Tuesday, September 30


Today I went grocery shopping. With two children. Half way through I stopped and stuck needles in my eyes to ease the pain of shopping with children. I said 'no you can't have it' about 3,624 times and returned approximately 94 items to the shelves - things like sugary cereals, biscuits, Coca Cola, various toys and some Shrek stickers that hopeful little hands had optimistically placed in the trolley. Then I stood in line awaiting the privilege of having a surly checkout assistant put my shopping through. Then I handed over a sum close to the gross domestic product of a small country and struggled to the car with my trolley load and came home - only to have to unpack it all. That was my morning.

This afternoon I had a bit of a cook-a-thon. I loathe cooking, it digusts me, I hate handling food and am quite repulsed by it being on my hands as I prepare it. The actual work of cooking bores me, it's tedious and repetitive and I'm not keen on sharp knives. In my single days I lived quite happily on omelettes or peanut butter on toast and and a glass of white wine. Nowadays, as a mother, I feel I should at least attempt to prepare meals for my offspring. So I cook. Ironically Tom loves to cook....adores it, is delighted to spend an afternoon puttering in the kitchen, unfortunately he never has time to do that so it's left to me. The one who hates doing it. Have I mentioned how I loathe it?

To make my life easier I try to get a lot done at once, sort of getting it over with. I cook in bulk and freeze things. So apart from those meals that can only be cooked straight before eating, like steak or fish etc, I have some evenings where all I have to do is prepare the accompaniments. I don't always work this way - I'm not that organised, but it is my preferred mode of food preparation and I try to do it when I can. Today I could, so I did. I made a curry, chilli and a pasta sauce - I did double batches of everything. Tomorrow I'm going to make soup.

It was horrible, but it's done.

To cheer myself I cleaned up the computer. I backed everything up, saved stuff to discs and USBs, deleted a bunch of stuff I don't need any more. Burned some recently purchased music and got to work. I did a disc clean and a defrag and sorted out my autostarts. It feels all fresh and nice. I enjoyed that.

So today I was productive. At times resentful, but always productive.

Monday, September 29


Well our visitors have gone. Everyone is exhausted, but in a good way. Aislin even fell asleep on the sofa this afternoon, something she hasn't done for a long time. About half an hour after they left Hannah started crying because she missed her cousins. Everyone is a bit tired and emotional. The girls are now having a long bath while I cook dinner...well actually I'm too tired to 'cook' anything so I got a casserole out of the freezer and I'm heating that up.

I think it will be an early night tonight, I'll head off with a cup of tea and have half an hour with Jonathan Strange and then lights out.

I spent some time this afternoon tidying up the computer files. This laptop is playing up and I'm worried it will crash and I'll lose everything so I've backed up all my files and I may do a computer 'clean up' later this week. Nothing like a defrag to get things running smoothly again - Windows Vista notwithstanding. The risk is the whole thing will go horribly wrong and I'll break the computer entirely - however I like a technological challenge so I'm going to do it anyway.

Sounds like the casserole is ready. I'm off.

Sunday, September 28


Friday was busy - crazy busy! I took the girls to school, ran some errands then picked them up what seemed like 5 minutes later (they had a half day - end of term). Then we shopped for a birthday present for a small boy, then I took Aislin to the small boy's birthday party. Hannah and I ran more errands until it was time to pick up Aislin. Then we came home and I made up beds, cleaned the bathroom and generally tidied and prepared for visitors. Visitors arrived and there was much laughing and chatting and chaos for quite some time. We eventually wrangled the (very excited) children into bed at about 11pm (unheard of in this house) and the grown ups settled down peacefully with a glass of wine and did a bit of catching up. Suddenly it was 1am and we all trooped off to bed - exhausted.

Saturday dawned sunny and warm. My sister and headed out to do the 'shopping'....at least that's what we said we were doing. First we went for coffee....

....and of course there had to be cake...the cafe we went to specialises in chocolate creations and they have a small but exquisite range of cakes and desserts. We talked and talked and talked (we had a lot of catching up to do). Then we needed tea to wash down the coffee and cake.

After that we went to the supermarket and the wine shop and four hours later we came home again (yes four hours - the husbands were getting slightly impatient for some reason). Lunch was served under the willows and we attempted to solve the world's problems over a glass of this.....

...although it seemed wrong and terribly bourjoir to be discussing world hunger and the plight of Tibet over a glass of Pol Roger.

