Boasting day ..

This-morning wasn’t as cold as of recently yore (so to speak), so I weighed meself.

To my unutterable joy I weighed in at 84.5kg ! – FINALLY broke the 85kg mark.   :)

This means that I’ve now lost 20kg — on April Fool’s Day I was 104.5kg. Am I pleased ? – I am bloody ecstatic ! I don’t remember when last I weighed under 85kg – probably around 20 years ago is my best guess.

I had actually gone so far as to cancel my MyWW account,  because I’d finished my six-month special rate and the next one was billed at $79 per month. Nearly fainted. But during the 2 or 3 weeks of said cancellation I was bereft – simply couldn’t cope without the WW site to refer to for working out the points in various things and recording and tracking the number of ‘blue’ points consumed per day. I felt really odd without what I’d been referring to for the past six months ..

So I emailed them and found an even better financial deal: first 3 months free, followed by another six months at the same $40-odd (can’t recall exactly).

And here I am, ready and willing to just keep going indefinitely with this ¼ use of MyWW – meaning, using only one of their four ‘pillars’ – that’s apparently become part of my lifestyle now.

SUCH an exciting day .. like, not !

On Wednesday my blood  pressure decided it was bored with being almost perfect, and took a dive. I was in the local laundromat at the time, and saved by three total strangers who came together to demonstrate that good samaritans still abound – and how !   :)

In spite of the enormous pressure on ambulance drivers because of people’s needing to be carted off to hospital with Covid-19, one turned up for me, took me on board and proceeded to force it (the blood pressure) back up over 100 – the systolic, that is ! – so that I could be taken to a hospital other than The Alfred; for The Alfred is currently so chaotic that the ambos knew they’d be there with me till night-time and it was only around 2pm ! They had a bit of a struggle: at one point I gave a very loud yell of pain, accompanied by a naughty word (wot, moi ?) because at the same moment as my b.p. dropped below 80 the machine cut in, and attempted to sever my arm in its effort to get a reading ! Anyway, the drip was effective and the systolic was got up to 104 and they were allowed to take me to Cabrini, a wonderful private hospital !

And there I remained for the rest of the day and some of the night, being looked after brilliantly as well as being eventually attended by the most delectable young doctor, a total sweetheart who appeared to comprehend everything I said. Amazing. [grin]

When blood tests and an X-ray all came in OK, he arranged for me to be given an echo (ultrasound) next week rather than waiting for yet another three weeks for the appointment I’d made two months back with a cardio up in St Albans – when still living in Maribyrnong – and set me up for a consultation with the cardio there at Cabrini the day after ! YAAAAay !! – I had been dreading having to traipse all the way up to St Albans.

Not sure of the reason for my b.p.’s sudden descent. I mean, Dr James told me, but I am renowned for never taking in what medicos tell me.   :(

Something to do with the atrial fibrillation discovered by my GP (to whom I am devoted) back up there in Maidstone, plus dehydration. Apparently the danger in AF is that it can give rise to stroke; and I would not be keen to experience that !

This episode has really annoyed me; for basically I have always been a healthy old fart. Now I have to admit (if anyone entitled to do so asks me) to not being so, and it gives me the shits bigtime. Mortality ? – I suppose so .. although to be honest, now that I am no longer fainting or feeling horrible, I am not thinking of it. Thinking grumpily more about how I can no longer afford MyWW, as it has now escalated to $79 a month ! Jesus. Who can afford THAT ?! Grrrrrrrrrr ..

That was it. The Episode. I have various little round bandaid thingies stuck to me still where cannulas were inserted (yesyes, and then removed !) and some bruising; but I also have clear memories of the Victorian health system and its workers. It cannot be compared with that of NSW back in 2005/6 when Chic was dying, because that was absolutely vile. No: I am happy to be here in Victoria with its excellent support of ancients’ health; and especially happy with my ‘new’ (but old) flat in St Kilda East. I even have a small community already !

I am counting my blessings.

 

Earthquake

It was shortly after 9am, and I, still (of course !) in my nightie and dressing-gown, had just put the dishwasher on. I was wondering idly if I could shower while the dishwasher was on, when the world changed.

For half a second I thought I was dizzy; and for another half second I wondered why ..

