Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Back for 2015

So here we are a long time since I last posted.

Looking at trying to get some goals in place for 2015 and thought this would be a good way to get myself thinking.

Some as yet unformed ideas that are being reviewed as goals

  • Knit without deadlines or if knitting to a deadline make it something I have never done before (Easter show entry is a case in point - Shhh) 
  • Knit for family and friends and knit from stash
  • Sew way more
  • Set reading goals - I have taken on BringupBurns 26 Books in 2015 Challenge and set up a GoodReads Shelf to collect books and have identified where i can borrow them from (Rather than buy them!) and also set up a Reading Challenge in GoodReads Too!
  • Looked at some way of reorganising my goals and thought i would give This Workbook from Leonie Dawson - and try to keep on track (I particularly like her philosophy of using the pieces that work!)
  • Started a working group to get a few of us working on Conference Papers (Based on people with shared interests and areas of expertise) and gaining valuable professional experience. 
  • Maintain a trusted based on connections Women in Technology Network (and having a monthly catch up)
  • More effort in maintaining regular contact with friends 
  • Continued and increased  quality time with family 
  • Almost forgot some spinning too
Looking forward to confirming and setting up some goals and tracking them publicly

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sydney Film Festival 2013

Long time no post right?

It's that time again Sydney Film Festival. This time I have switched my handicap from being 8 months pregnant to working and having a 10 and a half month old! Lack of sleep is going to be a challenge.

I am trying to see a good proportion of my subscription this year. I am hoping a well timed rest day or two will be restorative. Items in brackets are films in my subscription I am missing.

So the plan

The Act of Killing
The Way Way Back

(Stoker - not seeing)

The Spirit of '45  - directed by Ken Loach
The Rocket
Before Midnight - Richard Linklater revisits Jesse and Celine (yay!!)

Midnight's Children
Broken Circle Breakdown
Prince Avalanche

For Those in Peril
Child's Pose

(Monsoon Shootout)

(Oh Boy) 
(Mood Indigo)

The Look of Love

Stories We Tell
Frances Ha

Upstream Colour
Breathe In
Only God Forgives
The Past

Thanks For Sharing

So 24 of the 30 available in the subscription. Once upon a time totally achievable for me. Now potentially ridiculously ambitious.

Watch this space!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


So I am now signed up to Sewvember a mini movement inspired by a tweet to focus on sewing in November see the late night Stitch Club Blog here is ambitious and wants one thing a day!

Web Goddess drk are in at 1 a week and to wear personally created items as often as possible.

I am thinking I might have a handicap with a small baby so my plan is to prep as much as possible and complete 2 items at least

I have started to sort some fabric but there are still a few to find!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Handmade for Baby

One of the most astounding things about having a baby has been the generosity of friends, family and in some cases friends of my family.

We have been lucky to be given these gorgeous handmade gifts for the new addition.

Three amazing quilts from 2 long time family friends and one from an amazingly talented knitter.

An amazing group knitted blanket in Wollmeise!

A gorgeous knitted robot the pattern was not in ravelry but I did find the link to buy the pattern if anyone wants it! He has a battery pack (knitted) on his back. This is from one of my Uni friends.

The stunning rabbit (the first softie made by a knitting/spinning friend.

Also a great shawl that fits perfectly on the back of my chair from a knitting pal.

Just amazing! Love them all.

There is even more from the immediate family -sheets, nappy stackers, toys, blankets (numerous fleece ones). As I
said astounding and we are ever so grateful.

I forgot to mention the red knitted outfit from a colleagues mums neighbour (all the way from China!)

And the little purple jumper from Randomknits!

And the crocheted rug a gift from a friend of my mums!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where did She Go?

Wow it's been a few months.

I managed very few films at the festival - I overestimated the energy levels I would have at 8 months pregnant.

I did see some great films, but missed quite a few. Some friends managed to benefit from my absence though getting the best out of my subscription tickets.

So since last I wrote

I have had a baby boy delivered by C-section after 3 days attempting to induce.
He is just adorable if I do say so myself.

