by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Random Photographs”

Chaos in Action

Posted 28 March 2012 in by Catriona

If Nick and I suddenly disappear from our social networks (virtual or actual) or stop coming to work one day, this is why:

Send someone to dig us out, would you? You know, when you have a minute.

At the Avon Dam

Posted 4 February 2012 in by Catriona

After Christmas, my parents fancied a day trip out somewhere. I was still pretty shaky with the chest infection, so we settled on a slow (and slightly wheezy) walk along the dam wall at the Avon Dam.

We used to go to the Avon Dam all the time when we were little, for company picnics and casual weekend walks. But none of us had been for years. Nick had never been.

It was hot and bright and very, very Australian summer.

I took photos that I couldn’t judge, because the sun was glaring off the iPhone screen. We walked slowly (and slightly wheezingly) along the dam wall and then down a path under an overhanging rock face: my mother insisted we walk single file and with a reasonable space between us, so that at least one of us would survive if the rock face fell on us.

Then we walked slowly back to the car, in the relative shade of which Nick and I flipped through our photos to see if any of them were in focus.

Then I completely forgot to blog about it until just now.

A Christmas Timeline

Posted 1 January 2012 in by Catriona

Christmas Eve:

Christmas Day:

Visiting the Archibald Prize exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse:

Chest infection:

Decking the Halls ... Garishly

Posted 20 December 2011 in by Catriona

A fortnight ago, on both Twitter and Facebook, I went completely Christmas mad, insisting on updating everyone every five minutes about my seemingly futile attempts to find napkins, Christmas crackers, and place mats that matched the fabulous purple Indian tablecloth and lime-green beaded coasters that my mother-in-law had bought me for my birthday.

Because these were a gift and because the Christmas dinner was for that side of the family (Nick’s immediate family), I wanted to make the tablecloth and coasters the basis of the dinner table, which necessitated (in my mind, at least), a purple and green colour scheme that was not, perhaps, in keeping with a traditional Christmas table.

But seemingly, purple and lime green were not popular Christmas colours this year. I scoured dozens of shops looking for matching crackers and napkins, getting increasingly frustrated. I was also attempting to find beer glasses that would take an entire bottle of beer, which was even more frustrating.

I worry quite often about being an unsatisfactory daughter-in-law, and Christmas dinner (since it’s the only Christmas dinner that Nick’s entire family attends) tips me right over into the kind of domestic insanity that leads to me vacuuming the living-room floor with that little brush you use to do the upholstery.

Luckily, since the advent of social networking, there’s an outlet for such things. So any and all of you who also follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend suffered update after update about my increasingly downward spiral into full-blown Christmas psychosis.

In the end, we won at Christmas, which is the main thing. But it seems to me you might like to have some reward for your patience. And if looking at pictures of a garishly decorated Christmas table counts as a reward, today is your lucky day!

(You might notice that I ended up panicking about the owl-themed silver crackers with purple and lime-green accents that I’d eventually settled on, and bought an additional set of purple and green crackers at Woolworths that very morning, when I was meant to be buying fresh fruit, wine, and flowers. So everyone got two crackers, and I spent an hour the next day picking up bits of cardboard from my living-room carpet. On the upside, the Woolworths crackers had the best paper hats ever.)

Sadly, hosting eight people for dinner in a six-room cottage with no dining room necessitates shoving the furniture anywhere it’ll go, so you can put two tables together right in the middle of the living room. Luckily, tinsel tends to smooth over any unorthodox seating arrangements.

Just to make everything even more Christmassy, I also insisted—much to Nick’s initial annoyance—in buying additional baubles and garlands, and sticking them to all the bookcases.

After all, who says GI Joe, Space Marines, and Decepticons don’t also want to celebrate Christmas?

(Actually, maybe not the Space Marines. The God Emperor probably doesn’t like Christmas. Then again, I don’t know his life.)

Just in case I don’t update again before the full madness of actual Christmas, Merry Christmas, lovely readers! See you all for the Doctor Who Christmas special!

Behold! The New Santa Paradigm!

Posted 10 December 2011 in by Catriona

When you’ve had a long year, you’re tired, and it’s almost Christmas, some things are inevitable.

I read once in an interview with Nancy Wake that she married her first husband because he was tall and could dance the tango, and when you tango with a tall, handsome man, some things are inevitable.

