There are such great people here and there ..

Today I came across a new-to-me crocheter – another American, as are so many, but one who has opened my eyes !

Her name is Doris. She has a YouTube channel, a husband and a pretty impressive craft setup. She also has a kind heart and a generosity of spirit that I’ve found rewarding, so far, at least three times:

  1. how to stop my crochet fabric from gradually widening as it gets longer
  2. how to use my swift gainfully, so that a skein doesn’t keep jamming the yarn-winder
  3. how to design a cardigan or jumper that really, really, REALLY fits me.

Christ on a bicycle ! – all this from one small (5’4″, she tells us) woman !

As I have (1) skeins I haven’t wound into balls because I’m sick of the tangles I get myself into; (2) a half-made cardi I haven’t finished because I’m sick of the way the back at its top is about 5cm wider than it is at the bottom; and (3) a deep-seated yearning to just MAKE A CARDI MYSELF, regardless of yarn, weight, colour or anyone else’s directions regarding any of those .. why, I have to bless Doris and her Rose Cottage YouTube channel (not to mention again her big heart) !

This may all seem so, so boring to you lot who never pick up a crochet hook from dawn to dusk, 24/7, right ?

To me it’s a really important part of my pretty solitary life, my crocheting; so that my continued lack of FOs, coupled with my ever-improving ability to frog at speed and re-wind by hand, has needed some kind of injection of DIRECTION for longer than I can recall. Doris gives me that.


The answer is “Nothing !”

I was wondering what’s wrong with me that gets me rejected as a tenant, yes ?

Cf my heading up there.

This ad is from today’s list. In other words, they haven’t yet managed to let it; but they have told me that I’m out.

So it’s definitely the fact that I have a cat. The owner doesn’t want a pet.

Those ‘marvellous’ changes to the tenancy laws are not policeable.

Still, I comfort myself with the very unappealing thought of living in a place whose owner doesn’t like pets ..

And with the fact that I have a viewing Monday lunchtime of an apartment I’d really like – and so would Boodie ! It has a balcony he’d LOVE, the little darlin; and no huge sliding doors. I’ve had a brief chat with the Property Manager and she said she’s seen my application and she thinks the owner and I would get on like a house on fire !


Oh, NEARLY, darling ..

That was a quote from my mama which has no meaning for any of youse but can be found within the pages of ATLMD, described as ‘a Stringerism’. It still makes me laugh.   :D

I employ it here to draw attention to the near impossible fact of having found a place to rent – no need for a spoiler alert because the agency hasn’t yet announced the owner’s chosen tenant – that meets every item but one on my list of criteria:

  • not situated in the middle of acres of concrete
  • not on entrance where others go in and out
  • not in hilly area
  • not on heavy traffic (in both senses) road
  • not facing west
  • not in the wilds of suburbia
  • ground floor or lift
  • water pressure good
  • large enough tank if electric hot water
  • on sufficient number of elec. circuits
  • dishwasher or double sink
  • on public transport or close to
  • shopping close by or transport thereto ditto
  • taps for washing-machine
  • intercom or direct access

It’s the dishwasher or double sink criterion that isn’t met. This will be met, somewhere down the line, by the purchase of yet another Domain brand benchtop dishwasher – my third.

It’s an absolute ripper of a little machine: washes glassware so that it sparkles. While I don’t absolutely HAVE to have a dishwasher, I do love the knowledge that I’m eating off really clean crockery and drinking out of really clean glassware and using really clean cutlery. For in my current hovel I am facing into a blind wall and unsure of how well I’m doing with washing the dishes. As well, being unable to rinse them maketh me very mad indeed; and I don’t have room for a bowl of clean hot water even to dip them into. I reckon I eat an awful lotta soap ..

Anyway. Apart from all that nonsense, the fact is that this little unit is an excellent example of how one can find a 93% successful place in the most unlikely kind of guise. It’s the back half (bit less, actually) of a longish house, and has been made into an independent living place. It has a lovely piece of lawn outside, with trees and all, and a Hills hoist. As you will’ve immediately worked out, it’s there for both halves; meaning that there will be some degree of meeting in the garden on weekends – possibly ..

Well, I met the bloke of whoever live there in the front half, and he’s delightful. He emerged to bring in his drying from the hoist, which gave him a big tick to start with. AND it turned out that it was he who had put in several above-ground vegie patches ! (so I do not see why I couldn’t do the same with flowers), which is several hundred ticks. He is far from being a bogan. I could share the garden, de temps en temps, very well with him.

You are instructed to fall to your knees and pray that I get it, OK ?

