Friday, 22 November 2013

It's that bittersweet time of the year.

So Uni has officially wrapped, leaving me one year down and two to go. 
In my days of leisure - this blissful gap where uni has finished but work hasn't bumped their hours back up to full time just yet, I've caught up fully with all that trashy tv I neglected during the semester. You know, the really good stuff like Real Housewives of Atlanta, Love and Hip Hop...I've watched about three seasons of Say Yes To The Dress because it's wedding season and that ish facinates me.

With the weather being so cloudy and rainy in Sydney at the moment, I've taken the opportunity to stay in and screw my head back on. I always feel a bit like I'm on a trapeze when I'm juggling work and uni, like any second I'll miss the catch and the whole thing will crumble. Thankfully, I've scraped through again, and looking at my current ability to write, just in time. That mixed circus themed simile was terrible. 

That said, I realize that while my life is slightly more hectic than all my classmates because I don't live at home anymore and do work to support myself, if things had worked out differently, I could have been juggling those final essays with planning a first birthday party. Had the universe taken a slightly different course, we would have had a child turning a year old around about November 6th. It's absolutely mind blowing to me how different our lives might have been at this moment. While I can't truly say I'm 100% happy with the way that part of our lives has played out so far, I am at least thankful that maybe now we get the opportunity to plan this at our own pace instead. It's a very strange feeling to be a bit ambivalent about procreating, then being forced into deciding pretty quickly whether this life is going to include children or not, realizing that actually yes, this is a life that will hopefully include a little the universe just kind being like "psych! not yet!". Maybe it's just a coping mechanism, but I like to think of it like a warning shot - a "this is something you probably want, so maybe keep it in mind when you're making your plans to it can fit in one day down the track".
It's hard seeing friends with their gorgeous little families, beautifully chaotic households and with convention thrown out the window. Their thriving reminds me that we could have managed just fine. Our time will come though, and at least I know some truly inspiring women who have gone before me who can help light the way.
Obviously not R's baby, but he's a natural, don't you think?

Plus, that guy who stopped cooking all his favorite foods because the smell of them triggered the morning sickness from hell, who drove me to the ultrasound, who reassured me when it was all still scary, and comforted me when it all ended. He was so amazing that it made me fall the last few inches in love with him.

Monday, 28 October 2013

This car is a better judge of character than me.

The First and only car I have ever had, is this 1996 Toyota Celica.
It's nicknamed the Sex Mobile. Ironically, of course, since there has never been (and is zero room for) sexy times in it. It is also psychic and was used to 100% accuracy to judge the character of the person in the passenger seat.

I bring up the sex-mobile because five years (!?) after this picture was taken, It's not as cute as it once was. It's taken a massive beating over the last few years. Has probably got an extra 150 000kms on it since I first drove it, has dents and rust and salt damaged paint...and it might be time to replace it.

It's got way more sentimental value than anything else I own. It was my dad's car before it was mine. He taught me to drive in it, and gave to to me to practice in when he wasn't around. When he passed away, I inherited it, and it's come with me everywhere I've gone since. I love this little rust bucket. 

It needs new shock absorbers, and the engine will need replacing soon. I should have replaced the battery like a month ago because it threatens not to start anymore. It's looks especially sad next to Richard's very pretty and lovingly cared for Rover. The mechanic says it barely passed rego this year (and only because he was nice to Richard) and most likely wont pass next inspection, so I've been reluctantly looking at little city-friendly Peugeots and Citroens and Jazzes and stuff.

Is it wrong to have attachment issues with a car? Is it ok if the car has been with me longer than any of my relationships? Also, did I mention the car is psychic and has predicted with 100% accuracy thus far whether the boy I was dating at the time was an asshole or not, but suddenly and inexplicably breaking down, setting off it's own alarm or refusing to start if said boy was in the car. The times it broke down, it weirdly worked fine ten minutes later when the guy had gone on his way.