Lets just say I didn't respond to any of the induction steps at all. The bub didn't want to come and I didn't want to let him out apparently.

My life has been taken up with the usual eating and feeding challenges you have with a newborn (I assume they are normal!) and a not so normal return trip to hospital with two separate complications making me feel like I was a week behind in getting on top of things (my own mental timetable I am sure) and slowing me down as I was not able to lift the baby myself for a week. T managed to get extra time off work (Thankfully) and as always has been an absolute gem in sharing the load.

Sometime down the track I might share my midwife/lactation consultant dramas, but for now lets not.

We are getting to know our little man who will be four weeks old on Friday - just 2 days time, seems so bloody quick.

On the knitting front I have had little time but am trying to finish off some baby things for a colleague of T's. Although our little man seems to know and wake as soon as I settle in for a row or two.

We have managed to get out with him before and since I have been in hospital. T did most of the pre-hospital lifting and pushing, but I have been out with the big pram and car with his Non and again with the newly acquired public transport friendly stroller just a short trip.

It's all about baby steps.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sydney Film Festival Day 2 Mabo

The second festival film is the World Premiere of Mabo. The director, cast & crew in the audience, also a fairly large contingent of the Mabo family including wife Bonita.

The film is delayed while they get the sold out audience in to the cinema. Many seats were vacant with many of my fellow subscribers opting to head home and catch the
film on tv this Sunday night.

The film itself is brilliant Deborah Mailman and Jimi Bani play Bonita and Eddie respectively. The film is about the relationship between the two over the course of their life together and the way their lives were intertwined with the two landmark cases fought in Queensland and the Federal High Court.

Bani and Mailman are mesmerising and the use of archival news footage is used to maximum advantage. A film that successfully and deliberately makes the public personal. Emotionally charged and so well executed. It was a privilege to see it under these circumstances.

The films end was greeted by a lengthy standing ovation - possibly more for the woman (Bonita) and the absent man (Eddie) than for the film. Possibly - it would be difficult to separate the experience of film itself from the screening with dignitaries that enhanced the emotional charge.

The experience of watching Bonita Mabo wipe tears from her eyes as she stood on the stage complimented and thanked the team - thanking me - when addressing Mailman was moving. She discussed sitting down with the writer Sue Smith and sharing the stories the laughter and the tears - this is the strength of the film it is at its core about two people, not saints, a passion for standing up for what one believes in and a passion for each other that endured.

Perkins the talented and driven director was humble claiming messenger status but this work is excellent and deserves wider viewing. 4.5/5

Sydney Film Fest: Day 2 Caesar Must Die

My first festival film and one that seems to have produced a variety of responses.

The film is part scripted part documentary (you don't know which parts). It follows an acting troupe staging Julius Caesar, the twist they are from a maximum security prison in Italy.

Opening with segments from the actual stage performance that shows the capability of the cast we are transport sped back to the announcement.

From there we follow the cast through auditions, rehearsals, staging and costumes. Te strength is the play is reproduced throughout. Some scenes cleverly using the geography and architecture of the prison to enhance the drama.

The cast are excellent and the film brews with restrained physicality throughout as if something could happen at any opportunity. The lid of personal insight into the prisoners is lifted only for a moment and rapidly slammed back on by the other cast members. This allows you to glimpse their passion for theatre above other grievances.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film it was totally compelling 3.5/5.

Criticism from others included the lack of insight into the personal for the prisoners, which I felt was a strength. It wouldn't be a festival without divided opinion!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's That Time Again - Sydney Film Festival

Wow it's been quiet here hasn't it.

I think I am struggling to come to terms with being pregnant and the demands it has on your time. I have just over 2 weeks of work left and I am also about to embark on the last pre-baby Sydney Film Festival.

My schedule is obviously a tad reduced from normal.

I am not taking any time off work - so no extra films
I am generally exhausted at the end of a standard working week so I will be skipping a few more than normal of the subscription films to keep myself up.

