Better than a duel with wet newspapers*

Politics

Apparently Julia has challenged Abbot to a knit off. Does this mean that she knits?  Yes, looks like it, and she touts Adelaide a whole lot:

Adelaide is part of who I am. I grew up, went to school, took my first steps into work, university and adulthood here.

Whether it’s memories of the fruit trees in our back yard, playing at Brown Hill Creek, being taught to knit by the elderly women who lived at Sunset Lodge where my mother worked or having my favourite teacher, Mr Crowe, correct my grammar at primary school, my recollections of this place and its people are good.

Incidentally, how do we all feel about calling her ‘Julia’ and not ‘Gillard’ or ‘Ms Gillard’ or whatever?  I’ve seen a  few grumpy facebook updates about how we never called him ‘Kevin’ (I did, though, when I wasn’t calling him ‘Krudd’) or ‘John’ (what about ‘honest Johnnie’?).  I don’t feel that it is necessarily disrespectful, although it certainly could be in different contexts, juast like anything.  I think, given her casual, one-of-the-people attitude that she’s working, it’s appropriate.  It seems snide to me to call her ‘Mzzzzz Gillard’, like you are trying to say ‘Mzz-deliberately-barren-unmarried-ruining-the-children-what-is-the-world-coming-to-cats-and-dogs-living-together-god-has-foresaken-us-zzzz Gillard’.

*10 points if you know what I’m referencing.

I got a facebook email from an acquaintence the other day (we met once, at a communist themed party, had a five-hour-long drunken discussion about feminism, and haven’t seen each other since).  I had blocked him because I couldn’t handle the ‘bloody coup’ comments. I mean, it’s ridiculous.  He emailed asking me what I thought about ‘the coup’ and whether it was ‘good for women’ or ‘bad for women’ that Julia was ‘installed by male power brokers’.  I sent him back a long reply explaining how parliamentary democracy works, who gets to elect who, how Kevin got elected in the first place, how it’s quite absurd to throw around phrases like ‘good for women’ without any qualifiers, but that was quite nice to have a female role model who isn’t either completely vapid or completely frigid – and I mean that not in a sexual sense but in an open and happy and willing-to-engage-with-the-public sense.  I realise there is a reason that women at the top are like that, and that a lot of Julia’s availablity is show.  That is not really the point, if we are talking about role models.  And since when are we not allowed to have a variety of role models?  Why should she have to be married to be a good role model?!  Ok, ok, I know why: patriarchy!  But, still.

House

I can’t give you new photos because my computer is broke, so I’ve whacked some crarf camp ones in to break up the text.  I love these photos of crafty women and their crafty hands, hands that have touched and made so many beautiful things.  I bought a new harddrive for my poor sick computer (1 Terabyte for $80!  Ridiculous!  I remember when 1 Terabyte was only achieved by lashing together several computers!  Uphill!  Both ways! In the snow!) but that didn’t fix the problem – I think it’s the RAM.  But I don’t have the time or the brainspace to fix it any time soon.  So I moved it into the laundry and moved the desk it was on into the shed.  Then I set up the TV in the lounge room (there was previously no room) and brough in the extra armchair.  Suddenly the room seemed so much bigger!  While I was doing this my sister used paint stripper on the hinges of the door that had been painted over, and took the door off.  Another enbiggening act. 

The living room is a much nicer place to be now.  An actual place to sit, way more welcoming and cosy, and it is starting to feel like the kind of house I want to live in.  I might move the bookcase out form my room (there was nowhere else to put it when we moved in) into the living room soon, although I might want to paint it first, I think.  Then I have to paint the wardrobe that I started sanding when we moved into our LAST place… oh, 18 months ago, so I can have that in my room and all my clothes can have a home.

I am thinking I might even leave the computer out in the laundry – it’s a comfortable enough place to sit on the internet for a bit and to check emails, but not so comfortable that I’ll want to spend hours playing games.  I think that might be optimal, actually.

Food and Fatness

I quite like this post from the fat nutritionist about how to be healthy.

The traditional 10 Tips for Better Health [69]

    * 1. Don’t smoke. If you can, stop. If you can’t, cut down.
    * 2. Follow a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
    * 3. Keep physically active.
    * 4. Manage stress by, for example, talking things through and making time to relax.
    * 5. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
    * 6. Cover up in the sun, and protect children from sunburn.
    * 7. Practice safer sex.
    * 8. Take up cancer-screening opportunities.
    * 9. Be safe on the roads: follow the Highway Code.
    * 10. Learn the First Aid ABCs: airways, breathing, circulation.

The social determinants 10 Tips for Better Health[70]

    * 1. Don’t be poor. If you can, stop. If you can’t, try not to be poor for long.
    * 2. Don’t have poor parents.
    * 3. Own a car.
    * 4. Don’t work in a stressful, low-paid manual job.
    * 5. Don’t live in damp, low-quality housing.
    * 6. Be able to afford to go on a foreign holiday and sunbathe.
    * 7. Practice not losing your job and don’t become unemployed.
    * 8. Take up all benefits you are entitled to, if you are unemployed, retired or sick or disabled.
    * 9. Don’t live next to a busy major road or near a polluting factory.
    * 10. Learn how to fill in the complex housing benefit/asylum application forms before you become homeless and destitute.

Along with this really interesting post about what food is FOR.  And why poor people aren’t doing it wrong, actually.

I’ve been thinking on and off about one particular moment of last crarf camp’s pictionary game.  The word was ‘diet’.  The draw-er for the other team (don’t remember who it was, help me out guys?) drew a fat person with an arrow pointing to a thin person.  I drew a picture of cake, with a line through it.  No particular place to go with that, I just thought about what diets mean to us and how we think about them.

