27 February 2006

weekend in 5

I frequently get blogger's block.
The brain dries up, I freeze at the keyboard, and think to myself
Nup. Nothing to report. Boring.

But a list, a list!
Always gets me going.
The challenge of being succinct (something I struggle with, being afflicted with verbal diarrhoea 'n all. On the page that is. I can be tongue-tied with the best of 'em face to face).

Kath asks for five things I did on the weekend.

1. Baked orange and poppyseed muffins.
2. Had 11 children and 9 adults here for a barbecue lunch/birthday celebration for the seven year old.
3. Bought packets of sweetpea seeds for each child instead of party bags.
4. Laughed out loud at the dog as he sprinted in enormous ever-widening arcs around the park, tongue lolling and eyes wild (his, not mine).
5. Planted Euphorbia wulfenii seedlings after Saturday's rain while the soil was soft and fragrant.

Word for the day: tilth

25 February 2006

pink

It’s been a pink kind of week.

pink cookbook
The week began, as you know, with Son #3’s seventh birthday.
Our little chef received two children’s cookbooks, some shiny new utensils and a wee apron.
On Wednesday night after swimming lessons, he came home, ripped off his bathers and popped on his new purple apron and proceeded to make the most fabulous chocolate cake from this book, with not much assistance at all.

(When I say he ripped off his bathers and threw on an apron, I mean it literally. He didn’t put clothes or pyjamas on first. And yes, I couldn't resist taking several photographs, each one titled The Naked Chef 1, 2, etc. I nearly posted them here but did manage to resist …)

pink postcard
My cousin sent us a housewarming postcard of windows in Yemen.
Because she has excellent taste like that.
It‘s stuck up on our fridge with the Shakespearian insults fridge magnet set.

pink library magnet
Also on the fridge.
A visit to our new local library.
Reminder note stuck up with our old local library magnet.

pink nook
A nook in the dining room with some of my favourite things.
The clock stopped working the day we moved.
Some sort of protest?

pink parcel
The postman brought an exquisitely wrapped parcel.
A parcel which, due to misunderstandings of handwriting and not all neighbours knowing of our existence yet, has travelled across the seas three times now.
(And still had no. 55 written on it, instead of 56. But it arrived!)

pink apron
In it was an apron.
For me!

pink apron applieque
In my favourite colours … plums, browns and pinks.
Thank you, dearest one. You do spoil me.

23 February 2006

in which I demonstrate just why I love the English language

Continuing with the collective nouns, I checked to see if a mob of kangaroos (which is what I have been saying all my life) is correct. (It is.)

Here are some other (correct) wee gems.

a flange of baboons
a deceit of lapwings
an exaltation of larks
a mischief of mice
a labour of moles
a rabble of butterflies (wtf?)
a nuisance of cats
a glaring of cats
an ostentation of peacocks
a parcel of penguins
a cartload of chimpanzees
a float of crocodiles
a trip of dotterel
a bury of rabbits
a passel of possum
a piteousness of doves
a weyr of dragons
a storytelling of ravens
an implausibility of gnus
a hurtle of sheep
a glint of goldfish
a leash of greyhounds (that one’s for you Sueeeus)
a parliament of owls
an ambush of tigers
a skein of goslings
a prickle of hedgehogs
a bale of turtles
a generation of vipers
a descent of woodpeckers
a plum of wildfowl
a crash of rhinoceros
a harras of horses
a watch of nightingales
a murder of crows
a sleuth of bears
a romp of otters

and my personal favourite for its sheer unpretentiousness ...

a group of guinea pigs.

I’m going to start my own collection.
Bec began it the other day with her suggestion of an orbit of astronauts.
I hereby add a tangle of knitters.

And as we are currently deep in the throes of the Winter Olympics, and here in Melbourne we will soon be mired in the Commonwealth Games, let’s go with a sporting theme.
(Starting with a bore of sporting events.)

A clutch of wrestlers
A spring of curlings (curlers?)
A slash of skaters
A leap of aerial skiers


Go on. You know you want to.


PS. A dotterel is a kind of plover.

