Irritatory & Quick Update



This week I went to orientation for the course I am starting next week..

Deities, pretty please, I beg you, give me patience and strength, or else I will not make it through this course without deading people.

Within moments of arriving at the orientation meeting point, there were 3 people who right away showed me exactly who they were, and they are not people I want to know or be involved with. Obviously they all knew each other, and they started right away talking about how little work they thought they could get away with doing, and how this course would be such a bludge festival for them, and what would be the earliest moment they could sneak away for a cigarette.


But it turns out, these three *are* special snowflakes who have done a previous course with this teacher, and a lot of the work they did for their previous course will be accepted for this course, so my earnest hope is that they are rarely in our presence. Please let this be so!

Within moments of sitting down for our orientation, these three were chit chatting amongst themselves, totally ignoring the teacher and the rest of us. It did not take long for them to earn my death stare, nor the death stare of the other *adults* who will be taking this class and who actually wanted to hear what the teacher had to say without the distraction of their special snowflake conversations..

The teacher actually sent them away halfway through the orientation saying they did not need to stay and immediately the atmosphere improved. I found quite a few people I felt drawn to and will like to know more about. That is a good sign for me.

Anyway, we’ll have to see how the special snowflake situation goes. Fingers crossed they will disappear into the bludgeosphere, leaving the rest of us to work together, because I found them extremely irritatory – that is one of my special made up words. It feels exactly how it sounds.

Yes, I know, I am meant to tolerate, etc, yada yada, blah blah, whatevs. But I actually want to do this course and enjoy the work involved with it and anyone who is not there to do exactly that should get the heck out of my way, STAT!

Blog Theme Update

I still had a couple of things I want to fix around here, most important being the ability for people to subscribe to comments which seemed to have vanished with the theme upgrade – You should now see checkboxes and the options Notify me of new comments via email & Notify me of new posts via email at the very bottom of the comment box.

Sadly to get that back, we’ve had to lose my gorgeous blue comment box. It turns out WordPress Jetpack now pulls the comment box from and we have zero control over the CSS, apparently, so we couldn’t get the notify me stuff to be in white.

With that said, if you comment a lot on wordpress blogs you probably want to get yourself a or gravatar account because that gives you notifications when someone replies to your comment automatically. It is free to make an account, and it means you won’t have to type all the stuff into the box each time you comment. :)

Blogging Update

Over here at Life In The Country I have scheduled posts for Mon-Wed-Fri up till the end of February. I’m hoping to have scheduled posts set up till the end of March by the end of this week because once I start school I am not sure how much time I’ll have.

If you see something on Tues-Thur-Sat-Sun – you know those posts are add ins – generally I try not to do that and instead push out a scheduled post, which I have done with this post.

I’ve decided for now not to return Shoe Sunday or start a new blogging series as my plate may be pretty full these first 6 months. A huge thank you to those who did participate in Shoe Sunday and maybe June will see it return.

Rewatch Breaking Bad

The Rewatch Breaking Bad blog is nearly at the end of season 3 – just two more episodes – then it swings into season 4 which was by far my favourite season on the show, closely followed by the almost perfect season 5.

If you have never seen the show I do highly recommend it for a lot of reasons, in particular the amazing performances of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

I have cut back the posting schedule to once a week on Sundays. I already have 8 pre-written and scheduled posts over there and by the end of this week I’d like to make that 12 or even 16 which would nearly take me up to the end of the course. Those posts are a fair bit of work, involving taking screenshots for each episode – those posts take time and effort I might not be able to spare as often while I’m at school.

There is more but I am going to warn you – it talks about spiders – there are no images, I would never do that to you – and if you don’t want to *read* about spiders either, please don’t click through. I won’t inflict them on you as a surprise. My arachnophobia is presently at an all time high, with good reason.

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Shoe Sunday – Pearl Harbor


Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It is not my intention to tell the story of the attack, or the leadup to it, or the aftermath. If you don’t already know the story there are loads of places you can find out – starting here with Wikipedia – and more than likely your local history channel will air a documentary about the attack at some point today..