Knitting

I cast on Snapdragon mitts on the bus this morning, and now all I want to do is knit them.  They are sitting a bit out of my bag, taunting me in my peripheral vision.  I am using some Bendigo rustic in a mustard colour that my grandma gave me (apparently they don’t make that colour anymore) held double with some knittery sock yarn that I died with Emma one time.  It was supposed to be bright yellow but there was some green left in the pot so now it’s golds and mustards.  Not colours I would wear, but very lovely if I do say so myself.  And I do.  It’s bringing just a little pop to the almost-brown bendigo yarn, and the mitts are all smooshy and lovely.

I started knitting Bird in the Hand mitts, but I was using 12 ply and the colourwork was WAY too dense.  Practically like armour!  On the other hand, I did colourwork.  I have been scared of colourwork for ages, cos my gauge is pretty tight anyway and I was afraid I wouldn’t strand the back properly and they’d pucker.  But I sort of forgot that and just cast on.  And it was fun!  The estonian braid was pretty rad, too.  I’ll probably knit them at some stage when I can get my hands on some worsted (I did pay for the pattern, after all!) or maybe I could get away with 8ply for these – the colourwork would probably make them thick enough.  But the new knitty is up and my sister LOVES peacocks, so I’m going to try to finish the snapdragons in the next two weeks (omg.  Two weeks!  And then she leaves!  Suddenly I am as sad as I am glad) because I think flip tops will be more appropriate for an Irish summer.  I will send her mystery and manners once she gets there.  I know I have some appropriate yarn for it, but I can’t FIND it.  I might have to buy some more, oh noes… 

I bought some yarn off of etsy to knit Andrea’s shawl for my cousin whose mother died.  Dark purple and lavender.  The yarn came today, I grabbed the parcel as I left for work, but I haven’t opened it yet.  It is still exciting and full of promise.  And I am dreaming of having my yarn on display again, where I can see it and touch it, not under the bed and on top of the wardrobe.

Death

The funeral was fine.  Not what I’d call fun, but fine.  My Uncle D is apparently the official euology giver now.  He was sad all through it, but cracked up twice.  Both times he was talking about my dad.  I think people were not too shocked about Auntie L.  I mean, it’s still sad and horrible, but it doesn’t have that same horrible rug-pulled-out feeling as my dad’s death did.  It was kind of nice to have an opportunity to talk about it – my family is a bit tight with words sometimes.  Cousin C. told me that her dad (my favourite uncle, married in) said that my dad was his favourite.  That was nice.  I missed my dad the other day for the first time in a while – actively missed him, I mean.  I think it might be a seasonal thing.  Winter carries no particular associations.  Now that there is a hint of spring in the air, I am thinking about it all again.

Life

Or maybe it is that I went to S’s house on the weekend and met his kids, saw him being a father.  I don’t feel like I have father issues (well, not any more than most) but it’s certainly something that will come up, I expect.  And having him around, telling me I am loved and noticed and special… that makes me think of my dad, too.  That feeling of being known and cherished.  And knowing and cherishing back – that silent understanding and acknowelgement.  I’ve missed that.

His kids are so adorable and hilarious.  I had more fun hanging with them (and S, and his dad, and his best friend) than I have at many parties I have been to.  I think A, the eldest, was pretty prepared to hate me.   Fair enough, too.  He didn’t hate me, though.  I think.  We had a geek gaming weekend, and it was so much fun, even though I had the man flu. 

This relationship thing.  It’s super weird.

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7 thoughts on “Better than a duel with wet newspapers*

  1. Brownie points to you for having a relationship with a man with kids. It’s a braver person than me that does that.
    Julia just makes me shiver. She seems nice enough but she’s most likely got where she is by being a total hardass bitch when she needs to be. Still shes light years nicer than whatsisname she ousted.

  2. It’s totally because A has sung in choirs and you just attract the singy types. 😉

    Bird in the Hand is so cute it *almost* makes me want to learn to knit, except that I don’t wear gloves. 😛

  3. I think (think) it was me who was the other ‘diet’ drawer. I was thinking of the word as a verb rather than a noun, and trying to demonstrate the action of dieting and the visual result. I get what you’re saying though, about food and choices and noes and ‘bad’ food. Even though you didn’t say it.

    Also, your friend who referred to Gillard’s rising as a coup? Send him to that post thirdcat wrote about it and why it is most definitely inappropriate to refer to it as a coup. She articulated it beautifully.

    Glad to see you back here. I’ve missed you.

  4. I wish I could remember what our guesses were for the No Cake sketch now. No cake…hmm pavlova? meringues? gluten free?

    Good on you for meeting the kids and charming them. Of course you charmed them, because you’re lovely. And geeky, double bonus.

  5. I got your clue for diet pretty quickly I think??

    Despite the fact that the honeymoon is drawing to an end, I actually still have a bit of a girl crush for our Julia. I can’t quite go Mizz Gillard either but I do love it when Grace says “the Prime Minister is Julia Gillard, it used to be kevin Rudd but now it’s Julia Gillard” and despite all my explaining she actually doesn’t think it’s a deal that she’s a woman. Why would she, she’s five and there’s a female prime minister. I so, so love that. But anyways, back to my big ‘ol girl crush – I like Julia Gillard because she does come across as human, even with the robotic voice. She’s daggy and clever. She admits she’s made deals and done the politicking to get where she is now. I admire that. I really do and if she can hold on and stay in power, I think she will do good things. Well, as much as any Prime Minister can. And she is certainly a much better option than whatisface Abbot. Ugh.

    Glad you had a good weekend with the kids! and manflu too. I hope you were waited on with cups of tea and timtams.

Whadya reckon?

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