The Plan at present is to see

Ceaser Must Die
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom
On The road
I, Anna
(Skipping Amour here - I know but it's on late Sunday night and I am just not going to make it)
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
A Simple Life
Marley (Hope I can hang in there for this another late night)
(Skipping a couple of days including  The King of Pigs, Polisse, Today & Barbara)
Dead Europe
THe Loneliest Planet
Neighbouring Sounds
Wuthering Heights
Monsier Lazhar
The Angel's Share
(Then alas skipping the final day due to a baby-related class - and Missing Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 & Part 2)

A total of 19 films a paltry effort by my normal standards but one I think i might be able to achieve.

I will try to keep up my regular blogging schedule - but will see how I go.
Excited about the Film Festival as usual!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ode to a Record Store

You may not have noticed it or marked its passing but Saturday was World Record Store Day.
A day to celebrate independent record stores. Many limited edition items including vinyl (yes you can still buy it) was for sale. Some artists made instore appearances and much merriment was had.

We spent it quietly - listening to FBI Radio our local independent radio station. The djs spent much time talking about their first albums (some on cassette but mostly on cd) making me feel old.

The other thing it made me think about is that period of my life when buying new music was as essential as breathing.

In my teenage high school years and subsequent university years my part time job bought me a stereo including a turbtable and lots of Vinyl, Cassingles and eventually a rididculous amount CD's. This continued into my early working life and was often augmented with live music at a variety of venues around Sydney. Often well almost weekly.

My favourite record store was Galleon Records in Fairfield. Local to me but still requiring a trip to the shopping centre by bus. Shopping for music was an event mostly on a Thursday night (i got paid Wednesday's for my casual work!). The great thing was they stocked more than just top 40, lots of independent and local bands and musicians were available the range was extensive and supplemented with T-shirts and other merchandising.

Here I fell in love with The Go-Betweens, The Clouds, The Hummingbirds, Paul Kelly, Nick Cave, The Falling Joys and a range of other local and international artists. These initial outings led me to GW McLennan and his collaboration with Steve Kilbey and on through a range of musical adventures. I realise my love of local independent talent stems from these days and my continued live music passion still persists (although not as fervently).

The absolute best thing about Galleon Records was that for every full price CD you bought you got a voucher. Collect 10 and get a new CD free. I think my silly volume of CD's (now combined with T's - yes we did have overlap but not as much as you would expect).

My brother, neighbour and I collected these vouchers and used them regularly as did many of my friends. The staff were like friends greeting you warmly and letting you know what was coming up. Collecting deposits for pre-orders and eventually special editions - can you say picture disc?

Like many local record stores I believe Galleon has closed. I haven't been out that way in years.
But this weekend I remembered it fondly and the influence it has had on me and my perpetual CD collection.

As my university and working life bought me into the city I supplemented Galleon with the wonderful independent stores scattered throughout the city Red Eye (still a major independent today) and the now closed shops of Waterfront (in its many locations), Phantom and Half A Cow who were based in Glebe. The last three also managed independent labels consisting in some format until this day.

Phantom signed artists such as Def fx and The Whitlams and an offshot published the work of Swoop (the band which spawned Professor Groove and The Booty Affair - a funk live experience of mythic proportions)  Waterfront hit it big (huge) with Rat Cat but also released the Happy Hate Me Nots, The Hard Ons (best known for collaborating with Henry Rollins) and The Trilobites. Half a Cow was the offspring of Nic Dalton who  co-opted his parents book store and turned added music and comics. The label's artists were incredibly diverse The wonderful Smudge and Sneeze, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, the dulcet tones of Bernie Hayes, the fuzzy guitar pop of Sidewinder and Swirl, and the Peter O'Doherty Reg Mombassa project Dog Trumpet. 

Now my music purchases tend to end up coming from JB Hi-Fi not as exciting or passion enducing.
I miss the old record store - but am happy the labels continue.

Do you have a favourite record store?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Clothes

My focus has been knitting heaps of baby clothes. Cardigans stripes and elephants preceded by hats!

Lastly more stripes and elephants for a cotton toy bag!

Progress shots