Monday, December 31, 2007

NY Road Trip Part 1

Left Sydney for Canberra, stopped at Bungonia Gorge for a night. Looks like the NPWS had closed half the campsites in their wisdom. The two main lookouts looked over the canyon - and the wonderful scar opposite that is the quarry. So easily can our government be bought.

Walked from the main lookout over to Adams lookout. At least from here you couldn't see the quarry, and could just appreciate Slot Canyon. Very hot. The showers were very nice though.

Continued on to the main attraction: Boroomba Rocks. Since the weather had been very hot, we awoke at the crack of pre-dawn, and frogmarched from the carpark at 7am up the slope to South Buttress. Integral Crack was calling!

We enjoyed the shade up till about 1130. Definitely the way to go in future. And not only that: I managed to second integral crack clean, and crank off a finger lock. Yowie!!

Completed the day with a cooling dip in the Murrumbidgee river near Point Hut crossing. Is this how the natives cool down?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Various Nibbles

Broke a window trying to get a fly with a thong. It's worked in the past, I don't see why the window had to shatter on purpose.

Blind baked a pre-made pie crust, and burnt the edges.

Trying to make pumpkin pie for a pushing daisies movie marathon.

Monday, December 03, 2007

the oaks, backwards

Almost did the oaks fire trail twice in one week. Record for me. :-)

Took Monday off, did it the traditional direction 'downhill' from woodford to glenbrook. Lots of fun, although I bailed on the really hard bit of single track right near the end. I have to admit though, a weekday is *the* day to do it, because you are not at risk of super collision or 8-bike pile up if you decide to take your own sweet time about it.

Went back on Sunday. Surprisingly, the road down to the causeway at Glenbrook was closed, and had been since Friday. There was half a tree and a boulder right in the middle of the causeway. It doesn't take long for the rivers to fill up from rain!

So the backwards bit means I rode a bit of it 'uphill', from glenbrook to woodford. I was really surprised how much of a difference it made. You don't notice the slope much from the Oaks picnic area, but I think I climbed 50m in elevation over 2km. And then, once I reached the '10km from glenbrook' mark, I chucked a u-turn, and did my favourite bit really fast. Wheeeeeee!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Working towards the Urban Polaris

Have a dream to do the final urban polaris this year in canberra. 7 hours on a bike - ouch, even more ouch if I haven't been on a bike since August.

So I went on a ride on Sunday, bush track in the Wollemi National Park. It was very pretty, highly enjoyable. I totally rode it wrong, riding too hard on the brake doing the downhill, too far forward in the saddle, and skidding my way down. Fun though - didn't come off once. Nearly ran over a snake too. It was bright green, with a white/cream underbelly and yellow markings on its back. That's enough to make me think it was a diamond python (non-poisonous, yay!). However, it was coiled and ready to strike - and that's not typical behaviour. Possibly it could have been the several rocks and branches that Luke threw at it to try and convince it to move that did it. Hmm.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sculpture by the Sea

On its 10 year anniversary, I finally made it to Sculpture by the Sea. It was hot. It was also the last weekend, so it was crowded. Fun.

The rusted metal sculptures at Tamarama looked like they had been there for years, they really blended in. The rolled up balls of "united nations policy on climate change" were funny, and oh so true. The sea lady perched on the rockshelf worked so well, there were many young lasses who sat next to her and adopted the same pose.

I wonder which of the sculptures was that of my neighbour?

I'd left my wallet at home, and a gelato at pompeii was the one neccessity, so I couldn't afford a catalog. Hazelnut & blood orange - well worth it!

It was good fun at Marks Park, with the families out and about and exploring the art. Quite a few made it through the bars imprisoning the tree on the headland.

I made it into the water too, twice at Tamarama. The water was very cold, and rough towards the end of the day. I may be a little sunburnt.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ironic Ad

Heard an ad on the radio whilst on the commute. It was one of those "help I'm drowning in debt" type ads, and the company promises to help you out. "If we can't help you, no one can!". The rep's name was "Jacque".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Danks St Festival 2007

Went to the Dank St Festival today, probably my first 'real' good food month attended. I mean I went to the markets - but it's a thing i do quite a bit. Hot day, in street with two PAs blaring away just way too loud, make my head hurt. Gah, I'm turning into a little granny.

