29 September 2006

say that again?

You might think that people working in institutes of higher education would be good at spelling. If only for the sake of the reputation of their esteemed university.

You would be wrong.

My new title appeared in print this week.

Acting Senior Ploicy Officer.


24 September 2006


I hate it when I notice a grammatical error in the previous post.

I hate it even more that I can't be bothered to go back and fix it.


23 September 2006

the five things meme, with a twist

The five things meme, via Joke but nicely twisted by Bec, who incidentally, has posted a photograph of me on her site, so if anyone wants to see what I look like (from behind and from the chin down, anyway), head on over there.

Five things I wish were in my freezer:

A bottle of Absolut Citron;
All the tomatoes I never got around to bottling last summer;
Old black bananas for muffins and banana bread (still craving bananas over here);
My best friend’s homemade lasagne;
My sourdough starter. I left it out on the bench as usual while I was away but no one stirred it. I now wish I’d frozen it.

Five things that shouldn't be in my wardrobe:

My wedding dress. Too sentimental to get rid of it. But why is it there, really?;
Too many pairs of shoes I am hanging on to "just in case";
Culottes (dear god, why?);
That bag of stuff waiting to go to the op shop;
A pair of Diesel green gingham pedal pushers (a la Audrey) that I will never squeeze into again).

Five things I hate about my car:

That it was born in 1992;
The rust spots on the roof;
The rust spots that have recently appeared on the bonnet;
The scrape down the left passenger door that I did on the first day of a job four years ago;
That it isn’t shiny, red and new.

Five things I should throw out of my handbag/purse/briefcase/backpack:

The lipstick with a funny smell;
Receipts, receipts, receipts;
The stray tampon floating around at the bottom amongst the fluff and leaky pens;
The empty chocolate tin from Lazy Cow;
The fluff and leaky pens.

Five things I don't want to admit are in my bathroom:

Lice shampoo;
The hideous blue laminex vanity;
The faux gold taps (can you tell a bathroom renovation is higher priority than a kitchen reno?);
The collection of plastic lizards that live in the bath;
The too-small bath.

I tag the inexpressibly elegant Telfair who, praise ye gods, has returned to the blogosphere.

Thank you to everyone who left comments and supportive sentiments recently. It’s been a surreal week or so, and I am deeply appreciative of your words and kindness.

21 September 2006

SWELL 2006

Some images from SWELL 2006, the outdoor sculpture exhibition held at Currumbin Beach.

SWELL bodysurfers

SWELL boots

SWELL bronze with poseidon

SWELL touch my lips

SWELL glass thingy

SWELL sheoak poem

SWELL Merlin closeup

SWELL my what big eyes

SWELL Merlin

SWELL Pull the Plug

SWELL triffid 1

SWELL window.

19 September 2006

Things I have learnt in the last week

me and dad

Spending time on a gorgeous Queensland beach with your loved ones before a funeral is good for the soul.

Dear god, I sob unrelentingly at funerals.

Funerals can be beautiful and moving and truly celebratory when done right.

Breast cancer really really sucks. And is unfair.

When extended family all get together it's lovely and uplifting and makes your insides feel all smooshy.

When extended family all get together it's sometimes a wee bit tense.

There is the moment when everyone young and old holds their breath in unison when it seems a certain relative from the older generation (rough diamond with a heart of gold) is about to learn that a certain relative from the younger generation is gay. Followed by the sweet release of many breaths when it becomes apparent that that little fact is safe for another few years.

There is also the meeting of Youngest Nephew's girlfriend du jour. The last one was A Different Colour. This one is A Single Mother. These facts make certain members of the older generation uncomfortable. This results in members of the younger generation running around in circles trying to ensure she feels welcome.

Grieving families don't have enough vases or freezer space.

A one hour stopover at Sydney airport is immeasurably brightened with wine and good company.

13 September 2006

See you in a while

It's been a week of deaths in Australia. First Steve Irwin, then Colin Thiele, finally Peter Brock.

Last night my dear aunt joined 'em.

I'm jumping on a plane to be with my family and attend her funeral. And then I'm going to book myself a mammogram.


I forget two thirds of you lot are foreigners.

• Blue heelers are Australian cattle dogs. There is a nice well behaved one here. Sailor is fine thank you, just a tad traumatised. He did nothing to provoke the attack beyond wagging his tail and looking adorable. Luckily no skin was broken although the heeler had hold of his bottom for what felt like ages. I am assuming it's because working dogs are taught to round up the sheep and cows and hold them if necessary, but not break the skin. Perhaps? This one was not well trained, and its young owner had no control over it all.

• Australia's banana crop was wiped out at the beginning of the year by Cyclone Larry hitting north Queensland. Prior to Larry, bananas were about two dollars a kilo and my household easily consumed four or five a day. We can't import them from other countries presumably because of that banana disease Elizabeth mentioned that we on our large and isolated island are free of and you are all trying to infect us with. So a bunch of bananas remains the price of a small car and we are all learning to live without them.

