31 July 2006

winter images

The dog and I went for a wet wintry walk.

winter sky

wet spiderweb

wattle1

lovely lichen1

lovely lichen2

flower1

drippy twigs

(Tomorrow, I get to meet someone from the internet!)?

29 July 2006

completions

Thanks to my two techie gurus, comments are now back. (Now to fix the rogue spaces that pop up in the middle of words and the odd symbols that appear at the end of every post).

Also, Son #3's red jumper is now complete.

Herewith.

3's red jumper

Vital statistics: Bendigo Woollen Mills 12 ply Red Currant. Patons Book 487 10 Knitting Designs for Children.

He looks a bit portly in this shot but I think he's doing it en porpoise, as he says.

t

28 July 2006

Show and Tell: sugar bowl

sugarbowl1

This week's Show and Tell is via Elizabeth.

Our sugar bowl was a gift from my dear friend T. We met at work about thirteen years ago and became firm friends, as did our husbands, happily. The four of us socialised often and I commented on her pretty sugar bowl o n ce or twice. Six weeks after I had Son #1, T and her delightful French husband moved back to Perth from whence they had come. Their last stop before the big three day trip across the desert was our flat, where apparently [I have very little recollecti on of this] I presented them with a goodie box of food for the journey including little snacks and curried egg sandwiches (French husband's favourite) and T gave me her little sugar bowl that I had so admired.

T got a job at a university home in Perth th at entailed a bit of travel and over the years she had a few trips back to Melbourne to visit her old sugar bowl. And us. Then, a month ago she and her five year old son came for an overnight visit, whereupon her wee son trod dog pooh and mud into the ho us e, and vomited all over the bathroom floor. It was, uh, a memorable visit. T and I talked about mud wrestling, Where the Wild Things Are which is being filmed near here and talked late into the night as we used to thirteen years ago. T brough t m e quince jam and a new foodie magazine from WA called Spice. Hmmm, I thought. I wonder if it's related to the spice blog, which is run by friends of Craftapalooza who's also from Perth. I checked and sure enough it was. Small world. T is a writer and had been asked to write for Spice, but for reasons which I forget, declined.

By spooky coincidence, as I was typing this post, the postman brought me a parc el f rom T, full of photos of her stay here and lots of nougat. Here I sit, chewing West Australian nougat from T as I write about her and photograph her old sugar bowl.

sugarbowl2

Admin note: Comments have not been turned off; I've somehow lost them. Please leave a comment if you wish by clicking on the 'Links to Thi s Post' link. I know, I'm hopeless. But I DO love and appreciate comments, honest! And although it takes a while sometimes, I try and respond.@

27 July 2006

winter sunrise

sunrise winter


The bitter cold of the last couple of months seems to have eased.

Daffodils are opening, bright bursts of wattle punctuate the roadsides and I'm only taking one wheatbag to bed these days.

26 July 2006

I can't think of an interesting title for this post. It's about books.

It's been a productive and interesting couple of weeks bookwise.

Last night was book group. Everyone for the most part enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, some more so than others. But it sparked good debate (and some hilarity) about religion, symbolism and maternal stuff. And made us all go out and buy decent, local, organic honey.

I've been listening to talking books in the car, as the little job I had for a month at That University with the Gum Trees meant a lengthy, bumper to bumper commute. (Remind me never to go for a job at That University). I tried to listen to Richard Flanagan's Gould's Book of Fish, expecting great things as I had loved Death of a River Guide and he is often referred to as a master etc etc not to mention the fact that he wins all those important prizes. Sadly I didn't enjoy the Fish. I found it very self conscious and rather overwritten. Upon arriving at work after 60 minutes of this I googled some reviews of the book and the very first one said "overwritten and precocious". I persevered on the way home but gave up halfway and turned to Enduring Love. I had read Ian McEwan's book Atonement on Mr Soup's recommendation but thought it so-so, but adored this one. Totally absorbing and very finely tuned. I was completely transfixed, to the extent that I found myself sitting in the driveway for five minutes when I got home on several occasions, hoping no one noticed me until I could prise myself free of the tale. Now I have to get the film out on dvd. I didn't see it when it came out as it had such mixed reviews and as the screenplay was written by the brother of very dear friends of ours, I was afraid I wouldn't like it either and then would have to face my friends. So I avoided it. (Will report back).

