30 April 2012

Dolphins in Vegas (plus a jet lag cure you probably don't want to try...)

We're back! Hurrah! Back in Seoul, back with the hounds, back to 130+ emails, piles and piles of washing and still so much to unpack, yikes...

In Vegas we stayed at The Mirage. We picked it because it's a little bit old-school and it's in a part of the strip that we haven't really stayed in before. The rooms weren't great, but the location was pretty awesome. Plus the pool was one of the best people watching places on the planet. And there were dolphins. It was a bit pricey to see the dolphins, but I think it was worth it. They are naturally playful and curious creatures (and surprisingly large), we could have watched them all day (but there was a cocktail calling our names...).

And that jet lag cure? It goes a little like this - while you're away make sure you pick up some hideous black death / flu type of bug, and time it so that it hits just as you're boarding the plane home. When you finally make it through all the fun that is a 14 hour flight, immigration and baggage queues and the long drive home, you'll be so horribly ill and exhausted that all you'll be able to manage is a quick shower before heading to bed. Then you'll sleep for a solid day or two, not knowing or caring what time zone you're in. By day three you'll wake up with the rising sun, through the worst of it and back on local time.

20 April 2012

Death by Doxie : Comfortable Elfi?

Now that Spring is here I've turned off the under floor heating. This has made Elfi a bit sad because she really, really loves the underfloor heating. She loves it so much that when it's turned on she pushes the dog cushions aside so she can curl up directly on the floor. Sometimes she'll even forgo sitting on the couch with us at night just so she can lay on the floor instead. 

ps. Guess what? When you read this I'll be in VEGAS, baby! We're heading to the US for my husband's work convention (which is a ridiculously massive event, with lots of familiar friendly faces and a 60s theme night - I'm quite looking forward to it actually!) and we're spending a few nights in Vegas on the way. I have mentioned that life is mostly pretty darn good, right?

In other news - I had an Everyday Objects post all drafted and scheduled and then it just kind of disappeared. It was a little heart breaking. But, in it I said thank you to those of you who commented on my last post - I do really appreciate your thoughts, so thank you!

15 April 2012

Something's Gotta Give...(and Other Post-Easter Realisations)

Life has been as little busy of late. Actually, to be honest, life has been physically and emotionally exhausting of late. I feel like I've been running from one thing to the other, going at full speed all day and half the night. 

And on top of that my head has been swirling with all kinds of questions about relationships, family, step-parenting, beliefs, creativity, purpose, life, death...you know, just the small stuff. So amongst all of this, something had to give. And much to my sadness that something has been my online time. (But much to my happiness that something hasn't been my daily exercise, seems I've finally formed a healthy habit there!). 

Anyway, here's some things that have been on my mind over the past week or so: 

- I'm a big fan of outsourcing when it comes to housework. One of the blessed perks of being a corporate supported expat in Asia is the easy avaialability of outside help to vacuum, iron and change the bed linen (three tasks I loathe). Like a lot of Aussies, when we first moved to Hong Kong we resisted getting a 'helper' for a long time, but we caved, and haven't looked back. Currently our part time helper (who is 9 shades of awesome) is back home in the Philippines and I miss her terribly. It's such a surreal thing though, one day I'll write a post about the whole maid phenomenon... 

- Being busy isn't all bad. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and focus your mind absolutely. It can make you feel all super organised and grown up.  

- Doing housework isn't all bad. I get a strange kick out of mopping, washing the clothes and doing the dishes. Everything else though - meh! Also, the never ending bit - meh! (See also this). 

- A good meal can make most things better. Ditto for sunshine, happy dogs and a nice cup of tea. 

- Roast lamb, peas and mint are a heavenly trifecta. 

- It's a bit sad when kids grow out of things. There was no Easter egg hunt in our house this year.

- Speaking of kids, I am the worst daughter! It was my Mum's birthday last week and I haven't even sent her a card yet. So, once again, happy birthday Mum - something very special will be on it's way to you soon...

- We have no real Easter traditions, which is also a bit sad. Do you have any secular ones we could steal? Suitable for teens-to-be? And fussy husbands? 

- Having this song stuck in your head all week is not necessarily a bad thing. 

- Annie Proulx is a lyrical genius. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get round to reading The Shipping News. 

- Life is lonely, sometimes. It's also often a little bit messy. But most of all, life is pretty darn good, and I'm grateful for that.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter, and - if you're in the middle of them, like a lot of Australians are - I do hope you're enjoying the school holidays!

08 April 2012

Collecting Colour : April is Silver

April is silver?!!  Really, what was I thinking?  Is there a trickier thing to photograph without it looking flat and cold and grey?  It just looks so dull, after the glorious green of March.  Anyway, here it is - messy salt shaker and all.  Thank goodness for the kitchen drawers otherwise this would be a rather bare collection indeed!  

Included here are bowls and whisks and measuring spoons; cat and elephent paper clips; coins from all over; an awesome robot made by the youngest step-son; a nod to Easter (bunnies!); a gorgeous photo of my gorgeous late Grandma; and, of course, a dachshund.  The keen eyed may also spot me, in my pajamas - oh dear!  (If you want to get more detail on any of my collections click on over to my Flickr where I've been uploading the collections with notes to explain what each item is.)

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Every month through 2012 I'll be 'collecting colour', and you can join in too!  Link up below, and/or add your photo to the Flickr group here.  And go here to get all the information you need.  

04 April 2012

Mail Art to Saylor Made

I've been a bit neglectful of my beloved snail mail of late.  I've been wanting to put some mail art packages together over the past few months but life has just kept getting in the way (and will be getting in the way even more so over the next two weeks - more on that another time).  Anyway, last month I finally found the time and inspiration to finish some mail art replies and I've just found out they're arrived safe and sound - hurrah!  

This is a package I put together for Saylor Made, whose Limited Edition Sketchbook posts I've been enjoying of late (do go have a look - there's wonderful hand lettering, beautiful patterns and watercolours, and a touching poignancy in the subject matter).  Her last package to me featured two skunks 'hugging' on the envelope, so when I saw the photo of two fishes 'kissing' I though it would make a perfect reply!
The package was loosely based around things that I find slightly absurd or quirky.  It featured various paper ephemera, a 'Hello' goldfish card, dog stickers, a blue fluffy pom pom, and a postcard made from this photo.