At one point Tom went to the shed to get the esky to hold the drinks and found a Ring-tailed Possum nesting in it. I don't know who was more surprised Tom or the possum. He put the esky back and we used something else for the drinks - we'll decide what to do about the possum-in-the-esky problem later. Possums are very territorial and as it is Spring their little possum thoughts turn to settling down and starting a family - so it's not a good time to be moving one on.

At dinner time it was pizza for the kids (special treat) after which they were sent off to bed with a movie to watch. They lay about on mattresses and pillows on the floor and watched and dozed. The grown ups had a delicious Indian meal and watched Alfred Hitchcock (The Man Who Knew Too Much). Then more talking and eventually off to bed.

Today it is cold and cloudy (with the threat of rain later). Typical spring weather, 30 degrees one day, 17 the next. There are plans for a small bonfire and some marshmallow toasting later.

Thursday, September 25


The sun is shining, the sky is blue, my sister is coming to visit, school holidays are about to start and as if all that isn't enough, yesterday Tom bought me a present....no not diamonds, not a brand new S-type Jag, no....something even better.......

My favourite....Haigh's chocolate teddy bears.....so cute! And yummy! And chocolatey! Jealous? Yes, I know you are M.

Almost too cute to eat.......


Insert evil laughter here.

Wednesday, September 24

On my desk

So many things on my desk, I may disappear under them. Well actually they were taking up so much space on the desk they are now on the floor. Sigh. I like to keep a clear desk but I think it's cheating if it's only clear because I've put everything somewhere else!

On my desk today is my breakfast. Have you noticed that food (and tea) figures heavily on my desk? There was that bun a couple of weeks ago and a cup of tea just about every week. I don't usually eat breakfast at my desk but today I decided to read some blogs while I ate, not a habit I intend to get into but once in a while is ok. Isn't it?

Anyway, I haven't been having my 2 and 5 as I should lately so I'm attempting to get back on track with that, starting with breakfast. Here it is, fruit, yoghurt and a spoonful of organic blueberry granola. Looks very healthy doesn't it? Tastes good too surprisingly.

Of course there is also the ubiquitous cup of tea (note the comfort mug is out again today).

Also some CDs I've been burning and my Grace cards because really I need all the grace I can get just now.

On my deskTOP I have a number of projects, most importantly the plans for some workshops I'm planning to run in term 4 and some other bits and pieces that I have been working on for way too long and really must finish - hello website and of course blogs to read....because that's important too, right? Right.

The eagle-eyed among you (HA! that's sarcasm in case you missed it) may have noticed that I have been rather out of sorts recently. There's been a lot of whining and complaining and talk of being unmotivated and a general lack of enthusiasm - exaserbated by being constantly sick for 5 weeks (I'm feeling much better thank you). I apologise. There's a lot going on and I am desperately trying to regain some excitement about my life - well my work/business life really most of the rest of it is good but work, well it sucks. I'm not sure what is going on, I always get a bit tetchy and restless around the equinoxes - don't know why - some kind of astrological anomaly I'm sure. Hopefully spring will bring with it some new energy and I shall be back to my old self soon.

I do have some happy news, my sister (youngest) and her family are arriving from Melbourne on Friday to visit for the weekend. I am very excited about that. I miss my sisters a lot (the other is in the US) and I can't wait to squish the living daylights out of my nieces and nephew and enjoy some food cooked by my brother-in-law (he's a chef and a good one too). It will be a weekend of relaxing, eating, drinking wine, shopping with my sister (woo hoo), cuddling children and generally catching up. Can't wait!

But for now....it's only Wednesday so back to work.

Monday, September 22

I have nothing to say...

...today. I am overwhelmed and undermotivated.

So I'm just going to let Matt entertain you. This is one of my favourite videos, it's been around for a few months now*, you've probably seen it, but some days I just go and watch it because it restores my faith in the human race and makes me smile. Especially on those days when I've forgotten how to enjoy life and feel like everyone who crosses my path has forgotten that as well.

I particularly like the New Guinea Highlanders and the Indian ladies. Watch it. Even if you've seen it before. Watch it again. And smile. You can dance too if you feel like it.

*I meant to say this version has been around for a few months. Matt has been dancing around the world (and making videos of it) for a couple of years now. Go Matt!

Friday, September 19

The newspaper bag project

Today I made a bag out of newspaper. No, not because I'm being thrifty or green, or green and thrifty but because Z wrote this post about this project and in the spirit of fun and support of fellow bloggers and their extended families I joined in.

I made this masterpiece...

Granted it's a bit difficult to tell from this photo that it is a bag, you'll just have to trust me on that. It's surprisingly sturdy and will actually hold things. Heavy things. Like wine bottles. Not that I'm fooling around with wine in the middle of the day. Oh no. Not me.