And then I understood that I was being shaken to and fro, to and fro .. Things were sliding about, and the fern on the plant-stand next to me tried to throw itself off; but a part of my brain functioned automatically – the part not frozen in terror – and I caught it. I was screaming “What’s happening ? What’s HAPPENING ?” because, once having saved the fern, the same brain section was telling me that the building, erected by a company not admired in the construction industry, was imploding ..

I don’t have the ability to explain the experience of standing in a top floor (7th storey) apartment, alone, as the floor under one’s feet MOVES, quite violently .. as the building becomes, suddenly, unstable .. I’ve only once before in my whole life felt a fear like that; and that was nothing to do with Mother Nature but with my utterly beloved husband in a car, in France, so far removed from the brilliantly clever man he had always been by the crab that was eating him, trying to drive towards me around the corner of a house – a slope away to nothing on his right and stopped by only a small ridge of bricks that had caught the wheels .. I believe that, yesterday, it was the memory of this blind terror in my situation of total inability to do anything that my brain had instantly thrown up ..

And then I un-froze. There were bangs as things fell over; but I managed to scorch into the bedroom, reef back the duvet and seize Boodie. He, sound asleep, was incensed when so rudely grabbed, and would have struggled free; but I, powerful in my terror, thrust him into his carrier, threw its long belt over my neck, grabbed my keys and was out of the apartment in a heartbeat. By now the building had stopped moving, but the fear was omni-present; for who could know that it would not start again ..?

My next-door neighbours were there, as they had been the other week when we all suffered five false fire alarms between midnight and 9am, with Andrea waiting to take Boodie from me so that I could properly negotiate the seven storeys of fire stairs. (Please note that we did this only the first time during the alarms, and simply rolled our eyes during the next four.) And, as everyone now knows, there were no more tremors.

Once down on the ground I found that my legs were trembling even though it wasn’t. Having found Oanh among the crowd, carrying her beautiful little daughter Annabelle, and kissed her and given her a one-armed hug, I eventually had to walk around to the front of the building to find a place to sit down ..

I’ve never regretted being old the way I did then.

And I can’t explain this, either.

 

Oh gawd, AT LAST !!!

I’ve signed the lease and paid a month’s rent, so there ain’t no backing out of it – I have a place to move to !

Doesn’t that remind you of some of the places you rented when you were young ? – it does me.   :)

It’s a 2-bedroom flat (you can’t see it ‘cos it’s ’round the back, ground floor) in Orrong Road, St Kilda East. I suppose I’ll get used to calling it that, although it’s going to be hard since it was known as East St Kilda during all the years I lived in Melbourne, back in my palmy days ..

And it’s only $280 a week ! – that’s $5 less a week than I’m currently paying – not too smelly, eh ? It even has a free-standing shower and taps for my washing-machine ! But for me, one of the very best aspects – there are two ! – is that my new Property Manager is a doll. I expect I’ll enjoy interacting with her as much as I have the wonderful Cobie, over nearly a year.

The other one is best represented by this map:

See, when I was looking in this area – which meant suburbs like Armadale and Carnegie and Caulfield, etc., etc. – one of the first things I’d do is enter the flat building’s address into Google maps and then use the ‘Direction’ facility to find out if I could get to the Woolworths Metro that’s the biggest Woolies symbol up there. AND ! – my next flat building is, like, across the road from it !!!

You may wonder at my extreme enthusiasm; but unless you are someone without a car, you can’t possibly understand what it’ll mean to me to be able to walk over the road to shop for my dinner every day.


That line there was a pause while I contemplated how totally excellent it’s going to be. I can scarcely take it in !

Anyway. There it is. I’ll be moving on 29th September, until which day I shall dream of Woolies Metro shopping ..

M-R’s mid-20th century Hit Parade !

Some have actual performances but by no means all: I’ve gone for the original sounds, which means a lot of images of discs ..

Some are classics now, and some just hit parade material of the times.

But these ten musical items are ten pearls on my long, long necklace ..


Border Song – Elton John

Chain Reaction – John Farnham

Goodbye Stranger – Supertramp

How deep is your Love – The Bee Gees

If you leave me now – Chicago

I shall be Released – The Band

Let me Serenade you – Three Dog Night

Love the one you’re with – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Ordinary Pain – Stevie Wonder

Spinning Wheel – Blood, Sweat & Tears

Take me to the Pilot – Elton John

Venus – Shocking Blue

It started with ‘silly’ ..