I could not do justice to the story of what happened, nor could I do justice to my own personal feelings about Pearl Harbor. I cannot tell you the story of my meeting survivors of the attack during our visit to Oahu in 2011. I will simply state that Pearl Harbor is an incredibly special place for so many reasons – and so is Hawaii overall.

What I *will* talk about today is the shoes I wore to visit Pearl Harbor, and a special map moment that happened while Sephyroth, The Other Half, and I were at Pearl Harbor in November 2013.


These Adidas Climacool shoes were the first pair I bought last trip and the photo above is me trying them on in the store. I got them at Ala Moana on Friday the 1st of November. You may recall, I also own Adidas Climacool in green.


The green and pink Climacool shoes saw a lot of wear while on Oahu because they are super perfect for a hot environment – most of the other shoes remained unworn until they arrived back home.


At Pearl Harbor there is a large map drawn on the ground near the entrance. You can see in the image above my feet standing near Sydney.


At the same time, the feet of Sephyroth were standing around abouts where he hails from in North America.


And there you see our feet together near the map in Hawaii. Oahu is around 10 hours flying time from home for both of us, so it is a perfect meet in he middle location. This is the second time our feet have been together in one place – first was when Sephyroth travelled to Australia in 2011, second together in Hawaii in 2013, where will the third time be? :)

Please to note –

this will be the last Shoe Sunday for 2014 – we will be taking a break over Christmas and the New Year. Shoe Sunday will be back mid to late January 2015. :)

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Leopard Print Oxfords


These London Rebel leopard print shoes are super cute. So you can guess what that means. They’re not super comfortable.. :(


I found these at a shoe warehouse in Adelaide when we visited there a few years ago. I tried them on and they seemed comfortable at the time. However, on actual wearing, the place where the shoe meets the ankle at the top of the shoe sits a bit high, cuts in a bit, and causes a blister to occur.


So, rules apply to wearing these shoes.

1. One has to not be walking too far. These can be worn out to a restaurant we are driving to. I wore them to work a few times, because it was a sitting for 6 hours job.

2. These are not wet weather shoes.


I can’t find these shoes for sale anymore, but they have a flat with the same print.

They have a ribbon as a shoelace, which is something quite unique to my shoe closet. I really love wearing them as long as I don’t have to walk very far. :) They take a standard jeans and t-shirt to a completely different place.

London Rebel make some faux Doc Martens which I would try based on these shoes which, besides the ankle thing next time I see them in a store, I’ll pick them up.

Do you have any shoes which look amazing but are uncomfortable? :)

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Beige Fitflops


You may recall the previous Fitflops post – Fitflops from Hawaii.


I got the Beige pair on our last full day on Oahu from Nordstrom. I had gone there because they were having a sale, and I wanted to see if they had the Aquatalia Rhumba boots that Kate Middleton once levitated in whilst playing hockey.


I’d had a previous almost bought them experience with the Aquatalia Rhumba, when I searched Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th Outlet Store at Waikele and found a pair hiding on the floor. YES I inwardly screamed, only to pick the box up and find they were a size 7. So, I longingly caressed them, and put them back.


Anyway, there were no Aquatalia shoes at Nordstrom, but I did spot these beige fitflops. By this time, I’d worn the black ones most evenings to stroll about and I knew they were extremely comfortable shoes, and they were on sale, so bonus! I bought them..


As you can see, they still have a tag on them. They have not been worn yet. I’m saving them for this summer. :)

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Shoe Sunday – Skechers Memory Foam


This is my go-to pair of shoes for running errands when errands are going to take time and I need something super comfortable. They have a memory foam sole which is like walking on a fluffy cloud that does not move under your feet – like a real cloud probably would.


I like that they do not have actual laces, but the elastic used in place of laces does keep these firmly attached to your feet. I also love the rainbow coloured elastic they have used.


These shoes were purchased during the Waikele shopping stop on our 2013 Hawaii trip, along with the Adidas Climacool posted about previously, and several other pairs of shoes. I went to the Skechers clearance outlet with very high expectations because I had previously enjoyed 2 pairs of the exact same shoes from there. Alas, those shoes were discontinued and I was not to have a third pair..


