Random thoughts while my marriage disintegrates

Why am I compelled to feed homeless people? I spent more on a meal for a beggar tonight than what we, as a family ate for dinner. What guilt am I assuaging?

My husband and I had a good day today. We spoke as friends, laughed at funny stuff and he thanked me for sharing his life for thirty years; I hope it stays like this.

I hope my daughter’s new boyfriend treats her with respect and takes things slowly.

I wish my son would stop smoking weed to get over the pain in his crook shoulder and the frustration he feels about it. Looking forward to the surgery which will hopefully fix it. Am I the only parent that says “Thankyou Pokemon Go!”? At least it gets him out of the house and walking kilometres with his friends 🙂

The house is looking good and is nearly ready to be put on the market- anybody interested?!

Looking forward to the next chapter in my life…

Best wishes everyone x


The exhaustion of grief

I would love to say that since my last post, my life has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, that I am blossoming as a strong, single woman and that all is good and rosy in Jennland.

Unfortunately, none of this is true and I have come to the conclusion that saying goodbye to a relationship of 30 years is just too damn sad.

That is not to say that I don’t look forward to my single future with a degree of excitement, I am just saying that the grief I am feeling has sucked the life out of me for the moment.

I look for inspiration from people I know who have survived and thrived following separation and divorce, but I also know that they have been through the toughest of times and have emerged out the other end. I am still in the tunnel and really, nothing is getting any easier, except perhaps my husband’s acceptance of the situation. I have found little joy lately in anything much, except good chats with my son and long walks on the beach with the dog and my daughter.

I was missing the things that helped me through the bad stuff. My younger brother is busy building a new career and looking after a wife and baby and although he is always receptive to a chat, I don’t feel it is right to burden him with my misery. My dear Mum is a ‘phone call away and I do feel better after talking with her, but is it fair to impose my own turmoil on an 86 year old? I think not. My big brother has his own stuff to deal with at the moment and he doesn’t need me to offload my stuff onto him as well.

I do count myself fortunate though, my dear husband has no family within cooee and he is suffering. Luckily, he is receiving support from some very dear friends and I am very grateful that they are there for him.

I had packed my sewing stuff away, thinking that moving would be sooner rather than later, but I was premature as the list of things that need doing to the house grows… so I went and unpacked my Pfaff and did a bit of stress-relief sewing. It felt good, even though it isn’t much to crow about

The Easter sewing for the Uthando Project resulted in these (mine is the one with the nearly invisible nose- that needs work!), she also has a baby hidden behind her back.dsc_05882.jpg.jpegInspired by this foray into doll-making I made this little one, she came printed on a square yard of fabric from Spoonflower. An easy make, she is still unfinished, but I was taken by her cuteness and call her “Delphy” short for Delphinium… I think she may go to my little niece when she is older  20160426_174440.jpg

Finally, my Mum gave me a lovely soft wool jumper last year. It had a couple of moth holes in it when I brought it out recently and the high crew neck made me feel as if I was choking. Now black is one of my least favourite colours, but the quality of the jumper meant it wasn’t going anywhere yet…so I made it into a cardigan 🙂 I added a trim down the front edges and a pleated collar in the same fabric (left over from my son’s shorts made previously). As I am troubled by gaping in garments with button fronts, I chose instead to secure this one with a simple red grossgrain ribbon tie. I like it 🙂


The happiness is always clouded by the other stuff that is happening in my life right now, but I know that the next few months will bring resolution and the opportunity for a start on the next phase of my life.

As I said in a previous post, watch this space 😉


heartache and a sewing hiatus ahead :(

So, I hinted that I may not be sewing or posting much in the near future.

This Easter, I am heading a group sewing dolls for the Uthando Project (uthandoproject.org/about-us/), we will be making 10 dolls and the possibilities are endless, the project is really worthwhile and the idea of making a difference to a child’s life is appealing to me. 

After Easter, my sewing room is being dismantled and machines packed away, the room is being returned to it’s first use as a laundry. This is to make our house more attractive to buyers (the real estate agent says no-one wants a semi-detached laundry and no-one will believe my sewing room is actually a functional laundry either- bler). Over the next few weeks (or months if I can tolerate it), my partner and I will be decluttering and doing a bit of cosmetic work on the house to ready it for sale. Apart from getting rid of a whole lot of stuff, there isn’t an awful lot to do; a bit of painting, tidying the garden and replacing a section of perimeter fencing and we’re done.

