Disconcerting Light Bulb Moment


Sewing away, if not merrily, at least busily, last night, I got a bit of a surprise. Before I explain, I ought to set the scene.

It has been a hot summer in Melbourne. As in I’m looking at the weather forecast and seeing a night coming up where the minimum temperature is forecast to be 30 degrees. That’s 86 degrees in the old speak, or American speak. It’s hot whichever way you look at it. My sewing space is a bunker – technically known as a store room – under the house. It has no windows, a door that doesn’t go all the way up and a low ceiling. It also catches the full heat of the north sun during summer, meaning that it is unbearably hot to be in there during the day. A mad rush finishing effort in the lead up to Christmas, spending 5 hours at the machines in 40+ degree heat confirmed that I need to sort out some other arrangements for hot weather. In the mean time, I try to restrict my time in the bunker to night times, and I only go down there for overlocking. It’s not ideal, but it does the job.

Except that my overlocker has also developed an issue. A while back, the light stopped working. It would flicker on and off for a while, but eventually it just went off and stayed off. I didn’t bother with replacing the globe, just adjusted a work lamp that I use anyway, and continued to sew. It wasn’t quite the same, but it did the job and didn’t need me to get out the screwdrivers to access the innards of the machine.

Last night I was overlocking the bottom edge of a very full skirt. I had layers of fabric flowing out the back of the machine, layers of fabric still waiting to be fed through, and I thought I felt a gentle thunk on the desk but ignored it while I finished the seam. I was focused on the leading edge of the fabric and not paying huge amounts of attention to anything else, really.

So it came as something of a shock when I finished the edge and moved the fabric, to feel something hard bundled into a middle of it. A little investigation revealed that it was the light bulb from the machine. Not what you expect to find but better than the spider that I found in my bedroom last week (another one of the perks of the Melbourne summer – hot nights and huntsman spiders). It had obviously stopped working because it had worked its way loose somehow, and finally the combination of gravity and sewing vibrations had been too much for it. Given that it’s a screw-in job, I’m curious about how this could have happened, but at least I’m aware of it now and now that it took about 8 years of hard sewing to go the first time. Once I unscrewed everything and put the globe back in place, it worked perfectly once again so there’s clearly nothing actually wrong with it. If the machine is still in use 8 years from now, I might splurge and buy it a new globe anyway.


LIes, damned lies and statistics

It’s an often quoted line, sure. Statistics don’t always tell the truth. But in this case I’m more than a little curious. And yes, I am aware that me posting again so soon is a statistical improbability, thus already proving my argument. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that as a blogger, I use the many WordPress tools available to me to kill time when I’m at my desk theoretically working on other things. Namely, what I’m paid to do. This doesn’t always serve to keep me occupied, so my mind wanders off on tangents. Like how it is that I can have a post with several likes, that I put up earlier today, and yet the stats page tells me that I’ve only had one viewer in the past 24 hours. Clearly, there have been more people out there checking this out, but they’re not showing up. Where does the trick come in?

I know. I’m supposed to blog for the sheer love of it. And based on the fact that an old blog of mine ran for 6 years with only 2 readers that I know about – one of whom was a pretty good friend but became the reason that I discontinued the blog after so long, thanks to their constant email begging for an update on the blog rather than information in real time during our increasingly rare catch-ups – I think it’s safe to say that I really do just write because the inclination – or inspiration – strikes. I would have kept plugging away quite happily if not for my own stubborn unwillingness to provide her with insight into my life. I don’t require validation to write – it’s as necessary to me as reading, sleeping, breathing. That said, it’s nice to know if you’re hitting the mark with something, if there are others who are regular visitors, or if you’re just talking to the walls. If nothing else, it gives me a means to gauge how much of me to disclose. So why is there a gap between the feedback I receive, and the stats page? Where is the black hole?

Is there anybody out there who knows this? Or anybody out there at all? Because right now there’s an insomniac camped by their keyboard waiting for an answer…

The Bug Lady


It seems I am going through a phase of being attractive to – ahem – wild life at the moment. First, there was the sighting of The Thing in my bunker. Yesterday, the world of bugs struck again.

Out for my Sunday constitutional, it was somewhat later than I normally endure exercise, so I was hot and sweaty. A particularly persistent fly was buzzing around me, much to my annoyance. It’s hard to keep to a set pace when you’re waving your arms like a mad woman in an attempt to rid yourself of the little pest. It was sticky, buzzy, and more than I was prepared to deal with. But it got it’s revenge on my continued attempts to swat it.

Not only was I sweaty, red faced, and decidedly hot, but I was also short of breath. Which meant my mouth was open when the fly got too close. And when I say too close, I mean that it was inside my mouth and part way down my throat before I even put the equation together and started to gag. Yep, I swallowed a fly.

Just to round out the grossness, there was another incident at work today. My office is the reverse of my sewing bunker. It’s a glass box, for the most part, with the windows to the back looking out over garden beds which have struggled in the recent lack of rain. It seems they aren’t the only things to have suffered though. Some of the wild life has been drawn out, and I don’t mean the swans that have appeared on the lake.

It took a moment to notice what was climbed along the flower stalk of an iris. Then, just as the stalk wouldn’t support the weight anymore, I realised that it was a rat moving through the greenery.

Yep. Flies, vermin. It’s all happening around me at the moment. Does give a whole new meaning to the rustling I’ve heard in the grass on my way into the office of a morning…

The Thing

I’ve been down in my sewing bunker tonight, attempting to finish off various things, and I’ve had what I will describe as a brush with death. At least it could have been. Maybe.

It has to be said that my bunker is not that tidy. So in order to get to my overlocker, I had to move various things. And that was when I saw it.

The creature

The creature


I didn’t see it quite as front on as that. In fact, all I really saw was a black skittering on the wall. I’m not even sure exactly what it was. It may have been a spider, like Aragog (above). Or it may have been something else.

All I know is that it was huge* and fast moving. I only caught a glimpse of it as it darted behind a box of rolled up tracing paper and although I moved the box immediately – if somewhat nervously – I could find no sign of it. Which just makes it that much scarier.

I am not a bug person. Rationally, I know I can crush them without breaking a sweat. I have size and speed over them. But there is something about them that just sets my teeth on edge and makes me panic – unless it’s a cute little ladybug, in which case I will ooh and aah about it. But anything that’s larger than my little fingernail, black, has multiple legs and, worst of all, is either shiny or hairy, and I revert to screaming princess. Or I would if my breath didn’t get caught in my throat and make speaking, moving, thinking, impossible. Because rational thought disappears as soon as the bug appears.

And now I’m nervous about heading back to the bunker, because somewhere in there is a creature that would no doubt survive a nuclear apocalypse. Tomorrow, I’m going to be prepared.






*OK, So perhaps it wasn’t that huge. In fact, perhaps it was closer to the image below than the one above. But I’m sticking with the near death nature of the encounter. Even this little blighter can give a bite…Imagine what his overgrown cousin can do.