One Night In Parramatta, Part 1

When my friend and I went to see Take That in concert last November, we stayed at the Parkroyal Parramatta. As we walked to the train station and back again, I had the feeling this is an area I would like to explore some more, and secretly in my mind I was already planning to bring The Other Half back here for a stay sometime.

There are so many food options nearby, there is Westfield Parramatta, there is a quick train ride into Sydney if we want to travel there but the carparking is far cheaper in Parramatta (eg $20 overnight VS $50-60 overnight) and most importantly they have a Gelato Messina very close by.

I signed up for the Discovery rewards program when I made the booking at the Parkroyal, and when we last stayed overnight in Canberra I chose one of their partner hotels. Just by signing up you get some basic benefits but the best one in my opinion is the emails they send you with special offers. First they told us they would upgrade us to the Club level, which includes access to their club room where you have all day treats, canapes and drinks in the evening, and executive breakfast in the morning. This is normally around $250-280.

Then they told us we could have breakfast in Table 30 for free – which we paid for on our first visit and it was a really great breakfast, one of the best I’ve had in a while. The price was just $155 for everything, which we felt was super reasonable. So the booking was made a couple of months ago, and finally it was time to go.

I’ve been trying to visit the Sydney Harbour Pylon and the “new” food court at Gateway since.. well. 2016. My plans have never worked out thanks to other people putting the kibosh on them. Not this time, blog friends. This time I will go! The photo above is at Parramatta train station waiting for our train into Sydney. The Other Half finally got an Opal card on the way here, so now we can both navigate Sydney Transport easily.

On arrival at Circular Quay, we discovered that the Bastille Festival and school holidays had the place absolutely packed. I have never seen so many people here before. You can’t see it very well in my photo sadly, but this post from Sydney Shop Girl who was also here on the same day might give you a better idea of the crowds.

We headed straight to Gateway to check out the food offerings. There are a lot of things to choose here including Gelato Messina but I had that planned for dessert this evening, so we opted for The Burger Project – a Neil Perry creation which serves delicious burgers, shakes, fries, and you can even get your burger in a bowl and avoid the carbs of a bun if you so desire.

Neil Perry is a food genius and quite involved with in flight catering for Qantas. The best salad dressing I ever ate was served on a flight with his name on it. The food at the Burger Project is excellent but my heart belongs to the Salted Caramel shake which really brings the salt. We did not make it here until just after 2pm and we had places to be, so we ate quickly and headed off into the Circular Quay crowds towards the Bridge.

The Rocks is an area I am very unfamiliar with but it somehow feels burned into my DNA. While The Other Half had no idea where we were going, my inner compass led us to the right places while passing some of the most interesting places. There is a sense of enormous history here, teamed with an impression of just how small we are in the company of giants like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

There are also many levels – here we are standing on a bridge looking at a lower level of road with a bridge above it and then a bridge above that too.

Our destination was the Pylon Lookout which is a MUCH cheaper option than Bridge Climb – $30 for the two of us vs $636!!! You can see the engraved ceremonial scissors used to open the bridge, which are set with opals. You can click on this photo for a larger view. This is a momentary stop in the 200 stairs one will climb to get to the top of the pylon. Sadly there is no lift option, it is stairs or nothing here. But there is a good reason to climb them all..

This amazing view. What a gorgeous day in the middle of winter. Sure, I was wearing many many layers plus a beanie, but it was worth it.

Here are some folks completing their expensive BridgeClimb, wearing the special outfits, without their cameras. That is another advantage to the Pylon – you can wear what you like and take your camera with you, and stay there for as long as you like taking as many photos as you like.

We discovered that cats used to live up here. This photo was quite terrifying but a google shows me even more scary cats on the bridge photos.

Next Monday – a quick stop in The Rocks, back to the hotel, Gelato Messina, and a day at Westfield Parramatta.

Parramatta, Sydney

No thanks, Dyson.

I can’t even, with this new hand dryer thing.

Let me first say I was never a Dyson vacuum cleaner fan because I find bagless = mess when you have to empty it, especially if you are emptying it into a dumpster out the back of the shop that you just vacuumed and it is a windy day. I prefer my Miele where the bag closes up nice when I remove it, no dust, no fluff, everything I vacuumed up is all trapped nicely inside.

