October 2004 Archives


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It's clear that my failure to make a decent Pavlova Roll affected me more than I realised - last night I dreamed that I went to Australia for a little visit, and my mother made, like, 10 Pavlova Rolls in 10 minutes as a Welcome Home.

Then wherever I went - to my sisters house, my grans house, Phil and Alexis' house, Phil's mum's house - everyone was making Pavlova Rolls with no visible effort at all.

Oh the shame.

Dessert Disasters

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Last night I rolled up my sleeves and launched a full-on attack on my kitchen - it was time for Operation Typically Australian Dessert.

It started off badly, because at the supermarket, I couldn't find the exact ingredients that I needed - the best Pavlova Roll (a funner version of the traditional Pavlova) should contain strawberries, but of course, it's the wrong season for those and I couldn't find any in the supermarket. I ended up getting frozen fruit - a combination of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. (And no, mum, sadly, Peppermint Crisp doesn't exist here).

I really should have given up there, because from that moment on, the evening deteriorated badly.

More than words

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I was just blown away by the following quote over at NYC ? Paris. It's about the feeling of learning a new language :

Being in control was practically the whole point of being a grown-up, wasn't it? Why would I purposely make myself stupid?

If you're in the safety of your own home, your own country, learning a new language may intellectually daunting, but you can always flick on the tv or pick up a book or have a conversation with your next-door-neighbour and feel comfortable again.

Learning a new language in a foreign country is another story.

Here in France, I have never felt so dumb in my entire life.

To be or not to be

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The computer in my office is having an existential crisis. It prints nothing but question marks.

An entire ream of question marks.

That's one serious crisis.

I wonder if it's time to call a psychiatrist ... or a priest ...

Autumn or Fall

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Oh my golly gosh.

I nearly died today.

What a great way to start off ones lunchtime.

Emergency Plea to All Australians

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Just remembered that I must cook a Typically Australian Dessert for the celebratory "Pot" on Thursday (aka S's Going Away Party).

Must be very easy to eat (hence a Pav is out of the question), easy to transport (I go to work on foot and on the train), and Very Impressively Typically Australian.

Any suggestions? Email me! Because I love email (and because my comments don't fricken work).

Am thinking Lamingtons. Not sure how easy they are to make though. And they can be a bit dry and unexciting. Not to mention that I don't like coconut.


How did I get myself into this? And what the heck is Typically Australian? And why do they think that I can cook Typically Australian Food?

I need to fly my Gran over so that she can make a Typically Australian Sponge Cake or something. With Typically Australian Passionfruit icing. Now there's an idea...

Learning Curve

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It's funny how a snippet of a song, perhaps merely the title, can bring an explosion of memories out of nowhere. Smells, odours, fragrances can do that too.

There is so much that I would love to do with my life, and so little time to do it. I just want to keep learning and learning and learning. When I was contemplating my university studies, there were so many things that I wanted to do, but only a certain number of subjects that I was allowed to choose. I'm quite sure that the decisions I made were not the best that I could have made, however they brought me to where I am today, and for that, I'm glad.

If we moved back to Australia, I'd definitely do some postgrad work - but in what, I don't know. I'd love to continue my psych stuff, perhaps looking at behavioural psych and animal / human interaction, or maybe neuropsych, and memories. But then I'd also love to continue my English or History studies. Or maybe even tackle something slightly different, like Sociology. But the work that I've been doing recently here in France has really opened other doors to me, shown me talents that I didn't know that I had, and that makes the choices even more complex.


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I can't fix my bloody comments. I think the problem harks back to the situation when my blog went byebye for a few days and my host flicked a magic switch and it all worked again. I think that something went funky in there and I don't know how to fix it because I don't know where it went wrong. *growls*

Anyway. Comments will continue to be broken until I find the time to upgrade to MT3.1. We'll see.

Littlest things

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It's funny how comforting it is to eat toasted Cheddar sandwiches for Sunday lunch, with a good book in my hand, and a cat beside me.

Random Rambling

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I may get around to fixing the comments this weekend. Not 100% sure if I feel like it, but we'll see when the moment arrives. I feel more inclined to go shopping for a new jacket - as I keep saying, it's all about priorities. Obviously the most important thing is for me to actually have an outlet where I can talk about all the things going through my head - whether people can comment on my random ramblings is only secondary.

It's S's last week at work next week - in fact, she's only there for three days, so it's a tiny week. It will be very strange without her in the office.

There are two public holidays coming up in November, plus my monthly RTT, so I'm going to be a happy camper next month.

I've taken on three new writers for TNC, all of whom seem dedicated, enthusiastic, and quite talented, so that's a relief. In fact, over the last couple of days, I've got a couple more enquiries that look interesting, so I may have to consider them too. A flood of writers. Who'd have thought?! Anyway, that should help reduce the pressure that the wonderful Iris and I have been feeling over the last few months ;) Now we can write a little more for the pleasure and not so much as an obligation.

