Friday, 18 May 2018

The Joys of a Broken Ankle

It's been 13 weeks and 2 days since that afternoon when a simple fall ended up with a broken ankle. At the time, I thought, OK 6 weeks to heal, not too bad.  I even imagined all the reading, writing and crocheting I'd get done whilst catching up on TV and drinking bubbles (yes, I lead a super exciting life).

One large flaw in that theory. I'm hopeless at sitting still. Drinking and crutches don't go well together either - mainly because it's impossible to carry a glass without spilling the bubbles. The wheelchair certainly came in handy. As did pockets. And having everything around me on the table.

After 2 weeks, x-rays showed all was going well.  Off with the cast and on with the boot!  It was an exciting day, I could slowly move around.  After a week, the boot was my best friend. Steps were a pain and there was still, well pain.  Swelling around the site - apparently normal. 2 weeks later, pain was worse - maybe I was overdoing it.  CT scan showed a small splinter fracture between ankle and toe.  Fracture itself, looking well lined up.

The magical 6 week mark saw us in Merimbula.  My first naked walk - to the loo.  Did it!  The other highlight that morning - finally being able to have a shower standing up. I had the cleanest arse in town. Doc had said to wean off the boot slowly and to keep wearing it outdoors for the next 2 weeks.  I stuck strictly to those instructions for 4 days and thought "boot be gone."  Yep. No.

7 weeks. Time to start physio.  Maybe better not to rush this. New aim was to be out of the boot when we stood on the Great Wall in China.  By now the boot and I were one. Walking in the boot was pretty easy (except for going down bloody stairs) and around home I could go "naked."

10 weeks and 4 days.  Here we are on the Great Wall in China. Emi, me and the boot.  Oh well, looked pretty steep in parts and I made it up around 200m.  Lots of walking in China, mainly with the boot on and a few attempts without.  After 10 days, sore and swollen.  I'm an idiot.

12 week mark.  It's been 2 days without the boot.  I miss it.  I had a pedicure.  Physio gave me a few more exercises and agreed that the boot could go.  "Build up slowly" as I skipped (sort of) out the door. I'm free, I'm free, I'm free.

And now it has been 13 weeks and 2 days.  It's still sore - some days are better than others. Maybe it's the cold weather (WTF - arthritis), maybe it's old age.  Still can't walk very fast.  Still can't step down with both feet.  Stilettos are out - not that they were ever that in.  Further insult to injury, I've put on 4 more kg.

Patience is not a virtue I have.  Nothing else for it, going to drink more bubbles.  And be more zen like.  6-8 weeks to heal they said.  My arse.  Maybe if I was 6 - 8 year old kid.

Monday, 16 April 2018

A three tick Sunday

The List has been somewhat neglected of late. Have moon boot, will travel, so a free day to remedy the situation.  A drizzly Sunday, Emilio working down in Somers, plans were made to meet B at IMAX. 

Now this was B's suggestion and bit of a surprise when she said lets go to the 10am session.  There are not too many people that B gets out of bed for early on a Sunday morning, but apparently I'm one of them. Special or what? Coffee and popcorn in hand (bit early for bubbles) in we went.  I love VR, 3D and IMAX movies, but had never been to the IMAX theatre here in Melbourne, so thoroughly enjoyed a ride through Africa in comfy reclining premium seats. Tick.  Oh and further motivation to go and see the gorillas. 

It was a sign - no line!
The Dish
Next stop Hawker Chan. The world's cheapest Michelin-star meal from a hawker centre in Singapore, (run by chef Chan Hong Meng) is now in Melbourne. Maybe it was the time or maybe it was the drizzly day but we got there and there was NO LINE. In we went. 2 serves of The Dish - Soya Sauce Chicken with Rice, plus a bit of Roast Pork and BBQ Pork.  Verdict, yum and great value for money. Tick number 2.

We probably could have gone straight to Hopetoun Tearooms, but decided that it was 12pm and a glass of bubbles was called for.  Stopped at Section 8, a funky bar in a funky laneway in the middle of Chinatown made out of a shipping container with wooden palettes for seats. No expense spared. Could have stopped at 3 glasses, but the rain got a bit heavier, so had another. No tick, but a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. Oh and after a few bubbles, we came up with another fabulous idea  - stay tuned!

