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Friday, December 30, 2005


Blimey, it's hot! In Melbourne we only expect hot weather in February, really, when the children go back to school. But we've had lots of hot weather already and I am frankly sick of it. We don't have proper air conditioning - there is an ancient unit in the study, so I can read blogs in comfort! But the study is tiny and I can't spend all day in here without going mad.

Funnily enough, while writing this, a friend just phoned to ask us round to share her airconditioning this afternoon!

The swimming pool is coming into its own and I think Wombat had five swims yesterday. Of course this meant he ended up with sore eyes - though he insisted his eyes were not sore, which would have been more convincing if they had not been puffy and half closed at the time! It usually takes me all summer to even get a faint hint of bather strap marks on me, but I came close to getting sunburnt yesterday - not something I try to do, certainly.

Christmas was lovely. George's family was all relaxed and cheerful and we had a great time. It was quite cool, which seems impossible to believe only a few days later. (The forecast for tomorrow is 42C, which is 107F). The food was excellent and plentiful but a modified version of traditional Christmas food, so lighter and healthier but still just as yummy. My contribution (apart from crisps for hungry moments beforehand) was a huge pavlova, masses of fresh berries and a bowl of cherries. Unfortunately I decided to make the pavlova in Moe rather than make it here and try to transport it down there, and using a different mixer and different stove resulted in a less than perfect pav - never mind, everyone else seemed to like it! Berries are in wonderful, plentiful season at the moment, and I ate huge quantities of them - mmm, boysenberries!!

Much extravagent gifting occurred, of course. Wombat was thrilled with his Nintendo DS, Nintendogs and the complete set of Futurama DVDs. Baby Bear paraded around in her new clothes and jewellery. (They both got books and other DVDs as well). George gave me a lovely silver bangle, the kids gave me earrings. We gave him DVDs, Borders book vouchers and a polished ammonite paperweight (he collects interesting paperweights). George's mother gave me a cute red necklace made out of beaded beads, and his sisters were most inventive - one gave me a gorgeous patchwork bag she had made (she makes lots of them) and the other gave me 50 balls of white yarn she had found in a market to experiment with dyeing!

Since we came back I have been wilting in the heat, swimming, and dyeing yarn. (It's been a bit too hot to spin, though I have managed some knitting in the evenings sitting in front of a fan). I have dyed three lots of sock yarn and intend doing another lot this afternoon, and five balls of the Christmas yarn are in the dye pot at the moment. I have to say that sock yarn does not take up the dye the way pure wool does - hardly surprising, of course - but all my dyeing is experimental and I just love the way it often turns out differently from what I might have expected.

I have finished the basic stuff for the Scarf Exchange Scarf and will do more on it next week. I am trying to finish off a pair of socks I have been knitting for George for ages, so that I can knit up some of the sock wool that I have dyed. And I want to get back to my Diamond Patch jumper, which I started last summer and then forgot about. I haven't done much of it but I really want to get on with it.

And now I can think of nothing better to do than hop in the pool!

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