The airblade hand dryer is probably one of the best inventions of our generation. It is speedy, your hands dry very quickly, you do not get water all over the floor and over yourself, and it saves people having to use paper towel.

There are two downsides – they are not very hygienic so work hard not to touch them and sometimes drunk men mistake them for a urinal. Eew.

There is another Dyson hand dryer which is nowhere near as good, and to be honest until recently I thought it was the most stupid invention ever, but Dyson figured that invention had not been quite stupid enough, why not take another crack at inventing the most stupid thing ever. Stores, restaurants, malls, pretty please spend the extra $100 and get a much better product.

What happens with this one is, you get water all over yourself because the air is blowing towards you, which blows the water towards you. If it is a choice between using this and wet hands, I pick wet hands every time.

So, meet the new contender for most stupid hand dryer..

What happens with this one is, the air blows into the sink where you just finished washing your hands, blowing water and in some cases soap you just washed off your hands all over the place including over yourself.. Do not waste money on this, people in charge of bathroom upgrades at various places in the world.

Worst of all, the place that installed the idiotic tap version of the airblade got rid of the decent airblades to do it! Wollongong Central, I am sure you installed this to be trendy and hip and have the most expensive new best thing, but this hand dryer is useless.

electrical appliances

Be Present Now

Oh my goodness. People and their mobile phones. I am about ready to shove these things in the place the sun does not shine.

In the past few weeks, I have avoided drivers on their phones, cyclists riding while texting and looking at their Facebook feed, people actually running while looking at their phones and not at where they are going, and people walking while doing that.

I have seen parents sitting at the playground with no eyes on their kids and all eyes on their phone.

I have been to concerts where people filmed the entire thing on their mobile phone.

We sat recently at a restaurant where two parents completely immersed themselves in their phones and ignored their kids for quite a significant amount of time.

My phone NEVER comes out of my handbag when I am driving in the car. NEVER. If I am driving, and it beeps, I wait until I get to my destination, or I pull over to the side of the road. I did not need a video of people using their phones while driving to tell me never to do that. But if you do need such a video, here it is.

My phone rarely makes it out of my handbag out in the world. It is there in case I need to call someone in an emergency. If I need to use it while walking, I do something SO CRAZY, apparently. I find a place out of the way of other people, stop, and do the thing I need to do, which is usually reply to a message quickly.

I do not have Facebook on my mobile phone. There is no Twitter, no Instagram, no social media at all on my mobile phone. If I am going to use those things, I do that safely on my laptop in the comfortable embrace of my recliner, which does not have wheels or a steering wheel. As far as I am aware, my recliner at this present time is not capable of murdering other people as a surprise while I am trying to type a message. Unless perhaps it was dropped from a crane.

I do have one free messaging app, mainly used to send photos to The Other Half or to Sephyroth. Otherwise my phone is for taking photos while out and about, and for making actual calls. I might play a game while waiting for an appointment, and for a few minutes to wind down before bedtime, but not while walking, running, cycling or driving, because THAT IS INSANE.

I don’t see dead people, but I see plenty of soon to be dead people if they don’t wake up and smell the coffee. I see people leave their lane and drive into the lane of oncoming traffic all the time on our roads. Are they trying to win a Darwin award? Are they going to take out other people who were doing nothing wrong in the process?

Now there is a video of a guy who deliberately bumped into people who were so immersed in their mobile phones while walking that they could not avoid walking into him. Watch that video and then make the decision never to use your phone while driving again, because look at how those people cannot walk while using their phone let alone operate a vehicle that can MURDER people.

Are we already in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse where people have lost their minds, just without the brain eating?

Please do not put your valuable life and the valuable lives of those around you by using your mobile phone while walking, running, riding a bike, driving a car, riding a horse, rollerblading, kayaking, driving a boat.. :)

But my even better advice to everyone is this –

PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN AND BE PRESENT IN THE NOW.

It’ll be fun. Snoskred said so. :)

Angry Snoskred

The Things I Don’t Share

For every post you get from me, there are at least 1200 unwritten, unsaid things that happen which I do not share with you. I cannot share my every thought with you, ain’t nobody got time for that. :) Sometimes they might be things I mean to share but never get around to writing a post about. This photo above was from Eat Street the first time we went and I could have sworn I wrote a post about it but when I searched for it, I could not find it.