I found some Neopets TCG cards in my local card shop here today. I'm a bit excited. They are, of course, horrendously overpriced, and only consist of the first set, but they've finally arrived here in Paris. Hoorah!

I'm currently reading HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. I know, I know, it's about bloody time. I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't read it before now. It's actually bound as a 4-book collection with the others in the series. I am mostly finding time to read it on the train, where I can be seen chuckling to myself like the mad cat lady that I am. It's very amusing.

I'm all random today. Tiny streams of thought running in and out of my brain.

After work, I may have to go and answer the siren call of the local shoe shops. Terrible, I am.


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Symphony Status : Back To Normal.

Thank bloody goodness. At least tonight we'll get a decent sleep.


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"La gn?le". Not la niaole.

Stupid phonetic spelling. No wonder I couldn't find it in my dictionary under "N".

All that you can't leave behind

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In the ice-cream shop today...

Katia is happily eating her combination of tiramisu and white chocolate ice cream. S is pondering what flavour milkshake to get.

Two young English guys come into the shop, and walk up to the counter with attitudes akin to reverence.

"Wow!" says English Boy Number 1.
"You can say that again!" says English Boy Number 2.
"Wow!" says English Boy Number 1.

You can tell that he is resisting the temptation to push his nose up against the glass and stare at all the delightful flavours of italian ice cream on display.

"Stracciatella, Chocolat Blanc, Noisette, Fraise Variegato ... ohhh ... I wish we had this sort of shop in England..." pouts English Boy Number 2.

English Boy Number 1 nods in agreement as he forlornly surveys the delightful selection of ice cream. He pauses for a moment, then says brightly to his companion, "but in England, we have tea!"

Even more miaowy

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Things are improving. Last night we managed to snatch five hours sleep. I got home tonight to find Symphony still miaowing, but with a different tone in her voice and with far less aggressivity. Whats more, she's not twitching her butt as much anymore. Always a positive sign. So things are definitely looking up.

The weekend before last we went Jacket Shopping for Sylvain. We found him the perfect jacket, and left it at the shop to get the sleeves altered. We picked it up on Monday, and he looks so handsome and lovely in it.

We were wandering around the shop after we picked up his new jacket, and Sylvain was encouraging me to look at jackets too. I already have an ankle-length black woollen jacket, and a waist-length fun red one, but I could always do with another jacket...

More miaowy

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I got a grand total of three and a half hours sleep last night. Symphony slept in the crook of my arm from 11-12pm, howled from 12-4:30am, slept from 4:30am to 6am, howled from 6-6:30am, slept from 6:30-7:45am.

Apparently a cat on heat can last anywhere from 4 days to 3 weeks.

I'm cranky.

I suspect that as the days go on, I'm going to get crankier.

I just hope that the neighbours don't start complaining.


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Last night was the night from hell.

The land of Wine

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We travelled down to Bordeaux on Friday afternoon, and came back today. We had to deliver a car to Sylvain's cousin, so we took the opportunity to stay with them on Friday and Saturday night, and they took us sightseeing.

It was pissing down rain all day until 4pm, and we sloshed our way through Saint-Emilion - one of the most beautiful villages I've ever seen, even under black storm clouds and through torrential rain. Warming our wet feet up by a roaring fire, we ate a delicious lunch, including foie gras and magret de canard in a honey and star anise sauce (yes I actually liked the sauce! amazing! who knew!?) and even more delicious wine.

Long life to chocolate !

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Very busy with important things this morning.

Like trying to figure out how to get free tickets to go to the Salon du Chocolat.

It's all about priorities.

There was movement at the station

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Just had a staff meeting. My work will be experiencing some ENORMOUS changes in the next 3 months. Some of the changes I knew about already, like the fact that the colleague who shares my office will be leaving in a few weeks and will not be replaced (leaving an interesting question of how all our work will be getting done, but that's another matter for another day). There's going to be a big shift in terms of management and editorial staff, so that's going to have some serious repercussions on me and how I work. It's certainly going to be different, but I see lots of positives in it too.

The only thing that sucks is that some of the biggest changes are going to be put in place at the time when my sister is planning on coming to France for her holidays. I'll have to put my foot down and tell them that this has been organised for ages, and I need to have time off. We'll just see how it goes, I suppose.

Space Invaders

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A couple of days ago, I noticed a gigantic black spider on the bathroom wall. I screamed several times and cowered in the lounge room, scolding the cat for not guarding the apartment properly from invaders.

Sylvain went to grab a chair in order to reach the horrible creature, and came back to the bathroom, only to discover that it had disappeared.

So Sylvain launched a 20 minute search for the spider, which came up with nothing. He said, haughtily, that it wasn't surprising that the spider had hidden itself, given all the screaming that had gone on.


