17 January 2013
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 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.
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).
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).
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).
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.
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.