This is like that, except with tiny little Santa hats for Daleks:

The Daleks themselves seemed to find this situation more than a little bewildering:

Then, when your boyfriend says, “Those Daleks look like they’re going wassailing!”, inevitability kicks in once again:

Nick likes best the studious yellow Dalek, who’s approaching this whole wassailing process with the same seriousness with which he approaches xenophobic homicidal mania:

But I maintain my fondness for the bewildered ones:

(They’ll most likely exterminate me in the new year …)

The (Pumpkin) Doctor

Posted 30 October 2011 in by Catriona

Now, we thought Heather’s Eric Northman pumpkin was fantabulous—and he was.

But she’s really excelled herself this year:

(I only wish we’d taken a more lowlight picture.)

Traditional Jack O’Lantern be damned: next year, I’m lobbying for all eleven regenerations.

UPDATE:

A night-time picture of the Doctor pumpkin, courtesy of the fabulous Kirsty:

The Oncoming Storm

Posted 16 October 2011 in by Catriona

Moderately Obscure Nineteenth-Century Lit Joke

Posted 4 October 2011 in by Catriona

I make my own fun.

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: The Breathing Space

Posted 17 August 2011 in by Catriona

So, obviously, finding new life in the study carpet put a bit of a crimp in our plans to have everything back on the shelves and a lovely, sweet-smelling new work space by the end of the weekend.

And I was so looking forward to it: I love my little house, and try hard to make it both comfortable and attractive, and I’m so sick of spending all my days and half my nights in the ugliest, least comfortable room in the house.

I had grand plans. New curtains. A few pictures. A hot-pink plastic cuckoo clock. You know: the usual.

And then the mould. And the waiting for the real-estate agent to get a plumber out to us. Then the news that the whole shower has to be ripped out (goodbye, late ’50s fiberglass shell), but that we have to wait a week before we can have the carpet cleaned and get back into the study.

So now we live in a labyrinth of Victorian novels, video games, and manuscript notes. The spare room looks as though a bookshop exploded in it.

But in the interim, at least I’ve stripped the study back to the bare essentials, waiting until I can actually get the new curtains, the pictures, the cuckoo clock up on the walls and start filling the shelves again:

At least this much is certain: when I spring clean, I do it thoroughly.

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: The Prequel

Posted 16 August 2011 in by Catriona

So, as anyone who is also connected to me in any of numerous forms of social networking already knows, we embarked on a thorough spring cleaning of the house a fortnight ago.

Since we can only clean on the weekends, we’re only two rooms through the process. (Luckily, this is a tiny house.)

This past weekend was dedicated to the study, a room that, as you can see, radically needed a thorough spring cleaning:

(Note that I have chosen to present the photographs in black-and-white form, to make them look “arty” rather than “squalid”.)

And all was progressing just beautifully, despite various complaints from Nick, until we discovered, after moving a bookcase, that the shower had apparently been leaking directly through the wall for some time, creating new life in the fertile ground of an ancient rental-house carpet.

It was at roughly that point that the spring cleaning passed from “annual chore” to “epic adventure” …

Along The River At Sunset

Posted 23 June 2011 in by Catriona

Winter

Posted 1 June 2011 in by Catriona

I love you, Winter. Never leave.

Grading Assessment: A Survival Guide

Posted 29 May 2011 in by Catriona

First step: become a Time Lord.

Time Lords may not read instructions, but they have control over space and, more importantly, time. Even though you can’t travel back on your own timeline, I’m sure (given that, apparently, there’s a great big “except to impress girls” loophole in that particular rule) that they wouldn’t mind if we popped back into our own lives to eke out a bit more time for marking.

Of course, Time Lords don’t seem to spend much time marking assessment, except maybe at the Academy, and that doesn’t exist any more. So perhaps they wouldn’t be as sympathetic as you’d think.

So if that fails, move on to the second step: become a vampire.

Sure, they spend dawn to dusk dead in a box somewhere (unless they were fortunate enough to be written by Stephenie Meyer), but what’s to stop them spending the night marking?

(These two photos were taken twelve hours apart. Note that neither I nor my assessment had moved much in that time.)

Holiday Snaps Part Three: Seascape

Posted 27 April 2011 in by Catriona

Holiday Snaps Part Two: Belligerent Birdlife

Posted 26 April 2011 in by Catriona

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