Apart from that, lots of fun! Bought a round loaf of olive bread from Sonoma - just missed out on the soy linseed. :-(. [Tasted the bread after dinner - Yummo!]Although I wasn't hungry when heading there, I was pretty soon after landing and smelling all the yummy smells. Sampled:
- Creole sausage & rocket on a roll with smokey bbq sauce from Eumundi Smokehouse. Good & chewy texture. well matched. I like the sauce!
- Garlic Prawns from the Spanish Place, up at the Moore Park end. The prawns were a bit salty, and the texture tough. Uh - were they frozen? But the accompanying picante and verde sauces were lovely.
- Tasting Plate (arancini rice ball; pumpkin pinenut and yoghurt tartlet) and duck pancake. Liked the pancake. Was it wholemeal? I'm sure there was more stuff with the tasting plate, but I can't remember. The sharpness of the yoghurt contrasted nicely with the richness of the pine nuts. I love pine-nuts, so moreish.
-Serendipity gelato flavours of fig, honey & pistachio; and kaffir lime and coconut. I've been a fan of the vanilla bean for aaages, when they were stocked in little takaway containers for $10 a block. I had heard rave reviews of the fig ice cream: it was lovely, but a little two sweet. You got the crunchiness of the fig seeds, nutty/creamy pistachio nuts and then sweet honey. The kaffir lime & coconut was so white, it looked bleached. Non-dairy? I guess if you use coconut cream/milk. Then you get this little tantalising hit of 'ooh, slightly limey',and cruncy bits of shredded coconut. Make that toasted, and it would totally win me over.

I couldn't quite do the whole two scoops, I think next time I try for a 1.5 scoop deal. I was very full and satisfied after that final effort!

Sad that I'm going to be missing out on the food & wine fair next weekend.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Spring Clean

Steamcleaned the carpets today, and went through 7 refills of 8.5 litre tank. Hmm - not exactly environmentally friendly, but the carpets smell much better. Also used a lot of elbow grease in cleaning out the bathtub of soap scum - used the vinegar & bicarb trick. The worst bit is kneeling on the tiles!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

USA Round up

I spent lots of time in State Parks and National Parks. If the weather is fine, don't even think about trying to get a camp spot along the coast. The smells are so much more 'moreish' - like the super Sugar Pine smell, or the smell of the redwoods or the grandeur of the Giant Sequoias. Loved Yosemite National Park ($20 for 7 day entry is so cheap compared to the $8 day entry in the state parks). Saw lots and lots of bears.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is in *everything*. Chocolate bars in the USA are so much more bad for you than they are in Australia; You read the ingredients, and there is not only Coconut Oil and Palm Oil (the worst two oils in existence), but then they've gone and *hydrogenated* it, which makes is superbad!!

Funny too - I think there are two production lines. i bought some 'endangered species' chocolate. The one that I got from the Yosemite general store had "beet sugar". The one that I saw in Australia had "normal" sugar in it. Eh?

Yay for the existence of the BART in SF; What doesn't make sense is making the consumer work out to the cent, how much to put in the machine. You should be able to press which station you want to go to, and then the machine tells you how much to put in. Not: consult table, then put in money.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Supertired Skibunny

Made a last minute dash to the snow this year: it was a trip that I had all but given up despite the "best snow in 20 years" tag. Suddenly on the Tuesday I found out that a friend of a friend was going: and then there was hope! Booked last minute accomodation on the Thursday, drove down to weather reports of gale force winds at altitudes above 1200m. Sounds like the makings of an epic, doesn't it?

Anyway, first day at Thredbo was miserable. Instead of wind (and shut lifts), it was constant rain. The actual skiing part was ok-ay: it was slushy and hard work. What sucked was the staying still on the chairlift and getting soaked and cold. Oh-so-cold. We made an executive schnapp decision to head into the warm after two runs, and we had to wring the gloves out because the water had soaked right through to the inner liner.

Chose to do a lazy dinner, and instead of driving into Jindy; walk up the hill from the tent to visit the thai place. Instead of (as I was expecting), a rather ordinary suburban thai restaurant, this place was fantastic! Ordered the nahm dtok [grilled beef salad] (spelling from thai food) off the Specials menu, and it was oh-so tasty. I had to restrain myself from licking the plate, the sauce were that good. It was very popular as well: I saw at least four other tables ordering the same dish. I really wanted to come back again the next night, and just hang out there in front of the fire. Dang having to go to work the next day!

