172/366: did the earth move for you, darling?

Taking photos of a lovely sunset over the west just a few hours earlier, we had no idea what was about to happen.

Standing on the front footpath, even the power lines looked more attractive when the sun was setting.

Just before 9pm AEST, 19th June 2012.we were sitting watching a DVD when suddenly the house started shaking. If you are on the other side of the world, I am from the future. (I love saying that!)

We have had a few mild earth tremors in Melbourne, but apparently this one was the biggest in over a century. It gave us only a glimmer of what residents of San Francisco must endure, and my heart goes out to them. We timed it to be at least thirty seconds, and I have just heard that this earthquake was about 5.3, centred in north-east Victoria.

I know this year’s theme for my blog is my garden, but surely an earth tremor/quake can be included here, since it is about the ground!

132/366: blog awards

Please excuse my ignorance, those people who have nominated me for awards. Because I am a relatively new blogger, when it said I was nominated, I was waiting to see who won! Since I heard nothing, I assumed that I hadn’t.

Now, having been nominated again, this time for a Lovely Blogger Award, by Amy@afternoonpopcornsnack, I realise that I was supposed to take action.

Duh! Sorry about that. So, are these awards a little like a chain letter? You nominate various people, recommend blogs, encouraging others to visit all the sites. And on it goes. However, I guess if it develops more traffic to our blogs, and potentially more readers, why not? After all, we don’t write only for ourselves, or else we would just keep a journal, or do scrapbooking.

Thank you to frenchfry36 for information on adding the image of the blog award to this post.

The other nominations were from intergenerational, for a Versatile Blogger Award, but I think that one was for my scootinsandi blog. I think beingjulz also did. Apologies again for being so slow catching on! Perhaps I was having a blonde moment?

May I be cheeky and combine my tasks into one? Here then are my nominations:

1.  aussiesinfrance

2.  photobotos.com

3.  adetailedhouse

4.  sarahtakespictures.com

5.  steeshes.wordpress.com

6.  littlegreybox.wordpress.com

7.  notquiteold.wordpress.com

Please excuse me if I do 7-7; that’s seven blogs to look at and seven things about me. Haven’t you heard – rules were made to be broken? Most people don’t have time to check out fifteen blogs so I’m making an executive decision to decrease it to the 7-7 rule (refer above). Now, about me:

1. I am having trouble ageing gracefully

2. I am now addicted to blogging

3. I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

4. I love speaking French, and would love to be fluent

5. I would love to own a place in France

6. I am writing a novel

7. I appear to love starting sentences with “I” – perhaps because I’m Sandi with an “i”?

Thank you for coming to visit princessprattles; hope you come back again!!

100/366: lost in the garden

Wearing multifocal glasses out in the garden can be a trap, as my distance eyesight is fine, but for detailed work such as pruning, etc., I need them. But sometimes I tuck them into my bra or put them on top of my head.

Unfortunately, in amongst many projects, they disappeared. I searched everywhere.

I had accomplished many tasks, but couldn’t remember exactly when I last saw them. Retracing my steps, to no avail, I finally gave up and hoped they would turn up the next day.

And thank God, they did! One thing I had forgotten I had done; moving this pot. Leaning over, they fell in the pot, unbeknownst to me, because I still had my mp3 player tucked into my clothes. Having transition lenses, they look like sunglasses, and were cleverly camouflaged. Looks like I’ll have to buy one of those ridiculous chains to hang my glasses around my neck, in order to prevent a recurrence of this stress!

Thank you for visiting my blog, as Project 365 reaches 100 days. My theme for this year is 366 days and 26 years in my garden. I hope you’re enjoying reading it as much as I am loving the creative outlet. My reward is that it has also inspired me to work harder outside!

power failure

We are slaves to electricity. The other night the power went off and stayed off for hours, probably due to the storms.

When I wake up in the middle of the night I always glance across, over my husband’s shoulder, at the digital clock radio to see what time it is. But this time there was nothing, only darkness. Not even a glimmer of light from the street sneaking in under the blockout curtains. Because he had to go to work, I suggested he set the alarm on his mobile phone. No problem there, as he cleverly keeps a torch under the bed for just such emergencies.

Fortunately there is always cereal for breakfast, and to make my very necessary cup of tea I utilised the gas hotplates and a saucepan. Planning to ring my husband at work, the cordless phone stated it was “out of range.” Later I remembered we still have one of the old type of landlines that actually plugs into the wall. Relief.

