Here is my backyard

It’s not a big backyard, but I was never going to be able to afford a big property in the suburbs I wanted. Oh well, there’s a large park quite nearby.


The fence isn’t really that crooked. It’s a trick of the photo stitching software.

Likewise, this picture makes the backyard look pretty microscopic. It isn’t really: by my calculations it’s about 13 metres across by about 7 metres deep. Like I say, not big. But usable.

Here is my couch

Here, looking very posed, is a piccy of me on my new couch, which arrived on Saturday.

Couch

Super-comfortable. Feels quite high off the ground, compared to the old, saggy one (which hopefully some lucky Freecycler will want). None of the pictures taken quite captures the colour exactly, but this one is as close as any of them.

Here is my grass

This is the nature strip outside my house. I leave it alone apart from organising to get it mowed every so often. All it gets is (comparatively rare) rain water. It’s lush and green. I don’t know why.
Nature strip

This is my front lawn. It gets some greywater, and a regular mowing, but is otherwise left alone. It’s a little grizzled, but surviving okay. One patch has a fresh growth of new grass.
Front lawn

And this is my back lawn. It gets lots of greywater (from the youngest’s bath) several days a week, and I’ve even tried putting new seed on it to get it kickstarted again. It used to be lush and green, but is now mostly barren, apart from a thin strip along one side. I think it was instant turf stuff, laid by the previous owners when the house was for sale, to look good at the time. I’ve just about given up on growing anything other than dirt on it (at least until autumn, when I’ll dig it all up and put new seed and soil on it). Maybe I should start a dirt farm.
Back lawn

Here are my desks

Today I’m working from home. Here is my (still relatively tidy from Saturday’s pre-party cleanup) home office. With the new flat screens ‘n’ everything.

Desks

You see the stool at the far left? That’s got most of the bits of paper on it that were formerly cluttering up the desk. I’ll get through those and sort them out properly… soon…

I’m working from home because I was waiting for the washing machine repair guy. It started leaking water on Saturday, dammit. Turned out to be a cracked door seal. Ch-ching, $118.70 inc labour and parts. (Mind you I’m relieved that this time it wasn’t something I could have fixed myself.)

Okay, back to work for me…

Here is my stove… and my dinner

It’s just about dinner time. I’ve been attempting (for the first time) to cook a beef stew, a meal designed and built around the half-a-bottle of red wine I had left over from Friday. It’s been slowly cooking for about six hours or so, and I’m getting very hungry.

Here’s what my (ancient) stove looks like:

Old stove

Update 9:30pm. Oh man, that was de-smeggin’-licious. The mushrooms in particular… superb. Perhaps not quite enough meat, and too much carrot in it. But a great cold winter’s night meal.

Hope the leftovers are as good when re-heated. Given how easy it was to cook, I can scarcely believe I’ve never done it before.

Stew

Here is my childhood home

We lived in a number of places when I was growing up, but this block of flats at 62 Hotham Street, East St Kilda, was where we were the longest — seven years, for me from the age of about 4 to 11, covering most of primary school.

62 Hotham Street

The place doesn’t seem to have changed much at all since we lived there, except that it has shrunk — the various kids of the block (and surrounds) used to have football matches in the front garden. On hot days in summer we’d set a sprinkler up on the grass and run through it, and marvel at how hot the pavement (then made of tarmac) was.

At the side is a laneway, which goes up to the next street, where our friends Stuart, Lisa and Tracey lived. We walked to school with them. Across the lane was another block of flats, where the neighbourhood kids used to play hide and seek.

At the back of the block is the carpark, still with the ancient garages, with wooden doors that now seem to be rotting. Under the fire escape is a little alcove, which us kids wanted to use as headquarters for our club… whatever that was. The alcove is still there, boarded up.

62 Hotham Street, back stairs62 Hotham Street

A painted wicket no longer features on the carpark wall. Woe betide anyone who hit a tennis ball over the garages; the neighbour at the back was rumoured to be pretty grumpy.

Some of the first floor residents would try to convince the kids to move from the front to the back and vice-versa, depending on where their nightshift-working relatives were trying to sleep.

I’m struck now by the architecture, which looks to be thirties art-deco, and much more appealing than the other, 70s-style blocks that litter the area. It almost has the air of colonial outpost about it, as if it should be somewhere in the tropics, surrounded by palm trees. Either that or a kind of melting pot for local artists, a creative St Kilda hideaway — like The Secret Life Of Us, but more bohemian.

It was a fun few years, living there as a kid. Lots of happy memories.

Here are my shoes

Here are my shoes (well, most of them)…

My shoes

I hate buying shoes. There are few activities I hate more. It might be because I’ve had a very hit-and-miss history when buying. Roughly in order of purchase:

MISS — ancient brown semi-casual shoes [1]. Subject to endless gags from lovely girlfriend (aka fashion consultant) and just about everybody else. Comfortable, if nothing else.

HIT — the Birkenstocks [2]. Nuff said.

MISS — very shiny Florsheim work shoes [3]. Look okay, but give me pains in my right foot every time I wear them. They say that everybody has one foot that’s bigger than the other, and for me it’s evidently my right. Despite the shop assistant convincing me they seemed to be the right size, they’re clearly too small, and even the ingenious plan of pottering around in them with a wet sock to stretch the leather inside provided only temporary relief. They’re size 9 ½, and I’m obviously a 10. They’re going in the charity bin shortly.

HIT — a pair of Vans brand sneakers [4] bought several years ago. Have lasted a while, though starting to look a bit ratty now. I still like ‘em. Kind of light grey coloured, with red laces.

MISS — Rockport shoes I bought in near-desperation the night before flying to Canberra. Casual black shoes? What was I thinking? General derision from my local fashion consultant (girlfriend) when I showed them to her, and on reflection, she was right. Alleged casual shoes shouldn’t look like that. Returned them to the shop the next day on the way to the airport.

HIT — Ecco sneakers [5]. Cool. Comfortable. By appointment to the Danish royal family apparently, though I haven’t spotted Princess Mary wearing any.

TBA — black Hush Puppies work shoes [6]. Bought last week to replace the shiny Florsheim shoes. Very comfortable on Saturday at the wedding. Noticeably less comfortable the other day at work, leaving nasty looking sores on the back of my ankles, but maybe I’m now at the stage of properly wearing them in. Perhaps I was wearing thicker socks on Saturday? Or perhaps the alcohol on the night caused me not to notice?

Hopefully my luck is improving.

Do you have some favourite or hated shoes? Leave a comment or link to a picture.

Here is my scarf

Here is my scarf (a birthday present from Marita).

Scarf

Now, ten points to the first person who can name that pattern. (If you’ve already been told, keep your trap shut.)