Sammi’s Gold Lamé Gown

Sammi is mum’s spoodle who came to live with us when mum went to live in New Zealand. So far this winter she has been using a coat that is is almost 20 years old and has been handed down through our other doggins to Sammi. So I thought it was time she had something new.

I found a pattern online for a Small Dog Coat, resized and adapted it for Sammi and was deciding on which material to use when David piped up and suggested I used the gold material that has been floating around the house forever, so I did.

Small dog coat pattern
Small dog coat pattern

I cut out the piece and then decided on a thicker white backing, I probably should have gone for a brown or something that wouldn’t show up the dirt of a dog’s life.

For the inside I don’t have any wadding, so I unpicked an old wool quilt and was grateful to find that inside the quilt was a large piece of intertwined wool that I could cut to shape and fit inside the coat. A little thicker than I may have wanted but it will be sure to keep Sammi warm on the cold winter nights.

Innards of a quilt
Innards of a quilt

I had a few re-sew parts I had to do, particularly at the joining part at the base of the coat, where I left it open to put the innards in.

I’ll likely resew the full edge of this piece and also quilt-sew it for a better look, maybe even add some piping.

We’ll have to wait though, I have no Velcro so at the moment the coat is temporarily using 3M wall hangers. 🤭 When I get the Velcro of it I’ll do the rest of the sewing on the edges and the quilting and see how it goes.

All up though, I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’ve never really sewed beyond straight lines so throwing some curves in has been fun.

Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown
Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown
Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown
Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown
Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown
Sammi in her Gold Lamé Gown

Freak Show

Freak Show (2018)
Freak Show (2017)

Sure it wasn’t bankrolled by a major studio like the wonderful “Love, Simon” but this is just as good as a coming of age movie with a gay protagonist.

It has so much heart, and a bit of Bette Midler… what more could you ask for?

If you find somewhere to watch Freak Show, do so, it’s gorgeous.

13 Reasons Why Season 2

13 Reasons Why Season 2

This post contains spoilers about 13 Reasons Why, Season 2 from Netflix.

I’ve finished watching “13 Reasons Why” season 2, and as a way to digest the themes in the show Netflix put together an addendum “Beyond the Reasons”. They did this with Season 1 after there was a bit of an uproar around the notion that the show glamourised teen suicide by showing not just one suicide but also an attempted suicide, and they have continued it after Season 2 to help talk through some of the heavy topics it contains.

Season 2 of “13 Reasons Why” includes more depictions of sexual violence, drug use, gang-violence, gun-violence (though thankfully thwarted on both attempts), teen abandonment, victims facing their abusers, and so much more. So there is a lot to talk though.

It’s great to see the show was so entrenched in the idea of reality and care that they had counsellors and therapists on the set to talk to the actors about what they would face in each scene before it happened and to wind down the actors after the scenes were complete. I imagine some of the scenes were very hard to film.

One series of events this season revolved around Hannah, the catalyst for the show, having a loving and consensual relationship with Zack, which included sex. A relationship ending when it became obvious to Hannah that Zack was more interested in keeping up appearances with his friends than making their relationship public.

Well in the events of season 1, when Hannah is raped by Bryce in the hot tub, we’re pretty much lead to believe she is a virgin, but season 2 reveals this not to be the case by letting us know about the relationship she had with Zack the summer previous.

The disappoint real-life thing is that Kathryn Langford, who plays Hannah, says she has been approached by people who said to her upon learning Hannah wasn’t in fact a virgin “so that means the thing that happened with Hannah and Bryce doesn’t mean that much anymore.” And I was like WHAT! Why would people say such a thing.

Kathryn went on to say she would hope that viewers would take away that just because Hannah had had sex with Zack, doesn’t change the severity of what Bryce did, it doesn’t matter what your sexual history has been makes sexual violence any more acceptable. And how true is that.

I was sad to think that people think that a person who is sexually active would feel any different about being raped. Rape, any form of sexual violence, isn’t about sex, it’s about power, it is an act of violence, one that nothing can prepare you for.

Compassion should always be the response to a declaration of pain. Embrace the ones you love. 