22 February 2006

In which I share some photographs of late

spinning1

Son #1’s latest artistic adventure.
Spinning.

There is another picture of it, in daylight, here.


kangaroo mob

The mob.


#2 with bike and big sky

Walks and bike rides in the National Park at the end of the road.


mutant leaf

Eucalyptus leaf with mutant growths.
Some sort of insect laying its eggs?

21 February 2006

apologies for my absence ...

but many things have happened.

• my computer died
• it took two days to get it working again, and I have lost every single email, and email address I ever had
• I also lost all my internet 'favourites'. I have to find you all again, and save you one at a time to my ailing computer
• I feel bereft!
• I am working again, so in addition to this not being a great time to lose my computer and internet access, it means I have limited time to blog and read blogs
• again, the bereftness
• Son #3 turned seven yesterday! Much celebration, cake making, blowing of candles, and a party next weekend
• then that's it for the birthdays, except for mine which doth loom but I am not responsible for gift purchasing or cake baking for that one
• I am accutely aware I have not yet posted Son #3's birth story, due to the absent computer etc on his birthday. I must rectify this but when? When?
• the tradesmen are really annoying me, ringing to say they will be here and then not turning up. My husband is a tradesman, and it is not that hard to be honest and turn up when you say you will. He manages it.
• my studies commence again next week. Again, the limited to time for bloggy duties.
• the dog keeps getting out
• there is a mob of 35 kanagaroos living at the end of the road.



• I have missed you all.

16 February 2006

Corners of my Home, and Show and Tell

Killing two birds with one stone.

kitchen god1

This is the corner by our front door.
In the reflection of the glass you can see the steps leading up the cliff to the road.

This little nook contains three blue pots filled with succulents ... at Christmas, a friend gave each of our children a pot, bag of potting mix, and three little plants. The boys potted them up the week after we moved, and they have been placed in pride of place by the entrance.

The stick trellis was made by Son #1 and I for the hot pink climbing rose (now sadly deceased) that used to climb over our little blue shed. Its blooms matched the shed’s hot pink roof perfectly.
It’s sitting here now until we find it a suitable location and a new climbing plant.

The wooden angel is a Flying Dewi purchased from Oxfam years ago. She used to hang in our old kitchen, so was dubbed the Kitchen God. Now she wards off evil spirits out the front.
(Dewi Sri is the Indonesian rice goddess, and is also a guardian angel.)

And here she is close up.

kitchen god2

Corners of my home group on flickr, and Show and Tell Something Close Up.



Word for the day: polytheism

15 February 2006

FourPlay

Look. See? I’m posting two days in a row, just to prove I’m not dead or in prison.

Di tagged me last week. I’ve been a tad tardy in getting around to responding.

Four jobs I’ve had:

1. salesgirl in a ‘hot bread shop’ (yes it was the late 70s) (yes I was very very young)
2. copywriter in an ad agency
3. a temp job, London, 1986. All hush hush, in a locked room with three others, plotting delivery routes. What for? We didn’t know. Weren’t told. Weren’t allowed to know anything. We were a ragtag bunch of students and travellers, poring over London maps for four weeks, determining the quickest routes from A to B. Then we were sent packing. A week later I watched the news in horror as Rupert Murdoch launched the War at Wapping. And the newspaper world was changed forever.
4. kitchen hand in a ski lodge, the winter of ‘87. The chef was a wild man. I still can’t scrub a zucchini with a straight face.

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. Shakespeare in Love
2. Love Actually
3. Les Enfants du Paradis
4. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

Four places I’ve lived:

1. Kent, UK
2. Melbourne, Victoria
3. Idaho, USA
4. Islington (London), UK

Four TV shows I Love:

1. Drop the Dead Donkey (has been off air for years now)
2. RAN
3. Teachers
4. Creature Comforts


Four Places I’ve Holidayed:

1. Mykonos
2. Fiji
3. Cape Tribulation
4. Perth

Four of my favourite dishes:

1. Mum’s roast lamb
2. Rice paper rolls
3. Baked trout with almonds
4. Pancakes with maple syrup, ice cream, and fruit salad

