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Champange with two glasses and house keys

We moved house again. We moved downstairs in the same building, which sounds easy but sadly still involved packing and then unpacking every single bloody thing we owned and we couldn’t really get movers when we didn’t need a truck. The new flat is smaller, a whole room smaller, so lots of stuff went to the op shop or out on the street. Four bookcases went out on the street and were gone in a few hours. One pedestrian after another stopping, pulling their phone out to call someone with a car, then standing guard over ‘their’ new shelves.

Painting the orange bedroom

We own the new flat (well, the bank owns most of it) so we never have to move again. That’s pretty fabulous. We painted the walls with colours because we’ve had so many years of renting places that were beige (the really cheap rentals) or white (the slightly nicer rentals) that having colour seems more luxurious than anything. The kid chose orange. The kid really knows how to live large.

I made myself some socks.

Blue self striping socks

They’re pretty good but check out the baby socks I sent my oldest friend.

Sea blue baby socks

She had a baby, I didn’t just send her random baby socks.  That would be weird.

And the slippers the boy and I put together to his design. They’re lovely ornaments. He insists he doesn’t get cold so he doesn’t actually wear them.

Dragon slippers

I’m still getting my head around the camera in my current phone. Everything’s washed out and blurry til I get the hang of it or give up and go looking for the actual camera.

I decided a few months ago that I needed to conquer my fear of the fly front pant and concluded that making pants for the kid was the best way to test my skills. I had an olive green hand me down remnant that was about right for making him something, so the first pair cost me the price of the zip and the pattern, which is Simplicity 1286. The insides are a mess but they fit and they haven’t fallen apart so it’s a win.

Green pants hanging on the balcony

For the second pair I bought the bright green corduroy, thinking that if the kid thought it wasn’t the right colour for him I could make myself a skirt. Sadly he loved the fabric at first sight so I got on with cutting out pants. I was a bit tired after work doing the cutting and didn’t think to add the obligatory extra three inches to the length. The second pair came together faster than the first, though still with a fair bit of looking at finished pants and re-reading the instructions. I left off the belt loops and faux pocket flap on the second pair because I couldn’t be arsed. They’re only going to fit him for five minutes.

Insides of the bright green cordsI offered the kid three options for the contrast facings (the first pants were faced with the same fabric as the outsides because it’s pretty lightweight, the cord was a bit heavier so I wanted a quilting weight cotton). Two of the options I found in amongst the scraps in the stash were slightly murky greens. The other was this pink floral. Living large on saturated colour, he informed me that the choice was easy. I found a bright green zip and some off bright green bias binding to neaten things up bit. Obviously I couldn’t be bothered changing overlocker thread. In my defence, I had spent the entire Sunday before threading and re-threading and adjusting the tension on the overlocker and I couldn’t face the idea that it might go wrong again.

Then, to make the bottom hems as small as possible, I added a few inches of facing to the teeny tiny hem. They’re Springy sort of pants so I guess when he outgrows them in a few weeks he can turn them up to reveal the gaudy cuffs. He’s really pleased with them. Floral cuffs on bright green cords

I tried to convince the kid that now I’ve figured out how to make him pants I can teach him to make his own pants. He’s unconvinced. The next day I said “It’s Monday, it’s your cooking day”, he replied “Nah, I gave up on that”.

Which is pretty funny because he hasn’t given up on eating.


I’m supposed to be organising a garage sale, and making a pig costume, and packing, and and and…

So I wondered if anyone had thought of any excellent new blog names for me now that Inner City Garden is about to become wildly inaccurate? We’ll be moving to the Macedon Ranges. We’ll have a bigger garden, so that part of the name is fine, but we’ll be in a small town, not a city. We’ll still be “inner”, as in “walking distance to amenities”, not down a dirt track, but no one really talks about “inner townies”.

I received all the lease papers in the mail today. I’m roughly two parts excited and one part terrified about what the hell I’m going to do with my life now that I’ve (at least temporarily) given up on Plan A. Suggestions are very welcome for either blog names or Plan B.