What does the future hold? I am not sure, but I am looking forward to it.

It seems I am in a significant minority of women who are saying goodbye to partnerships of decades and going on to a future by themselves. I am not afraid, it is a mutual choice, but I am the one who has taken over the driving so-to-speak. There has been a lot of heartache, so please don’t think this is a step that has been taken on a whim, my husband is finding it very hard and is pessimistic about his future, but I hope he can eventually embrace the change and see it as an opportunity for positive things to happen.

Our children (17 and 22 years) are doing okay-ish (as am I), they see it as a positive step and are willing to embrace the future, but they worry about their father (as do I), they know that we love them and that they are always welcome to have a home with me (my daughter is coming with me, my son is looking at living independantly).

Being free to do as I wish, when I wish is looking very appealing; I have lived alone as a younger person and just loved it, my needs are few and I have enjoyed the challenge of living frugally at times in my past. I would like to buy another place, but realise that renting may have to be a stop-gap measure, rather than panic-buying and living with the regret.

I may get the opportunity to post at odd intervals, just to let you all know what is happening, but wish me luck and watch this space 🙂

Now all I need is a party!

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently bought a 1960’s Hostess Gown from a lovely vintage shop in Dunsborough, if you are ever down that way “do yourself a favour” and check it out (Oroton mesh bags, skirt suits a la Jackie Onassis etc etc, it’s a treasure trove!).

Anyway, this lovely dress caught my eye, the fabric colours are my two favourites. I don’t know the maker Noble Frocks of Sydney (last mention I found online was 1969), but I think they must have been a high-end manufacturer. The dress was very well made, with pattern-matching and tailoring techniques- it made unpicking the whole thing quite a chore, but oh, so worth it 🙂

dsc_0533.jpg  I didn’t even bother trying the dress on in the shop as it was very tiny around the waist (and those days are a distant memory for me) and the bust sat so high, I don’t think I was ever that pert!!!

The first step was to harvest some fabric from the lower hem, I took about 20cm as the dress was very long and I am not particularly tall. I added 5cm to both sides of each shoulder to drop the bust points to where I am and also to keep the balance at the back. Then I added another 5cm to both sides of the dress. Unfortunately the pattern matching had to go as what I had available just couldn’t be wangled that way. No matter though, the pattern is pretty busy and the areas I added the fabric are not glaringly obvious.

The sleeves were left open at the bottom edge. The fabric is synthetic and I wanted to have as much air flow around sweaty bits as possible. I had enough fabric left to close the sleeves with a seam, but decided against it, I may well change my mind in the future, but I am happy with the decision at the moment.

I finished the bottom with a finger-rolled narrow hem, to be honest, it’s a bit of a dogs breakfast, that chiffon just moves around so much when trying to cut accurately, methinks I will need to investigate Tear-Away… anyway, the hem is far enough away for it not to be an issue (really?).

Now all I need is a party to “hostess” !

I wonder if the original owner would recognise her dress now? It has gone from a long, elegant gown for a slim and pert 1960’s woman, to a shorter and slightly less elegant one for a slightly plump middle-aged woman.20160229_195433.jpg   20160229_194830.jpg

It is funny though, I am gradually coming around to liking this stage of my body’s evolution; it is a strong and capable one that has borne children and worked hard.  it is pretty fit and getting even fitter as I write; it is good 🙂


UPDATE: This may well be my last post for a while. Personal stuff is pretty overwhelming at the moment and I haven’t much energy for sewing or commentary; hopefully things will settle over the next few months and I can get back into this…



Cycling and time away

I am visiting my Mother atm and her computer is playing up, so I have emailed the local service centre to try and sort things out for her. Unfortunately, WordPress looks a bit strange on her Mac, so I will try to post, but may not succeed.

It has been a month since I last posted anything and a lot has happened since then, so “Happy Belated New Year” to you all.

It has been a difficult start to what may well end up being a difficult year for me and my husband; I won’t elaborate for now.