Four websites I visit daily:

1. Google
2. The University of Melbourne (in semester)
3. Yarnstorm
4. Say La Vee

Four places I’d rather be right now:

1. Lying on a beach on a tropical island somewhere, watching my children and husband frolic in the shallows, being served escargots (the pastries, not the molluscs) and a pink drink with an umbrella in it (actually the drink is a lie, it just sounded appropriate. I’d rather a Gordon’s gin & tonic)
2. In Mum’s lounge room, feet curled up on the settee, drinking tea and catching up
3. New York
4. In my bed

Four people I’d like to tag:

I won’t tag anyone in particular, but if there's anyone on the planet who hasn't yet done this one, please have a go if you wish.

And this is where we get all interactive, dear readers.
I want to know how many of you have done this meme on your blogs, cos it seems to be everywhere right now.

Go on, de-lurk and tell me whether you have or not, and if not, why not?
And ... tell me ...
Do you like memes?
Do you like tagging people?
Do you love being tagged but feel uneasy tagging others, as I do?
Do you adore reading other peoples’ responses?
Is it all a bit chain-letterish?

Spill your guts, gentle readers, do.

And now, a gratuitous picture of a boy blowing bubbles, totally unrelated to the text of this post.
bubbles2

14 February 2006

A birth story (Warning: features gratuitous boot scootin’)

Twelve years ago today.

I was a couple of weeks shy of my thirtieth birthday. We were living in East St Kilda, which now is incomparably groovy. In those days it was daggy, and filled with people who couldn’t afford to buy in Proper St Kilda. People like us. (Oh and that reminds me, I should add People Like Us to my list of TV shows. Do you all know this programme? The fake interview programme? Where Roy the clutzy interviewer talks to ‘real ordinary’ people? Brilliant! Okay. Enough. Back to me and my baby story.)

I had not always known I would have children. I was going to be one of those career women! I was going to change the world!* Then I hit 28 and the biological clock suddenly gonged, deafeningly.

So there I was, ten days overdue with our very first child. Have you all been overdue? Yes? Those days stretch on forever, don’t they? The nursery is prepared, the bag has been packed and re-packed and packed again, the partner has already begun his leave, and every day you wake up, look at each other and say What shall we do today? Have a baby? This scenario is repeated over and over until you begin to believe that the baby doesn’t exist, and it’s all a strange dream. And so you go do other things, although those things are interrupted every eight minutes by visits to the loo.

This particular Sunday, the St Kilda Festival was on. It was also hot, as heatwave conditions are clearly a prerequisite in order for me to have a baby (see post dated 19th January). So we drove down to the sea, had to park the car miles away from the action (can you tell that I am going to go into labour now?), and wandered about, enjoying the sights. At one point late in the afternoon, I had had enough and sat down on a grassy hill beside Luna Park, to enjoy some jazz while Mr Soup went in search of food for us. He was gone for hours.

And my contractions began. Of course. Five minutes apart! Remembering the instructions in antenatal classes to go to the hospital when your contractions are five minutes apart, I thought, wonderful, my baby is going to be born on this lawn, in front of a bunch of black-clad, ever-so-hip jazz musicians, with the father of the child nowhere in sight, and the car god knows where. And I don't know what to do ... I wailed silently. I've never had a baby before ...

Mr Soup finally returned whereupon I informed him of the proceedings and berated him for thinking of food at a time like this.

We set off for the car. Me feeling more and more uncomfortable with every step. Somewhere in a field between the main festival and our car, a gay pride festival was taking place. The Midsumma Festival. These days it’s huge, but this was in its infant days, and it consisted of a few stalls, a drag show or two, lots of pink flags and bizarrely, several line dancing exhibitions. Mr Soup decided to stop and partake in the pleasure of watching a group of people wearing rainbow scarves and tight white tee-shirts, boot scooting and clapping. I berated him for thinking of line dancing at a time like this.

We finally made it to our car, endured a horrendous festival-induced traffic jammed journey home, and got back to our flat. I did all that stuff you do in your first labour ... lots of pacing, timing with watches, ordering Mr Soup about and berating him for thinking about anything that didn’t involve me and my needs, at a time like this.