The other gut-wrenching part of the show is when Hannah’s mum, Olivia, played by Kate Walsh, hands Clay a sheet of paper with the reasons “Why not”, on which there were “11 Reasons Why Not”. Olivia then confirms with with Clay that he knows there are ALWAYS more “Reasons Why Not”.

So our second big point to take away from the show is there are always more reasons why not. Go on and live your life, live your truth, and live it right. Reach out to your friends and family, reach out to support services, in Australia you can contact:

  • Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14

No person should get to a point where they feel their only option is death. We only have one life, it’s the most precious thing, make yours great.

Two albums one day


Shawn Mendes – “Shawn Mendes” (Not “FaceTime”, as David keeps calling it, because of the cover image)

Chvrches – “Love is Dead”

These two should keep my ears happy today. Might pop back with a review in the future.

Metricon Mayhem

Metricon are currently working at our neighbour’s old house they had to buy it back from them, with compensation, due to slab heave caused by them cutting too deep into the property and then using the wrong slab.

Slab heave is when your concrete slab actually cracks causing the house to become malformed. The plumbing cracked throughout the house causing sewerage and other waste water to seep into the foundation.

The outcome of their litigation was the settlement, and the recommendation from an independent body that the only remediation with regard to the house was to tear it down.

That’s not what they are doing, we can hear them carving concrete all around the house, they’ll likely reline the pipes under the house (because that was something they offered to do for the old owner) and then sell the place off.

All this work they are doing now is in addition to the work they have conintuously done over the last seven years the first owner had it, including two times we know of where the owner had to move into temporary accommodation while they worked on the house, one time was to remove all of the interior Gyprock work, including the ceilings, and replace it.

We’re strongly considering contacting any agent who is put to selling it to ensure they know about the problems the house has. In the event they don’t let the new owners know and it becomes a problem for the new owners they’ll have recourse with the agent who chose not to disclose during the sales process. I’d hate to think someone bought a house, spending over $400,000 and they get a lemon with no warranties. And of course, we don’t want the poop smell that comes with a neighbour who has cracked pipes and a lake of wastewater under their home.

In Defence of the ‘Good Bloke’

In the wake of the murder-suicide of seven people in Western Australian town of Osmington there have been calls for the ‘good bloke’ narrative to go away and to honour the victims rather than the perpetrator of the heinous crime.

This isn’t a new request, often when someone commits a murder or a crime there are plenty of folks around who will step up and refer to the goodness of the perpetrator, particularly if the perpetrator has died, and in recent years there has been a strong push for the removal of the ‘good bloke’-type reporting. People want the perpetrator tarred as the baddie HE clearly is.

I feel like, sure, there are times that’s appropriate, but the calls for it in this case are in my opinion misguided.

In the Osmington murder-suicide we find a father, Peter Miles, 61, who killed his wife, Cynda (58); his daughter Katrina Cockman (35); and her four children (Tay, 13; Rylan, 12; Arye, 10 and Kayden, 8), before calling 000 to report himself, and then took his own life on the porch of their home.

The crime will be under investigation for several months, but it doesn’t stop the reporters reporting, and many headlines carried the “Good Bloke” narrative. Where friends and acquaintances of Peter Miles referred to him as that, a good bloke who they couldn’t imagine could commit such a heinous crime.

One headline in particular, the one often quoted, read “Grandad the killer. ‘Good Bloke’ shot wife, daughter and her four kids then himself“, sure it probably should have had a comma after the word ‘kids’ but he wasn’t being called a “good bloke” by the headline, the term was in inverted commas which implies that the writer didn’t really agree with the sentiment, but was reporting what he heard about the guy.

The reporter, Robert Ovadia, has been raked over the coals by this descriptor and has reaffirmed his reporting with a follow-up article calling out those who railed against his reporting. Many opinion pieces have been written, including one by Van Badham “When we make excuses for male violence, we encourage it“, in which she argues “There’s a single good reason to be outraged at the ‘good bloke’ narrative: prevention”, her article in part reads:

Reports of the far-away murders broke over my own phone, and I sobbed. The handful of personal details revealed about this family are enough to imagine anyone similar into their unbearable horror. The mind demands: who does this to kids? Who does this to anyone?

