Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Red Haired Amazona visits The Imperial City and the Batman Rocket

Oh Canberra, how I love you. I have just returned from a weekend jaunt to the Imperial City for family stuff. Good family stuff though.

I am proud to declare I was a resident of the quiet but endearing Imperial City from birth. It's a small city. Sydneysiders and Melbournians love to scoff at our provincial capital but they see only the political reports on the news from Parliament House. They may have passed through on a weekend and noted the almost empty streets, laughed at our complaints about the 15 minute peak hour drag after work. But they never stayed long enough to tap into Canberra's heart, it's sense of community spirit.

It's small enough that on any given day you can be in any part of town and bump into someone you know. Or even be familiar enough with the faces to recognise someone. You might not know them but they are what we'd call A Canberra Face.  Such a thing took place at the Woolies supermarket in the Belconnen Mall. There was this check out chick who served us. I recognised her instantly. I don't know her personally, but she has worked there for over 15 years.  Bless her soul, she had the balls to ask if sonofagun No.2 was my grandson. Because he's a little 'dark' she said. She's one of those Canberra Faces and I also knew from years ago, she's a delightful thing who has always been prone to blisteringly tactless but innocent comments, so I smiled sweetly, feeling no offence and almost replied that I had watched as they sliced open my engorged belly and ripped his steaming carcass from me, but simply said, "Oh no, he's my son."  She then acknowledged me as A Canberra Face. "I haven't seen you for a while," she said. And we smiled and said our goodbyes as she handed over my change.

The city used to be a green little paradise. Beautiful landscaped gardens throughout the city in the public spaces, mown nature strips, iconic buildings lining Lake Burley Griffin and my favourite, Telstra Tower, formerly known as Telecom Tower, known by Sonofagun No. 2 as The Batman Rocket.

Now it's a desiccated shell of it's former self.  The iconic buildings are still iconic but my uneducated guess is the drought which swept the nation several years ago sapped the green out of Canberra and it has struggled to recover ever since.

Driving through Canberra makes me feel like drenching myself in Oil of Olay and knocking back several Powerades.  Everything is brown. Lawns almost don't exist anymore. They have been replaced by some sort of sparse, brown weed.  The city's Govie lawnmowing guys must have had their budget severely cut because they ain't cutting no grass! 

I am being hugely judgemental. I'm lucky. I have moved to a gorgeous little suburb in the south west of Melbourne which gets a reasonably regular rainfall, and even if it browns out in summer, parklands, nature strips and lawns are tended. Maybe there's a penalty handed out by local councils if you don't mow, not sure.

Canberrans love Canberra. Unless they don't have kids and are under 30. Then they're bored shitless and can hardly wait to move to Sydney or Melbourne.  Canberra is fairly easy to get around, although I did note a slight lack of adequate signage which I sorely needed. There have been a few road changes since I left 4 years ago, so my poor passengers had to put up with a few choice Rally Car steering maneuvers as I would remark suddenly, "Oh crap, we're supposed to turn left! When did they put THAT there!?!"   It's safe and quiet. Well quietish. Turns out some druggos have moved into our old house and have had the Fuzz around a few times.  Last year when visiting my gorgeous artist friend who lives a few doors down, I took the opportunity for a STICKY BEAK.

There is a laneway on one side of my old house. And a big gap in the fence. So I shamelessly bent over and had a good ole perve into my old backyard. I discovered I left one of my big ceramic planters behind. And they had planted something in it! I shan't say what it was, needless to say Cheech and Chong would have made themselves right at home.

So back to Canberra. Canberra why? Why aren't CityScape mowing your parks?  Why does the whole city look like Victa ran off with the maid? I love you and I'm sad at you.

Alright. My whinge is over. Or is it?

On the plus side we had the best of fun visiting The Batman Rocket (aka Telstra Tower).

But here's another question for you Canberra:  The Telstra Tower is the most prominent silhouette on the city skyline. It sits proudly smack back in the centre of town (almost. a little bit northish) and every touristy thingo you find anywhere has some sort of representation of it. But when you enter, the interior has been rarely updated since it was built in the late 1970s.

