Close Encounter

Close Encounter

Just a really quick post today… We had a different kind of visitor in the library last week – another bobtail!  They are so lovely 🙂 This little guy decided to check out the library (I think he came in to get cool but then he was laying in a sunny spot by the window so he may have been a little bit confused!) and I always attempt to catch them (I can’t help myself) if it can be done quickly and with as little stress to them as possible.  It’s better than having them running all over the place, frightening the not-so-reptile-friendly people in the building.  This one was very placid and I caught him easily – I think he must have been quite cool as he was slow and not particularly bothered by me handling him.  No hissing or aggression displays (no sign of that lovely blue tongue!) and not struggling either.  I wasn’t holding him very tight – he seemed fairly docile and not stressed.  I showed a few people (the ones I knew wouldn’t squeal) and then let him go into the bushland next door, away from cars and people.

You can’t see him very well in this picture (and I’ve been told I look way too pleased with myself) but he was a fairly big specimen, very healthy-looking with no ticks or scars.  Very handsome! (Or beautiful – I don’t claim to be able to tell the sex of these critters) If you’re not sure of what a bobtail looks like, check out my other post on a previous visitor HERE

Ah, Australia – you never know what you’re going to encounter next, even in the workplace 🙂


Bobtail (Blue-Tongued Skink)

Bobtail (Blue-Tongued Skink)

Visitor at work last week – this little guy :


I had heard some rustling in the undergrowth by our backdoor and went to investigate.  We’d had a snake in the library a couple of weeks ago and so everyone is on the alert for anything scaly and possibly bitey.  I’m not frightened of snakes (yes, I am one of those weird people) but didn’t want anyone else to freak out or get bitten so I had a careful look in and around the leaves and plants growing by the door.  And there he was, a little bobtail.  Not at all uncommon here in Western Australia – most people, at one time or another, have probably had one of these little guys in their garden.  They are omnivorous and eat everything from insects to fruit, snails and flowers.  They also scavenge for carrion.  They are handy to have in the garden as they do keep a few pests at bay (although they will also help themselves to your tomatoes!).


This fellow was hiding in the shade and looked comfortable enough, but as it was a particularly hot day, I left him a dish of water, just in case he was thirsty.  Later that day he decided to take a walk right round to the front of the building and try and get in the front door ) attracted by the air-conditioned coolness within I guess.  It was suggested he might frighten some of our dementia day centre members, so I attempted to catch him and escort him away from the building.

Normally they are reasonably easy to catch (although you do need to watch out for the bitey end!) but this one – crikey! – he was FAST!  I had to chase him down the verandah with a towel, hoping to grab him while his head was covered.  But, he was too speedy and very feisty, and as it was such a warm day, I didn’t want to stress him, so I just coerced him back into the undergrowth, hoping he’d stay there for the rest of the day, or at least until people had left the day centre.

I managed to get a couple of good photos of him – isn’t he beautiful?  He sadly had one deformed back leg but it didn’t seem to slow him down at all.  He was pretty big too – maybe a foot long and very strong and healthy.  Apparently, bobtails are usually monogamous when pairing up and can stay “faithful” to their mates for up to 20 years.  They give birth to 1 – 4 fully developed young.  The offspring stay with their parents for a few months before heading off on their own, but stay in close proximity to the family group.  It’s not uncommon to see two or three bobtails walking along together (very cute, if you like that sort of thing!) and they will show you their bright blue tongues if feeling threatened.  They don’t have sharp teeth as such, but do have powerful jaws and can give a nasty bite which, due to their scavenger diet can harbour lots of icky bacteria.


A different sort of visitor to have at the library, but certainly one I was happy to see 🙂

Catching up…and road trip to Albany

Catching up…and road trip to Albany

Firstly, let me apologise for being absent quite a bit from bloggy land just lately.  Lots going on and no time to do anything, plus I have been distracted and just wasting a lot of time not knowing what to do with myself.  I’m in a crafty mood but can’t decide on what I want to do, and by the time I do decide, it’s time to pack it up again.  There’s been stuff happening in my life that’s been hard to deal with and, again, distracting, so I’ve not been accomplishing anything at all over the last few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, however, as part of my work, I had to get my butt into gear and take a road-trip to Albany in our state’s South West. I was a little nervous about the trip as I had to drive one of the big work cars and Albany is a long way to travel by yourself.  But I actually enjoyed the 5 hour trip – lots of solitude and time to think (not actually always a good thing for me – thinking leads to worrying which leads to anxiety and freak-outs).  The drive itself was pretty cruisey, if a trifle dull (the land is still very dry at this time of year and you are faced with miles and miles nothing more exciting than a few dead kangaroos and maybe a road-side service station if you’re lucky) and I made it to Albany just as the heavens opened and I was attempting to find where I would be staying.