.. but progressed from there.

My morning perusal of the ABC news site and The Guardian’s resulted in several items that made me scoff and click my tongue in annoyance, made me make a face and become annoyed, and eventually made my blood boil.

They’re chefs’ ideas of a good sandwich.  Fer crissake ! Unfortunately,  The Guardian is forever printing recipes of ludicrous things like these ..

And still Texas is proud of being anti-vaxx !! You have to wonder ..

There will never be a time when filthy rich bastards stop claiming that their way – whatever it is – will save the world ..

We have reached the point where our “protections” are likely to kill people.

This was a VERY silly man with a VERY big ego; and he changed Australia – for the worse. He was, in fact, a bloody dangerous little bastard.

Sometimes – in fact, often ! – I wonder why I bother to read the news. I’m in a kind of constant battle with myself: while I believe that the ABC, for instance, is the most reliable free news source, I detest the upward trajectory of its politically correct advances.  As for The Guardian, it’s the only news source I’m prepared to pay for; but its British bits are often infuriating ..

I shall think more about The Saturday Paper—

or then again, perhaps I shan’t .. Maybe The Monthly ?

Well, at least that one tells you the cost of each issue: The Saturday Paper actually costs over $9 !

It seems that I’m going to be thinking more about The Monthly, then: at least that way anyone perusing my blog wouldn’t need to be assailed by my political views very often.

My current craze

Grand Illusion

Climb a mountain
Sail an ocean
Go around the world a million times
Here in the valley of the blind the one-eyed man is king
Be a hero
Lead or follow
What you choose to believe is a state-of-mind
But here in the valley of the blind the one-eyed man is king
When it comes down to you
The star you follow
May be gone
When it comes down to you
All the power and the glory
All the fire and the fury
Will not take you far (will not take you long)
It’s got to be your own life
Show no night or day
Your face may turn in sorrow
While the others watch
The grand illusion
You may lose your mind
And someone standing with you
While you endure the slings and arrows
And she will be your grand illusion
Your grand illusion
In the moonlight
Be an angel
Fly to heaven
All we need is a little bit of peace of mind
Here in the valley of the blind the one-eyed man is king
But when it comes down to you
The star you follow may be gone
When it comes down to you
All the power and the glory
All the fire and the fury
Will not take you far (will not take you long)
It’s got to be your own life
Show no night or day
Your face may turn in sorrow
While the others watch
The grand illusion
You may lose your mind
And someone standing with you
While you endure the slings and arrows
And she will be your grand illusion
Your grand illusion
In the moonlight ..
Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Barry Gibb / Ashley Gibb / Stephen Gibb / Doug Emery
Grand Illusion lyrics © Crompton Songs, Gee Son Songs, Tune O Matic Songs

And here it is: you can sing along, now ..

See Barry’s gorgeous eldest son, Steven ? – hipster beard, in one version wearing specs but not in the other .. I feel that the second son, Ashley, might be in there too. Not at all sure. All I do know is that as long as there’s music there will be the Gibb name.

Doo-wop !!

I’d forgotten the word – and those of you saying “I’d forget it too, if I were you ..” have no memory of how good it was.

It was my favourite music in the late ’50s. Come to think of it, it was possibly the only music on the hit parades.

And the song that’d been niggling in the back of my mind for days, working its way up my consciousness until it was all there and I could sing it, was this one ..

Just a musical note .. [grin]

I’ve decided: yous can share the pain !

Yes: yous can help by suffering, OK ? I shall think my way through the kind of endless permutations involved in finding another place to move to, and comments will be expected— will be demanded !