The answer, according to Australian reporting tradition, is a “good bloke”. This was the description a tabloid applied to the alleged murderer, under the headline “Grandad the killer.”

It’s a dangerous frame for reporting domestic homicide we have grown too used to in this country; commentators were quick to call it out. Juanita Phillips remarked that “nobody in the story” had “actually described (Peter Miles) that way”. Reminders came from Georgina Dent and Clementine Ford that the “good bloke” trope is a media habit. It was used to describe wife-murdering Greg Floyd in 2017, and, in 2014, Geoff Hunt – who murdered his wife and three children.

To this I’d like to point out a couple more domestic murders in which the perpetrator was described with the “good bloke” sentiment, but wasn’t a bloke at all.


Sidonie Thompson was murdered by her mother with an axe in 2011 before her mother drove the Brisbane’s Story Bridge and jumped to her death, leaving her 12 year-old son in shock in the back seat of her car. Sidonie’s mother, Kim Patterson, was described in stories about this as “a devoted mother who lived for her children”.

Of Kim Patterson a friend is quoted as saying: “She just put all her time into her family. Out of anybody I know, she is the least likely person I’d ever expect to do anything like that because Kim adored them completely”.

Another friend described Kim Patterson as a “‘saint’ who would never hurt anyone”.


Another murder-suicide in 2011 was committed by Heather Glendinning in Port Denison. Western Australia. Glendinning taking the lives of two of her three daughters before killing herself. She stabbed her two daughters to death and then stabbed herself to death with multiple stab wounds.

A friend Robyn O’Brien said of Heather: 

“I am absolutely shocked. I just can’t believe that, I have other friends here that I have spoken to this morning and for Heather to kill her children is not what we know of Heather, it’s not possibly something she could do.”

“Justice and ethical behaviour is what she was fighting for,” she said.

She said she was angry that her friend’s last memory would be in such horrific contrast.

“It breaks my heart, it just can’t be Heather. They were so close, they weren’t problem kids and all the other people who knew her down here say the same thing,” she said.

“I do feel really, really angry on her behalf and on behalf of the girls. The Heather we knew and the family we knew would never do that.”


Cara Lee Hall murdered her husband in December 2015, and also attempted to kill two of her four children with the same knife she used stabbed her husband to death.

Hall claimed during her trial that she acted in self-defence after suffering years of abuse. A finding not backed up by evidence including testimony by her children. She further claimed to not know how the children were injured during the attack but witness statements by the children report she actively stabbed them in an attempt to kill them.

Hall’s friend Wendy Lourenco said “Cara is a loving mother, I don’t think she ever meant to hurt her children.”


In addition to these cases of mothers who have killed their children I also found a report “Mothers who Kill” in which the methodology found 28 cases of women who have killed their children under the age of 2 between 1997 and 2012. However, they only used a subset of these in describing infanticide as some states define infanticide as being a victim under the age of 12 months, while others are 24 months, in attempt to keep the methodology clean they only looked at victims under 12 months of age in their study.

None of the mothers who killed their children in a act of infanticide since 1997 have received a custodial sentence. Infanticide is treated, as it likely should be, as a product of a mental illness; such as post-natal depression. Infanticide statistics also don’t include cases of neonaticides which is the killing of a child within the first 24 hours of life.

I’m sure I’ve read of many infanticides written up as outliers, as actions of women who are typically described as loving and family-oriented.

I guess I’m not winning any brownie points here, and it’s not my aim to do so. I just think it’s time we understand that why someone commits an act so egregious against their family we may never understand.

Yes what Peter Miles did was horrible, it guts me to think there are seven people who are dead now because of the actions of one. The driver for these actions though, we can never understand. 

Sherele Moody writes in the Daily Mercury newspaper “‘Good bloke’ Peter Miles was a violent selfish monster“. She goes on to say: 

Much of the public discussion around Peter Miles’ deadly actions focuses, almost sympathetically, on his “troubled” life while managing to neatly tip-toe around the fact that this was a clear-cut case of domestic abuse and male violence – both major issues in our society.

But was it? When his daughter left her husband, she returned to her family home, to stay with her mother and father. It doesn’t seem likely a mother would take such action if she was walking back into a home in which “a monster lurks”.

