A very different December

Yet again I’ve been promoting that thing called “radio silence” but I’ve been busy, very busy. I was extremely lucky to obtain a vacation work placement which for the last three weeks saw me trade my normal CBD office for another CBD office. A swisher office, closer to the river and employing a gazillion more people in their Brisbane office than are employed in the Brisbane office for my company. It was an eye opener and in some areas I learnt more about accounting in the last three weeks than I’ve learnt in the last year at uni. It was a very good experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given. This week I’m back at my “normal job”.

This Christmas season has seen many, many changes in our household. A couple of months ago, after Mum had come back from exploring the bush in NSW, a conversation was resurrected from one we had had years ago about why we (really my parents) live in Brisbane. It was about Grandad of course and nothing could have taken my mother or myself away from SEQ whilst my grandfather was alive. With his passing in June and the passing of my father in May last year; that conversation could be had again as those events have changed a lot of things in our lives. I moved back home. We purchased an investment property. We’ve taken on a boarder (who may have had a Lotte bowl slip out of his hand and land on the floor in more than one piece … My Lotte is now more secure in where it is stored) and that’s just the billboard changes. Mum has had the chance to revisit that conversation we’ve had a few times over the years about leaving Brisbane and teaching somewhere else, I always used to suggest WA but that is an awfully long way a way. Mum though discovered a place closer to home though and next year she will be still be a Maths teacher but in NSW in a country town situated in the north west region. The town she is moving to is about a 7hr drive from Brisbane, luckily it is also on the Melbourne to Brisbane bus route so she will be able to hop on a bus to come home for a visit! Most importantly there is plenty of bush walking and an active club to keep her weekends occupied.

This has meant that Mum is packing up her life or perhaps I should say “culling her life”, there has been items leaving this house left, right and center. Some via Lifeline, some via Gumtree, some via Freecycle, others via the rubbish bin, some to people here and there. Some times it feels like that unless it is bolted down, it won’t be there when I get home from work!

Another change this year is that for the first time in the sixty years my mother has lived we have an artificial Christmas tree!!!! And we put it up on Dec 18!!! My father and my maternal grandmother are probably rolling in their proverbial graves (well more accurately, their ash particles are probably vibrating at a higher frequency than normal …)

However, it’s not just any artificial Christmas tree. It’s a 6ft Mistletoe Pine Aluminium Christmas Tree made by Raco. Yep, how many people do you know in Australia who are rocking an Australian made Aluminium Christmas Tree? Very few I would wager to say. I normally see two or so appear each year on Ebay and one of the ones that appeared last year made its way to me. I then gave the tree as part of my present to Mum last year (Well actually it was to both Mum and the house. Do you do that? We have often over the years had presents to the the house from the kitchen or to the fridge from the stove etc). My reading of the date codes on the box say it was made in 1964 and the price label reads £6/15/ which according to our friends at the RBA that is about $84 in the money of today.

Our tree has always been real and has always gone up around the 23rd or so and then comes down on the 6th of January or shortly there after (A major pet peeve of mine is when people talk of the twelve days of Christmas as been the twelve days leading up to Christmas, I grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. You seriously think the three kings got an early warning that Jesus was been born and started their journey twelve days before he was born ??? I’m a by no means a believer but it riles me when people talk about and use an idea that they clearly seem to have no idea what it actually means).

Moving on from that point. This is our tree. Click to see it larger of course!
Raco Mistletoe Pine Aluminium Christmas Tree

Have you seen such a beauty? It makes such a lovely sound as you brush past it and oh I love how the lights reflect off it and dance on the ceiling. I actually lay under it on Sunday night whilst on the phone to a friend like a child, watching the light dance on “the leaves” … It is so smile inducing.



I had my last exam on Thursday night so I’m at the moment I’m loving not having to open my uni books for a few months! I went out yesterday morning and took some photos of one of the ladies I work with and her family. This one was just too cute not to share πŸ˜€


I’m about to head off to spend the day at Uni working on a group assignment. I’m hoping though that I’ll be able to meander through the old botanic gardens this afternoon as the spring flowers in there at the moment are divine.