I tried Kombucha and I liked it. I meant to tell you, but alas I thought I had and somehow I forgot.

Last Wednesdays True Story Time was written in January but I put off posting it. I wasn’t sure I ever would post it. It was a very long post and still I did not mention how that particular kind of car stalked me for months afterwards, and it still does now. I can’t help but notice them with that identifiable rear tail light stack.

I was seeing them everywhere. I could not go for a short drive without 5 passing me. They even showed up in my Facebook feed, either involved in accidents and pictured via the local police or for sale, and then the kicker was spotting one in a movie I was watching.

For some reason my Aspie skills decided I needed to be aware of all Holden Captivas in the Shoalhaven and I had no idea there were so many, but like the Volkswagen Polo I can now tell you where many of them regularly park, where those I see nearby actually live, and my Aspie radar lets me know if I have seen that particular one before or not.

Then there are the things I don’t share because they are private, like work related stuff. I was at work recently and I took a photo. The Other Half saw it and said you’re not going to post that, are you? Of course not. I have carefully drawn a line between my work life and this blog. It is partly for my own safety, and partly because while I find my own work fascinating and enjoyable, I sincerely doubt anyone else would. As much as I might like to share these things, I simply will not.

There are things I don’t share, like local art classes, because they end up on Facebook via another means and that could make me somewhat identifiable. As much as I want to tell you, I won’t.

I do have many stories of past work life I could share, and a couple written as drafts but not posted. Maybe one day. I would like to talk about how my Aspergers has affected my work life. I have been unpacking that very carefully with my Qualified Adult for some time now.

I don’t talk about my Qualified Adult here. She is a psychologist, and wonderful. I have been seeing her for some years now, sometimes we take a break when things are going well, sometimes I need to go back and check in when things start to Go Not Well.

I don’t talk about my political or religious views here. They are my views and I keep them to myself. Sometimes I might mention things in a comment on someone else’s post, but the reality is my general view of politicians is they aren’t much use. We do have a local guy here who gets shiznit done, and I have a lot of time for him. But the rest of them I don’t have a lot of time for.

I don’t talk about my friends or family very much. I don’t recall if I have mentioned here that my nephew is now training to be a pilot at University. I don’t remember if I mentioned my parents will soon retire.

I don’t often talk about visiting my doctor or – as happened last week – the dentist. 12 years ago I had a root canal done after an amalgam filling put in by the School Dentist in my teenage years cracked the tooth around it like an eggshell. It is a common thing to happen apparently. This past week I have finally got around to organising the restoration.

Well, a blackcurrant fruit pastille made it necessary, as it chose to take a chunk of my broken tooth with it as a surprise. As I sit here I have a temporary crown and I was told to be careful with it. I am wondering if a diet of protein gelato might not be my best course of action, for the next two weeks.

He did tell me that my teeth are doing very well. I was shocked and quite pleased not to receive the usual telling off, for not brushing correctly or long enough or in circles, or whatever. I will have to go back in two weeks for a permanent crown and some cleaning.

It does make me wonder though, who decided that the Blackcurrant fruit pastille should be available in packets on their own. What about the other flavours? Are they not worthy of their own packet? Was the red one not quite awesome enough? That flavour would have been my pick for a separate packet. These are the kind of thoughts I would normally keep firmly inside my own mind, or remark to The Other Half about, instead of write here. Thank my interior editor, folks! ;)

Sometimes I might not tell you about something because I don’t have photos to go with it. Several recipes sit and wait for a time when I remember to take photos as I make that thing, including my INCREDIBLE chocolate, peanut butter and coconut crunch slice which is almost like a chocolate crackle only I like to pretend it is more healthy thanks to coconut oil.

Maybe you will have to just settle for photos of the completed item, if you can do that I will post it. But also with a lot of recipes I fly by the seat of my pants and don’t have set amounts of ingredients. I don’t share every photo that I take because 95% of them are of the cats and cute as they might be, they get an occasional Friday post.

I have not told you about the current chicken kerfuffle at bedtimes because I don’t want to take flash photos of the girls at night and I have been hoping The Other Half would set up the motion camera and I could take images from that, and maybe even show you a video, but he has been busy installing new perches in an attempt to make everyone go inside the coop of their own accord at dark time, and we have had to employ The Scary Stick to force the uncooperative inside and shut the door until they settle.