We can’t know the mind of another, we’re foolish to think we ever can. When we realise that perception is reality for humans we’ll think about things differently. When family kills other family in a case like Peter’s or, any of those documented above, we as outsiders can never understand it. Especially if mental illness is at the core of it.

From some reports Peter’s actions were driven out of a desperate need to care of his family. It’s reported he was under the impression his time was short and he worried for the family he’d be leaving behind when he died of his illness. A family that he seemingly felt had no other resources and would struggle to survive once he was gone.

The brain is an amazing thing, it can decide what it wants to know, and when it decides, the human it controls is taken along for the ride. I’m sure the mothers mentioned above all had their issues that saw them believing the only way to truly protect their children was to end the lives of their children. They weren’t monsters, they we just humans, and sometimes humans break. Note I don’t say “snapped”, because sometimes when the brain breaks it’s not the flip of a switch, it’s a shift in perception, their view of the world is different. Sometimes different from reality. Sometimes it’s all consuming and it sticks on an idea and ruminates on it until it becomes an action.

These aren’t cases of the perpetrator attempting to gain from their actions, they are often considered, from evidence left behind, or by the surviving perpetrators as acts of compassion. Most often there is a case of some form of untreated, or mistreated, mental illness at the core. And more often then not it’s seen that the person committing the act has considered their actions carefully, as illogical as those actions seem to us, to them they were reasonable to take.

I can’t see that Peter’s actions could be described as an act of family violence or part of the epidemic of domestic abuse. It was a confused mind making confused decisions, but decisions that seemed reasonable to the mind at the time. Those looking for a poster-boy for the “‘good bloke’ = monster” cause are looking at the wrong guy here.

Tragic it was, but an act that should see the man branded a “monster”? I don’t think so.

Phage Therapy

The folks at Kurzgesagt have a new video out, about Bacteriophages and their possible place as our saviours in the not-to-distant future.

The one standout piece of dialogue from the video for me is:

“Unfortunately this treatment is still experimental and pharma companies are reluctant to invest the necessary billions in a treatment that has no official approval yet.”

The sad truth is, many of our great medical achievements follow this pattern.

  • The governments pour the billions in via grants, the researchers at universities and the universities themselves, set up ‘companies’ to receive the grant and to do the studies,
  • The studies that are successful patent their findings as the company, the makers and the university often co-writing the patent.
  • Then the pharma companies vie for the research and the patents and buy the company at a fraction of the cost of the research and for a stake in the patent.
  • The pharma company ramps up production, and sell it to the masses at a marked up cost, often claiming it’s justified in doing so because of the cost of research, that some countries tax dollars often paid for.

At the moment big pharma doesn’t want to know about it, it’s promising, but they have their antibiotics to sell and they sell a LOT of them. Even with the rise of superbugs many doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics as a matter of course, almost as a placebo it seems, while other people all is need is relaxation maybe visiting an spa service you can find at sites like https://complexcityspa.com.

Having said that, I have seen at least one paper that has been written on bacteriophages that was funded by Nestlé Health and Nestlé Health Science, so I guess some companies are investing in it, but clearly we need more of mommy makeover doctor located in NYC services.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. The video is very interesting to watch.

Lean Into It – Photography / Modelling Tip

Thought I’d share a little insight should anyone be interested.

Here are two images I took of Zach, they were taken with a 24-70 lens at 24mm from a very low angle, almost from the ground.

In the first image you’ll note that Zach’s body appears to be leaning backwards, his head smaller than in the second and the lower parts of his torso and legs, closer to the camera appearing larger. In this image, Zach was actually standing upright.

Zach standing upright.
Zach standing upright.

In the second image I asked Zach to lean forward, to him it felt weird, and to onlookers probably looked like he was leaning like Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video ( see below ). But what I was doing was trying to get all of Zach’s body on the same focal plane, adjacent to the camera’s sensor so we’d not see the distortion in his body.

Zach leaning forward, into the shot.
Zach leaning forward, into the shot.

The result was a more natural looking image rather than one where Zach looks like he’s leaning backwards in the shot.