Here, have a look at what I've been knitting lately.

pink wristwarmers2

pink wristwarmers4

red mitts

red wristwarmers

12 September 2006

A picture's worth a thousand words

Ongoing scene in the family room this week.

hands off
Bananas are still $13 per kilo thanks to Cyclone Larry. ($16 at our local IGA!) After six months of no bananas and severe withdrawal symptoms, I remortgaged the house and bought five. That's ONE each. A certain young man is making absolutely sure no one eats his.

sad beast
The hound, all of a tremble and feeling sorry for himself after being bitten on the bum by a Blue Heeler.

misty view2
Gratuitous shot of The View on this fine Spring morning.


7 September 2006

Google searches of late

I can't begin to imagine the disappointment some people must feel when their Google search leads them here.

Notable searches from the last few days:

"Jeffrey Archer novelty socks"

"brutal sex" (that bloody Annie Proulx)

"feminist theory + Little Red Riding Hood"

"How does an echidna breathe?" (Through its nose I imagine)

and my personal favourite ...

"nose wrinkling soup""

6 September 2006

it is 11.42 am

... and I have a paper due by 5.00 pm.

So it's time for a blog post.

A random, newsy one of course. Because you are all so enthralled with the minutiae of my life, right?

• It's raining.

• Yesterday I hung three loads out on the clothesline. Love th e smell of sunshine in my smalls. Today it's back to the clothes airer in front of the heater.

• I am always appalled when I hear about some countries which shall remain nameless where the inhabitants don't use clotheslines but use their tumble dryers a ll year round.

• The dog has been sneaking old lamb chops out of next door's compost bin. He is now lying behind me farting like crazy.

• I was always under the impression one should not put meats and fats into compost bins as it encourages rats and mi ce. And neighbour dogs.

• Last week the children's school held its inaugural music concert (it's a tiny school and the music programme only began this year). Most of the children performed simple beginner pieces on their violins, with the teacher and S on #1 leading them. Then the teacher and Son #1 performed two beautiful and very impressive duets. I basked in the parental glow of having a talented child. (They're partly my genes, ok?)

• Today is School Photo Day. Son #2 announced yesterday I hope my hair grows a bit for the photos!

• Three fat flower spikes have appeared on the dark purple bearded iris.

• I am busy knitting for an order! This means I must get a PayPal account and won't I then feel posh.

• When I was a child I always thought when I was a proper grown up I would intuitively know how to make sponge cake, be able to change a tyre, not need as much sleep, know how to make white sauce, be able to curb my temper more easily and make a successful gravy.

• I can make a really crappy white sauce.

• Last week was Book Week. On the Wednesday the children had to dress up as their favourite book characters. (This is for school, I hasten to add. I do not make my boys indulge in these sorts of things for my own viewing pleasure). Son #3 refused to dress up but they made him go in the parade anyway in his school uniform so boy was he embarrassed. That'll teach him, I heard the teacher dressed as Little Red Riding Hood say silently. Son #1 asked me to cut up an old army blanket into a cloak shape (at 8.00 am, yeah sure my love, said I, the good mother) (ahem) and went as a hobbit. Son #2 the future vet/farmer/animal activist who has just discovered the glory tha t is the James Herriot vet books went as ... wait for it ... Tristan from It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet. Yep. Tristan, the younger brother of Siegfried, the employer of James, the protagonist of the book. He spent the entire day explaining to chil dren and adults alike who he was.

• It's still raining.

• Go read that white sauce link above. You won't regret it.

• Go!


4 September 2006

Advice to husbands on the occasion of future Fathers' Days

It is not recommended that one makes snide and undeserved comments to one's wife two days prior to Fathers' Day, as it is this wife who supervises the children's Fathers' Day Gift purchasing and one may well later find oneself opening presents such as an op shop copy of a Jeffrey Archer novel, or a pair of novelty socks purchased from the Two Dollar Shoppe or even a chunky china mug with 'IDIOT' thoughtfully printed on it, due to aforementioned wife not being particularly inclined to say Let's try over here instead and steering the children in another direction entirely.

It is recommended that when consuming the roast lamb (followed by strawberries and cream) Fathers' Day Dinner that one's previously mentioned wife (see above) spent the afternoon preparing, one sternly admonishes the children when they declare the gravy to be unpalatable.


3 September 2006

Sock addiction, continued

P's socks on

My second pair of socks. Finished.

Actually, they're not mine. These are for Son #2, who proudly models them for your enjoyment. And promises never ever to wear them outside again except for photo opportunities.

P's socks off

Vital statistics: Opal Sock Yarn, from the very generous Heather. Knitted on 2.25mm dpns with minimal swearing. Time taken: two and a half weeks. Thanks again for the wool, Heather!

2 September 2006

A short song, in pictures.

Hum along with me Shula, this one’s for you.

Give me a home
give me a home

among the gum trees,
among the gum trees

with lots of plum trees,

a sheep or two …
a sheep or two

and a kangaroo.
and a kangaroo

A clothesline out the back,
a clothesline out the back

verandah at the front
verandah out the front

and an old rocking chair.
and an old rockingchair

I can’t believe we’ve been here for eight months.

1 September 2006


What's for dinner?
Chicken curry, then pear and rhubarb crumble.
Oh good. I like sardines!

Have I mentioned that Son #1 lives in a world of his own?