Once when I was dating this uber jerk, he'd just decided his broke (non-car owning) ass was going to 'borrow' my car, drive it an hour and a half each way to work without even offering to fill up the tank, and ignored me when I protested that maybe I'd uh, want to use my own damn car sometime in the next 12 hours, and since I was paying for said car and he wasn't he could go get on a damn train. Anyway, Douchey McDouchbag ignored my wishes and took my keys out to go take my car. Instead of using the remote key, he tried to unlock it at the door. What he didn't realize was that the remote key was also an imobilizer and stopped the alarm going off. So he set the alarm off and NOTHING would work to turn it off - not relocking and properly unlocking the car, not starting the car, and amazingly, not even the disarm button my dad had shown me. Douchey was running late at this point, so he took off to jump the next train, and I went inside to find the NRMA roadside number to get it fixed so my neighbours could get back to sleep. I came back out, got a text from Douchey to say he was on a train and on his way. As I was dialling the NRMA number, I casually pressed the disarm button again and...the alarm stopped. I got out and locked the car, unlocked it again and started the ignition - no problems. It was like the car threw the tantrum I wasn't strong enough for, just long enough to get rid of him, and then went back to normal.
The car did all kinds of weirdness like this the first few years I owned it. Now it doesn't seem to need to look out for me as much. Maybe because the boyfriend now is a far cry from the douchery from before, or maybe it's because I don't need defending anymore, I've got a much lower tolerance for bullshit, and a much louder voice.

Either way, I just can't see a Jazz having my back like that, and that makes me sad.

An apartment with some actual furniture in it!

So we've managed to make some progress on the apartment finally, after I cut back to working 3-4 days a week during the uni semester:
 We've added faux built-in low shelves/bench  to the empty wall in the loungeroom...those books may or may not have been arranged by colour when they were first added. I realise there are plenty of people who loathe that because it's a completely illogical way to arrange books, but my defense is twofold. Firstly, there may be some undiagnosed OCD going on here, so this is the way that looks neatest to me. And secondly, I have a full collection of the Great Books, and they are colour coded by content - literature/poetry is a rusty burgundy colour, the philosophers are a dark forest green the easiest way to find what you're looking for among them is to arrange by colour.
 We've also started a gallery wall, which is a huge work in progress. It currently includes an old print of a stripper, a map and postcards from New Orleans and a squirrell drawing. We have a big world map I'm framing next week to add, we're looking for a printable or purchasable map of Richard's hometown that shows the suburb he grew up in and we've got a USB of our own photos to get printed and blown up properly, this this will hopefully take shape soon.
 We've rearranged the office and added the pin boards I acquired back when I got staff discount of Kikki.K's expensive yet adorable stationary and office-y goods. It currently holds the rest of my postcards, maps etc, bills, love notes (awww) and reminders. It's doubling as a necklace holder because I have barely touched the bedroom yet and have nowhere to hang them and the cat keeps stealing them.

 We've started framing stuff for this room too. A teeny owl, some roses, Sienna in oils, and (one of) Richard's degrees.
The zebra chair has been banished to the office as a 'curl up and do your uni readings' chair/where the kitten sleeps when someone is working in the office (he's needy, and must be wherever the people are).

I've also made some updates to the bedroom with shiny new beside tables and lovely linen. You can see a preview of what's gone into the apartment and what is still to be added here:

But I'll update it more shortly - it's on my list of things to do along with two major uni assessments, a tonne of cleaning, taking care of a very sick boyfriend, cooking enough that I don't live off English muffins and Chinese food this week (unlike last week), studying for uni exams and finishing all those projects that will get swept aside in two weeks when I'm back at work full time and in the Christmas countdown. 

And yet, I'm blogging and watching Antiques Roadshow. Figures.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

What I've been doing for the last six months...

It's been a really long time since I last wrote here.
Plenty has been happening.
Christmas and St Valentines Day kicked my butt at work, but check out the ah-mazing creations I see on a daily basis:

It's a pretty amazing thing to see such extravagant beauty on a daily basis. It almost takes the edge off those 6am starts!