  1. How many bedrooms ?
    One will be cheaper, and quicker to clean.
    Two will enable removalists to put stuff in the 2nd so that it’s easier to unpack; and visitors will be able to sleep there later rather than on a divan bed in the living-room and having to listen to Boodie scrabbling in his kitty-litter in the wee smalls.
  2. Garden or not ?
    I think I’m getting past it. Whilst (with the constant help of my old friend S) I made a terrific showing of the garden in MACS, filling it with natives, I fear I have lost that first faint careless rapture .. But you never know, I s’pose.
  3. Multi-storey building ? – only if there’s a lift. Quod scripsi scripsi.
  4. So much for the unit. Environs ? – have to be Boodie-suitable. No inner suburbs unless the unit’s at the rear and there are interior tree-ed areas for him to explore without being near roads.
  5. Shopping ? – must have at least a milkbar within screaming distance, I’m told. Although it is to be noted that I shall continue having Coles deliveries (delivery fees as low as $2 make Coles my go-to supplier, even though I prefer the range at Woolies @ $13 the lowest delivery !) which, when kept abreast of, do away with the need for ANY nearby shop.
  6. Public transport ? – vital. There has to be a bus-stop within half a k, so that I shall be in the happy position of getting Coles to deliver and a bus to Woolies. :)

Those are the points that are set in stone. If there are any I’ve forgotten, please remind me: this is an exhausting business, and I am already out of patience with it all ..

I HAD hoped, but ..   :\

Of course I had ! – although none of you will believe that, given my track record ..

This lovely little apartment (I originally typed “apratment”, and have decided that there really should be a use for that new word) has brought me much joy and pleasure. I’ve never had a view like this, just for starters ..

But what’s happened


CHORUS OF GROANS FROM EVERYONE READING THIS POST


is that the osteoarthritis in my hands (that made itself felt fairly slowly and then decided that things were lacking in pace) has made living here quite difficult. In fact, a bit of a challenge ..  The french doors and their blinds, the hand-held shower, the garbage chute at the end of the corridor – these are the most difficult to operate, and I know more things will add themselves to this shortish list.

I need to be not in a high-rise apartment. It has been a wonderful ride that I’ve enjoyed absolutely, with WONDERFUL neighbours in the two nearest apartments: Joan brings me samples of delicious things she’s just finished cooking, and Jules&Greg gave me a divinely-scented little pot candle for my recent birthday .. I am extremely reluctant to leave them. Extremely !

However, the place I’m thinking of moving to could well mean that I can invite them down for a meal, and that would be huge fun !

I shall NOT be breaking my lease ! – amazing !! My super Property Manager, the wonderfully-named Cobie, has ensured that my landlord understands what’s going down, and I need only give a fortnight’s notice ! I’m not sure why it is that it took till I was in my late 70s before finding a Property Manager who is efficient and nice; but Cobie is most definitely both.

I shall post more on the move I’m hoping for, depending upon how it goes. On whether or not I get this pertickler place, I mean.   :)

But I’m good for some things !

TEMPEH CHILLI

Ingredients

  • 300g package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped smallish
  • 3 large cloves garlic, ditto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 double size can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh sweetcorn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1 green capsicum, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1½ tsps chilli powder
  • 1½ tsps cumin
  • 1½ tsps Chinese chilli garlic sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water

Method

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat: add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Add spices and tempeh, beans, tomatoes, capsicum, corn kernels and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes with an occasional deep stir.
  • You can cook it longer if you think it needs it; but I cooked it for about 20 minutes while the original recipe calls for an hour !

Chilli will thicken upon standing.


A woman at my WW group meetings asked me if I were vegetarian, and I told her that I have been but am being flexitarian while changing my eating pattern. She then wanted to know if I’d ever tried tempeh, and I had to admit ignorance of it (other than knowing it exists); and she added that I should really give it a go, as it’s really  nice ..

So I did.   :)

I can only augment this short rave by telling you very truthfully that this chilli recipe – you know I love all chilli – is the best so far. BY far.

I made it for my lunch, and I shall have more for my dinner. It’s almost no points in my WW existence, but squillions in terms of favourite meals !!

With friends like me ..   :(

Take a look at this super pattern, willya ? It’s created by one of my most admired crochet designers – if not THE most admired.

https://doradoes.co.uk/2018/04/07/crochet-design-secrets/

She’s a genuine designer, too – you’ll find mostly garments, but also some fun stuff. Perhaps even more importantly, she has gradually provided a huge and comprehensive database (you might call it) of crochet help. Her .. what ? – mission statement, maybe, is upfront under the heading “Doralosophy”; and it’s well worth a read.

So what do I mean by my heading ..?

Simply this:

This is Dora herself, the pretty creature, modelling one of her huge designer range – and it’s also my friend Michelle ..

Why in the name of all the gods have I been farting around online looking for patterns to crochet that can be adjusted for size ??????