Supreeya's Thai Restaurant - well worth it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Water in..

So. The toilets are now on yellowish tanked rain water. And you're supposed to tell if you're dehydrated by checking the colour of your urine. How am I supposed to tell ? Counting the number of glasses per day is so old school.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Macadamia Nuts

The thumbprints on my fingers feel raw.

I visited a Macadamia farm over the weekend, and having enjoyed the pumpkin and macadamia nut scones fresh from the oven with a bit of cream and jam, proceeded to scour the ground underneath the trees in the grove for some fruit. Apparently they're not ripe until they drop off the tree, and you need 12 weeks to dry them in the shell before you can crack the nut from within.

But to dry the shell, I had to remove it from the casing. First attempt was with a knife to top & tail it, and then peel the green skin off. Have you tried skinning a golfball? Yeah, it was just as successful as that.

A nut cracker (or lobster shell cracker...?) came to the rescue, but the trick was to crack the edge of the skin, and not the central bit that instinctively you go for ~ after all, these are the hardest nutshells in the world.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Plan B's Wagyu Beef Burger

Get one hunk of expensive wagyu beef. Mince it. Turn it into a burger. Yum.

Plan B is the side project for Julian North of Becasse & (Sous Chef) Banc fame.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lack of time, so a short post

Gak! Now being a car-commuter instead of a public transport commuter, I am finding that I'm having much less spare time than I used to, and the backlog of things to read is getting longer.
So little time!

Loving: A proper winter, snuggling up in front of the heater. Sleeping in (but I've always loved that). Rise Omakase menu. The freshness of the sushi at Makato. Coffee. Need more.

Inspired by: Lamb & Tomato Soup from The Gardners Inn Blackheath; Sticky Toffee Pudding (Steph Alexander Version), hastily converted from metric weights to -erh- I think 170g sugar is a three quarters cup?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Me = Commuter Squared

Took delivery of a new car at the end of last month. All of 13km on the clock, just enough to have assembled it it, driven it onto the ship, and driven it off the ship.

Instead of being a public transport person - I am now an evil commuter. One of those single people, in a single car, travelling to work. At the moment I am doing the reverse commute, travelling from the inner suburbs of sydney to the western suburbs. And generally, I like driving. But I don't like driving during the peak hour rush when everyone is aggro and less forgiving.

My compensation for doing this daily commute has been to start up a bokashi box, a sort of indoor pre-compost fermentation system that originated in Japan. I have tried and failed with the worm farm (killing the poor babies twice, so-much-so that the last lot of worms upped and packed themselves to the compost bin next door). Lets see how this one goes.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Degustation at Post, GPO Martin Place

The parentals went to Tetsuya's yesterday with some friends to celebrate a significant birthday.

Jealous as.

By happenstance though, as I was clearing out my boxes from my perpetual-move; I found a menu that I had squirrelled away from two years ago. During good food month 2005, I had a choice between visiting Carribean experimental in Pyrmont; or French degustation. I, predictably, chose the French, although now I wish I had been a little daring.

Anyway, I can't remember much about the actual meal. I think I managed to resist taking photos of every dish. But here is the menu & my scribblings for posterity:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's Time!

So finally - it was time for me to ride the dirtworks 50km race.

Months of non-preparation, and on-again-off-again riding had brought me to this moment.

The killer hill at the beginning - around 12km was just as bad as it was last year. I had to pause and roll around on the ground for a bit to stretch my lower back out. It was just *so* tiring from pushing the bike up the hill at a 65 degree angle. Urk. I started off the ride with sneakers on, to reduce the number of transitions by one, and also so I didn't have to hike up the hill in bike shoes. I'm really not sure how much time I saved!

For the 50km, they had graded the fast downhill track from rocky, sandy and technical to smooth with a combo of water bars & sand traps to slow you down. I was trying so hard to slow down on this downhill bit that I could smell burning rubber - probably my rim brakes. Top speed for me: 41.5km*, and I was a slowpoke!
The water station at the 28km mark (where the 100kmers split off from the 50kmers) was very good with watermelon, orange slices, 'gu' water. Very good, especially since so many people ran out of water last year. I probably stayed a little too long at this rest point.
Apparently a 100kmer broke their collarbone just past the water station. The hike-a-bike bit got removed, but there was a plank/bridge ride over a creek that a few people got wet in when they tried to change direction when already on the bridge.
Timing chips/legstraps got provided too. Ah - technology!
My time was worse than last year (1min), but my placing was one better.
*Courtesy of my handy GPS unit. If I'm speeding downhill, all hands on brakes, even though I'm the kind of person to scream "go-faster", do you *really* think I'd take my eyes off the trail to see the kind of speed I'm clocking up. Nuh-uh.