I also finished Emergency Sex [And Other Desperate Measures] by those three ex-UN workers. A great read. And an eye opener. (Remind me never to go for a job with the UN).

And the boys and I have taken a break from reading the Swallows and Amazons series and are back on Roald Dahl for bedtime story. Our favourite is usually The BFG and it's one I'm happy to read each and every time they request it, but for the past two nights we've read Esio Trot which I hadn't come across before. It is absolutely delightful and it features one hundred tortoises. (Esio Trot is tortoise backwards). I have a thing about tortoises and turtles. And terrapins.

Next up is Eucalyptus but I'm holding off for some reason. I've read the first three pages twice now and put it down. I don't want to be disappointed with this one so need to wait until my brain is clear (ha) and I can settle in front of the fire with a cup of tea and no distractions. Not even knitting.

Plus, hot on the heels of the Patrick White scam of a couple of weeks ago, that lot over at Sarsparilla have agreed upon a virtual Patrick White book group/reading circle and I've tentatively signed up over at the official website. The book (The Vivisector) is set for September. Can I fit it in? I hope so. The only White book I've ever read was The Aunt's Story which I thoroughly enjoyed, but generally I'm a bit scared of Patrick White. Uni started again this week and along with that comes an enormous amount of weekly reading. Lots of Homer and Virgil this semester. Anyway, one suggestion is that people can host discussions on their own blogs, much like a real book group takes it in turns to host evenings at each others' homes. At least with a virtual book group you only have to virtually bake a cake and clean the bathroom.

Care to join me? We can be the rowdy members who sit in the corner downing all the wine and laughing at inappropriate moments.

Here.
Here's a gratuitous photo of Son #3 wearing his new jumper knitted by his nana but put together by me.

blurry jumper

Less blurry pics here.

22 July 2006

We have been together for NINETEEN years

Let me preface this post by drawing your attention to its title. And also by saying Mr Soup and I are both sick. He has a shocking cold and sounds all stuffed up; I have a nasty cough and my voice is all deep and husky like.

Okay.

Scene: Our house. 1.20 pm, Friday.

The phone rings. I answer it.

Me: Hello?
Man: Hello. Is that Jane?
Me (politely): No, I'm sorry. What number did you ring?
Man: Um, I don't have it in front of me right now. I'm after Jane Smith.
Me: No, no Jane here. I think you have the wrong number.
Man: Sorry to trouble you. Bye.
Me: That's alright. Goodbye.

I hang up and go about my business for, oh, thirty seconds.

The phone rings again. I answer it.

It's my husband.
He says Did I just ring you?!

20 July 2006

making like hobbits (and dwarves)

seedcake

Seed cake.
My new favourite.

Very appropriate as we have been listening to The Hobbit in the car on the school run this week.


'Come along in, and have some tea!' Bilbo managed to say after taking a deep breath.
'A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir,' said Balin with the white beard. 'But I don't mind some cake - seed cake, if you have any.'
'Lots!' Bilbo found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off, too, to the cellar to fill a pint beer-mug, and then to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.


Seed Cake

120g unsalted butter, softened
120g castor sugar
4 eggs
180g self-raising sugar
50g ground almonds
50g mixed peel, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp milk
2 tsp caraway seeds

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and flour, a little at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into a greased and lined 15cm round tin.
Bake for 45 minutes at 160C until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Recipe from Epicure.

Serve with beer if you're feeling dwarfish, or coffee if you're trying to get Show and Tell: Your Coffee Machine cunningly into a post.
coffeepot

17 July 2006

exotica from across the seas

Remember a while ago I was asking what graham crackers were? Well, the lovely and gracious Babelbabe took it upon herself to educate me.

BB goodies

She sent me all manner of unhealthy eating materials, including two kinds of graham cracker (thank you! Now I get it!), a box of Girl Scout choc-mint biscuits (you say girl scouts? We say girl guides) and a packet of HobNobs, which appear to be the same as the English digestive biscuit. Even the packaging is the same - I checked the labels and it is imported to the US from England, with a name change mid-Atlantic. And frankly, who can blame the Americans for not wanting to dunk something called a 'digestive' into their tea. (They are, however, delicious whatever you call them. A rose by any other blah blah blah).

