop is for losers)

boot
Cars have a boot, elephants have trunks.
Moving on.

Lamington Drive
No this isn’t a street name, it’s a fundraising effort where lamingtons are sold through a subscription and then delivered all at once on lamington day.
Sort of like a bake sale, but with just lamingtons.
A lamington is a sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce, and then coated in coconut. Delicious!
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Jumper
Possibly named after the kangaroo, a jumper is a sweater. This does make searching ravelry for jumper patterns a pain when I realise I haven’t translated properly.
Same goes with wool
I have now successfully trained myself to think of wool as yarn.
To most others ‘wool’ is an all encompassing term for various fibres which are spun into balls. When I say wool I mean it’s come from a sheep.
Here’s a gratuitous photo of me with some sheep. (Sheepey-baas to be exact. I spent many a school holiday at a sheep farm. Looking back I didn’t stand a chance.)

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Jetty
The song ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ made a lot more sense when I was told that a Dock is a Jetty.
Sitting on the Jetty doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

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What have I missed?

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Where there’s tea there’s hope

A cup of tea can solve pretty much anything.

A cup of tea in a pretty cup even more so.

With my aching old lady bones getting me down, my first shipment from Monstrositea came at the perfect time.

Each month Monstrositea takes you on a tea adventure with a tin of 5 different teas.

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I’ve tried three of the five so far and have enjoyed all of them. I’ve never given white tea much of a chance, but I’ve nearly finished the packet already and am craving more.

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All the teas have been carefully chosen, packaged with care, and come with delightful tasting notes.

I probably have 20 different types of tea in my cupboard right now and they’re either herbal or black varieties. There wasn’t a herbal or black tea in the tin so it really was a tea adventure.

I even made ice tea with some fresh mint from the garden. (Yes it’s in a beer glass – yes I still can’t resist the stained glass windows.)

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I can’t wait to see what we get next month!

(If you’re in Aus and wish to sign up for the monthly box today is your last day for next month so hop to it!!)

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Wolf & Cub

Wolf and cub kicked some rock and roll ass on Saturday night.

We got there as doors opened and enjoyed the almost-summer air with a few cold bevvies. Amps wasn’t sad and lonely for long.
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The first support was nothing amazing, but doctopus who were up second were pretty cool.
Not enough men rock pigtails quite like the doctopus bassist.
And not enough lead guitarists play from lieing down on the stage.
AND not enough Aussie bands have songs dedicated to ice hockey and Wayne Gretsky (hello Canadia!)
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Even though wolf & cub only have on drummer / drum kit on stage these days, they totally make up for it.
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We probably would have bought tshirts anyway (you can never have too many band shirts), but as the band members were manning the merch stand we had a chat, a couple of pics, and walked away with a signed poster.

All round tops evening watching a tops band and listening to some tops tunes live.

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Stuck in my head – Catcall

Spotify radio knows me better than any other music service.
All last week I listened to a station based on Deap Valley and I still haven’t stopped. Except to listen to another song which is so bloody catchy I just can’t stop.

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Fellow Aussies may know Catcall from the liquorland ad, which is pretty annoying, but uses the start of one of their songs.
It probably would be a good song if I hadn’t heard it every single commercial break during AFL season.

Her song Satellite is also pretty good and that was added to a couple of my playlists last year. But I had pretty much dismissed the rest of the album.

When this song came on, I was hooked.

I have no idea what an Art Star is but the line “my name is acid, I’ll rain on your parade” is pretty badass.

Plus she’s an Australian. I love Aussie music.

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The revolution will be knitted and purled

Even though I joined the My Sisters Knitter Knitalong to finish off UFOs and I had the specific aim of not casting on anything new, I made something new last week.

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Any guesses?

It’s a lower case letter ‘e’ which will be used in a protest banner.

When this campaign popped up in my twitter feed I felt compelled to volunteer. Getting my knitting needles out to do something to show that I don’t want Tony Abbott as our prime minister seemed like the logical thing to do.
Even though mostly my knitting is made with love and care, this was made with spite.

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The pozible page sums it up better than I can.

“One day after the Aus media went ape-shit over a pic of Gillard knitting, claiming it undermined her tough image, the Government caved & booted her out of office.
When these media dinosaurs say that knitting cannot go hand in hand with strength, what they are really saying is that anything associated with women, & by extension women themselves, cannot be strong.

WE’RE GONNA SHOW ‘EM HOW TOUGH & DETERMINED KNITTERS CAN BE!

If Abbott is elected he’ll tumble gender equality reforms back to the dark ages, misogyny will be legitimised & women will wind up sticking their knitting needles into their uteruses. To prevent that happening, we’re sticking them in some wool & crafting two rad protest banners.”

This is a man who talks about “women of calibre” (thinks “binders of women”).
His sister is gay and yet he still opposes gay marriage.
He directly opposed RU486 making it almost cost prohibitive for anyone outside of a capital city to have an abortion.
Sanitary pads and tampons are STILL taxed as luxury items.