After a couple of hours of this we rang the hospital and the midwife told us to come in when my contractions were five minutes apart. Uh ... they had been at five minute intervals from the START. Get in here, then! they said. We dutifully got in there. Whereupon my labour stopped entirely. Not to worry! they said cheerfully. That always happens! Great.

Now, at this point I must change my name in order to protect my midwife’s identity. Let’s pretend, gentle readers, that my first name, middle name and surname is/are, respectively, Abby Mildred Soup (this is of course my porn name, but let’s run with it for now). Oh yeah, we also must pretend my cat’s name was Pusskins. (Good thing she’s now dead as she would never respond to such a pedestrian moniker as Pusskins, but I’m going with the porn theme here). The midwife who had been assigned to us arrived, bringing with her warmth, sensitivity, motherly love and all things good. I have had a huge girl-crush on her ever since. She welcomed us, settled us in, went off to do some paperwork, and then when I was on all fours deep in the midst of a contraction, put her beautiful face right up to mine and said gently, This was obviously meant to be. I’m an Abby Mildred too! I smiled in that gosh-what-a-coincidence-you-are-clearly-meant-to-be-the-one-who-gets-to-see-my-nether-regions-up-really-really-close way, as there aren’t too many Mildreds about (as we all know there are a gazillion Sus ... uh, Abby’s about) and enquired as to her surname. I glanced at the namebadge pinned to her ample maternal bosom and saw it read ABBY MILDRED PUSSKINS and before she could answer I gasped My CAT is called Pusskins! She replied reassuringly See? Meant to be.

Anyway, that’s really about it for the interesting bits.
I laboured on.
And on.
And on a bit more, until finally when the clock had slipped past midnight and into Valentine’s Day, I turned to Mr Soup and said I need to take a break. You do it for ten minutes and then I’ll take over again. Either that or I need a mind altering substance to see me through the rest of whatever it is that we're doing here and exactly what is that cos I just can't remember ... The midwife and my husband exchanged knowing glances over my dishevelled head, and said in unison ... Transition!

And so began the forty minutes of pushing. That was fine, but tiring, until the final two pushes which were kind of different, and rather explosive, and I thought I had died.

I was just wondering why they weren’t all rushing around shouting FETCH THE SURGEON! BRING THE PADDLES WE’RE LOSING HER! when someone said quietly

Suse, your baby is here.

And I came out of the fog to realise that those two pushes had produced something rather amazing. And even more amazingly, my body had done that and I hadn’t died.

I turned around, sat down, and met Son #1 for the first time.**

7lbs 13oz (3550g), 52cm long, ten days late, apgar scores 7 and 10.
He looked like a squashed frog for the first twelve hours which was a bit of a challenge to my romantic notions of childbirth, but while I slept they exchanged the frog for a beautiful blue-eyed blonde prince.


Gosh.


Happy twelfth birthday, gorgeous boy.





*And indeed I have. I have added three more precious souls to the world’s population.

**The cord was cut as it was wrapped tightly around his neck, and this led to him becoming distressed and swallowing meconium, so he was whipped across the room for suctioning and I missed that initial skin to skin contact. He was returned to us wrapped in a towel about 90 seconds later however.



Happy birthday to Thomas and Alice too!

12 February 2006

random bits from the weekend

Additions to the meme.
(I knew that would happen as soon as I posted it.)

TV shows: Drop the Dead Donkey, Brides of Christ, Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies.
Books: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (not the abysmal movie they made)
Movies: Hamlet (the Ethan Hawke one)

********************************************

We are getting blasé.
Two nights ago someone says Oh look. There’s the echidna. Digging a hole in the lawn.
We briefly look out the window.
Oh yeah we say.
And turn back to watch Sri Lanka thrashing Australia in the cricket.

*********************************************

Observations regarding the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Mr Soup and I settled down for a viewing of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Me with my knitting (Jo Sharp Anjuli Jacket sans stripes, halfway through the back thanks for asking) and Mr Soup gamely clutching a copy of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy if you please. (You all know this book, yes? The one as big as three airport novels glued together …). We turned off the sound to avoid the inane commentary, and instead listened to a live broadcast of Andreas Scholl singing in his beautiful counter-tenor, at Hamer Hall. Gorge.