I had the house to myself for the morning, but nearly everything I planned to do involved electricity. At least I could use the laptop for an hour or so before the battery needed re-charging, although I couldn’t access the internet. Luckily I am working on a novel.

It’s a good excuse not to do washing (as hand-washing is something I am unfamiliar with; if it can’t be washed in the machine in one of those special little wash bags for delicates, well I don’t really want it), or ironing (not that I ever do that anyway), or even vacuuming (although having a Dyson makes that not such a difficulty).

Gardening was not an option since it was a miserable day outside. In the end, because I had to go to work myself I elected to take my laptop and go to McDonald’s for a wrap, a cappuccino and the free internet.

Of course I went out to the garage with my water bottle, having already locked up the house, as I like to get chilled water from the automatic dispenser from the fridge out there, but it uses electricity, doesn’t it? So I unlocked the house, went back inside and got filtered water from the kitchen.

Then I was finally ready to go. Uh-oh, the automatic garage door does not lift when there is no power, and I couldn’t reach the deactivation cord from the ground. Climbing up on a stool, as the ladder was much further away, I managed to disconnect it, and then drive the car out of the garage. Then I had to return to close it, but now it was too high to reach from the stool, so I had to get the ladder anyway, and climb up to manually put the door down. Out the side garage door and into the car, which I had left running. Luckily nobody walking past thought to jump in and drive away!

I wonder why I ended up being a few minutes late for work? And I couldn’t even call them to mention it because I hadn’t put my phone on charge and it was dead as a doornail!

size does matter

Now that I have your attention, let it be known we are not travelling down that particular path, and if you don’t know what that path is, just ignore this sentence and read on.

The question that interests me is: why is it that females, in general, have such a fetish about the size on the tags of the clothes they wear? I myself have fallen into that trap in the past. Years ago, there was a mauve dress and jacket that was on sale, (yes another net in which we can be entangled), so I tried it on. Because it was a good price and fitted reasonably, the main reason I had to buy it was that it was a Size 10. I did find a few functions to wear it to, but the specific selling point was its size. And who would read the tag anyway?? (except me)

However, unbeknownst to some, sizing has changed. The Size 10 of yesteryear is the Size 8 of today. So don’t get too excited when you have “gone down a size.” Even Kath and Kim on TV make remarks about “A Country Road Size 10,” as that brand is of a generous fit.

Australia has entered the obesity challenge and per capita, is larger than America. Frightening but true. Statistics don’t lie. But then again, did you know that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot? Just like I did then.

I have finally realised that it doesn’t matter what size the actual tag says, but whether the garment fits well. The tighter a piece of clothing is, the harder it is to look slim. We may not all be slim, but at least if the clothes you are wearing are not skin tight (think of those dreaded muffin tops, where the pants are so tight the fat just oozes out like a freshly-baked Texas muffin).

Here’s my challenge: next time you are in the fitting room, take a few of the same items in different sizes, from the size you are going to be by summer, the size you think you actually are, to the next size or two up, mix them up so that you don’t know which one is what size, and then choose the one that looks the best. Quite often you may find that the one slightly larger is that one. So be it. No-one need be the wiser, but you may in fact receive more compliments for having tricked yourself.

petrol price war

This petrol price war is between me, myself and I. Are you a slave to these “save four cents a litre” or sometimes “save eight cents a litre” fuel vouchers, to the point where you inadvertently miss getting it at the most reasonable price?

At different times of the week the prices at the pumps fluctuate, but have you noticed that the days have changed? I used to think that I must get my petrol by Thursday, when costs usually escalated in accordance with both payday and the imminent weekend. Now it’s gone all topsy-turvy and petrol went up yesterday, on a Tuesday. Where is the sense in that?

Okay, now to buy a litre of unleaded is about 147 cents, whereas if I had just filled up on Monday, without a voucher, it was about 132 cents. Now even if I use one, I am still paying 143 cents for each litre of “gold.” I remember way back in 1979 I could fill my little Datsun 120Y tank for a total of $8.00!

I can be free. I can ignore these vouchers and just fill up as required. When I do the sums it is only a matter of $2.00 that I have been quibbling over. Less than the price of a coffee.

my very own dotcom site!

Now that I have completed my first blog, which is travelswithprincessandquiquinou, about 35,000 words logging our 2011 round the world trip, I am branching out in the blogging world with my very own dotcom address.

I plan to have various segments on different topics, from gardening to motor scooter riding and any other topics that interest me. Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I plan to!