BB chocs

Babelbabe claims these are the best chocolate bars in the world. I happily agree. No one else in the household even knows these were in the package.

BB reading material

And because BB is a librarian and possibly the most voracious reader I know, she sent me reading material. Exotic reading material from across the seas! I love reading newspapers from other countries. Mr Soup is reading the book and announced last night that he is 'starting to get into it'. Apparently Ms BB is on a mission to ensure the entire world reads this book, and she sends it to everyone. I'm looking forward to my turn. (Currently I'm read ing Emergency Sex [And other desperate measures] which was recommended by a friend at book group. It's an interesting and disturbing read.)

Anyway.

This parcel took three and a half months to arrive and BB and I had both given it up for dead. W hen it finally arrived, a leaflet tucked inside the box gave us the answer. Yep, it spent a few weeks holidaying at Quarantine Australia.

Thank you so much Babelbabe! We are steadily and blissfully working our way through all these goodies.

15 July 2006

just begging for a swap

You may have noticed, I've recently become obsessed with sock knitting. (I know, I know. Just what I need).

In order to make my life complete I need, need, some Trekking yarn in Colourway #126. I can't seem to find it anywhere in shops here or on the internet, so if anybody knows where I can buy some, please let me know. Or, if anybody has some in their stash and is up for a swap (I'll choose something yummy, promise), please leave a comment.

Yours in addiction,
Suse


0

housekeeping

pinny
Pea Soup has been experiencing technical difficulties recently.

Please excuse me while I pop on my pinny and rebuild the sidebar, find the perfect shade of eggshell blue and reload all my links and knick-knacks

13 July 2006

Why we chose what we chose

This came out last week; yet another stark reminder that for our governing bodies, education exists to serve the needs of the econ omy rather than the needs of the child.

So it seemed a good time to muse out loud (as promised) about why it is we at Chez Soup have chosen a particular education for our children. I have had queries from friends both in the real world and the virtual o ne regarding Steiner (Waldorf) education and why we chose it, and as it is impossible to provide a ten second soundbite explanation, I usually say Go explore this.

Well okay, I usually do say a bit more, but a lot of it is there. If you really must have a soundbite, I would say Because it is about the child; the whole child. The head, heart and hands.

Steiner education is based on the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosophe r who was born in 1861 and died in 1925. Many of his beliefs drew upon the philosophies of Goethe, and share similarities with those of Piaget; he developed ideas and theories in fields as diverse as education, architecture and agriculture. (He is the father of biodynamics, for example). His philosophy became known as anthroposophy, and it embraces a spiritual view of the human being and the cosmos, but its emphasis is on knowing rather than faith. Those interested can find plenty of information on Steiner in books and on the internet, including the story of the first Waldorf school, which was created for the children of the Waldorf cigarette factory workers. That said, one does not have to be an anthroposophist to send one's children to a Steiner school, nor does one ha ve to be able to pronounce it. Anthroposophy has a lot to say about the spiritual nature of mankind and the cosmos, and its role in social renewal. However I am not going to say any more here as it is not taught to the children, and it is not a religious cult, etc etc, but it is relevant to mention as it is the philosophy that lies behind all of Steiner's work, including his theories on child development and therefore education.

Some of the hallmarks of a Steiner education are an emphasis on the arts and the importance of aesthetics in all aspects of life. So, every piece of work the child (and the teacher) creates is intended to be beautiful, whether it be a book, or a science project, or a piece of art or craftwork. The classrooms too are carefull y created. There is an absence of clutter, and an intention to make the room a place of beauty and calm. Natural materials abound, from the playthings in the younger classes, to the beeswax crayons, wooden pencils, and wooden desks and the natural silks, wools and cottons of the soft furnishings and craft materials. This emphasis on natural materials helps to connect the children to the natural environment, and as anyone who has worked with nylons and acrylics and plastics before turning to natural med ia such as wool, glass, clay, wood and metals will know, these natural materials contain a positive life force, or energy within them that is healthier, not to mention more conducive to creativity.