Friday, May 04, 2007

On the road again

I have been packing my stuff (again!) in preparation for a move. This isn't a moving-house type move (which in a way I am still in the midst of - beware the way of the procrastinator), but a move of office.

When I last moved office, about this time last year, I had three boxes of stuff, and was accused of moving too much stuff. So this time I am restricting myself to the same three boxes. Of course in a year I have accumulated lots more 'stuff' - thus it is time to cull.

Someone else in another organisation I have dealings with is also under this blight of time-to-move-office.

They hired movers. The movers picked up the boxes, but decided to have a long lunch along the way.
They had a few lunchtime beverages. They indulged in some illegal substances. They decided to scatter the contents boxes to the four winds, and feeling the pressure from the extra liquid consumed at lunchtime, relieved themselves on the paperwork.

So *that* is why we're moving our office stuff ourselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Way-hey, I can ride a bike again. Sort of. My training for the Dirtworks 50km so far has involved on again off again rides mainly in the royal national park, and a whole lot of sleeping.

But not last weekend! I was determined. I emailed the gang, nominated the 9.20 train from glenbrook and what time it was due to arrive at woodford. I was determined to ride no matter what.

As I was driving up to Glenbrook (borderline late for the train), I remembered that the last ride I had done in RNP, B1 had had two flats, borrowed my spare tube, and left me with the super-busted-cannot-be-repaired one. *grrr*.

I lurked around glenbrook for a while, hoping for the old-bike-shop-now-outdoor-stuff shop to open. The clock ticked ominously. Decided to run the risk & ride without a spare and went off to meet Robin & Darren at the station. Turns out the train was already crowded (with bikes), and there were at least thirty more wanting to join the train. Uh oh. Donated our tickets to some likely riders, and ended up driving to the start of the trail.

We had two spare tubes between three bikes. I had had another sort of brain malfunction, and forgotten my bike shoes as well. Duh, doofus! Luckily, Robin had just changed his flat pedals to eggbeaters (ooh, hardcore!), so I could use those instead of sneakers of spd pedals.

And it was fun! I rode most of the downhill sections, except for the really really big one. I even made it up the enormous hill at the end. I'm not sure what the gradient was, but *wow* I'm so impressed. I've never made it past the first switchback before. It got to the point, as I was riding up, that I couldn't even look at the road ahead; all I could focus on was bit of bitumen just in front of my front wheel.

Total kudos to Darren - this was only the second time off road; he rode most of the downhill sections, but on a rigid frame, no suspension bike that was a little small for him.

Milkshakes were well deserved.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Haigh's Chocolate Indulgence

Morning coffee break with coffee buddy, in a week that I had decided to come off the coffee again "for as long as it took", so that it would become effective again*.

The Grace hotel had teamed with Haigh's Chocolates to present a chocaholics dream of brownies, biscuits and hot chocolate. So being a fan of the Lindt dark hot chocolate, we went to sample the fare at theGrace.

Choice: 'Normal' hot chocolate, Hot Chocolate Haigh's style, White hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Haigh's style came with two marshmallows and a small chocolate and macademia nut biscuit. There was no choice of dark or milk chocolate. Shaved chocolate on top, which melted in the time it took me to take a photo.

The hot chocolate was very sweet, and I think I prefer the Lindt version with the dark chocolate. The 10% discount voucher was put to immediate use - a packet of dark peppermint chocolate frogs, dark choc coated almonds, and milk choc coated macadamias. The nuts are having ashorter lifespan than the frogs, just so moreish.

* That said, when I walked into the coffeeshop this morning; The guy knew me immediately as 'flat white, no sugar", so I haven't been offthe stuff for long enough.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ooh, I can do Arty Farty Again

Coffee Buddy alerted me to the fact that the art gallery is open on Wednesday evenings for the 'art after hours' event during the month of April. He went on 28 March to hear a comedian talk about the Archibald. So this Wednesday I went. Not to hear Margaret Throsby interview two finalists, but just for a chance to visit the art gallery not-on-a-weekend. Hmm. Those are usually called weekdays, yes? It's a bit too 'familiarity breeds contempt', because the last time I went to the art gallery was during primary school; and despite 'meaning' to see The Archibald Prize, or see artexpress every year, I never quite get off my backside to go.