You can see the rainbow Skechers in amongst the other pairs I bought at Waikele.

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Shoe Sunday – Kmart Flats


These shoes cost me $15, back when I bought them many years ago. At the time I purchased them, they were my only pair of flats with some sparkle..


As a consequence, they saw a lot of wear. Because they were only $15, they did not handle that wear especially well. From a distance, with my feet inside them, you can’t see the wear. Up close, you begin to note patches where the sparkly things once lived.


They are forever gone, never to be seen again. Who knows where they went?


Now that you know those missing spots are there, you can see them even from a distance, right? That is one reason why these shoes see less wear nowadays. They’re lucky to get out to dinner once a month. But somehow I still cannot bring myself to part with them. I know one day I will have to let them go.


Until the day we say goodbye, I will continue to celebrate the awesome life they have had with me. They’ve been interstate, they went on my trip to Adelaide a few years ago, they went to Queensland when we travelled there a while back. They’ve been out to dinner a *lot*. They were in my shoe closet when there were only 10 pairs, and they have watched the new shoes arrive and be worn and loved. They are forever a part of my history.

Thank you for being awesome and comfortable, cheap Kmart flats.

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Shoe Cleaning Station

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my very first Shoe Sunday post – I showed you where my shoes live.


I do own a lot of shoes, and every single pair gets a regular clean. What I usually do is wait until a rainy afternoon, when I can’t be doing anything useful outside, and all my other chores are done for a bit, so I do not feel even a tiny bit guilty about spending a good couple of hours with my much loved shoes..


First up, I cover the work space with a floor mat – the kind you might use in a bathroom. It is good to use something with a bit of thickness to protect the work space, as there will be times when I am removing stones from the shoes with a metal nail file. I always make sure to have a pair of nail scissors and a metal nail file handy at my shoe cleaning station, because your shoes may have some surprises for you.. like this –


I recently sat down with a couple of freshly arrived TV episodes – Homeland and Downton Abbey, my anti-bacterial wipes because there is a lot of flotsam and poopsam on the soles of shoes. The outside of the shoe get a decent wipe down, the place where my foot sits also gets a decent clean, plus the soles get a really thorough scrub. Here is a pair mid scrub, you can see the suds. I’m using the Kirkland Antibacterial Wipes from Costco.


Below you can see one clean sole, and one ready to be cleaned sole.


I cleaned 13 pairs in the space of a pleasant couple of hours, while watching teevee. Once the shoes are clean, they are placed on a clean towel so they can dry off. These shoes all went off for a photo shoot right after being cleaned, for future Shoe Sundays here on the blog.


Tell a story about your shoes on your blog, and link up below!

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Fitflops From Hawaii


I am not a person who usually approaches strangers to ask questions like “Where did you get those shoes? What brand are they?” but when I saw someone wearing a pair of sparkly sandals on Oahu, I could not stop myself. I had to know if these shoes could be found, purchased, and worn by me. Knowing I am a magpie who loves sparkly things, this should not come as a surprise – If you saw these shoes in person, you would be stunned at just how sparkly they are. :)


Of course, living in the world we live in, 99% of the time we know gorgeous and sparkly will likely = incredibly uncomfortable. But not in this case. If that had been the case, I would have tried them on and then sadly made the decision not to buy them, as I have with so many shoes.

I found these shoes at the Ultimate Foot Store on the 3rd of November 2013. We went to the Ward Warehouse on Oahu as they were having a special event shopping day. The place was packed – mostly with locals making the most of the bargains to be had. We’d had a really fantastic shopping day thus far, and I was super excited to find this store stocked Fitflops.


The moment I put these on, I was sold. I’m telling you, these are in the top 5 of most comfortable shoes I own. The straps are backed with a microfibre suede like fabric that feels amazing against the tops of my feet. It is like wearing fluffy pillows.


The one downside is the indentations in the foot bed, because these fill up with sand, dirt, and probably dead skin cells from your feet. The photo above is taken *after* I cleaned them, apparently not as well as I thought. However, when you are wearing them, the foot bed cannot be seen. What can be seen is a sparkly paradise. The photo below might give you a better concept of just how sparkly these are.


