by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Spring Cleaning: Part One of a Series I Might Forget About Later

Posted 22 August 2010 in by Catriona

I’m not nuts for spring cleaning, but it is a good time to take a look at the house and see what little bits and pieces could do with a sprucing up for the new season. I’m feeling more enthusiastic about spring cleaning this year, too, because we tossed an enormous pile of books and clothes thanks to a fortuitous jumble sale, so we can breathe a little more easily in the house.

(The books, for the record, were pre-stacked in a corner of the wardrobe and had been for a year, so their absence makes no difference to my sorely abused bookshelves.)

But today’s task was my armchairs:

I love almost everything about these chairs: their solidity (they’re hardwood and weigh a tonne), the scalloped backs, the little wooden feet at the front, the wide armrests, the way they slope back, and the fact that they cost me $50 for the two.

Bargain!

Of course, they cost me $50 because they need re-springing, and re-springing just isn’t on the budget. That’s why they have those European pillows shoved down under the seat cushion: it stops us from losing guests down the back of the armchair.

But the orange just isn’t doing it for me any more. And neither is the upholstery, which is the one thing I hate about these chairs.

See?

My mother says it’s fine, but I think they look like they’re crawling with veins. The upholstery also shows dirt a bit too readily, which isn’t great in sweltering summers.

Still, if re-upholstering isn’t in the budget (and it isn’t), at least I can take some preventative measures and get rid of those orange cushion covers.

Viola!

Nice warm brown cushion covers, anti-maccassars that are actually chiffon table-runners (picked up in Sydney for pennies at a bargain basement: I only wish I’d been foresighted enough to pick up another couple to make arm covers from), and my favourite cushions (which look like ex-Muppets), and already the living room looks a little brighter and a little less orange.

Back in Brisbane

Posted 11 August 2010 in by Catriona

Normally, when I’m taking a break from blogging, I let you know in advance. But this time, I was lazy. Or neglectful. Or harassed.

Pick whichever one seems most plausible to you.

(Psst. I suggest “lazy.”)

So I’ve been down in Sydney for a week, and I didn’t blog, and I didn’t even tell you I was going.

But I’m back now, and I’ve lined up a whole series of photo posts for your viewing pleasure. (Or not, depending on how fussy you are about your photos actually being good.)

I’ll start with the strange atmospheric conditions of the Southern Highlands, shall I?

Me and The Mechanic

Posted 2 August 2010 in by Catriona

So I took my car in for a service and I said to the mechanic, “If you find anything extravagantly wrong with it, give me a ring before you fix it, okay?”

He said he would.

One courtesy bus, one ordinary bus, and an hour later, I get home, make myself a cup of coffee, and settle down to check my e-mails when the phone rings.

It’s the mechanic.

He says to me, “We were checking over the car and we found mumble, mumble, mumble. Would you like us to fix that?”

And I think, “Oh, no. I wasn’t actually listening to him; I was checking my e-mails.”

But I don’t want to admit that I wasn’t listening, so I come up with a cunning plan. This way, I’ll find out what he was saying before I commit to expensive car repairs, but I won’t have to admit that I wasn’t listening to him.

So I say, “Can you just remind me what that part does?”

And he says, “Those are the things that clean your windshield off when it rains.”

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