The very best thing about this project is that it gave me an excuse to avoid doing all the things on that long 'to do' list I mentioned yesterday. I can usually think up my own means of procrastination but it's always nice if someone else has a suggestion.

So pop over to the Newspaper Bag Project and join in the fun, make a bag and leave a photo...help Ro win a prize and show the world what happens when bloggers unite!

join the newspaper bag project

Wednesday, September 17

On my desk

Today on my desk there was a 'to do' list as long as my arm. So long in fact that I was completely overwhelmed by it and couldn't decide what to do first.

So instead of on my desk I will show you what was 'in my garden' today. Here he is....apologies for the quality of the photos but I had to be quick - he was on the run.....

Can you see him? Bottom left hand corner? Monsieur Reynard! He was being attacked by Magpies and was desperately trying to get away. He became quite disoriented and was ducking and diving to avoid their vicious beaks, there were about 6 of them attacking. Then he got out of the garden and onto the road......

...the Magpies were relentless. A few cars came along and thankfully slowed down (usually they speed up and try to hit them). Then he was gone, out of sight and I don't know how he fared. Foxes are not native to Australia, they were introduced and consequently they are considered a pest and they don't get a lot of sympathy. They have decimated many of the native species which doesn't earn them many fans.

I find myself with such a moral dilemma where foxes are concerned, they are so much part of my growing up and I can't help but feel it's a pity they're so loathed here. I know it's tragic when native animals are killed and chicken coops are raided, I hate it too and wish they didn't do it, but they're only doing what foxes do, they don't know any different.

So today, despite being terribly un-PC I enjoyed seeing him in the garden and hopefully Reynard escaped the Magpies and the cars and survived to see another day.

Saturday, September 13

Almost full

...and she was dazzling tonight....

Friday, September 12

Dark skies

This is the view from my window ( know you've seen it many times now). I see it all day every day and it never ceases to amaze me how it's mood changes daily as well as seasonally. This was how it looked last night...

But no matter what the season or the weather or what time of the day it is, to me, it's always beautiful.

Wednesday, September 10

On my desk

......today, is this....

Yes, again! As if the flu (only a month ago) and then the chest infection and sinusitis (only 2 weeks ago) weren't enough, now I have some other kind of sinusy head cold....or it's the same one back to torture me some more. Why? WHY? I don't know, except that a different child brought this plague to our door (thanks Hannah) but I feel crappy and I'm cross and frustrated and to be honest just a tad weepy and sorry for myself.

I didn't sleep a wink for the sinus pain last night and finally gave up and got up at 4am and sat drinking tea for hours wishing with all my heart that I could just tear my own head off. Then on top of everything I had to crawl into the pharmacy on my knees and grovel pathetically for sinus medicine and endure the scrutiny of the assistant while she decided whether or not I was actually ill or just wanted it for my drug lab. "Trust me!' I wanted to scream 'I wish I did not need your chemical poison but I am DESPERATE!!!'.

Anyway, it's obvious that my immune system isn't doing it's job right now so I'm on this because my doctor tells me it's marvelous stuff for feeble immune systems. Yeah, whatever. Alternatively someone could just take me out the back and shoot me. Please.

Tuesday, September 9


Today I needed colour. For all kinds of reasons life has seemed a bit bleak lately and although I haven't whined about it on the blog I've been quite unhappy. So I decided I wanted colour and I wanted to create. Now, not many people know that I love to draw, don't misunderstand me here....I can't actually draw, at least not well....but I like doing it anyway. I like to draw lots of things, especially mystical things....magical images. Today seemed like a day for that - I need a little magic in my life. I should have been working on something that is a serious thing-that-I-get-paid-for job ....but as I've already mentioned, today I needed colour.

I particularly enjoy using pastels, nice ones, expensive ones. So today I got these out...

...and I also got these out......

I tend to work in mixed media so I used them all and as you can see from the tiny brush in this one I used some paint too.....

You can also see the very, very early stages of a Wild Willow Woman. I began a series of 'green man' type drawings about 5 years ago, you know.....'the face in the leaves'....both genders are represented because really, why would they all be men? I haven't made much progress with the 'series' they are fiddly, take ages to do and frankly as much as I love to draw, I don't get the time and it's not a priority. Which is quite sad really. Anyway, what you see here is a very vague representation of what the finished picture will look like...layers and layers of leaves still to come.

So in the ultimate act of procrastination today I drew instead of working. It's been nice though.

