Saturday, 29 September 2007

Can you say "mecchano"?

Well, it's official. He's having a second childhood. Or preparing for a first child, anyway (and no, I'm not pregnant yet, thanks for asking!).

Yes, with all the talk around here of making babies and future plans, Charles has started to lament the fact that he sold off his Mecchano back in 2003. So, what's a man to do? Rummage through the wonder of eBay of course! He's currently bought 4 sets in varying degrees of completion and has spent this evening building (for those of you who know him, this will come as no surprise) a tractor. That's right folks, he's got his battery pack and gear boxes in place and, ok I admit it, I made the steering mechanism :D

I present the latest addition to the collection:
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The Tractor!
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He's been driving it around the living room but unfortunately our digital camera is too old to do videos or I'd post one of them too :D However, I do have a classic photo of one of the cats' reaction to the interloper:
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I might add that nothing much phases this one!

Charles also has a never-used secondhand steam engine on it's way from the UK. Just because he could (although I have to admit, it's pretty cool stuff).

In other news, my holiday is nearly over as uni starts again on Monday. I had 10 days off for the mid semester break (because I usually have Thursdays and Fridays off anyway, so that lengthened it for me) and there's only a few weeks to go until the exam period. We shall see how that all pans out.

Charles is off to Canada on October 15 for a week with his work because they want him to learn how to setup a software application so that he can teach other people at his work here how to use it. It's a Canadian application, which is why he is off. I asked him to bring me back a moose, but I think it might tip him over the limit for excess baggage! I bet moose fluff would be cool to spin though, but there could be issues getting it through customs . . . It will be the longest we've been apart since we met pretty much, so that could be interesting. But at least they don't want to send him off the week before because we intend to go the the MotoGP at Phillip Island for our anniversary on October 12-14. He was ready to make heads roll if the boss wanted to send him os for our anniversary! Can you see why I love this man? He's all about family.

We had a lovely dinner with Annie and Kris last night, so they were well fortified for their day of house hunting today. With Melbourne's housing shortage the way it's going I think Kris will have his work cut out for him, but I hope it all goes well. I guess the worst case scenario is that we could move to Glen Waverley earlier than expected and Kris could move in here, although I think Annie would want to join him in that case!

Oh, and for those of you overseas who haven't seen or heard the news yet, Geelong won the Grand Final for the first time in 44 years by a record margin of 100-and-something points. Despite this it was an interesting game to watch because of the Cats' skill display, although Port Adelaide seemed to go home at the end of the first quarter when they were 30-something points down. They didn't kick a goal beyond the first quarter, I don't think! But I'm sure if you care that much, you can read about it in the Age or somewhere. That's all I have to say about it.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

So much for regular updates . . .

I know, I promised. But it seems as though life is all about Uni at the moment and nothing interesting has happened. But I bet I could think of some stuff.

Like I bought a new spinning wheel. I realise that this isn't the most interesting of topics for the majority of you, and that you'll have no idea of the significance of buying it because it's got a double treadle mechanism. But I can mention it, right? Darn tootin'. It's my blog :D Anyway, the reason I bought it is because it's got a double treadle mechanism, which means that you use both feet (each on its own treadle) to make the wheel go around. This is good because it stops me getting a sore hip on one side (bad when you're only in your mid 20s, trust me!) and means that I can stop and start treadling with a lot more ease, so I don't unravel my spinning. The only problem that I could see with the wheel was that it only came with one bobbin, but I bought a coupld more for it (although I'm not sure if they fit or not yet). It's a horizontal Ashford Traditional wheel, for those of you who might be interested, so it's easy to get parts for and I'm thinking of investing in a jumbo flyer so that I can spin thick yarn as well. My other wheel (a Tara double drive, upright single treadle) is great for lace yarns, but neither, at the moment, will do super bulky stuff.

Also, we have just invested some money in a new shmotorbike! It's beautiful and we picked it up today. Essentially its for me, but I'll let Charles ride it too, because I think he quite openly covets it over his bike! Not that his is bad or anything, its just mine is bigger and a little newer and SHWEEEEEET! And yes, I backed it into a post in the carpark at uni today. On the first day I owned it. In my defence, I a) currently have a cricked neck and can't turn my head as far as usual so I didn't see the post and b) this Eliminator is about a foot longer than my Suzy was and a LOT lower (being a cruiser as opposed to an old school upright type bike), so the brakelight cover was just at the right height to crack open. So yes, we picked it up today, and I made it unroadworthy within a couple of hours of owning it. So my mission for tomorrow is to find a new brakelight cover and get a cosy for it. Here's some photos of "The Beast" (even if it is only a 250 still!):

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The damage isn't too bad, all the pieces sort of popped into the brakelight cover, so if the worse happens and I can't get a new cover tomorrow in the city, we can tape the pieces back together so that Charles can go riding sometime on the weekend. We had thought about not getting a new bike for me as it's only 10 months until we'll be able to get bigger bikes, but we wanted to go to the Grand Prix in October (it's our wedding anniversary, we're going to camp all weekend!) and we needed two bikes to go to that because you can't go to see Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi in the car, it just doesn't work. Although we are grateful to our friend Paul who is taking his car (and our stuff so we don't have to ride with a tent etc on the back!).

What else? We chopped down the old plum tree in the backyard and now there's a lot more light coming into the lounge which is good. We even managed to do it (ourselves) without any bits of tree landing on Charles' head, which was a bonus. I planted a vegie garden and I think things have started to grow in it which were specifically planted there! It's very exciting because it's generally believed that I have a black thumb. Oh, and we bought an olive tree, a Manzanillo called "Manny", which we hope will be the first of many. We're still thinking about purchasing some land and starting an olive grove sometime in the future, but we're waiting to see whether any good land comes on the market in our preferred area (up around Mansfield) now that the interest rates have gone up. We're not in any hurry, let's put it that way.

So that's about it really. Uni ticks along and hopefully I'm passing everything. I guess I'll know soon enough. I can't wait for the mid-semester break, which will be in two weeks time, 3/4 of the way through semester. Go figure. It's either too early in 1st semester (due to Easter) or too late in 2nd semester. Still at least it's on the way. It will be nice to have some time off and I'd love to go away for a bit, but I suspect I'll be madly trying to do assignments *sigh*

Speaking of going away, we managed to head up to Sydney for the weekend back in mid July to catch up with our crazy English mate, Tom. He'd been back in Australia on a work contract for a while, but was about to head back to the UK, so we decided on the spur of the moment to head up to see him before he left. We figured it was a lot easier to get to Sydney than to Milton Keynes for a weekend! And probably a lot more interesting too . . . ;)

It seems like a large proportion of our friends are heading off on their "Grand Tours" this year as well. Hayley left for the UK in Feb (and I believe she's due back at some point fairly soon), Scot and Sarah left last week for the UK via Thailand, Europe and Mexico for 12 months and Sam is about to jet off next week for an undisclosed period of time in the UK as well. I would love to go and live overseas again, but I don't think it's in our near future as Charles is very happily settled at his work, I'm still studying and mum has kittens at the thought of us moving interstate, let alone internationally! Although I'm trying to encourage Charles to think about going to visit Thane and Emma in China next year before they return to Australia as well. I'd love the chance to practice my (incredibly) rusty Mandarin.