I’m not super-duper knowledgeable about Australian Politics. But what I do know, makes me scared to be a woman in a Tony Abbott Australia.

If you do have some change to spare, they will take donations from $2.
A protest may not always be effective, but sometimes it’s all we’ve got.

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Stuck In My Head – Timothy Nelson & The Infidels

I’m interrupting Knitting and Crochet Blog Week to continue with my usual Wednesday blog series, Stuck In My Head.

I’ve been blogging for as long as I can remember, and in every one there was always music. Music is such a constant in my life. CDs take up more space in my house than yarn (true fact), and its very rare for my ticket wallet to be empty.

So my Stuck In My Head project started as a way to try out my music journalist skills (turns out I have none), and has developed into choosing a song (or two) to represent each week of the year.
At the end of the year I have a nostalgic playlist which takes me down memory lane revisiting bands I’ve seen, conversations I’ve had, or what mood I was in that week.

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know that Sunday was In The Pines, Perth’s local music festival. Set at the gorgeous Somerville Auditorium, this year celebrated 20 years of In The Pines with a great lineup looking back on the past 20 years of Perth’s local music scene.
The line up included some bands who reformed just for the occasion as well as some new favourites. I walked away with 2 CDs which is always a good sign.
Our local community radio station RTRfm puts on the event, which I went to for the first time last year and had a blast.

So Timothy Nelson & The Infidels were one of the bands where, as soon as this song played I had that ‘aha’ moment. It seems like this song had been following me around for 2 weeks before In The Pines and now I finally know who it’s by.
It certainly tested my ability to knit and dance at the same time.

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The full playlist can be found here

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My Ode to AFL

For my lovely blog readers who are not from Australia, you may be wondering what on earth that video I posted yesterday was all about. Or what are the events leading up to a group of burly gentlemen standing in a circle singing (I use that term loosely) an old show tune and throwing around powerade.

Allow me to explain a few things about a sport I love, Australian Rules Football.

Apart from being one of the greatest sporting codes in the world (cricket is a close second, nearly equal first), it has it’s own set of quirks which I think make it pretty special, which aren’t found in a lot of other sports.

The Banner
Slogans are chosen and thought up, and each week the cheer squad will craft together a banner from sticky tape and crepe paper.
Then all of that hard work is promptly destroyed by the players running through it before the game.
Last year I was part of the crew to hold up the banner which was really awesome, but it’s a pretty strange tradition.
Here’s a video celebrating a players 100 games achievement.

The Crowd
With the record crowd numbers up at the 100 thousand marks, the crowds can be deafening.
But we don’t have set cheers, or songs to chant.
The only thing close to a coherent cheer is when the crowd come together to yell “ball!!” in an attempt to convince the umpire to pay a ‘holding the ball’ free kick.

This phenomenon even happens in pubs where yelling is very unlikely to influence an umpires decision, but we like to think we can try.

We also yell out players names like “Breust” and “Dew” so it sounds like we’re booing our own team.

The Point For Trying
You get six points for kicking the ball through the two big sticks, and 1 point if you hit the post or get it through the shorter sticks.

If we gave out points for difficulty, some of these would be more than 6 points.

The Human Step Ladder

When you don’t have quite enough players to go out and play a full game, it usually turns into step ladder practice or ‘king of the pack’, where one person kicks the ball to everyone else and they all try to catch it.
Kind of like the bouquet toss at a wedding.

Invariably someone will try and emulate the boys on TV and try and use a smaller kid as a step ladder.
The video explains the high flying mark, and why Mum’s everywhere don’t want their kids playing AFL.

The Song
After the burly gentlemen have run through crepe paper, had the crowd pretend to be expert umpires, been given points for trying, and used each other as step ladders, one team wins and one team loses. (Except if it’s a drawn grand final when we come back and play the following week. Seriously that happened once.)
After one team wins they all stand in a circle and sing a song. (See yesterday’s post.)
Each club has a song, and which songs are good and bad is a subject best left for Internet comment sections and arguments with strangers in pubs.
I (unsurprisingly) love my team’s song. I think it’s perfect for pub singing and fist pumping.

These are just some of the reasons I love Australia’s game. I plan social engagements around football games, will share a football opinion with anyone who listens, and I will judge you on what your football team is.

And just in case you think that this all sounds a bit namby pamby, I’ll leave you with a video which demonstrates just how tough these guys are (and without any padding, shin guards, or even cups!)

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Stuck In My Head – Elk Bell

Sometimes the best music is sititng undiscovered in your own city.

How I haven’t heard Elk Bell before is a mystery. But this is why community and local radio is so important.
I don’t listen often enough (mostly because it ends up costing me a fortune in buying new music), but every time I do I hear something different.

Elk Bell is one of those enchanting voices, which I haven’t been able to forget.

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