In shocking news, my garden blog will have pictures of, wait for it, my garden! These are from earlier this year, in response to Dr Sister Outlaw’s post at Progressive Dinner Party. I’m kinda jealous of her chooks.

empty-potsThis is the ‘soil’ in our front yard. It’s mostly sand, the lad is sitting quite near to where next door’s cat likes to poo. The gnome has met with a sad fate since this photo was taken, and so have a couple of the pots. The pots are all empty since we moved out of flats, they were quite handy when we gardened on windowsills, but they do dry out rather quickly.

side-gardenThe blind on the left is our kitchen window, straight ahead is the loungeroom, and on the right is the next door neighbour’s kitchen. The white thing up the back of the garden bed is the plastic cover on the compost, the plants are corn, eggplant, capsicum and marigolds. The beige pot is the one we were collecting broken glass in. We found enough of it that we had a designated spot. This garden bed gets around two hours of full sun a day, needless to say, it’s less than ideal. However, it’s worth growing veggies, even for a small crop, rather than leaving it bare and having to weed it. We grow excellent nettles. We did grow tomatoes there the first summer we lived here, they weren’t as good as the sunnier spots in the garden, but they grew and they produced fruit.

view-from-the-backdoorFinally, here’s the view from the backdoor. As you can see, we’re practically on acreage, with a dam there on the right (um, baby bath, catching rain fall), rolling lawns native reserve toward the back and tomatoes to the left. There’s also a sunflower in there, some tyme and oregano, chives and marigolds and basil. We didn’t buy any tomatoes last summer. Off to the right, out of shot, there’s a small clothesline which is too low for me to stand under, so we’ve grown a couple of things there, largely unsuccessfully. Immediately below where I was standing to take the shot, to the right, I had a couple of good rosemary bushes. In an effort to make the place neat and tidy for the upcoming move (no, I still don’t know where or when, but soon) I moved them around the corner to a spot where the landlord would see them. They died. I should have known they would. In the spot above where you see the sunflower there is a sage bush, since then it’s become enormous and floral, I’m very proud. Next door’s cat likes to sit on it, I’m less excited about that. It now has a big empty patch in the middle of it where it’s been squashed and broken. The sage bush that is. I haven’t caught the cat.

I have a sick kid. Not really really sick, just snotty & grumpy & crusty-eyed and not able to go to childcare. I am a bit snotty & grumpy myself. Fortunately my son has been born to the age of ABC2, and there is very little of the day where there is no children’s tv on. In the breaks between ABC there is youtube.

Somebody has put Tim and Debbie Brainspace sketches on youtube. If you didn’t watch them the first time in the early 80s that probably wont be of any interest to you.

We house-hunted on Saturday in a small town an hour from here. The kid was asleep in the car so the Bloke went in first, then handed me the keys with a smile and I went in. When I got back into the car he said “Did you go in the shed?”, “No, I’d already decided we weren’t taking it”, “The shed smelled pretty bad, and there was a chest freezer still on, you’ll never guess what was in it”, “Why did you look in it? Was it half a cow?”, “I didn’t want to be on the front page of the paper being the person who’d inspected the house and not noticed the body in the freezer. It wasn’t meat.”, “So what was it?”, “Pita bread, like the sort for souvlaki, the freezer was about a third full. Remind me not to eat souvlaki in this town.”

But I can’t find the cable for the camera. So we’ll have to stick with that lovely generic street cafe scene for a bit longer. I don’t know where it is, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t been there.

I’m fully aware that blogging is soooo three years ago. But FacePlant is over, and I’m tipping a blogging Renaissance. I know FacePlant is over because my Mum’s got an account and she’s over it.

Anyway, the garden:

We got our Diggers seeds, we went with the Health Care Card holders deal, which is fabulous if you happen to be a HCC holder. It’s also fabulous if you happen not to be a HCC holder, but you’re not allowed to take advantage of it. We’ve got heaps of stuff to plant out over the rest of the year. You don’t get to choose though, so we got silverbeet, but apart from that it’s fabulous.

I’ve planted out half of the broccoli seeds in a window box type pot, which is now sitting in the kitchen near the window with lots of little sprouts shooting up. It’s very exciting. We’ve just got to figure out where the hell we’re going to plant them when it’s time to stick them outside. This leads to point two, our major complaint about our garden, most of it only gets 2 or 3 hours of sun a day. The next door neighbour’s house is right on the boundary on one side and there’s a very tall building a few doors up from us on the other side. About a third of the backyard is concrete, the rest of it is very popular with weeds. Did I mention we’re renting? The soil is mostly sand, and cat poo courtesy of next door, and colloquially speaking, we’re pushing manure uphill trying to grow veggies here. But we do it anyway. We can’t help ourselves.

Whenever I think it’s a disappointing waste of time and money, I see the lad crouching down to look at our tomatoes and I think “Gosh that’s wholesome”. Then I carry on.

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