Monday, September 8


I love words so I was quite excited to find Wordle and make one of these magical creations produced from words from my blog. What I wasn't prepared for was how I felt when I saw it. At first I was a bit disappointed. I don't know what I expected, something more.....dream-like and spiritual? But as I don't really have a dream-like and spiritual blog that was probably hoping for too much. No, my blog is ordinary, my life, my angsts and confusions and stuff about school and shopping and holes in the back garden. So I got this......


...and thought 'meh'. Until I looked more closely and found myself examining it in great detail and pondering some of the words......in what posts did I use the words 'lyrical' and 'broom'? It then occurred to me just how little I actually think about the words I'm using, how they just roll from my mind onto the page, a natural, easy, flowing thing (ok, I think about spelling and grammar but not the vocabulary so much). It seems crazy to say this but I think I'd actually forgotten - or was ignoring the fact - that the words on these pages originate in my head. Where did I get them all? Where do any of us get them all? How lucky we are to have our literacy.

Anyway, I liked it so much I decided I had to have one of my own creation....with perhaps a little more of the dream-like and spiritual me that you rarely see on this blog. So I did this one.


Wordle is fun....go play....

Saturday, September 6


Yesterday the weather was decidedly spring-like so I went down to have a look at the creek. I've been avoiding it a bit because the ground is quite swampy with all the rain and the other day I discovered (by almost falling into it) a water filled hole in the middle of the back garden. It's a couple of feet in diameter and I stuck a broom handle into it to test the depth and I think it's 2 or 3 feet deep - quite worrying. It's now covered with boards and roped off for safety, I'll tell you more about that once Tom has had the chance to investigate it properly. He has been joking that we might discover our own Naracoorte caves under the lawn....I don't think that's funny.

The late afternoon light was just right to see the Willows on the opposite bank reflected in the water. I just loved seeing the winter-bare branches twisting and gnarled in the stillness.

Upside down trees....making me a bit dizzy.

Friday, September 5


Today has been hard. The girls' school held 'Grandparent's Day' and all the Grandmas and Grandpas were invited to come to the school. There was a morning assembly with several entertaining presentations and some singing by the school choir, then the grandparents all went to the classrooms of their grandchildren to see their work and meet their teachers, then there was a morning tea.

My children only have one set of grandparents, my Mum and Dad are no longer with us. Unfortunately Tom's parents don't live in Adelaide so we had no grandparents attending. Because I didn't want the girls to have no-one there I went along. When it was time to visit the classes I went to Aislin's first, sadly she was the only one that didn't have at least one grandparent there. She took my hand and led me round the room, showing me all her work that was displayed, then she took me to her desk and went through every workbook telling me all about it. None of this was new to me, I drop her at school every day and we always look at her latest work - but she showed me it all again anyway because the teachers said they should and all the other kids were showing their grandparents. The teacher went round taking photos of the kids with their grandparents, Aislin watched this for a while then whispered 'Mummy, can we have a photo?' I think it was at that point my heart broke.

After that we went to Hannah's class and did it all again. Then it was over, the children said goodbye to everyone and they went off to play. The adults were invited through to the morning tea but by then it was more than I could stand so I slipped out.

It goes without saying that I miss my Mum and Dad every single day. But days like this make it almost unbearable.

Thursday, September 4

Mondegreens and more screen printing

In my family there are a few tales of mondegreens, especially those committed (does one commit a mondegreen?) by my Dad, who always ended up preferring his version over the correct one. I could bore you with quite a few but as they are always better when presented verbally I'll limit it to two. The reason I thought of them was because this morning as we drove to school Aislin was in the back listening to an iPod and singing loudly and tunelessly along. She particularly enjoys a boppy song by Shakira that has a line that goes 'I'm at your fee-e-eet'. I nearly snorted my takeaway coffee down my nose when I heard Aislin sing 'I'm a trap-ee-ee-ze'. It reminded me of a lyrical faux pas of my own when I was about her age. We were out driving in the car as well and I was in the back singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers' very loudly (I come from a long line of car singers) and I almost caused my Dad to hit a tree when I came to the line 'Christ the royal master leads against the foe' I sang 'Christ the royal martian eats it with a fork'. Made sense to me.

I do have to wonder what kind of miniature religious zealot I was singing such a song while out on a family drive. Not to worry, it obviously didn't last.

Today I was at the school for yet another session of screen printing that I had managed to get roped into vounteered for. Four of the pictures needed to be re-done because an over-enthusiastic father had come in to help and used too much paint causing them to resemble swamp scenes rather than undersea worlds. It was doubly tedious because we had to re-cut all the templates then do the entire thing again (I won't explain further, trust me, it was BORING, FIDDLY and TIME CONSUMING). It was such slow going I could cheerfully have poked my eyes out with a stick but finally we got the first one finished, we stepped back to admire our work and all was good with the world.