So. The opening ceremony minus the explanatory notes. We had to guess what was going on.

Odd shapes on the ground, made by thousands of colourfully clad ordinary Italian folk … This is the bit where Mr and Mrs Torino get to participate says Mr Soup. The odd shapes are meant to be viewed from above, so we ponder what it must have looked like to the spectators in the stands. Mass chaos, presumably. Well, we had a good view here in Melbourne on the telly.

Did you all notice the terribly quick cut to a close up of a giggling yellow-clad man pretending to do obscene things to his blue-clad neighbour? They got the camera off him pretty darn quick.

Then the athletes, country by country. Each team led in by a woman wearing a meringue. As each country arrived I gradually realised they weren’t meringues, they were alps! Gosh. With tiny trees, even. I think I want an alp dress for my birthday! I say.

We never have long to wait for the Australian team to emerge, being an A country n’ all.
And we always hold our breath to see what bizarre uniforms the Aussie team will have to wear. They usually manage to look as though the entire team has indulged in a vomit fest. Over each other. We weren’t disappointed. No vomit this time, but out they came, dozens of Australian skiers and skaters, dressed head to toe in white, looking like a bunch of astronauts. (A posse of astronauts? A clutch of astronauts?) With yolk yellow beanies. They wandered laconically around the stadium, waving and ringing people on their mobile phones Hi Mum! Guess where I am?!

Observations of the other teams …

That chick from Luxembourg is gorgeous.
There is a Danish athlete who is the dead spit of the blonde ditzy girl from The Vicar of Dibley.
The British team looked like MI5 staff.
The New Zealanders looked like the KGB.
The Mongolians all had dead animals on their heads except their flagbearer who wore a green shiny skirt and a fabulous Chinese-type jacket with black frog closures.
The Americans were uncharacteristically restrained, except they all had different coloured hats, which perturbed me.
The Germans, (the Germans!) looked fantastic in green, white and orange. (I know that sounds as if they couldn’t possibly have, but they did!)
The four members of the Senegalese team wore jeans and blue anoraks, except for the woman who wore trackie daks.
The Ethiopian flag bearer was divine looking.
The Italians, all in silver, looked like an invading intergalactic army.

Then, wonderful flag waving and tossing, some medieval music, and then, inexplicably, (we should have turned the commentary on here for we became hopelessly lost) a Renaissance-cum-Baroque garden party. This was followed by a futuristic ballet that I can’t even begin to explain. Anyone?

I knitted happily, thinking of all you folk casting on for the Knitting Olympics and I silently wished Team Australia (and Team Chocolate) lots of luck.

***********************************************

Today was Son #1’s birthday celebration.
A barbecue lunch for five of his friends and their families, and a chance for us to show off the new house to some of our city buddies. It was great fun. Good company, great wine, lovely food, beautiful weather, children’s laughter, chocolate mud cake with twelve candles. (The first time we have had to light the whole set from the packet.)

I grabbed the camera to snap him blowing out the candles, only to find Son #2 has filled the memory card with photographs of sunrises and morning mist over the river. It is spectacular most mornings I must admit, but really!

morning mist

Son #1’s birth story will appear on Tuesday.
Yes, our Valentine Baby.

8 February 2006

Joke's meme gets another thrashing

Oh how I do like a good meme.

I have been enjoying Joke’s meme doing the rounds,
Badger’s addition to it, and Gina’s and BabelBabe’s versions.

Here’s my attempt, with the disclaimer that not all of the following are necessarily my favourite things right now, but are merely things which have made an impression on me, for better or worse, in the course of my life.