I don’t tell you about every occasion of eating out or traveling, though you do get a fair bit of our day trips and this past weekend we went up to Sydney for an overnight which will come to you likely next week.

I have 60+ posts still in drafts which may or may not make it to being posted. I have a number of possible drafts floating around in my skull brain. Will they ever make it to your eyes? I don’t know.

This post was partly inspired by some posts by Sooze at Her Indoors, Him Outdoors.

Thank You.

I would like to take a moment to thank those of you who read here regularly. I don’t know how many of you there are and how many of my posts you read, so if you want to take a moment to delurk on this post and say hi, I would appreciate it, especially if you have a blog I can read.

Making Choices, stuff

True Story Time

One day in Mid-January on Grocery Shopping Day, around 4:30 in the afternoon, I realised we needed to go and get some chicken breast in bulk. So off we toodled.. On arrival back home, I noticed some rubbish in the street. This is not unusual for where we live, unfortunately. We have one set of neighbours who seem to think it is totally fine to leave stuff on their verge for random folk to collect any time, and wind blows it across to our side of the street. But something about this rubbish seemed odd to me, so I went to check.

On looking at it, I discovered it was stuff most folks would keep in the glovebox of their car. Rego papers, car purchase paperwork, receipts from hotels and shops, a temporary frequent flyer card. It all had the same name on it.

We’re normally “don’t get involved” people. However on the 26th of December 2017 there was a big crash down our way. You may have heard about it, because one of the people involved was once on Home and Away. If not, this article has some info.

A few weeks before that, we had driven down to Ulladulla. On our way back we saw some very bad driving from a white Pajero with P plates on it. But we see a lot of bad driving on the roads, and what can you do? Not much, really. I will never know now if this was the same guy or not, our footage overwrites the old footage and by the time this crash happened it was gone.

The guy who ran into this lovely family and murdered them all – plus himself – was driving a white Pajero with P plates. He had a terrible driving history and had been disqualified from driving and even jailed for driving while disqualified. They believe he was returning from the methadone clinic when he crossed to the wrong side of the road. I can’t help thinking all those what if thoughts. What if I’d taken that footage to the police? Would it have made a difference?

So when I saw all this paperwork, I said to the other half, I’m going to go collect it all up and put it into a plastic bag because I would not want that stuff out there in the street if it were mine, and while I do that can you check the CCTV cameras and see when this stuff appeared here?

How do you do that, I hear you asking. We’ve done it before many times, but here is a quick rundown on logistics. I’ll give you our stolen bin example. First, you want to find the item on camera both in daytime and at night time – because things look different at night when it switches to infra-red. Then you check the camera at 10pm – bin still there? 11pm – bin still there? Midnight – bin still there? 1am = bin gone. Ok, lets go back to midnight then fast forward through this hour and find where the bin theft happens.

It turned out the paperwork had arrived just after 8:30 in the morning. There was a guy walking up the street, then a car comes into frame. He tells it where to park, which is right out the front of our house. The front passenger gets out, and he and the street guy go take a pee against our fence. Their faces are clearly caught on camera.

The driver of the vehicle appears to be looking through the car. The front seat passenger finishes his pee and gets back in the car. The street guy finishes his pee and gets into the rear of the vehicle. Just before the vehicle leaves, the front door opens, and all the papers are shoved out of the vehicle by the front seat passenger.

None of this seems like normal behaviour of a car owner to me, so I am now assuming this car has been stolen. And stupidly one of the papers they threw out had the car rego, so I get on the phone to the police. I give the call centre operator the rego, and she suddenly gets very excited. Can we send someone around to collect the footage, she says. Of course you can.

I type the name on the paperwork into The Google And Tubes, and the first person with that name who pops up happens to work behind the scenes in television for one of our major tv networks. Oh, that can’t be the guy, says me. I find a few others with the same name. I wait for the police. Nobody arrives. We have to put off grocery shopping because we can’t leave until they get here. Time passes, and passes.

I do a little more searching and find a Facebook Profile. This guy with the same name I see on the paperwork seems just like us, he likes planes, and Star Wars. But I am not sure about contacting anyone. What am I going to say? Around 10:30 I figure the police are not going to show up and it is time to take matters into my own hands, so I send a message to Star Wars Facebook Guy. Are you the (name) whose (vehicle name) was stolen today?

