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Tonight I cook a roast leg of lamb off the bone, with baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, cauliflower and gravy. The lamb is disappointingly tough, it is not a great cut. I bought it pre-prepared from the supermarket. I should buy my meat from the local butcher. It is much better quality and a better taste. I am concerned the local fruit and vegetable shop has closed down. It is not open when I arrive home from work, even when I am early. There were three shops almost side by side four years ago. Now maybe not even one.
I attend a child's first birthday party. The food is great - party pies and sausage rolls, little frankfurters (still cold, unfortunately) and barbecued sausages and chicken kebabs, and delicious cake. I take a bottle of wine, but having driven the car to the party I don't bother opening it. I am trapped in a room with a bunch of babies and mothers for a while at the start, and someone asks me if I have grandchildren. No, I say. She tells me your grandchildren are better than your children because they are more normal. There might be something in that.
I have soup with a bread roll for lunch. The weather has cooled and it is soup weather. I am sick of salad. I buy more bread rolls on the way home from work and a jar of Mongolian Lamb simmer sauce. For dinner tonight I cut up the leftover lamb from Saturday and fry it a bit before adding the sauce and a diced red capsicum. I cook some rice to go with it. I add some shiitake mushrooms because I am trying to use up what has been in the pantry for a while. It tastes pretty good.
I have been having a hot cross bun with butter every morning for breakfast since last Wednesday along with a cup of tea. I'm not sure it is filling enough because I get hungry way before lunch time. I have soup again with a bread roll. I plan to start making my own soup. I eat some chocolate being shared around the office even though I shouldn't. I buy some barbecue chicken, chips, peas and gravy on the way home for dinner. There is chicken left over to add to something else later in the week. I will make soup.
I have my date with Aldi tonight. It is dark when I leave the store to drive home. The road looks busier with all the cars with lights on, or perhaps it really is busier than usual. I always get confused about what to have for dinner on shopping night. I plan to buy something to heat up but then find it difficult to find something suitable. I am not sure why but I hardly ever seem to cook proper meals anymore. I settle on pies for dinner tonight. I have a chicken and leek pie and it is delicious.
I catch the later train home tonight and it is well dark by the time I get here. I feed the cats and lock up the hens. There is no one home. It is a good thing there are no foxes around here. (As an aside, I have had no eggs for about a week. Not sure what's up with the laying hen.) I heat up some of Monday's left over chicken in the left over gravy tonight. It tastes good but isn't exactly a balanced meal. I had pumpkin soup for lunch, at least I had some vegetables today.
I wake too early and know it will be a hard day. I use eye-drops in the morning and by the end of the day I could use them again because my eyes burn as though they had been in a sand storm. I have Penang curry for lunch at Spice Alley. It is delicious. I cook red lentil and chicken soup for dinner. I announce at dinner I will have a friend over for lunch tomorrow and find it will only be the two of us, so we can have the left-over soup. I'm happy about that.
Breakfast is a hot cross bun and coffee, the essential weekend breakfast of the moment. I run some errands in the morning and buy some wholemeal bread rolls for lunch, to have with the left over soup made last night. I have another coffee mid-morning then heat the soup and it is pretty delicious. It will be bangers and mash for dinner with gravy and vegetables. The chickens got the rest of the watermelon for afternoon tea. They do so love watermelon. I eat chicken and also have them as pets. That is weird, if you think about it.
It is toast for breakfast along with the left-over mushroom sauce from last night, heated up and eaten with a spoon. I make breakfast packs of half a slice of toast and spinach for the hens for while I am away. I buy a meat pie at the airport for lunch and also eat the airline snack of cheese and biscuits and a couple of cute little caramel popcorn biscuits that look better than they taste. It is my first Qantas flight since we switched from Virgin. I eat dinner at the hotel restaurant, fish and chips. Early night.
It is a wild and woolly morning in Melbourne. There are waves on the Yarra. No one uses an umbrella and I soon see why. It is all raincoats with hoodies. At work we hear a much-loved colleague has died on the weekend from a heart attack, whilst hiking. If I don't mend my ways I won't be far behind. He looked so fit, too. Being an on air celebrity, the story made the 7pm bulletin. It is an odd day indeed in Melbourne. I restart my apple-a-day habit, now mango season is over. It is delicious.