There was a huge crowd there for the Margaret Throsby talk. Funny how I never really did art in Aus beforenow, and yet I went & visited quite a few art galleries whilst in Europe. I sidestepped the seating, and went 'round the back to artexpress.

I liked the 'minature thoughts' on postage stamps one (For where your Treasure is...., by Aimee Shao-Yi Yeo). Brown ink on a cream cardboard, grouped into three sets with different background colours. Did she handwrite each miniscule thought? Or was it printed in sepia ink, and shrunk down?

I also liked the wirework tableau (A Political Circus, by Madeleine Plocki), of Downer and Iemma playing Texas Hold 'Em Poker; Howard as a circus ringleader with Costello peeking hopefully through a curtain.

There were quite a few entries from International Grammar School. Why does that sitck in my mind? Because it is local, and I can relate to it, despite not having gone to school there.

Then it was downstairs, and into the Archibald, Sulman and Wynne prizes. Um, yeah. I can see why the painting of Take Two: Jack Thompson by Danelle Bergstrom won the packing room prize, I thought that was pretty cool. I guess I liked the stories behind the pictures more, because nothing here kind of grabbed me and made me go "oh, wow".

So what I liked (art critic that I'm not):
- The Hon. Bob Carr (Jasper Knight), because Knight was a finalist in artexpress a few years ago, Carr bought his artwork, and that they meet up every year to "catchup".
-Fink on the Phone (Paul Ryan), because it took Ryan two intense periods, and at least $800 worth of paint to get it to a stage he liked. Very textured.
-Tim (Esther Elridge). She tacked on an extra bit of canvas at the bottom of her portrait to emphasis Tim Rogers' lanky figure, and then 'spent a lot of time up a ladder'!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ooh, Arty Farty Me

Saw Keating! earlier in March, and it was a hoot. I think it started at a Melbourne Comedy festival a few years ago (google says 2005), sold out, and came to Sydney fo two weeks at the opera house. Of course, it sold out again for that season. Hadn't heard anything about it until January this year when I think I saw a poster in passing. Grabbed the tickets when the box office opened, so finally after a year and a half of waiting, I got to go.

Fortified after work with a large mocha and a small bar of chocolate. The band was playing something upbeat to get the audience in the mood. Almost a full house and ~uh~ the clientele was a little bit older than I expected. I really only remember Keating as PM prior to Howard, but I was surprised that the majority of the audience that night were ofgrey-haired granny ilk.

And it was a lot of fun! It took me a while to get into it, and I'm not sure if it was because I didn't remember much of the references to the early part of his tenure, or if it was because I wasn't in the mood. Anyway, from about the Hewson 'fightback!' rap I was cheeringalong and grooving with everyone else.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Random Stuff

How can I tell Uni has started again?

I can't get my coffee instantly, when I want it from the cheap place up the road, because all the uni students have discovered it.

General Posting
Finding it very hard to keep this thing updated. I can't email posts from work because of the stupid disclaimer messages that get tacked onto the end of emails. I am spendng disgusting amounts of time on flickr at work at the moment, probably more as a distraction from horrible work happenings. I think I will curl up into a little ball and die when the helpless desk work out that flickr isn't work related, and block it from the list of allowable sites.

For some reason life keeps interfering with the things I want to do. Like mountainbike ride - I signed up for the
dirtworks 50km bike race. I thoroughly enjoyed this one last year, and am keen on doing it again. Except that last time I went riding - RNP no less, a trail that I usually consider "easy", I found it far from easy. It was tough! Downhills that I had blithely zoomed down at speed in the
past (& yelled out 'go faster!' to my compatriots) I baulked at. *sigh*. I am getting *sensible*, how can that be?