I was booked into a lovely little B’n’B in the main part of town, The Three Chimneys B’n’B. The property is heritage listed as has been restored to a comfortable and pretty little cottage with modern amenities.  You were also left to your own devices which is lovely and each morning you were served a tasty, hot breakfast accompanied by cereal and yoghurt, toast and preserves.  I had the place to myself for most of the visit and was very comfortable there.  The first night I was a bit frazzled (all that driving!) and didn’t know where to get a meal for dinner.  I went for a bit of a drive which was a bit dumb when I didn’t know where I was going and it was dark and rainy and eventually found a supermarket where I just bought some yoghurt and a tin of tuna.  Not very exciting, but, as long as I could make myself a cup of tea, I’d be ok.

The furnishings and decorations in the cottage were very pretty and vintage in style – there was even a little reading room where guests could avail themselves of the reading material in the book shelves, or just sit and have a quiet cuppa.








I did have a bit of a walk around the town and did some shopping.  The weather wasn’t brilliant, so I didn’t risk going too far from base.  Nice to get out and about and get some air though.  I kept forgetting to take my camera with me, hence the lack of photos.


The Three Chimneys is located not far from the beach – if you look at this photo, you can just see the ocean on the horizon.  The B’n’B is right where that white car on the left is…


During my few days in Albany, I was helping one of our other branches pack up their library.  They are moving into a new premises – much larger and newer and designed for people with dementia – and, as they don’t have a librarian down there, I came to sort everything out and weed the collection and then pack it up ready for moving.  I really enjoyed my stay and getting to meet our Albany staff – they were so lovely and welcoming and I made friends with their office dog, Pablo, who is just gorgeous and will love the new site as it is much bigger for him to run around and has lots of kangaroos to watch! 🙂

On the way to Albany, and again on the way home, I stopped off at The Williams Woodshed for lunch and a well-deserved cup of tea.  The Woolshed has a lovely cafe, gift shops and displays about the history of shearing and sheep farming.  The lunch was yummy both times – Mushroom Tart on the first visit and three-cheese quiche on the second.  Delicious!


I had a quick browse around the little shops there, just to stretch my legs.  Their “Swag of Sweets” lolly shop was mouth-watering but I was good and didn’t buy myself anything…



So, I’m back home now and once again in the routine of work/home/sleep/work/home/sleep.  It was a nice break from things – hard work but also relaxing at the same time and I am glad that I have contributed to making the Albany gals’ move a bit easier.  Next month I am taking on a bigger trip – flying to Sydney for a few days to attend the Dementia Conference with my CEO and another colleague.  I did freak out a bit to start with – I hate flying and don’t want to embarrass myself in front of people I work with, especially when one of them is the CEO, plus the conference itself is supposed to be very busy and hectic and I will have to be on my feet all day answering questions and pretending I know what I’m talking about.  The lead up to it will also be busy and stressful – making sure we have all the right equipment, brochures, display stuff etc to take over with us.  My CEO has assured us she wants us to have some down-time too i.e. shopping or at least catching a bite to eat at a nice Sydney restaurant but it’s still going to be a lot of work.  Still, I am trying to see it as a good opportunity and one that I should be grateful to be offered.  Not everyone gets the chance to go to these things (there may be a few noses out of joint actually, so I’ve been keeping it quiet anyway) and so I am pleased to have been considered as a candidate to represent the organisation.  Wish me luck!  🙂

Apologies again for the lack of content – life has been getting in the way!  I will try to do better this week.  Have a happy Monday tomorrow everyone 🙂

52 Books…

52 Books…

I have been encouraged by some library friends of mine to take part in the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” challenge.  The idea is simple enough – read one book a week, every week of the year.  I am going to try my hardest to do this – I read quite a bit but it is, at times, sporadic and not as regular as it should be, given that I LOVE books and have fifty bazillion of my own.  Last year, at the annual Save the Children Fund Book Sale in my area, I bought 30 books.  In one day. And then went back a day later and bought 25 more.  So, y’know, I am not lying when I say I love books and reading. My Mum is also the same, thank goodness, so, if anything, I can blame it on her and her genes.

Anyway, as I was saying, I am taking part in this challenge.  I don’t know if I will manage it because sometimes I just don’t get time to sit and read, but then I suppose it is up to me to MAKE time and just do it.  I’ve never been one to read before I go to bed but it might be time to start.  Maybe not IN bed, as that would probably give my insomnia another reason to make night time a non-sleep time, but just before, snuggled up in the lounge room or something.

I’m already 3/4 way through my first book, “Short Friday” by Isaac Bashevis Singer and hope to finish it tonight.  I’m not taking on huge books – I just won’t finish them in time, but I’m also not going to worry too much if I go over the time limit by a day here or there.  I don’t want to read books just for the sake of it and I want to make sure I take the story in, instead of skipping over bits just so I can fit them in to my schedule.

So, wish me luck – by the end of the year I might have read 50+ books or only half that, maybe less, but I am going to give it a red hot go and try and learn a little a long the way, try and read some different authors and genres.

Here’s a few links relating to the challenge that may explain it more than I have, or maybe just give you some inspiration and titles to start with.


life hack

good reads

Let me know if you too are taking on the challenge – I’d be interested to know any good titles you recommend 🙂


Haircuts and Brown Paper

Haircuts and Brown Paper


 Well, I finally went the chop. Hair today, gone tomorrow…or, rather, on Saturday. I went to a hair dresser recommended by a friend and I’m glad I did. The lady was really nice and did a great job and it was so cheap! Normally I avoid getting my hair cut because it’s just so expensive, but this one, wow, very affordable – so much so, I might even get my hair cut regularly (like you’re supposed to do apparently – who knew?). Anyway, it’s done now and I’m happy with it (thank goodness – no one would want to listen to my whining about it if I wasn’t happy) and I can get on with life. I also dyed it (bye bye grey strands!). Not a fancy, weird colour – just my own natural mousey brown shade.  Just sans grey.  What do you think?  I don’t think it even looks dyed…



Christmas is looming and I am no closer to being organised.  I am running out of time to see everyone I wanted to see before the 25th and I haven’t completed my gift shopping.  Actually, I’m only about a quarter through it, if that.  It gets harder every year.  I don’t like to buy gifts that are junk or just some thing that will get thrown in a cupboard never to see the light of day.  I like gifts to mean something to the recipient and be well thought out and from the heart.  Having said that, if it’s December 24th and I still haven’t got you something, you are probably going to wind up with a gift voucher, a box of chocolates or some socks.  Just warnin’ ya! (Personally, I like getting socks, so it’s not really a lame present in my mind…they’re practical, right?  Everybody needs socks!).  I like to make presents too although I am hardly ever organised enough for that.  I haven’t even got any Christmas cards ready yet.  Pathetic effort.  Epic fail!

My twiggy Christmas tree is up and decorated and has some tiny sparkly lights too.  I have gone for a silver, white and blue theme this year.  Actually, that’s what I do most years ha ha.  I’m not into the traditional red, green and white for Christmas.



I have wrapped a total of three presents.  Which is quite sad.  I have gone for the usual brown paper wrapping.  This is because
a.) I have a big roll of brown paper to use up
b.) I like brown paper and it goes with everything and doesn’t clash with my decor when under the tree
c.) It always looks so nice in the magazines and decorating books and I am trying to be classy and sophisticated
(ha! that’ll be the day!)

I’m using some little clay tags I made a couple of years ago, to embellish some of the gifts I’ve wrapped.  Just to add an extra element. When it comes to 24th December and I am still wrapping, I will be cursing these “embellishments” and the extra time they require to attach to gifts (all of 2.5 seconds most likely).  Sometimes the clay tags are a bit brittle (my crappy workmanship) and they break just as I am trying to tie them to a gift.  Or I haven’t made the hole in them big enough to accommodate string.  But I think that the little bit of extra effort looks nice and makes it look like I took the time to create something appealing.  The recipient doesn’t need to know it caused minor tantrums and fits of cursing.  And the tantrums weren’t that minor.  


I have just seen some beautiful Christmas cards I want to try on Dianne Faw’s blog. I have done cards before with a “patchwork” feel to them but I haven’t done any Christmas ones and I think I will try it this year.  I need something fairly quick to do as I am running out of time and creative energy as well.  Thanks Dianne for the post!  It reminded me of an easy technique that has saved me in the past. 

Had two of my library friends over for dinner tonight – my first real “dinner party” (if three people can be considered a party…).  I made mushroom risotto which turned out ok although took a monstrously long time to cook for some reason (which is always the way when you are trying to make something for other people that you’ve made a million times for yourself) and for dessert I made cinnamon-maple ice-cream with gingerbread cookies crushed up in it.  Yum!  So good.  I served us up delicate little bowlfuls but really I think we could have all just eaten the whole tub.  We had a nice evening chatting, talking about books (it’s a cliche that librarians do that…but we did do it tonight!) and laughing about ridiculous things – God, it’s so good to laugh!  I haven’t done that in such a long time.  The kind of laughing when your tea comes out of your nose and you collapse in a heap with exhaustion and can’t even remember what you were laughing about.  THAT kind of laughing.  So good.  

Must go to bed.  It is a hot and sticky night and I foresee lots of tossing and turning and the fan working in overdrive.  I have carb overload from dinner and so I am going to waddle over to the kettle and make myself a nice cup of peppermint tea (that dissolves fat, right? I’m sure I read that somewhere…) and watch some
21 Jump Street re-runs because I am having a weird 80s fetish right now and am re-living my youth.  

Hope you’ve had a good day 🙂







Interview with a Dufus

Interview with a Dufus

Ugh.  I just had a job interview for a Library Officer position at a local college.  I sucked!  I was so embarrassed, I couldn’t get out of the room fast enough!  I normally do well at interviews.  Even though I am a pretty timid and nervous person normally, I can usually pull it together at an interview.  But apparently not today.  I will say it again – I sucked!  BIG TIME!  I wouldn’t employ me!

I’m not even sure I want this job – I didn’t like the hours (lots of evenings) and the Librarian seemed a bit, well, cranky.  Maybe it was just because she was having to sit and listening to a huge dufus (ie me!) and when she had more important things she could be doing.  Sigh.  I hate leaving a bad impression on anyone, particularly when I’m trying to put my name out there and find a new, better job.

To make matters worse, I put my neck out yesterday so today I look like a weirdo, hunchback creature who can’t turn their head.  I couldn’t have been more un-employable if I drooled or passed wind (neither of which I actually did, I will just point out) and I’m pretty sure they metaphorically stamped a big “REJECT” stamp on my forehead before I was half-way through the interview.

So, if I do get offered the job, I will be very surprised.  I think my brain sabotaged my efforts because I knew, deep down, I wasn’t suitable for the job and didn’t want it anyway.  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I just really do suck…maybe I’ve lost my mojo. Did I ever have Mojo?  Maybe I am mojo-less.  Maybe working in a sucky job for almost two years has rendered me sans mojo.  Dammit.

If you are having a job interview this week, I wish you good luck.  May your answers be thought-provoking, intelligent and coherent.  May you leave a good impression with the interviewers so that you are the preferred candidate.  If all else fails, just remember you CANNOT suck as much as I did today.

Old Friends (Bookends)

Old Friends (Bookends)

Old friends, old friends

Sat on their park bench like bookends…

Listening to Simon & Garfunkel this afternoon suddenly gave me a bright idea.  I had a stack of old metal bookends I was given this week from a friend at another library I used to work at.  The library is moving / downsizing / digitising so no longer needed the hundreds of bookends they had.  I snapped them up, not really having any plans for them other than they might come in handy down the track.  I have a million books and they are all jam-packed into bookshelves – not really any room for bookends and besides, these ones are pretty dull and ugly.

So I decided to jazz them up a bit and make them something I would be happy to display and use in my home.  I’ve got loads of scrapbooking paper and some of it I just haven’t been inspired to use for anything up ’til now.  I chose a nice Webster’sPages Robin’s Nest sheet – nice shabby chic blues and florals – and, after giving each bookend a quick rub down with some coarse sandpaper, I drew around them with a pencil onto the paper.

I then carefully cut the shapes out, keeping as close to the drawn line as possible.
I scored the paper cut-out lightly at the point where the booked “bends” to allow for easier application once the glue was on.  Next, I slapped on a thin coat of PVA glue onto the bookend.  The paper was then smoothed into place over the glue and rubbed to get rid of any air bubbles or crookedness!  I left them to dry for an hour or so and then trimmed the edges as needed (hey, nobody’s perfect, right?).  If I was more energetic (and less lazy) I would have varnished or sealed them to make them more long lasting.  But as a quick fix-up, I think they look pretty good.

Yay!  I accomplished something today!  And I upcycled and made something pretty!