Friday, August 31, 2007


Not for long.

I had a "Clayton's breakdown", the kind you have when you don't go all the way over the edge. My body was walking around but my mind was snivelling and hiding in a corner somewhere and didn't want to come out and play. It took a lot of bribery and hysteria pills to coax it into some order and out of the blubbering stage.

It was my fault for trying to meditate and lower the stress levels. It appears that tension is the only thing holding the cells together. I've forgotten how to meditate anyway. The only time my mind shuts up is never. One half tried very hard to be still and calm, the other half was like a yapping dog looking for its bone.

I think I'm okay now but I did pass the chocolate aisle yesterday and didn't want any. That's a worry. I've also stopped perving on guys in tight jeans, although that could be age not depression and a dearth of decent perves.

It's scary that I went this way when I haven't had an episode for years. I've been so happy ever since the Blight left that I haven't had time for meltdowns. Fortunately I'm always prepared and have a drawer full of chemical assistance to get me through the night, day, week, month, however long it takes.

It wasn't trying to clean up the desk either, the papers are still hovering. I have finished a meme and knitted a scarf (badly). Sense of humour didn't dessert (desert, spelling might have) me. I laughed at a small child who dropped his ice-cream and stood in it at Westfield yesterday.

I believe we're having Spring already. The north wind can piss off for a start. Influenza A is bringing down oldies, Equine Flu is raging through horses and Howard the Wart is still at Kirribilli. George the Looney is looking to notch Iran on his gunhandle before he goes out in a blaze of glory.

Dearie me, the mind is starting to edge towards its hideout again, better go bribe it with food.

Friday, August 24, 2007


The luscious apple green Peridot is the gemstone for August. It's found near volcanoes and Hawaiian legends called this gemstone the tears of the Goddess Pele.

This is the stone that helps heal and drives evil spirits away. So Happy Birthday little August person, who know who you are.

Believe me, this is as good as the blogging gets until I recover from four straight days with Mumzilla.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I measured the desk. It's 80cm by 131 cm or 31 inches by 51 and a half inches for those who refused to change brain function to metric. I'm not maths minded so I can't work out the entire surface to be explored.

I told you it was big. The highest pile of paper is 21 cm. I'm too scared to look at the date of the bottom paper.

Yesterday was Mummy day and I was almost killed.

What stupid male thought he could pile long steel pipes into the back of a station wagon, tie them up with a rag and not think one or all of them would fall out when he hit a bump?
Fortunately the pipe went under the following car not through the windscreen but turned direction and headed for me, large target. I hadn't even stepped off the footpath at this stage. I'd like to say my life flashed before my eyes but I don't have one. Cute guy got out of his car and picked up the pipe with one hand, I'd have needed a forklift truck.

Today was Mummy day again and paying the house insurance day and looking at the desk piled high with papers day.

Tomorrow, I will start the expedition into the unknown. The known is a dead spider because I sprayed the rocks last night. I haven't seen "Arachnophobia" eight times for nothing.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


More than 40 scientists have lodged research proposals for the first round of synchrotron use which begins next month. These applications are higher than expected and at least 30 of the proposals will go ahead with some being directed to overseas synchrotrons.

One of those experiments will be seeing how algae performs under starvation conditions and I thought to myself that this would be a good time to tell you about acoustic levitation which is how the scientists handle microscopic living cells using synchrotron light. My notes are on the desk behind me, yes, right, okay, I'm in trouble now.

I am talking about a very large desk, a very old large desk which I bought in a sale of very old office furniture for $25. It's so big that the twice it's been moved, it had to go out through the window and in the other window. I might add it's never being moved again.

So, my notes are on/in/over/around about that desk. If the thing was a black hole, the event horizon of paper is expanding. The tower of wood pulp has reached critical mass. Why haven't I noticed this every time I come in the door? I'm going to have to sort, catalogue and chuck papers for the next week before I even see the surface. I will be alert and not a little alarmed at what or who I find hiding under there but I will have those levitation notes for you soon. Don't go away, I'll be baaaack!

Damn, I just noticed the layer on dust on the book shelf and there's a spider web over my rock collection. Have a holiday, this could take longer than I thought.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Sorry to anyone out there who thinks I'm ignoring them on Facebook.

I've de-activated my account on account of I don't know if I want an account.

Even when de-activating an account they want you to answer a list of questions about why you're doing it.

Because you're a bunch of bloody stickybeaks, that's why.

Friday, August 17, 2007


These platforms for feet are designed by Giambattista Valli. His instruments of torture are favoured by the flesh-challanged Beckham lollypop. Since anybody breathing on her would knock her over I suppose they serve a purpose as anchors.
According to Hello Magazine, heels of 125mm are becoming the norm for any celebrities who can't be out of fashion even for these monstrosities. According to Hello, "Women love these killer heels because they lengthen your legs, make you look slimmer and add a flirtatious vulnerability as the wearer teeters about on the red carpet."