We got started on the second one.....some looooong time later after much cutting and blobbing and scraping we once again stepped back and admired. At this point a boy from Hannah's class wandered in to have a look, as he thoughtfully admired the work with us he idly spun a pair of scissors round his finger.....until they flew off and skidded across the painting smudging it right through the middle. I let out a cry and stared in horror at the mess....then I kind of groaned and put my head in my hands (yep, melodramatic - that's me). The poor kid looked as though he might cry and when I raised my head and looked at him my expression must have been somehow frightening because he ran off (he actually did run ha ha ha ha ha..... I mean.. poor kid).

It had taken us two hours to do 2 of the bloody things and now one was ruined. I don't think I'm a cruel person and I know it was an accident but I could have wrapped that ruined painting round his irritating little head. Apparently we're not allowed to do that so I just sulked for a minute then resigned myself to the fact that we'd be doing another session sometime soon. sigh.

Ok, come on.....share your mondegreens......

Wednesday, September 3

On my desk

What's on my desk? Not a lot. Oh there could be...it's not like there aren't loads of things I should be doing....but I'm in avoidance today. Not in the mood. Can't be bothered. So far all there is on my desk is...

...a cup of tea and a bun.....(and they won't be there much longer)...

....and a small pile of books to assist with an article I'm writing.....or not writing actually....

...and that's it.

Today I should also be getting in the car and going to look at venues for a workshop I may be running...but once again....meh....not so keen.

What I'd really like to do is climb into bed with my book and read until I fall asleep.

Today I feel a bit like this.....

..or this.....(but without the voluptuous bosom)...

It just seems to be taking ages to get my energy back after the virus and the infections - it's all a bit tedious really.

Maybe I should have a big bowl of healthy soup or a giant plate of spinach instead of that bun.

Nah. Don't think so.

Tuesday, September 2

Ok Dave, here's Tuesday's post*

Today I went to the big smoke. I don't get to the city much, something I'm actually quite happy about. However today I had an early appointment so Tom and I went together, dropping the children off at 'before school care'** on the way. We arrived with time to spare so we decided to have a coffee together before going our separate ways - him to work, me to my appointment. It's been a long time since I could sit and watch the busy corporate world go by and I have to say it was bloody boring. Why is everyone so serious? You'd think they were all heading off to the guillotine the way they solemnly march along in their brown suits and trilbies. Perhaps they just hate their jobs. 'Back up!' I hear you cry 'what is this about trilbies?'. Well, I thought you'd never ask. Today I saw a man in a brown suit and matching trilby. Honestly. I did. I had my camera with me but really it would have just been too rude to take a photo, he'd already caught me staring at him. I wasn't staring because I thought he was a freak or anything, I was genuinely impressed, who wears 1940s suits and trilbies any more? Well apart from 'men of a certain age' and he wasn't of that certain age he was maybe in his 40s. He was, in fact, exactly like this man...(well he didn't have 'Agatha Christie' emblazoned across his face, but you know what I mean).

....he was actually at a business meeting in the café . Three other 'suits' arrived, only these ones were your standard corporate types, carrying brief cases and variety of electronic devices and wearing dark suits, white shirts and silk ties. All very normal (and boring). I liked the man in the 40s gear. His friends (colleagues...whatever) were totally unperturbed by his get-up, just business as usual which made me think this must be normal for him. I am so impressed, more people should just dress according their favourite era I think. ALthough that could be a problem if crinolines are your thing, you'd have a helluva time on the bus in one of those.

*My friend Dave has been without an internet connection while he moved house and waited to be connected again. He went to the library to post to his blog but obviously it's not the same as posting from the comfort of your own home so I didn't hear as much from him in the comments. During his 'cyber-rest' I have managed to skip the odd day posting because he wasn't available to nag me. He got his new modem yesterday and, true to form, the nagging has begun. Welcome back Dave - I missed you.

** They enjoy this so much that they have asked me to get a job so that they can go every day. So much for the sacrifices we are making so that my children can be dropped off and picked up from school daily. Hmph. Ungrateful little.... ahem..... darlings.

Monday, September 1

Happy Spring (or Autumn for my Northern Hemisphere friends)

Today it is cloudy and cold and raining (again). But Mother Nature isn't fooled.

The first buds on the blossom tree (I'm afraid I don't know what this tree is, but it's always the first to bud)....

...and the beginnings of Willow leaves.....

Spring may not have quite sprung....but it's gently bouncing in that general direction. New beginnings.