Posts Tagged ‘lego’

So much so that I have declared this week to be a week of rest and low drama. Need some recuperation time before I burn out emotionally.

This is a really long post (1400 words), but it doesn’t cover two very long weeks. So go and grab a cup of tea/coffee/other beverage of choice, and settle in. Also, no photos this week, I’ve not had time to upload them from the camera, let alone edit and put online.


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Yesterday I drafted a long post about the major lesson from last week, and how it relates to the 6 months prior to this. It’s really deep and revealing and emotional, but after the last 24 hours (go, go gadget crisis divorce negotiation as it applies to the meaning of life – I want that on my CV!) I’m all out of ability to plumb emotional depths.

The Plough, St Johns

This is where we had dinner on our one night off, Tuesday. There’s an Australian bar tender there. Surprise! Well, she was when she found out I was from Newtown. She’s from Wollongong.

So last week:
Was the week of parenting.
We had L with us every night except Tuesday, and all of the weekend. Exhausting! There were a couple of melt-downs from everyone, including me. At one stage I found L curled, hiding, up IN THE BOOKCASE, because her lego wasn’t working. We survived, no-one died, in fact we’re all a bit stronger for it, although rather tired and wanting to never, ever, do that again. (Same as we will never, ever go to McDonald’s for breakfast, despite the secret hopes of a 10yr old girl).

Was the week of Australian friends.
I saw Bec-Juliana, Sharon-Aeron and Mikki and Justin on Saturday. To say goodbye to Mikki and Justin before they move to NZ (sneef!), to have a much needed vent and rant with Bec about life and work and cultural clashes (and visit Kew Gardens for the 3rd time ever, I need a membership), and to pick Sharon up from the airport for her week in England. I’m seeing her for dinner again tonight.

Was the week of flash games.
Jed and I escaped the child crazy in various flash games. I’m posting this from work, so I’ll chuck a list of URLs in the comments if anyone else wants to try them out. Beware, they are all time sucks. Except the duck game. That was fun.

Was the week of cleaning.
One of my reactions to the week of parenting was to clean. Lots. It was probably also a delayed reaction to the flat-mate drama last week. Our bedroom is now cleaned and decluttered, half the kitchen got a good scrub-down and we started packing for the move.

Was the week of money stress.
We need a better plan/system. We’re working on it. Nuff said.

(I’ll post the long emotional post later under a different heading. Which is actually a better idea, it fits the “On Flying” theme rather than a weekly update)

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A text message exchange:

J: Breaking news: There’s been an emergency at the cafe/hotel! Space police are on their way…

K: Does this emergency involve a giant arachnid?

J: You’ll see… 🙂

Jed’s at home today, recovering from the cold we’ve both had. Apparently he’s decided to do something very amusing to my Cafe Corner model, probably using the spider lego set he received in the post yesterday, and his Space Police sets he bought at the same time I got the Cafe Corner.

Despite the toughness of hothousing a relationship in a new country, this is why I know it will work. A very similar light-hearted approach to fun and joy. We make up songs as we walk down the street, we adopted a toy rabbit from IKEA (Photos of Mr. Bunny and his strange desires here. Mostly those desires are “pudding”), we have pillow fights in IKEA, we admire ladybeetles and paint Christmas trees and wear silly gnome hats. We smile and giggle alot. The best part is that there’s no embarrassment, we’re just being ourselves, together.

This is not the only reason, but it’s certainly a good one.


Edit: This was emergency:
Attack of the space spider

If you click on the photo it will take you to the Flickr page which has notes all over the image telling the story of the incident.

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not yet opened

After purchasing the Cafe Corner last month, (all photos of the model as now here) and getting out the lego that was shipped over with all my belongings, I’ve re-discovered the fun of lego model building. And discovered that I’m not the only one. There’s, not-surprisingly, entire communities out there, commonly called Adult Fans of Lego (AFOL).

I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks browsing various blogs and flickr sets looking at what other people have built based on the specifications for lego buildings inspired by this particular set and getting ideas (and I accidentally found this post via a completely different blog, it amused me lots, I feel like I’m making a similar confession). I’ve also realised that I’ve previously had a much more expensive, equally creative and yet bizarre hobby, aka the SCA, so if I choose to spend money on lego there’s no real problem. Oh, and there’s a pick-and-mix option on the lego.co.uk site, and a lego designer software which allows you to design a model, price it and then request a custom shipment. My first one should arrive this week. On the wishlist for birthday and Christmas are the Greengrocer and Fire Station sets.

By Tuesday I’d worked out that I had enough pieces from medical related lego sets I received as a child to build a quite decent medical clinic based on these specs. So, most of my spare time this week has been spent doing that. It’s gone through about 3 re-builds so far, as I’ve played with decoration, placement of the stair case and internal walls. The delivery this week will get me a black tiled roof, and enough pieces to hopefully finish it off. Well, except for a basement and a small access ramp I want to build…

Wednesday Jed and I went on the first of what might become regular weeknight a’ventures. We decided on dinner in London, specifically chinese dumplings and a colleague recommended a place in the Chinatown that made their dumplings in house. It was fantastic! Exactly what we were after, to the extent I declared it was nice to have “real food” at the end of the meal. Very reminscient of beloved dumpling places in Ashfield, and sitting on metal stools around communal tables in Thailand. We had two plates of pork and bamboo shoot dumpings, steamed and fried, a small place of soy chicken, and a small plate of bok choy. With rice and bubble tea/iced pineapple drink. All for £30. Heaven!