Final stop, Hopetoun Tea Rooms - a Melbourne Institution.  I vaguely recalled visiting like 30 years ago, but not been since living in Melbourne.  It's in the gorgeous Block Arcade and opened way back in 1891.  The line was longer than Hawker Chan's, giving us plenty of time to drool over the windows.  I was here for the scones, it's the thing. WTF - they ran out of scones!!  NO. Hang on they had 1 lonely scone left, so ended up getting it for free.  Suspect that it was left over on someones plate (kidding). Was nice, but not the best I've had. Coffee, luke warm.  Cups, no longer fancy.  Service slow - they forgot our order and gave us a 10% discount.  Oh we did do a take away chocolate pecan tart that wasn't bad, but tiny and B had the lemon meringue which was apparently delish.  Overall disappointing over priced and no need to rush back for a full serve of scones.   

Go on then, let's have another!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Fun at ArtVo

Daydreaming of a day off reading, writing - maybe with a glass of red in hand?  Reality is, I'm just not a sit still kind of girl. So this broken ankle - well and truly over it.

Not going to let this stop me from doing everything, so last Thursday afternoon, my partner in crimes against common sense and I hobbled over to ArtVo in Docklands. ArtVo is an "immersive gallery" of different themed rooms where posing and taking selfies is all part of the fun and very much encouraged.  Actually, having someone with you to take the photos is probably best. But if you're selfie obsessed, (or have no friends) go for it.

Now some of the "props" require a bit of flexibility and I'm not sure if we laughed harder at the photos or our attempts at getting onto the floor and up again whilst maintaining some shred of dignity. Luckily, for the most part, we were the only ones in there, so our nanna knickers remain our little secret.

Halfway thorugh, a lovely staff member came and asked us if we would like her to take a couple of photos of us together.  After seeing us in action and realising that at the rate we were going we would be there all night, she tagged along and took all our photos for us. Which was certainly a good thing because some of the "trick" shots were a little beyond us.

Like a pair of graceful gazelles we placed ourselves delicately into the surrounding scenery. Blending beautifully and fitting into each scene as if it had been personally painted for us.  All with not a VPL in site. 

I've since found out there is an app you can follow with instructions and there are TV screens showing what to do and where to stand.  But we had just as much fun making it up as we went along. 

The place is much larger than expected and we probably needed a little extra time.  Being fully abled might have helped also. But heaps of fun and good to get out, do an activity and get a tick off the list!

Opening hours and ticket prices here.  Kids would love it too - big and small.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Lola the Explorer goes to Lake Eildon

I love mini-breaks.  We went to a place called Frogsong and there were 2 other doggy's there.  Now I'm not really a doggy dog (other dogs can't scratch my belly and they try and sniff my butt all the time), but they were both OK.  Lots of good smells (no frogs, but plenty of rabbits and kangaroo poo) and I wandered around exploring.  Our cottage was nice.  I visited the other cottages - just to check out what they were like.  So what else did I do:
  • Went down to the big lake. 
  • We visited a big campground and there were people living in canvas houses and lots of other dogs around, so I peed on one tent - kinda like "Lola was here". 
  • I got to drive the new car - good thing too, cos I think we were lost!
  • Had a shower because I had poo stuck to my butt and dragged it on the floor - oops
  • Checked out the depth of the mud when the car got stuck (not my fault)
  • Ate chicken, sausages and bacon - excellent! I even shared my treats and sausages with Dio.
That's it from me (my mum has it covered). Back to the couch for a snooze.

Love and Licks Lola

This was my neighbour - she was super friendly
Just call me Alonso

Confession time - I peed on the tent

A trip to Lake Eildon

Labour Day long weekend and we decided to make use of the accommodation I'd booked last year when we were supposed to go to Eildon for a fishing comp and somehow booked a place that was the other side of Lake Eildon and 100km away.  Who knew that Lake Eildon was so big?

Off we went, relegated to the back seat with Lola so I could prop the ankle up.  Stopped in Mansfield for lunch and wow what a busy place.  Lots of cowboys around due to a local rodeo.  Short stroll, but managed a visit to Country Target. 

Frogsong Cottages in Mountain Bay are around 20km from Mansfield.  Found the place OK and the place was cute, although only a ceiling fan so a bit warm.  There are four units and our neighbours had a lovely dog named Dio so Lola had company.  Drive around and a couple of stops along Lake Eildon in Gough's Bay.  Another busy place - the lake, the town itself is tiny.  Fishing was out so whilst I went back to the cottage, Emi and Aitana headed off to try their luck.   

Lola and Dio
Now if ever I wanted to check out "Freedom" camping, this was the place to do it.  Along dirt and gravel roads (dream come true for Emi, the new car performed admirably and was covered in dust), there were camp spots and heaps of tents and vans of all sorts and shapes.  Some great set ups and how they get some of them down by the water, beats me.  My addiction to Big Lap Facebook pages has stepped up.  Can't wait to hit the road! Although how I would keep the dust out is something to be investigated.