The curriculum is full of song, music, art, cooking, gar dening and rhythm. Rhythm is everywhere in a Steiner school, and rhythm, as in the ebb and flow of energy, is very different from 'schedule'. Each day has a certain rhythm, as does the week, as does the year. Each of the seasons is celebrated with fest ivals, stories, craft activities and seasonal trinkets from nature. There is a focus on simple, soul-nourishing activities, and a turning away from pop culture, technology and the media in the primary school years. Huge emphasis is placed on the childre n being given the gift of childhood; being kept sheltered and safe from the intrusions of the wider world until they are at an age where they are physically, socially and emotionally more able to cope with it. The various stages and characteristics of early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence form the basis of what is brought to the children, and when.

It's partly for these reasons that we chose this holistic and gentle form of education. When we stumbled upon it, it just felt right and it fitted so well with what we were already doing in our household with our children who were at that stage only a toddler, a baby and non-existent, respectively.

I like that this form of education shows reverence for each individual child, while at the same time stressi ng the importance of them being part of a group, a community. In the Steiner system, the children stay with the same teacher and the same class for all the primary years. Each class becomes a second family for the child, and the bonds between them are m eaningful and committed. As you can imagine, the type of teacher who chooses to do the extra training required, and then makes the commitment to take a group of children for that many years, is more often than not a dedicated and exceptional teacher.

I like the simplicity, the protection of innocence, the spirit and the community fostered by a Steiner education.

I also like the thoughtful and meaningful way concepts are introduced. For instance, when the children learn the alphabet, each letter is brought to them from a picture. So the letter M for example may begin as a picture of a Mountain. When they learn numbers, they learn the Roman numerals first, with an explanation of how each symbol emerged from the fingers of a hand: I, II, and so on, the V shape the hand makes when all five fingers are shown and the thumb extended, and the X of the two arms crossed, displaying all ten fingers. Only when they have this understanding of how numbers evolved are they taught the Arabic numerals. Similarly, w hen measurement is taught in Class 3, the children learn how inches came from thumbs, yards from a stride, feet from um, feet, and even the archaic measurements such as a cubit (tip of finger to elbow). The decimal system comes later, once they have an understanding of how measurements came about in a practical sense. Taught this way, subjects and concepts have a deeper meaning for a child. In Class 4 there is a main lesson on the history of writing which explains how it emerged from hieroglyphics, then gradually moved to letters. The children make their own clay writing tablets, learn about parchment and vellum, and finally, make their own ink and feathery quills. It is quite a sight, watching twenty-five heads bent over their desks, tongues poking out in concentration, plumes wafting as they scratch their stories out onto handmade paper. At the conclusion of this three or four week block of lessons, each child receives their own fountain pen, as until then, they have been writing with pencils.

Mostly I love the gentle, thoughtful yet firm way the children are treated. Voices are not raised, children are respected, nurtured and expected to behave considerately. Most of the time, it works. I love the way the teacher shakes hands with each chi ld every morning and looks them in the eye while greeting them. I love the way the class says a blessing together before hoeing into the contents of their lunchboxes. And I love the way when the bell rings at the end of the day, rather than exploding out of the door in a mad stampede of escape, the children instead form a circle and sing with their teacher,

Guarded from harm,
cared for by angels,
here stand we,
loving and strong,
truthful and good.


Then they rush out the door. But hopefully feeling cared for and respected.

Most Steiner schools are private fee-paying schools, but here in Victoria and now gradually elsewhere in Australia, more public schools are starting to open up a 'Steiner Stream' which runs alongside the 'mainstream'. It is a school such as this that my children attend. They attended another Steiner stream, bigger and more established, in the inner city before we moved house at Christmas. There has been a fair bit of controversy surrounding these Steiner strea ms in state schools, both from within the mainstream and Steiner communities. Some 'Steiner purists' believe it can only ever be a diluted form of Steiner education. Others such as myself believe this form of education should be open to everyone, not on ly the middle and upper classes. I mean, look at the socio-economic class of the children of the original German Waldorf school. Steiner himself believed education was one of the keys to social renewal and global healing.