See the reflections thrown onto the wall by these shoes when placed in a tiny bit of sunlight?


These are the shoes I get the most comments about. It is pretty hilarious to watch people react to them. If they are a magpie like me, people go all deer in the headlights, all social norms fly out the window, they approach with a look in their eyes I know very well myself – it is the I must know more about this look. And they ask me, where did you get those shoes? What brand are they? Can I get them locally?

Aussies, never fear, you can buy them – in Australia, Dstore currently have them on sale. David Jones have a different version. Fitflop is also stocked by Athletes Foot. They have an Australian website. And if you want to get an idea of what they look like in action, here is a cute little video. I warn you, even the video does not do these shoes proper justice.

These are not beach shoes, at least not for me. These are fancy casual shoes. These go to Bunnings from time to time. These go to the shops on a sunny day. These stroll down the main street while running errands. These go out to a restaurant with a pretty dress while on holidays. These certainly could hike as they are incredibly comfortable, but they have not hiked yet. They have done a reasonable amount of walking.

I do not remember how much I paid for them, though my mind is telling me it was somewhere around $100. I think I would still have bought them if they’d told me some ridiculous number like $300. They are that comfortable, *and* that sparkly.

I bought a second pair in beige, which has not been worn as yet. They will get their own shoe post. ;)

Tell a story about your shoes on your blog, and link up below!

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Shoe Sunday – Cole Haan Part 2


The Cole Haan “Gilmore” Ballet Flat
Some colours are still available on Zappos for $99.99 a pair

The photos really do not do these shoes justice – they are a gorgeous bronze colour.

Previously I mentioned how Oprah told me to buy Cole Haan shoes, and I did, and the shoes were everything I dreamed they could be and more..

I will like to relate a little incident that occurred just after I bought them.

I had gone off on my own to Kipling and the Cole Haan store on one of our scheduled shopping up a storm days. The Other Half and my dearest friend Sephyroth who had flown in from Wisconsin to meet us in Hawaii had gone off to do Man Stuff. I forget precisely what kind of Man Stuff was involved but whatever it was, I am 100% certain it was not as Awesome as shopping at Cole Haan was for me.

We had arranged to meet by the ABC store at a certain time, which if you have ever been to Hawaii is like the most hilarious meeting spot given there are something like 81 of them in Waikiki alone. This time it was the ABC store near the stage at Ala Moana, so nobody got lost.

We were using a bag on wheels to carry all our purchases, so when I met up with Sephyroth I was handing some of the bags over, and he – very gallantly I might add – went to take my Cole Haan bag from me. But I was so not ready to hand it over – first of all, it had these awesome shoelaces as a handle and they were incredibly soft and comfortable in my hand, and secondly MY NEW SHOESES DON”T TOUCH THEM PLS!

I think, and I could be wrong, I might have growled like a dog and said in a very scary voice – “Not the Cole Haans!”


I truly do love these shoes, both pairs, and they have gone a lot of places with me, and will continue to go places with me for many years. They are in great condition even after almost a year of regular wear, and easy to clean and look after.

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Shoe Sunday – Sparkly Slides


These are some of the most beautiful shoes I own..


Sadly, they are also some of the most *uncomfortable* shoes I own. Plus there are my toes, exposed for the world to see and apparently step on. Because whenever my toes are out on display, I can guarantee someone is going to pick that day to accidentally step on my foot.

I’m not a big toes out on display person in the first place – not that there is anything wrong with that, I just feel naked when my toes are naked. But when you add in the step on thing.. generally it is a no for me.


These shoes only get an outing on the following occasions –

1. If I am not going to be walking very far.

2. If it is a super hot day and some glitz on my feet is required.

3. Preferably, I have had a manicure.

The wedding of the best friend of The Other Half fit the first two of the three, so they got worn. And guess what, people? You are about to see my *actual* feet, in photos taken years ago, when I had no concept that I would ever be posting shoe posts here on my blog. We were trying to capture the sparkliness of these shoes, and if you look close, you can see spots of green, orange, and white fire..


They are very pretty, but why must they also be so uncomfortable? :(

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