Saturday, January 29, 2011

pedestrians who don't look when crossing the street

There's been a bit of kerfuffle over the number of pedestrians who've been hit by buses since Manners St was changed from a one-way to a two-way street.

The street is well-served by traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, and buses aren't exactly hard to see.

So my conclusion is this - it's the gods' way of punishing jay-walkers.

Germ warfare

My brother won his battle with the horrible S. aureous bacteria. Though he was only allowed to go home yesterday, so he was in hospital for maybe three weeks. And he still isn't walking normally because his' back is stuffed from him being laid out flat for days and days.

My own battle, though far less serious, is ongoing. Only a week or so after recovering from the pimple-from-hell on my back, I now have one on my right arm. I tried bathing it in anti-bacterial solution every night this week, but Mr and Mrs S. aureous merely laughed in my face and turned up the heater.

Now, I'm no conspiracy-theorist - but I reckon there may be some kind of outbreak going on here. My brother, when he was in ICU, shared with several other patients with similar afflictions to his own. And when I tried to buy a new bottle of the anti-bacterial solution at the pharmacy, I was told they'd had a run on the stuff.

Someone is trying to kill the 10% of us who have vulnerable body bits.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A day in the tropics

You'd think it was spring rather than mid-Summer - one day it's cool enough to need a jacket, the next day it's warm enough to briefly consider going to work in shorts and a singlet.

It was apparently 29 degrees Celsius today, which is extreme in itself ('round these parts, if it's more than 25 degrees it's a heatwave). But it was super-muggy all day and then we got torrential rain.

It's just like being in Bangkok, except that you aren't on holiday, there aren't any tuk-tuks and the locals aren't smiling as much.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's been a long week

The first full working week since Christmas (which for me started in mid-December when school finished for the year) has been long and hard.

First, I've had to spend most of each working day answering supports calls emails about really basic technical things that those people should know how to do already.

Then, I notice a pimple on my back that just keeps getting bigger and more painful until I have to admit that I be getting another visit from the cellulitus fairy (last time was about 4 years ago).

But the worse thing that's happened this week is that my brother has been really sick with a bacterial infection he picked up, supposedly through a big cut in his hand while working on his house. He was in ICU for the better part of the week (since Sunday), while the doctors operated on him to drain unmentionable fluids from various parts of his body.

We were only allowed to see him for the first time last night. Of course, my mum insisted on taking along some home-cooked food to supplement the hospital meals. But then later one of the nurses told us off because apparently it's taking up too much space in the staff fridge (there being no fridge for hospital patients). Not that my bro has had much of an appetite anyway, but you know mothers worry about their kids not eating enough...

Anyway, we were told he'd probably still be in hospital for several more days at least. So I guess next week will be another long one.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Another denim reconstruction

So here is the tunic I made from two pairs of old jeans plus some scrap denim. I used a Simplicity 'Project Runway' sewing pattern, but don't ask me what the number of it is because my sister-out-law like the tunic so much she's borrowed the pattern and taken it away... Did you notice that I've only worn it one day and there are already wrinkles at the midsection? Well, it just so happens that those wrinkles used to be the backs of the boy's knees.

The front piece is from the boy's old jeans; the back is from one of my own old pairs; and the dark side panels and pockets are from some stretch denim scraps left over from my last attempt at trousers. Sorry if you noticed the glimpse of crepe-y armpit in this picture...

The feature of this design is really the rounded neck band, the button used to fasten it (it's actually sewn down - there's no buttonhole), and the resulting keyhole at the upper chest which I presume is supposed to be sexy without being revealing. The button is a spare that I had from when I was making my spring coat. I didn't do a great job of making the ends of the band perfectly rounded, but it'll have to do. I spent so much time top-stitching, taking in the torso (then re-topstitching) and putting in the zip only to rip it out again, that after a while I just wanted to finish it and move on with my life.

I used this lovely printed voile to line the pockets and the neck band. The hem also has a facing, but for that I used a lime green bit of quilting cotton (which I forgot to take a photo of).
Apart from the slightly Jetsons-look due to the overly-thick shoulder parts of the neck band, I'm really happy with the garment. I've already bought two more pieces of fabric (in bright violet and bright turquoise - Arthur Toye's was having a sale) to make long-sleeved versions of this - that is, when I get my pattern back. One thing to note, if you are a rectangular shape, is that by the time you've accommodated for the wider waist you won't need a zip to get in and out of it!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

home made grease

One of my Christmas presents was the book, 'Grow your own drugs: A year with James Wong', which is based on his television series.

Contrary to initial expectations, the television series is not a course for people who wish to cultivate their own marijuana and opium supplies. It's all about using commonly found plants (commonly found in the UK anyway - not sure about New Zealand) to make medicines, skincare and cosmetics.

I found it quite fascinating. My one gripe is that James Wong - boyishly handsome as he is - always seems to be talking to someone over the camera man's shoulder rather than to the camera, which I find really distracting (though not spooky, which is how I find those people with that particular type of blue eyes who look as they are staring right through you).

Anyway, the book I have is the sequel to the book of the series. It's got a number of recipes for a variety of skin ailments and allergies, as well as for moisturisers and hair conditioners. It's even got one for furniture polish!

So one day I plan to get myself some basic equipment and ingredients, and mix myself up some home made moisturiser (to start with anyway). Though that might have to wait until I've finished my sewing projects. Possibly after it's become too cold to sew, but before it's cold enough to want to knit. Well, some time....

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

...and that's what I did in my holidays

I think anyone who has ever been in a Western school must have had to write at least one 'What I did in the holidays' essay.

The only such essay of mine which attracted praise, was a 'What I did in the weekend' variation, which went a bit like "It was really boring. There was nothing to do." Go figure.

Well, today was the last day of my Christmas/New Year holiday, and it was not spectacularly eventful. But I had fun, the boy had fun and TLM definitely had fun (her holiday goes on for another month though, so it'll be interesting to see whether it goes downhill when she has to attend her school holiday programme):

  • We went to the zoo 4 times in about a week and a half.
  • We went to the beach the same number of times.
  • I got to start and finish a tunic in a voile fabric of a mesmerising navy shot with gold, as well as start and nearly finish a sleeveless tunic made from 2 pairs of old jeans plus miscellaneous denim remnants (photos coming at some stage).
  • We played new games on the Wii, including TLM's and my current favourite (because we win a lot) which is a sword-slashing test of reflexes and doesn't require much button-pushing (great for non-gamers like me).
  • And that doesn't include Christmas itself, nor New Year's dinner at my mum's.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Happy New Year!