Steiner education is the fastest growing educational system in the world, with new schools springing up everywhere.

Someone asked me how Steiner schools are perceived in Australia. I'm not sure how to answer this, coming from the inside as it were. Some may see it as 'that educati on where all the hippies send their children', and it certainly has more than its fair share of dreadlocked, barefoot, rainbow families. (Although in the private schools they are wealthy hippies!) Most of us however, are normal everyday folk, who have thought carefully about the kind of education we want for our children. Some people do perceive Steiner schools to be free and easy, the 'alternative' education you choose when you don't want the rigid structure of a mainstream education. This is a mist ake, as unlike some alternative educations, Steiner education is not a free-for-all, let the children run wild, or let the children lead their own learning type of system. There is a strict timeline of what is appropriate to be introduced and when. Like all schools, each Steiner school has its own flavour; some interpret Steiner's indications more loosely than others who may adhere strictly to a curriculum that was developed one hundred years ago. Most schools are flexible enough to move with the time s though, and also be sympathetic to their geographic environs, while staying true to Steiner's principles.

I think I should finish here. I'm not sure if I've adequately answered the questions that were raised, but I could rattle on for ever as it is so mething I am passionate about. No really, I am. Can you tell?

If I've missed anything vital, I'm sure you'll let me know. If you've read this far, thank you.

(I should make the disclaimer that I am not a Steiner teacher, nor am I an anthroposophist. Also, I have to concentrate really hard in order to be able to pronounce it.)



I will leave you with my favourite Steiner joke, to show you that although some people may think we're pedantic, over protective, a bunch of Luddites, too hippyish, too obsessed wit h nature and environmentalism, and far too fond of candles, we CAN laugh at ourselves.

Q. How many Steiner teachers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Six. One to light the candle, one to say the verse, one to consider whether natural light woul d in fact be more beneficial to the child, one to consult Steiner's indications, one to change the light bulb, and one to lead the closing song.

9 July 2006

early morning

mist in the morning
My head is scattered, aching with lost, snatched-at thoughts. I am out of sorts these days.

I trudge to the stove, put the kettle on and raise my eyes to see what The View is doing today. Its beauty creeps in through the chinks of my soul, nourishing me and giving me the strength to begin another week.

6 July 2006

Knitting Report

Or, Irrefutable Proof That I am Insane.

Six knitting projects on the needles.

Until recently it was seven, but I got two purply-blue mittens off the needles and across town before I realised I hadn't photographed them for p osterity. Happily the recipient did take a pic. I hope she continues to enjoy them on these cold mornings.

So now we're back to a more respectable (ahem) six pr ojects. I figure if I blog about them it might just shame me into finishing them, if only to look better in front of you lot.

3's green jumper
First we have Son #3's green jumper, which my mother knitted and sent to me in pieces for sewing up. When I was younger I would knit something and hand it to my long su ffering mother, whining I haaate sewing up Mum, can you do it?' Now she will only knit for my children if I do the sewing up. I have decided this role reversal must be the definition of growing up.

By the way, thanks to my fairy blogmother for providing the knitting pattern via email when my mother's pattern became damaged and she couldn't read several crucial lines regarding the sleeves.

3's red jumper
Next we have Son #3's red jumper. I previously blogged about this however despite half an hour perusing my archives and finding all sorts of crap about lice and swearing, a random grouping of collec tive nouns, an interesting piece of artwork and a story about a car, I cannot for t he life of me find the previous post about this jumper.

Anyway, I haven't progressed much further with it due to my sudden addiction to ...

one sock
... socks.

(What do you mean I have to knit another one?)

anjuli
The Jo Sharp Anjuli jacket (knitted all in garter, I'm kind of ignoring the pattern) has not been touched in, er, months.

pearl
Pearl continues to stare balefully at me.

Wait, that's only five! say the mathematical ge niuses among you.

Um, yeah, the sixth project is a purple throw rug made from knitted squares in different patterns, crocheted together. Begun two years ago. Has not been sighted out of the bag for over a year now. Shame. Oh the shame.


I feel lik e I just showed you my dirty laundry.



And now, my community service for the day.