I am a little tired of the food theme this month but will press on. I buy a delicious ham and cheese toasted sandwich ("toastie" in these parts) for breakfast from the lovely local organic grocer along with a delicious coffee. I go out for lunch to a restaurant and have a delicious burger with bacon, and chips. I have another (very ordinary) toasted thing for dinner and eat a goodly portion of my colleagues chips. I am not sure I can eat chips again. I do not eat my apple-a-day today. I will save it for tomorrow.
After yesterday's effort I buy a relatively healthy sandwich, egg and lettuce, for breakfast and a cheese and salad sandwich for lunch. Between meals I eat a few of the biscuits from the packet of Hobnobs I bought earlier in the week. I also eat the apple, which is a little tart. Today is my last day away. Tonight I dine alone. I may eat at the hotel again. I am about to leave the office and am totally unsure of my plans for the evening. I guess that means I have no plans. I might just surf the net.
I pack the Hobnobs, lug them home, and when I get there, the chickens enjoy one. I leave the hotel earlier than I thought I would and eat breakfast at the airport - a bacon and egg muffin, one of my favourites, with a flat white. The snack on the plane is bread and butter pudding, strange but yummy. I do the grocery shopping when I get home, have an apple turnover thing from the bakery for lunch. Dinner is ravioli with tomato sauce and baby spinach. I eat a few little Easter eggs as well. It's good to be home.
I wake several times during the night and go to sleep again easily. The cats are out all night, and I look for them each time I wake. At one stage one of the cats has a mouse. The sister is out all night and turns up in the morning with a backpacker which is odd and distracting. It is evening and I am unsure as yet what is going on. We eat lunch and I will cook fish tonight, Good Friday. Not religious but will stick with fish anyway. Visit Auburn Botanic Gardens today, it is a nice place.
We pack ourselves off to the Royal Easter Show, the four of us, brother, sister, nephew, myself. We arrive at lunch time and the crowds are huge. I don't do everything I would like because you just can't when in a group. The nephew enjoys it. I think we all do. It is a good day. Back home I heat up some soup for the brother and fish fingers for the nephew. We all had dagwood dogs at the Show. I found a $50 note and put it in the Salvo's collection bucket on the way out. You are welcome.
The backpacker disappeared the night of the day he arrived. It is announced he will be back today. It appeared he was moving in and that turned out to be the case. I tell the sister he can't live here and he takes his things. We have a family Easter lunch of baked lamb, with dessert and a bottle of wine. I am glad I did not invite my son as it would have been more excruciating. He is not one of us. He came later, has different genes, and I can't make it alright, can't make things be normal.
I have one of those moments, agog, how did that happen? Like one day you are thirty and the next fifty, well, maybe not quite that drastic. Hyperbole alert. Sigh. It is Easter Monday. One more day before I return to work after the long weekend. I have a jolly good relax and feel fairly relaxed all round. Not sure how I manage it, but I do. I don't eat much chocolate, I am sick of it already. My choco-tolerance is low. The weather has been good all weekend. Oh yeah, I also cut a fringe into my hair.
I think of cutting a fringe on Sunday and the idea takes hold. I want a different look. I think if I look different I can change myself. I can stop the bad habits I am so keen to stop. As soon as the brother leaves I get out the scissors (proper hair-dressing) and go for it. I read that if you are thinking of short hair (I am) having a fringe can be a way to try it out without going all the way. BTW fringe = bangs. I sure don't look like myself. I look like my grandmother.
I look like my grandmother with my new home-cut fringe. It does not suit my glasses. I have another hack and cut off the "wings" formed by trying to blend the fringe into the length of the hair. Oh yes, I know the origin of the mullet. That is better. Only one person says my hair looks good. The rest politely ignore it. I am happy because I want to look different, and indeed, I do not recognise myself. The re-cut is too short. I am a self-fringe cutter from way back and the error surprises me.
I forge into Thursday knowing I have an appointment with my hairdresser for a colour this afternoon. What possessed me to cut my own fringe only three days before a visit to the hairdresser, well, I do not know. My hairdresser is expensive and award-winning, so it is even more mad! It looks really bad when I get to work (wind-blown), but I don't care because I have achieved my goal to have a different look. It looks straight out of the '80s. I might inspire a trend! I don't see any other '80s fringes in my travels.