The answer comes back almost right away. Yes, that is me. How do you know that? I suddenly have a lot of explaining to do. I let him know I have all his paperwork, and am waiting for the police to come and get it, and that we have the car thieves on CCTV. He lets me know he is down on the South Coast on holidays and the car was stolen sometime overnight.

We chat for about 20 minutes, about this and about other things, it turns out he *is* the guy who works behind the scenes in television and eventually he says he is going back up to Sydney tomorrow and if the police don’t get the paperwork would we mind if he stops in and grabs it. He has a friend who is going to take him back to Sydney. I go and talk to The Other Half – who is a bit more concerned with this concept, but I talk him round, and I suggest to Star Wars Facebook Guy that they drop in for coffee the next morning.

We did not get very much sleep that night. First of all, every noise we heard had us checking the cameras. Secondly, I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind. One of them was.. if this was our car, I might find it difficult to watch this footage. We are people very attached to our cars. Some people aren’t, and that is fine, but we sure are. Another of them was, this walking down the street guy must live around here. That is a disturbing thought.

Bright and early the next morning, Star Wars Facebook Guy and his friend arrive. I check in with him and say hey, I have realised this footage might be a bit upsetting to watch, are you sure you want to see this? He says yes, so into the computer room we all troop, and watch the footage several times from different angles. On rewatching, we could see that these guys were not at all worried about fingerprints, and that made me think this car would be found burned out somewhere. That happens quite a lot these days, sadly.

Then we spend the next two hours chatting and drinking coffee. It turns out this guy has been at almost every major event of significance to happen in Australia for some years now. Any event I can think of and name, he was there. Everything from fires to floods to political happenings to royal tours. He was completely fascinating, and his friend was just as much so. We are now friends on the Facebook and I hope we will get to meet up again sometime.

The police arrived a couple of hours later, viewed the footage and were provided with a copy of their own. The truth about our local police is they have a large area to cover, they are so overworked and have so much to do, and then when things go to court the judges do not really hold criminals accountable for their actions. I think that needs to change.

A bit of time passed. One day I got a Facebook notification that Star Wars Facebook Guy had sent me a photo. As I feared, his car was found burned out. He’d gone to see it and taken some photos. The car was used in an armed robbery then set alight.

So why am I telling you this story. I debated whether or not I should, as this one is not really my story to tell. There are two reasons –

1. I want to remember this many years from now, so I am writing it down.

2. I want to make the point that sometimes getting involved in someone else’s business is the right thing to do. It actually can turn out to be a great thing if we are brave enough to step up. Sometimes picking up some rubbish in the street might save someone else a lot of heartache – that paperwork had all the information I needed to steal the identity of Star Wars Facebook Guy.

The spot where the accident happened now has been upgraded with guard rails to protect those on the other side of the road, and the NSW police are initiating Strike Force Puma as a result of this accident. They are now specifically requesting dashcam footage –

“We need the assistance of the public and we want anyone on the road who witnesses dangerous and menacing driving, such as overtaking several cars across double unbroken lines and narrowly avoiding other vehicles, or has footage of it to contact local police or Crime Stoppers,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

We both have dash cams in our cars though mine is a bit less technically capable than the camera in the other car, which also captures a rear view. We will be submitting footage as requested, if we get any worth sending. We all have to live in this world and drive on these roads and people have to realise there may be consequences for bad behaviour even if they cannot see a police car nearby, as this nearby driver found out recently.

things to remember, wrong world

Things I DID Buy June

I received $500 in birthday money and here is some of the items which I purchased with it –

We needed new sheets for the bed. We’d bought some sateen sheets at Aldi in mid 2017 and they were fantastic, until one of the seams on the fitted sheet broke in February or so this year. Now it was still useable, and we loved those sheets so much we kept using them for a while but I was always on the lookout for a bargain set.

I found them at Harris Scarfe for $19.95. Can you guess what colour we bought?

The first clothes I bought were these – 1 longline chenille cardigan (24.99) & 1 chenille scarf (20) from Rivers. I love chenille, but I once owned one chenille item and I killed it with washing, mainly I think because I did not wash it in a garment bag, and I had a top load washer way back then. Hopefully with our Miele front load washer. I will not murder these clothes with washing.