For those of you who are confused by international conversions of needle sizes and yarns (what ply is worsted? what is sport weight? etc), check out the following two links. Very useful.

http://www.wonderful-things.com/tips.htm

and

http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/tips/convert.htm

Also, the Yarn Harlot spoke recently about knitting baby hats for Breastfeeding Week. This is a fabulous initiative and as a passionate breastfeeder and supporter of the rights of lactating mothers and their babies, I wanted to pass this on. See her site for details and patterns and get knitting.

5 July 2006

Stuff from my head late on a Wednesday

A wee ramble inside my head ...

• I've scored two days a week working at a major Melbourne university for a month. The one with the gum trees everywhere! (And as you know I am currently obsessed with gum trees!) Not the sad inner city university with barely any greenery where I usually work; and not the inner city one with sandstone buildings and gracious European trees where I am a student, but the one that was famous for its radical students in the 70s. The one with the gum trees! I haven't been on this campus since I was a kid and performed in concerts at the theatre there (don't ask). I'd forgotten how hideous the architecture is, but how beautiful the grounds are. The birdlife is amazing and I am going to take my camera and get up close and personal with some of the eucalypts soon. (Undisturbed by radical grungy students as it's semester break, thank god. Students are horrible you know.)

• In the courtyard at said university today there was a secondhand bookstall with a fabulous selectio n of literature and non fiction. I was very restrained and managed to purchase only two books. Eucalyptus, by Murray Bail which I had checked out of the library but now want my very own copy. And Dress Your Family in Cordurouy and Denim b y David Sedaris. I began reading this at lunchtime and finished it five minutes ago while Mr Soup watched his tape of Italy thrashing Germany. (Finished The Secret River and The Namesake this week too. Both recommended. It's such a rel ie f to actually enjoy and finish a book as I haven't done much of either lately).

• Mr Soup is now officially in remission and not a moment too soon because his condition requires medication in the form of steroids. And those of you with experience in steroids will know that those partaking of these insidious chemical cocktails are not pleasant people to live with. I know I'm supposed to be all supportive and compassionate and so on, but really one cannot be gentle and patient and understanding for more than a few weeks and mostly I just wanted to shoot him and put him out of my misery.

• I have been sewing crayon bags and chair bags for Son #3's class during the school holidays. (Which means I finished them at midnight on Sunday before s chool commenced again on Monday).

• I have also been knitting like a madwoman.

• This browser puts unexpected gaps between letters.

• The dog will not eat his bone unless Son #2 holds it for him. This is funny but tiresome. Particularly for So n #2. Heh heh.

• My head is filled with the brilliance of David Sedaris on account of reading his book all in one hit until six minutes ago. The piece about his sister's parrot had me doing that high pitched tears-in-my-eyes hysterical laugh that make s my family roll their eyes (except Son #2 who has inherited this laugh and understands my helplessness).

• Son #3 is still being uncooperative about the haircut.

• Son #1 has dropped out of Orchestra. Damn. Says it's too easy.

• That i s all.

4 July 2006

Op shop report #35

I had a spectacular couple of days at the op shop recently.

I am addicted, I know. But really why would one shop in normal places and pay full price? Okay, so now some of you are sticking your fingers in your ears and singing la la la la lalalalal ala. But I can't help it. It's a sickness.

ramekins and jug

I liked the shape of this little jug. And the ramekins joined my household purely because of their colours. What does one actually do with ramekins?

op shop goodies

A pleasingly shaped little basket which now sits in the laundry, holding a collection of cleaning cloths. A wee willie winkie candlestick which has a lready been given to a birthday boy, accompanied by a simple beeswax candle and his very own candle snuffer. And a vintage tin in a delightful shade of hearing-aid beige. Its purpose will come to me soon.

tin

Aforementioned tin, sitting on two vintage sheets. The sheets may become bags, or the linings for bags. Or, and I hesitate to type this because then you will get how sick I am, I saw somewhere on of those insane crazy craft blogs, an apron (or another bag?) made of sheets that had been ripped into thin strips and then knitted. I know I know. But could someone with more intact grey matter point me to the right blog? Because it's becoming an urgent need.

glass and silver

Look! Old milkshake glasses (there were three. How perfect for the children of the family), two pink champagne glasses (again, perfect number) and see the little nubbly glass at the bottom le ft? I picked up three of these and they now have tealights in them and are sitting atop the mantlepiece. By the way, we've tired of toasting marshmallows every night and are now onto roasting chestnuts. Oh yum.