Not a bad looking fella! Taken on my Samsung s5 phone.

When you enter and pay a pretty cheap entry charge, you ascend to the viewing gallery via a dinky little elevator and come out to a pebblecrete lined interior where you can walk around with a 360 degree view of the city. It's a sight I never grow tired of. What I am tired of is the same expensive little coffee shop selling over priced bad tasting cappuccinos and sweet FA to buy in the tourist shop.

The Sonofaguns survey the Imperial City from the 2nd level outside viewing platform of the Batman Rocket.

Come on Batman Rocket! Why are you so neglected? You are awesome. Every Canberran child has their own imagination fueled theory about what you REALLY are. For my sonofagun No.2 you are the Batman Rocket. For others, you're a spaceship or a castle.  The little tourist shop used to sell all the cool pieces of dinky tourist crap people love to hate, and some cute stuff locals would specifically go up to the Tower to buy. I used to buy a cute little silver plated Tower keyring. Every few years it would break and it would be a great excuse to visit the Tower and buy another. But 3 years ago they replaced those cute little keyrings with a long ugly Picasso version that was almost as long as my hand. Now all such dooverlackeys have been removed from sale. You can buy a cheap unattractive plastic pen. Or a postcard. Or a plastic ruler. You get the picture.  I do like my kitschy tourist crap. But not that crappy.
But please don't let my rant put you off visiting. It is pretty dang cool. At night it is usually lit up with coloured spotlights. Impressive. I did try taking a photo with my Samsung s5 phone, but as amazing as the camera is, it's crap at night photos so I borrowed someone else's photo just to show you it's coolness:
I stole this off some site on the interwebs. And in the spirit of non- stealing, here's the original link.

We did some family and friend visiting, we perved at how Braddon has changed to a micro Collingwood, and had a speed visit to the Australian War Memorial.  I was able to have a hug and a cup of tea with BFF at the cafe in the long established, iconic Rodney's nursery in Piallago and we let all our little & big monsters run wild at the nursery's playground while we soaked up the tea and atmosphere.

Guys, I apologise for the long, tourist style blog/ rant but there it is.
And fellow Canberrans. I say these ranty things not to be putting the hate on Canberra. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love Canberra. I'll be an Imperial Citizen until my dying day. You should be the shining jewel in Australia's crown. When Stevie Jacobs is reading the Today Show weather in the morning, he should start with Canberra, instead of forgetting to mention it half the time. 

xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Procrastination. It's the garden's fault....

Today it's so gorgeous outside, it's like the weather is just showing off.  And it's my day off. Isn't it funny how in order to make ourselves feel like we've done something with our day, we have to fill it with Things To Do lists?

This weekend we are embarking on a journey to the Imperial City (Canberra) for a family birthday. I can hardly wait. My family rocks. We enjoy each others company, we drink The Wine, laugh out loud and alot. We say outrageously, hilarious things, drink more of The Wine and laugh a lot more.
So I was required to compile the dreaded Things To Do list and do them to get ready for the trip.

One of the best things to make you feel like you're powering through the TTD list is write down some things you've already done, then cross them off.  We all do this. It makes us feel like we've accomplished something.

I am also a chronic procrastinator. I'm doing it right now. Blog writing was not on the TTD list. And it certainly won't help get ready for going away. But I've subconsciously included it the process via my vast powers of procrastination.  It it goes like this:

1. Get out of bed.

2. Have a shower and breakfast.

3. wash clothes then get asked by sonofagun no.2 to get out the colouring in books and textas which leads to me sitting down and colouring in with him for 40 mintues then have a cup of coffee

4. vacuum car then get stuck chatting with the old lady from up the road for 20 minutes which almost progresses to a cup of tea until i remember the TTD list

5. pay yearly RACV insurance then pop a quick call through to BFF in Kiama to catch up coz it was her son's bday the other day then have another cup of coffee

6. clean kitchen then think it would look nice with some flowers so go outside to pick flowers, then spend 10 minutes finding just the right jug and arranging them in said jug

7. pack kids bags then start cleaning sonofagun no.1's room which is gross. bloody teenagers. then boil the jug to make a cup of coffee but discover my lukewarm cup of coffee from before and drink that. blech.