Movies you need to watch in order to understand me better
Shakespeare in Love
Jesus of Montreal
You’ve Got Mail
Emma
Roman Holiday
Love Actually
The Dish
Four Weddings & A Funeral
A Common Thread
Chariots of Fire
Much Ado About Nothing
About a Boy
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Starstruck
Look Both Ways
Toy Story 2
Life is Beautiful

TV Programmes you need to watch in order to understand me better
Rebus
Hornblower
Coupling
M*A*S*H
Frasier
Two Fat Ladies
The Office (UK version)
Creature Comforts
Teachers
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
I Dream of Jeannie
Adventure Island
Playschool
RAN

Albums you need to listen to in order to understand me better
Carole King ‘Tapestry’
Anything by Icehouse before Iva Davies grew his hair long
Everything by Crowded House
Paul Kelly ‘Post’ especially but everything else by him too
Elvis Costello ‘Punch the Clock’
Joe Jackson ‘Night and Day’
Everything But the Girl
Renee Fleming ‘Handel Arias’
Chet Baker ‘My Funny Valentine’
Vince Jones ‘On the Brink of It’
The Pogues ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’
k d Lang, ‘Ingenue’
Coco’s Lunch ‘A Whole New Way of Getting Dressed’
INXS ‘Shabooh Shabaah’ and ‘The Swing’
Absent Friends ‘Here’s Looking Up Your Address
Models ‘The Pleasure of Your Company’

Books you need to read in order to understand me better
Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’
Rohinton Mistry ‘A Fine Balance’
Geraldine Brooks ‘Year of Wonders’
Everything by Enid Blyton (except the Noddy stories, and the Secret Seven)
Arthur Ransome ‘Swallows and Amazons’
Everything by Beatrix Potter
Everything by Bill Bryson except Walk in the Woods
Heidi
Lynne Truss ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’
The Children’s Year
Jackie French ‘Backyard Self Sufficiency’
Crime and Punishment
Mary Stewart’s Arthurian quartet
AA Milne’s ‘When We Were Very Young’ and ‘Now We Are Six’
The Adventures of Pooh
The Wind in the Willows
Watership Down
Harry Potter 1-6
Audrey Niffenegger ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’

Plays/Musicals you need to watch in order to understand me better
Tom Stoppard’s ‘Arcadia’
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
La Boheme
The Norman Conquests
Wars of the Roses (the Bell Shakespeare production last year)

Periodicals/Journals/Magazines/Newspapers you need to read in order to understand me better
Australian Women’s Book Review
Australian Country Style
Melbourne’s Child
Classical Quarterly
Gourmet Traveller
The Age

Places you need to visit in order to understand me better
Melbourne CBD, specifically the little laneways and alleys and arcades
London
St Andrews Market
Rome
Idaho
York
Islington
Ricketts Point, Beaumaris
The Block Arcade, Melbourne
Edinburgh
Bath
Florence
The Botanic Gardens
Royal Brighton Yacht Club

Comestibles and libations of which you need to partake in order to understand me better
raspberries
rice pudding
popcorn
Eggs Florentine
pancakes
vanilla slice
Twisties
maltesers
gin & tonic (with Gordon’s gin)
Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne
homemade goats cheese & spinach pizza
apple crumble
Black Label lemonade
Stone's Ginger Beer
a fortified wine from Rutherglen

7 February 2006

not a self portrait, just a recipe today

I attempted my first self portrait Tuesday piece in quite a while this morning.
This month’s theme is All of Me: embrace your mistakes, enjoy the ugly bits.
So I took a photo of my greying hair. You know, being brave ‘n all.
Cropped, enhanced, cropped again.
The computer crashed.

I am taking this as a sign.

So you get a recipe instead.



Kumara and lentil soup

2 tsps oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium (300g) kumara (sweet potato), chopped
1 cup red lentils
3 cups chicken/vegetable stock

Cook onion in oil over medium heat until soft. Add everything else and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 mins until kumara is soft. Blend or just mash to desired texture, and serve with plain yoghurt or a dollop of cream.

Serves 4.

I usually double this recipe and freeze half for a later date.

Another version of this is to add curry powder to the oil and onion, and a few more veggies, such as broccoli or celery, for a chunky change.