On spring flowers, here are mine. I planted primulas in the front bed and oh it is so lovely to have flowers in the garden again. As a kid we used pick the flowers and spin the stalks round and round between our palms pretending they were Catherine wheels.

I didn’t plant the clover but looks almost as pretty.

When I mowed the lawn, I couldn’t stand the thought of mowing down all those pretty clover flowers so I left a square of flowering clover in the front lawn πŸ™‚
Clover Square

Now for a collection of links and the likes.

Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 – Whilst American based, I can certainly attest to quite a number of statements made.

I can’t stop listening to this cover of Back in Black by Will Shine
Will Shine Γ’β‚¬β€œ Back in Black (AC/DC cover) by the3penguins

The Iceland AFL team recently hosted Norway in the first ever international game in the country, my brother was of course there to capture all the action. I particularry liked how they rigged the goal posts up.

Shiney Flaggy Purse also available with more Union Jack and less stars.

Now I’m off to spend the day with my head buried in the AASBs.

Three pictures, three parts of today.

Doing laps.
Spent some time with Grandad today – we did laps round the ward, practised his exercises and of course read the paper. Hopefully he won’t be at the hospital too much longer and respite care can be found which will make it a little easier in some ways.

Spring Flowers in waiting.
Spring Flowers in waiting
A sizeable number of Primulas have been planted in the front garden beds so there will be Spring flowers again (I said to Mum just after moving back in that I wished she would put plants in the front bed again – her answer to me of course was something along the lines of “you’re old enough to plant the bed yourself” so I did).

And then there is study.

Best done with a Kit-Kat of course. The flavour pictured is Shinshu Apple. It’s a sweet slightly fake apple taste.

Study, Shopping and life

I’m settling into life here in Spring Hill – I’m tucked away in a nice street up near the windmill on Wickham Tce which means I’m enjoying walking/running up and down Jacob’s Ladder when ever I go anywhere in the city which isn’t work. That plus living in a terrace house is making a difference to my legs for sure!

At the moment though, I’m pretty much “head in textbooks” or “fingers on calculator”, I’ve got a exam tomorrow and I want to get the best mark I can possibly get.

My study set up doesn’t so much look like this any more (I do miss my balcony and all that light) but is a corner of my room. Will have to take some photos of my room shortly.
Doing a lot of this

Still study is study and it must be done.

Study of course makes you hungry. I won’t however be eating the below pictured. I may be a big supporter of adding a spoonful of Milo to corn flakes/any breakfast cereal but pre-packaged porridge sachets with the Milo already in it? sigh.
Because it is that hard to put a spoonful of Milo on your porridge?

Went to do some grocery shopping with one of my flatmates and snapped this picture on the walk back up Edward St.

Walking home

Now it’s time to finish off some practice questions and get ready for bed.

home again

Well, we arrived home on Wednesday morning and boy were we relieved to be home. I’m slowly going through all my goodies (about 22 different Kit-Kat flavours just for starters) and even more slowly going through photos. I’m starting to catch up on the 2.5 weeks of Uni I missed as well as work. I’ve found it extremely difficult to read/watch/listen to any more news about what is happening in Japan. I almost burst into tears whilst reading a news article about people waiting for lost loved ones to hopefully be found alive whilst on the bus home the other day. Whilst we we were nowhere near any of the devastation it was just so heavy in the air across Japan during our last few days.

We ended up seeing a lot of places, doing a lot of shopping (oh the shopping), eating all sorts of things (Kobe beef!!! OMG), talking to a random mix of people and most of all enjoying the plum blossoms. We did see some cherry blossoms but personally we prefer the perfume from the plum blossoms (we were talking to a volunteer guide at the Osaka Castle Gardens and he said that that preference is quite common amongst westerners).

Plum Blossoms in the Osaka Castle Plum Orchard.
Plum Blossoms, Osaka Castle Gardens