Other stuff has been okay, my son did well in his Uni results and has re-enrolled for his last undergraduate year (it’s been a rough ride that one!!!) and my daughter is awaiting Uni offers after successfully completing Year 12 and achieving the required score for her chosen uni and course (Update- she has received her first round offer and is now enrolled-yay!).

My husband completed 2015 by being retrenched (after 20 years and an award for top sales in Australia in 2010…Merry Christmas Parkland Aviva :P), but he is now on a 3 month probation with another company which he is enjoying. After 15 years of racist, misogynist jokes and 1950’s management practises in the last company, I think he deserves a bit of respect and a nicer work environment, so good luck to him I say!

My work promises exciting things this year with our new Head, he has a passion for the research and a fresh approach to engage our stakeholders, watch this space…

Meanwhile, the minimal parking that was available at work, has disappeared entirely and I have been cycling for about 6 weeks now. I have made a new bike seat cover, dsc_0518.jpgI am in the middle of making a new, single pannier and I have also made a “pretty” backpack for the ride to and from dsc_0515.jpg

I also had to comb through my sportswear to find appropriate clothing to wear; it is a half hour ride to work and the weather is very hot (we’re talking mid- high 30’s Celsius most days). Most of the active wear I have is in the form of shorts dsc_0509.jpg (the polka dot pair) and tanks and while the shorts are good, the tanks allow for a very burnt experience when the sun is high; tops with sleeves were required.

I looked around as I wanted a very simple pattern to quickly run-up a couple of sleeved tops without too many construction issues, the Kirsten tee from Mariadenmark looked pretty good, so I downloaded it and gave it a try. Let me say, I LURVE this pattern!

I ventured into the realm of synthetics for this, mainly because the selection of knits at Spotlight was a bit boring tbh. As a 60’s child brought up with Danish Deluxe furniture, Scandinavian prints and Figgio china I love the Scandinavian designs and found this lovely print by ……. in (shock, horror) 100% polyester, (I know, I know, I said I would never go there, but Melissa Fehr advises against cotton for activewear). dsc_0520.jpg dsc_0522.jpg dsc_0523.jpg dsc_0524.jpg I did my favourite lettuce hem and have enough fabric left over to make a pair of real cycling shorts 🙂

The fabric misbehaved horribly while I was sewing it up, sliding all over the place, dropping fluff and laddering dsc_0525.jpgbadly in random places. As this is my first experience sewing polyester knit, can any of you enlighten me as to what I did wrong as far as the laddering went??? I was disappointed with this aspect of the fabric as the print is so nice, it really detracts to me (although it is probably not noticeable to most due to the busyness of the print).

I did a 1 1/2 hour ride around Busselton this morning, the weather was pretty gentle (low 20s today), the top was hot, but there was good airflow through it, so I was okay about it. I can’t imagine making too much in polyester, I am too much of a natural fibre gal, but it was good to experiment and say I’ve done it.

I have since booked Mum’s bike in for a service as I came off onto the Bussell Highway after finding out the back brakes actually don’t work, swerving to avoid a car I came a cropper and have the bruises to prove it!! My daughter says I bruise like a peach dsc_0539.jpg ergh!

The computer is also booked in for a troubleshooting session.

The other day Clare and I went down to Margaret River and then across to Dunsborough, it was a lovely day and was finished in a vintage shop where I picked up this gorgeous 1960s maxi dress.

dsc_0533.jpg dsc_0535.jpg dsc_0536.jpg I feel as if I will be wearing a Van Gogh painting. The colours are my favourite, but shock horror. it is polyester…again!!! I know, I am having to swallow my natural fibre pride and acknowledge that  polyester holds onto colour beautifully. It doesn’t fit me atm (it’s a size SSW- ha remember that sizing system?), I intend chopping off around 45cm from the bottom and inserting some of it into the side seams to enlarge the dress.

Tomorrow Clare and I are driving the 2 1/2 hours home, we will be taking it easy and hopefully going via the South West Highway, but that depends upon whether or not the road is open after the bushfires from 2 weeks ago, it will be a sobering experience seeing the devastation for ourselves.

I’m not really looking forward to getting home seeing it’s been inhabited by 2 slovenly men with questionable ideas of hygiene and tidiness; don’t fancy having to clean the place as soon as I get home 😦

Wish me luck that it’s not too bad!!!