17 January 2013

summer hols

News flash. Teenage boy reads actual book.

Summer holidays this year featured a decent smattering of the above, but also a huge clear out and reorganisation of the house. The three boys have been sharing two bedrooms for the past seven years. A tiresome feature of this arrangement was the regular occurrence known as the Annual Changing of the Bedrooms, designed to ensure that every three years one got the Virginia Woolf room. This year we bit the bullet and turned the study into a bedroom.  Now I don't know what the study in your home looks like, but ours was a bit of a dumping ground. Actually, a lot of a dumping ground. It also had floor to ceiling bookshelves built into the mud brick walls, which had to be removed if a bed was to fit in there. Additionally, every single book, item of junk, piece of stationery, desk, computer, bag/basket/tub of wool/fabric/thread and so on had to come out, be sorted into Keep, Rubbish or Op Shop piles, and the Keep pile redistributed somewhere else around the house. Every single item had to be examined and its fate determined. For some reason I was called upon to make most of the decisions regarding all the items. So.many.decisions.

A few minutes later

A large number of trips were made to the op shop, an enormous amount of previously essential junk went out in the rubbish, and several trips were made to Ikea to kit out the new room as a bedroom (rug, curtains, tiny wardrobe) and to buy yet more bookshelves for the dining room which is now a dining/library/computer room.

Fed square

In addition to all this sorting and cleaning (us) and painting (him) and hanging of curtains (me) we made sure to include a little fun. A trip to the beach, a day playing tourist in our own town, and a couple of films (Life of Pi and The Hobbit).

McClelland Sculpture Gallery

There were three separate excursions to galleries in an attempt to ram some culture into our children's heads.  We saw the Jeff Wall [photographic] exhibition in the city, the neo-Impressionists exhibition at the national gallery, and most successful in terms of teenage interest - a trip to the McClelland Sculpture Gallery where we saw some great (and some not so great) works. Some of our favourites included the one above for its sheer novelty value, and our friend Chaco's amazing string and yarn creation below (which has little wooden stools inside, to entice you to enter and experience the piece from within. I loved how it swayed in the breeze, and had caught leaves and twigs in it over time).

Chaco Kato - McClelland Sculpture Gallery

We paid a visit to the floral clock (it was ten minutes slow I think, yet I thought it was apparently never slow, being from the Swiss watchmakers guild or whatever?) and the statue of Edward VII, also passing the statue of Weary Dunlop as well which prompted a few questions and a history lesson upon our return home.  I don't remember seeing that statue before (Weary's, not Edward's) but apparently it was unveiled in 1995 which just goes to show how unobservant I am. (In my defence, the late 90s and early 2000s were the Baby Daze and my focus was not on statuary).

Floral clock, 10 minutes slow

There's been quite a lot of lazing about the house listening to music and reading books too. And minding next doors' wee black rabbit for two weeks. Kept it alive, phew.

It is very very hot today so I will lie on a fluffy blanket

We've had a few scorching hot days too (the cat likes to snuggle into the warmest fluffiest blanket on 40 degree days) (weirdo), and a fire scare when a bushfire broke out two kilometres north of us one evening. All children, cat, rabbit and Important Documents into the car and we were out. All clear a couple of hours later but it was a little close for comfort. Today is another scorcher so I am home today (I returned to work this week ... culture shock!) as I can't leave the children at home on an Extreme Fire Danger Day as they have no way of evacuating safely without me (and my car). We may head off to another movie soon to escape the worst of the heat.

And just like that, poof, the summer holidays were over. The children have only a week and a bit left and then the juggernaut of 2013 will roll on in.


Sue said...

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world we are in the grip of winter and snow is forecast for most of the UK tomorrow. My daughter is in a state of high excitement.

I love hearing about your opposite life Suse.

Ps Why are charity shops called op shops down your way?

dragonfly said...

Your summer sounds like an excellent balance of just the right sort of things. I love the photo of the mirrors!

I didn't realise you were so at risk of the fires though. That must be hugely scary. Stay safe, all of you xx

librarygirl said...

We have seen So Much Art these hols, but haven't done the sculpture survey yet or Jeff Wall, maybe Feb......

Lynne said...

Sounds like they've been eventful holidays and they're not over yet for another week and a half (at least for the boys)!

De-cluttering is something I'm planning to do this year too -- we have Way. Too. Much. Stuff. I know that because a four bedroom house is beginning to be too small for two of us! Mind you, if we didn't have a mountain of the grandson's toys here, it might help!! We are talking about enclosing our screened back veranda so things need sorting!

Ann said...

I've been reading your blog and I live in Warrandyte too, so I thought I'd announce myself. Love all the stuff you write about and can relate to it obviously! I've just come back from Adelaide and am considering a tourist day in Melbourne too. Thanks for blogging.

Janet said...

Can't believe the school holidays are nearly over (but a tad relieved.)

Yours sound really good, with the right balance of laying around reading and being out doing things. Except for the fire business... Glad that was controlled quickly.

Julie said...

Oh thank you for the idea of the McClelland Sculpture Park. I think that will be our destination tomorrow when it will (hopefully) be a little cooler.

Julie said...

and I also meant to say that those endless decisions -what stays, what goes, what gets given to someone with the appropriate sized child - are utterly exhausting.

Elizabeth said...

I remember well how many times we rearranged rooms in our old house to make a too-small space work, if only for a while. Good times. Can't wait for the next house, which will be smaller than this one - which actually has enough space.
I am doing The Purge here this weekend. Can't wait.
Summer holidays sounds fab right about now. It's -8'c here today and snowing.

Amber said...

Soooo sad when holidays are coming to an end. I don't want ours to finish. Great pictures, looks like great times!

kgirlknits said...

McClelland Gallery is great - my neck of the woods!

hoping you don't have too many more fire worries this summer :(

bet the boys are loving their own rooms (and a purge must have felt really great, on some levels yeah??)

Jo Windmill said...

I always enjoy your posts.
The cat thing IS weird...
Is it really less than two weeks until the "juggernaut" starts up??
oh dear......
just keep knitting, just keep knitting.......

The Coffee Lady said...

At some point, my children will not want to share a bedroom, and will demand the sewing room/ letterpress/ miscellaneous book room back. I shudder at the thought.

zephyr said...

love all the photos in this post
and lingered over each.
i simply don't get cats and their love of heat in the heat.
i thought of you when i saw this:


So glad the fires have not touched you and wish you continued safety.

Stomper Girl said...

Our Burmese chooses to sprawl on the cold tiles on hot days, but he also came and sat on my chest when I went and lay under a fan on my bed. Just what you want on a stinkin' hot day, a warm, furry, moulting slightly cranky creature pinning you down. Here's to not too many more scorchers for the rest of summer!

anknel and burblets said...

I need to delve further to find the mudbrick walls. Love your cat x