At the hairdressers, my colourist is the second person to say my hair looks good (I am impressed!). I look in the magazines for a hairstyle I want, incorporating my fringe. Every girl has long hair with no fringe, mostly up or maybe out and I think what the hell, why is this? I see a cut I like and take a photo as I plan to ask the hairdresser to cut it later on. Why did I do it myself? Because if I asked them to they wouldn't. Don't know why. Maybe it's because I am 53 not 23.
It is the weekend again. Work is not too bad this week. I have chilled out a bit with regards various stressful elements. The new hair helps. People stare. Ha. I have also not worn makeup this week, nor my signature look, lipstick. I wear a bit of tinted lip gloss. I think this suits my new look, the hair is enough. I would like a '70's smooth do, but have the early '80's look. Not quite the full on big hair look of later '80's. I look better with the glasses off, a shame I can't tolerate contact lenses.
I put on a bean and vegetable soup this morning then turn the stove off when I go to the Anzac march. I like ceremony. It strikes a chord. I like the way the police block the roads on the march to the cenotaph so the marchers have a safe, clear passage. I wonder why they don't do it for the march back to the RSL club. The return only has a forward car and a motorcycle and no side roads are blocked. I put the soup back on when I get home and add some spinach. It is delicious.
My hair coped very well under the wide-brimmed hat I wore to yesterday's Anzac march. The springy fringe meant no flat "hat hair". There is a lot to like about my new fringe/70's-look/woolly hair. I feel as free as a labrador with a caring family, enough food and a good walk every day; in other words, not worried about a thing. Back to work today and I take some homemade soup for lunch. It beats the canned soup I have been eating lately, although that is very nice too. I favour a minestrone, full of vegetables.
It is Anzac today and a public holiday. I go to work to make up for Friday when I will not. I am busy, can't really afford another day off. I also learn the word Anzac has a capital initial letter only. I am sure I already knew that but forgot. There are service personnel in uniform about the place going to and from events. There is a racket in the street at around 4am and I realise later it was someone arriving to pick people up for the dawn service. I'm sure it's bad to work today, ignoring history.
I travel to Melbourne this morning with a colleague on my second flight since we switched to Qantas. I have not yet joined the Qantas frequent flyer program. I had better sort that out. I have a full day of meetings then we go out to dinner with the team. It is a successful trip. Melbourne is cold and wet. My love affair with the place is wearing off. The possible eye-infection is back. By the end of the day they are terribly red and my face aches. I need to get to the doctor when I get back.
The flight back to Sydney is delayed and there are mixed messages as to how long. First we realise we will miss the farewell lunch we wanted to be back for, then worry we will also miss the main event, afternoon tea. It turns out we get back just in time. I am glad I wrapped the gift already. We work at the airport whilst waiting for the flight, so it was quite good as it turns out. I work back as I have missed a day or so and help the departing colleague with her gifts to her car.
Today is my day off but I have to leave the house very early. I am off to a family event. It is a beautiful day in the country, cool but the sun is out and so it is perfect. We attend a march off for a relative leaving the police force. We all join up for lunch afterwards and everyone but me - oh no! - stays for the night. I felt I am only two hours away, why would I stay the night? No time and oh, well. I go home and have the house to myself for a bit.
Saturday. Oh yes, the weekend. I wash the clothes and towels and tidy up a bit. I do the grocery shopping and buy a nice little maidenhair fern (Aldi has plants and gardening things on special this week). I always kill ferns but maybe this time it will be different. I am older and wiser now. I cook an early dinner and we go to see the nephew's school musical. He doesn't feel like taking part tonight so we don't see him, but the musical is very good, one of the best school productions I have seen. We go home.
Sunday. I get to sleep in for a bit before seeing the brother off, who was visiting for the family event. I have to get ready straight away to go to book club. I have a lovely time there. I have a steak which I haven't done for ages. It is delicious. We have a good discussion. There are only four of us and it is better somehow, I think, more intimate, although I am glad there are now six in the group normally. I listen to a podcast on the way. I have discovered podcasts and I love them!
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