I was only going to get the cardigan – which finishes about the knee on me, it is a good long length – because I felt $20 for the scarf was up money, but then The Other Half said to me – you deserve the scarf, you have been so good all these months not buying any clothes. Little did he know of the spending spree about to occur this month. I have worn them both once and I have to say they are toasty warm, soft, fluffy and perfect for this very cold weather we are having.

2 pairs of new leggings – one with “sueded” lining @29.95 and one houndstooth pair $34.95. Seriously the sueded lining has spoiled me. Now I want all my clothes lined this way.

2 pairs of fleece lined leggings @ 24.95 each. All 4 of these are from TK Maxx. If you are looking for workout leggings with any kind of lining this would be #1 on my list to search. These are super stretchy and incredibly warm without being too hot if you are running.

3 ponchos $29 each from a local store that was having a sale. I had been looking for a poncho for some time but every one I saw was so boring, these at least had some personality and almost give the impression of being gold and silver.

I also got some wool scarves $29 each these are chunky and can be used as a wrap as well.

1 set of SOLIDASTER curtains @ $89. You may recall these appearing in the what I did not buy at IKEA post. They were one of the first things I thought of when I knew I had birthday money, because I had made the mistake of washing the blockout curtains in the lounge room and the block out part stuck together, meaning I have sections where light comes streaming through as an unpleasant surprise.

Unfortunately one of the Aspergers sensory problems I suffer with is “sensory sensitivities” – everyone has slightly different sensitivities. Light around the periphery of my vision is a big one for me, and these holes in the blockout curtains are right in the wrong place for me. If the sun is shining, I find it difficult to focus on my laptop or the tv screen.

We had to hem these, and we also hemmed the ruined blockout curtains so they could replace the blockout curtain in the bedroom. Most of the stuck together parts are right on the sides of the curtains and with a little creative cutting and thought, the lounge room curtains may be able to be repurposed as we do not need length or the same kind of width in the bedroom.

The Solidaster have now been hung and I am delighted with them. They are incredibly gorgeous, photos do not do them proper justice at all.

The final item I purchased in June was a replacement rug for my recliner. The current rug was just not bringing enough warm this winter and while I will keep it and use it again in spring, I’m switching to a warmer rug for the rest of winter. It cost me $42.50 as I am a rewards member and I got a discount on top of the sale price.

There are two creatures in the house who are extremely pleased with this purchase. Grumpy sits on my legs as I type this, and I have put together a montage of her happiness. If we covered every surface in the house with these rugs, we would have to change her name to Happy.

But we already have a Happy, and despite not being a lap cat at all, she too enjoys this rug. My lap is now The Place To Be. With a cat on ones lap, this rug is almost too warm. I’ve had to take my indoor beanie off most nights since we got this rug.

The total money spent in June = 485.24.

The kitties might say, you could have bought us 10 fluffy rugs with that birthday money.

My question to you – does birthday money count as spending? I’m going with no myself, though I have counted June as a spend month because technically I did spend money on clothes and stuff for the house.

2018yobn, Things I Did Buy 2018

Will You Like To Know More Part 2

More Decathlon!

The goggles start from $3.50 and they have an enormous range of them. If you can’t find a pair here I would be very surprised. They also have corrective lenses for same goggles at very reasonable prices.

There is a huge choice of swimming outfits.

When it is time to pay, you place your items in this box and it reads the RFID chip. Also Decathlon is a membership warehouse though membership is free. You can sign up on arrival and scan the membership card on your phone into the Stocard app, so that you can use it when you check out.

That was the first time I ever saw the Stocard app but you can be sure I am now making great use of it – I have scanned in 15 membership/loyalty/rewards cards which I used to carry with me everywhere – which is MADNESS if you think about it. Madness! And I am going to check my special hiding place because I took out a lot of cards I don’t use a while ago.

The app has an option to turn on the “card assistant” so when you approach a store your phone will pop up a notification to easily access the card for that nearby store. This does not seem to work for Coles, though, at least for me.

After we bought the rollerblades, we wandered back over to IKEA for afternoon coffee and a wander, and to get my curtains. They had this little setup which looked like perhaps Harry Potter or Indiana Jones might have just walked away from.

Our favourite KALAS is now available in a new colour. I’m not such a fan of it – I prefer the rainbow set – and apparently The Other Half is banning me from buying any more of these anyway. I feel like you can never have enough KALAS bowls and plates. Microwave and dishwasher safe, unbreakable, so useful.

