Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
I have had a very quiet week enjoying a form of home detention - minus the ankle bracelet. Every day this week I have sat at home with the furniture from a different bedroom piled up around me in one living room while all the furniture and rugs from the other living room are piled up in one corner of that room to create a clear worksurface on its floor.
And I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. All week I have been waiting for the floorer to arrive. I have now learnt that the hour he will actually arrive and what he will actually achieve each day will bear no relation to what I was led to expect. But he definitely is making progress and thankfully my expectations about the quality of the job and the finished look of the products have been met.
We now have flooring in the kitchen and dining room (it is that Marmoleum above). The children now have flooring in their bedrooms (more Marmoleum).
I ended up giving the Lego pit/library/study (otherwise known as a living room) plain old painted concrete (Berger Jet Dry) as a temporary measure because we plan to hack about at that room at some stage down the track. However we love the floor in that room far out of proportion with its cost (about $50).
Now I can see the finish line. Just a few rooms to go and the perpetual furniture shifting will be over.
The enforced home time has had a silver lining though. A few weeks ago I broke one of my small toes. It hurt so much that I got a temporary case of Tourette syndrome and swore so much I had to apologise to my daughter, but I didn't get a chance to rest it as I was too busy galavanting around with Mum. Eventually my foot looked as if I had one of these monstrosities stuck to the side of it. Now, after a week of home detention resting my foot on the cool painted concrete, I can finally wudge it into footwear again. Maybe by the time the floorer finally finishes I'll even be able to walk properly again.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Perth is currently undergoing lots of last-minute sprucing up because at the end of the month it is hosting a whole bunch of very important visitors. Homeless people are being swept up and moved along, a controversial new law was passed to temporarily give the police ‘special powers’ (The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Special Powers Bill), and various long-broken things are getting fixed. As is often the case with these things, the CHOGM visitors, including the Queen, will see a sanitised and in some ways idealised version of Perth.
One instance of this is the Big Aussie Barbecue which the Queen, her husband, the public and no doubt many hundreds of specially powered police will be attending. It is going to be an alcohol-free event so I suspect it will resemble few other Aussie barbecues ever held in the whole history of Aussie barbecues, or be anywhere near as entertaining.
I don't know whether we'll make it to Perth during CHOGM but we have certainly spent a lot of time there lately as we had a very important visitor of our own to take around to see the sights. My Mum was here for a week, camping in our half-unpacked and floorcoveringless house. On our travels around Perth we saw many workmen scurrying around rolling out lawn and building some somewhat surprising new gardens. We sniggered at a floral mural that spelt out CHOGM with petunias and panolas (fancypants pansies) and guffawed over a blousy floral City of Perth crest. These kitschy concoctions are springing up all over Perth.
Why I find these time-warp gardens filled with naff little plants so bizarre is because Perth and Western Australia look amazing at this time of the year anyway without this sort of twee horticultural contrivance. Western Australia has an incredible array of unique and amazingly beautiful flowering plants and spring is when they are at their best. People come from all over the world to see them and quite rightly so as they are breathtakingly gorgeous. Why the new CHOGM gardens weren't made containing these treasures is a mystery to me.
Western Australian wildflowers can be seen in their natural state in many places around the state but the easiest way to get a whizz-bang, action-packed experience of them is to go to King's Park in central Perth. I love it there at any time of the year but in spring it is quite simply fabulous. Mum kept saying "I had no idea it was so beautiful here!" Here are some snaps I took there last week.
Many of CHOGM's very important visitors will get to go to King's Park too as the Leaders' Retreat will be housed in a restaurant there - with the newly refurbished Victorian-style floral clock right outside.... But hopefully they will also get a chance to explore the park further and to see the wonderful, uniquely Western Australian spectacle that is King's Park in spring, as that really is a sight fit for a King. Or a Queen.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Last weekend we moved house. As my sister rather accurately and succinctly put it, "Moving house is hideous". Yes, it was. The movers arrived two hours early but given that I'd rather naively scheduled our move for the same day and time as the AFL grand final, it was tricky enough to secure movers at all so I didn't complain. I did however have to do some rather hasty packing. But now that the move and cleanup are history, and we are settling in to our new home, the many advantages of being in this house far outweigh the hassles and disadvantages of moving. We are loving our new digs apart from a couple of things.
The first is that, just like at the last house, the phone line sounds like we are in a snowstorm in Antarctica and the internet connection drops out every few minutes. At the last house it took four weeks and me faking a serious case of early-onset grumpy old woman syndrome for Telstra to finally come and fix it, so who knows how long this time.
The second is that something I'd wanted for a long time finally happened, though not exactly in the way I'd hoped. For years my favourite possession has been a large, white bowl by potter John Parker. I've always hoped to eventually own more than one piece of his pottery. Now I do. It seems that "speed packing" needs to be added to the list of tasks I'm rubbish at. Thankfully though, judging by the reactions I've had to our house so far, it looks like turning a sow's ear of a house into a silk purse house can be added to my "not rubbish at" list.