Word for the day: vicissitudinous

5 February 2006

a little perambulation

(Posted for the second time, as Blogger ate it yesterday)

This morning I went for a walk.
I walked out of the house.
Up to the end of the road.
And into the bush.
I walked and walked and walked and walked and walked, until I was very tired. *

Of course I took my camera!

big sky1big sky2dead tree recliningdead tree big

fencegrasseswalk flowers1gum leaves


* The problem was of course, that I then had to turn around and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk all the way home. By the time I arrived home I no longer felt like a fresh green pea, but more like a dried up old shrivelled red lentil. ** I was very much hoping that Mr Soup would have been terribly worried about me, and decide to meet me halfway home, preferably with a sedan chair and a litre of gin and tonic, but no such luck. He was reclining with the weekend paper and a cup of chai and barely looked up when I staggered in. Despite the exhaustion, I think I should make this a regular event rather than an occasional weekend foray.

** Which reminds me, I found a fabulous red lentil and kumara soup recipe if anybody is interested?


I am also reinstating Word for the Day.
You know, to improve your, uh, my vocabulary.

Word for the day: quotidian

3 February 2006

Friday Show and Tell: briefcase/purse

My darling PILL requests that we show our purses and briefcases this week.

I believe the Tuvalan term ‘purse’ translates to what we in Australia call ‘handbag’.
(Here, show me your purse would result in me whipping out my wallet with a bemused expression).

Herewith, my work briefcase.
briefcase

Simple black leather with a silver buckle.
Almost fits the huge agenda papers for the three-hour meetings I attend as part of my work as a very important (ahem) person at an institute of higher education. Ha.

And my everyday bag.
bag

I am not quite one hundred percent sure it’s me, but a friend made it for me, and it’s big enough to hold all the junk I tote about with me, so it has survived.

I am actually on a perpetual hunt for the perfect, large-enough-but-not-too-gargantuan, black leather tote.
I have been on this mission for many years now.
I have never ever succeeded.



Note: several people have asked [Steiner/wool/gecko] questions lately. As Blogger won’t let me reply directly by email, I am going to answer all questions in the comments sections from now on. So, if you leave a question for me, please do return later and check the comments section of that relevant post. Clear as mud? Okay? Okay.

(I hope nobody takes offence at this, cos really I do love and appreciate you all, you know. With the exception of those stalky axe-murderer types of course. It’s just that my computer time is necessarily limited, plus I suffer under the martyrdom known as ‘dial up internet’.)

2 February 2006

Thursday Snippets

The children have started at their new school. Like their old one, it is a public state (government) school that has a mainstream, and a Steiner stream. Although at this one, even the mainstream is Reggio Emilio inspired, and includes yoga, meditation and philosophy. The school has a huge vegetable garden and chooks and ducks. Apparently this afternoon Son #1 and three other children will be running the weekly after-school vegie stall, where one can buy eggs and fresh produce.

********************************************

Every day I am delighted with our new lifestyle.*
While obviously I still do suburban housewifey things like wash clothes and cook dinner, I get to spy on parrots when hanging out the laundry and gaze at a spectacular view while stirring dinner.

And this morning as we pulled out of our driveway to go to school, I nearly hit a kangaroo. A huge great whopping grey beast. It bounded lazily along the road in front of us for about 50 metres with me following slowly behind, before soaring effortlessly over a fence and heading off into the bush.

Now, we are used to seeing roos in the countryside, at the zoo, at Healesville Sanctuary, at Anglesea Golf Club, and so on, but not in our own STREET! Oh the excitement. Oh the shrieks.

What a way to start the day. A tad different from the traffic snarls and truck fumes of our previous school route.

*The number of spiders delights me less. Also the size of ‘em.

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In other news, I have been churning out more of these.
flannel

Yes, the flannels/washcloths. Despite my mother’s bemused cries of What would you want to knit a flannel for? Don’t you know you can buy a pack of three at Target for 99c? I found a supplier of delicious natural homemade soaps which will go nicely with the flannels for little gifts. One will be winging its way across the ocean quite soon, in fact.

More Anjuli Jacket progress.
anjuli

All in garter stitch.
Perfect television knitting.

And look!
Funky shoes found yesterday at the op shop. Ten dollars.
shoes