I scored 97%! I made one mistake… a question I had absolutely no idea how to answer about a “sensible thing to practice in a safe place” when learning how to drive. Anyway! 97%! Kvell Kvell.

So now I must find a driving school, and set a date for my actual driving test some time in February — because I’m over 25, I only have to wait 3 months. Hopefully 3 months is enough for me to gain the necessary confidence and skills… I want to be on my Ps before I leave Australia.


flexing plastic

My friend Pip laughed at me the other day: “You are always taking classes!”. I remember saying the exact same thing to my dearest friend Rebecca, who encouraged me to do the same, with great results. I think taking any kind of classes is probably the best way to stay sane when you are sick of your job and there’s nothing you can change about it. Even if they end disastrously (like my ballet classes…), it’s the novelty of doing something different — my brain and body have both been doing the same things day-in, day-out for 2.5 years now — which makes it worth the while.

So I just signed up for 4 more sewing classes — Mod 2 (Zippers, Casings & Buttonholes; I think this is the equivalent of a grammar class, essential but rather dull), Mod 3 (I will need to buy fabrics to make my very own bag! so exciting!) and Mod 4 (two 3-hour classes at the end of which I will apparently have created 1xA-LINE SKIRT — watch this space). I am entitled to 2 hours of free practice time for every class I take (which means I already have 10 hours to waste on a machine if I see fit) but the studio isn’t really available at times when I’m not working.

I have also booked a spot next Wednesday morning for my LEARNER’S PERMIT test ZOMG. I have almost entirely given up reading my book as it is more dreary than a Chinese newspaper vocab list, and instead I have been doing tests online at work when I’m bored. I consistently score above 80% so I figured what the hell, I’ll just go ahead and book it. Then I can go ahead and start learning how to drive — driving lessons! yay!

Also attempting to dent my credit card: dentists and lawyers. I know they want to take all my money for themselves, but I want to at least be able to drive a car and use a sewing machine before selling off my kidneys to pay for wisdom teeth extractions, crowns, and Australian residency. Then I can be a travelling seamstress (minus kidneys).

EDIT: My supermate Cici is thinking about doing a leather workshop in Hong Kong… it’s expensive but look how fantastic their creations are(under the “blog” heading)! Unfortunately she’s still paying for make-up classes… aaaah classes!


This morning I had my first sewing class at Thread Den, which simply involved getting acquainted with the machine and the basic stitching process. It was a 2.5 hour class but time flew by. We had a play around/practice once we’d understood how to thread the machines, and then made little pochettes.

Practicing was very fun, although I was horrified when I looked up from my messing around and saw the other girls had all been “figure-skating” in contrast with my free-style: hearts and careful patterns and pretty designs everywhere! I guess I’m just not very creative, I was too busy concentrating on staying in control of the machine…

To compensate I kept my pochette’s design very simple (although I always go for small, fiddly bits and pieces… I think it’s cos of embroidery!) and refrained from trying too hard. I didn’t want to spoil the only presentable piece of work I’d be producing. Here they both are, albeit quite crumpled from being stuffed into my handbag after class:

My pochette involved appliqué-ing, interlocking, hemming and… well I guess that’s about it. Next week we can go back and learn zips and such but I confess, I wish I had a machine to just practice on first. Years spent learning Chinese has taught me how invaluable it is to master the basics before moving to the next level, and whilst you don’t need anyone else to do yoga, running or reading a stupid learner’s permit manual over and over…

…practising sewing without a machine is rather more difficult!

more ashtanga

This morning I pre-purchased another $175’s worth of yoga classes. Unfortunately since my last class, someone (who shall remain anonymous) has been poisoning my mind and telling me that Ashtanga is really not the best form of yoga. Some googling has set my mind at peace, but I have to admit, during today’s class there were moments where I just wanted to drop everything and leave.

However, there were also moments when I couldn’t help but grin. When you can really see the progress, feel the progress. A few weeks ago it was agony to fold with my palms below my feet (pada hastasana), even with knees bent; today, it was more of a mild discomfort and my legs were straight even if I was probably hunched up. My bete noire, utthita hasta padangusthasana, is somehow slowly becoming more achievable. I will keep going and the day I can swing that leg up proud and high I’ll know just how much progress I’ve made.

In fact this morning as we were going into savasana (rest) Amanda talked about how some days we might have had barely any sleep and yet have a beautiful, smooth practice, and other days everything is tight and hurts and you come out of it feeling like you’ve been beaten with a stick. She called it the beauty of unpredictability — you never know what’s going to happen, and there’s nothing you can do except try your best. Maybe today was just a baddish day.

I’ve started reading the book for the learner’s permit… first step towards getting a driver’s licence. It’s brain-numbingly dull but I’ve been putting it off for 9 months now! I am determined to get my permit in the next few weeks.

nothing can stop me!

I’m a bit frustrated at the moment with my work, the Australian immigration process, and the cost of having “the best immigration lawyers in Victoria” (FYI nearly $12,000 and counting). However I am determined to stay positive and not get caught in the trap of wasting too much time moping. I have signed up for the sewing classes I mentioned this weekend and I’m going to sit my learner’s permit as soon as possible and learn how to drive before I leave Australia. It’s much cheaper and easier here, I’m told!

I also plan to improve my golf technique (plenty of room for that), try Bikram yoga (to compare with the Ashtanga), and if I can stop getting sick and wasting time in hospitals, work hard at my running. I’m on my way to St Kilda for another run with James which is exciting…

I hope that with all of these things keeping me busy, the summer will go by faster than ever!