Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #38.

What’s top of my mind: Finishing the dishcloths for Tom30.

There’s a week to go before Tom30 gets the keys to his first place. Ages ago he asked if I’d knit him some dishcloths for his kitchen, so all this week I’ve been knitting bamboo squares for him. I haven’t touched knitting needles for 2 years or so and ny hands are feeling it. Still, I want him to have at least 5 to take with him.

When your child actually asks you to make somethuing for them, you deliver! He’s also asked for a couch quilt too, but that’ll have to be a summer job.

Where I’ve been: sitting around waiting for my car to be fixed.

It’s been an expensive month for my little VW Golf. I bought her brand new 8 years ago and this is the first year I’ve had any problems. More on the saga below.

Where I’m going: out to lunch.

I’ve known Gill for as long as I’ve been working at my old school. She is an English teacher like me and so we’ve been friends and colleagues for 20 years or so.

She’s taking a term of long service leave, and unlike Frogdancer Jones, she has no desire to make a big farewell speech at the end-of-year staff function, so she’ll simply never return to her desk.

A group of us are gathering today to have lunch and to celebrate Gill’s magnificence.

What I’m reading: The Cabin at the End of the World.

I saw this one talked about on Twitter. M Night Shayamalan is making a movie based on this, called ‘Knock at the Cabin’, and people were raving about how good this novel is. I’m two chapters in and I’m liking it a lot. The author’s use of tension is very good.

What I’m watching: Spring come to the garden.

My back garden is pretty much all about the veggies, but my front garden is full of fruit trees and flowers. Every year it’s so lovely to see my old friends come back with colour. First thing in the morning, after I put the coffee on, I go outside to pick up after the little woofs. I can always tell when Spring has turned. One morning the air lacks the chill of winter and from then on it’s all happening.

I was planning to do lots with the garden this year but working so much has prevented that. Still, there’s always next year!

What I’m listening to: Jeff’s snoring.

When you choose to shre your life with cavaliers, the snoring is almost inevitable, Poppy’s not too bad, but Jeff’s a snuffly boy. I still remember Laura – she used to snore so loudly that I would wake in the middle of the night and hear her in her kennel al the way from the back yard.

What I’m eating: Potato chips.

I had everyone over for dinner last Saturday to celebrate our 3 September birthdays – mine, David29’s and Evan26’s – and we didn’t eat a couple of bags of potato chips. Well, it’d be a sin to let them go to waste, wouldn’t it?

What I’m planning: Two baby quilts.

Two young women from work are expecting babies next year. I like these girls very much, so they’re both getting a quilt before I leave for Antarctica. I was planning on finishing the Seaglass quilt top by then, but now it might have to wait until I get back.

Who needs a good slap: Whoever designed the cabin pressure valves in the boot of my car.

A while ago I mentioned on one of the blogs that my car boot was flooding. Turns out that the rubber on the cabin pressure valves had completely perished and so there were two holes on either side of my car that was letting water pour straight in. Not a quick job to find and fix – my car was there for 2 days.

A thousand dollars later, she’s back with me. Then, a day later, I bought some new tyres ($500) and found out that the rear brake pads and rotors are rusted. She’s going back to them on Monday to get them replaced… ($600. )

The picture at the top of this post is the rear left rotor thingy and brake pad. Apparently, they’re not meant to look like this.

Naturally September is rego ($900) and insurance ($700) month too. Of course it is!

What has made me smile: My son values my feedback.

Being a drama teacher, having a son who’s a performer is very satisfying. Listening to his podcast and going to see him and his partner perform their shows is joyous. Also, because I’m a drama teacher, I can’t turn off the critic… if something’s good, I say so. If something needs improvement or clarification, I’ll mention it too. It won’t help them in the long run if I try to polish any turds.

Thankfully, both Jenna and Evan26 are good at their craft, so the positive feedback far outweighs the constructive criticism. (I just knocked on wood whe I typed that. Jenna has a caberet show on next week that she wrote herself. I don’t want to jinx her.)

Yesterday, we were talking and he asked if I’d listened to the latest podcast. I said that I saw that one had dropped, but I was listening to a ‘Casefile’ episode that had awful child abuse on it and I had to keep going with it to find out if the police caught the people responsible. (Turns out, they did. Phew.) I said I’d listen to his podcast tomorrow.

He said that he’d be interested to hear what I thought as they were trying an idea he’d had. We briefly talked about what it was and I’ll be calling him tomorrow after I’ve heard it to let him know what I thought of it.

I don’t know… it’s a small thing, but I couldn’t help but smile when I hung up the phone. It feels special when your adult son cares enough about your opinion that he actually asks for feedback.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Onevikinggirl

    Not that I in any way want to dampen your spirit but you do need to brake. When you’re driving. Use your brakes. Hard. They do rust otherwise, and then they don’t. Brake I mean. Good on you saving the potato chips from … something.
    Antarctica is going to be so fab. (I found your blog through your NK travel diary.)

  2. Josie

    I’ve found bad things (like expensive fixes) come in 3s. So hopefully you are done!

  3. Maureen

    I second that concept of things coming in threes – and car repair woes. Thank you for teaching me the phrase “polishing turds”. I’ve never heard it before but imagine I can use it effectively!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Haha! It’s usually used like, “You can’t polish a turd…”

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