Now I love shoes, evening shoes, walking shoes, beautifully designed boots (haven't seen a decent pair lately) and my one desire as a teen was to own a pair of beaded Roger Vivier satin evening shoes. But these are not only ugly but downright dangerous. I did own a pair of high heeled platforms the last time they were 'in'. They had the most comfortable soft gold leather cross over front straps and I topped 6 foot in them. I felt wonderful as long as I stood still. I could still walk slowly and elegantly on a flat surface but walking down Collins Street after a night at the theatre and I was comedy in action. The soles don't bend so walking downhill is impossible unless you grab a bloke or stagger from parking meter to parking meter like a drunken sailor on shore leave. The useless ex had parked the car miles from the theatre as he thought it would be nice to walk through the city on a summer's evening. He was wearing flat shoes wasn't he.


A meteorite smashed into a valley in central Italy in AD 312 and a Swedish geology team thinks it might have benefited the Christian church. To the Romans, the meteorite would have looked like a bright flaming object in the sky, even in the daytime and would have struck Earth with the force of a small one-kiloton nuclear bomb and may have even looked like a small nuclear blast with mushroom cloud and shock-waves.

The geologists think the formation of the crater coincided with a celestial vision which church history recorded as having converted the future Roman emperor Constantine to Christianity. Old records say that Constantine was praying when he saw a cross of light in the heavens, above the Sun, inscribed with "conquer by this". This event was witnessed by him and his army just before a decisive battle in the civil war with Maxentius for control of the Roman Empire. Constantine took this as a sign of divine help from the Christian God. He later stopped the persecution of Christians and officially approved their religion.

The geologists were exploring a small crater lake in the Sirente Plain and determined that the round depression had been created about 1700 years earlier. The geologists found the main crater surrounded by numerous small secondary craters gouged out by debris ejected when the rock smashed into the ground. Magnetic anomalies detected around the secondary craters were probably magnetic gragments from the meteorite.
The Sirente crater field consists of about 30 depressions with a main rimmed 120 m-diameter crater. Seismic data from the main crater support the meterorite impact interpretation but there have been other hypotheses.

A close field inspection found that metallic fragments could be sampled in great quantities (photo above) and the sampled iron splinters looked like exploded ordnance. The main crater has been dated but there is still debate about whether some of the smaller craters were the result of WW11 bombing. The ground around the Sirente area is soft and muddy and exploded and unexploded ordnance would penetrate to some distance and show up as magnetic anomalies. This complicates any attempt to retrieve meteorite fragments as digging or drilling anywhere near unexploded bombs would have only one result.
Further magnetic surveys will have to differentiate between these man-made anomalies and rocks from space before a conclusive decision on this crater field is made.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I hate people who are rude especially in small petty unnecessary ways. Shoving a little old lady aside to grab a taxi when the grabber is able bodied enough to wait another 5 minutes.

Ipods loud enough to deafen everyone on the train or bus is a bitch unless they're drowning out mobile phone yappers.

Idiots who tell me to have a nice day when I've just paid their over-inflated prices. Another revolting import from America and its constant repetition is becoming nauseous.

Militant vegans and carnivores. We have enough wars in the world without another one. They go in the same sin bin as religious zealots wanting to save my soul with their particular brand of twaddle.
I don't have any firm beliefs and I don't want any. Today I believe in reincarnation, tomorrow I may not. Today I'm having Tofu, tomorrow I might have KFC. Whatever, it won't save me for Heaven or from Hell.

People who crowd me are going to get it. Twerps, I know I'm big but there's still room on the footpath to pass me without stepping out onto the road.

They haven't annoyed me this week but since fanatical house cleaners have been annoying me for years, I might as well have a go.
A sparkling house is all very sweet to the eyes and to the nose and if I had a house elf, mine would be too.
It annoys me when I spend time cleaning and polishing and the house is so ungrateful as to not stay that way for more than two days.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


One of the best things about tidying up the bookshelf is finding bits of paper where I've copied down some item that must have meant something to me at the time. I mean I know exactly what I was thinking when I wrote down the recipe for Hemlock cocktail.

This was an excerpt from an article "In Praise of True Poise" by Jeannie Larmouth, Victoria Magazine - May 1994.

"Poise is manners and movement with a light tossing of charm, the ability to stand silently and to speak with softness. Poise is a grace of posture, a smoothness and flow. Poise hints at aloofness, at a cool yet gracious distance. Poise can be taught, it depends to such a degree on movement. Poise requires much of the actress making her entrance or the ballerina becoming half-music as she twirls en pointe.