This delightful shrug was always there – has been there, I mean, since 2018 !!

And not only that, it’s BLUE DK YARN, of which I have a plethora – for the stripes I shall use something very different, but just as nice.   :)

I’m a total klutz. Sighh ..

Morphing the blue

Gritted my teeth, girded my loins, took the plunge, and ..

That’s the left front – with slit for pocket – of this cardi:

I decided not to proceed with the original pattern, as that model is far, far removed from my body shape (which is changing, anyway). There are certain practicalities that do not hit me between the eyes, and that was one of ’em.

Every WIP is giving me the pip!

I have a battery of photos to post, because unless I do you will not understand how very blameworthy I am. And as a particularly horrible former brother-in-law was wont to say (frequently), “Blame must be allocated !”.

I have just today reached an impasse with my third project: I’ve run out of yarn for it, and for the second time ! Having written that, I shall start from now and work backwards ..

But first, an image of all three FAR from complete WIPs:

And this should give you the beginnings of comprehension of my guilt !

Right. The project I had to stop crocheting today is this one:

The image is not that supplied by the designer, but by an enthusiastic maker of her pattern. I like it because it was her very first crocheted garment !

And here’s where I had to leave mine:

No collar, no sleeves and no cuffs. Well, OF COURSE there aren’t any cuffs on account of there being no sleeves !!    [sighh ..]   I’ve ordered more yarn, and have zero idea of what Australia Post is doing with mail.

The middle project was another pattern by the same designer, although (and you’ll simply have to take my word for this) I had no idea when I abandoned this and took up the one above that such was the case ! She’s a clever woman, alright.

Here’s the pattern:

Yesyes, I’ve never been as large as that, but I figured it ought to give me enough around the arse. Unhappily, I was working to measurements I took of meself before I went on myWW; and now my (_|_) is some inches less around. As I cast on for the biggest size, it’s a turtle waste of time continuing; for it will turn into one of those huge heavy things that does nothing so much as weigh me down. So I’m going to have to frog everything I’ve crocheted so far, and the thought is extremely painful, to put it mildly ..

 And now to the oldest one – which is by far the silliest thing I’ve done in a long time.

I used this shrug’s pattern in the most basic way – simply casting on the number of stitches and starting to make a rectangle, in a stitch I’ve been dying to use ..

NOT this one, and not in this colourway !

 But.

I omitted to note that her measurement of the vertical was with the rectangle folded over !!! Which is to say, it should be twice as wide.

So I simply can’t decide which of no.s 2 or 3 I should frog first.

Or maybe I’ll just open a vein ..

I cannot resist sharing my 1-pot stove-top vegetarian recipes using eggplant !

I know there are them wot can’t eat or even don’t like eggplant, but it’s now not only my favourite vegetable when made into eggplant parmigiana or eggplant schnitzels by my very dear friend M but also my f.v. when the base in meals as described above.

La melanzana is a wow of a vegetable !

— Guido Borelli

Of course there are lots more types of eggplant; but I never find them and so I just go on cooking and eating the ones in that painting (yes, that’s what it is: Italians are as fond of le melanzane as I am). The first recipe I’m posting actually means me to use one of those or two of the long thin ones, I think: but as I can’t find any of the latter I just use two of the former.   :)

And I’m also a fan of BEENZ ! – any kind including borlotti, kidney, cannellini, butter, black and chickpeas. I’d always considered that last-named pulse to by my favourite; but these recipes have shown me that I love ’em all !

I shall attempt to simply attach each recipe, rather than go through the whole boring thing of re-typing them. You may start praying now ..

Spicy Bean Stew. The simplest, but the vegies should be cut up pretty damn small.

BAKED EGGPLANT & BEAN STEW. Hang on a tick — I can’t remember if that’s the correct name for this one .. But it don’t matter much, eh ? And btw, it ain’t baked – it doesn’t need to be.

Creamy Eggplant & Bean Casserole. Tahini creates the ‘creaminess’: personally I would prefer it be described by some other adjective. Simple and quick(ish).

If you’re allowed eggplant and beans, these three dishes will make meals for whole families or for one grumpy old lady with some fridge space. In my frightfully humble opinion, each of these recipes is DELICIOUS, to put it mildly !!