And then this weekend - I had organised a trip to ride the Oaks Fire trail. Unlike RNP, where I can bail after 10km, this one forces you to ride 25km or so. Even if it is mostly downhill, it's going bush, right? Of course shittyrail organised some last minute trackwork, which wasn't advertised on their website, that I only noticed when driving up the day before I had planned to go riding. So friends couldn't join me, and it would involve a bit of extra logistical to-ing and fro-ing to do the trail. L, bless his cotton socks, was all worried about me going riding on my own along 25km of no-reception, and lent me his EPIRB. I didn't go in the end, and wentclimbing instead. I'm sure that was part of his cunning evil plan.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Adventurous Paddle

So! Yesterday I competed in the inaugural Adventure Paddle; down on the Georges River in the 'shire.

I actually wasn't much looking forward to the event beforehand. I had done all of one "training" session, a 3 hour stint on middle harbour. I haven't done anything really tp get fit apart from on & off turn ups at the Sydney Summer Series (which I then mainly walked). And lots and lots of PS2 guitar hero. I signed up mainly to do something with Sarah, which I know that she would be interested in, and I thoughy that some of my mad adventure racing pals would have signed up too. "No, I can't be bothered."

Bah, bollocks to them.

So having slept like a log for 6hours, the alarm went off at 5am. Dozy brekky of museli & fruitibix, then an iced coffee up & go in the car. Disadvantage of travelling across town on the motorways is that there is no convenient cafe with nice coffees en-route, or even a dodgy fast food place with caffienated sort-of-beverages when you're desperate. We ended up pulling into a servo & getting a milky hot water thing with a splash of brown stuff from a vending machine, and a can of Vfrom me.

The Georges River National Park was filled with seriously buff looking people in sponsered swift looking kayaks, matching uniforms for the pairs. Maybe about 100 people all up? A bit of fluffing about, since I hadn't done one of these things in over a year, what with contacting the map, the checkpoint list, working out our route & times with thetides.

0800 -bang, and we're off! Run to launch the kayak into the water, and paddle around the corner, to pick up the 'checkpoint value' list. Of course we just follow the crowd, and head up the bush track to checkpoint 19. When we come down, it was like 'oh, that checkpoint value thing'. We picked it up anyway, ignored it and kept going. The next closest checkpoint already had a flotilla of 10 or so kayak parters waiting in the kayaks whilst the faster runners headed up thecliffline & got their stamp off the leg of a transmission tower. We opted to head upstream & keep going.

So. All in all, we had a pretty fun time. We got all the checkpoints that we wanted to, and one extra, number '9', which supposedly was accessible only around high tide, but we managed to get it about 90mins after the high tide mark, and it was still really easy to get there. We dodged some idiot waterskiiers, and jetskis; had to cross the main channel of the Georges river a couple of times. The bit closest to Mickey's point & Alfords Point bridge was the hairiest - we pretty much just looked both ways, and then paddled like crazy to getacross the channel before being run over.

5 hours, 260points, 16km of paddling. Pretty good effort!

The best bit was stopping at a picnic area on the northern side of the river, eating a snack, and then having tiny transparent prawns swim over and around our dangling feet as they spawned downstream.

I am so sore today though! We stretched out afterwards, mainly upper body and arm stretches, and ate a 'healing' sausage sandwich. Pretty much the top 3/4 of my back is just sore (not helped by the fact that I also went climbing thursday night), and so are the bony bits of mysitting down muscles!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

All Shopped out

I can't believe it. I'm all shopped out.

Had the car for a few more days, thought I might as well go shopping somewhere not easily public transportable. Wandered around DFO at homebush with little enthusiasm. It's not that big, and the stock really isn't that good. The range of CR skirts available in sizes 6 & 8 was about 5, all ugly. Could I really have over-shopped myself whilst travelling overseas, and my lightning cheer-myself-up-shoppingtrip to Melbourne when I returned?

Then I went IK-eaing, and there was a lot more enthusiasm for that. How on earth can I get excited by browsing at Ikea? The majority of hostel/backpacker places that I stayed at during my big europe trip were decorated top-to-toe in ikea, which I couldn't understand. The funkiest place had a blue plastic watering can turned into a lightshade. Very stylish! I think it's more the convenience of aone-stop-shop, because really, it ain't that cheap!

On the hunt for under-the-bed storage type ideas, despite me not liking plastic crates, I came *this close* to buying a set of Children's style crates. The adult versions were terribly ho-hum.
Funnily enough, although I really hated to white/beige options in offer in the home-storage section, and got excited by all the pretty colours you could get the children's shelving/crate/storage boxes in, it was the white ones that I had picked out!