No, I don’t give a rat’s if you know perfectly well that there’s no-one up there: just do it. Nike away like anything.



Game-changer – thumb down ..

I’d done all the PT preparations for going up to Ballarat today – done ’em at high speed, as I only discovered when I got back from viewing the truly lovely but much too small studio in North Melbourne (the sleeping|living area is, I believe, about the size of my current kitchen) that there was a viewing on this-arvo that they’d whipped in while I was gone – but from wake-up this-morning I’ve been doing the maths.

The bottom  line is that I can’t afford to move out of town – to anywhere. About 18 months ago it cost me $1,000 to move from North Geelong to Maribyrnong. That’s a distance of roughly 65km. Imagine what moving from St Kilda East to Wendouree would cost today ! – it’s about 125km. Those big sums – big for just the one person’s possessions – are due in large part to the truck’s having to be paid also to return to base.

So, of course, the further away I go the more the cost goes up by a factor of 2 – well, a big chunk of it, anyway.   :(

Thus am I right back to where I was: nothing lined up for checking. Are my criteria as picky as all that ?:
not situated in the middle of acres of concrete
not on entrance where others go in and out
not in hilly area
not on heavy traffic (in both senses) road
not facing west
not in the wilds of suburbia
-ground floor or lift
-water pressure good
-large enough tank if electric hot water
-on sufficient number of elec. circuits
-dishwasher or double sink
-on public transport or close to
-shopping close by or transport thereto ditto
-taps for washing-machine
-intercom or direct access

You gotta laugh, team: those are indeed (in no particular order) my criteria – in a perfect world. But as this one isn’t quite perfect, I’m only too aware that  I ain’t NEVAH gonna find a place like that. Some are immutable: not facing west has risen to the top after my nearly twelve months in the top floor of the Maribyrnong high-rise; taps for the washing-machine ditto after my nearly five months here with a communal laundry. You could amuse yourselves rearranging that list in order of what you think a grumpy old person would do, and it might help ME !   :)

Anyway. That’s the latest problem re moving. If it ain’t one thing it’s another, or some such fairly mindless aphorism ..

MAJOR milestone !

This-morning I very nervously weighed myself again.

I did it because yesterday, having donned a pair of leggings (I can’t keep buying jeans and finding they’re unwearable after a while) and gone shopping, come home, finally finished an umpteenth enormous bunch of delicious white grapes that the Woolies Metro over the road has been tempting me with and settled in to do some serious overlay mosaic crochet, I realized I was distinctly uncomfortable around the waist. Going to remove the leggings I saw (1) that my flab was being forced out above the waist by them and (2) that their waistline was all bent over. The obvious conclusion was that I HAD PUT WEIGHT ON. Ugh !

Hence this-morning’s activity with the scales.

Expecting to find myself something like 3 kilos up, I found to my astonishment that I am in fact another half-kilo down: today I weigh

79.4 kilos.

That may make you wince and wonder why I would be chuffed, considering that ..

(typical bloody Google: June 2013 ???!) ..

but I’m about 168 cm, just for starters; and somehow I dunno that the average Aussie sheila has grown 7 cm, even in 9 years !

But the real point here is that I haven’t been in the seventies, kilo-wise, for longer than anyone alive can remember. Certainly I can’t !

And together with my new-found lack of kilos comes a new-found thinking about Moving Out: I’ve come across a delightful unit at an amazing rental price in .. wait for it .. Ballarat. And if they accept my application I SHALL GO THERE. I’ve dithered and havered about leaving the big smoke for so long that I disgust myself.

In fact, I disgust myself on many levels, these days ..

I have no friends here in Melbourne, not any more. No-one travels here to visit me, not in these C-19 days, when Victoria is riddled with tales of infection. So why should I stay here ? Why not go Somewhere Else ? Stringer is with me wherever I go, after all .. And although I’m going to view a truly beautiful place in North Melbourne on Monday, it’s a studio; and I don’t really think it fair on The Boodster to not provide him with at least one room to get away from me ! (Yesyes; there are those who consider that perhaps an eight-room house wouldn’t be enough distance ..)

The one thing that might keep me tied to Melbourne is my wonderful GP, Cecile. However, she herself has pointed out that we can do video consults so there’s almost zero need to visit her; and an occasional trip down as necessitated by, say, my bi-annual exhaustive health check would be a pleasure. Ballarat isn’t far:

Anyvays, that’s the current thinking. Knowing me, I may well disgust myself further and decide on relieving myself of most of what’s left of my possessions in order to move in to a studio (it is such a beautiful environment !).