8. hang out washing which leads to thinking how gorgeous the garden is, so I might just take a few photos. Then I start taking a short video of the budgie trying to say 'pretty birdie' which takes 15 minutes because he's decided he can't be bothered , then sonofagun no. 2 asks for morning tea so I make some for him and me, then sit in front of the computer while I have my morning tea then think about putting some gratuitous flower photos on the interwebs so I can share their gorgeous colours with everyone.

9. pack my bag

10. load movies on the Tablet for the trip etc ...


See what I mean?

So for the procrastinating garden pics?

 This is a tribute to all the hayfever sufferes out there. Thankfully I am not one of them. Can shove my face right into any pretty flowery type thing and inhale it like a bong.


Gratuitous garden bed pic.


 My first attempt at lilies. They are the most amazing drag queens of the garden. Love.


I am totally in love with Queen Anne's Lace. It just flops all over the place like Harry Stiles' fringe.


Sweet peas are compulsory. That is all.

Right. OK. I didn't include my entire TTD list because that would be tedious. I must do everything on the list before I head off this afternoon for the much anticipated appointment with my lovely local tattoo artist to complete the finishing touches on my Granny Square tattoo. Yes, Granny Square tattoo.
Happy Hump Day!

xox
Louise

The Red Haired Amazona

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Drizzly sunday, Pearl Jam and Wiggly ferals....

It's a drizzly Sunday morning and I've lost several hours of my life figuring out how to put a pretty background on the page of my new blog. A million things to say and opinions to spew, crochet and knit projects to proudly show off but now I am drained of computer and interwebs lurve.
I sit. I look at the screen and keyboard. The dreaded old keyboard with sticky keys from sonofagun no.1 dropping food scraps after school on it and I am wiped of words.

I'm not the most amazing mother in the world. I lurve my kids like a million Christmases with sherry soaked trifle. I give them yummy food, keep them clean and give them fresh clothes, lots of hugs and kisses and I love yous. I let sonofagun no.2 have floppy hair because he is a five year old who wants to be a rock star but look like Harry Stiles. Then I dry his hair after a shower and affectionately call him Harry Stiles and he doesn't know what I'm talking about.

I let the teenaged sonofagun no.1 play too much computer games and eat waaaaay too many packets of Indomie noodles than I should. But he still flops his lanky 14 year old body occasionally in my direction, wraps his arms around me in a half hug/ half flop and says in his deep teen age voice, "How's the weather down there Maaaa?" So I think maybe I'm not doing too badly.

 I did make vague mention in the description above about being a crochet queen. I didn't use capital letters because I am not The Crochet Queen. I'm one of many, many, many crochet queens who quietly sit on a saturday evening watching whatever movie or tv show takes their fancy and crochets. But I suspect I may have invented the term! Which is a gobsmackingly outrageous statement to make but there it is.

Oddly though, my current WIP (work in progress) and very first photo reveal is not a piece of crochet! I am teaching myself to knit. But because I always try to run before I can walk, I am almost at the end of a fairsisle/ scandi type scarf. The tension is pretty crappy but I'm kind of loving it! I was going to knit a long plain backing but after using the google to find out the best way, google told me to buy some polar fleece and stitch that on to hide all the messy bits at the back. So here's a sneak peek...



Pearl Jam???!?!?!?!

Yes. 
Why? Because I can. It doesn't get Eddie Vedder than that.





"What the Jiminy Cricket are those deer doing?" I hear you ask. Don't ask. Just accept I am a Knitting Debutante who isn't afraid to experiment.  The more seasoned knitter would immediately note my shocking tension. That's okay. Believe me, my foxes are worse...




Poor wiggly, orange little ferals :(

Any suggestions for my ridonkulous tension (yes, ridonkulous) are extremely welcome.

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona