Spring cleaning

Today was an extra heavy housework day. I hired a carpet cleaning machine from the local hardware store, picking it up first thing this morning. Before using it, I did an extra thorough vacuum cleaning to remove as much dirt as possible. Then it was filling up the machine with hot water and carpet shampoo, and using it to go over the whole house (well, except the kitchen and bathroom and laundry, which don’t have carpet). It leaves the carpet slightly damp, so it was time to throw open all the windows for a cross breeze to help it dry out. But it removes a lot of gunk from the carpet – the retrieved water in the collecting tank was almost black. It’s hard work – I’d like to clean the carpet like this more often, but only do it a few times a year. It took a few hours and I was dripping with sweat by the end of it.

After all that hard work I treated myself to a nice lunch at a local pub. They have a chicken schnitzel that is really good.

In the afternoon I had to clean out the carpet cleaner and then take it back to the hardware store. On that trip I decided to buy some timber shelving so that I could install a few extra shelves in the kitchen cupboard that we use to hold mugs and glassware. The cupboards have two shelves, far enough apart that we can stack mugs and glasses two high on each shelf, with room to spare. I realised it would be better to have extra shelves, then we could spread the mugs and glasses out and not have to stack them on top of each other. I don’t own a saw, so I had the hardware store cut the timber to size, and they did a pretty good job. Now I just need to drill some shelf peg holes. I do have a drill, but I may need to go back and a buy a bit of the right size.

Phew.

For dinner I cooked a Thai green curry with various vegetables: cauliflower, broccolini, pumpkin, red capsicum (red pepper, for non-Australians), onions. I thought it turned out pretty well.

New content today:

First day of spring

It’s officially spring and the weather was very spring-like, with warm sunshine drying up the rain of the past few days. I spent much of the day out with my wife and Scully, enjoying the fresh air. We went to two different parks to let Scully run around and chase tennis balls, and stopped off for lunch at a bakery where we hadn’t been before. It was pretty good! I wrote up a review for my food blog: Snot Block & Roll.

That was about it, really, apart from a bit of housecleaning and a relaxing evening watching episodes of Northern Exposure. Wife and I decided to start rewatching the series form Episode 1 again. Tomorrow I’m planning to photograph the latest batch of comic scripts that I’ve been working on the past few days, so that’s a big day of creative work ahead.

New content today:

Lunch

It was supposed to rain today. The forecast was for 25 mm of rain, which is a lot. As it turned out, there was barely a spot, and much of the day was partly sunny. Even when it’s supposed to rain, it seems the weather is determined to keep Sydney dry.

I spent much of the day out, returning the lasers and diffraction slits I borrowed to the Sydney University Physics Department, and then having lunch with a friend nearby. Here’s the main Quadrangle at Sydney University:

Quad

We ate at The Pie Tin in Newtown, which has delicious meat pies (and vegetarian ones too). After having a savoury, I eyed the sweet pies. They had a cherry ripe pie, with bits of Cherry Ripe bars in it. Cherry Ripe is an Australian chocolate bar, and one of the most enduringly popular bars in the country. It’s made of cherries, coconut, and chocolate. So a cherry ripe pie sounds pretty good.

But next to the cherry ripe pie was a “cherry, chocolate, and coconut pie”. I kid you not. The exact same three ingredients. But it didn’t have bits of Cherry Ripe bar in it – it was just cherry, chocolate, and coconut. To be fair, the two pies looked very different, with the cherry ripe one appearing to have a lot more chocolate, while the other was more of a coconut cream topping. Anyway, I selected the less chocolatey one (as I’m trying not to eat too much chocolate), and it was very good.

Cherry chocolate coconut pie

I stopped off in the city on the way home to do a bit of shopping. Then this afternoon my wife and I took Scully for a walk and exercise at the dog park.

Um, and we watched the last of the first set of 10 episodes of Disenchantment. We were a bit behind on watching this series, but it turns out our timing is good, as the next series of episodes is released in September. So it’s been a bit of a wash as far as creating stuff today, but sometimes you just need a day off!

New content today:

Slow Saturday

Housework day! The bathroom is sparkling clean once more, groceries have been shopped, and… I finalised the sale of my old computer to a buyer through a local classifieds website. All very domestic.

In more fun activities, today saw the assembling of tomorrow’s Darths & Droids strip, which was written just last night at Games Night, as reported in my previous post. And I now have RSVPs from everyone I invited to my Very Special Magic: the Gathering Draft event Secret Project that I told you about on Wednesday. Even though I saw some of the guys last night at Games Night, we didn’t talk about it, so I don’t know what sort of thing they’re expecting. But the emailed RSVPs have expressed curiosity and intrigue.

To round out the day, wife, Scully, and myself went out for dinner at a nice restaurant a few suburbs away – from which we’ve just returned home this fine winter evening. It’s always nice to not have to cook! Their dessert menu had a “deconstructed cheesecake” on it, which I had to try because it reminds me of some of the things at mezzacotta CafĂ©. It was delicious, actually.

New content tonight:

Bento box

Today was a bit of a lazy day, work-wise. I actually spent most of my time at home refactoring code, which didn’t achieve anything tangible beyond making it easier to add on more stuff later.

I also spent a lot of time out. I arranged to meet a friend for lunch at a Japanese place near the station two stops away from where I live. I could have caught the train, but I decided to walk to get a bit of exercise.

Now let me tell you about the area where I live. It ain’t flat. Not by a long shot. There are hills everywhere. My tracking app (I use Strava, if you want to follow my profile) tells me the walk there by the most direct route was 3.72 km, with an elevation gain of 103 metres. (I ended up only 29 m higher than I began, so I also went downhill 74 m.) The restaurant does bento boxes, and I had one with some sushi, a bowl of udon soup, and something I’ve never seen before: fish katsu! It was good.

For the walk home, I took a longer route, covering 5.55 km, with an elevation gain of 72 m. Later in the afternoon I also took Scully for a walk and play in the park. The weather’s turned windy here, but it wasn’t very cold – the forecasters say tomorrow we’ll get a blast of colder air. Anyway, here’s Scully, posing after fetching her ball in the dog park.

Chasing the ball in late winter sunshine