Poise disdains all awkwardness, mental and physical, and composure becomes second nature. True poise is not a surface but a suppleness and resiliency of mind and body. To be able to create an impression of tranquility and in a crowd, a sudden quiet. Manners can be displayed then forgotten, poise is an inner discipline."

Jeez, crikey mate, if that don't sum the old witch up right nicely and why did I keep thinking of Steph as I read it?


"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart."

Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996

Saturday, August 11, 2007


The gemstone for Saturday is Amethyst. This durable variety of quartz, which ranges in colour from palest lilac, to violet to the deepest purple, has always been linked to the thinking process, ensuring clarity of vision. It inspires creativity, courage and valour. The gems below are a combination of amethyst and citrine. Exposing them to extreme heat would alter the stone completely to citrine.
Amethyst was comparatively rare until the vast deposits of Brazil started to be mined. The amethyst geode below is prized by New Age crystal healers.

The one of a kind jewellery pieces below were designed by Gregory Pyra.

This is gold worked by hand. It has a faceted amethyst and an opal set on a piece of amethyst geode and hung from a string of pearls.

This is also gold worked by hand as against being cast in a mould. It has an oval faceted amethyst with a baroque faceted ametrine (amethyst/citrine combination).
I always did like Saturdays.

Friday, August 10, 2007



Thursday, August 09, 2007


I snapped the fancy can opener shut with my finger in it and couldn't get it open with one hand.

My sister gave me a block of chocolate and said, "Enjoy!"

You should see me getting that open with one hand.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I have had to go back through my 2004 diary looking for some information about my computer so I thought I might as well start at the beginning of the year.

So now it's official, my mother has been emotionally blackmailing me for three years.

There's a lesson in this, don't go back and read old diaries.

You see the old girl nearly checked out in November 03. I mean who comes back from Pneumonia and pancreatitis when you're given no chance at all.

So she was still riding the sympathy train in January 04 and it appears that I should have jumped out of the carriage then instead of riding it to the 2007 station.

She told me today that she wants to be alive to see JHo lose the next election.

Please Lord for the sake of any future life I might have, shove the Liberal party off a cliff, and make it soon.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


.......would I ever contemplate getting married again. I love this, very Grace Kelly and so elegant.
A Dress A Day blogspot and I share the same horror of brides who marry in the middle of winter in spaghetti strap or strapless gowns and we both can see this in velvet.

I can not only see this in deep burgundy velvet and matching guipure lace (I happen to have a metre of such) but I can see it on me. The waist is a bit of a problem, I don't have one but I'm sure I could fake it. I've certainly got the hair and that high neckline would cover up a few saggy bits. It's also long enough to cover the grannyboots and footy socks. I can take sophistication only so far over comfort.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Always count on the aristocrazy to send the right birthday card.

Thank you Lord Sedgwick for the portrait of St. Tena, Protector of the demented and the incontinent.

My life in sanity.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


It's definitely that day again when everyone can tell John Howard and Phillip Ruddock to shove their outdated views on same-sex love and marriage. It's the anniversary of the day that an elected government (not by me) told gays and lesbians that their love was worthless in this country. By all means pay your taxes and contribute to Australia's economy but don't expect to be treated with anything but derision when you ask for the same entitlements as a heterosexual couple.
It looks as though I won't make it again this year but hopefully the weather will be as sunny as it was last year. But the Heavens will be putting on a display for the side because on the night of the 12th August, the Perseid meteors shower will be on show in the dark sky of a New Moon.

The sky will be full of meteor streaks which will appear to be shooting out of the constellation Perseus in the northern hemisphere. Earth's orbit takes us through the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle which orbits the Sun every 135 years. The last time it was in the inner solar system was 1992.
In the Middle Ages, the Perseids were known in England as the "tears of St. Lawrence" after the third-century archdeacon of Rome. Meteors streaked through the sky on 10 August 258, the day of his execution by order of the emperor Valerian, and reappeared every year around St. Lawrence's feast day.
In the 1860s, Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli figured out that the path of the Perseids followed that of comet Swift-Tuttle, making him the first to connect meteors with comets.
You can find more here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


You can't have too many photos of our lovely synchrotron which opened on my birthday, now that's what I call a present.

It's taken 6 years and $220 million to build next door to Monash University in Clayton. Five beamlines are operational with four more coming online next year. Eventually there will be 20 beam lines running by 2017 and each beam line costs approximately $5 million.

Is it worth the money? A big resounding YES. Even with air travel, Australian is still a long way from the world's largest synchrotrons and scientists have to waste valuable time to get to them. Time on the machines' beam lines have to be booked months or a year in advance, add costs of travel, accommodation and wear and tear on the scientists themselves and it's worth every cent.

Australia has some of the best scientists in the world and this is going to make them better.