Oh, and these silver tongy-scissor thing s. There is a flat pair, presumably for picking up chocolates or petits-four (more prosaically, they picked up sausages on the weekend when we had friends here for a winter barbecue), and a spoon shaped pair better suited as salad servers.

silver

They were $1 each. Recently when my cousin stayed with us she and I we nt to a nearby antique shop where she bought an identical pair for $15. (I refrained from emailing her to gloat over my op shop bargain the following week. Oops, just remembered she occasionally reads this blog. Sorry dearest. I did pick you up a g lass juicer for $1 though).

cane bag

And a wee cane bag which might make a nice gift for a little girl turning ten soon. Suggestions for what to fill it with (from all you mothers and aunts of girl children) welcomed.

Oh! I have just remembered the main reason for our trip to the antique shop, and my before and after visits to the op shop. We were on The Quest for the Perfect Butter Dish.

At Chez Soup we had had a cow butter dish, which sounds kitsch, but was Pillivuyt so I can pretend it wasn't. (And we did not have the matching cow creamer because tha t would have been kitsch not to mention too matchy-matchy.) Anyway it had survived a couple of falls and had its right ear glued back on with ever-decreasing dollops of success. But Mr Soup dropped the bovine beast (full of butter, of course) onto the brick floor and it shattered. Into a gazillion pieces.

So began The Quest. The very next day I went to Savers (my favourite op shop because it is supermarket sized) and purchased, along with some of the goodies shown above, a pretty glass butter dish. At home I unwrapped it, dropped it on the brick floor, and it shattered. Into a gazillion pieces. I cried. I actually cried, over a $2 used broken butter dish.

So when my cousin and I were at the antique shop, we kept our eyes peeled. Look, there's one! Oh. Um. It's $255 ... we kept saying. And then I found a kind of art deco black and pink butter dish for $22. Which no one has yet dropped! But which I forgot to photograph for your edification.

And also, the next time I returned to Savers and found the above-pictured glassware and silver thingies, I purchased a 50c lidless cut glass butter dish.

Just in case..

3 July 2006

A meme for a Monday morning

Nicked from Pavlov's Cat who stole it from Quirkie.


YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME
(grandfather/grandmother on your father's side, your favorite sweet/lolly):

B eryl Bullseye


YOUR FLY GIRL/GUY NAME
(first initial of first name followed by "izzle", first two or three letters of your last name followed by "dizzle"):

Pardon? Oh okay ... Sizzle Redizzle


YOUR DETECTIVE NAME
(favourite color, favo urite animal):

Plum Otter, or Cerise Aardvark for undercover assignments.


YOUR STAR WARS NAME
(first 3 letters of your name- last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name repeated twice):

Susery SaiSai

(sounds a b it like my fly name)


YOUR SUPERHERO NAME
("The", your favourite color, the automobile you drive):

The Duck Egg Blue Triumph.

I cheated here because my old Triumph is sexier than a Magna.


ˇ

2 July 2006

A belated thank you

What with solstice celebrations and computer meltdowns, I’ve not had a chance to show off the goodies I received in the mail from the talented and generous Elizabeth recently. Look what you get when you send a fe w Tim Tams across the oceans …

er syrup
Real Canadian maple syrup, valiantly trying to acclimatise to its new environs.

er smarties
And these little beauties.
Of course I eat the red ones last, and I have to concentrate my very very hardest to not sing the filthy version of the song.

There were also chocolates. Um, unphotographed as they disappeared instantly.

er robe

And look. A beautiful dressing gown. In black and white toile! (You all remember my toile obsession, right?)

er robe2

So very very generous. Thanks Elizabeth.

Son #1 declared the maple syrup to be the best he’s ever tasted, and Son #2 wants me to send more Tim Tams overseas to see what arrives next. (Son #3 can’t talk, his teeth are glued together with chocolate.)