So you ain’t hoid de last of dis ..

Give me STRENGTH ..!

I’ve just returned from an ‘apartment viewing’. It has opened my eyes.

This is it: doesn’t look too bad, eh ? I had come to think, looking at it, that this kind of small apartment building could be my saving.

In fact it was impossible to tell quite what it looks like; for the current tenant, although physically absent, had left so much filth and mess and plates of half-eaten FOOD around that one could barely get from the doorway to the balcony, and I do not exaggerate !

I have never in my life seen such a revolting mess. Not ever: not any type of habitation: not anywhere. And this was what the agency was happy to show potential tenants through.

As well, I’m now convinced that the photos used on the ads to show what the places look like are taken with cameras on which lenses are added to elongate the rooms or the balconies: what I eventually managed to see by way of a balcony today was roughly a third the size I was expecting. (That it faces directly west was as I feared: never again will I take anywhere that faces west !)

Am I out of touch ? Is this all one can expect to be shown ? Do agents  no longer accept any degree whatsoever of responsibility for ensuring that outgoers do their bit to ensure the next incomers can see what they’re applying for ?

It seems I am. Everything has changed: was it Covid ? Or am I simply a latter-day Rip van Winkle, and it’s been changing while I’ve been unaware ..?

Now RE companies insert statements into their ads (on the many and various search engines for real estate) that specifically deny any responsibility for the actuality’s turning out differently from what they’ve just told you ! So .. if they‘re not responsible for the contents of their own ads, who the fuck is ?!

Tomorrow I was booked to view a place that looks like me, in Werribee. Well, you know what I mean. It was I who called the agents yet again to ask why the viewing time was no longer showing on the ad: and they casually told me the unit had been leased. No-one had the slightest intention of letting me know; and I would’ve travelled from Melbourne to Werribee for nothing.

I may soon have an even more jaundiced eye than I have at this moment ..



Getting it over and done with

Stupid of me not to’ve just told you the other night. I started to, but then I piked out; couldn’t face the topic yet again.

I have to move again.

You can be apprised of the many reasons for this truly hideous fact by reading a couple of documents, comprising my letter to my Property Manager, currently on holidays and not back till Thursday, under a covering bad-tempered email. There are some attachments I’m leaving out because they’re not necessary to your comprehension of my total fed-up-ness ..

  1. Covering email.
  2. 1st_vacating – as identified in said infuriated email – stating most of the facts (because, believe it or not, there are other things that I forgot at the time of writing !

Then there are a couple of the attachments:

  1. att-2.jpg is essential, as you’ll see; and
  2. att-2.pdf also, being  half of the infamous pair that set the lie in place.

I’ve since taken a shitload more photos so as to have them on hand in case of heated denials (or any kind !).

So that’s it. The enormous depressing load I’m currently toting about.

HNY and all that

Yeah, I know: I sound less than fulsome, don’t I ?

It’s because I’m running out of any ability to be nice (or even pretend to be). The Boodster is much more pleasant company than am I, and that’s the truth .

Stringer used often to call me “Lucy” .. And that version of her is EXACTLY how I feel.

I s’pose you’re wondering why the mood ..?

Can’t bring myself to tell you, not right now. Maybe during the week. Probably.

You’d be only sensible if you shrugged and said “OK then, fuck you M-R ! – who even cares ?!” ..



A nightshade-less recipe for a friend


Prep Time: 10 mins     Cook Time: 30 mins     Yield: 4 servings


  • 1¼ cups jasmine rice or long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • pinch of salt, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped finely
  • 2 under-ripe zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick rounds (about 1 cup)
  • small head of broccoli, broken into florets and stem peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ cups packed thinly sliced silverbeet
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut sugar or raw sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • handful of chopped fresh basil or coriander,
  • optional red pepper flakes, sriracha as garnish


  • To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 12 or so minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, season the rice to taste with salt and fluff it with a fork.
  • To make the curry, warm a dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
  • Add the green vegies and carrots; cook until the broccoli stems are fork-tender, up to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, water, silverbeet and sugar, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peppers, carrots and silverbeet have softened to your liking, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and season with tamari and rice vinegar/lime juice. Add salt (¼ teaspoon for optimal flavor) to taste. If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, or for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more rice vinegar/lime juice. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped coriander and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you like.
  • If you like spicy, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce on the side.

As with most recipes, I’ve found the cooking times variable. It depends entirely on the vegetables in the curry as to how long to cook ’em. Trial and error, trial and error – without any error, of course !   :)