Discretion is the better part of valour

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At the Congrès last week, I spent an entire, frenzied morning handing out plastic bags, waving people in the right direction and answering questions about my accent. I thought I was doing pretty well, wheeling and dealing and participating in several conversations at once.

"Voila votre badge, monsieur, vous devez le porter partout!" (Here is your badge, you must wear it everywhere you go!)
"Voila un sacoche - il y a le plan de l'exposition dedans." (Here is a bag, there is a map of the Exhibition inside)

At the end of the morning, an Exposant came to see me and whispered across the counter, "sweetie - it's "une" sacoche".

I turned around to find my colleagues in fits of laughter - they hadn't noticed my blunder, and it turned out that the Exposant had been talking with his clients about the lassie at the reception with the "sacré accent", so he thought he'd come and set me straight on my genders.

Kind gentleman.

Chorinating Gene Pools

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As if I didn't spend enough time on my pinkuter already, I go and buy the Sims 2. *shakes head* At least Sylvain nudges me now and again and I manage to pull myself away and get some air.

But then I feel better about this addiction when I receive an sms from a friend who says, "I'm sitting here at work, thinking about the next house I'm going to build in the Sims".

I'm not as addicted as some.

Blurring Reality Lines

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The Congr?s was actually surprisingly good. I am normally not good when it comes to very little sleep, but for some reason, I was working on adrenalin and actually had a lot of fun. Of course, we worked our arses off, but it was a really big success, so that's good.

I also managed to perfect the skill of sleeping with my eyes open. I kid you not. When someone is talking for four hours about the most boring topic on earth, and I am there to ensure the powerpoints run ok, one learns to catnap whilst pretending to look very interested. I'm sure this skill will come in handy in the future.

I'm officially e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d., having had four 5am-midnight or 1am days in a row. I can't imagine doing this all year round.

So this weekend we've been doing a whole lot of nothing - such as Neopets, the Sims 2 (yes, that's right, I cracked under pressure), and watching tv. For some reason, our cable tv is showing all of the special movie channels which we are not normally subscribed to, so of course, we're taking full advantage of it until they decide to take it away again.

I have a feeling that this post isn't the most coherent I've ever written. I'm tired. Time to visit Coltzans Shrine and collect my Bank Interest and then I'll see how my Sims are faring.

No comment

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I just realised that comments are not working on my blog. Here I was thinking that no one loved me, but hurrah! It's just my blog which is in the process of flooping up again. It seems to be my mtblacklist which is screwing it up... but I don't have the time to fix it and won't have internet or pinkuter access until the weekend, so I'll have to get to it then and survive without comments.

The living is easy

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There's a saxophonist and a guitarist not far away, playing on one of the tiny street corners in this lively quartier. They're playing a fantabulously creative version of "Summertime".

With the days here are getting shorter, knowing that it's going to be raining for the rest of the week... this one last taste of summer is just what I need.

It's a wonderfully lazy version, I feel like I could curl up under my desk and fall asleep.

Perhaps I might just do that.

I'm absolutely dreading this week. With the Congr?s starting on Wednesday, tomorrow I have to be at work at 8am. Tuesday I will be in the TGV at an unearthly hour, and for the rest of the week, it's 5am starts, with no chance of my head hitting the pillow again until at least 1 or 2am every night.

I'm not even going to have pinkuter access. *sigh*

I really really really want this week to be over quickly.

I'm obviously getting very old and boring. At uni, I stayed up nearly every night until 3 or 4am, then be at work or classes at 9am. It's only been a couple of years, yet here I am, little miss crankypants if I don't get eight hours sleep, or if I have more than two late nights in a row.

Two for one

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I'm pretty sure Symphony thinks that I brought home that shoe box just for her. The fact that it was bought primarily for my new purty black and pink shoes is a mere detail that she's willing to ignore.

Get them out of the shoebox quick quick quick! Let me in!

Shoeboxes provide hours and hours of entertainment for our cat.

They're extra fun when they have the tissue paper still inside. That rips up real good. Into tiny little pieces. Teensy tiny itty bitty little pieces. Apparently they don't taste that great, but it's really fun to spread the bits of shredded paper across the lounge room.

Shopping Therapy

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I bought a pink indian silk handbag last Friday and a plain cotton shoulder bag yesterday from the same place. I need something a little bigger than my every day handbag to carry my pencils and books and bits and bobs. I also bought a pair of new shoes today. The shoes are black little girl shoes with pink stitching. Much funness.

This city is terrible for temptaitons.

I'm so bad.

They were all on sale so that makes it ok. Really.

Hand me a brush

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One of the funniest things in the world is the comb-over.

Especially when it falls down and you end up with a totally unbalanced-looking head.

I'm sure it's all about denial. I reckon if I was a bloke, I'd just shave it all off.


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This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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