We moved out of our modern condo-type apartment and into a smaller, 70s block near the beach for cheaper rent to save some moolah...and then in the last fortnight we've moved again into a truly amazing two story apartment in a boutique block in the city fringe suburb of Glebe. This place is an actual dream come true, and a total blank canvas. It's still almost entirely unfurnished - think a lounge, a mattress on some slats...and the TV and that's about it. Stay tuned for some projects and updates as we work on making it a home...mostly on strict budget and with very little free time!

Here's the photos from the original real estate listing:

Living space and kitchen. Behind blinds is a decent sized balcony. One of the first things we did was rip out those blinds!

The place has two bathrooms. This is the upstairs one, and the downstairs one is the same in miniature. We love the white tiles, don't mind the blueish floor tiles...the sinks and toilets could use an update and I don't much like the woodgrain in the cabinets...but re-doing a bathroom is waaaay out of our budget. And really, they're pretty inoffensive to live with for now

The upstairs bedroom - not our furniture, and the lighting in this photo makes the walls like white...which they were not!

Annnd this is the rooftop. It's unfurnished, but look at those MFing views! That's Sydney's CBD you can see under bright blue skies. On that garden ledge is where we made the decision we wanted it...and emailed the agent on the spot before the inspection had even ended!

The apartment also has a sort of spare room/study that looks out over the sunken living area, underneath the stairs and the upper bedroom. It was full of ugly built ins and weirdly a left behind ultrasound of someone's ovaries.

So the first thing we've done is remove the dated, damaged blinds from each room, ripped out the ugly orange built in desk and bought a lovely big L-shaped lounge in charcoal grey from Ikea (possibly my favorite place on earth right now - it's a Karlstad corner sofa if you wanted to know. Available at my local ikea here in the colour called Sivik Dark Grey). We then hired a painter to tackle the grimy, damaged off-white walls. As much as I would have loved to paint myself, one of the nicest features of the apartment is amazing soaring ceilings...some of which soared over the twisted staircase and made it pretty impossible for an inexperienced painter like myself. I can't really say it's a shame though, the finish is immaculate and they had it done in two days, ready for us to move in.

Here are some in-progress shots so far. Not much life in it yet, but there's something kind of exciting about such a blank canvas no?
The kitchen remains totally unchanged, but every wall has been coating in Dulux Vivid White paint. We had originally picked a British Paint colour called 'Love Note" but the painter we chose didn't use their brand. I took the love note swatch into Bunnings and found the perfect dulux match...I heard bad reviews about Taubmans which is the other brand he said he'd use. Theres message boards everywhere claiming that the bright, cool white they'd chosen looked off white and creamy when they began painting. I would have HATED that. The apartment has so much warm wood in it that is desperately needed a cool white to not look so cottage-y

Hallway, looking from the sunken loungeroom towards the door (to the left of the back wall) and the stairs up to the bedroom (to the right)

No more weird headboard height scratches on the walls! Even the mirrored built ins don't look so bad.

some of our Ikea finds...and a temporary LACK coffee table from the bargain corner until we can decide on what to *actually* put there.

Kittenface's new hiding spot, lowest shelf in the upstairs bathroom cabinet.
And lastly, I went back to Uni!
I got early acceptance last year and am about to start my second semester. I've stayed working full time thus far (hence the lack of posting) but I'm cutting back (hopefully) on work for the next few months to focus on classes.
The sometimes very pretty Mac campus. One of the perks of working all day and going to uni late afternoon is no crowds and very pretty dusk light.

So that's about it for now!
I'll be keeping you posted as I try to inject some life into this apartment of ours, we've got travel on the cards later this year if all goes well, and I'll be trying out some recipes from Not Eating Out in New York and long time fave Closet Cooking (seriously, Kevin is the king of imaginative grilled cheese sandwiches).

Bye for now!