This week I have been...

...indoors. The cold did not go away, so I have been largely confined to the house, although I have been out at least once every day to stave off cabin fever and ensure legs do not seize up through lack of use (I do think this could happen).

Being inside isn't all bad, however, especially if you have recently taken up crochet. All that yarn I bought without a colour scheme or pattern in mind has begun to resemble a blanket or, more accurately, many tiny blankets. Here's my progress to date, with one further 'square' (and I must use the term extremely loosely) currently under construction:

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I have a vague vision of how this blanket will look at the end (haphazard, homemade and unlikely to be copied by legions of impressed followers are just three terms that spring to mind). The blocks created thus far (plus a few more) will form a central panel (possibly), with borders around each square (maybe) and a large border fencing them all in. There may also be a requirement for some kind of elaborate edging, just because I haven't done any edging yet and I fancy a go at it. Hmm, even as I write I have another idea in mind - excuse me whilst I sketch it out so that I don't forget.

Oh dear, it looks hideous. I'm sure the colour version will be better than the graphite version. Anyway, it's out of my head now. Moving on...

When I bought all this yarn without a plan, I picked up lots of balls but only one of each colour and two of the white/cream, so plans may alter depending on amount of yarn left once squares have been completed (disjointed and ill-thought-out are two more terms suddenly describing my vision rather well).  Oh, who cares, it's only crochet. Other indoor activities have included...

...baking. Using my lovely new measuring spoons (or at least some of them. In an odd episode undoubtedly linked to the fact that I was shopping online, I ended up with no fewer than thirteen measuring spoons. I know full well that I wouldn't have bought that many in real life).

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I used them to measure vanilla extract and baking powder for a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

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I wrote on my blog's Facebook page that I had discovered - and would share the secret of - how to eliminate the feeling of guilt following a cookie-eating session (perhaps not giving it a name would help). Anyway, I usually find that reaching for (and eating) multiple cookies is the catalyst for these guilty feelings, so I have overcome the problem by making the cookies at least twice as big as normal. So a recipe for, say, 40 cookies becomes a batch of 18. Not only have I immediately made the baking healthier by reducing the number of cookies made, but you can pick up one and get the same benefits of eating several without the issue of reaching for additional cookies and having your lack of willpower highlighted, if only internally. Every day's a school day.

...cooking some delicious meals (which sounds as though I am prone to cooking revolting meals. I am not). Saturday night's kedgeree was bumped in favour of pizza (hey, I've been ill), but I managed to recover enough to make it on Sunday instead, narrowly avoiding a pink ling poaching disaster (milk everywhere but fish okay so technically not a disaster). Last night I made spinach and ricotta cannelloni. This is probably one of my favourite meals to eat at home, yet I have made it only three times. This is because the first time I made it I spent what seemed like all day stuffing the cannelloni; however, I have now got it licked and the whole thing took less than an hour so must remember this and make it more often.

...reading Just a Man, a biography of Michael Hutchence written by his mother and sister. This coincided with the broadcast of a new TV mini-series about INXS (very mini - it seems to be two parts if the trailer for next week's show is anything to go by!). The TV show (called Never Tear Us Apart, I think) was really good; unfortunately, the book seems (understandably) one-sided and defensive, which detracts from the story somewhat. I am about three quarters of the way through now and do intend to finish the book. I saw INXS on their last tour and just loved it - was therefore a bit upsetting to read that the lead singer did not enjoy it! He was still awesome and I am so glad I got to see him perform live.

...listening to Bruno Mars. What a voice! He is playing here next month but looking at $300 for a pair of tickets, so I'll probably skip that one.

 

Any other business: 

  • Bought new toothbrush (this blog is revealing far too much of my wild side). After purchasing the same make and model for about a decade I finally branched out and am having the time of my life with my new brush. It is a Colgate (already doubting myself - is it in fact Oral B? Hang on...yes, it is a Colgate) 360 soft bristle and I am definitely brushing my teeth for longer now. It just feels like it is doing a lot of good and it is rather enjoyable too! Top tip for you there: Colgate 360. You're welcome.
  • Harvested the chilli plant.

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So many chillis!

  • Discovered (and flirted with) hyperbolic crochet.

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I read something about how exponential growth (stay with me) could be demonstrated with crochet. Exponential growth aside, the hyperbolic crochet looked fun, so I had a quick go at it with a view to incorporating it in my blanket. The colours I used didn't work with the rest of  the squares though and it stood out a mile, so ditched the idea (although maybe it could form my blanket's border. I'll just do another terrible drawing - be right back).

  • Incredible turn of events: the weight loss I seek every day has happened almost overnight - about 2kgs (4lbs in old money). However, rather than feel elated, I just think I have lost muscle through illness and can't wait to get back to exercising to regain strength (and weight). This is a revelation - weight loss as negative event! I expect once the scales start to go up again I shall panic and start chasing people with colds, trying to reinfect myself or something. But it's interesting nonetheless.
  • Went to my first Aussie Zumba class (with Peruvian instructor, but still). How exhilarating to be dancing again. I have missed this since moving to Australia. It is all very well telling myself I no longer want to exercise indoors, but Zumba is more fun than exercise anyway. Amusing choreography to That's The Way (I Like It), too - it's really fun, exercise and entertainment all in one.
  • Dropped in on the Australian Open of Surfing. Took some (average) photos of the competitors and plan to head back there this week to get some better ones (this time with a towel over my head and shoulders like the other photographers, as I did get a little bit sunburned).
  • Finally, as I have been ill this week, I was going to leave you with a quote, attributed to the Buddha, about being thankful. I now think it will sound sanctimonious, however, so it has been dropped at the last minute (sorry, Buddha).