Monday, 15 March 2010

Here's a link to today's New York Times article about blogging's apparent transition from a cultural to a commercial force:

:: Oh joy of joys — we have a week with maximum daily
temperatures in the high 20s.
And there's the odd flash of red and yellow
in my neighbour's beautiful Chinese tallow tree,
which I can see from my kitchen window.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Ohhh-kay ...
When a 20-year-old cave-dweller ventures out from under his pelts and into the daylight, steps into the room where you're working (above) and says in a rumbling monotone, while scratching bits of himself, "Jeez, Mum, you really need to tidy this room up ..." you realise you are actually experiencing literary conventions like paradox, and, more obliquely, irony.
To say nothing of sarcasm and cheek.
Oh — and hypocrisy.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Big foot
More baby stuff. Sorry!
My gorgeous hairdresser and best friend, Maggie, gave me a pile of brilliant old sewing and knitting pattern books.
Among them is a beauty from the Australian Women's Weekly of 1969, with knitting patterns for layettes and cardies and even coats and dresses for toddlers.
Everything in it calls for 3-ply Bri-Nylon, pictured in pink, cream, pale blue or white.
I thought I'd give one of the patterns a whirl, using much more wearable and attractive 3-ply 100 per cent Australian wool, in lovely bright colours.
The pattern was excellent — not just in that it was easy, but also in that the shoe just fell into shape, even knitting it on two needles instead of in the round. Knit, knit, knit and then sew up under the foot and up the back.
I jazzed up the ribbon, but thought this might be a lot better with some of that knit-in elastic around the ankle, so it'll stay on a baby's foot without having to faff about with ribbons that can be tied too tight.

:: It's horrible here today. The temperature got to 40.4 (104.7 F) around lunchtime. Last night we had the hottest overnight minimum in 48 years, with 28 (82.4). Thank goodness for refrigeration ...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Today ...
... I spent hours and hours and hours working out how to make this one little baby shoe.
I'm not sure about the bow — but it needs a tie round the ankle and the ribbon was all I had to hand. It's a prototype, really. I'll use a different stitch when I sew the next one together so you can't see the stitches at the join.
Without the Suffolk puff and the mother-of-pearl button, it looked very much like one of Noddy's shoes, and I was almost tempted to find it a bell.
I also knit a teeny-tiny sock.

Five needles just a bit bigger than matchsticks and about 30 stitches — aaagh. I think it's easier to sew baby footwear.

:: I sincerely hope all my Melbourne friends are safe, dry and undamaged after the terrible storms. Never seen anything like it!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Happy Days
Will and I were going through our old photo albums looking at pics of Fonzie, and at the risk of being maudlin, I thought I'd show a few pics of Fonz in his heyday — which was just about all his life!
He got his name because Simon reckoned his markings looked as though he had a black leather jacket over a white shirt, just like the Fonz in Happy Days.
Fonz was part Staffie, part rottweiler, part ridgeback and part bull terrier.
He was extremely handsome.
And Fonz was included in every important occasion.
I had his birth-year wrong — this pic below, taken when Simon had just picked Fonzie up and brought him home, was dated December 1994. Simon was just eighteen and loved that dog from day one ...
... to the last.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Fonzie 1995-2010
My elder son, Simon, said goodbye to his old, loyal and much-loved dog, Fonzie, yesterday.
They had been together half of Simon's life, and Fonzie — beautiful, athletic, smart, gentle and devoted — long ago assumed legend status.
But the time had come for Simon to do the right thing by the poor old Fonz, whose eyesight and hearing were almost gone, and whose back legs were arthritic and weakening fast to the point that recently there were times when he just couldn't get up.
Between 20 and 30 people turned up to a party to farewell Fonz on the holiday Monday, in Perth's beautiful Hyde Park.
Then Simon and three of his best friends, who had all known Fonzie since he was a puppy, lifted him into the car and drove him to our farm down south.
There, they gave him the sort of day he'd have loved as a young and healthy dog.
He spent the morning snoozing in the sunshine, padding about the farm (where I photographed him, above) and sticking close to Simon. Then he had the afternoon at the beach.
He was a fantastic swimmer, and the beach was his all-time favourite place. The five of them all went for a long swim together, and Fonzie enjoyed the weightlessness, and the cool water on his tired old back and limbs.
He was put to sleep just after 4pm, with the smell of salt in his grey-tinged coat, and sand still in his paws.
They buried him on the farm, with a can of food and a tennis ball.
This is his view.
Stringing along
I've started my string-a-long bag.
It's a quick knitting project, and I'm already crocheting the sides together ready to attach the knit-on i-cord handles.
I knitted it here over the long weekend — and yesterday, the deeper parts of the sea were the same colour as my yarn.
And how we enjoyed the weekend's full moon, which rose directly in front of the house and treated us to such a beautiful light show over the bay.
We felt so lucky to get away as the city sweltered all weekend and the news bulletins were all about temperatures in the 40s (40C is 104F) and how this has been Perth's hottest summer for more than 30 years. Phew!