We did not buy this even though both of us really wanted to. We flipped it over and stood there and watched the gorgeous gold “sand” melt through the hourglass, and then we did it again, and yet another time, while we debated whether we could/would/should buy it.

What would we use it for? Did we need it, or did we just really want it? In the end we chose not to buy it, but will it be like Indiana Jones choosing the holy grail? Did we choose poorly, or wisely?

We left IKEA around 3pm and headed back down the coast. We had a destination in mind – Eat Street is on every Thursday night in Wollongong and the weather was perfect for it – cold but not windy. We have been once before and apparently I did not blog about it here, which surprises me but then again there is a lot of stuff I don’t post about.

I got Poutine from La Poutine food truck. Mine had bacon and ground beef on top with the cheese curds and gravy. It was awesome. Perfect for a cold night.

The other half got some loaded fries – they had cheese and a spicy chipotle aioli – from Norma’s Burger Bar plus a burger.

He chose the same stall last time and when he enjoys something he tends to stick with it.

Soon after we finished our food, we were on our way home, after a very long day out. We planned to head out for a run & rollerblade (I run, he rollerblades) the next day, and a bushwalk sometime over the weekend, too. But that is a story for another day.

Decathlon, food, IKEA

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #6

June was a spend month, but for the most part it was not technically my money that I was spending, so does it really count? I’m not sure. I will write a separate post on this as there were quite a few things. I received $500 in birthday money, and I spent $485.24 for the month. The spending had some very interesting mental side effects, but I think that might be best covered in the 6 month overview post which I am writing.

No Spend Days

This was yet another epic fail, and I tried really hard to make this a win this month! First of all, on day 1 of June I set out to cover as many spending things as I could. On a Friday which here means bad traffic and trouble finding a park where I want it. In that one day I managed nails, a haircut, a big pharmacy spend which was needed as we were running out of stuff we use, to take hot donuts to the other half at work as a surprise treat, and we did the grocery shop that night.

The next day we went to Shellharbour for a wander, and got a new sheet set, some bulk hair dye items which I needed and potatoes. Mostly we wandered and really enjoyed looking in the shops without *needing* to buy any of the things we saw. After 6 months we have separated wants from needs and we have begun to enjoy feeling the wants without any desire to actually spend money. In effect I exploded two spend days right at the start of the month without any intention to spend any more until the next grocery spending day.

Then chicken went on special, so I had to sacrifice a spend day to buy in bulk. On checking the letterbox around this time, I discovered that my rego had run out on the 31st of May as a surprise to myself.

This is actually happening to a lot of people now that they have taken the stickers away, because people do get some paperwork at least a month or even two months earlier and we put it aside to deal with when the time comes – and then we forget all about it, and there is no sticker on the car to remind you when it is due. There is now a reminder in my Google Calendar.

So I had to arrange the safety check, insurance, etc. This also cost me a spend day. And now we have used up our goal of 4 spend days and I still have grocery shopping to do, and I have this birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, and then The Other Half gets some unexpected days off.. so the train falls off the rails entirely.

11 days of spending out of 30. ;) This was very bad.

No Spend Goals For July

I think I am being unrealistic with these goals and that is why I am having trouble meeting them. This month I will need 3 days for grocery shopping, I’m going to budget two days for experience spending as we are going up to Sydney for an overnight, and I will budget two days for other things but hope not to use them. 7 days is the goal.

Grocery Spending

June grocery budget – $600

Coles – 26.70 (-10, was 36.70) + 86
Aldi – 212.06 (13.99 mens jeans 4 the other half work) +221.32
Bulk Veg – $20.70
Pasties – 32.00 (2.66 per pastie)
$598.78
$19.95/day

Just under budget. I did count the jeans as part of the spending because it was on the grocery docket but realistically I should take that off. The Other Half is not having a great time with jeans for work, several of his old reliable pairs have been thrown out after developing holes in places there should certainly not be holes.

Grocery Spending Goals For July

Grocery spend = $620
Bulk Items Budget = $100

June Thoughts

I’m actually going to post my overall thoughts on the past 6 months in another post. June was a tough month weather wise and I expect July to be even more so, it is time to hibernate and keep warm.

2018yobn