It was a wonderfully warm evening, and the sun was still up So we then wandered around China town. I introduced Jed to durian, as the smell of it was deliciously wafting across the courtyard. We bought two fortune cookies for dessert. Mine read “your dreams will soon come true”, I’m hoping it refers to a meaningful job. We ran around inside a Korean sweet shop, and came home with random boxes of chocolate biscuit-y things, and some black sesame glutinous rice balls. Nom!

Friday was games night with friends. Introduced them to Settlers of Catan which we recently acquired. Jed bases his strategy on observations of Mat(my former flatmate)’s tactics and we’ve decided that the development card deck is now called the “Mat wins” deck. It amuses us. Unfortunately the robber piece has also been renamed “the gimp”, which seems to amuse everyone except me.

Saturday I went to a friend’s birthday party in nearby Wallington, in which I got off the bus waaaay too early and had a nice walk from one town (Purley) to the next past gardens and fields. This map should give you an idea. I got off the bus halfway up Foxley Lane/A2022. I walked to Wallington, the next town NW of there) Only two blisters to show for it. On the other hand, my friend, the lovely Dee, lives so close that we can plan regular tea or beer catch ups, I just have to get off the train 3 stops earlier. This is really cool, as it was the one thing that was really missing. Regular chats with someone who’s not Jed.

Sunday we went Blackberrying up on the Common, picking a small ice cream container’s worth to make into a dessert later this week. It was warm and sunny, perfect for picking blackberries which were warm and juicy, although probably at their best in another week or two. Also perfect for getting the requisite blackberry scratches and unobservantly standing right next to a tall stinging nettle plant and getting stung on the back of an elbow. Which I did. All of which brought back many childhood memories. Including that nettles stings are nowhere near as bad as bull ant bites, or as icky as leeches, so I could just deal with it (all three of which occurred to me on one regular family camping trip up the back of the Hawkesbury).

A really nice weekend all up.

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An odd week. I spent Monday at home on the couch, sick, tired, worn out and typing out a job application for Department of Energy and Climate Change. Which I sent off in time, and then subsequently checked 2 days later and it’s rather unpolished. I’ll be amazed if I get an interview, on the other hand they are hiring for lots of positions, so perhaps they‘ll overlook the lack of polish and decide I’ve got the experience they’re after. Crossed fingers.

Spent most of the rest of the week worn out, tired, listless, and playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. Not sure why, as I don’t really like the lack of structure in the game, maybe simply because it’s there and it’s a game you can leave running with no end point so it sucks you in. Maybe. Although, reading back over emails it was also a week of small adjustments between Jed and I resulting in an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Friday night was a rather boozy dinner at our friend Tom’s house, in a part of the local area I’d not been to before. Gorgeous house and garden, lovely food, and fun conversation. Tom is a DJ, of sorts, so we all had fun for a while mixing up songs on his kit.

Saturday was spent with a hangover (horrid one- me, mild one – Jed) while we wandered around IKEA buying bookshelves and a bed base. As well as mucking around on the gas lift bar stools, crashing out on one of the beds, having a pillow fight and dancing to our own beat-box music next to one of the displays. To quote Jed: “Can I marry you? We just went through IKEA and didn’t have a fight, I didn’t have to take a coffee break mid-way through, and we had a pillow fight”. We then wandered around East Croydon shops, I had a bra fitting as I’ve no idea what my size is here. This turned into a 1.5 epic as there was a line for fitting, a chatty shop assistant, then I had to find a couple that I liked, and then line up to pay. This was supposed to be a quick nip in to get a bra on sale. Sigh. Finally we had a lovely very late lunch at an Italian restaurant while it rained lightly outside, then caught the train home with our purchases, riffing about Donkey Banks on the way home (I forget how it started, but we were in fits of giggles at the silliness).

Sunday I made ricotta and berries on toasted brioche for our breakfast (thank you much missed Satellite café for the inspiration). I can highly recommend keeping a bottle of Monin sugar syrup in the cupboard for such breakfasts, it tied the whole dish together.

After breakfast we canvassed the options for the day:
Quiet day around the house, then head to a friend’s place around 2 for a beer, then walk to Reigate
Got to Crawley to get some things Jed found the previous day while I was bra shopping, but could n’t be bothered waiting in the really long queue for
Or, eventually after we’d agreed on option 1:
Go to Brighton and buy a Lego set each.

Not surprisingly we chose option 3. It was a really lovely day, we have friends in Brighton, it’s about 40mins away on a direct train, and well, Lego! I am now the proud owner of this set, which I’ve had my eye on since last July, and I spent most of yesterday evening working on it. I’ve completed the first two storeys. Will do the final one this evening. It’s perfect for display on a bookshelf (which we purchased on Saturday) and has a flat side to be a stylish bookend. Or certain girls who stay over could play with it. It is Lego after all. Jed got 3 Space Police sets, so now has a couple of bug-eyed monsters, a robot dog and a space policeman, which amused him greatly. He resisted the Millennium Falcon model, although I’m sure that will be purchased in the future. Photos of the model will be up in the next week, for gloating purposes J

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I get some interesting things come across my desk at work. Like Lego’s Sustainability report. Which has real lego pieces as part of the cover.

On page 3 of the report is a picture of a recycling truck. So, what would be more natural than a recycling project officer and her friend, the waste education officer, ordering such an object from a reputable Lego dealer, having it delivered to work and then assembling during a lunch hour?

Yes, we thought it was a very important work-related exercise as well.

We had so much fun putting them together, like being 10 years old on Christmas day again:
“Where’s teh white piece!”
“Oooh! a broom!”
“I forgot the funny grey rotatey bit!”
“Don’t go too fast, I’m not on that page yet”

Finally it was completed:

Recycling brilliance

And now lives on the shelf above my monitor:

At home in the office

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