Somewhat restricted in activities, so bubbles and books for me. BBQ's for dinner, naps and even managed a couple of movies.  No TV or phone reception, so certainly relaxing. Lola enjoyed wandering around and made herself at home over at the neighbours units as well.  Bit worried about snakes, but all good - no mishaps.

That's as close to Lake Eildon as I got
Well one slight mishap.  Heading home we decided to stop off at the lake around Bonnie Doon.  Oh look, mud. Oh look we're stuck.  Luckily, another group of lake campers were on hand to pull us out.  One very dirty and muddy Colorado.  Lola not to be outdone, also decided to explore the mud. Once all out of the mud, we headed off, stopping in Yea (Yay!) for a coffee.

The hole in the mud
Lola checking out the mud

Final stop - Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory.  Wow, never been and couldn't believe the number of cars. The place was jam packed.  Always wanted to visit - so a bonus.  Gorgeous views, free samples, huge servings of gourmet ice-creams and the chocolate. Chocolate heaven. Winning. Even got Emi some sugar-free chocolate Easter bunnies

- just to counteract the double scoop ice cream.

The Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Art of Frugal Hedonisn

 The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More, is a book written by Melbourne locals Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb that I read recently.

Ties in with my rather feeble attempts at leading a more minimalist life (it's a slow process, but I continue to chip away at excess and reconsider purchases) and is a quirky, interesting little book.

What is Frugal Hedonism?  It's basically the idea that what we spend money on is not necessarily what makes us happy.  The books ideas are nothing new or mind-blowing, but it does make you stop and think about waste and consumerism. I want to get off the hamster wheel that is work more to buy/spend more - it's just a habit we get into.  I figure that sometimes consciously trying to be more frugal makes you more inventive and you end up with a few more dollars in your pocket to boot.

So what do I hope to achieve?  I'm not going to be quiet as radical as Annie and Adam - no bin rummaging or eating road kill just yet.  I feel a little list coming on.....

1. Reduce/change my spending habits
2. Find simple/free ways to spend time with family and friends
3. Do less paid work, so I have more time and energy to do other stuff
4. Get back to getting rid of stuff - just as soon as I get the bloody cast off my leg
5. Cut back on eating out and take-away

After reading the book, I went and got out (can I point out that both these books I borrowed from the library) their other book The Weed Forager's Handbook.  Another interesting little book and no idea that so many of those pesky weeds are edible and very good for you!  Maybe I'll have to try one of their upcoming Edible Weed Walks and Workshops around Melbourne. Dandelion tea anyone? Or maybe Fat Hen stir fry? Tastes just like spinach - apparently.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait exhibition and the Jewish Museum of Australia

Back on the 14th January, we went along to the Jewish Museum of Australia in St Kilda to check out the Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait exhibition.  Going to the Museum was also on my list.
I hadn't even known that Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) was Jewish so going along and finding out a bit more about her background was interesting.  The exhibition is a collaboration between the Jewish Museum in London and Amy’s brother and sister-in-law. The exhibition looks at her early family life, her music and her Jewish roots. Her families ancestors immigrated to London from Belarus in 1890.
Fridays and her family still celebrated traditional Friday dinners. In one interview, she said that “being Jewish to me is about being together as a real family.”
The objects on display include photos of her early life through to more recent ones, clothing, accessories, records, books and everyday items that show the untold story of a young girl with an amazing talent. What really shines through, is her passion for music and her determination. 

There are quotes throughout the exhibition from her application letter to a performing arts school. Probably the most touching being “I want people to hear my voice’ and remember me… for just being me."   

Towards the end of her life, many people would have had quiet a negative picture of her.  I think this exhibition shows the other side of her and her family and that the pressure of her success probably led to the issues she had.  The world lost a wonderful talent, but her family lost a young troubled girl.

The exhibition closes on the 25 March 2018.  Tickets for adults are $12 - which is the regular price to visit the museum. The rest of the museum contains a good collection of items - worth a look around.

Whilst we were there, we also did a tour of the St Kilda Synagogue (included in the cost of the entry ticket to the Museum) which is just behind the museum.  It's actually called St Kilda Shule and it's one of the oldest and grandest synagogues in Melbourne. Our tour guide was a lovely friendly women - happy to answer any questions.  We knew very little about Jewish traditions so it was really fascinating and worthwhile.

Tours run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 12.30pm with an extra tour on Sunday at 3pm.  We were asked not to take any photos of the Synagogue - inside or out. Which seems a bit strange as you can see it from the street, so as a passer-by you can take them, but we honoured their request.  Stranger still, I got this one from their Facebook page.  You can take pics in the actual museum.

A worthwhile visit and a tick off the list.